“The Day Loki Stole Thor’s Magic Hammer”
Cover Date: May 1963
Plotter: Stan Lee
Scripter: Robert Bernstein (credited as R. Berns)
Penciller: Joe Sinnott
Inker: Joe Sinnott
Cover Artists: Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers
What’s Going On?
Still angry that his last plan to defeat Thor failed, Loki plots revenge. After his last escape, Loki is chained to a large rock in Asgard, unable to move. However, Loki is able to cast a spell, attracting the metal in Thor’s hammer to the chains that bind him.
Loki then lures Thor to Asgard, where Loki’s magic is strongest. How will Thor survive Loki’s tricks without his magic hammer?
Is It Good?
The parts with Loki are entertaining, if silly. The rest, which have Thor fighting common criminals and filming a movie (???) are pretty dull. Unfortunately, Joe Sinnott’s art is better suited for the duller scenes; his storytelling is a bit muddled in the high fantasy bits, but looks good in the “real world” ones.
- Some thieves that were wounded in a robbery come to Dr. Blake for assistance. Not surprisingly, they wind up in jail, courtesy of Thor.
- Thor agreed to help make a Viking movie, with the understanding that his pay would be donated to charity.
- After trapping Thor’s hammer in Asgard, Loki casts a spell to lure Thor to Asgard. Loki’s logic is that Thor won their previous battles on Earth because he was familiar with the battleground; in Asgard, Loki would have home-field advantage.
- Thor cannot journey to Asgard without the aid of his hammer, so he asks Odin for assistance.
- After defeating Loki’s magical proxies, Thor finds his hammer and Loki is apprehended once again.
- This is the first appearance of Neri and Freyja (called “Fricka” here), as well as the debut of film director BJ Kosmojian.
- This issue is the first where the Rainbow Bridge is referred to as the Bifrost.
- Heimdall is still, quite obviously, not the classic all-seeing version of the character.
- The Asgardians are not yet calling Earth “Midgard.” I wonder when that becomes a regular thing?
- Uru is apparently a standard metal in Asgard. We see a boulder of uru in this issue, and Loki’s chains are made of uru.
- Thor doesn’t turn into Donald Blake without his hammer because “when Odin appears on Earth, time stands still.” If no time passes, than Thor’s 60-second timer is irrelevant. It’s not explained why Thor doesn’t need his hammer in Asgard.
- How strong is uru as a metal? According to Loki, it makes for chains that cannot be shattered. On the other hand, Thor is able to carve himself a hammer from an uru boulder, using only his fingers.
- Joe Sinnott is quietly implementing some panel breakouts in the art. It’s pretty subdued, and the panel layouts are still pretty consistent, but I think it’s worth noting. Here, it’s just a few fingers extending beyond the panel wall, elsewhere it’s a foot as Thor falls. Nothing too splashy, but I think it’s worth noting.
Comics Are Goofy:
- [Checks notes] Uh, it says here, in your last appearance, that you’re the God of Mischief. “God of Evil” sounds like a lot to live up to, and probably a lot less fun.
- This can’t be the easiest way for Thor to deliver bad guys to the police. Also, it’s not like gurneys are cheap.
- Why does Loki plant the idea for Thor to return to Asgard? Why not wait for Thor to transform into Donald Blake, cast a spell to hide Mjolnir on Asgard, and then go kill Blake?
- Thousands of tasks? If you don’t want to help, just say so. Don’t make up ridiculous lies.
- When you’re a carpenter, every problem is a nail. I absolutely love that Thor could easily fashion a club from this tree, but takes the time to make it into a hammer.
- It’s a old sculptor secret: you just chip away the parts of the boulder that don’t look like a hammer. Oh, and use your finger to carve the rock.