Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lord Of The Ring


If you had wanted to usurp Odin's rule and become Lord of Asgard,
what would you have tried to lay your hands on?



Trolls have tried. Frost giants have tried. Just about everyone's tried to boot Odin off of the throne of Asgard. But in the "you've got to be kidding" category, all anyone really had to do was to swipe:


the Odin Ring.

Apparently, anyone who wears the Odin Ring must be obeyed by all Asgardians--including Odin, himself. And get this: Loki succeeded, twice.

The first time, he assembled an army of frost giants and trolls to mount an assault on Asgard while Odin slept the--well, the Odin-Sleep, naturally. (You just know that every morning, Odin had the Odin-breakfast, with his Odin-coffee.) And while everyone was fighting, Loki sneaked into Odin's bedchamber and snatched the ring off his finger. Subsequently, everyone fell into line--including Thor, who wasn't too happy about this little end run to power. But Loki hadn't counted on Surtur, the fire god, who picked this moment in time to attempt to destroy Asgard. Loki, now King in the eyes of Asgardian law, knew that he would now be Surtur's prime target, and fled, the little weasel. Odin eventually awoke and imprisoned Surtur once more--with an ease that makes you wonder why his later battles with Surtur were always desperate bouts of life-or-death, but that's another post.

Just a few issues later, Loki again was able to grab the ring--this time, because Odin had left it behind while he went to Earth to aid Thor. (You'd think an omnipotent all-Father would be more careful with his jewelry.) This time, wearing the ring gave Loki the ability to use the (you guessed it) Odin-power--and a good thing, too, because Thor wasn't just accepting Loki's rule this time. With the Odin-power at his command, Loki easily beat back Thor's assaults, and it seemed nothing could stop him now.  Except the ring itself:



It turned out no one had the fortitude to wear and use the ring for any length of time except Odin. Reeling in searing jabs of pain, Loki flung the ring away, allowing Odin to reclaim it.

This second theft of the ring spanned several issues, and was actually a pretty good storyline. Thor really got to cut loose, and even the Silver Surfer was dealt in. But once it ended, no one was exactly sorry to see the Odin ring disappear as a device to usurp the rule of Asgard. Now used twice--and with Odin himself saying that he was the only one who could safely wield it--Loki had to turn to other methods in the future. Which he actually did, in the very next issue.  Loki's the Timex watch of gods--he takes a licking, and keeps on ticking.

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