Issue(s): Thor #334, Thor #335
...super-charges it using Mjolnir...
...and travels to Tharnn's planet.
He takes along with him Dr. Keith Kincaid, Jane Foster's fiance and the man who's been accusing Donald Blake of murdering Jane, which has been causing Blake no end of trouble.
He reveals his secret identity to Keith...
...which is a nice touch that you rarely see in a comic because it sure clears up a lot for Keith, who even goes so far as to believe the whole story about Jane and Sif merging bodies due to Kamo Tharnn's staff. Sif also comes along for the ride.
When the trio arrive, they find Kamo Tharnn bound by little bubble robots that look like the entity called the Faceless One that plagued Dr. Doom in his solo stories in Astonishing Tales.
After freeing him, he turns over the Staff..
...but Sif does not sense the presence of Jane.
Kamo Tharnn is not in good shape himself, and Thor brings some equipment from the Avengers Quinjet so that Keith Kincaid can take care of him. While he's getting the equipment, Thor chastises himself for ignoring Jane's "plight", beating himself up over the fact that it took criminal charges being levied against Donald Blake before he started to look for her. But that's not fair. Up until now, i think we were supposed to assume that Sif and Jane were merged somehow. And we saw Jane appear in Thor annual #9, and at that point even she was unsure if she was just herself or a combined entity. There certainly wasn't any sense that she was actually displaced on some other planet, as we're now discovering is the case.
Now maybe the idea is that Thor shouldn't have just accepted the idea that his two girls had merged together, solving his love triangle problems. But the original idea was that Jane Foster was dying, and merging with Sif was the only thing that could save her.
Or maybe the problem is that once Sif decided to remain on Earth but didn't revert back into Jane that he should have become more suspicious that something was wrong (he did, in fact, show some suspicion, but between no definitive problem showing itself and the usual barrage of crises, he hasn't devoted time to investigate (and it hasn't been that long).
I'm just saying that it's not Thor's fault that the Sif/Jane merger was ill defined. And i guess kudos to Alan Zelenetz (or editor Mark Gruenwald) for deciding to sort it out, even if it seems to be a very different premise than what we were originally lead to believe. But Thor, don't beat yourself up over this one, buddy.
Sif uses her powers over time and space to transport herself and Thor into the Runestaff.
Meanwhile, Dr. Kincaid realizes that there are multiple personalities inside Kamo Tharnn. He manages to get through to Tharnn, who directs him to pull up his entry from the Marvel Handbook.
And Kincaid learns that Tharnn has used the staff to absorb other individuals into himself. And he realizes therefore that Jane Foster is not in the staff, but in Tharnn. So he tries to communicate with Thor and Sif inside the staff. But his anxiety instead produces... lobsters?
(Kincaid will later refer to them as "scorpions", but he didn't actually see them so i guess he's just making an assumption based on Thor and Sif's descriptions.)
Kincaid eventually calms down and so does the pocket dimension inside the staff, and when Sif and Thor realize it's empty, they leave. And when Kincaid explains things, they use the staff to remove all the various creatures from Tharnn, including Jane.
There's probably several actual Marvel creatures in there along with possibly some other Easter eggs. The Appendix says there's an Alpha Centaurian like from Sub-Mariner #17-18 in here; maybe in that fourth scan above with the webbed hands? Is the guy in the orange v-neck and black short shorts in the first panel a miscolored Aakon like from Captain Marvel #8? Way in the back of that same panel looks like whatever Kray-Tor from Adam Warlock's series was. Same panel again, there's also an Elan, like from Fantastic Four #24, although it's yellow. Probably a lot more.
Anyway, with that, Kamo Tharnn says he's no longer going to be a crazy bad guy, and, of course, Jane Foster is restored. Thor, Sif, Keith, and Jane say goodbye to Tharnn and head home in the Quinjet, with Sif thinking to herself that she's made the decision to return to Asgard.
Some nice touches here. Between the use of the Faceless Ones and the various aliens, as well as the clean-up exercise in restoring Jane, and the background dump on Kamo Tharnn (this is most likely the first he's been called an Elder of the Universe, depending on when exactly Captain America annual #6 was published), i detect Mark Gruenwald's hand in this moreso than previous Zelenetz stories. And all that stuff provides for lots of cool moments. But given the nature of the plot there isn't a lot for Thor and Sif to do, and i feel that the restoration of Jane leaves some questions unanswered. And Sif's sullen jealousy can get a little grating. But i think the good outweighs the bad. Thor's revelation of his secret ID to Keith Kincaid early in this story is refreshing; a departure from typical secret identity hijinx.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Avengers we see are Captain America, She-Hulk, the Wasp, and Captain Marvel. No Starfox, but as Michael's comment notes, Starfox was shown as a member of the team in Thor #332 (and that issue is included in the project now). The MCP places this in the gap in Thor appearances between Avengers #234 & 240. Thor's leave of absence is referenced in Avengers #235, so these Thor issues actually have to take place BEFORE that Avengers issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCaptain America, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Jane Foster, Jarvis, Keith Kincaid, Odin, Possessor, Shawna Lynde, She-Hulk, Sif, Starfox, Thor, Wasp
You don't have Thor 332, but Starfox appears in it as an Avenger, so Starfox is definitely on the team at this point.
Posted by: Michael | September 18, 2010 8:52 PM
I've always been confused by this explanation. So we're supposed to believe that Jane and Sif were never merged but one of them was trapped within the staff or the Possessor. Then why did they switch places when Jane went to Asgard or during Thor Annual 9? And why did Jane display elements of Sif's personality?
Posted by: Michael | August 4, 2013 10:29 AM
I think the Alpha Centaurian is supposed to be the pink guy in the first scan just below the huge 3-eyed orange thing. That pick guy at least has the same goofy moustache-face thing.
Posted by: S | August 4, 2013 11:11 AM
The short eyestalk-alien is a Ciegrimite from Bob Layton's first Hercules mini-series.
There also appears to be a Sleazoid/Brood in the big Jane Foster panel, but colored orange.
And in that panel where Sif says "Jane Foster,where art thou?" is that Star Trek's Captain Pike behind her?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 4, 2013 4:53 PM
Your "characters appearing" list has both Possessor and Kamo Tharnn here.
Posted by: Chris Kafka | August 20, 2013 9:20 PM
Thanks Chris. Fixed it.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 20, 2013 10:19 PM
"Thor's leave of absence is referenced in Avengers #235, so this actually has to take place after that issue."
Erm... don't you mean "so this actually has to take place BEFORE that issue"?
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 20, 2013 10:56 PM
Or wait, which "this" are you referring to? Starfox's appearance in Thor 332? That paragraph is a bit confusing...!
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | August 20, 2013 11:02 PM
Clarified it. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 21, 2013 8:49 AM
"this is most likely the first he's been called an Elder of the Universe, depending on when exactly Captain America annual #7 was published"
I think you mean annual #6.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | September 28, 2013 11:18 PM
You're right, in which case the Cap annual was most likely published first.
Posted by: fnord12 | September 29, 2013 1:22 PM
I just read this issue but it was still a little unclear to me if Jane knows/remembers that Thor is Don Blake from this point on. But I believe this is it, it stays out in the open between them from now on.
Posted by: Jeff | November 20, 2016 9:13 PM
What confuse me about Sif's beliefs on the ''lack of adventure' on Midgard is contradicted by every comic. They've fought a giant, a mystical crusader, alien beings & a technical video game villain since she arrived. Is there more fighting in Asgard as whenever Thor visits, there's lots of nothing happening until Thor has to come and save their butts.
Posted by: Adam | March 17, 2018 6:55 AM
I suppose the difference is that in Asgard, that's all you do: go on quests and enter tournaments. On Earth, you have to out on some kind of civilian identity and spent a lot of time doing everyday human tasks. And there, you don't have to hold back or engage in human niceties during your limited downtime between adventures. But my take is that Sif neither understands nor wishes to accommodate Thor's Don Blake identity.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | March 17, 2018 10:00 AM
I suppose so indeed. Thor should have suggested her joining the Avengers instead; non stop vigilance and adventures, and they could see each other on the regular. If only I was a marvel writer in the mid 80s....
Posted by: Adam | March 17, 2018 7:25 PM
Comments are now closed.
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