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Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (penciler), Tony deZuniga (inker), Phil Rache (colorist), Anette K. (letterer), Jim Shooter (editor)
Spider-Man is a helpless prisoner of the giant Living Monolith, who prowls the streets of Manhattan. Help comes in the form of Thor, who frees Spider-Man. Spidey explains the situation to him and Thor battles the Monolith, only to find the villains isn’t that easy to beat. Spider-Man shouts at him to throw Mjolnir to free Havok, the Monolith’s power source, from his coffin but the Monolith reveals that the coffin is booby-trapped. As the two gods battle, Spider-Man joins Havok, beats the Monolith’s goons and manages to disarm the booby trap with the help of his spider-sense. With Havok freed, the Monolith has lost his power source and shrinks to the Living Pharaoh, who disappears into the storm Thor has created. Thor believes the villain dead but Havok doubts it. Havok asks for help to get back to Muir Isle to see what has become of his girlfriend Polaris, and Thor promises Tony Stark will lend him a jet.
Manhattan is in a panic as the giant Living Monolith stomps through the streets, shouting the gods of Egypt should rejoice. He walks the Earth one more! He orders the people to flee, lest he crush them beneath his heel. In one of his hands he holds a prisoner, Spider-Man, who realizes five minutes ago when he was just another supervillain he could have handled him. But now that he’s absorbed Havok’s cosmic power and transformed himself into some kind of living god, Spider-Man has no prayer. Nevertheless, he figures he has to keep him occupied and give the crowd a chance to flee.
He webs the Monolith’s eyes shut, but the villain simply tears the webbing off, shouting the arachnid has gone too far. He tosses Spider-Man away, vowing he will pay with his life! The acceleration nearly takes Spidey out. He fires a web blindly and hopes he hits something, but misses. However, before Spider-Man can hit the ground, he is caught by the mighty Thor, who promises the death goddess Hela shall not claim him, while he is here to give aid.
Thor lands with him on a rooftop and asks what is going on. Spider-Man gives him the short version; He tracked some burglars and found out they had kidnapped Havok as well. The guy behind all this, the Living Pharaoh, needed Havok to amplify his powers. Spidey almost stopped him but he blew it. And then the Pharaoh was transformed into the Living Monolith. And from the looks of it, he is still growing. Thor tells him to stay. He will battle the Living Monolith.
The villain walks down a rush hour-filled Fifth Avenue. It might have been a massacre, but the Living Monolith decrees it more befits a god to walk the sky… and so he does.
A moment later, he is attacked by Thor who smashes his hammer Mjolnir into his face. Unimpressed, the Living Monolith swats Thor aside and he is hurled through a shop window. Chastened, Thor realizes he underestimated his foe. His power may well rival that of the Destroyer or Thanos. Nevertheless, he flies toward the Monolith again.
The Monolith blasts his cosmic energy at Thor, who swirls his mallet to shield himself from the effect.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man admits to himself that he hasn’t felt as useless since he and the Thing helped the Avengers fight Thanos, and it is a feeling he doesn’t like. Instead of staying put, he decides to help by using his brain. He looks down at the embassy, where Havok is still stashed in the crystal sarcophagus wearing the Ankh amulet. Spidey recalls that the Ankh keeps him paralyzed and the casing absorbs his energy and transfers it to the Monolith. So, if the casing is destroyed, the Monolith’s power should go pffts.
Spidey calls out to Thor and tells him to free the kid in the coffin and his foe is beaten.
Thor is not quite happy about that strategy but intends to follow Spider-Man’s advice. He throws Mjolnir towards the coffin. The Living Monolith laughs. Gloating, he reveals that the coffin is booby-trapped. Should the casing be damaged, Havok dies and then his power will belong to the Monolith forever!
Spider-Man throws a webline at Mjolnir and another at the roof, intending to hold Mjolnir. He manages to divert the hammer’s course. Instead, however, the hammer crashes through several rooms of the embassy, dragging Spider-Man with it.
As the hammer is about to return to Thor, Spidey shouts he wants to get off. Thor catches him and comments wryly that Spider-Man’s command of the arts of war equals that of his comrade Volstagg. He gets the feeling he’s just been insulted, Spidey complains.
The Living Monolith walks on, believing he has won. Thor muses the Monolith fancies himself a son of the gods of Egypt, though Thor has met them and knows he is none of them. Let them see how well he fares against a true son of Asgard!
Thor swings Mjolnir and it hits the Monolith in the back, managing actually to cause him pain. The impact causes skyscraper windows to burst and the Monolith loses his balance and drops into the ocean, almost wrecking a sea vessel.
Seeing the men in need, Thor hurries to help. That moment, the Monolith’s grabs the ship and throws it at Thor. The thunder god creates a breeze to nudge the crew to the shore then creates a giant storm and vows they will see which of them is truly worthy of the title god.
Swinging nearby, Spider-Man is impressed by Thor’s prowess but fears that the Monolith has a near infinite energy source. Can Thor beat that? He swings atop the roof of the Empire State Building and asks a couple on the observation platform if he can use the binoculars they are hogging. The woman is in a huff until her husband chides her. Spider-Man watches the battle and realizes Thor has created a hurricane half a mile wide. Despite himself, he swings to join the battle after thanking the couple, even as the wife decides she’d rather see the Rockettes.
Spider-Man has an idea that might save the day. He returns to the embassy, figuring the Monolith ordered his goons to take away his battery to safety. Indeed as he arrives, he sees the goons loading the paralyzed Havok into a truck. Spider-Man quickly takes out the men and starts examining the coffin to find the booby trap.
Not far away, Thor is holding his own against the Monolith and expects to win, but he finds his foe does not fall under the barrage of lightning bolts. He has to push his power to its limits merely to keep the Living Monolith at bay. The Monolith announces he has taken Thor’s measure and found him wanting. Thor claims to be a god, but he commands cosmic powers and will be triumphant! The Monolith begins to glow more and more brightly with energy.
In the meantime, Spider-Man has found the control circuit and faces the classic dilemma: Cutting which wire will free Havok or blow him up. He tests the three wires with his Spider-sense and then cuts the right one. He succeeds and frees Havok from the paralyzing ankh. A furious Havok is free and shouts the Pharaoh’s name as he begins to glow with cosmic energy.
In the air, the Living Monolith weakens. Thor wants to strike him but suddenly finds his foe gone. He calls off the storm and is relieved to see that the coast guard has rescued the crew of the ship, but of the Monolith in either incarnation there is not trace.
Thor joins Havok and Spider-Man and realizes that Spider-Man saved the day. After they compare notes, Spider-Man surmises that, after Havok was freed, the Monolith shrunk to human size and was blown away. It would take a miracle to survive that. Havok is sure he has survived, then he remembers that Lorna fell into the ocean thanks to the Pharaoh’s goons. He needs to get back to Muir Isle!
Spidey asks if the Avengers can help. Thor replies that Avengers currently mustn’t use their government equipment, but Tony Stark can help. Havok will be home by nightfall. Spidey tells them goodbye and hopes Lorna is well.
Living Monolith / Living PharaohThe Pharaoh’s flunkies
The Living Pharaoh of course survives and next appears in Power Man and Iron Fist (1st series) #56-57.
Spider-Man was involved with the Avengers battling Thanos in Marvel Two-in-One Annual # 2.
Thor met the Egyptian Gods in Marvel Two-in-One #32-33.