Thor (Marvel Comics)

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(Redirected from The Mighty Thor)

Template:Superherobox Thor (often called The Mighty Thor,) is a Marvel Comics superhero, based on the thunder god of Norse mythology. The superhero was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 (1962).

On a mission from his father, the omnipotent Lord of Asgard - Odin, Thor acted as a superhero while maintaining the secret identity of Dr. Donald Blake, an American medical doctor. Once Blake tapped his walking stick on the ground, it transformed into the magical hammer Mjolnir and Blake transformed into Thor. Thor often battles his adoptive brother Loki, another Marvel character adapted from a Norse god, and is a member of the all-star superhero group the Avengers.


Character Biography

Missing image
Cover to Journey into Mystery #83, featuring Thor's first appearance. Art by Jack Kirby.


According to the current version, Thor's history follows the traditional myth and later on, he abandoned his worshippers in disgust when they massacred a Christian mission; although he has been seen in flashbacks to have befriended many of his followers and personally guaranteed their passage into Valhalla, he and his other Asgardians have abandoned their roles as figures of worship.

Much later, his father Odin decided that Thor had to be taught humility, and so transformed him into Donald (Don) Blake, a human surgeon who was lame in one leg, and erased his memory. For years, Thor played the role of Don Blake who was a brilliant physician and lived upon Earth. Subsequently, Don Blake became Thor's human alternate persona. Eventually, Odin was satisfied that Thor had spent enough time as Donald Blake, and became Thor with no mortal trappings.

However, in Thor's first appearance (as shown left), long before the lifting of that spell, Odin planted a subconscious desire to go hiking in a specific wilderness area. Once there, aliens attacked and trapped Blake in a sealed cave with little hope of escape. Desperately, Blake tried to used a walking stick he found as a lever to remove the blocking rubble. When he struck the rocks, he triggered the special change spell of the stick and Blake was transformed into his true form of Thor and the stick became the uru war hammer Mjolnir. With his rediscovered power, he escaped the cave and defeated the aliens. With that, Thor dedicated himself to fighting evil.

As at that time, Thor had no memory of his true identity and history for some time, the character was depicted as a Norse version of Captain Marvel. That situation was reinforced with a new spell on the hammer that would change Thor back to Don Blake if he was out of physical contact of his hammer for more than 60 seconds which suggested that Don Blake was his true identity. Fortunately, Mjolnir was small enough to tuck in his belt so he would not have to continually hold the hammer to keep his Thor form. (It was later revealed that Donald Blake was a real person who had been placed into suspended animation by Odin; the real Blake was accidentally killed by Sigyn, who then created a duplicate of him that would reappear years later, believing itself to be the real Donald Blake.)

Missing image
Thor and Loki battle. Cover to Thor #84. Art by Steve Epting.

Protector of Midgard

Thor battles enemies such as his adoptive brother Loki, who has sworn to kill him. To that end, Loki created powerful minions like the Absorbing Man and the Wrecker and manipulated other enemies like Ulik of the Trolls to challenge the thunder god; one of these manipulations resulted in the formation of the superhero team called The Avengers, a team in which for years Thor has served as one of the core members. At the same time, Thor had a romance with his (Donald Blake's) nurse, Jane Foster, which Odin disapproved of; that attitude proved a source of constant frustation for Thor, who at one point even unsuccessfully appealed to Odin to allow him to bring Foster to Asgard.

Beta Ray Bill

Missing image
Beta Ray Bill (with Mjolnir), from the cover of Thor #338. Art by Walt Simonson

This status quo in the comics was shaken up in the 1980s under the authorship of Walt Simonson, beginning with Thor's encounter with the monsterous yet noble alien called Beta Ray Bill. Thor was sent to encounter Bill at the request of SHIELD, who had observed Bill's ship destroy a star to refuel; SHIELD feared that the ship might do the same to the sun. During the subsequent fight, Thor lost contact with his hammer for too long, causing him to revert to Blake. Ignorant of the hammer's power, Bill picked up the cane and struck it in frustration against a wall, enacting its mystical enchantment. Being judged worthy to hoist Mjolnir in the process, Bill was transformed, gaining Thor's power (and a variant of Thor's costume) for his own, before being summoned to Asgard by Odin, who confused Bill with his son. Upon realizing his mistake, Odin retrieved Thor as well.

Bill claimed Mjolnir as a prize of fair combat, which Thor — being disadvataged by his reversion to Blake — naturally disputed. Odin had the matter settled by trial by combat in the volcanic World of Skartheim, "where even gods may perish." Bill won an evenly matched fight due to his distinct biological make up that caused the heat from the volcanic world to revive him. Though Bill's ability to defend his people would have been greatly aided by Mjolnir's power, he did not feel it was right to claim a hammer forged for Thor. On hearing this, Odin worked out a compromise for the equally worthy warriors, with Bill receiving a close copy of Mjolnir called Stormbreaker and transferred the transformation spell to it so that Bill — whose altered form he despised and made him, essentially, a pariah to the people he had taken it to defend — could enjoy his original form when he wanted it, while Thor finally abandoned the Don Blake identity. Sif, who had become depressed and estranged from Thor, left with Bill.

The Surtur War

Soon afterward, the fire-demon Surtur would forge his sword, Twilight, and march on Asgard to light it with the Eternal Flame, with the intention of bringing an End to Everything. Odin summoned all of Asgard's warriors to the battle, including Bill and Sif. Loki was the only one not to respond. The armies of Asgard then left for Earth, to prevent Surtur and his armies from crossing Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge. Having set light to New York though, Surtur tricked Thor into drenching the city in a rainstorm to extinguish the flame, creating a rainbow for a brief moment as he cleared it, allowing Surtur passage to Asgard, who then shattered Bifrost behind him. Thor teleported himself to Asgard, leaving Bill in charge of Asgard's armies in the fight that still raged on Earth, but Sif was stopped by Bill from following. Enraged, she lept further into the battle, vanishing as she fought a rearguard action. The rest of the army, aided by the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and the Norn Queen's army, destroyed the portal Surtur's army came through, returning them to Muspelheim.

Meanwhile, Thor engaged Surtur at Asgard's gates, and was overwhelmed by the fire-demon. Upon his defeat, only Odin seemingly stood between Surtur and Armageddon. Soon, even Odin fell, and Surtur lowered his sword into the flame... find nothing happened. He turned to find Loki taunting him over falling for such an illusion. Loki bought enough time for Odin and Thor to recover, then the three attacked Surtur in concert. Thor, realising just how much of Surtur's strength came from Twilight, managed to knock it from his hand, and Odin knocked the demon into Muspelheim, pledging to prevent Surtur's return as he fell with him.

In the aftermath on Earth, Sif was found badly injured, but recovered quickly with the help of the Asgardians' healing techniques and teleported to Asgard to find Odin gone and Thor as emotionally shattered as the remains of the Rainbow Bridge. He bade her to return to Earth and co-lead Asgard's warriors with Bill, until a way could be found to return them to Asgard. (Due to Bifrost's shattering, only Thor, Sif, Bill and the Enchantress were able to move directly from Earth to Asgard), while Thor left for the mountains to grieve. After his rescue from a Hela-engineeered avalanche by Tiwaz (unbeknowst to Thor, his great-grandfather Buri), he remained with Tiwaz at his insistence until he was recovered.

After, by the combined powers of Thor & Bill's hammers, the Asgardians were returned to Asgard to find Odin gone, Thor declined to take the throne that was his birthright, instead passing the regency to Balder the Brave.

Eventually, Odin was found, imprisoned by Seth, the Egyptian god of death and, with a few hiccups, remained the Lord of Asgard until his recent true death. Thor inherited the Odinforce. With his human side separated into another vessel, took the throne and began to rule Earth with an iron fist. His rule lasted for 200 years, until his son, Magni, finally convinced him of the wrongness of his actions. Thor returned to the past and gave his 200 years of memories to his younger self as a warning, before rejoining him with his human side, who then returned the Asgardians to the true Asgard.


Missing image
Cover to Thor #83. Art by Steve Epting.

This situation would not last long, however. The Odinforce had become sentient and, appalled by what he saw in Thor's memories, left him. In addition, Loki recovered the Mould of Mjolinr and raised Surtur, who agreed to make new hammers using it as repayment for his return to life. Loki and his followers then proceeded to devastate Asgard, killing several and shattering Mjolnir in their first attack. Ragnarok was upon Asgard. Gradually, more and more fell until a desperate retaliation, aided by the return of Bill, stemmed the tide. Thor placed Bill in the leadership of Asgard, while he, followed by the Odinforce in the form of a child, underwent the trials Odin undertook as a young man, only more so: Thor sacrificed both his eyes for knowledge (Odin had lost only one eye) and spent a week dead hanging from Yggdrasil to gain the wisdom of the runes. At the end, he saw that the Ragnarok cycle was caused by the leeching of a group of self-styled "Gods to the Gods," known as Those Who Sit Above in Shadow, who depended on the Ragnarok cycle for their survival. Appalled at the thought that the Asgardians' sacrifices meant nothing, bolstered by the human side that was his birthright from his mother, and strengthed by Odin placing him in the Don Blake identity for years, Thor resolved to end the cycle at ANY cost.

His sight (though not his eyes) restored by the return of the Odinforce to him and the runic magic, Thor single-handedly devastated Valhalla, where the victorious Loki now resided. Thor separated Loki's head from its body, attaching the still-living head to his belt. Thor then did the unthinkable, making a deal with Surtur: in return for the reforging of Mjolnir (he felt it appropriate for Surtur to be the one to remake it), he would blast a clear path for him to Asgard. The final battle unfolded, with Thor's only part the return of Beta Ray Bill to the Earth dimension. (Feeling that a non-Asgardian had no place dying in his race's final battle, Thor bade Bill to remember them.) When all lay dead, and Fenris had consumed the remains, Thor shattered the Fates' weave to prevent the cycle's continuation. Finally, uncertain of his future, he decided to "sleep the sleep of the gods."

"For awhile, at least..."

Powers and abilities

Thor is the Norse god of thunder. As such, he controls storms, particularly rain and accompanying wind and thunder. Thor also possesses enormous strength, stamina, and endurance. Thor is immune to all terrestrial diseases due to his god-like physical constitution. He is a superb hand-to-hand combatant, even against other Asgardians. In fact, Thor is known to be the strongest of all Asgardians. He is very cunning and intuitive in battle, and what he lacks in genius he makes up with experience. Thor's uru hammer Mjolnir amplifies Thor's control over the elements, grants the user the ability to fly, and always returns to its master after being thrown. The hammer is mystically enchanted so that only those of worthy character can wield it. Thor and few others have ever been found so worthy.

Deviations from Norse mythology

Throughout the last 40 years, Thor has been a somewhat important Marvel character, although writers have varied in the degree of actual Norse mythology they implemented into the character's series.

  • Marvel Comics' Thor is blond and usually clean-shaven. Mythological version has red hair and a red beard.
  • Thor wields Mjolnir without aid. The mythological version needs his belt and gloves to wield Mjolnir.
  • Marvel's Mjolnir looks like a mallet. In myth, it's a war hammer (the metal top is curved)
  • In myth, only Thor and his son Magni can lift Mjolnir. In Marvel, only those worthy can lift it, which is a list of people that includes Captain America, Beta Ray Bill, Odin, , etc ... In the fictional crossover "Marvel vs. DC" Wonder Woman was worthy to lift Mjolnir.
  • In Marvel, Thor was a bachelor without chilren. In myth, his wife was called Sif and they have two children, Thrud and Modi, and a stepson called Ullr . With Jarnsaxa, Thor had the son Magni.
  • In myth, Thor will kill and be killed by Jormungand at Ragnarok. In Marvel, Thor kills Jormungand and survives, as he was then cursed by Hela to be denied the gift of death.
  • Other inconsistencies
    • Undoing the death of Balder
    • Giving Thor's lover, Sif, black hair. In myth, it was spun out of gold as a gift by Loki.
    • Ragnarok is the end for mythical Thor. In Marvel, Thor initiates and survives Ragnarok.
    • Im myth, a few gods survive Ragnarok. In Marvel, it appears that Ragnarok has claimed them all.

Bibliography of Thor titles

Famous Quotes

  • Those who live by honour and loyalty will always have strength. Whereas, those who live by cunning and guile will only have strength until the truth is discovered.' - Thor:Godstorm
  • "Odin's beard!"

Other Media

Thor appeared on a Saturday Night Live Skit of Superman's Death, and was a guest star in several Marvel Cartoons.

External links

de:Thor (Comic) pt:Thor (banda desenhada)


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