Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Blood and Thunder," the end!

Why is murder always Odin's first impulse?
I'm in a bit of a bad mood, since I should be asleep now, but forgot to put my laundry in the drier, so now I have to stay up for a bit. All right then, what do we have to blog quickly? Ooh, Thor #471, the concluding chapter of Blood and Thunder, the nine-part crossover between Thor, Warlock and the Infinity Watch, the Warlock Chronicles, and Silver Surfer. And I forgot I was going to cover another of the Silver Surfer chapters, so now I have to go do that; so I'm getting madder and madder to cover this issue.

"Thor Must Die!" proclaims Odin on the first page, cementing his rep as Marvel's worst dad. Thor is currently trapped in a clear block (courtesy of Thanos, who isn't credited with it here) but is also really crazy. His imaginary girlfriend the Valkyrie (still not the one we usually know...) came to life for a bit, and Odin hasn't been able to cure Thor's insanity. So, the next logical step is to kill him.

The observing Dr. Strange and Adam Warlock suggest maybe Odin could try maybe one other thing first. Adam's forte was the soul, not the mind; but he suggests Thor's sanity is locked away, and Odin's approach should be more like a key, less like a sledgehammer.

Odin enters Thor's mind, to find his son's mental landscape is a giant mountain, with Thor's self-image chained to it. Thor laments his weakness in being unable to break his bonds; but Odin reassures him: he can't break those chains, because they were forged by Odin. Metaphorically...I think. Odin admits tampering with Thor's mind, on more than one occasion; as well as letting others "usurp" Thor's power. I don't know if Odin is referring to Dr. Donald Blake there or not; since I'm still not clear on whether Thor and Blake were two separate personas. Maybe sometimes? Depends on when you ask?

After Odin breaks the chains, Thor wants to get out before she shows up. Odin explains that she's just a figment of his imagination, and can't hurt him. Which sounds good, before the Valkyrie shows up. Pissed. That, and in her brief life, she got a taste for it, and wants it back. She's also a bit of a manifestation of Odin's mucking about and Thor's fighting back against it; and Odin is unwilling to unleash the fury and completely destroy his son's mind.
The Valkyrie's imaginary, but still gets more dialogue than Sif's had in the book in years...

Thor is unwilling to let even the Allfather fight his battles for him, but the Valkyrie points out fighting her could be like lobotomizing himself. Odin asks his son to hold, but Thor smites the Valkyrie out of existence, returning to normal. Thor makes his apologies to Dr. Strange, Sif, and the other gathered heroes; taking a moment to return the Power Gem to Drax the Destroyer. Drax, at the time, was a simple-minded behemoth; and Adam Warlock quickly takes the gem himself for safekeeping. Thor also thanks Thanos, before telling him to get his ass out of Asgard.
'What, no hug?'

The Mighty Thor #471 was Ron Marz's last issue on the book: Roy Thomas would take over the next month, and stay on as regular writer until (after old writer Tom DeFalco had a fill-in) Warren Ellis had his all-too-brief four issue stint. Before William Messner-Loebs could really get going, Thor would end with #502. (We saw that one last month, on "The End" week!) And Thor wouldn't even get a book in Heroes Reborn...which is a pro or a con, depending how you look at it. Not unlike Fantastic Four, for me Thor has always been a book that had some great runs; then long stretches of terribleness.

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