So here we go with Marvel Masterworks #96, or Thor #7. This book compiles #153-162, all Stan Lee/Jack Kirby classics.
This volume contains more classic moments in ten issues, than any other Thor Masterwork. This is the most bang for your buck.
Loki pilfers Mjolnir, which peeves Thor. Worse, Loki starts beating up on Sif, a clear Asgardian no-no. So Thor wraps a street sign post around Loki (it THAT all it takes now?), turns back into Dr. Blake, and surgically repairs Sif. (Being a surgeon myself, I found this a little more cool than you might...)
Thor chit-chats with Hela. Ulik the Impossibly Ugly, tossed down some mine shaft in the preceding volume, finds some big ol' door that says "do not open". So he does, being Ulik and all.
He sets free the Mangog, who's now bent on destroying everything.
Literally everything. This is the Ragnarok people have been worried about. "Ragnarok, the death of all thy universe!"
But as all creation is in jeopardy of ending, get this: Odin is taking a nap, and cannot be awakened or else, I dunno, all creation ends? So we're toast either way?
In the middle of all this, Thor meets hippies.
While Odin snoozes, Loki jumps on the throne, saying "Mine! Mine! Mine! I got here first! Nyah nyah!"
The Recorder shows up again.
Word of Mangog's approach reaches Asgard, and Loki does his usual "Oops! Silly me!" thing...and takes off. To where, I don't know, since the entire universe is ending soon, so, like Cancun is out of the question...
Thor and Mangog have an epic battle over several issues.
Odin wakes up, snaps his fingers, and everything's fine. Something about an illusion.
Is it me, or is this Odin guy an arrogant weenie?
The next two issues answer the question that should have been bothering you since the first issue of Journey Into Mystery that starred Thor.
Is Thor Don Blake, or is Don Blake Thor? If Thor existed before he inhabited Blake, what did either of them do before that moment? Sure, we saw bits of Thor in those "Tales of Asgard" shorts, but where is Don Blake from? Indiana? New Mexico? Who are his parents? Republican or Democrat?
All of this gets answered here. Once and for all. Or as once and for all as the Marvel Universe gets, my friends.
This titanic tome ends with two issues starring Galactus, the Recorder, Ego the Living Planet...now this tale, as they say, is a doozy. You get hints of the origin of Galactus, spectacular fight scenes, more Kirby space vistas...
Meanwhile, throughout all of this, Thor and Sif still have time to make goo-goo eyes at each other, and Balder gets seduced by Karnilla. Although I think Karnilla sounds like she should be seducing somebody like Godzilla not Balder the Brave.
This is a fantastic collections of classic tales, beautifully reproduced...maybe my favorite volume so far!
On to Volume 8!