Friday, August 24, 2012

Thor vs. The Green-Eyed Monster

You may end up doing a double-take at this

Marvel Trivia Question

Who the heck is Thor beating the crap out of here?

You probably know the poor guy better as:


At this point in time, he had the rather unremarkable name of "Him." Originally the creation of disreputable scientists who wanted to use him for personal gain, Him instead turned on his creators and flew into space. But due to an encounter with the Watcher--who can never seem to leave well enough alone, despite his darned name--he was returned to Earth and subsequently came into contact with Thor.

Having had little interaction with other beings up to this point, Him wasn't exactly tactful when it came to what he wanted--so when he spotted the goddess Sif at Thor's side, he felt the need for, um, companionship, and decided that Sif would come with him.

As you might imagine, Thor didn't take kindly to this idea--but no one (especially the readers) could have predicted this reaction when Him made off with Sif, a reaction which Thor boils down to one little word:

The story tells us that Thor has been afflicted with something called "warrior madness"--which isn't really an affliction so much as Asgardian-speak, a dramatic way of saying that you're being unmerciful to a foe and bringing undue force against them. (Yes, this from Asgardians, who wield swords and axes against their foes and arrogantly cry out for their death.) Basically, it's saying here that Thor has been provoked beyond the limit of reason--which is quite a stretch, if you think about it. Thor, in his immortal life, has been in innumerable battles, both alone and alongside his Asgardian brethren--and somewhere in the middle of all of that blood and fury, he's surely been provoked much more than he would be just by having his girlfriend abducted. Yet now blind rage consumes him? And a thirst for revenge?

And why didn't his hammer, Mjolnir, drop from his hand, if he'd become thus unworthy to wield it?

We also learn that warrior madness carries a hefty penalty when Asgard's ruling body learns of it--another thing that doesn't make sense. Asgardians aren't knights of the round table, fighting by some code of honor--they're Asgardians, gods of the Vikings, who did their fair share of pillaging and massacres. An Asgardian doesn't unsheathe his sword or mace just out of posturing--they're going to use it to hack or bludgeon you into the grave. The "madness" here is part and parcel of being an Asgardian in the midst of kill-or-be-killed battle. Him simply didn't present that level of threat to Thor, and Thor darn well knew it.

The result of the battle was pretty much as you'd expect: Him got his butt handed to him, so much so that he fled the battle and blasted off back into space.  (Probably hoping he doesn't run into the Watcher again.)  As soon as the battle ended, Thor's mind cleared, and he headed back to Asgard to face Odin's justice. Hopefully, he also ended up on a therapist's couch, to discuss just why he felt so threatened by Him taking off with Sif--a goddess who's defended herself on more battlefields than we can count.

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