Issue(s): Thor #136, Thor #137, Thor #138, Thor #139
So he gets to Asgard (in the middle of an Asgardian/Troll war, but no one seems too concerned except Jane)...
...and Jane fails in her trials to become an immortal. Mind you, in issue #129 Thor was going to renounce his immortality in order to be with her. Instead he does nothing of the sort as Odin wipes her memory and sends her back to Earth, even setting her up with a new doctor (Keith Kincaid) to fall in love with.
Meanwhile Thor suspects that the whole thing was a set-up by his father.
But then a few pages later, Sif shows up and Thor's all like "Hey now!" with poor Jane completely forgotten.
Let me be clear: i hated the Jane Foster subplots and i definitely like Sif, a tough Asgardian warrior; i just think Jane is getting a raw deal here.
The creature Jane faces during her trial...
...will, years later, be named the Lurking Unknown, a minor Fear Lord (in the same category, but of lesser stature (heh: he grows the more you fear him) than Nightmare, Dweller In Darkness, and D'Spayre).
Meanwhile the trolls are getting pissed that the Asgardians are barely noticing that they are waging war against them. They attack Thor and Sif, capture Sif, and then lure Thor back to their caves where Ulik, the mightiest of all the rock trolls, lives.
Thor and Ulik have an inconclusive fight and then Geirrodur, king of the rock trolls, teleports Ulik and Sif to Earth. Thor follows, and the rest of the trolls launch a major offensive on Asgard.
Geirrodur's trap is based on the fact that he has learned that Thor has an alternate identity as Don Blake, so he lured him to Earth in order to trap him in that weaker form. It would have worked except his trolls weren't content with just killing Don; they also tried to force Don to teach them how to turn his cane back into Mjolnir, and in the resulting confusion Don turns back into Thor.
Back in Asgard the trolls are winning, despite Odin's direct involvement in the battle. The troll's advantage is a creature called Orikal, who looks vaguely like a Celestial.
He was captured by Geirrodur and is forced to provide prophesy-based guidance and advanced weaponry. On Earth, Thor beats Ulik, but another troll uses the Orb of Orikal to steal Thor's hammer.
Thor now has 60 seconds before reverting to Don Blake. He can either retrieve his hammer or return to Asgard. People wonder why characters in the Marvel Universe never age and it turns out one of the reasons is time moves a lot slower here. Here is all the dialogue that occurs in the next 60 seconds:
Troll: Thunder God - you are vanquished! A new and greater power now possesses your mightiest of weapons!
And then, "exactly one-tenth of a microsecond before the thunder god is about to change", Sif teleports them back to Asgard. Some observations:
So anyway they get back to Asgard and Thor gets his hammer back and beats Ulik again (this time with no trouble at all)...
...and frees Orikal and the Asgardians beat the trolls.
Despite some of the silliness, the troll story was a pretty good one. Ulik starts off pretty menacing and Kirby gets to go wild with all the troll war machines and other crazy Asgardian stuff.
Brian Cronin at CBR notes that issue #137 is the first time Thor's hammer is actually named in the comics.
Good epic battle but marred by some logic holes and the very jarring wrap up of the Jane Foster romance.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This arc starts soon after the end of the last issue, with Jane and Thor still in the mountains of Europe.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Spectacular #7, Marvel Spectacular #8, Marvel Spectacular #9, Marvel Spectacular #10
Inbound References (17): show
And following up on the last comment, Sif's first appearance was actually in Journey into Mystery 102, in the Tales of Asgard story.
Posted by: Paul | September 12, 2012 5:12 AM
ugh. i wish Sif had kept her helmet. i couldn't even look at her ginormous Rigellian-esque forehead anymore by issue #139. WTH, Kirby???
when Sif gets them back to Asgard, Thor tells her to leave since he's going to have to fight the trolls and she'd be in danger, being a "mere woman". Sif should have teleported him back in front of that subway.
Posted by: min | April 22, 2015 9:58 AM
It's funny: all Jane had to do was prove herself and she could have become an Asgardian (and sadly no Sif); yet nearly 50 years later, she's now Thor. Its weird how the world works sometimes. (then again she was also Sif's host for a period...)
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 13, 2015 3:12 PM
Ataru320, I agree that it is weird, although I'm more annoyed at the change, as it seems to ignore some important continuity. Jane's being unworthy here to become an immortal is a crucial moment in the character's history, and yet it seems to be overlooked by the current storyline to have her be Thor. Has the current series explained this discrepancy at all?
Additionally, that Jane is shown to be unworthy here gives Odin some credibility in his constant concern over Thor's affection for her. (Although, I'm not saying I agree with Odin, as I grow to like Jane as she is developed more in her final Lee/Kirby stories -- I'm just acknowledging that his disdain for the relationship can be based upon legitimate issues beyond him being simply antagonistic.)
Posted by: Aaron Malchow | July 13, 2015 7:51 PM
I was just making a point about circumstances. She failed in her test to join Thor in Asgard here...and yet here we are now and Jane Foster is suddenly worthy enough to be Thor. I guess its just the whole "everybody's doing it" scenario that also allows for Pepper Potts to be Rescue and Betty to be Red Shulkie but that's what happens when you've been around that long. (at least in Betty's case, she was Harpy for a time so its not like she was ever immune to the gamma, but as you said: Jane wasn't found worthy at this point; maybe she did change over time with later interpretations but here it was more for her removal from the book as it more or less became more concentrated less on Thor's human life and more on Asgard.)
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 13, 2015 10:39 PM
Odin clearly put the mystic whammy on Thor's head, same as he did with Jane. Doing his old, y'know, "skyfather" thing again.
Posted by: James Holt | September 4, 2016 5:19 PM
I wouldn't put much weight on Jane being "unworthy" here; Odin's clearly rigging the test because he doesn't want his son marrying the shiksa when there's a Nice Jewish, er Asgardian, Girl he should be dating instead.
And yes, Odin probably did put the whammy on Thor, too. Thor himself suspects it, in both #137 and #140.
Posted by: Dan Spector | September 4, 2016 8:00 PM
Glad my dad didn't have Odin-power, Hel knows he'd have abused it too. Poor Thor! Being heir apparent ain't what it's cracked up to be.
Posted by: James Holt | September 4, 2016 8:20 PM
Had Kirby been watching Doctor Who? Thor seems to be invading the TARDIS in one panel and Orikal has a Dalek eye stalk!
Posted by: Benway | October 17, 2016 7:08 PM
Again great stuff. I wasn't glad to see Jane go but then as a mythology buff I was glad to see Sif brought in even though she is blonde in the myths. Ulik seems to have been Jack's model for Kalibak later on. The troll was a good storyline and Orikal was interesting. I notice that you didn't cover the Tales of Asgard back ups on these last few issues which is a shame as it included Fafnir the dragon and the origin of Hogun with lots of Arabian Nights type stuff.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 8, 2016 8:52 PM
Does time have linear function like Midgard in the other realms?
Posted by: rocknrollguitarplayer | January 9, 2017 4:38 AM
Come to think of it, Kirby may have seen the Amicus movie DOCTOR WHO AND THE DALEKS (1965), or advertising for it: the IMDB says it was released in the US in 1966. A Dell adaptation appeared a few months before these Thor issues.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | January 9, 2017 10:33 AM
Agree with the other commenters, Orikal has a Dalek vibe, no question. The eye stalk of course but also the doobries under the eye stalk on either side are kind of like the flashing lights on the top of the dalek's dome.
Posted by: Flying Tiger Comics | March 10, 2017 5:11 AM
One last thing re Orikal-Dalek - the name is a partial anagram of Dalek (and yes of course a phonetic play on Oracle) but more importantly, the-way-it-speaks is the usual way the Dalek voices are transcribed in comics and some books.
Another strange little side note from the Marvel Age!
Posted by: Flying Tiger Comics | March 10, 2017 5:21 AM
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