An Eye on History
Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve set a ring around their beloved planet Earth and the magic tree Yggdrasil grew up around it offering protection until the coming of man.
Sometime after his brothers perished to the fire demon Surtur, Odin engaged the demon in battle again on many occasions. One of them being the impetus that led Odin to create the Bifrost, a Rainbow Bridge that connects the dimensions of Asgard and Earth. As gods, the Asgardians were worshiped by Earth’s ancient Vikings, the Norsemen who touted tales of heroes, gods and demons.
While venerated by the Norse peoples, they were once pitted against the Olympian gods when their respective followers went to war, but Odin ended the conflict after confronting the Olympian lord Zeus. Odin interacted with Zeus again as a fellow member of the Council of Godheads, who interceded when the Celestials’ Third Host visited Earth. When the Celestials threatened to cut the gods off from Earth, Odin constructed the unstoppable armored Destroyer and his Oversword should he face the Celestials in battle.
Odin learned many details of Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods, from the prophetess Volla, including that Loki would indeed betray Asgard. Odin concocted many schemes to avoid Ragnarok, particularly seeking to spare Thor from its effects. In modern times, Odin punished Thor for provoking a senseless battle against the giants. Seeking to teach his son humility, Odin cast him into the form of a mortal named Donald Blake.
Blake retained no memory of his life as Thor and suffered from a lame leg, requiring the use of a cane. Becoming a doctor, Blake eventually found Mjolnir within a cave in Norway, where it had been transformed into a gnarled cane. By striking the cane on the ground he and Mjolnir would revert to their true form. Although Thor initially continued to believe that Blake was a real person, Odin eventually revealed the deception to him and fully restored his memories.
Odin was frustrated to find that Thor had fallen in love with Jane Foster, who once served as Blake’s nurse. Odin made repeated attempts at dividing the two and prevented Blake from revealing his true identity to Jane. Odin continued to interfere with Thor, at times banishing him and removing his powers for favoring either Earth or Jane over his responsibilities in Asgard. During a battle between Thor and the Olympian Hercules, Odin transferred part of the Odinpower to Seidring the Merciless to discipline Thor for sharing his double identity with Jane. Although Seidring’s interference caused Thor to lose the fight, Seidring sought to supplant Odin; Thor came to his father’s rescue, reconciling them. Odin finally consented to Thor wedding Jane and granted her godly powers, but Jane could not adjust to life in Asgard and finally chose to return to Earth as a mortal, ending her relationship with Thor. Odin quickly reintroduced Thor to Sif, his lover from earlier times whom Odin had always favored.
When Odin entered his Odinsleep to rebuild his power, Asgard was threatened by Mangog, who attempted to draw the Oversword from its scabbard. But Thor awakened Odin and he drove Mangog away. During the next Odinsleep, Loki assumed rule of Asgard and cast Odin’s body into the Sea of Eternal Night. The death goddess Hela found Odin in this state and removed a portion of his power, which had tapped into the abstract being Infinity.
When Surtur menaced Asgard, Balder heroically retrieved Odin and he awoke in time to expel Surtur from the realm. Soon after, Odin aided Thor in overcoming Infinity. When Mangog threatened Asgard anew, Odin led his forces against him but ultimately perished at Mangog’s hands. However, when the Olympian death god Pluto tried to conquer Asgard, Hela restored Odin to life to stop him.
When Asgard was invaded by the extraterrestrial Vrellnexians, Odin was captured and sold into slavery. Thor and his allies set Odin free and went on to combat Mercurio and Xorr the God-Jewel before returning to Asgard, which they found had been taken over by the sorcerer Igron, using duplicates of Odin, Thor, and other absent Asgardians. Igron was overthrown, and Odin reclaimed his throne.
Seeking to learn more about humanity, Odin cast himself into a mortal guise as “Orrin,” removing his own memories of his true identity. Orrin lived in San Geraldo, California, and befriended Judith Leonards and Wade Heath, experiencing poverty amongst them. When the Ennead (Egyptian) gods Osiris, Isis, and Horus were held captive by Seth, they cast a spell over Odin, causing him to assume the guise of Atum-Re, father of their line of gods. Thor aided these gods against Seth, after which they removed their spell.
As the time of Ragnarok came closer, Odin sacrificed his right eye to the creature Mimir for wisdom, and copied Thor’s power into artifacts. Ostensibly, this was so another could be given his might should Ragnarok happen while Thor was on Midgard. But really it was done to thwart Loki, who Odin suspected was planning to trigger Ragnarok. Arranged by Loki, Balder’s near-death almost caused Ragnarok, but Odin preserved Balder’s life. Loki had the mortal Red Norvell use the empowering artifacts to usurp Thor’s identity, but Norvell sacrificed himself battling the Midgard Serpent, his death in Thor’s place suspending Ragnarok.
The Fourth Host of the Celestials finally arrived and Odin renewed his alliance with the Olympians, likewise recruiting the Eternals to face the threat. Odin absorbed all of the Asgardians except Thor into the Destroyer to combat the Celestials, but they melted it; Thor revived the fallen Asgardians with aid from Earth’s other godly pantheons.
Odin once engaged in a cosmic chess game with the demonic Dormammu, with the fate of reality at stake—the game was ultimately stalemated.
When Jolena reentered Odin’s life he found himself attracted to her again, but attempted to put it aside for his wife Frigga’s sake. However, rumors of Odin’s supposed infidelity reached Loki and Tyr, God of War, who raised an army to overthrow Odin. Odin rallied with Thor’s aid and even Loki turned against Tyr when he realized the charges were false.
When the extraterrestrial warrior Beta Ray Bill bested Thor in combat and proved worthy to wield Mjolnir, Odin had Eitri create a new Uru mallet, which he named Stormbreaker and gifted to Bill.
As Surtur finally made his move to recapture the Flame of Eternal Destruction from Odin, Thor led Asgard’s armies against Surtur on Earth. But Surtur invaded the evacuated Asgard, battling Odin for the flame. Flanked by Loki and Thor, Odin finally dragged the fire demon into the ground and sealed them both within Muspelheim, ensuring Asgard’s safety.
Odin was believed dead for some time, but had been kidnapped from Muspelheim by Seth, who placed binders upon Odin that drained his power and rendered him undetectable by Surtur. Odin was finally rescued by Thor and removed the binders, bringing Surtur forth. Odin ultimately absorbed Surtur into himself to end the fight. Soon after, the mortal Eric Masterson was gravely injured while aiding Thor in battle. To save Masterson, Odin merged him with Thor, granting him a new identity like his time as Donald Blake. Odin’s absorption of Surtur soon backfired when Surtur returned to combat Ymir for his sword Twilight, but both were rendered inert within the Sea of Eternal Night.
Odin then entered an extended Odinsleep and transferred the Odinpower to his guardsman Heimdall. However, Loki made a deal with the demon Mephisto; when Loki’s body was slain in battle with Thor, Mephisto transferred his spirit into Odin’s body and took Odin’s soul captive. In Odin’s body, Loki had Thor banished into Masterson’s subconscious mind, but Masterson eventually freed Odin’s soul from Mephisto and restored him to his body—and Odin then helped Masterson release Thor from his prison. To reward Masterson, Odin had Eitri craft the mace Thunderstrike and enchanted it for Masterson’s use. Masterson took the name “Thunderstrike” as his new heroic identity.
Odin was distraught when Thor developed warrior’s madness, spurred on by the many times Thor had shared his power with others and assumed other identities. Although Thor was eventually cured, he had another falling out with his father and exiled himself to Earth. Odin revived Red Norvell, gave him the Uru hammer Crusher, and adopted him as his new son in Thor’s place. When Thunderstrike perished in battle, Thor offered his spirit a place in Valhalla, but Odin interceded and sent Masterson on to his own afterlife.
The human Price affixed a device to Yggdrasil (the world-tree of Asgard), which caused it to believe that Ragnarok had occurred. Seeing an opportunity to overcome Ragnarok, Odin transformed Asgardians into mortals so that they would be unaffected by the false Ragnarok. Cast amnesiac into the form of Wad, Odin emerged in his mortal body decades in the past and succumbed to alcoholism. The other “Lost Gods” helped Odin reclaim his identity and overcome Seth, who had sought to claim Yggdrasil’s power over them.
Immediately after Seth’s defeat, the Asgardians were all captured by the Dark Gods, ancient foes of Asgard. Thor finally led a team of allies to rescue his people and rebuild Asgard.
During another Odinsleep, Odin transferred his power to Sif. Upon awakening, he perished during another battle with Surtur. Thor assumed his father’s place and claimed the Odinpower, but it departed from Thor just as Ragnarok finally came to Asgard; assuming the form of a child, the Odinpower helped lead Thor on a journey to realize how Those Who Sit Above in Shadow had manipulated Asgard for ages. Although Thor could not halt Ragnarok, he prevented Those Who Sit Above in Shadow from exploiting them further. Thor soon reclaimed the Odinpower and revived all the Asgardians who fell in Ragnarok, but Odin himself remained deceased.
When Thor himself took an Odinsleep, he went upon a spiritual journey to a land of the dead where he found that Odin was locked in eternal combat with Surtur. Although Thor had the power to release his father, Odin preferred to remain where he was, ensuring that Surtur would never threaten his people.
King Odin and the throne of Asgard have faced recent challenges including the War of the Realms and the coming of the Mangog. With Odinson removed from his position as Thor—and with Jane Foster, the Mighty Thor, in his place—the Mangog rampaged across the realms, unbridled in its hatred of the gods. Seeking vengeance for an ancient war, the Mangog reached Asgard, where he blinded Heimdall, nearly killed the War Thor Volstagg, and demolished the Rainbow Bridge. Beaten close to death, Odin refused to accept Jane Foster’s help, though the Mighty Thor disregarded his hubris, and defeated the Mangog herself—though all of Asgard was virtually destroyed in the process.