Real Name: Apparently Oddbrand Otter
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Asgard) magical being/animal man (Otter God)
Occupation: Hunter, fisher, frolicker; sometime warrior and squire-at-arms
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Balder, Greyval Grimson, Gullinbursti, Sygnet
Enemies: Askella (troll), Snorth (storm giant), unidentified ogre and wind giant
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Asgard
First Appearance: Marvel Graphic Novel#15: The Raven Banner (1985)
Powers/Abilities: Oddbrand is a skilled fisher. He apparently has some experience as a swordsman. Oddbrand carries his father's Bag of Wonders, which fills up with what it ought to be full of almost always whenever you put your mind to wishing for it. He was seen to use it to summon a magical containment device and to banish something extradimensionally.
Height: Approximately 4'
Weight: Approximately 175 lbs. (or perhaps 525 lbs. if he follows the rule of Asgardian flesh being about three times as dense as human's)
Hair: Light brown fur
(Marvel Graphic Novel#15: The Raven Banner (fb) - BTS) - Oddbrand is one of the Otter Gods, dwelling in Asgard's enchanted woods and rivers.
(Marvel Graphic Novel#15: The Raven Banner (fb) - BTS) - Oddbrand bumped his head sliding down a mudbank into the Gopul river, and he was carried away to end up lost in the Enchanted Chasm, were he was found and bound by an ogre, who evidently planned to eat him at some point.
(Marvel Graphic Novel#15: The Raven Banner) - Oddbrand was freed by Balder and Greyval Grimson who had wounded and gotten past the ogre en route to recover the Raven Banner to help Asgard's warriors defeat their enemies. They invited Oddbrand to join them as they journeyed to Vallhalla; the idea of traveling to the lands of the dead was unsetting for Oddbrand, but he agreed that it was better than greasing an ogre's gullet, and he joined them. When they reached Valhalla, however, Oddbrand was startled by the roar of battle, "I'm an otter of minimum courage. War frightens me more than a snowball in the eye." Fortunately for Oddbrand, as he lacked the enchantment Odin had given Balder & Greyval, he waited outside Valhalla's gates while the other two entered, though he was anxious for their return. He was mortified when the Valkyrior passed by, but soon Balder & Greyval returned, and all three departed for the Sea of Marmora to ask the Norns for information on the Banner. They gained a ship from a widow (actually a troll in disguise) to sail across the sea. Oddbrand feared that it might have bottom holes or leaky planks, but he soon relaxed and took a nap, after which they were assaulted by a wind giant summoned by a troll, and it wrecked their ship. Oddbrand awakened from a nightmare about their ship sinking and found it to be true, but he then uncorked an enchanted beaker held within his Bag of Wonders, and the wind giant was pulled into and trapped within it. Clinging to their former ship's broken mast, the trio swam the short distance to the far shore.
As they plodded through the thick forest, Oddbrand hungered for a bellyful's bowlful of most sea urchins. Odin's ravens, Huginn & Muninn then showed up and summoned Balder back to Asgard city to council of war, but Oddbrand continued on with Greyval, acting as his squire-at-arms. Soon they came to Yggdrasil, the World Tree, and they followed its roots to the Sacred Well of Wyrd, where they encountered the Norns. Oddbrand was freaked out by the scary old women, but Greyval comforted him as the Norns discussed the three paths that Greyval could choose. Encouraging Oddbrand that only a fool lacked fear, Greyval accepted the boar Gullinbursti, a gift from Odin, that swiftly carried he and Oddbrand to the land of Trolls to rescue Oddbrand's lover, Sygnet. As they arrived, they dodged the assaults of a Storm Giant and some trolls and rescued "Sygnet," but as she asked Greyval to abandon his quest for the Raven Banner, the shadow from Oddbrand's torch revealed "Sygnet" to be another troll. They then found the true Sygnet and imprisoned Askella, after which Oddbrand through the key to her cell into his Bag, then sent it to distant magic worlds so the door could never be opened. Greyval then rode Gullinbursti to retrieve the Banner, while Oddbrand was trusted to escort Sygnet.
After Greyval retrieved the Banner, Oddbrand and Balder joined the warriors of Asgard in routing the storm giants and trolls, though Greyval fell in battle, as was the Banner's curse. As Sygnet (one of the Valkyrior) bore off Greyval's body, Oddbrand big him farewell, thanking him for teaching him love and bravery.
Comments: Created by Alan Zelenetz and Charles Vess.
Oddbrand's fate following Asgard's destruction and subsequent restoration is unclear.
Oddbrand commented, "...bumped my head sliding down a mudbank into the Gopul river, as we Otter Gods like to do for pleasure--slide down mudbanks, not bump our heads...", indicating that he is part of a race of Otter Gods, which makes sense since we know their are wolf and boar gods.
Oddbrand's a likable little character. You'd have to read the original story to pick up his fun speech patterns. Not outright funny, just amusing.
And here's some otter information: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/otters/life.html
There are six species of otters in the world, including river otters and their more famous relatives, sea otters. All sport a thick coat of dark, oily fur, lined with a lofty undercoat of shorter hair. The double layers trap air between them, creating an insulating barrier against winter temperatures. This protection requires vigilant maintenance: if the fur becomes flat, no air can circulate, and the animal may freeze. Otters must constantly groom their coats to prevent them from becoming matted.
To stay alive, sea otters must eat 25 percent of their own body weight every day. A 40-pound otter must find 10 pounds of food -- a full-day task. To eat more efficiently, sea otters developed the ability, unique among the species, to use tools. Each day, a sea otter will start out by locating a sharp rock, which it balances on its belly. For the rest of the day, the otter will use the rock to crack open the oysters and other shellfish it eats to fill its daily quota.
River otters may be more comfortable on dry land than their relations, but they catch their prey in the water. Natural swimmers, all otters have evolved small valve-like skin flaps that cover their ears and nostrils, allowing them to dive to depths of up to 35 feet. With this natural protection, otters can stay underwater for up to five minutes.
As you see in YELLOWSTONE OTTERS, year after year otter mothers bear a litter of pups, rear them for a year and a half, and then leave them to bear and raise a new family. While they are together, a strong social bond keeps otter families close and helps them ward off predators. A gang of sharp-clawed, belligerent otters can successfully force a coyote to back down from the otters' recently caught fish.
Otters are mustelids, relatives of weasels, which are some of the most prodigious breeders in the wild. Almost as soon as her litter is born, a female otter is ready to mate again. Otter pups are born in the dead of winter, so a pregnant female seeks out the shelter of abandoned beaver dens in order to give birth to her young. After two months spent nursing the newborns underground, the otter family emerges. Within a year, the pups will be full grown, ready to strike out on their own.
Profile by Snood.
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Marvel Graphic Novel#15: The Raven Banner, p28, panel 4 & 5 (face & full body)
Marvel Graphic Novel#15: The Raven Banner (1985) - Alan Zelenetz (writer), Charles Vess (artist-designer), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Last updated: 02/21/14
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