Friday, April 26, 2019

So Many Gods... So Little Mercy


Name This Marvel Villain??

Since a picture is usually worth a thousand words, even those from your loquacious host here at the PPC, let's look in on what constitutes a snapshot of the modus operandi of our featured character by taking in a grim scene on an alien world, where we find its population witnessing the destruction of those to whom they were willing suppliants for so long. Far too long, in the bitter eyes of one.

The self-styled liberator of this race who has freed these people from what he considers the yoke of servitude is Desak, the Destroyer of Gods, who is on a mission to murder all those who claim godhood, whatever their intentions or background--an admittedly broad brush he uses to assign guilt and mete out death.

But as a former suppliant himself, Desak has experienced the whims and harsh judgment of gods firsthand--on his own world, where as part of a yearly ritual he prepared to witness the sacrifice of his daughter to the god Kronnitt in exchange for fertile conditions and future generations of descendants. Yet he wavers in that commitment when a mystic apparition appears and pleads with him to reject this ritual and deny his gods a living sacrifice--but Desak's sudden confusion and indecision are not enough to save the life of his child.

We have to take a few things at face value in this scene for it to succeed as a valid means of motivation for what comes next. For one thing, the identity of the woman in the apparition is never explained (at least not in Desak's origin), nor do we learn what has made her appear here and now to provide one of these people with the means to protect themselves from their gods' wrath. But even more perplexing is the fact that, although the ceremony has been completed successfully and the sacrifice has been made, sometime afterward their world suddenly erupts in flames, and Kronnitt unleashes his merciless rage.

So it's understandable for Desak to snap--and this time, accept the means by which he can avenge his people against those who would treat mortal lives as worthless chattel to be toyed with or snuffed out at a whim.

Desak later comes to the attention of Thor, who, along with Hercules and Beta Ray Bill, have been approached by Zeus to investigate a dire warning from the Silent One (who gave his life to save Thor from the touch of Hela but who seems to have bounced back nicely) which portends the fall of Olympus. It's the Silent One who plays out the story of Desak for the trio--and when it has run its course, they make plans to pursue this murderer who apparently has the power to carry out his threat.

Subsequently, they track Desak to a world overseen by Pennsu and Tae, a pair of truly despicable gods who are the epitome of Desak's mission statement. Arrogant and confident in their power, they meet Desak's threat head on, though seemingly in vain. Fortunately, there are those who consider even their lives to be worth saving from cold-blooded murder.

Incensed, Tae and Pennsu unleash their retaliation in the form of a withering beam of destruction that begins to decimate the helpless population that once worshipped them, practically making Desak's point for him. In response, Thor races to head off the threat to the world below, leaving Bill and Hercules to deal with the ruthless pair.

In Thor's absence, his friends are hard-pressed to deal with their foes. Yet Pennsu and Tae make the mistake of turning their attention away from the one who truly presents the greatest threat to them--and by the time Thor returns, they have paid for their actions with their lives.

We'll surely see more of Desak, whose path will cross again with Thor but who you can be assured will not remain idle in the meantime. Let the gods beware.


Big Murr said...

Desak, Destroyer of gods or Gorr, Butcher of gods?

Dan Jurgens gets the big nod for creating the concept with Desak and no love for deities. Jason Aaron gets the kudos for Gorr and providing the concept with the proper measure of gravitas and grandeur.

I always enjoy Tom Grummet's artwork, but this story was too crammed and jammed to really cover all the bases. And then it ended in an abrupt lurch. Pity.

Comicsfan said...

Somehow, Murray, I doubt any god who values his immortal life would want to be caught in the crosshairs of either!

Anonymous said...

In my day, Murray, Gorr was a yellow, talking gorilla.
And how could you forget about Grog, the god-crusher?
...okay, I guess I see how one might forget about him. He didn't crush anybody.
And I think the name Desak originally belonged to one the Deviants.
Maybe they're running outta weird names for these guys.
Marvel Comics is gonna have to put out a phone book pretty soon.