Friday, September 26, 2008

Thorion the Hunter! (Amalgam)
Thorion of the New Asgods #1 When: June 1997 Why: Keith Giffen How: John Romita Jr

The Story So Far...
When cosmic events conspire to endanger both the DC and Marvel universes, the heroes of each Earth is faced with a secret crisis that could destroy them all. In the middle of this clash of worlds is Axel Asher - a citizen with a cosmic destiny that will embue him with the powers of Access!

By the will of two opposing omnipotent brothers, champions of the DC and Marvel universes are forced to fight for survival. To the victor goes the spoils of existence, but for any hero who would refuse to fight, a forfeit that brings their world closer to eradication.

When Batman and Captain America meet in a hard-fought final battle, all seems lost, but as Access comes to realise the full extent of his incredible powers, the Spectre and Living Tribunal use their own awesome energies to create the ultimate loophole to save - or destroy - the lives of everyone in both worlds!

What if... an elseworld existed composed of both universes?!
Access is the only being alive to witness the outcome as histories are rewritten, and a new universe is borne of a bizarre cosmic amalgamation. Is this existence the ultimate solution, or mutual destruction...?

Tale of the Tape...
Strength: Thorion 6 (Invincible)
Intelligence: L'Ok D'Saad 5 (Professor)
Speed: Thorion 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Thorion 6 (Generator)
Agility: Thorion 2 (Average)
Fighting Ability: Thorion 6 (Warrior)
Energy Power: Draw 6 (UWMD)

- The result of merging the core DC and Marvel universes; L'Ok D'Saad is in actual fact two seperate beings: Desaad of Apokolips, and Loki of Asgard.

The treacherous half-brother of Thorion was traded to Apokolips' despot ruler, Thanoseid, in part of a peace keeping pact with New Asgard. The two sons were reshaped in the image of their environments, turning L'Ok D'Saad into the embittered servant of his master. His hatred for his heroic half-brother is so strong he is willing to serve Thanoseid's desire to exterminate all life in dedication to Lady Death.

The inherent extent of L'Ok D'Saad's powers is unknown, but his subserviance to Thanoseid allows him access to immense cosmic powers. Among them, the Mother Cube; a construct housing the raw cosmic energies of the Infinity Essence, which are capable of instigating the will of it's possessor at a potential cost of their life.

- The result of merging the core DC and Marvel universes; Thorion is in actual fact two seperate beings: Orion of Apokolips, and Thor of Asgard.

Thorion perished during the Secret Crisis by was able to be resurrected by the exchange of his half-brother, L'Ok D'Saad, for the hammer Mjolnir, as part of a peace keeping agreement with warring Apokolips ruler, Thanoseid.
Nurtured by the positive influence of New Asgard and Odin the Highfather; Thorion overcomes his instinctive rages to channel them in battle for good.

Thorion defies the forces of Apokolips that infringe the neutral territory of the Blasted Lands, located between there and New Asgard. Wielding the Astro-Force, Thorion is privvy to incredible cosmic energies channeled through his hammer, Mjolnir. As a New Asgod he also possesses inherent strength, speed, and endurance, as well as the battle hardened experience of a warrior.

Additional: While the Amalgam characters have not yet appeared in the Infinite Wars, a previous entry detailed one of the many confrontations between Thor and Loki. Avengers #1 showcased Loki's penchant for treachery, and Thor's sheer will to overcome in the face of adversity.

Math: Thorion Ranking: Draw (NR)

What Went Down...
With the power of the Mother Cube in his possession, L'Ok D'Saad petitions the wrath of the Promethean Giants bound by The Source to the Ego-Mass. These monsters of destruction are the instruments of Ragnarok - the twilight of gods!

Bitterly opposing his favoured half-brother, L'Ok unleashes the power of the Cube with a blast of energy that engulfs his brother and stirs the infernal giant, Surtur, from his slumber. The demonic beast responds with fury dwarfed only by the heroism of Thorion, who refuses to allow the giants march.

Clutching Mjolnir in his clenched fist, Thorion summons the Astro-Force to contain the dark powers of the Infinity Essence! His body disappears in the rush of energies and explodes in a cosmic burst that recalls the day Odin himself unleashed the powers of the Source and reignited the flame of the New Asgods!

Thorion had succesfully stemmed his half-brother's mad plans, protecting the universe in doing so, the resurrected New Asgod paid the price of his immortal body. Stripped of his flesh and embued with the combined powers of the Infinity Essence and Astro-Force, Thorion becomes something much more awesome.

No longer welcome in either Apokolips, nor New Asgard, Thorion is reborn from the remnants of the Promethean Giants and Ego-Mass, fashioning a new epic visage that earns him the title -- the Celestial!

The Hammer...
Though not without sacrifice, Thorion emerges from the destruction of both the giants, and L'Ok D'Saad, to be our weekly winner!

With the November 10 release date of Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe looming ever closer, it seems the Infinite Wars just can't escape the subject. Such is the impetus for our stop in the Amalgam universe, where fans get a glimpse of things to come!

The premise of Mortal Kombat hinges on defending Earth from the invasion of other universes, but if you thought either side was ill equipped to deal with the threat of a merger, you'd be wrong! The DCU has certainly had it's brushes with interdimensional mayhem, ranging from their battle (and brief merging) with the Marvel Universe [DC versus Marvel]; to the homegrown threats of Crisis on Infinite Earths and it's emotional sequel, Infinite Crisis.

Details of the upcoming game's plot remain sketchy, but in our Q&A with the game's Senior Producer, Hans Lo revealed; "... I can say that two major events occurring at the same time in each universe triggers the merging process and that it’s up to the teams from each universe to find the cause and hopefully correct the situation before it spells the doom not just one universe, but both."

A teasing leak of Xbox 360 achievements revealed the defeat of "Dark Khan," which seems to confirm one of the worst kept secrets in the game -- the threat of the merged powers of Shao Kahn and Darkseid!

Fans of the DC/Marvel merger, now over a decade old, will have some idea of what to expect! Pictured right; the result of combining Darkseid and Thanos - Thanoseid!

Amalgam comics, which were printed over two week stints in 1996 and 1997, boast yet another example of a comics crossover which managed to exist within the established continuity of two universes, despite the inevitable distance put between the associated parties.

Comics like these make the decision to remove MKvsDC from contemporary MK plots seem all the more disappointing. While penetration in the domain of entertainment favours video games, it's fair to say there's still a lot of creative direction the young medium could take from it's four-colour counterpart.

Few mediums have the experience with on-going sequential story telling comics do, but as video games settle into franchise development, not unlike Mortal Kombat's fifteen years of releases, the similarities become increasingly evident.
Cross polonization has seen many comics writers successfully lending their talents to the medium, examples like Paul Jenkins springing to mind, who has contributed to titles like; Legacy of Kain, Twisted Metal Black, God of War, Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, and The Darkness, where his influence took on a directorial role to permeate throughout the design of the game.

Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray join MKvsDC as writers for the story mode, but the game exudes an unmistakable leaning toward MK as the home team. In it's most admirable outings the Mortal Kombat narrative has shown great foresight for the future, such as 2002's Deadly Alliance which successfully drew mythology from previous plot, whilst foreshadowing driving events from 2004's, Deception.

Rumors persist of a 2010 straight sequel to 2006's Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, but I'm definitely looking to see how the latest stages of comic book influence effect MKvsDC. Not that this is the first brush with the medium for MK!

Comics have influenced the creation of Mortal Kombat since it's inception, thanks in no small part to co-creator John Tobias, who has worked for a host of companies as a penciler. Jim Kreuger (Earth X, Justice) preceeds Palmiotti and Gray as the first well known comics writer to contribute to MK, having written the script for the adventure spin-off, Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks.

Tobias returns to the brand with Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe to draw a sixteen-page bonus comic shipping with special editions of the game!

The Fight: 3.5 The Issue: 4.5

Thorion of the New Asgods comes from the second wave (1997) of Amalgam releases, and is available collected in "Return to the Amalgam Age of Comics." You'll find that, and collected editions of reviewed issues, in the Infinite Wars Amazonian Gift Shoppe! By using Amazon purchase links provided on the site you help sponsor future entries in the Infinite Wars! Hey, you can also do neat things like pre-order the Collector's Edition of MKvsDC to make sure you don't miss out on the bonus content!

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