Tag Archives: Sif

Days of Thunder – September 1974 The Mighty Thor #227

“In Search of… Ego!”
And now a return to former glory– produced in all its pom and panoply by Gerry Conway, writer * Rich Buckler, artist/ inking: Joe Sinnott/ lettering: John Costanza/ coloring: P. Goldberg/ Roy Thomas, editor

thor 227

It has become clear that Ego the Living Planet is once again a hostile force, and possibly insane. Thor, Hercules and Firestorm fight the creations of Ego until they find a crevice that leads deep within Ego. They travel downward into the very center of Ego, where they find the giant brain of Ego the Living Planet. Thor smashes it with his hammer. It explodes.

ego brain

 

Days of Thunder – July 1974 The Mighty Thor #225

“The Coming of the Firelord!”
Gerry Conway, writer/ John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, artists/ John Costanza, letterer/ Glynis Wein, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 225

The Destroyer holds Mjolnir and Thor faces the threat of the 60 Second Rule. However, he is able to mentally will the hammer to return to his hand, an ability he never used to have. Another effect of re-enchantment?

Hercules somehow finds the empty body of Clement Holmes, the scientist who’s spirit possesses the Destroyer. He brings it back to the Destroyer and for some unclear reason, Holmes returns to his rightful body. Thor and Hercules depart, leaving the empty Destroyer lying in the middle of the street.

With the action over, Thor becomes Blake once again, so that he might tend to tend to Krista. When Hercules marvels that Thor would ever want to become a frail mortal, Blake comments “When I’m Blake, I don’t care about Thor. And when I’m Thor, Don Blake is just yesterday’s bad dream.”

Meanwhile, Firelord, the current servant of Galactus has come to Earth. Firelord is some sort of man that is on fire, wielding a staff that is also on fire. When he enters the hospital, he soon starts a fight with hot-tempered Hercules.

It is with extreme reluctance that Blake becomes Thor yet again, grimly bemoaning, “I never really had a choice, after all… I’ve never really been Don Blake…only Thor. On that somber note, Thor joins Hercules in fighting Firelord. When Thor arrives, Firelord simply gazes into the heavens and shoots cosmic fire from his eyes, in order to summon his master, Galactus.

First Appearance: Firelord

 

Days of Thunder – May 1974 The Mighty Thor #223

“Hellfire Across the World!”
Gerry Conway, writer * John Buscema, artist * Mike Esposito, inker * Artie Simek, letterer, P. Goldberg, colorist * Roy Thomas, editor

thor 223

Thor and Hercules travel deep within the Underworld, but Pluto teleports away, along with Krista, who has gone mute with trauma. After Pluto flees, Thor uses Mjolnir to teleport himself and his friend to Asgard, in order to ask Odin to find their quarry.

Where did Thor suddenly gain the ability to teleport? Again, lacking a better explanation, it seems likely that this is a newer power granted by the re-enchantment of Mjolnir way back in issue #151.

At any rate, Thor and Hercules ask Odin where Pluto is. Odin searches for Pluto and discovers that the Lord of the Underworld is in Manhattan. It is unclear what Pluto was doing on Midgard, but he sees no reason to stay and fight now that his plan has been undone. He leaves, but not before taunting Thor for being so quick to mistrust his so-called friends.

With Pluto gone, Thor retrieves Krista. Unfortunately, she is dying for some unknown reason.

 

Days of Thunder – April 1974 The Mighty Thor #222

“Before the Gates of Hell!”
Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, artists/ John Costanza, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

thor 222

Thor and Hercules decide to arm wrestle, in order to choose which of them gets to attack Pluto, who they both blame for tricking them into their previous fight. The table upon which they arm wrestle shatters before either god can gain the upper hand.  This causes their contest to escalate into a brawl, each god fighting for the honor of beating up the guy that made the two of them fight. Eventually, Zeus intervenes and the two agree to team up against Pluto.

The two warriors travel into the Underworld, where they discover that Pluto is working with Ares to instigate a war between Olympus and Asgard. For some reason, Ares really seems to have it in for Asgard. They defeat Ares and move onward toward Pluto.

Days of Thunder – March 1974 The Mighty Thor #221

“Hercules Enraged!”
Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Mike Esposito, inker/ John Costanza, letterer/ G. Roussos, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 221

Having neutralized the threat of the Black Stars, Thor and his friends return to Asgard. However, this is a farewell, as Tana Nile has been at long last returned home. Silas Grant also chooses to stay with her, his closest friend.

When Thor, Sif, and Balder return to Asgard, they are rushed to Odin’s chambers. There, the All-Father shows them what he and Hildegarde have seen:   Krista chained in the Underworld of Olympus leered at by Pluto and Hercules, side-by-side.

Thor is enraged by this sight, considering this to be a betrayal on the part of Hercules. Sif tries to tell him that he should give his friend the benefit of the doubt, but Thor refuses to listen. By Odin’s leave, Thor storms off to Olympus, alone. Odin does not want to start a war against Olympus, so he refuses to allow Thor’s friends to accompany him, not even Hildegarde. The period of exile has clearly ended, and all parties have slipped back into their old roles as if nothing had ever transpired.

Thor travels to Olympus, beating up all who cross his path, including Hercules’ friend Krato, before challenging Hercules himself.   Hercules is confused by this hostility, but he has never been one to turn down a fight. They fight for a good long time until Zeus intercedes and provides an alibi for Hercules.  Although Thor extended absolutely no trust to Hercules, he gives his “friend”’s father the benefit of the doubt.

Meanwhile, Ares is back in Zeus’s good graces, mere months after conquering Olympus. Unsurprisingly, he has not reformed: he and an underling named Snatos scheme to start a war, although the specifics are not yet clear.

First Appearance: Krato, Snatos

 

Days of Thunder – February 1974 The Mighty Thor #220

“Behold! the Land of Doom!”

Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Mike Esposito, embellisher/ John Costanza, letterer/ Gynis Wein, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 220

Facing a world of people with fingernails larger than his entire body,  Thor immediately attacks the first giant he sees, only to be swatted like an insect, stunning the relatively tiny Thunder God.

The massive-scale planet they are on is Rhun. The people of Rhun measure time in “klarns”.  One klarn is roughly equivalent to ten Earth-years. During this Klarn-Cycle, the planet is ruled by a man named Lord Kragonn. The people of Rhun believe the five planets of the Black Stars to be the only inhabited planets in the universe.

Kragonn has a scheming servant named Dracus, who created the Protector and Avalon’s people many klarns ago. Dracus has discovered Thor and his friends, and he believes that the tiny people  he did not create must have come from one of the other four planets, with whom the people of Rhun have not spoken with in the past two-thousand klarns.

The Rigelian mutants spy on the people of Rhun and learn most of this. As always, language is no barrier, presumably the mutants possess some manner of Universal Translator. Dracus wishes to turn Kragonn against the tiny visitors to spark a war, but Jukka is able to explain to Kragonn who they are and also reveals that the other four races on the other four Black Star worlds have all gone extinct.

Having learned that most of what their civilization believes to be true is a lie, the people of Rhun bid farewell to Thor and his friends, as the Black Star departs, no longer a threat to the larger universe. The fates of Avalon and his people is unclear.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Hildegarde fights her way past Odin’s guards in order to seek his counsel regarding her sister. Odin uses his power to reveal her sister’s location. Upon discovering it, he cries out “good woman– thy sister is doomed!”

First Appearance: Lord Kragon, Dracus

 

Days of Thunder – January 1974 The Mighty Thor #219

“A Galaxy Consumed!”

Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ M. Esposito, Inker/ Gaspar Saladino, letterer (Credited as L. P. Gregory) , Glynis Wein colorist/ Roy Thomas Editor/ Odin All-Father

Thor 219

Sif rallies her friends who are shaken in the face of the Black Stars, and together they travel to the surface of one of the five worlds. As they head toward their destination, Balder wonders why the majority of the Collectors do nothing to fight the Black Stars. Thor explains that they are mortal and that “Honor can mean nothing to such creatures.”

The heroes get sucked into one of the Space-Scoops, where they soon encounter a benign race of 50-foot-tall synthetic creatures, created to be caretakers of the Space-Scoops on behalf of the unseen lords of the Black Stars. These people, led by a man named Avalon, yearn to be free, but cannot live without the nourishment provided directly by the Scoops.

As Avalon and Thor discuss what can be done, they are attacked by the Protector, a being created to be a guard. In the course of defeating the Protector, a path is opened to the surface of one of the Black Stars. They follow it, only to discover an assemblage of people scaled so large that Thor and the Avalon would barely be detectable to their eyes.

Meanwhile, Hildegarde has gone to visit her family. Her parents tell her that Krista has been acting strangely the past three days, ever since she found the mysterious charmstone, and has holed up in her room. When Hildegarde goes to check on Krista, her sister disappears in a flash of light.

First Appearance: Avalon, The Protector

Days of Thunder – December 1973 The Mighty Thor #218

“Where Pass the Black Stars Also Pass Death!”
Gerry Conway, writer * John Buscema, artist * Jim Mooney, inker * Artie Simek, letterer, G. Roussos, colorist * Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 218

Odin has learned of the great threat known as the Black Stars, a threat that is currently menacing the Collectors of Rigel, a threat that if left unchecked could threatened Asgard. He sends Thor to investigate, along with Tana Nile, Silas Grant, Sif, and Balder. As the heroes depart, Odin wonders if the rift between father and son is truly mended.

The heroes arrive on Rigel, only to discover that the planet has been evacuated. Left behind are a small band of mutants: Jukka, Bolaa, Tryx, and a fourth as-of-yet-unnamed one are part of an all-male caste of failed genetic experiments. The mutants were not permitted to live alongside the citizens of Rigel, and were not permitted to evacuate the planet. Thor invites them to come along on the Starjammer, as they race to catch up with the Rigellian fleet. It is unclear how Tana Nile feels about this.

Shortly after they depart, Rigel is destroyed by the Black Stars.

When the Starjammer catches up with the Rigelian fleet, all of its crew, save the mutants of Rigel, are granted an audience with the Grand Commissioner. The Commissioner tells them of the Black Stars (not to be confused with the Black Galaxy.) The so-called Black Stars are five giant planets, each three times the size of Jupiter, orbiting a star that seems to be mobile. This solar system seems to be artificially created, and at least somewhat aware. It have traveled from galaxy to galaxy for an untold amount of time, using energy blasts to destroy planets, and giant machines to scoop up the remains of the planet, which seems to be these strange planets’ fuel source. The driving force of this cosmic mass currently seems to be intent on destroying the entire galaxy.

Elsewhere, Krista returns home to her parents. It is revealed that she is the sister of Hildegarde, and that she is willing to kill in order to keep her charmstone.

First Appearance: Colonizer 12, The Black Stars, The Mutant Class of Rigel

 

Days of Thunder – November 1973 The Mighty Thor #217

“All Swords Against them!”
Gerry Conway, Scripter/ John Buscema & Sal Buscema, Artists Exemplar/ J. Costanza, Letterer, P. Goldberg, Colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 217

The crew of the Starjammer, including those who have theoretically been exiled from Asgard and those who are not Asgard natives, all return to Asgard only to discover doppelgangers in their place! After a good deal of fighting, it is revealed that these duplicates are the creations of Igron!

It seems that the earlier confusion can now be settled: it was Igron, that Loki sent to the Troll dungeons in issue #179, and not Toag, although Igron still wears Toag’s hat.

Igron had escaped from his Trollish prison in the midst of Thor’s battle against Ulik.  Upon his escape, he headed to Asgard, only to find it abandoned. When the Asgardians returned without Odin or any of the Asgardian nobles, Igron crafted an elaborate illusion, allowing him to disguise himself as Balder while controlling a false Odin and thus indirectly ruling Asgard.

The true Asgardian nobles defeat Igron’s illusions with little difficulty and they imprison the dark wizard. They also reunite with Balder and Volstagg and while it is left unsaid, it seems Odin just wants to quietly undo his banishment of those he had banished to Earth.

Apparently, Karnilla quietly departs in the chaos.

Meanwhile, while fleeing from the conflict in the city, an Asgardian named Krista finds a strange stone in the woods marked with a scary monster face that seems to radiate power.

Elsewhere, the Colonizers of Rigel find themselves fleeing Rigel in a mass evacuation.

This is the first time it is suggested that the Asgardian friends of Thor: Balder, Sif, Hildegarde, and Heimdal, are more than just friends, but nobles, members of a codified social station above those of the common Asgardian.

First Appearance: Krista

 

Days of Thunder – October 1973 The Mighty Thor #216

“Where Chaos Rules!”
Gerry Conway, Scripter/ John Buscema & Jim Mooney, Artists Extraordinaire/ John Costanza, letterer/ George Roussos, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 216

The crystalline group consciousness that is known as Xorr has transformed itself into a giant humanoid being intent on absorbing the universe and remaking the cosmos as Xorr sees fit. Out of love for Sif who remains trapped within the Xorr, Thor is not only prepared to allow the being to do this, but he stands before the creature as its protector.

When Xorr speaks, there are quotation marks around his dialogue, a detail traditionally omitted from comic book storytelling. It serves to makes Xorr more offputting.

While Thor’s allies are prepared to stand back and not interfere, Mercurio and the Gramosians are not so accommodating. They attack Thor so that they might stop Xorr from his rampage, and also so they might harness Xorr’s power to save their world.

Xorr absorbs energy from a variety of cosmic sources as Thor and Mercurio battle. Eventually, Mercurio convinces Thor to stop being a jerk and they combine their powers in order to free Sif and Karnilla. While Thor and Mercurio work things out, Odin nudges Xorr into a supernova, which shatters the crystal form of the creature. Mercurio collects the shards of Xorr, with which he can somehow save his world from vaguely defined doom.  He and Thor part as friends.

Meanwhile on Earth, Balder has regained his sanity. It is unclear what lifted that cloud from his mind, just as it remains unclear precisely what he had been doing on Asgard, and what it was that  drove him mad. Seeking to face that which caused him harm, Balder takes Volstagg with him as he swings his magic sword to return them to Asgard, never mind that they are both banished from that land.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1973 The Mighty Thor #215

“The God in the Jewel”
Gerry Conway, Scripter * John Buscema & Jim Mooney, Artists Exemplar * John Costanza, letterer/ Stan G., colorist * Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 215

Six million years ago, there was a world named Xorr. The inhabitants of that planet were the progenitors of many other humanoid races, including the Humans, Skrulls, and Kree. The people of Xorr, when faced with their sun going nova, created a shield of nuclear force around their planet. In the millions of years that have followed, the force shield has shrunk and the planet, its inhabitants and the nuclear shield have fused to become the crimson crystal that now houses Sif and Karnilla.

The people of Xorr hold the miners of the Dark Nebula in their thrall and are now absorbing the immense power possessed by Sif, the Asgardian and Karnilla, the sorceress. When Thor’s people and Mercurio’s people agree to team up against this new threat, the miners Quellor, Rothgar and Kagg combine the crystal with their mining colony to create an ad hoc spaceship. Thor and company gives chase in the Asgardian starjammer, along with their Gramosian allies.

They catch up with the ship and form a boarding party. They overpower the miners but the giant crystal, once a planet, now a spaceship, transforms itself again, becoming a giant crystalline person, roughly human in shape, with Sif and Karnilla still trapped within.

As the people of Xorr become a single crystalline entity, it warns Thor that if it is to be in any way harmed, that harm will mean the death of Sif!

 

Days of Thunder – August 1973 The Mighty Thor #214

“Into the Dark Nebula!”
Gerry Conway, scripter/ Sal Buscema, artist/ Jim Mooney, inker/ John Costanza, letterer/ P. Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 214

Before heading into the Dark Nebula, Thor swings by Asgard to  drop off most of the population.  A few stay on the ship:  In addition to to his exiled friends, Heimdall and Odin accompany Thor on this quest. The previous matter of Thor and his friends defying Odin and being exiled from Asgard is not addressed.

Thor and company soon stumble into a violent conflict where the stakes and and motivations are unclear. One of the combatants in this fracas is Mercurio, the Four-Dimensional Man. Previously believed to have been killed by Thor in issue #208, it is revealed that  Mercurio did not die, but instead exploded into another dimension. In that dimension, he passed through a giant red crystal which returned him to his people on planet Gramos.

That enormous jewel was a Dimensional Transporter, existing simultaneously in many dimensions all at once. Now, raiders from Gramos have come to the mines of the Dark Nebula seeking to harness the power of the jewel in an attempt to save their dimension from the still-unexplained threat that may destroy it.

Also in the mix are three humanoid miners from Orion Base, Quellor, Rothgar, and Kagg. It is unclear what their role is at the moment, but they seem to be untrustworthy, and also seem to know more about the jewel then they have revealed.

In the midst of this melee between miners, Gramosians, and Asgardians there is an eruption as the massive jewel breaks through the surface of the ground. Trapped within it are Sif and Karnilla. Before any action can be taken, an unseen voice claims that it will use the life force of Sif and Karnilla to “dominate this portion of the cosmic all”!

First Appearance: Quellor, Rothgar, Kagg

 

Days of Thunder – January 1973 The Mighty Thor #207

“Firesword”

Gerry Conway script * John Buscema art * Vinnie Colletta inks * Denise Vladimer letterer * Glynis Wein color * M. Severin good works * Roy Thomas editor

Thor 207

Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart, Len Wein and Glynis Wein are  real-life comic book creators who, like Tom Fagan, have fictional analogs that have occasionally graced the pages of both Marvel Comics and its distinguished competition. Recently, these fictionalized friends have had a series of misadventures spanning multiple unrelated comics and multiple decidedly unrelated comic publishers before eventually arriving in Rutland in order to attend the annual Super Hero Halloween Parade.

Thor also arrives in Rutland, along with Sif and Hildegarde. It is not clear why he brought his friends, for as soon as they find the Absorbing Man, Thor insists that he be allowed to fight the villain by himself. Sif balks at this but Hildegarde physically restrains her because “the God of Thunder must ever be obeyed.”

Thor and Creel fight and at one point Thor is pinned to the ground and separated from his hammer. Unlike all the many other time that this sort of thing has happened, this time Thor calls the true, secret name of Mjolnir, which apparently is not “Mjolnir”.  The powerful magic of the true name summons the hammer to his hands. It seems odd that he had never done this in the past, but perhaps learning the truth about his dual nature back in issue #159 has returned knowledge to Thor that had previously been lost.

It is also revealed in an off-handed caption that Mjolnir was forged in the furnace of Geirrodur. It is unknown how Odin came to possess this powerful Trollen weapon before passing it on to his son.

Thor and Creel’s fight ends abruptly when Creel ends up landing in a body of water, which he finds himself unable to resist absorbing.  This seems to be fatal.  As soon as Creel dissipates, Loki makes himself known to Thor.

Loki attacks Thor, brandishing a flaming sword powered by the life force of the participants of the Rutland Halloween parade.  He has also turned Satan and Diablo into bigger, more unpleasant dogs.  Loki and Thor fight.

While the brothers do battle, Sif and Hildegarde watch from afar until Karnilla appears before them. Karnilla offers to help Thor if   Sif’s will afterward help Karnilla in finding Balder. Sif, who got screwed pretty badly last time she made such a deal with Karnilla, initially refuses, but relents when Loki seems on the cusp of victory.

Having struck her bargain, Karnilla magically summons a thunder storm. Thor uses the power of the storm to turn the tide of battle. It ends with Thor striking Loki with a bolt of lightning. This bolt leaves Loki blinded. Panicked, Loki stumbles away, falling off of a cliff.

Thor returns to Hildegarde, discovering that Sif has departed with Karnilla. There are tears in Hildegarde’s eyes, for in her heart she knows that they will never see Sif again. Why she would feel this way is unknown.

First Appearance: Credit for the colorist

Days of Thunder – December 1972 The Mighty Thor #206

“Rebirth!”
Gerry Conway, scripter * John Buscema, artist * V. Colletta, inker # John Costanza, letterer * Roy Thomas editor

Thor 206

Several years ago, Odin banished Crusher Creel, the Absorbing Man, into the void, discorporating him into outer space. Some time after that, he passed through a comet and absorbed the form of the comet. He was then able to somehow use his force of will to move  his comet form straight toward planet Earth. This eventually allowed him to walk free on the planet once more, but before he could track down Thor for revenge, he got drawn into a fight with  the Hulk. This fight culminated with a mountain falling on him, and seemingly killing him. He has not been seen for the past two years.

Now, the mountain that had trapped the Absorbing Man is struck by a meteorite, freeing the villain. Once freed, Creel is drawn to New York by a voice in his head that gives him headaches and tells him to find and kill Thor. Before he can find his enemy, he stumbles upon Sif and Hildegarde, who have been exploring New York. Their eyes blaze with excitement at the prospect of random battle. It has been days since they have gotten into a good fight.

After donning armor and taking up arms, the warriors rush to challenge Creel. Sif seems to have picked up some new armor on Earth. While they fight Creel, Thor is informed by Jarvis, the Avengers’ butler, that Creel is causing a ruckus. Thor is so eager to fight him that he can’t be bothered with a door, smashing through a closed window of Avengers Mansion.

When Thor arrives, Sif and Hildegarde have been knocked about, allowing him to tag in. They fight, and the voice in Creel’s head compels him to retreat to a creepy house in Rutland, Vermont, with the intent of luring Thor into a trap. The house belongs to Tom Fagan. Tom Fagan is the organizer of an annual superhero themed Halloween parade that has been repeatedly featured in the stories of Marvel Comics, as well as those of DC comics, and also he was a real person and the parade a real thing. He owns two dogs, Satan, and Diablo.  At the moment, Loki has entranced him and is occupying his house.

Meanwhile, on Asgard Karnilla and the Vizier continue to hang out. They gossip about Odin, who the Vizier fears has gone mad. Odin has taken the defiance of Thor and his friends very poorly.  He has forbade that they be mentioned by name, while demanding that all his remaining subjects swear fealty to him day and night.

 

Days of Thunder – November 1972 The Mighty Thor #205

“A World Gone Mad!”
Stan Lee Presents: Gerry Conway, scripter & John Buscema, artist/ Vinnie Colletta, Inker/ John Costanza, Letterer/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 205

Thor fights Mephisto. Mephisto calls upon evil dead people, including Blackbeard, Attilla the Hun, and Adolph Hitler. Thor defeats all comers.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1972 The Mighty Thor #204

“Exiled on Earth!”
Stan Lee presents: Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, penciler/ Jim Mooney, finished art/ Shelly Leferman, letterer/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 204

Thor is super-pissed at Odin for manipulating him like a chesspiece. When Thor expresses his outrage, Odin responds by exiling his son to Earth. In response, all of the assembled Asgardians choose to stand with Thor. And so Sif, Balder, Fandral, Hogun, and Hildegarde share in Thor’s exile. Tana Nile and Silas Grant aren’t banished, but they are trapped on Earth. Volstagg is missing in action. Heimdall and Kamorr miss the drama, and return home unaware of what has transpired.

Thor takes his displaced companions to Avengers Mansion, where the Avengers are headquartered. Thor offers them temporary residency in the Mansion, until something more permanent can be arranged.

Sif and Thor, or rather Sif and Blake, go to check in on Blake’s practice, only to discover that the door has been barred. They meet with the new owner of the building, Karl Sarron. Blake explains to his new landlord that he has paid the rent months in advance, and Sarron tells him that he has no record of any such arrangement. However, if Blake can provide proof of his rent arrangement, it will, of course, be honored.

While Blake deals with his rent dispute, his friends attempt to unwind and to familiarize themselves with their new environs. As they go off in separate groups, one by one, they are captured by unknown dark forces.

After it has claimed their friends, Thor and Sif find themselves swallowed by malevolent darkness. They follow the path that lies before them, and eventually they discover themselves to be in the presence of Mephisto, surrounded by their blank-faced comrades!

First Appearance: Karl Sarron

 

Days of Thunder – September 1972 The Mighty Thor #203

“They Walk Like Gods!”
Stan Lee presents: Gerry Conway, scripter John Buscema, Artist/ Vince Colletta: inker/ John Costanza: Letterer/ Roy Thomas: editor

Thor 203

While Thor and friends continue to fight Ego-Prime. Heimdal and Kamorr collect two more seemingly random humans: Chi Lo, a Japanese farmer, and Carter Dyam, an Israeli soldier. Also, the man named “Jackson Kimbal” in the previous issue is now being called “Jason Kimbal”. Perhaps, Heimdal got his name wrong initially, and has been corrected off-panel.

Karnilla barges in on Odin, demanding to know what is going on with Balder. The Vizier trails behind her, stopping in horror when he discovers that Odin has been playing “the Game”. It is unclear what the significance of “the Game” is.

On Earth, all of the fighting against Ego-Prime has been ineffectual. He unleashes his power upon the planet, ready to create his Planetary Flesh Mound. However, at the last moment, all of his power is siphoned away until he fades into nothingness. While Thor and his friends were powerless to stop the villain, the power of Ego-Prime has been captured by the three mortals assembled by Heimdal. They stand before our heroes, newly transformed into gods.

Odin reveals himself before Thor and the others, revealing that all of his actions as of late have all been part of a byzantine, seemingly stupid plan designed to culminate with the creation of these three new gods, the start of a new race of gods that will “breathe fresh fire into the furnace of the cosmic all!”

Also, in this issue Ego-Prime calls Thor’s hammer “trice-dammed”. Setting aside the fact that he surely meant “thrice-damned,” this is stronger language than one would expect to be permissible by the Comics Code Authority.

First Appearance: Chi Lo, Carter Dyam

 

Days of Thunder – August 1972 The Mighty Thor #202

“–And None Dare Stand ‘Gainst Ego-Prime!”
Stan Lee Presents: A Gerry Conway, John Buscema Mini-Marvel Masterpiece! Aided and Abetted by: Vinnie Colletta, inker and Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 202

The combined force of Sif, Tana Nile, Hildegarde, Silas Grant, Thor, Balder, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg stand together against Ego-Prime as it transforms from a crystalline rock monster into a hundred-foot-tall, purple-bearded humanoid. Ego-Prime, in his new form, reveals his ultimate intent: He wants to use his power of growth and change to cause humanity to multiply so rapidly that they blanket the earth in a swarming pile of flesh. He will then fuse those wriggling mountains of humanity into a single peaceful entity. The combined heroes stand in opposition to this scheme.

Elsewhere on Earth, Heimdall and Kamorr seek and find a young black man named Jackson Kimbal and help him get out of some trouble with some loan sharks.

Meanwhile, Karnilla appears to have reached an uneasy peace with Odin after all of the events of recent days.  She and the Vizir discuss their fears that Odin has sent their friends to their deaths.  Elsewhere, Odin literally plays chess with himself using a chessboard full of pieces sculpted like our cast.

Thor Chess

It has not been made clear how those who were on Blackworld ended up on Earth. Perhaps the most likely explanation would be that it was an act of Odin,  and that somehow moving his pieces on his chessboard mystically moved the flesh-and-blood analogues to another location.

First Appearance: Jackson Kimbal

 

Days of Thunder – July 1972 The Mighty Thor #201

“Resurrection!”
Stan Lee editor presents: A Gerry Conway (script) * John Buscema (Layouts) Marvel Masterwork! Jim Mooney (finished art) * Artie Simek (lettering)

thor 201

The third Norn’s name is, indeed, Atropos.

The implication has been there since their introduction, but now that they have been given the names of the Greek Fates, it is all but established that within the Marvel cosmology, the Norse Norn and the Greek Fates are one and the same.

The Norn continue to watch what the various Asgardians are up to, and continue to watch the proceeds non-linearly. One week prior to Pluto’s invasion of Asgard, A longship arrives in Brooklyn, carrying Heimdall, along with a diminutive ally named Kamorr the Small. Apparently between Heimdall’s fight with Thor in issue #193 and Asgard’s departure from the universe, Odin sent Heimdall to Earth on a quest alongside this dwarf. Heimdall weaves an enchantment that gives them the appearance of local garb.

While the battle between The Asgardians and the Underworlders rages on, Karnilla does what she can to stop this fighting, for the sake of her beloved Balder. However, it is not she who saves the day, but rather Hela, who chooses to end the stalemate between herself and Pluto by restoring life to Odin.

With Odin’s life restored, Pluto retreats from Asgard, but not before seemingly sending Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg to the Netherworld. However, Odin redirected Pluto’s action, and sent the warriors to Earth, a land that is very strange to these three.

Upon hearing of the dislocation of his friends, Thor asks his father for leave to retrieve them from Earth. Balder asks Karnilla for permission to accompany his friend to Earth, which she icily grants: “It appears I’ve no hold on thee… if ever I had.” As soon as Balder and Thor leaves, she begins to cry.

Odin begins to hint at a plan that the lettercolumn has been hinting at for some time. Apparently, sending the trio to Earth and Sif to Blackworld, and who knows what other random Odin bullshit, has all been part of of some overly complicated plot on his part, but at this time he can say no more.

On Blackworld, as our heroes retreat from Ego-Prime, Tana Nile reveals how Ego-Prime came to be. It seems that the Colonizers were in dire need of a planet “of the Earth type” for some unspecified reason, but none were available to them.

The Grand Comissioner’s solution was elegant in its simplicity: Tana Nile went to the Black Galaxy where she harvested a small chunk of Ego, the Living Planet.  She dumped this chunk on Blackworld, which at the time was a world of cavepeople. She pumped a bunch of energy into the Ego sample to see what would happen. The hope was that the unique properties of a living bio-verse would terraform the planet. Instead, she accidentally created a monster obsessed with sculpting Blackworld into a mirror image of Earth for some reason.

Now, Blackworld superficially resembles modern day 1972 Earth, but its inhabitants are modified cavepeople, unable to control their violent and destructive urges. And so it comes to pass that the city that Sif and company have found themselves in gets nuked off of the map.

An instant later, Sif, Hildegarde, Tana Nile, Silas Grant, and Ego Prime all materialize on Earth, right before Thor and Balder, who have just caught up with Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg. No explanation is given how or why.

First Appearance: Kamorr the Small

 

Days of Thunder – May 1972 The Mighty Thor #199

“If this be Death..!”

Stan Lee, editor/ Gerry Conway, writer/ John Buscema, artist/ Vinnie Colletta, inker/ Sam Rosen, letterer

Thor 199

While Asgard hurtles back toward the universe, Kartag takes his leave, returning to the World’s End. Soon after he departs, Hela arrives. Thor refuses to release Odin to her custody, and before the matter can be settled, Pluto, lord of the Netherworld arrives in a longboat full of what appear to be Mutates. He also wants to claim Odin as a prize. This leads to a battle, with Hela joining the forces of Asgard against Pluto and his minions.

Balder, who has apparently been in Asgard along with Karnilla ever since it left the universe, cannot help but join the fray. He is badly wounded for his troubles, and Karnilla once again uses magic to save Balder. As he rises, he prepares to re-enter the battlefield.

Karnilla forbids him to fight and risk death. When he speaks of the dishonor it would be to stay his hand, she releases him, commanding him never to return to her. Such is the depth of her love of Balder.

On Blackworld, “he” has been revealed to be some sort of crystalline hulk, and so Tana Nile at last fills in Sif and company on the nature of “him.” This powerful fiend, who keeps shifting the nature of Blackworld, is Ego Prime, a small offshoot of Ego, the Living Planet. It is unclear why he is named “Prime” when the Living Planet is the primary Ego. He seems to be shaping Blackworld to resemble present-day 1972 Earth. Why he is doing this, remains to be seen.

On Asgard, Pluto fights Thor one-on-one and he bests the thunder god. He stand over Thor, prepared to kill the Asgardian with a final blow of his Axe!

First Appearance (full): Ego Prime

 

Days of Thunder – April 1972 The Mighty Thor #198

“–and Odin Dies!”
Stan Lee, editor/ Gerry Conway, Scripter/ John Buscema, Artist/ Vince Colletta, Inker/ John Costanza, Letterer

Thor 198

Thor and Hogun manage to free Odin from the Mangog’s grasp.   Thor then retreats to protect his father’s body.

Volstagg takes the Twilight water to the Vizier.  Lacking clear direction, the Vizier decides to try mixing the water into the Cosmic Well.

The Cosmic Well explodes, causing a geyser of raw power to shoot outward. Weary Odin finds his way to this geyser and is showered by these waters of power. The mystic shower gives him strength  enough to battle the Mangog one last time.

Meanwhile, the Mangog finds the Odinsword and he unsheathes it!

Fortunately, Ragnarok is averted thanks to Asgard’s absence from the Enthropic Universe. Odin with the power of the Twilight Well and the Mangog with the power of the Odinsword fight one final battle. Odin severs the Mangog’s connection to rage that fuels the beast, causing it to dwindle into non-existence. However, Odin dies in the conflict.

On Blackworld, Sif and Hildegarde try to uncover the mystery of the unnamed force that is toying with the lives of the people who live there. Suddenly, Tana Nile of the Collectors arrives on the scene, frantically warning the Asgardians to join her within her Force Bubble. As they do, they at last see the off-panel face of “him!”

During Odin’s funeral, a thought occurs to Thor. With Asgard outside of the universe, Hela has been unable to claim his father. Until she does, he is not truly dead. As Asgard makes the journey back into the universe, Thor will use his power to freeze time (as he once did to save Jane Foster so that he might keep Odin from Death. As we know, this is incredibly dangerous.

Also, we learn that Odin’s previously unnamed friend is named “Bulwar”.

Days of Thunder – March 1972 The Mighty Thor #197

“The Well at the Edge of the World!”
Stan Lee, editor/ Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Vince Colletta, inker/ Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 197

Thor has arrived at the Twilight Well, guarded by Kartag. Thor announces his intent to steal the Well’s waters and so he and Kartag fight, while Satrina restrains his friends. Thor and Kartag’s battle eventually plunges them into the well itself.

Submerged within the Twilight Well, the waters of which hold unknown mystical properties, Thor has a vision, a moment of clarity.   Afterward, Kartag drags Thor’s unconscious form from the well. The battle is over.

On Blackworld, Sif and Hildegarde fight some monsters before meeting Silas Grant, a steamboat captain. Something strange is going on in Blackworld. When the Asgardians arrived, it seemed to be a medieval world, but things seem to keep changing, and the inhabitants seem to all be terrified of an unnamed “him” (not be be confused with “Him.”)

At the Twilight Well, Kartag’s masters reveal themselves: Three crones in red robes. They are the Norns, also known as the Fates. They are cosmic beings, and they claim that none have power over them, not even Odin. This quest to visit theTwilight Well was a test and the Asgardians have passed, apparently. The Norns gift our heroes with a sample of water from the Twilight Well and the assistance of noble Kartag.

This obviously raises questions about what relationship, if any, these beings have with Karnilla and the Norn Hag. If Karnilla is the Norn Queen, does that make her the representative of these women?  Surely she is not their leader.  It is not clear.

Thor, Volstagg, Fandral, Hogun, and Karag travel the rainbow bridge back to Asgard only to discover that the bridge has been shattered and that Asgard is gone! Fandral suggest that Asgard might not be destroyed, merely absent, and so Thor tries a bit of magic: He believes the waters of the Twilight Well to have an affinity with the water of the Cosmic Well of Asgard. He pours some the Twilight waters on his hammer and hurls the hammer into the unknown, trusting the water’s affinity to pull the hammer, with his party in tow, to Asgard, if indeed it still exists.

It works! Back on Asgard, they soon find themselves in battle with the Mangog. The Mangog has a surprise in store: He pulls out the near-death body of Odin, to use as a shield and as a trophy!

First Appearance: Silas Grant, The Norn

 

Days of Thunder – February 1972 The Mighty Thor #196

“Within the Realm of Kartag!”
“Stan Lee, editor/ Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Vince Colletta, inker/ Jon Costa, letterer

Thor 196

Deep within the World’s End, Thor and his friends meet Satrina, servant of Kartag. She suckerpunches them with the Crimson Mist, which sends them into a shared hallucination of being waited on hand and foot by beautiful fawning women. Kygar, who is immune to the mist, warns Thor that things are not what they seem. This allows Thor to realize that they had been pawing over fawning MONSTERS! Her illusion pierced, Satrina kills Kygar and retreats.

Later, Satrina, having failed with the carrot, tries to scare Thor and company off with the stick. She creates a powerful dragon illusion, but Thor figures out that it is a trick. Out of options, she agrees to take our heroes to meet Kartag. Kartag is a fearsome Giant, armed with a giant cudgel of an axe, prepared to kill those who intrude upon his land.

On Blackworld, Sif and Hildegarde find themselves fighting bandits, which causes Sif to cry out “I feel that dark craving– an emotion akin to my love for Thor– The Battlelove of a warrior born!”  Sif has hopefully shaken off the weepiness that had been ailing her.

Elsewhere, Asgard is under assault by the Mangog. How can the Mangog still exist?  It is not entirely clear, but it is speculated that once something as powerful as the Mangog is created by magic, the very idea of it is too powerful to ever be undone.

As the Mangog attacks, Hela comes to Odin, chiding him for sending his son away to escape the power of the Mangog. The assembled might of Asgard tries to hold back the Mangog, but none can equal its strength. Odin’s oldest friend Khan, dies defending Asgard. In the face of the Mangog, with his dead friend claimed by Hela, Odin shouts to the heavens “ The Mangog hat almost triumphed– and for the sake of a thousand universes– this must not be! –This day, by my power, by my glory – the sacred world doth forever more pass away…”

The full implications of Odin’s actions are unclear, but at that moment, on another world, Sif and Hildegarde notice a star in the distance go nova.

First appearance: Satrina, Kartag

 

Days of Thunder – January 1972 The Mighty Thor #195

“In the Shadow of Mangog!”
Stan Lee, Editor/ Gerry Conway, Writer/ John Buscema, Artist/ Vince Colletta, Inker/ Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 195

Currently unaware of the danger that Odin has allowed Loki to unleash, Thor and his friends take a well-deserved breather. Thor takes off his helmet and lets his beautiful tresses flow, while Fandral dances like an idiot. Thor pledges that he and Sif shall be wed within a fortnight. For a second time, Asgardian women other than Sif appear in the background.

All this revelry is cut short when Odin sends Thor and “the three who’s lives are bound to his” on a quest into the World’s End, to find Kartag the Keeper, so that he might divulge the secret of the Twilight Well. Sif can’t even be bothered to ask to go along only to be sternly denied. She skips straight to crying.

Odin then summons a warrior named Hildegarde and commands that she take Sif to Blackworld, which she does, by karate chopping Sif into unconsciousness and picking her up while Odin transports the two of them with his rod.

When Sif awakens she cries some more, bemoaning her separation from Thor. Hildegarde is unimpressed, as she is in love with one of the trio. She does not elaborate on this point, “We’ll have time enow for woman’s talk when we do reach shelter.” The two warriors head to a small village and along the way they help The Mighty Thor pass the very low bar that is the Bechtel Test for the first time in 112 issues.

On Asgard, Odin has assembled a team of very old friends of his: Khan, Rongor, Whitemane, and a fourth as-of-yet unnamed one. He need their help to protect Asgard against that which he has unwittingly unleashed.

He shows his friends that thanks to his mistake, Loki has released the Mangog, which somehow still exists. The Mangog does not believe in gratitude and traps Loki in a block of Amber.

Thor and company fight their way through some freaky monsters, including a pack of trolls that look unlike any trolls we have seen in these pages to date. Thor spares the lives of one of the trolls, named Kygar, who pledges to serve Thor forevermore.

And then the still-living Mangog arrives in Asgard.

First Appearance: Hildegarde, Khan, Rongor, Whitemane, Kygar

 

Days of Thunder – December 1971 The Mighty Thor #194

“This Fatal Fury!”
Stan Lee, Editor/ Gerry Conway, Writer/ John and Sal Buscema, Artists/ Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 194

While fighting Storm Giants, Thor drops his hammer for 60 seconds, at which point he turns into Blake and slips through one of the giant’s fingers, before grabbing the hammer and reverting. This is a puzzler,  since the sixty second rule was incontrovertibly established in issue #139 as not applying when Thor is not on Earth. It has been hinted at  in more recent issues (specifically in issues #159, #185, and #186) that the Earthbound clause no longer applies, and now it seems there is no wriggling out of it. Thor changed into Blake while on Asgard.

Clearly the enchantment that ties Thor and his Blake persona together has been altered. The most likely scenario seems to be that when Odin stripped Thor of his hammer’s enchantment in issue #145 and later re-enchanted it in issue #151 the re-enchanting was a fresh enchantment, subtly different than the initial one. A second theory would be that after Thor learned the truth of his relationship with Blake that this somehow changed the rules for turning into him.

At any rate, things come to a head. Thor fights some Storm Giants. Sif cries some more. The trio joins the fray. Balder and Karnilla kiss before Balder has to ruin the moment. And Loki’s hand is beginning to hurt.

Finally, Thor and Loki battle one-on-one. The Odin-Ring would seem to put Loki physically on par with his brother, but instead, as they fight, he begins to suffer so much pain that he pulls the ring off of his finger and tosses it away, shrieking “My soul– My soul burns!”

A freshly awakened Odin reclaims the ring, for only he can wear the ring for any length of time. He banishes Loki and all seems well in Asgard. However, the dust has not had time to settle before the Vizier rushes in, panicked.

The Vizier takes Odin to the Cosmic Well, which shows the All-Father the  exact location where he banished Loki, in his haste. Loki is laughing darkly for unknown reasons. Upon seeing where he sent his son, Odin proclaims that “when Loki wakes that buried foe… the foundations of a universe will crumble!… Odin hath damned Asgard – – Hath damned us all!”

Days of Thunder – November 1971 The Mighty Thor #193

“What Power Unleashed?”
Stan Lee, Overseer Supreme/ Gerry Conway, Scripter Superb/ John and Sal Buscema, Artists Admirable/ Artie Simek, Letterer Legible

Thor 193

Not only is this the first issue with Gerry Conway taking over as scripter, but it is a weird overlength issue, with what was clearly supposed to be the first fourteen pages of the next issue tacked onto the book, perhaps as part of a scheme to hide the fact that the price of the book was going up by a nickle, perhaps because no Thor title shipped with an October date.

At any rate, Balder has caught the attention of the Silver Surfer. Since the last time Thor has encountered this shiny asshole, he has remained stuck on Earth and has completely written off the human race as being basically worthless. For this reason, the Surfer is less than inclined to help Balder, whom he does not remember.

Balder gets carried away in petitioning the Surfer for aide and says of Thor “For whom I would give my life!” Karnilla is super-pissed by that, for Balder’s life is not his to give. She lashes out in anger and mortally wounds Balder (She probably forgot that he is mortal on Earth.). She instantly regrets her actions, but has the Surfer to deal with. She demands respect but the Surfer informs her that he “Bows to no female.”

The Silver Surfer is a dick. Satan likely doesn’t want his soul because his soul is pure, he wants his soul because fuck that guy. At any rate, something in Balder and Karnilla’s melodramatics has convinced the Surfer to aid Thor, whom he also does not remember.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Loki has resumed being super-creepy and has decided to force Sif to be his bride. This is unpleasant in every way imaginable, but does allow Loki to get a good dig in on Thor regarding the fact that he has continued to put off marrying Sif. It is worth pointing out that Thor has at this point been with Sif for longer than he had pined after Jane Foster, whom he was willing to renounce godhood in order to wed.

The Surfer finds Thor and tags in, taking over the stalemated battle with Durok. This frees Thor to return to Asgard. When he returns, he finds Heimdal who must fight Thor at Loki’s command. Thor knocks Heimdal off of the rainbow bridge, causing him to plummet, re-raising questions about the nature of the rainbow bridge.

Thor jumps down after Heimdal and somehow manages to loop back upward onto the bridge, saving his friend.  This suggests that the laws of physics are very strange on and near Bifrost.   He then proceeds onward, fighting his way past Storm Giants. He explicitly kills one named Kaggor the Tall, setting a new bloodthirstier tone for the book.

At last he finds Sif, attended by some random Asgardian women, wearing some stupid skimpy bridal get-up. Their reunion is cut short by Loki, who sends another wave of storm giants against Thor.

Meanwhile, The Surfer and Durok fight until the Surfer decides to pull Durok into the far future of Earth, some point past a time when mankind has wiped itself out. Time travel is apparently a thing that the Silver Surfer can do with nothing more than his board. He deposits Durok in this wasteland future, scoffs at the grisly fate of humanity, and presumably returns to present-day Earth.

First appearance: female Asgardian background characters, Kaggor the Tall

 

Days of Thunder – September 1971 The Mighty Thor #192

“Conflagration!”
Story by: Stan Lee/ Illustration by: John Buscema/ Embellishment by: Sam Grainger/ Lettering by: Artie Simek/ Costumes by: Forbush’s Funky Fashion Factory

Thor 192

Sif resumes weeping.

Thor battles Durok on Earth, which is  a rough stalemate with a lot of collateral damage. Thor does what he can to minimize the harm and to hypnotize the bystanders into forgetting anything had ever happened.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Balder begs Karnilla for permission to go to Earth. He promises to not strike a blow in Thor’s defense. Curious, Karnilla agrees. Once they arrive, Balder uses his sword to magically summon the Silver Surfer!

It is here, mid-story, that Stan Lee steps away from scripting duties of Thor.   And so the first era of The Mighty Thor draws to a close.

 

Days of Thunder – August 1971 The Mighty Thor #191

“A Time of Evil!”
Story by Stan Lee/ Art by John Buscema/Embellishment by Joe Sinnott/ Lettering by Sam Rosen So be it!

Thor 191

Thor, with his aching hammer, really wants to attack Loki, despite the fact that his brother wears the Odin-ring. When his father reminds him that they cannot raise a hand against Loki, Thor calls Odin a coward. For this, Odin magically removes Thor’s mouth.  When Odin immediately calms down and reverses the process, it is clear that he removed the entire interior space of the mouth, not just the exterior lip part. The art makes it super-weird.

Thor Mouth

Odin cannot be bothered with yet another case of Loki stealing his throne, and so he shrugs the whole thing off and heads to the Odinsleep. After he leaves, Thor and Sif immediately attack Loki. Loki, who’s powers are increased by the Odin-Ring, playfully fights back.

Eventually, Loki summons Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg to fight alongside Thor and Sif, just to make things more fun. After singlehandedly defeating all five of his enemies, he commands Karnilla to use her magic to create a man more powerful than any that have come before. She complies, but the form she creates is lifeless.

Loki then uses the Odin-Ring to fill the brute, who he names “Durok, the Demolisher”, to life. Although Durok is granted life, he is not granted speech, nor a soul. Once he animates this being, Loki sends him to Earth so that he might slay everything that lives. Naturally, Thor gives chase.

First Appearance: Durok the Demolisher

Days of Thunder – July 1971 The Mighty Thor #190

“–And so, to Die!”
Stan Lee, Author and John Buscema, Illustrator now exceed their former triumphs, aided and abetted by Joe Sinnott, Embellisher and Sam Rosen, Letterer

Thor 190

As Hela prepares to claim Thor, Balder sleeps fitfully, for he has given his fealty and his heart to one who is an enemy of Asgard. He is awakened by Karnilla, who has come to warn her beloved that Hela has found Thor.

Balder races to Odin with Karnilla at his side. He begs Odin to intervene and Odin finds he cannot stand back and allow his son to die. Odin travels to Earth and slays Hela to protect his son.

Killing Hela has put an end to death.  On Earth, Thor witnesses the dire effects. Amongst these effects: insects begin to multiply rapidly and “The population explosion, without the safety valve of death causes the teeming multitudes to fight for every inch of living space!”  This happens immediately.

Thor tells Odin that this cannot stand, and with tears in his eyes, Odin resurrects Hela. As Hela begins to drain the life from Thor, Odin brings Sif to her beloved’s side where she again weeps openly. Sif petitions the Death Goddess to take her in Thor’s place, a perfect mirror of Sif’s first appearance way back in issue #102.

As before, this selfless act so moves Hela that she decides to spare Thor. Now it is her time to cry as she proclaims that while she has never known love, she now understands what it means.

As Thor, Sif, and Odin return to Asgard, Thor asks his father if this turn of events had been his plan all along, and Odin harshly refuses to answer. “I am the way! I am the light! And none may share my Odinthoughts!”

The short time in which Odin was away from Asgard was long enough for Loki to again gain control of the Odin- Ring and thus the kingdom.  After this turn of events, it becomes unclear if Karnilla told Balder of Thor’s plight out of love or out of a scheme to get Odin out of Asgard. Either way, Heimdall, Hogun, and Fandral have already been exiled while Loki is served by Trolls and the Norns (including Balder).

The heroes are powerless to act against Loki while he wears the ring. Thor cries “My hammer aches for vengeance,” but his hammer is denied release.

 

Days of Thunder – June 1971 The Mighty Thor #189

“The Icy touch of Death!”
Scripted in sparkling splendor, by: Stan Lee/ Drawn in dazzling drama, by: John Buscema/ Embellished with exotic elan, by: Joe Sinnott/ Lettered with a scratchy penpoint by: Sam Rosen

Thor 189

All of Thor’s friends freak out over the notion that Hela is going to come for him. Sif, who has become very emotional since Buscema took over, weeps openly. Odin tells Thor to hide on Earth in the guise of Blake while Odin thinks his Odinthoughts.

Balder returns once again to Karnilla, in order to beg her aid in protecting Thor against Hela. Karnilla cares nothing about Thor, he is a son of Asgard and Balder is the only Asgardian for whom she cares. Balder confesses that he loves her in turn, but that as long as she is Asgard’s foe, she remains his as well.

Karnilla, the Norn Queen, gives Balder a cold-hearted offer. If Balder will swear fealty to her, if he will renounce Odin, she will help Balder save Thor from the threat that is Hela. Balder, a swirling mass of conflicting emotions, agrees to the deal.

Balder at last swears his loyalty to Karnilla, who has loved him all these many months and so she honors their deal by immediately feeding Balder poison. This sends him to the Realm of Death, where he is able to confront Loki, who had been in the process of selling out his brother to Hela.

Not able to defeat Loki on his best day, Balder is no threat at all to the evil prince, for his Odin-Blade has lost its enchantment now that Balder has turned his back on his one-time liege. However, the fight between Balder and Loki bores Hela, and so so she teleports them back to Asgard.

In Asgard, Loki flees while Balder goes to Odin to tell him what has transpired. Odin already knows what Balder has done and he forgives him, for Balder acted out of love for the All-Father’s son.

Hela has learned from Loki that Thor is on Earth, and so she travels there in the coolest mortal garb any Asgardian has ever been depicted as wearing: A long green coat and a giant papakha. She searches for Thor, which of course should be no trouble for an Asgardian, but she is confounded by a series of illusions created by Odin.

Hela 3

 

Finally, she strikes upon a solution: She will just murder a bunch of people until Thor shows himself. Sure enough, that does the trick. Thor comes to her and he has no choice but to yield.

First appearance: Odinthoughts