THOR #9-13 (1999): The Dark Wars

This is the story Jurgens and Romita Jr. have been building to since issue #1. Odin is held captive in Asgard by some Dark Gods, who have blocked Thor’s ability to enter the Rainbow Bridge and come to the rescue.

Thor is visited by Marnot, who tells him the story of the Dark Gods. They were basically the Asgardian Gods for another planet, but rather than stay separate from the life forms on the planet, the Dark Gods ruled the planet and made slaves of the people.

Odin fought them (he really could have just minded his own business), inspired by his son, teen Thor, for whom he wanted to make the universe better. After defeating them, Odin wiped all of Asgard’s memories of the event (he can do that???) and then imprisoned the Dark Gods under Asgard–the same place that the Dark Gods were now holding Odin himself.

That’s a LOT of exposition, and it’s all packed in to issue #9. Jerry Ordway signs on as a guest artist, with John Buscema, for that issue, and then Romita returns to draw the main story, which stretches all the way to issue #12.

The narrative switches from Thor on Earth, trying to get to Asgard, and the Dark Gods trying to force Odin to tell them how to find Thor (who, remember, is trapped in the mortal form of Jake Olsen).

Frustrated, the Dark God Perrikus appears in the sky.

Enraged, Thor makes his way to Asgard and attacks–and learns that Perrikus can destroy his hammer.

This of course turns Thor back into Olsen.

As Olsen, he crawls through the muck of the ruins of Asgard to collect the fragments of Mjolnir.

He then turns back into Thor.

And runs away.

But of course he hasn’t fled. He’s just gone to get help…From The Destroyer and Hercules.

Epic battle, ending with the Dark Gods “dissipated.”

And Odin in his underwear.

Issue #13 offers the history of Marnot, and if you really want to know the deets on this esoteric character, check out the issue yourself.

Epic Thor. Very, very good. This was one reboot that worked extremely well.

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