Thor #52/554 (2002)

This issue is a very nice done-in-one that focuses on a new character, Thialfi, who Thor assigns to role of senior advisor.

Balder is distrustful, which is good—his job is to protect the integrity of the throne of Asgard. 

Through flashbacks, we learn Thialfi’s origin: He was a mortal human whose parents were killed by Vikings.  As a boy, Thor rescued the orphan and Odin agreed to allow Thialfi to live in Asgard and be a companion to young Thor.

The childhood friend represents to Thor a way to tie back to his innocence and youth at a time when the mantle of being king of Asgard weighs heavy on him, and Dan Jurgens’ script hits all the right notes.

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