...and we're back.
If you haven't read Part One of my evisceration of Thor #499, I encourage you to do so. You see, this comic is SO BAD that it requires not one, but two posts.
All right, we've established earlier that there is some kind of disconnect between artist and writer, perhaps due to a language barrier, perhaps for other reasons. Regardless, whatever the reason for the disconnect, it has fucked up this comic book real bad. But we can't just blame the artist; the writer and editor have to share the load as well. Let's continue.
Here's a page (below) where a de-powered Thor takes on Asgard's Olympic wrestling team, a bunch of dwarves on 'roids. These muscley little knee-biters surge forward, crying, "For the gold!" Thor throws his enchanted hammer mjolnir at the dwarves but - doy!- it completely slips his mind that it's no longer magic. The dwarves grab the hammer and escape. Thor, you utter dumbass. This is one of those lazy writer's crutches where the main character does something stupid and out of character in order to advance the plot.
As Thor is buried under a confusing mass of flesh-tone body parts, he thinks to himself in the green caption box: "Arrrrgh. I forgot mjolnir is no longer enchanted! It will no longer return to me!" Setting aside the fact that he's a complete tool for throwing his weapon away, the caption box thing confuses me. If it's supposed to represent inner dialogue, why does Thor think "arrrgh"? Isn't that like a scream or a cry or some other verbal utterance? People don't think "arrrgh" or "aiieee!" I don't know, maybe it's Think Like A Pirate Day in Asgard.
The stupidity continues. As Thor, Drunk Odin, Officer Kim Gaunt, Annie, and Sylvia travel across this Wagnerian version of Asgard, looking for Thor's missing hammer and the allegedly kidnapped Sylvia, they meet... a hooded man!
Thor is a master of the patently obvious. And I'm going to start greeting people that way: "Halloo, My Good Friend! 'Twas I who ordered the large Meat Lover's Combo!"
The hooded man turns out to be Loki, Thor's mortal enemy and half-brother! Thor is skeptical, but here in Topsy-Turvy World, Loki is actually a good guy and Thor and Odin are slavering maniacs. I half expected to see Goateed Spock show up, but no. Loki delivers a few lines of exposition before he gets shot with an arrow by an evil Balder the Brave, flying on a winged steed.
Thor beats up Balder and decides to tame his fiery steed. There follows an extended sequence in which Thor wastes precious time riding the flying horse, which is part Pegasus, part unicorn, part My Little Pony. Here's a panel (below) where the flying pony strafes our characters while Thor hangs on. The girls scatter, including Sylvia, who you may recall has been kidnapped by dwarves, yet still appears in the art. Nobody notices her, even when she has lines of dialogue. Maybe she's pulling a Patrick Swayze and she's actually dead.
Click to enlarge, if you must:
As Annie and Phantom Sylvia dive for cover, notice that the bound Balder the Brave talks shit from the sidelines. "Thee shall ne'er tame my fiery steed, mud-thing!" Not only is that darn rude, but I think it's grammatically incorrect. I may not be up on my Olde English, but I'm pretty sure it's "Thou shall ne'er tame my fiery steed..." I could be wrong about that, but regardless of how you say it, I'm pretty sure it's impossible IF YOUR MOUTH IS GAGGED! Yes, the communication between writer and artist(s) breaks down even further as Balder utters dialogue despite having his mouth gagged.
Moving away from the overt stupidity of the book, let's look at the one area where the editor did show some interest -- DeNudifying Mike Deodato's art. In Thor #499 there are no nipples, no belly buttons, and very few thongs. As I mentioned previously, Marvel took great pains covering up Mike Deodato's thong-wearing women. They either colored their asses, like on the cover, or they doodled a little and created more modest undergarments out of the thongs. If only they were consistent about it...
Let's take a look at Officer Kim Gaunt as an example. She starts off the comic with orange hair and a daring "Rio style" barbarian bikini, but soon she has dark red hair and grey men's underwear. Kim is next seen sporting what can only be described as a diaper, then appears with bright orange hair and a thong again. Check it out:
I like it when the beat goes da na da na
Baby make your booty go da na da na
Girl I know you wanna show da na da na
That thong th-thong thong thong
Well, there you have it. Rampant De-Nudifying, staggering lapses in logic and continuity, stupid dialogue, bad art, characters who shouldn't be there yet they are... it all adds up to one big stinky pile of sequential excrement.
Thor #499. It's so bad - so cosmically awful - that it deserves its own special "Asgardian The Pain Award!"