Monday, June 15, 2015

Come for the inside-out Elder God, stay for the questionable romantic shenanigans.


I had thought this issue was the conclusion of Atlantis Attacks, but no dice there: from 1989, Thor Annual #14, "Set Ascending" Written by Roy Thomas, breakdowns by Al Milgrom, finishes by Don Heck. Earth's heroes are on the ropes, as the Deviant Lord Ghaur has used the power of the captured super-heroine "Brides of Set" to bring the Elder God to earth! But Thor has a plan, using Quasar, the de-powered Ben Grimm in a Thing exoskeleton, and newly one-eyed and believed dead Dr. Strange: those three had previously worn the Serpent Crown, and Thor hoped that would give them an edge. (Conversely, it could've made them more apt to fall under Set's power again...)

The quartet of heroes fly into one of Set's gaping maws, pushing their way into Set's home dimension, where they face the disgusting, inside-out Set! Outmatched, Thor takes off to try and get support from Gaea, the spirit of earth itself and Thor's mom; but even she can't help, either directly or by summoning Atum...that name rings a bell.

Undaunted, Thor goes to get Atum, living in the sun and not caring much what happens on earth. After a fight, though, an enraged Atum transforms into his monstrous alter-ego, Demogorge, the God-Eater! Who promptly eats Thor!

Still fighting Set, the Thing is somewhat dismayed to be "depending on a couple'a guys whose powers look like they're powered by flashlight batteries," since Quasar and Strange are not doing well. But Demogorge arrives, controlled by Thor...who is being digested, but wants to destroy Set first; and tears the seven-headed god into seven pieces! Thor is then absorbed by Demogorge, and Ben, Quasar, and Strange ready themselves to try and fight Demogorge for their friend. Demogorge relents, releasing the noble Thor, then returns to the sun as Atum. The heroes return to earth, aided by Ghaur, who thought he was helping Set through! Ghaur escapes with his Brides, since there's one more chapter to go...

Also this issue: a nice looking story of Thor after the apocalypse, from Bob Layton and Ernie Chan.

After the death of his beloved Nanna, Balder refuses to be comforted by Karnilla the Norn Queen; who offers to sacrifice herself to Hela to bring her back! Which is big of her, considering Nanna killed herself to get Balder out of an arranged marriage to Karnilla. (Maybe? I thought I read one where Nanna's ghost admits she killed herself because she was tired of life.) Karnilla digs Balder, and he does decline her sacrifice...her fake sacrifice, since Hela was really an illusion: Karnilla doesn't dig Balder that much. (Great art by Bo Hampton on this one.)

Next, "Thy Neighbor's Wife!" Or, the courtship of Loki! After taking the wizard Eldred's castle, magical knowledge, and riches (and presumably, life) Loki decides he needs some female companionship, and sets his sights on the goddess Sigyn. Since he's got mad gold, Loki figures she'll throw herself at him; but she's not impressed, and already has a man: the noble Theoric, one of Odin's Crimson Hawk soldiers, who wears a helmet that reminds me of Masters of the Universe second-stringer Zodac. They are to be wed in a month, and anyway she finds Loki "loathsome." Brutal rejection, however, turns Loki on; and he starts a scheme to hook Sigyn. First, when Odin sends Theoric on a patrol of Asgard's southern border, Loki arranges to have him trolled. As in, murdered by trolls. Next, Loki disguises himself as Theoric, and returns to Sigyn. At their wedding, Loki reveals himself with a grin that is beyond utterly bastardy. A pissed Odin declares the wedding annulled, but Loki says even Odin can't "repeal the imperial command." And Sigyn agrees! She has to remain Loki's faithful wife, her "body and obedience" Loki's to command! Odin declares noble Sigyn "goddess of fidelity," and banishes Loki until he proves himself worthy to walk the streets of Asgard again. A smirking Loki strides out, apparently unaware that Thor, the Warriors Three, Sif, Volstagg's wife, Sif again...look, there's a line of gods there who were going to kick Loki's ass outside. (We saw Sigyn in a previous Thor Annual some time back, but a comment from an anonymous reader suggests Loki and Sigyn's relationship was stronger than this would have you believe. I'm thinking Anonymous may have been Loki...)

5 comments:

SallyP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SallyP said...

I guess that Loki is an Uther Pendragon fan.

Dale Bagwell said...

So Loki tricked a chick into marrying him eh? And when exactly did his gender-bending habits come into play here, 'caue if she stayed, she got laid....by missus Loki;)

For you, how do you think Atlantis Attacks ranks, as far as Marvel line-wide crossover go?

googum said...

I liked Atlantis Attacks, although looking back it set some unfortunate precedents: the format for years to come would be a 64-page annual with a 28-page story, and a bunch of back-up throwaway features wildly varying in quality. Also, let's make every annual tie into some other annual! Don't read New Mutants? Too bad!

Still, AA had that Punisher annual with Moon Knight, which I love to pieces even now...

Dale Bagwell said...

You've reviewed that one right?