Friday, January 2, 2015

Watch Your Heads On Your Way Out

Whatever the circumstances, the royal palace of Asgard is a place where the ruler of the realm enjoys the perk of being the master of his own domain. In a crisis situation, there's only room for one voice over all, as we see in these back-to-back panels with over twenty years between them:

From left to right, you're looking at the work of artists Jack Kirby and Ron Frenz, with obviously a bit of swiping taking place from Frenz (as well as writer Tom DeFalco). Both scenes involve Thor, and their situations are different yet similar. In Kirby's scene, Thor is in trouble on Earth due to Odin having recently removed his power; in its counterpart scene, the words being exchanged concern whether or not to remove Thor's power while he's fighting in another dimension, in order to use it to help repel an invasion of Asgard. Neither Odin nor Balder seems willing to entertain a debate on the matter.

With the poses of the characters practically mirrored between the two scenes, it's interesting how the room design is so different, though perhaps duplicating the interior as well would have been overkill. The one similarity between the two in that respect can be found in one of the outline markings on the floor. Balder's group might also want to watch their heads, since they all looked crammed into a room with a low ceiling.


Anonymous said...

The figure on the right in the second picture is Balder ?? How did he get to be in charge ? I've certainly got big gaps in my Marvel knowledge. Obviously it wasn't just Rich Buckler who was, I mean homaging...scenes by Jack Kirby.

Comicsfan said...

Colin, Balder was proposed as ruler by Thor (at the Asgardian "Althing") following the Surtur conflict where Odin was lost. And you're correct, Buckler and Frenz were reportedly among several artists who indulged in swiping, though Frenz's work didn't appear to be as saturated with such adaptations to the extent that Buckler's was.

Anonymous said...

Odin was gone for 26 years, good grief - I never knew that !!! After that Wagner's Ring Cycle storyline in 1980 (which I loved but I seem to be the only one who did) I didn't read any Thor again till about 3 years ago.

Comicsfan said...

Odin's reappearance actually occurred just short of four years later, Colin, as an alert reader brought to my attention in the Comments section. You can see details of his return here.