Thor is attacked by a powerful creature known as Beta Ray Bill - who proves himself just as able to lift and wield Mjölnir. Thor and Sif soon finds themselves allying with this strange warrior (who apparently has his own reasons for disliking Surtur) to save all of Asgard from being burned to the ground by the demon lord of Muspelheim.
Introducing characters: Beta Ray Bill
Synopsis for "The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill"
Surtur is forging something it the depths of dimensional space, and the shockwaves destroy entire planets; only one spaceship escapes the fiery tendrils of doom. His Fire Demons are released into space to do his bidding.
On Asgard, Balder and Thor discuss matters; how much damage Yggdrasil took while usurped by Loki has temporarily weakened the All-Father. Thor ponders whether or not Odin will be able to defeat Surtur. Thor confesses that it is his thoughts of Jane Foster that bother him the most. Sif interrupts them, and chastizes Thor for seeming less than he has been.
Heimdall tells Thor of the spaceship that escaped the flaming doom, and Thor heads off to investigate. The ship fires upon Thor as he closes; Thor spins Mjolnir to deflect the incoming fire, and lays down some suppressive fire of his own. he forces his way into the ship, which is a sleeper ship, carrying survivors, and guarded by Beta Ray Bill. They tussle, and Bill grabs Mjolnir, raising it high! Beta Ray Bill pounds Thor with his own hammer for a bit, and accidentally destroys his own bridge controls.
Sif tattles on Thor having left to investigate alone, and Odin is not pleased.
Beta Ray Bill's ship crashes into an asteroid. Bill accidentally teleports via Mjolnir to Asgard when Odin summons it back, where he fights the usual suspects. Odin teleports Thor back to Asgard. Beta Ray Bill and Thor work out Bill's mistake in assuming they are Surtur's demons.
Bill recounts how Surtur's demons destroyed his people's worlds before Surur caused the system's sun to nova. They made the sleeper ship, and their people made Beta Ray Bill as their champion, with their genetic sciences. Bill wants to keep Thor's hammer, and Odin explains the whole "worthy" clause. Sif endorses Bill's quest to protect his people, and Thor offers Beta Ray Bill Mjolnir; Odin sends them to Eitri, who is angry with the Asgardians for not defending his realm. Eitri will trade a hammer for Bill for a favor of Eitri's chosing.
Thor, Beta Ray Bill, and Sif head for Bill's ship, which is under attack by fire demons and the "Demon Queen", the Enchantress now in the service of Surtur. She summons wave after wave of fresh Fire Demons. Amora manages to break control long enough to beg Thor to help her before her control is lost and ordering the Fire Demons to kill them all and bring Amora their hammers.
Sif finds solid ground on the deck of Beta Ray Bill's ship and battles Fire Demons. One escapes to the ship's interior, and she skewers that one on her blade. The ship's interior defenses arm themselves until she issues the "Champion Code" to disarm them. The ship is run by an AI named Scuttlebutt, who tells Sif that self-repairs are virtually complete.
Thor and Beta Ray Bill are dog-piled by Fire Demons, who are shot off them by Sif commanding the ship. Sif has the ship attack the Enchantress. The Fire Demons attack, and breach the ship. Sif and Scuttlebutt defends the sleepers while Thor and Bill fight the Enchantress. They combine their might and defeat the Enchantress before she teleports away.
Sif declares she will travel with Beta Ray Bill, but he refuses her help; her duties lay elsewhere. Thor ponders why Surtur wants the Corbinites so badly, and Sif apologizes to Thor; some mortals are worth their protection.
Surture finishes reforging his sword from the shards and hilt he recovered from the dwarves.
This Episode is Based on Thor #338