Tag Archives: Balder

Days of Thunder – November 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #122 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “The Grim Specter of Mutiny!”

A Stan Lee Story Spectacular!  A Jack Kirby Penciling Panorama!  A Vince Colletta Delineation Drama!  An Artie Simek Lettering Landmark!

tales 122Loki leads a group of the crew in a mutiny but several Asgardians come to Thor’s defense, including Hogun, Fandril, and Volstagg. The loyalists kill enough mutineers to maintain control, but while this fighting goes on, the ship is pulled between the Pillars of Utgar.

Days of Thunder – October 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #121 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “Malestrom!”
A saga steeped in grandeur by: Stan Lee, Writer & Jack Kirby, Illustrator/ Delineated by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered by: Artie Simek

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The young god’s ship approaches the deadly Pillars of Utgard, of which it has been said to pass between means instant destruction. There is a fierce storm and some of the men wish to turn back, fearing the pillars. Thor refuses, insisting they push forward.

Meanwhile brave Balder drags a giant horn to the top of the ship’s figurehead for unknown reasons.

First Appearance: The Pillars of Utgard

Days of Thunder – August 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #119 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods! “Gather, Warriors!”
Written with Gallantry by Stan Lee/ Drawn with Greatness by Jack Kirby/ Inked with Grandeur by Vince Colletta/ Lettered with a Straight Face by Artie Simek.

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In this issue we meet Young Thor and Young Loki’s crew as they prepare to depart on their quest. There is, of course, Balder the Brave, but there are several volunteers brought on by Loki. They are: Hogun,the Grim; Fandral the Dashing; Kroda, the Duelist; Magrat, the Schemer; and Volstagg, the Enormous.

Apart from Balder, Thor seems to trust boastful Volstagg the most out of this lot. He seems eager for adventure and just as eager to spend some time away from his wife and fifteen children.

While the young men sail away on their ship, Odin reveals to his advisers three fearsome words that have been etched deep onto the walls of the imperial palace in giant letters. The simple message is this: “RAGNAROK IS COMING”.

Ragnarok is the end of the world itself. That which is to transpire upon the drawing of the Oversword. The time for which Surtur is always waiting. The day of the last battle.

First appearance: Hogun the Grim, Fandral the Dashing, Volstagg the Enormous, Kroda the Duellist, Magrat the Schemer

Days of Thunder – June 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #117

The Mighty Thor “Into the Blaze of Battle”

Regally Written by: Stan Lee/ Dazzlingly Drawn by: Jack Kirby/ Invincibly Inked by: Vince Colletta/ Lonesomely Lettered by: Artie Simek

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Loki has won the trial but he did it by secretly using the Norn Stones.   He hides the stones on Earth, and  taunts Thor with his victory. Thor punches him in the head.

In the great hall of Valhalla, (the ceremonial chamber of Odin), Thor makes the case that Loki is a big fat cheater.  He asks that Odin allow him to travel to Earth to find the stones.  Odin agrees to give Thor twenty four hours to find the stones and prove his innocence.  Odin loves time limits.

Meanwhile, Balder has been fighting the Enchantress and the Executioner to protect Jane Foster.  Thor arrives to help Balder before beginning his search for the Norn Stones.  The villains flee as soon as Thor arrives. Balder casts a spell of forgetfulness on Jane just to make things easier. Thor makes it clear that he considers Balder a dear friend.

Thor then uses the Uru metal in his hammer to find the enchanted stones, discovering that Loki has hidden them somewhere in Viet Nam. This gives Thor an opportunity to fight some communists while he searches for the stones.

While Thor searches for the Norn Stones on Earth,  the Norn Queen visits Loki on Asgard, demanding the return of her stones. Loki promises to return them soon.

Thor gets caught in the middle of some Vietnamese family melodrama but the cool part is when the communists use Doctor Blake’s cane to bind his arms and he has to throw himself at the ground at an angle so that the cane strikes the ground before he does. Then he fights more Commies and finds the Norn Stones.

Days of Thunder – May 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #116

The Mighty Thor! “The Trial of the Gods!”
Written by Imperial Stan Lee/ Illustrated by Impregnable Jack Kirby/ Inked by Implacable Vince Colletta/ Lettered by Impossible Artie Simek

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To determine which brother is being truthful in the case of Thor v Loki, the two gods are to be sent to Skornheim, the deadly land beyond the pale of Asgard. Whomever should return to Asgard first will be declared the victor. Asgardian jurisprudence is apparently not evidence based.

Thor is ordered to leave behind his hammer, while Loki sneaks magical Norn Stones with him. Also, Loki has another new costume, a huge improvement over the one he had been wearing.  It is pretty darn snazzy.

As a distraction, Loki lets Thor know that he has sent the Enchantress and the Executioner to menace Jane Foster.  With that rattling around in Thor’s head, the two brothers traverse the many obstacles of Skornheim: Lava, spiny plants, carnivorous plants, and an armored brute named Yagg.

Meanwhile, Odin takes a bath. This bath is interrupted by Balder, who has discovered that Foster is under attack by the exiled Asgardian villains. Odin commands Balder to take a horse to Earth in order to protect Jane.

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Back in Skornheim, Loki is the first to reach the dimensional barrier leading to Asgard. Loki has won.

First appearance: Skornheim, Loki’s Norn Stones, Yagg the Slayer

Days of Thunder – March 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #114

The Mighty Thor “The Stronger I am, The Sooner I Die!”
Written at White Heat by: Stan Lee/ Drawn with Purple Passion by: Jack Kirby/ Inked with Golden Serenity by: Chic Stone/ Lettered on a Blue Monday by: Sam Rosen

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Loki is wearing new clothes this issue! Up until this point Loki and Thor have worn the same garb with each appearance, while Odin has been dressed wildly differently each time we see him. But now Loki has traded his stupid helmet for a spectacularly stupid helmet! After using his four-dimensional molecule screen to watch Thor defeat another minor criminal, Loki gives a jailed convict named Crusher Creel the ability to absorb the strength of any substance that comes into contact with either him or his prison ball-and-chain.

Soon after escaping from prison, Creel finds Thor and the two of them fight. Creel becomes as strong as Thor, his ball-and-chain as strong as Thor’s hammer. They battle for hours. Meanwhile an affable reporter named Hobbs follows the action and tries in vain to help Thor. Thor and Creel battle some more.

The battle ends when Thor finds himself teleported away from the fight. Balder has brought Thor to the rainbow bridge in order to tell him that Loki has kidnapped Jane Foster again. Thor charges off on a horse to battle Loki in his Asgardian stronghold.

To Be Continued.

First Appearance: Hobbs, Crusher Creel, The Absorbing Man

Days of Thunder – December 1964: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #111 part 2

Tales of Asgard: Home of the Mighty Norse Gods! “The Secret of Sigurd!”

Superbly written by Stan Lee/ Supremely drawn by Jack Kirby/ Savagely inked by Vince Colletta/ Sagaciously lettered by Artie Simek

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One day Young Thor, Young Loki, and Young Balder are taking a shortcut through a forest when they meet Sigurd. Sigurd is a big hairy bloke who understandably wants these brash godlings out of his forest.  Thor doesn’t know him but Loki recognizes him, and Balder seems to have heard of him.

At Loki’s urging Thor picks a fight with Sigurd. Sigurd is holding his own until Balder remembers Sigurd’s secret power: Sigurd is the son of the Earth Sprites, and each time his body strikes the ground, they give him some of their power. So Thor hurls the poor bastard into outer space.

First Appearance: Sigurd

Days of Thunder – December 1964: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #111

The Mighty Thor The Mysterious Mr. Hyde and The Serpentine Cobra Feel… “The Power of the Thunder God!”

Written with the mastery of Stan Lee/ Illustrated with the genius of Jack Kirby/ Delineated with the Delicacy of Chic Stone/ Lettered with the India Ink of Artie Simek

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Thor finds a secure spot to stash the unconscious time warped body of Jane Foster, and once he has done so, he fights Hyde and Cobra. Even at double-strength, they do not pose much of a challenge for the god of thunder.

Meanwhile, in Asgard, Balder does what he can to remind Odin of a time when the king was young and in love. Moved by Balder, Odin decides that while Thor is still forbidden to marry the young Earth girl, she is to be saved from death.

Balder embarks on a quest to reach Hardol, a mystic healer who lives far away, beyond the molten chasm. He rides past swamps of flame, past noxious eternal nightmare plants, and past the Valley of Swords, which is literally filled with upraised swords.

Balder also fights a not-to-be named phantom who’s very touch means death. Balder gambles that if this entity from another universe were to touch his sword, which was forged from a substance also from another universe, the being would be destroyed. His gambit works, and as Balder’s sword returns to his hand, the monster vanishes in a burst of red light.

Back on Earth, Thor is anguished. His time warp cannot be held indefinitely.  To attempt to do so would cause irreparable harm to the universe. As much as he loves Jane he cannot permit the temporal displacement he is creating to continue, and so he drops the warp.

One heart beat later, Balder’s sword drops from the sky. Attached to it is a vial and a note explaining it is for Jane. Thor feeds it to his love. As life returns to her, Balder’s sword slowly rises into the sky, returning to his hands. Fucking epic.

First Appearance: Hardol, Unnamed Phantom Who’s Very Touch Means Death,  The Valley of the Swords

Days of Thunder – August 1964: Journey Into Mystery With The Mighty Thor #107 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “Balder Must Die!”

Written and drawn by the prize-winning team of Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Inked by Vince Colletta/ Lettering: Art Simek

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Watching as Balder sings to the woodland creatures like he’s fucking Snow White, Young Loki vows to find a way to destroy the jerk.   To do so, he seeks the help of the Norn Queen, a powerful sorceress. She is repulsed by Loki’s evil, but is compelled to obey the Asgardian prince.

Odin has made every living thing pledge to protect Balder but the Norn Queen reveals to Loki that Odin has overlooked one thing:  Balder has no protection from the mistletoe. Giddy with this knowledge, Loki visits one of his Troll slaves, commanding him to fashion a blowgun and dart out of mistletoe.

The next day, armed with his new weapon, Loki watches Baldur spar, waiting for him to fall.  The villain wishes to hide his misdeed, so when Baldur takes a hit, that is when Loki will strike with his dart.

Eventually, Baldur stumbles, trying to avoid stepping on a caterpillar, and Loki makes his move. It is a that moment that the Norn Queen uses her magic to burn the mistletoe to ash. The mistletoe may not have pledged to protect Baldur, but Loki forgot that the Norn Queen herself took that solemn pledge.

First Appearance: The Norn Queen

Days of Thunder – May 1964: Journey Into Mystery With The Mighty Thor #104

The Mighty Thor “Giants Walk the Earth!”
This is a tale so powerful in concept, so dramatic in scope, that only the inspired talent of Stan Lee could have written it… Only the gifted hand of Jack Kirby could have Illustrated it!! Inked by: Chic Stone Lettered by S. Rosen Possibly one of the ten all-time epics you will never ever forget!!

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Odin is cosmically pissed off. Thor continues to love the mortal Jane Foster in defiance of his father.   Odin tells Loki that the only emotion that he cannot control… is love. Presumably he means that he cannot control it in Asgardians, because of course he can control it in mortals, such as he did with Ruby in Journey Into Mystery #89.

At Loki’s urging, Odin travels to Earth so that he may assert his authority. While he is gone, he grants Loki some of his power, so that the trickster god can rule Asgard in Odin’s absence. It seems Loki’s crimes have now been forgiven by his father.

While Odin sets out to discipline his heroic son, the villainous one uses his newly acquired power to free Surtur, the Fire Demon and Skagg, the Storm Giant from their prisons. Surtur’s story we know, Skagg seems to be some poor giant bastard who met the exact same fate as Ymir, the Ice Giant. The trickster intends for these creatures to kill Odin so that Loki can keep the throne of Asgard forever.

Loki’s machinations do not go unobserved. Heimdall, Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, sees and hears the villain’s deeds, and dispatches Balder the Brave to Earth so that he may warn Odin. Balder teams up with Thor and they fill in Odin about the danger before Odin can say his piece about Foster.

Odin uses his power to transport the entire human race to a dimension “beyond the ken of the moral mind,” so that the battle that is to come can happen without mortal interference or awareness. This appears to be more of a mental trick than a physical one, but as described, the feat defies comprehension. Presumably this is all linked to the previously established fact (JiM #92) that time stands still when Odin appears on Earth.

With the humans out of the way, the three gods cut loose, battling their two foes Tales-Of-Asgard style. Skagg is re-encircled, while Surtur is thrown into space by Thor, becoming trapped in the magnetic field of an asteroid in another galaxy.

With their foes defeated, Thor is told by his father to return to Asgard with him, as reward for his deeds in this battle, and presumably also to put some distance between him and that acursed mortal woman. Thor refuses, for Earth is his home and the home of the woman that he loves. Odin leaves to punish Loki, frustratedly declaiming “We have settled nothing!”

First Appearance: Skagg the Storm Giant

Days of Thunder – March 1964: Journey Into Mystery #102 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods! “Death Comes to Thor”

Written By: Stan Lee/ Illustrated By: Jack Kirby/ Inked By: Paul Reinman/ Lettered by Art Simek

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This month’s installment begins with a note from the editors informing the readers that due to the popularity of the feature, “Tales of Asgard” has won a permanent place among the Marvel roster of fabulous features. Hooray!

This is another Boyhood of Thor story.  Young Thor seeks the three Fates, who tell him that he can win Odin’s enchanted hammer but he will have to meet death first. Thor is not well-versed in misleading fortune wording, and so he believes this means that he must die in order to receive Odin’s hammer, a fate he is determined to face with courage.

Later, Thor is brooding over his fortune while attempting to lift the hammer, when Balder the Innocent staggers in, wounded. He tells Thor that Storm Giants have kidnapped his sister, Sif. That is all Thor needs to hear, and he charges off to save Sif.

The young godling fights his way into the castle of Rugga, a king who desires immortality more than anything. Rugga doesn’t want a fight, and he explains to Thor that he made a deal with Hela, the goddess of death, to  exchange Sif for immortality. It is unclear from the text if this means that she is a living prisoner, or if Rugga killed her. Either way, having completed his deal, Rugga is happy to point Thor toward Hela.

Thor finds Hela in her domain. With her is Sif, a blond damseley sort,  bound at the wrists, with flowers in her hair.  I’m still not clear if she is meant to be dead or not.  She does not speak in this story.

Thor begs Hela to spare innocent Sif. He offers his life in exchange for the girl’s.   This offer impresses Hela, so much that she lets them both go.   Having completed this adventure in naked androcentrism, Thor has finally gained enough worth to lift the magic hammer.

First Appearance: Sif, Rugga, The Fates

Days of Thunder – October 1962: Journey Into Mystery #85

Thor the Mighty “Trapped by Loki, The God of Mischief!”

Plot by Stan Lee, Script by Larry Lieber, Art by Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers

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We now turn to Asgard, citadel of the Norse gods, connected to Earth by the rainbow bridge Bifrost, where Loki, god of mischief and brother to Thor has been imprisoned in a tree for some time. Loki uses cunning to escape and his first order of business is to sow discord while seeking vengeance on his brother, Thor.

Using the mental link that Loki shares with Thor’s hammer, Loki determines that Thor is on Earth, and heads there himself, in the guise of a human, where he proceeds to cause random mischief Mxyzptlk-style. This, as he planned, does draw out Thor.

Thor, only having the memories of Don Blake, only sort-of knows why Loki is mad at him, based on what he knows of Norse mythology. Loki soon has Thor hypnotized into doing his bidding, but is furious that Thor will not give away his hammer, as per the will of Odin. So Loki tricks Thor into giving the hammer to an illusory Thor, before tasking the hypnotized hero with setting free all the animals in a zoo.

Fortunately for the zoo, after sixty seconds of non-hammer-touching, Blake reverts to human, which dispels the hypnosis. Thor retrieves his hammer from a crowd of people failing to be worthy of lifting it, and then tussles with Loki all over New York City.

Finally, Thor knocks Loki into some water, having remembered that according to legend, Loki’s powers do not work in water. Thor then takes the still-damp, Loki, ties him to the hammer, and hurls the hammer all the way to Asgard, where it arrives, somehow detaches from Loki, dumping him in front of a bunch of Asguardians, and returns to New York just before the minute time limit would have expired.

First Appearance: Loki, Heimdall, Odin, Balder, Tyr, Asgard, Bifrost, Loki’s mental link with Thor’s Hammer, Loki’s weakness to water