A Thor Subject

In the hollowed halls of Asgard, the home of the Norse gods:

ODIN: Thor, thou hast defied me for the last time! I banish thee to Midgard!

THOR: Midgard? No! The elements will play havoc with my naturally long, flowing, blond hair!

ODIN: To Hela with thy naturally long, flowing, blond hair! Thou art the God of Thunder, not the Goddess of Tresses! I knewest I should never have allowed thee to be raised by elves, but thy mother Frigga was never around. With a name like that, thou can guess what she was uppest to. Get thee to Midgard until thou knowest what thy Hammer is truly for!

THOR: Oh, all right, All-Father.

ODIN: Valkyries! Attend to me! I need to be distracted.

On Midgard (Earth to us mere mortals), Thor tries a variety of occupations. Chippendales dancer...

THOR: It be unseemly for the God of Thunder to gyrate in a gold lame jockstrap for these drunken wenches, but it keeps me in mead.

Construction worker...

THOR: Verily, I just gave it the lightest tap with Mjölnir, my sacred Uru hammer, and the whole edifice didst collapse. Nay, it must not have been constructed up to code.

Pop Singer...

THOR: What dost thou mean, MC Hammer is no longer in vogue? By my troth, "U Can't Touch This (It's Hammer Time)" be an eternal classic.

But none of them seem quite right. Meanwhile, Loki, Thor's evil half-brother, God of Mischief, Cunning, and Free Enterprise, hatches another one of his nefarious schemes:

LOKI: With Thor out of the way, and Odin preoccupied, I can turn Asgard into a theme park and make some real gold coin. Bifröst, the Rainbow Bridge connecting the Nine Worlds, will make an excellent waterslide! Bwa-ha-ha!

Meanwhile, back on Midgard, the mighty Thor seems to have finally found a job suitable to his temperament: hairdresser.

THOR: Who didst last cut thy hair? Verily, he was a butcher! Well, I shall soon set the matter to rights. May I suggest layering, with some blond highlights?

He quickly builds a following, and opens his own chic salon on the Upper East Side: Der Ringlets Des Nibelungen. One day the beautiful neurosurgeon, Jane Foster, stops in for a quick touch-up and trim in between brain transplants.

JANE: Didn't I see you dancing at Chippendales?

THOR: Nay, milady, thou must have me confused with some other godling.

JANE: How do you keep your hair so manageable?

THOR: I wash it fortnightly in the sacred waters of the Rhinemaidens, then comb it straight by the light of a silvery moon. Plus I don't over-shampoo.

JANE: Do you have a girlfriend?

THOR: I was engaged once to Amora the Enchantress, but she was turned out to be a witch.

JANE: Thor, are you gay?

THOR: I am given to merriment as much as any Asgardian. Give me a tankard of ale and a joint of beef, and the company of good, stout men, and I am contented. In the words of the seer you doth call Lady Gaga, I was born this way.

BALDER: Alas, Thor be hung like Jormungand, the Midgard Serpent, but hath no interest in mortal wenches.

Suddenly, Balder, Thor's other half-brother -- the good one -- arrives:

BALDER: To arms! While thou dally here and Odin slumbers, Asgard be threatened.

THOR: What be it this time, brave Balder -- Ymir the Frost Giant? Surtur the Fire Demon? Mangog the Living Embodiment of Petulance?

BALDER: Worse -- tourists! Asgard be besieged by mindless mortals looking for the Ragnarök Rollercoaster and Fafnir the Magic Dragon Ride, and demanding to know what time the smorgasbord opens. They be as coarse as Ulik the Rock Troll and ravenous as the Fenris Wolf. Heimdall, the guardian of the Rainbow Bridge, has been reduced to a lowly ticket taker. (He has also turned black for some reason, but that is another matter.) I suspect Loki's foul hand be afoot.

THOR: What of Odin? Canst he not deal with it? I've got a salon full of heads here.

BALDER: He is busy disporting with his Valkyries in Valhalla. He says he is not to be disturbed "until the fat lady sings," whatever that mayeth mean. I fear by then it will be too late.

THOR: Typical All-Father! Never there when you need him. Well, if he canst be bothered to deal with Loki, then why should I?

BALDER: Tis long time past to resolve thy father/son conflicts. Set down thy comb and pick up thy Hammer.

JANE: Oh, is that what that thing is! I thought it was a hair dryer.

THOR: But milady Jane is in the midst of getting her hair permed! If I leave now, her coiffeur is doomed!

BALDER: Thou must decide -- hair today or Asgard gone tomorrow!

What will Thor decide? And how will Jane's perm turn out? Be here for next month's exciting issue, "A Hairy Situation" or "A Kink In His Plans." Excelsior!