Thor annual #11
Issue(s): Thor annual #11
This is really just a number of Tales of Asgards following the development of Thor from pre-birth to adulthood.
It starts with Odin coming down and telling Jord, aka Gaea, that he'd like to make a baby with her. She seems ok with that.
Later, we see a young Thor and Odin sitting at the throne of Odin. Loki is playing with ball-in-a-cup and is already a little schemer.
The kids want to hear the story of how Odin got his spear, Gungnir. And Odin agrees to tell that story. So it's flashbacks within flashbacks here. Odin explains how his spear was created by dwarves, and then when his story's finished he leaves Gungnir leaning by the throne where Loki can't resist messing with it. In punishment for that, Odin sends words to the dwarves to create three new treasures, none of which will be for Loki. The gifts include a living golden boar...
...a golden arm band that produces gold coins periodically, and Mjolnir.
It's worth noting that we are back to Mjolnir having been created by Eitri the dwarf. For a while in the 70s, everyone - even Thor - was saying that it was created by Geirrodur the troll. Surprising that this wasn't addressed in the annual here.
Much later, after Thor has earned his hammer, it's shown that the first time he used it was against a horde of Boar Gods.
The next story explains why Sif's hair was blond in her first appearance but black later. Answer: Loki. The basics of this story are from Norse myth.
Loki is just a jerk. Even to fish.
Next we have Thor's first journey to Earth, where he revels in the worship of the vikings...
...until he finds out they are slaughtering defenseless priests.
At that point he withdraws from Midgard and forsakes all worship. And later he becomes a prideful pain in the ass in Asgard, so Odin decides to send him to Earth as Donald Blake to learn humility.
It might have been nice to use the annual to clarify a few more things in the Marvel Asgardian mythos, like what was done for Sif's hair, but this was a fun way to spend an annual.
Especially since they are the only characters appearing outside of flashback, i should note a discrepancy in the naming of the Norns. In this story they are named Urd, Skuld, and Verdanda, which are the actual names of the Norns in Norse myth (except Verdanda is really Verdandi and all are correctly spelled with diacritics). But in Thor #200, which i think is the only other time they've been named, they use variant spellings of the Greek fates (Klothos and Laecius; the third is not named). The MCP lists them by their Greek names as i have in the Characters Appearing section below. But they actually don't list them as appearing in these issues; i'm hoping that's because it's a weird issue with tons of flashbacks and not because these Norns are somehow considered different than the Norns that have appeared elsewhere due to them having the "correct" names. I'm assuming they're the same ones. I now list the Norns/Fates with both the Greek and Nordic names.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The presence of the Norns' framing sequence allows this to be placed by publication date. Otherwise it's a collection of Tales of Asgard type stories that would all take place earlier than Marvel Comics #1 and outside the scope of this project. Beyond that, it doesn't matter exactly when in 1983 this is placed unless there's a scene somewhere around this time of Thor celebrating his birthday.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
They're also called "Urd, Skuld and Verandi" in New Mutants Special Edition 1.
Posted by: Michael | August 4, 2013 4:50 PM
Odin's line to Jordan about an heir whose power surpasses Asgard might to back up my argument about how Thor could resist the Demogorge. I don't think I came up with that on my own, though: is it a plot point in Atlantis Attacks, perhaps? I know Thor takes on Set in that story, and I dimly recall Demogorge getting mentioned, if not putting in an appearance. Or perhaps something in the handbooks planted the thought in my head.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | August 9, 2013 9:57 PM
No, it's not a plot point in Atlantis Attacks. Basically, the heroes get thrashed by Set, so Thor goes to Demogorge for help.
Posted by: Michael | August 9, 2013 11:13 PM
Seeing that you put this just before the start of the Simonson run, I sort of wonder if this was made as a bit of a reminder of who Thor was prior to what he was going to do with it. Yeah it's a weird positioning but it sort of just works in my head with where you put it.
Not to mention the counter-balance of your positioning of the "coda for Donald Blake" just before Simonson removes him completely, it really is a nice way of saying "say farewell to the human identity, now here's some stuff you should know about Thor...before he meets a horse alien in space that takes his hammer".
Posted by: Ataru320 | August 10, 2013 6:21 AM
For the record the Thor Epic Collection volume 12 places this story (which is written by Alan Zelenetz) after the last monthly Zelenetz story but before the first Simonson story, so where you have it in your project synchs up with Marvel.
Posted by: Jeff | November 20, 2016 7:10 PM
This has always bugged me and I figured if anyone knew, it would be someone here:
What is the blonde ponytail on Loki's helmet supposed to be? I may be imagining, but I thought I read that it was the hair he cut off Sif. Goggle brings up no information on this. Before he cuts Sif's hair in this issue, his helmet doesn't have the ponytail on it.
(I do like the occasional history lesson-type Annual like this)
Posted by: bigvis497 | September 7, 2017 9:37 AM
Looking at the Boar Gods, that design would be great for the human mascot of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Pig suey!
Posted by: Brian Coffey | April 3, 2018 12:36 AM
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