Issue(s): Thor #168, Thor #169, Thor #170
Unsatisfactory origin of Galactus, part two.
While Thor originally thought his search for Galactus might take centuries, Galactus brings Thor to him immediately because he's not interested in a chase and seems to actually want to talk. Galactus is angry and tired.
Galactus' disposition is possibly due to the coloring issues he's had throughout his early appearances. On the cover of Thor #168 he is wearing all pink and purple and short pants. Inside, he is covered in a strange blue, and his legs are covered up.
Galactus makes Thor go to sleep so he can communicate with him, since Thor just wants to fight. Here's the word/phrase "a'borning" again. This time it is galaxies that are still a'borning. A Watcher (actually right now it is "the" Watcher) sees a spaceship crash, and he goes to investigate, finding that the ship is full of victims of a space plague.
Galactus, then Galan, was the only individual from his planet of Taa to survive the plague. Somehow, absorbing all of the plagues radiation, caused Galactus to (again) come a'borning.
I honestly don't know what to make of the origin story. I feel like it should be more momentous, but it's just kind of blah. Which is worse than not having an origin at all. Luckily, in the early 80s, Marvel put out a Galactus: The Origin one shot that tried to make sense of the various Galactus origins that were published in Thor and make Galactus seem a bit more majestic.
Odin has been secretly eavesdropping on this conversation, and now that Galactus is finished spilling the beans on his origin, he teleports Thor back to Earth.
Meanwhile, Balder and the Warriors Three are messing about on Earth.
The Warriors Three are truly hilarious. There's a scene with Volstagg trying to get out of Don Blake's bed that is really, really funny.
I know it's basically just fat jokes, but there's something about Volstagg's bluster that makes me laugh.
They're on Earth to sort of cover for Thor in his absence, and they're getting ready to fight a robot called the Thermal Man.
Odin teleports Thor to Earth to help in the fight.
When things are looking bad, Karnilla teleports Balder and the Warriors Three to her for safety. Loki isn't happy about that.
Thor ultimately defeats the Thermal Man by summoning a massive storm that knocks the robot into the ocean and sweeps it up to the Arctic, where it can remain safely frozen.
It's a pretty awesome way to end a fight, but i could have done with a little more Origin of Galactus and a little less of this mindless brawl. It's almost as if Stan realized things were getting a little too talky and he had Kirby quickly shift gears.
The Thermal Man was a construct of Chinese Communists, and there are a number of letters in future issues complaining of a regression to Marvel's early days of the heroes fighting Commie bad guys.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP has Thor appearing in Avengers #66-68 after these issues.
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: N/A
The original version of this story as drawn by Kirby showed Thor convincing Galactus to return to earth with him to fight the Thermal Man. Stan Lee decided this was not really Galactus activity and had the pages redrawn.
With this Thor in space arc, discovering Ego, talking with Galactus, fighting the Rigelians, and also the High Evolutionary stories, it's obvious something has changed greatly in Kirby's approach to Thor. Eventually this would play out in Kirby's New Gods mythos at DC and eventually the Eternals. Yet I think the seeds of it are here, and it poses interesting question on what exactly the Thor series is about in the way that ultimately the FF are explorers, the X-Men is about heroes that defend a world that hates and fears them, and Spider-Man is an outcast hero.
To me, the big hook to the character was that he was "last defender of Midgard" and continued to protect Earth even as all the other pagan gods abandoned it. The only other mythological character that did not was Hercules, and he of course began life as a mortal and only later became an Olympian. Big cosmic stories of Thor battling fearsome opponents - regardless of whether they are sci-fi based or fantasy or routine superheroics - for the sake of the planet is at the heart of the character. Yet it is a theme that never really took hold.
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