Comics 101: The Mighty Thor

The story of Thor really begins in Norse mythology. Thor was the son of Odin, king of the Norse gods. He wielded a powerful hammer named Mjolnir and was married to his fellow goddess, Sif. His greatest adversary was his half-brother Loki, the trickster god. Thor had grown too proud in the eye of Odin, and his father decided to banish Thor to Midgard aka Earth so he could learn what it was like to be mortal. Thor’s soul was placed in the body of crippled med student Donald Blake, and all his memories of godhood were taken. And for a few years, Thor lay dormant inside of Blake, until Blake takes a vacation to Norway and witnesses a fleet of aliens landing nearby. Blake scrambles into a nearby cave where he discovers a plain wooden cane. When he accidentally strikes the cane against a rock it transforms into Mjolnir and turns Blake into Thor.

Donald Blake defeats the alien invaders as Thor, and returns to the States to run his medical practice with help from nurse and love interest Jane Foster. Loki, Thor’s ancient nemesis, learns that his brother has returned and begins to dispatch mystical villains to challenge him. Among these were The Absorbing Man (whatever material he touches he becomes), The Wrecker (a construction worker turned behemoth), and The Destroyer (a mindless suit of armor powered by infinite cosmic elements). It was Loki who was responsible for driving the Hulk mad and bringing together Thor, Iron Man, Giant-Man, and The Wasp to stop him. This group would serve as the foundation of The Avengers. Odin decides he wants Thor back amongst the pantheon and orders him to return to Asgard, home of the Norse Gods. Thor refuses which infuriates Odin and drives a wedge between the two. Thor would also occasionally team with his father’s favorite son, Balder to battle enemies like Surtur the fire demon. Thor also has allies in the Warriors Three (Volstagg, Fandral, and Hogun), a trio of great adventurers with very differing personalities.

A turning point came for Thor when Nick Fury, the director of SHIELD, had the god investigate a mysterious spacecraft. The ship is the home to the Korbinites, an equine like race of people who are on the verge of extinction. The defender of the Korbinites is a man named Beta Ray Bill, who battles Thor, proving himself quite powerful. Thor loses the grip of Mjolnir and reverts to Donald Blake again. Bill manages to life the hammer, a feat only accomplished by those of great power and becomes an alien variant of Thor. Thor and Bill become allies and battle together against Surtur and his army of demons who storm Asgard. Odin is killed in battle and Thor remains in Asgard to take his father’s throne. During this period, the magical forces of Norse mythology began leaking into Earth. Bill and Thor would do battle constantly to keep them back. Thor would eventually learn Odin was being held captive by the Egyptian gods and do battle with them, rescuing his father. Thor learns Loki behind this trickery and kills him, so Heimdall, the ruler of Asgard at the time banishes Thor to earth again.

This time Thor is bound to the body of Eric Masterson, a construction worker in New York City. This would not last very long, but Masterson would keep some of the god’s power to become Thunderstrike. Thor would next bond himself to Jake Olsen, an EMT, and would find himself running into his old love interest Jane Foster again. Odin would die for good this time in battle with Surtur again, and Thor would take the throne. Only this time, he grew mad with power and began to impose the gods’ will on Earth. Thor would marry his long time enemy, The Enchantress, and she would bear him a child named Magni. Eventually, Thor realized he had been driven mad and attempted to use his power to reverse time. By changing the timeline he brought Loki back from the dead who amassed an army of giants wielding hammers made from the same mystic Uru metal that Mjolnir had been forged from. In the final battle called Ragnarok in Norse mythology, Loki and Thor did battle, ending with the complete destruction of Asgard and the gods.

It appeared Thor was gone and years passed. Then Mjolnir fell from the sky, creating a massive crater in Oklahoma. Many try to lift it but fail, until a stranger to the small town arrives. This is Donald Blake, long separated from him alternate persona. He wields the hammer and with its power seeks out the mortals in whom his brothers and sisters’ souls have gone to. Asgard is rebuilt on Earth, as a floating city in the Oklahoma wilderness. Loki also returned, this time in a female form, and became part of the Cabal, a shadowy collective of villains seeking to fool humanity into turning their backs on the heroes. Loki convinced his allies to go to war with Asgard, believing with Thor taken down she could become the ruler of the gods. In the last minutes of the Siege of Asgard, Loki realized what she had done and tried to stop her allies, only to be killed. Thor realizes he is not the one to lead his people, giving that title to Balder, and joining up with a newly formed version of the Avengers.

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