Issue(s): Thor #351, Thor #352, Thor #353
Loki will later this issue recruit Lorelei into a scheme concerning "the next ruler of Asgard".
Back on Earth, the scattered remnants of the Hordes of Muspell begin burning up their own bodies since they are cut off from their power source now that the portal is closed. With the forces defeated, Karnilla teleports Balder away.
Bill wants to immediately rush back to New York to find Sif. Fandral suggests that he take the Warriors Three with him, in case Sif is injured, since Hogun's got the Elixer of Life. And indeed Sif is injured and the potion is needed, but she is fine once revived.
Meanwhile, in Asgard, Hela shows up. She's under the impression that Odin is dead, and she would like his soul, please. Thor fights her off with a righteous fury that drives her away and also scares off some Frost Giants that were considering an invasion in Odin's absence.
Then Sif teleports to Asgard, although it's noted that with the Rainbow Bridge broken, the connection between Asgard and Midgard* is getting weaker and even those with the power to transport back and forth on their own are finding it difficult. Thor is of course having trouble dealing with the death of his father. He makes an interesting observation:
Yet this victory today has taught me something of the sorrows of mortals who must endure such losses throughout their lives.
He also thinks if the soldiers of Asgard find out about Odin's death, they might, "in their awesome grief", go wild on Earth and cause unintentional damage. So he asks Sif to return to Earth and guide the Asgardians with Bill until a way can be found to bring them home, and not let them know about Odin's death. And also to ask Fandral to perform a special favor for him.
When Sif returns home, she finds that Bill looks strangely tired. He says that he "assisted the Avengers in a skirmish with some creatures known as Dire Wraiths. It was nothing." See the Chronological Considerations section for more on that.
Since they're going to be staying on Earth for a while, Bill is lucky to have his civilian identity.
Fandral heads to Chicago to act on Thor's favor. He heads to the former office of Donald Blake, and pays his loyal staff (sitting around there for who knows how long) their severance in gold coins, and also gives them little Mjolnir charm necklaces.
I'm not sure if it's the charms or an unrelated spell, but Fandral also says that they'll soon lose their memories of Dr. Blake. The charms seem like the obvious choice, but what's the value in wiping the memories of just his staff? I guess because they would have been closest to him.
(The names of the Blake's office crew are Mrs. Barclay, Nurse Stevens, and Shawna Lynde. They've appeared previously in issues where Donald Blake was operating in Chicaco, from around Thor #314-334.)
Back in Asgard, Thor decides to ride off into the snowy wilderness to grieve for his father. But Hela, watching from afar, kills his horse and buries him in an avalanche.
This was a nice "aftermath" issue.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The beginning of this issue takes place directly after the end of Thor #353. But when Sif gets back to Midgard, she finds that Beta Ray Bill has fought alongside the Avengers in the Wraith War depicted in ROM #65. Considering that Avengers #249 took place during the Casket saga, and the Wraith War takes place during Avengers #255 (according to the MCP), there's got to be a big gap in there somewhere. MCP finds a gap between pages 10 and 11 of this book, and also places Thor's appearances in Thor annual #13 and Marvel Team-Up #148 in the gap. For my broader-stroke reading order purposes, i'm treating the first 10 pages as flashback and placing this issue according to the second half of the book, but it's ugly; they should have never had Bill make that stray comment about fighting the Wraiths (frankly, his comment - "I assisted the Avengers in a skirmish with some creatures known as Dire Wraiths. It was nothing." - makes a mockery of the destruction and epic battle that was depicted in the ROM issues).
Crossover: Casket of Ancient Winters
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showBalder, Beta Ray Bill, Brenda Barclay, Fandral, Frigga, Heimdall, Hela, Hildy, Hogun, Karnilla, Loki, Lorelei (Norse Goddess), Nurse Stevens, Shawna Lynde, Sif, Thor, Volstagg
So what is the fate of Odin this time anyway? Is it those Egyptian deities again? Or did someone get the Odin Power to fuel their civilization? Or just a vacation for Odin?
Posted by: david banes | September 30, 2014 11:17 PM
Egyptian deities again:
Posted by: Michael | October 1, 2014 12:11 AM
An here I was just kidding about that.
One hand: I'd like to think if Walt got to stay longer on the title he'd have given an awesome reason for Odin's disappearance.
Posted by: david banes | October 1, 2014 1:01 AM
A very nice coda for the Don Blake years. A great scene with Fandral walking down the street alone, playing with the placard.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 25, 2015 8:56 AM
There's a reference this issue I don't understand. When Thor's beating the crap out of Hela, he yells she's taken innocents that deserved better at the hands of death than to be hidden away in the dank and clammy halls of Hel! The footnote tells us "The full story was in issues #345-348!" But... those issues were Malekith's arc. Was the editor thinking of the Valhalla liberation story from 311 through 314?
Posted by: Mortificator | September 22, 2017 2:47 PM
Oh, I see, it was in 348 only where Malekith mentioned that the souls of those he's ensorclled are held by Hela.
Posted by: Mortificator | September 22, 2017 5:52 PM
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