Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Beware the Troll Supreme!


Ah, the best laid plans of gods and nurses. It's a well-know fact that things can sometimes happen to throw a wrench into a "date night" with your lady love. But spotting a troll army in Central Park during a city-wide blackout has to be at the top of the list:



So you can't really blame Thor for flying off to investigate. And, given the retrospective we've been doing on a certain arch-foe of Thor's, it's not hard to guess which troll is behind this invasion, or who gave the order to have Thor shot down out of the sky:





Of course, our old sparring partner--Ulik, formerly of the troll kingdom of Geirrodur, but who looks like he's gone rogue with his own army of followers. Ulik has come to draft Thor into a mission of vengeance against Geirrodur, though obviously he's inclined to vent a little of his anger against the Thunder God first. Thor doesn't yet know that this battle is all part of a plan by Ulik, as it was in their last meeting when Ulik and Geirrodur were going after Thor's hammer. But before it's over, Thor will know more of that--and of Ulik's escape from his punishment by Geirrodur--and of Zotarr, the Troll Supreme.

That's right--Zotarr.

Yeah, that got your attention, didn't it.



Naturally, with their history of all-out battle between them, Thor and Ulik fall right back into their routine, with hostilities of course being due more to Ulik's instigation than Thor's:



But, what's Ulik's game here? Why launch another incursion into New York? And why make a point of seeking out Thor? The answer becomes apparent, when the key to Ulik's subjugation of Thor--Jane Foster--is retrieved and brought to the scene:



And so, with Thor in tow, Ulik and his men begin their descent to the troll kingdom, and Ulik recounts how he not only escaped Geirrodur's punishment but also located a lost tribe of trolls and became their leader so that he could plan a strike against Geirrodur. As for Thor, Ulik plans to put him to good use against Geirrodur's new muscle:



Soon enough, Ulik gets his wish--but it's Geirrodur who has instead hunted Ulik down, and prepares to unleash his powerful troll, Zotarr, against his brutish former subject:



Getting right to it, Geirrodur sics Zotarr on both Ulik and Thor, with the brute definitely in a "take no prisoners" frame of mind. Whatever we might have thought of Geirrodur's second-guessing himself in his last encounter with Thor and thus allowing Ulik to gain a foothold on Geirrodur's command of his armies, the troll king is all business here, and Zotarr cuts loose without mercy. As a result, Ulik finds his intention to slip away and deal personally with Geirrodur isn't going according to plan:



With Ulik out of the picture at least for the time being, Thor re-enters the fray in earnest. And Odin help the "Troll Supreme":




When Zotarr is down and definitely out, Ulik and Thor discover that he was actually only a construct created by Geirrodur's furnace--which I suppose makes sense, since a powerful troll like Ulik doesn't come along every day, and he wasn't easily replaceable. But, what of the troll king himself? Well, wait until word gets around that he was captured by a nurse:



Now that Geirrodur is out of the way, however it happened, Ulik doesn't waste any time stepping forward and making a grab for power. Marvel sure picked a heck of a time to make a point of spelling the poor guy's name correctly:




But Ulik is in for a rude awakening if he's under the impression that Thor is going to be on board with the trolls moving on to conquer the Earth:



As you've probably guessed, it's only a matter of moments before these two start trading blows again. But you also probably know how it's likely to end--and while I wish we could end this series on Ulik on a high note, Thor isn't feeling quite as charitable:





Yet, we haven't seen the last of Ulik; in fact, at their next meeting, he and Thor even join forces (this time voluntarily, on Thor's part) to deal with a monster threatening the trolls. But for all intents and purposes, we've likely seen his glory days as a brutal foe of Thor play out here.  For what it's worth, he should definitely have a spot waiting for him in Thor's rogues gallery.

4 comments:

Dan W said...

I miss Sal's work - no one drew the Kirby ish costume better than Jack, but Sal was a close second. True as some of the punch scenes here show he came close to Jack often, but still kept his ground at the same time.

Nice post!

Anonymous said...

Me, I just feel bad for Geirroder, getting cornered by Jane Foster with a spear.
Some scary troll king he is.

Comicsfan said...

Sal only stepped in for the last issue of this three-part story, but as always he left his mark well.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say. Lectroids? Planet 10? Nuclear extortion? A girl named "John"?

To be able to take the same character and the same situation (Troll Fight Club, gentlemen, the rules are as follows: ...) and still make us care takes talent. My one question - is it a committee that makes up these plans? Is there a Troll suggestion box somewhere? Were they planning Truth or World Domination?

The Prowler (Dangnabbitt) (from the old Spider-Man Crawlspace).

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