“To End in Flames!”
Grandeur unsurpassed, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby/ Embellishment: Vince Colletta/ Lettering A. Simek
Loki has fled to Earth, bringing his servant Toag with him. Toag seems to have remained perpetually loyal to Loki even as the villain’s loyalties have shifted. As a result of his fealty to Loki, Toag may no longer retain the title of Elder of the Supreme Council. It is not clear. What is clear is that even on Earth they can feel the heat of Surtur as it emanates from Asgard.
On Asgard, Thor marshals the forces of Asgard to fight against Surtur. They strike at the monstrous fire demon, with their weapons, with the power of the storm, with an Asgardian Frost Gun. They even hurl a planetoid at him. Nothing stops the demon.
Meanwhile, Sif and Balder storm Loki’s castle. Apparently, Loki has a castle. Within the castle they meet Loki’s ally, Igron the Wizard. They force Igron to send Balder into the Sea of Eternal night, which is within the Dimension of Death. Sif stays behind to guard the portal and to keep an eye on Igron.
Within the Sea of Eternal Night, Balder grows weak, rapidly aging as he desperately hurls himself toward the capsule that contains his king. Naturally, Balder’s immunity to harm does not extend beyond Asgard. He finds Odin, and returns the king to Asgard, before collapsing, withered and near-death.
Balder is not to die today. Odin, freshly awakened from the Odinsleep, restores Balder’s vitality before joining Thor. Upon seeing Surtur, Odin immediately uses his power to pull the demon into the ground, trapping Surtur deep within its bowels.
First Appearance: Igron the Wizard