Kirby 100: The Last Thor Stories
Jack Kirby closes out his epic run by saving reality!
Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.
When it came time for Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to finish their collaborative tenure on THOR in 1970, the duo pulled out all the stops. In THOR #175, the ending began as Loki gathered enough forces to finally achieve his greatest goal: gaining control of Asgard!
Thanks to the help of Mountain Giants, trolls, gnomes, demons, and a menagerie of other menaces—not to mention Thor being on a faraway journey to Midgard during the initial attack—the trickster distracted Asgardian forces and gained entrance into Odin’s chambers. Once there, he used his authority as a son of the sovereign to gain command while the true ruler slept.
Upon returning to his home realm, Thor saw that Loki wore the mighty Ring Imperial, which led the God of Thunder to attempt to gather his compatriots for a fight against the usurper, but the others couldn’t bring themselves to defy the bearer of such a symbol of power. Ultimately, Thor decided to bow to the new king, though his choice was made more to preserve Sif’s safety than his own.
Despite his early victory, Loki’s rule did not last long. In issue #176, Thor joined Balder, Sif, and the Warriors Three to take on the God of Mischief. Though soon, a much bigger problem arrived on the horizon: Surtur. With Odin’s power lapsing, the fire demon found his prison far less inescapable. Breaking free, the demon demanded retribution from those who wronged him and traveled to Asgard to exact his revenge.
In issue #177, as Thor and the other heroes prepared themselves to battle Surtur, Loki ducked out and made his way to Earth to avoid trouble. Though, thanks to Balder’s rescue of Odin, the fiery beast found himself imprisoned under the rock once more.
Kirby’s run on THOR ended with issue #179, leaving a story perfectly set up for another world-famous artist, Neal Adams, to conclude. In that finale, Thor traveled back to Earth to make Loki pay for his crimes. Loki tried getting the drop on Thor in his Donald Blake form, but the Thunder God had set a trap. Unfortunately for the Mjolnir wielder, his brother utilized a magic mask to drain him of his powers. A few issues later, though, Thor prevailed, regaining his might and form at last.
In the years since, a litany of artists have built their own stories and structures across the Nine Realms. As high and far as those designs reach, however, the firmament upon which they all exist will forever be crafted by the King—Jack Kirby.
Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more on Jack Kirby and join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100!
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