Feb 29, 2016

Karnilla: The Lost Files

Karnilla The Norn Queen: An Irrational Love Story
Part 13 – The Lost Files
Back Issue Ben
Ben Smith

It took me three months, but I succeeded in chronicling every single appearance of Karnilla the Norn Queen. Unfortunately, such an important task shouldn’t have been left up to me, or my dozing editor, because I missed a few along the way. Either I just flat out didn’t have access to the book at the time it came up on the list, or the list I was working off of was incomplete. Regardless, I intend to try and make up for these egregious errors this week.

I present to you, Karnilla: The Lost Files. (I just love typing that for some reason.)

Writer: Steve Englehart; Artists: John Buscema and Tony Dezuniga; Editor: Archie Goodwin

In a tale set far in the past, a young Thor is despondent over the actions of his father Odin. For some reason, Karnilla decided to comfort him.

She shows him visions of his future. His days being worshipped by the Vikings of the North, and becoming a figure known all across Midgard, to his heroic exploits with a team of mortals known as The Avengers.

With his spirits sufficiently buoyed, Thor leaves with a renewed sense of purpose.

This story seems like a product of the time period in which it was published, instead of the time period predating the beginning of the Thor comic book. Karnilla had become a frequent ally of Asgard over in the Thor books, so it makes sense she would be helpful here, but really she should be eagerly trying to destroy Thor, as she is in her first appearances. Unless she’s just been wishy-washy about killing Thor over the milleniums, which is just not cool.

Writer: J.M. Dematteis; Breakdowns: Don Perlin; Finishers: Esposito, Stone, Trapani, Milgrom; Editor: Allen Milgrom

The Enchantress pays a visit to Karnilla, who is in the middle of some spell casting.

After some boasting on both sides, Amora gets to the purpose of her visit.

Amora seeks the Rose of Purity, currently in Karnilla’s possession. When asked why, Amora refuses to divulge her reasons, so Karnilla calls her a “wretched tart” and tells her to bounce on out of there.

(Wretched tart sounds like the most insulting thing you can call someone without it involving actual curse words. Also, they’re not fighting each other in this scene, so I’m already disappointed. Even a pillow fight would be acceptable, I’m not prideful. I have no shame when it comes to Karnilla. None!)

Amora lets down her guard, and sincerely asks her “please.”  Moved by the sincerity, Karnilla shows her where the rose is. She makes one final attempt to find out what Amora needs it for, free of mocking, but Amora leaves in a hurry.

It’s cool to see that Buscema’s model for the character was being used as the standard at the time. I don’t know why, that should be automatic. I guess I’m just used to Kirby drawing her differently every single time he used her. Whatever, carry on.

Writer: Danny Fingeroth; Penciler: Alan Kupperberg; Inker: Art Nichols and Co; Editor: Jim Salicrup

The Wrecker once again remembers back to when he initially gained his powers, at the hands of Karnilla.

For a big dumb thug, the Wrecker likes to take a moment to reflect on his past quite a bit. You’d think that type of self-reflection would lead to more lifestyle changes. On that note, my wife believes that if she ever got super powers, she would definitely use them for personal gain. I tend to agree with that thought process. I most definitely would become a villain. Who’s to stop me? I would be invincible.

Writer: Mark Gruenwald; Artists: (probably) Jack Kirby and Vince Colletta

This is nothing more than a short description of Karnilla, on a page detailing Thor’s greatest foes.

The cover of this comic makes me sad. And then angry. And then sad again. What the hell were they thinking in the ‘90s? This is the kind of thing that people should have been fired for, and caned. Stoned, and not the good kind of stoned. Struck about the body with several large and painful stones. Anyone and everyone that was responsible for that costume, that ever drew that costume, should have the pay they received for it taken back. Send the bills to a collection agency and get it done.)

Script: Matt Fraction; Pencils: Olivier Coipel; Inks: Mark Morales; Editor: Ralph Macchio

One list considered this to be a Karnilla appearance, and I suppose it is her disguised as the Old Crone, so I guess it counts.

(I love Coipel’s art so much, and his Thor is magnificent. It’s just a shame that most of his Thor work involved a lot of standing around doing nothing and talking, thanks to JMS. JMS is the comic book Antichrist.)

That’s it! Finally, I am done. I love you Karnilla. Turn the lights off when you leave.

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