Warning: contains spoilers for Avengers 1,000,000 BC #1!
Marvel reveals by Thor dad Odin was a far cry from the loving and caring father figure of the present – and was in fact an outright villain for many centuries before the current comic book continuity. The Allfather rules Asgard with an iron will, but his the sons Thor and Loki softened his heart somewhat, especially since these last two characters have grown up and become leaders in their own right. But Avengers 1,000,000 BC #1 reveals that Odin was a selfish and arrogant bully of a king, and he revealed his wicked ways at the worst possible time: the day of his wedding to the Phoenix.
In the past, one would have assumed that Thor was the most violent and vicious character. Even though he appeared as the innocent Doctor Donald Blake, he was never originally human; Odin had removed much of Thor’s memory before banishing him to Midgard to teach him humility. But recent events (particularly those that have led until Mangog possesses Thor’s Hammer) had shed some light on Odin’s actions before Thor became a member of the Avengers. But long before Thor was born, Odin was endangering the entire Earth with his evil ways.
In Avengers 1,000,000 BC #1, by Jason Aaron and Kev Walker, the world’s first Avengers fight against the ice giant Laufey and manage to protect the Earth from his grip. Later, Odin (appearing much younger, with the classic winged helmet of Thor) invites the Starbrand, Sorcerer Supreme Agamotto, and the other Avengers (except Black Panther who was killed in battle) to Asgard, though no threats arrive in the realm. “By calling us here, you left the people of Earth helpless!” Iron Fist protests. Odin gathered the protectors of Earth for a marriage between him and the Phoenix… except he didn’t tell the Phoenix. “Jump to the end!” My desire can’t last a moment longer! he says, but the Phoenix violently interrupts the surprise nuptials.
Whereas Thor’s father and the Phoenix Force clearly had chemistry, the relationship was either one-sided or ended long before the battle. Anyway, Odin really doesn’t understand what he did wrong, so used to doing what he wants (as he previously states after the fight, “I am the way, the anger and the wonder…and I see what will happen.” Arranging a marriage – between an unsuspecting party and yourself, no less – is a villainous act, and Odin is among them here. The Phoenix only stays to help the Earth because it desires to protect humanity… but no longer loves Odin.
The book will eventually reveal Thor’s true birth, protected by the Phoenix Force itself. In this way, she may have finally forgiven Odin but – as the story shows – did not end up marrying him. In current comic book continuity, Odin is currently dead, and his spirit resides inside Thor’s reconstructed Mjolnir. Time will tell if Odin will return to the land of the living – but if he does, he probably won’t be the villain he was before his son Thor was born.
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