Posted - January 1, 2011 | Updated : April 18, 2012 | August 18, 2015
Thor: The Eternals Saga Part 3 of 3
Of all the stories in the Eternals Saga this is the gem. No matter that it's twice as long as a regular tale, the story flows so well that you're finished with the story before you know it. It can be read on its own but becomes richer when you've read the other stories of the Saga and richer still the more familiar you are with the Marvel Universe.
The Siegfried storyline ends here with Siegfried's death and the grief and suicide of Brunnhilda. It's a triumph for Odin because Siegfried dies with the Ring of the Nibelung in his hand which means it is now the property of Odin.
I've documented Odin's bad behaviour since the start of this Saga and he makes an act of atonement here by a self-inflicted wound and impaling himself on Yggdrasil, the World Tree. Of course, many centuries later in Olympus and Olympia, Odin is back to his old ways as depicted in the start of this Saga. He he he.
In the midst of his atonement, Odin is alerted, for the first time, to the presence of the Celestials on Earth. Odin summons a council of Sky-Fathers, heads of the various mythological pantheons, as can be seen below.
Before this, only the Norse, Graeco-Roman, Native American (Tomazooma, the big guy with the helmet to the right of Zeus, made an appearance in the pages of the Fantastic Four) and Egyptian pantheons were to be seen in Marvel's pages. Seeing all the Sky-Father's together is particularly impressive.
At this council, the gods decides to send a representative group to the Celestials composed of Odin, Zeus and Vishnu.
So who's more powerful the gods or the Celestials? Here's the answer in one panel.
And yes, a test of power precedes this scene; a test which the gods have lost. The bent knees means a thousand years of non-interference in Celestial affairs from any pantheon.
A thousand years in which Odin leads the others to create a counterforce to the Celestials.
First up is the creation of the Destroyer Armor.
Not only is the armor made by the best metalsmiths in Asgard, it is also imbued with a portion of the power of all the pantheons. Odin stores the armor in Vietnam but something must have happened to it because Sif has had to fight a Storm Giant for the armor.
Next, Odin forges the gigantic Oversword out of the Rhinegold, which is in turn created from the Mjolnir of the Thor from a previous Ragnarok. This is directly related to the Siegfried stories.
After a thousand years, Odin launches both the Destroyer and Oversword against the Celestials! The Destroyer has grown gigantic since it is powered by the life force of all the Asgardians save Thor. This is were the fun factor really escalates!
The fact that the Destroyer manages to destroy the impenetrable barrier surrounding the Celestial City bodes well for Asgardian chances in the upcoming slugfest.
I like the detail were the Destroyer has to lower his visor in order to fire an energy blast.
I first read this story a year after it came out. I was ten or eleven years old. The panel below showing all the Celestials with accompanying labels and the Destroyer with Oversword in hand was a delight to see. Still is.
The Celestials remain for me the absolute apex of Marvel cosmology (are you listening Beyonders?). But then I'll always secretly wish that they get their asses handed to them by Galactus one of these days. Galactus rules!
A special lame-ass award goes to the Eternals for what happened to them in this story. They form the Unimind at which point I'm in pins and needles anticipating the incredible psychic attack they can bring to bear against the Celestials. They get hit once. The Unimind gets destroyed and for the duration of the fight the Eternals are on the floor unconscious (it's a miracle none of them got stepped on).
Once you see the fight between the Destroyer and the Celestials you're going to include it as one of Marvel's best battles ever. Kudos to Gruenwald and Pollard for making me really feel for the Destroyer during this battle. It could only end one way.
With this outrage, Thor predictably launches into an all-out attack. It is, of course, ineffectual but there are some worthy highlights like this energy projection.
Or the toppling of Arishem, albeit by pulverizing the pylons he's standing on.
With Thor beaten down, what happens next is absolutely brilliant: Gaea shows up and offers the Celestials twelve of the best humans in exchange for the earth. An offer which is accepted as Arishem gives a positive judgment and the Celestials depart.
With that, the story ends. The Asgardians are dead and Thor nearly so.
The next story is the epilogue to the Saga.
It begins with a revelation : Gaea is Thor's mother, explaining his inordinate fondness for Midgard, a question that's been hounding him since the beginning of the Saga.
The flashback in this story also provides an explanation of who the young gods are and how they came to be.
Gaea also presents her son with the possibility that if he could persuade the other pantheons to provide a portion of their power, Odin and the Asgardians may be resurrected. Thor does just that, storing the energies of each pantheon in Mjolnir. But the Hindu pantheon refuses his request.
The Hindu pantheon is a strange inclusion since Hinduism is very much an active world religion. Just like Christianity and Islam, both of which are not included here as pantheons. Maybe Gruenwald and company couldn't resist the fantastic appearances of the Hindu gods.
Nevertheless, Shiva the Destroyer, member of the Hindu pantheon refuses Thor's request. So in the usual Marvel manner, Thor engages in a brawl, eventually winning Shiva's grudging cooperation and enmity (I wonder if they ever had another encounter after this one?).
The collected energies revive Odin and he, in turn, recreates the other Asgardians and we end this long Saga with a well-deserved Asgardian feast.