Friday, August 19, 2011

Talking Comics with The FutureWife: Beta Ray Bill

After reading comics for a few decades, I forget sometimes what those wondrous and inventive four-color worlds are like to comic outsiders. Lucky for me, I have a geek-leaning FutureWife who likes to ask questions and, in effect, to remind me how awesome comics are. What follows is a true (enough) conversation we've had when she's asked me an innocent question about one of my books.

"Who's that horse looking guy," The FutureWife said, looking over my shoulder while I was reading Volume One of the Walt Simonson Visionaries. She of course, was referring to this guy:

"That's Beta Ray Bill," I replied in confidence, "the Horse Thor."

"Horse Thor?"

"Well, Space Horse Thor. Technically."

"Your comics are weird," she responded about to turn back to a rerun of Stargate Atlantis.

"Actually," I said, unsatisfied with my own answer and unable to let Beta Ray go uncelebrated, "He's an alien placed in the body of a genetically-engineered, cybernetic warrior-beast from his home planet, tasked with finding a new planet for his displaced brethren."

The FutureWife had no words. She paused Stargate and turned to me.

"He found Earth on accident," I continued, "got in a huge fight with Thor and, because he had a noble goal, was able to LIFT THOR'S HAMMER!"

Nothing. You'd expect at least a gasp here.

"Which is amazing because no one else has ever been able to lift Thor's Hammer aside from the man himself. Anyway, it resulted in a big fight between Thor and Beta Ray to see who was truly worthy to wield the hammer and hold the title 'The God of Thunder'. It was awesome!"

"You're adorable," she laughed and turned back to Stargate Atlantis.

"He ended up getting his own, more badass looking hammer, STORMBREAKER," I paused for dramatic effect, "with (basically) which he fought Galactus to a standstill!"

"That's pretty amazing," the FutureWife was nonplussed.

"He's fought everywhere from deepest space to the wilds of Canada, doling out epic proportions of power, wrapped in a awesome package of violence! The guy is awesomeness embodied," I concluded, maybe getting a little riled up.

"Sounds kinda cool, dear."

"Never underestimate the power of Beta Ray Bill!"

"The Horse Thor," her attention for Stargate unbroken.

"Damn Straight!"


  1. Perhaps not at the time of Beta Ray Bill...but Steve Rogers was also able to lift the hammer. It was when he was displaced from being Captain America and was running around as The Captain. his ability to lift the hammer put Thor at ease and convinced him that Cap was in the right and the government was in the wrong. Happened in an issue of The Avengers. Good times.

  2. In my defense, it might not have been Stargate Atlantis. It could have any number of shows, like Stargate SG-1, or possibly Farscape :)