Issue(s): Thor #302
Thor is engaged in a wager with the god Tyr. He has to lift a table full of Asgardians, including Volstagg.
Despite having lost the bet to Thor, he seems cordial enough.
Balder, however, is not partaking in the festivities, and when Thor asks why, he learns that Balder's hair has turned white (i was going to say that he was prematurely aged, but Thor does point out that his body is the same) thanks to the trial in Hela's Valhalla that he endured thanks to Odin.
Thor's words seem to console him here, but we'll see that Balder doesn't just bounce back from this. But with that seemingly settled for now, Thor turns to Sif and they renew talk of marriage (no footnote for this, but way back in Thor #195 Thor told Sif he'd make her a bride in a fortnight), However, Thor realizes that Sif expects Thor to give up his journeys to Earth. Meanwhile, Thor intends to return to Earth to set up a life as Donald Blake. After a nicely non-melodramatic discussion, Sif agrees that Thor will return to Earth to set up his life as Donald Blake, and then return to bring her there.
I'm not saying it's a great scene, just that no one is screaming or throwing things, and by the standards of the time that was an accomplishment.
The Warriors Three are equally shocked to learn that Thor intends to return to Earth; they excitedly run in to tell him about some giants they found to do battle with and their feelings are hurt when he tells them he's heading back to Midgard.
You can tell Thor is really looking forward to getting away from these people.
On Earth, Donald Blake learns that his assets have been frozen since he's been away so long, so he has his bank contact Tony Stark to confirm his "whereabouts and financial affairs". And that's about when this turns into a Howard the Duck book.
A former bank teller named Aaron Verne, now calling himself Locus, arrives at the bank to extract vengeance for being fired.
Apparently his boss didn't like him doing math in his head on the job.
And now he's become so good at math he can create geometric shapes by waving his fingers around.
So Thor fights him.
I swear the only purpose of this fight was so Mark Gruenwald could establish clearly that Thor's hammer "may be lifted by mind constructs or machines" but not people.
This was all going relatively well until Thor was literally fighting geometry.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place in the aftermath of the Celestial saga and best fits after Thor #301 but before Thor is next seen on Earth, in Avengers #199. Because of that, it's pushed back considerably in publication time.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBalder, Fandral, Frigga, Heimdall, Hogun, Loki, Odin, Sif, Sigyn, Thor, Tyr, Volstagg
Gru introduces another geometry-themed villain, the Angler, years later in Quasar. And after that, the Geometer. I think that's his mat/science nerdiness coming through, as well as his affection for silver age DC goofiness.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | July 4, 2013 7:14 PM
I recall Tyr getting a single panel appearance in Thor 275
Posted by: kveto from prague | February 20, 2015 7:42 PM
@Walter Lawson: come to think of it, there is more than a hint of Green Lantern in Locus, with a pinch of Wonder Woman's ridiculous foe the Angle Man in for flavor.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | February 21, 2015 12:03 AM
Kveto, you're right. Thanks for calling that out. I've listed him as a character and added a scan to the Thor #275 entry.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 21, 2015 11:56 AM
I remember Jinku once lifted Mjolnir with a lava hand he created so this counts as a mind construct, I guess, but machines? Doesn't sound very Asgardian to me. Why would mere mortal machines be able to lift an enchanted hammer? At least the "mind construct" part makes some sense since it can be interpreted as magic, elemental energy, whatever sounds good. Of course the movies have different rules than the comics, but I remember machines were useless in the first Thor movie when trying to lift Mjolnir. Not sure if there have been comic examples. I could buy Asgardian/advanced alien machines lifting Mjolnir, I guess...
Posted by: Nate Wolf | June 25, 2017 4:18 PM
@ Nate Wolf -
In the Olympus storyline in Avengers, Hephaestus mentions that he is able to move Mjolnir with a complicated sets of winches and levers. But he's also a god, so we're not talking ordinary machines there.
Posted by: Erik Beck | June 25, 2017 4:23 PM
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