Tag Archives: Hercules

Days of Thunder – September 1975 The Mighty Thor #239

“Time-Quake!”
We begin a new era of Ragnarokian wonderment with: Roy Thomas, writer/editor * Sal Buscema, artist * Joe Sinnott, embellisher/ Phil Rache, colorist * John Costanza, letterer

Thor 239

With Thor at his side, and Geirrodur as their bound prisoner, Ulik feels unstoppable! He is so excited as he tells his plans to Thor “Let us make haste to combine the two troll armies, that the world of mortals shall fall to us all the sooner!” It is a big let-down for the Troll when Thor turns on him, still sore that Ulik had Jane captured.

Thor defeats Ulik and then uses the magic in Geirrodur’s stolen staff to start a blazing fire in order to disperse the assembled Trolls. Everyone scatters, while a bound, pitiable Geirrodur is left for dead.

Thor and Jane return to the surface world, through the hole created by Ulik’s forces. Hercules and the Vizier have been hanging around that spot along with the newly promoted Lieutenant Blumkenn. Thor and Hercules work together to close the hole by throwing rocks and lightning at it. Afterward, Herc accepts an invitation to visit California to give a university lecture on mythology.

Meanwhile, Orrin and Judith have been invited back to the union hall of the picketing grape-pickers. Their leader, Tomas Chamaro is whipping the strikers into a frenzy when Conners and his men arrive. Orrin, who has slipped back into an Asgardian speech pattern, starts in on the strikebreakers, which inspires the striking workers to join in the melee.

Having incited violence so that he need not fight himself, Orrin prepares to depart the union hall when a giant pyramid erupts out from the ground, displacing the city around it. Orrin becomes transfixed, walking straight toward it, ignoring the pleas of Judith.

Back in New York, Jane convinces a brooding Blake that he needs to return to Asgard, so that he might find his missing father. Spurred to action by Jane, Thor departs, while Jane must stay behind, as mortals are not welcome in Asgard.

As soon as Thor leaves, Jane discovers news coverage of the Pyramid in California. She is shocked to recognize Odin , who slowly walks toward the entrance of the pyramid, to meet three figures who appear to be the Egyptian gods Horus, Osiris, and Isis. He enters, and then the doors to the Pyramid slam shut.

First Appearance: Horus, Osiris, Isis

Days of Thunder – August 1975 The Mighty Thor #238

“Night of the Troll!”
Gerry Conway, author * John Buscema, artist * Joe Sinnott, finished art * John Costanza, letterer/ Don Warfield, colorist * Len Wein, editor

Thor 238

In California, Orrin and Judith happen upon some strike breakers, led by a man named Conners, who in turn is receiving orders from a man named Mr.Combach. These hired thugs are causing trouble for a picket line. Orrin starts tossing the troublemakers around, and when they don’t back down, he prepares to drop a station wagon on them. Judith intervenes, telling Orrin that while he should use his strength to help people,  he should not if it leads to violence. Orrin thinks that is dumb but doesn’t really seem to care about helping people, so he agrees to back off.

Some months ago, after being consigned to the darkest pits by King Geirrodur, Ulik managed to overpower a guard and escape. He fled even deeper into the Earth, far below the domain of Geirrodur. It was there that he discovered a lost tribe of Trolls, one that accepted him as their leader after he killed their chief.

Ulik now seeks revenge on Geirrodur. He has captured Jane Foster as leverage against Thor, so that his blondhaired enemy will fight Geirrodur’s new lieutenant, a troll by the name of Zoltarr, the Troll Supreme, while Ulik takes the battle to the Troll King himself.

Thor and Jane Foster thus accompany this army of Trolls through the underground, traversing a long subterranean river. At one point Thor and Ulik do battle with a Sea-Demon. Eventually, they meet Geirrodur, who has assembled an army to meet the invaders head on. At his side is Zoltarr, a massive, fully-armored brute of troll.

Thor and Ulik work together to savagely defeat Zoltarr, who is revealed to be an android. The act of fighting side-by-side endears Thor to Ulik. He forgives the Asgardian for what has gone before. Thor has gained Ulik’s admiration.

In the midst of this melee, Jane clobbers her Ulik-factioned guard, obtains a spear and manages to get the drop on Geirrodur, capturing the king of the Trolls singlehandedly. The implication seems to be that much of who Sif was now resides within Jane. It seems as if Thor is getting to date both of his girlfriends at once!

First Appearance: Zoltarr the Troll Supreme, Conners, Mr. Combach

Final Issue: Gerry Conway

 

Days of Thunder – July 1975 The Mighty Thor #237

“Ulik Unchained”
Gerry Conway, author/ John Buscema, artist/ Joe Sinnott, embellisher/ John Costanza, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Len Wein, editor

thor 237

Doctor Blake and Nurse Foster are on a date, but they sit in contemplative silence, while the specters of Thor and Sif hang over them. It is the most interesting this moment this book has had in years. Then the waiter comes by and disturbs their reverie. They banter, full of affection for each other.

Some amount of time has passed since Sif made her sacrifice. Presumably everything that Thor has done in the pages of the Avengers and other titles for the past two and a half years has happened in this gap, or are at the least beginning to catch up to the events of book. Blake and Jane are again dating. Jane retains the knowledge of Blake’s alter ego and seems happy to make time with either version.   It is unknown what became of Doctor North.  Sif is vaguely referred to a still living within Jane. Kamo Tharinn never showed up.

With Odin missing, one would think Thor would be obligated to rule Asgard in his absence, but instead he seems to have permanently relocated to Earth to be with Jane. He has again reopened his practice. Balder, Hildegarde, Krista, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg all presumably have settled back into life on Asgard. Karnilla simply disappeared after their encounter with Xorr.

In California, Orrin’s friends feel that he is obligated to use his superhuman strength for the betterment of mankind, while Orrin seem uninterested.

Hercules and the Vizier hang out in Coney Island.

Meanwhile Ulik, last seen “consigned to the darkest pits for the duration of eternity”,  is again lurking about New York. His Trolls are spotted in Central Park and Thor attacks. He and Ulik trade blows until some Trolls working for Ulik capture Jane Foster and hold her hostage, forcing Thor to stay his hand.

Days of Thunder – June 1975 The Mighty Thor #236

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

Thor 236

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

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

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

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

Days of Thunder – May 1975 The Mighty Thor #235

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

Thor 235

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

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

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

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

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

First Appearance: Kamo Tharrin, the Runestaff

 

Days of Thunder – April 1975 The Mighty Thor #234

“O, Bitter Victory!”
Gerry Conway, author/John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, artists/ John Costanza, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Len Wein, editor

Thor 234

Thor attempts a sneak attack against Loki’s forces, but he is caught and captured. Meanwhile, Iron Man and Firelord combine their powers to attack the barrier that traps them within Avenger’s Mansion. They break the barrier, but only Firelord retains the strength to take the fight to Loki. Krista stays behind to look after Iron Man.

Firelord fights his way into Loki’s camp and provides the distraction Thor needs to escape. Thor challenges his brother to an unarmed duel. Loki agrees.  When Thor sets down his hammer, he creates a sixty-second time limit for their battle. As they fight, Thor senses Dormammu’s power draining from Loki. With two seconds to spare, Thor is triumphant in his fight against his brother.

As Loki crumples to the ground, his spell lifts and the Asgardians in his thrall awaken. Thor meanwhile sheds a tear for his brother.

Elsewhere, Orrin,  née Odin,  engages in a philosophical discussion with his young friend, Judith. Abruptly, a car speeds toward the pair at high speed, causing Orrin to swat it aside as if it were nothing. Either the Vizier was mistaken about Odin becoming mortal, or even when mortal he retains the strength of one Asgard-born.

Meanwhile, Sif and Hercules arrive on the planet where Kamo Tharnn lives, as they continue their quest to save the life of Nurse Jane Foster.

First Appearance: Judith

Days of Thunder – February 1975 The Mighty Thor #232

“Lo, the Raging Battle!”

Gerry Conway, Author/ John Buscema & Dick Giordano, Artists/ J. Costanza, letterer/ P. Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

thor 232

Thor has obtained experimental government drugs that may be able to heal Jane Foster from her non-specific injuries. This proves fruitless.

While Thor broods, Firestorm approaches the Thunder God, leading to a big stupid fight over nothing. This does immense property damage, to buildings, to the streets, to cars. The two eventually cool off and prepare to head to Avengers Mansion when Detective Sgt. Blumkenn arrives, attempting to hold them accountable for their destructive behavior. Thor talks his way out of trouble off-panel, presumably with an explanation along the lines of “send a bill to Tony Stark.”

Meanwhile, at Avengers Mansion, Iron Man receives a video phone call from Tom Fagan, who checks in with the Avengers from time to time, in his role as Loki’s warden. Apparently, Loki cast a spell causing a teenager named Bunker to appear to be Loki, and that it was this child that has been Fagan’s prisoner all this time.

Clearly this story takes place some time after the events of Avengers #118. Within the pages of The Mighty Thor, there has been no down time on Earth since Thor fought Ulik in issue #210. Therefore, all of Thor’s involvement with the Avengers up until at least that point must have taken place before that issue.

Thor and Firelord arrive at Avengers Mansion, apparently in the free and clear, law-wise. Firelord explains to Thor, Iron Man, Krista and Jarvis that the former-herald had been lured to a twisted dimension by Loki. Loki seemed to have gone mad with power and explained to Firelord that he had gained the spirit of Dormammu’s mystic being, and thus he gained the Dark One’s power. Faced with this news, Thor returns to Jane Foster’s side.

Meanwhile on Asgard, Sif does not know what to do about Jane Foster, with Odin missing. Hildegarde suggests that there may be hope in the Runestaff of Kamo Tharnn, an artifact that holds the power of life and death. Sif heads out on a quest to retrieve it, returning briefly to Earth in order to recruit Hercules to her cause.  It is unclear why Hildegarde does not accompany her.

Days of Thunder – January 1975 The Mighty Thor #231

“A Spectre from the Past!”
Gerry Conway, Author/ John Buscema & Dick Giordano, Artists Extraodinair/ John Costanza, letterer/ P. Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

thor 231

Thor and Hercules emerge from the caverns under New York and are immediately flagged down by Detective Sergeant Blumkenn, who informs them that all the suicidal people around the city have snapped out of their condition. Apparently, when Hercules and Thor conquered Fear, they broke a malevolent spirit’s hold on all these many people.

Also, one of the victims has been asking for Thor by name. That person is Nurse Jane Foster! Thor rushed to the hospital only to find Jane unconscious. The prognosis is grim but vague. Apparently Thor’s onetime love has but weeks to live. Thor’s old feelings for Jane have come flooding back upon seeing her in this condition and he refuses to leave her side.

Sif, who has switched back to her old hat, sees the love that Thor feels for Jane and she is determined to save the mortal. She leaves Thor and Krista on Earth as she uses her innate powers as a goddess to teleport back to Asgard. She has come to petition Odin, only to be told by Hildegarde that Odin is missing.

Meanwhile a spirit named Armak, claiming to be the very first man, has possessed the body of a phony psychic named Arnold Nicolson, changing the man’s body into a beastly form. Armak grabs a girl with intent to mate, before running through the streets demanding men to fight with. Hercules and a reluctant Thor step in to oblige him. Ultimately, Thor shoves him off of a tall building, causing the human host to plummet to his death.

First Appearance: Armak

 

Days of Thunder – December 1974 The Mighty Thor #230

“The Sky Above… The Pits Below!”
Gerry Conway, Author/Rich Buckler, Artist *** Joe Sinnott, Embellisher/ Costanza & Jetter, Letterers/ Stan Goldberg, Colorist *** Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 230

Thor takes the unconscious Hercules to Avengers Mansion, in order to use their Memory Inducer. Iron Man helps him, but the device drives Hercules into a rage, screaming “I will not remember!”. Fortunately, Krista is able to calm him down.

Once calmed, Hercules tells his comrades that he cannot recall what he saw when the monsters dragged him down below the city, that it is something so dreadful that he has blocked all memory of it. Thor and Hercules decide to investigate, requesting that Iron Man, Sif, and Krista stay behind as backup.

They travel under the city, into the tunnels and caverns that apparently exist below New York city. They are attacked by a horde of demonesque monsters. Hercules deduces that their unseen foe’s goal must be simply to make Hercules and Thor despair. Once he works that out, the monsters vanish and their foe is revealed to be nothing but a shadow.

Meanwhile on Asgard, Hildegarde fights her way past Odin’s guards in order to gain entrance to his chamber, as she is known to do on occasion. However, Odin is not in his chambers! She finds the Vizier, who confirms that Odin has gone missing!

 

Days of Thunder – November 1974 The Mighty Thor #229

“Where Darkness Dwells, Dwell I!”
Gerry Conway, author/ Rich Buckler, artist/ Chic Stone, inker/ J. Costanza, letterer, L. Lessman, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 229

Thor and Hercules are back on Earth. They part ways, but a few hours later they are reunited at the site of an explosion caused by a suicidal madman. Thor summons a storm to put out the fire and the two warriors parlay with a policeman named Detective Sergeant Blumkenn. Blumkenn either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that Thor is a fugitive from the law.   The detective tells the two warriors that this is the fourth case in recent days of someone violently and publicly killing themselves, each muttering variants of “In death, I’ll get life. He promised that.”

Thor and Hercules want to investigate but are not detectives and do not know how. Thor petitions Odin for aid, and his father grants it in the form of Sif, teleported to Earth in a snazzy new helmet. Thor is so happy to see Sif, he loses interest in the suicides, which angers Hercules, who storms off.

On his own, Hercules is attacked by a humanoid male form, entirely black and mute. They spar until a manhole cover opens and a swarm of demons pulls Hercules down into the sewer. The black creature laughs, soundlessly.

A short time later, Thor and Sif return to the hospital to find that Krista has fully healed.  She has also found some clothes that are appropriately Asgardian. Hercules stumbles into this room, whispers “Where darkness dwells, dwell I!” and passes out.

First Appearance: Detective Sergeant Blumkenn

 

Days of Thunder – October 1974 The Mighty Thor #228

“Ego: Beginning and End!”
A Marvel madhouse masterpiece brought to you by: Gerry Conway, author/ Rich Buckler, artist/ Joe Sinnott, embellisher/ John Costanza, letterer/ Stan G., colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 228

After plunging his hammer into Ego’s brain, Thor is hit by a psychic wave, forcing him to witness the long-ago birth of Ego.

Once, there was a culture facing extinction as their sun was going nova. They had no ability to escape via space travel, so instead they hatched a plan to shield themselves from the nova in suspended animation. However, there was an error in their calculations, and the nova flared before they were ready. The shielding was not in place, and one man named Egron (not to be confused with Igron), was not yet in suspended animation, and somehow the nova cause a transformation, combining the planet, the man, and the life force of the remaining two billion people into a single entity. That apparently is how one creates a living bio-verse that exists out of shift with our own universe. It is not clear if Ego then traveled to the Black Galaxy, or if the Black Galaxy formed around it.

Thor recovers from this vision and hits Ego’s brain some more, this time with energy blasts from Mjolnir. Galactus tells his allies that it is time for them to go. While Thor, Hercules and Firestorm were keeping Ego distracted, Galactus bolted some Sidereal engines onto Ego, and set him blasting off into space uncontrollably, neutralizing him as a threat.

The job now complete, Firestorm asks if he might now be freed from his servitude to Galactus. Galactus puts it on Thor: If Thor can find a replacement, Galactus will release Firestorm. Thor suggests the Destroyer, and so they retrieve the supremely powerful creation Odin had created in order to defend Asgard, and give it to Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds. It was right where they had left it.

Firestorm leaves “without a single word of gratitude.”

First Appearance: Egron

 

Days of Thunder – September 1974 The Mighty Thor #227

“In Search of… Ego!”
And now a return to former glory– produced in all its pom and panoply by Gerry Conway, writer * Rich Buckler, artist/ inking: Joe Sinnott/ lettering: John Costanza/ coloring: P. Goldberg/ Roy Thomas, editor

thor 227

It has become clear that Ego the Living Planet is once again a hostile force, and possibly insane. Thor, Hercules and Firestorm fight the creations of Ego until they find a crevice that leads deep within Ego. They travel downward into the very center of Ego, where they find the giant brain of Ego the Living Planet. Thor smashes it with his hammer. It explodes.

ego brain

 

Days of Thunder – August 1974 The Mighty Thor #226

“The Battle Beyond”
Gerry Conway, writer * John Buscema, artist * Mike Esposito, embellisher * Artie Simek, letterer/ G. Roussos, colorist * Roy Thomas, editor

thor 226

Galactus returns to Earth in order that he might parlay with Thor.  It seems that recently Galactus made a scond attempt to feed upon Ego the Living Planet, only to be soundly defeated.

The Ego that Galactus describes is an insane creature of pure rage. Galactus asks Thor and Hercules to join him in an attack against Ego. Thor speculates that Tana Nile’s act of harvesting Ego Prime may have driven the Living Planet insane, and agrees to accompany Galactus to investigate his claims. Hercules decides to tag along.

The two gods, Firestorm, and Galactus together travel to the Black Galaxy. Ego senses Thor and immediately deems him a traitor, and begins attacking the ship. Thor and his allies fend off the assault and land on the surface of Ego.

 

Days of Thunder – July 1974 The Mighty Thor #225

“The Coming of the Firelord!”
Gerry Conway, writer/ John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, artists/ John Costanza, letterer/ Glynis Wein, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 225

The Destroyer holds Mjolnir and Thor faces the threat of the 60 Second Rule. However, he is able to mentally will the hammer to return to his hand, an ability he never used to have. Another effect of re-enchantment?

Hercules somehow finds the empty body of Clement Holmes, the scientist who’s spirit possesses the Destroyer. He brings it back to the Destroyer and for some unclear reason, Holmes returns to his rightful body. Thor and Hercules depart, leaving the empty Destroyer lying in the middle of the street.

With the action over, Thor becomes Blake once again, so that he might tend to tend to Krista. When Hercules marvels that Thor would ever want to become a frail mortal, Blake comments “When I’m Blake, I don’t care about Thor. And when I’m Thor, Don Blake is just yesterday’s bad dream.”

Meanwhile, Firelord, the current servant of Galactus has come to Earth. Firelord is some sort of man that is on fire, wielding a staff that is also on fire. When he enters the hospital, he soon starts a fight with hot-tempered Hercules.

It is with extreme reluctance that Blake becomes Thor yet again, grimly bemoaning, “I never really had a choice, after all… I’ve never really been Don Blake…only Thor. On that somber note, Thor joins Hercules in fighting Firelord. When Thor arrives, Firelord simply gazes into the heavens and shoots cosmic fire from his eyes, in order to summon his master, Galactus.

First Appearance: Firelord

 

Days of Thunder – June 1974 The Mighty Thor #224

“No One Can Stop… The Destroyer!”

Gerry Conway, writer/ John Buscema, artist/ Mike Esposito, inker/ John Costanza, letterer/ G. Roussos, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

thor 224

With Krista’s life in unspecified danger for unspecified reasons, Thor become Doctor Donald Blake once again so that he might save his friend’s sister. Blake winkingly lets Hercules know about his dual persona before suggesting that the Lion of Olympus go find something else to do.

Blake’s arrival in the hospital causes quite a stir. “Good Lord, man – we thought you were dead! Where have you been all these months?” Despite his long absence, Blake is given carte blanche to perform surgery on Krista.

Later, after saving Krista’s life, Dr. Lois Reddy introduces herself to Dr. Blake. She compliments his skill, but questions his long inexplicable absences, pointing out that many people surely died that would have lived if he had been there to operate.

This is the first time in a long time that Blake has been left in human form for any sort of protracted period, and he realizes he isn’t sure he likes his Thor half, musing that Thor “may have already destroyed most of what’s human and good in Don Blake!” This is hard to argue against.

After Thor’s last encounter with the Destroyer, way back in issue #152, Odin stole it from police custody before apparently hiding it in South America. Unfortunately, it has been discovered and brought to New York by a scientist named Clement Holmes.  Predictably, his consciousness gets accidentally sucked into the Destroyer.

The Destroyer heads back to the location of its most recent fight with Thor, intending to resume the battle with Thor it was unable to finish six years ago. Instead, it discovers Hercules and attacks him.

Blake gets word of the fight, turns into Thor and joins the fray. He sends Hercules on a quest to somehow find the body of the person powering the Destroyer, while he remains behind to hold the Destroyer at bay.   As they fight, the Destroyer wrenches Mjolnir from Thor’s hands. Thor now has sixty seconds to reverse that, or it will be Doctor Blake vs. the Destroyer!

First Appearance: Dr. Lois Reddy, Professor Clement Holmes

 

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

thor 223

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 – April 1974 The Mighty Thor #222

“Before the Gates of Hell!”
Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, artists/ John Costanza, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

thor 222

Thor and Hercules decide to arm wrestle, in order to choose which of them gets to attack Pluto, who they both blame for tricking them into their previous fight. The table upon which they arm wrestle shatters before either god can gain the upper hand.  This causes their contest to escalate into a brawl, each god fighting for the honor of beating up the guy that made the two of them fight. Eventually, Zeus intervenes and the two agree to team up against Pluto.

The two warriors travel into the Underworld, where they discover that Pluto is working with Ares to instigate a war between Olympus and Asgard. For some reason, Ares really seems to have it in for Asgard. They defeat Ares and move onward toward Pluto.

Days of Thunder – March 1974 The Mighty Thor #221

“Hercules Enraged!”
Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Mike Esposito, inker/ John Costanza, letterer/ G. Roussos, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor

Thor 221

Having neutralized the threat of the Black Stars, Thor and his friends return to Asgard. However, this is a farewell, as Tana Nile has been at long last returned home. Silas Grant also chooses to stay with her, his closest friend.

When Thor, Sif, and Balder return to Asgard, they are rushed to Odin’s chambers. There, the All-Father shows them what he and Hildegarde have seen:   Krista chained in the Underworld of Olympus leered at by Pluto and Hercules, side-by-side.

Thor is enraged by this sight, considering this to be a betrayal on the part of Hercules. Sif tries to tell him that he should give his friend the benefit of the doubt, but Thor refuses to listen. By Odin’s leave, Thor storms off to Olympus, alone. Odin does not want to start a war against Olympus, so he refuses to allow Thor’s friends to accompany him, not even Hildegarde. The period of exile has clearly ended, and all parties have slipped back into their old roles as if nothing had ever transpired.

Thor travels to Olympus, beating up all who cross his path, including Hercules’ friend Krato, before challenging Hercules himself.   Hercules is confused by this hostility, but he has never been one to turn down a fight. They fight for a good long time until Zeus intercedes and provides an alibi for Hercules.  Although Thor extended absolutely no trust to Hercules, he gives his “friend”’s father the benefit of the doubt.

Meanwhile, Ares is back in Zeus’s good graces, mere months after conquering Olympus. Unsurprisingly, he has not reformed: he and an underling named Snatos scheme to start a war, although the specifics are not yet clear.

First Appearance: Krato, Snatos

 

Days of Thunder June 1972 The Avengers #100

“Whatever Gods There Be”
Stan Lee presents, ponders, and presides over a centennial super-spectacular by: Roy Thomas, writer/ Barry Windsor-Smith, artist/ Inked by: Barry Windsor-Smith, Joe Sinnott, and Syd Shores/ Lettered by John Costa

Avengers 100

There has not been a break in the action of The Mighty Thor since issue #183. The Infinity story segued directly into Loki seizing control of Asgard which led directly to the unleasing of the Mangog, which led to Odin’s semi-death, which lead to the current attack by Pluto.

Published concurrent to these events, Thor has had an active role in the pages of The Avengers, where he and his teammates had been swept up into a major intergalactic conflict known as the Kree-Skrull War. All of his appearances within The Avengers for the past year and a half, including his appearance in this issue, presumably take place some time after the current issue of The Mighty Thor.

Other recent events of note within these pages:  Hawkeye has abandoned his Goliath persona, taking up archery again; The Vision and the Scarlet Witch have begun awkwardly courting each other; and it seems that Ares, the Greek god of war is up to something.

In this special centennial issue, every single living member of the Avengers past and present unite to face a dire threat. That lineup consists of Thor, Iron Man, Ant Man, The Wasp, The Hulk, Captain America, Hawkeye, The Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, The Black Panther The Vision, The Black Knight, Hercules, and the Swordsman. Rick Jones and Black Widow are excluded, having never formally been offered membership.

It turns out that the Enchantress did not die in her previous encounter with the Scarlet Witch but merely found herself lost in another dimension. Now, the Enchantress and Ares have joined forces and gained control of the Ebony Blade, a powerful sword forged by mutant charlatan Merlin. They have conquered Olympus and plan to start a nuclear holocaust on Earth in order to rip open a passageway to Asgard. Ares desires to conquer Asgard, but the Enchantress has a darker goal: She wishes to unsheathe the Odinsword and end all things, owing to a drastic, suicidal desire to humble Odin.

The Avengers learn of the villains’ plans and confound them. Asgard and Earth are protected, while Olympus is freed. The Enchantress and presumably Ares are turned over to Zeus’ custody.

 

Days of Thunder – October 1967 The Avengers #45

“Blitzkrieg in Central Park!”
Stan Lee personally presents and polishes a Roy Thomas – Don Heck melee of matchless Marvel magnificence! Delineated by the proud pinpoint of Vince Colletta/ Lettered by the fumbling fingers of Sam Rosen

Avengers 45

Thor joins his fellow Avengers for Avenger Day, a celebration held in Central Park honoring the Avengers for their recent victory against the Mandarin. Thor attends reluctantly, grumbling, “Must the mighty Avengers be reduced to mere clowns– strutting and fretting for the benefit of mortals?” He makes an early departure, before the team can surprise Hercules by formally inviting him to join the team. (They had wanted to invite Black Widow as well, but she has decided to retire from superheroics.)
There is a footnote in this issue indicating that it take place before the events of Thor #145. That means that it and last month’s annual must take place shortly before the events of Thor #143.

Days of Thunder – September 1967 The Avengers King-Size Special #1

“The Monstrous Master Plan of the Mandarin!”
Stan Lee lovingly lords over a Roy Thomas – Don Heck landmark of literary luminescence! Inked by George Bell! Lettered by Artie Simek!

avengers king 1

Since we last checked in with the Avengers, Black Widow, a former red spy and girlfriend of Hawkeye,  has informally joined the team, as has Hercules, who has been banished to Earth for a period of one year. Also, the Wasp has inherited a fortune, The Scarlett Witch and and Quicksilver have gotten power boosts, and The Enchantress has fallen in love with Hercules.

This issue’s story is a sprawling superhero epic where Thor and Iron Man pitch in to help the Avengers fight a veritable army of supervillains: the Enchantress, the Executioner, the Living Laser, Power Man, the Swordsman, and Ultimo, led by a Yellow Peril mastermind named the Mandarin.

There are a bunch of fights on different fronts. There is a great bit where Thor dives for his hammer as his sixty-second window closes, turns into Blake mid-air, smashes into the ground, rolls, grabs his stick and, stamps it to the ground in one fluid motion.

The story culminates in a showdown on the Mandarin’s secret privately-owned space station, powered by a four-foot-tall diamond. There is a fight that ends with the Mandarin being sucked out into the vacuum of space. Afterward the Avengers decide to blow up the space station, despite noting that it might have been “the stepping-stone to the stars.” As they rocket home, Thor and Iron Man agree that they need to make an effort to involve themselves with the Avengers more often.

Days of Thunder – August 1966: The Mighty Thor #131

The Mighty Thor! “They Strike From Space!”

Script.. Smilin’ Stan Lee/ Art… Jolly Jack Kirby/Inks… Vivacious V. Colletta/ Lettering… Affable Artie Simek/ Celestial Guided Tours… Honest Irving Forbush

thor 131

Thor returns from Greece and one last time asks his father to be allowed to marry Jane Foster. To his astonishment, Odin at last gives him permission. Odin has observed the depths of love that the two share and he now gives Thor his blessing. Overjoyed, Thor leaves to tell Jane the good news, unaware that she is on a cross-country bus headed for parts unknown.

It turns out Tana Nile is a space alien. A member of a race of beings known as the Colonizers, Tana has identified Earth as a plum pick for conquest. She has been posing as a human long enough to do some scouting and has now formally registered a claim with home office. An inspection team has been dispatched to finalize things.

When Thor finds Nile at the apartment that she and Jane shared, now in her natural giant-headed, tv-screen-on-chest state, she drops the pretense. She, along with the inspection team, capture Thor in a cage of proton coagulation, to be taken back to Rigel for study. The inspectors leave with Thor, eager to avoid unpaid overtime. After they leave, Nile activates the Space Lock, enveloping the Earth in Astral energy from the Rigel constellation.

Thor busts loose from his proton cage and knocks out his captors. Alone in the autopiloted space ship, he awaits arrival in Rigel.

First Appearance: The Colonizers, the Space Lock, Irving Forbush

Days of Thunder – July 1966: The Mighty Thor #130

The Mighty Thor! Thunder in the Netherworld!
Let us proclaim a proud pean of praise for Marvel’s most prolific purveyors of peerless pageantry– Stan The Man Lee, Writer/ Jack King Kirby, Artist/ Vince the Prince Colletta, Delineator/ Artie Pussycat Simek, Letter

thor 130

On behalf of Hercules, Thor beats on the teeming hordes of the Netherworld. He does untold damage to the Underworld itself as he fights, which drives Pluto crazy.  Finally,   Pluto can no longer handle watching that which he has carefully tended be smashed, and he agrees to let the Lion of Olympus out of the contract that he legally signed.  I don’t think Pluto is the bad guy in this story.  Thor and Hercules part as friends.

Meanwhile, Jane Foster’s roommate Tana Nile decides that Jane is too dangerous of a wild card and could disrupt her as-of-yet unrevealed plans.  For this reason she hypnotizes the young nurse to hide so that Thor may never find her. To Tana Nile, Jane Foster is merely “a pawn in a far greater game of celestial chess.”

Days of Thunder – June 1966: The Mighty Thor #129

The Mighty Thor! “The Verdicts of Zeus!”

thor 129

Harken, ye!  Stan Lee, Writer/ Jack Kirby, Penciller/ Vince Colletta, Inker/ Arite Simek, Lettere/ Yea, Verily!

This issue begins with Thor taking a taxi to Jane Foster’s apartment. Not Don Blake, but Thor. Thor hasn’t reverted to Blake since he told Jane about his dual identity.  For some time now, Thor has become more and more dominant, and now that Jane knows the truth, it is as if he has no further use for Blake.

Thor and his cabbie spend some time bantering. The hack’s theory is that Thor is basically just an ordinary guy, same as anybody. Thor likes what the cabbie has to say and shakes the man’s hand as he departs. What he does not do is pay the man. Thor is not a good person.

Thor greets Jane and also her new roommate, Tana Nile, who seems nonplussed that she is sharing a room with Thor’s secret girlfriend. In fact, there is something weird about the lady: Thor cannot help but kneel before Ms. Nile, compelled as if she were royalty.  Obviously Nile is going to turn out to be a supervillain or something but it is nice to see Jane have a life outside of Thor.

Thor and and Jane catch up. He is no longer avoiding her because the reason he was avoiding her was dumb. He tells her that if they are to wed he will have to renounce Thor and become Blake permanently. Jane wisely says that this is a big step and that Thor should not make it lightly. Thor is god of action and so he shrugs off that advice and leaves to Asgard to tell Odin his decision.

However, once he arrives, Balder reminds him that it is the Day of the Three Worlds, a day prophesied in the Book of Enchanters.  On this day, Thor must enter limbo to await a noble cause to champion at the risk of his own life.  He must do this because it was prophesied that he would do this.

Meanwhile, Hercules has been trying in vain to find someone willing to champion his cause at the risk of their own life. The only way he can get out of his bargain with Pluto is if another hero would fight on Hercules’s behalf but nobody likes him enough to do that. As Pluto taunts, he has only made enemies, never friends. Or has he found a friend… in Thor?

First Appearance: Tana Nile, Ares, Hermes, Dionysus,

Days of Thunder – May 1966: The Mighty Thor #128

The Mighty Thor! “The Power of Pluto!”
Conceived in grandeur and procured in glory, by: Stan Lee, Writer/ Jack Kirby, Penciller/ Vince Colletta, Inker/ Artie Simek, Letterer Verily, we have spoken!

thor 128

Thor spends most of this issue in Asgard, recuperating from his battle of the previous issue. He gets a lot of bed rest and he goes fishing for beast-fish with Balder. This downtime is the first time Thor has been shown wearing clothes other than his normal Thor clothes. He looks much cooler out of them.  This story has  Thor just being a guy and it really makes Blake look redundant.

Odin sits in the Judgment Seat and passes sentence on Seidring. Odin’s old friend begs for mercy, crying that he was maddened by the power given to him by Odin. Unmoved, Odin sends him to another part of the universe, where he is to forever more be the ruler of the monstrous rock trolls.  A terrible punishment because rock trolls are boring.

Meanwhile on Earth, Hercules signs a contract agreeing to rule the Netherworld for all eternity because he is kind of dumb. After the pen is put to paper, Pluto and Hyppolita, queen of the Amazons reveal themselves for who they are and they gloat. Once Hercules realizes what he has gotten himself into, he starts a futile fight against Titan Warriors commanded by Pluto.

It is while Hercules is caught up in this fight that a recovered Thor asks his father leave to return to Earth to settle his stupid score with Hercules. Odin readily agrees and sends Thor straight to Hollywood where Hercules is already in mid-battle.

Thor jumps to Hercules’s aid and the combined might of the two gods is enough to turn the tables on the titans. Pluto and Hyppolita retreat, teleporting to Olympus to bring the contract before Zeus. As Hercules fills in Thor on what is going on, Thor agrees that their little squabble can wait while Hercules deals with this larger crisis.

First Appearance: Rock Trolls, Titan Warriors, The Netherworld

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

thor 127

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 – March 1966: The Mighty Thor #126

The Mighty Thor! “Whom the Gods Would Destroy!”
They said it couldn’t be done! And these are the guys who almost couldn’t do it– Stan Lee, the literary lion! Jack Kirby, the pencilling pussycat! V. Colletta, the delineating dragon! Artie Simek, the lettering looks it!

thor 126

After 42 issues, of Thor starring in the lead feature of Journey Into Mystery, and eight issues of being the clear star of the backup feature, this book finally sheds the old title and is now simply called “The Mighty Thor”, although it keeps the established numbering.

This issue starts with the following note of recap: “Hercules has come to Earth! He’s got the big eye for Thor’s chick! Goldilocks is bugged, but good! So, they’re fighting it out!” And indeed, they fight.
It is an epic slobberknocker, starting in the diner, moving to the street, smashing into the subway, and ending in a construction site.

As the two brutes beat the tar out of each other for no real reason whatsoever, they do epic property damage, and send civilians running in fear as they smash small businesses, vehicles, and the streets themselves in the name of their petty vendetta.

There have been many Thor stories that are little more than Thor and some other foe beating the crap out of each other, and this is another one of those, but damn, it is a gorgeous one of those.  This is my favorite era of Kirby and he draws the hell out of this fight.

Remember how in issue #101 Thor’s strength was halved and that there was never an indicator that it had returned? Well, apparently, at some point it was returned because at the height of this battle, Odin, who is still super-mad at Thor,  decides that Thor’s punishment is to now have his power halved. He cannot bear to enact the punishment himself, knowing that Hercules might kill Thor, and so he gives the Odin-power to his most trusted adviser, Seidring the Merciless so that Seidring can perform the deed.  It is made clear that this reverts his power to the level it was when he conquered the 23rd century, not halving it a second time to one-quarter strength.

At this power level, Thor is no match for Hercules and the Greek hero beats the shit out of him all while begging Thor to yield. Thor will not stay his hand, but eventually is battered into submission.

A crowd forms around the victorious Hercules, celebrating his win. A Hollywood agent is part of the crowd, and he offers Herc the chance to be a movie star, which appeals mightily to the god’s ego. He departs for Hollywood, Jane Foster seemingly forgotten.

As Thor staggers to his feet, Jane rushes toward him, trying to assure him that Hercules meant nothing; that she only wanted to make Thor jealous. Thor cares not. Thor tells Jane that having been bested in combat, he is no longer worthy of her love. He departs, telling his love that they cannot meet again until he has regained his honor.

But as he leaves, Jane hears a voice inside her head from her most powerful enemy, Odin. He tells her that Thor’s defeat is his fault and that now more than ever his son needs Jane Foster. Odin commands the mortal to go be with his son and she proclaims that she will.

First appearance: Seidring the Merciless

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 – January 1966: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #124

The Mighty Thor! “The Grandeur and the Glory!”
Story by: Stan (the Man) Lee/ Pencilling by: Jack (King) Kirby/ Delineation by: Vince (The Prince) Colletta/ Lettering by: Artie (Sugar Lips) Simek

jim 124

In New York, after consoling a random child who’s father has been wounded in Viet Nam, and being told off by a beat cop for giving a public demonstration without a license, Thor goes to see Jane in the hospital.

Doctor Donald Blake greets his love but she is barely holding it together. She has been thinking about things and she is sick of Blake’s bullshit. “You’ve told me you love me… but I know you’re keeping some terrible secret you’ve never allowed me to share! You desert me for days – weeks at a time! I never know where you are – what you’re doing! I only know that you’re gone! Get out – Out – Do you hear me – ??”

This dam-burst of emotion is more than Blake can bear. Despite his father’s command, Blake reveals his secret to Jane, transforming into Thor. As he says, “the deed is done! There is no turning back!” Jane is shocked, but it all makes sense.

Shortly thereafter, Blake is chased out Jane’s room by a nurse but he promises to return the next day. Jane makes it very clear that it is very important to her that he be responsible and show up.

Meanwhile, Odin is ready to burst with parental rage, the worst kind of rage. He saw what Thor did in direct defiance of his edict.  There must be a reckoning!

While this secret identity drama has been unspooling in New York, The Demon’s army has been running rampant across Asia. News of his exploits keeps being reported in America, which dismays Blake greatly. Visions of death cloud his mind, and even though he has just promised Jane to not let being Thor get in the way of their relationship, he decides that he must single-handedly end this foreign war that as far as he knows he has zero involvement in. He imagines that he can do this and be back within the day. He best hope so.

Also, Zeus is sick of Hercules starting dumb fights in Olympus, so he sends his son to Earth.

First Appearance: Atlas

Days of Thunder – September 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor Special King Size Annual #1

“When Titans Clash!” Thor vs. Hercules!
Mighty story by: Stan Lee/ Majestic art by: Jack Kirby/ Masterful inking by: Vince Colletta/ Mostly lettered by: Sam Rosen

jim annual 1

This is a book published in what is known as the “Annual” format,  an oversized magazine largely consisting of reprints of now out of print Thor stories. However, it does include one new story, featuring Young Thor.

Young Thor is in Jottunheim looking to start a fight with some Storm Giants when he falls into a hole. That hole is the secret entrance to Olympus, home of the Greek pantheon of gods. While trying to find his way out, he reaches a bridge just as Hercules approaches on the other side.

Thor, of course, has met a time-displaced Hercules in the modern era. (Avengers #10) Hercules appears nothing like he did in that encounter, but he is immortal and presumably changes his look from time to time. Since Enchantress messed with the time stream, preventing the previous Thor/Hercules encounter from actually transpiring, this meeting can still be considered the first time the two meet regardless of whether the time-displaced Hercules was from a point in time before or after this story.

At any rate, the two young gods are both cocky jocks who refuse to wield right of way on the bridge and end up beating on each other for several pages. They both come off as jerks. Thor has his hammer, so we know he is a grown up in this story and he should really know better.

The fight only stops when Zeus shows up and tells the kids to knock it off. He tells them that they both acquitted themselves honorably which says a lot about how gods live their lives. Satisfied with a draw-by-decision, Thor and Hercules shake hands in the name of friendship, before Zeus sends Thor back to Jottunheim.

But wait! The annual also contains a bonus two page spread showing the sights of Asgard. They include: The Temple of Titans, Warlock’s Haven, Warrior’s Walk, a monument to Yggasdral, a giant bust of Odin, the Museum of Weaponry, a giant monument to the Unknown Warrior, the Dome of Combat, and the Shopping Center. It is pretty spectacular.

First Appearance: Zeus, Jottunheim