Thor (Marvel Comics)

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See Marvel Comics * List of Marvel Comics characters *Thor

Thor sketch by Pasquale Qualano
Thor sketch by Pasquale Qualano


Marvel Comics Thor Fast Facts

  • Full name: Thor Odinson
  • Race: Asgardian, from Asgard
  • Team affiliations: Asgard, Avengers, Warriors Three, Thor Corps
  • Notable aliases: Siegmund, Siegfried, Dr. Donald Blake, Jake Olson, Sigurd Jarlson, Eric Masterson
  • Abilities: Superhuman strength, stamina, reflexes, durability and longevity
  • Abilities via Mjolnir: Flight, Energy manipulation, Weather manipulation, Dimensional transportation

Thor Summary

Thor (often called The Mighty Thor) is a fictional character, a superhero appearing in the Marvel Comics Universe. Based on the god of the same name from Nordic mythology and created by editor-plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and penciller Jack Kirby, the character first appears in Journey into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962). The uncredited initial inker was Joe Sinnott.

Publication history

Writer-editor Stan Lee described Thor's genesis as following the creation of the Hulk:

"How do you make someone stronger than the strongest human? 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....Excelsior!: The Amazing Life of Stan Lee , by Lee and George Mair

Following Thor's debut in the science fiction/fantasy anthology title Journey into Mystery, the 13-page feature "The Mighty Thor" continued to be plotted by Lee but scripted by Lee's brother Larry Lieber or Robert Bernstein (working under the pseudonym "R. Berns"). Penciling was by either Jack Kirby, Joe Sinnott, Don Heck, or, for a single issue, Al Hartley. Then with Journey into Mystery #101 (Feb. 1964), the series began a long and definitive run by Lee and Kirby that lasted until the by-then-retitled The Mighty Thor #179 (Aug. 1970).

The five-page featurette "Tales of Asgard" was added in Journey into Mystery # 97 (Oct. 1963) 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 #83 (Aug. 1962): Thor's debut. Cover art by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.
Journey into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962): Thor's debut. Cover art by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.

Journey into Mystery was retitled The Mighty Thor with issue #126 (March 1966). "Tales of Asgard" was replaced by a five-page featurette starring the "The Inhumans", from #146–152 (Nov. 1967 – May 1968), after which featurettes were dropped and the Thor stories reverted to Marvel's then-standard 20-page length.

Once Kirby left the book, John Buscema and Neal Adams each drew a few issues. Buscema became the regular artist with issue #182 (Nov. 1970) and continued to draw the book almost without interruption until #278 (Dec. 1978).

Lee stopped scripting soon after Kirby left, and during Buscema's long stint on the book, the stories were mostly written by Gerry Conway, Len Wein or Roy Thomas. Thomas continued to write the book after Buscema's departure, working much of the time with the artist Keith Pollard, but for several years The Mighty Thor had a changing creative team.

Walt Simonson took over both writing and art as of #337 (Nov. 1983). Simonson's run as writer-artist lasted until #367 (May 1986), although he continued to write – and occasionally draw – the book until issue #382 (Aug. 1987). He introduced many popular characters, such as Beta Ray Bill, in a popular and critically acclaimed run.Review of a trade paperback collecting some of Simonson's run at PopImage.comEssay on what makes certain stories definitive at Silver bullet Comics.

After Simonson's departure, Marvel's editor-in-chief at the time, Tom DeFalco, became the writer. Working primarily with artist Ron Frenz, DeFalco stayed on the book until #459 (Feb. 1993).

As a consequence of the "Heroes Reborn" crossover event of the 1990s, Thor was removed from mainstream Marvel continuity and, with many other Marvel characters, reimagined in an alternate universe for one year. His series' title reverted to Journey into Mystery with issue #503 (Nov. 1996), and ran four different, sequential features ("The Lost Gods", "Master of Kung Fu", "Black Widow", and "Hannibal King") before ceasing publication with #521 (June 1998).

When Thor and the other heroes returned to the Marvel Universe, the 85-issue Thor vol. 2 was launched, premiering with #1 (July 1998). This series began using dual numbering, as if the original Thor series had continued unbroken, with issue #36 / #538 (June 2001). (At the time, the Marvel Comics series begun in the 1960s, such as Fantastic Four and The Amazing Spider-Man, were given such dual numbering on the front cover, with the present-day volume's numbering alongside the numbering from the original series.) Dan Jurgens was writer for a majority of this series' run, leaving with issue #79 (July 2004). Scot G. Eaton joined him, as penciler, on #68-79. They were followed by co-writers Daniel Berman and Michael Avon Oeming and penciler-inker Andrea Di Vito for the "Avengers Disassembled" crossover storyline through the final issue #85 / #587 (Dec. 2004)

A new Thor ongoing series, Thor vol. 3, written by J Michael Straczynski and penciled by Olivier Coipel, premiered with a first issue cover-dated Sept. 2007.

Protector of Midgard

Being the son of the Elder Goddess Gaea, Thor has a natural affinity for Earth and feels obliged to protect the mortals that occupy it. Thor's time on Earth is marked by battles against supervillains, monsters, cosmic beings and even other gods.

Thor's principal foe is his adopted brother Loki, who has hated Thor since childhood. Although a master of magic with power that exceeds even that of Earth's Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Strange,Strange Tales #123 (Aug. 1964) Loki prefers to employ the use of minions in his battle against Thor. Ever the schemer, Loki is cautious not to be seen to be directly involved for fear of angering Odin. To that end, Loki creates two ubiquitous foes of Thor — the Absorbing Man and the Wrecker. Loki also tricks others into fighting on his behalf, such as the Asgardian troll Ulik, the Fenris Wolf, the dragon Fafnir and the Silver Surfer.

Sometimes, however, Loki overreaches himself and faces disaster. Guiding a mortal to the shrine of the Asgardian Destroyer — which then absorbs the mortal's essence and battles Thor — almost proves fatal for Loki, as Odin became aware of the conflict and promises that should Thor perish, the trickster god would quickly follow. On another occasion, Loki uses the Hulk as a lure to draw Thor out; while this proved successful, it resulted in the formation of the superhero team the Avengers, of which Thor is a founding and longstanding member.Avengers #1 (Sept. 1963)

Thor's other mortal foes include the Radioactive Man; Grey Gargoyle and Wrecking Crew, but among his most powerful foes are the Asgardian monsters as Mangog, the Frost Giants, the Enchanters Three, the Midgard Serpent and the fire-demon Surtur. Thor's gallery of mystical/cosmic rogues extends to Mephisto, Thanos, the God Eater, the Dark Gods, the Sh'iar Praetor Gladiator, and the god-slayer Desak. Thor has even fought against the combined might of the Celestials, when their Fourth Host arrived to judge Earth.Thor #300

Thor vol. 2, #55 (July 2000). Cover art by Tom Raney.
Thor vol. 2, #55 (July 2000). Cover art by Tom Raney.

The Reigning

Much of the second volume of the title deals with the consequences of Thor's decision to intervene in the affairs of Earth. After reluctantly assuming the throne of Asgard, Thor sees mortals at their worst and reshapes the world in his image.

A nightmarish future follows as Thor and the Asgardians conquer Earth and 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. He marries Amora, the Enchantress, and has a son, Magni.

Wracked with guilt, Thor is eventually drawn into a final battle with Tarene and a Desak-occupied Destroyer in a time-travel bid to undo what he has done. As soon as the timeline is reset, Loki revives Surtur, who forges new uru hammers for Loki's Storm Giant followers and begins Ragnarok, a.k.a. Götterdämmerung or "the twilight of the gods".

Thor learns that the Ragnarok cycle is the result of self-styled "gods to the gods" known as Those Who Sit Above in Shadow, who feed on the cycle. Thor confronts the Norns (Fates), breaking the Ragnarok cycle, and then enters a self-induced state of non-existence, sleeping "the sleep of the gods." With his fate unknown to the Avengers, he is believed to be missing in action.

Civil War

Two years later and just prior to the events of Civil War, Thor's hammer Mjolnir is found on Earth and put under U.S. Army protection. Six months later, Doctor Doom - who escapes from Hell as Mjolnir falls through that dimensional plane - tries unsuccessfully to claim the hammer. The hammer is later claimed by a mysterious man carrying a bag with the initials "D.B". During a battle between the two Civil War superhero factions, "Thor" appears and kills Goliath. This version of Thor is later revealed to be a fusion of cloning technology and cybernetics created by Reed Richards and Henry Pym. Anti-registration heroes Storm and Hercules destroy the clone in a final battle between the factions. The remains of the clone are currently stored in the laboratories at Camp Hammond.

New beginning

The mysterious man seen during the events of Civil War is Donald Blake. When Blake touches the hammer Mjolnir, he is transported to the void where Thor has been in hibernation. Blake explains that when Odin originally removed the Donald Blake persona from Thor, [14] Blake was transported to the void Thor now inhabits, and was returned to New York City when Thor broke the Ragnarok cycle. Blake convinces Thor to wield Mjolnir once more and return to Earth and renew the dual identity with Blake. Blake also reveals that Thor's fellow Asgardians are not dead but hidden on Earth.

Thor rebuilds Asgard in Oklahoma and after paying for the land with Asgardian treasure, seeks his fellow Asgardians. Thor learns of the events of the superhero-registration "Civil War" and is angered that Tony Stark (Iron Man) waged war on the heroes who had been their friends, and is also angered that Stark and others used his DNA to create the Thor Clone without his knowledge or permission. Thor defeats Iron Man in a confrontation, and states he will respond with greater aggression unless left in peace. Seeking a compromise, Stark rationalizes that Asgard may be considered a foreign embassy, with diplomatic immunity granted to its inhabitants. Thor deems this acceptable, and allows Stark to leave, but not before warning him that matters between them are far from settled. Thor then begins to find the lost Asgardians.

Powers and abilities

Thor is the Norse god of thunder and lightning. Like all Asgardians, Thor is not truly immortal but relies upon periodic consumption of the Golden Apples of Idun to sustain his lifespan, which to date has lasted many millennia. The strongest of the Norse gods, Thor has performed feats such as lifting a portion of the World Serpent, hurling the Odinsword, an enormous mystical blade, through a Celestial, and matching other beings of enormous strength, such as the Hulk and Hercules. If pressed in battle, Thor is capable of entering into a state known as the "Warrior's Madness", which will temporarily increase his strength tenfold. He also possesses virtually inexhaustible godly stamina, high resistance to physical injury (eg. rocketfire) and superhuman speed and reflexes.

Thor is a superb hand-to-hand combatant and has mastered a number of weapons such as the war hammer, sword, and mace. He is also very cunning and intuitive in battle, with many centuries of experience. Thor possesses two items that assist him in combat: the Belt of Strength, and his mystical hammer Mjolnir. The former item doubles his strength, while the second is used for weather control; flight; energy projection and absorption; dimensional apertures; matter manipulation, as well as the most powerful of his offensives: the God Blast, and the Anti-Force.

After his resurrection, Thor has accepted his heritage as a child of the Elder Goddess Gaea, and has demonstrated the ability to create country-spanning chasms in the Earth itself.

After Odin's death, Thor inherited his father's power, the Odinforce. Thor was then capable of feats such as reconstructing the Earth's Moon, willing the Asgardian monster Mangog into nothingness and by focusing his entire power into a hammer throw even decapitated a Desak-occupied Destroyer. Thor later briefly acquired mastery of the Runes, and a level of enlightenment that allowed him to free Asgard from the eternal cycle of Ragnarok, becoming even more powerful than his father.

Other versions

In mainstream comic continuity

Eric Masterson

Main article: Thunderstrike (Eric Masterson)

Eric Masterson is initially bonded with Thor after Thor is punished for apparently killing Loki. Masterson carries the mantle of Thor for several years, continuing his roles as a member of the Avengers and protector of Midgard. Thor is eventually freed from Eric's mind, and asks that he continue serving as God of Thunder. Tricked by the Enchantress Masterson attacks Thor, and soon after relinquishes the hammer to Thor. In gratitude for his services, Odin provides Masterson with an enchanted mace, which he uses under the alias of Thunderstrike.

Red Norvell

Part of a documentary crew brought to Asgard by Loki, Roger "Red" Norvell meets and falls in love with Lady Sif. Red Norvell is given Thor's Iron Gauntlets and Belt of Strength by Loki to compete with Thor for Sif's affections, with neither realizing this was part of a master plan by Odin to create a surrogate God of Thunder to die fighting the Serpent of Ragnarok and fulfill the prophecy.

Alternate continuities


In the MC2 alternate possible future, Thor remains active and has a daughter, Thena, who possesses the same powers as he.


In the Marvel 1602 alternate possible past, a version of Thor appears with an alter ego of an elderly Christian priest named Donal — an allusion to Thor's original secret identity Donald Blake. Donal fears and despises his alter-ego, believing that the shared existence will damn him.


Set in a possible future year 2099, the role of Thor is taken by Cecil MacAdam, who belongs to a class of priests known as "Thorites" who worship the original version of Thor.

Age of Apocalypse

In the fictional crossover event "Age of Apocalypse", Donald Blake never discovers that he is the reincarnation of Thor, and is instead an agent of the Human High Council and a doctor, traveling with Gwen Stacy to provide aid in human refugee camps.

Dargo Ktor

Dargo Ktor is the host of a 26th-century version of Thor, who is empowered when holding Mjolnir, a subject of worship in that century.

Marvel Mangaverse

A version of Thor appears briefly and aids the heroes against an other-world version of the villain Dormammu.

Marvel Zombies

Thor appears as a cannibalistic zombie wielding a makeshift version of a hammer composed of a concrete block and pipe as he is no longer worthy to wield Mjolnir.


Thor appears as a dog called The Dog of Thunder.

Ultimate Marvel

Main article: Ultimate Thor

Thor is a member of the superhero team the Ultimates in the Ultimate Marvel Universe. Despite his claims to be a Norse god, he is regarded by many to be delusional during the first months of his career. It is not until he is seen summoning an army of Asgardian warriors to fend off an attack on Washington DC by demonic forces commanded by Loki that Thor's teammates realize he truly is a god.

In other media


A "Mighty Thor" title card from segment The Marvel Superheroes
A "Mighty Thor" title card from segment The Marvel Superheroes
Marvel Heroes in credit card commercial
Marvel Heroes in credit card commercial
  • Thor's Donald Blake identity appeared in the 1980's Spider-Man episode "Wrath of the Sub-Mariner" voiced by Jack Angel.
  • Thor appears in credit card commercial along with other Marvel Heroes.


An animated version of Ultimate Thor appears in the direct-to-video animated features Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Avengers 2 (See store listings). He is voiced by Dave Boat. The name of Thor's alter ego, Doctor Donald Blake, is mentioned over the hospital public-address system in the 2007 direct-to-DVD feature Doctor Strange. In November 2007, it was announced that Thor will receive his own direct-to-video animated film. It is currently set to be released in April 2009.

In August 2007, director Matthew Vaughn was hired to direct a live action feature film based on the character, with a script written by Mark Protosevich.Matthew Vaughn to direct 'Thor'. Protosevich has said of the film "It's going to be like a super hero origin story, but not one about a human gaining super powers, but of a god realizing his true potential. It's the story of a Old Testament god who becomes a New Testament god." Filming will begin at the end of 2008 in the United Kingdom.

Vaughn signed on because, “When I went into Marvel for my first X-Men meeting, I saw a figure on the desk and said ‘are you guys going to make Thor?’ They said, ‘We’re just going to commission a script. We want to do it like Gladiator with Norse mythology and the birth of a superhero’. That really stuck in my mind. And when Marvel saw Stardust, they asked me to do it. So here I am, back again and prepping Thor." The film will purely be set on Asgard. Vaughn is rewriting the script in order to bring down the budget to $150 million, as the first draft would cost $300 million to produce. Ilan Eshkeri, who composed Stardust, will collaborate with Vaughn once more on Thor.

Video games



Main series

  • Journey into Mystery #83-125   (Aug. 1962 - Feb. 1966)
  • Thor (a.k.a. The Mighty Thor) #126-502   (March 1966 - Sept. 1996)
  • Thor (a.k.a. The Mighty Thor) #1-85   (July 1998 - Oct. 2004)
    • Cover-titled The Mighty Thor: Lord of Asgard from #45-67; The Mighty Thor: Lord of Earth from #68-#79
  • Thor (a.k.a. The Mighty Thor) #1-   (July 2007 - )


  • Journey into Mystery Annual #1 (1966)
  • Thor (a.k.a. The Mighty Thor) Annual #2-19   (1966 - 1994)
  • Thor Annual '98; '99; 2000; and 2001  (1998-2001)

One-shots and limited series

  • Thor - I, Whom The Gods Would Destroy (1988: Marvel Graphic Novel #33)
  • Thor Corps #1-4   (Sept.-Dec. 1993)
  • Thor: Rough Cut #1 (Sept. 1998; pencil-only reprint of Thor vol. 2, #1)
  • Thor: Godstorm #1-3 (Nov. 2001 - Jan. 2002)
  • Thor: Vikings #1-5 (2004)
  • Thor: Son of Asgard #1-12 (May 2004 - Jan. 2005)
  • Thor: Blood Oath #1-6 (Nov. 2005- Feb. 2006)


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