Thor (1st series) #429

Issue Date: 
February 1991
Story Title: 
This World is Mine!

Ron Frenz & Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz (plot, pencils, & words), Joe Sinnott (finished art), Mike Heisler (letterer), Mike Rockwitz (colorist), Ralph Macchio (editor)

Brief Description: 

On an alien world, Juggernaut informs Excalibur and Thor that he is the new leader of that world. After sending them away, the heroes are taken by the old ruler of the world, Zalaski. Zalaski then requests the heroes to stop Juggernaut so he can regain power. Thor agrees to do so and begins to battle the Juggernaut. The two behemoths are virtually even, thanks to the Juggernaut’s force-field. Eventually, Thor is able to hurtle Juggernaut into space after ensnaring his hammer around his wrist. Under the guise of Eric Masterson, he then tells the inhabitants of the planet to make their own decisions. On Earth, members of Code: Blue transport Bulldozer to Kennedy airport. As they pass a cemetery, Wrecker blasts their van and attacks them with the rest of Wrecking Crew. Just then, Ghost Rider arrives and takes out the Wrecking Crew. After blasting him in the back with his crowbar, Wrecker mistakenly awakens Mephisto, much to Loki’s concern. Upon returning to Earth, Eric finds two of his friends at his apartment who tell him they know his secret.

Full Summary: 

In search of the unstoppable Juggernaut, the British super hero team Excalibur – in the persons of Captain Britain, Shadowcat, Meggan and Lockheed the dragon – have joined forces with the Thunder God. Their quest takes them to a distant alien planet, where they are captured and sealed within unbreakable priso-spheres.

Standing before the captured heroes, Juggernaut exclaims to them that this world is his. He bets this comes as a real shock to them. Especially since he was last seen copping a squat on a deserted asteroid, where Thor dumped him after their last battle.

Thor replies that duty bound was he to banish him. Thou wert a threat to the inhabitants of planet Earth and no mere mortal prison could restrain him. Juggernaut says yeah, yeah. Too bad he got picked up by a passing ship. This place use ‘ta be run by some kind ‘a prince, but he fixed that.

Upon hearing that, this yells curse him for an unthinking fool. In his haste to protect one world from his brutal mercies, he unintentionally sacrificed another. Juggernaut tells him the peasants actually made out in the bargain. The other guy exploited them. Him, he likes sticking it to the rich folks. ‘Course them clowns had ta try and spoil things. He doesn’t exactly know what ta do with them, but one thing’s for sure, it ain’t gonna be pleasant. After punching a wall to pieces, he tells the heroes to think about that while they’re rottin’ away. It’s time for his massage now and he’s got a squad ‘a blondes waitin’.

Under a heavy guard, the God of Thunder and the members of Excalibur are quickly led away. As they are transported through the streets, the inhabitants of the planet yell out “death to the enemies of their glorious master.” “Praise be the Juggernaut.” After hearing their cries, Kitty points out that it looks like “Juggie” didn’t exaggerate his popularity with the masses. The poor, misguided people don’t know him like they do. He isn’t harassing them because they have nothing he wants.

Kitty then whispers to Thor that she can become intangible and easily phase through the priso-sphere. Thor hears her and tells her to bide her time. Innocents would surely be harmed if they attempt to escape now. Kitty says they may not have a choice and tells Thor to look.

Just then, another group of aliens arrive on the scene and yell out “strike in the name of Prince Zalaski.” Zalaski tells them to hurry, they must rescue the prisoners before the Juggernaut can send reinforcements. Captain Britain mentions that they must be crazy to start a firefight in the crowded thoroughfare. Thor agrees, they are obviously zealots who would commit any atrocity in the name of their cause. After taking out the last of Juggernaut’s men, Zalaski exclaims that they have accomplished their mission. If the strangers are enemies of the Juggernaut, they must be friends of theirs. Friends who will surely help them regain his kingdom.

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, in an allegedly abandoned Brooklyn tenement which is serving as the temporary basis of operations for the ruthless Wrecking Crew, Piledriver angrily punches the ground and exclaims to Thunderball that it ain’t right. They gotta go back fer Bulldozer. They never should ‘a abandoned ‘im in the foist place. Thunderball replies that they didn’t have a choice. The police would have captured them all if they hand’t booked when they did. Getting in Thunderball’s face, Piledriver states that they could hang ‘im fer all he cares. He’s only interested in number one, only concoined with gettin’ more power. Thunderball yells at him that’s a crock. He’s a team player. He then accuses Piledriver of being the big-mouthed bully who gets off in proving how tough he is.

Slamming his crowbar between them and knocking them both backwards, Wrecker tells them that’s enuff – shuddup. He’s still in charge there, he calls the shots. Piledriver tells him d-dat was never in doubt. Wrecker says there ain’t no doubt about Bulldozer, neither. He’s a member ‘a the family and they take care ‘a their own. He’s been concentratin’ on his crowbar and usin’ it ta track him. They’ll put the snatch on ‘im when he thinks it’s safe. He’ll say how an’ when.

Just then, in a Manhattan police station, Bulldozer, while locked in a cell, tells Mad Dog that they could spare themselves a world ‘a hurt. His buddies are gonna come for him. Release him now or this little ol’ station house is gonna end up looking like a scene from the Terminator. Mad Dog replies let ‘em come. Mad Dog Rassitano is always ready for action. Nobody breaks his jail. No criminal escapes him. Why, he’s practically got eyes in the back of his…

At that moment, Rigger reaches out and grabs Mad Dog from behind. Spinning around, Mad Dog tells her that she ought’a know better’n to sneak up on him. He might ‘a flattened her by pure reflex. Rigger tells him yeah, he could’ve crashed into her when he just jumped out of his socks. She then informs him that they’re taking his playmate to Kennedy airport, he’s headed for the Vault. Covering his face, Dog laments that wasting prime talent like him explains why this city’s in such sorry shape. He really hates delivery duty, it’s so boring. Rigger tells him this trip could be different. Their route takes them to Cypress Hills, right past the cemeteries. When Dog asks if that is the good news, Rigger asks him where he’s been. Hasn’t he heard about the flaming cycle jockey who’s been haunting the area and making things hot for the local dirtbags. The newspapers call him the Ghost Rider.

Just then, in a secret underground base on a distant planet, Prince Zalaski introduces himself to the trapped heroes. He informs them that freedom is theirs if they join him in his noble crusade to overthrow the alien tyrant. Captain Britain replies that from what they’ve heard, he won’t be much of an improvement. Zalaski states the Juggernaut may be popular with the common folk but that does not change the fact that he is the true and rightful ruler of this unhappy world. Thor says that he is responsible for the Juggernaut’s presence there and he shall deal with him.

Zalaski asks if he can trust him. How does he know that he won’t challenge him after he’s finished with the Juggernaut? Thor tells him that the word of the Thunder God is his sacred bond. Never shall Thor turn against him. Zalaski replies that he has no reason to doubt it, especially since he holds his friends hostage. Captain Britain warns Thor not to do it; he can’t throw in with this arrogant little despot. In his own ways, he is worse than the Juggernaut. Thor replies ‘aye, but the die is already cast.’

And so, a few minutes later, Thor is holding a goblet in his hand when one of his guards rush in and informs him that one of their scouts report that one of the escaped prisoners, the one with the golden hair, is streaking toward the castle. Juggernaut replies of all the blasted luck, he was just about to sit down to lunch. Knocking the guard away, Juggernaut tells him to go and tell the chef to hold his meal and that there’d better be plenty of it. It looks like he’s about to work up a major league appetite.

At that moment, Thor bursts through a nearby wall and exclaims to Juggernaut that he has come for him. Juggernaut replies that he should’a used the front door. Castle walls cost money and that means raisin’ taxes. He then tells Thor that he might as well dust himself off while he gets ready. He’ll be with him as soon as his attendants finish rivetin’ his battle helmet into place.

Once his helmet is in place, Thor tells Juggernaut to surrender, relinquish this kingdom, and return with him to planet Earth. Juggernaut responds that he knows him better ‘n that. He conquered this world, fair and square. It’s his now, and he ain’t givin’ it up without a fight. Peering at Thor, he asks him how he wants to play this. Does he only hafta beat him into unconsciousness or is this a battle to the death?! Slamming his fist into the ground, Juggernaut adds that it’s all the same to him. Either way, Thor loses.

Taking a swing and missing, Juggernaut tells Thor that he jumps pretty good for a guy with a cape but he can’t dodge him forever. Sooner or later, he’s gonna slow down. That’s when he’ll nail him. Thor states that a Prince of Asgard does not tire like a mortal man. He could easily maintain this pace for days or weeks at a time. However, he chooses to end this battle quickly. With that, he brings his hammer down with full force on Juggernaut’s head. As he does, he states rarely does he strike a foe with the full thunderous force of his enchanted hammer, but he dares not hold back in his case. Punching Thor away, Juggernaut tells him that didn’t even tickle thanks to his impregnable force-field. It’s a cryin’ shame that he can’t say the same.

Elsewhere, at that precise moment, Kitty whispers to her teammates that there’s only one guard. Zalaski and the others are in another chamber awaiting word from Thor, now’s their chance. She then tells them to take her hands and they’ll all become intangible. Emerging from his priso-sphere, Captain Britain states that Thor took a real risk when he agreed to work for Zalaski. He knew that Kitty would eventually free them, and that his vow didn’t prevent them from dealing with the autocratic ex-monarch. Punching out the guard, he adds that he just hopes that the Thunder God can hold out until they arrive. Fighting the Juggernaut may be a lot more than he bargained for.

Crashing Thor through a nearby wall, Juggernaut tells him that he’s gonna look like a golden-haired Gumby when he’s done flattenin’ him. Losing his helmet, Thor replies ‘thou art full of empty boasts and empty threats – but a battle is not won by words alone.’ Swinging at Thor’s head, Juggernaut tells him he’s a fine one ta talk about words – always soundin’ so sweet and civilized. Who writes his dialogue, some crummy Shakespearean wanna-be?

Dodging Juggernaut’s strike, Thor tells him not be misled by the formal manner of his speech. Thor is first and foremost a warrior-born. Unleashing a blast from his hammer into Juggernaut’s chest, Juggernaut shrugs it off and tells him no big deal. His stupid hammer still can’t penetrate his force-field. Nuthin’ can! Thor tells him that blast was not to injure him, but to reveal the true character of his irresistible and unstoppable nature. His powers are magical in origin.

Juggernaut replies that’s right, he became a human juggernaut when he absorbed the mystical energy of the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. He then asks Thor how that’s gonna help him. Thor asks him has he not heard that knowledge is power. This particular knowledge doth blaze the path to his defeat. Tossing his hammer and missing Juggernaut, Juggernaut tells him that he sure could ‘a fooled him. Especially by the way he missed him by a mile. Thor states ‘twas not his intention to smite him, he merely sent his enchanted hammer spinning around the castle, encircling it within a cone which will for the nonce negate all mystical energy.

Taking a swing at Thor, Juggernaut tells him that he still doesn’t get the point. Dodging his punch, Thor tells him that it shall soon become painfully obvious. As Thor tells him that he is no longer protected by his impenetrable force-field, no longer truly unstoppable; Thor punches the Juggernaut backwards, in the process destroying his helmet, Thor thinks to himself that if he is to triumph, it must be quickly. His hammer must return to his hand within sixty seconds or he shall revert to his mortal form of Eric Masterson. Picking himself up off the ground, Juggernaut states that he might ‘a taken away his invulnerability, but he’s still as strong as ever. He’ll tear him apart man to man. Nobody can beat him; he’s the Juggernaut, the Juggernaut.

As he leaps towards Thor, Thor tells him that through the ages, he has battled many like him, many who believed themselves invincible. But they all fell before the power of Thor. Connecting with a massive punch, Juggernaut tells him that was before he faced him. He is the living embodiment of raw power who is totally resistant to all forms of pain or injury. Thor can grow weak and be defeated, he can’t. He also hopes he’s not expectin’ any mercy on his part. Laying on his back, Thor tells him nay, nor does the Son of Odin need any. Juggernaut tells him oh yeah? It’ll take just one more blow ta finish him and…

Just then, Juggernaut is shocked when his blow comes up empty. When it does, Thor tells him ‘tis a blow which he can easily evade. As Thor continues to hammer away at Juggernaut, he tells him that his patience is at an end. No longer shall he suffer the indignities of his taunting tongue or savage fists. He claims to be power incarnate, but no mortal man can in truth understand the concept. There be levels of power in this universe which are far greater than any that can be housed within his human limbs. Blow after punishing blow rains down upon the dazed, staggering brute, but he steadfastly refuses to fall.

Leaning up against a wall, Juggernaut asks Thor that he can’t finish him off, can he? Defeat just ain’t in his vocabulary. Preparing to deliver the final blow, Thor thinks to himself that though he is his enemy, still does Thor find cause to admire the courage and stamina of this man. But he must put an end to this charade. With that, Thor goes to punch Juggernaut but is blocked by the reappearance of Juggernaut’s force-field. Catching his hammer, Thor laments that his hammer has returned before the sixtieth second could expire. The spell is ended a mere moment before he could claim his rightful victory. Just then, Juggernaut realizes that the hammer is Thor’s source of power. If he could get his hands on it, he’d be unbeatable as well as unstoppable.

Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, in the Cypress Hills section of Brooklyn, Rigger drives the police van transporting Bulldozer. Mad Dog tells her that he still doesn’t understand why they had to take this crazy route to Kennedy airport. Rigger tells him that he knows the drill, they always vary the runs.

Dog adds that he hates this duty. They’re cops, not glorified chauffeurs. How much longer til they get there? Rigger replies five less minutes than the last time he asked. She then tells him to quit bellyaching, he’s worse than a kid. Dog says he can’t help it, he’s going stir crazy. He then tells her to try and hold and intelligent conversation with laughing boy back there. He’s a man of action, he needs constant stimulation.

Up ahead, the remaining members of the Wrecking Crew are hiding behind a wall. As the van approaches, Wrecker unleashes a beam which damages the van, causing to veer into the cemetery. Entering the cemetery, Wrecker notices they don’t have to worry about the cops, there ain’t a lotta fight in them. The injured Rigger tells Dog that they can’t leave their prisoner but Dog tells her that she’s hurt and that he’s the least of their problems.

Over in the Salem Hills section of the cemetery, nineteen year-old Dan Ketch, visiting the grave of his older sister, is startled from his lonely reverie by the nearby commotion. Upon seeing the nearby explosion, Ketch is instinctively drawn to his awaiting motorcycle like a moth to a flame. Only after reaching it does he hesitate for the briefest of instants, as if weighing some long discarded option. And then, he is consumed by the searing agony of the truly damned.

Across the cemetery, Dog tells the Wrecking Crew to grab sky, they’re all under arrest. Piledriver tells him that he’s crazy and dead too. Bulldozer tells him to leave him be, he ain’t such a bad sort. A voice from behind states then he has nothing to fear. Turning around, Wrecker asks who? Arriving on the scene, Ghost Rider continues that only the guilty are prey to the living spirits of vengeance. Bulldozer then states that it’s the skull-headed freak that lady TV reporter’s always goin’ on about – the Ghost Rider. Wrecker exclaims that he ain’t interested in his press clippings, get him outta his face.

Just then, Juggernaut rams Thor with a column. That, in turn, dislodges Thor from his hammer. Making his way over to it, Juggernaut attempts to lift the hammer but is unable to do so. Shocked, he states that he’s easily Thor’s equal in strength and he can’t even budge the overgrown paperweight. Reaching out for his hammer, Thor tells Juggernaut that his failure is caused by the weakness of his character, not his limbs. Sacred Mjolnir can only be lifted by one who is truly worthy of its ageless power.

Juggernaut responds by telling Thor to save that mumbo-jumbo for the rubes. He’s still gonna win this decision by a knockout. As he charges towards Thor, he tells him that he can swing his hammer as hard an’ fast as he likes, no crummy little gale force wind’s gonna stop him from dumping him like yesterday’s trash. Continuing to plow forward, Juggernaut tells Thor that he’s finished and calls him a yellow-haired has-been. He’s gonna rip that hammer right outta his hands an’ bash that smirk right off… <

Stopping his thought mid-sentence, Juggernaut asks Thor what he’s doing. Thor replies that if he desires his hammer, so be it. He has enwrapped his wrist within its unbreakable thong, e’en as he hurled it yonder. With that, Juggernaut proceeds to ascend with great speed upwards, unable to break free from the hammer.

Like a newly crowned king, silence claims the land. And then, slowly and hesitantly, the people begin to emerge from the shadow-haunted rubble. The people call out that they’re glorious master is gone. The grand protector is no more. They ask who will lead them now, who will save them from the tyrant Zalaski? Their properties and possessions are surely forfeit.

Looking over at the people, Thor thinks to himself that he must be silent. He gave Zalaski his word that Thor would not speak against him. His sacred hammer is bound by enchantment to return to his hand, but he intentionally threw it into deepest space. More than sixty seconds will surely pass before it completes its journey. The vow which restrains the tongue of Thor does not hinder Eric Masterson.

At that moment, Thor transforms into Eric. He calls out to the people to listen to him and hear him out. They don’t have to fear the future. There’s no need to dread the return of Zalaski. They don’t have to be at the mercy of any despot. They can lead themselves. This is their world; they are the true masters of it. All they have to do is band together and take an active control over their own lives and destinies. Freedom does not come without cost. It demands a constant commitment to hard work and sacrifice. They can allow conditions to return to the way they’ve always been, or they can try to improve them. The choice is theirs. They must decide whether or not they have the desire to reach out and transform their dreams of a better life into reality.

Just then, Mjolnir returns and Eric is transformed back into Thor. Arriving with Zalaski and his troops in shackles, Captain Britain tells Thor nice speech. They can start putting it into practice by deciding what to do with Zalaski. Zalaski states “bah,” these fools will never survive without them. They need an iron hand to rule them. Thor tells him ‘tis the very decision which they must now make for themselves. Captain Britain then mentions that from the looks of things, he assumes that the Juggernaut will not be accompanying them back to earth. Thor replies he fears not, he is presently lost amid the vast terrain of deep space.

Clutching an asteroid, Juggernaut remarks that hammer-wielding wimp ain’t seen the last a’ him. This is only a minor setback. He’ll eventually find his way back to the planet earth. Nothing can stop the Juggernaut – nothing!

Meanwhile, Ghost Rider leaps off his bike and attacks the Wrecker. As he does so, he is felt compelled to act, to strike out. He states that those who would shed innocent blood must pay in kind. Before he is kicked in the face, Wrecker tells him that he must be crazy ta think he can threaten the Wrecker ‘n get away with it. Thunderball attempts to take Ghost Rider out with his wrecking ball but misses each time.

At that moment, Piledriver comes up behind Ghost Rider and proceeds to punch him in the back. Preparing to deliver another blow, Piledriver remarks that he’s read enuff movie mags ta know that Ghost Rider ain’t nothin’ but a glorified athlete with a few fancy special effects – one good shot oughtta bust his bones for good. Ghost Rider thinks to himself that his foe seeks to intimidate him with words but he has no capacity for fear, only an insatiable hunger for vengeance.

With that, Ghost Rider wraps a chain around Piledriver’s neck and tosses him into Thunderball and Bulldozer. Watching the proceedings, Mad Dog notices that the ghost dude seems to be on their side but he thought he was one of the bad guys. Upon watching the rest of his team being taken out, Wrecker exclaims that’s enuff and proceeds to shoot Ghost Rider with a blast from his crowbar. As he does, he tells him that he ain’t impressed with his phony supernatural act. He’s loaded with the real thing himself. One hundred percent, grade-A pure, enchanted Asgardian power. And he can channel it right through his crowbar and stomp him inta the ground like an old pair a’ shoes.

Once the blast hits Ghost Rider, Wrecker notices that he must ‘a accidentally ripped open some kind ‘a dimensional warp with that blast. The flames are growing like crazy, and sumthin’ seems ta be forming in the center of ‘em. Emerging from the ground, Mephisto asks who dares to summon the Lord of the Underworld. Seeing him, Ghost Rider wonders who the creature is before him and why he seems so familiar.

At that selfsame moment across town, Loki exclaims that the Wrecker is a bumbling fool. He’s done it at last. He has attracted some unwanted notice. Incredible forces are now in play, forces which demand the immediate and personal attention of cunning Loki.

Meanwhile, having returned to Earth and bid a fond farewell to the members of Excalibur, the mighty Thor resumes his life as Eric Masterson. Entering his apartment, he finds Susan Austin and Jerry Saprist there greeting him. He tells them that this is an unexpected surprise and asks them what they are doing there and why they have long faces. Did something happen to Kevin?

Jerry replies that his son is fine. Hanging her head, Susan states tells Eric that they finally know why he decided to let his ex-wife have custody of him. And they understand all the reasons for his recent rash of strange behavior. As Eric asks huh, Jerry tells him that there’s no need to make up another one of his phony excuses. They know the truth, the real truth. He then tells shocked Eric that they know his secret.

Characters Involved: 

Thor II (Eric Masterson)

Captain Britain, Meggan, Shadowcat (all Excalibur)



Wrecker, Bulldozer, Piledriver, and Thunderball (all Wrecking Crew)

Mad Dog Rassitano and Rigger (all Code: Blue)

Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch)



Various unnamed aliens who are loyal to the Juggernaut

Prince Zalaski and various unnamed aliens who are loyal to him

Susan Austin and Jerry Saprist (associates of Eric Masterson)

Story Notes: 

Thor sent Juggernaut into space back in Thor (1st series) #412.

Issue Information: 
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