Thor #161: "Shall A God Prevail?"

Thor #161
"Shall A God Prevail?"
February, 1969

and Immortalized
STAN         JACK
(The Man)   (King)
LEE             KIRBY


While in search of Galactus, the God of Thunder and the Recorder now find
themselves floating in airless space, in the aftermath of their
spaceship's destruction between the planet-eater and the Living Planet.
As they float in silence, the universe shudders...!

Even as Thor and the Rigellian creation are caught in the icy grip of
space, a spacecraft approaches their position.

Seeing the two who have survived the opening salvo between Galactus and
Ego, they are to be brought onboard.

The Recorder and the Son of Odin are drawn within the pressurized
confines of a vacu-cylinder, which leads to swift travel through a
pneumatic-tube, and to the core of the starship.  The therapeutic
properties of the vita-liquid soon works its function on the two
survivors.  The Wanderers know that they must be revived, especially
since it was their starship which was heading for a definite goal.  It is
time for the Wanderers to make this goal their own.

At this moment, the planet-eater and the Living Planet are engaged in
single combat.  Ego's destructi-blasts batter at Galactus' visi-sphere
with the might of a world behind it.

Mighty Galactus has never faced such an enemy as the Living Planet, nor
has he not realized final triumph before.  In the eyes of Ego, he is but
one being, while he is a world unto himself.  In all of the universe,
Galactus is alone.  Although he has employed heralds on numerous
occasions, the devourer of worlds will uses his power to bring many
planetoids together with a single burst of the power cosmic.

The Living Planet is caught in the meteoric swarm, with the planet-eater
striking again and again.  Surely Ego will not be able to withstand such
an attack.  Galactus soon sees several solid energy tentacles spring
forth, seizing him in their unyielding grip.

Within the starship of the Wanderers, Thor and the Recorder find
themselves to be among the living.  While they rested, their language was
studied by translato-ray.  After introducing themselves to the God of
Thunder and his companion, the leader speaks of their hopes of finding
the destroyer of worlds.  Since he has seen much and has recorded it, the
Recorder fulfills his primary function by warning them to abandon their

The Thunder God is known even to those who have survived the destruction
of their homeworlds.  Inside the chamber of decision, the leader asks his
fellow Wanderers if Thor will have to face Galactus alone.  Although they
unanimously agree to help in the battle, the Son of Odin tells them that
even their collective might would be found wanting.  With the galactic
upheaval in close proximity, the crew are called to their stations, and
the object of their quest has been found.

Fiery planetoids begin to strike their starship.  The God of Thunder
commands them to reverse course so that they may survive.  Even as the
steps are being taken by the crew, Thor and the Recorder move
stealthfully towards their common foe.  The hatch is opened, and even an
immortal of Asgard may be impressed by what he sees before him.

World and devourer of worlds are locked in battle, when the God of
Thunder strikes.  Galactus has freed himself from the tentacles, and
calls upon comets to strike back at Ego.  The Rigellian creation
continues recording the imminent triumph of Galactus, but Thor is now
ready to act.  The Recorder adjusts his perma-circuits for precise
recording, with the results to be filed away inside his electronic brain.
Even so, he warns his friend that he does not wish to record the death
of the Odinson.

For Thor, whatever happens next can only be his father's will.  He throws
Mjolnir -- for ASGAARD!  The mighty uru hammer makes its way towards its
intended target, striking him with the force of the heavens.  Another has
dared to defy the will of Galactus.  He has felt pain, for the first time
in ages.  The one who has dared to contemplate such a deed... will pay
for it.

Seeing that the devourer of worlds still stands, Thor now knows that his
enchanted hammer is not enough.  With this failure, the Rigellian
creation knows that there will be nothing left for him to record.  When
next Mjolnir flies, the God of Thunder flies with it.  BTONNNG!  Galactus
sees that a human gnat has decided to vex him.  A gnat in possession of a
god's power.

Thor is allowed to speak on, for what does it matter if he claims to be a
god?  What is mighty Galactus but power incarnate!!  The Son of Odin
finds himself thrown towards the Living Planet with enough force to end
even his immortal life.  He is met by another force, one which causes the
world beneath him to slow his fall.

The Wanderers and the Recorder greet Thor, having been drawn there by
Ego.  The God of Thunder listens as his companion asks if he will
withdraw, so that he may escape what will befall all of them.  No, Thor
will fight alongside his friends until the very end.  The leader of the
Wanderers believes that the Devourer has won, and his people's quest has
all been in vain.  With the uru hammer in his possession, the Odinson
still has the power necessary for victory.

From their starship, a stand is assembled, and Mjolnir is placed there.
After bidding the Wanderers to find shelter, Thor readies himself for
what must be done.  In the All-Father's name, he commands that his own
strength become one with his enchanted hammer.  The resulting power is
unleashed and sent towards Galactus.

Within the span of a second, the energy of an immortal reaches the
Planet-eater with waves of force. The waves send him backwards into the
shuddering shelter of the visi-sphere.  Even so, the energy flow
continues, forcing Galactus to enter his own starship, which has been
drifting on the edge of the galaxy.  The pain continues to grow in
intensity, and weakens him until he must retreat... or die!  With the
departure of the starship, the Recorder concludes that Thor has won the
battle.  Asgard is praised and the universe continues its own existence.

With the destruction of their starship, the Wanderers are without a
world, and life on the Living Planet looks to be a harsh one.  In answer
to this, the planet begins to change its appearance, and a lush world
appears in place of the formerly barren one.  Ego appears in humanoid
form, thanking Thor for a second chance at life, and offers sanctuary to
the Wanderers.  They are home -- until the very end of time.

On the cover of Thor #161, Galactus and Ego are having a meeting of the
minds, with the Thunder God caught in the middle.

Asgardians and Rigellian Recorders are made of sterner stuff than mere
mortals, and do not suffer the pangs of explosive decompression.

A two-page tableau features the drawn figures of Thor, Recorder, and the
starship amid a decidedly three-dimensional background.

Drawn as if by tractor beam into the heart of  a ship, the two heroes
receive a medical treatment bath, while assorted aliens watch their
progress closely.

I wonder if George Lucas happened to read this particular issue of Thor?

On page five, the Living Planet tells Galactus that he is far from
"invisible" within his flying visi-sphere.

Did Ego actually mean to say "invincible" or did the visi-sphere have
stealth capabilities?

Both planet and planet-eater apparently enjoy the sound of their own
voices, even while battling in airless space.

In the 1970s, Jack Kirby came up with the character of Mister Machine,
who later became known as Machine Man.

It'd be interesting to have both X-51 and his fellow artificial being

If nothing else, the Recorder could pull up an appropriate dance list,
and play deejay at parties.

If there's a galactic upheaval ahead, you just know that Galactus has
just lost his lunch.

The Living Planet tries to play catcher with living tentacles of energy,
but the Devourer of Worlds is a mean pitcher with many comets at his beck
and call.

You must be anvil or hammer.

In this story, the God of Thunder was a regular Rodgers and Hammerstein
with mighty Mjolnir.

Thor tries to play ball with Galactus, but is used by him to play some
hardball with Ego.

The Odinson makes his stand and has open mike night with his enchanted

With the threat over, Ego makes the Wanderers an offer, and they say to
themselves... What A Wonderful World...

In The Hammer Strikes letters page, Glenn Cooper of Bedford, Mass writes:

"Dear Stan and Jack,

Hurray for Bill Henley, Jr.  His theory of the location of Asgard and how
Thor could be in Asgard as a boy and still be brought to life by Don
Blake is the most thought-out, carefully-constructed, and reasonable
theory yet presented.  I nominate him for consideration to be a Fearless
Front Facer.  In answer to his question as to why Sif couldn't talk as
the Destroyer, the Norn Queen must have put a spell on Sif which made her
think she couldn't talk.  She could have talked if she had resisted the
spell; but since she didn't realize there was a spell, she didn't fight
it.  The one thing missing in Bill Henley's Asgard theory is "What is to
keep mortals from finding the Midgard end of the Rainbow Bridge and
following it to Asgard?"  I have prepared an answer to that.  When an
Asgardian comes to Earth, a vital essence remains in Asgard's time-space
continuum, although it is linked to the Asgardian.  This essence allows
the Asgardian to find the Rainbow Bridge; (it shifts position often,
although it always has an end on Earth) and then allows him to travel
upon it back to Asgard.  Please adopt Bill Henley's theory as fact and
give him the title of FFF along with a no-prize.  And now, the three
words which shall soon ring out through Marveldom: Make EVERYBODY'S

The editor replies:

"So be it, G.C.!  Meanwhile, all the votes aren't in yet on the Henley
Hypothesis, but we're keeping our mailbox open.  As for the all-embracing
title of Fearless Front Facer, this is a super-special absolutely
arbitrary no-title which the Bullpen gang intend to bestow from time to
time upon one who has, in our opinion, rendered an especial and
invaluable favor to Marveldom!  We'll clue you in on procedure and
awardees when we iron out all the details ourselves, and it may well be
that Bill will be right up there in the winner's circle - but only time
will tell.  Okay?"

This Review Is Dedicated To Fearless Front Facer Bill Henley, Jr.
From Fearless Face Fronter Steve Chung
"Shall A God Review?"