Thor first appeared in the Marvel universe in 1962 and is a founding member of the Avengers. Just like the first Thor film, the character needed to be taught a lesson in humility, so his father Odin banished him to Earth without knowledge of his powers. Thor was sent into the body and memories of a disabled human medical student named Donald Blake. While on Earth, he meets and falls in love with Jane Foster, before once again gaining his God of Thunder status back after learning his lesson.
Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor only has one more solo outing left before the character completes a trilogy arc. Thor: Ragnarok comes out in late 2017, so now is a perfect time to start delving into the history of the character and take a look at some things that most people may not know. There are plenty of interesting and shocking tidbits that even the movies have yet to touch on, with a number of cool character traits and abilities that many may not know of.
One interesting tidbit is that Thor’s immortality comes from the fact that Asgardians eat golden apples. Odin has even kept a certain secret from his son, concerning his parentage – it turns out he may have a bit more in common with Loki than we originally thought. One thing is for sure, throughout his 50+ year run in the comics, Thor has cultivated plenty of fascinating stories and the character, don’t believe me? You will by the end of this list.
10. His Genesis In Marvel Comics Is Because Of The Hulk
Thor debuted in the Marvel anthology title Journey into Mystery #83, in the summer of 1962. Stan Lee thought it would be a good idea to pull from Norse mythology and create a character based on those legends. But apparently Lee was looking to bring in a brand new character that could rival, or even be stronger than, what was their strongest hero at the time: the Hulk. Though he certainly is powerful when he gets angry, Hulk/Bruce is still a human being. It occurred to Stan that instead of creating another powerful human, he could make him a God instead – a God is certainly stronger and more powerful than the Hulk, right?
9. Jane Foster Is Now Thor In The Comics
Of course, this is something longtime comic book readers already know, but this may not necessarily be common knowledge to the general public. Jane Foster originally started out being a nurse who fell in love with Thor. In this latest iteration of the character, Thor loses his ability to wield Mjolnir and a mysterious woman picks it up instead, possessing Thor’s powers. It’s later revealed that the woman is Jane, who was previously battling breast cancer. She soon became an official member of the Avengers, completely replacing Thor Odinson. It turns out that she is better at controlling the hammer than her predecessor.
8. Thor Was At DC Before Marvel
Marvel didn’t really create Thor, he was just taken from ancient Norse mythology and given his own comic series. But it turns out that it was a big success early on, considering that a rival comic book company was inspired to do their own version of Thor. DC Comics has a couple of versions of Thor in their comic history, and artist Jack Kirby originally crafted his Thor for DC Comics in the ’50s, before he started drawing the character for Marvel in the ’60s. In addition to that, Image Comics also has their own version of Thor, who has flaming hair and is villainous.
7. He Was The First Superhero Based on a God
Today, plenty of us think of these classic superheroes as modern day myths, and that is certainly how Stan Lee saw them. With the help of Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, Lee decided to look into Norse mythology and legends and craft a unique superhero based on all of that research. Many of the superheroes over at DC Comics can be comparable to Greek Gods and there seemed to be an overabundance of Roman/Greek Gods in superhero comics at the time. So going for a Norse God was an ideal choice if only for originality, but instead of just being inspired by Norse mythology, he used those exact legends and characters and crafted something new for Marvel Comics.
6. His Great Hand-To-Hand/Armed Combat Skills
With the movies, we’re used to seeing Thor just wielding that powerful and magic hammer Mjolnir. In the comics, he’s able to bring about storms, thunder, snow, but even without his mighty hammer, Thor can still take care of himself. Along with his hammer, Thor has used a sword, axe and mace and has been lethal with all three. We’ve never really seen the movie character wield anything but Mjolnir, and it seems that he hasn’t really had much of a reason to use any other kind of weapon, as far as the MCU movies go. Perhaps we’ll be able to see him utilize some of these other skills in Ragnarok.
5. His Biological Mother Is Gaea
There is something Thor has in common with Loki when it comes to their parentage. The movies certainly tell us that Thor’s mother is Frigga – played by Rene Russo – and she died in Thor: The Dark World. However, when it comes to the comics, Frigga is not Thor’s biological mother. Gaea – who was inspired by Gaia of Greek mythology and Joro of Norse mythology – gave birth to the God of Thunder. Much like how Odin stumbled upon Loki and raised him as his own, not telling him his true parentage (until he found out for himself), Odin met Frigga after Thor was born and they both decided to keep it a secret. This would certainly be a fascinating reveal if the MCU decided to go this route.
4. Warrior’s Madness State
Wolverine is a pretty savage fighter and when he falls into his berserker rage, he becomes an unstoppable wild animal who will kill anyone in front of him. It turns out that Thor has a similar state he can fall into when he is in the middle of an intense battle, though this is something that is certainly never even hinted at in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This comes from Norse mythology, where Norse warriors fought in this trance-like fury. In this state, Thor’s stamina as well as strength is increased, but he will attack any and everyone who is in his path, regardless of their allegiance. We will see Hulk and Thor together in Ragnarok, and if the two were to go at it, it would be really interesting to play with this ability and have Thor go berserk on Hulk.
3. He Was Transformed Into a Frog by Loki
The Walt Simonson run on Thor in the ’80s was fantastic, and one interesting arc that took place featured Thor as a frog. His trickster brother Loki pulled another fast one on him and literally turned him into a frog, which lasted for about four issues. As silly as it sounds, it gets even sillier when you realize that at the end of this story, frog Thor is in Central Park leading an army of frogs against an army of rats. As it turns out, he still possessed all of this powers and when he finally returned to his human form, he left behind a piece of Mjolnir for a frog named Puddlegulp – who became a warrior named Throg. This may be a bit too cartoonish for the MCU, but it is silly fun.
2. Was Beat by Thorbuster Armor
Tony Stark created the Hulkbuster armor in order to take down the Hulk for whatever reason. So it’s not too surprising that Tony would do something very similar for the God of Thunder. There was a story in the comics that featured the United Nations threatening to go to war with Asgard – and Iron Man was brought in to intervene. Seeing as he and Thor are both Avengers, it might be best if the government left it up to Tony to talk to Thor and try and keep the peace. But once Thor refused to listen to Stark’s reason, Tony had no choice but to don the Thorbuster armor.
This special armor was powered by an Asgardian crystal – which was given to him by Thor. This suit gave Tony the same amount of strength The Destroyer had, which is quite powerful, and before Thor eventually tore the armor off of him, he got a pretty serious beating. This could be an interesting concept to introduce into the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point.
1. He Lost a Fight with Superman
When it comes to comparisons between DC and Marvel and which superheroes in one camp parallel heroes in another – Superman and Thor is an easy match-up. They’re both written to have this God-like status, although Thor is technically an actual God. But Superman has forever been associated with Jesus and messianic figures. In 2003’s JLA/Avengers miniseries, Thor and Superman did come to blows with one another and Superman came out on top in that one. Though he did clarify that Thor was probably the toughest opponent he had ever battled, this was probably an upsetting moment for Thor fans.