Who are these imposters of the gods? Thor returns to Asgard after his battle with the Mercurians to find strange doppelgangers replacing his comrades and family. Just what is going on here?
SUMMARY: Returning from their journeys, Odin, Thor and their companions find that impostors have taken their place in Asgard.
STORY (BEWARE! SPOILERS!): Arriving in Asgard, Thor is surprised another Thor and Odin being honored. Not only is there a second Thor and Odin, but there is another Hogun, Fandral, Heimdal, and Hildegarde.
Either the gods of Asgard are a bit dense or they're under some sort of spell, because they don't recognize the tell-tale sign of the impostor Thor -- he's wielding a sword and not a hammer.
So our heroes do battle with their look-alikes. Surprisingly the battle seems fairly well matched, but the other Asgardians which to enter on the side of the wrong guys. Odin stops them by paralyzing them.
During the battle Fandral comes across a cowering Volstagg, who explains that he had returned earlier with Balder. The brave one was seized by the fake leaders of Asgard, while Volstagg hid - 'planning how to rescue Balder.' Fandral ran off with Volstagg to free Balder.
Realizing that the Asgardians have caught on to who the real fakes are, Odin releases them. At the same time, Thor overcomes the impostor Heimdal on Bifrost. Falling from the rainbow bridge, the creature admits his fault and begs for mercy, knowing that he will cease to exist if he leaves the realm of Asgard. But Thor failed to save him before he vanished.
Grabbing Sif before she can be crushed by the fake Hildegarde, Thor approaches Balder -- surprised to find him in Asgard. (The last time he saw him, he was sick on Midgard.) Balder changes to Igron the Invincible (yeah, right), and imprisons Thor and Sif with a spell.
Igron explains how Loki had sent him into slavery under the trolls. There Igron planned his return. He found an opportunity to escape, when Thor battled Ulik (#210,211). He had found Asgard empty, because the Vrellnexians had come and enslaved them. When the Asgardians returned, Igron used their love and devotion in the heroes of the realm, to create their replicas.
Before Igron can revel in his victory, he is struck from behind by Balder. His spells fall apart and his impostor-gods are easily dispatched and disappear.
There are two side stories (or mysteries) in this issue. 1) Krista, the sister of Hildegarde, flees from Asgard during the fighting and finds a glowing trinket on the ground. We have to wait to find out what it is. 2) The Rigellians are being forced to flee their planet. What force is making them flee. Again we have to wait and see.
The issue ends with Odin explaining to Thor that the menace approaching the planet Rigel, threatens the whole galaxy, including Asgard.