Tag Archives: Loki

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

balder must die

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 – April 1964: Journey Into Mystery #103

The Mighty Thor! Menaced By “The Enchantress and The Executioner”

Written By: Stan Lee Master of Fantasy/ Illustrated By: Jack Kirby, Master of Picto-Drama/ Inked By Chic Stone Lettered by S. Rosen

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Odin is determined to drive Jane Foster from Thor’s heart and Loki is happy to help. The two of them hatch a plan to convince an Asgardian named The Enchantress to seduce Thor away from Foster. It seems that the cruelty and ambition in her scheming heart rivals that of Loki.

One shopping trip later, The Enchantress is ready to throw herself at Doctor Donald Blake, as per Loki’s request, not knowing that he is Thor.  He recognizes her, as he seems to now have all of Thor’s memories, but she plants a smooch on him just as Nurse Foster walks in.  Jane storms out in jealousy as Blake limps after her in vain.

The Enchantress realizes that Blake only has eyes for Foster, so she  concludes that Jane Foster must not be allowed to live. She returns to Asgard and enlists a demigod named The Executioner with the task of assassinating Nurse Foster.

Meanwhile, Blake is so freaked out by Nurse Foster’s jealousy that Thor tries to get the police commissioner to issue an all-points alarm to help him find her. This is one day after he rampaged through the city bellowing his contempt for mortals.

The Executioner finds Jane and uses his axe to cut through space and time, hurling Nurse Foster into Limbo, the half-world between Earth and Asgard. Thor arrives too late. He and the Executioner fight a bunch before they make a deal: If the Executioner frees Jane, Thor will give the villain his hammer.

Of course, after Jane is freed, the Execution discovers that he cannot lift the hammer. As he tries, the Enchantress arrives. Outraged that he released Nurse Foster, she begins to turn the Executioner into a tree. Panicked, the Executioner lets Thor have his hammer back so that he may confront the Enchantress. Thor uses the hammer to create a whirlwind that blows both adversaries back to Asgard.

Afterward, Don Blake finds Jane and they make some degree of amends. This fills Odin’s heart with an “indescribable rage”. The final panel of this story depicts Odin shouting with his arms raised above his head “By Asgard! My son may not love a mortal! Thor may not defy his father Odin! The time for words is past! Now I must act!!” Aw shit!

First Appearance: The Enchantress, The Executioner

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

The Mighty Thor! “Slave of Zarrko, The Tomorrow Man”

Cunningly Conceived by: Stan Lee/ Daringly Drawn by: Jack Kirby/ Ingeniously Inked by: Chic Stone/ Lovingly Lettered by: Art Simek

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As per his agreement last issue, Thor follows Zarrko into the future, as his willing slave. Now that Zarrko has defeated Thor with his robot and has made the thunder god his pawn, he no longer has any need for his robot. He commands Thor to sow chaos throughout the 23rd century. Unwilling to break his oath, Thor does.

They are beset by Techni-Guards who sure appear to be armed with ray guys, despite the one thing that everyone know about the 23rd century is that there are no weapons of any sort. Stan Lee earns himself a pre-emptive No-Prize by having Zarkko helpfully cover for Kirby, explaining that “Those instruments you hold are not really weapons! They are meant only to control defective machines!”

Thor is ordered to subdue the guards. His solution is to hold his hammer in just the right way to catch the sun’s rays, thus putting the guards in a hypnotic trance. Zarrko is mollified.

Soon, Zarrko and Thor stand before the powerful, all-male World Council, the men who make the laws which the machines carry out. They demand to be shown the Master Machine, the single AI that controls all the world’s devices. The weaponless men of the World Council attack Thor with a giant Robot Octopus.

After Thor defeats the robot, a councilman tells them where to find the Master Machine. Thor helps Zarrko defeat the Master Machine’s defenses and gain control of all the world’s technology. Thor just single-handedly conquered Earth on behalf of a supervillain.

Once control of the entire planet actually is actually gained by Zarrko, Thor is released from the terms of his oath. Thor turns on Zarrko, but Zarrko has control of the Master Machine, and threatens to use that power to kill millions of humans. Thor defeats Zarrko by gently rubbing his hammer head along the ground, picking up vast amounts of natural energy, which he directs toward the Master Machine, who uses that energy to turn on its new would-be master.

Zarrko is arrested, and Thor uses his hammer to return to the 20th century by swinging it at exactly twice the speed of light, which he can do while still at half-strength. When he returns, hopefully, he will be smart enough to tell no one that he has overthrown a planet.

First Appearance: The World Council, The Master Machine

Days of Thunder – February 1964: Journey Into Mystery #101 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods! “The Invasion of Asgard!”
Written By: Stan Lee/ Drawn By: Jack Kirby/ Inked By: G. Bell/ Lettered By: Art Simek

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One day, when Thor was a boy, all the forces of evil combine forces to attack Asgard.   Young Thor wants to fight them, in order to prove his worth and thus earn the ability to lift Odin’s mighty Uru hammer, but Heimdall, guardian of the rainbow bridge to Asgard, shoos him away.

However, Loki has “found” a hole in one of the walls defending Asgard.  He leaves Thor to defend it, earning his brother’s thanks. Of course, Loki himself has created the hole, and he hopes that all the forces of evil combined would be enough to kill Thor.

Thor ends up fighting one big group including The Norn Hag riding Ulfrin the Dragon, Skoll and Hati, the Wolf Gods, The merciless Rime Giants, the last of the Ice Giants, and Geirrodur the Troll. This proves to be too much for Thor to handle, and he is soon overwhelmed and it seems he is to be turned into a tree.

Before he can be fully treed, the combined forces of Asgard arrive and enter the fight. The evil ones are so disheartened by the fury of their foes, they retreat. Thor is bummed by his failure to defeat all the forces of evil single-handedly, but the gods reassure him that he did enough. Thor can now lift his father’s hammer slightly higher than he could before.

First Appearance: Ulfrin the Dragon, Skoll and Hati, the Wolf Gods, Geirrodur the Troll, The Rime Giants

Days of Thunder – February 1964: Journey Into Mystery #101

The Mighty Thor “The Return of Zarrko, The Tomorrow Man!”

Written by: Stan Lee/ Drawn by: Jack Kirby/ Inked by: G. Bell/ Lettered by S. Rosen

jim 101

After last issue, Thor is pissed! Stomping through the streets of New York, oblivious to damage he is causing, he is so angry, he has let the facade of hero drop. “Mortals! How like chattering Monkeys you are!!… Thor has had enough of you! I have lost interest in your puny, petty lives!”

The Avengers arrive, concerned that one of their own is rampaging through the city like a monster, just as Thor smashes a random motorist’s truck with his hammer. Thor yells at them, telling them to go mind their business. Iron Man convinces the others that Thor should be left alone, because I guess if you are an Avenger you get to smash whatever you want with a hammer, and Tony Stark will buy off the victims.

Meanwhile in Asgard, Loki convinces Odin that Thor being pissed, despite being ordered to forget Nurse Foster counts as disobedience. Odin angrily halves Thor’s power and banishes him from Asgard until such time as he gives up all thoughts of Jane.

Having successfully weakened his brother, Loki seeks the Norn Hag, commanding her to show him the Well of Centuries. He uses the Well to restore the memory of Zarrko, The Tomorrow Man.

Renewed, Zarrko uses his future technology to create an unstoppable robot. His plan is to take his powerful robot back to the 20th century, use it to steal weapons so that he can return to the 23rd century and use those weapons to take over the world.

Upon arriving in the past, the giant robot causes a ruckus, eventually attracting the attention of Doctor Don Blake who is just happy to have something to fight. However, with his powers halved, the robot kicks Thor’s butt.

Zarrko tells Thor that unless the thunder god agrees to come to the 23rd century and do Zarrko’s bidding, the robot will raze the 20th century planet of all life. Thor agrees to those terms. Odin, who has been watching from Asgard is disgusted with this act of surrender.

To be continued.

First Appearance: The Norn Hag, The Well of Centuries

Days of Thunder – January 1964: Journey Into Mystery #100 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods!: The Boyhood of Thor! “The Storm Giants”
Written by: Stan Lee Drawn by: Jack Kriby Inked by: Paul Reinman Lettered by Art Simek

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Young Thor and Young Loki spy two Storm Giants stealing the Golden Apples of Iduna. They follow the Giants home in order to steal them back. Once inside the giant castle, Loki pushes Thor out from their hiding spot to draw the Giants’ attention. While Thor faces off his towering foes, Loki finds the apples atop Agnar, King of the Eagles, and prisoner of the Storm Giants. Loki tries to leave his brother behind but Thor jumps onto the Eagle as they fly away. Loki is a completely unpleasant shit.

Back at home, Thor grapples with Odin’s Uru hammer. His father proudly announces “After each deed of valor, my son Thor, you are able to lift my hammer a little higher!” Thor is proving his worth one good-deed at a time.

First Appearance: The Storm Giants, Agnar, King of the Eagles, Golden Apples of Iduna.

Days of Thunder – October 1963: Journey into Mystery #97

The Mighty Thor Battles… The Lava Man

Written by Stan Lee/ Drawn by Jack Kirby/ Inked by Don Heck/ Lettered by Art Simek

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This is the first issue scripted by Stan Lee and shit gets real!  Loki lures one of the Lava Men that live within the Earth’s magma to cause trouble for Thor and Thor eventually tosses it into a volcano, whatever.  That is not what this issue is about.   The real action happens in the office.

Thor petitions Odin, begging permission to marry Jane Foster and is flatly denied. Blake decides to forsake his life as Thor and straight-up, I have no idea what that means, so poorly defined is their dual identity. I mean, presumably, he just has to give his magic stick to somebody decent, right?  That person will become the new Thor, yes?

This is all cut short because before Blake can tell Jane how he feels, she interrupts him and tells him that despite her feeling for him, she thinks he sucks and so she is quitting his employ to go work for Doctor Basil Andrews, that wolf who has always tried to date her who has never been mentioned in the comic before and who is called Bruce Andrews when he shows up at the end of the comic, leaving with Nurse Foster presumably forever!

First Appearance: The Lava Man, Doctor Basil or possibly Bruce Andrews

Days of Thunder – September 1963: Avengers #1

“The Coming of the Avengers!”

Written by Stan Lee/ Drawn by Jack Kirby/ Inking by Dick Ayers

avengers 1

The stories of Thor depicted in Journey Into Mystery have stood alone until this point. However, as of the publication of this comic magazine entitled  The Avengers, Thor becomes established as living in a overarching fictional universe shared by other heroic characters prominently featured in other comic periodicals published by what has come to be known as The Marvel Comics Group.

This story features several characters originating from other magazines. Ant-Man and The Wasp are two heroes capable of shrinking to the size of insects. Iron Man is a wealthy arms dealer wearing a transistor-powered suit of armor that secretly powers his crippled heart. The Hulk is mild mannered scientist that regularly transforms into a giant green tragic monster. Rick Jones and the Teen-Brigade are a bunch of teenage radio enthusiasts with affiliations with the Hulk. The Fantastic Four are the greatest superhero team of all time.

Despite the addition of all of these characters, this is essentially a Thor story. It begins when Loki tries to menace Thor by using Hulk as his catspaw. Follow the chain on Loki’s plan: In Asgard, Loki uses his magic to make the Hulk smash some things, which seems like the sort of thing that Hulk routinely does without divine intervention. In the Southwest, the newspaper reports that Hulk is at it again. Rick Jones reads about this in the paper and freaks out. He dispatches his Teen-Brigade to radio the Fantastic Four in New York, in case they haven’t read the paper. Loki diverts the message to Doctor Don Blake’s office radio but somehow it is also heard by Ant-Man, Wasp, and Iron Man, as well as the Fantastic Four. Mr Fantastic blows off the news, but all the other heroes show up.

Thor assumes that this must be the work of Loki because basically everything that happens to him is either the work of Loki or communists, so he heads to Asgard to confront his brother. He fights his way through a gauntlet before confronting Loki, who ambushes him with his troll allies. The trolls are apparently the natural enemies of the gods, and have an unbreakable grip. Thor beats the trolls and Loki runs away but Thor uses his hammer to soak up the strong flow of magnetic currents which apparently is what the Trolls eat, snaring Loki who is apparently magnetic. This probably has something to do with the mental link Loki shares with Thor’s hammer, established in Journey Into Mystery #85

Meanwhile, the Hulk has been hiding in the circus and we the readers are treated to maybe my favorite image that Jack Kirby ever drew:

mechano 2

The Hulk dressed as a sad clown, juggling a horse, elephant, and seal.
The heroes attack him in the middle of his act, surrounded by circusgoers. The Hulk, totally the wronged party, runs away.

As Hulk and his persecutors continue to fight, Thor returns to Earth with Loki to explain that this is the real bad guy of the story. Loki uses his magic to turn radioactive, but unfortunately for him, he happened to be standing on a trap door, which Ant-Man’s ants spring open, dropping him into a tank for storing radioactive waste.

Almost as an afterthought, the Wasp suggests that they form a team, which they do, Hulk inclusive. They call themselves the Avengers.

First Appearance: Trolls, The Avengers, Mechano

Days of Thunder – July 1963: Journey Into Mystery #94

The Mighty Thor! “Thor and Loki Attack the Human Race!”

Plot: Stan Lee/ Script: P. Berns/ Art: J Sinnott

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This is easily the greatest issue of Thor to date. While Thor is averting a rouge U.S. nuclear missile that Loki has magically hijacked, Loki uses his last ounce of magic to divert Thor’s attention just as his hammer is returning to him. The result is that the hammer strikes Thor’s head in the chromosomatic gland, the gland that determines and changes personality. This must be a gland that only gods have, because last I checked, humans ain’t got that shit.

With his chromosomatic gland altered, Thor’s nature becomes like Loki’s.  He heads to Asgard, punching Heimdall as he passes, so he can free his brother. Once free, Loki tells Odin that he and Thor intend to rule Asgard and that the two of them will cause terrible havoc on Odin’s beloved Earth, until Odin cedes his rule to his sons.

And then they straight up Mars Attacks Earth for three pages of a 14 page story. Thor smashes monuments with his hammer and with his weather, while Loki brings the Sphinx to life and reawakens dinosaurs in museums. And though the text does not really suggest it, it is hard not to see this as Loki’s greatest wish: His brother standing alongside him as they challenge Odin and cause chaos.

But all good things must end and Odin and the gods of Asgard, posing as U.N. experts on Norse gods, trick Thor and Loki and drop Thor’s hammer on Thor’s chromosomatic gland, reverting his personality. Once again, the day is saved by Odin.

Thor captures Loki and addresses the U.N., promising to use the combined supernatural powers of Asgard to repair all the damage caused by he and Loki. Mind you, this is one month after he nuked China. If I was planet Earth, I would be so very very scared of Thor.

First Appearance: The chromosomatic gland

Days of Thunder – May 1963 Journey Into Mystery #92

 

The Mighty Thor! “The Day Loki Stole Thor’s Magic Hammer”

Plot Stan Lee/ Script by R. Berns (Robert Bernstein)/ Art by Joe Sinnott

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Thor is starring in a film about himself, currently being filmed in Norway.  Having a real god play himself lets the production company do absolutely amazing stunts.  At one point in the course of filming he throws his hammer but shockingly, it does not return to him!

The reason the hammer does not return is that in Asgard, Loki is bound by chains made of the same Uru metal as Thor’s hammer and Loki has magnetized them, pulling Thor’s hammer all the way from Earth, smashing the chains and freeing the trickster, now proclaiming himself to be a God of Evil, not just mere mischief.

Thor petitions Odin for help yet again, and is transported to Asgard, where the 60 second rule does not apply. Also, we learn that time freezes when Odin appears on Earth.

Odin has an emergency meeting of all the gods to discuss Thor losing his hammer. They conclude it must be on Asgard, although they do not explain how they have come that conclusion.  They also report that they are all much too busy to help Thor look for it.

As Thor searches for his hammer by wandering aimlessly around Asgard, Loki attacks him with enchanted trees, but Thor fashions a giant mallet out of other trees with which to smash his foes. Loki burns this mallet and then transforms clouds into snarling dragons to attack his brother. Thor gouges a new hammer out of stone with his fingers to fight the dragons. Thor really likes hammers.

It turns out that the stone Thor used to carved his new makeshift hammer contained Uru, and so it flies straight to the magnetized chains while Thor follows.   Thus, Thor gets his favorite hammer back.

Meanwhile Odin Heimdall and Fricka stumble upon Loki and re-capture him.

First Appearance: Neri handmaiden to Fricka, Fricka

Days of Thunder – April 1963: Journey Into Mystery #91

The Mighty Thor! Battles… “Sandu, Master of the Supernatural”

Plot — Stan Lee, Script — Larry Lieber, Art — Joe Sinnott, Lettering — Terry Szenics

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Loki gives super mental powers a minor psychic named Sandu, most notably telekinisis. Sandu starts stealing banks and jewelry stores, whole buildings at a time, taking the valuables and ditching the buildings on the moon.

Emboldened by his early successes, Sandu lifts the United Nations Building and threatens to kill everybody inside if they do no make him absolute ruler of Earth, which leads to the following delightful exchange:

“We haven’t the power to do that!”
“The man is mad! Humor him!”

Thor tries to stop Sandu, but the psychic ties him in chains, and drops a building on him. Thor once again begs Odin for some help. Odin sends some Valkyries to return to Thor his Belt of Strength. Two ethereal Valkyries wrap the belt around Thor, which gives him a major stat boost.

Sandu teleports Thor’s hammer to another dimension. There, Sandu tries so hard to lift Thor’s hammer, that he gives himself a mental short circuit, returning both hammer and villain to Earth.

For some reason, Thor does not keep the belt, and the Valkyries return to Asgard with it.

First Appearance: Sandu, Valkyries, Thor’s Belt of Strength

Days of Thunder – January 1963: Journey Into Mystery #88

Plot: Stan Lee, Script: L. D. Lieber, Art: Jack Kirby, Inks by Dick Ayers, Lettering: Art Simek

The Mighty Thor! Starring in: “The Vengeance of Loki!”

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Our tale starts in Asgard, where a seething Loki has been using his magics to spy on Thor, thus discovering Thor’s secrets.  Armed with this knowledge,  Loki escapes to Earth and confronts Thor.

Using Nurse Foster as bait, Loki maneuvers Thor into dropping his hammer, and one he does, Loki envelops the hammer in a force-field, thus causing Thor to revert to Don Blake with no way to become Thor again.

Loki goes on a mischief rampage throughout Earth, at one point screwing with a Russian bomb test, because even Loki hates communists. Eventually Blake uses the old-create-a-fake-Thor-plastic-replica-so-the-villain-drops-the-force-field-to-check-thus-allowing-the-hero-to-grab-the-hammer trick.

To escape, Loki turns into a pigeon and hides amongst other pigeons that are milling about. Not about to let Loki escape, Thor uses his superhuman speed to run to a peanut vendor, run back and hurl the peanuts at the pigeons so that the one pigeon that doesn’t love peanuts reveals himself and is thus captured and returned to Asgard. Thor’s peanut plan is easily the greatest thing to happen in this book so far.

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