Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Throne and the Fury!

Twice now, we've seen instances where we thought we'd have a ringside seat to a battle between Thor, God of Thunder, and his all-powerful father, Odin, Lord of Asgard--only to find out that Odin wasn't truly Odin in some way, and thus we were cheated of seeing these two slug it out for real. Once was when Odin was under the spell of Infinity, and was gunning for Thor only because he was in thrall and was compelled to serve his master; the other instance occurred when Igron, the former sorcerous servant of Loki, created doppelgangers of Thor, Odin, and the other principal warriors of Asgard, leading to Thor fighting his father's duplicate.

Do we dare try a third time? Why not, we're feeling lucky.

This third battle between Thor and (hopefully) Odin would take place following Thor's investigation of Firelord's activities in Costa Verde, when Thor and his love, Jane Foster, return to New York and receive a briefing on the situation in Asgard from a distraught Balder the Brave:

Balder, persona non grata in Asgard? Odin, its ruler, gone mad? Thor departs at once with his fellows (and with Jane, as well, who insists on tagging along), only to meet a well-armed reception committee of warriors at the Rainbow Bridge--including the bridge's guardian, Heimdall, who warns Thor to proceed no further or face their onslaught. Thor reacts to this threat calmly, of course:

While the battle rages, we get a look inside the palace, where Igron, of all people, is now advisor to the All-Father--and Odin's reaction to the news of his son's return seems to bear out Balder's woeful tidings:

Wow! It looks like Odin's gunning for Thor for real this time. But why??

Once Thor and his friends dispatch Heimdall and the other warriors that had been set against them, he immediately makes his way to the place, only to get a cold reception from not only the palace guard but from Odin himself:

Daunted now by an impregnable shield which Odin has formed around the place, Thor has no choice but to return to his friends and map out some kind of strategy to gain what little support for their cause is left in Asgard and take things from there. Yet the unexpected occurs when Jane is assigned to her task:

Sif has not been seen since she transferred her spirit to Jane in order to save her life. As to why she's suddenly reappeared, the Grand Vizier of Asgard has an explanation:

Thor and his party then proceed to gather their supporters from various parts of Asgard. However, Thor and Balder take on a special mission--that of returning with the Norn Queen, Karnilla. In the meantime, Odin is in the process of relocating his throne to very dangerous higher ground, and issues forth an equally deadly threat:

Thor obviously couldn't pick a better time to return with Karnilla, who attempts to break through the Odin-shield with no success. It's only when Thor joins his power to hers that he's able to slip through the barrier and take a second stab at reaching Odin. But his horror of finding the Odin-sword now playing a part in this drama is matched by the revelation that a deadly former enemy now rules Asgard:

So, darn it, it looks like we've had the rug pulled out from under us again. It turns out that Igron discovered the minuscule form of Mangog while he was languishing in Asgard's dungeon, and concocted a scheme which would allow the brute to reform to his former size as well as regain some of the power he once had:

Igron then did some mystic detective work, and found that Odin had disappeared when attempting to return from Earth after his time spent in a mortal guise. Consequently, Igron cast a spell that gave Mangog the appearance of Odin, while allowing him to draw new strength for himself through the "worship" of his Asgardian subjects. Thor, naturally, threatens to blow the whistle on both of them--but Igron is a step ahead of him:

And when "Odin" summons a large squad of warriors to take Thor in custody, Thor reacts as you'd expect. Yet it seems this facsimile of Odin still wields a considerably potent force:

Once Sif, Balder, and the others have returned with a good host of supporters willing to aid their cause, their core group comes in search of Thor and finds a chilling sight, indeed:

Sif and her companions are at a loss as to what they can do about Thor's plight, since Odin is still their ruler and they have no reason to think that he's been replaced. Fortunately, Odin tips his hand with unwarranted acts of cruelty, first toward Thor, and then toward his faithful Vizier--which spurs a forceful response from Thor's loyal friends:

"Odin," however, is still the most powerful force in the room, and so he handles the insurgents with feats of power they cannot match, such as his attack on Sif. Yet that, too, serves to motivate the resistance against him--in this case, Thor, who frees himself like Samson, and unfortunately resulting in a similar fate:

Odin, it appears, has crushed all of his foes, and the beast within sees no reason not to revel in the fact. But his snarling elation leads to what will be a costly mistake:

With his ruse exposed and Thor free, as well, Mangog attempts to make good on his threat to unsheathe the Odin-sword and thereby destroy everything. Thor, of course, will battle him until the end. But in this case, the end comes for Mangog, instead, as his worshippers dry up like a well:

That takes care of Mangog (and certainly Igron)--but, where the heck is Odin?? If you're curious, you can follow the Asgardians into space, where they pick up his trail which eventually leads them to his captivity at the Doomsday Star. You've probably guessed that a place with that kind of name isn't going to put out the welcome mat for them.


Here's artist Jack Kirby's depiction of the fight we never really got.
(Can you spot what Thor and Odin have in common?)

(This post covers events from Mighty Thor #s 248-250.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thor #250 was the first Thor comic I ever owned, and because of that, I always liked Mangog.
Even though he is kinda bull-headed. Ahem. mp