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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 7,976
In Reply To
Battle Wizard

Subj: Agree and disagree.
Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 08:51:57 pm EST (Viewed 144 times)
Reply Subj: My distaste for Odin has been slowly building the last several years...
Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 at 02:02:34 am EST (Viewed 192 times)

Previous Post

Let me preface that statement by saying that decades ago when I became a Thor fan, that Odin was always depicted as being All-Wise. He had an answer for any problem that came up and knew how to go about setting it right. There weren't any entanglements about how he went about ruling, and there were no doubts to speak of about him. I didn't like that he punished Thor by splitting his soul and merging it with a human, but retrospect let me know that he did it so that Thor would gain an appreciation for the Midgardian's and also so that in so doing Thor would become less brash and become more of a considerate leader... qualities Odin felt he would need one day to successfully take his place.

Over the course of the last decade, Odin's been written as a leader with a lot of questionable decisions, and certainly a lot of flaws. I've really not liked the direction they've taken Odin. It seems everything he does now is wrong. It's a complete 180 viewpoint the way he's being written lately compared to the Odin I knew way back when. It didn't start with Fear Itself, it began far earlier than that. I suspect the ending of the Ragnarok cycle also had some kind of unforseen side-effect on Odin that is now playing out within the various storylines ever since. He may have been the All-Father once, but he no longer is; and where once his decisions were just and sound, now they are riddled with highly questionable if not outright bad decision making.

Fear Itself showed just how flawed and how far gone Odin is compared to the Odin I remember getting to know 2-3 decades ago. I understand why Odin did what he did way back when with his brother Cul. Cul was evil, and Odin felt justified in removing him from power so that Cul wouldn't turn all of Asgard evil. So it's understandable. Considering what we know of the Asgardian way of nobility, I feel just fine that Odin removed his brother and took his place. I totally understand why Cul feels Odin has been usurping his place all this time, but that's how any deposed king would feel. However, I do not feel that most of Odin's decisions during Fear Itself were at all in line with the style of leadership we got used to seeing out of the All-Father of 2-3 decades ago. This new Odin is rife with bad decision making and it clearly showed in Fear Itself. Odin deciding to raze the world of Midgard? After sending Thor to live amongst the Midgardians to gain the understanding of them that he was meant to do and then watching as his son has defiantly stood with the Midgardians over the years ever since and seeing the love his son has for them as a result, was exactly what the Old All-Father wanted for his son, but this new All-Father Odin acted like all of that didn't matter one bit in deciding to raze all of Midgard to protect his supposedly dirty little secret. Frankly, the new Odin has been reduced to a sad, plotting, Loki-like caricature of his former highly respected and genuinely All-Wise self. The Odin of old would have thought up options to explore with the return of his brother Cul. This new Odin only thought of himself and nobody else, which is drastically different than the Odin of old who would not have condoned the destruction of the entire Midgardian race. This new Odin is a mockery of his former self.

Ever since Odin was brought back from the dead, he's been a changed man, and not for the good. The way he fought Galactus was so very unlike him as well. Usually Odin has backup plans after backup plans, but a head-butt? Against a being Odin knows very well is purely energy? Head-butting an energy construct was just lame, and I solely credit that showing to utterly bad writing from an author who clearly didn't do his homework on Odin like he should have.

Frankly, the writers for Odin/Thor of late have shown me they are LAZY. They clearly aren't fans of Thor. They are a new generation of writers, eager to prove themselves with a bunch of drivvel but are completely showing me they do not ground their work in research of the subject material that's been out there already for decades now. They have a new idea and they ran with it irrespective of how Thor has been handled in the past. So it's not surprising that old-school Thor fans are disgusted and leaving the comic book in droves like I'm hearing and seeing. The recent treatment is at best, proof of a total lack of care for the work that has been done on Thor in the past.

Odin's treatment is a significant proof of this. He has been depicted lately as something totally atypical for what we saw out of Odin for so many years. He's utterly flawed and a total lack of respect for the sacrifices he gave to become all-wise is reflected in the way he's portrayed. It's as if modern writers simply do not understand that Odin is All-Wise for a reason, because he sacrificed himself and an eye to gain all that knowledge and understanding. Which is why I feel so strongly that modern writers simply haven't done their homework on Thor and Odin and well, Asgard in general. They have it all wrong precisely because they don't know their source material. Genuine authors of books have screeners who know the past and will tell a writer "sorry, that's not in line with what we know of the past, re-write it." Nowadays, the past means nothing. Writers are lazy because they're allowed to be lazy, and whatever idea they have, as long as it sells, they'll print it... and bedamned what we the fans know of the past.

I do not think traditionally Odin has been quite as infalliable as you make him out to be. He at times was pompous, arrogant, short-tempered, and impulsive. It was often his way or the highway. Many of his grand plans relied sometimes more on dumb luck then anything else.

However, for the most part I agree with you. He usually was the all-wise ruler you make him out to be. When his personality flaws did get in the way he usually realized it or when someone called him out on it regretted his actions and tried to make amends. He would even admit it. His plans were often huge gambled and could blow up in his face like the "lost gods" saga, but usually were the best if not only option.

Fraction's Odin does come across as a lot more unlikable. His personality flaws were exaggerated without virtues to balance them out.

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