Dead Sert

Thor: Death of Odin: written by Dan Jurgens; illustrated by Stuart Immonen, Jim Starlin, and others (2001; collected 2008): Dan Jurgens and Stuart Immonen were longtime members of the Superman family of comics creators over at DC in the 1990’s. Their take on Thor is definitely Supermanesque, with the God of Thunder having secret identity problems galore.

Oh, and he also gets a self-styled ‘cousin’ who wears a distaff version of his costume and hammer and calls herself Thor Girl. She’s actually a shape-changing energy being, though that, too, has its antecedent in 1980’s Superman mythology and its bizarrely rebooted Supergirl/Matrix.

It all makes for light, mostly enjoyable superhero stuff. Odin is his usual pontificating, dopey self (a tradition continued from the Lee/Kirby Thor of the 1960’s). Ragnarok/Gotterdammerung looms. The Muspelheimian fire giant Surtur again threatens the Earth. Thor is once again mortal for awhile as a punishment from Odin (a punishment which crops up metronomically every four years or so in the Thor comic book).

Much thee-ing and thou-ing occurs. A heavily inked Jim Starlin draws one issue. The Enchantress once again tries to get into Thor’s pants. Hercules shows up for comic relief. Volstagg is still really fat. Dire future events are foretold should Thor become the ruler of Asgard. Balder and Sif have almost nothing to do. A new enemy from space threatens to kill off all the gods in the universe — given that we’re shown a bunch of awful, vindictive pantheons, I can’t say this strikes me as a totally bad idea. But the climax of that storyline will come after this collection. Hidey ho. Lightly recommended.

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