The complete story of Bill and Kelda, Pt. 1Posted: 03/31/2014
Superheroes stories are essentially dramas with lots of punching and primary colors. We can argue all day about morality, role in society, or literary value, but what’s the point in denying we love comics the same way middle-aged women love Keeping Up With the Kardashians? And yes, our entertainment form has subjectively far more quality, but everyone craves stories. We choose to get ours through superheroes — let’s embrace our common traits judgement free. So today, in my largest collection of pages I’ve ever gathered on this site (78 pictures laid out over four articles), I hope to present to you a love story guaranteed to make your heart soar and soak your face with tears. Most likely.
Please make these comics part of your collection: we’ll be using Thor #2-12, Giant-Size Finale, and 600-613, volume three, written by J. Michael Straczynski & Kieron Gillen and drawn by Olivier Coipel, Marko Djurdjevic, Billy Tan, Richard Elson, & Dougie Braithwaite. Also, The Mighty Thor #8-12, written by Matt Fraction and drawn by Pasqual Ferry, Pepe Larraz, & Giuseppe Camuncoli.
Now forgive me, because enormous amounts of back story’ll be needed before we begin. I’ll be fast. Okay, so originally when Thor premiered back in the 1960s, he shared a body with normal dude Doctor Donald Blake. When Blake tapped his walking stick, he turned into the thunder god. As comics have evolved, Blake was no longer needed and disappeared in 1968, but he’s back now — still sharing that same ol’ Thor body. The reason provided? Y’know, Ragnarok — the Norse Armageddon and the death of everybody Asgardian.
Luckily, Thor/Blake returns to life and decides to bring Asgard to Earth (Midgard). So they do, right next to a rural town called Broxton in Oklahoma. In quite possibly the greatest Thor stories ever told, Straczynski (and later Gillen) revives all the gods, presents a new status quo for Thor and friends, famously allows Thor to have some “words” with Iron Man, resurrects a wonderfully conniving Loki, and so much more. Oh, and most importantly, we meet some new characters, like local diner cook Bill Cobb Jr.
There’s a beautiful dynamic in Straczynski’s new Asgardian home — the small town folks who have probably never ventured far from their hometown now work and live alongside actual living, breathing gods. So when Bill wanders around at night, the people (immortal gods) he’ll meet could be anyone’s guess. Thankfully, he meets this one:
Right? I’m glad Doctor Thor is back (for a few years at least). If you don’t mind, I should explain how Asgardian gods work in the Marvel universe. Like Thor, they all receive enhanced strength, durability, and super long lives due to those golden apples of Idunn. But their longevity only applies to natural causes, as a sword or fireball or alcoholic stupor can cut their lives dramatically shorter. Most Asgardians only have those abilities above — like Thor’s buddies Volstagg, Fandrall, Hogun, and lover Sif. They can fight like maniacs, but no ice beams or snow storms blasting from their hands. Though Kelda can. Think of her like an
Aryan Asgardian Storm.
Despite Bill’s probably sub-par education, he isn’t a fool. When a god sort of flirts by providing an invitation to explore the magical city of Asgard, Bill won’t dare refuse.
As Kelda mentioned during their late night chat, this is for many Asgardians the first time they’ve had to chance to chat with a human. Fish out of water humor and whatnot.
Don’t be afraid to root for Bill. Despite the trademark backwards baseball cap, this man’s a proper southern gentleman. The dude’s fearless around nine-foot shirtless gods and equally romantic around his gorgeous Asgardian crush. But yet Bill fails to make a move. If an eternally youthful, prettier Iceman falls for him, why should he hesitate? Intimidation, I’m sure, but at least for Kelda’s sake I imagine it’s just nice to have a man treat her with a compassion the nine-foot shirtless gods rarely do. Though honestly, I think Bill just chickened out:
Y’see, while romance emanates in the Oklahoma air, the Asgardian politics protruding throughout the main story are far less sexy. Loki, now a female, has been putting his gorgeously manicured fingernails into all sorts of manipulated stews. Since Odin’s not around (sorry, I probably should have told you earlier), Thor rules the best he can. Loki has different ideas, and successfully places Baldur on the Asgardian throne, exiling Thor, and moving the entire city of Asgard to Latveria. Y’know, Doctor Doom’s pad.
So, the blossoming star-crossed love between Bill and Kelda remains star-crossed once more.
We all know it doesn’t end here. While Bill in real life would chalk up his loss to fate and eventually marry some pretty local girl, we’re reading a comic book story. Wonderful, majestic, and exciting things happen in comic books that would never occur in our own world. I mean, the whole dating a goddess thing for one, but this tale has just begun for our two lovers.
Next time, Kelda fights Doctor Doom. How’s that for a teaser?