Thor , the god of Norse mythology, has appeared as a character in various comics over the years, appearing in series from a range of publishers.
Thor Odinson (often called The Mighty Thor) is a Marvel Comics superhero, based on the thunder god of Norse mythology. The superhero was created by editor Stan Lee and penciller Jack Kirby, who co-plotted, and scripter Larry Lieber, and first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962).
Stan Lee created Thor Odinson as a means of being stronger than even the toughest mortal, the Incredible Hulk. However, since Hulk was the strongest mortal, the one man stronger than the strongest mortal, had to be more than a mortal. He had to be a god. Therefore, Thor Odinson, the mightiest hero in all the nine realms, was created.
On a mission from his father, Odin, Thor acts as a superhero while maintaining the secret identity of Dr. Donald Blake, an American physician with a partially disabled leg. Blake can transform by tapping his walking stick on the ground; the cane becomes the magical hammer Mjolnir and Blake transforms into Thor.
Thor, a founding member of the superhero group the Avengers, often battles his evil adoptive brother Loki, a Marvel character adapted from the Norse god of mischief. He is among Marvel's most powerful superheroes. Many recurring characters in his stories are based on Norse Mythology. As with other superheroes, the Thor identity has been taken by other characters, including Jane Foster, who became a female Thor.
Apart from this main superhero, Marvel features a number of characters based on him.
Chris Hemsworth portrays Thor in films set within Marvel Studios' cinematic universe, first appearing in the 2011 film Thor . Hemsworth reprised his role for The Avengers , Thor: The Dark World , Avengers: Age of Ultron , Doctor Strange , Thor: Ragnarok , Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame .
Jack Kirby made a story featuring Thor in Tales of the Unexpected #16. A cowboy finds Thor's hammer in the American desert and uses it for his own gain, until it is reclaimed by Thor. This version of Thor is not similar to the Marvel Comics character that Kirby would create five years later, although there are some minor similarities, such as the design of Mjolnir and the circles in Thor's chest. Kirby would often cite this adventure to claim that he was the main creator of the Marvel Comics character.
Thor appears in the first issues of Jack Kirby's Fourth World by John Byrne. His appearance is explicitly based on Kirby's design of the Marvel character, but is more faithful to the original mythology having red hair, a beard and a more brutish personality. He and the other Asgard gods are stated to be related to, but not synonymous with, the Old Gods (the progenitors of the New Gods). Later Thor clarifies that they are "echoes" of the Old Gods and resemble them down to their names, thus explaining how the Norse gods can still exist in the DC Universe when the event that killed the Old Gods is implied to have been Ragnarök.
Thor also appears briefly in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series in the story "Seasons of Mists". In that story, he, Odin and Loki try (and fail) to get the key of Hell. Thor is portrayed as a lewd drunk. This is in contrast to the Marvel Comics portrayal of Thor, where Thor is portrayed as very noble and earnest.In the later Sandman story, "Kindly Ones", he helps Odin capture Loki.
In another story, Wonder Woman and Superman travel to Valhalla and help Thor in a war for a thousand years.
The deity Thor (called Þunor or Thunor as in Thor's Old English name) appears in the America's Best Comics police procedural series Top 10 by artist Gene Ha and writer Alan Moore, where officers interview the deity and other gods as witnesses to the death of Baldur at the hands of Hod.The god appears here as a belligerent, red-bearded, balding man, prone to swearing, whose lack of cooperation leads to a swift takedown by Smax.
Thor is also a fictional character in the Comico comic book series Elementals . He was created by Bill Willingham and first appeared in Elementals #23 (Volume 1).
The Flemish comic artist Willy Vandersteen started three series in which a Thor was featured. His very first published newspaper comic series (when World War II stopped US-import in 1941) was "Tor de Holbewoner", about a caveman called Tor. Taking into account that "Tor" is a Dutch word for beetle, in Dutch the difference between T and Th is hardly (if at all) heard and that it was about a caveman living way before the invention of orthography, it is no miracle that this caveman returned (still during the war) with his name changed to "Thor".
In "De Rode Ridder" series the existence of the thunder god Thor is shown in #45, (The Hammer of Thor, 1970) and the Thunderer has a role in #63 (The Valkyrie, 1974), in which the Rode/Red Knight has been chosen by Odin to complete a mission the gods cannot do themselves without causing Ragnarok. Both albums are by Karel Biddeloo. Unlike the Marvel Thor, Biddeloo's Thor is more or less a country boy, with enormous powers but bound by responsibility (avoidance of Ragnarok). The hammer of Thor was a weapon mortals could and did carry and use, but it was too powerful to control.
In the most popular series started by Vandersteen, Suske en Wiske (Spike and Suzy), Thor is featured once in #158 in a story by Paul Geerts. Thor in this version is a cruel, grey-bearded god, going a bit bald on top, thundering and lightninging with his hammer, without throwing it. (Odin in this story is the young-looking, bearded redhead). Like Biddeloo's Thor, this one is also dressed in animal skins, and that may be seen as a reference to the caveman.
This is Thor in the European "comedic adventure" tradition of Asterix, Lucky Luke etc. with the difference that where those series are using history as source material, Peter Madsen uses mythology for his series Valhalla (1978), with the same freedom to make jokes about current reality or other works of fiction, mostly following the Eddas.
Thor is one of the main heroes of the series and can be seen as a central character.
Thor is here rather correctly put, as the honest, red bearded muscular, powerful god, with a bit of extra human weaknesses to keep the comic funny. Statements that he would be fat are false, but may be based on his disguise in #3 as Volstagg, thus parodying Marvel's Asgardians.
Thrud and Modi are his firstborn children (in #2), their mother is Sif (pregnant from the start of the series). Magni has Jarnsaxa as mother and shows up in #9.
Other uses of the Thor of Norse mythology include:
Other characters by the name of Thor include:
In Norse mythology, Móði and Magni are the sons of Thor. Their names translate to "Courage" and "Mighty," respectively. Rudolf Simek states that, along with Thor's daughter Þrúðr ("Strength"), they embody their father's features.
Balder the Brave is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is based on the deity Baldr from Norse mythology.
Odin is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is first mentioned in Journey into Mystery #85, then first appears in Journey into Mystery #86, and was adapted from the Odin of Norse mythology by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He is the father of Thor and former king of Asgard.
Beta Ray Bill is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Debuting in the Bronze Age of Comic Books, the character was initially intended to be a surprise; an apparent monster who unexpectedly turns out to be a great hero. As such, Bill is the first being outside the Marvel Universe's Norse pantheon to be introduced as being worthy to wield Thor's hammer, Mjolnir. After an initial rivalry for possession of the weapon, the alien warrior was granted a war hammer of his own, called Stormbreaker, and the two reconciled as staunch allies, going on to fight side by side.
Mjolnir, known more formally as Mjölnir is a fictional mythical weapon appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is depicted as the principal weapon of the superheroes Thor and Jane Foster. Mjolnir, which first appears in Journey into Mystery #83, was created by writer Stan Lee and designed by artists Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.
Heimdall is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is based on the Norse deity Heimdallr. Heimdall is described as all-seeing and all-hearing and is the sole protector of the Bifröst in Asgard.
The Norse mythology, preserved in such ancient Icelandic texts as the Poetic Edda, the Prose Edda, and other lays and sagas, was little known outside Scandinavia until the 19th century. With the widespread publication of Norse myths and legends at this time, references to the Norse gods and heroes spread into European literary culture, especially in Scandinavia, Germany, and Britain. In the later 20th century, references to Norse mythology became common in science fiction and fantasy literature, role-playing games, and eventually other cultural products such as Japanese animation.
Fandral the Dashing is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is a charter member of the Warriors Three, a trio of Asgardian adventurers consisting of Fandral, Hogun the Grim, and Volstagg the Valiant. They are members of the supporting cast in Marvel's Thor comics and usually provide comic relief and side-adventures.
Mangog is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.
Ulik is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He usually appears as an adversary of Thor. Ulik was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and first appears in Thor #137.
Surtur is a fictional Fire Giant appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He usually appears as a villain in stories featuring the Norse hero Thor. Based on the fire giant Surtr from Norse mythology, and was adapted by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, and first appeared in Journey into Mystery #97. The character was once described as one of "The Ten Most Heinous Enemies of the Mighty Thor".
Frigga is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character appears in particular in those featuring the superhero Thor, who is Frigga's stepson. Based on Frigg of Norse mythology, she was created by writers Stan Lee and Robert Bernstein and artist Joe Sinnott, and first appeared in Journey into Mystery #92.
Jane Foster is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, most commonly depicted as a supporting character of the superhero Thor Odinson. Created by writers Stan Lee and Larry Lieber, and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Journey into Mystery #84. For many years, Foster was a nurse, employed by Dr. Donald Blake, Thor's first mortal host, before becoming a doctor herself. In a 1978 and 2014 storyline, Foster is revealed to be deemed worthy to wield Thor's hammer Mjolnir when the former is no longer able. During this period, she adopts the name Thor, the Goddess of Thunder, and joins the Avengers. This storyline ends with the character sacrificing her life to defeat a dangerous adversary, and the reverting of the mantle Thor to its original bearer. After Brunnhilde and the rest of the Valkyrior are killed in The War of the Realms, during which Foster briefly acts as another Thor, Jane Foster takes up the mantle of Valkyrie.
Jormungand, also known as The Midgard Serpent or World Serpent, is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character, based on the serpent Jörmungandr from Norse mythology, first appears in Marvel Tales #105, in the period between the Golden Age of Comic Books and the Silver Age of Comic Books.
The Fenris Wolf is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, based on Fenrir from Norse mythology.
This is a page that shows the alternative versions of Thor, based on the mythological character.
The Odinsword is a fictional weapon that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is a huge magical sword several hundred feet in length. The Odinsword first appears in Journey into Mystery #117 and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby.
Thor Odinson is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character, which is based on the Norse deity of the same name, is the Asgardian god of thunder who possesses the enchanted hammer, Mjolnir, which grants him the ability to fly and manipulate weather amongst his other superhuman attributes.
Thor Odinson is a fictional character portrayed by Chris Hemsworth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film franchise, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. In the films, Thor is known as the "God of Thunder", and is one of the most powerful of the Asgardians, an alien civilization with long ties to Earth, who are therefore considered by some on Earth to be gods.
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