Posted - January 1, 2011 | Updated April 18, 2012 | August 13, 2015
Thor : The Eternals Saga Part 1 of 3
This story combine two great creations within the Marvel Universe: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's Norse-mythology inspired world of Asgard and Jack Kirby's Eternals/Celestials mythos.
We begin with a backgrounder to the Eternals Saga, it shows related events a thousand years in the past; before Thor ever became Donald Blake and the Eternal Ikaris was but a youth.
The backgrounder story has art by Walt Simonson. Five years later he would come back as both writer and artist of the Mighty Thor for a run so good people would refer to Simonson's Thor issues as some of the best ever. Doing a quick scan of the art, I note that this is not the Simonson I know from later years. There are hints here and there of his emergent unique style but his approach here cleaves to the Marvel house style - a form of drawing which I most associate with John Buscema.
This story begins in Asgard. There is a prophecy among the Asgardians that is taken as truth : That the death of the god Balder will mean the death of all the gods. The event that they call Ragnarok. We are shown that Balder has already been struck down, but he is not dead. Odin, father of the Norse gods, keeps Balder in a state between life and death in an attempt to foil the prophecy and halt Ragnarok. The next clear task for the gods of Asgard is to bring Balder back amongst the living, but at this point they don't know exactly how to go about that, everybody is anxious and fretful. In the middle of all this uncertainty, Thor throws a tantrum by smashing a chair to bits. Here's the panel immediately following that childish display.
Note the faces of the other Asgardian gods in the foreground, as rendered by Simonson; particularly the god in blue armor? That is a look of disappointment; exactly how I felt seeing the immortal Thor behaving like a four year old. But is it according to character? Yes it is. Thor is immensely powerful, he is used to getting his way. When that doesn't happen, he gets physical. It seems that his years as Donald Blake, meant to teach him humility, has not entirely been successful.
Next, Thor he wanders off to the chamber of Mimir - the talking fire creature that Odin consults with, and to whom Odin gave an eye in exchange for knowledge. Here we are enlightened as to the origin of Mimir - a short, yet fascinating tale that points to Mimir as being an Asgardian god himself before his fiery transformation - his enmity against Odin and the other Asgardians is also explained.
Mimir answers by telling a tale that happened a thousand years ago. Thor has forgotten this event (for reasons that will be revealed later).
A thousand years ago, Thor journeyed to Earth and encountered the Eternals for the first time. The Eternals are engaged in a disinformation campaign, setting themselves up as gods to the humans inhabiting South America (the ancestors of the Incas, Aztecs and Mayans). Just like all colonialists, they delude themselves into thinking that they are somehow helping these humans. When a tribe throws arrows and spears at you within the boundaries of their land, they don't want your help, they are looking at you as an invader and they want you out.
Here's an amazingly callous act from Thor and the Eternals: Thor and the Eternals land in the future Mexico and the people attack them.
Let's look at this lone panel in detail shall we? A bunch of half-naked humans are attacking Thor and the Eternals - Valkin and Virako - with spears. Spears. Is the Asgardian and the Eternals in any danger? Absolutely not. They could have tried to talk and explain their intent even while the spears were bouncing off their invincible skins. But no, they decide to be needlessly heavy-handed, or, as Virako put's it: 'You know what to do, Thor.'.
And Thor, big bully that he is, decides to wip the humans into line by calling up up a storm. At this point, the story doesn't need any villains, Thor is playing the part perfectly.
The next panel saves Thor from being an out and out antagonist as it conveys what's going on inside him.
Thor is starting to realize that there are better options than the one he has taken.
Next, Thor and the Eternals are assailed by three enemies including two Mutates - creations of the Deviants. The Mutate Dromedan is so powerful that his Deviant creators imprisoned him. The other Mutate is the giant Tutinax, known as the Mountain Mover. The third foe is Thunder, a being created by Dromedan from the imagination of the humans in the locality (the ancestors of the Incas).
There is a bit of creativity in the multi page fight scene as the Mutates and Thunder use different elements such as fire and water, and atmospheric effects such as darkness against their foes. The panel showing the water attack is quite impressive.
Equally noteworthy is just how powerful a weapon Mjolnir is in the hands of Thor. What is shown below is Thor striking a blow with his hammer that is so powerful it creates a ravine large enough to contain a tidal wave.
At the end of this tale the Third Host or third coming of the Celestials occur. The First Host created the related races of Eternal, Human and Deviant. The Second Host shattered the Deviant domination of Earth. I still don't know what happened during the Third Host (maybe because I have only a couple of issues of Jack Kirby's Eternals). The Fourth Host happens during the Eternals Saga, which we will discuss shortly.
As shown in this story, during the events of the Third Host, the Eternals were firmly allied with the purposes of the Celestials. They are so concerned that they not only take away Thor's memory but somehow make him leave Earth for Asgard - to ensure that he does not interfere with the Celestials. This is done by the Eternal Valkin by telepathic means.
I think Valkin is simply too powerful here. Just like that, an Eternal can mindwipe and control an Asgardian god? A better ending would have been to have one of the Celestials do the mindwipe.
Well there it is, one thousand years ago Thor, the Eternals and the Celestials. There will be references to this event during the course of the Eternals Saga.
But this is Mimir's tale. So what is the last thing he shows to Thor? It is Arishem the Judge presiding over the Fourth Host currently on Earth. With this, Thor makes his way back to Earth.
Full of questions, Thor strikes his mystic mallet on the ground in order to communicate with Odin who is wonderfuly depicted in a truly god-like pose by John Buscema.
The conversation with Odin yield's nothing. The All-Father refuses to tell his son why Thor is so inordinately fond of Earth and he is equally silent on what he knows of the Celestials.
A few pages more and we get our first look at one of the Celestials - Gammenon the Gatherer.
John Buscema was right to use a full page for this shot. It highlights the massiveness of the 2,000 foot tall Celestial (that's a 747 flying towards Gammenon).
A moment more and Gammenon captures the Boeing 747 you see in the panel above, swatting Thor like a gnat and incinerating him and then disappearing into a huge dome.
Gammenon is shown inside the dome with the aircraft in hand, complete with passengers. Inside the dome is a city, and all around are other Celestials busy at various tasks.
Among the passengers inside the plane we find Dr. Donald Blake, proof that Thor has survived last issues supposed incineration. Unfortunately, the explanation of how Thor survived is implausible. The explanation goes that as the Celestial blast was about to hit him, Thor flies off at great speed toward the aircraft in Gammenon's hand; changing into Dr. Blake at the last minute. So many holes on this one: How did he get into the plane without damaging it? Only the wings were torn off by Gammenon, the fuselage was intact. If he did damage it, how come no one noticed? Since I don't have a choice, I'll just let this slide with a shake of the head.
Eventually Thor reveals himself and so do some others. There is as Shield agent on a mission and there is a Deviant - and she is hot. We simply can't let pretty ladies, even Deviants, get away without a babeshot.
babeshot : Ereshkigal
Read the dialogue, it seems that Ereshkigal is an ancient goddess. Not only that, Thor attests to Hela having mentioned her and Hela is known to Ereshkigal also. I remember from the few Jack Kirby Eternals I've read that the Deviants, former overlords of Earth, are remembered by us humans in our myths, particularly myths about demons.
This story also has a flashback explaining the creation of Humans, Deviants and Eternals by the Celestials and some explanation about the previous Celestial Hosts is thrown in also (but none about the heretofore mysterious Third Host). It's the third flashback of the Eternals Saga in as many issues. These backgrounders bear some looking into.
The first flashback was about the Celestial creation myth. The next one was about the false Ragnarok that was recounted in previous stories in The Mighty Thor series. Marvel is doing a story arc here, and a particularly long one, but they still have to make the issues understandable to the casual reader.
So now, we have, within this 'Celestial city' several humans, an Eternal, a Deviant and an Asgardian.
Ajak the Eternal is firmly on the side of the Celestials, as he was a thousand years ago - indeed, it is shown in The Eternals that Ajak is tasked with welcoming the Fourth Host.
Thor is worried about Earth, but at this point, just wants some answers. What is the Celestial plan for Earth? What are the Celestial standards for judging Earth? Ereshkigal has also been sent to find out what is going on with the Fourth Host, but both she and Thor face the silence of Ajak.
The human archeologist, Dr. Damian, is here for purposes of studying the Celestials.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, 'Mr. Johnson', is here on a rescue mission involving his fellow shield agents - who have sadly been atomized and placed in a box.
The motives of each are clear, but the action in the melee that follows is not consistent with the intent of the participants. Basically what happens is that everybody attacks Thor - which is crazy. If anybody should be on the receiving end at this point it should be Ajak, for his frustrating silence and blind devotion to the Celestials.
So why is Thor attacked? Because this is a Thor comic in the seventies and the young males who bought this comic didn't buy it because the story made sense, they bought it to see Thor in action - and who is Thomas, Buscema and all of Marvel to deny them that?
The other reason could be because things get crazy when the pressure is on. And this is the reason I cleave to because I'm no longer a young male and I want this beautiful story to make sense. And the pressure is on. A two thousand foot tall giant kidnaps a plane, they're all in a city under an impenetrable dome, there's rumour of a judgment that could destroy the earth. That's pressure.
Given that, it's the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, 'Mr. Johnson', who cracks first and begins firing at Thor. Then Ajak takes a turn, then Ereshkigal. Fast, crazy, senseless, and fun melee action.
Thor conquers all and destroys the mechanism maintaining the impenetrable dome on top of the city and summons a storm; under cloud cover, he escapes with the plane, and all the humans except Dr. Damian, into the outside world.
Back in the outside world, Thor brings the 747 fuselage, and the people inside, to an airport.
While he was in the Celestial city, Dr. Damian gave Thor the address of another Eternal - Sersi. Thor, as Donald Blake, heads over to Sersi's apartment only to find it ransacked. At this point he encounters the Mutate gladiator known as Karkas and they get into a bit of a scuffle.
Underneath it all, Karkas has a keen intellect - just like Hank McCoy (ok, maybe, surely, not as smart as Hank). Read his dialogue in the panel above and you'll know that Roy Thomas has provided the script to effectively convey just that.
Here we find out that not all Eternals are like Ajak, who continues to serve the Celestials blindly. Ikaris, Olympia and their allies, like Karkas, have tracked down a Deviant stronghold in New York for the purpose of creating an alliance between Deviants and Eternals - a united front with which to face the Judgment of the Celestials.
The meeting between ancient foes went as expected, ending in a fight where the Eternals and their allies eventually succumbed to the superior numbers of their foes and to the Deviant Kro's hostage taking tactics. Out of all this, only Karkas is able to escape, impressively walking through a wall Juggernaut-style, to make his way to Sersi's apartment and his meeting with Thor.
Sersi eventually reveals herself together with other defeated Deviant's in her apartment. Her ability as an illusionist is refreshing besides all these strongmen.
Here's something to see: The group decides to go back for Ikaris and the others in the Deviant stronghold. The entire group flies via Thor Express.
Not that John Buscema isn't an awesome penciller, but I'm very happy to note the return of Keith Pollard.
Pollard immediately lives up to expectations by presenting a great fight sequence as the Deviants ambush Thor and company on their way to the Deviant stronghold underneath New York. In the following panels, the Deviants bring out some heavy weaponry and we get to see the toughness of Karkas and the power of Mjolnir!
Once again, Kro, ever the hostage-taker, threatens Thor with the life of Karkas and obtains the hammer and lifts it!? There is an enchantment attached to Mjolnir that says only the worthy can lift it. Is Kro somehow worthy? The hostage taker?
With Thor and his allies captured, and the first wave of Eternals under Ikaris also captured, the Deviants have the upper hand. Ikaris, nonetheless, outlines his plan of an Alliance between the three Celestial-spawned races. This request is spurned by the Deviant leader Tode. Apparently, the Deviants haven't learned a lesson during their trouncing during the Second Host. According to Tode, their weaponry advancements will now allow them to control the Celestials.
And now for the big reveal. Thor is really Sersi courtesy of Sersi's illusion-casting powers.
And the reason Kro can lift the hammer is because it is nothing more than Donald Blake's walking stick.
It's excruciating to watch Donald Blake come out from hiding and wrestle with Kro for the walking stick. Not only does Blake have merely human strength, he's also hampered by a leg disability. Thomas and Pollard shows that's it's only by accident that the stick hits the floor and summons up the mighty Asgardian.
Now we're back to fighting between the two groups. Thor's group has the advantage of being joined by Ikaris and his group. But the Deviants unleash Metabo, a four-armed super-Mutate. The fight is wonderful to behold and the ending perfect. Come and say it loud . . .
"Thy malevolent masters have made thee strong indeed, Mutate . . ."
"Still thou dost now face Thor, God of Thunder --"
"-- Thor, Lord of the Living Lightning --"
At this point, the Deviants have set there New York base to self destruct. The explosion causes a mini-earthquake in Manhattan but Thor and his allies survive to head off to Olympia -fabled seat of the Eternals.
Thor first learned of the Fourth Host of the Celestials being on earth on the third year of their fifty-year judgment. Then he verified their location and the loyalty to them of the Eternal Ajak and his cohorts (Ajak had others with him not shown in the issue but shown in Eternals No. 1). In the same story, Thor also knows what answers he can get from Odin which is none at all, for some reason, the All-Father chooses to be mysterious about it. Back in New York, Thor has fallen in with the other Eternals who are trying to build an Eternal-Human-Deviant alliance to go up against the Celestials. During the course of these twin issues Thor and the Eternals find out that the Deviants will have nothing to do with an Alliance and plan to take on the Celestials on their own.
We find the group approaching Olympia, capital city of the Eternals.
By now, you'll know that I am quite fond of Karkas (maybe because he reminds me of the Thing, my all-time favorite superhero). While in the Eternals ship, Karkas breaks out in a belly laugh. Look how cute the big lump is.
Quite suddenly, their ship gets damaged.
Later on it's pointed out that the flying object that winged the ship, causing it to crash, was a discus. My first reaction was to think it ridiculous that sports equipment could destroy a ship. But then I realized that the ones throwing it are Eternals who are superhumanly strong. Also noteworthy is the city that is shown below the ship in the panel above. That's a Jack Kirby city.
Here, Thor is introduced to Zuras, chief among the Eternals. Zuras mentions that Thor has been exiled from Asgard.
Change of scene. Back in Asgard, Odin sends out Sif and The Warriors Three on mysterious missions.
Sif finds herself fighting against a Storm Giant. Look at the size disparity.
The Warriors Three encounter Fafnir, a Storm Giant turned into a dragon by Odin, unlike Sif, they're not doing very well.
There is a curious panel that could be an example of a situation were the artist simply ran out of time to finish the work. The art is rough, not characteristic of Giffen at all. Look at the backgrounds in this panel, in particular.
That's actually better than the "stick man" background in the panel below.
This white and magenta powerhouse is the Eternal known as the Forgotten Hero. First Karkas, now him. One of the reasons I'm featuring the Eternals Saga is because this Bronze era epic keeps throwing out such amazing characters.
In the Marvel Universe the Forgotten Hero did all those deeds from ancient times that we attribute to such beings as Samson and Hercules. So he's very powerful as can be seen on this panel.
Before picking a fight with everybody, the the Forgotten One or Forgotten Hero - who is an Eternal - tells his story.
As mentioned, he did all those legendary feats during ancient times. For some reason Zuras forbade him to continue with his heroic deeds and exiled him - thus the name Forgotten One. Now the reasons for this strange action from the Zuras has not been adequately explained. This would be perfect material for a Forgotten Hero mini-series.
Continuing with his story, the Forgotten One mentions Sprite, a mischievous Eternal, as his liberator - amazingly, Sprite frees him to go up against the Celestials and he does! But something goes wrong and the Forgotten One becomes stranded in space where he is rescued by the leader of the Celestials, of higher rank than Arishem, known as the One Above All. This Celestial increases the Forgotten Ones power and sends him out as an emissary. His mission : to prevent the Eternals from interfering with the Judgment of the Celestials.
Ironically, as Zuras points out, the Eternals have no intention of interfering, but this in-your-face admonition becomes a virtual invitation for the Eternals to interfere. The One Above All's strategy actually backfires. But then again, maybe that's what The One Above All wanted to do after all - I wouldn't put it past him to test the Eternals, creatures of the Celestials, by having them attack their creators.
This big fight ensues which shows that the Forgotten One - now called Hero - has the chops to become a major Marvel heavy hitter. The only one who can stand toe-to-toe with him is the Mighty Thor. Indeed, Ikaris, second only to Zuras in power among the Eternals, feels so overshadowed by these two that he calls attention to how he's supporting an entire building from collapsing, some kind of ego boost on his part.
With neither Thor nor the Forgotten One getting the upper hand on a battle that's beginning to level Olympia, both of are transported by the One Above All into the Celestial ship.
Keith Pollard and Chic Stone gives us a wonderful rendition of the Celestial known as The One Above All.
The angle is just right. I love how the Celestials are basically the size of skyscrapers - actually, at 2,000 feet, they may be even taller.
So the One Above All evidently wants Thor and Hero to finish the fight they started in Olympia here on his ship. It's the Celestial equivalent of a boxing match and it's interesting enough so the Celestial wants ring side seats. Thor practically has no choice on the matter since Hero wants to please his new master.
It's a spectacular fight and both protagonists proceed to do as much damage to the Celestial ship as they did to Olympia last issue. During the midst of the battle Thor reveals one of his abilities.
It makes sense that a 'Lord of the Living Lightning' can only be made stronger by electricity. I remember Karkas referring to Thor as an 'Electrical Lord' when they first met.
This seems to be the issue for special abilities. We come back to the Lady Sif's fight with a Storm Giant from last issue. What Odin did was transfer a bit of his Odinpower into Sif's sword allowing her to do this.
Now we know what Sif's mission is : To reclaim the inanimate armor of the Destroyer. The issue also checks up on the Warriors Three who are being totalled by Fafnir.
All this time, Thor and Hero are still at it, the only thing keeping the ship intact is the Celestial build quality. It's the most epic battle so far in this saga. But there can only be one winner. And it's you-know-who. Someday the Forgotten Hero can have his own comic and he can win.
Of course this is Thor, so the next thing he does is attack the Celestial. The Celestial toys with him a bit, literally slapping him around and then the One Above All shows Thor this incredible image.
After The One Above all shows him the image of Odin kneeling before the Celestials, the Thunder God, not exactly famous for being mild-mannered, becomes a bit unhinged. If you and I had a crazy person in his house, we'd throw him out, and that's exactly what the One Above All does, teleporting Thor back to Olympia.
While the best way to describe Thor's arrival in Olympia is 'being thrown out' the subsequent arrival of the Forgotten Hero is best described as 'being fired'. The Hero was reinforced and outfitted and given the task to beat all comers. He failed this task when he went up against Thor. So he's been returned to Zuras sans his outfit (which is unfair because the Forgotten Hero had that outfit before he ever met the Celestial). The big surprise is that the Forgotten Hero is blind.
Now here's the thing: After the Forgotten Hero, henceforth known as Hero, makes his appearance, Zuras goes crazy with anger. I mean just ballistic. This points to a tremendous backstory - maybe there's a mini-series out there I haven't read. My bet on what happened was that Zuras had a hot young (less than 10,000 years old) wife that Hero decided to, you know, be heroic with. Anyway . . .
Zuras informs Thor that the Eternals have decided to strike against the Celestials as a group. Eternals from all over the Earth have been summoned to Olympia for the Ritual of the Unimind. Having just come from a fruitless attempt to attack a Celestial, Thor warns Zuras that the Space Gods are too powerful and ask him to delay the Eternal attack until Thor finds a better way. Zuras informs Thor that it will be a day before all the Eternals are assembled for the Unimind - Thor has a day to find answers. Off he goes to Asgard.
This image is right out of the ancient Norse legends - Odin on eight-hoofed Sleipnir beautifully rendered by Pollard and Stone.
What Odin is doing is beyond the ken of the Norse legends. He is visiting Olympus, seat of the Graeco-Roman gods. He is given a violent welcome by Argus and two of his yellow-crested Titans.
I love the panel above. You see, the yellow-crested Titans are huge - about the size of Karkas, so they would be around 8 feet tall, but look at Argus, he dwarfs them easily. That is wondrous. The reference to 'Thunderbolts of mine own design' just rounds out this amazing scene for me.
But this is Odin, mightiest of Norse gods. One blast takes care of the Titans.
And another for Argus.
And thus does the All-Father claim his rightful place in a Thor comic - at the very top.
At last Odin gets an audience with Zeus and a handful of Olympian gods. At this point, Odin's request is perplexing: He wants an alliance between Asgard and Olympus to stop anybody who wishes to save the Earth from destruction at the hands of the Celestials.
In the meantime Thor arrives at the Rainbow Bridge but is blocked by the other Asgardians since Thor has been exiled by his father. The hot-headed Thunder god launches into action against his fellows but allows himself to be subdued by the animated armor of the Destroyer. Then Thor is thrown back to Earth by the Destroyer.
All in all, lots of unanswered questions this issue.
Of course, both the wrestlers Thor gets involved in are not quite human. Vampiro is an Eternal while Red Bull is a Deviant.
After Thor allows himself to be beaten up and thrown back to Midgard rather than harm the Destroyer armor which is powered by the soul of Lady Sif. He comes back to Earth pretty much like a meteor, burning in through the atmosphere. How many heroes can survive something like that? Once again we are reminded that Thor is a contender for Marvel's most powerful hero title- with only the Hulk as a serious rival.
By the time Thor recovers, he finds himself over Los Angeles. in a remarkable coincidence he spots a wounded flier who turns out to be the Eternal Vampiro. Extremely convenient, considering Thor has had lots of dealings with Eternals lately.
I like Vampiro, he lives among us and has a human wife. If they ever have a kid he would be half-Eternal. Attention Marvel, that kid is a potential superhero.
Just as Vampiro hears Zuras' call to form the Unimind, he and Thor are attacked by Red Bull. The Deviant, Red Bull, passes the test for power: He can fight toe-to-toe with Thor. Anyone who can go even a few minutes of fighting with Thor is powerful. According to Marvel's charts Thor is a 7 on the strength scale, and 7 is the maximum.
But this fight, though not as breathtaking as the one Thor waged with the Forgotten Hero a while back, has an interesting little twist: During the course of the fighting Red Bull manages to deflect a returning Mjolnir, causing Thor to revert to Donald Blake. More than that, without knowing what he had in his hands, Red Bull departs with Blake's walking stick leaving Thor stranded as Blake! Very nice twist from Roy Thomas.
Early in this Saga, Donald Blake had to wrest his walking stick from the Deviant Kro under the streets of New York. Now he gets to do it again by climbing into the ring with Red Bull. Both are nail-biting moments since Dr Blake is very vulnerable. But once he turns to Thor it's just a matter of time before Red Bull goes down.
This has been a surreal story, but now its back to the main plot.
Having failed to provide Zuras with alternatives, Thor has gone back to Olympia in time to witness the Ritual of the Unimind. The Eternals physically join together to form this :
It's a huge brain-like creature. I'm guessing that the psionic/telepathic abilities of the Unimind will make even Professor X's ability seem like a matchstick beside the sun. I'm hoping that's how powerful the Unimind is, because it looks like that's what it will take to go up against the Celestials. The Celestials strike me as the mightiest beings in all of Marvel together with the reality-altering Beyonders (Kubik, the Shaper of Worlds, Kosmos).
With the Eternals gone from their city, Thor is alone, but only for a moment. Suddenly . . .
Zeus has brought probably not all, but a lot, of Olympians. Odin brings only himself. Like the very lightning bolts of Zeus it has struck me - Zeus is a yatz. He's a buffoon. Odin approached him with a request for an Olympus-Asgard alliance, evidently he agreed, but where are the Asgardians? Odin certainly got the better of him here.
Zeus then proceeds to Order the destruction of Olympia. The property damage is massive; which makes me wonder why Zeus would agree to stopping anybody who challenges the Celestials. This question has been snowballing for several issues now, I hope Roy Thomas has a satisfactory answer.
Thor takes exception to the destruction, of course, but is changed to Dr. Donald Blake by Odin.
This whole fracas affects a tower that is important for the Unimind construct, causing the Unimind to retreat from the Celestial attack and revert to the myriad Eternals forming it. The Eternals stand in the midst of their city seeing it being destroyed by the Olympians, they react just as you and I would - they go up against the invading Olympians. The fight is on!
Olympia. Olympus. Zuras. Zeus. Makkari. Mercury. Thena. Athena. There are some pretty logical pair-ups here.
Hero and Hercules.
Makkari and Mercury.
Karkas and the yellow-crested Titans.
Thena and Athena.
Zuras and Zeus.
Going back to Thor. As Donald Blake in the middle of all this, he is about to strike his cane on the ground in order to transform into Thor and take the side of the Eternals, he says as much to Odin. On the face of it, Odin does something very perplexing. He changes Blake back into Thor and they promptly get into a father and son fight.
Thor is the one who initiated this fight and I can understand. In his long silence Odin has been very frustrating, this has been boiling up inside the hot-headed Thor for some time.
But why did Odin restore his own son to power knowing full well that Thor would go against him? I'll put that down to simple fatherly regard. And yes, to the Norse gods, to fight is glory and goodness both. How could a father deny this to his son? Odin doesn't. To allow Thor to be the powerless Blake in the middle of a full on war would be practical, yes, but it would also be an insult not to be borne for the Thunder God not to have a piece of the action even against his sire.
Soon enough, and unsurprisingly, Odin is faced with the prospect of slaying Thor and backs away from that, turns around, and leaves. That's right. He goes to Olympus, convinces Zeus to mobilize the Olympians, pits them in a fight with the Eternals then leaves. Just like that. At this point, an Olympian/Eternal invasion of Asgard is very justified.
Not to be outdone, Zeus give this lame-ass reason for his attack.
With that Zeus should step down and let somebody smarter run Olympus - smarter, like Hercules.
We've been playing a lot with the ancient Norse and Graeco-Roman myths with the Olympians and the Asgardians, and with the new Jack Kirby myths with the Celestials and the Eternals, now it's time for Roy Thomas to show us what he can do. And he does.
There's a debate, perhaps never to be settled, on who is more powerful, Thor or the Hulk. Hulk was able to beat all comers in World War Hulk but Thor wasn't in that event so the question is still open. The Hulk gets stronger the angrier he becomes but Thor has Mjolnir - a weapon that gives him several capabilities. Here the mallet is able to locate objects and open 'windows' to other worlds.
Odin might be keeping his discipline on not directly telling Thor about the situation but he did drop a hint about his missing eye and Thor has Mjolnir track down its location.
Two things: First, the eye has grown big, sentient and has become a bit of an a-hole. Just like Odin. Secondly, we now have some Disney characters in the Saga. Amazingly, they don't ruin the storyline at all.
Here again is Mjolnir allowing Thor to teleport. Thor becomes more than just a strongman with this mystic hammer. I love how the teleportation was rendered, with the atomic flame and subsequent smokey exit.
After several pages of struggle with the Eye of Odin, Thor finally compels the eye to answer his questions. At last, Thor has been wanting answers for some time now.