Thor Annual 6 was on sale in July 1977, sharing the spinner racks with Action Comics #476, Eternals Annual #1, Flash #254, John Carter Warlord of Mars Annual #1, Justice League of America #147 and Marvel Special Edition: Star Wars #1.
Thunder in the 31st Century was co-written by Len Wein & Roger Stern with art by Sal Buscema & Klaus Janson and opens with Thor flying through the New York sky, enjoying the quiet, but believing that something menacing is about to happen. He notices trouble nearby and is caught up in a situation with terrorists having seized a nuclear reactor. Thor decides to intervene and flies into the building. A brief fight ensues, the terrorists fire wild and the reactor starts to go critical. Thor leaps towards it to try and do something and then the reactor and Thor are gone.
Thor finds himself standing in a futuristic area in the presence of a being we see only in shadow. This stranger, surprised by Thor arrival since “My Time Probe wasn’t supposed to pick up passengers” decides to attack using the area’s systems, when this fails, he teleports him outside into deep space
The Scene then shifts to the bridge of the Freedom’s Lady, the new ship of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Nikki is being instructed on piloting the ship by Charlie-27 and Martinex whilst Yondu adjusts his bow and Vance moons over Nikki. Starhawk, flying outside the ship sees a power beam strike the Freedom’s Lady and on board a component of the ship’s computer relays is damaged and the team works together to keep it in one piece in a scene used to showcase the powers and abilities of each Guardian. Starhawk returns to the ship to warn the rest of someone playing with powerful forces and as he says that, someone notifies the shadowy figure who dispatched Thor of the ship’s approach and a meteor storm is sent after them.
The ship evades the meteors, but is now far off course, leading Starhawk to find a frozen humanoid form adrift in space. In a scene deliberately made to be reminiscent of Avengers #4, the frozen man awakes surrounded by this team and is revealed to be none of than the mighty Thor.
On the nearby planet, a collection of aliens talk about the ship’s apparent destruction, the aliens are revealed to be Grott the Manslayer (a short yellow pyschokinetic with antennae), Mister Teju (a reptilian with a tail), Dumog (an amorphous creature who only speaks telepathically), Brahl (a purple skinned man who can become intangible) Tork ( a sort of anklosaurus looking creature) all of them serve their leader, a purple clad cyborg called Korvac.
Korvac reveals his origin as a human collaborator during the Badoon invasion, who served as a computer technician who was grafted to computer components for the crime of sleep through exhaustion. One part of this computer equipment he escaped the Badoon and was briefly caught up in an adventure with the Defenders, once this adventure was done, Korvac stayed on alien world he was brought to in this adventure and using his new computer intelligence and teleportation powers, he began to build his complex. He then sent out time probes for artifacts he wanted and teleportation probes to recruit his team. He seeks to create a paradise for all under his dominion and part of this plan is to power his devices using our sun as a power supply by causing it to go nova with his power beam.
Thor is revived and meets the Guardians and between them all they decide to investigate the power beam and the villain responsible to both the beam and leaving Thor adrift in space. The ship travels to the planet and is pushed back by orbital defense drones, causing the Guardians to decide to move the ship away and teleport down to the planet to be confronted by Korvac’s guard, but not Korvac himself. Thor and Starhawk fly off after him while everyone else fights.
Thor and Starhawk find Korvac who teleports them several times and when that fails, he uses a beam from an artificial eye to cause them to fight one another. The fight builds and builds in intensity until the whole area starts to collapse and Korvac escapes. Korvac’s men are also defeated and the device which created the power beam is destroyed. Thor is returned to his own time along with the reactor and the Guardians lament Thor’s return to his own time.
This is a quality story with the Guardians of the Galaxy once more relegated to guest stars. This issue is important mainly for what happens next. Korvac has arrived and things are about to get epic.
Next: The Korvac Saga