September 25, 2011

Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: Beta Ray Bill

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Written by: Billy
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Hey everybody out there! It’s time for another great week in Marvel Snapshot! In this spotlight, we’ll see a being that proved himself worthy of lifting mighty Mjolnir itself, Beta Ray Bill! Yes, that horse-faced Korbinite that Odin deemed worthy of Asgardian praise will be featured in this edition on right now!

Back in the early 80s, Walt Simonson decided that Thor needed a shake-up, and who better to give that book one than a totally new character from a new species of beings in the Korbonites. When Thor is on a mission in space to find out why a spaceship is orbiting Earth, he cautiously boards a vessel named Skuttlebutt. The ship itself tries to attack the god of thunder, but it can’t stop him. Then the only passenger that is on the ship gets awakened out of suspended animation. The strange looking warrior sees Thor as a threat and fights him tooth and nail. Back then, when Thor would be without his hammer for sixty seconds, he would revert back to his alter-ego, Donald Blake. So after being separated from his hammer, he falls unconscious, and Bill picks up his cane and strikes it against the ship. He gets Thor’s powers and costume at this point. Both men are then brought to Asgard by Odin and fight to see who is most worthy to hold the hammer. Beta Ray Bill actually wins due to the fact that he can withstand more heat than Thor can in the end. Odin then decides to give Bill his own hammer, Stormbreaker, and Thor and Bill part as friends forever.

After that, Bill comes to the aid of Thor and the Asgardians a few times, but also the Avengers, against the mighty Surtur. Eventually, Bill fights against his brother Thor, as Thor has the “warrior madness” and tries to destroy the universe. A war with Skrulls, Shi’ar, and other races follows next, but then Bill returns to Asgard for Ragnarok. Thor ends up transporting him away, though, because he shouldn’t have to face their fate not being an Asgardian. Not long after that, Bill makes his first encounter with Galactus. This meeting would later lead to Bill searching out Galactus and trying to single-handedly kill him for devastating a planet that his people had inhabited. Bill attempts to starve Galactus, but the Silver Surfer shows him the error of his ways. Bill is then asked to join a group of super-powered beings to stop intergalactic threats. This team is dubbed The Annihilators. They have already faced down the threat of the Dire Wraiths (with the assistance of the Space Knights), and are on a collision course with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, The Avengers.

Well, there you have it. An abbreviated but good report on one of my favorite characters from Marvel’s cosmic scene that is currently kicking some butt! As usual, take a peek at my recommended reading list and some great shots of Beta Ray Bill below, and enjoy the rest of your weekend! See you next weekend!

Recommended Reading
Thor: The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill – Tpb
Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson vol. 3 – Tpb
Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta ray Bill – Tpb
Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter – Tpb
Annihilators – HC

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Is that a female Rom on the cover of Annihilators?

  2. Beta Ray Bill is so awesome! I really think that he could kick Thor’s ass if he needed to.

  3. Billy

    @Speech- Yes, and she gave the team a bit of a whoopin before they decided to fight together.
    @Nick- He has. Way back in Thor #337-339. 😉

  4. Eli

    Beta Ray Bill is a fantastic character with a funny name and a horse’s face. He was pretty good in Annihilators, and hopefully will be in Earthfall too. That Thor #337 cover is one of the all time greats, by one of the all time greats.

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