Friday, December 31, 2010

"The End" Week: Thor #502!

OK, one quick one while I'm waiting for my camera to charge: Thor #502, "Putting on the Bear Shirt" Written by William Messner-Loebs, pencils by Mike Deodato Jr, and inks by Deodato Studios. Thor was just about to wrap up, during the Onslaught crossover, and there wouldn't be a new Thor book for some time to come.

Onslaught had defeated the Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four; and had control of New York City. With spare-Thor Red Norvell (and don't ask where he came from, I think it had been well over two-hundred issues since he last appeared, and Red would show up as 'Thor' in Incredible Hulk #422; with the Hulk having no idea why either) Thor thinks he's become too human, and is trying to "invoke a berserker's rage" to better fight Onslaught, but can't. Meanwhile, Odin's a useless drunk, and Amora the Enchantress is still stuck in Asgard with no memory.

Reminiscing with Red, Thor tells him a story about his childhood with Loki; with Loki in blonde drag as they trick a band of frost giants and steal their horses and booty. Thor says he was never happier, which makes his current maudlin state over Loki's death more understandable: I always just remember the many, many, many times Loki dicked him over...

The frogs (from Thor #364) stop by to say goodbye, and so does Jane Foster. The one-time nurse for Thor's old alter ego Dr. Donald Blake has been treating the wounded, and when Red finds a wounded man, Jane and Thor perform emergency surgery. Afterwards, Thor realizes if he had been able to go berserker, he wouldn't have been able to save that man's life.

Next, Hela appears to Thor and Red; without speaking, she offers Thor an out: go with her, become her Prince of the Dead. Or, he dies tomorrow. He thinks it over, or at least pretends to, but passes. As they get some rest for the night, Red asks Thor if he would do anything differently. "Not a thing."

We've seen a few of these Onslaught issues before, and I have to wonder if at the time, it seemed like they were really building him up: everyone in this issue seems convinced Onslaught is the biggest of big bads ever. Bigger than Galactus, bigger than Thanos, bigger than the Beyonder...yeah, not really.

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