Tag Archives: Balder

Days of Thunder – December 1978 The Mighty Thor #278

“At Long Last– Ragnarok?!”
Roy Thomas Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Chic Stone, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer/ Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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The combined forces of Asgard face Hela and her army.  As they fight, Loki enters the fray, without explanation of how he escaped his chains. He soon falls, and afterward, the Midgard Serpent appears.

While the rest of the Asgardians fight for Asgard, Sif convinces Norvell to take her back to Asgard so that he and she might join the fight. They do, although the Midgard Serpent soon claims Norvell’s life. The Odinson reclaims his hammer and uses it to kill the Midard Serpent, which is not supposed to happen.

Having no idea what the hell is going on at this point, Hela calls for a retreat. Her army departs, leaving the Asgardians to marshal their forces and take stock. Norvell is dead, Joey is dead, but now that the danger has passed, there is a flare, and Balder is restored to a state resembling the Odinsleep.

Odin, seemingly back to full strength explains: He knew that Loki and Hela were determined to kick-start Ragnarok and that they had knowledge of Volla’s prophesies. His plan was to confuse them to the point where they could no longer use the prophesies as a road map. Most of the recent battle was an illusion brought forth by Odin, including the presence of Loki and the Midgard serpent, as well as all of the Asgardian fatalities.

Thor, as usual, is angered at the manipulation on the part of his father and prepares to storm off to Midgard. Odin is sick of Thor dividing his time between the two world.  He commands Thor to stay in Asgard. Thor defies his father and gets himself banished again. He begs Sif to come with him, reminding her that Jane Foster is trapped inside her, but Sif does not have it in her to defy her king.

Thor returns to Earth with Hobbs and his dead camera crew towed in a big net. Upon his arrival, he says his goodbye to Hobbs and tells the reporter that he has to deal with the Celestials.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1978 The Mighty Thor #276

“Mine– This Hammer!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema * Tom Palmer, Illustrators/ Glynis Wien, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer/ Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Odin is weakened from losing a sizeable portion of the Odinforce, but nonetheless decides to put his son, Loki on trial.

Before the trial begins, Loki advises Red Norvell to don Thor’s Belt of Strength in the temple of the Palace of Thor, where he can both find and wear Thor’s Iron Gloves, and finally, to bathe in the fire of Geirrodur.

Norvell does all of this, and then he crashes the trial. He is now bigger, beardier, and dressed in Asgardian raiment. He claims to be the “real Thor”. He is brash and brutish and picks a fight with Thor. As they fight, Norvell grabs Mjolnir and wrests it from Thor’s grasp!!

Red beats Thor to a pulp with Mjolnir and is prepared to kill Thor when Joey attempts to intervene. Red accidentally kills Joey. This gives him only slight pause. He threatens to kill Thor if Sif will not come away with him. When that doesn’t work, he threatens to destroy the Odinshield and thus bring about the end of the world.

Faced with the end of the world Sif yields to this creep. Norvell, still holding Thor’s hammer, grabs Sif and they depart. Yuck.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1978 The Mighty Thor #275

“A Balance is Struck!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/ Editor * John Buscema & Tom Palmer, Illustrators * J. Rosen, Letterer/ B. Sharen, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Balder is dead! Out of desperation, Odin sends an Asgardian by the name of Hermod the Swift to Hel to see if anything can be done to restore Balder. The Allfather lends Hermod his eight-legged horse, Sleipnir toward that purpose.

Odin tasks various Asgardians with protecting the Realm. Amongst them he tasks Sigyn, the wife that Loki has apparently had all this time, with guiding the aim of blind archer Hodor. She clearly states that while she loves Loki, she would defend Asgard even if it meant turning on him.

Thor briefly steps away to consult with Mimir.

Harris Hobbs and his team report on the events, but what’s more, Hobbs, who did a lot of studying of Norse mythology before his trip, has been predicting events before they have been happening. Not because of prophetic visions, but because things are matching what he read of Mythology.

Red Norvell hits on Sif some more, and as angry as that makes her, she refrains from slaying him. Butthurt, Norvell tells himself that Sif only likes Thor better than him because Thor is stronger than him. Loki offers to help him with his girl problems.

Loki takes Norvell to Jotunheim, land of the Giants but meets with an assemblage of Trolls and Dwarves. Geirrodur and Ulik are conspicuously absent. Thor somehow tracks them down, and Loki attacks his brother with what he claims to be very axe that Odin used to slay Ymir, eons ago. Since Odin did not slay Ymir, but eternally trapped him in a ring of fire, it seems clear that Loki is lying.

The two brothers battle while Norvell records the fight. Some time prior, Loki weaved an enchantment on Thor so that were he to enter Jotunheim, he would find his strength halved. Thor is no stranger to having his strength halved, but finds he need his full strength and so he uses Mjolnir to summon his Belt of Strength, last seen 184 issues prior. With it, he is able to defeat Loki as well as the trickster’s horde of Trolls and Dwarves.

Thor takes Norvell back to Asgard.  As Thor carries his unconscious brother, he asks Norvell to hold his belt.

When Hermod arrives in Hel, Hela tells him that Balder can be revived if all the world would weep for Balder’s passing. It comes to pass that all things do weep, all save for a Giantess named Thokk, who proclaims that Balder never did nothin for her. This is exactly what Hobbs said would happen, although he adds that there are rumors that Thokk is actually Loki in disguise.

Balder cannot be revived. In order to forestall his full death, Odin sacrifices some of his Odinpower, siphoning it into the fallen god’s body in order to bring Balder to a state of Odinsleep, surrounded by an Odinshield. This will perhaps stave off Ragnarok, but at the cost of weakening the All-Father.

This issue also makes it explicit that time passes at a different rate on Asgard than it does elsewhere. This, perhaps, can account for Odin’s difficulties with understanding time.

Also, Odin has started letting a pair of wolves follow him around wherever he goes.

First appearance: Hermod the Swift, Thokk, Sigyn

 

Days of Thunder – August 1978 The Mighty Thor #274

“The Eye– And the Arrow!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema, Tom Palmer, Illustrators/ Instigators * Joe Rosen, Letterer * Bob Sharen, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Consulting Ed.

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After taunting Thor with the prospect of the twilight of the Gods, Loki transforms into a rat and scurries behind a statue of Odin. Thor lifts the statue in order to get at his brother, despite the fact that lifting the likeness of Odin is sacrilege. It is while holding this statue that Odin returns astride Sleipnir, his eight-legged horse.

Odin has brought with him a blind warrior named Hoder. More strikingly, after all these binocular years, the All-Father now wears an eyepatch. Thor and Balder somewhat calm down Odin, who is angry about the statue and the mortals and Loki.

Thor wants to kill Loki in order to prevent Ragnarok. Odin says Thor can’t. Odin is surprised that Loki has been restored to Godhood.   Loki says Odin can not punish him again, and that Odin knows the reasons why. Odin, who normally would have plenty to be absurdly angry about, takes it all in relative stride, for he knows they face the end of all things.

Recently,  Odin’s ravens, Hugin and Munin, warned him that the time of Ragnarok might be approaching. Odin visited Mimir, seeking knowledge of how to prevent such an Armageddon. Mimir asked that Odin pay a price for such knowledge.

Unlike the price Mimir recently asked Thor to pay, the price demanded of Odin is actually costly: his right eye. Mimir hates Odin, for at the dawn of Asgard, Odin was responsible for Mimir’s beheading. Having taken petty payment, Mimir instructs Odin to travel to Hel to consult with Volla, the long-dead prophetess.

Odin finds Volla and asks her how, if possible, Ragnarok can be avoided. She tells him that Ragnarok is inevitable, due to Odin’s long-ago decree that the world will eventually need “fiery cleansing.” She suggests that it may be delayed if Balder can be protected, for his death shall signal the beginning of the end.

This is strange, for in the vision of Ragnarok that she saw, as depicted in issue #200, Balder fought alongside Thor in the battle of Ragnarok. Either her vision of the future has changed, or she is lying.

While in Hel, Odin encounters Hela. It is well-established that there are multiple afterlifes, and that the afterlife for the Aesir is Valhalla. This is now slightly reframed, as Hela is identified as the ruler of the Realm of the Dead known as Hel, and that she has semi-recently annexed Valhalla, something that Odin would take issue with, had he not more pressing matters. On the way back to Asgard, Odin happens upon Hoder, a blind wandering god, whom Odin offers to bring back to Asgard. He does so.

Soon after Odin finishes his tale, Sif and Hildegarde return from a seperate mission, tasked to them by the All-Father: They have brought back the long-absent Goddesses of Asgard. It is unknown where they were, or why they left, or how much of the female population of Asgard had been away while others such as Sif, Krista, and Hildegarde had remained.

Amongst the returning Goddesses is Frigga, the wife of Odin. Frigga shows a maternal affection for Thor, but in an aside, Hobbs explains to his cameraman Roger “Red” Norvell, that he doubts that Frigga is Thor’s mother; that according to mythology his mother was a giantess named “Jord.”

After Thor and Sif exchange a warm greeting, Odin, Frigga, and Thor depart to discuss the end of the world and also the presence of mortals in Asgard. Loki is not invited.

While they do that, the rest of the cast has a moment of downtime. Red clumsily hits on Sif and Balder tells him to fuck off. Balder then tells everyone that he is not worried about dying because as long as he remains in Asgard, he is invulnerable to any non-mistletoe thing. In his telling, it is Frigga that arranged this, but he likely misremembers, for it was Odin that made such happen.

Thanks to a psychic suggestion from Loki, Balder suggests that everybody throw their weapons at him. All the Asgardians do, despite Hobbs’ protests that they are being very stupid. Loki offers Hoder a special bow, with which Hodor uses to fire an arrow straight into Balder’s chest, fatally!

First Appearance: Sleipnir, Hoder, Hugin, Munin, Frigga, Njord

 

Days of Thunder – July 1978 The Mighty Thor #273

“Somewhere… Over the Rainbow Bridge!
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Tom Palmer, Artists/Storytellers * Joe Rosen, Letterer/ G. Roussos, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Starting with this issue, the introductory text that began with issue #248 has been subtly changed to:

“When Dr. DONALD BLAKE strikes his wooden walking-stick upon the ground, it becomes the mystic mallet MJOLNIR – and the lame physician is transformed into the Norse God of Thunder, Master of the Storm, Lord of the Living Lightning– and heir to the throne of eternal Asgard… Stan Lee Presents: The Mighty Thor!”

When Thor last crossed paths with Harris Hobbs, he used hypnosis to make the reporter forget what he knew about Thor and about Asgard. When Doctor Donald Blake last crossed paths with Hobbs, that hypnosis had held. However,  for all of that time, the mortal’s memories of Asgard would haunt him at night, and eventually he sought out a hypnotherapist who was able to restore the reporter’s memories.

Now a television reporter, and desperate for a story,  Hobbs begs Thor to be allowed to take a camera crew to Asgard. Thor promises to ask Odin, but considers getting a “yes” to be highly unlikely. Thor departs, and soon afterword a mysterious stranger makes himself known to Hobbs, asking to hear more about his dreams.

Hobbs tells the stranger about a vision he has been having, of a time long ago when a young Thor and a tragically hatless Hymir went fishing. What Thor did not tell his friend was that he was fishing for Jormungand, the one and only Migard Serpent, destined to one day slay Thor at the time of Ragnarok. Hymir cut the enchanted fishing line when he realized what Thor had done and Thor stormed off as a result.

The telling of this story somehow manages to restore the memory and strength of the stranger, who is, of course, Loki. Loki offers to take Hobbs and his camera crew to Asgard, which is an offer the mortal eagerly accepts.

Meanwhile, Thor visits his friend Tony Stark’s corporate office to pick up all that remains of F.A.U.S.T:  a giant adamantium cube.  He plans to take it to Asgard for safekeeping. Once he has the cube, he is visited by an illusion appearing to be the Midgard Serpent. He attempts to fight it, but returns to Asgard once he realizes the serpent is not real.

In Asgard, he is eager to see Sif once again, only to be informed that she and Odin have departed on a unknown mission, leaving the Warriors Three in charge. Before the matter can be discussed further, a panel in F.A.U.S.T. pops open and Hobbs and his camera crew, Red and Joey, pop out along with Loki.

Loki claims that Hobbs’ vision is a precursor to the coming of Ragnarok and that it is the nearness of the end times that has restored Loki. The time of Ragnarok, claims Loki, is here!

First Appearance: Red, Joey

Days of Thunder – January 1978 The Mighty Thor #267

“Once More, To Midgard!
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

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With Odin returned to the Throne, it is a time for regrouping. The Recorder returns to the Colonizers, and Karnilla likewise departs. Loki is put on trial and as punishment, Odin strips him of his memories and of his godhood, sending Loki to live on Midgard as he once did with his other son. Kroda, Magrat and Snaykar remain free.  Odin tasks the Warriors Three with tracking them down.

Thor desires to return to Earth.  He discusses the matter with Sif, who has found a snazzy new outfit. He tells her that he wishes to go to Midgard without her. Says he, “Though the heart of Thor is ever thine, the spirit of Don Blake cries out for release, and I must heed its call alone!” As Thor has no interest in being Don Blake, it can be assumed that the part of him that is Blake is literally crying out for release from within his psychic prison.
Sif gives Thor his space, but the matter of Jane Foster is not discussed. If Sif stays of Asgard, it would seem Jane is doomed to non-existence, and were she to return to Earth, it would be the Lady Sif who was denied a life. What amount of responsibility to Jane does Sif carry? Also, Thor wasted no time in getting romantic with Jane when Sif seemed dead, now that she is back, Thor claims she has his heart. None of these matters is discussed.

Does Jane have any friends, any family? No one was seen to visit her in the hospital when she was dying. Presumably she had a job before leaving on the Odin Quest. Are there people on Earth searching for her, presuming her dead?

Thor returns to Earth, shocked to discover that he has been gone for over a year. Blake had just started up a new practice last time he was on Earth. That practice’s office has been bulldozed in his absence. Blake has no close friends. His girlfriend is trapped in another woman’s body in another plane of existence. Blake takes a moment to contemplate if existing still makes sense.

Blake decides to start a new chapter of his life. He visits his old college mentor, Dr. Jacob Wallaby, looking for work. He tells Wallaby that he needs something that he can drop at a moments notice for an indefinite length of time. Wallaby agrees to set Blake up with some unpaid work at a free clinic. He comments, “I’ve never quite understood you, my boy! Your skill as a surgeon surpasses any other I’ve ever seen, yet I’ve always had the feeling mere medicine wasn’t enough for you…”

Before they can discuss it further, a schmuck calling himself “Damocles” and some other thugs attack the hospital they are at, stealing some synthetic cobalt. Blake departs, changes into Thor and gives chase. Damocles escapes, intending to build a Cobalt Cannon.

First Appearance: Damocles, Dr. Jacob Wallaby

 

Days of Thunder – December 1977 The Mighty Thor #266

“…So Falls the Realm Eternal!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

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When Karnilla realizes that Balder’s spirit is powering the Destroyer, she wastes no time in teleporting to the location of Balder’s body, which she steals away from the Trickster God. She takes the body to the Destroyer, intending to remove Balder’s essence from the Destroyer and put it back where it belongs.

Unfortunately, Loki follows Karnilla, and in the battle that ensues, the Norn Queen is knocked unconscious. The part of the Destroyer that is Balder senses this, and turns its attention away from thrashing Thor with Kzippa particles in order to attack Loki. Panicked, Loki returns the essence of Balder to its body.

Loki, then intends to enter the Destroyer himself, but before he can, Thor enters it. The Thor-powered Destroyer is about to kill Loki when Odin arrives, and commands the Destroyer to kneel before him. The part of the Destroyer that is Thor hears and yields.

While most of the cast had been fighting the Destroyer, the Warriors Three followed the team of Kroda, Magrat and Snaykar to the secret cavern where Loki had hidden Odin. They defeat the villains, and free the All-Father from the Mists of Morpheus that Loki had been using to indefinitely prolong the Odinsleep. Once freed of the mists, Odin awoke and was thus able to end the Destroyer fight and reassume his rulership of Asgard. Odin frees Thor’s spirit from the Destroyer and father and son embrace.

Days of Thunder – November 1977 The Mighty Thor #265

“When Falls the God of Thunder…!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson, Illustrator * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer * Welcome Back All, Joe Sinnott, Guest Embellisher

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Thor fights the Destroyer, which Loki stole from Galactus. Even with most of his friends pitching in, he is no match for his foe. Hildegarde remains conspicuously absent from the action.

Meanwhile, Karnilla, riding a dragon, is denied entrance to Asgard by a pair of guardsmen named Brolthar and Enok, so she turns them into toads and enters the city. She attempts to assist Thor but when her magic strikes the Destroyer, she realizes the truth: The Destroyer’s current host is none other than Balder!

First Appearance: Brolthar, Enok

Days of Thunder – October 1977 The Mighty Thor #264

“Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

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Loki has grabbed the throne of Asgard yet again, and this time he backs up his grab with a well-forged legal document from a cask bearing the Odin-Seal. The scroll within the cask states that in the case of Odin’s incapacitation, whichever of Odin’s sons can first sit on the Throne shall rule the realm. Given that both Thor and Loki have repeatedly been banished from Asgard, and given that Odin enters the Odinsleep once a year, on top of his tendency to mysteriously disappear, one would think he would have established a clear, well-known rule of succession by now.

Instead, we have Loki, apparently the rightful ruler of Asgard. This time, he has surrounded himself with lackeys. In addition to the reluctant support of the Enchantress and the Executioner (both of whom, one would think would still be sore about Loki’s role in their initial banishment) he has also enlisted the aid of his old friends Kroda the Duelist and Magrat the Schemer and brought Snaykar the Skulker into the fold.

Loki bids his brother and friends to depart from his presence. Thor and his friends do, and split into two teams. The Warriors Three are tasked with protecting Odin, while Thor, Sif and the Recorder search for Balder.

The Warriors Three find Odin missing from his bedchambers. They follow the trail left by his abductors, which leads them to Executioner and the Enchantress, deep within the bowels of Asgard, near the Troll-built generators that power the city. They fight.  Due to subtle manipulation on the part of Loki, the Enchantress and the Executioner plummet to their seeming death at the end of the fight.

Thor, Sif and the Recorder have been told that Balder left Asgard with Karnilla, accompanying her back to her domain.  They head out that way,  and hve to fight their way past a pair of Storm Giants to get there.  Sif is oddly frightened of one of them, but Thor kills them.

When they arrive at the home of the Norn Queen, Karnilla claims not to know what became of Balder. Thor believes Karnilla when it comes to matters of Balder.

It turns out that Loki has used his magic to erase the Norn Queen’s memory of Balder’s capture and her defeat, that Loki has been manipulating the memories of all the people of Asgard, that Balder is locked in the dungeons of Asgard, and that it wasn’t really Thor that attacked Balder.

Thor returns to Loki, full of bluster. Loki simply vanishes.  The Destroyer appear before Thor.

 

Days of Thunder – August 1977 The Mighty Thor #262

“Even an Immortal Can Die!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer

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The Soul-Survivors’ world is known as Templeworld. Their enclosed planet, orbiting a star that emits darkness, is powered by an engine that converts the divinity of a god into energy. The people of Templeworld sucked dry their original god long ago, and have powered their world through a long succession of now-dead shanghaied gods. The space graveyard that the Starjammer passed through is the aftermath of this grizzly business.

Odin is the current source of power for these people. The imprisoned Asgardians are tended to by a pair of Soul-Survivors, K’rll and N’gll, and they are already preparing to replace Odin with the three new Immortals they have captured, for the All Father is near death.

Odin dies, and his oddly-familiar final words to Thor are “forgive them, my son for they know not what they do.” His father’s death fills Thor with the Warrior’s Madness.  He shatters his restraints as his friends arrive to free him. Sif and Fandral are loosed in no time, and sensing the shifting tide, K’rll takes the remaining Odin-Force that has been harvested from the All-Father and gives it a corporeal form, with which to kill Thor.

Meanwhile, back on Asgard, Thor sucker punches Balder and Karnilla and knocks them both out.

Days of Thunder – July 1977 The Mighty Thor #261

“The Wall Around the World!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ Walt Simonson & Ernie Chan, Illustrators Supreme/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Annette Kaweki Letterer

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Thor and company breach what turns out to be a wall that surrounds a planet. The planet seems to be covered by a city that has a sprawl that  covers the entire world. Soon, they are attacked by armored foes.

During the fight, Thor discovers that Mjolnir will no longer return to his hands by itself. Before this can be explored, Thor, Sif, and Fandral are captured. Their captors identify themselves as the Soul-Survivors and indicate their intent to worship their prisoners. The Soul-Survivors are beautifully-rendered androgynous beings that speak in lower-case letters.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Thor berates Balder, telling him that the Executioner and Enchantress that he and Karnilla defeated were mere illusions, illusions that have now disappeared. Karnilla is suspicious: She knows those were not illusions. Nonetheless, she follows as Thor leads them back to the city gates so that they might face their true foe.

Elsewhere, a hooded figure who dresses like Loki divides his attention between observing the events on Asgard and the events on the Doomsday Star, content that all is going according to plan.

maybe loki

First Appearance: The Soul-Survivors

Days of Thunder – June 1977 The Mighty Thor #260

“The Vicious and the Valiant”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Tony DeZuniga, Embellisher * Glynis W. Colorist * J Costanza, Letterer * Proudly Present Walt Simonson Illustrator, In the immortal words of Irving Forbush, Effendi– So be it!!

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The Recorder plugs himself into Bird of Prey – rechristened “The Phoenix of Freedom”, and is able to produce a map to the Doomsday Star. Meanwhile, the Warriors Three rip the weapons out of the Bird of Prey and retrofit the Starjammer.

In Asgard, Balder sneaks into the camp of the Enchantress’ army, to learn more about them. He soon discovers that the “army” is nothing more than a bunch of magically animated suits of armor. The Enchantress and Executioner find him within their camp, leading to a brawl. During the fight, the Enchantress refers to having a master, which is very unlike her. Also, Balder destroys the Executioner’s battleaxe.

At any rate, Karnilla joins in the fight, and the invaders are defeated. Afterward, Thor seemingly reveals himself to Balder, displeased with his friend.

Meanwhile, Thor captains the Starjammer through a giant space graveyard of giant cosmic creatures and eventually they reach the Doomsday Star, which does indeed radiate darkness. Orbiting the star is a giant, planet-sized fortress.

 

Days of Thunder – April 1977 The Mighty Thor #258

“If the Stars be Made of Stone!”
Len Wein: Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Tony DeZuniga: Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

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The Grey Gargoyle is now the leader of a band of space pirates who deal in the slave trade. Their ship is named the Bird of Prey. They capture the crew of the Starjammer and enslave them.

On Asgard, the leaders of the army surrounding the city present themselves at the gates. It is the Enchantress and the Executioner!

 

Days of Thunder – March 1977 The Mighty Thor #257

“Death, Thou Shalt Die!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Buscema & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators Extraordinaire/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Condoy, Letter

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Thor and company fight Sporr, who is a huge blobby monster with tentacles. Thor senses that there is something off with the creature during the fight, but it attacked Sif so he ignores that instinct and murders the beast.

Thor finds a horrified Sif. Surprise, surprise, Spoor wasn’t picking off the weak and defenseless, but rather was escorting them to a secret paradise. Also, it was the last of its kind.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, a very large army has amassed around the city. Balder, with Karnilla at his side, prepares for attack. The names whispered last issue are still unknown.

Elsewhere, there is a ship full of space pirates, including one named Fee-Lon and one named Balzor, approaching a new target. The ships captain: The Grey Gargoyle!

First Appearance: Fee-Lon, Balzor

 

Days of Thunder – February 1977 The Mighty Thor #256

“Lurker in the Dark!”

Len Wein, Writer/Editor * John Bscema, Illustrator * Tony DeZuniga, Embellisher * Glynis Wein, Colorist * John Costanza, Letterer

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The crew of the Starjammer gains a new member when the Recorder arrives to joins the party. The Colonizers of Rigel have become aware of Thor’s quest, and they have sent his old android compatriot to observe and to assist.

Later, they find a giant Worldship drifting without power. The recorder’s Sensitizers detect two distinct life forms types aboard the ship. The crew decide to enter the ship, to ask if the inhabitants might know the location of the Doomsday Star.  This is their plan to find Odin.

Upon entering, they are attacked by automated Securitrons. They fend off the robots, but Sif is injured in the melee. They meet up with some of the inhabitants of the Worldship, the name of which they learn is “Levianon”, including their First Citizen, Relstor, and a young man named Darnak.

The inhabitants explain to Thor and his friends that they are under siege by a massive tentacle monster known as Sporr. Earlier this day, the beast claimed the life of young Darnak’s grandfather. Relstor hopes that Thor and his friends will attack the beast, but Thor, concerned with finding the Doomsday Star, does not consider it to be his fight to fight. While they discuss the matter, Sif woozily wanders away and is grabbed by Sporr. Now it is Thor’s fight.

Back on Asgard, Karnilla is not-so-subtly priming Balder to take the vacant throne when Brokarr, the guard of the Northern gates of Asgard rushes in, badly injured. He dies with the names of his two assassins on his lips. The reader is not privy to their names (but can probably guess). The name that Balder the Brave heard shake him to his core. According to Balder, “if what he spoke was true, then his words were the death sentence for all of Asgard!”

First Appearance: Levianon, Relstor, Darnak, Sporr, Brokarr

Days of Thunder – January 1977 The Mighty Thor #255

“Lo, The Quest Begins!”
Len Wein: Writer/Editor * Tony DeZuniga: Illustrator * Glynis Wein: Colorist * Watanabe, Letterer

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Thor returns to Asgard without the Ruby Eye. When the Vizier summons Mimir so that Thor may report  his failure, Mimir tells Thor that his task was a test, not a price. Thor has passed the test, and  proved himself worthy of the knowledge that Mimir now imparts:

To find Odin, Thor must seek the Doomsday Star, which seems to be a legendary star that shines darkness instead of light. Mimir departs without telling Thor how to find this fabled star.

Thor, Sif and the Warriors Three decide to set out in the Starjammer seeking the Doomsday Star. They head out into the vastness of space blindly, trusting that fate will point them in the right direction. Balder stays behind to safeguard the throne of Asgard, Karnilla staying at his side. Hildegarde is oddly absent.

As they journey through the stars, they find themselves seeking shelter from a meteor swarm by landing on a large asteroid. On the asteroid they find the Stone Men from Saturn, the same invasion party that came to Earth all those many years ago. When the fled Earth, they crashed onto this asteroid, and have been trapped ever since.

The Saturnians attack the Asgardians, hoping to steal their Starjammer, but are sorely outclassed. The Asgardians defeat their attackers and retreat to the Starjammer, while the damage caused by the fight causes the asteroid to crumble, presumably taking the Stone Men with them.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1976 The Mighty Thor #252

“A Dragon at the Gates!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Bsucema & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer

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Thor tries to find his father by again seeking the aid of Mimir. Unlike last time,  Mimir now demands very specific payment for his services: The Cyclopean Ruby Eye of the Dragon Guardian of of Realm Below.

Thor finds the task dishonorable, but decides he has little choice. He journeys down into the Realm Below, adjacent to the territory of the Trolls and eventually finds the Dragon of the Ruby Eye. However, before he can fight the dragon, he discovers that his old foe Ulik has come here at the exact same time, seeking the exact same item.

Ulik claims that the survival of the Troll Empire itself depends on the procurement of the eye. Neither warrior is willing to forfeit the Eye, and so they fight each other for it. Ulik wins the fight, tossing Thor off a cliff into a lake of fire!

Days of Thunder – September 1976 The Mighty Thor #251

“To Hela and Back”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Buscema & tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, Colorsist/ Pat Condoy, Letterer

Thor 251

Sif, while happy to be alive, is afraid that she is a mere consolation prize to Thor, forever second in his heart to Jane. Thor does his best to explain to her that having two women that he loves combined into one is kind of awesome.

Karnilla has been sticking around Asgard, for unspecified reasons. This makes Balder both pleased and incredibly uncomfortable.

After days of searching, the Vizier cannot find Odin anywhere in the known universe. He suspects that Odin may be in Valhalla. He travels there, by himself, and encounters his old frenemy, Harokin. Harokin can’t pass up the opportunity to wrassle with Thor and forces Thor into a fight he does not want.

Eventually, Hela arrives and informs Thor that Odin is not in her land. She then allows Thor to depart.

Days of Thunder – August 1976 The Mighty Thor #250

“If Asgard Should Perish…!”
Journey beyond the imagination with… Len Wein, Writer/Editor * John Buscema, Illustrator * Tony DeZuniga, Embellisher * John Costanza, Letterer * Glynis Wein, Colorist/ We promise you won’t regret it!

Thor 250

Some time after Igron was imprisoned by Odin, he encountered the Mangog.   Long believed dead, the once-massive Mangog had dwindled to the size of a rodent, but even after his connection to the rage that fueled him was severed, it turns out that the Mangog is hate personified and simply cannot be destroyed. However, without the original rage that drove him, the Mangog has redirected that hate and rage at Odin and at Asgard.

Igron and the Mangog quickly formed an alliance. Igron used his magic to siphon some strength from all the inhabitants of Asgard.  He then poured that strength into the Mangog, thus restoring some of what the Mangog once was. It was this, and not the absence of Odin that caused the strange lethargy in Asgard in issue #240.  After Igron rejuvenates the Mangog, the two spend some time together scheming.

Time passes.  Igron is spying on Odin when he witnesses Odin teleport away from Earth after having his memory restored.  Igron quickly realizes that wherever Odin teleported to, it was not Asgard.  He does not know what became of Odin but he recognizes an opportunity.  He disguises the Mangog as Odin, and so begins the Mangog’s masquerade. Over time, the Mangog steadily gains strength as he absorbs the worship of the people of Asgard.

That brings us to the present.  The Mangog defeats Thor and has him chained before the gates of the city as a warning. What follows is a full-out insurrection, as Sif and her allies challenge the being they believe to be Odin. In the fight that follows, the Mangog easily defeats those who challenge him. However, this isn’t playing well with the masses and Igron cautions the Mangog to reign it in. The Mangog scoffs at this, and kills Igron. Upon the sorcerer’s death, his illusion is shattered and “Odin”’s true identity is revealed to the people of Asgard.  .

Thor frees himself as all turn against the Mangog. He redeclares his love for the Lady Sif as he takes the fight to the Mangog. Unmasked, the Mangog has decided to revert to type and pull the Odinsword, however without the belief of the people of Asgard to give him power,  he fades away once more. Presumably he survives as a tiny Mangog.

 

Days of Thunder – July 1976 The Mighty Thor #249

“The Throne and the Fury!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor/ John Buscema, Illustrator/ Tony DeZuniga, Embellisher/ Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer/ Marv Wolfman, Face in the Crowd

Thor 249

Those who would stand against Odin make their plans.  While they do, the Vizier has a gift for Jane Foster. He passes the sword that once belonged to Lady Sif. However, when Jane takes hold of it, she finds it seething with power. In pain, she slams the hilt of it against the wall, and finds herself bathed in light. hen it fades, it is not Nurse Jane Foster of Earth that stands before the Vizier, but Lady Sif herself!

The Vizier theorizes that both women now exist within a single form and that in Asgard, Sif is the dominant person. Unfortunately, they have more pressing matters that preclude exploring this matter at the moment.  Thor, the Vizier and a reluctant Balder will venture to the Forest of the Norns to parlay with Karnilla the Norn Queen, while the rest of their band try to rally support for their cause.

Balder does not want to see the Norn Queen, for he loves her still although their love can never be. Nonetheless, they need petition her for aid, for her power may be the only power in the Realm Eternal strong enough to breach Odin’s mystic defenses. Upon reaching the Norn Queen, she is cruel and distant. Balder begs her not to hold her anger toward him against his people. In response she strikes him, decrying “Thou dost presume too much, Asgardian to even think the omnipotent Norn queen would ever deign to feel affection for one such as thee!” After that bit of theater, she is convinced to reluctantly join their cause.

Returning to Asgard, Thor and his allies head straight to Odin’s throne room. Karnilla alone does not have strength enough to break Odin’s barrier, but by combining her power with the power of Thor harnessed through Mjolnir, they rip open the doors.

Thor enters alone to find Odin on his throne, which is, in turn, on top of the Odinsword, which has been moved, safe within its hilt, to his throne room. His intent is clear: If anyone challenges his rule, he will unsheathe the sword and bring about the end of the world!  Having played his trump card, the All-Father reveals the truth: He is not Odin at all, but in actuality the fearsome Mangog!

 

Days of Thunder – June 1976 The Mighty Thor #248

“There Shall Come… Revolution!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * John Buscema, Illustrator * Tony DeZuniga, Guest Embellisher * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer * Marv Wolfman, General Insurgent

Thor 248

Starting with this issue, issues of the Mighty Thor begin with the following introduction:

“When lame Dr. DONALD BLAKE strikes his wooden walking stick upon the ground, it becomes the mystic mallet MJOLNIR – and Blake is transformed into the Norse God of Thunder, Master of the Storm and the Lightning, Heir to the Throne of Immortal Asgard… Stan Lee Presents: The Mighty Thor!”

Thor and Jane return to New York in the midst of a mighty thunderstorm. Thor halts the storm, but strangely, he has real difficulty with the task. They reunite with their three guests and soon thereafter find a ragged Balder, who has escaped to Midgard to tell Thor of what has transpired in his homeland.

They must return to Asgard, so say them all, including Jane, who argues that possessing the spirit of Sif gives her the right to enter the city, despite the ban on mortals. Thor agrees, and when they arrive they find themselves halted by Heimdall and a troop of guards. This soon leads to a full-on battle, brutal and excellently rendered. Thor and his compatriots come out on top.

Balder takes his friends to his allies: Hildegarde and Krista, as well as some new faces: Brodag the Black, Holvar of the Single Eye, Cosak the Crimson-Haired, and Skoval the Shaggy One. Jane, who has clearly established herself as the brains of the group, reasons that if they are to move against Odin, they need the input of the Vizier and so they mount an assault on the Tower of Solitude and free him.

First Appearance: Brodag the Black, Holvar of the Single Eye, Cosak the Crimson-Haired, Skoval the Shaggy One

 

Days of Thunder – May 1976 The Mighty Thor #247

“The Flame and the Hammer!”
Len Wein, Writer*Editor/ John Buscema& Joe Sinnott, Illustrators/ G. Wein, Colorist/ J. Rosen, Letterer/ Marv Wolfman, Token Gringo

thor 247

Thor and Firelord lead El Lobo’s troops forward into battle. When they break for the evening, Jane beats up a guard, steals his machine gun, and gets the drop on El Lobo and Gypsy at which point she challenges Gypsy to a duel.

Jane and Gypsy do that thing where they have a knife fight while holding onto opposite ends of a length of cloth. After an epic battle, Jane eventually overpowers Gypsy and pins her to the ground, barking, “Surrender and release Thor from your spell– or I will gladly slit your slimy throat!”

Despite the knife at her throat, Gypsy doesn’t honor the duel, instead she commands her men to rush Jane. When Thor sees Jane imperiled, it momentarily breaks Gypsy’s hold on him. At this point Gypsy lets slip that it is the Mind Jewel on her headband that enthralls Thor and Firelord and so Jane grabs it and throws it into the fire, freeing them from Gypsy’s grasp.

Thor and Firelord make short work of El Lobo’s men and turn them over to the open arms of President Elmirez. Afterward, Firelord leaves Earth.

Meanwhile, Balder has been brought before Odin, accused of plotting insurrection. Balder makes his anti-Igron case and Odin condemns him to the dungeons. Balder does not go quietly, instead he fights his way out of Odin’s chambers and makes a break for freedom.

Days of Thunder – April 1976 The Mighty Thor #246

“The Fury of Firelord!”
Len Wein, writer/editor * John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, illustrators * Glynis Wein, colorist * John Costanza, letterer * Marv Wolfman, rebel with a lost cause

Thor 246

Firelord has returned to Earth and decided to throw his lot in with a group of rebels in the war-torn Central American country of Costa Verde. The rebels are led by a man named El Lobo, while the government is led by President Juan Elmirez.

Thor is the one who freed Firelord from Galactus, and so he feels responsible for Firelord’s actions. He and Jane head to Costa Verde, leaving their three friends behind in Jane’s apartment to enjoy television and McDonald’s Hamburgers. When they catch up with Firelord, Thor speaks his mind. “When I see such as thee, who once soared thru space as faithful Herald to the world-devouring Galactus, reduced to usurping a pitiful little nation such as this – the righteous anger of the God of Thunder doth know no bounds!”

After a little bit of fighting, they meet Firelord’s companion: a woman named Gypsy. She has a jewel on her headband that she uses to hypnotize Thor to do her bidding, as it turns out she has previously done with Firelord.

Meanwhile, Odin has become even more harsh than normal, and has been punishing those that Igron accuses of disloyalty. Balder believes that Odin has gone insane and may have to be deposed. He discusses his concerns with Hildegarde in an out-of-the-way Meadhall, but unbeknownst to the two of them, their conversation is overheard by Snaykar the Skulker, who intends to report what he has heard to to Igron.

First Appearance: Costa Verde, El Lobo, President Juan Elmirez, Gypsy, Snaykar the Skulker

 

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 – June 1973 The Mighty Thor #212

“Journey to the Golden Star!”
Gerry Conway, Scripter/ John Buscema and Don Perlin Artists/ Vinnie Colletta, Inker/ D. Vladimer, Letterer/ S. Goldberg, Colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

thor 212

Thor is so concerned over Balder’s well-being that he rips the doors of his friend’s room in Avengers Mansion off of the hinges to get to him. He finds Balder babbling incoherently, beset by madman’s visions. The subject of his ranting is “Asgard” which is enough evidence to convince Thor that this must be the work of Odin and that the only course of action is to return to Asgard en masse, and fight Odin.

Thor decides that one of their group must stay behind in Avengers Mansion to care for their friend. He means for it to be Hildegarde because she is a woman but she lets him know “’Tis not this woman’s work.” Volstagg agrees to stay behind. All the others, including the powerless mortal Silas Grant travel with Thor to Asgard.

They arrive in Asgard only to find it empty and unguarded. They soon are ambushed by a band of lizard men. Hildegarde kills the first one but they soon find themselves in a dialogue with the lizard men’s leader, Sssthgar.

Sssthgar tells them a tale. According to him, Asgard was beset by insectoid alien slavers known as Vrellnexians, who captured and enslaved the whole of Asgard. Sssthgar’s people are, according to him, escaped slaves, and they will happily lead Thor’s contingent to the Golden Star, a planet that apparently is the heart of the galactic slave trade.

Thor’s people and Sssthgar’s people fly through space on a magic flying longship (perhaps the same Odinship of Thor’s youth?), and soon arrive at the Golden Sun. They arrive just in time to see Odin, cowed, in chains, on the auction block. Thus do they begin to fight the slavers.

As they fight, Odin is in a daze, begging Thor to retreat.  Also,  Ssthgard reveals he and his people to in actuality be the former partners of the slavers, abandoned on Asgard, and now staging a coup.

First appearance: Sssthgar, Vrellnexians, the Golden Star, lizard men