Saturday, November 23, 2013


Comic Art


Few villains have had the visual impact of Thor's nemesis, "The Destroyer of Worlds." It is a boring character. As Wikipedia describes it:
The Destroyer is an enchanted suit of armor forged by Odin,....

Although the Destroyer can act independently for brief periods,[12] in general the construct is lifeless until animated by the life-force of a sentient living being. When so animated, the Destroyer retains a rudimentary base personality that will eventually subvert the host unless that host is a particularly strong-willed individual, such as Thor or Loki
In other words, the destroyer is not so much a character as a weapon, but look at the images around you - stunning stuff! The kind of stuff that when I would peruse the shelves would make me grab the comic - still does, though the Destroyer rarely appears anymore.

This character is really a testament to Jack Kirby who drew the original. Imagine this story line, again as described by Wikipedia:
Years later the menace from the stars is revealed to be the Celestials, with the Skyfather gods (e.g., Odin; Zeus etc.) having pooled their resources a millennium before to create a weapon to stop the arrival of the so-called Fourth Host of Celestials. At the penultimate moment, Odin enters the Destroyer armor and then absorbs the life essences of all present in Asgard (with the exception of absent Thor), growing to a height of 2,000 feet (610 m). The Destroyer then draws the Odinsword,
I have been unable to find those images, but I remember them vividly - the Destroyer drawing the Odinsword is not something one can readily forget. I have always contended that Kirby's powers were at their peak when he drew Thor and Asgard, and that peak summitted when the powers of Asgard faced off against the Celestials and 2000 foot Destroyer roamed the cosmos.

I should note that the Destroyer is also the perfect creation of the pen-and-ink four color era of comics. Modern renderings with the metal all gleaming and all the shadows and subtlety somehow rob the image of its power. The movie appearance by the Destroyer was disappointing. As on friend said, "All he did was blow up a gas station," which is true enough, but I also had a problem with the appearance - it was to "earthy" somehow - not sufficiently cosmic. Maybe the magic minds that create these things now cold whip up a Thor short in which the Destroyer was featured in all his cosmic glory. I'd pay full price to see that!


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