Issue: Tales of Suspense #39 – Story D
Published: March 1963
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Steve Ditko
Letterer: Art Simek
The Good: Odin
The Bad: Original Gundar, Mutineers
The Undecided:My Reading:
This is a pretty straight forward story about a group of Vikings who turn on their Captain. The story actually begins, though, with a man shipwrecked on a deserted island. The island turns out not to be so deserted, rather it is populated by Vikings who’ve been stranded there for centuries. It seems the Vikings were the same ones who sailed with Captain Gundar years ago and they refused to follow his every command. Gundar became enraged and attacked his own men but they overcame him and set him adrift on the sea. As he floated away he cursed the crew to spend eternity away from their homes. Odin heard the curse and shipwrecked the Vikings on the island where they save the poor drowning man. So, there they are with the shipwrecked man and it turns out he wears an outfit with the name tag Gundar on it. With the return of Gundar, Odin has shown his mercy and the ancient Vikings are allowed to go home.
What did I learn:
- Odin is merciful and forgiving
- Always try to help shipwrecked people since you never know who they might be.
This was not a very long story but I think it’s in the Complete Marvel Reading Order since it stars Odin. He is really the only “good” guy in the story though he does strand the Viking on the island in the first place. Perhaps he just wanted to teach them to obey their leaders. I always thought the idea of mutiny on a ship was pretty horrible. A captain is responsible for the crew and visa-versa so there should never be a cause to rebel. We do see many stories about cruel captains and rebellious crews though so it obviously has happened plenty of times in the past. Odin’s mercy though is the star of this issue since not only does he punish the corrupted crew for their transgressions against their captain, he later pardons them for their sins. Not bad, but too short and predictable.