Tag Archives: Surtur

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

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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 – June 1970 The Mighty Thor #177

“To End in Flames!”
Grandeur unsurpassed, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby/ Embellishment: Vince Colletta/ Lettering A. Simek

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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

 

Days of Thunder – May 1970 The Mighty Thor #176

“Inferno”
A munificent masterwork by: Stan Lee & Jack Kirby/ Vince Colletta Inker/ Artie Simek Letter

Vince came back!

Thor 176

Loki wears the Ring Imperial, also known as the Odinring, and none of our heroes will stand against him. None save Balder, who has not sworn fealty to Asgard,  only to Odin, and Sif who has sworn fealty to Asgard, but who tells Loki that she would sooner die than obey a command to become his queen. Rather than force her to make that choice, he forces her to battle a troll warrior, whom she easily defeats.

Balder soon frees his friends, but Loki reveals the depths of his villainy: The evil one has placed his father in a coffin-sized capsule and cast it into the apparent limbo dimension that is the Sea of Eternal Night! When Loki reveals this, Thor and Sif both declare that ring or no ring they shall stand against Loki.

Before things come to blows, fires begin to erupt across Asgard. Without Odin to guard him within his prison, Surtur, the fire demon has escaped and seeks to destroy all things, starting with Asgard. In the face of this threat to the land, Loki predictably flees.

Thor takes charge, and as he prepares the bulk of Asgard’s forces to mount a defense, he sends Sif and Balder into the Sea of Eternal Night to awaken mighty Odin.

First Appearance: The Sea of Eternal Night

Days of Thunder – May 1966: The Mighty Thor #128 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods “Aftermath!”
Script: Stan Lee/ Pencilling: Jack Kirby/ Delineation: Vince Colletta/ Lettering S. Rosen

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Volla, the prophetess continues her prophesy.

9. The remaining Asgardians, including Thor, battle the unspeakably huge Midgard Serpent.
10. So great is the battle against the serpent that Asgard is torn asunder, “shaking the foundations of infinity itself.”
11. All are dead. All is silent.
12. At last, Surtur, unable to live when all others have died, sears everything with his great sword in a final act of fury, reducing Asgard to a cinder.
13. Eons later life returns and a new race of young gods emerges to build a new civilization.

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Having completed her prophecy, the assembled gods stand in humble silence. Unable to bear it, Loki sneers at the prophesy, claiming it shall never come to pass. Odin rebukes his son and tells Loki that he shall himself be the cause of Ragnarok.

Days of Thunder – December 1963: Journey Into Mystery #99 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Mighty Norse Gods: Surtur the Fire Demon!

Presented with Pride by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby!

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Odin hears of an alliance between the Trolls and Surtur. In response, Odin invades the land of the Trolls, defies the Troll King and whups on a lot of Trolls.  We learn that Odin is the only force in the universe powerful enough to shatter the grip of a Troll. Odin plunges his sword into the ground, drawing limitless power. Cowed, the Trolls betray Surtur.

Odin and Surtur face off in a sea of flame. Surtur changes his hands into mighty serpents, but Odin uses the power of his sword to smash Surtur in the face with some icy planets. Surtur runs away, burrowing deep into the planet Earth. Odin creates Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge, and runs across it to the Earth, where his uses his sword once again, this time to make the Earth begin spinning around the Sun, the force of which traps Surtur in the center of the planet.

Hoping to appease Odin, Surtur gifts the godking with a pegasus, which flies through the mouth of a spouting volcano. Maybe one day Odin will forgive Surtur. In the meantime, he’s keeping the horse.

Days of Thunder – November 1963: Journey Into Mystery #98 part 2

Tales of Asgard, Home of the Gods!: Odin Battles Ymir, King of the Ice Giants

Written by: Stan Lee/ Drawn by: Jack Kirby/ Inked by: Don Heck/ Lettered by: Art Simek

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This is the story of Odin’s victory over the Frost Giants. Odin kills a bunch of giants, first with meteor bolts, then by splitting a mountain in two with his sword so that the giants fall into Surtur’ domain, where they become the prisoners of Surtur’s demons.

Finally, Odin faces Ymir, King of the Ice Giants. Odin does not kill him, but traps him eternally in a ring of fire. I bet that never comes back to haunt him.

Days of Thunder – October 1963: Journey Into Mystery #97: Tales of Asgard

Tales of… Asgard! Home of the Mighty Norse Gods

Written By: Stan Lee/ Drawn By: Jack Kirby/ Inked By: George Roussos (credited as G. Bell)/ Lettered By: Art Simek

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Starting with this issue, in addition to the Thor main feature, Journey Into Mystery features a Tales of Asgard backup short. Some would say that this is the real start of Lee and Kirby’s Thor.

This month’s installment is an exposition dump. The Norse gods are known as the Aesir. At the end of the world from where they come sits Surtur, a demon with a flaming sword waiting for the end of all things. The first thing to crawl from the Well of Life on their world were the totally evil Frost Giants, led by Ymir the first and greatest of their number. Ymir had a gigantic magic cow.

Later, the first Aesir crawled from the well. He was named Buri. Buri and his unnamed wife had a son named Borr and later Borr had some kids, one of them being Odin, and Odin grew up to kill all of the Frost Giants.

Some time later, Odin and his unnamed brothers decide they like the Earth and so the set a ring around the planet, from which grows Yggdrasil, a magic protective tree that awaits the coming of man.

The interesting thing about this telling is that while it is clearly backstory for a major Marvel Comics superhero, it is framed as a legend, a story told by ancient Norsemen. It’s tonally very different from usual Stan Lee material and it is great.

First Appearance: Surtur, Surtur’s flaming sword, The Frost Giants, Ymir, Ymir’s magic cow, Buri, Borr, Yggdrasil