Tag Archives: Heimdall

Days of Thunder – December 1978 The Defenders #66

“War of the Dead!”
“Val in Valhalla Part One”
A “Journey Into Mystery” by Dave Kraft, Story/ Ed Hannigan, Art/ Bruce Patterson, Inks/ Elaine Heinl, Letters/ Bob Sharen, Colors/ Bob Hall, Editor/ Jim Shooter, Editor-In-Chief

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Valkryie has been a member of the Defenders for several years now. Their roster currently consists of Valkryie, Nighthawk, Hulk, and Hellcat.

Valkryie has now been summoned to Valhalla by Hela. On her way there, she passes through Asgard, greeting Heimdall as she passes. The warrior known as Valkryie that possesses the body of the mortal woman Barbara Norris has never been to Asgard before, and yet it seems that this is a return. It is most strange.

As she continues to Valhalla, she encounters the Three Fates, which seem to be distinct beings separate from the Norns, despite similarities. The Three Fates, Skuld, Verandi, and Urdur, refer to Valkyrie as being the long-lost leader of the Valkryior.   They then  show Val what her future offers.

Val peers into the Spring of Mimir at the base of Yggdrasil. She sees herself in Valhalla, caught in the middle of a civil war. She sees herself struck down by an unknown foe. She sees a challenger to Hela’s rule, one who threatens to bring a reign of hopelessness upon all he touches. Finally she sees herself banished to Niffleheim, realm of the Thrice-Damned, plunging into unceasing Witch-Fire.

Afterward she resumes her trip, soon arriving  in Valhalla. There, she is greeted not only by Hela, but by her allies Harokin and Tyr.

It seems that Valkyrie is not actually a false persona created by the Enchantress. In truth, she is Brunhilde, the leader of the Valkryior, an army of warriors who fight to protect Valhalla.  It is they alone who decide who may dwell in Valhalla. Apparently, the Enchantress either mistakenly captured Brunhilde when she created the Valkyrie persona, or was previously lying about it.

Hela, ruler of Valhalla, who has just finished leading an army against Asgard, now leads a different army in the underworld. She is facing a challenge to her rule by one named Ollerus the Unmerciful. For this battle, she needs of Brunhilde as a general.

Brunhilde’s memories seem to have fully returned. She speaks  with Svava, one of her Valkryies, about how Valhalla has fallen into desolation under Hela’s rule. They both lament this change, but both acknowledge Hela’s authority.

Ollerus has two lieutenants in Casiolena and Poppo the Cunning. Of course, Casiolena was killed by the Enchantress in issue #4 of the Defenders, which presumably is why she is now an inhabitant of Hel. Poppo, is presumably similarly deceased. Both are sorcerers.  Poppo is also a thief. The three of them plan a trap for Valkryie.

In the Pass of Peril, the army of Hela meets the army of Ollerus. The battle is savage, but eventually Val is lured away to a dungeon. Inside the dungeon, she is shocked to find the immortal body of Brunhilde, who’s appearance is identical to that of the mortal body of Barbara Norriss! Taken aback, Val touches the body and there is a loud crack and a flash of light. When it clears, one Valkyrie is unconscious and the other stands, claiming to be the madwoman Barbara Norriss. She stands alongside Ollerus and his allies.

First Appearance: Ollerus the Unmerciful, Poppo the Cunning, Svava, Skuld, Verandi, Urdur

 

Days of Thunder – September 1978 Thor Annual #7

“And Ever– The Eternals!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Ernie Chan, Illustrators/ Glynis Wein, colorist/ Tom Orzechowski, letterer / Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Many of the stories to feature Thor outside of the main magazine have proven difficult to pin down when they happen in relationship to those stories, which tend to leave little room for downtime.  This story does not have that problem, explicitly taking place in the middle of The Mighty Thor #275.  This issue features the encounter between Thor and Mimir that was alluded to in that issue.

All the recent hubub regarding the end of the world has Thor thinking about how the world began.  The Asgardians have legends about such things, but so do the Olympians, as well as the mortals on Earth.  What about evolution?  It seems that he does not remember that he himself gave life to the first humans on Midgard.

Thor is musing on all of  these topics, but they are not what he asks Mimir about.  Instead, he wants to know if Ragnarok is going to take out Midgard when it goes, or if only Asgard is to be wiped out.  The full scope is not entirely clear.

Mimir tells Thor that he should already know how Earth is to be destroyed, but that he has forgotten.  Mimir then cites the events of Thor Annual #5, which goddammit, means I have to square that story with the other Thor storytelling that has already transpired.

At any rate, a thousand years ago, Thor was wandering around, far away from Asgard, when he stumbled upon a prisoner locked away in the middle of nowhere.  The prisoner said that its name was Dromedan, Master of Minds and Men, and that if Thor freed it, he would be granted wealth, women, and worlds to conquer.  Thor was ensorcelled by the prisoner, and tempted to free it, but he ultimately resisted and left it imprisoned.

Afterward, Thor went to Mexico and tried to get the natives to worship him.  This was met with hostility.  He soon ran into four colorfully dressed white men calling themselves “Eternals.”  These men, Druig, Virako, Ajak, and Valkin, asked to parlay with Thor, away from the “primitives.”

The Eternals explained that eons ago, powerful space gods known as Celestials had visited Midgard and performed breeding experiments on the local ape life to create three different breeds of intelligent life:  The Humans, The Eternals, and the Deviants.  At some point later, the Celestials wiped out their creations, forcing what people remained to rebuild their civilizations from scratch.  Now, the Eternals somehow sense that the Celestials are preparing to return for a third time.

Thor takes all of this at face value, but is shaken.  He asks if the first humans on Midgard were named “Aske and Embla”.  They do not know.  This leaves room for multiple interpretations.  Perhaps the Celestials actually only created the Deviants and the Eternals, while Thor created the humans with a branch of Yggrdasill.  Perhaps Yggrdasill served as some sort of catalyst for the Celestials.

It is also worth noting that the Eternals perceive Asgard and Olympus as existing in parallel universes to their own.

At any rate, Thor helps his new friends the Eternals subjugate the Aztecs.  They scare the humans into worshiping them so that these “primitives” might be “civilized”.  After a while, Thor gets bored and takes off for a while, before coming back and helping his buddies give the Mayans the same treatment.

Eventually, Druig turns traitor and releases Dromedan, who is a member of another terrestrial sub-race known as the  Mutates.  He also enlists the service of Tutinax the Mountain Mover, who is also a Mutate.  Druig wants to  enslave humans, not just civilize them.  And so he and his allies fight Thor and his allies.

Virako dies in the fight. But in the end Thor’s friends win the fight.  Afterward, Valkin uses mind powers to erase Thor’s memory of ever encountering the Eternals.  It is not clear why, but this  encounter was part of what the Eternals refer to as the Third Cataclysm.

Now, a thousand years later, Thor remembers.  Mimir informs him that the Celestials now walk the Earth so that they might judge it in fifty years time,  and that depending on how they judge it, they may wipe out civilization again.  Mimir implies, but does not outright state, that this will be the end of Midgard, not Ragnarok.

After a frustrated and despondent Thor leaves, Mimir takes a moment to delight in the secret knowledge that “The destiny of Thor be e’er entwined with that of his adoptive world– for reasons only Odin and Mimir do know!  And Odin, poor soul, be pledged ne’er to tell!”

First Appearance: Virako

Days of Thunder – August September 1978 What If Jan Foster Had Found the Hammer of Thor? #10

“What if Jane Foster Had Found The Hammer of Thor?
Don Glut, Writer/ Rick Hoberg, Artist/ Dave Hunt, Inker/ C. Gafford, Colorist/ Carol Lay, Letterer/ Roy Thomas, Editor/ J. Shooter, Consulting Editor

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“What If?” is a comic book magazine that reveals how events would have played out for the superheroes of Marvel, if major events had unfolded differently. This issue examines what would have happened if it Doctor Donald Blake had brought along Nurse Jane Foster on the fateful vacation where Blake originally found Mjolnir.

In this version of events, Blake and Foster are together when the Stone Men From Saturn attack, and after Blake drops his walking stick, it is Foster and not Blake who ends up trapped in a cave with the gnarled stick that is actually Mjolnir in disguise. She picks it up and taps it on the ground, initiating the transformation into Thor that was intended for Blake. Evidently, despite the elaborate scheming of Odin designed to turn Blake into Thor, Jane Foster is herself worthy of the mantle of Thor and so she transforms into a female incarnation of Thor.

Jane, much like Blake in his early days as Thor, has none of the memories or knowledge of Thor. She decides to call herself by the arguably more feminine name of “Thordis.” Thordis makes short work of the Stone Men from Saturn, rescuing Blake.

In the weeks to come, Thordis fights the same threats that Thor had faced in his early crimefighting career and handles herself as well, if not better than Thor had in the default timeline. Not needing a walking-stick, she has carved the stick into a wooden hair-brush that she keeps in her purse.

Eventually, Thordis is summoned to Asgard. Odin is shocked and appalled to discover that it is a mortal woman that has come to wield Mjolnir, and there is enough wiggle room in the text to say that his concern is not over her gender, but over the fact that she is a random non-Blake mortal. Odin banishes Thordis from Asgard.

Sif takes this turn of events poorly. She loves Thor and is now worried that he will never return to Asgard.  She travels to Midgard and proceeds to seduce Doctor Donald Blake, who has drifted apart from Nurse Foster ever since she began her career as a superhero. Over time, Blake and Sif fall in love. Sif uses magic to heal Blake’s leg.

Eventually, the Mangog attempts to unsheath the Odinsword. In the face of Ragnarok both Sif and Thordis return to Asgard. Sif allows Blake to accompany her. Thordis fights the Mangog before waking Odin from his Odinsleep with Mjolnir, allowing the All-Father to undo the Mangog.

In the aftermath, Odin forces Thordis to give Blake her mystic hammer, restoring the doctor to his natural state as Thor. However, Jane has won the respect of Odin and he gifts her with the godhead. He then starts putting the moves on her, and eventually the two are wed. It’s pretty damn weird.

 

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.

Thor 274

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 – 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 1974 The Mighty Thor #223

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

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

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

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

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

 

Days of Thunder – October 1972 The Mighty Thor #204

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Appearance: Karl Sarron

 

Days of Thunder – September 1972 The Mighty Thor #203

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

Thor 203

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

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

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

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

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

First Appearance: Chi Lo, Carter Dyam

 

Days of Thunder – August 1972 The Mighty Thor #202

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

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

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

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

Thor Chess

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

First Appearance: Jackson Kimbal

 

Days of Thunder – July 1972 The Mighty Thor #201

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Appearance: Kamorr the Small

 

Days of Thunder – June 1972 The Mighty Thor #200

“Beware! If this be… Ragnarok!”
Story & Art by Stan (The Man) Lee and Big John Buscema/ J. Verpoorten, embellishing/ Artie Simek, lettering/ Note to bibliophile: Prologue & Epilogue by Gerry Conway, writer * John Buscema, artist

Thor 200

The bulk of this special 200th issue is a retelling of the Ragnarok story originally told in issues #127 and #128. The action is much the same as in those issues, although this telling makes it clear that Balder, Hogun and Volstagg will fight in the final battle. Although Stan Lee scripted both tellings, this is a markedly inferior version, lacking the poetry of the original.

There is also a bookend to this story, featuring the Norns: Klothos, Laecius, and the third one not-yet-named, but probably named “Atropos”.  From the World’s End, the three hags use the Twilight Well as a scrying pool to watch Pluto’s invasion of Asgard. They are concerned that Pluto is about to kill Thor and disrupt his destiny, which is to fight and die at the time of Ragnarok. To ensure that Ragnarok unfolds as it should, Klothos  sends a bolt of comic energy to shatter Pluto’s axe before it strikes the killing blow against Thor.

 

Days of Thunder – March 1971 The Mighty Thor #186

“Worlds at War!”
Story: Stan Lee/ Illustration: John Buscema/ Embellishment: Joe Sinnott/ Lettering: Artie Simek

Thor 186

As Doctor Blake is menaced by one of Infinity’s lackeys, Odin intervenes, blasting the lackey, giving Blake the time he needs for Mjolnir to return. Which it does, still in hammer form. One assumes as the hammer was in Asgard when the sixty-second mark passed, the enchantment did not trigger for it, despite the odd circumstances that caused Thor to Blake-revert.

Re-enThored, the thunder god dispatches Infinity’s guardian and then follows the Silent One’s motioning. The Silent One leads Thor to Hela, goddess of Death. Hela is scarier than ever as she now becomes the first character in this book to ever speak in sentences ending in a period instead of an exclamation point. For years, ever single statement and command has been issued as an exclamatory but she who represents cold, inevitable death need not exclaim.  It is a great, subtle thing.

Hela, who has wished to claim Thor for some time, no longer intends to give Thor a choice in the matter. She tells him that he is part of a larger mystical plan and must die.  She then drains life itself out of Thor, withering him into a frail husk. She leaves his spent shell to die.

The Silent One is moved by this encounter, and sheds a single tear before touching Thor. Instantly Thor is somehow restored, but the Silent One falls to the ground, dead. He has taken the death meant for Thor.

On Asgard, the sword-measuring device reveals that the Odin-Sword is continuing to slowly unsheathe. Sif and Balder guard it from Zombie Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun, still under Infinity’s control. Meanwhile planet Earth is ripping itself apart with floods earthquakes and fires. The end of the world seems inevitable.

Thor finally catches up with his father, only to find himself too late. Odin has met Infinity and Infinity has defeated him. Odin’s will now belongs to Infinity and as such, he intends to destroy his son!

 

Days of Thunder – February 1971 The Mighty Thor #185

“In the Grip of Infinity!”
Story: Stan Lee/ Illustration: John Buscema/ Delineation: Sam Grainger/ Lettering: Sam Rosen

Thor 185

Thor follows his father to the World Beyond, a place of shadows and swirling mists. Thor battles a strange sentry, fighting on behalf of an unnamed master. Thor asks if that master’s name is “Infinity” and the sentry slumps to the ground, as if dead.

Thor senses the presence of Infinity, which seems to beyond physicality. It dismisses Thor as a non-entity and then crushes another planet in its hands to make a point. As Thor rages against this foe that he cannot hit, the Silent One, stern and mute, witnesses it all.

Thor, frustrated and out of his depth, tries to attack the Silent One for remaining as silent as one would expect. However, he finds himself unable to make physical contact with this watcher. Eventually, the Silent One points Thor toward the dark truth: Those who’s worlds are destroyed by Infinity are not killed, but end up joining the World Beyond, where they become sparkless servants of Infinity, without a will of their own.

Amongst the ranks of these mindless servants are Hogun, Fandral and Volstagg. They would attack Thor in the name of Infinity. Thor spins and flings Mjolnir to create a mighty vortex that pulls his friends through a warp in space back to Asgard.

The hammer does not return to Thor within the sixty-second window, and so bizarre are things that even though he is not on Earth, the hammer’s enchantment is still triggered and he reverts to Blake. He knows that the hammer will return to his current location, but as he waits, Infinity’s servant returns to life, ready to attack frail Doctor Blake!

Meanwhile, on Earth, there are unnatural storms and portents, while on Asgard, Sif and the Vizir use a special tool to measure how many inches the Odin-Sword has withdrawn from its sheathe. It is slowly but surely unsheathing and if Odin does not return, there will be no one who can re-sheathe it. Ragnarok looms large.

 

Days of Thunder – August 1969 The Mighty Thor #167

“This World Renounced!”

By Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Vincent J. Colletta, Embellishment/ Artie Simek, Lettering

Thor 167

With Thor being sentenced to search for Galactus, Balder decides to return to Earth to protect it on behalf of Thor. This is observed by Karnilla, who is using her sorcery screen to spy on the object of her heart. Loki is visiting her,  watching the proceedings with interest, when Haag brings the queen a sculpture of Balder, fashioned out of mystic Enchanti-Clay. Loki sees an angle, and grabs the sculpture. Whatever fate befalls the sculpture, befalls Balder, and so Loki clouts the doll on the head, which badly injures Balder on Midgard.

Before Thor heads out on his quest to seek Galactus, he petitions Odin for the chance to set his affairs in order on Earth. This request is granted and Thor returns to Earth, where he soon finds his friend, now badly injured thanks to Loki.   Naturally, he transforms into the foremost expert of Asgardian medicine on Earth, Doctor Donald Blake. Immediately, Loki attacks Blake, grabbing his walking stick. No sleight of hand this time.

Loki is lording over Blake’s powerlessness, when the image of Odin appears before him, compelling Loki to return the cane. Loki refuses; he has rightfully won the cane in battle by the rules of the Code Imperial. Odin counters by saying whoever holds Mjolnir must search for Galactus. That is enough to get Loki to return the stick and depart.

Blake performs a brilliant life-saving surgery on Balder before departing to begin his quest. As he leaves, his doctor colleagues comment on Blake.  He is brilliant but he is strange and so rarely to be found.

This is Vince Colletta’s last issue of Thor. For the past 50 odd issues, Vince the Prince has delineated the art of King Kirby. He’s not remembered as one of the great Kirby inkers, nor should he be, (Such is the power of Kirby that “Kirby Inkers” is a specific topic of discussion and debate) but Kirby’s Thor is in a very real way Colletta’s Thor. His “scratchy” style on Kirby’s pencils helped give Thor a different look than Kirby’s other Marvel output.

First Appearance: Enchanti-Clay


Days of Thunder – February 1969 The Silver Surfer #4

“The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny!”
By Stan Lee and John Buscema/ Sal Buscema, Inker/ Artie Simek, Letterer/ Perhaps the greatest fantasy saga of all time.

Silver Surfer 4

Within the shared universe that Thor resides, there is a powerful entity known as the Silver Surfer. Some time ago, on the planet Zen-La lived a man by the name of Norrin Radd. When the cosmic devourer Galactus came to consume his world, he made a bargain. Galactus would spare his world in exchange for his servitude.

As part of that service, Radd would attempt to point Galactus away from eating inhabited worlds when possible. In order to attend to his duties, Radd was encased in a powerful silvery substance, given a floating surfboard, and granted the “Power Cosmic”  which imbued him with vaguely defined super powers.

Some time later, the Surfer led Galactus to Earth.  On Earth, he was convinced by a chance encounter with a human woman to turn against his master. This played little part in causing Galactus to spare the Earth but when Galactus left the planet he exiled the Surfer to Earth, leaving him trapped by an invisible barrier. Ever since, he has spent the bulk of his time trying to escape the planet, reflecting on the barbarism of the human populace, and being manipulated by powerful supervillains, including someone who appears to be Satan himself.

This is whom Loki has chosen as his most recent catspaw against Thor. Loki, still being served by Toag, convinces the Surfer that Thor is an evil brute who intends on usurping Odin’s crown. He takes the skyrider of the spaceways to Asgard, before fading into the background. The Surfer issues a challenge to Thor, who is eating with his friends at an elaborate banquet. Thor good-naturedly accepts the Surfer’s challenge, inviting the alien to join him and his comrades in their meal, beforehand.

Loki astrally goads the two into fighting, subtly lending the Surfer his own power, for not even the Power Cosmic is a match for the power of Thor.  Although Odin shrugs off the fight as being inconsequential, all of Thor’s Asgardian friends support him and come to his defense. Eventually, the Surfer intuits that Thor seems to be on the level, which means Loki was probably lying. Outraged, Loki returns the Surfer to Earth.

This bimonthly comic has a February cover date, but due to a quirk in comic book publishing, was released the same month as monthly titles with a January cover date. This lets it slot in between Thor issues #159 and #160, but would mean Thor visits Asgard and returns to Earth between those two stories.

First Appearance: The Silver Surfer

 

Days of Thunder – December 1968 The Mighty Thor #159

“Who is the Real Don Blake? The Answer at Last!”
A Stan Lee Jack Kirby Production/ Inking: Vince Colletta/ Lettering: Sam Rosen

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After Doctor Blake performs some surgery, he astrally projects himself as Thor toward Asgard. Thor has not done this before, but this is an ability that we have seen, in different ways, performed by Odin and Loki. Once Thor gets Odin’s attention, it is Odin and Doctor Blake who have a conversation.

Odin decides to finally tell the truth to Blake.  Some time ago, a young Thor had become arrogant and reckless, breaking treaties and starting petty barroom brawls with the like of Gondolff, champion arm-wrestler. Odin decided that Thor needed to be taught humility. And so it came to pass that Thor was transformed into a infirm mortal with no memory of his true nature.

Donald Blake’s life began on the first day of medical school. He believed himself to be a young, lame medical student.  He believed himself to be human.  He was set on a path dedicated to the healing of others, and given a weak, unassuming form. Such was the nature of the spell on Blake that he never thought about his life prior to medical school, never wondered about his lack of a family or any of the other things that make a human life.

Eventually, Odin left the mighty Uru hammer Mjolnir in a cave for Blake to find, and gradually, he earned the right to become Thor again.  Now he knows the truth, and presumably has no real need to become Doctor Blake.  Although it seems he has grown attached to the Blake shell, false as it may be.

First Appearance: Gondolff

 

Days of Thunder – September 1968 The Mighty Thor #156

“The Hammer and the Holocaust”
Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby have created yon epic enchantment just for thee! Embellished by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered by: Sam Rosen

Thor 156

This is the second issue of Thor titled “The Hammer and the Holocaust”. It does not appear to be a reference to anything.  Presumably Stan just liked the phrase.

Thor fights the Mangog with all the power he has, including the power of the storm. He pours so much lightning into the area that the ground turns molten. He batters the beast with blinding rain and pounding wind, but he only slows his foe, he cannot stop it.

Meanwhile the Colonizers have sent the Recorder to Asgard to bear witness to these events, which may be the end of all things.

 

Days of Thunder – March 1968 Tales to Astonish #101: The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible Hulk “Where Walk the Immortals”
Panoramically Produced by Stan Lee & Marie Severin/ Inking: Frank Giacoia/ Lettering Artie Simek

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This is the final issue of the comic magazine Tales to Astonish to serve as a double-feature, one story starring Namor, the Sub-Mariner, and the other starring the giant green man-monster known as the Incredible Hulk. It is the Hulk story we turn our attention towards, as he once again becomes a catspaw for scheming Loki.

Loki of course, previously tried to use the Hulk to attack Thor, in what would lead to the formation of the Avengers. This time, his plan is to let the Hulk loose within the halls of  Asgard to distract Odin from the threats Thor is facing on Earth.

Naturally, Hulk first encounters vigilant Heimdall as he crosses the Rainbow Bridge. Heimdall attacks with his sword, the Sabre of Sorcery. The attack slows but does not stop the Hulk, who defeats Heimdall by slamming his fists on the bridge so hard that not only does the noise jar the glittering guardsman, but the bridge itself quakes, sending Heimdall tumbling.

Hulk next encounters the trio of grim Hogun, dashing Fandral, and voluminous Volstagg. He defeats the three of them, in part by tossing around their horses. During the course of the fight, the Asgardians realize that Hulk is not an aggressor but merely displaced.  Soon after, they manage to calm him down.

The three friends take the Hulk to seek the wisdom of Oldar the Oracle. This involves crossing a bottomless chasm. Hulk passes up the opportunity to share a saddle with Fandral insisting he can leap the chasm with nothing but the power of his legs. Midway across the chasm, Loki turns the Hulk into his mortal guise of Doctor Bruce Banner, which apparently stops his forward momentum.  He plummets into the void.

First Appearance: Sabre of Sorcery

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

Annual 2

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 – April 1966: The Mighty Thor #127 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Gods The Meaning of… “Ragnarok!”
Script: Stan Lee/ Pencilling: Jack Kirby/ Delineation: Vince Colletta/ Lettering: Artie Simek/ We have spoken!!

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The crew of the Odinship have returned home to Asgard.  They listen to Volla the Prophetess foretell Ragnarok that is to come.

Here is what will happen:

1. An everlasting frost storm will cover the land.
2. As imminent doom approaches, brother turns against brother.
3. Some Asgardians buckle under the pressure and join the forces of evil in an ultimate act of betrayal. They will be led by Loki.
4. To defend Asgard from this assault, the Asgardians will shatter Bifrost, forever destroying the road to Earth.
5. Heimdell will be felled as he sounds the alarm one final time.
6. Odin will lead the final charge.  Amongst his followers include Thor and Fandral.
7. Thor and Loki battle one final time as their world is consumed.
8. At last shall appear the Midgard Serpent, the ultimate destroyer.

First Appearance: Volla the Prophetess, The Midgard Serpent

Days of Thunder – April 1966: The Mighty Thor #127

The Mighty Thor! “The Hammer and the Holocaust”
Possibly the most magnificent chronicle of Thor ever presented, by… Stan Lee, writer/ Jack Kirby, artist/ Vince Colletta, delineator/ Sam Rosen, Letterer

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Spurred forward by Odin, Jane tries to be there for Thor, to let him know that she loves him no matter what. Thor will have none of it. He will not allow a woman to feel sympathy for him, let alone pity. Thor is a total jerk.

Thor storms off a second time, but before Jane can go after him again, she sees a man get hit by a car. She has no choice but to set aside the  pursuit of the man she loves, so that she may  use her medical training to help this man. Her choice to help this stranger at the cost of losing the man she loves is a more heroic act than any Thor has performed in this book to date.

Thor returns to Asgard, ready to turn himself in for his actions in the previous issues. When he arrives he finds Heimdall frozen in place by ethereal energy, a type of energy that only Odin can control. He soon finds Balder and many others in a similar state. When Odin gave his Odin-power to Seidring the Merciless, Seidring found he could not bear to return it. Seidring is now mad with power, trying to establish himself as the new king of Asgard.

Seidring tries to recruit Thor to his side, but the thunder god will not have it. Half-powered Thor throws himself into battle against Odin-powered Seidring. Thor knows he cannot win, and indeed is battered badly by Seidring, but he has a plan. He makes his way to the Odinsword and hugs it tightly. He tells Seidring that he would rather see it all end than bow before Seidring and that he will pull the sword if the Odin-power is not returned to the rightful owner.

Seidring gives up and it is a sad defeat. Odin lets him wander away, perhaps out of deference to their past friendship, perhaps out of worry for his son who has passed out from the fight.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Stardust studios is preparing for the arrival of Hercules. They are preparing to make a movie about his legendary exploits and have hired a special producer for the film. That producer is Pluto, lord of the underworld. Pluto hates being ruler of the netherworld but he has a plan to free him of his obligations. That plan seems to be to get Hercules to sign a Hollywood contract with a “also you have to rule the underworld” clause in it. He also has installed a strange Kirby gizmo in the studio and enlisted the aid of the as-of-yet unnamed queen of the Amazons, so there may be more to this plan..

First appearance: Pluto, The Queen of the Amazons

Days of Thunder – February 1966: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #125

The Mighty Thor! “When Meet the Immortals!”
Bombastically written by Stan Lee/ Brilliantly drawn by Jack Kirby/ Beautifully Inked by Vince Colletta/ Bashfully lettered by Artie Simek

jim 125

Thor easily dispatches the Demon and his army in the first few pages of this issue.  Let that be a warning to any other military that Thor decides he does not like. Everyone should be afraid of Thor.

Thor takes the errant Norn Stone back to a very angry Odin on Asgard. Thor has crossed a line by telling Jane his secret in defiance of Odin. Now Thor is to face the Ritual of Steel, and if he survives, he is never to set foot on Earth again.

The Ritual of Steel apparently is fancy talk for a shit-ton of Asgardians whuppin on another one. Thor fights an Asgardian horde, shouting his defiance all the way, “Even a thunder god has the right to love!”

While Thor fights for his love on Asgard, Hercules is playing a guitar and hitting on ladies in a supper club in New York. Everyone is having a good time when Pulp Fiction-style, the wrong robbers rob the wrong diner at the wrong time. Things quickly escalate and soon Herc is throwing lampposts at cars.

Jane Foster sees the hubbub from her hospital room and assumes that Thor is at the center of it. She leaves the hospital to check it out. Upon her arrival at the scene, Hercules wastes no time in trying to seduce the young nurse.

Thor, meanwhile, has fought his way to the Rainbow Bridge where he meets Heimdall in battle. None shall prevent him from being with the woman he loves. Thor creates a sonic boom with his hammer which hits Heimdall’s sensitive ears very very hard and the guard crumples in pain.

Thor returns to Earth, slightly late for his appointment, only to discover that Jane is drinking sodas at the soda parlor with another god! Jane uses Herc to make Thor jealous, which after what he just went through leaves him pretty p.o.ed.

Hercules is pleased to see his old sparring partner but when Thor brushes him off to have a quarrel with Jane, he is mightily offended. He suckerpunches Thor who decides that maybe beating on Hercules is exactly what he needs.

First appearance: The Ritual of Steel

Days of Thunder – November 1964: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #110

The Mighty Thor! “Every Hand Against Him!”
Spectacularly written by: Stan Lee/ Magnificently drawn by: Jack Kirby/ Powerfully Inked by: Chic Stone/ Eventually lettered by: Art Simek

Loki has somehow freed himself from Asgardian imprisonment and is now loose on Earth. Having nothing better to do, he posts bail for those losers Mister Hyde and The Cobra so he can magically double the strength of their powers and turn them against his brother. Even with these two jokers’ powers doubled, and Thor’s powers ostensibly still halved, this does not seem like a fight they can win.

Loki tells the criminals that the key to defeating Thor is to kidnap Nurse Jane Foster. The logic of this plan confounds Mister Hyde and Cobra, despite the fact they have both separately kidnapped Jane before. Apparently, Loki can’t just tell them that Blake is Thor due to an unbreakable edict from Odin.

Meanwhile Don and Jane continue to be all touchy-flirty. It’s nice in a nauseating sort of way, but as they close up shop for the day, the Cobra grabs Jane out of a window.  When Thor confronts Cobra and Hyde, they tell him to meet them in 24 hours.

Back on Asgard, Loki is once again showing Odin that Thor will stay his hand to protect Jane Foster. Odin appears before Thor to once again yell at his willful son. This time he is so mad that he banishes Thor from Asgard. Either he forgot that Thor has already been banished from Asgard since Journey Into Mystery #101, or maybe when he told Thor to come back to Asgard with him in Journey #104, that unbanished him, despite Thor refusing to return.

This banishment so angers Thor that it gives him the clarity to see that Loki told those other villains to kidnap his sort-of girlfriend. Enraged, he flies straight to Asgard, despite having just been either banished or double-banished.

Heimdall tries to stop Thor but unlike last time he tried to block Thor’s entrance to Asgard (#101 again), this time Thor pulls out some super hammer whirlwind that he dubs “The Winds of a Thousand Worlds” which momentarily stuns Heimdall. Thor fights his way through a bunch more warriors before finding Loki. Loki plays it cool, denying all involvement but lets his brother know that Jane is in a lowly estate in Jersey.

That’s when Odin barges in ready to beat the insolence out of Thor. Thor tries to explain that he did what he did to defend an innocent. Odin is wiling to suspend his judgment as he casts Thor back to Earth using his mere will.

Thor enters the house that Hyde and The Cobra share. The Cobra throws a tear gas grenade at Thor, which apparently was a good choice because Thor is apparently completely vulnerable to tear gas. As he thrashes about he accidentally sets off an explosion, doing a great deal of damage to the house. Thor and the villains are unharmed but Jane got hit by a great deal of falling rubble and has been terribly injured!
Thor’s beloved is near death, and he cries to Asgard begging to deaf ears that she be saved. Desperate, Thor spins his hammer to create a time warp, which seems to be a variation of his power to create space warps. He envelops the house, making the fabric of time stand still, suspending Jane between life and death, even as Hyde and Cobra approach to continue the fight.

To be continued

First Appearance: The Winds of a Thousand Worlds, Time Warp

Days of Thunder – June 1964: Journey Into Mystery With The Mighty Thor #105 part 2

Tales of Asgard: Home of the Mighty Gods “When Heimdall Failed”
Written By… Stan Lee/ Illustrated By… Jack Kirby/ Inking… Geo. Bell/ Lettering… Art Simek

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King Brimer and Queen Nedra of the Storm Giants want to attack Asgard but the task is seemingly impossible.  How can they launch an offensive while Asgard is guarded by All-Seeing, All-Hearing Heimdall?   Nedra has a plan.

She summons a Vanna, a fairy-like creature of the air. He can turn himself invisible, and move silently, so Nedra commands him to sneak past Heimdall and scout the secrets of Asgard. He does so, although Heimdall feels compelled to swing his sword as it passes.

Inside Asgard, the Vanna surveys the military forces of Asgard, including a sweet-ass bulldozer tank that is pure Kirby magic. He is spying on Odin himself when Heimdall reports that he suspects that danger is near. Odin trusts his guard and he commands the unseen presence to reveal itself. Odin captures the tiny spy and commends Heimdall for speaking up even though it might have made him look stupid.

First Appearance: King Brimer, Queen Nedra, the Vanna

Days of Thunder – May 1964 Journey Into Mystery With The Mighty Thor #104 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “Heimdall, Guardian of the Mystic Rainbow Bridge!”

A tale told in splendor by: Stan Lee A drama drawn in glory by: Jack Kirby Inked by: Don Heck Lettering: Art Simek

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This it the story of Heimdall’s audition to become Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge to Asgard. Odin is considering three candidates. In addition to Heimdall, there is Agnar the Fierce who has the strongest lungs in Asgard enabling him to blow the massive Dragon Horn of Asgard,  and there is Gotrun the Agile who is, well, agile.

Heimdall argues that he is right candidate for the position due to his amazing senses. He is Heimdall the All-Seeing and All-Hearing.   He can look across not only space but also time. He showcases his ability to hear the tiniest plant growing in the heart of the hidden hills. It is for these abilities that Odin names him Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge forever.

First Appearance: Agnar the Fierce, Gotrun the Agile, The Dragon Horn of Asgard

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 – 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

jim 85

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