Tag Archives: Hela

Days of Thunder – February 1979 The Defenders #68

“Valhalla Can Wait!”
Val in Valhalla Part Three
Story by David Kraft & Ed Hannigan/ Pencils by Herb Trimpe/ Inks by Pablo Marcos/ Letters by E. Heinl/ Colors by B. Sharen/ Edited by Al Milgrom/ Editor-In-Chief, Jim Shooter

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Mortal-Body Valkyrie and Harokin catch up with Hela and her army. Meanwhile the Defenders agree to help Ollerus at the behest of Immortal-Body Valkyrie. Soon the two sides are joined in battle.

While her army fights, Hela visits Odin to take his political temperature. After the recent near-Ragnarok, Odin has no warmth for Hela. He intends to use this conflict as an opportunity to retake Valhalla. “Should Ollerus win– so be it! If not, the legions of Asgard shall drive you back to Niffleheim!”

Meanwhile, the two Valkyries end up fighting in front of the Defenders. Hulk gets confused and throws a big rock at the good guy one. As soon as her counterpart is clobbered, the remaining one reveals her madness. The Defenders realize that this Valkyrie is the personality of Barbara Norriss!

The side fighting for Hela point the Hulk at Ollerus’ shark-finned mountain and he smashes the hell out of it. This turns the tide of battle and Ollerus surrenders. Hela announces that her forces, as well as the vanquished forces of Ollerus are retreating to Niffleheim, that she is ceding the territory of Valhalla to the “most noble”. She leaves Harokin in charge of Valhalla. The mortals that Olerrus had prematurely recruited, such as the Defenders, are returned to Earth. Brunhilde/Valkyrie returns with them, embracing Harokin before she departs. Norriss/Valkyrie stays, banished to Niffleheim as the Fates had prophesied.

 

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 – 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 – November 1978 The Mighty Thor #277

“Time of the Trolls!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Tom Palmer, Illustrators/Imaginers * Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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In the aftermath of “Red” Norvell’s attack, the trial of Loki concludes with a sentencing phase. Loki is chained to a rock, where a viper will drip mystic venom on his face until Ragnarok, soon as that may be. Sigyn is granted permission to do what she can to ease her husband’s suffering.

Meanwhile, Novell has taken Sif to Alfheim, home of the Ljo’s-Alfar, also known as the Bright Elves. The Bright Elves seem to be a a bunch of diminutive friendly folk. Norvell batters them around as if they were less than nothing.

While Norvell tries to convince Sif to be in love with him, she explains to him how he was able to obtain the power of Thor. Some time ago, Odin became concerned that his son might be on Midgard at a time when Asgard was in danger. So he had a back-up copy of Thor’s essence made and stored in his gloves and belt. Loki gave unwitting Norvell the instructions to unlock Thor and imprint the Thunder God’s essence o’ertop of himself.

Hela’s army attacks Asgard.

 

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 – 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

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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 – 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 – February 1972 The Mighty Thor #196

“Within the Realm of Kartag!”
“Stan Lee, editor/ Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Vince Colletta, inker/ Jon Costa, letterer

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Deep within the World’s End, Thor and his friends meet Satrina, servant of Kartag. She suckerpunches them with the Crimson Mist, which sends them into a shared hallucination of being waited on hand and foot by beautiful fawning women. Kygar, who is immune to the mist, warns Thor that things are not what they seem. This allows Thor to realize that they had been pawing over fawning MONSTERS! Her illusion pierced, Satrina kills Kygar and retreats.

Later, Satrina, having failed with the carrot, tries to scare Thor and company off with the stick. She creates a powerful dragon illusion, but Thor figures out that it is a trick. Out of options, she agrees to take our heroes to meet Kartag. Kartag is a fearsome Giant, armed with a giant cudgel of an axe, prepared to kill those who intrude upon his land.

On Blackworld, Sif and Hildegarde find themselves fighting bandits, which causes Sif to cry out “I feel that dark craving– an emotion akin to my love for Thor– The Battlelove of a warrior born!”  Sif has hopefully shaken off the weepiness that had been ailing her.

Elsewhere, Asgard is under assault by the Mangog. How can the Mangog still exist?  It is not entirely clear, but it is speculated that once something as powerful as the Mangog is created by magic, the very idea of it is too powerful to ever be undone.

As the Mangog attacks, Hela comes to Odin, chiding him for sending his son away to escape the power of the Mangog. The assembled might of Asgard tries to hold back the Mangog, but none can equal its strength. Odin’s oldest friend Khan, dies defending Asgard. In the face of the Mangog, with his dead friend claimed by Hela, Odin shouts to the heavens “ The Mangog hat almost triumphed– and for the sake of a thousand universes– this must not be! –This day, by my power, by my glory – the sacred world doth forever more pass away…”

The full implications of Odin’s actions are unclear, but at that moment, on another world, Sif and Hildegarde notice a star in the distance go nova.

First appearance: Satrina, Kartag

 

Days of Thunder – August 1971 The Mighty Thor #191

“A Time of Evil!”
Story by Stan Lee/ Art by John Buscema/Embellishment by Joe Sinnott/ Lettering by Sam Rosen So be it!

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Thor, with his aching hammer, really wants to attack Loki, despite the fact that his brother wears the Odin-ring. When his father reminds him that they cannot raise a hand against Loki, Thor calls Odin a coward. For this, Odin magically removes Thor’s mouth.  When Odin immediately calms down and reverses the process, it is clear that he removed the entire interior space of the mouth, not just the exterior lip part. The art makes it super-weird.

Thor Mouth

Odin cannot be bothered with yet another case of Loki stealing his throne, and so he shrugs the whole thing off and heads to the Odinsleep. After he leaves, Thor and Sif immediately attack Loki. Loki, who’s powers are increased by the Odin-Ring, playfully fights back.

Eventually, Loki summons Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg to fight alongside Thor and Sif, just to make things more fun. After singlehandedly defeating all five of his enemies, he commands Karnilla to use her magic to create a man more powerful than any that have come before. She complies, but the form she creates is lifeless.

Loki then uses the Odin-Ring to fill the brute, who he names “Durok, the Demolisher”, to life. Although Durok is granted life, he is not granted speech, nor a soul. Once he animates this being, Loki sends him to Earth so that he might slay everything that lives. Naturally, Thor gives chase.

First Appearance: Durok the Demolisher

Days of Thunder – July 1971 The Mighty Thor #190

“–And so, to Die!”
Stan Lee, Author and John Buscema, Illustrator now exceed their former triumphs, aided and abetted by Joe Sinnott, Embellisher and Sam Rosen, Letterer

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As Hela prepares to claim Thor, Balder sleeps fitfully, for he has given his fealty and his heart to one who is an enemy of Asgard. He is awakened by Karnilla, who has come to warn her beloved that Hela has found Thor.

Balder races to Odin with Karnilla at his side. He begs Odin to intervene and Odin finds he cannot stand back and allow his son to die. Odin travels to Earth and slays Hela to protect his son.

Killing Hela has put an end to death.  On Earth, Thor witnesses the dire effects. Amongst these effects: insects begin to multiply rapidly and “The population explosion, without the safety valve of death causes the teeming multitudes to fight for every inch of living space!”  This happens immediately.

Thor tells Odin that this cannot stand, and with tears in his eyes, Odin resurrects Hela. As Hela begins to drain the life from Thor, Odin brings Sif to her beloved’s side where she again weeps openly. Sif petitions the Death Goddess to take her in Thor’s place, a perfect mirror of Sif’s first appearance way back in issue #102.

As before, this selfless act so moves Hela that she decides to spare Thor. Now it is her time to cry as she proclaims that while she has never known love, she now understands what it means.

As Thor, Sif, and Odin return to Asgard, Thor asks his father if this turn of events had been his plan all along, and Odin harshly refuses to answer. “I am the way! I am the light! And none may share my Odinthoughts!”

The short time in which Odin was away from Asgard was long enough for Loki to again gain control of the Odin- Ring and thus the kingdom.  After this turn of events, it becomes unclear if Karnilla told Balder of Thor’s plight out of love or out of a scheme to get Odin out of Asgard. Either way, Heimdall, Hogun, and Fandral have already been exiled while Loki is served by Trolls and the Norns (including Balder).

The heroes are powerless to act against Loki while he wears the ring. Thor cries “My hammer aches for vengeance,” but his hammer is denied release.

 

Days of Thunder – June 1971 The Mighty Thor #189

“The Icy touch of Death!”
Scripted in sparkling splendor, by: Stan Lee/ Drawn in dazzling drama, by: John Buscema/ Embellished with exotic elan, by: Joe Sinnott/ Lettered with a scratchy penpoint by: Sam Rosen

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All of Thor’s friends freak out over the notion that Hela is going to come for him. Sif, who has become very emotional since Buscema took over, weeps openly. Odin tells Thor to hide on Earth in the guise of Blake while Odin thinks his Odinthoughts.

Balder returns once again to Karnilla, in order to beg her aid in protecting Thor against Hela. Karnilla cares nothing about Thor, he is a son of Asgard and Balder is the only Asgardian for whom she cares. Balder confesses that he loves her in turn, but that as long as she is Asgard’s foe, she remains his as well.

Karnilla, the Norn Queen, gives Balder a cold-hearted offer. If Balder will swear fealty to her, if he will renounce Odin, she will help Balder save Thor from the threat that is Hela. Balder, a swirling mass of conflicting emotions, agrees to the deal.

Balder at last swears his loyalty to Karnilla, who has loved him all these many months and so she honors their deal by immediately feeding Balder poison. This sends him to the Realm of Death, where he is able to confront Loki, who had been in the process of selling out his brother to Hela.

Not able to defeat Loki on his best day, Balder is no threat at all to the evil prince, for his Odin-Blade has lost its enchantment now that Balder has turned his back on his one-time liege. However, the fight between Balder and Loki bores Hela, and so so she teleports them back to Asgard.

In Asgard, Loki flees while Balder goes to Odin to tell him what has transpired. Odin already knows what Balder has done and he forgives him, for Balder acted out of love for the All-Father’s son.

Hela has learned from Loki that Thor is on Earth, and so she travels there in the coolest mortal garb any Asgardian has ever been depicted as wearing: A long green coat and a giant papakha. She searches for Thor, which of course should be no trouble for an Asgardian, but she is confounded by a series of illusions created by Odin.

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Finally, she strikes upon a solution: She will just murder a bunch of people until Thor shows himself. Sure enough, that does the trick. Thor comes to her and he has no choice but to yield.

First appearance: Odinthoughts

Days of Thunder – May 1971 The Mighty Thor #188

“The End of Infinity!”
By Stan Lee and John Buscema/ Inking: Jim Mooney/ Lettering: Sam Rosen

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Thor at last reveals the secret of the comic force that is Infinity. Back when Loki trapped Odin in the Sea of Eternal Night (As shown in issue #176) Hela, goddess of death came to him. It was, in fact, at her hands that Balder withered and aged as he went to save his liege. With Odin separated from Asgard and sleeping the Odinsleep, Hela believed that she would at last be able to claim Odin. Yet even in a weakened state and far away from the Asgardians that are the source of his power, Odin was too strong to die. And yet Hela did not fail completely. She claimed a portion of Odin and that portion, now in her thrall, she named Infinity.

Hela released Infinity and tasked it with the taking of all life. Hela wished to claim the entire universe with Infinity, her greatest servant.

It turns out the analytical mind of Blake was not called for after all.

Thor is shaken but he is not cowed. “Who thinks that Thor would falter? A man may fight, though hope be dim… A god will fight– when hope be gone!” Thor would fight and kill death herself.

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Once again Loki and Karnilla join their magic together.  They take the combined power of Thor, Balder, Sif, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg as well as the power of Mjolnir itself, channeling it through Loki’s horned helm and straight at Odin. This combined power is enough to free Odin’s will.

Newly awakened, Odin now knows what it is that he faces. Armed with that knowledge, he takes Infinity back into himself. He then returns to the halls of Asgard, reclaims the Scepter of Power and with a touch sheathes the Odin-Sword. He then uses the power within himself to reverse all the death and destruction caused by Infinity.

The threat of Infinity is passed, but all is not well. Hela, enraged by her failure, intends to finally claim the life of Thor!

 

Days of Thunder – April 1971 The Mighty Thor #187

“The World is Lost!”

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A Saga to Stagger your Imagination!  By: Stan Lee, Author/ John Buscema, Illustrator/ Joe Sinnott, Embellisher/ Sam Rosen, Letterer

On Asgard, many mighty warriors use an amazing giant vise in an  attempt to put the Odin-Sword back into its scabbard, to no avail.

Thor 187 Vise

Balder and Sif seek out Karnilla. They forge an alliance with her, and later do the same with Loki, as the end of the universe transcends petty politics. They ask Karnilla to use her magic to break the grip that has seized Hogun, Fandral and Volstagg but her vast power is not enough to break the spell. It takes the combined power of Karnilla and Loki to get the job done. Once more themselves, the warriors cannot shed any additional light on Infinity or the World Beyond.

Thor, meanwhile, has to fight his dad. He is no match for Odin, even when brainwashed, and so he retreats to Asgard.  A plan is needed in the face of this dire sequence of events, and so, in the heart of Asgard, Thor turns himself into Doctor Blake, hoping that the doctor’s mind can come up with something that he cannot.

It seems a strange notion that Blake would be smarter than Thor, since they share memories and Blake has no personality of his own, but Blake is an android-building neurosurgeon and Thor likes to solve problems by hitting them with a hammer so maybe it does make sense that Blake would be smarter.

Alone and off-panel, the Vizier shows Blake the truth about Infinity. Shortly afterward Thor emerges from the Chamber Imperial, shaken to his core. He knows Infinity’s secret and with a stricken look on his face, he tells his assembled friends and enemies that he now knows why Infinity must triumph!

 

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 – July1968 The Mighty Thor #154

“…To Wake the Mangog!”
Produced by: Smilin’ Stan Lee and Jolly Jack Kirby/ Vince Colletta Inker/ Artie Simek Letterer

Thor 154

While Thor is visiting Sif while she recuperates, he is visited by Hela, who believes that she has a claim to Thor after his fight with the Wrecker. Thor’s old frenemy, Harokin pops in to speak on Hela’s behalf, asking him to come lead the army of the undead in Valhalla. Thor is tempted, but declines, stating “The son of Odin fights for purpose– never pleasure!” This is a much bigger lie than anything Loki has ever said in this book. Having made her pitch, Hela departs.

Meanwhile, Ulik has discovered the long-lost Odin-Cave, also known as the Cave of Ages. This legendary site is filled with Enchanti-Stones, the seeds of Odin’s peerless power. It is also the prison of Mangog,the last member of an alien race so powerful that they once nearly destroyed Asgard. It says a lot about Ulik that rather than collect the stones, he frees the alien.

The Mangog, once freed has no interest in an alliance with Ulik and no notion of gratitude for his freedom. The Mangog is the enemy of all who live, with the sole goal of destroying Odin. Ulik escapes from the Mangog as soon as he is able.

Thor, unaware of the threat to Asgard is wandering around New York looking for Loki. He stops a team of thugs calling themselves Muggers Incorporated and exchanges strong words with a pack of hippies. The friendly counterculture youth take Thor’s long hair as a sign of kinship, a notion Thor rejects hard.

“’Tis not by dropping out– but by plunging in– into the maelstrom of life itself– that thou shalt find wisdom! There be causes to espouse!! There be battles to be won! There be glory and grandeur all about thee– if thou wilt but see! Aye, there be time enow for thee to disavow thy heritage– yea, thou mayest drop out fore’er once Hela herself hath come for thee! But, so long as life endures– thou must live it to the full! Else, thou be unworthy of the title– man!” Thor does not like hippies.

Loki, forbidden from fighting his brother, returns to Asgard to see what trouble he can cause, only to discover that there is already trouble aplenty. When Ulik freed the Mangog, he set off the Eternity Alarm, and so the forces of Asgard are preparing for the conflict that is surely at hand. Toag, Elder of the Supreme Council fills Loki in  on all of this and of one other detail: Odin now rests in his Odinsleep (otherwise known as the Sleep of Life, last seen in issue #118). With Odin unavailable and Thor busy pestering hippies, Loki takes the throne!

First Appearance: The Mangog, Toag Elder of the Supreme Council, Muggers Incorporated, The Enchanti-Stones, The Cave of Ages

The Mangog, comics, Days of Thunder, Thor, Doctor Donald Blake, Sif, Odin, Loki, Karnilla the Norn Queen, Balder, Ulik, Toag Elder of the Supreme Council, Muggers Incorporated, Hela, Harokin

Days of Thunder – March 1968 The Mighty Thor #150

“Even in Death–”
Presenting: A pictorial monument to the towering talents of: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby, creators of wonderment beyond mortal measure! Dazzlingly Delineated by: Vincent Colletta/ Lovingly Lettered by: Sam Rosen/ A living tribute to Marveldom assembled!

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As Thor lies on the cusp of death, his astral form encounters Hela, Goddess of Death. She beckons him to join her in the shining vales of Valhalla. He demurs, insisting that he must continue to fight the Wrecker.

Meanwhile,  in the Forest of the Norns Sif and Balder get separated and after fighting the Norn Queen’s troll guards, including Barbaric, the Troll Warrior God, they each are captured by the Norn Queen, who we learn is named Karnilla.

Karnilla approaches Sif in the guise of a friend. She shows the warrior goddess her love, lying dead on Midgard. Karnilla tells Sif that the only way to save Thor is to defeat the Wrecker. At this point she reveals that she has come into possession of the Destroyer, last seen in the hands of Odin, and offers to allow Sif to take control of the Destroyer, so that she might defeat the Wrecker.

Sif agrees to the bargain. Her consciousness enters the Destroyer, which the Norn Queen sends to Midgard. Once there, she makes short work of the Wrecker, shattering his crowbar, and blasting him with a force beam. He is quickly down for the count.

As Sif defeats the Wrecker, Thor’s astral form re-enters his body, bringing himself back to life. The Destroyer, which totally could talk the first time Thor encountered it, waves at him, mute. Thor won’t be fooled, he knows the Destroyer lives but to kill.  Never mind that it is a tool wielded by a user, created by his father and as far as he knows, still owned by Odin as well. The still-depowered, mortally-wounded Thor cries “To the death!!” as he charges his imagined foe.

First Appearance: Barbaric

Days of Thunder – October 1966: The Mighty Thor #133 part 2

Tale of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “Valhalla!”
A Stan Lee – Jack Kirby Production/ Inked by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered by: Sam Rosen (May their armor never tarnish!)

tales 133

Haroken is placed on the Black Stallion of Death as Hela, Goddess of Death and her Valkyrie Guard come to collect him. All present stand solemnly as she takes the barbarian away. Eventually, Hela takes her leave as the Valkyries lead the stallion into Valhalla where Harokin shall forever revel in eternal battle.

Of course, in issue #117, Valhalla was said to be the name of Odin’s ceremonial chamber, not a paradise for fallen warriors.  This is  a separate location Clearly Odin named his chamber after this netherworld.