Appearing in "The Trial of the Gods!"
Synopsis for "The Trial of the Gods!"
This story picks up a trial that had been postponed in previous issues. Thor had rushed back to Asgard, and left his fight with the Absorbing Man to save a kidnapped Jane Foster from his evil half-brother Loki. They were in a heated battle when Odin burst in, and confront them about their "private conflict that hath not the approval of Odin!" Since Foster was already in Asgard, Loki tried to use Thor's love for Jane against him, by claiming that he had tried to make her immortal as well by bringing her there to Asgard. Thor then asked to be allowed to return her to her home, and defeat the Absorbing Man first.
With his foe defeated, Thor returned, and the trial began. Odin asked his son to yield his magic hammer to him, so that they would be unarmed when they were sent to "Skornheim, the deadly land beyond the pale of Asgard". As they arrived there, Loki insulted Thor's intelligence by saying that without his magic hammer, he was now unarmed, whereas he still had his cunning and wits. He produced a bag containing his enchanted Norn Stones, then used one to show Thor his minions, the Enchantress and Skurge as they were entering Foster's office. This distracted Thor as the sun came out and melted the ground he stood on, turning the solidified lava to quicksand. Loki used a Norn stone to harden a path for himself and walk away. Thor then escaped using his awesome strength.
At the next obstacle, a forest of spiny plants, he used one of his enchanted stones to change himself into "an unsolid, ghostly figure" and slipped through. Thor was on his heels though, as he used his helmet and cape, tightly wrapped around his arm, to smash through the plants, and catch up with his half-brother. Thor then subdued him, and demanded that he call off his villainous allies from his love Jane Foster. Before anything else could be said, Yagg the Invincible attacked them with one of his deadly energy blasts, throwing the two apart. Again, Loki used a stone to escape, flying out of harm's way, leaving his "accursed half-brother, still trapped". Thor then dodged numerous blasts of energy, grabbed a rock and "hurls it - straight and true, with force of a comet, felling the giant Yagg, even as David felled the mighty Goliath many ages before!", hitting Yagg in the head. Thor then pressed onward toward Loki, despite the time for him to gain a sizable lead.
Meanwhile, Loki was "facing a new obstacle, the withering heat of the glowing Boulder Road of Skornheim". He once again used a magic stone, and created a whirlwind around himself to cool him as he moved on. He then found the next danger in his path, a horde of hungry, carnivorous plants. He employed yet another stone, which "contains a repellent which no form of plant life can approach!"
Back on Earth, Jane Foster was trying to evade her persuers, the Enchantress and the Executioner (Skurge). A small group of local citizens briefly tried to help her, but they were subdued by a sleeping spell from the Enchantress. As this took place on the streets, one of Rick Jone's Teen Brigade, tried to sound the alarm, to no answer. The next moment though, Balder the Brave arrived on Earth, atop the Baxter Building, and quickly found and challenged the villainous pair.
Back in Skornheim, Thor braved his way along the Boulder Road, to the carnivorous plants. He then found the river that feeds the plants, and dived in, to avoid them, and tried to catch up with Loki. As he does, they come to a rocky gap over a fiery pit, which Loki uses a stone to levitate over, as Thor grabs him and also crosses the pit. As they get across, Loki senses the fatigue that is taking its toll on Thor, and knocks him off, giving him just enough time to run through the portal to Asgard.
Appearing in "Tales of Asgard - The Challenge"
- An enchanted goblet
- King Hymir's Crown
Synopsis for "Tales of Asgard - The Challenge"
Loki has convinced King Hymir to help him in his eternal feud with Thor, by having the King give Thor a series of very difficult challenges. Thor is unable to refuse them, or he is dishonored, and if he fails, he becomes a slave for the cruel king. The first challenge, is to catch a fish from the dreaded Sea of Eternal Darkness. The fish in this sea are "not mere fish - but undersea monsters! No fishing line could capture such a creature! But the Mighty Hammer of Thor CAN!"
This challenge done, the King give him the main task, to break a drinking goblet in only two minutes. He realizes that his time is short, so without delay throws the goblet at a rock wall, shattering the wall. He then tries to use his mighty hammer, to no effect. Thor knows that if he should slay the king, even if he didn't complete the challenge, he would not be a slave, except he would "break the heart of fair princess Rinda!" Rinda was not worried about herself, and urged the Thunder God to do what he must, since he has been deceived. With that, he hurls the goblet, at full force at the crown of King Hymir. The goblet then shattered, revealing the source of the enchantment, the "magic catalyst". This inspired a fit of paranoid anger in the King, directed at the Trickster for supposedly betraying the King, and revealing the secret to Thor, and ordered Loki gone from his kingdom. As he left, Loki vowed "eternity is endless, I shall never stop scheming!"
- credits for Story 1 ("The Trial of the Gods!"):
- Written By Imperial Stan Lee
- Illustrated By Impregnable Jack Kirby
- Inked By Implacable Vince Colletta
- Lettered By Impossible Artie Simek
- credits for Story 2 ("Tales of Asgard - The Challenge"):
- Story: Stan Lee
- Pencilling: Jack Kirby
- Inking: Vince Colletta
- Lettering: Artie Simek
- Story 2 ("Tales of Asgard - The Challenge") was reprinted in Marvel Spectacular #1
- references: Journey into Mystery #115, Daredevil #7, and Fantastic Four #38
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