Thursday, June 12, 2014

By any other Flame. Er, I mean, name.

We've checked out some of the 1993 Marvel Superstars of Tomorrow annuals. They've all been pretty uniformly terrible, and this one's not as bad as some, but still. From 1993, Thor Annual #18, "Forged in Fire" Written by Ron Marz, pencils by Tom Grindberg, inks by John Nyberg.

In a bar in Asgard, a hooded figure tells a tale of a mighty warrior that once fought Thor. The warrior's origin is a sad one, too: his mother was kidnapped during a raid by the fire demons of Muspelheim. She was raped and gave birth to a half-breed son, who was ostracized and told he was a hideous monster. So hideous, in fact, his dad put him in the traditional metal mask so he wouldn't have to look at his ugly puss. Eventually growing up to be the monster he was told he was, the warrior killed his father, then began a spree of raids, slaughtering entire villages and putting them to the torch.

This would all be fine, except the warrior chose the name "the Flame." And now all I can hear is that horrible Cheap Trick song. Find it on YouTube yourself, I'm not linking to it...In Marz's defense, it does seem like the sort of name a moody, disaffected, murderous teen would pick.

Anyway, Odin puts Thor on the case, and lends him his horse Sleipnir. Actually, Sleipnir's just there so Thor can use him to save a little girl that survived a massacre. And sometime after reading this issue, I read the old Tales of Asgard reprint book, the old Stan Lee/Jack Kirby stories under a kickass Walt Simonson cover, and realized they used to use that plot driver a lot: Odin sees something in one of the Nine Realms, bids Thor go check it out/talk to it/beat its ass, and sixteen pages fill up like magic!

Thor catches up with the Flame, who goes on and on about how horrible his life is and how everyone has to pay. Thor isn't unsympathetic, but calls him a whiner that can't justify his crimes: no matter how much he was abused, once he started killing innocents, he crossed a line. Curious, Thor unmasks the Flame, to find he isn't hideous at all, merely silly-looking; he just looks like an elf with flaming hair. After a battle, the Flame is knocked into lava and of course he's the one telling the story in the bar.

And that was the last anyone ever saw of the Flame. Or was it? Yes. Mostly. Maybe. We'll see tomorrow.


Dale Bagwell said...

Poor guy. What a shitty name indeed. Definitely matches the emo mood oozing off this kid. He was born waaaay to late for the Twilight movies. Would've fit in I think.

Dale Bagwell said...
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