Issue(s): Thor #312, Thor #313, Thor #314
Excepting Loki and Karnilla's attack on Thor using the Snow Giant in issue #308, and the Tales of Asgard back-ups (and yes, that's a lot of excepting), Thor's book has been focused on non-Asgardian themes for the past year. That changes with these issues, which have Tyr, the god of war, going after Thor. Tyr has, for all intents and purposes, not really been used before, and it's kind of disappointing to see him starting off here with a crush on Sif and the resultant jealousy of Thor.
Sif shows no hint of interest in him so it totally makes him out to just be a creepy guy. Sif instead is dutifully hanging out near some Golden Arches to prepare for whenever Thor gets around to bringing her to Earth.
Tyr makes Vizier dig up some obscure and never-mentioned-before Asgardian rule that it requires a vote of the majority of gods on hand to allow a god to travel to Midgard, and petitions Odin to say that Thor is in violation of it. Odin feels bound to agree, and allows Tyr to bring Thor back to Asgard for a vote.
This is all very odd. Asgard has always been depicted as an absolute monarchy under the rule of Odin. That there would be a law on the books saying that the gods got to vote on something sounds off, even if you accept that this is a law that no one ever wanted to bring up before during all of Thor's previous visits to Midgard.
Tyr's arrival on Earth happens after Donald Blake's preliminary hearing at the clinic about the boy that died last issue.
The final decision is postponed because the nurse that could attest to the fact that the boy didn't die for lack of Blake's help is currently unavailable. But clinic head Lionel Jeffries' attitude makes it clear which way the pendulum is swinging.
Tyr attacks without explanation, pretending like Thor was resisting arrest. Frankly, Tyr is not presented as anything close to a match for Thor, and that's even after Tyr stole a magic mace (actually a flail) from Odin's private collection.
Thor destroys the flail, and then Tyr's sword, and then handily knocks Tyr out.
But he decides to bring Tyr back to Asgard to find out what the heck he was talking about.
Back in Asgard, Odin sends the Valkyries off to attack Hela in order to reclaim Valhalla.
When Thor arrives in Asgard, Sigyn informs Loki (see some notes in the Considerations section below).
Sigyn correctly thinks that Loki would prefer that Thor remain on Midgard, so he's happy to vote for him to return. But he also sets in motion an (ultimately unnecessary) contingency plan. The plan involves letting a cavern troll that Thor once fought as a youth (and Loki subsequently bound) loose on Earth.
The idea is that Thor will find out about the trouble on Earth and head back there. However, the gods vote in favor of Thor's return, with Sif being the deciding vote. It also comes out that Tyr had been hitting on Sif. Odin almost has Tyr banished, but Thor intervenes, asking for mercy, so it's just declared that Tyr is "out of favor". Thor says goodbye to Sif (no talk of her returning with him as they had previously discussed) and then Thor heads back to defeat the troll, while Loki kicks himself for not saving the troll for a more opportune time.
And i don't know if this is meant to be ironic or what, but while Thor is fighting the troll...
...he finds himself protecting a young couple. The boy had received a better paying job in another city, but he's decided to stay with the girl because he loves her too much to leave her. When the battle is over, the lesson Thor takes from that is that he's needed on Midgard to protect people, instead of "it's better to give up your own desires for a career than leave the one you love". Weird.
And then a very weak conclusion to the clinic hearing. Budget cuts force Lionel Jeffries to cut headcount, and since Blake is least senior, he's the one to go. It's very strange to go with a "no fault" ending. Was Jeffries just letting Blake down easy? Is it worth pointing out that when this clinic was first introduced, it was said to be funded at least in part by Tony Stark? And was Blake really drawing a salary from these guys? The whole thing just has a "let's wrap this up quick" feel to it, presumably without damaging Blake with any malpractice charges.
The battle in Valhalla continues, with Hela's chief warrior Harokin causing the spirits of the valkyrie to rise up and fight against the Asgardians. Odin then rides into battle personally.
Odin faces off against Hela directly.
It soon comes out that the reason Hela took over Valhalla was because of the time when Thor was going to die but Odin sent Sif to plead for his life. Sif's emotions awoke emotions in Hela that could never be consummated, since everything she touches turns to death. Things got worse when Odin set in motion a false Ragnarok that robbed her of her rightful end times role. Odin gives her a talking to, and she relinquishes her hold on Valhalla.
Back on Earth, Donald Blake is trying to figure out what to do with himself now that he's no longer working for the clinic. He gets a call from an old classmate in Chicago, Shawna Lynde, and she invites him to speak at a conference in a month. Tony Stark also gives him a call, asking to meet for dinner next Thursday. But since that doesn't solve his immediate lack of something to do, Thor heads to Avengers mansion.
Hey Thor! If you're bored, i'm sure some drought-stricken farmers somewhere in the world wouldn't mind a visit!
Meanwhile, Moondragon has decided to track down her father, Drax the Destroyer. But Drax has decided to try to kill himself, since he's still not resolved the fact that he was created to destroy Thanos but Thanos was destroyed without his help. I still say Mentor really needed to do something here. But Drax's solution is to stick his head into a nest of space jellyfish.
And when Moondragon finds him, he's got jellyfish-head.
She brings him to Avengers mansion, and it's nice to see Moench pick up on the god talk between her and Thor.
But thanks to the jellyfish, Thor and Moondragon soon have to fight Drax.
It turns out the jellyfish has suicidal impulses of its own, since it was taken from its nest. But Thor is able to separate it from Drax's head, and Drax finds a new purpose in heading back out into space with his daughter to return the creature.
These aren't great stories. It's a poor introduction to Tyr, and there are a lot of cheap devices in these stories, from the law Tyr discovers to Loki's pointless release of the troll to the non-decision by the clinic council. Checking in with Drax was nice, and finally connecting him with his daughter was overdue, but the space jellyfish keeps their actual interaction to a minimum.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This has to take place after Avengers #212, where Donald Blake is still shown to be working at the West Side Medical Center. Regarding the Tales of Asgard back-ups, it is worth noting that the MCP place all of the back-ups prior to Thor #312 and also place the back-up for issue #307, which shows Odin ending Loki's attachment to Sigyn, prior to the back-up in issue #311. Presumably this is because Loki is shown back in Asgard in the main story in #312. But it's worth noting that he's not bound to Sigyn any more, and i'd rather say that he's been allowed to return to Asgard than say his handcuffs were temporarily removed (since, by the MCP's placement, they'll be back in in the back-up for #307)(and, per Michael's comment, it seems like you can't go by the hand-cuffs anyway). Even with that, some accounting needs to be done for Odin since he appears in both the main and back-up stories. But i still like the back-up stories taking place in the published order. It's pretty straightforward. Odin appears in the back-up for #311, re-forming the valkyries. Then he appears in the main story of #312, approving Tyr's travel to Earth. Then the back-up in #312, sending the valkyrie off to battle. Then the main story in #313 for Thor's trial. Then the back-up in #313 and #314, entering the battle against Hela directly. It may seem odd for Odin to be sitting in Asgard while his valkyrie are off fighting, but Odin is nigh omnipotent and i see him as capable of multi-tasking. Finally, it's only because of the back-ups that issue #314 is included in this entry; it's otherwise optional whether or not Donald Blake looking out the window in his apartment at the end of #313 is part of the same scene at the beginning of #314 and the Drax story is definitely unrelated to Tyr's.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showBalder, Drax the Destroyer, Enchantress, Fandral, Grimgerta, Harokin, Heimdall, Hela, Hildegarde, Hogun, Iron Man, Jarvis, Krista, Lionel Jeffries, Loki, Moondragon, Odin, Shawna Lynde, Sif, Sigyn, Thor, Tyr, Valtrauta, Vizier, Volstagg
Regarding the handcuffs, it gets complicated, since Loki's back in the handcuffs in Thor 321,so apparently they were temporarily removed.
Posted by: Michael | July 11, 2013 10:00 PM
Horrible use of Tyr. Not only is Tyr one of the greatest Norse gods and therefore should be the near equal to Thor, Tyr is also undoubtedly one of the most unselfish and noble gods in the myths because he alone was willing to lose his hand to Fenris so that the gods could bind Fenris and eliminate his danger to the Nine Worlds. Despite being a "god of war", Tyr is not like the Greek Ares at all, who is a selfish, destructive god.
Posted by: Chris | July 11, 2013 10:20 PM
Another Chronological Placement Consideration would be the apparent ignoring of Moondragon's status as an enemy in Avengers #211
Posted by: Scott | November 26, 2015 4:29 PM
Yeah, like Chris said, this is just a complete misuse of the Tyr character. Not only was his personality the exact opposite of what's shown in this arc, but his power level in relation to Thor is completely off. I guess Moench was just looking for a "name" character to use and decided Tyr was enough of a blank slate that he could give him this "obsessed with Sif" motivation and not overwrite anything established in Marvel continuity... even if it flew in the face of everything that Norse mythology had to say. I really think it would have been much better if Tyr were somehow under a spell of Loki's, even if that would have invalidated the "carrying a torch for Sif" aspect. Tyr should have come out of this storyline as a strong ally of Thor, not the weasel he's depicted as here.
I also need to re-acquaint myself with Marvel's "Nine Worlds" cosmology and how it differs from the actual canon (though it isn't fully clear there, either). At the end of their confrontation, Odin tells Hela to return to "Niffleheim." Spelling aside, Niflheim and Hel (where Hela rules) should be completely separate places. I assume he meant "Nilfhel," which is the lowest level of Hel.
Posted by: Dan H. | November 29, 2015 10:51 AM
I'd need to recheck as well, but I seem to remember that either the original or deluxe OHotMU placed the kingdom of Hel in the world of Niffleheim.
Posted by: Mortificator | November 29, 2015 12:19 PM
The troll looks like the Abomination.
Posted by: The Small Lebowski | December 23, 2017 9:11 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|