Welcome back friends, to another week of comic book greatness here in Ye Olde School Café! This week I’ll present one of the best Thor stories ever in Ragnarok! This Bronze Age gem is one of my favorites, but it should definitely be on everyone’s reading list if you already haven’t had the pleasure. Let me just tease with The Midgard Serpent, Loki, Trolls, Giants, an Asgardian death, and the Mighty Thor beaten senseless by…a cameraman? Be warned, this story will show things never before seen, and also things not seen since! This tale was published in 1978 (Thor volume 1, #272-278), with Roy Thomas writing, and artwork by John Buscema and Tom Palmer!
The story begins with Thor flying above Manhattan, and then he notices a bully picking on a couple of kids. He swoops in and scares the bully away, but then tells the kids a tale of Asgard. In this tale, he tells of a time when he and Loki were still friends and were confronted by a giant named Skymir (Utgard-Loki). At first, the giant seems friendly, but after they follow him to his castle, they soon realize that he lured them there to make a mockery out of them and all of Asgard. In the end, Thor was trying to teach the boys that being big and strong isn’t always going to be the way to get out of a jam. At the end of this story, Thor is approached by Harris Hobbs, who is a TV reporter that knew Thor from a prior meeting (JIM #123). He tells Thor that he wants to film him and all of his friends in Asgard!
After hearing the news form Harris Hobbs, Thor is shocked to even think that a mortal would ask such a thing. He tells Harris that Odin would never agree to this, but Hobbs doesn’t give up. Thor tells Hobbs that he was put under a spell to forget his time in Asgard (The Absorbing Man nearly overthrew Odin and all of Asgard), but Hobbs tells him that he still had nightmares about it. He then went to see a shrink and got hypnotized, then remembered everything. That’s when he pitched the idea of a TV special to his boss. Thor tells Hobbs he’ll ask Odin, but it’s a hopeless aspiration anyway. After Thor leaves, Hobbs is approached by a man dressed in an overcoat and hat covering most of his face. This mysterious man offers Hobbs the chance to get his wish granted, but he must do as Loki says. Loki then tricks Thor into taking a giant computer from Stark Industries to Asgard. Once inside the golden realm, Hobbs and his TV crew hop out of a secret compartment inside the super computer!
Heimdall, the Warriors Three, and virtually everyone else in Asgard welcomes Thor back, but when they see these stowaways, they all gasp in shock. As Thor is about to reprimand Hobbs, he finds out that someone else told Hobbs to pull off this trick. Loki then reveals himself to be the antagonist, and also tells of his intentions to bring about Ragnarok, and see all of Asgard destroyed in the name of anarchy! He vows to bring about the worst day of prophecy in the history of the Asgardians, and the death of Thor and Odin!
Well, that’s it for this week, but stay tuned, because next week we’ll see Thor versus Loki, the death of an Asgardian, Hela, and Loki turn into a rat! Be here for the second part of Ragnarok! See you next week!