Sunday, November 03, 2013

Comic Book Beard: Marvel Comics' Volstagg

"The Lion of Asgard" kicking butt (or chin) in Thor #608, drawn by Billy Tan and written by  Kieron Gillen.
In an effort to identify a fully bearded mainstream comic book characters who are not completely insane, I had to dig pretty deeply. While rereading Marvel's 2010 "event" miniseries Seige, I came across the ancillary mini-series Siege: Embedded starring a popular, though minor, Thor character. A member of Thor's Warriors Three, Volstagg (also known as Volstagg the Enormous, Volstagg the Voluminous, and the Lion of Asgard), though fun loving, is definitely not depicted as a nut job.

Painted by artist Stephanie Hans,
the cover to Journey Into Mystery #630
proves that even children dig
Volstagg's beard!
Easily recognizable to comic book fans by his large girth and immense red beard, and purple/gold clothing color scheme, in comic books, Volstagg is the most fun loving of the Asgardian trio of heroes known as The Warriors Three. The physical extension of the character's extremely healthy "appetites", Volstagg's girth and hairy countenance is also useful in lulling unsuspecting enemies and villains into a sense of ease, though he is both an Asgardian god and a skilled combatant with a quick wit.

Featured as key minor player in the the 2011 movie Thor, actor Ray Stevenson would appear to have more film time as Volstagg in the upcoming sequel, Thor: The Dark World. At least the inclusion of a character poster promoting the film would leave one to believe that. Immediately following Marvel's event series Seige: Embedded, Volstagg was part of the renamed Thor series Journey Into Mystery (which recently concluded after the Marevl NOW initiative). Issue #630 of Journey Into Mystery, was devoted to his whereabouts in that series during the following year's next event, Fear Itself. (If it seems like there are too many "events" in the Marvel 616 Universe, you are correct!)

Though I have periodically collected Thor comic books, primarily as a youngster during the Walter Simonson-Beta Ray Bill days, I regret that I have not followed the Warriors Three since then. Simonson's (then) definitive run included the Warriors Three to great effect and I recall those issues fondly. As a minor character, Volstagg is not featured enough in a single title that I have been able to plop down my limited comic funds for, but I have enjoyed reading a few books in doing some research on his Marvel character for this post. I also look forward to once again seeing Stevenson take the screen as Volsatgg in Thor: The Dark World later this week.

Actor Ray Stevenson as Volstagg in Thor: The Dark World (2013).

1 comment:

Ernesto said...

I love to see DC comics, an THOR with his Hammer hit in the land.