Thor (Vol. 2) #51

Background

After the death of Odin Thor (Vol. 2) #40, Thor reluctantly ascends to the throne of Asgard. His time is now divided between ruling Asgard and protecting Earth.

He recently began to view Earth as morally bankrupt and in need of help that only gods can provide. To combine his responsibilities, Thor has used his new powers to bring Asgard to Earth, hovering over New York City. This has - to say the least - sparked some concern from those in power.

When the government is unable to establish a line of communication with Asgard, they do the next "best" thing: send in three stealth fighter jets. Eager to get to the bottom of this, Spider-Man attaches to the bottom of a jet and gets a free ride to the floating golden city.

Story 'With Great Power'

  Thor (Vol. 2) #51
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Pencils: Tom Raney
Inker: Scott Hanna

As the stealth jets approach Asgard, their presence is quickly detected by Heimdall, the guardian of the rainbow bridge. He draws a single arrow from his quiver and destroys the plane Spider-Man was riding. Before the explosion, the pilot detected the incoming object and ejects; Spider-Man dropped toward the city, crashing into an Asgardian pub.

After being chased around by Asgardians thinking he's an elf or goblin (an insult which he particularly detests) he escapes them and realizes exactly where he is. He begins looking for Odin, unaware of recent developments.

Thor sends Thialfi his personal advisor to retrieve the Secretary General of the U.N. for a meeting to explain their purpose. When informed that the Secretary General is in hiding, Thialfi grabs a high-ranking delegate to substitute for him.

Both parties reach the throne room at the same time. Spider-Man sticks to the shadows while the U.N. delegate is escorted by Balder the Brave and Thialfi. Thor explains to the delegate that his purpose is to "serve as examples and inspiration" to a race that has essentially lost their way. In addition he promises to solve this world's problems. The delegate flatly states that will never happen.

At this point Spider-Man makes his presence known and challenges Thor's decision. Thor reminds him that he has brought relief to drought-stricken areas and promises to feed the hungry and free the oppressed. This is a responsible use of his power. He insists that he would do the same if their places were reversed.

At this point Heimdall sounds the warning, alerting Thor to an imminent attack. Thinking that New York is lost, the U.N. representative from China has authorized the use of nuclear weapons to destroy the floating city to preserve their country. Acting quickly, Thor uses the Odinforce to contain the blast and Mjolnir to transport the cloud away.

Thor returns to Spider-Man and the delegate. This near disaster has proven his point; humanity is in need of guidance. People were willing to destroy them - and all of New York - despite the fact that Asgard made no aggressive moves.

Thor teleports Spider-Man and the delegate back to the ground, leaving them with much to consider.

General Comments

After reading this I find myself wondering what would happen if something like this were to happen in real life. If a giant city appeared out of nowhere, floating over New York City, I'm sure that I would join the rest of humanity in officially freaking out. I'm equally sure that somebody would probably jump the gun and try to attack the "intruders". It seems that Thor should have shown some godly wisdom and immediately made contact to prevent this type of response.

Thor's intentions are very noble. Feeding the hungry, freeing the oppressed, inspiring others to do good works all sound great on the surface. However the best intentions sometimes go awry.

This is obviously the early stages of a lengthy storyline, which will unfortunately not be reviewed on this site. Jurgens has laid the foundation for a potentially interesting chapter in Thor's life. He already made him succeed Odin as ruler of Asgard. This appears to be the next logical step in the new monarch's life.

Overall Rating

3 webs. Spider-Man obviously serves as the voice of the common man confronting a god, but his appearance is almost unnecessary. Other than outracing inebriated Asgardians, he does little to advance the story.

The U.N. delegate would have been a better contrast to Thor if he actually possessed any diplomacy skills. Whether or not he believes in gods, he should realize that these are incredibly powerful beings; tread lightly when telling their ruler he's crazy. This is the only point where Spider-Man is relevant to the story. Spider-Man can make jokes and get away with it because Thor respects him.