No doubt, the modern age Marvel version of Thor is a massive part of current pop-culture. Certainly, Chris Hemsworth’s likeable portrayal full of brash energy, flawless physique and a million dollar smile has gone hand-in-hand with making him an unforgettable part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The character is blessed with godly strength, chiselled jaw features and a noble can do attitude. The massive success of Thor: Ragnarok has also recently given the character a big boost, as well as redemption from his mediocre first sequel Thor: Dark World, making most brewing with excitement as his role in the recently released Avengers: Infinity War (where he's sporting a short-haired, big bearded, eye-patched profile) will be a major part of this tentpole movie.
Yet, it wasn’t all so clear-cut; while his specific identity is currently well-known to most, what about crazy awesome factors of his that have arisen over his twenty-five years as a Marvel character... not to mention, his centuries-old archetype that has existed since the Viking days of the 900s?
There’s plenty to sift through, discover, or just downright have your jaw-drop on the ground about. With weird missteps, random but forgotten greatness, or just plain interesting trivia that long-time true fans of the character have known, but maybe the more casual fan amongst us, has missed.
25 Working With The Hulk
Thor really arrived into the modern mainstream for audiences in 2011, with his solo movie; it featured the character officially becoming part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and etched his origins and conflicts quite clearly. At present, it's quite difficult to imagine anyone asides from Chris Hemsworth filling in the Odinson’s shoes. Yet, funnily enough, he already had made his live-action debut several decades before, yet in a fashion much goofier. Throughout the 80s, The Incredible Hulk was a popular and seminal TV show, starring Bill Bixby as Bruce Banner, and Lou Ferrigno as the green alter ego. In 1988, they created a spin-off movie.
The Incredible Hulk Returns features the beloved thunder god, making a crossover with Hulk a long time before Thor: Ragnarok.
Yet, a lot of the character traits are questionable, with several small details lost in translation; here Thor has been banished from Valhalla, not Asgard, he doesn’t feature any godly powers and is only a strong Viking, and he’s actually the angry one, provoking Hulk into a fist fight soon after there meeting. Still, overall it was an enjoyable enough spin-off movie, and featured the first case of Marvel crossing two heroes over in live-action. This would lead to Daredevil appearing in the next Hulk TV movie, with less successful results.
24 In Norse Mythology, He Wasn't Very Nice
Despite Thor’s Marvel origins and the entire world of Asgard being steeped and heavily reliant on Norse mythology, there are some large differences between the heroic comic counterpart and the less balanced God from tales of yore.
Firstly, as we can see from this impressive fan art by RavenMorgoth, his aesthetic was as a big bearded ginger faced God, a little different from his clean-shaven golden haired debut in Marvel in 1962. Still, since then, the character has donned the furry-faced aesthetic several times, if remaining a blonde.
Also, while in the mythology he was very much considered a brave warrior and hero, those meant different things back in the Viking days; certainly he’s quick to jump into battle, with using his powerful strength to vanquish enemies. But he’s also short-tempered, has ended several in opponents in cold-blood, and prioritises his pride over the greater good of the earth, like his later counterpart.
Most importantly though, he’s about as clever as a bag full of doorknobs. His big ego gives him tunnel vision and in several scenarios, makes him easily manipulated by others; especially by his devious uncle Loki.
His bullheadedness almost ended all of existence (the Norse prophecy of Ragnarok) just because he fancied having a bit of fun with Jormungand (the world serpent) and attempted to catch him as a trophy for his wall. His buddies coaxed him into letting the creature go, thus essentially saving all of existence from near-apocalypse. Not the most level-headed guy, huh?
23 Working With The Enemy
Captain America and his fighters The Invaders were prevalent flashback plot-lines that would appear throughout the Avengers comics throughout the 70s. It would center around Cap and his other super-powered buddies (e.g. Namor, Bucky Barnes) taking on the regime during World War 2; think of that enjoyable action montage from Captain America: The First Avenger, and you're not far off. Thor had pretty much stayed out of proceedings until a bizarre use of him in The Invaders issue 32.
Basically, the bad guy creates a machine that can summon Asgardians down to earth.
He ends up getting Thor at his call, and after some fast-talking efficiently convinces the great thunder god that he and his regime are the good guys, and Cap and his Invaders are the bad guys. Thor takes this serious mandate on quite easily, and after battling with the Invaders, rushes off to Russia, zaps Stalin off this mortal coil, but then finds out it was only someone in disguised as Stalin? The invaders also arrive and convince him he's done wrong working for the guy.
Feeling regret about the whole situation, Thor refutes his lighting effect bringing the person back to life, he then wipes the memory of everyone in the room so they won’t remember this bizarre and regretful event. One thinks Stan Lee might wish he could do the same thing to all readers that witnessed this goofy piece of comic history.
22 Because Other Mythology Was Boring
In his biography Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee, Lee when tasked about why he specifically harnessed focus on Norse mythology (a less popular source of ancient Gods) for his inspiration for co-creating Thor in 1962, Lee answered; “Readers were already pretty familiar with the Greek and Roman gods. It might be fun to delve into the old Norse legends.”
With that, Lee had a pretty fair point, in context of that era; historical epics set in the worlds of the Greek and Roman empires had been running high and mighty since the late 50s, (e.g. Ben-Hur, Spartacus) with them even receiving overexposure levels near Thor’s birth point on the Marvel page. Weirdly enough though, that didn’t stop Lee from basically shoehorning all of Mount Olympus (including Hercules and Zeus) as mainstay characters in the Marvel universe from 1965 onwards. Perhaps inspired by the success of the Thor character?
A more likely catalyst for the choice of Norse mythology that Lee is neglecting to mention, was that from co-creator Jack Kirby, an artist who had shared a blatant fascination with the Norse myths of old and had even created a forgotten (and much different) variation of Thor for DC back in the 50s.
21 Superman Was Able To Use Mjolnir (But Only Briefly)
Yes, you read that correctly; DC’s golden boy of Metropolis has wielded the trademark weapon of Marvel’s most famous thunder god. How did the heck this happen outside a hopeful piece of fan-fiction?
Well, in 2002, the great rivals Marvel and DC concocted a deal to have their two most beloved superhero teams cross-over in the JLA/Avengers mini-series. As usual, as these things go, the two super-teams meet up and start fighting each other in a brutal battle that’s all due to a simple case of miscommunication; you’d hope Earth’s protectors would be a little less flippant all the time.
After it comes out that it was all a scheme by ultra-powerful alien Krona, the heroes try to take him down, yet fail. Thor, in a last-minute move, temporarily lifts Odin’s ‘worthiness’ spell from Mjolnir and lets Superman bust out some hammer-time (whilst also using Captain America’s shield in tandem). Supes gives the hammer back after he delivers some serious justice Krona’s way.
This wasn’t the first time such a weird move was done; in the first cross-over between the companies, 1996’s DC vs Marvel mini-series, Wonder Woman is deemed worthy of the hammer and briefly uses it as well.
20 Changing To A Girl
In a baffling moment near the end of the Marvel crossover event Original Sin, Nick Fury and Thor are duking it out against each other on the moon (you know, regular Avengers stuff) when Fury suddenly leans over and whispers something inaudible into the thunder god’s ear. Suddenly, our mighty hero looks like he’s seen a ghost, he drops his trademark hammer and exits with tail between his legs, with him disappearing out of comic continuity for years to come. Obviously, Marvel’s just setting him up for another a glorious comeback, right? Well, yes and no; we got out answer three years later actually.
In 2014, a revamped version of Thor returned in full-force... but as a mysterious female???
It was a controversial choice that left many fans polarised, with half the majority feeling their favorite Norse powerhouse had been twisted just as an opportunity for Marvel to up their diversity quota. Regardless, things panned out in interesting ways when it was revealed that it was actually Thor’s ex-girlfriend Jane Foster who was now the worthy hero to wield Mjolnir. The actual Thor came back in his own series called The Unworthy Thor; talk about putting salt on the wound, Marvel.
19 Loki Was Originally His Uncle
Of course, the classic dynamic for Thor and his sometimes friend (but most often his sworn nemesis) Loki, is that of a case of sibling rivalry between the two. Through the comics and the 2011 movie, this relationship was clearly defined as Thor was Odin’s star son, a powerful warrior, and a clear heir to the throne in his passing.
Loki, on the other hand, was the less regarded black sheep, secretly adopted by Odin from the sinister frost-giant Laufey; it all turns into a case of the little brother is jealous of big brother, and their love/hate relationship has been twisted and turned in several interesting ways through Thor’s habitation at Marvel.
Yet, if looking back at the Norse legend version of Loki, depicted in this colorful fan-art by IrenHorrors, the character was actually Thor’s uncle, with him being the devious black sheep brother of Odin instead.
Still, much of his and Thor’s antagonistic, yet close friendship was in tact, as Loki was always willing to join the thunder god in whatever crazy adventure he was willing to go, yet secretly attempted to ambush the championed Prince at every turn. There’s nothing like family looking out for you, huh?
18 His Return In Avengers Wasn’t Actually A Plot Hole
So at the conclusion of the 2011 adaptation of Thor, the movie wrote itself into a slight corner. After a dramatic showdown with his (turned) evil half-brother Loki on the Bifrost Bridge - the devious antagonist successfully destroys that bridge, which basically connects Asgard with all other realms, including earth. It’s a devastating moment for Thor since he had sort of been having a thing with Natalie Portman’s earth girl - and now he was stranded in his little kingdom for nigh eternity.
Cut to next year’s superhero team-up movie The Avengers, where Loki has found his way to earth and has been playing the main villain for Tony Stark and co. Suddenly good old chiseled jawed Hemsworth shows up on earth to forcibly take his brother back to Asgard. What gives? Wasn’t he stranded up in space?
Most people threw their hands up in the air as it was a massive plot-hole they overlooked just so Thor could conveniently match-up with the rest of Marvel’s all-star team, but that’s actually not the case.
In a very small and throwaway moment, Loki tells Thor; “How much dark energy did the All-Father have to muster to conjure you here?” So there you have it, it's not the most elegant manner to basically explain how the heck Thor made it in time for this tentpole movie, but regardless, it does exclude it from being a plot-hole so many people claim it is.
17 He Was A Frog For A While
In Walt Simonson fondly remembered run on the Thor that spanned from 1983 to 1987, he shook up the stale formula and brought forth such colourful elements such as introducing Beta Ray Bill, pitted Thor against massive creatures like Surtur or the Giant Earth Serpent in epic battles, and even at one point had devious Loki fight for Asgard in an uneasy alliance.
Yet, the weirdest, but endeared plot point he threw at readers was the strange twist of Thor being turned into a frog.
In a bit of Loki’s old trickster nature, he turned his half-brother into the green amphibian and left him to survive in New York’s central park. Thor still featured some of his old natural superpowers, yet ends up caught up in a (surprisingly involving) war between the frogs and the rats that have been going on in the background of this well-known public place. Eventually, he finds his hammer, although it basically just turns him hilariously into a Norse god version of a slimy frog.
Despite the pure silliness of the proceedings on paper, it was a true testament to Simonson’s skill as a writer to throw in new elements and bizarre twists, and have the reader engage with his material. There’s a reason why so many comic book fans hold this segment in high-regard; just don’t expect them to be adapting it into a feature any time soon.
16 The Robot Clone
By now, everybody has seen the movie Captain America: Civil War, a highly-regarded entry in the unstoppable Marvel franchise. It pitted Cap against Iron Man, successfully introduced Spider-Man and Black Panther into the MCU, and, of course, had Ant-Man blow up into a King Kong-sized adversary for Stark and his registration enforcers.
Surely most of you are aware that it was adapted from a memorable crossover event in the comic books, one that pretty much threw out the rule book and created massive repercussions as Tony Stark took over as S.H.I.E.L.D. director, Captain America got assassinated, and Spider-Man revealed his true identity as Peter Parker on national TV.
Sadly, like most events, a lot of the major repercussions were eventually undone over the years, but there was no denying one shocking twist done mid-story. With Thor, who had been out of the picture due to the devastating events of the Ragnarok storyline, suddenly appearing to work for Tony Stark’s government minions.
Almost as soon as he appears, has he offed Black Goliath with a lethal lighting strike through the chest. All readers were left shocked and confused. It was soon later revealed that it wasn’t actually Thor, but a cloned android Tony Stark had built from the former Avenger’s DNA; that android had basically gotten its wires tangled up. Don’t you hate when that happens?
15 Jarnbjorn Was Actually His First Weapon
Naturally, the character of Thor is unavoidably linked to his iconic hammer Mjolnir, his go-to-choice of battle weapon, yet not many know that it was not the first instrument he wielded in the field of war.
Now, of course, Thor’s first comic appearance in 1962 had him with him appear with his classic hammer weapon of choice, but timeline-wise; things pan out differently.
Jason Aaron’s run on Thor’s youthful days Thor: God Of Thunder, recited that he wielded the Dwarven-forged battle ax Jarnbjorn (which means ‘Iron Bear’ in Norwegian) before Mjolnir. The weapons attributes have it being indestructible, able to cut near through anything, and can also block any force of attack (including energy blasts).
This was a weapon Thor enjoyed befalling his foes as he took to fighting amongst Viking warriors during the 9th Century. Also, it was because he had not been deemed worthy of Mjolnir at this point, with him unable to lift the hammer.
Thor had, on occasion, infused the ax with his own blood to take down Apocalypse, although he dumbly lost it eventually to Kang the Conqueror for a number of years; jeez, it’s not like it’s a set of car keys, Thor!
14 His Life As A Political Activist
The Ultimate Universe was a fun thing when it got started in the early 2000s. Effectively shedding decades worth of convoluted continuity within the mainframe of the original comic titles, an aspect that was keeping many new readers away. It essentially refreshed the Marvel universe with its own modern spin on the classic characters, with similar events, depicted in new ways. Kind of like the MCU is currently doing if you think about it.
Sadly the whole thing imploded into a mess of bad writing, poor cross-over events, and most ironic, becoming as convoluted in continuity as the original universe. Still, it was exciting enough for the first couple of years, before Jeph Loeb chucked Ultimatum into everyone’s faces.
This universe's version of the Avengers was the Ultimates. In their run, Nick Fury looked like Samuel L. Jackson (yep, this comic practically gave him the job), Captain America wasn’t too fond of France, and Hulk had a problem repressing his primal ‘urges.’
Oh, and what about Thor? Well, for the majority of the first run he stays more in the background as an ultra-leftist with his own hippie cult following. He even refuses to help the military-run Avengers subdue an out-of-control Hulk from decimating Manhattan unless the President doubles the foreign aid budget. Who would thought the short-tempered warrior of Asgard would be more hung up on government shortcomings then jumping into heroic battle?
13 The Wrestling Connection
That’s correct: WWE wrestler Triple H came very close in audition process in landing the role of the Odinson, back when David Goyer was attached to make the movie in the early 2000s. Considering, to this day, H’s most prominent feature credit was Blade: Trinity, where he was pretty bland in (although the movie wasn’t doing him any favours either), we can all agree that a bullet was dodged effectively there.
It’s crazy to think of anyone else filling Chris Hemsworth's iconic shoes at this point, but plenty of other actors came close to wielding the hammer instead of him. During the lengthy searching process that Kenneth Branagh had been holding for the MCU movie Channing Tatum, Alexander Skarsgard, Joel Kinnaman, Charlie Hunnam, Liam Hemsworth (the brother of Chris), and most strangely, Tom Hiddleston, all came close to getting that anticipated call.
Branagh was so impressed by Hiddleston’s presence that he didn't want to let him go, and swayed him instead to take villainous brother Loki instead. The thought of Loki portraying Thor just boggles the mind at this point, since both young unknowns have gone on to make these heightened roles part of their DNA. Good thing they turned out as they did, and the rest, as they say, is Marvel history.
12 The Floating Mini-Asgard Above Mid-West America
After the devastating events of the Ragnarok storyline (the comic, not the movie), where Asgard and its inhabitants were wiped out, Marvel quite literally put the Norse thunder god to rest, with readers not knowing if he was effectively gone or if he would return from his ‘slumber’ again at one point. Well, this Marvel comics; what did you think would happen?
Yep, correct; three years later in 2007, J. Michael Straczynski was hired to bring our favourite blonde back into the comic book fold, as he climbs his way out of the afterlife, settles down on a little piece of land in small-town Oklahoma, and proceeds to recreate Asgard there, as one epic fortress city, floating above the land. Pretty stylish way to conduct your comeback, no?
Of course, this just doesn’t just immediately go over the simple folks of this farming village, yet that’s only half the battle. As Thor goes about resurrecting all of his fallen comrades, including, by accident, his nefarious adopted brother Loki, who's returned in female form. Plenty of conflicts ensue; as usual, as his nemesis can never be trusted and leads to a tense conclusion to Straczynski’s run before Kieron Gillen took up the writing reigns.
11 An Orange Alien Is Also Worthy Of Mjolnir
So much is made about Thor being the sole fellow able to wield Mjolnir; heck, it's even a fun point of reference throughout the movies too, with it being prevalent points in both the first Thor movie and Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
Still, the comic seems to keep having other people wield it in a random attempt to shake things up. Of course, Superman was earlier mentioned, but also Captain America, Red Hulk, Magneto, and the recent case of Jane Foster, have had there goes too.
Still, there was no more an iconic moment than one of the most important times Thor's worthiness was challenged, that was from, out of all people/beings, an orange horse-faced alien named Beta Ray Bill.
At the early stages of Walt Simonson’s defining run of Thor in the early 80s (The Mighty Thor #337), the thunder god comes into contact with a fleeing alien race; the Korbinites. In a classic case of miscommunication, he gets into to a brutal fight with the protector of his species Bill, who manages to knock Thor so hard he transforms back into Donald Blake, and even grabs his hammer as a weapon, with zero consequence. Bill had proven himself worthy, and Odin even split Mjolnir in two, for both his son and the alien to share the power of the hammer for future use.
10 His Belt Is A Forgotten Part Of His Power
A massive part of Thor’s powers back in the mythology days was not just his trusty hammer Mjolnir, but also his magic belt Megingjord, which he always wore. It basically doubled his already impressive God strength, giving him the ability to wield Mjolnir, and became a vital ingredient in all of his epic smack-downs.
In the Marvel version though, regardless of it actually featuring prominently in his earlier adventures, the belt has progressively become a less important part of his super-hero attributes, with it being stashed in Odin’s secret archives and only really being dug up as a last resort e.g. when Thor had to have an epic punch-up with Thanos, he needed the extra belt boost to beat the unbeatable. After its usage there, though, it all but disappeared from the comics.
In the films, the belt concept has been completely absent, with all the flashy pizzazz of his twirling hammer taking center stage. Quite slyly though, it recently it had a little cameo in Spider-Man: Homecoming in all places. With Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) busy cleaning out the Stark archives, he mentions an item he has a difficult time pronouncing (he’s talking about Megingjord) and eventually just gives up and calls it ‘Thor’s magic belt.’ Who knows if it’s coming back into play fairly soon in the movies; its connections to Thanos can’t be ignored, surely?
9 His Real, Earthly Mother
We all know the Odinson's hierarchy from the movies: Odin and Frigga are mum and dad, Thor the beloved son, and Loki the cheeky adopted one. Yet, in the comics, his blood relations went much deeper and much weirder than this.
Thor eventually comes across the big reveal that secretly his true birth mother was Gaea, the goddess of Earth, which would explain his natural affinity for the place. She mated with Odin for the sole intention that they both wanted to create a son that was powerful on Asgard and Earth. For some reason, though, Odin keeps this a secret from his son for centuries anyhow.
With this revelation, Thor also finds out he’s got a whole new half-brother Atum, a God slayer/eater. Born from a trust between Gaea and Demiurge, when the earth was in a primordial state, she gave birth to Atum, who didn’t waste time and started slaying and eating demons and Gods in his monstrous form of the Demogorge (who can fully absorb their power essence into his own) before retreating back to the sun to live out his days. He isn’t all that bad, though, he’s a peaceful being in his normal state, and will only resort to his eating frenzy if provoked, or if he’s really hungry, I’m assuming.
8 Secret Hammer Powers
So who knew Mjolnir could muster all the power that good old Dr. Herbert West would trade an arm and a leg for? Yep, Thor’s mighty hammer can bring the deceased back to sporadic life. Still, this is never really used in the comics unless it’s absolutely necessary to climb out a plot hole (e.g. Thor accidentally ended someone, so brings them back).
For fans of the myths, this was nothing really new, since Thor used this power too, but there's a whole bunch of other weird and random abilities Mjolnir can pull off, that are hardly mentioned or re-used. Amongst them: summoning past events, detecting illusions, inter-dimensional messaging, and absorbing radioactivity.
Also, it conjures back spirits at beckoning call, but they must’ve sworn their lives over to Mjolnir before their time of passing.
Basically, it all reads like a list of random problem-solving devices that the comic book writers called upon when necessary; kind of reminiscent of Batman’s utility belt. When all hope is lost, it suddenly is able to use some hidden ability nobody had heard of. Convenient? Well, kind of head-scratching too, considering a lot of close loved ones of Thor passed, but he never just thought of whipping out a reanimation spell to solve it?
7 Is The Same Age As Spider-Man (In A Sense)
Thor debuted in the Marvel comic Journey Into Mystery #83 in August 1962, where he was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and of course Jack Kirby (who designed his iconic suit and appearance). The comic was a collection of sci-fi and fantasy type pulp, with Thor’s big intro happening in the story The Stone Men From Saturn.
It featured timid doctor Donald Blake on R & R in Norway, when he bumps into a spaceship of aliens in the countryside; vacations abroad can hold all kinds of surprises! He flees to a small cave and ends up getting indicted by the power of Thor. The rest, as they say, is Marvel history.
The comic was a hit, and Thor eventually fully took over the title as it was renamed into his name after issue 125.
Coincidentally, that same exact month in 1962, your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man was introduced into the Marvel-verse in the anthology book Amazing Fantasy #15, which featured an efficient summary of his now classic origin (spider bite, super-powers, uncle Ben kicks the bucket) whilst he had to share page time with other forgotten tales like The Man In The Mummy Case and There Are Martians Among Us. Two classic characters in one month; not a bad year for Marvel readers!
6 Two Goats And A Chariot
So back in the mythology times, most of the Gods lacked the ability of straight-up flying through the sky like it was DC annual event. Most of them sported chariots that would drive them through the sky... e.g. the goddess of fertility, Freyja, ripped through the clouds on a chariot driven by massive cats. Thor was no exception.
His too large and loyal pets were fierce goats named, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjostr, They also came in handy for a meal, as the thunder god would roast them and ate, then resurrect them the next day with the powers of Mjolnir. Good thing those goats never held a grudge!
Well, in his Marvel counterpart, Lee and Kirby took inspiration from the myths and implemented Toothgrinder and Toothgnasher, who basically played the same role for Thor, asides from them being his only option to fly. Thor could similarly eat them, resurrect them, and even a subtle flaw in their design was carried over from the old legends In a specific myth, a peasant sharing a goat feast with Thor, sucks the marrow out of Tanngrisnir’s bones, and it results in the goat becoming lame. In the comics, the goats can be revived as long as none of their bones are broken.
5 The Lost Movie Adaptation
As far back as 1991, Marvel had been toiling away at trying to get a movie about Thor made; future Spider-Man director Sam Raimi campaigned hard to make it. In fact, he and Stan Lee coupled together and pitched the concept to movie studios, with no one clicking with the premise. Also, Marvel was hardly as prestigious is it is nowadays in according to the industry so its no surprise.
Then, after the explosion of comic book films following the first X-Men movie in 2000, all Marvel properties were getting snatched up left, right and centre.
Matthew Vaughn who was looking to film make his first superhero movie - after he had unfortunately bailed on X-Men: The Last Stand in the ninth hour - picked up the property in the mid-2006 based on Mark Protosevich high-fantasy script. Rumors were he was interested in a pre-Bond Daniel Craig as the Thunder God (they had just done Layer Cake together). Sadly, he ended up leaving due to budget reasons, according to him; “The only problem is that it has been costed at $300m and they ask how am I going to reduce it by $150m,” where his final thoughts on the project before departing.
4 A Serpent Brought His End
The original Norse prophecies of Ragnarok (which literally means The Doom of the Gods in old Norse) would spell the inevitable end for all forms of existence, as it culminated in a glorious and lethal battle that would leave nothing in its wake. Weirdly enough, the premise didn’t sound that much different then to your annual Marvel crossover event; that’s right, the Vikings got there before you, Mr. Stan Lee.
During it, Thor, who had always had a massive antagonism between the feared creature Jormundgand (a gigantic serpent that coiled itself around the bottoms of Midgard) for no better reason than the two entities were powerful and basically trolled each other all through-out mythology.
Well, once the starting bell for Ragnarok rung (with literally all heck breaking loose) Thor and this big reptile immediately commenced in the smack-down of all smack-downs. In this artwork by Kubeen, it depicts the two about to smack-down. Thor eventually took out the creature, but as he staggered away victorious, the slow-building poison the serpent had hit him with took its toll and lead to the Thunder God collapsing and soon becoming deceased. It was a sad end for a favorite diety.
3 Loss Of Powers
In the comic world, Marvel was having a bad time of it during the 90s. Desperate events like Spider-Man’s The Clone Saga failed to gain traction and signified bottom-of-the-barrel writing, they had lost most of their championed artist rooster (e.g. Todd Macfarlane, Jim Lee) that left and started Image comics, and, most importantly, they were two hairs away from bankruptcy.
A far shout from the current day, no? Well, one of their sole high-points during that dark time was the Age Of Apocalypse; an X-Men crossover event that threw all X-related series into a dystopian reality as Professor Xavier is accidentally assassinated by his time-jumping son Legion, with it resulting in Apocalypse taking full-blown control of the world.
Well, what happened to the rest of the Marvel universe though? This was answered in the mini-series X-Universe, which had the rest of the heroes leading a scrappy resistance against the evil forces. Thor is inexplicably stuck in his weary doctor Donald Blake form, though. We’re never given a reason for this, considering the comic alludes that he is, in fact, the god underneath it all, but instead of breaking out his powers and putting an end to all the chaos, he focuses on being a top-notch physician and aiding starving people in Wakanda instead.
2 Flight Isn't A Power He Actually Has
You read that right: Thor doesn’t really fly. Sure, his superior strength and movement lend him the ability to leap large spaces (just like Hulk does) but he's been seen often making like a bird above cityscapes. So what gives?
Of course, he flies through the air, but it's not from his own natural abilities like, say, Superman. It’s more in the sense how Iron Man flies, where it's really a high-propulsion engine on his fancy tech suit that blasts him through the air. In Thor’s case, that propulsion engine is his trusty hammer Mjolnir. Since his hammer can fly cut through the breeze like a nuclear cannon-ball when thrown right, Thor uses this to his advantage. He revs it up with a circular swing and then lets it rip through the air, catching a ride on its strap.
The hammer is infused with pure Odin’s magic from when it was melded, giving it a natural ability to fly like a bird and hit like a freight train. So none of Marvel's movie science was applied to the thunder god when creating logic around his power. Thor is essentially a God (or alien, depending on how you look at it), so Stan Lee and Jack Kirby didn’t feel the need to over-explain his abilities, in comparison to his cohorts like Spider-Man or Hulk.
1 Gone And Come Back
So by now, everyone is familiar with the events of Thor's third movie Thor: Ragnarok, where Asgard goes into serious meltdown as Hela returns to claim back the throne, offing important characters like it was going out of business, and essentially causing the Nordic version of the apocalypse (a.k.a Ragnarok) to go down.
In the comics though, the initial event that inspired Taika Waititi’s movie, played slightly different; Loki was the devious one who instigated the entire implosion of Asgard by allying with all past nemesis’s of the kingdom and launching a brutal surprise attack.
He wiped out almost all and took his spot on the throne.
Thor, as the sole survivor of Loki’s attack, finds contact with the Odin Force and gives up his eyes to discover Ragnarok is an endless cycle of all existence destruction, that will just start over again inevitably. He then essentially puts an end to this by destroying all plains of existence (asides from earth of course) and goes for an eternal nap.
Thor would remain out of action for three years before Marvel brought him back to life in 2007, starting with J. Michael Straczynski’s milestone reboot, that brought the thunder god back to life.