Tag Archives: Loki

Days of Thunder – January 1979 The Mighty Thor #279

“A Hammer in Hades!”
Roy Thomas, Editor * Don Glut, Guest Writer * Alan Kupperberg & Pablo Marcos, Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Thor, back on Midgard, is reminded of Jane Foster, and thinks back to a time in his past. Once, during the time that Jane was hypnotized into not being in love with Blake, she was abducted by Hades. This happened in front of Thor’s eyes, as a weird mystical energy emanating from his walking-stick/hammer drew him to Foster, only to see her pulled down into the earth by strange tentacles.

He follows Jane’s captor into the Netherworld of Olympus. When he catches up with Jane, she is chained above a pool of fire. Pluto wants revenge against Thor’s involvement in thwarting his mutates on Earth. To that end he has sought the help of Loki. Loki does not join them in the Netherworld, but instead sends Ulik the Troll there.

Hades wants the two of them to duel.  The winner will claim the horribly objectified nurse as a prize “to do with as he will…”. The loser shall remain Hades’ eternal prisoner.

The two warriors fight until Ulik realizes that Pluto is using him as a tool of revenge. As much as he hates Thor, Ulik hates being manipulated even more. He turns his aggression toward Hades long enough for Thor to free Jane. Ulik’s assault catches Pluto so off guard, that the Troll almost kills Hades with Enchanted Flames that could consume even the Lord of the Netherworld. Thor intervenes, because he needs Hades to release him and Jane from the Netherworld.

Thor uses Mjolnir to teleport Ulik to Loki’s location. Chagrined, Pluto sends Thor and Jane back to Earth. Jane leaves Thor behind, to eat dinner with her boyfriend.

The events of this story take place after Thor fought Hades in issue #164. The first issue with downtime on Earth following that is issue #167. Furthermore, it takes place during the time that Jane was dating Dr. Kincaid, before she moved on to Dr. North, which means it must have taken place before issue #172. That all places the story squarely in the second half of 1969.

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 – October 1978 The Mighty Thor #276

“Mine– This Hammer!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema * Tom Palmer, Illustrators/ Glynis Wien, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer/ Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Odin is weakened from losing a sizeable portion of the Odinforce, but nonetheless decides to put his son, Loki on trial.

Before the trial begins, Loki advises Red Norvell to don Thor’s Belt of Strength in the temple of the Palace of Thor, where he can both find and wear Thor’s Iron Gloves, and finally, to bathe in the fire of Geirrodur.

Norvell does all of this, and then he crashes the trial. He is now bigger, beardier, and dressed in Asgardian raiment. He claims to be the “real Thor”. He is brash and brutish and picks a fight with Thor. As they fight, Norvell grabs Mjolnir and wrests it from Thor’s grasp!!

Red beats Thor to a pulp with Mjolnir and is prepared to kill Thor when Joey attempts to intervene. Red accidentally kills Joey. This gives him only slight pause. He threatens to kill Thor if Sif will not come away with him. When that doesn’t work, he threatens to destroy the Odinshield and thus bring about the end of the world.

Faced with the end of the world Sif yields to this creep. Norvell, still holding Thor’s hammer, grabs Sif and they depart. Yuck.

 

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 September 1978 What If Jan Foster Had Found the Hammer of Thor? #10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Days of Thunder – August 1978 The Mighty Thor #274

“The Eye– And the Arrow!”
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema, Tom Palmer, Illustrators/ Instigators * Joe Rosen, Letterer * Bob Sharen, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Consulting Ed.

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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 – July 1978 The Mighty Thor #273

“Somewhere… Over the Rainbow Bridge!
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Tom Palmer, Artists/Storytellers * Joe Rosen, Letterer/ G. Roussos, Colorist * Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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Starting with this issue, the introductory text that began with issue #248 has been subtly changed to:

“When Dr. DONALD BLAKE strikes his wooden walking-stick upon the ground, it becomes the mystic mallet MJOLNIR – and the lame physician is transformed into the Norse God of Thunder, Master of the Storm, Lord of the Living Lightning– and heir to the throne of eternal Asgard… Stan Lee Presents: The Mighty Thor!”

When Thor last crossed paths with Harris Hobbs, he used hypnosis to make the reporter forget what he knew about Thor and about Asgard. When Doctor Donald Blake last crossed paths with Hobbs, that hypnosis had held. However,  for all of that time, the mortal’s memories of Asgard would haunt him at night, and eventually he sought out a hypnotherapist who was able to restore the reporter’s memories.

Now a television reporter, and desperate for a story,  Hobbs begs Thor to be allowed to take a camera crew to Asgard. Thor promises to ask Odin, but considers getting a “yes” to be highly unlikely. Thor departs, and soon afterword a mysterious stranger makes himself known to Hobbs, asking to hear more about his dreams.

Hobbs tells the stranger about a vision he has been having, of a time long ago when a young Thor and a tragically hatless Hymir went fishing. What Thor did not tell his friend was that he was fishing for Jormungand, the one and only Migard Serpent, destined to one day slay Thor at the time of Ragnarok. Hymir cut the enchanted fishing line when he realized what Thor had done and Thor stormed off as a result.

The telling of this story somehow manages to restore the memory and strength of the stranger, who is, of course, Loki. Loki offers to take Hobbs and his camera crew to Asgard, which is an offer the mortal eagerly accepts.

Meanwhile, Thor visits his friend Tony Stark’s corporate office to pick up all that remains of F.A.U.S.T:  a giant adamantium cube.  He plans to take it to Asgard for safekeeping. Once he has the cube, he is visited by an illusion appearing to be the Midgard Serpent. He attempts to fight it, but returns to Asgard once he realizes the serpent is not real.

In Asgard, he is eager to see Sif once again, only to be informed that she and Odin have departed on a unknown mission, leaving the Warriors Three in charge. Before the matter can be discussed further, a panel in F.A.U.S.T. pops open and Hobbs and his camera crew, Red and Joey, pop out along with Loki.

Loki claims that Hobbs’ vision is a precursor to the coming of Ragnarok and that it is the nearness of the end times that has restored Loki. The time of Ragnarok, claims Loki, is here!

First Appearance: Red, Joey

Days of Thunder – June 1978 The Mighty Thor #272

“The Day the Thunder Failed!”
A Trio of Titans– Re-Teamed!
Roy Thomas, Writer/Editor * John Buscema & Tom Palmer, Illustrators/ George Roussos, Colorist/ Joe Rosen, Letterer/ Jim Shooter, Consulting Editor

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On the streets of Midgard, Thor stumbles upon some kids and ends up telling them a story of his youth. He tells a tale of Asgard, one that takes place some time after he has earned his hammer.

Young Thor and Loki were lost in a forest, far from Asgard, when they stumble upon a giant, large enough to hold both Asgardians in the palm of his hand. The giant’s name is Skyrmir, and he tells the brothers that they are in the kingdom of Utgard.

Skyrmir is returning to the the Hall of Utgard, and Thor and Loki decide to follow him out of the forest. That night, the Giant offers his tiny companions food from his bag and then promptly falls asleep. To Thor and Loki’s frustration, they discover that they cannot open the giant sack. Frustrated, Thor lashes out at Skyrmir, striking him with a thunderbolt. The giant wakes only briefly, having barely felt anything.

Later, they arrive in Utgardhall, a city scaled for people the size of Skyrmir. Thor and Loki quickly earn the attention of Utgard, the ruler of Utgardhall. He challenges the gods to a series of five challenges. If they win, he will give them directions to their home, if they fail, they will be banished to the dungeons.

In turn they fail each challenge: First there is an eating contest, a race, and a drinking contest. Then the challenges get more insulting as Thor is challenged to lift a simple housecat, and when he fails that one, is asked to defeat an old crone at wrestling. This too he fails.

At this time, Utgard reveals that they have been tricked all along. That each step of the way, they were the victims of illusions and enchantments. Thor was not lifting a cat, but the Midgard Serpent. The crone was actually Elli, the very personification of Aging.

Having revealed the deception, Utgard commends the Asgardians for not surrendering, declaring them worthy to rule the cosmos. He then departs, and strips away the illusion that was Utgardhall itself.

The kids thank Thor for the story and depart.  As they go, one says to Thor, “The Force be with you”.  To this, Thor replies,  “And with thee, lad… whate’er thou dost mean.”

It is at this point that Harris Hobbs runs up to Thor and declares his intent to create a TV special about the Norse Gods, filmed on location in Asgard.

First Appearance: Utgard, Skyrmir, Elli

 

Days of Thunder – January 1978 The Mighty Thor #267

“Once More, To Midgard!
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

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With Odin returned to the Throne, it is a time for regrouping. The Recorder returns to the Colonizers, and Karnilla likewise departs. Loki is put on trial and as punishment, Odin strips him of his memories and of his godhood, sending Loki to live on Midgard as he once did with his other son. Kroda, Magrat and Snaykar remain free.  Odin tasks the Warriors Three with tracking them down.

Thor desires to return to Earth.  He discusses the matter with Sif, who has found a snazzy new outfit. He tells her that he wishes to go to Midgard without her. Says he, “Though the heart of Thor is ever thine, the spirit of Don Blake cries out for release, and I must heed its call alone!” As Thor has no interest in being Don Blake, it can be assumed that the part of him that is Blake is literally crying out for release from within his psychic prison.
Sif gives Thor his space, but the matter of Jane Foster is not discussed. If Sif stays of Asgard, it would seem Jane is doomed to non-existence, and were she to return to Earth, it would be the Lady Sif who was denied a life. What amount of responsibility to Jane does Sif carry? Also, Thor wasted no time in getting romantic with Jane when Sif seemed dead, now that she is back, Thor claims she has his heart. None of these matters is discussed.

Does Jane have any friends, any family? No one was seen to visit her in the hospital when she was dying. Presumably she had a job before leaving on the Odin Quest. Are there people on Earth searching for her, presuming her dead?

Thor returns to Earth, shocked to discover that he has been gone for over a year. Blake had just started up a new practice last time he was on Earth. That practice’s office has been bulldozed in his absence. Blake has no close friends. His girlfriend is trapped in another woman’s body in another plane of existence. Blake takes a moment to contemplate if existing still makes sense.

Blake decides to start a new chapter of his life. He visits his old college mentor, Dr. Jacob Wallaby, looking for work. He tells Wallaby that he needs something that he can drop at a moments notice for an indefinite length of time. Wallaby agrees to set Blake up with some unpaid work at a free clinic. He comments, “I’ve never quite understood you, my boy! Your skill as a surgeon surpasses any other I’ve ever seen, yet I’ve always had the feeling mere medicine wasn’t enough for you…”

Before they can discuss it further, a schmuck calling himself “Damocles” and some other thugs attack the hospital they are at, stealing some synthetic cobalt. Blake departs, changes into Thor and gives chase. Damocles escapes, intending to build a Cobalt Cannon.

First Appearance: Damocles, Dr. Jacob Wallaby

 

Days of Thunder – December 1977 The Mighty Thor #266

“…So Falls the Realm Eternal!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

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When Karnilla realizes that Balder’s spirit is powering the Destroyer, she wastes no time in teleporting to the location of Balder’s body, which she steals away from the Trickster God. She takes the body to the Destroyer, intending to remove Balder’s essence from the Destroyer and put it back where it belongs.

Unfortunately, Loki follows Karnilla, and in the battle that ensues, the Norn Queen is knocked unconscious. The part of the Destroyer that is Balder senses this, and turns its attention away from thrashing Thor with Kzippa particles in order to attack Loki. Panicked, Loki returns the essence of Balder to its body.

Loki, then intends to enter the Destroyer himself, but before he can, Thor enters it. The Thor-powered Destroyer is about to kill Loki when Odin arrives, and commands the Destroyer to kneel before him. The part of the Destroyer that is Thor hears and yields.

While most of the cast had been fighting the Destroyer, the Warriors Three followed the team of Kroda, Magrat and Snaykar to the secret cavern where Loki had hidden Odin. They defeat the villains, and free the All-Father from the Mists of Morpheus that Loki had been using to indefinitely prolong the Odinsleep. Once freed of the mists, Odin awoke and was thus able to end the Destroyer fight and reassume his rulership of Asgard. Odin frees Thor’s spirit from the Destroyer and father and son embrace.

Days of Thunder – November 1977 The Mighty Thor #265

“When Falls the God of Thunder…!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson, Illustrator * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer * Welcome Back All, Joe Sinnott, Guest Embellisher

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Thor fights the Destroyer, which Loki stole from Galactus. Even with most of his friends pitching in, he is no match for his foe. Hildegarde remains conspicuously absent from the action.

Meanwhile, Karnilla, riding a dragon, is denied entrance to Asgard by a pair of guardsmen named Brolthar and Enok, so she turns them into toads and enters the city. She attempts to assist Thor but when her magic strikes the Destroyer, she realizes the truth: The Destroyer’s current host is none other than Balder!

First Appearance: Brolthar, Enok

Days of Thunder – October 1977 The Mighty Thor #264

“Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Artists/Illustrators * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer

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Loki has grabbed the throne of Asgard yet again, and this time he backs up his grab with a well-forged legal document from a cask bearing the Odin-Seal. The scroll within the cask states that in the case of Odin’s incapacitation, whichever of Odin’s sons can first sit on the Throne shall rule the realm. Given that both Thor and Loki have repeatedly been banished from Asgard, and given that Odin enters the Odinsleep once a year, on top of his tendency to mysteriously disappear, one would think he would have established a clear, well-known rule of succession by now.

Instead, we have Loki, apparently the rightful ruler of Asgard. This time, he has surrounded himself with lackeys. In addition to the reluctant support of the Enchantress and the Executioner (both of whom, one would think would still be sore about Loki’s role in their initial banishment) he has also enlisted the aid of his old friends Kroda the Duelist and Magrat the Schemer and brought Snaykar the Skulker into the fold.

Loki bids his brother and friends to depart from his presence. Thor and his friends do, and split into two teams. The Warriors Three are tasked with protecting Odin, while Thor, Sif and the Recorder search for Balder.

The Warriors Three find Odin missing from his bedchambers. They follow the trail left by his abductors, which leads them to Executioner and the Enchantress, deep within the bowels of Asgard, near the Troll-built generators that power the city. They fight.  Due to subtle manipulation on the part of Loki, the Enchantress and the Executioner plummet to their seeming death at the end of the fight.

Thor, Sif and the Recorder have been told that Balder left Asgard with Karnilla, accompanying her back to her domain.  They head out that way,  and hve to fight their way past a pair of Storm Giants to get there.  Sif is oddly frightened of one of them, but Thor kills them.

When they arrive at the home of the Norn Queen, Karnilla claims not to know what became of Balder. Thor believes Karnilla when it comes to matters of Balder.

It turns out that Loki has used his magic to erase the Norn Queen’s memory of Balder’s capture and her defeat, that Loki has been manipulating the memories of all the people of Asgard, that Balder is locked in the dungeons of Asgard, and that it wasn’t really Thor that attacked Balder.

Thor returns to Loki, full of bluster. Loki simply vanishes.  The Destroyer appear before Thor.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1977 The Mighty Thor #263

“Holocaust and Homecoming!”
Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators Extraordinaire * Glynis Wein, Colorist * John Costanza, Letterer

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The Asgardians do battle against the Odin-Force given form, and it is Valiant Volstagg that wins the day. Volstagg finds himself able to blast the being with powerful energy from his hands and he fights the being to the point of exhaustion, at which point it dissipates. It seems Odin was able to transfer a portion of the Odin-Force into Volstagg before expiring. Volstagg now transfers that same force back to Odin, restoring him to life.

During the course of the fight, the Soul-Survivors’ Energy Siphon was destroyed, and it seems that they now have no way of capturing the energy their world needs to survive. Also, it seems that while the Soul-Survivors were able to disenchant Mjolnir when they were in control of the Odin-Force, now that Odin is free and alive, the hammer is enchanted once again.

The Asgardians (and their Rigelian friend) depart. Odin has been weakened by these recent events and slips into the Odinsleep once again. The crew of the Starjammer return to Asgard only to find Loki sitting on the throne, flanked by the Enchantress and the Executioner!

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 – March 1975 The Mighty Thor #233

“Midgard Aflame!”
Gerry Conway, Author * John Buscmea & Chic Stone, Artists * Artie Sime, Letterer/ Petra G., Colorist * Len Wein, Editor

thor 233

Loki, emboldened by the power of Dormammu, returns to Asgard. Upon arriving, he vaporizes the Vizier with a gesture. Holy shit, he just killed the Vizier!

Meanwhile, Thor has been taking a walk to clear his head, but when he tries to return to Avengers Mansion, he finds it barricaded by a mystic force field. Presumably Firelord is trapped within, along with Iron Man.

Thor is soon summoned to the Pentagon, where he is informed that every known super-powered individual in America has been immobilized by force fields, save for Thor. In addition, gigantic mysterious cubes have appeared all over America, if not the world.

Soon a cube located on Arlington Bridge opens up and a battalion of horse-mounted Asgardian warriors spill out of it, led by Loki astride a fire-breathing horse. Loki is also wielding a firey sword, but it would most likely be a different one than the one he owned before being blinded and falling off of a cliff.

Thor, alongside Gen. Sam Sawyer lead a large number of U.S. Army troops against Loki and the Asgardians. The humans fight valiantly but they are no match for magic of Loki and the might of Asgardian warriors. Sawyer and Thor discuss the nuclear option when the Vizier appears before them.

The Vizier’s not dead! How he survived is unclear, but he tells Thor that Odin has renounced his godhead and given himself amnesia. Odin now lives among the mortals unaware of who he is.

In fact, we now see him, living with migrant workers in California, going by the name “Orrin.” He watches the television reporting of the attack on Washington and furrows his brow, unable to know why this all seems so familiar.

First Appearance: General Sam Sawyer

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

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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 – December 1973 The Avengers #118

“To the Death!”
Steve Englehart, Writer/ Bob Brown, Penciler/ Frank Giacoia, and Mike Esposito  Inkers/ Roy Thomas Editor

vengers 118

The Avengers and the Defenders have discovered that they have been manipulated and are now teamed up. However, Dormammu has seized the completed Evil Eye and has begun to suck the Earth’s dimension into his own.

The combined teams attack Dormammu. During the battle, Dormammu defeats the heroes one-by-one. He transforms Thor into Donald Blake, revealing his identity to his comrades, and leaving him unable to revert to Thor. He does similar to Iron Man, stripping him of his armor, outing  him as Tony Stark.

Eventually, all that remain standing against Dormammu are the Scarlet Witch and Loki. Together, they wrench the Evil Eye from Dormammu. The Evil Eye discharges a terrible blast of energy into Loki’s face. This blast restores Loki’s sight, but also seems to drive him mad, leaving him with the mind of a child.

In the aftermath, Blake reverts to Thor. Without waiting to see how anyone felt about the matter, Doctor Strange uses magic to make all present forget Blake and Stark’s identities. It is unclear if this spell undid the knowledge  for those who already knew one or more of the other’s identities.

Loki is left in the care of Tom Fagan.

 

 

Days of Thunder – October 1973 Avengers #116

Ten Years ago this month, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created… The Mighty Avengers! Today, Steve Englehard and Bob Brown continue the standard of excellence that has always marked Marvel’s mightiest, most exciting group–/Mike Esposito, inker/ John Costanza, letterer/ Petra Goldberg, colorist/ Johnny Romita, art director/ Roy Thomas, editor
“Chapter 2: Betrayal!”

Avengers 116

Dormammu and Loki have tricked the Defenders (currently consisting of Doctor Strange, Namor, the Hulk, Valkyrie, the Silver Surfer, and Hawkeye) into believing that the Evil Eye is the key to releasing the Black Knight from the stone prison that the Enchantress left him in. Now they search for the six scattered parts, guided by Strange’s magic.

Loki is having second thoughts about this plan. He has realized that if Dormammu would succeed in conqueroring Earth’s dimension, he would have the power and the vantage to launch an attack on Asgard. While Loki has no respect for his father’s rule, he does not wish to see his home conquered by an outsider and so he leaves the Dark Dimension in order to warn Thor of the threat to Earth. This is the very first time a Marvel comic has depicted Loki thinking or doing anything that was not entirely selfish and craven.

However, Loki cannot bring himself to be honest and admit culpability for this threat. Instead, he paints the Defenders as villains, seeking the Evil Eye for their own nefarious ends. Given that five of the six Defenders have track records as villains, this is plausible enough. And so the Avengers split up to fight the Defenders and keep them from re-assembling the Evil Eye.

This issue makes it clear that Earth and Asgard are in separate dimensions. The nature of what exactly a dimension is, remains shaky.

Clearly, this entire Avengers/Defenders crossover takes place either before or after Thor’s recent trip into space.

 

Days of Thunder – September 1973 Avengers #115

Steve Engelhart, Script/ Bob Brown, Art/ Mike Esposito, Inker/ Jean Izzo, Letterer/ S. Goldberg, Colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor
“Prologue: Alliance Most Foul!”

avengers115

In a three page postscript to this issue, it is revealed that when blinded Loki fell off a cliff last Halloween, he was rescued by Dormammu, Lord of the Dark Dimension. Dormammu is an enemy of Doctor Strange who after a failed attempt to conquer Earth, has sworn to never invade Earth’s dimension.

Now, what Dormammu has realized is that if he could expand the size of the Dark Dimension so that it enveloped Earth’s dimension, then he could conquer the Earth without breaking his word. To achieve this goal, he seeks the Evil Eye, a powerful artifact that has been broken into six pieces and scattered across the land.

Dormammu wishes Loki to become his middleman, tricking Strange’s allies, the Defenders, into obtaining the pieces of the artifact for him. Loki agrees to help.

Days of Thunder – January 1973 The Mighty Thor #207

“Firesword”

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

Thor 207

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Appearance: Credit for the colorist

Days of Thunder – December 1972 The Mighty Thor #206

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

Thor 206

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

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

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

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

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

 

Days of Thunder – June 1972 The Mighty Thor #200

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

Thor 200

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

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

 

Days of Thunder – January 1972 The Mighty Thor #195

“In the Shadow of Mangog!”
Stan Lee, Editor/ Gerry Conway, Writer/ John Buscema, Artist/ Vince Colletta, Inker/ Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 195

Currently unaware of the danger that Odin has allowed Loki to unleash, Thor and his friends take a well-deserved breather. Thor takes off his helmet and lets his beautiful tresses flow, while Fandral dances like an idiot. Thor pledges that he and Sif shall be wed within a fortnight. For a second time, Asgardian women other than Sif appear in the background.

All this revelry is cut short when Odin sends Thor and “the three who’s lives are bound to his” on a quest into the World’s End, to find Kartag the Keeper, so that he might divulge the secret of the Twilight Well. Sif can’t even be bothered to ask to go along only to be sternly denied. She skips straight to crying.

Odin then summons a warrior named Hildegarde and commands that she take Sif to Blackworld, which she does, by karate chopping Sif into unconsciousness and picking her up while Odin transports the two of them with his rod.

When Sif awakens she cries some more, bemoaning her separation from Thor. Hildegarde is unimpressed, as she is in love with one of the trio. She does not elaborate on this point, “We’ll have time enow for woman’s talk when we do reach shelter.” The two warriors head to a small village and along the way they help The Mighty Thor pass the very low bar that is the Bechtel Test for the first time in 112 issues.

On Asgard, Odin has assembled a team of very old friends of his: Khan, Rongor, Whitemane, and a fourth as-of-yet unnamed one. He need their help to protect Asgard against that which he has unwittingly unleashed.

He shows his friends that thanks to his mistake, Loki has released the Mangog, which somehow still exists. The Mangog does not believe in gratitude and traps Loki in a block of Amber.

Thor and company fight their way through some freaky monsters, including a pack of trolls that look unlike any trolls we have seen in these pages to date. Thor spares the lives of one of the trolls, named Kygar, who pledges to serve Thor forevermore.

And then the still-living Mangog arrives in Asgard.

First Appearance: Hildegarde, Khan, Rongor, Whitemane, Kygar

 

Days of Thunder – December 1971 The Mighty Thor #194

“This Fatal Fury!”
Stan Lee, Editor/ Gerry Conway, Writer/ John and Sal Buscema, Artists/ Artie Simek, Letterer

Thor 194

While fighting Storm Giants, Thor drops his hammer for 60 seconds, at which point he turns into Blake and slips through one of the giant’s fingers, before grabbing the hammer and reverting. This is a puzzler,  since the sixty second rule was incontrovertibly established in issue #139 as not applying when Thor is not on Earth. It has been hinted at  in more recent issues (specifically in issues #159, #185, and #186) that the Earthbound clause no longer applies, and now it seems there is no wriggling out of it. Thor changed into Blake while on Asgard.

Clearly the enchantment that ties Thor and his Blake persona together has been altered. The most likely scenario seems to be that when Odin stripped Thor of his hammer’s enchantment in issue #145 and later re-enchanted it in issue #151 the re-enchanting was a fresh enchantment, subtly different than the initial one. A second theory would be that after Thor learned the truth of his relationship with Blake that this somehow changed the rules for turning into him.

At any rate, things come to a head. Thor fights some Storm Giants. Sif cries some more. The trio joins the fray. Balder and Karnilla kiss before Balder has to ruin the moment. And Loki’s hand is beginning to hurt.

Finally, Thor and Loki battle one-on-one. The Odin-Ring would seem to put Loki physically on par with his brother, but instead, as they fight, he begins to suffer so much pain that he pulls the ring off of his finger and tosses it away, shrieking “My soul– My soul burns!”

A freshly awakened Odin reclaims the ring, for only he can wear the ring for any length of time. He banishes Loki and all seems well in Asgard. However, the dust has not had time to settle before the Vizier rushes in, panicked.

The Vizier takes Odin to the Cosmic Well, which shows the All-Father the  exact location where he banished Loki, in his haste. Loki is laughing darkly for unknown reasons. Upon seeing where he sent his son, Odin proclaims that “when Loki wakes that buried foe… the foundations of a universe will crumble!… Odin hath damned Asgard – – Hath damned us all!”

Days of Thunder – November 1971 The Mighty Thor #193

“What Power Unleashed?”
Stan Lee, Overseer Supreme/ Gerry Conway, Scripter Superb/ John and Sal Buscema, Artists Admirable/ Artie Simek, Letterer Legible

Thor 193

Not only is this the first issue with Gerry Conway taking over as scripter, but it is a weird overlength issue, with what was clearly supposed to be the first fourteen pages of the next issue tacked onto the book, perhaps as part of a scheme to hide the fact that the price of the book was going up by a nickle, perhaps because no Thor title shipped with an October date.

At any rate, Balder has caught the attention of the Silver Surfer. Since the last time Thor has encountered this shiny asshole, he has remained stuck on Earth and has completely written off the human race as being basically worthless. For this reason, the Surfer is less than inclined to help Balder, whom he does not remember.

Balder gets carried away in petitioning the Surfer for aide and says of Thor “For whom I would give my life!” Karnilla is super-pissed by that, for Balder’s life is not his to give. She lashes out in anger and mortally wounds Balder (She probably forgot that he is mortal on Earth.). She instantly regrets her actions, but has the Surfer to deal with. She demands respect but the Surfer informs her that he “Bows to no female.”

The Silver Surfer is a dick. Satan likely doesn’t want his soul because his soul is pure, he wants his soul because fuck that guy. At any rate, something in Balder and Karnilla’s melodramatics has convinced the Surfer to aid Thor, whom he also does not remember.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Loki has resumed being super-creepy and has decided to force Sif to be his bride. This is unpleasant in every way imaginable, but does allow Loki to get a good dig in on Thor regarding the fact that he has continued to put off marrying Sif. It is worth pointing out that Thor has at this point been with Sif for longer than he had pined after Jane Foster, whom he was willing to renounce godhood in order to wed.

The Surfer finds Thor and tags in, taking over the stalemated battle with Durok. This frees Thor to return to Asgard. When he returns, he finds Heimdal who must fight Thor at Loki’s command. Thor knocks Heimdal off of the rainbow bridge, causing him to plummet, re-raising questions about the nature of the rainbow bridge.

Thor jumps down after Heimdal and somehow manages to loop back upward onto the bridge, saving his friend.  This suggests that the laws of physics are very strange on and near Bifrost.   He then proceeds onward, fighting his way past Storm Giants. He explicitly kills one named Kaggor the Tall, setting a new bloodthirstier tone for the book.

At last he finds Sif, attended by some random Asgardian women, wearing some stupid skimpy bridal get-up. Their reunion is cut short by Loki, who sends another wave of storm giants against Thor.

Meanwhile, The Surfer and Durok fight until the Surfer decides to pull Durok into the far future of Earth, some point past a time when mankind has wiped itself out. Time travel is apparently a thing that the Silver Surfer can do with nothing more than his board. He deposits Durok in this wasteland future, scoffs at the grisly fate of humanity, and presumably returns to present-day Earth.

First appearance: female Asgardian background characters, Kaggor the Tall

 

Days of Thunder – September 1971 The Mighty Thor #192

“Conflagration!”
Story by: Stan Lee/ Illustration by: John Buscema/ Embellishment by: Sam Grainger/ Lettering by: Artie Simek/ Costumes by: Forbush’s Funky Fashion Factory

Thor 192

Sif resumes weeping.

Thor battles Durok on Earth, which is  a rough stalemate with a lot of collateral damage. Thor does what he can to minimize the harm and to hypnotize the bystanders into forgetting anything had ever happened.

Meanwhile, on Asgard, Balder begs Karnilla for permission to go to Earth. He promises to not strike a blow in Thor’s defense. Curious, Karnilla agrees. Once they arrive, Balder uses his sword to magically summon the Silver Surfer!

It is here, mid-story, that Stan Lee steps away from scripting duties of Thor.   And so the first era of The Mighty Thor draws to a close.

 

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!

Thor 191

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

Thor 190

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

Thor 189

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.

Hela 3

 

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