“The Odinson Boys Ride Again”
When we last left them Odinson Boys, Loki tried to teleport Thor to the war front. Thor grabbed on to Loki at the last second… and they both ended up in Hel. To their gratitude, Balder and Skurge arrived on the scene.
We start Thor #2 on a Demon Ghost Train – that’s my comic-inexperienced interpretation of it – that’s traveling through Hel. The train is traveling between Helheim and Niffleheim. Two people are on board, arguing about how the Dead were different when each of them had control of it. I am assuming, at this point, that their identities will be revealed later. As they travel, two much-bigger-than-other-descriptions-that-I-have-seen Goblins, **Fire Goblins!**, warn the prisoners to stop yapping.
Meanwhile, there is a touching reunion between Thor and Balder the Brave, his brother, in the ice land of Niffleheim. Both want to chat longer but standing in the open plains of Niffelheim is not wise, so deeper reminiscings are put on hold.
Balder and Loki’s meeting is not quite as friendly, however, since Loki “only murdered [Balder] a little” (his words) with mistletoe, some time in the past. Skurge the Executioner, who arrived with Balder, re-emphasizes the need to get out of the open… when Firepede-riding Goblins crash the reunion.
Imagine a Goblin, maybe 5-6 feet tall. This Goblin is *slightly* larger than the teeth of a giant Centipede. MADE ALMOST COMPLETELY OUT OF FIRE. And there are multiple units of Firepede-Goblin. That is what just showed up on the scene.
Apologies for the pun: all Hel breaks loose!
I’ll show myself out the door.
Skurge leads a desperate defense while Loki and Balder run back to Skurge’s truck. Thor is reluctant to leave: he doesn’t want to lose the boat he was on before Loki showed up and teleported them there. Loki stepped up and magic-propelled the boat out of immediate harm’s way, with Firepedes in close pursuit. The Goat – “Toothgrinder” – took over driving duties – no, that’s not a mistype! – while Thor and Thori counter-attack. It’s interesting to note that Thor, in an inner monologue, admits that he isn’t afraid of death or dying but he is extremely afraid of Hel.
Back at the fight, Thor notices that Goblin’s blood is melting his hammer, Thori is murderizing any Goblin that he comes along, happily, and Loki is indignant about the Goat driving.
Thor shatters his ax/hammer on what I think is a Fire Demon, who boasts about burning Thor next. Thor, “The New Model”, tells it that he no longer carries just one hammer: he calls down two more, to the delight of Thori. Suddenly, there is a gigantic magical blast – which amazes Thori even more – and a dark haired woman, riding what appears to be a skull-cycle, appears, telling the rest of the non-Goblins that Sindr, the Fire Queen(!!) is out there, gathering power.
Her name is Karnilla, an Asgardian sorceress who has betrayed/reunited with Asgard multiple times, seemingly. She notices the Odinson brothers, becoming shocked that Thor is in Niffleheim. She is also apparently dead. Loki adds his 2 cents into Thor and Karnilla’s conversation. Suddenly, Tyr shows up… and I’ll let you see the glory of Tyr’s arrival:
While Thor and Tyr reunite and Loki gets sicker from the Odinson hugging and boasting, Balder and Karnilla are meeting to the side: Karnilla and Tyr were searching for Sindr – the assumed “Big Baddie” – and some kind of Secret Meeting. They lost Sindr’s scouts in the northern Shadow Lands. This is not good, because there is a group meeting with some not-so-savory, powerful beings.
Sindr declares that Niffleheim now belongs to her!
Sindr’s Goblin armies have scattered Balder’s forces (according to her). Lady Allmoor objects but is burned; Blackbone is beheaded by Gar-toom for speaking out. The rest fall in line: Sindr now has “The Greatest Killers Who Have Ever Died” on her side!
At a camp fire, the Odinsons, Karnilla, and Loki argue about Sindr’s abilities to unite the tribal chieftains of Niffleheim (Spoiler alert: we just saw the answer). Skurge states the obvious: they need more allies. He proposes the Einherjar (the warriors of Valhalla) but Karnilla stops him: she not only doesn’t trust Loki hearing that info, she wants him dead (as do most of everyone else there). Thor spares Loki’s life – he takes responsibility for Loki’s presence there but promises to swing the ax himself if Loki betrays anyone in their group. Let’s just see how this goes, shall we?
To add to the tension, Tyr announces that they didn’t find the secret meeting location but they did discover that Sindr’s army has a “powerful new weapon”, on board that train that we saw at the very beginning of the issue… and the Goblins are afraid/in awe of it.
Balder lays out a simple-sounding strategy: steal this weapon and use it against Sindr. Thor, Balder, and Tyr embrace and have a merry time, while Skurge ponders going back to being a villain if the Odinson brothers keep this up, Loki just wants a hug, and Karnilla plots on different ways to kill Loki… in front of Loki.
Niffleheim, Away from the Camp Fire
Some time later, Balder and Thor have a conversation about the weapons and vehicles that Skurge found; Balder states that it’s not only the dead that end up in Niffleheim. While this is going on, Thori meets Tyr’s dino… and wants to marry it?
Loki catches up to Thor and warns him to not trust Tyr: Tyr’s been in Hel a long time and his allegiances may not be to the Living. Thor basically tells him to get lost.
We meet up with the Demon Train again. Outside, Karnilla and Skurge are flanking the train. Inside, the prisoners are singing, nearly word for word, the intro to the 3rd verse of Black Sheep’s “The Choice Is Yours”:
On his boat, under the bridge over a river, are Thor, Balder, Toothgrinder, Thori, and Loki. Thor unleashes his newest hammer, The Bomb Hammer, and blows up the bridge. A humorous couple of pages occur where the Goblins’ scream of fright line up with whoever is singing/rapping at the front of the train.
Unless the train itself is singing…?!!?
Skurge and Karnilla jump over the gap where the bridge was; the rest fly to where the train fell into the river. Named the Gjoll River, it is cold and venomous but Thor and Tyr endure both. As they reach the train and open the cage where the weapon is, Thor realizes that he might have just started another war.
Loki might have been right about Tyr, as he sees “his children” emerge from the waters:
This was jam packed with action, mainly with the fight with the Firepedes and the Odinsons. There were a couple of scenes where I couldn’t quite make out what was going on, mainly when Karnilla blasted her way onto the scene. We didn’t see Well Into The Future Thor but that’s not a bad thing, to be honest; there’s plenty going on within Niffleheim. I’m curious to see what ‘Thor #3’ brings, as there are now 4 legitimate Boss-level bad guys on the Playing Field, so to speak: Superpowered Juggernaut, Sindr, Fenris, and Hela. That feels like a lot for Thor, Karnilla, Tyr (doesn’t seem like he’s on Thor’s side, right now), Balder, Loki (can never trust him), Thori, and Toothgrinder to deal with!