Comic Book / The Surtur Saga
The dark fire will not avail you, Flame of Muspelheim! Go back to the Shadow! YOU! SHALL NOT! PASS!
The Surtur Saga was a 1984-1985 storyline of The Mighty Thor, written by Walt Simonson.

Thor had just lost the power to turn into the human Donald Blake, as that enchantment was transferred by Odin to Beta Ray Bill's hammer. He got a secret identity, and began his new life fighting against a dragon, with the help of the last viking. He was also seduced by Lorelei, the sister of the Enchantress who was acting as a mortal. In the meantime, Odin discovered that Surtur was working in the galaxy of fire, and investigated the details. He sent Balder to recruit Loki for the upcoming battle, but Loki had already allied himself with Malekith, a liutenant of Surtur. Malekith sought the casket of the ancient winters, kept by the Willis family since centuries, and Thor and Eric Willis could not prevent its destruction, which unleashed a destructive ice age in all earth.

When this ice age began, Surtur headed to Earth, to search the Bifrost and get to Asgard. Odin knew that Surtur wanted to retrieve the eternal flame, to burn his sword and destroy the universe. With his demons holding the superheroes and the main forces of Asgard in Earth, Surtur got to the gates of Asgard. He defeated Heimdall and Thor, and finally Odin himself by attacking him with the full force of the ancient winters that was attacking Earth. But Loki betrayed Malekith, and joined the war against Surtur. Even more, Eric Willis managed to reforge the casket of the ancient winters, trapping them again inside it... and, without knowing it, he freed Odin, who returned to the fight. Odin, Thor and Loki fought together against Surtur, and finally both Odin and Surtur fell into an abyss that engulfed them.

The Surtur Saga contains examples of:

  • 2-D Space: The pincer movement should not work with flying units, but for a time that they avoid the simple Attack! Attack! Attack! mindless tactic, we may let it pass.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Loki in his castle
  • The Ageless: Eric Willis. The casket of the ancient winters granted him eternal youth. By the end of the story, Roger Willis may become one as well.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Loki, son of frost giants, always claims that he hates his adoptive father Odin. He rejected to help in the crisis, and eventually showed up... but just to save his own skin. Still, when Odin fell in the abyss with Surtur, he shouted "FATHER!" along with Thor.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Thor and Roger Willis, in the Brookling bridge, standing against a never ending wave of demons sent by Malekith.
  • Badass Grandpa: It's always Thor who takes all the glory, so it's good to see Odin being the one who stands his ground against a cosmic horror, instead of just the typical jerkass father.
  • Batman Gambit: Volstagg noticed that Balder had left, but before searching for him, he checked if the pantry was filled with food, just in case some unexpected visitor arrived. Not wanting to be followed, Balder had already filled the pantry, so that Volstagg could "inspect" it, and he would be far away by the time that Volstagg was done with it.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When Thor rescued Melodi... which was actually Ajenjo, disguised as Melodi
  • Book Ends: The final scene of Odin and Surtur mirrors the incident of Odin and his brothers, told in a flashback
  • Clark Kenting: Used in-story. Even wearing street clothes, people may still recognize Thor, his Heroic Build is very huge. So Nick Fury thought, why not a pair of glasses? It works for that other guy! They even included a Captain Ersatz of Clark Kent for a couple of scenes afterwards.
  • Death by Origin Story: Vili and Ve, the brothers of Odin. They died to keep Surtur trapped in Muspelheim, as Odin escaped with the Eternal Flame.
  • Death Seeker: Balder, after killing Loki during a diplomatic mission (or so he thought).
  • Disability Immunity: Roger Willis, a mortal man, can not see the dark elves in their fortress, unless his vision is enhanced. But he lost this enhancement during the adventure. However, this allowed him to notice that Melodi was actually a dark elf in disguise, because he saw Thor hugging the air.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Lorelei sought a Dragon, who hates Asgardians, and began to gave him orders. The dragon zapped her will with a mere eye-to-eye contact.
  • Due to the Dead: The death of the last viking shall not go unnoticed: Thor gave him a proper and giant viking funeral. First he made a giant funeral pyre with the remains of the buildngs destroyed in the fight. Then, instead of throwing a dead dog to his feet, Thor threw the corpse of the dead dragon. Thor summoned a giant thunderstorm to blow it all up, and Odin and his Valkyries filled the sky, to take Eilif to Valhalla. Do you think that it was not correct to destroy the city for the funeral of a single guy? Why don't you tell this to Thor in his face?
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: If he wants a place in Valhalla, Eilif must have one of those. Not an easy task for a viking stranded alone in paradise. He tried to cheat Thor to kill him, which did not work, and died instead while killing a dragon. He had lost his renewed youth, he was once again a frail elder rapidly losing his strength and about to die... but he managed to climb to a ruin that placed him above the Dragon, and let himself fall. Elder, frail and dying, he managed to get his spear (blessed by Odin himself) into the Dragon, killing him with his last breath.
  • Earn Your Title: With his death, Eilif shall no longer be "Eilif the lost", he shall be forevermore known as "Eilif the Dragonslayer".
  • Eureka Moment: Played for laughs. The guy in the construction site saw Sigurd Jarlson jumping to rescue the damsel in distress, how he managed to climb the building in no time, and a monster appeared afterwards... Eureka! Sigurd Jarlson is Spider-Man!
  • Everybody Knew Already: Melodi has seduced Sigurd Jarlson. She was rescued by Thor... and both of them gave in to their love impulses. Melodi knew it was Thor, and Clark Kenting is a new thing for Thor.
  • Fountain of Youth: Thor's hammer allowed Eilif to become young again to battle the dragon. But don't get confused: when Eilift managed to make the mortal attack to the dragon, he had already returned to his elder age again.
  • Glasses And Ponytail Cover Up: Since Thor can't turn into Donald Blake anymore, he must adapt this style of disguise to become Sigurd Jarlson.
  • Heaven Seeker: Eilif, the last viking, is an old man trying to earn a place in Valhalla, instead of going to Hel by dying of old age.
  • He's Back: Beta Ray Bill.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Averted. It was about time that those gods of war tried an actual war maneuver: the pincer movement.
  • Informed Ability: Lorelei considers herself a Magnificent Bastard, even greater than her sister the Enchantress, but no luck. She failed several times to do something as simple as to make Thor drink a glass with a potion, and she was captured by a bigger bad and turned into a Damsel in Distress... twice
  • In the Name of the Moon:
    Odin: For Asgard!
    Thor: For Midgard!
    Loki: For myself!
  • I Want Them Alive: Malekith sent his forces against Roger Willis, but he wants him alive: he wants to find out how did he resist the magic bolt that should have left him blind (see Kneel Before Zod)
  • Kneel Before Zod: Malekith forced Roger to kneel before him, and blasted him with a magic ray to make him blind. Roger made a Big "NO!" and dropped his head... All According to Plan. The cranial injert in his made (made of steel) distorted Malekith's ray, so Roger was just a bit dizzy, but still capable to see.
  • Last of His Kind: Eilif, the last viking
  • Leeroy Jenkins: The love potion and Lorelei captive of Malekith turned Thor into this. When he saw the enemies, he did not stop to think in any plan, and simply stomped them all. Which is his usual fighting style, anyway.
  • Love Potion: Lorelei pepared one to turn Thor into her love slave. She failed several times to make him drink it, and finally Malekith made him do so for his own purposes. Roger Willis realized the change in Thor when he drinked it, and so he dilluted the remaining potion with water, so it would be less effective.
  • MacGyvering: Eric Willis is very resourceful
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When he summoned a thunderstorm during the battle, Thor showed Surtur the path to Asgard
  • Old Soldier: Roger Willis, a war veteran of Korea. He can still kick ass, even without a miltary division backing him up.
  • Overprotective Dad: Odin will not allow Thor to have a love relation with a mortal woman. But he then realized that "Melodi" was actually Lorelei, a godness, so he did not intefere.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Eric Willis, as the Casket of Ancient Winters kept him forever young. People usually thought that the grown up Roger Willis was his father, but he was his son (not blessed with eternal youth, and aging normally)
  • Red Skies Crossover: Other comic books, such as Spider-Man, acknowledged the events of the Surtur saga... by merely pointing that it was snowing in summer.
    • The first issue included as well a mention of this type about the Secret Wars. Thor enters into the strange machine in Central Park, and dissapears. A pair of pages later, Dum Dum Dugan points "hey, it's Thor, he's back!", and that's it. There was not a single mention about the events in Battleworld.
  • Refusal of the Call: It seemed that Loki would refuse to fight for Asgard, but he finally joined forces with Thor and Odin.
    • Lorelei, on the other hand, refused to join the battle, and never changed her mind. The Enchantress swore vengueance against her for that.
  • Reluctant Warrior: In order to reach Loki and gave him the message from Odin, Balder had to kill hundreds of demons, even if he had make a solemn oath not to kill anymore. Loki had already decided to reject it, but did not want to interrupt the fun...
  • Secret Legacy: The Willis family has been protecting the casket of the ancient winters since time immemorial
  • Secret Test of Character: Balder, who has escaped into the desert expecting to die, was dying of thirst... and suddenly saw a "beast of the sands" attacking a woman. Without thinking twince, Balder headed to the rescue, and fought against the creature with a stick he found around. The woman thanked him for the rescue, teleported with him somewhere else, and revealed to be a Norn.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Odin summons the Warrior Three, and order them to gather all the forces of Asgard in the Vigrid, for the upcoming battle that would decide the fate of the universe. And Volstagg... does not say anything.
  • Shoot the Messenger: No, Loki did not shoot Balder, the messenger of Odin. He forced him to break his oath of no killing and drove him insane, but he did not directly kill him. Even Loki respects diplomatic immunity. Now, if Balder wants to suicide after leaving his castle, that's none of his business.
  • Tongue-Tied: Roger Willis realized that Melodi had enchanted Thor to love him, but before he could say it, Melodi enchanted him to prevent him from saying so. As a result, Roger sought instead a moment of distraction, and dilluted the love potion in water, to reduce the effects.
  • Villainous Rescue: Eric Willis was surrounded by the soldiers of Malekith, but a woman that was passing by helped him to escape. Bad luck, that woman was actually Malekith himself. Do not accept a drive from strangers...
  • Weakened by the Light: The dark elves are vulnerable to sunlight. Their fortress is completely closed, but Thor may send them away simply by destroying the walls and letting the light of the sunrise in.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The dark elves are vulnerable to mortal food and steel. Eric and Roger Willis take full advantage of those weaknesses.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Balder met the norns, he was taken somewhere else, and spent a lot of time in metaphysical issues. And he was finally teleported back to the desert, riding his horse. Agnar, who was there, mentioned that he had dissapeared, and then reappeared almost immediately.
  • You Shall Not Pass: The climax of the story had Odin and his sons standing their ground at the gates of Asgard, peventing Surtur from getting into the city.
    • In a lower degree, Odin's raven Muninn managed to get to the rainbow bridge, followed by Malekith. Heimdall rescued the bird, and drove Malekith away.