“War of the Dead!”
“Val in Valhalla Part One”
A “Journey Into Mystery” by Dave Kraft, Story/ Ed Hannigan, Art/ Bruce Patterson, Inks/ Elaine Heinl, Letters/ Bob Sharen, Colors/ Bob Hall, Editor/ Jim Shooter, Editor-In-Chief
Valkryie has been a member of the Defenders for several years now. Their roster currently consists of Valkryie, Nighthawk, Hulk, and Hellcat.
Valkryie has now been summoned to Valhalla by Hela. On her way there, she passes through Asgard, greeting Heimdall as she passes. The warrior known as Valkryie that possesses the body of the mortal woman Barbara Norris has never been to Asgard before, and yet it seems that this is a return. It is most strange.
As she continues to Valhalla, she encounters the Three Fates, which seem to be distinct beings separate from the Norns, despite similarities. The Three Fates, Skuld, Verandi, and Urdur, refer to Valkyrie as being the long-lost leader of the Valkryior. They then show Val what her future offers.
Val peers into the Spring of Mimir at the base of Yggdrasil. She sees herself in Valhalla, caught in the middle of a civil war. She sees herself struck down by an unknown foe. She sees a challenger to Hela’s rule, one who threatens to bring a reign of hopelessness upon all he touches. Finally she sees herself banished to Niffleheim, realm of the Thrice-Damned, plunging into unceasing Witch-Fire.
Afterward she resumes her trip, soon arriving in Valhalla. There, she is greeted not only by Hela, but by her allies Harokin and Tyr.
It seems that Valkyrie is not actually a false persona created by the Enchantress. In truth, she is Brunhilde, the leader of the Valkryior, an army of warriors who fight to protect Valhalla. It is they alone who decide who may dwell in Valhalla. Apparently, the Enchantress either mistakenly captured Brunhilde when she created the Valkyrie persona, or was previously lying about it.
Hela, ruler of Valhalla, who has just finished leading an army against Asgard, now leads a different army in the underworld. She is facing a challenge to her rule by one named Ollerus the Unmerciful. For this battle, she needs of Brunhilde as a general.
Brunhilde’s memories seem to have fully returned. She speaks with Svava, one of her Valkryies, about how Valhalla has fallen into desolation under Hela’s rule. They both lament this change, but both acknowledge Hela’s authority.
Ollerus has two lieutenants in Casiolena and Poppo the Cunning. Of course, Casiolena was killed by the Enchantress in issue #4 of the Defenders, which presumably is why she is now an inhabitant of Hel. Poppo, is presumably similarly deceased. Both are sorcerers. Poppo is also a thief. The three of them plan a trap for Valkryie.
In the Pass of Peril, the army of Hela meets the army of Ollerus. The battle is savage, but eventually Val is lured away to a dungeon. Inside the dungeon, she is shocked to find the immortal body of Brunhilde, who’s appearance is identical to that of the mortal body of Barbara Norriss! Taken aback, Val touches the body and there is a loud crack and a flash of light. When it clears, one Valkyrie is unconscious and the other stands, claiming to be the madwoman Barbara Norriss. She stands alongside Ollerus and his allies.
First Appearance: Ollerus the Unmerciful, Poppo the Cunning, Svava, Skuld, Verandi, Urdur