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Thor: Tales of Asgard #1: Review

May 2009
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

Story Name:

Asgard! Home of the Mighty Norse Gods

Review & Comments

5 stars

Thor: Tales of Asgard #1 Review by (June 10, 2011)
Comments: Reprints the “Tales of Asgard” backup stories from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #97-104, with new coloring. Includes a map of Asgard and the Official Handbook entries on Geirrodur, Hela, Odin, Surtur and Ymir.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor: Tales of Asgard #1 Synopsis by Arcturus Jackson
Introduces the basic elements of Norse myth: the good gods known as the Aesir and their enemies the Frost Giants. Their home Asgard was bounded on the south by fire where dwells Surtur the demon of fire and on the north by the land of mist. Beneath it all lay the Well of Life from which emerged the first life: Ymir, the greatest of the Frost Giants. Seconds later a magic cow appeared to provide food for Ymir. Then there came from the ice Buri the first of the Aesir. He had a son Borr, who fathered three sons, the greatest of whom was Odin. Odin and his brothers took an interest in Earth, set a ring around it and there grew Yggdrasil to protect the new world.

Story #2

Odin Battles Ymir, King of the Ice Giants

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Don Heck. Colorist: Matt Milla.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

In ancient days the Ice Giants attacked Asgard, and Odin joined the battle in his chariot drawn by winged stallions, hurling meteor bolts down on them. The giants responded with a titanic gust of frozen wind, blowing away the chariot and leaving Odin stranded on a mountain. Odin used his sword to cleave the mountain in two, dropping the Ice Giants into the chasm. Ymir, the last of the enemies, pursued Odin until the Master of the Gods lured him to a dormant volcano. Striking the ground with his sword, Odin unleashed a ring of fire, trapping the ice giant forever.

Story #3

Surtur the Fire Demon!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: George Roussos. Colorist: Matt Milla.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hearing that the trolls have joined Surtur to rebel against Asgard, Odin journeys to the land of the trolls, scattering them with a blast of power. The defeated trolls tell Odin where to find the fire demon Surtur, and the great Odin travels to the Sea of Flame where he comes face-to-face with his enormous enemy. Surtur threatens Odin by transforming his giant fingers into deadly serpents but Odin calls frozen debris from space to crush the demon’s hand. Surtur then departs for Earth, burrowing deep into the planet’s center, with the dislodged rock becoming the Moon. Odin causes the Earth to rotate which traps the Demon King at its center forever. As a bribe, he gives Odin a winged horse as a steed then sits back to wait for the day he can escape.

Story #4

The Storm Giants

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Paul Reinman. Colorist: Matt Milla.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Two sons of the Storm Giant have stolen the Golden Apples of the goddess Iduna, and young Thor and Loki set out to recover them. Sneaking into the giant’s dining room, Loki pushes Thor out into the open where the giants see him. Thor, drawing on his dignity as one of the Aesir, demands the return of the Golden Apples. The giants respond by trying to drown Thor in an enormous bowl of broth. Thor fights back, chopping a leg off the kitchen table and hurling a giant pepper shaker into their faces. Thor is captured though, so Loki throws wet leaves on the fire, filling the room with smoke. The two Aesir find the Golden Apples with the imprisoned Agnar, king of the Eagles. Loki plans to abandon Thor and ride the giant bird to safety but the young Thunder God cuts the rope holding the eagle and rides off on its leg. Back in Asgard, Odin knows who the real hero is; Loki is disgruntled and Thor lifts the Uru hammer a little higher than before. When he can lift it all the way, it will be his….

Story #5

The Invasion of Asgard!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: George Roussos. Colorist: Matt Milla.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hearing that the forces of evil are about to attack Asgard, young Thor volunteers to stand at the Rainbow Bridge alongside Heimdall in defense. The guardian sends him away as too young. Loki suggests that Thor can earn honor by guarding a hole he discovered in a remote part of Asgard’s defenses. What Loki does not mention is that he made the hole—and alerted the enemy to its existence in order to destroy Thor. As Thor stands guard alone, he suddenly faces a cabal of enemies: the Norn Hag riding Ulfrin the Dragon, the Wolf Gods Skoll and Hati, the Rime Giants, the last of the Ice Giants, and Geirrodur the Troll. Thor battles valiantly but is eventually overwhelmed by the superior forces A Rime Giant casts a spells slowly turning Thor into a tree but quickly Odin and his warriors arrive and drive off the enemy. Thor confesses that he failed, in that he would have been defeated. The other warriors hail him as a hero for holding the breach long enough for reinforcements to come. Thor is rewarded with additional strength and is able to lift the Uru hammer a little higher, while Loki stands in the shadows, plotting vengeance….

Story #6

'Death’ Comes to Thor!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Paul Reinman. Colorist: Matt Milla.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor quests to find the Three Fates to learn if he shall ever be awarded Odin’s magic hammer. The Fates tell him he will—but he must meet Death first. Rather than accepting his doom, Thor determines to wield the hammer. He returns to Odin’s palace and tries lifting the hammer once again…but Balder, staggering from wounds, enters to tell him his sister Sif has been carried off by the Storm Giants. Without thinking, Thor raises the hammer over his head and rides out to rescue the warrior maiden. Arriving at the Giants’ lair, he destroys the road to it, burying the guards, and enters to confront Rugga the Storm Giant king. Rugga explains that Hel, Goddess of Death, promised him immortality if he would deliver Sif to her. Thor forces the giant king to direct him to Hela’s realm and soon he is face-to-face with the Goddess of Death. He offers himself in Sif’s place and Hela is so moved by the noble sacrifice that she grants Sif her freedom. And it is not until days later that Thor realizes he now possesses the Uru hammer.

Story #7

Thor’s Mission to Mirmir!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Chic Stone. Colorist: Matt Milla.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor visits the land of the Dwarfs and asks to be taken to their king, Sindri. He requests that the monarch furnish him with a magic vessel, Skipbladnir, which can shrink to pocket size or grow to carry an army, and travel to any place in the universe. Thor commands the ship to grow and, boarding, commands it to take him to the land of Mirmir. Arriving at that distant land, Thor battles Skord, the flying dragon, and Gullin the Boar God to reach the palace of King Mirmir. There, he presents the king with a branch from Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life, and asks Mirmir to fulfill his pledge to Odin. Mirmir places the branch into the enchanted fountain, the water overflow and run down to Midgard where they form to figures Aske and Embla, the first humans. His mission accomplished, Thor returns home to Asgard.

Story #8

Heimdall, Guardian of the Mystic Rainbow Bridge!

Writer: Stan Lee. Penciler: Jack Kirby. Inker: Don Heck. Colorist: Matt Milla.

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

The warrior Heimdall is summoned to appear before Odin, who tells him that the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard needs a sentry and he has chosen Heimdall to be one of the three candidates for the honor. Odin assembles the three warriors and asks them to tell why they think they should be chosen as the guardian of the Bridge. The first, Agnar the Fierce, claims his massive chest gives him the power to blow the loudest warning on the enchanted Dragon Horn to summon aid. The second, Gotron the Agile, cites his ability to fight off a multitude of foes. And Heimdall the Faithful mentions his sensitive hearing—which detects the tiniest plant growing in the heart of the Hidden Hills. Scouts dispatched to that area do indeed find a small plant sprouting in that desolate land. Heimdall then mentions his sharp eyesight which even now spies a band of Storm Giants two days away and heading for the Rainbow Bridge. A war party is sent out and finds the enemy where Heimdall said they were and defeats them and Heimndall is named guardian of the Rainbow Bridge.

Jack Kirby
George Roussos
Matt Milla
Olivier Coipel (Cover Penciler)
Mark Morales (Cover Inker)
Laura Martin (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Balder the Brave)

(Goddess of Death)

(Loki Laufeyson)


Plus: Surtur (Surtur the Fire Demon), Ymir (Frost Giant King).

> Thor: Tales of Asgard: Book info and issue index

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