Issue(s): Thor #154, Thor #155, Thor #156, Thor #157
Meanwhile, Ulik discovers a cave sealed by Odin. He opens it to find Mangog, an avatar of raw Kirby power. Actually, he is an avatar of his now dead race, which was destroyed by Odin when they attacked Asgard centuries ago.
Back on Earth, Loki rampages around a bit before teleporting back to Asgard. He finds that Odin is taking an Odin-nap, with Thor gone, he makes himself king.
But the Eternity Alarm is sounding because Mangog is free. Thor is still on Earth, looking for Loki. First he encounters a mugging and puts a stop to it. Then he runs into some hippies, who mock his hammer and tell him to chill out. Thor makes them try to lift his hammer and then lectures them on dropping out of society. It is a truly weird scene. I thought i would have liked to see more social commentary in comics in this period considering how volatile things were at this time, but apparently i should be glad that there isn't more.
And in the Norn Forest, Karnilla tries to seduce Balder by making him fight some poor warriors that she's captured. Man, there's a lot going on, huh? That's pretty cool.
Thor senses something is wrong and he goes to collect Sif at the hospital. This scene, where Thor and Sif totally freak out a nurse, and the earlier scene where Loki rants in the streets of New York, do a great job of making these character really seem godly and more than human. Thor also uses his hammer to heal Sif at this time, raising the question '"why didn't he do that earlier?".
The Rigellian colonizers also sense something is wrong, and they send the Recorder to investigate. Nowadays, writers would automatically use the Watcher in the role of the guy who shows up when a universe-level threat appears, but at this point that's mainly the Recorder's job. The Recorder first checks out the Black Galaxy but finds that Ego is still floating harmlessly in his orbit.
Loki sends the Warriors Three to investigate Mangog. I love the Warriors Three. They are hilarious.
Then Thor and Sif arrive to find Loki on the throne.
Meanwhile Mangog is tearing through giants and Asgardian armies on his way to get revenge on Odin for wiping out his race.
The Asgardians are at a loss. They can't wake Odin from his Odinsleep or he will die, and the rest of them are powerless to stop Mangog, who has the power of a billion, billion warriors.
Thor puts Sif in charge of guarding Odin and the Twilight Odinsword, and heads off to try and stop Mangog.
You really get a sense with Sif that she is fighting against her own creators. She is a bad-ass warrior, and she has no interest in being 'protected' or left out of the battle. And yet Stan and Jack always write her into situations where she can't do anything. It's weird.
Loki basically hangs around hoping that Thor will die. Thor has enough power to make Mangog notice him, but that's about it.
The Recorder shows up in Asgard and keeps Sif company, and Karnilla's warriors stop fighting Balder because he is too brave, so she lets him go. Thor and the Warriors Three withdraw to Asgard and everyone comes together for a last stand, except Loki, who ducks out after a failed coup. They manage to hold Mangog off long enough for Thor to create a storm that wakes Odin, who separates Mangog back into all the warriors of his race, who it turns out weren't really destroyed, and puts them off on a planet somewhere to live peacefully.
Similar to the original Galactus storyline, the one thing that is cheesy about this story is the ending. In the end, all the fighting of all the Asgardians is futile, and Thor wakes up Odin (Recorder: "...only a storm, such as this, which Thor has created, can cause the Lord of Asgard to safely awaken from the fateful Odinsleep!"). Well, why the hell didn't he do it earlier? And what's the point of an arc that has the characters struggling to do something without Odin only to have Odin come back and fix everything anyway?
Nonetheless, these issues are really good. This is Kirby at his best - the artwork is really nice; full of big action and crazy characters, with lots of full page splashes that are worth taking the space for.
The story is just epic. Since it is a fantasy story, Stan's scripting isn't as cornball as usual. It is a shame that these issues aren't available in an affordable format; Marvel Spectacular stopped reprinting Thor some time ago, and i bought these issues in Fair and Poor condition for $5 or so each.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: N/A
Inbound References (2): show
Balder, Ego the Living Planet, Fandral, Harokin, Heimdall, Hela, Hogun, Karnilla, Loki, Mangog, Odin, Recorder, Sif, Thor, Toag, Ulik, Volstagg
Volstagg was probably based in part on Sigyn, a Norse mythology figure that couldn't stop drinking(besides being obviously based on Falstaff).
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