“On the Matter of Heroes!”
David Micheline, Writer/ John Byrne & Gene Day, Artists/ Francoise Mouly, Colors/ Elaine Heinl, Letters/ Roger Stern * Editor/ Jim Shooter * Editor-in-Chief
Thor gets fired from the Avengers.
“The End… and the Beginning!”
James Shooter, Plotter/Editor-In-Chief * D. Michelinie, Scripter * D. Wenzel, Pencils * P. Marcos, Inker * D. Wohl, Letters * P. Rache, Colors * R. Stern, Editor
A large assemblage of Avengers, both former and current, have been caught up in a complicated war of wills between Korvac and a cosmic entity known as “The Collector.” Korvac has killed the Collector, but these Avengers, Thor among their number, remain aboard his spaceship, currently orbiting Earth.
Investigating the environs of their now-deceased foe, the Avengers discover that the Collector owned a time machine, and had been using it to snatch Thor out of the time-stream so that he could assist the Avengers, despite his being preoccupied with Asgardian matters. The reasons for this were complicated and opaque, but after each adventure, Thor would be returned to his own point in the time stream with his memory removed.
“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
“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.
“…Where Angels Fear to Tread”
Jim Shooter, Writer/Editor /George Perez, Penciler/ Pablo Marcos, Inker/ Denise Wohl, Letterer/ Phil Rachelson, Colorist
Thor, that is to say, the real Thor, is helping his comrades in the Avengers fight Ultron. The nature of the seemingly false Thor remains unknown.
Joining the Avengers is Ms. Marvel. Ms. Marvel is a human who’s DNA has been merged with that of a member of the alien race known as the Kree. This fusion has granted her superhuman abilities. Ms. Marvel is both a a superhero and a liberated woman. One of her abilities is precognitive visions, and she has recently had a vision that compels her to help the Avengers in their fight against Ultron.
The conflict against Ultron leads the Avengers to a church. Thor is uncomfortable entering the church. He explains that some Christians consider his very existence to be an affront to their belief in a single supreme deity.
This church has for some reason been chosen as Ultron’s lair. Ultron wishes to murder his father, and imprint a robot with the personality of his father’s wife and then to fuck that robot. Ultron, not one for subtlety, names his would-be robot bride “Jocasta.”
Jocasta awakens and finds herself deeply conflicted between her programmed love for Ultron, and how deeply skeeved out she is by him. Confused, she tries to murder him. She fails, but this distracts Ultron long enough for the Scarlet Witch to crack open his armor. Once this happens, Thor uses Mjolnir to suck out all of Ultron’s life force before ejecting it into the cosmos.
“…Like a Diamond in the Sky!”
“Len Wein, Writer/Editor * Walt Simonson & Tony DeZuniga, Illustrators/ Storytellers * Glynis Wein, Colorist * Joe Rosen, Letterer
After conferring with the Avengers and with an intelligence operative named Nick Fury, Thor uses Mjolnir to teleport himself and Iron Man inside of F.A.U.S.T., now in orbit around Earth. The two of them destroy it.
Last Appearance: Len Wein
“…Though Hell Should Bar the Way!”
James Shooter, Writer/Colorist /George Perez, Artist/Co-Plotter / Pablo Marcos, Inker/ Denise Wohl, Letterer/ Archie Goodwin, Editor
After Thor’s recent realization that that he was slumming by participating in the Avengers, he reduced his role to that of an associate member, to be called upon only in times of emergency. There have been some other membership shakeups, and the current full-time Avengers roster now consists of Iron Man, Captain America, The Wasp, The Scarlet Witch, The Vision, and the Beast (formerly of the X-Men).
Wonder Man, a reformed villain with a brief former stint as an Avenger who is also the human template for the Vision, has been returned from the dead via vague arcane means. He now serves as a member of the Avengers although he has not been officially made an active member.
Since taking his leave of absence, Thor has seemingly dropped by to assist the Avengers on three separate occasions. However, he now arrives at the Avengers Mansion, claiming to have never done any such thing. He is very confused. It seems that the Thor that has been fighting alongside the Avengers as of late has been an Impostor.
“The Gods and the Gang!”
Steve Englehart, Story/ George Perez, Art/ Sam Grainger, Inks/ Tom Orzechowski, lettering/ Hugh Paley, coloring/ Marv Wolman, Editor
Thor, goaded by Moondragon, comes to realize that the Avengers are holding him back. As Moondragon puts it, he is “slumming.”
After singlehandedly saving the bulk of his friends from some crooked industrialists, he gives a speech. “I am not slow-witted, but my task in the All-Father’s plan doth concern itself more with action than reflection! What I saw not till this battle is that, to adapt to ye mortals I have accustomed myself to withhold my full might! ‘Twas a gradual thing. In Asgard, I have struggled ‘Gainst Gods. On Midgard, we have met mostly human menaces. To avoid the murder of these men – and to avoid the humbling of my friends– I cam to act as less than I am. To thrill to the thunder of battle, I forgot that I am the god thereof!”
It seems that Thor is ready to quit the Avengers.
“The Assassin Never Fails!”
Tony Isabella, Guest Writer/ Keith Pollard (pages 1-3) & Don Heck (pages 6-32), Guest Pencillers/ John Tartag, Inker/ Dave H., Letterer/ Petra G., Colorist/ Marv Wolfman, Editor
An assassin has critically wounded Captain America, poisoning him with an unknown form of radiation. Doctor Blake is performing surgery on his fallen friend, inserting counter-radiation capsules inside of Cap.
While Blake performs the surgery, the Avengers stand watch in the hospital. Iron Man has become concerned that it is too easy to form a connection between Doctor Blake and Thor, so he has created a lifelike android duplicate of Thor, known as a “Life Model Decoy” or “LMD” for short. The Android poses as Thor to cover for Blake.
The Assassin and her agents disable the Avengers guarding the operation, including the LMD. The Assassin discovers that “Thor” is a robot, confirming what her research has lead her to suspect: Thor and Blake are one and the same. She had poisoned Captain America in order to flush out the elusive doctor, who is much more susceptible to bullets than his godly alter ego.
However, the unconscious Avengers recover, causing the Assassin to flee, only to be accidentally killed by her own men.
Blake successfully completes the surgery, saving Captain America.
First Appearance: Thor LMD
“Right Between the Eons!”
An Avengers Adventure, Believe it or not– Brewed up over an open fire by… Steve Englehart &eorge Perez, Words & Pictures/ Sam Grainger, Inker/ T. Orzechowski, Letterer/ G. Roussos, Colorist/ Marv Wolfman, Editor
The Avengers and their cowboy friends assault Kang’s fortress. While the other heroes fight Kang’s forces, Doctor Donald Blake, dressed as a cowboy with a fake beard, sneaks past the fight to reach Kang himself, before transforming back into Thor.
Thor wales on Kang so badly that the would-be conqueror panics and unleashes so much power that he reduces himself to atoms. With Kang dead, Immortus discorporates.
“Go West, Young Gods!”
Steve Englehart, Story/ George Perez, Art/ Vinnie Colletta, Inks/ Tom Orzechowski, Calligraphy/ Janice Cohen, Coloring/ Marv Wolfman, Editor
Thor’s comrade in the Avengers, Hawkeye has been lost in the past after a run-in with Kang the Conquerer. Thor has traveled into the past to rescue him alongside Moondragon, a recent addition to the Avengers. They are joined by Immortus, who has seemingly reformed and who also claims to be an alternate incarnation of Kang.
Thor and his compatriots have ended up in the year 1873 where they immediately encountered a posse of colorfully dressed cowboys. Amongst the posse’s number are Kid Colt, the Two-Gun Kid, Night Rider, and the Ringo Kid. The cowboys let slip that they know where Hawkeye is, and Thor angrily proclaims to the gunslingers that he dislikes firearms and gives a show of force before commanding that they take him and his allies to Hawkeye.
They catch up with Hawkeye, who fills them in: Kang has used future technology to conquer the town of Tombstone as part of his larger plan to get a head start on conquering the 20th century. And so the time-displaced Avengers dress up in semi-period authentic garb and set to foiling Kang’s plans, cowboy style.
“Lo, the Raging Battle!”
Gerry Conway, Author/ John Buscema & Dick Giordano, Artists/ J. Costanza, letterer/ P. Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor
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.
“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 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!
Steve Englehart Story & Color/ Sal Buscema, Art/ Joe Staton, Embellishment/ Tom Orzechowski/ Lettering/ Roy Thomas, Editor
“Bewitched, Bothered, and Dead!”
The former Avenger Quicksilver and the Inhuman Crystal have just wed. The Fantastic Four and the Avengers were both in attendance. The festivities were interrupted when Ultron-7 attacked but the robot was easily dispatched by Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman’s young mutant son, Franklin Richards. As they go their separate ways, Mr. Fantastic expresses hope that the next time that they all meet up for a Superhero wedding, things will be more quiet. Thor, who has long been betrothed to the Lady Sif, comments “I expect any such time to be far distant, thank Odin!”
Trapped in Outer Space!”
Steve Engelhart, story/ Bob Brown, pictures/ M. Esposito, lines/ John Costanza, letters/ George Roussos, colors/ Roy Thomas, editor
While the Avengers fight a group of terrorists known as the Zodiac on their spaceship, Thor accidentally throws his hammer into the void of space and reverts to Blake. Iron Man heads out into the void of space to retrieve it for his friend.
Iron Man grabs the hammer, which he is able to lift because it is zero gravity. Apparently, anyone can lift Mjolnir if it in the void of space. However, as he flies close enough to Earth’s gravity, the enchantment kicks in. Unable to resist, it pulls the Shellhead toward the Earth.
The hammer smashes into the Zodiac spaceship, now also falling back toward Earth, pinning Iron Man to the ship in the process. Fortunately, another Zodiac spaceship catches the first and Mjolnir comes to a rest within the artificial gravity created by the ship. Iron Man is freed and Thor is able to retrieve his hammer. The Avengers defeat Zodiac.
“To the Death!”
Steve Englehart, Writer/ Bob Brown, Penciler/ Frank Giacoia, and Mike Esposito Inkers/ Roy Thomas Editor
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.
Steve Engleart, Author * Sal Buscema, Artist * Frank Bolle, Inker * Tom Orzechowski , Letterer/ P. Goldberg, Colorist * Roy Thomas, Editor
“Breakthrough! The Incredible Hulk Vs. The Mighty Thor!
Over the past few issues of The Avengers and The Defenders, various members of the teams have been squaring off in battle. Now at last it is time for the main event: Thor vs. The Hulk. This has been long time coming, after their previous fight back in issue #112 proved inconclusive.
This battle also proves inconclusive.
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!”
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.
“You Young Men Shall Slay Visions!”
Steve Englehart, Script/ Bob Brown, Art/ Frank Bolle, Inks/ John Costanza, Letterer/ David Hunt, Colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor
Since we last checked in with the Avengers, Hawkeye and Quicksilver have both quit the team. The Black Widow briefly joined only to quit almost immediately. Also, the mutant Scarlet Witch and the android Vision have become openly involved with each other romantically.
When the paparazzi catches wind of a relationship between a human and a robot, most of the public seems heartwarmed by the revelation. However, there is a small group of people so blinded with hatred at the prospect of an Android thinking himself to have personhood that they form a group of suicide bombers dedicated to killing the Vision.
The so-called Living Bombs send a manifesto to Avengers mansion: “only the lord Jehova can create life! Androds are agents of the devil, and will Bring hellfire and Brimstone to america! Wize up befor its to late! Androds have no soles!”
Soon after that message is delivered, a bomber manages blow herself up near the Vision, badly damaging him. The Avengers quickly form a team to repair their fallen friend: Noted scientist King T’Challa, renowned engineer Tony Stark, and established android expert Dr. Donald Blake.
As the three men work to repair their friend, the Scarlet Witch and Captain America patrol the grounds, anticipating another attack. As they patrol, the two heroes wonder where Thor and Iron Man are, being unaware of their teammates’ civilian identities.
More bombers do attack. Tony Stark, not needed to repair the Vision at that particular moment, excuses himself to “search” for Iron Man. Iron Man fights for awhile, until Stark returns to the “surgery.” He returns suggesting that Blake (wink, wink) search for Thor just like he (wink, wink) had searched for Iron Man. Blake grins at Stark’s piercing of their mutual charade before slipping out and turning into Thor.
Thor creates a vortex that spins the hatemongers high into the air, who all detonate themselves rather than be captured. Stark and T’Challa complete the procedure. The Vision will pull through.
First Appearance: The Living Bombs
“The Fourth-Dimensional Man!”
Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, artist/ Vinnie Colletta, inker/ Charlotte Jetter, Letterer/ Stan Goldberg, colorist/ Roy Thomas, Editor
Thor and Hildegarde return to Avengers Mansion, shaken by Sif’s willing disappearance. When Jarvis, the Avenger’s butler, attempts to serve Thor, the Thunder God lashes out, grabbing Jarvis and shouting, “I say thee– be silent mortal! I have no patience with thine endless, mindless prattling! If we do have need of thee, we shall summon thee but until that time doth come– begone!”
Hildegarde,who has always deferred to Thor in the past, lets him know what a shithead he is being. Thor sits and broods for a moment before falling asleep in his chair. When he wakes, he finds Jarvis and apologizes for his earlier bout of honesty.
Also, it turns out that Doctor Blake’s new landlord, Karl Sarron, was actually an alien being named Mercurio from the planet Gramos who was trying to harness the electromagnetic field of the Earth to save Gramos from an unexplainedly dire threat.
Apparently, every time Doctor Blake transforms into Thor or vice versa, the transformation discharges some exotic energy that lingers. Blake’s office is full of it. Mercurio used a Dimensional Oscillator to absorb that energy, transforming himself into a half-red, half-blue man with the power to create fire and ice. For no discernible reason, once in this new form Mercurio dubbed himself “the Fourth-Dimension Man.”
This form is a partial transformation into Mercurio’s true form, and apparently he decides that killing Thor is the simplest way to finish the transformation. The two battle and Thor kills his assailant, which has possibly doomed all of Gramos.
While Thor deals with all of that, Balder has struck out on his own, to try and deal with his feelings for Karnilla.
First Appearance: Dimensional Oscillator
“Exiled on Earth!”
Stan Lee presents: Gerry Conway, scripter/ John Buscema, penciler/ Jim Mooney, finished art/ Shelly Leferman, letterer/ Roy Thomas, editor
Thor is super-pissed at Odin for manipulating him like a chesspiece. When Thor expresses his outrage, Odin responds by exiling his son to Earth. In response, all of the assembled Asgardians choose to stand with Thor. And so Sif, Balder, Fandral, Hogun, and Hildegarde share in Thor’s exile. Tana Nile and Silas Grant aren’t banished, but they are trapped on Earth. Volstagg is missing in action. Heimdall and Kamorr miss the drama, and return home unaware of what has transpired.
Thor takes his displaced companions to Avengers Mansion, where the Avengers are headquartered. Thor offers them temporary residency in the Mansion, until something more permanent can be arranged.
Sif and Thor, or rather Sif and Blake, go to check in on Blake’s practice, only to discover that the door has been barred. They meet with the new owner of the building, Karl Sarron. Blake explains to his new landlord that he has paid the rent months in advance, and Sarron tells him that he has no record of any such arrangement. However, if Blake can provide proof of his rent arrangement, it will, of course, be honored.
While Blake deals with his rent dispute, his friends attempt to unwind and to familiarize themselves with their new environs. As they go off in separate groups, one by one, they are captured by unknown dark forces.
After it has claimed their friends, Thor and Sif find themselves swallowed by malevolent darkness. They follow the path that lies before them, and eventually they discover themselves to be in the presence of Mephisto, surrounded by their blank-faced comrades!
First Appearance: Karl Sarron
“Five Dooms to Save Tomorrow!”
Stan Lee Presents: Wonderment anew by: Harlan Ellison (story/plot), Roy Thomas (adaptation/script), Rich Buckler (art)/ Dan Adkins (inker) * Jon Costa (letterer)/ (Based on an original story © 1964 by Harlan Ellison and used with permission.)
Still no gap in The Mighty Thor’s narrative.
A Russian chess grandmaster becomes the poisoning victim of an assassin hiding inside a cutting-edge chess computer named “Nimrod.” He is rushed to the hospital, but the prognosis seems grim. One of the doctors can’t help but wish that they had some way of contacting the mysterious Doctor Donald Blake. “There’s something… uncanny about his diagnoses. Almost as if there were some spark of divine in him.”
The doors swing open dramatically! Standing in the doorway, seeming to radiate light and power is none other than Doctor Blake! He treats the patient and later uses his knowledge of rare toxins to help the Avengers find the assassin.
Doctor Blake has become a mythic super-doctor. Rarely seen, when he emerges, he saves the lives of magicians and gods. Seemingly without any Earthly ties, he is spoken of in hushed tones: “I heard his best friend is Thor from the Avengers.” “I heard he built an atomic-powered android!”
“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
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.
“An Hour For Thunder!”
San Lee, Editor/ Roy Thomas Writer * Neal Adams Artist/ John Verpoorten, Inker/ Arite Simek, Letterer
Lionel Dibbs, a patient of Doctor Blake’s, has contracted cancer. Blake has diagnosed him as having less than two years to live. He decides to go out in a blaze of glory and destroy the slums in which he grew up. To that end, he gets a gun for a hand and enlists the help of a man posing as Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans, husband of Medusa. Thor stops Dibbs and inadvertently kills the Black Bolt imposter.
Presumably, this story either takes place around issue #183 of The Mighty Thor or some time after the current Loki story.
“…The Revolution’s Fine!”
Stan Lee Editor * Roy Thomas Writer * John Buscema Artist/ Tom Palmer – Inker/ Herb Cooper – Letterer
Since Avengers Day, Thor and Iron Man have taken on the role of part-time Avengers. Many other things have transpired. A noble android named the Vision, created by an Evil android named Ultron, in turn created by Goliath, joined the team. Goliath changed his name to Yellowjacket and then he and Wasp took a leave of absence to do science in Washington. Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch have returned to the fold with no consequences for their previous villainy. The Avengers recruited a new member named the Black Knight who disappeared without a trace immediately upon accepting their invitation to join. And Hawkeye took over the name and powers of Goliath, abandoning archery and becoming a size-changer.
In this issue a militant feminist hero named The Valkyrie creates an all-woman super hero team named the Liberators, consisting of Scarlett Witch, The Wasp, Black Widow, and Madame Medusa, queen of a secret race of superpowered beings known as the Inhumans (the previous stars of a short-lived backup strip in the pages of Thor.)
The Valkyrie has convinced the other lady heroes to defeat the male Avengers for the benefit of womandom. After a complicated battle between the Liberators, the Avengers, and the Masters of Evil, the Liberators are the victors.
It is at this point that the Valkyrie reveals herself to actually be the Enchantress. After her failed attempt to invade Asgard, Odin banished her and the Executioner to the most barren of Nether Worlds, warning that if they flee that world, their powers would be halved. Eventually, she was abandoned by the Executioner, who left her for the mist-woman queen of that murky world.
Spurned and alone, the Enchantress swore revenge upon all males and returned to Midgard, where she subtly influenced the Liberators into joining her cause. After the Enchantress tells her story, the Scarlet Witch turns on the villain and blasts her into seeming nothingness.
Freed of this influence, the Liberators free the male Avengers, causing Goliath to comment “I’m glad of one thing… you birds finally learned your lesson about that Women’s Lib bull!”
First Appearance: The Valkyrie
“…And The Rushing River…”
Perhaps the most incredible Avengers thriller yet, presented with pride by: Stan Lee – Editor/ Roy Thomas – Writer/ Don Heck, Werner Roth} Artists/ Vince Colletta – Inker/ Joe Rosen- Letterer/ Honorary Avengers All!!
While Thor has been fighting the Mangog, Captain America and the Avengers, currently consisting of Goliath, Wasp, Hawkeye, and the Black Panther, have been meddling with time travel. They now return to what they believe to be the present day, only to discover that the world that they have returned to is not the world from which they left. In the timestream they now find themselves in, the original Avengers, consisting of Thor, Iron Man, Giant Man, The Wasp, and The Hulk, have sized control of the world, capturing and indefinitely detaining all other people with super powers, be them hero or villain.
Of course, these alternate Avengers are being manipulated by Kang the Conquerer but he isn’t mind-controlling them, nor is he blackmailing them, simply giving them a thin pretense of heroics under which they can justify world-rule. Kang posed as an alien on a mission of peace, and offered to cure all of Earths ills if the Avengers would first imprison all other superhumans. They unanimously accepted his offer without even asking for the slightest evidence to back his claims.
The specifics of how things play out don’t much matter as this is a time travel story that ends with the erasing of all memory of occurrence on the part of all participants. Nonetheless, it stands as sharp reminder of how little it takes to get Thor to conquer the planet, as he has done or attempted to do at least twice in the past.
“In the Clutches of the Collector!”
From the Sanctum Sanctorum of Smilin’ Stan Lee comes this Roy Thomas-John Buscema Two-Man Tour De Force!/ Inked and Embellished by: George Tuska/ Lettered and Relished by: Sam Rosen
In the six months since Avengers Day, The Black Widow has disappeared, Hercules has returned to Olympus, Captain America has abruptly quit, and Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch have re-joined the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, although in her defense, the Scarlet Witch appeared to be suffering from a head injury when she re-joined.
Now, the three remaining core Avengers have been abducted by a villain named the Collector who wishes to own and imprison the Avengers for his collection. He has also captured Thor and fed him an Asgardian Obedience Potion, which compels Thor to obey all of the Collector’s commands.
The Collector commands Thor to bring him Iron Man, but Thor, eternally a letter of the law kind of guy, reasons that the easiest way to bring in Iron Man will be to kill him first. The two battle, and it is clear to all parties that Iron Man is simply no match for Thor, and that’s with Thor unaware of the fact that Iron Man has a damaged heart.
This conflict ends with the following bit of purple: “Then, amidst the shattered wreckage… as swirls of dust begin to clear… only one form stirs… that of Thor, the immortal who has become a murderous puppet… while the unmoving, battered figure of Iron Man can only lie in silence… and contemplate his own death–!”
Meanwhile the Avengers proper break free of the Collector and fight his Robotoid, while the Collector flees to a Sidereal Time-World. When the Collector exits our Time-World, Thor’s mind is freed so that he might help his fallen ally. He does so, and also helps the Avengers with the mop-up.
Afterward, Captain America calls the Avengers and asks if his friend The Panther can join. Anyone Cap vouches is good enough for the Avengers, and probably the fact that they are down to three members is also a factor in the vetting of The Panther. This is great news, because The Panther is best superhero of all time.
First Appearance: The Collector
“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
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.
“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!
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.
“…To Become an Avenger!”
How’s this for a zingy combo? Scrip Writin’ by Smilin’ Stan Lee/ Layouts by Jazzy Johnny Romita/ Pencilin’ by Dashin’ Donnie Heck/ Inkin’ by Mirthful Mickey Demeo/ Letterin’ by Adorable Artie Simek
It seems that even though he is no longer an active member of the Avengers, Thor still attends important meetings covering Avengers business, and votes on matters such as accepting new members. Since last we saw the Avengers, The Wasp and Giant-Man re-joined the team. Giant Man changed his name to Goliath after being forced to stay permanently 10 foot tall. The Enchantress ditched the Executioner. Rick Jones and his teen brigade seems to have fallen out of touch with the group.
It is the matter of a new member that brings Thor to the Avengers now. The team is considering whether to offer membership to Spider-Man, a young, mysterious superhero with spider-powers. After some debate and checking of references, Thor tracks down Spidey and offers him the opportunity to test for membership.
Spider-Man’s test is to bring the Hulk to the Avengers but ultimately he doesn’t trust the Avengers to treat the monster-man well, and so he tells the Avengers that he couldn’t find the Hulk and passes on the membership.
As was the case with the recent Thor Annual, it is unclear when exactly this story takes place in relation to the stories in Thor’s own magazine. One presumes it would slot-in during some near-future break in the action of Thor’s main title. Within the Avengers timeline it takes place during a period when Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were visiting Europe due to the temporary loss of their powers.
First Appearance: Spider-Man
The Mighty Thor! “With My Hammer in Hand…!”
Written in the Fire of Inspiration by… Stan Lee/ Drawn in the Flame of Dedication by… Jack Kirby/ Inked in the Heat of Devotion by… Vince Colletta/ Lettered in the Other Room by… Artie Simek
Thor has come to the great blast furnaces of Pittsburgh so that he might mend his mighty Uru hammer. Which he does.
After successfully repairing it, he stops in a a forest, where he counts the Norn Stones one last time before returning to Asgard. Little does he realize he has dropped one of the stones.
In Asgard, Thor clears his name and then proceeds to plead his brother’s case, claiming that Loki cannot help but to be evil. This appears to be selfless and noble on the part of Thor but later he fumes that he cannot exact revenge on Loki while he is already being punished by Odin.
Little does Thor realize that Loki has already freed himself, trapping the warlock Ularic in a Suspended Animation Mist and sticking him in a time vault. Loki then seizes control of Ularic’s enchantments, adding their power to his own.
Thor gets permission from Odin to return to Earth, and at long last he does just that, only to discover that in the months that he has been away, Jane has gone missing, the doctor across the hall has stolen all Doctor Blake’s patients, and the landlord is threatening to evict the doctor if he isn’t promptly paid the back rent.
Naturally, it is Foster’s disappearance that alarms Thor and he heads to the headquarters of the Avengers to seek their aid in finding the missing nurse. However, what he discovers is that the team that he knew has disbanded, replaced by a pack of obnoxious young upstarts. Thor is too irritated by this to ask the new team for help.
Back on Asgard, Loki uses macro-meson particles to re-solidify the Absorbing Man and his ball-and-chain, sending the criminal straight toward Thor. Meanwhile, Jane Foster appears to be in the clutches of an unseen villain, who tells her to forget all about Doctor Blake.
First Appearance: The great blast furnaces of Pittsburgh