“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
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.