- —A Janitor
Appearing in "With My Hammer in Hand...!"
- unnamed Asgardians
- Harris Hobbs (in shadows)
- The Avengers
- Steel Forge Workers
- Norma Thaxton (First appearance)
Synopsis for "With My Hammer in Hand...!"
Continued from the last issue...
Thor has returned to the United States where he has traveled to a foundry in Pittsburgh to repair damages done to his hammer during his battle with the Destroyer in Vietnam. With his hammer repaired, Thor collects the Norn Stones that Loki used to cheat with during the "Trial of the Gods" and makes sure that he has all of the stones before returning to Asgard, however as he departs the Earth he unknowingly and accidentally drops one. When he turns the stones over to Odin, the All-Father plans harsh punishment, however, Thor begs his father to have mercy, which does Odin proud.
Meanwhile, in the castle of Ularic, Loki continues to toil in his forced role of being the court Warlock's aid. However, when Ularic's guard is down, Loki knocks him out with a gas and then seals him in a sphere and drops him down into a time vault. Now with the entire court's magical texts and potion materials Loki begins plotting anew to get revenge against Thor.
After spending some time in Asgard, Thor finds himself restless and asks Odin if he may return to the Earth, Odin decides to grant this request and transports his favored son back to the mortal world. Returning to the office he maintains as Donald Blake, Thor is shocked to find the window to his office locked and Jane nowhere to be found. Changing back into Donald Blake and gaining entry into the office, where he finds that the paperwork is all out of order and Jane is nowhere to be found. Finding no note, Blake assumes that Jane has been kidnapped when he is disturbed by the landlord coming to collect the overdue rent. Having more pressing concerns, Blake walks out of his office and notes one of his patients and tells her that he can't see her, however, she advises Blake that she has decided to see the new doctor that has opened up an office down the hall during his absence. Rounding the corner Blake changes back into Thor and gives a rise to his landlord before leaving the office.
Finding the streets too confining and needing to find a quiet place to think about where to start searching for Jane, Thor decides to go to Avengers Mansion. There he finds new Avengers recruits Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver who explain that they have been added to the Avengers roster following Thor, Iron Man, and Giant-Man's absence from the team. Not wanting the aid of the new recruits, the further frustrated Thor storms out of the mansion. Finding a rooftop to ponder his situation, Thor is unaware that elsewhere in the city Jane Foster is also thinking of him, when her thoughts are interrupted by the entry of a shadowed man who tells her to forget the man she loved because they are together now.
While back in Asgard, Loki has created a device that uses magic to reconstitute the gaseous form of the Absorbing Man and send him hurtling back to Earth to get revenge against Thor. While on Earth, Thor gets inspiration from witnessing a T.V. news interview and decides that the best way to try and find Jane would be to send out a special broadcast to her. However, on his way to a television station, Thor is stopped when suddenly the Absorbing Man crash lands right in front of him, and seeing his old foe, the Absorbing Man wants nothing more than a rematch against Thor.
This story is continued in Journey into Mystery #121...
Appearing in "The Power! The Passion! The Pride!"
Synopsis for "The Power! The Passion! The Pride!"
Story continued from Journey Into Mystery #120....
While trying to learn what happened to Jane Foster, Thor finds himself attacked by the recently revived Absorbing Man. As the battle rages, the Absorbing Man attempts to wrest Thor's hammer away, however the enchantment that makes it return to Thor whenever he throws it prevents this from happening. While, in Asgard, Loki watches the battle with eagerness however is briefly interrupted by Balder the Brave who has come to make sure that Loki isn't up to mischief, however Loki manages to convince the trusting Balder that he is not up to anything before resuming his watch of the battle between Thor and the Absorbing Man.
Back on Earth, the Absorbing Man attempts to gain the upper hand by absorbing the height and properties of nearby skyscrapers making him grow titanic in size, however the Thunder God is still able to keep the Absorbing Man on the defencive and ultimately the Absorbing Man resumes his natural size and the battle rages on. Watching the battle on TV and witnessing the carnage from outside of a window is Jane Foster, who is asked to not be seen by the mysterious hooded man who has brought her to this location, and tells her that he will explain why he has gathered her in due course before leaving her alone once more.
While back on Asgard, Loki is finally left alone and checks on Ularic to insure that the Warlock is still subdued, and makes sure that both Balder and Odin are preoccupied with other matters before plotting his ultimate revenge. Elsewhere still on Earth, the one Norn Stone dropped by Thor is still left unattended, an omen of trouble ahead.
Back in New York City, Thor continues his battle against the Absorbing Man, who briefly becomes very vulnerable when he accidentally absorbs the property of glass and has to flee. He seeks refuge in a bank vault (assuming the property of it's steel) before Thor smashes through and continues their battle. As the battle takes them out into the streets once more, the police scramble to get the crowd away. When a young child gets in the middle of the battle, Thor takes his attentions off the Absorbing Man long enough for his foe to land a powerful blow that knocks the Thunder God out.
Appearing in "Tales of Asgard: The Secret of Sigurd!"
Synopsis for "Tales of Asgard: The Secret of Sigurd!"
- Methinks The Man Is Bereft Of His Senses!
While returning from a special mission for Odin, Loki convinces Thor and Balder to follow him through a short cut that travels through the Forests of the Mysterious Sigurd, which eventually leads them to a confrontation with Sigurd himself, who challenges the young gods to a duel, claiming he can defeat them all with his secret power.
Thor attacks Sigurd, smashing his opponent's battle ax with his hammer; however, every time Thor manages to knock Sigurd down he gets back up stronger than ever. Eventually, Balder remembers the key to Sigurd's constantly increasing strength: Sigurd is the son of the Earth Sprites, and his strength is increased every time he touches the ground.
Knowing the secret to Sigurd's power, Thor catches his hammer under Sigurd's belt and then flings his opponent into the sky where he will then be stranded on a deserted asteroid.
With their foe defeated, the three gods continue their trek home, Loki disappointed that Thor was not defeated.
Appearing in "Where Mortals Fear to Tread!"
Synopsis for "Where Mortals Fear to Tread!"
Boasting over defeating Thor in battle, the Absorbing Man fails to realize that the Thunder God was merely stunned and not defeated. With his back turned "Crusher" Creel fails to see Thor reviving, and launching a counter attack. The Absorbing Man is caught off guard, giving Thor the upper hand. Watching this from Asgard, Loki believes that the Thunder God will be able to defeat his minion and decides that the Absorbing Man would be better used by his side and uses an attractor beam device to transport the Absorbing Man from Earth to Asgard in mid-battle, leaving Thor puzzled about the sudden disappearance of his foe.
However, Thor's attention is taken away when Jane Foster (Who has been watching from a nearby building) causes a fire in order to attract Thor's attention since she's become a prisoner of a strange hooded man. Coming to her rescue, Thor finds that Jane has passed out from smoke inhalation and changes back into Donald Blake in order to administer medical aid. This plays into the hooded man's hands, who photographs the transition. The masked man then reveals himself as the Affiliated Press reporter Harris Hobbs.
While on Asgard, the Absorbing Man materializes in front of Loki, who subdues the Absorbing Man into subservience with his superior mystical powers and convinces him to help him overthrow Asgard. When Loki brings Creel into the Imperial Palace, they are stopped by the guards, however the Absorbing Man is able to make short work of them casting them off easily.
Back on Earth, Donald Blake has brought Jane Foster to a hospital where she is expected to make a full recovery in time. He receives a message to meet with Hobbs, who organized a secret meeting of the two that afternoon. Before he goes, he assures Jane that he will not leave her again. Going to the roof, Blake decides to confront Hobbs as Thor, and changes into his Godly identity and travels to their meeting place. Naturally, Harrison attempts to blackmail Thor into giving him a full story about his origins, using the photographic evidence and the fact that Thor is pledged never to harm a mortal as a means to extort the information out of the Thunder God. Furious at the reporters audacity, Thor instead decides to use his vast powers to travel Hobbs from different time periods and other worlds to the point where Harris concedes and agrees to destroy all photographic evidence linking Thor to Donald Blake -- under one condition: That Thor brings Harris Hobbs to fabled Asgard, so that he can write a report about the mythical land. Impressed with Hobbs' ability to maintain his sanity through these travels, Thor agrees to bring him.
While back on Asgard, the Absorbing Man fights all the way into Odin's throne room. There the All-Father attempts to destroy the Absorbing Man with a blast from his sceptre, however all he succeeds in doing is causing the Absorbing Man to absorb the properties of the blast, and in turn turn the energies against Odin himself.
And we do mean Special! 'Cause this is the one that features two of Thor's mightiest capers - and a "Tales of Asgard" spell-binder to boot!