alpha ray

Beta Ray Bill

Beta Ray Bill is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appears in Thor #337 (Nov. 1983) and was created by writer-artist Walt Simonson.

Publication history

In November 1983, Beta Ray Bill made his debut in issue #337 of the first volume of Thor. The character then appeared intermittently throughout the series until issue #492, in 1995.

From 2000 to 2004, Bill made sporadic appearances in the second volume of Thor - #30-33, #39-41 and #82-86 - and in 2005 featured in his own limited series, Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill #1 - 6, written by Michael Avon Oeming and Daniel Berman, with art by Andrea Di Vito.

In 2007, Bill features in an ongoing role in the superhero title Omega Flight. The series is written by Michael Avon Oeming and with art by Scott Kolins.

Fictional character biography

Beta Ray Bill belongs to a race known as the Korbinites, who were almost wiped out when their galaxy exploded - a mishap that was caused by the Asgardian demonic entity Surtur. The Korbinites evacuated the last of their race via a fleet of warships, guarded by sentient ship called Skuttlebutt and a champion, Beta Ray Bill. Bill is a fusion of Korbinite and wild beast, a process that killed many Korbinites before it was perfected on him (although an insane predecessor "Alpha Ray", is known to exist).

At the request of the spy organization S.H.I.E.L.D, the Thunder God Thor travels into space and finds the approaching warship, Skuttlebutt. Skuttlebutt scans Thor and recognizes his Asgardian magic as similar to that of Surtur and strikes first, assuming they are sent from the same source. Unable to stop Thor, the sentient ship awakens Bill, who battles Thor to a standstill. Separated from his hammer Mjolnir, Thor reverts back to his mortal persona of Donald Blake, and is knocked unconscious by Bill. Bill then examines Blake's cane (Mjolnir's "shell" when Thor is in Blake's form) and on striking the cane receives Thor's power and costume via Mjolnir. Once Skuttlebutt arrives on Earth, Bill easily defeats an approaching SHIELD team and is then transported to Asgard by Odin, who mistakes Bill for Thor.

After some initial confusion, Odin returns Thor to Asgard, and on discovering that Bill was worthy enough to lift Mjolnir, proposes a battle to the death in the Asgardian realm of Skartheim to decide who will wield the hammer. After a furious battle Thor and Bill knock each other unconscious. Bill's resistance to heat allows him to recover first, and he is deemed the winner. Odin, however, bestows upon Bill a different hammer — Stormbreaker — which is equal in power to Mjolnir. Odin also bestows the ability upon Bill to return to his original Korbinite form by striking Stormbreaker upon the ground. It is then determined that the mishap that killed most of Bill's people was caused by Surtur, and Bill agrees to join the Asgardians in a war to stop Surtur and his armies.

Bill goes on to lead many of Earth's heroes against Surtur's forces on Earth, while Thor, Odin and Thor's adopted brother Loki confront Surtur in Asgard. Surtur is finally stopped, but apparently kills Odin. The Asgardian goddess Sif, whom Bill comes to care about, is injured in combat but eventually recovers. Soon after this Bill bids the Asgardians farewell and leaves to reunite with his people. Bill has sporadic encounters with the heroes of Earth until the time of Ragnarök. Years later, Thor is in possession of the Odin Force and the power of the Runes and has evolved into "Endgame" form. He then brings about Ragnarök, determined to end the perpetual cycle of death and rebirth the Asgardians are trapped in. Bill aids the Asgardians in the final battle against the forces of evil, but is eventually sent away by Thor, who states that it is not Bill's destiny to die in Ragnarök.

Bill decides to return to Asgard, and en route visits his people's new home-world. Bill is attacked by his predecessor — Alpha Ray — but defeats him and then confronts Galactus and his herald Stardust, as Galactus is intent on devouring the world. Galactus devours the world and almost kills Bill, who is eventually recovered by Skuttlebutt. After finding an orb containing the souls of many of the Korbinites, Bill revisits Asgard to find it desolated. Bill joins forces with Stardust to battle a new demonic menace named Asteroth, and is mortally wounded. A mysterious figure, however, claims the remaining souls in the orb and revives Bill by placing him in the recently-deceased body of a war veteran named Simon Walters on Earth. After a brief encounter with the hero Spider-Man, Bill sets out to find a purpose for himself on Earth.

Bill then encounters the Canadian superhero team Omega Flight, and aids them against the supervillain team the Wrecking Crew, who release the supernatural Great Beasts. For a time Bill is trapped in an alternate dimension, battling the Beasts.

Secret Invasion

Bill eventually returns, and is captured and tortured by the alien Skrulls, who take Stormbreaker from him. Thor rescues Bill and then gives the hammer Mjolnir to Bill. After being healed, Bill aids Thor in a battle against an invading Skrull force.

Powers and abilities

Beta Ray Bill's life force and consciousness were transferred by scientists of his race into the body of an alien carnivorous equine-like beast that had been bionically restructured into a cyborg. Courtesy of highly advanced genetic engineering, Bill possesses superhuman strength and is capable of matching Thor in combat in their first encounter. Bill possesses superhuman reflexes; stamina and durability; and a highly extended lifespan. Beta Ray Bill's weapon, Stormbreaker, also has the same properties as Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, and includes the ability to transform into a cane when struck upon the ground and return Bill to his unaltered Korbinite form. Additionally, Bill possesses the advanced and sentient warship Skuttlebutt.

Bill is also one of the few beings in the universe whose nobility allows him to lift Mjolnir, and receive all the powers such a feat provides.

Other media

Television

Video games

References

External links

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