Issue(s): Thor #146, Thor #147, Thor #148, Thor #149, Thor #150
...but the police thwart the attempt. Thor's brainwashing is dispelled and he allows himself to be arrested by the police, but the rest of the Circus of Crime gets away (the last we see of them they are extremely worried that they might get caught but the plot seems to be dropped).
Cameo by Jane Foster, in the crowd at the circus.
Odin, upset about the betrayal of his one son, decides to release his other son from imprisonment. Loki immediately decides to go and mess with Thor. Poor Odin, but he really is a terrible parent. Loki goes to Midgard and beats up Thor...
...but Sif and Balder also go to Midgard to stop him. Odin gets incredibly mad and takes the powers away from the lot of them.
Loki flees. Powerless, he tries to contact his sister in evil, the Norn Queen and ask her to re-power him. She agrees, but just at that moment an non-super-powered Wrecker (but fully costumed, including crowbar) breaks into Loki's apartment and puts on Loki's hat.
The Norn Queen assumes the Wrecker is Loki and makes him very powerful.
In addition to the strength and invulnerability that the Wrecker is known for, in this issue he has magical powers as well, including the ability to send Sif, Balder, and Loki back to Asgard. Sif and Balder beg Odin to return Thor's power since he is losing to the Wrecker, but Odin refuses. Thor get trounced by the Wrecker, who is awesomely thuggish and brutal.
Thor is still strong (there's some distinction made between Thor's strength, which he can keep, and his power, which Odin has taken away) but when the Wrecker brings a building down on him it's all over.
Meanwhile, Loki steals Odin's crystal ball, preventing Odin from seeing what's going on in Midgard. Balder and Sif head off to the Norn Forest, where they suspect Loki is hiding. (Also at this time Loki brings the Hulk to Asgard to further distract Odin, as depicted in Tales To Astonish #101 and Hulk #102).
There's a cute scene where Loki catches up with the Norn Queen and basically says, "Oh that power you were gonna give me? It went to some mortal by accident, but i guess it all worked out cause he's kicking Thor's ass."
After fighting their way past a "giant Barbaric"...
...Sif and Balder arrive where they are easily subdued by trolls working for the Norn Queen.
The Queen tricks Sif into occupying the Destroyer armor so that she can help Thor.
Meanwhile, Thor has been wandering around as a ghost (Hela: You're not quite dead yet? I can wait.) At the end of this issue he returns to his body, and in between page 15, panel 4 and Page 16, panel 4 is when Spider-Man finds Thor wandering around in a daze and badgers him into helping Daredevil fight the FF in Fantastic Four #73. Meanwhile the Wrecker is on a general rampage and then fighting the Destroyer.
The back-up Tales of Asgard stories are replaced by Inhumans origin stories. If the letter pages are anything to judge by, the reaction to this was fairly negative. They are by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby with inks by Joe Sinnott, and they look really nice if nothing else.
A back-up story in Thor #146 suggests that the Inhumans evolved from a strain of humanity on Earth that had futuristic technology at a time when our species were still cave men.
In issue #147, it's amended so that the Inhumans were early humans on which the Kree performed experiments.
#149 shows Black Bolt being released from the soundproof chamber he's been kept in since he was a child. All of the Inhumans are very young. Gorgon has a thin, clean shaven face, and Crystal is just a little girl.
Black Bolt is said to be 19. His father appears on a view screen but it isn't clear from this story whether he is speaking to Black Bolt live, or pre-recorded. Maximus is already nuts. He tries to assassinate Black Bolt but the other Inhumans stop him.
#150 starts a silly story with Triton leaving Attilan to explore the world, and stumbling on a film shoot of the Creature of the Black Lagoon.
The pre-history of the Inhumans takes place prior to the scope of my project, so i'm ignoring it in terms of placement (same as i would for Tales of Asgard). But i'm assuming the Triton story takes place at publishing time, concurrently with the Thor stories.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This run begins with Thor hypnotized by the Ringmaster, which has been his status since the end of #145. This is a long run of continuing stories that will actually continue through #153, but Thor also appears in Fantastic Four #73 during this time period. This story also takes place concurrently with the Hulk story in Tales To Astonish #101 and Hulk #102, and with Daredevil #37-38, which contain the prologue to the Spidey/Daredevil/Thor crossover in Fantastic Four #73. Complicated, but this is the sort of thing that fuels my project here!
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Spectacular #18, Marvel Spectacular #19 (#149-150 are originals)
Inbound References (18): show
The negative reaction to the Inhuman stories is probably a result of them not having a connection to Thor. I'm sure if they showed up in the FF as back ups instead, they'd just be accepted.
Posted by: Chris | August 4, 2013 10:01 AM
I wonder if giant barbaric is a case of using a postpositive adjective... you know, like realm eternal?
Posted by: Mortificator | July 25, 2015 10:28 PM
But he appears in Karnilla's realm again in issue 304 and she refers to him as "the dreaded Barbaric".
Posted by: Michael | July 25, 2015 11:07 PM
For The Love of Marvel Fandom, Please get some Dirk Garthwaite and the Wrecking Crew in a Movie! They are the ultimate Rock Star Super-Villain team right Next to the Lethal Legion we never get to see either! At the least a cameo fight scene involving the Wrecking Crew is needed ASAP! C'mon Marvel let somebody hit somebody with a CrowBar!
Posted by: RocknRollguitarplayer | February 1, 2016 1:25 AM
I liked that you referenced all the crossovers to this story sequence. I liked the Wrecker but the Absorbing Man was better. The Kree were inspired to do their experiments on humans by what the Celestials had already done.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 13, 2016 4:25 PM
Regarding the Wrecker: I think his best appeal is that he seems very much like someone Spider-Man would face, but his "Asgardian power" makes him a Thor-level threat. Heck, I think the main reason behind the Wrecking Crew is to at least reduce that "Asgardian power" to make them easier to deal with by heroes less powerful than the God of Thunder himself. That and seriously: a brute with a crowbar with Asgardian strength is just an awesome idea.
Posted by: Ataru320 | November 13, 2016 4:39 PM
The man with Jane might be Keith Kincaid with his hair miscoloured.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | November 15, 2016 5:29 AM
Or could it be Dr. Jim North from Thor #172 before he grew in his mustache? ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | November 15, 2016 7:29 AM
Note that Crystal is said to be 11 years younger than Black Bolt. But later writers would have Triton encounter an old man that he rescued when Triton was an adult but the old man was a child. So either Triton is a lot older than Black Bolt or the relative ages given in this story are incorrect or Crystal is far older than Sue and Johnny.
Posted by: Michael | December 4, 2016 5:44 PM
Weirdly enough, that golden bull shows up again in an issue of Daredevil, and then much later in DeFalco's Thor run
Posted by: Nathan P. Mahney | June 3, 2017 10:44 AM
FYI, per a recent article by Brian Cronin, Thor #146 is where the Great Refuge is first named "Attilan". No word on whether it should be pronounced AT-ih-lahn, as in the TV show, or ah-TILL-an, as I've always done it in my head.
Posted by: Andrew | October 6, 2017 12:33 PM
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