Thor (Marvel Comics)

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Thor
Cover to The Mighty Thor #272 (June 1978).
Art by John Buscema.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Journey into Mystery #83 (August 1962)
Created by Stan Lee
Larry Lieber
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Full name Thor Odinson
Species Asgardian
Place of origin Asgard
Team affiliations Asgard
Avengers
Warriors Three
Thor Corps
God Squad
Avengers Unity Squad
Notable aliases Siegmund, Siegfried, Dr. Donald Blake, Jake Olson, Sigurd Jarlson, Eric Masterson
Abilities
Thor
Thor battles Hercules on the cover of his first self-titled issue, Thor #126 (March 1966). Art by Jack Kirby and Vince Colletta.
Series publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre Superhero
Publication date (vol. 1)
March 1966 – September 1996
(vol. 2)
July 1998 – December 2004
(vol. 3)
September 2007 – January 2009
(vol. 1 cont.)
April 2009 – May 2011
(The Mighty Thor)
June 2011 – December 2012
(Thor: God of Thunder)
January 2013 – September 2014
(vol. 4)
October 2014 – present
Number of issues (vol. 1)
377 plus 18 annuals
(vol. 2)
85 plus 3 annuals
(vol. 3)
12
(vol. 1 cont.)
23 (#600–621 and #620.1) plus 1 annual, 2 specials
(The Mighty Thor)
23 (#1-22 and #12.1)
(Thor: God of Thunder)
25
(vol. 4)
1 (As of October 2014)
Main character(s) List of Thor (Marvel Comics) supporting characters
Creative team
Writer(s)
Penciller(s)
Inker(s)

Thor is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name, is the Asgardian god of thunder and possesses the enchanted hammer Mjolnir, which grants him the ability of flight and weather manipulation amongst his other superhuman attributes.

Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the character first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962) and was created by editor-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and penciller Jack Kirby. He has starred in several ongoing series and limited series, and is a founding member of the superhero team the Avengers, appearing in each volume of that series. The character has also appeared in associated Marvel merchandise including animated television series, clothing, toys, trading cards, video games, and movies.

The 2011 film Thor, based on the character and comic, was directed by Kenneth Branagh and starred Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Hemsworth reappears as Thor in The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World as a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. Thor placed 14th on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time in 2011.[1]

Publication history[edit]

The Marvel Comics superhero Thor debuted in the science fiction/fantasy anthology title Journey into Mystery #83 (cover-date Aug. 1962), and was created by editor-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and penciller Jack Kirby.[2] A different version of the mythological Thor had appeared previously in Venus #12–13 (Feb.–April 1951).[3] Lee in 2002 described Thor's genesis early in the Marvel pantheon, following the creation of the Hulk:

[H]ow do you make someone stronger than the strongest person? It finally came to me: Don't make him human – make him a god. I decided readers were already pretty familiar with the Greek and Roman gods. It might be fun to delve into the old Norse legends... Besides, I pictured Norse gods looking like Vikings of old, with the flowing beards, horned helmets, and battle clubs.  ...Journey into Mystery needed a shot in the arm, so I picked Thor ... to headline the book. After writing an outline depicting the story and the characters I had in mind, I asked my brother, Larry, to write the script because I didn't have time. ...and it was only natural for me to assign the penciling to Jack Kirby...[4]

In 1992 Kirby said, "[I] knew the Thor legends very well, but I wanted to modernize them. I felt that might be a new thing for comics, taking the old legends and modernizing them."[5]

Subsequent stories of the 13-page feature "The Mighty Thor" continued to be plotted by Lee, and were variously scripted by Lieber or by Robert Bernstein, working under the pseudonym "R. Berns". Various artists penciled the feature, including Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott, Don Heck, and Al Hartley. With Journey into Mystery #101 (Feb. 1964), the series began a long and definitive run by writer and co-plotter Lee and penciler and co-plotter Kirby that lasted until the by-then-retitled Thor #179 (Aug. 1970).[6][7]

Lee and Kirby included Thor in The Avengers #1 (Sept. 1963) as a founding member of the superhero team.[8] The character has since appeared in every subsequent volume of the series.

The five-page featurette "Tales of Asgard" was added in Journey into Mystery #97 (Oct. 1963),[9] followed by "The Mighty Thor" becoming the dominant cover logo with issue #104 (May 1964). The feature itself expanded to 18 pages in #105, which eliminated the remaining anthological story from each issue; it was reduced to 16 pages five issues later. Comics historian Les Daniels noted that "the adventures of Thor were gradually transformed from stories about a strange-looking superhero into a spectacular saga."[10] Artist Chic Stone, who inked several early Thor stories, observed that "Kirby could just lead you through all these different worlds. The readers would follow him anywhere."[11]

Journey into Mystery was retitled Thor (per the indicia, or The Mighty Thor per most covers)[6] with issue #126 (March 1966). "Tales of Asgard" was replaced by a five-page featurette starring the Inhumans from #146–152 (Nov. 1967 – May 1968), after which featurettes were dropped and the Thor stories expanded to Marvel's then-standard 20-page length. Marvel filed for a trademark for "The Mighty Thor" in 1967 and the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the registration in 1970.[12]

After Kirby left the title, Neal Adams penciled issues #180-181 (Sept.-Oct. 1970).[13] John Buscema then became the regular artist the following issue. Buscema continued to draw the book almost without interruption until #278 (Dec. 1978). Lee stopped scripting soon after Kirby left, and during Buscema's long stint on the book, the stories were mostly written by Gerry Conway, Len Wein, or Roy Thomas. Thomas continued to write the book after Buscema's departure, working much of the time with the artist Keith Pollard; during this period Thomas integrated many elements of traditional Norse mythology into the title, with specific stories translated into comics form.[14] Following Thomas's tenure, Thor had a changing creative team.

In the mid-1970s, Marvel considered giving the character a second series as a black-and-white magazine published as part of its Curtis Magazines line. A story written by Steve Englehart for the aborted project appeared in Thor Annual #5 (1976).[15] A black-and-white Thor story appeared in Marvel Preview #10 (Winter 1977).[16]

Walt Simonson took over both writing and art as of #337 (Nov. 1983). His stories placed a greater emphasis on the character's mythological origins.[17] Simonson's run as writer-artist lasted until #367 (May 1986), although he continued to write – and occasionally draw – the book until issue #382 (Aug. 1987). Simonson's run, which introduced the character Beta Ray Bill, was regarded as a popular and critical success.[18][19] Simonson's later stories were drawn by Sal Buscema, who describes Simonson's stories as "very stimulating. It was a pleasure working on his plots, because they were a lot of fun to illustrate. He had a lot of great ideas, and he took Thor in a totally new direction."[20] Asked why he was leaving Thor, Simonson said that he felt the series was due for a change in creative direction, and that he wanted to reduce his work load for a time.[21] After Simonson's departure, Marvel's editor-in-chief at the time, Tom DeFalco, became the writer. Working primarily with artist Ron Frenz, DeFalco stayed on the book until #459 (Feb. 1993).

As a consequence of the "Heroes Reborn" crossover story arc of the 1990s, Thor was removed from mainstream Marvel continuity and with other Marvel characters re-imagined in an alternate universe for one year. The Thor title reverted to Journey into Mystery with issue #503 (Nov. 1996), and ran four different, sequential features ("The Lost Gods"; "Master of Kung Fu"; "Black Widow" and "Hannibal King") before ceasing publication with #521 (June 1998).

When the character was returned to the mainstream Marvel Universe, Thor was relaunched with Thor vol. 2, #1 (July 1998).[22][23][24] As of issue #36, the title used dual numbering in a tribute to the original Thor series, and the caption box for said issue became #36 / #538 (June 2001). The title ran until issue #85 / #587, dated December 2004. Dan Jurgens wrote the first 79 issues, with Daniel Berman and Michael Avon Oeming completing the series.

The third volume debuted as Thor #1 (Sept. 2007), initially written by J. Michael Straczynski and penciled by Olivier Coipel.[25][26][27] Beginning with what would have been vol. 3, #13 (January 2009), the third volume reverted to issue #600, reflecting the total number of published issues from all three volumes.[28][29][30] Kieron Gillen took over from Straczynski in Thor #604 with artists Billy Tan, Richard Elson and Dougie Braithwaite,[31] with his final storyline finishing in issue #614.[32] Afterward, Matt Fraction took over the series with issue #615, after having been announced as starting in Thor #610[33] and #611.[34][35]

To coincide with the Thor film, Marvel launched a number of new series starring the character in mid-2010. These included Thor: The Mighty Avenger by Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee,[36] Thor: First Thunder by Bryan J. L. Glass and Tan Eng Huat,[37] Thor: For Asgard by Robert Rodi and Simone Bianchi,[38] and Iron Man/Thor by the writing duo of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.[39]

In April 2011, Thor once again reverted to its original title of Journey into Mystery with issue #622, reuniting writer Gillen and artist Braithwaite in a series of stories starring Thor's adopted brother, Loki.[40] An ongoing series, titled The Mighty Thor, launched the same month with writer Fraction and artist Coipel.[41] The series ended with issue #22 in October 2012.[42][43]

In October 2012, Thor became a regular character in Uncanny Avengers, beginning with issue #1. The following month, an ongoing series titled Thor: God of Thunder by writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribic debuted as part of the Marvel NOW! relaunch.[44][45]

In October 2014, a fourth volume of Thor by Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman is scheduled to debut that features a female character in the role of Thor after the classic hero is no longer able to wield Mjolnir. Aaron stated that "this is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is Thor. This is the Thor of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before."[46]

Fictional character biography[edit]

1960s[edit]

Journey into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962): the debut of Thor. Cover art by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.

Thor's father Odin decides his son needed to be taught humility and consequently places Thor (without memories of godhood) into the body and memories of an existing, partially disabled human medical student, Donald Blake.[47] After becoming a doctor and on vacation in Norway, Blake witnesses the arrival of an alien scouting party. Blake flees from the aliens into a cave. After discovering Thor's hammer Mjolnir (disguised as a walking stick) and striking it against a rock, he transforms into the thunder god.[48] Later, in Thor #158, Blake is revealed to have always been Thor, Odin's enchantment having caused him to forget his history as The Thunder God and believe himself mortal.[49]

Defeating the aliens, Thor shares a double life with his alter ego: treating the ill in a private practice with nurse – and eventual love – Jane Foster, and defending humanity from evil. Thor's presence on Earth almost immediately attracts the attention of his adoptive brother and arch-foe Loki.[50][51] Loki is responsible for the emergence of three of Thor's principal foes: the Absorbing Man;[52][53] the Destroyer,[54][55] and the Wrecker.[56] On one occasion, Loki's tactics were accidentally beneficial - although successful in using an illusion of the Hulk to draw Thor into battle, it results in the formation of the superhero team the Avengers, of which Thor is a founding and longstanding member.[8] Thor's other early foes include Zarrko, the Tomorrow Man;[57] the Radioactive Man;[58][59] the Lava Man;[60] the Cobra;[61] Mister Hyde;[62] the Enchantress and the Executioner,[63][64] and the Grey Gargoyle.[65]

Falling in love with Jane Foster, Thor disobeys his father and refuses to return to Asgard, an act for which he is punished on several occasions.[66] Thor's natural affinity for Earth is eventually revealed to be due to the fact that he was the son of the Elder Goddess Gaea.[67] Although Thor initially regards himself as a "superhero" like his teammates in the Avengers,[67] Loki's machinations draw Thor into increasingly epic adventures, such as teaming with his father Odin and Asgardian ally Balder against the fire demon Surtur and Skagg the Storm Giant,[68] and defeating an increasingly powerful Absorbing Man and proving his innocence in the "Trial of the Gods".[69] This necessitates an extended leave of absence from the Avengers.[70]

Thor encounters the Greek God Hercules,[71][72] who becomes a loyal and trustworthy friend. Thor saves Hercules from fellow Olympian Pluto;[73] stops the advance of Ego the Living Planet;[74][75][76] rescues Jane Foster from the High Evolutionary and defeats his flawed creation, the Man-Beast.[77][78] Odin finally relents and allows Thor to love Jane Foster, on the proviso she pass a trial. Foster panics and Thor intervenes. After Foster fails the test, Odin returns her to Earth, where she is given another chance at love, while a heartbroken Thor is introduced to the Asgardian warrior Sif.[79][80] Thor battles the Asgardian troll Ulik for the first time when Ulik attempts to steal Mjolnir.[81] The thunder god returns to Asgard to prevent Mangog from drawing the Odinsword and ending the universe,[82] Thor learns the origin of Galactus[83] and rescues Sif after she is kidnapped by Him.[84][85]

1970s[edit]

Thor battles Surtur once again when the fire demon attempts to storm Asgard;[86][87] encounters the Stranger and his pawn the Abomination;[88] and overpowers an outmatched Doctor Doom.[89][90]

In the fall of 1972, writers Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart, and Len Wein crafted a metafictional unofficial crossover spanning titles from both major comics companies. Each comic featured Conway, Englehart, and Wein, as well as Wein's first wife Glynis, interacting with Marvel or DC characters at the Rutland Halloween Parade in Rutland, Vermont. Beginning in Amazing Adventures vol. 2 #16 (by Englehart with art by Bob Brown and Frank McLaughlin), the story continued in Justice League of America #103 (by Wein, Dick Dillin and Dick Giordano), and concluded in Thor #207 (by Conway and penciler John Buscema).[91][92][93]

Thor prevents another attempt by Mangog – disguised as Odin – to draw the Odinsword;[94][95] is saved by the intervention of ally Volstagg when the "Odin Force" became a semi-sentient destructive force;[96] and is rescued from death when Odin engineeres a false Ragnarök and has reporter Red Norvell die in his place battling the Midgard Serpent.[97] Thor met the Eternals in a lengthy storyline.[98][99] He later encounters the Eye of Odin, the eye Odin gave up for drinking from the Well of Mimir, increasing his wisdom. It has grown and gained sentience. Thor finds there was another Asgard before his, involving a red-haired Thor.[100]

1980s[edit]

Thor eventually confronts the threat of the Celestial Fourth Host, and after an extended series of encounters learns of the apparent true origin of Asgard and Odin's plans to defend Earth from the alien judges. Despite the attempt by Odin to stop the Celestials by occupying the Destroyer armor (now 2,000 feet tall as holding the life essence of every Asgardian) and wielding the Odinsword (and aided by the Uni-Mind, an entity composed of the Eternals) and Thor himself, the aliens depart when presented with an offering by Gaea on behalf of the "Skymothers" (e.g. Frigga and Hera) of twelve perfect humans. Thor also learns Gaea was his birth mother.[14]

After restoring the Asgardian gods with a gathering of energies donated by Skyfathers from other pantheons,[101] Thor has a series of adventures on Earth, including encountering two Heralds of Galactus in swift succession;[102][103] stopping Mephisto from taking human souls;[104] clearing his name when framed by Asgardian god of war Tyr;[105][106] aiding Drax the Destroyer;[107] with ally Iron Man defeating the Bi-Beast and the Man-Beast;[108][109][110] engaging the former king of Nastrond Fafnir transformed by Odin into a dragon in combat when freed by Loki,[111] and battling Dracula.[112][113] Thor learns of the existence of the "God Eater", a creature summoned when the death gods of several pantheons temporarily merge their realms. Thor thwarts the creature - revealed to be in humanoid guise Atum, the son of Gaea, and therefore Thor's half-brother - and ensures the cosmic balance is restored.[114]

While exploring an approaching space vessel at the request of Nick Fury, Thor encounters Beta Ray Bill,[115] who after a brief battle, proved himself worthy of lifting Thor's hammer Mjolnir. After initial misunderstandings, Bill forms an alliance with the Asgardian gods, and is empowered by Odin to aid Thor and his allies in a war with an approaching army of demons,[116] which is revealed to be led by fire demon Surtur, now wielding "Twilight", the gigantic "Sword of Doom". After a series of extended battles - including a battle to the death with Fafnir and thwarting the Dark Elf Malekith — the gods are finally triumphant, although during combat Odin and Surtur disappear through a rift and are presumed dead.[117][118]

Thor remains in Asgard to deal with the vacuum left by Odin's apparent death, and drives off Hela;[119] meets Tiwaz, his great-grandfather;[120][121] forces Loki to cure him from the effects of a love potion;[122] with allies enters Hela's realm and rescues lost mortal souls.[123] Returning to Earth, Thor and Beta Ray Bill defeat the transformed Dark Elf Kurse,[124] although Loki uses the power of Surtur's discarded sword to change Thor into a frog. After an adventure in Central Park, Thor manages to partially restore himself and then forces Loki to reverse the spell.[125][126][127] While rescuing X-Factor member the Angel from torture by the mercenary team the Marauders, Thor is cursed by Hela, who makes his bones as brittle as glass and unable to heal if damaged; and renderes him truly immortal and unable to die no matter how severe his injuries.[128] Thor is injured again during a battle with the Absorbing Man engineered by Loki,[129][130] and is ultimately saved by Loki during a battle with the Dark Elves.[131]

Eventually forced to wear armor to protect his broken body, Thor and Loki defeate a group of Ice Giants, who seek revenge by trying to locate the Midgard Serpent, hoping it would kill the thunder god. The Giants instead find the dragon Fin Fang Foom, who is revealed to be the Midgard Serpent in disguise. Time slows as the pair – mortal enemies due to prophecy that stated they would kill each other during Ragnarök – battle to the death. Thor kills the Serpent, although his body is completely pulverized.[132] Loki restores the Destroyer, and after killing the Ice Giants finds Thor's now liquid form. The Destroyer attempts to disintegrate the thunder god but can not do so due to Hela's curse. Thor assumes mental control of the Destroyer, and forces Hela on pain of death to restore his true form. The thunder god then breaks Loki's arm as punishment for his actions.[133] Thor meets and battles Leir, the Celtic god of lightning.[134] After another encounter with the Celestials on an alien world;[135] Thor finds Odin — a captive of Seth – and uses the Odinpower to fend off a returning Surtur;[136] and defeats Annihilus while Asgard is in the Negative Zone.[137][138] Thor battles X-Men foe the Juggernaut and meets the New Warriors.[139][140]

1990s[edit]

After Thor kills Loki in single combat,[141] Heimdall - standing in for Odin temporarily as ruler of Asgard - banishes Thor from Asgard; he is replaced by the mortal Eric Masterson, who became the hero Thunderstrike. When Odin awakes, Thor is forgiven and returned.[142] During a battle Thor is driven into a "warrior's madness" by a Valkyrie. After overpowering everyone who attempts to stop his rampage,[143] Thor is brought by the Eternal Thanos before Odin, who cures his son of the madness.[144]

Thor, together with the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and other heroes, is trapped in an alternate universe after defeating the villain Onslaught. The heroes live alternate lives for a year in what is revealed to be an artificial creation until returning to their own universe.[145] Thor and several members of the Avengers battle the Destroyer. Thor is saved by an enigmatic being called Marnot, who binds the life-force of a mortal called Jake Olson to the thunder god.[146][147] Thor enters into a war with the Dark Gods with Marnot revealed to be Hescamer, one of Odin's ravens;[148] and battles the returning Enchanters Three.[149]

2000s[edit]

Thor vol. 3, #1 (Sept. 2007) showing the character's redesigned look by Oliver Coipel.

Thor faces a prolonged struggle against Thanos when he seeks to remake the universe.[150] When Odin dies in battle against Surtur, Thor becomes ruler of Asgard. The thunder god extends his rule to Earth, with major repercussions. Thor and the Asgardians slay or imprison those who oppose them, including a young religious mutant called Davis; Zarrko the Tomorrow Man; Perrikus of the Dark Gods; the U.S. Government, and even his fellow Avengers. Thor marries Amora (the Enchantress), and has a son, Magni, who upon reaching adulthood doubts his father's judgment. Wracked with guilt, Thor is drawn into battle with his former ally Tarene and the Destroyer (occupied by former foe Desak), and reverses these events via time travel.[151][152][153][154][155][156]

When the timeline is reset, Loki revives Surtur, who forges new uru hammers for Loki's Storm Giant followers and began Ragnarök. Thor learns that Ragnarok was the result of the self-styled "gods to the gods" known as Those Who Sit Above in Shadow, who feed on the cycle. Thor confronts the Norns (Fates), and severs the tapestry of Asgard's existence. After breaking the Ragnarok cycle and being advised by the Odinforce that this was his father's plan, Thor enters into hibernation. With his fate unknown to the Avengers, he is believed to be missing in action.[157]

Thor's hammer Mjolnir is eventually found on Earth and put under United States Army protection. When the supervillain Doctor Doom escapes from Hell, Mjolnir falls through the dimensional plane, and Doom tries unsuccessfully to lift the hammer. Mjolnir then comes into the possession of a man carrying a bag with the initials "D.B".[158] Donald Blake, upon touching the hammer Mjolnir, is transported to the void of non-existence in which Thor resides. Blake explains that when Odin originally removed the Blake persona from Thor,[159] Blake was consigned to the void that Thor now inhabited. With Odin's death, Blake was suddenly restored into being in New York City. Blake convinces Thor to wield Mjolnir once more, return to Earth, and renew the dual identity with Blake. Blake also reveals that Thor's fellow Asgardians still live in the minds and hearts of mortals, and only needed to be found and released.[160] Thor rebuilds Asgard over Broxton, Oklahoma,[161][162][163] and learns of the events that occurred during the 2006–2007 "Civil War" storyline, in which the U.S. government passed the Superhuman Registration Act, requiring all persons with superhuman abilities to register with the government or be subject to imprisonment. The superhero community was split over this law, which led to conflict between the two sides. Furthermore, Iron Man, who became the de facto leader and public face of the pro-registration forces, hunted and imprisoned their mutual former comrades who had joined the anti-registration side, led by Captain America. Iron Man and others also used Thor's DNA to create a clone of him to serve him in this campaign,[164] for which Thor is greatly angered.[163][165] When Iron Man confronts Thor over the latter's bringing Asgard to Oklahoma, and tells him that he himself must register with the government, Thor easily dispatches Iron Man, and tells him that anyone who attempts to approach Asgard uninvited will be dealt with mercilessly. As a compromise to keep the U.S. government from losing face, Iron Man suggests that since Asgard hovers above the ground, it can be regarded as diplomatic embassy or mission separate from the United States and not bound by the Registration Act. Though Thor accepts this,[165] his and Captain America's animosity toward Stark would persist until the conclusion of the 2010-2011 Avengers Prime miniseries.[166] Thor searches for his fellow Asgardians, and restores each of them,[165] with the exception of Sif, who had been trapped in the body of an old woman dying of cancer, her real form stolen by Loki. Thor locates Odin in a limbo between life and death, waging constant battle with Surtur. Odin advises his son that Thor must lead the Asgardians.[167][168][169]

During the 2008 "Secret Invasion" storyline, Thor rescues and heals Beta Ray Bill, who after being temporarily given Mjolnir, aids Thor in defending Earth against an invading force of alien Skrulls.[170][171][172] Due to Loki's deception, Thor battles and kills his grandfather Bor, and is banished from Asgard.[173][174] With Thor's hammer Mjolnir damaged in that battle, Thor seeks out Doctor Strange, who is only able to repair the hammer by transferring the Odinforce from Thor to Mjolnir, binding the two in a symbiotic relationship. With the repaired hammer, Thor is able to draw out the imprisoned Sif, and return her to her own body, thereby restoring Loki to his male body in the process.[175][176]

2010s[edit]

The female Thor on the cover of Thor vol. 4, #1 (October 2014). Art by Russell Dauterman and Frank Martin.

During the events of the 2010 "Siege" storyline, Thor defends Asgard against an invasion by Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers. Although the invasion force is ultimately defeated, Asgard itself is toppled by the Sentry, who also kills Loki. Thor then kills the Sentry. Subsequently, the Superhuman Registration Act is repealed and Thor joins the rebranded Avengers, who had come to his aid during the battle.[177][178][179][180][181] The next day Balder lifts Thor's exile and appoints Thor as his adviser.[182] Immediately after the fall of Asgard, Thor, Captain America and Iron Man are transported to the Norse realm of Hel, where they battle against Hela, after which Thor and Captain America's friendship with Iron Man is renewed.[166]

Thor aids Amadeus Cho in a quest to find the necessary ingredients to bring back their mutual friend Hercules from a parallel universe.[183] During the events of the Chaos War, Thor joins Hercules' God Squad to battle the Chaos King, who is set on destroying all of existence.[184] With Asgard in ruins on Earth, the nine worlds are left undefended and are invaded by a force known as "The World Eaters". Seeking counsel on the matter, Thor restores his father Odin and his brother Loki, whom Thor had missed since his death.[185]

During the 2011 "Fear Itself" storyline, Sin frees Odin's long-forgotten brother, Cul, a God of Fear known also as the Serpent, from his underwater prison. Once free, The Serpent dispatches his generals known as the Worthy, each armed with magical uru hammers of their own, to descend the Earth into a state of fear. Although Thor and the Avengers manage to defeat the Serpent and his followers, Thor dies from the injuries he sustains during the battle.[186] At Thor's funeral, Thor and the memories of Thor are replaced by Ulik under the guise of Tanarus, a new thunder god.[187][188] Thor returns from the limbo of forgotten dead gods with the help of Loki and the Silver Surfer, and vanquishes Ulik.[189]

During the 2012 "Avengers vs. X-Men" storyline, Thor leads the Secret Avengers into deep space to battle the Phoenix Force, but is defeated. He is later captured and taken prisoner by the phoenix-empowered duo of Colossus and Magik.[190] Following the war, Captain America selects Thor to join the Avengers Unity Squad, a new team of Avengers composed of both classic Avengers and X-Men.[191]

Following the murder of Uatu and his many secrets exposed during the 2014 "Original Sin" storyline, Thor learns that Angela is the daughter of Odin and that she was thought to have been killed during Asgard's war with the Angels of the Tenth Realm. In response, Odin severed the Tenth Realm from the other nine realms and removed all memory of its existence. Thor confronts Frigga about these events and travels to the Tenth Realm with Loki to learn more about his "sister".[192] Later, Nick Fury whispers an unrevealed secret to Thor that causes him to lose the ability to pick up his hammer.[193]

In the aftermath of "Original Sin" storyline, Thor Odinson took up his battle axe Jarnbjorn as a substitute after being unable to wield Mjolnir from what he was told by Nick Fury. Thor loses his arm in combat against Malekith the Accursed and some Frost Giants. Meanwhile, an unidentified woman lifts Mjolnir; taking possession of Thor's power.[194]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Like all Asgardians, Thor is incredibly long-lived and relies upon periodic consumption of the Golden Apples of Idunn to sustain his extended lifespan, which to date has lasted many millennia. Being the son of Odin and the elder goddess Gaea, Thor is physically the strongest of the Asgardians.[67][88][195][196][197] If pressed in battle, Thor is capable of entering into a state known as the "Warrior's Madness" ("berserkergang" in Norwegian), which will temporarily increase his strength and stamina tenfold, although in this state he attacks friend and foe alike.[85][198][199]

Thor possesses a very high resistance to physical injury that approaches invulnerability.[200][201][202] Thor possesses keen senses[50] that allow him to track objects traveling faster than light[203] and hear cries from the other side of the planet.[204] Thor has the ability to travel through time.[57] His stamina allowed him to battle the entire Frost Giant army for nine months without any sustenance or rest;[205] Thor has shown the ability to regenerate wounded portions of his body,[206] including entire limbs or organs, with the aid of magical forces such as Mjolnir.[206] Thor has superhuman speed, agility, and reflexes, enabling him to deflect bullets with his hammer.[207] Like all Asgardians, he has immunity to all Earthly diseases and some resistance to magic. Exceptionally powerful magic can overwhelm Odin's enchantment that transforms him between Asgardian and mortal forms.[208]

As the Norse god of thunder, Thor can summon the elements of the storm (lightning; rain; wind; snow) and uses Mjolnir as a tool to focus this ability, although the hammer cannot command artificial weather, only natural. He can cause these weather effects over the world and destroy entire buildings; by whirling his hammer he can lift entire buildings with the wind.[195] As the son of the Earth goddess Gaea, Thor has shown some control over the Earth.[209]

Thor is a superb hand-to-hand combatant, and is skilled in armed combat, excelling in the use of the war hammer, sword, axe and mace. Thor possesses two items which assist him in combat: the enchanted Belt of Strength, and his signature weapon, the mystical hammer Mjolnir. The first item doubles Thor's strength and endurance[210] while the second is used to control his weather abilities; flight; energy projection and absorption; dimensional travel; matter manipulation and the most powerful of his offensives, the God Blast (which taps into Thor's life force),[211][212][213][214] the Thermo-blast,[76] and the Anti-Force (which counteracts another force).[215] Using Mjolnir by throwing in the desired direction and then holding on to the handle's leather loop, Thor can fly at supersonic speeds in Earth's atmosphere and travel faster than light in space. When Thor has to transport companions and/or objects to a destination by himself, he has a chariot drawn by two huge mystical goats called Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder that can fly nearly anywhere he desires almost as easily as with Mjolnir.[125] He can throw an object out of Earth's atmosphere using his strength,[216] and throw his hammer to Asgard from which it will return.[50]

When Mjolnir was damaged, Doctor Strange bound Thor's soul into Mjolnir, meaning that if the hammer were to be broken again, Thor may die.[175]

Upon being unable to lift Mjolnir following the events of the Original Sin storyline, Thor Odinson took up his battle axe Jarnbjorn as a substitute.

Supporting characters[edit]

Thor's family tree as it appears in Thor #500 (July 1996):


 
 
 
 
 
 
Buri
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mimir
 
Bor
 
Bestla
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jord
 
 
Grid
 
Odin
 
Frigga
 
Vili
 
Ve
 
Laufey
 
Farbauti
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thor
 
Vidar
 
Tyr
 
Hermod
 
Balder
 
 
 
 
 
Loki
(adopted by
Odin & Frigga)
  • Odin has another brother, Cul, introduced in the 2011 miniseries, Fear Itself, who in the comics was erased from all known history.[217][218]
  • Odin and Frigga have a daughter, Angela, whose parentage was kept secret until the 2014 miniseries, Original Sin.[219]

Other versions[edit]

In other media[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1960s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 88. ISBN 978-0756641238. [Stan Lee] had always been fascinated by the legends of the Norse gods and realized that he could use those tales as the basis for his new series centered on the mighty Thor...The heroic and glamorous style that...Jack Kirby [had] was perfect for Thor. 
  3. ^ Sanderson, Peter "1940s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 39: "Not only did Olympian gods appear, but so did the Norse gods Thor and Loki."
  4. ^ Lee, Stan; Mair, George (2002). Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee. Fireside Books. ISBN 978-0684873053. 
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  7. ^ Thor at the Grand Comics Database
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External links[edit]