Friday, August 27, 2010

Thor's Day 7: If I Should Die Before I Wake

Mighty Thor 343 opens with Fafnir once again attacking the city of New York. He quickly calls out Thor, unaware that the god of thunder is nowhere near the city.
Apparently dragons can talk with their mouth full.
Still with the last viking Eilif, Thor promises the old man that he will help him reach Valhalla. His chariot and Valkyrie’s flying steed come to take the two warriors forward on their quest. In an interesting bit of style change, we follow the mind of Eilif as he follows Thor on their quest.

Some amusement comes when after all these issues the mighty forged blade is finally finished and given a cool name at the time that now carries a bit more baggage:

And look how it sparkles!
The battle Thor leads Eilif in to, is quite conveniently the fight with the dragon Fafnir. The fight is not unlike something that could be found in Marvel’s Godzilla series of the previous decade as the heroes try to fight off the seemingly unstoppable monster.

Eilif uses the last of his strength to pierce Fafnir’s back with his spear, the first wound the great dragon has suffered in the battle. With his hammer, Thor drives the spear deep in to Fafnir’s body. He eliminates the threat of the dragon with a few more mighty blows.

Eilif is dead, and Thor summons the lightning to light the remains left by Fafnir’s rampage. A true viking funeral for the last viking, even as the image of the fully healthy Eilif appears briefly to fly over the battlefield.

As Sigurd Jarlson, Thor contemplates Eilif’s death. But his ponderings are interrupted by a visit by the young woman he saved a few issues before, Melodi. Of course, Melody is secretly Lorelei. Where this new relationship leads will be a question for future issues.

This is easily Walt Simonson’s best issue so far. All his plot points come together perfectly while still setting up future conflicts. This may be his best issue artwise as well. For the first time, we have went from just a good solid comic to something that feels like it could be big and wondrous.

Next: “What Happened to Balder the Brave?”

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