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Warlock and the Infinity Watch #25: Review

Feb 1994
Jim Starlin, Angel Medina

Story Name:

Raid on Asgard

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Warlock and the Infinity Watch #25 Review by (June 24, 2023)
This is the penultimate chapter of the Blood & Thunder 4-title crossover. It's also a giant-size 25th anniversary special with a die-cut cover revealing embossed Thor on the inner 2-page cover spread.

The crossover story concludes in Thor #471, and it will be no surprise to learn that the Thunder God doesn't actually die.

Then back in next issue the Count Abyss plotline will continue.





 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Warlock and the Infinity Watch #25 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Continued from WARLOCK CHRONICLES #8.

In Asgard Odin senses peril approaching and in his scrying orb he sees our gang (Dr Strange, Silver Surfer and the Infinity Watch:- Adam Warlock, Drax, Gamora, Moondragon, Pip and Thanos and their ally Maxam) land on the Rainbow Bridge with Thor encased in block of force. Bifrost's guardian Heimdall bars their way so Thanos blasts him (successfully). Odin reasonably takes this as a hostile act and assumes the villains hold his son as a hostage so he mobilises all Asgardian warriors and sends then to defend the Realm.

We know of course that Thor is consumed by a madness that has him intent on destroying Asgard and then the universe. Thanos has him in a stasis field but the Thunder God has Drax's Power Gem and it won't be long before he breaks free. Pip apologises for bringing them to the Bridge rather than into Asgard itself but he passes the blame to Surfer. He can only teleport the group to somewhere 1 of them knows, and this is how SS normally entered the place. They expect to now have to fight their way through some Asgardians, but are not prepared for the horde they see approaching, led by Balder and the Warriors Three.

Thanos says he has to stay behind to keep the stasis field secure, so it's everyone else that has to face the warriors. They hold their own in pages of battle that follow (Pip mainly keeping out of the way) until Balder KO's Dr Strange, Gamora accidentally flattens Moondragon with Volstagg and Hogun brains *her* with his mace (Pip is also unconscious by this time). That leaves Drax, Maxam, SS and Warlock still in the fray.

Meanwhile Sif teleports nearby (via her Norn Stones) with Beta Ray Bill in tow. They view the battle and Sif hopes they can rescue Thor before Odin learns that he suffers from Warrior Madness. But Bill reminds her how dangerous her lover has become. To free him would imperil the universe. Sif is torn because the penalty for Warrior Madness is exile or death.

Thanos sees the tide of battle going against his side. He sees no personal profit in joining in, but reluctantly feels that he must again play the hero. He calls Maxam to him to keep monitoring Thor while he takes his place in the combat. Immediately the Titan makes a massive difference even though Warlock has to watch his back. Thanos reminds him of how they stood thus together against 10,000 of Magus' religious zealots (Warlock #10-11). Adam reminds *him* that was an alternate reality that they wiped out, but Thanos says that they 2 remember it. They join forces with Drax and Surfer for a final assault.

Watching Odin decides it's time for a personal intervention. He materialises on Bifrost and orders his troops to stand down while he deals with the invaders himself. Drax lunges at him but gets blasted unconscious for his pains. Thanos tells Adam to gather their fallen and retreat while he and SS tackle the Lord Of Asgard. Warlock picks up Moondragon and still-unconscious Gamora and retreats to a safe distance while the 3 remaining combatants exchange blasts. All too soon Surfer is out of the fight and we see the other 3 with Maxam. Gamora is recovering while unconscious Pip and Strange are draped across Thor's floating force-field prison. Odin and Thanos exchange boasts and then the Titan strikes.

We have another interlude in the other-dimensional floating castle of Count Abyss who seeks Adam Warlock's Soul Gem and now has a bottle of wine that will get it for him (see #23). His army of demons failed (#16) but he tells his consort Maya that stealthy deceit will win the day. This bottle will be given to Warlock by a leader of forces in opposition to the Count. This person will even share the contents with him, because it isn't poison. And we get the impression that this 'rebel leader' will be Maya herself.

Back at the final conflict Odin calls down passing asteroids to rain on his opponent, but Thanos just punches them to smithereens. Both combatants continue to declare their superiority, but Thanos pooh-poohs any talk of *moral* right. He encases the All-Father in a block of pure force like that around Thor. But Odin easily breaks out of it and calls his regal staff to his hands with which he blasts Thanos through the walls of Asgard. The watching heroes fear that the pair will tear Asgard down around them. (Drax is there too and wakes up.)

Odin thinks he's won but Thanos arises out of the rubble. Bill and Sif also fear for Asgard. Bill says they must stop the fight but Sif still worries about Thor. Odin resumes blasting Thanos with his power sceptre but the Titan forces his way through the onslaught to grasp the staff. The pair rise into the air vying for control of it and then plunge back to destroy some more buildings. Odin salutes the fallen Titan as a worthy opponent but battered Thanos struggles to his feet and refuses to yield.

Then Sif teleports to their side with Bill. She begs Odin to cease the fight because Thanos and his comrades are innocent. She finally admits to the All-Father that his son has gone mad and the heroes only imprisoned him because with the Power Gem he is a danger to Asgard and everything. She hoped to cure him of this before Odin learned of it because she fears it is Warrior Madness. Odin forgives her because she did it for love of his son. The heroes now arrive with the floating force box and Odin apologises to them and welcomes them to Asgard.

Adam Warlock, Dr Strange and Silver Surfer now explain to Odin that they believe this is *not* Warrior Madness. They explain that when Odin gave Thor the mortal identity Don Blake (and again when he was merged with Eric Masterson) they believe that this fractured his soul and drove him to this state. Odin accepts this and says that only he can cure him. He mentally contacts his son and we see them in psychic combat. But then the All-Father returns to the physical world and admits his failure. So for the safety of Asgard and the universe Thor must die.

To be concluded in THOR #471.



Angel Medina
Bob Almond
Ian Laughlin
Angel Medina (Cover Penciler)
Bill Anderson (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Jack Morelli.
Editor: Craig Anderson. Editor-in-chief: Tom DeFalco.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Balder
Balder

(Balder the Brave)
Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange

(Stephen Strange)
Drax
Drax

(Drax the Destroyer)
Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer

(Norrin Radd)
Thor
Thor

(Odinson)
Warriors Three
Warriors Three

(Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg)

Plus: Count Abyss, Infinity Watch, Maxam, Maya Teraxtola.

> Warlock and the Infinity Watch: Book info and issue index

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