Sunday, August 4, 2013

Power of The Valkyrie, Part Two


Susan (no last name given) is a young doctor who somehow got through medical school without ever learning how to cope with people dying.  As she's driving home one night after storming out of the ER, a bearded man in armor falls out of the sky and creates a smoking crater in front of her.  It's the Norse god Odin and when he touches her he bequeaths some sort of power to her.

We find out in a flashback that Odin was forcibly teleported out of Valhalla by his Secret Service when Loki decides to crash the party where Odin was supposed to give this vague magic power to a skilled warrior maiden.  Said warrior maiden is not given a name. Both this warrior maiden and Loki show up on Earth the next day to kill Susan and take back a sword that Odin apparently gave her off-camera.  Also Susan is now being called Susanne. 

Suzy is knocked out by Loki, but suddenly her soul emerges from her body wearing hot pants and a steel corset.  Also, there's suddenly a bunch of other impractically-clad warrior maidens.  Then, just as suddenly, Loki and the nameless warrior woman are back in Loki's basement, where she complains about having been disgraced and named an enemy of Asgard.  Loki tells her to quit whining because the war is not yet over.

Confused?  Read the full review of Part One.  It might help, but I doubt it.  Because it's just going to get more confusing from here.

Now... Part Two!

Our story opens in the thick of the action, with our heroine fighting Loki in his demon form.  It's immediately obvious that this book still doesn't have an editor and that the writer isn't using any form of spell-check, because Sulfur is spelled with an 'e'.  And no - that isn't an acceptable alternative spelling or the British English spelling.  I checked two different dictionaries and did a Google search, which mostly brought up Slipknot fan pages where the song "Sulfur" was spelled wrong and one Marvel Comics fan page devoted toward "The Silver Sulfer".

Anyway, our heroine gets her ass kicked and Loki takes the sword.  He's about to cut her head off when she suddenly wakes up in a hospital bed.  Yes, that's right folks!  It was all a dream!  And our heroine's name has changed yet again!

So now she's Suzanne with a Z.  Fine.  Let's see how long this name change lasts.

Suzanne wants to go home but her colleague, Dr. Dodson, tells her that she's still running a fever and he wants to keep her overnight just to be safe.  He also tells her that, for some reason, the FBI wants to talk to her about the car accident.  Suzanne can't remember anything about what happened and Dodson agrees she's in no state to be talking to anyone, even if she could remember anything.

So Dodson goes out to tell the FBI agents to come back tomorrow and.... what fresh hell is this?!

I think the Fox Network will be suing somebody along with Marvel Comics.

Amazingly, nobody out in the hallway notices the sudden light show seconds later, as Odin emerges through a glowing portal.  Here we see that the writers have put the same craft into writing pseudo-Shakesperean English that they did into the rest of the script so far, as Odin thanks the gods that "thee survived".  Shouldn't that be "ye survived"?  Also, does anyone else think it's weird Odin is thanking himself and his family for Suzanne's survival?

The oddly familiar looking FBI agents get fed up, claiming that Suzanne has been consorting with terrorists and The Patriot Act gives them the right to go into a hospital room to question someone without a warrant and against a doctor's wishes.  Also, there's suddenly two extra F.B.I. Agents.  It's at this point that we find out the writers of this book are just as bad at writing proper American English as they are pseudo-Shakespearean English.

"Suzy's not working with any terrorists.  Even if she did, she would report it."

It would be okay if Dr. Dodson said "Suzy's not working with any terrorists." and just left it at that.  Or he could have said "Suzy's not working with any terrorists.  And even if she had made contact with them, she would have reported it."  But the way the two sentences are paired together makes it sound like Dr. Dodson is saying that Suzy would report herself for working with terrorists.

Meanwhile, in the opulent basement of Valhalla, Loki and the nameless warrior woman from last issue are plotting.  And lo - we finally get a name for our main female antagonist!  Emu!  Yes, like the bird....

Civil War? Hey, we don't need your Civil War, Loki! Or AvX either! 
*sighs* Where to begin?
 How about with the last page from last issue?

1. "They wouldn't dare suspect your true loyalties." - Given that she was fighting alongside you when you tried killing Suzanne the day before, I suspect they might.  There's a reason Odin is called "The All-Seeing" after all.

2. '"Tis not the time to reveal your true nature, Emu." -  Even if Odin didn't notice Emu's working with you the day before, it's a bit late to be thinking of that, Loki.  If she's already been branded a traitor to Asgard, I think they know her true nature.

3. "If Thor even suspects thy disloyalty, it will be our undoing." - I think this is a typo and that Emu is meant to be saying "If Thor even suspects MY disloyalty..." since apparently she hasn't been branded a traitor yet and is still somehow working with Loki in secret.  Even if the sentence is taken straight, since when does it make any kind of sense for Thor not to be suspicious of Loki?  Particularly since Loki just went into Odin's party room a day earlier and declared his hostile intent?  Thor's a bit thick but even he's not that dumb.

Speaking of Thor, the next scene takes us back to the nice part of Valhalla.  We see Odin introduce Suzanne to Thor and announce his intent to have Thor train her in the use of the Valkyrie power.  Because of course there's no way a woman could be given this kind of power without a man teaching her how to use it!  That would be silly!  Not quite as silly as Odin deciding to go ahead and let the woman who got this power by accident keep it instead of passing it on to the Asgardian warrior woman who had been training to inherit the power and was seconds away from getting it before Loki interfered.... but still pretty damn silly.

We soon find out that Thor has more than one reason for questioning his father's wisdom.  Not only does handing this power off to a mere human seem foolish but Emu - the woman who was meant to be getting the power in the first place - is Thor's girlfriend.  Showing surprising sensitivity for a Viking male, Thor does try to comfort Emu and assure her that while he must abide by his dad's wishes, he does not agree with them.  For all the good it does him...

(And yes - more bad grammar. "It's offending" should be "It's offensive."  And boy is this grammar offensive!)

Meanwhile, Odin asks Suzanne if people still speak of the gods of Asgard in the Earthly realm.  You'd think the All-Seeing All-Father would already know that but - in case you hadn't noticed - this take on Odin doesn't seem particularly wise or all-knowing.  In fact, I'm starting to suspect he couldn't find his own backside with both hands and a torch.  Regardless, the two are quickly joined by a magical beast that Odin says can only bond with a Valkyrie - The Creature Pegasus!

Is it worth pointing out that Pegasus is a specific character from Greek myth - not Norse?  Should I note that nowhere in Norse Mythology does it say that Valkyrie's horses have wings and that most of the artwork of the time seems to depict their horses without wings?  Does it really matter given that the bastardized mythology of this world has already given us the Norse god Loki taking the form of an Abrahamic demon and that Valhalla seems to be used interchangeably with Asgard to refer to Odin's land rather than his mead hall?

Yes!  It does matter!

*sighs* Anyway, a guard shows up at that point with a wolf's-head medallion he found on the borders of Valhalla.  Or Asgard.  This, coupled with reports of a black wolf being seen nearby, can only mean one thing - Loki is out and about.  Suzanne hops on Pegasus' back and announces that she'll go on a patrol to see what's going on.  Odin says she's not ready but she ignores him. One page later, Suzanne is confronting demons in midair and dueling like a pro as she thinks about how she used to ride horses and get hurt all the time as a kid.

So she went from thinking she was dreaming and not believing what was happening to riding a flying horse and fighting demons within the span of one page?

If this turns out to be another dream sequence, I'll be very put out.

Anyway, Suzanne slays the demon, leaves his corpse to fall to the ground below and suddenly notices a strange castle that is calling to her.  And it's at this point that Pegasus loses his wings.

You know, with all the continuity problems in the writing, I'm amazed we went this long without a mistake in the artwork. 

Suzanne goes inside the castle and starts prowling around as we find out that the writers have learned how to spell sulfur properly.  Granted, they seem to think that sulfur is naturally hot.  And Suzanne says that Odin said Thor was missing when he never actually DID say anything about that at any point in the comic earlier.  But credit where credit is due - at least they're spelling everything properly for the moment, even if their grasp of science and continuity stinks on ice.

While snooping around, Suzanne is ambushed with an electrical attack as she walks through a doorway.  And so our comic ends with Emu - now apparently possessing the power of Thor - demanding that Suzanne hand over the sword.  Even though she apparently has a much better power now...

I don't have it in me to outline all the reasons this comic sucks again.   Let's just say that it sucks and leave it at that as I contemplate whether or not it's worth going on and covering the second half of this abysmal storyline.

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