Synopsis for “When the Grey Gargoyle Strikes!”
Lamenting over the fact that Odin still will not allow him to marry Jane Foster because she is a mortal, and how she thinks that as Donald Blake “betrayed” Thor (in the previous issue) to the Cobra and Mr. Hyde, Blake changes into Thor and confronts Foster pretending to be looking for his alter-ego because he had heard of his “betraying” him. Foster, in a panic tells Thor not to seek revenge on Blake, as he was likely frightened and that she still loved him. Thor “convinced” not to seek “revenge” on Blake leaves Foster to bask in the joy in knowing that Jane Foster loves his alter ego.
Meanwhile, a transcontinental plane from France lands at JFK airport and a lone man exits the plane. When an airport official board the craft to check on the other passengers he finds that they have all been turned to stone.
This man, revealed to be Paul Duval, a young chemist from Paris who one day, while being rushed to complete a chemical solution spilled it’s contents on his hand. Duval soon found that his hand had turned to stone, and consequently anything he touched would also turn to stone, including himself (although unlike his future victims when he turned to stone he was not immobilized) Duval soon began a crime spree, turning jewelers and bank guards into stone and stealing what he wanted. Growing bored with his wealth, Duval learns about Thor’s recent battle against the Cobra and Mr. Hyde and decides that he wishes to steal Thor’s immortality, figuring the power must come from Thor’s very hammer, and so traveled to America to do so.
The flashback ends when the cab Duval is riding in arrives in the center of New York City, here Duval turns the driver into stone and waits for Thor to take the bait. Thor eventually overhears a radio report about the rash of reports of people being turned into stone in the city. Investigating the most recent report of the cab driver, Thor uses his Avenger’s priority to have the stone cabbie taken to Donald Blake’s doctors office.As Don Blake, Thor examines the the stone cabbie and determines that within the hour he will soon turn back to normal and vows to Jane Foster that he will learn why these people are suddenly turning to stone.
Meanwhile, Duval has donned a costume and turned his body into stone, calling himself the Grey Gargoyle he goes to Dr. Blake’s office in the hopes that Thor will appear. He attacks Blake and attempts to turn him into stone, however Donald manages to escape to the roof of his office and change into Thor.
The two titan’s battle takes them to the streets, where the Grey Gargoyle causes a nearby gas pump to explode, knocking Thor’s hammer out of his grasp. When he fails to be able to lift Thor’s hammer, he instead turns Thor into stone when the thunder god attempts to grab back his hammer. The police soon arrive with a flame thrower and chase the Gargoyle away. While the police are busy, the statue of Thor falls over, his hammer striking the ground, causing him to change back to Donald Blake.
Blake, now unable to change back into Thor until the Gargoyle’s stone power wears off in an hour, decides to defeat the Grey Gargoyle in his mortal guise. Using his connections with the Avengers, Blake manages to obtain a projector camera from Stark Industries that allows him to project a 3-D image of Thor. Mounting the camera to a motorcycle, Blake travels around the city projecting an image of Thor in an attempt to flush out the Grey Gargoyle.
The Gargoyle takes the bait, but soon figures out what Blake is attempting to do and chases after him. Blake then tricks the Grey Gargoyle into driving off a pier and into New York Harbor, where the currant of a passing boat drags him out to sea where he sinks to the bottom.
The next day, changing into Thor, the thunder god stops by his doctors office to follow up on what happened to the cab driver. He learns that the cabby changed back to normal and that Blake is being hailed as a hero, the story of the Gargoyle’s defeat making the front page of the paper. Satisfied Thor flies off into the sky.