Friday, July 13, 2012

Flashback Fridays: The Ballad Of Beta Ray Bill TPB

     I found this Trade Paper Back at HeroesCon, at my own Comic Shop's booth.  It was well worth the five bucks I paid for it.  I have had one of the issues of this story for a long time.  It is the part where Odin creates the new Hammer Stormbreaker for Beta Ray Bill.  This is a cool old school Marvel tale brought to us by the excellent Walter Simonson.  His art and story are what I grew up on as a comicbook reader.  This was Thor in all the majesty and golden realm glamor.

     It starts with a threat from the stars and Nick Fury abducting Dr. Donald Blake to get Thor.  Soon Thor is enlisted to aid Fury and company.  From the initial investigation in space a battle in happening as a crash occurs and the alien craft now lies on Earth.  Thor meets  the craft's champion and in battle the Hammer of Thor changes the alien Beta Ray Bill.  A summons by Odin brings Bill to Asgard and strands Donald Blake on Earth unable to become Thor.

     This book has everything.  The Lady Sif plays a big part in this story and even a romance blossoms for her.  Odin plays a major part by realizing the honor of Bill and the dire need of his people in a space convoy.  These demons are chasing them after decimating the home planet.  Everyone except Bill is placed in suspended animation.  Beta Ray Bill is genetically changed and forever separated from his people, yet he is there to protect them.  All this leads to a great test of Thor and Bill as Odin decides if Mjolnir can belong to Bill through his twice defeat of Thor.  It is a great fight that shows the good being that Bill is as an living being.

     Events are foreshadowed here for a major Asgardian battle with a creature of their mythology.  It is also the start of another Loki  scheme that will play out to the heart break of the Lady Sif in some ways.  She is great here.  She even takes on a quest for Odin while Bill and Thor are laid up from their battle to decide who gets the Hammer.  Odin however has another idea.  When Sif wins her challenge, Odin is granted the making of a second Hammer.  The Dwarves fire up the metal works and Odin provides the power and Stormbreaker is created.  Now there are two beings with the power of Thor.  They take off in Thor's chariot pulled by his two rams.  I kid you not.  That is how Sif, Bill, and Thor take off to battle.

     Soon Bill's ship Skuttlebutt finds Sif fighting hordes of demons and the two make a desperate stand to protect the convey.  Bill and Thor travel to Bill' planet to find a portal has been created out of the planet and these demons are flowing from it.  It is a cool fight and way to win the battle.  This is just a great and well told story.  So many twist and turns while laying the groundwork for future stories.  You also read this book.  Lots of words.  It is really one of the classic stories and classic styles of Marvel back when it was just an amazing place to visit.

     This was a great buy at HeroesCon.