Tag Archives: Crusher Creel the Absorbing man

Days of Thunder – June 1975 The Mighty Thor #236

“One Life to Give!”
Gerry Conway, author/ John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, artists/ Artie Simek, letterer/ Phil Rache, colorist/ Len Wein, editor

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As Thor and the Absorbing Man continue to fight, Creel reveals that he survived falling into water by touching a rock. This gives Thor an idea. He runs into a toy store and tricks Creel into grabbing a cardboard facsimile of Mjolnir. This turns the Absorbing Man into cardboard and Thor is able to defeat him. Further inspired, he traps his enemy inside a cardboard box, thus forcing Creel to remain cardboard.

Meanwhile, in California, some punks start hassling the man currently going by the name Orrin, and Orrin accidentally murders one of them.

Back in New York, Sif completes her ritual but at a price. She saves the life of Nurse Jane Foster, but the goddess is gone. Her entire life force has been absorbed into the mortal woman, which consumes Sif’s physical body as well.

As Thor returns to the hospital, he discovers what has transpired while he fought his enemy. The newly invigorated Jane calls Thor “my darling” as she explains what happened. It seems something has returned her memories. Perhaps it was the magic of the Spell of Revival, or perhaps it was Odin’s renouncing his godhead. Whatever the case, Thor holds Jane tight, his eyes closed.

Days of Thunder – May 1975 The Mighty Thor #235

“Who Lurks Beyond the Labyrinth!”
Gerry Conway, author/ John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, artists/ John Costanza, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Len Wein, editor

Thor 235

Sif and Hercules enter the domain of Kamo Tharrin. Much of Kamo Tharrin’s nature is unclear. He is a blind being of immense power, wielding a silly looking staff with a giant lion head on one end, known as the Runestaff.

Sif and Hercules trespass upon Kamo Tharrin’s home despite his protests. When he refuses to give them his staff, they beat him up and steal it from him.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Thor is so angry about Nurse Jane Foster’s condition that he smashes the roof of a building to rubble, which rains down upon a crowd of passerby. Thor manages to destroy the falling stonework before it hits anyone, but it was a close thing.

Later, the Absorbing Man sneaks into Foster’s hospital room, where a pensive Thor waits with the Vizier. It is unclear how Creel survived his previous encounter with Thor, but he wants revenge and he has decided that absorbing Thor’s hammer, is the key to victory. Touch it, he does, kicking off a fight that Thor directs into the street, away from Nurse Foster.

Sif and Hercules teleport back to Jane’s room, assuming that Kamo Tharrin will be hot on their heels. Sif commands the Vizier to immediately begin the Spell of Revival!

First Appearance: Kamo Tharrin, the Runestaff

 

Days of Thunder – January 1973 The Mighty Thor #207

“Firesword”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Appearance: Credit for the colorist

Days of Thunder – December 1972 The Mighty Thor #206

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

Thor 206

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

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

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

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

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

 

Days of Thunder – September 1966: The Mighty Thor King-Size Special! #2

The Mighty Thor! “If Asgard Falls…”
Scripted in solemn splendor by: Stan Lee/ Illustrated in idealistic imagery by: Jack Kirby/ Delineated in delicious delicacy by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered in living luminescence by : Sam Rosen/ Unaffected by the unabashed utterances of: Irving Forbush

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It is time for the Asgardian Tournament of Titans. This is a competition of warriors held in Asgard and Judged by Odin, with a suit of golden armor as the prize.   Odin  declares that it is to be fought for by every warrior from every land but how far that invitation extends is unclear. Thor reports that warriors pour into Asgard from galaxies without end, so it seems like a pretty big deal.

Thor enters the competition alongside grim Hogun, dashing Fandral, and valorous Volstagg, the first time these three have shown up in a story set  in the modern day 60’s. The Asgardians clash with a pack of friends visiting Asgard from the world of a Thousand Galaxies: Brok the Crusher, Tyr of the Blinding Blade, Galp of the Steel Arm, and Drom the Spirit-Weaver. The budding rivalry in this story is established early but it does not go very far.

Meanwhile, formless Loki, who had been floating in space alongside the Absorbing Man all these many months, has discovered that he can project his mind into the body of the Destroyer, buried in the ruins of the Temple of Darkness. It is odd, Loki’s self, which is formless remains in space while his mind is projected out of that self into the Destroyer like a radio signal.  What that self actually constitutes is an unanswered metaphysical question.

Now commanding a body so powerful that it can cut Thor’s hammer in half by pointing at it, Loki sends the Destroyer straight to Asgard. It makes short work of poor Heimdall, who was already bummed about missing the tournament.

The Destroyer wades into where the tournament is being held, seeking to kill Odin, but Thor leads a mighty defense against the all-powerful foe. While Thor does that,  Odin sends Balder to astrally project himself into space, seeking Loki, who Odin reasons is the only possible culprit. Thor can only hold off the Destroyer for a short while, but it is enough for Balder to find Loki’s self. With that, Odin sends a Beam of Forgetfulness to Loki, closing the villain’s mind to all thought and memory. The Destroyer falls to the ground, immobile. If Loki no longer had physical form and he no longer has a functioning mind, it is unclear to me what remains that can said to be Loki.

The story of Thor has been moving at a breakneck speed for a number of issues. Since issue #114, Thor has moved immediately from the events of one issue to the next, leaving no room for a break. That makes for exciting comics, but it also leaves it unclear when this story takes place. Certainly not immediately before or immediately after #132. Perhaps it takes place after the recuperative period in issue #128 but before Thor returns to Jane. Perhaps it takes place some time after the events in the current Thor narrative.

First Appearance: Brok the Crusher, Tyr of the Blinding Blade, Galp of the Steel Arm, Drom the Spirit-Weaver

Days of Thunder – December 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #123

The Mighty Thor!  “While a Universe Trembles!”

Fantasy to Dazzle Thy Senses, Written by Stan Lee!  Drama to Quicken Thy Pulse, Illustrated by Jack Kirby!  Beauty to Nourish Thine Eyes, Embellished by Vince Colletta!  Balloons to Compound Thy Confusion, Lettered by Artie Simek!

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Thor takes Harris Hobbs to Asgard, unaware of the chaos currently running rampant within the city. As they walk down the rainbow bridge, Hobbs is overtaken by the insane beauty of the city. For the first time, Lee and Kirby take a beat to really show off Asgard as magnificent metropolis floating in the sky, a home fit for a race of gods.  It is a lovely moment.

Soon Thor and Hobbs discover the fight underway. Creel and Odin are going at it. Odin is absorbing Creels blows with his Scepter of Supremacy and the result is a stalemate. Hobbs keeps his distance, naturally, but Thor wants to jump in.  Odin insists that Thor stay out of it.

Creel gets really wild in his villainous boasts. He seems to be fumbling toward an idea of absorbing the entire universe until the entire universe is him. He isn’t very articulate, but I think that this is his villainous goal, which is a pretty great one, I have to say.

Odin seems unable to stop the Absorbing Man, and finally treasonous Loki reveals himself as the mastermind of this insurrection. A dismayed Odin hands Loki his scepter, but Creel has decided he has become too powerful to play the supporting villain.

The two miscreants fight over the scepter, but now that Loki has incriminated himself, Odin holds back no longer. He laughs at the notion that his power resided in some mere stick, and he hurls Loki and Creel into the emptiness of space.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, there is the matter of the Norn Stone that Thor dropped in issue #120.   It was dropped near the Temple of Darkness, which was ambiguously in either Asia or Africa.  The narration now reveals that the temple was in Asia, so naturally the dropped stone is discovered by a stereotypical African witch doctor, complete with mask.

The Norn Stone turns the witch doctor into a hulking beast, who begins attacking communist oppressors, which one supposes is a good thing, but the power quickly goes to his head. He proclaims himself to be now known as the Demon, as he begins to amass an army with the intent of overrunning the world.

Unaware of the threat of the Demon, Thor takes Hobbs home and erases his memory of Asgard.

First Appearance: The Demon

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

The Mighty Thor! “Where Mortals Fear to Tread!”

Written with compassion by: Stan Lee/ Drawn with comprehension by: Jack Kirby/ Inked with competence: by Vince Colletta/ Lettered for compensation by: Artie Simek

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Thor quickly recovers from the Absorbing Man’s attack last issue and resumes their fight. This time Thor decides to try something new: fighting skillfully. This does the trick and soon he has Creel on the ropes. However, before the fight can be decisively won, Loki uses an Attractor Beam belonging to Ularic to beam Creel straight to him in Asgard.

Despite the fact that Loki gave Creel his absorbing powers (issue #114) this is their first meeting.   Loki establishes that he is more powerful than Creel and promises to share his dominion of the universe in return for his service. Creel agrees to Loki’s terms and begins to terrorize Asgard, absorbing the spikiness of maces, and the pointiness of spears.

No warrior in Creel’s path can stop his progress as he fights his way into Odin’s throne room. Shocked at the intrusion, Odin shoots a cosmic bolt at the villain, not realizing Creel’s nature. Creel absorbs the cosmic power and prepares to redirect it at the Asgardian king.

Meanwhile on Earth, Jane Foster spots Thor outside the apartment building in which she is being held.  She starts a gas explosion to shatter her bulletproof glass window, which breaks the glass and gets Thor’s attention, but knocks her unconscious in the process.

Thor finds her on the floor, and transforms to Blake, reasoning that she may need medical attention (which suggests that in his Thor form, our hero does not have access to Blake’s medical knowledge. Curious.). At the moment of transformation, there is a camera flash! Camera in hand, the hooded man reveals himself at last. It is Harris Hobbs, that reporter guy!

Hobbs deduced there was a connection between Blake and Thor and kidnapped Jane Foster in order to prove it. Before discussing this further with Hobbs, Blake takes Jane to a hospital, arranging to meet Hobbs later that afternoon. Don and Jane share a tender moment of reunion before Thor must take off to confront the reporter.

Thor and Hobbs meet at a lonely, prearranged spot. Hobbs seems to want to use the photo as leverage for blackmail. He taunts Thor, telling the god that he knows that Thor has sworn never to harm a human.

That pisses Thor off something fierce, and he creates a wind vortex sucking the two of them into the time of the dinosaurs. Thor threatens to drop Hobbs off in front of a Tyrannosaurus and go home, as that would technically not break his pledge as it would only indirectly be murder. Before Hobbs can respond, Thor takes him millions of years into the future, as a long-abandoned Earth is about to collide with another dying planet, which sucks for the new intelligent life that has evolved on the planet.

Hobbs begs Thor to return him to present day. Thor does return him and proceeds to make a deal with Hobbs. Hobbs will destroy the picture, and in exchange Thor will take Hobbs to see Asgard. This is pretty magnanimous. Thor seems to have forgotten that this guy kidnapped Jane Foster and also that it is forbidden for Aesir to bring mortals to Asgard.

First Appearance: The New Earth Race

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

The Mighty Thor! “The Passion! The Power! The Pride”
Another towering triumph for Stan Lee, Writer! Another fabulous feat for Jack Kirby, Illustrator! Another amazing achievement for Vice Colletta, Delineator! Another day, another dollar for Artie Simek, Letterer!

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Thor and the Absorbing Man fight a bunch. At one point the Absorbing Man becomes, like 50 feet tall, I think by absorbing the tallness of New York’s buildings?   Eventually, Thor saves a baby which distracts him sufficiently to be knocked out by Creel.

Meanwhile, Jane Foster is being held captive by a hooded man who seems to bear her no ill will. His voice sounds vaguely familiar to Foster, but she has no idea who he could be, and neither do I.

Days of Thunder – April 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #115

The Mighty Thor! “The Vengeance of the Thunder God”
Story by: Stan Lee The Sage of the Marvel Age! Penciling by: Jack Kirby The Rage of the Marvel Age! Inking by: Frankie Ray For His Wage in the Marvel Age! Lettering by: Artie Simek From his Cage in the Marvel Age!

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Thor and Loki have one hell of a fight. Thor’s might and Loki’s magic prove to be an even match as they batter each other about. Perennial hostage Jane Foster cannot help but wonder “It’s like some mad nightmare!! How did I become a pawn in this battle of Titans?”

Before the fight can conclude, Odin appears before them, demanding an explanation as Jane faints into Thor’s arms. Loki tells his father that Thor has brought Jane Foster to Asgard in order to grant her immortality. Thor protests his innocence and so Odin decrees that there shall be a trial to settle the matter. Thor agrees but asks for and is given 48 hours leave so that he may finish his battle with Creel.

When Thor looks for Creel, he finds local police moving in on the super-powered criminal, now known as the Absorbing Man. They don’t want Thor getting in their way but Thor invokes his Avengers status, which grants him A-1 priority in this situation. I don’t know exactly what A-1 priority is, but the police are forced to sit this one out.

Thor and Creel fight a bunch more until eventually Thor spins his hammer at cyclotronic speed, creating a cloud of helium. When Creel absorbs the gas, he cannot help but float upward into space. Thor assures the police as well as reporter Harris Hobbs that this will not kill him.  That eventually he will lose his absorbing powers, return to Earth unharmed, and finish his prison sentence. Thor’s scenario seems unlikely.

Thor returns to Jane Foster’s home to gaze at his still-unconscious love one last time before returning to Asgard to face his trial.

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