Thor #10

J. Michael Straczynski returns this month with the Thor ongoing series and lays down a plot that has a bigger reveal than anything you could imagine even in the Secret Invasion series. Forget “Who can you trust?” it is better to ask, “Is Balder really the son of Odin?” I’m also excited because Coipel returns to the series and brings with him his artistic ability that I have grown accustomed to with Morales and Martin adding colors that compliment his pencils very well. Straczynski also reminds us that Thor’s ongoing series isn’t all about the Lord of Asgard himself and more so about Asgard as well.

Thor #9 was the start to things, but the real deceptions started way back when Loki was first unleashed on the world when Thor accidentally freed her while combating the Destroyer who was being piloted by Balder. Well, we are getting to the climax of that story as Balder is faced by Loki with a new truth about his identity and his role within Asgard itself; he is the son of Odin by Frigga and a Prince of Asgard. Even more shocking is that Thor has known this for a long time and has held this secret in part because of what it meant in the “old” Asgard and Ragnarok. Balder apparently was a huge key or cog in the wheels of Ragnarok. If Balder had died before Ragnarok then all the Gods would have died and Odin’s lineage would have been ended.

Of course Loki is there as the constant deceiver to what ends is a complete mystery, but it’s definitely a soap opera that has a lot of fans intrigued as Thor’s ongoing series rolls off shelves. Of course Loki wants Balder to confront Thor about this truth, which is an actual truth. Thor fully admits to this. He and Odin was in agreement about one thing and that was Balder needed to be protected. Even funnier to see Loki try to weave her deceit as she uses the fact that as her former self she did not use this knowledge to her advantage, but the smart reader has to ask, what advantage? She kills Balder, she kills herself. This little retelling of Balder’s lineage by Straczynski brings Marvel’s tale of the Asgardian gods closer to their real world counterparts.

One problem with Straczynski’s retelling of Balder’s role in the Ragnarok cycle. Balder has actually died before in the Marvel continuity. (Thor vol. 1, #274 - 275, 301 – 302) Loki actually tricks Hoder, a blind go into killing Balder. Odin restores Balder, but he did die.

The next step in this whole ordeal is for this information to be made public. This is something Loki is pushing for and actually gets Balder to take her up on her offer as a counselor. I don’t have the slightest clue what Straczynski is up to with this one, but I am looking forward to what he has up his sleeve for this ongoing and how this will all ultimately play out with the Secret Invasion and/or around it. It’s an interesting situation because I really don’t want to see Marvel force upon Straczynski the idea of infusing tie-in stuff for the Secret Invasion series on The Thor series. I wonder if this is why they have a separate couple of books being written for the Secret Invasion, I guess we will find out how Asgard and Thor’s involvement with the Secret Invasion ties into that all with Secret Invasion: Thor #1and Thor #11.

If there were anything I had to complain about for this series would be the small breaks from the main story to the side story of how Asgard is integrating into the world around them. It’s an interesting soap opera look, but the breaks just do not come off well. That’s my opinion and I would not want to find anything wrong with this series, but it just did not come across well. I hope you are enjoying Thor as much as I am. Until next time, or next month when we get a whole lot more of Thor in the Marvel Universe. You watch and see how many appearances he has. Marvel definitely wants everyone to know Thor has returned.

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