“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
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