August 17, 2010

Touring the Cosmos: Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter

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Written by: mike
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With The Thanos Imperative running in full gear, we are going to take a bit of a break from this series and look at one of the more obscure characters from the Marvel cosmos. I think that one of the best parts about the Marvel cosmic scene is that it is made up of many obscure characters. I mean, guys like Quasar, Adam Warlock, and Star-Lord are not exactly your household superhero names. But for some strange reason, these are (some of) the players that make the cosmic landscape so exciting and fresh.

A little while back, teased us with this promo pic:

From left to right: Quasar, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Nova, Silver Surfer, Ronan

I know, exciting isn’t it? Here you have some of the most powerful characters in the cosmos assembled into one team! Well, unfortunately for us, it is not the beginning of the Cosmic Avengers like many of us wanted to believe (well, for now anyway). Now of those six characters, we have seen five of them in action during The Thanos Imperative. Beta Ray Bill remains to be one of those little curiosities that we need to explore. This leads us to….

Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist(s): Kano, Alvaro Lopez, Javier Rodriguez
Covers: Patrick Zircher
Release Date: Aug.-Oct. 2009

At first glance, it may be hard to see why Beta Ray Bill fits into the cosmic scheme of things. I mean, we have this horse looking guy that wields a weapon given to him by Odin. Shouldn’t he be in Thor or in some sort of fantasy mythology book? Well, you may be right, but his origins are actually quite far from that. You see, Bill comes from a race called the Korbinites, and landed on Earth. After battling to a standstill with Thor, Bill was found to be worthy enough by Odin to be granted Stormbreaker, a mystical hammer with as much power as Thor’s own Mjolnir. Where’s the cosmic connection, you ask? Ol’ Bill is from an alien race, and all the while has been searching for a way to save his own Korbinite race from not one, but two extinctions. This quest leads us Godhunter, where Bill is looking for vengeance.

The first issue of the series sets the stage for the story. Bill teams up with Thor and asks him for help with defeating a menace that led his race into extinction. Thor knows the power of this menace, and refuses to help, pleading for Bill to abandon this journey. Bill insists on continuing his quest, and leaves Thor for space. In space, Bill makes a deal with Agent Brand of S.W.O.R.D. fame. In exchange for information he needs, Bill agrees to eliminate a threat that Brand wanted to take care of. Bill easily dispatches Voidian, the harbinger of annihilation, and continues toward his goal. Now, some of you may be asking, what exactly is his goal?

Enter, Galactus. The destroyer of worlds brought about the extinction of the Korbinites, and has thrown Bill into a quite a tizzy. After a glorious battle with Stardust, Bill realizes that he cannot defeat Galactus head on, but needs to outsmart him. Using Stormbreaker, Bill smashes the planet that Galactus was about to consume.

Now, being that this limited series is not even a year old, I’m not going to give away much more. Know that Bill faces his own moral demons, and encounters great loss during this series. It does end with a bit of relief, but is a great story about personal tragedy and inner demons, all the while encompassing star-spanning cosmos, huge battles, and many characters.

Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter is a really well done story. The artists put a lot of effort into getting as much detail into as many panels as they could, which is a must for a short story like this, with such a huge setting. Kano, Lopez, and Rodriguez put out some really nice work, which could match up with most of the mainstay cosmic books of today. Gillen, the writer, also put in a lot of feeling and emotion, and gave a generally monotone character a lot of life and color. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, but that may be because I am a cosmic geek. Unfortunately, I am going to suggest this book to fanboys only, purely because I don’t think that this book is for your average reader. The Thor (vol.1 337-339) reprints may add a little reading pleasure. Those who enjoy Thor and the cosmos may be some of the only ones that will read this.

Buy/ Fanboys Only/ Skip

Mike Parente



  1. I actually liked Beta Ray Bill more than Thor and he’s been getting a nice little push ever since Secret Invasion. Can’t believe I didn’t pick up Godhunter

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack, Comic Attack. Comic Attack said: Touring the Cosmos: Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter! #comics #scifi #thor […]

  3. Billy

    Great stuff Mike. I only have 1 issue of this book but rest assured, I’m buying the rest! I have a love/ hate relationship with BRB. On one hand, I really like him because he’s such a different character. On the othe hand, I don’t like the fact that he went toe 2 toe with one of my favorites, Thor I think of Thor being way more powerful than the average joe (not that BRB is average).

  4. Eli

    I love Beta Ray Bill! There aren’t many characters badder than Bill. Godhunter is a great series, and a pretty good look at his character. I’m excited to see him in The Thanos Imperative.

    And no Billy, he didn’t go toe to toe with Thor, he BESTED him!

  5. […] team of Nova, Gladiator, Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, Ronan the Accuser, and Quasar have invaded the Cancerverse and began the assault on Mar-Vell and […]



    • indeed he does!

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