Wednesday, November 24, 2010

History of the Marvel Universe: November 1965, part 2


Thor quickly recovers from the blow that laid him out at the end of the last issue and continues the fight, slowly getting the upper hand over Crusher Creel because of his agility and sheer courage.

But Loki has been keeping an eye on the armies of Asgard and realizes that most are on patrol. With only a skeleton force guarding Odin’s palace, he decides its time for a coup. He zaps Crusher to Asgard and the two attack the palace.

Meanwhile, Thor spots Jane in a window and saves her just as she’s passed out from smoke inhalation. (She caused a gas explosion to get his attention.) He turns into Dr. Blake to treat her, allowing Jane’s hooded captor to get a picture of this.

The captor turns out to be Harris Hobbs, the reporter who was around in the first Absorbing Man story. Hobbs tries to blackmail Thor for information—he wants the scoop of the lifetime. This doesn’t work when Thor threatens to just send him back to the distant past or the far-flung future and just leave him there.

All this is great storytelling and an excuse to allow Jack Kirby to draw first some dinosaurs and then a futuristic landscape where a dead Earth is about to collide with another planet. It all looks magnificient.

Anyway, Thor and Hobbs mutually agree to a trip to Asgard, though Hobbs will have his memory wiped afterwards. He’s satisfied with this—he’ll get his scoop even if he can’t writer about it, or even remember it. I’m not sure if the logic behind that holds up, but if you’re silly enough to try to blackmail a god, I guess you have to take what you can get.

Back on Asgard, Loki and Crusher beat down some Asgardian Red Shirts and confront Odin. Odin zaps Crusher with his cosmic-powered scepter, but the villain simply absorbs this. As the issue ends, it appears that Odin is in real trouble.

This is another great issue—both Thor’s quick trip through time and Crusher’s fight with the Asgardians look typically great. Hobbs is pretty good character and it’s too bad he didn’t catch on enough to become at least a semi-regular in the Marvel Universe. His plan to blackmail Thor was a bit rotten, but he impresses the Thunder God with his courage and proves to be a decent person at heart.

The Tales of Asgard story shows us Thor and the Warriors Three fighting Loki and the rest of the mutinous crew, ending when Balder (still mounted on the figurehead) begins to sound a large horn in a mysterious effort to save the ship from the maelstrom. These bite-sized chunks of Kirby’s awesome art continue to be a delight.


Iron Man takes advantage of his greater agility and the new weapon Happy brought him to hand Titanium Man his titanium butt. Happy is rushed to the hospital and it’s uncertain if he’ll live. And Senator Byrd and now Pepper Potts now hold Tony in contempt because he wasn’t around while Iron Man and Happy were risking their lives.

With Happy’s injury, Pepper has finally admitted she loves him, which finally leaves the awkward and poorly done romantic triangle behind. In fact, the new twist of having everyone dump on Tony because he seems to be uncaring about his friends is a lot more interesting.

Meanwhile, Cap finishes up his World War II flashback as he shakes off the effects of the sleep gas sooner than the Nazis expected. They beat up a lot of Nazis. The traitorous scientist’s sister sacrifices her life to save them. The scientist switches sides and fires the V-2 rocket at the Nazi troops besieging Cap’s Ranger unit, saving them. He then blows up the castle, himself and the Nazis. Only Cap and Bucky escape.

These WWII flashbacks have been a ball, featuring some great action sequences. Next issue, Cap will return to the present, but he won’t quite be done with dealing with Nazis yet, as a series of secret weapons left over from the war are activated.

That’s it for now. Next week, we’ll finish up November with a peek at the Avengers, Namor, Hulk and the X-Men.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...