Sunday, 28 November 2010

Odin: the Norse Numbskull.

Odin, king of Asgard
Ah yes. Odin... the living incompetence.
Having recently ploughed through those first few Thor Essentials, I've come to the conclusion that I'm on Loki's side. Granted he might have been evil and stupid and could've taken someone's eye out with those horns but there's one good thing you can say about him.

He wanted to get rid of Odin.

Has there ever been a stupider and more annoying comic book character than Odin? Granted there've been other annoying comic book characters - Mantis and Moondragon spring instantly to mind; not to mention Mr Myxomatosis or whatever he was called. And as for Superman...

But then again, Mantis, Moondragon and Mr Myxtlpltoijoindfonjrognjeoerhptl (?) were at least meant to be annoying and, however irritating Superman may have been, he did at least make up for it by repeatedly saving the world.

Odin, however, was a threat to all who lived. Despite his constant declarations of being all-wise and all-knowing, he messed up every single thing he ever did. He created an indestructible suit of armour that became a rampaging engine of destruction if anyone got close enough for it to absorb their life force. He created a sword that'd destroy the universe if it were unsheathed. He decided to amalgamate a billion billion evil beings into one unstoppable evil being and then left it in a cave where any old troll could find and release it. And let's not forget that incident where he transferred his power to his evil adviser Siedring the Schemer who - being a schemer - used it to take over Asgard. Which bit of the word, "Schemer," did the all-knowing not get?

If that weren't enough, whenever he was needed to sort out any of the messes he'd created, he'd be in his Odin Sleep, with orders that none should wake him, no matter what was going on in the real world. In Thor #180, we were even treated to the sight of him sending Thor (in Loki's body) to Mephisto's hell and then, when Thor's friends tried to tell him the mistake he'd made, them being told it was his time of day for brooding, and therefore none may disturb him! Well, brooding, that's so much more important than any threats your loved ones might face.

But his biggest crimes against competence were his ridiculous hissy fits where, just when Thor most needed his godly powers, Odin'd strip him of them to teach him a lesson, usually leading to Thor's total humiliation and occasional death. If I were Thor, the only lesson I'd learn from this is that Odin's a complete imbecile.

Being evil, and a coward, and totally untrustworthy, Loki might not have been the ideal ruler but he was the only one in Asgard who seemed able to spot that Odin wasn't fit to run a whelk stall. Therefore I like to feel he should at least have been given a chance. I mean, he couldn't really do a worse job than the bloke who inflicted Mangog on the universe.

Could he?


Ian @ Trade Reading Order said...

probably all these traits are exactly what makes him a great god.

Kid said...

Yeah, you're right. I always thought he was a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic, to say nothing of being a cantankerous old git.

Steve said...

Not only that but I still haven't recovered from them not casting Brian Blessed as him in the movie.

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