Thor’s ax was incredibly powerful when it debuted in the MCU, easily capable of beheading Thanos, however, Beta Ray Bill’s new axe is even stronger.
Warning: contains spoilers for Beta Ray Bill #3
Ever since his debut, Beta Ray Bill has lived in the shadow of Thor. Despite his rich backstory and physical capabilities, Bill seems perpetually doomed to play second fiddle to his far more famous counterpart. However, in a new comic, Beta Ray Bill just received a new weapon which makes Thor’s Infinity War axe look like a toy.
Coming from writer and artist Daniel Warren Johnson, the new Beta Ray Bill solo series takes a deeper look at the Korbinite warrior than ever before. As a Symbiote-powered Fin Fang Foom invades Asgard, Bill rallies his troops. Though Bill and the warriors of Asgard put up a good fight, they’re ultimately saved by Thor, earning the God of Thunder all the praise. Feeling alienated and alone without the ability to assume his human form, Bill took his ship Skuttlebutt and left Asgard forever. With the help of Skurge, Bill finds Odin who tells him that the only artifact in the universe that can give Bill his human form again is the sword of Surtur, Twilight. In order to steal it, Bill flies his ship into Muspelheim, where Skuttlebutt’s A.I. suddenly gains a cybernetic body.
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Now, in Beta Ray Bill #3 Bill is uncertain of how he feels about Skuttlebutt’s new form. As the ship adapts itself to Muspelheim’s extreme heat, Bill and Skutt discuss their feelings over Beta Ray Bill’s surprising hobby, ping pong. Over the game, Skutt and Bill discuss everything that has led the two to Muspelheim. Bill tells Skutt that he left Asgard because he became aware of himself and how others perceived him. Skutt instantly picks up that Bill is feeling down on himself, so she takes him to a room where she reveals that she’s recorded every interaction between the two of them. The real treat though is in Skutt herself. Her robotic form opens to reveal an axe tailor-made to work with Bill’s cybernetic enhancements. Later, when the deranged residents of Muspelheim attack the ship, Bill unleashes its full power, easily cleaving through countless enemies and giant monsters.
What makes this axe so powerful is that it’s a weapon specifically made for Bill. While Bill is skilled with Mjolnir, and more than worthy to wield it, it’s not his weapon, it’s Thor’s. Despite having only using the axe once so far, Bill’s comfort with the new axe makes him devastating in combat. This is similar to Thor’s use of Stormbreaker in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Though Thor used that axe to great effect, it’s clear that the real power is less in the axe and more in Thor himself. That, coupled with the fact that Beta Ray Bill’s new axe has rocket boosters, makes the Korbinite’s weapon the clear favourite of the two.
More than just a powerful weapon though, it creates a personal dilemma. Bill’s new axe lets him be himself without any tricks or illusions. On the other hand is Bill’s goal, the massive sword Twilight. This creates a classic conflict of want versus need. Bill wants to regain his human form so he can be accepted by others. What he needs though is to accept and love himself for who he is. Though Beta Ray Bill’s new axe is more powerful than Thor’s MCU Stormbreaker, its real power is in how it lets Bill bill be himself.
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