A Hammer Falls: A New Beginnings
Shortly following Ragnarok, Mjolnir sped through the cosmos and landed on Earth, releasing a blast of light. This signaled the return of Thor and the Asgardians. Thor had been residing in a limbo-like dimension since Ragnarok where he was visited by his Donald Blake aspect. Blake encouraged Thor to return to life and recreate Asgard, observing that with Those Who Sit Above in Shadow vanquished, the Asgardians could finally chart their own destiny rather than repeatedly face Ragnarok through time. Thor agreed and used the Odinpower to restore Asgard as a floating city hovering over the town of Broxton, Oklahoma. Once again, Thor and Blake shared their existence and Blake resumed his work as a physician. The rest of the gods were reborn in mortal guises, but Thor quickly located them and restored them to normal. Unfortunately, Thor was tricked into releasing Loki and other villainous Asgardians as well. Loki again sowed discord, revealing Balder was Odin’s son, a secret kept from Balder himself. He also manipulated Thor into slaying his own grandfather Bor, and spurred Balder into claiming the throne of Asgard and exiling Thor. However, when Norman Osborn (the crafty but mentally unstable criminal known as the Green Goblin), then leader of the US peace-keeping forces, schemed with Loki to invade Asgard with his Avengers team and super-human armies, Thor defended Asgard. Loki switched sides after Osborn’s supremely powerful pawn, the Sentry, threatened to destroy both Earth and Asgard. The mad Sentry slew Loki but was ultimately defeated by Thor, and Osborn’s forces were also defeated with the aid of Thor’s comrades from the true Avengers. Under the leadership of Steve Rogers (formerly Captain America), Osborn’s Avengers were disbanded, and a new Avengers team, including Thor, was forged.