Thor: The Truth of History

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Thor: The Truth of History

Post by Somebody » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:37 pm

THOR: THE TRUTH OF HISTORY #1
Writer/Artist: Alan Davis
"Thor: The Truth of History"

Cast:
THOR/THOR ODINSON/(etc)
BALDER
SIF
VOLSTAGG
HOGUN
FANDRAL
NEDRA (after JIM 105/2)

One-off characters (past):

HOSAAIN TARREE [Egyptian god/human hybrid]
PHAROAH NEB-MAAT
A Griffen
Various mystical animal/human hybrids
Lots of Egyptians

One-off characters (present):
"Stanley" [an archeologist modelled after Stan Laurel]
"Oliver" [an archeologist modelled after Oliver Hardy]

Summary:

pg1
"The Giza Plateau, Egypt, Today":

"Stanley" and "Oliver", two archelogists, argue over the providence of the Sphinx - Oliver claims that it was constructed with the pyramids around 2500 BC, while Stan claims that there are signs of erosion by running water, and "there has been no significant rainfall in Egypt for more than four thousand years!"

pg2-7
"Less Than Four Thousand Years Ago, on a glacial ridge in Asgard's Menhir Mountains"

Thor, Sif, Balder and the Warriors Three fight their way through to a fortified cave, where Nedra - the exiled Queen of Jotunheim - has created a portal to Earth, against the law. When Volstagg gets in, he makes a beeline for the warm portal and falls through. Sif observes Egyptian artifacts in the room, and deduces that that's where the portal leads.

Thor leaves Sif & Balder to watch Nedra and her vassal witch while he, Hogun and Fandral go after Volstagg.

pg8-13
[Ancient Egypt]

They come across slaves quarrying blocks, who are frightened to death of them, and call for their "beloved protector", Hosaain Tarree, who has Egyptian god blood in him. Thor (who doesn't understand a word of the Egyptians' language) beats him easily, and then carves a bunch of blocks for the slaves. They are horrified at both, and beg them to go, pointing them towards Giza. The Asgardians completely misunderstand this last reaction.

pg14
"Giza."

Volstagg is being pampered by a bunch of "fair maids".

pg15-20

Entering Giza, Thor, Hogun and Fandral observe a pyramid under construction, and many starving peasants. The head of a small group of soldiers, who has encountered Volstagg, leads them past the Sphinx (which has a griffen's head). When they reach the dining area where Volstagg had been, Thor tosses the food to the peasants outside, which insults their host, "Neb-Maat", who leads a collection of human/Egyptian god hybrids.

pg21

Volstagg is carried down a dark corridor, and is about to be fastened to an obelisk. He cries "Nooo..."

pg22

...which carries up the stairs to the other three Asgardians, who recognise the voice. Thor sends Hogun and Fandral to find Volstagg, while he trounces the animalistic demi-gods.

pg23-33

Volstagg is now tied up, and when Hogun and Fandral enter, they're tied up in a fight with more demi-gods. They then notice the griffen behind Volstagg, but Thor comes in just in time to knock it through a wall. They fight, with Nab-Maat being stomped to death by the griffen while Thor recovers from a blow. Finally, Thor wins by blasting it with lighting, which knocks the griffen's face off the Sphinx in the process. With the griffen and Nab-Maat dead, and seeing two of the "halflings" cowering before him, Thor turns off the lighning, but lets the rain continue.

They head home, Fandral scolding Volstagg for having brought them there, and Thor saying "'Tis sufficient that duty brought us here and we have acted with honour".

pg34
"Present Day"

Stan and Ollie are still arguing, while the camera zooms in on a hieroglypic depicting Thor.

Continuity notes:
Any relation to real-world history is entirely coincidental - suggesting that the pyramids were constructed c. 2500 BC in the framing sequence is fine, then showing one still under construction "less than 4000 years ago" (i.e., after 2000 BC - when the Egyptian royalty had decamped to Thebes) isn't. Even before you consider the fictional pharaoh ["Neb-Maat" was used as a title by three pharoahs, two as "Neb-Maat-Ra", but not their name] and mystic animals, which are neither here nor there :). It's a "storybook" Ancient Egypt.

The Asgardians are all full-grown adults in their classic costumes, etc.

The Asgardians know of the Egyptian gods (the "Gods of Heliopolis") and they recognise statues of several of them. They apparently have a pact with them (and "the other pantheons" in general, without mentioning which ones) not to directly interact with Earth at this point, and - to make any sense of the Egyptian setting - it must predate Viking worship of the Aesir by many centuries.

Nedra is from JIM 105/2, a Tale of Asgard set well before Thor lifted the hammer (if he was even born). She was apparently exiled from Jotenheim sometime after that story, but no problems.

However, there's an apparent clash with T@ 5 here. Firstly, the weird kid-Sif from there (which is on a page already partially written off and which doesn't fit with other stuff anyway, as I mentioned in my Thor: Son of Asgard placements). But, secondly, there's the timeframe of this vs. the timeframe of the Asgardian/Olympian War; where Thor & co appear fairly ignorant of other pantheons. It certainly goes against creator intent (given that the "less than 4000 years ago" caption is set up by Stan's line at the end of pg1), but given the "500+ years too late" pyramid construction problem that's already there, I'm willing to assume the portal involves time-travel to the past, and place accordingly since all of the Egyptian characters are one-shots where placement isn't involved.

The other thing I'm not sure about is whether to call the story a FB - there's a framing sequence with two archeologists that look suspiciously like Laurel & Hardy, but they don't learn of the events of the story. I'm saying "no" unless it's insisted otherwise.


Placement suggestions:

THOR/THOR ODINSON/"DR. DONALD BLAKE"/"SIGURD JARLSON II"/"JAKE OLSON"/"LOREN OLSON" [ASGARDIAN]
[...]
T@ 5
**T:TOH 1
CM5 17-FB
[...]

SIF [ASGARDIAN]
[...]
T@ 11-FB
**T:TOH 1
T@ 14/4
[...]

BALDER [ASGARDIAN]
[...]
T@ 5
**T:TOH 1
T 401
[...]

FANDRAL [ASGARDIAN]
[...]
T@ 5
**T:TOH 1
T 401
[...]

HOGUN [ASGARDIAN]
[...]
T@ 5
**T:TOH 1
T 401
[...]

VOLSTAGG [ASGARDIAN]
[...]
T@ 5
**T:TOH 1
T 401
[...]

NEDRA [from Jotunheim. I'm not going to work out what the adjective of that is :)]
JIM 105/2
**T:TOH 1

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by wolframbane » Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:09 pm

Since this was 4000 years ago, I wonder if it was actually a prior incarnation of Thor and the Asgardians. In T 293-294 and 301, it was revealed that the Star of Bethlehem (circa 4 BC) was actually the destruction of an earlier incarnation of Asgard. Has anyone reviewed an approximate timeline as to early Asgard or when the Ragnarok cycles happened?

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by Somebody » Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:55 pm

wolframbane wrote:Since this was 4000 years ago,
LESS THAN Four Thousand Years Ago. (And I had to write it off from being anywhere near 4k years ago for the Asgardians for the reasons I explained above). And...
wolframbane wrote:I wonder if it was actually a prior incarnation of Thor and the Asgardians. In T 293-294 and 301, it was revealed that the Star of Bethlehem (circa 4 BC) was actually the destruction of an earlier incarnation of Asgard. Has anyone reviewed an approximate timeline as to early Asgard or when the Ragnarok cycles happened?
We've been over this enough recently already, no? T 293-FB and T 294-FB are apocryphal. They're not in the MCP, because they didn't happen - they've been contradicted both before and after that the publication (before because they attempt to write off JIM 97/2 as being an earlier cycle, rather than the birth of the actual Odin).

Certain aspects have been retained, but all have support elsewhere - T@ 11-FB (2-5), for instance, depict the birth of Thor to Gaia/Jord independently of that series of FBs); and T2 83 confirms that the Asgardians went through cycles of rebirth, but contradicts T 293-294 in other ways, for instance by depicting Balder as a kid with Thor & Loki in a FB. T3 8 goes further, to show Balder being born as an infant - and Thor: Ages of Thunder and Thor: Reign of Blood appear to suggest that in a fully-realised Ragnarok cycle, ALL Nine Worlds get reset. Including Midgard/Earth. And I haven't even mentioned Simonson's origin of Odin (which is entirely consistent with JIM 97/2), nor Thor: Son of Asgard.

QED, the Kirby-Cycle Asgardians themselves weren't born as little statuettes, and the "Giant Eyeball With A Grudge's" flashback is apocryphal.

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by Enda80 » Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:42 am

As I recall, the Horusians entry in a recent Hulk handbook said something regarding the Sphinx's history.

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by JephYork » Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:39 pm

I thought the Sphinx was Kang's time machine.

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by Somebody » Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:44 pm

jephyork wrote:I thought the Sphinx was Kang's time machine.
Wasn't that *a* Sphinx rather than *THE* Sphinx? I'm pretty sure the Sphinx has been seen in modern-day stories.

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by JephYork » Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:49 pm

Beats me. I thought it was THE Sphinx, and then he just left it behind? I don't know -- I'm sure it's been retconned about fifteen times by now.

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by Somebody » Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:55 pm

jephyork wrote:Beats me. I thought it was THE Sphinx, and then he just left it behind? I don't know -- I'm sure it's been retconned about fifteen times by now.
Well, I just had a look, and if you believe the Appendix, the Sphinx has at least four origins, and this is compatible with at least two of them (One of them being the IH 145 story Enda apparently just referenced. It would be nice if he had actually explained what he meant for once.)

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by Enda80 » Sat Oct 25, 2008 10:10 pm

If the Asgardians appear here as native temporal inhabitants, this may serve as their earliest recorded interaction with Earth.

Seth has, as I recall, in Thor I#240-241 and circa Thor I#400, as well as perhaps Osiris in Thor I#301, asserted a great age for the Heliopolitan pantheon that places them as existing before the Asgardians.

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by JephYork » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:46 pm

What the hell is a "native temporal inhabitant"?

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by Enda80 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:54 pm

"Native temporal inhabitant" refers to someone who inhabits a period of time without the agency of time travel. The word "temporal" refers to time. So somebody who has not time traveled to a period of time serves as a native temporal inhabitant. Somebody who inhabits a period of time through time travel does not represent a native temporal inhabitant.

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by JephYork » Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:45 pm

So -- "somebody who hasn't done any time-traveling".

You're damned odd.

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by Enda80 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:29 pm

I use the term "native temporal inhabitant" or "native temporal counterpart" for stories involving characters traveling in to the past and encountering or near-encountering their past counterparts.

Example, Tomb of Dracula I#5 (Dracula time-travels to a point in history where he got staked by Van Helsing), Avengers I#56 (Captain America time-travels to 1945 when Baron Heinrich Zemo stole the plane) and so forth.

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Re: Thor: The Truth of History

Post by JephYork » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:38 pm

I use the term "native temporal inhabitant" or "native temporal counterpart"
And that's why you're damned odd.

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