Thor (Marvel Comics)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Textless cover of Thor: Tales of Asgard #1
(July 2009).
Art by Olivier Coipel.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceJourney into Mystery #83
(August 1962)
Created byStan Lee (writer)
Larry Lieber (writer)
Jack Kirby (artist)
In-story information
Full nameThor Odinson
Place of originAsgard
Team affiliationsAvengers
Warriors Three
Thor Corps
God Squad
Avengers Unity Squad
Notable aliasesSiegmund
Dr. Donald Blake
Jake Olson
Sigurd Jarlson
Eric Masterson
Herald of Thunder[1]
Herald of None[2]
The Destroyer[3]
  • Superhuman strength, stamina, durability, speed, agility, reflexes, healing, longevity, and senses
  • Manipulation of weather, lightning, thunder, energy and matter
  • Skilled hand-to-hand combatant
  • Mjolnir grants:

Thor Odinson is a character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by artist Jack Kirby, writer Stan Lee, and scripter Larry Lieber, the character first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 (August 1962), debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books.[4] Thor is based on the Norse mythological god of the same name. He is the Asgardian god of thunder, whose enchanted hammer Mjolnir enables him to fly and manipulate weather, among his other superhuman attributes. A founding member of the superhero team the Avengers, Thor has a host of supporting characters and enemies.

Thor has starred in several ongoing series and limited series, and appears in all volumes of the Avengers series. The character has been used in Marvel Comics merchandise, animated television series, films, video games, clothing and toys.[5][6]

Chris Hemsworth portrays the character in several Marvel Cinematic Universe films: Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Doctor Strange (2016, cameo), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and Thor: Love and Thunder (2022). Alternative versions of the character appear in the Disney+ series What If...? (2021).

Publication history[edit]

The Marvel Comics superhero Thor debuted in the science fiction/fantasy anthology title Journey into Mystery #83 (cover-date August 1962), and was created by editor-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and penciller-plotter Jack Kirby.[7] A different version of the mythological Thor had appeared previously in Venus #12–13 (February–April 1951).[8] 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...[9]

Thor, as depicted by Jack Kirby in Tales of the Unexpected #16 (1957).

In a 1984 interview Kirby said "I did a version of Thor for D.C. in the fifties before I did him for Marvel. I created Thor at Marvel because I was forever enamored of legends, which is why I knew about Balder, Heimdall, and Odin. I tried to update Thor and put him into a superhero costume, but he was still Thor."[10] The story was included in Tales of the Unexpected #16, from 1957; and although the character had a different design, some details would be reused by Kirby when he created the Marvel Comics version.[11] And in a 1992 interview, 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."[12]

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).[13][14]

Lee and Kirby included Thor in The Avengers #1 (Sept. 1963) as a founding member of the superhero team.[15] 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),[16] 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.

Journey into Mystery was retitled Thor (per the indicia, or The Mighty Thor per most covers)[13] with issue #126 (March 1966).

In the mid-1970s, Marvel considered giving the character a second series as part of parent company Magazine Management's line of black-and-white comics magazines. A story written by Steve Englehart for the aborted project appeared in Thor Annual #5 (1976).[17] A black-and-white Thor story appeared in Marvel Preview #10 (Winter 1977).[18]

The character of Thor was involved in the year-long Marvel Super Heroes Secret War storyline written by Jim Shooter from May 1984 to April 1985, following his mysterious disappearance in The Mighty Thor #341 and The Mighty Avengers #242.[19]

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.

When the character was returned to the mainstream Marvel Universe, Thor was relaunched with Thor vol. 2, #1 (July 1998).[20][21][22] The title ran until issue #85 / #587, dated December 2004.

The third volume debuted as Thor #1 (Sept. 2007).[23][24][25]

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,[26] Thor: First Thunder by Bryan J. L. Glass and Tan Eng Huat,[27] Thor: For Asgard by Robert Rodi and Simone Bianchi,[28] and Iron Man/Thor by the writing duo of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.[29]

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.[30] An ongoing series, titled The Mighty Thor, launched the same month with writer Fraction and artist Coipel.[31] The series ended with issue #22 in October 2012.[32][33]

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 Ribić debuted as part of the Marvel NOW! relaunch.[34][35] This story arc was voted as the eighth best Thor story by[36]

In October 2014, a fourth volume of Thor by Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman debuted that featured a female character (later revealed to be Jane Foster) in the role of Thor after the classic hero is no longer able to wield Mjolnir.[37] The following October, Aaron and Dauterman signed an exclusive agreement with Marvel to continue their work together in a second volume of The Mighty Thor, also starring Foster.[38]

In July 2016, Marvel announced a new ongoing series titled The Unworthy Thor by Aaron and Coipel. The series follows the original Thor, who now refers to himself as Odinson, as he tries to find his purpose after relinquishing his name and title to Foster. Aaron stated that the series finds Odinson in a dark place explaining, "He failed for a reason we still don't quite understand. He dropped the hammer and hasn't been able to pick it up since. So then we go to a pretty dark place. A darker, more desperate, more driven version."[39]

In January 2020, Thor volume #6 debuted. This story follows Thor, as he becomes the new king of Asgard and tries to fulfill his duties as a king while fighting his destiny in an attempt to save the multiverse from an unknown threat.[40][41]

In August 2023, a new series dubbed The Immortal Thor debuted, written by Al Ewing and drawn by Martín Cóccolo with covers by Alex Ross. The series will focus on Thor having to fight the elder gods from the Utgard realm.[42]

Fictional character biography[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 incarnates Thor (without memories of godhood) on Earth as a mortal, partially disabled human medical student, Donald Blake.[43] After becoming a doctor, Blake witnesses the arrival of an alien scouting party while he is on vacation in Norway. 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.[44] Later, in Thor #159, 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.[45]

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 enemy Loki.[46][47] Loki is responsible for the emergence of three of Thor's principal foes: the Absorbing Man;[48][49] the Destroyer,[50][51] and the Wrecker.[52] 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 and Hulk, alongside Ant-Man, the Wasp and Iron Man, would be founding members.[15] Thor's other early foes include Zarrko, the Tomorrow Man;[53] the Radioactive Man;[54][55] the Lava Man;[56] the Cobra;[57] Mister Hyde;[58] the Enchantress and the Executioner,[59][60] and the Grey Gargoyle.[61]

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.[62] 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.[63] Although Thor initially regards himself as a "superhero" like his teammates in the Avengers,[63] 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,[64] and defeating an increasingly powerful Absorbing Man and proving his innocence in the "Trial of the Gods".[65] This necessitates an extended leave of absence from the Avengers.[66]

Thor encounters the Greek God Hercules,[67][68] who becomes a loyal and trustworthy friend. Thor saves Hercules from fellow Olympian Pluto;[69] stops the advance of Ego the Living Planet;[70][71][72] rescues Jane Foster from the High Evolutionary and defeats his flawed creation, the Man-Beast.[73][74] 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.[75][76] Thor battles the Asgardian troll Ulik for the first time when Ulik attempts to steal Mjolnir.[77] The thunder god returns to Asgard to prevent Mangog from drawing the Odinsword and ending the universe,[78] Thor learns the origin of Galactus[79] and rescues Sif after she is kidnapped by Him.[80][81]


Thor battles Surtur once again when the fire demon attempts to storm Asgard;[82][83] encounters the Stranger and his pawn the Abomination;[84] and overpowers an outmatched Doctor Doom.[85][86]

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).[87][88][89]

Thor prevents another attempt by Mangog — disguised as Odin — from drawing the Odinsword;[90][91] is saved by the intervention of ally Volstagg when the "Odin Force" became a semi-sentient destructive force;[92] and is rescued from death when Odin engineers a false Ragnarök and has reporter Red Norvell die in his place battling the Midgard Serpent.[93] Thor met the Eternals in a lengthy storyline.[94][95] Thor also encounters the "Eye of Odin" (sacrificed by Odin to drink from the Well of Mimir) which claimed another Asgard and version of Thor once existed.[96]


First appearance of Thor's battle armor: Thor #378 (April 1987). Cover art by Walt Simonson.

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.[97]

After restoring the Asgardian gods with a gathering of energies donated by Skyfathers from other pantheons,[98] Thor has a series of adventures on Earth, including encountering two Heralds of Galactus in swift succession;[99][100] stopping Mephisto from taking human souls;[101] clearing his name when framed by Asgardian god of war Tyr;[102][103] aiding Drax the Destroyer;[104] with ally Iron Man defeating the Bi-Beast and the Man-Beast;[105][106][107] engaging the former king of Nastrond Fafnir transformed by Odin into a dragon in combat when freed by Loki,[108] and battling Dracula.[109][110] 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.[111]

While exploring an approaching space vessel at the request of Nick Fury, Thor encounters Beta Ray Bill,[112] 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,[113] 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.[114][115]

Thor remains in Asgard to deal with the vacuum left by Odin's apparent death, and drives off Hela;[116] meets Tiwaz, his great-grandfather;[117][118] forces Loki to cure him from the effects of a love potion;[119] with allies enters Hela's realm and rescues lost mortal souls.[120] Returning to Earth, Thor and Beta Ray Bill defeat the transformed Dark Elf Kurse,[121] 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.[122][123][124] 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 renders him truly immortal and unable to die no matter how severe his injuries.[125] Thor is injured again during a battle with the Absorbing Man engineered by Loki,[126][127] and is ultimately saved by Loki during a battle with the Dark Elves.[128]

Eventually forced to wear armor to protect his broken body, Thor and Loki defeat 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.[129] Loki restores the Destroyer, who kills the Ice Giants and 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.[130] Thor meets and battles Leir, the Celtic god of lightning.[131] After another encounter with the Celestials on an alien world;[132] Thor finds Odin — a captive of Seth — and uses the Odinpower to fend off a returning Surtur;[133] and defeats Annihilus while Asgard is in the Negative Zone.[134][135] Thor battles X-Men foe the Juggernaut and meets the New Warriors.[136][137]


After Thor kills Loki in single combat,[138] 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.[139] During a battle Thor is driven into a "warrior's madness" by a Valkyrie. After overpowering everyone who attempts to stop his rampage,[140] Thor is brought by the Eternal and Thanos before Odin, who cures his son of the madness.[141]

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.[142] 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.[143][144] Thor enters into a war with the Dark Gods with Marnot revealed to be Hescamer, one of Odin's ravens;[145] and battles the returning Enchanters Three.[146]


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

Thor faces a prolonged struggle against Thanos when he seeks to remake the universe.[147] 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.[148][149][150][151][152][153]

When the timeline is reset, Loki revives Surtur, who forges new Uru hammers for Loki's Storm Giant followers and begins 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.[154]

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".[155] 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,[156] 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.[157] Thor rebuilds Asgard over Broxton, Oklahoma,[158][159][160] 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,[161] for which Thor is greatly angered.[160][162] 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,[162] his and Captain America's animosity toward Stark would persist until the conclusion of the 2010–2011 Avengers Prime miniseries.[163] Thor searches for his fellow Asgardians, and restores each of them,[162] 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.[164][165][166]

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.[167][168][169] Due to Loki's deception, Thor battles and kills his grandfather Bor, and is banished from Asgard.[170][171] 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.[172][173]


Odinson with the battle axe Jarnbjorn and a prosthetic arm on a variant cover of Thor vol. 4, #2 (Jan. 2015). Art by Esad Ribić.

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.[174][175][176][177][178] The next day Balder lifts Thor's exile and appoints Thor as his adviser.[179] 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.[163]

Thor aids Amadeus Cho in a quest to find the necessary ingredients to bring back their mutual friend Hercules from a parallel universe.[180] During the 2010 - 2011 "Chaos War" storyline, Thor joins Hercules' God Squad to battle the Chaos King, who is set on destroying all of existence.[181] 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.[182]

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.[183] At Thor's funeral, Thor and other people's memories of him are replaced by Ulik under the guise of Tanarus, a new thunder god.[184][185] Thor returns from the limbo of forgotten dead gods with the help of Loki and the Silver Surfer, and vanquishes Ulik.[186]

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.[187] 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.[188] Thor then investigates the disappearances of several gods, and defeats Gorr the God Butcher in a story arc that spans several millennia.[189]

Following the murder of Uatu and the revelation of his many secrets 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".[190] Later, Nick Fury whispers an unrevealed secret to Thor that causes him to lose the ability to pick up his hammer.[191]

In the aftermath of the "Original Sin" storyline, Thor takes up the battle axe Jarnbjorn as a substitute for Mjolnir and subsequently loses his left arm in combat against Malekith the Accursed. Thor previously used Jarnbjorn as his regular weapon beginning in the ninth century after unable unsuccessful attempts to lift Mjolnir . Composed of Asgardian Steel, Jarnbjorn and Thor fought many foes on Earth, including frost giants,[192] trolls and dragons.[193] However, during the 11th Century, Thor faced off with the Celestial-powered being called Apocalypse and lost.[volume & issue needed] Seeking revenge, Thor blessed Jarnbjorn with his own blood, giving it the power to pierce Celestial armor.[volume & issue needed]

Meanwhile, an unidentified woman, later revealed as Jane Foster,[194] lifts Mjolnir, taking possession of Thor's power.[195] Although Thor initially attempts to reclaim the hammer,[196] he relinquishes the name and role of Thor after witnessing the woman wield its power. Thor Odinson continues his work as a superhero under the name "Odinson", using Jarnbjorn and a prosthetic arm made of black uru.[197]

In the 2016 limited series The Unworthy Thor, Odinson learns that Ultimate Thor's hammer has crash landed on Asgard following the "Secret Wars" storyline. Odinson ultimately turns down the opportunity to lift it and reveals to Beta Ray Bill that the words Nick Fury whispered to him were "Gorr was right," explaining that no god is worthy of mortal admiration. After this, an unknown individual, later revealed as Volstagg,[198] picks up Ultimate Thor's hammer and calls himself "War Thor".[199]

During the 2017 "Secret Empire" storyline, Odinson is recruited by Steve Rogers — who is under the influence of Kobik, the sentient Cosmic Cube — into joining Hydra,[200] but later sides with the resistance in their efforts to end Hydra's control over the United States.[201]

After Odinson learns that Mjolnir's new wielder is Jane Foster, Jane sacrifices Mjolnir to destroy Mangog by wrapping Mangog in chains tied to Mjolnir before hurling both into the sun. After Odinson works with his father to bring Jane back to life, she restarts her chemotherapy while inspiring Odinson to return to his old name, suggesting that he see what kind of Thor he can be without a hammer after witnessing her accomplishments with one.[202] As a result, Thor returns to a variant of his more familiar look with a golden arm, using various substitute hammers until the dwarves can gather enough uru to forge a true new Mjolnir.[203] During the 2019 "War of the Realms" storyline, Thor sacrifices one eye and the last remaining fragment of Mjolnir to gain the necessary knowledge to defeat Malekith, but subsequently manages to channel the cosmic storm generated by their final battle to reforge Mjolnir, restoring his ability to wield the hammer by accepting his past unworthiness and proclaiming that he will now fight for the unworthy.[204]


Cover of Thor vol. 6, #1 (January 2020), showing Thor's updated costume with visible Thurisaz rune. Art by Olivier Coipel.

Following the "War of the Realms" storyline, Odin names Thor the new King of Asgard in a new ongoing series by writer Donny Cates and artist Nic Klein. Along with the new title, Thor receives a new costume with black body armor, black boots, and a glowing white sash in the form of a Thurisaz rune.[205] In the series, an injured Galactus crash lands on Asgard and claims to be seeking asylum from the cause of his universe's destruction: the Black Winter (Fimbulwinter). Galactus reveals to All-Father Thor that he had a vision of Thor being responsible for his death. In a bid to destroy the Black Winter, Galactus turns Thor into his Herald of Thunder, who will find five particular worlds that Galactus must consume to gain the power to oppose the Black Winter. The transformation into a Herald also restores Thor's lost eye and arm.[206] Thor later learns that the Black Winter considers Galactus as his herald. Outraged at being used, Thor drains Galactus of his energies, leaving him a decimated husk. When the Black Winter moves in to claim Galactus' body, Thor used it as a bomb to decimate the Black Winter.[207]

Prior to the battle with Galactus, Thor had noticed that Mjolnir had been growing heavier for him. After the battle, he sends Mjolnir to Broxton, Oklahoma, where Asgard was once built and later on destroyed. There, a man named Adam Aziz visits the crash site first. He notices that "Call Tony Stark" is written, along with his phone number (which was Thor's revenge for the "Nice throw" Iron Man had previously written on Thor's Hammer[206]), and calls Stark. When Iron Man comes, both him and Adam see that writing on Mjolnir has changed to "Pick it up". Adam picks up the hammer, and his clothes change to more Asgardian like, with a cape and a helmet.[208] Thor soon comes to Broxton, and takes Mjolnir from Adam, but Iron Man snatches it, refusing to return it to Thor until he had run some tests on the hammer and until Thor had answered some questions. Thor replies that he does not answer to anyone, to which Iron Man hit Thor on the face with the hammer. Thor threatens Iron Man, who promptly gives the hammer back. Thor explains to Iron Man that while the hammer has been growing heavier for him, it has been becoming lighter for others. Iron Man promises that he will not tell anyone and goes. Thor goes to Asgard after briefly teaching Adam how to fly using Mjolnir.[209]

In the 2020 Avengers "Enter the Phoenix" story-arc, it was alluded that Thor is the son of a mutant avatar of the Phoenix Force known as Lady Phoenix, who had an affair with Odin 1,000,000 years prior at the dawn of man.[210] However, it was later revealed that Gaea is still Thor's birth mother, as had been established in previous storylines, although Lady Phoenix breathed life into Thor's infant body directly after his birth, after an attack by the frost giant Laufey mortally froze him.[211] This was also shown to allow Thor to channel the same type and scale of power as Phoenix-force hosts when necessary.[212]

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.[63][84][213][214][215] Thor is capable of incredible feats of strength, such as lifting the almost Earth-sized Midgard Serpent,[216] supporting a weight equivalent to that of 20 planets,[217] destroying Surtur's solar system-sized dimensional portal (by combining his power with that of Beta Ray Bill),[218] and allegedly overpowering infinite gravity.[219] By exerting himself to his maximum, he moved the Worldengine, which held the World Tree, which contains nine universal space-time continuums, and significantly affected their timelines.[220] If pressed in battle, Thor is capable of entering into a state known as the "Warrior's Madness" ("berserkergang" in Norwegian and Danish alike), which will temporarily increase his strength and stamina tenfold, although in this state he attacks friend and foe alike.[81][221][222]

Thor is extremely durable to physical injuries.[223][224][225] He has even survived energy blasts from Celestials.[226] Thor possesses keen senses[46] that allow him to track objects travelling faster than light[227] and hear cries from the other side of the planet.[228] His stamina allowed him to battle the entire Frost Giant army for nine months without any sustenance or rest;[229] Thor has shown the ability to regenerate wounded portions of his body,[230] including entire limbs or organs, with the aid of magical forces such as Mjolnir.[230] Thor has superhuman speed, agility, and reflexes, enabling him to deflect bullets with his hammer,[231] and to swing or throw it at many times the speed of light.[232][233][234] In early stories, Thor demonstrated vortex breath, which produces powerful winds.[53] Like all Asgardians, he has immunity to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to magic. Exceptionally powerful magic can overwhelm Odin's enchantment that transforms him between Asgardian and mortal forms.[235]

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.[213] Thor can also create small tornadoes by quickly whipping his cape in circles.[231] As the son of the Earth goddess Gaea, Thor has shown control over the Earth.[236][237]

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[238] whereas the second is used to control his weather abilities; flight; energy projection and absorption (sufficient to drain the galaxy-destroying Null Bomb, and use its energy to reignite a dying star);[239] dimensional travel; matter manipulation,[240][241][242] the Thermo-blast,[72] the Anti-Force (which counteracts another force),[243] and the God Blast, that taps into Thor's life force and has even forced Galactus to flee.[244][245] Using Mjolnir by throwing it in the desired direction and then holding on to the handle's leather loop, Thor can fly at supersonic speeds within Earth's atmosphere and much faster than light in outer space. He can also use the hammer to create a barrier by letting it spin in a circle, and even managed to contain an explosion powerful enough to destroy 1/5th of the Universe, although at the cost of his own life.[246] He can throw an object out of Earth's atmosphere by using his strength,[247] and throw his hammer to Asgard from which it will return.[46]

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.[122]

Mjolnir also has the following powers:

  • It can create huge vortices.[248]
  • It can emit antimatter particles.[249]
  • It can project mystical blasts of energy, control electromagnetism, and perform molecular manipulation.[250]

It can also absorb energy;

The hammer also accidentally endowed the hero Union Jack with the ability to generate electricity,[254] and it can remove any harmful radiation or toxins from a host.[255]

There are also several rarely used abilities of Mjolnir:

  • Tracking a person.[256]
  • Locating mystical items.[257]
  • Detecting illusions.[258]
  • Projecting images, as Thor has shown a glimpse of Asgard to his fellow Avenger Iron Man.[259]

As a former religious relic, Mjolnir is also lethal to the undead, causing creatures such as vampires to burst into flame and crumble to dust.[260]

When in possession of the "Odinforce" that usually empowers his father, Thor has proven capable of killing Galactus when the latter is very well fed and far beyond his normal power level, along with the multiverse-devouring Black Winter entity.[261] He also greatly helped to hold back the corpse of The First Firmament, an entire multiverse of energy, which was threatening to destroy the entire current Marvel multiverse.[212]

Supporting characters[edit]

Reception and impact[edit]


  • In 2011, IGN ranked Thor 14th in their "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time" list.[262]
  • In 2012, IGN ranked Thor 1st in their "Top 50 Avengers" list.[263]
  • In 2015, Entertainment Weekly ranked Thor 12th in their "Let's rank every Avenger ever" list.[264]
  • In 2015, Gizmodo ranked Thor 2nd in their "Every Member Of The Avengers" list.[265]
  • In 2015, BuzzFeed ranked Thor 4th in their "84 Avengers Members Ranked From Worst To Best" list.[266]
  • In 2017, Screen Rant ranked Thor 1st in their "15 Best Thors In Marvel Comics" list.[267]
  • In 2018, Vanity Fair included Thor in their "Stan Lee's Most Iconic Characters" list.[268]
  • In 2018, GameSpot ranked Thor 39th in their "50 Most Important Superheroes" list.[269]
  • In 2019, ranked Thor 32nd in their "50 Most Important Superheroes Ever" list.[270]
  • In 2020, ranked Thor 5th in their "10 Marvel Gods With The Highest Kill Count" list.[271]
  • In 2022, Newsarama ranked Thor 5th in their "Best Avengers members of all time" list.[272]
  • In 2022, ranked Thor 3rd in their "10 Scariest Avengers" list.[273]
  • In 2022, Screen Rant included Thor in their "10 Most Powerful Avengers In Marvel Comics" list[274] and in their "10 Most Powerful Hercules Villains In Marvel Comics" list.[275]

Other versions[edit]

In other media[edit]

The character was first portrayed in live action by Eric Allan Kramer in the 1988 television movie The Incredible Hulk Returns. Chris Hemsworth portrays Thor Odinson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Doctor Strange (2016) in a cameo, Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019) and Thor: Love and Thunder (2022). Additionally, archival footage of Hemsworth as Thor was used in the 2013 episodes "Pilot" and "The Well" of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.[276][277] Thor appears as an outfit in Fortnite Battle Royale Chapter 2's Season Four Battle Pass.[278]

Collected editions[edit]


  1. ^ Thor vol. 6 #1
  2. ^ Thor vol. 6 #6
  3. ^ Thor: God of Thunder Vol 1 #23
  4. ^ Eckhardt, Peter (2022-06-06). "10 Thor Comics Everyone Should Read At Least Once". CBR. Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  5. ^ Reilly, Jim (July 21, 2010). "SDCC 10: Thor, Amaterasu Join MvC3 Cast". IGN. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2022.
  6. ^ Ivan, Tom (September 22, 2009). "Leaked: Sony's Motion Control Plans, PS2 Emulator For PS3". Edge. Archived from the original on February 25, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2022.
  7. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1960s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: 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. {{cite book}}: |first2= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Sanderson, Peter "1940s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 39: "Not only did Olympian gods appear, but so did the Norse gods Thor and Loki."
  9. ^ Lee, Stan; Mair, George (2002). Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee. New York, New York: Fireside Books. ISBN 978-0684873053.
  10. ^ Kirby in Van Hise, James (April 1985). "Superheroes: The Language That Jack Kirby Wrote". Comics Feature (#34).
  11. ^ Jake Young (August 11, 2017). "6 Weird Things About Thor's Origin Story Nobody Talks About". Dorkly. Archived from the original on January 9, 2020. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  12. ^ Green, Rick (February 1997). "Jack Kirby: Prisoner of Gravity". The Jack Kirby Collector (#14): 18.
  13. ^ a b "Thor (I) • The Mighty Thor (I) (1966–1996)". Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators. Series is named "Thor" in the imprint, but most covers have the title "The Mighty Thor".
  14. ^ Thor at the Grand Comics Database
  15. ^ a b DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 94: "Filled with some wonderful visual action, The Avengers #1 has a very simple story: the Norse god Loki tricked the Hulk into going on a rampage. In response, Rick Jones and his Teen Brigade tried to contact the Fantastic Four for help. However, Loki redirected the radio signal so Thor would hear it in the expectation that he would battle [the Hulk]."
  16. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 95: "These backup stories originally began with updated versions of Norse mythology, but later switched to the adventures of a younger Thor."
  17. ^ Englehart, Steve (n.d.). "Thor the Mighty". Archived from the original on December 19, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2013. Unfortunately, in one of those things that just happen in life, publishing plans changed and Thor the Mighty was shelved.
  18. ^ Marvel Preview #10 at the Grand Comics Database
  19. ^ Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars. New York: Marvel Worldwide, Inc. 2011 [1984-1985]. pp. 15–19. ISBN 9780785158684.
  20. ^ "Thor (II) • The Mighty Thor (II) (1998–2004)". Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators.
  21. ^ Thor vol. 2 at the Grand Comics Database
  22. ^ Manning, Matthew K. "1990s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 289: "Thor thundered into his new ongoing series by writer Dan Jurgens and artist John Romita Jr."
  23. ^ "Thor (III) (2007–2009)". Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators.
  24. ^ Thor vol. 3 at the Grand Comics Database
  25. ^ Manning "2000s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 337: "With his impressive run ending on The Amazing Spider-Man, writer J. Michael Straczynski decided to tackle another of Marvel's iconic pantheon – Thor."
  26. ^ Mahadeo, Kevin (April 17, 2010). "C2E2: Langridge Teams with Thor". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  27. ^ Mahadeo, Kevin (June 11, 2010). "Bryan J.L. Glass Brings the (God of) Thunder". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  28. ^ Richards, Dave (July 9, 2010). "Bianchi Gets Epic With Thor: For Asgard". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  29. ^ Richards, Dave (July 23, 2010). "CCI: DnA Go High Tech & Mythic For Iron Man/Thor". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  30. ^ Morse, Ben (January 17, 2011). "A New Journey Into Mystery". Marvel Comics. Archived from the original on May 23, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  31. ^ Morse, Ben (January 14, 2011). "The Mighty Thor Strikes". Marvel Comics. Archived from the original on May 23, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
  32. ^ Melrose, Kevin (July 10, 2012). "Nine titles end in October as Marvel NOW! begins". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  33. ^ The Mighty Thor at the Grand Comics Database
  34. ^ Ching, Albert (August 7, 2012). "Past, Present & Future Thor Star in Aaron's God of Thunder". Newsarama. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
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  40. ^ "Donny Cates' Thor Dons His Crown in the Blackest of Winters". CBR. November 21, 2019.
  41. ^ "Venom & Thor Join Forces to Fight a Deadly New Threat to Earth". Screen Rant. April 16, 2022.
  42. ^ "The God of Thunder Gets the 'Immortal' Treatment in 'Immortal Thor' #1". Marvel Entertainment. Retrieved 2023-08-25.
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  63. ^ a b c Gruenwald, Mark; Macchio,, Ralph (w), Pollard, Keith (p), Day, Gene (i). "Chapter One Twilight of the Gods!/Chapter Two Whatever Gods There Be.../Chapter Three Day of Alpha" Thor, no. 300 (October 1980).
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  65. ^ Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "The Trial of the Gods!" Journey into Mystery, no. 116 (May 1965).
  66. ^ Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Ayers, Dick (i). "The Old Order Changeth" The Avengers, no. 16 (May 1965).
  67. ^ Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "When Titans Clash!" Journey into Mystery Annual, no. 1 (1965).
  68. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 110: "Thor accidentally crashed through a mystical barrier and found himself in Olympus, the home of the Greek gods. Thor later encountered Hercules."
  69. ^ Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Thunder In the Netherworld!" Thor, no. 130 (July 1966).
  70. ^ Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "They Strike From Space!" Thor, no. 131 (August 1966).
  71. ^ Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Rigel Where Gods May Fear to Tread!" Thor, no. 132 (September 1966).
  72. ^ a b Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "Behold... The Living Planet!" Thor, no. 133 (October 1966).
  73. ^ Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "The People-Breeders!" Thor, no. 134 (November 1966).
  74. ^ Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "The Maddening Menace of the Super-Beast!" Thor, no. 135 (December 1966).
  75. ^ Lee, Stan (w), Kirby, Jack (p), Colletta, Vince (i). "To Become An Immortal!" Thor, no. 136 (January 1967).
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  77. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 121: "As powerful as Thor himself, Ulik first trudged on to the scene in The Mighty Thor #137."
  78. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 131: "A creature born of hatred, Mangog lived only for vengeance. He was a demonic entity who hated the Asgardians and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby."
  79. ^ DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 136: "Odin sent Thor to learn the secret of Galactus' past in this story by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He discovered that the planet-eater had once been an alien called Galen."
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