Tuesday, December 2, 2014

False Gods


I don't know about you, but sometimes I like to open a comic book and find a good brawl waiting for me. And that's just what you get when you open Mighty Thor #217--because when you think of brawling, few do it better than the Asgardians.

On the other hand, would you expect to find them fighting to the death against:


...themselves??



In a story written by Gerry Conway, with artwork by John and Sal Buscema, we find the Asgardians returning from their ordeal in outer space, when they were captured by the Vrellnexians and subsequently retrieved by Thor and his comrades. But as they approach the realm, they're stunned to find that, well, they've already arrived:




Conway doesn't take long to kick this story into high gear. We know, for instance, that Odin (the true Odin) is going to be miffed at this outrage--but the pleasantries don't take long to draw the lines:



And before you know it, the principal core group of Asgardians are engaging with their doubles, without really asking questions as to how the heck this is happening:




Of course, the rest of Asgard's warriors want to join the fun--but Odin is there to stop the frenzy from becoming utter chaos:



From there, the participants split off into separate skirmishes, not all of them as expected. For instance, Thor squares off with the fake Heimdall:



Meanwhile, Sif goes up against the fake Hildegarde (because, heaven forbid, she should fight with any of the male warriors):



While Odin finds himself in battle against the fake Thor, and his not-so-fake sword:



In the interim, Fandral has located Volstagg, who had returned to Asgard with Balder separately only to see Balder captured by the doppelgangers. Together, they break Balder out of his dungeon and rejoin the battle, where they find Odin has allowed the other warriors to join the fray in order to tip the odds.

Back on the Rainbow Bridge, Thor is about to find his first real clue to what's going on:



Thor then picks up Sif, and encounters Balder--but this Balder lures him into a trap, where the architect of this madness is revealed:



Igron has been causing mischief in Asgard awhile, which isn't surprising considering he used to be an assistant to Loki. Escaping from his imprisonment in the troll kingdom, he returned to Asgard and, finding it deserted at the time, decided to create his own little kingdom:



Unfortunately, it's usually when a villain crows about his triumph when he neglects to notice someone sneaking up behind him:



From here, all that remains is to wrap things up with the fake Asgardians. The main impediment, of course, being the fake Odin:




With Balder sounding a call to the Asgardian warriors to cease and desist, the true Odin strides forth to once again take command:



And there you have it, a short and sweet battle issue that didn't need much to throw it together and was over and done with by the end of the issue. If you'd prefer a tad more adventure with your brawling, the Asgardians would face a more involved crisis when they investigate the menace of the Black Stars in the following issues.

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