Warning: Contains spoilers for Thor #24
During one of his most epic battles ever, Thor single-handedly took on Thanos and the Mangog using a set of enchanted weapons provided by Odin himself. After that story, these mighty tools of war were never seen before, and Marvel finally decided to explain why.
After the original Heroes Reborn event concluded in 1997, Marvel comics proceeded to relaunch its titles. Thor was given to writer Dan Jurgens and artist John Romita Jr., whose run culminated in an epic story in which a clone of Thanos allies with the Mangog on a quest to destroy the universe. These are among the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe, so even the mighty Thor was beaten repeatedly while trying to stop them. In the end, Odin asked the blacksmith Jagrfelm to forge two weapons of war, the Shield of Life and the Gauntlet of Tomorrow, which the King of Asgard imbued with his own Odinforce, together with Thor’s old Belt of Power. Armed with such amazing tools, Thor defeated his enemies easily. The weapons of war, however, were never seen again. Thor never thought of using these tested anti-Thanos weapons again.
Thor #24 (#750 according to legacy numbering) is a special issue that contains several stories authored by some of the best creative teams who ever worked on the God of Thunder. Dan Jurgens also returned as writer and penciler in a story called The Seduction, which takes place right after Thor’s victorious battle against the Thanos clone and the Mangog. Here, Odin asks Thor to relinquish the powerful weapons as they drain the owner of good emotions and consume their soul. Thor, already under the weapons’ spell, does not believe in Odin’s words and thinks he has enough moral power to resist the temptation. In the end, Odin has to resort to deception, making Balder appear as a reborn Mangog and fight Thor. When the God of Thunder almost kills his opponent, he realizes the evil influence that the weapons have on him, and casts them aside, vowing to never use them again.
All of this comes to light as Thor gives a eulogy for Odin, to share the lesson he learned that day: “When it comes to the word of Odin, one must listen.” Often, Thor clashed with his father because he felt he was too cruel or demanding towards his own son, and this story proves that the wisdom of Odin often required hard lessons to be understood. It is also a callback to one of the most controversial Thor moments of the late 90s, as fans did not appreciate the fact that Thanos – who had been built to be a cosmic-level villain earlier in the decade thanks to Infinity Gauntlet – was defeated and killed so easily. In the original story, that was not a clone but Thanos himself, and it was only retconned in this way years later by Jim Starlin, who used Thanos clones to explain everything that Marvel did with the character after he left the company. The Seduction also brings closure to the debate on what happened to Thor’s Belt of Power, Megingjor, an item that accompanied the God of Thunder since his earliest appearances and had the ability to double Thor’s already impressive power.
The Seduction is a nice little story that is a nostalgic homage to Thor’s past and a treat for long-time fans of the character. Younger readers may not be familiar with every little nugget of Thor’s lore, such as the mighty weapons of war and their mysterious disappearance, but this can be a chance to delve into Thor’s past stories. The story also gives an in-universe canon explanation of why Thor used his god-tier, anti-Thanos weapons only once.
Next: Thor Became a Brutal Villain for the Same Reason as Thanos
Look for Thor #24 available now from Marvel Comics!