Journey Into Mystery #120-125 / Thor #126-127
Issue(s): Journey Into Mystery #120, Journey Into Mystery #121, Journey Into Mystery #122, Journey Into Mystery #123, Journey Into Mystery #124, Journey Into Mystery #125, Thor #126, Thor #127
After Thor proves that Loki cheated during the Trial of the Gods (and asks Odin to be lenient with him), he returns to Earth and finds that his practice is going out of business due to his absence. Upset, he heads to the Avengers Mansion to find Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver hanging about "as if you belong here". He learns that they are the replacements for himself, Iron Man, and Giant Man (no one mentions the Wasp).
Thor finds the new members to be "brash, arrogant youngsters" and he heads off again. Darn kids!
Meanwhile, Loki rescues the Absorbing Man from outer space and sends him back to Earth.
Thor and the Absorbing Man get into a big fight in the streets of New York.
As they fight, Jane Foster is being kept in an apartment by a man wearing a Cobra Commander hood.
After a book-length fight, Loki decides to conquer Asgard and he pulls the Absorbing Man up to help him.
Thor goes to follow but hears an explosion. It's Jane, in an apartment building where there has been an explosion. Thor turns back to Don Blake to use his doctoring skills on Jane, and suddenly there is a flash. The reporter Harris Hobbs takes a picture of him. He trapped Jane (and was wearing that weird hood) so that he could prove that Thor was Don Blake.
Thor grabs Hobbs and travels through time with him, threatening to leave him in some time period where he'd be quickly killed. That's pretty bizarre and terrifying.
In return for not doing so, Hobbs agrees to destroy the photo. But he asks a boon: he wants to go to Asgard. Thor agrees, not realizing that Asgard is being torn to shreds by the Absorbing Man.
Also, back on earth, a witch doctor being chased by communists finds one of the Norn Stones, which Thor carelessly dropped earlier. It gives him super human power, which he uses to fight Communists.
Odin puts a stop to Loki and the Absorbing Man's rampage. Thor returns to Earth and finally reveals to Jane Foster that he and Don Blake are the same, and that he loves her...
...which of course causes Odin to go apeshit.
Unaware, Thor heads off to investigate the Witch Doctor who has been dubbed the Demon.
Meanwhile, Zeus sends Hercules to Earth, seemingly for no reason.
Thor defeats the Demon and retrieves the Norn Stone (the whole witch doctor plot feels like an irrelevant tangent), but when he goes to Asgard to put the stone away, Odin orders Balder to kill him. All of the Asgardians attack Thor. As Thor escapes, Hercules has a good time on Earth and starts hitting on Jane Foster.
Thor returns and he and Hercules get into it, destroying the city as they go.
Meanwhile, Odin goes to Seidring the Merciless and has him take away half Thor's power. This gives Hercules the advantage in the fight, leaving Thor knocked out. Jane runs to Thor but he doesn't want pity. However, Odin appears to Jane and tells him to go to Thor, and she agrees. But Thor pushes her aside and runs off sobbing (OK, not exactly).
Meanwhile, Pluto is posing as the producer of a movie that Hercules has been convinced to star in.
While Pluto is plotting away, Seidring, still in possession of the power Odin granted him to reduce his son's strength, attacks Odin.
Thor returns to Asgard to find all of the Asgardians frozen in place by Seidring.
Thor defeats him by threatening to drop the Odin Sword, which would destroy all of the cosmos.
Hecuva lot going on in these issues.
The Tales of Asgard for these issues are mostly part of the big quest that began in #117. Unlike earlier stories it's not really concerned with origins, although we do get more of Volstagg and Hogun (first introduced in JIM #119's back-up) as well as an introduction to Ula and her flying trolls.
It ends with a depiction of Ragnarok.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Thor's hammer is broken between the end of JIM #119 and the beginning of #120, so he shouldn't appear elsewhere in between. This is when Thor first meets his replacements in the Avengers; the Marvel Index has that occurring between Avengers #17-18. And then Thor's fight with the Absorbing Man in JIM #122 is shown in Avengers #22. And in the meanwhile, we have Thor's appearance at Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Girl's wedding in Fantastic Four annual #3, which the MCP has between Avengers #18-19. So this run should be considered to be running concurrently with those issues.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Special Marvel Edition #2, Special Marvel Edition #3, Special Marvel Edition #4
Inbound References (13): show
It was 110 not 101 when Odin took away half of Thor's power. That wa when Loki doubled the power of the Cobra and Mr. Hyde and thor had to stop time because Jane Foster was perilously ill and he needed to defeat them before he could help her as Dr. Blake.
Posted by: P Cole | April 29, 2010 1:28 PM
Thor definitely has his power halved by Odin in JIM #101 (You can click the link in the reference to read about it.). In #110, as you say, Loki doubles Cobra & Hyde's powers, but Odin doesn't halve Thor's, to my recollection. Odin does banish Thor from Asgard, but I don't believe he reduced his powers.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 29, 2010 2:22 PM
Roy Thomas claimed in an interview with Larry Lieber that he researched the name for Thor's hammer (which Larry Lieber had referred to as the "Uru hammer" for the convenience of the letterer). That would probably have been about 1965-66, or about the time that Stan Lee began using the term Mjolnir, the hammer's real name.
Posted by: haydn | April 12, 2012 6:46 PM
Did we ever find out what happened to the witch doctor later on?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 12, 2012 7:24 PM
These are his only appearances. Here's the Marvel Appendix, but there's really not much more to him.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 12, 2012 7:45 PM
I remember reading the Thor Marvel Essentials I was a little disappointed by how short the battle between Thor and the Demon was. Now I appreciate it since it shows how strong and experienced Thor is.
Posted by: David Banes | November 9, 2013 12:54 AM
Fnord - a slight chronological placement problem. If Thor is just meeting the replacements now, who does he think was answering his call of Avengers Assemble at Reed and Sue's wedding? Did he just not notice the people sitting with Captain America?
On a different note - does Wanda just goes about destroying things in the meeting room? Doesn't really seem like the best time to practice her powers.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 9, 2015 12:12 PM
Thanks for pointing this out, Erik. I mentioned in the considerations that this story takes place concurrently with some issues of Avengers, since Thor's meeting with the new team takes place between Avengers #17-18 and then Thor's fight with Absorbing Man is shown in Avengers #22. The MCP has the FF wedding happening between Avengers #18-19, so i think that fits with the idea that this long run of issues is happening concurrently with other stories, and there's a gap somewhere in here where Thor takes a break to go to the wedding, maybe soon after first meeting the new members.
I've updated the Considerations here with this info.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 9, 2015 6:02 PM
There's a funny disconnect between balloons and image in #126, p. 10, third panel. The image is a closeup of part of Seidring the Merciless's face. You can tell it's Seidring just based on the eyebrows. But the balloons clearly have the face speaking as Odin ("thy liege," "my son [Thor]," etc.).
Another voice answers from off-panel right, which is where Seidring would be standing in relation to Odin, and it's clearly Seidring speaking.
The Odin balloons should have been angled off-panel left, and the Seidring balloon should have been coming directly from the face. Or, it should have been a closeup of bushy-eyebrowed Odin. For whatever reason, Lee and Kirby were not on the same page here.
These issues (and this arc really runs through #130) are quite busy with sub-plots, some more successful than others. I do very much like all the parts that concern Hercules, and Pluto (god also of money) as a Hollywood producer is delicious satire, making the most of the intersection between these mythological entities and the modern world.
Posted by: Instantiation | September 24, 2015 6:25 PM
The design for the "Demon" bears a passing similarity to Kirby's later creation Kalibak. These are just phenomenal issues that are lots of fun to read. Kirby is clearly having a field day creatively and even Stan's scripting seems improved over where it was even a year before. Of course cutting back on the melodrama with Jane and focusing more on Asgard has a lot to do with that.
Posted by: Robert | February 17, 2016 4:25 PM
Okay there is a lot here. First I place all the issues through #123 before FF Annual#3. There is a miniseries Thor: Blood Oath that takes place after Thor repaired his hammer but before he stops by Avengers Mansion. This is still part of the best run on this series ever. The second battle with the Absorbing Man is almost the equal of the first. The plotline with the Demon connects back to Thor's earlier adventure in Vietnam then the introduction of the Olympians into the present is fantastic. The battle between Thor and Hercules is amazingly good with some of Kirby's all time best art and incredible dialogue by Stan Lee.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 4, 2016 6:32 PM
The insurence joke cracked me up!
Posted by: Roy Mattson | May 26, 2017 1:57 PM
The bit about not mentioning the Wasp seems to be a writer's excuse to explain why, with only three new Avengers, Thor would be among those presumably replaced - and thus weight his decision to go ahead and officially leave. The problem is, no one considered the kooky quarter to be the replacements for Thor - IIRC Avengers #16 considered his status "up in the air" since there was the whole Trial of the Gods thing going on, but Hawkeye, Wanda, and Pietro were only considered as replacements for Iron Man, Hank, and Jan. Regarding Thor's potential long-term absence, that would appear to be why Iron Man suggested at the end of the issue (after Cap returned) that they seek out the Hulk. He may have even specifically mentioned Thor in that scene. But Wanda and Pietro were never under the impression that they would be replacing him.
Posted by: Dan H. | May 26, 2017 4:14 PM
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