Monday, August 29, 2011

A thousand years ago or last week, let it go already.

There are problems with being an immortal god that probably wouldn't occur to you right away. For one thing, if you find yourself in a rut, it's doubtless even worse than it would be for a mortal, even if your rut is fighting, drinking, and wenching. For another, if you hold onto a grudge, it can make the next several centuries unpleasant...

In the Trial of Thor (which I haven't read) Thor is accused of a series of murders. Although later exonerated, Thor is still a little pissed that everyone turned against him mighty quickly. Although he can usually put it out of his mind while fighting, as in a series of battles with Surtur; Thor is getting less and less able to put up with Odin. Finally, Thor leaves Asgard for Midgard, Earth.

In medieval-like times, as 'Tor,' he settles in a farming village; occasionally taking up his hammer to defend it from raiders. (He does fight as a man, though; not unleashing his full power.) Thor has a woman, Atali, and is as a father to her son; while in Asgard Odin and Balder don't fare as well against Surtur as Odin had with his son. Badly injured, Odin goes into the Odinsleep, and sends Balder to Midgard to fetch Thor. Unwilling to leave, Thor eventually has to go home, promising to return.

In Asgard, Odin is thrilled his son has "been man enough to forget our differences," and gets his drink on in celebration. Still pissed, Thor leaves the next day to take on Surtur himself, without his hungover dad or Balder, who is guilt-ridden for bringing Thor back from a happy life. Although it takes some time to track him down, Thor turns his rage on Surtur, driving him away again.

Returning as a hero to Asgard, the citizens no longer seem afraid of Thor; but the rage persists. Loki offers to fix Thor up with some Asgardian women, rather than his human "grudge," earning him a punch in the face. Balder tries to tell Thor that Loki never changes, and Thor angrily replies Asgard never changes. "It all seems old. Very old." He leaves for Midgard, Balder wisely not trying to stop him.

Thor returns to the village, too late: the black death has already taken most of the people, his adopted son, and he barely has time to say goodbye to Atali. Even more depressing, her last words are for 'Tor' to find her sister, in the next village over, and make her as happy as he made Atali. And the sister had already died of the plague. In a serious case of bad timing, a band of raiders attack: attacking a plague-ridden village, during a funeral, while Thor is there and seething with fury. Unleashing his full rage, they don't last long...

With nowhere else to go, Thor returns to Asgard. Odin apologizes to Thor for accusing him, and then for making light of it...but while the rage may subside for now, it is still there.

An interesting story, if a bit tough to fit into Thor's history. Usually, he had been portrayed as arrogant and headstrong, but he seems less so here. Also, I don't know how often we've seen Thor so bored with Asgard; although it doesn't seem to have the Kirby-level of grandeur here, either. Still, if Thor can hold a grudge for a single incident for so long; it's hard to believe he would be so forgiving of Odin, Loki, or anyone else later in life.

From the Rage of Thor #1, written by Peter Milligan, art by Mico Suayan. Tomorrow, new homemade strip: "Last Call!"


plainwater said...

Hey Googum! Off topic, but have you read any of that Fear Itself Deadpool comic? If so, did you like it? I'm planning my first visit to a comic book shop in months. Months!

googum said...

Off topic, around here? Oh, that never happens! But, I haven't been reading new Deadpool lately, since I've been able to find cheap copies of other recent Pool stuff like Deadpool Corps and some of Deadpool MAX. Both of which are pretty good for a buck an usual, your mileage may vary, since not unlike Homer, Deadpool is as dumb and/or insane as necessary to keep the plot moving.

If you see it, I saw part of Wolverine: the Decoy the other day, wherein a killer robot is tearing up the place looking for Jean Grey or something, and it's too tough for Wolvie to take it out fast enough, so he needs a distraction...who does he know that can take a beating and keep on ticking? Hmm. That one may be worth a shot.

Anyway, why so long between trips to the comic shop? I say that, and I get to my proper shop about once or twice a month, but get some more books hither and yon.

plainwater said...

Thanks for the rec's! I think the whole being a poor student and also generally lazy led to my absence from the comic book shops. Eventually always I come around. Especially since in live in freaking New York City, where it's not hard to find a nice shop.