- Each in his way, must SERVE the Realm... And OURS is the way of... the WARRIOR!
- -- Thor
Appearing in "To End in Flames!"
- Frost Gun
Synopsis for "To End in Flames!"
While seeking to escape the destruction of Asgard at the hands of Surtur, Loki and one of his followers escape to Earth, however they find that Surtur's coming has also caused environmental upheaval on Earth itself, leaving Loki to hope that his hated half-brother finds some way to defeat Surtur.
While back in Asgard, the royal city has been set ablaze by the coming of Surtur, prompting Thor to gather an army of warriors to fight against the fire demon. They rally together and with the help of Thor's mystical hammer, they break through the flame barrier erected in front of the city and charge toward Surtur himself.
While elsewhere, Balder and Sif seek out Igron, an evil mystic loyal to Loki who was responsible for sending Odin to the Sea of Eternal Night. They tell them of their quest to free Odin and explain that if he does not help them all of Asgard would be destroyed by Surtur. While back in the battle field, Thor takes on Surtur on his own, and despite his great strength and mystical hammer can only do so much as keep Surtur on the defensive, but the noble Thunder God refuses to give up.
While back at the lair of Igron, Balder agrees to being transported to the Sea of Eternal Night, even though that he will rapidly wither away within moments of his arrival. Although growing rapidly old with every passing moment, Balder manages to make it to the capsule where Odin slumbers and manages to awaken the All-Father, who proclaims that his Odinsleep has ended.
In the battle field, Odin is finally joined by the other warriors who lend their might to keep Surtur back, even going so far as dropping a large meteor on him, but to no avail. As the battle rages on, Balder brings Odin back, however at a terrible price: Balder has aged to frail and deathly state, however Odin is alive and well and vows to Sif that he can restore Balder anew.
Finally back in the battle field, Thor's army is unable to stop Surtur, and are forced to use their last resort: A frost gun, however this only momentarily staggers Surture, who uses all his power to blast everyone into unconsciousness, leaving only Thor the only one standing to face him. However before the battle can continue, Odin arrives and banishes Surtur back to his realm. When the reviving warriors realize who saved them they all raise their weapons in honor of Odin.
Our great wrap-up issue! See Asgard saved from destruction! See the rescue of Odin! See the battle between Thor and giant Surtur!
- In the beginning of this issue Surtur is depicted as having horns. For whatever reasons, in the last few panels of the story Jack Kirby neglected to draw Surtur with horns.
- This issue marks the end of Jack Kirby's long run drawing Journey into Mystery/Thor, however his final issue is Thor #179. Regular artist chores will be taken by John Buscema beginning next issue.
- This issue contains a letters page, The Hammer Strikes. Letters are published from Jerry Slawyeh, Jeffrey Benson, Richard Cook, Nils Osmar, Mark Magid, Alan Kupperberg and Edward R. Paquette..
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