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April 10, 2011
 

Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: Odin & the Asgardians

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Written by: Billy
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Hello, and welcome to another great character spotlight in Marvel Snapshot! In this week’s edition, we’ll be taking a look at Odin, and some of the other prominent figures in Asgard, in preparation for the big movie coming up on May 6th. The trailers look awesome in my opinion (as far as the action and adventure aspects), and I can’t wait to go see it opening weekend. I for one am a huge fan of Thor (from a mythological standpoint as well as the comic book character), and can’t wait to see him and all of the Asgardians on the big screen. OK, now that that’s out of the way, lets get started with the All-Father, Odin himself, then we’ll move on to the supporting cast.

Odin

Odin was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in 1962, and was based off of the Norse Mythology version. Meaning that not only is he the leader of the Asgardians, but also the “All-Father.” In the comics, for a long time, most of Asgard was unaware that Odin wasn’t the first Asgardian, or the creator of everything around them. This all was revealed in Thor #294, during the Eternals Saga (my favorite story, coincidentally). We saw in this epic tale that Odin and Asgard’s origin were far different from what everyone had thought up until that point. Odin reveals that he had two brothers that apparently died in combat with Surtur. They then transferred their power to their brother Odin. Odin then defeated and banished Surtur to the center of the Earth. Later, Odin had an extramarital affair with Gaea, with the hopes that his son would be a part of Asgard as well as Midgard (Earth). His wife, Frigga, raised Thor as her own, but secretly hated Odin for the affair. Odin also had another son, but this one was adopted through war. He killed the Frost Giant, King Laufey, whose son Loki was hidden in the castle due to the fact that his father was ashamed of his small stature.

Odin has had his hand in many of Thor’s affairs as well as those of Midgard. He helped stop the Celestial’s judgment, and he fought the Absorbing Man after he absorbed almost all of Asgard’s power. He even went as far as to pluck out one of his eyes to learn knowledge from Mimir about Ragnarok, and the possibility of stopping or delaying it. Odin’s biggest accomplishment to date has to be stopping Surtur from destroying Earth, but it was with a heavy price. Odin died in the conflict, and his power, “The Odin Force,” was transferred to his son, Thor. Odin did make his presence known during Siege, when Osborn’s troops were just about to kill Earth’s heroes and claim Odin’s spear; Loki begged Odin to help and he did. He gave the heroes a power upgrade using the Norn Stones. The heroes were then able to defeat Osborn and his army of supervillains.

Next, let’s take a look at Thor’s mistress, Lady Sif! She’s definitely one of the women Thor has loved in his lifetime along with Jane Foster. The difference being that Sif is a fierce warrior from Asgard, and Jane is just some chick that works in Donald Blake’s office. Sif is basically the top female warrior in Asgard, and can give Thor a run for his money. She’s stood by his side, but also inhabited the Destroyer Armor, and smacked Thor around. Her loyalties definitely lie with Asgard first and foremost.

Heimdall

Sif’s brother, the ever watchful Heimdall, is next on the list. He is the mighty warrior that guards Bi-Frost from intruders and his eyes can see an enemy coming from miles away. He is typically seen standing at the entrance to Asgard, and allowing no one, not even a banished Thor for a time, to enter without the permission of Odin himself. He is also usually seen wielding an axe of epic proportions to thwart any enemy! He has also been romantically linked to Amora the Enchantress.

Another main player in Asgard is Balder the Brave. Balder is actually Thor’s half-brother. Odin is his father as well, but Frigga is his mother instead of Gaea. Balder and Thor act as brothers would and always watch each other’s back. Balder for a time was romantically linked with Karnilla, Queen of the Norns. She is a sometimes evil sorceress that is madly in love with Balder. Odin has placed spells of protection on Balder because his death is thought to be the catalyst in bringing about Ragnarok. Balder actually ruled Asgard for a time in Thor’s absence (after Odin’s death).

Finally, we have Brunnhilda, the Valkyrie. She’s as tenacious and battle tested as any woman in Asgard or Midgard, and she’ll be happy to prove it at the drop of a hat, too! She was chosen by Odin himself to be the Valkyrie that brings the souls of the dead from battle that have been deemed worthy of entrance to Valhalla. Valkyrie has been part of the Defenders team, and has also aided the Avengers. Her fighting prowess is only matched by one other woman, Sif.

Well, that’s all for now, but if you’re looking for Thor, the Warriors Three, Balder the Brave, or Loki, click on the links and you’ll get even more Asgardian greatness! Don’t forget to head out to the theaters on May 6th, and as always, check below for my recommended reading list along with some great cover pics! See you next week!

Recommended Reading
Thor: The Eternals Saga – Tpb
Balder the Brave – Tpb
Thor: The Search for Odin – Tpb
Sif #1 (one-shot) (2010)
Loki – Tpb (2006)
The Warriors Three #1-4 (limited series) (2011)
Siege – Tpb (2010)

Editor’s Note: ComicAttack.net has been officially nominated for an Eagle Award! Please click here to vote for us in the “Favorite Comic Book Website” category (question #27). Thank you for your continued support!

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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