September 11, 2009

Ye Olde School Cafe’: Thor: The Eternals Saga pt 1

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Written by: Billy
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yeoldschoolWelcome to the inaugural edition of  Ye Olde School Cafe. This weekly column will focus on pre-1990 trades and graphic novels. I am going to start off  with one of my all time favorites, Thor: The Eternals Saga. The story is by Roy Thomas with pencils by Simonson, Buscema and Pollard (and a big assist from Jack Kirby). I am going to break this one down over four columns! In my opinion this story had a HUGE impact on Thor and the Marvel U. To preface, at this stage in Thor’s life, he has had many great adventures, trials and tribulations, but nothing like what was coming in this epic story. There have been certain things that Odin has kept from his son. The biggest secret being that the person Thor was raised to believe was his mother really isn’t! I’m sure there are many people who could not imagine that happening to them. Recently, Thor has seen one of his best friends killed right before his eyes – the great Balder the Brave who was inadvertently killed due to some mischief from, you guessed it, LOKI! Now that is really just in the backdrop of the beginning of this story.

87450080433_1First, for me personally, I didn’t know much about the main players involved but boy did I find out about them in fantastic fashion. Primarily you have The Eternals; a race of super beings shrouded in mystery. Secondly we have The Deviants, their evil counterparts. Lastly the vastly powerful Celestials  – the entities responsible for creating the Eternals and Deviants. So after the story catches you up to speed with Balder, we see Thor in an unusual position of feeling very confused about pretty much everything in his life; so he consults Mimir, a fiery head that sees all past and possible future events. Thor quickly discovers things that were kept from him, such as a time of extraordinary adventures from years ago with the Eternals and a Deviant monstrosity named Dromedan. He sees how he first stumbled upon this Deviant beast, then after a short tussle with some of the Eternals he agrees to join them on several adventures.  It is revealed at the end of these good times that the Eternal Valkin erases Thor’s memories of all these events. Upon learning this Thor gets furious for two reasons: 1) because his past was kept from him, and 2) he learned that these Celestials send a “host” every fifty years to judge mankind, and if they are judged not worthy they are blasted back into the stone age. Thor then realizes that the fourth of these so called “hosts” is standing on Earth right now and he is nearing his judgment! Yeah and that’s just Thor Annual #7 and issue #283!!!

The next two issues pretty much focus on Thor trying once again to get some answers from his father, and basically he tells Thor zilch. It also deals with Thor confronting the Celestial host. He then learns of their awesome power, and decides to try and gain access to a dome that is below the giant space god – this time Thor uses his brain instead of brawn. Once inside, he uses his alter ego Dr. Donald Blake to see what is transpiring inside. After recognizing an Eternal, who now is worshipped as an Incan God, he soon changes back to Thor and stops a Deviant spy and a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, as well as Ajak the Eternal. He also seems to remember the name of one of the inhabitants of this dome; an archaeologist who had disappeared three years ago. After speaking with the doctor, Thor decides to go and find two other Eternals, Ikaris and Sersi, to help aid him in his fight against the Celestials.  From here, Thor meets up with a mutate named Karkas while searching the apartment where they are supposed to be. Karkas shows Thor that Ikaris was abducted, along with the archaeologist’s daughter, and taken to a Deviant stronghold underground.  Sersi then reveals herself to have been hiding all along in the apartment, so all three of them go dashing into the stronghold; and (after some trickery from Sersi) they gain the upper hand, sending the Deviant warlord Kro packing. During this fiasco we also see Odin send Lady Sif and The Warriors Three on separate secret missions, even though they beg Odin to go and help their good friend Thor. Meanwhile Thor and his new friends (or old depending on how you look at it) embark on a mission to Olympia to try and beg Zuras (the prime or first Eternal) for help in fighting off the Celestial’s judgment.

Whew!! Wow, and that is just about half of Volume 1 folks!  This story speaks volumes about the father/son dynamic on some basic levels, so even non-comic readers could get something out of this. How many of us ever fought or disagreed with our parents? Better yet did you ever boldly defy them? If you have then this story is for you. It is a tale of wondrous other worldly adventure, but still in the end tells a simple story. Next week it’s an “Assault on Olympia”, Thor vs. the Forgotten One (a.k.a. Gilgamesh) and vs. his father Odin! Good luck Goldilocks!

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Marie

    Great article Billy! The website looks awesome!

  2. Heck of an article Billy! Can’t wait till next week!

  3. Ye hath done well!

  4. Jeff Jackson

    Billy, you’re writing is like your ability to play Contest of Champions.


    (You thought I was gonna say it sucks.)

  5. Terry

    billy, nice piece of writing. You’ve piqued my curiosity. i’ll be looking forward to future columns.

  6. The Movie Lady

    Wow! Lots of action going on… I can really see why you like it. Great article!

  7. Tom

    Excellent review! I can’t wait to find out what happens in volume 2!

  8. Kiki

    Great way to start off! Wonderful writing, and done from the heart! Keep up the great column!

  9. Kelly

    This is great, Billy. I can’t wait for part 2!

  10. […] 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 […]

  11. […] […]

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