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Thor Annual #12: Review

Jan 1984
Alan Zelenetz, Bob Budiansky

Story Name:

The Blood of Dawn

Review & Comments

3 stars

Thor Annual #12 Review by (March 24, 2015)
Comments: This was a nice, self-contained, “Tales of Asgard” type revenge story. As with previous Zelenetz entries, there were some well-utilized references to Norse mythology, which gave Vidar a lot of depth rather quickly. In fact, in Norse mythology, Vidar is the god of revenge and silence, among other things. His characterization was really on point. The back-up story about the Inhumans and the Golden Age hero The Red Raven seemed pretty oddly out-of-place, however. I wonder if it was truly “filler,” and they just needed to beef up the page count before sending this issue to the printers. If there had been a better back-up feature, I probably would have rated this a 4 out of 5.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Thor Annual #12 Synopsis by Seahammer

Returning from a feast with the Mountain Giants, three lost Storm Giants wander all night through the mountains outside of Asgard. In the morning they stumble upon the farm of Vidar, a half-giant son of Odin. There, they find Solveig, Vidar's wife, and slay her. One of the giants, Horvald, sees that she wears a golden belt and steals it for himself before they leave. When Vidar returns from his day’s hunting, he finds his wife's body and vows revenge.

In Asgard, the gods are feasting in honor of Odin when his ravens, Hugin and Munin, arrive.  Close behind the ravens comes Vidar, who is too powerful for the gods to stop. Vidar is angry that Odin allowed his wife to be slain, believe that Odin saw what transpired but did nothing to stop it.  Odin states that he was unaware of what happened.  Thor admonishes Vidar’s disrespect towards Odin and challenges him to a fight. Vidar fights back with formidable strength, wielding an unbreakable staff, until Odin breaks the two up. Odin decrees that Thor will journey with Vidar to get revenge.  He sends blind Hoder along with them to magically guide them to those responsible for Solveig’s death.

Meanwhile, the three giants return to Jotunheim, where Horvald's wife Thrunhild greets them. When Thrunhild says that she was worried about her husband, he slaps her and demands that she get them a drink. Then, Thrunhild looks up and sees Solveig's belt hanging from Horvald's waist.

On their journey, Thor notices that Vidar is quiet and asks him to speak.  Vidar says he is only focused on getting revenge. Suddenly, they hear voices crying out for help. Thor wants to go and help them but Vidar says it would slow down his revenge. Vidar sets off alone while Thor and Hoder go to rescue those in danger. Thor finds and rescues two dwarves hanging from a cliff.  Alone now, Vidar comes across two Asgardians who offer to join him in seeking revenge on the Storm Giants. However, these two Asgardians reveal themselves to be Wolf Gods in disguise and transform into humanoid wolves to attack Vidar. Vidar fights them off but is wounded in the process. Eventually, Thor finds Vidar and questions his rash decision to trust those strangers, saying that he is blinded by his desire for revenge.

That night in Jotunheim, Thrunhild steals the beautiful golden belt from her husband and puts it on. Meanwhile, Vidar and his companions sit around a campfire. Hoder suggests they sleep.  Thor agrees, but Vidar reflects that he cannot sleep when the night stars remind him of his dead wife. Once the others fall asleep, Vidar rises and sets off alone for revenge.

In the morning, Thrunhild is wearing the golden belt as she fetches water from a river. Vidar finds her, sees that she is wearing Solveig’s belt, and thinks that she is the murderer of his wife. She says that she is innocent, but he slays her. Just then, Horvald and his companions arrive. They do not care that Thrunhild is dead, but when they see the “halfling” Vidar, they take him to torture him at the castle. Thor and Hoder wake up at the campfire and see that Vidar has left, forgetting his unbreakable staff. Hodur has had a vision and fears for Vidar's safety.  As the giants secure Vidar to the rack, Thor and Hoder travel to the castle, seeing Thrunhild’s slain body along the way. Thor flies to the castle and arrives just in time, rescuing Vidar from torture.

In the ensuing battle, the castle catches on fire and the giants try to flee over the drawbridge. Unfortunately for them, Hoder has arrived and used Vidar's unbreakable staff to prevent the drawbridge from lowering. Thor and Vidar, escape and Thor talks Vidar into forgetting his revenge, stating that Vidar has already shed innocent blood equal to his wife's innocent death. Vidar agrees, and vows never to lift a sword again until the fated day when he fights at Ragnarok. When they return to Vidar’s farm, they find Odin waiting to greet them. Odin pays his respects for Solveig's death, and blesses Vidar for a peaceful life.



This issue also contains a story about the Inhumans.
Title: “Island in the Sky!”
Script: Peter Gillis
Art: Rich Howell and Sam De La Rosa
Letters: Diana Albers
Editor: Mark Gruenwald
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter


In the distant past, when Attilan was a hidden island on Earth, there was a group of winged Inhumans who thought that they were better than those without wings. Among them was Kylus, who thought it was an outrage that is kind had to live on the ground. King Nestor of the Inhumans agreed to build them a special home floating above Attilan called the Aerie.  Unfortunately, this only led to increased dissent between the winged Inhumans and those on the ground. Eventually, the winged Inhumans decided to secede from the rest of Attilan, with only the bat-winged Cheiros saying they should not secede. After seceding, Kylus and the other feathered Inhumans turned their hatred on Cheiros and his kind, fearing that all bat-winged Inhumans would betray them.  Soon, the feathered Inhumans slew all winged Inhumans who did not have feathers. Eventually, the floating city broke free from Attilan, and after some hardships, became self-sufficient.

Centuries later, in the 1920s, a damaged airplane landed at the Aerie. The residents of the Aerie rescued a baby from the plane, but all other passengers had died. The current king of the Aerie, King Aerivar the 18th, decreed that the baby would live unharmed.  To honor the martyred Cheiros, the baby would be given a set of artificial bat-like wings. This baby grew up to become the WWII era hero known as the Red Raven.

Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:

Bob Budiansky
Mike Gustovich
George Roussos
Bob Budiansky (Cover Penciler)
Mike Gustovich (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.



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