Issue(s): Thor #260, Thor #261, Thor #262, Thor #263, Thor #264, Thor #265, Thor #266
We even get some Krakadooms and Krakabooms.
Storywise, this over-long arc is the conclusion to the Quest For Odin/Viking Gods In Space arc as well as the storyline back in Asgard where it was once again under seige.
The Warriors Three outfit their viking ship with some high tech guns taken from the animal pirates' boat (which kinda defeats the awesomeness of being in space in a low-tech viking ship)...
...and then the Asgardians head to the Doomsday Star where Odin is said to be.
Outside the star, the Asgardians find a graveyard of discarded totems, some of which look quite a lot like Celestials...
...and they then discover that the Star is protected by a giant wall.
Inside the wall are the, erm, Soul-Survivors.
The Asgardian team is split up, with Thor and Sif captured by the Soul-Survivors, and the Recorder and the Warriors Three presumed dead but actually still alive.
The Soul-Survivors story is as follows: they were a happy race that worshiped huge god-statues...
...until their planet was attacked by a vast armada. "They were of different races... Skrull.. Badooon... Aakon... Kree... but they spoke in one voice... and their words were our confederation's epitaph!".
It's not said why they attacked except "to destroy that which they could not understand". But their god-statue created the huge wall around their planet, which repelled the armada. However, the effort expended their god's energy, so the planet's inhabitants searched the universe to find more "gods" to power their planet. As those gods got used up, they got dumped in the graveyard the Asgardians saw earlier. Odin is the latest god to get caught by the Soul-Searchers.
The Asgardians of course fight to rescue their liege, with Volstagg showing unusual bravery...
...but one of the Soul-Searchers, K'rll, absorbs the power of Odin, becoming a Simonson-Monster.
Everybody fights the creature...
...but Volstagg demonstrates some unusual abilities...
...and is able to defeat K'rll. It turns out that Odin had transferred a portion of his powers to him.
During the fight with K'rll, Thor's hammer fails to return to him. It happened earlier in the arc as well, and Thor realizes it happens when he's fighting someone with the Odin force. I wonder if that was meant to explain a much earlier discrepancy with Thor's hammer during the fight with Infinity in Thor #186, but there's no reference.
With K'rll defeated, "Templeworld" has to be evacuated. Odin enters the Odinsleep and the Asgardians begin the journey home.
Meanwhile, Balder dresses up like a common soldier and heads out to inspect the Enchantress and Executioner's army. Standard technique. But it turns out that the army is entirely made of automatons. Whoops!
So Balder winds up in a fight with the Executioner. Things are going fairly well and Balder even destroys the Executioner's axe...
...but the Executioner is then buffed by the Enchantress, turning the fight around.
But Balder has a sorceress too.
But then a fake Thor, sent by Loki, shows up to scold Balder.
So when the Asgardians return from Templeworld with Odin in tow, guess who they find on the throne.
It's disappointing for Loki to be involved, again. We haven't seen much of the Enchantress and the Executioner in a while and it would have been nice for them to have been running their own scheme rather than acting as lackeys of Loki. Instead they wind up falling down a pit halfway into the Loki part of the story and aren't seen again.
Another lackey is Kroda the Duelist, not seen since the Silver Age Tales of Asgard, and he's got two new friends as well.
Thor, Sif, and the Recorder try to go to Karnilla to find out what happened to Balder...
...and Sif gets paralyzed with fear facing a troll on the way there...
....but Karnilla actually doesn't know what happened to Balder. So they go back to Asgard, and Thor gets attacked by the Destroyer.
Karnilla is recruited to help in the fight against the Destroyer but she changes her mind when she learns that the Destroyer is powered by Balder's soul. But eventually Thor winds up in the Destroyer armor.
Luckily for Loki, the Warriors Three stop Kroda's group from killing Odin...
...so Odin is able to wake up and stop the Destroyer in time.
Yet another Asgard takeover is tedious enough, but this arc is way too long even ignoring the fact that it feels like a re-run. Especially after the very nice episodic issues dealing with the Asgardians in space, suddenly switching gears into a seven issue "epic" that boils down to "Odin is rescued and Loki is repelled from the throne again" is hard to take. Simonson's art is nice, and Wein provides a number of good character moments, but this should have been half as long.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Thor has been in space since issue #255 and shouldn't appear in other books during that period, although it's said during the Korvac saga that the Collector has been pulling Thor out of the timestream to help the Avengers while he was unavailable.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showBalder, Destroyer (Asgardian armor), Enchantress, Executioner, Fandral, Hogun, Karnilla, Kroda the Duelist, Loki, Odin, Recorder, Sif, Soul-Eater, Thor, Volstagg
I love that Volstagg stood up to the monster even though he had no clue about his powers.
Posted by: david banes | April 13, 2014 2:11 AM
Walter Simonson was only doing layouts on these issues instead of finished pencils, which is why it doesn't look as much like his work.
Posted by: Ben Herman | September 15, 2016 10:14 PM
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