- —Loki in a thought bubble
Appearing in "Whatever Happened to Balder the Brave?"
Synopsis for "Whatever Happened to Balder the Brave?"
To Nornkeep has come the wolf Geri, on a mission for Odin, and no barrier or man can stand in his way. Geri has come to summon Balder home.
In Asgard, Odin broods upon his throne until Frigga enters to try to ease his heavy heart. Odin tells Frigga that when he returned from Midgard the eve before, he found Heimdall waiting on him. Heimdall took Odin to his home beside the bridge where Munin lay. Odin and Munin spoke for a time until Odin learned what he needed to know. Balder arrives before Odin and learns the mission he would be sent upon. Balder must deliver a letter to Loki, he who is responsible for Balder's death and sojourn through Hel. Odin wants only Balder as his messenger because even Loki acknowledges that the word of Balder is the very measure of truth. Balder agrees on the condition that he will not raise a sword nor kill a soul.
In Bay Bridge Brooklyn, Sigurd is entertaining Melodi, by receiving a backrub from her. As she works on him, she offers him some of her golden mead, only to find he's fallen asleep. She's amused since she fell asleep on him the first time they met. She leaves, and leaves him a note that she wants to cook dinner for him next weekend.
In Asgard, Balder and Silverhoof ride for Loki's castle past the Living Landslide, through the Forbidden Forest, and across the Deadly Desert, until they reach the final path to the castle. As he begins the trail, he is suddenly attacked by trolls until he realizes that they're not trolls, but demons of the flame.
Elsewhere, the gigantic figure tempers the sword Twilight in a lake of molten lava.
Inside Loki's castle, Balder finds himself bound and brought before Loki and his guest — Malekith. Malekith orders his demons to kill Balder while he and Loki discuss business. Balder manages to slip his bonds and dodges the demons swords and spears, until he no longer has a choice and reaches for a sword.
Back on Earth at the construction site, Sigurd is working on cleaning up the rubble. Jerry shows up and tells him to put on a hardhat since the insurance people are about. Sigurd leaps off to get one, and Jerry is now convinced that Sigurd is an honest to god superhero — Spider-Man.
Back in Asgard, Balder begs the demons to let him pass, but they draw first blood, and Balder is forced to fight back in order to complete his mission. Balder gets past the demons and bursts through the doors to Loki and Malekith. Balder lunges at Malekith, but he fades away into the shadows. Balder then hands Loki the letter from Odin, completing his task. But Loki just tosses it away unread, for he has already accepted Malekith's offer. Enraged at being forced to break his oath to not kill, Balder swings the sword one last time, taking Loki's head.
At Nornkeep, Karnilla is frustrated at not being able to see what's going on inside Loki's castle when the alarm sounds. On their mystic screen, they see the image of Balder riding fast with the look of the damned on his face. Balder and Silverhoof race off into the desert to lose himself forever.
Back in Loki's castle, Loki's body still stands where it was, until it slowly reaches down and picks up the head, putting it back on. Loki had enjoyed the jest at Balder's expense, declaring it well worth the price of a stiff neck. For after all, the first thing a sorcerer of quality learns is to make himself as difficult to kill as possible.
Balder the Brave! Balder the Bold! You know him - you've seen him fight - but you've never seen him like this! Neither has Thor - and Asgard will never be the same!
- This issue is reprinted in other comics and books, see references for more info.
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