Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Still no idea why Thor remembers Loki or Odin fondly...

So, we blogged about Rage of Thor a while back; and today we've got another Thor comic set back in the day, well before his first appearance in Journey into Mystery #83. The Thor of then was arrogant and headstrong, although not quite to the point where Odin would banish him to earth; especially since Thor appears to be Asgard's main line of defense against the frost giants.

Now, this issue got confusing for me when the golden apples of Asgard were brought up. I understood that the Norse gods needed to eat them to maintain their immortality and power, OK. And Thor was stockpiling his, only eating them when he knew a big fight was coming; fine. But the only goddess that could harvest the apples was known by many names: Freyja, Iduna, Gefn...Enchantress. What? That's a new one: Amora, the Enchantress, is a straight-up Marvel creation, with no analog in the traditional myths. Iduna had actually appeared in Thor comics before, but the wikipedia entry points out the various Ragnarok cycles may adjust the continuity.

While Thor leaves to "hunt giants for the winter," a mason approaches the city with an offer, to repair a defensive wall crushed by a falling giant. All he wants in exchange, is the Enchantress for his wife. The gods are outraged, but Loki points out the opportunity for a wager: bet the mason that he can't complete a year's work in six months. If he can, why, he can have the Enchantress, the sun, and the moon. Which apparently the Norse gods could give away. The Enchantress is understandably not thrilled about being collateral in a bet, but no one asks her.

The mason works steadfastly, impossibly fast. As the deadline nears, an angered Odin tells Loki to clean up his mess. Distracting the mason's horse, Loki ensures the mason comes up three bricks short of victory. Enraged, the mason reveals himself to be a frost giant, bent on revenge against Asgard. That doesn't go over so well, since Thor shows up and kills him stone dead. Possibly smashing the Hel outta that wall again.

Some time later, Loki, exiled for his most recent crimes, wanders the frozen wastelands of...I don't know, Niffleheim or somewhere. A giant eagle offers to feed Loki and return him to Asgard, in exchange for a bride: the Enchantress. Loki obliges, and the giant eagle turns out to be a frost giant; for her part the Enchantress is pissed for falling for it again. Maybe she thought Loki was feeding her a pickup line, not plotting her abduction...
Without anyone able to harvest the golden apples, the gods of Asgard begin to lose their strength. Loki (somehow welcomed back into the fold) points out Thor's been hording apples, so Odin and the gods go to demand Thor share with them. Thor sends a hot concubine to tell them 'no.' At which point, Heimdall points out he saw Loki with the Enchantress. Odin gives Loki a Homer-style choking before sending him out to rescue her.

Forcing himself to man up, Loki attempts just that, noting she is hot enough to kidnap for himself. The escape doesn't go well, but Odin finally convinces Thor to pitch in, which he does. Although he's not thrilled about having to...Odin notes Thor is becoming cruel and cold, and something would have to be done about him. Except Thor's not the one that almost lost the Enchantress in a bet, was completely unprepared for emergency famine, and listens to the son that lies to everyone, always.

From Thor: Ages of Thunder #1, written by Matt Fraction, art by Patrick Zircher, Khari Evans and Victor Olazaba.


SallyP said...

In the actual myths, Loki is an interesting figure...usually getting himself and the rest of the Gods into a heap of trouble. But then, he usually manages to get himself OUT of trouble as well. Meanwhile, Thor was basically a loud red-haired drunk most of the time.

Oh well.

Dale Bagwell said...

To answer your question,
bad writing, never underestimate the nostalgia of a god, and time, with regards to immortals, can play tricks with memory as well.