Spoilers suck. I find it consistently amazing how important spoiler-free integrity can be to popular art.
Take TV for example. I don’t watch Game of Thrones in the moment. No HBO subscription, and honestly I haven’t found a show that makes for a quicker, better, binge-watch DVD bull rush. Dexter comes close. But Game of Thrones is an easy first.
As you’ll remember, the episode “The Red Wedding” got a ton of media attention, particularly on Twitter. Knowing that I wanted to watch Game of Thrones Season 3 later with these plot points still in tact, I craftily dodged these spoilers, like Tyrion juking sword blades on the battlefield. You let one hit you in the face and game over.
Even avoiding specific plot points, the media swirl surrounding “The Red Wedding” still colored my perception of the episode (mainly, it colored it red). It didn’t help that the episode was basically called “Important Characters Die at a Wedding.”
Something weird happened when I watched the episode, though. My expectations due to all the surrounding hype far surpassed the actual events of the episode. The initial reaction to “The Red Wedding” seemed to be that the developments were unbelievable, maybe even too much for TV.
What I actually watched? Very plausible within the context of Game of Thrones. It made perfect sense! This is what got people so worked up?
It’s Called the Death of Odin… There’s Nothing I Could Do
I mention this because in general I’m very conscious about keeping Comic Book Herald as spoiler free as possible. Spoilers are as important to comics as they are to TV, and especially so if you’re catching up on what are now decades old stories. Avengers Disassembled spoilers are nearly a decade old at this point and don’t really apply to most of the comic reading world. They’ve moved on. But if you’re reading the event for the first time? Spoilers will crush the experience!
So, “The Death of Odin.” Feels a little spoiler-y? About that.
Here’s the thing: You’re likely reading this because you’re running through Thor: Avenger’s Disassembled, and regardless of your Marvel background, a few questions are going to jump out.
1) Wait… Thor is the King of Asgard? (Lord… they call him Lord…. it’s not super important you don’t say King, I’m just saying if you do it in front of a comic crowd, they might have you exiled.)
2) Where is Odin? I thought in the Thor movie Anthony Hopkins was all “I’m your Dad and BOOM! EARTH LESSON!”
Great questions, and ones I shared during my first run through Avengers Disassembled.
The answers, as you’ve likely guessed, are all available in Thor issues #36 – #43, by Dan Jurgens and Joe Bennet. Otherwise known as…
“The Death of Odin.”
Like I said. Spoilers.
I get it; bad end for Odin. But is this worth reading?
The real question know basically becomes whether or not you should go back and read “The Death of Odin” before proceeding to Thor: Avenger’s Disassembled.
Personally, I’d throw this one in the “completests / Marvel Unlimited subscribers / Huge Thor fans” category. “The Death of Odin” is not essential reading. It’s reasonably compelling Thor, but hardly an instant classic.
There’s also about 110% too much Thor Girl (that was a thing… the early 2000’s were a different time) and entirely too much focus on Thor’s alter ego, Jake Olson. What’s that? Oh no, not Donald Blake. Wait, what? Oh no, not Eric Masterson either.
The biggest knock, though, is that for a storyline of this magnitude – the Death of Odin the Allfather! – there’s a serious lack of compelling stakes.
Sure, Surtur the Fire Demon, one of Odin’s longest rivals, shows up and begins wreaking havoc. But seemingly just… because. There’s not a whole heck of a lot of planning from the big Red.
Of course, Odin has something happen that drains some of his power (classic Odin), and Thor has recently been trashed by The Destroyer (classic Thor). So Odin summons all his best warriors, which makes for some fun cameos if you’re a fan of Thor lore, particularly the Stan Lee / Jack Kirby & Walt Simonson days.
Inevitably, though, as the title of this trade paperback suggests, things don’t end particularly well for Odin. After all those years of giving Thor lessons to one day prepare him for the throne, we finally have the big moment.
To my mind this is where Thor gets particularly interesting, with the sudden twist that he is now Lord of Asgard. It’s a whole new set of rules for the original MC Hammer.
As for Odin? His farewell is nicely done, and Marvel’s odd “Nuff Said” promotion from the time (every comic featured no lines of dialogue… I know, how could that idea fail?) actually works in perfectly with this sequence of events. A lot like it did for Batman & Robin after the recent death of … can I say it? … no.
Again, if you really love your Marvel Comics, I’d grab this one on the cheap. If not, now you know why Thor is where he is during the events of Avengers Disassembled.
Have More Avengers Disassembled Questions?
If you have any particular Avengers Disassembled tie-in questions, give me a shout here and I’ll do my best to get up a post about it!