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By Tim Stevens
Sometimes, swinging a really big hammer cannot get you out of every jam. Asgard's God of Thunder will learn this the hard way when takes the stand on his own behalf in THOR: THE TRIAL OF THOR, from writer Peter Milligan and artist Cary Nord, on sale now.
Thor has been called before his father, Odin, for murdering Asgardians in the wake of a vicious skirmish on the word of Balder the Brave, a most reliable witness. If Balder says it happened, how could it not be true? And yet, how could one of Asgard's greatest protectors turn against the Golden Realm on such a dire day? This question propels the one-shot's narrative forward as Odin convenes court to decide where the truth lies.
For Milligan, the idea of setting a down-to-earth event like a trial by law against the backdrop of Asgard's grandeur proved too tempting an avenue not to explore.
"I really like the juxtaposition of a spin on this recognizable story convention against the backdrop of gods and giants and strange lands," the writer admits. "What's
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appealing—I hope—about this plot is that it does what good, gripping plots should do: it takes its protagonist into uncomfortable territory. It hangs its protagonist out to dry. And we're wondering if just maybe our protagonist deserves all that he's getting."
Thor nicely fulfills that role, offering a protagonist who has proven himself noble, thoughtful, and heroic, but also prone to an explosive temper and arrogance.
"He's been the savior of Asgard many times, but can the pressure of being such a hero to his people takes its toll, even on someone like Thor?" asks Milligan. "What—if anything—could make him snap? Can even a thunder god lose his senses or his moral compass?"
While fans attempt to figure that question out, they may find themselves drawn to Volstagg the Valiant, Fandral the Dashing, and Hogun the Grim, better known as the Warriors Three. As cast by Milligan, the trio plays a vital role in discovering the truth behind the story:
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"The Warriors Three play an important part in this story," he reiterates. "Here, they become a kind of cross between C.S.I. Asgard and 'L.A. Law.'"
While Milligan admits there have been plenty of Thor stories before his and there will be many after, he remains assured that THE TRIAL OF THOR will offer a unique approach to the character and his world.
"That mix of real-life mythology and comic book sensibility means you can do or find just about anything on the many worlds of Asgard. I mean, there have been hundreds of Thor stories told but you get the feeling that there are still unexplored regions and unknown characters out here."
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