I knew that going into Fear Itself that there was a chance that it would change the landscape of Thor and of the entire race of Asgardians as we know them. Marvel stated that the Asgardian God Of Fear, who was also known as “The Serpent,” had awoken. Right away I saw this as an event that would tie actual Norse myth into the current Marvel Universe. When I made this declaration, I was unaware of how correct I would be.
In the Norse myth it is during Ragnarǫk that Thor battles Jǫrmungandr, other wise known as “The Migard Serpent.” It is during this battle that Thor finally slays his nemesis but the venom from the serpent poisons Thor and he is only able to walk 9 steps before collapsing to the ground. The following picture is an artist’s rendition of the battle from Norse myth:
Marvel has always used the Norse myths as their basis for the Thor and Asgard that they created for their comics. There are constant references and nods to the actual myths. Marvel attempted to approach this epic battle in another way. Their Serpent was bested by Odin in combat many, many years ago. He is Odin’s brother and Odin banishes him to the center of Migard, a.k.a Earth. At the beginning of Fear Itself, the God of Fear, a.k.a. The Serpent, is released from his prison. This technically makes him a Migard Serpent.
Thor has to battle through the minions of The Serpent who are known as The Worthy. These individuals were given magical hammers that transformed them into Asgardian powered warriors. The Worthy were: Sin (The Daughter of the Red Skull,) The Hulk, Titania, The Juggernaut, The Thing, The Grey Gargoyle, Attuma and The Absorbing Man.
Thor made his way through these 8 Worthy and then battled The Serpent. Odin was against Thor from facing his own Uncle and wanted to raze the Earth to stop the God of Fear. Thor convinced Odin to give him and the mortals a chance to save their world. So Odin gave Thor the battle armor and the sword that stopped the Serpent before.
During the battle, Thor is separated from Mjolnir and it crash lands to the ground almost hitting Captain America. Thor deals the killing blow to The Serpent with the sword of Odin and they both fall to the ground as well. Odin catches Thor in his arms just before he hits the ground. Thor knows the prophecy and asks Odin if he “did it?” Odin nods but then says “No” repeatedly and more feverishly as Thor dies in his arms. Captain America reaches down and raises Mjolnir over his head as he yells “Avengers Assemble!” to gather the team of heroes to Thor’s side.
Now before anyone panics and questions me about how Captain America could pick up the hammer. Remember, the enchantment that Odin placed on the hammer was that “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” So it appears that Captain America is worthy to lift the uru weapon. Now there is precedent with this happening in the past. Back in the 1988, Marvel had a story arc where the Egyptian God Seth invaded Asgard. Thor and The Avengers battled the forces of the Egyptian God of Death. Steve Rogers was no longer Captain America at this point as he quit. The US Government replaced him with John Walker and gave him Cap’s costume and shield. Rogers created a new identity and costume, he was then known as The Captain. Thor did not understand why one of his closest friends had gone through the changes but did not have time to ask as they found themselves in the middle of a massive battle.
During the battle Thor is separated from Mjolnir and the hammer lands near The Captain (Gee, sound familiar?) The forces of Seth then swarmed Rogers and he reached down instinctively for the hammer. He then to his and Thor’s amazement, used the hammer to fight back the evil that was attacking him. Rogers then yelled at Thor to catch and tossed him Mjolnir. After the day was won, Thor and Rogers each placed a hand on Mjolnir and realized that they now shared a bond as very few have ever held the hammer.
Gotta say, Ka-Pwak is way better than any sound effects Adam West’s Batman ever had pop up on screen. So as we can see, Steve Rogers does have past history on his side in regards to Mjolnir. Now, I am by no means happy Thor is dead but I will say that if there is someone who I would want to have possession of the hammer, it is Captain America. He has the past with Mjolnir and with Thor, plus we know he would gladly return it to it’s rightful owner.
So now I will really rant. Marvel has announced that in The Mighty Thor #8, that a new Thunder God would be introduced to the Marvel Universe and his name is Tanarus. I tried researching Tanarus but all I could find is a possible reference that he is the Celtic God of Thunder. In actual Celtic myth the name of their God of Thunder is Taranis. The names are fairly close and this could be what Marvel has attempted to create.
Apparently not everyone is accepting of Tanarus, as I read a Marvel preview of upcoming comics and Loki seems to not trust him. In the blurb of teaser information I read, it stated that Loki is attempting to prove Tanarus is a fraud by enlisting the help of someone unexpected….Dr. Donald Blake. This is a shock as Blake used to be Thor’s human avatar and was the reason he was revived 6 years ago from “The Void,” a state of death like nothingness.
We have to remember that Loki is a young boy due to his latest re-incarnation and does not have memories of his past and what evil deeds he has done. Thor did however revive Loki and take take him under his wing, much to the dismay of Odin and the other Asgardians. I find it kind of ironic that Loki is now trying to revive his brother.
I am VERY upset that Marvel has killed off Thor, even though they did state that we will be able to follow his adventures as he battles evil in his state of death. This just reeks of cheap attention to me by killing off Thor, replacing him but still allowing him to be accessible to the reader. We know Thor will have to come back by next May as Marvel will want him alive and kicking for the push towards The Avengers movie but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.