Tag Archives: The Destroyer

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

Thor 266

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

Thor 265

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

Thor 264

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 – October 1974 The Mighty Thor #228

“Ego: Beginning and End!”
A Marvel madhouse masterpiece brought to you by: Gerry Conway, author/ Rich Buckler, artist/ Joe Sinnott, embellisher/ John Costanza, letterer/ Stan G., colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 228

After plunging his hammer into Ego’s brain, Thor is hit by a psychic wave, forcing him to witness the long-ago birth of Ego.

Once, there was a culture facing extinction as their sun was going nova. They had no ability to escape via space travel, so instead they hatched a plan to shield themselves from the nova in suspended animation. However, there was an error in their calculations, and the nova flared before they were ready. The shielding was not in place, and one man named Egron (not to be confused with Igron), was not yet in suspended animation, and somehow the nova cause a transformation, combining the planet, the man, and the life force of the remaining two billion people into a single entity. That apparently is how one creates a living bio-verse that exists out of shift with our own universe. It is not clear if Ego then traveled to the Black Galaxy, or if the Black Galaxy formed around it.

Thor recovers from this vision and hits Ego’s brain some more, this time with energy blasts from Mjolnir. Galactus tells his allies that it is time for them to go. While Thor, Hercules and Firestorm were keeping Ego distracted, Galactus bolted some Sidereal engines onto Ego, and set him blasting off into space uncontrollably, neutralizing him as a threat.

The job now complete, Firestorm asks if he might now be freed from his servitude to Galactus. Galactus puts it on Thor: If Thor can find a replacement, Galactus will release Firestorm. Thor suggests the Destroyer, and so they retrieve the supremely powerful creation Odin had created in order to defend Asgard, and give it to Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds. It was right where they had left it.

Firestorm leaves “without a single word of gratitude.”

First Appearance: Egron

 

Days of Thunder – July 1974 The Mighty Thor #225

“The Coming of the Firelord!”
Gerry Conway, writer/ John Buscema & Joe Sinnott, artists/ John Costanza, letterer/ Glynis Wein, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

Thor 225

The Destroyer holds Mjolnir and Thor faces the threat of the 60 Second Rule. However, he is able to mentally will the hammer to return to his hand, an ability he never used to have. Another effect of re-enchantment?

Hercules somehow finds the empty body of Clement Holmes, the scientist who’s spirit possesses the Destroyer. He brings it back to the Destroyer and for some unclear reason, Holmes returns to his rightful body. Thor and Hercules depart, leaving the empty Destroyer lying in the middle of the street.

With the action over, Thor becomes Blake once again, so that he might tend to tend to Krista. When Hercules marvels that Thor would ever want to become a frail mortal, Blake comments “When I’m Blake, I don’t care about Thor. And when I’m Thor, Don Blake is just yesterday’s bad dream.”

Meanwhile, Firelord, the current servant of Galactus has come to Earth. Firelord is some sort of man that is on fire, wielding a staff that is also on fire. When he enters the hospital, he soon starts a fight with hot-tempered Hercules.

It is with extreme reluctance that Blake becomes Thor yet again, grimly bemoaning, “I never really had a choice, after all… I’ve never really been Don Blake…only Thor. On that somber note, Thor joins Hercules in fighting Firelord. When Thor arrives, Firelord simply gazes into the heavens and shoots cosmic fire from his eyes, in order to summon his master, Galactus.

First Appearance: Firelord

 

Days of Thunder – June 1974 The Mighty Thor #224

“No One Can Stop… The Destroyer!”

Gerry Conway, writer/ John Buscema, artist/ Mike Esposito, inker/ John Costanza, letterer/ G. Roussos, colorist/ Roy Thomas, editor

thor 224

With Krista’s life in unspecified danger for unspecified reasons, Thor become Doctor Donald Blake once again so that he might save his friend’s sister. Blake winkingly lets Hercules know about his dual persona before suggesting that the Lion of Olympus go find something else to do.

Blake’s arrival in the hospital causes quite a stir. “Good Lord, man – we thought you were dead! Where have you been all these months?” Despite his long absence, Blake is given carte blanche to perform surgery on Krista.

Later, after saving Krista’s life, Dr. Lois Reddy introduces herself to Dr. Blake. She compliments his skill, but questions his long inexplicable absences, pointing out that many people surely died that would have lived if he had been there to operate.

This is the first time in a long time that Blake has been left in human form for any sort of protracted period, and he realizes he isn’t sure he likes his Thor half, musing that Thor “may have already destroyed most of what’s human and good in Don Blake!” This is hard to argue against.

After Thor’s last encounter with the Destroyer, way back in issue #152, Odin stole it from police custody before apparently hiding it in South America. Unfortunately, it has been discovered and brought to New York by a scientist named Clement Holmes.  Predictably, his consciousness gets accidentally sucked into the Destroyer.

The Destroyer heads back to the location of its most recent fight with Thor, intending to resume the battle with Thor it was unable to finish six years ago. Instead, it discovers Hercules and attacks him.

Blake gets word of the fight, turns into Thor and joins the fray. He sends Hercules on a quest to somehow find the body of the person powering the Destroyer, while he remains behind to hold the Destroyer at bay.   As they fight, the Destroyer wrenches Mjolnir from Thor’s hands. Thor now has sixty seconds to reverse that, or it will be Doctor Blake vs. the Destroyer!

First Appearance: Dr. Lois Reddy, Professor Clement Holmes

 

Days of Thunder – May 1968 The Mighty Thor #152

“The Dilemma of Dr. Blake!”
Let Marveldom rejoice! That which awaits us hath been garnished in grandeur by Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Epically Embellished by: Vince Colletta/ Legibly Lettered by Sam Rosen

Thor 152

Even with reconstituted godhood, Thor is not a match for the Destroyer. Fortunately, Karnilla withdraws Sif’s essence , and it falls to the ground, lifeless. Thor turns the Destroyer over to the custody of the local constabulary. It is not clear if the Wrecker was arrested. A short time later, Odin comes to Midgard in human raiment and steals the Destroyer back.

Meanwhile, in the Norn Queen’s lair, Balder fights Ulik one-on-one, apparently after each changed clothes between issues. Sif wants to help but resists the urge, implicitly due to it not being honorable to double-team an enemy. As Balder and Ulik fight, Karnilla uses her magic to teleport Thor to the scene.

Thor has prior beef with Ulik and therefore Balder tags out allowing Thor to take the fight to Ulik. Since Thor started fighting the Wrecker in issue #148, there has been no break in the action, but there has sure been a lot of enemy-swapping, as Thor has moved from the Wrecker to the Destroyer to Ulik.

As Ulik and Thor fight, there is some really good characterization on the part of the Troll. He clearly takes pride in his savagery and seems to find Thor’s honor to be obscene from his Trollen vantage. “Honor is an empty vessel… and none but weaklings sip of it!” All of a sudden brutish Ulik is cast in a new light and carries with him a sort of reverse-nobility.

Thor throws Ulik down the bottomless Abyss of Shadows.

While Thor fought Ulik, Loki snuck back into the fray and has seemingly stolen Thor’s hammer! It is unclear how he got around the hammer’s newly restored enchantment, which should bar him from lifting it, but the hammer is gone and so is Loki!

As for the Trolls, it is unclear if they stayed under the command of Karnilla or if they returned to king Geirrodur.

 

Days of Thunder – April 1968 The Mighty Thor #151

“–To Rise Again!”
Powerfully presented in pulse-pounding panoramascope by: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby/ Embellished by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered by: Sam Rosen./ Inspired by: Asgard Eternal!

thor 151

Thor rushes to attack the Sf-controlled Destroyer. Sif cannot verbally communicate through the Destroyer, which has apparently lost vocal functionality, perhaps through damage, perhaps through the Norn Queen’s meddling. She tries to mime pacifism but Thor does not trust the Destroyer to not destroy. In fact, at a certain point the savage nature of the Destroyer overrides Sif’s will, and it begins to attack Thor, who is, of course, still depowered.

Thor cannot hold his own against the Destroyer and is badly battered. He cries out to his father, begging to be restored on behalf of Earth and Humanity. In Asgard, Ularic, Odin’s Royal Warlock, has replaced the missing Crystal of Eternal View, allowing Odin to watch Thor’s battle on Earth. He looks upon this begging with favor, interpreting it as humility. Deciding that Thor has learned his lesson, he restores Thor’s godhood,  allowing the newly-restored thunder   god to begin his battle in earnest.

Meanwhile, Loki and Karnilla the Norn Queen gloat to captured Balder.  Karnilla attempts to coerce him into her service, but her attempt is interrupted by the arrival of Ulik. In the aftermath of their war against Asgard, the Trolls have seemingly scattered , as we now have separate groups of trolls being led by Karnilla, the Enchantress, Geirrodur, and also presumably Seidring.  Geirrodur has sent Ulik to the Forest of the Norn to reclaim the loyalty of the trolls currently serving Karnilla.

Ulik has been buffed with powerful enchantments by the Troll Wizards of Geirrodur and he is ready to slay the Norn Queen. In the face of such a threat, Balder presses Karnilla into an agreement to free him and Sif in exchange for defeating Ulik. She agrees, and Balder takes on Ulik. Loki seems to have slipped away in the midst of this conflict.

Days of Thunder – March 1968 The Mighty Thor #150

“Even in Death–”
Presenting: A pictorial monument to the towering talents of: Stan (The Man) Lee and Jack (King) Kirby, creators of wonderment beyond mortal measure! Dazzlingly Delineated by: Vincent Colletta/ Lovingly Lettered by: Sam Rosen/ A living tribute to Marveldom assembled!

thor 150

As Thor lies on the cusp of death, his astral form encounters Hela, Goddess of Death. She beckons him to join her in the shining vales of Valhalla. He demurs, insisting that he must continue to fight the Wrecker.

Meanwhile,  in the Forest of the Norns Sif and Balder get separated and after fighting the Norn Queen’s troll guards, including Barbaric, the Troll Warrior God, they each are captured by the Norn Queen, who we learn is named Karnilla.

Karnilla approaches Sif in the guise of a friend. She shows the warrior goddess her love, lying dead on Midgard. Karnilla tells Sif that the only way to save Thor is to defeat the Wrecker. At this point she reveals that she has come into possession of the Destroyer, last seen in the hands of Odin, and offers to allow Sif to take control of the Destroyer, so that she might defeat the Wrecker.

Sif agrees to the bargain. Her consciousness enters the Destroyer, which the Norn Queen sends to Midgard. Once there, she makes short work of the Wrecker, shattering his crowbar, and blasting him with a force beam. He is quickly down for the count.

As Sif defeats the Wrecker, Thor’s astral form re-enters his body, bringing himself back to life. The Destroyer, which totally could talk the first time Thor encountered it, waves at him, mute. Thor won’t be fooled, he knows the Destroyer lives but to kill.  Never mind that it is a tool wielded by a user, created by his father and as far as he knows, still owned by Odin as well. The still-depowered, mortally-wounded Thor cries “To the death!!” as he charges his imagined foe.

First Appearance: Barbaric

Days of Thunder – September 1966: The Mighty Thor King-Size Special! #2

The Mighty Thor! “If Asgard Falls…”
Scripted in solemn splendor by: Stan Lee/ Illustrated in idealistic imagery by: Jack Kirby/ Delineated in delicious delicacy by: Vince Colletta/ Lettered in living luminescence by : Sam Rosen/ Unaffected by the unabashed utterances of: Irving Forbush

Annual 2

It is time for the Asgardian Tournament of Titans. This is a competition of warriors held in Asgard and Judged by Odin, with a suit of golden armor as the prize.   Odin  declares that it is to be fought for by every warrior from every land but how far that invitation extends is unclear. Thor reports that warriors pour into Asgard from galaxies without end, so it seems like a pretty big deal.

Thor enters the competition alongside grim Hogun, dashing Fandral, and valorous Volstagg, the first time these three have shown up in a story set  in the modern day 60’s. The Asgardians clash with a pack of friends visiting Asgard from the world of a Thousand Galaxies: Brok the Crusher, Tyr of the Blinding Blade, Galp of the Steel Arm, and Drom the Spirit-Weaver. The budding rivalry in this story is established early but it does not go very far.

Meanwhile, formless Loki, who had been floating in space alongside the Absorbing Man all these many months, has discovered that he can project his mind into the body of the Destroyer, buried in the ruins of the Temple of Darkness. It is odd, Loki’s self, which is formless remains in space while his mind is projected out of that self into the Destroyer like a radio signal.  What that self actually constitutes is an unanswered metaphysical question.

Now commanding a body so powerful that it can cut Thor’s hammer in half by pointing at it, Loki sends the Destroyer straight to Asgard. It makes short work of poor Heimdall, who was already bummed about missing the tournament.

The Destroyer wades into where the tournament is being held, seeking to kill Odin, but Thor leads a mighty defense against the all-powerful foe. While Thor does that,  Odin sends Balder to astrally project himself into space, seeking Loki, who Odin reasons is the only possible culprit. Thor can only hold off the Destroyer for a short while, but it is enough for Balder to find Loki’s self. With that, Odin sends a Beam of Forgetfulness to Loki, closing the villain’s mind to all thought and memory. The Destroyer falls to the ground, immobile. If Loki no longer had physical form and he no longer has a functioning mind, it is unclear to me what remains that can said to be Loki.

The story of Thor has been moving at a breakneck speed for a number of issues. Since issue #114, Thor has moved immediately from the events of one issue to the next, leaving no room for a break. That makes for exciting comics, but it also leaves it unclear when this story takes place. Certainly not immediately before or immediately after #132. Perhaps it takes place after the recuperative period in issue #128 but before Thor returns to Jane. Perhaps it takes place some time after the events in the current Thor narrative.

First Appearance: Brok the Crusher, Tyr of the Blinding Blade, Galp of the Steel Arm, Drom the Spirit-Weaver

Days of Thunder – August 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #119

“The Day of the Destroyer!”
Who but Stan Lee could have written this tale? Who but Jack Kirby could have drawn it? Who but Vince Colletta could have Inked it? Who but Artie Simek could be called Artie Simek?

jim 119

Oddly, this issue has no real cover art, merely four images from within the story, recycled.

Before the Destroyer can, er, destroy Thor, Loki uses a Force of Thought from his prison cell to turn Thor into an unsolid state. This allows Thor to momentarily escape from his foe, even as Loki passes out from the exertion.

When Loki’s jailers wake him, he sends a Mental Wave Image to the kingdom of the Norns begging the Norn Queen to go to Odin and wake him. The Norn Queen agrees to help her evil ally and contacts Odin. The Asgardian king wakes with a start and immediately takes action to helpThor.

While all this has been happening, Thor has been fighting a losing battle with the Destroyer on Earth. However when Odin finally makes contact with his son, Thor tells him to stay out of it. Despite all the times when Odin has saved the day for Thor in the past, he now realizes that “The god of thunder must wage his own battle no matter what the cost!”

With Odin staying his hand, Thor grabs the body of the hunter who’s mind inhabits the Destroyer. Thor uses the body as a human shield against the strength of the Destroyer. The Destroyer threatens to call the god’s bluff, proclaiming that Thor has pledged never to take a mortal life and that he must release the body, lest it be destroyed. However when Thor doesn’t back down, the Destroyer blinks first, transferring the still-unnamed hunter back into his body.

Thor takes the hunter away from the temple as he destroys it utterly, burying the Destroyer in the rubble. He then thanks his father for allowing him to do things his way.

Odin reasons that Loki must be to blame for this fight and he is ready to kill his son. However his guards tell him that Loki was desperate to help Thor in this battle. At this news, Odin calms slightly and gives Loki a reduced sentence, binding him to the service of Ularic, Odin’s Royal Warlock.

Thor still needs to bring the Norn Stones back to Asgard, but there is the matter of his broken hammer to be dealt with. He delays returning to Asgard, instead heading to America, where he seeks the mightiest forge in all the land.

First Appearance: Ularic Odin’s Royal Warlock

Days of Thunder – July 1965: Journey Into Mystery with The Mighty Thor #118

He who bears the name: Destroyer, possesses the power “To Kill a Thunder God!”
A Story Steeped in Splendor by… Stan Lee/ Artwork Bathed in Beauty by… Jack Kirby/ Inking Dipped in Drama by… Vince Colletta/ Lettering Couched in Cliches by… Artie Simek

jim 118

Thor has left the conflict in Viet Nam.  He needs only to return the Norn Stones to his father in order to prove that his brother cheated in their trial and therefore lied about Thor bringing Jane Foster to Asgard. He has stopped to examine the stones in what should still be Asia, but appears to actually be Africa.  It is unclear.  While looking at the rocks, he is ambushed by an unnamed hunter who shoots him with an anesthetic shell.

This hunter is Loki’s catspaw. Watching Thor from Asgard, the evil god is desperate that Thor not return with the stones. He manipulates the hunter to take Thor to The Temple of Darkness, a nearby Asgardian temple that has been hidden for thousands of years.

Once in the temple, the hunter, guided by Loki, triggers some ancient mechanism, and his brain undergoes a mystic transfer into the body of the Destroyer, a large armored humanoid form designed by Odin long ago to be the ultimate weapon. After countless ages of slumber, the hunter’s life force brings the monster to life.

The Destroyer is compelled to kill the first thing that it sees, which in this case is Thor. It is unclear if the The Destroyer is a robot, an armored biological creature, or an empty shell animated by magic. What is clear is that it is more powerful than even Thor. Designed by Odin to be unbeatable, it is bigger and stronger than Thor. It can even lift his hammer, the only other living soul that can do so.

While Thor fights the Destroyer, Loki squirms. He realizes that the Destroyer may well kill Thor and were there to be such an outcome, that he himself would feel the brunt of Odin’s rage. Fearing that he has gotten carried away, he goes to his father’s chambers so that he might warn Odin of the peril that Thor finds himself in.

However, in order to maintain his immortality, Odin must spend one full day out of every year sleeping the Sleep of Life, and that day is today. Odin’s guards refuse to allow Loki to wake his father and they throw him in the Dungeon of No-Escape when Loki tries to push past them.

Meanwhile, the Destroyer has Thor on the ropes. Even as Thor thinks to use the Norn Stones to his advantage, the Destroyer slices Thor’s hammer in two with a force beam issuing from its fingers. The Destroyer uses additional force beams to first melt the floor beneath the thunder god, and then solidify it diamond-hard, trapping Thor. The son of Odin is seemingly defenseless as the Destroyer readies itself to kill him. To be continued!

First Appearance: The Destroyer, unnamed hunter, The Sleep of Life, The Temple of Darkness, The Dungeon of No-Escape