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Friday, April 28, 2006

Six-Fisted Asgardian Adventure!

There are few very few things in the world of comics that I like better than three men wearing fur and hanging out in the woods together.

And I mean that in the manliest way possible.

I am, of course, talking about The Warriors Three, seen here in one of their rare solo appearances. Or trio appearances. You know what I mean.

All you really need to know is that this issue (by Len Wein, John Buscema, and Joe Sinnot) is awesome. Just take a look at that cover: We've got Hogun the Grim rocking out death-metal style, Fandral the Dashing ready for action, and Volstagg caught in what appears to be mid-pelvic-thrust, all while mind-shatteringly monochromatic action rages in the background.

Plus, the fact that the cover refers to them as "Thor's three buddies" provides me with endless delight. "Buddies" just isn't a word you see too often on today's comics, and that alone makes it pretty exciting stuff. Especially when you add in the promise of non-stop action.

So how does it live up? Feast thine eyes, True Believer, on page one:

Not only is this a barroom brawl, but it's a barroom brawl with a man swinging from a chandelier to kick people in the face. I wasn't even aware that the seedy waterfront taverns of New York City even had chandeliers. Or, for that matter, that sailors wore red-and-white striped shirts well into the 1970s. But as it turns out, they did, and sometimes that resulted in getting kicked in the face by Norse gods speaking in faux-Shakespearean dialect.

And the entire issue is like that. It's a story of Asgard's Heroes just wandering aruond New York smashing things with blunt objects on an adventure motivated by boredom that involves two attempted suicides, a jewelry store heist, public intoxication, and a romantic marriage at swordpoint to cap the whole night off. In other words, it's exactly the kind of comic I want to read.

For those of you who haven't experienced the awesome yourself, allow me to provide the rundown.

Thor's off fighting Firelord, leaving the Warriors Three to fend for themselves in New York, so Fandral hails a cab that can apparently drive around unimpeded with a metric ton of Asgardian crammed into the back seat and drives off in search of adventure! What they find, however, is a traffic jam caused by somebody getting ready to jump off a ledge.


...it's a lady, leading Fandral to jump out of the taxi and scale the wall of her apartment building in an effort to talk her down.

Surprisingly, a man in green furs carrying a sword doesn't immediately make her jump, and she gives Fandral the sob story of how her boyfriend owes too much money to loan sharks and had to become an accomplice in the robbery of a diamond exchange. She slips, lands on Volstagg's gut, and hops into the taxi to accompany the Warriors in an effort to find her boyfriend, Arnold.

Acquiring a drunk whose major skills involve drinking and a specialized knowledge of how to operate a doorknob (yes, really), they foil the robbery handily, but Arnold's gone, headed to the waterfront to end his own life! Will they be able to find him, thus preventing the tragedy of a love gone awry?!

Well, yeah. But not before a barfight so awesome that it's described in the narration as "World War III." Now that's some punching.

Crisis is averted, the kids are married by a Justice of the Peace that Hogun the Grim holds at swordpoint, the cabbie gets a nice bag of gold coins for his troubles, Thor presumably beats Firelord with his magic hammer, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Until they die in the all-consuming fire of Ragnarok, I mean.


Anonymous Jon H said...

The BEST thing: Fandral is so awesome, he can kick ass while swinging on a chandelier, while ALSO giving a man a wedgie.

That's a force to be reckoned with.

4/29/2006 2:12 AM

Blogger Mallet said...

Actually Hogun and Fandal die at the hands of Loki's army.

Volstagg ended up loosing almost all of his weight.

4/29/2006 3:27 AM

Anonymous Chawunky said...

Glorious. I like the happy sleepy drunk in the lower right corner of the splash page.

Great review; killer punchline.

And do forgive me, but:

Word verification--RUDESRIL: Yggdrasil the World Tree's slovenly no-account boor of a brother.

4/29/2006 7:54 AM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

Verily, friend Mallet, do not presume to tell me what befell of the Lion of Asgard as tho' I do not know, lest thou find thyself at the wrong end of a Chandelier Wedgie!

4/29/2006 12:18 PM

Blogger Mallet said...

I'll presume all I want.

You can't hold back the Asgardian press with your "Heroic Ragnarok Death" nonsense any more!


4/29/2006 2:44 PM

Anonymous Hoosier X said...

I had this comic book. It was really AWESOME! Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg totally RULE!

And I'll not listen to the nattering nabobs of negativity in the Liberal Asgardian Media who say they died in some war.

La la la la la la la la! I can't hear you.

4/29/2006 7:47 PM

Anonymous Cove West said...

How is it that the Warriors Three don't have their own title? I have to assume that at least ONE decision-maker at Marvel has read at least Simonson's Thor, so how could we not at this moment be enjoying the monthly adventures of Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg? HOW!?! If this isn't the no-brainerest of no-brainers, my brain isn't a brain! It's Errol Flynn, Russell Crowe, and a fat Dean Martin wandering around a strange city, getting drunk, fighting everything from bank robbers to gorillas at the zoo, getting drunk again, and scoring with hot chicks, all while speaking in Stan Lee-an Shakespeare, EACH AND EVERY MONTH! Is something this cool illegal or something?

4/30/2006 2:45 AM

Blogger Mark said...

Man, all of those norse gods were dumber than a bag of bricks. And punchy as all get out.

4/30/2006 3:41 PM

Anonymous Chuck T. said...

Dumb as rocks? Volstagg had his moments of genuine homey wisdom. Which apparently had to be delivered while he was crushing your spine. (From an early Simonson Thor, with the guy that came to kill Balder but became his sidekick...)
And the Norse gods never met a problem they couldn't asskick, from giant flaming demons to um, giant friggin' snakes.

5/01/2006 9:44 AM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

That scene in the Simonson run where the kid comes to kill Balder and Volstagg sits down on him and tells him that he could forgive him if he killed his good friend Balder because he was young and stupid once, and even Thor could forgive him for killing his friend Balder because Thor was young and stupid once...

But Hogun the Grim? He was never young. And he will never forgive.

And Hogun's standing there looking like the baddest motherfucker alive?

Yeah, that is awesome

5/02/2006 12:58 AM


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