> Thor Masterworks Volume 1

From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"We are planting impersonators in key jobs throughout the city! Their task is to make foolish laws, to cause confusion and panic! Then, once they throw your city into chaos, the rest of our waiting armada will land and repeat the same disruptive process in every corner of the Earth! And after we have confused and frightened your entire civilization, then we shall attack and conquer you!"

- - Zano, making his daddy Ugarth proud, page 7

"Geeez, dad! But mortals are fun to hang out with and stuff!!!"


Thor from Journey Into Mystery #90
March 1963 • 13 pages

Publication Date: January 3, 1963

Letters Page: No letters page was published in this issue

I: Feature Story: "Trapped By the Carbon-Copy Man!"

Pages: 13

Plot: Stan Lee
Script: Larry Lieber
Pencils: Al Hartley
Inks: Al Hartley
Letters: Terry Szenics

First Appearance: The Xartans, Ugarth, Zano, Mayor Harris

Villain: Ugarth, Zano, the Xartans

Guest Appearance: Jane Foster, Mayor Harris

Cameo Appearances: Odin

Marvel Milestones: first appearance of Planet Xarta

Synopsis: Led by Ugarth and his son Zano, a fleet of ships from the planet Xarta head off for Earth on a mission of conquest, the last such mission Ugarth will take on before retiring and handing control over to his son. On Earth, Don Blake finally gets the nerve up to tell Jane Foster how he feels about her, but before he is able to, a thunder clap announces a mental message from Odin himself. The message to Blake is a warning not to reveal his identity to a mortal. Blake begs off telling Jane after hearing this, and she chalks it up to him being scared by the thunder.

As Don Blake walks through town, he sees a bunch of crazy things happening: the laws have changed so that cars are forced to drive on sidewalks and pedestrians have to walk in the gutters; the bridges have been painted with polka dots; and Jane Foster blows up at him for treating patients who can't afford to pay for treatment. She says they should "remain sick" because they deserve it! Dr. Blake turns into Thor to go investigate further. He visits his friend, Mayor Harris, who is equally absurd. He directs policeman to arrest Thor as a menace.

Thor goes on top of a hill to collect his thoughts, and remembers back to a time when he received sage advice from Odin: "When something puzzles you, always seek the simplest, most obvious explanation, no matter how impossible it may seem! For remember, nothing is truly impossible!" Understanding this eternal wisdom (What the huh?!?!?! -- Gormuu), Thor realizes that since these people aren't acting like themselves, then they aren't themselves! To get to the bottom of this mystery, he scours every inch of the city before he discovers an alien ship hidden behind some trees in the park. He drops his hammer to look for a door on the hull, but he gets stuck to the side of the hull by the current of an Ion-Magnet. Sixty seconds pass and he turns into Don Blake, and is recovered and taken captive by the aliens from Xarta.

Inside the ship, he is held prisoner alongside Mayor Harris and Jane Foster. A Xartan alien takes his for as Don Blake and informs the hostages that their places are being taken by shapeshifting Xartans who are getting into positions of power and passing "foolish laws," in order to cause panic and confusion. This scenario will be replicated across the planet until the people of Earth are so confused and frightened they will be easy pickings for an alien armada. Mayor Harris tells them they'll never defeat the Mighty Thor! Intrigued by who Thor is, Don Blake offers to take the aliens to him. The mayor and Jane Foster are shocked by this supposed betrayal by Dr. Blake.

But, once outside, Dr. Blake is able to grab his hammer and turn himself into Thor. Zano sees Thor and wants to prove his mettle to his father Ugarth. He turns into a "frozen warrior" and encases Thor in a block of ice. When Thor busts out of his icy cage, Zano turns himself into a giant gladiator, tossing a net on top of Thor. Of course, this isn't good enough to defeat the thunder god and Zano is defeated. Ugarth goes into battle against Thor and vanishes into invisibility, landing punch after punch on Thor. The Norse god conjures up some rain so he can see the outline of Ugarth's physical body against the raindrops, and is able to land a knockout punch of his own. He ties Ugarth up in the net and hurls him up into outer space. Ugarth's body goes out past the alien spaceship armada, and they leave Earth's orbit and go in chase of their leader Ugarth.

The remaining Xartans are told by Thor that they will turn themselves into trees. Thinking they can merely turn into trees to placate Thor and then turn back into aliens when Thor leaves, they follow his demands. Of course, they do not know that trees cannot think, and once turned into a tree, they are stuck as trees forever, since they cannot think their way into changing into any other being. Thor tells Mayor Harris and Jane Foster not to act too harshly against Don Blake, because he was helping Thor by seeming to betray him. Neither Jane nor the mayor quite understand what Thor means, but they trust him and don't hold it against Don Blake.

--synopsis by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
Thor and Tales of Asgard from
Journey Into Mystery #83-100

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

JiM #83 JiM #84 JiM #85 JiM #86 JiM #87 JiM #88
JiM #89 JiM #90 JiM #91 JiM #92 JiM #93 JiM #94
JiM #95 JiM #96 JiM #97 JiM #98 JiM #99 JiM #100


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