This week, Thor continues his quest to save the nine realms from the scourge of Sutur, the fire demon, and finds a strange new ally.
In space, a battleship flies on it’s charted course, only to come under attack. Surtur, who escaped from Musphelheim several episodes ago, seems to be on the rampage. The ship detects a threat right as it is bombarded by vicious fire demons.
In Asgard, Thor broods with Balder as they discuss the recent havok caused by Surtur, whom Odin has gone off to fight. Apparently, it hasn’t been going well. “I fear this may be a fight that Odin cannot win.” Odin doesn’t deem Thor worthy of going into battle with him anymore, because he’s just so fond of those darn Midgardians. Well, to be fair, didn’t those Midgardians help save Asgard and the rest of the nine realms? Kind of crotchety on Odin’s part, if you ask me. “I find my thoughts on Midgard.” he admits, probably because their episodes have been much more exciting, and speaks of his as of yet unfulfilled love for Jane Foster. Sif coldly suggests that he just go back to Earth if he misses it so much. (“If you love Earth so much, why don’t you marry it?”) Odin returns, a little worse for wear, with news: Surtur has indeed escaped, but he’s not attacking Asgard. The Warriors Three arrive with Heimdall to confirm this. Surtur is attacking a ship in space. Thor asks for help from Heimdall to go and aid the ship and fight Surtur. Heimdall opens the Bifrost and sends Thor on his way. “Happy hunting.” he says stoically.
(Sidenote: Since all cartoon versions of Nick Fury are modeled on Samuel L. Jackson, I think all cartoon versions of Heimdall should look like Idris Elba. Because reasons.)
Thor reaches the ship and descends through a hole in the hull. The inside looks like a battleship, complete with guns and lasers. Suddenly, he’s attacked by a strange creature, known to comic fans as Beta Ray Bill. The two fight briefly, before Thor realizes, to his shock, that Beta Ray Bill can lift Mjolnir. “You have pursued me only to find death.” he says to Thor, before proceeding to whip his Asgardian butt with his own hammer. Back on Asgard, Sif tells Odin that Thor has gone off to fight Surtur in space. Fearing for his son’s safety, he orders that Heimdall recall Thor back to Asgard. Heimdall calls “the wielder of Mjolnir” back, which takes Beta Ray Bill from his ship, leaving Thor behind. Beta Ray Bill recognizes the Asgardian energy signature to be similar to that of the fire demons from Musphelheim and begins attacking Sif and the Warriors Three. Heimdall is finally able to teleport Thor back to Asgard and tries to reason with Bill. “You are nothing like the screeching demons I face.” and realizes that the Asgardians are not his enemy.
Bill begins to recount his story to Thor and the warriors. He was modified to oversee the survival of a race called the Korbinites after their homeworld was destroyed by Surtur. The remaining Korbinites are on his ship, the Skuttlebutt, in cryogenic hibernation. Beta Ray Bill wants to prove his worthiness so that he may use Mjolnir in battle against Surtur, and Sif offers her services for him, finding his cause noble. But Thor has a better idea. They find Eitri, the Dwarf Lord who made Mjolnir, making his second appearance in the Marvel cartoon universe, after a much more hospitable take in Ultimate Spider-Man. Thor asks Eitri to make Bill a weapon worthy of his fight. But Eitri’s realm has already been burned to the ground, and the Asgardians didn’t do much to help. “Perhaps I should have allied with the Frost Giants or even Loki himself.” But Thor agrees to owe the Dwarf Lord a favor if he commissions this weapon. “To have the Odinson in my debt? It is worth it.” he says ominously.
Bill’s ship, the Skuttlebutt, is under heavy attack from fire demons. Thor and Bill, now dressed in similar Asgardian attire, fly into battle, and Bill is wielding Stormbreaker, a hammer made of Uru metal, like Mjolnir. Sif is behind them, on her chariot. Guiding the demons in their attack is Amorra, who is now a hollow shell controlled by Surtur, and Bill refers to her as the “Demon Queen.” Amorra seems to recognize Thor for a moment, begging for his help before losing control and attacking him. Sif enters the ship and overrides the security codes, leaving it at her command. “Guide me to the battle.” she says cooly.She fights the demons atop Bill’s ship, her sword is powered by a really cool sort of magic. She’s generally kicking a lot of ass. Thor knows that he must defeat Amorra to stop the demon onslaught. “The Enchantress is beyond help.” They attack her, while Sif is able to save the remaining Korbinites.
Beta Ray Bill thanks the Asgardians for helping him save an entire race and giving him Stormbreaker. Sif seems to have had a change of heart about Thor’s attitude. “I misjudged you, Thor. I misjudged what it was like to make a connection with someone that needed you.” They wonder what Surtur wanted with the Korbinites to begin with. In his firey realm, Surtur keeps hammering his sword, preparing for the battle ahead.
Readers, I like Thor. I like Asgard. I was tickled that this week’s round of Marvel Universe cartoons seemed to be a Thor double-feature, but to put this episode directly after one of their best-written, exciting episodes, where the Skrull Infiltration came to a head, this was just… rough to sit through. It wasn’t even a bad episode. Albeit, it wasn’t great, because it never really gave you a clear idea of who Beta Ray Bill even was, rather just relying on your faith of “Oh Thor’s fighting with this guy, he must be good.” Yes, Bill is a Korbinite and he’s trying to save his people but- What the heck is a korbinite? And why should I care? For a show that does really well with world-building, it seemed like a misstep. I assume Beta Ray Bill is going to be someone that Thor brings back to Earth to help the Avengers with the Skrulls, and that’s great, Bill is a cool, tough character, but these episodes always feel like such dire filler. I want Thor back with the Avengers. Is that immature? Maybe, but honestly, I have no idea how both the Surtur storyline and the Skrull storyline are going to interweave. Either they’re going to wrap up the former sooner rather than later, or this is about to get messy.
But like I said, not a particularly bad episode, but wedged in at a rather dire moment where things are much more exciting on Earth than they are in Asgard. Also, Surtur might be a scary fire demon, but he’s nowhere near as interesting as, say, Amorra or Loki. I want Thor to put a hammer through his skull and get it over with. We got Skrulls to fight.
Did you miss an episode? Check out our recap of last week’s ‘Who Do You Trust?‘.