To me, Thor is one of the most interesting characters in Marvel’s stable when written correctly. Right now, he’s in great hands. Thor: God of Thunder is another relaunched title under the Marvel: NOW! banner. Currently written by Jason Aaron (Scalped), and drawn by a rotating crew of Esad Ribicand Butch Guice. First, a quick history lesson. Journey into Mystery was a horror comic anthology series created in 1952. Eventually, it transitioned into monster and sci-fi stories as the decade progressed. In 1962, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby debuted a new character, Thor, based off the mythology. Thor originally was a cross between fantasy and sci-fi. I know the images that could call to mind but I assure you there’s no spaceships involved. I think the best example is the characters portrayal in the movie, Thor. There have been a few questions over the years as to whether or not in the Marvel Universe if Thor is the same Thor from the mythology. I’m inclined to believe so, considering all the other gods from mythologies exist (Hercules, Odin, etc.).
For that last few decades, Thor has more so been rooted in fantasy, shying away from sci-fi. The character(s) were killed off for a few years in their own Ragnarok, only to come back 6 years later. Every character has their defining run. If you want the one book you should read for Thor, it has to be Walt Simonson’s run, available in omnibus form. The volume runs nearly 1200 pages. It took me quite some time to make my way through, but was very much worth it. We saw the introduction of fan favorite Beta Ray Bill, the epic battle (and creation of) Malekith the Accursed, Thor’s battle with Hela, and so much more. Malekith is the villain in Thor: The Dark World, the sequel to the original due out in the fall.
With the company mandate to align their properties with the movie incarnations, and the theatrical version based more so on the original and Simonson version, the sci-fi elements have come back in interesting ways. The current run is only six issues in, but it’s one of my favorite reads every month. We see Thor in three time periods; young Thor (before he has Mjolnir), present Thor (member of the Avengers), and future Thor. Gorr, the God Butcher, has plagued Thor for centuries. This man, or creature, has killed gods of every creed, make, and planet across the galaxy with extreme prejudice. Every god must die. When he encounters young Thor, they both barely survive. Hundreds of years later present Thor must battle the creature once again. My favorite of the three is future Thor; king of a fallen Asgard. Odin’s palace is besieged by Gorr and his minions. Thor, now an old man, sits upon the throne, alone. Gray of beard and hair, eye patched like his fathers, and missing an arm; replaced by armor from the Destroyer.
With every issue now on the Comixology, it’s never been easier to jump into this, or any other series.
Who’s your favorite Thor character (Sif, hands down)? Looking forward to the new movie? Topic suggestions? Comment or tweet!
Fun fact: In Kirby’s original notes he had it that the Asgardians were shape-shifting aliens that came to Earth thousands of years ago, met northlanders (Vikings and such), and made themselves look like that to fit in. They were then raised up as/mistaken for gods.