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What Exactly Is Ragnarok? 15 Things You Don’t Know About Marvel’s Super Villain

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What Exactly Is Ragnarok? 15 Things You Don’t Know About Marvel’s Super Villain

The movie Thor: Ragnarok, the seventeenth installation in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the third venture in Thor’s own series, is very misleading in a variety of ways. The “character” or “concept” of Ragnarok does not make an appearance at all. He (or it) is, however, alluded to throughout the course of the film, which is intriguing in and of itself. Instead of these Ragnarok references in the film revolving around an actual character, they are presented as something non-tangible. Ragnarok is referred to as “the end times.” There is no hint that this Ragnarok could be a character.

Here’s what we get in Thor: Ragnarok. Near the beginning, Thor is told a chilling prophesy. Asgard will be destroyed in something called Ragnarok. Interestingly, when Thor defeats a minor villain a few minutes later, Thor foolishly believes he has defeated the prophesy. The god doesn’t realize until much later that he and his home are still trapped within this hold through a vision. So who the heck is Ragnarok?

The answer is, as one might expect, complicated (as all things are in superhero comics). The short answer is that he is a cyborg clone of Thor. In this list, we’ll take you through how Ragnarok is portrayed in the comics, so you can decide whether the comic Ragnarok is who this unseen Raganarok in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be.

15. He Got His Name Randomly

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Ragnarok wasn’t always known as, well, Ragnarok. When he first started unleashing his fury upon the unsuspecting superheroes of the Marvel universe, he was usually referred to erroneously as Thor. When everyone realized that he wasn’t the God of Thunder, he was later called cyborg, clone, cyborg clone, and other variations.

All the “blame” for his Ragnarök designation goes to Baron Von Blitzschlag, who declared that the clone would one day “bring the end of all there is.” This is the same Baron whom Ragnarok attacked when he’d first awoken after being shut down, following his “premiere party.” The assault was triggered by the Baron’s foolish belief that it would be wise to tell the cyborg who his enemies were. Ragnarok responded by referring to the Baron as a peasant, saying that never again would anyone command a god. Baron failed to read the room by taking yet another unwise step, telling Ragnarok that he wasn’t a god and only a clone. This was met with Ragnarok sending a blast of lightning into the Baron, engulfing and destroying him.

14. He Had A Preordained Purpose

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Ragnarok didn’t just come into being because Marvel’s heroes wanted to unleash chaos upon Asgard. Far from it. He was created by one of the warring sides in the Civil War arc. Yes, the same Civil War that was made into the aptly named film, Captain America: Civil War. However, the big difference between the two is there was no Ragnarok in the cinematic adaptation.

To refresh you on what the film and comics were about, the Civil War series revolved around Earth’s superheroes finding themselves split on an important issue: whether they should comply with the Super-human Registration Act, a bill where superheroes had to sacrifice their civil liberties in the name of national security.

Ragnarok was made by the faction of heroes who believed in the Super-human Registration Act and therefore meant to battle against those who were against the act, deemed anti-registration heroes.

13. Tony Stark/Iron Man Is To Blame For Ragnarok

via: ironman.wikia.com

If you’re a member of a superhero group, such as the Avengers, and you’ve lost a godly comrade like Thor, you will probably do pretty much anything to try and fill that empty void. Tony Stark felt the full brunt of Thor’s absence when the deity suddenly disappeared. But rather than sit around and do nothing, Stark wanted to see how he could fix this problem. How about cloning?

As the resourceful and untrusting guy Stark is, the armor-wearing hero already had some of Thor’s DNA, or, to be exact, some of his hair, which he obtained when the Avengers first met. He then gave that godly loch to Reed Richards and Hank Pym to not only clone the Asgardian but to fuse it with some of Stark’s own technology. And from that fusion came what we now know as Ragnarok.

12. He Can Wield Mjolnir

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Because comics are overly complicated, the way in which Ragnarok finally came to wield Mjolnir is entangled complexities like alternate realities, one that includes a dead Thor. In this sad, sad world (because who can imagine Marvel without Thor?), Ragnarok is led to the area where the real Thor was killed in battle. There Ragnarok finds Mjolnir.

Leading up to the clone’s first attempt to pick up the lightning-summoning hammer is rather important. During that time, he acknowledges that he’s not the real Thor and just a copy. While he is finally able to come to this realization, it leaves him facing a much harsher reality: he now doesn’t know who he is. The last words he utters before closing his fingers around the hilt of the weapon are, “I don’t know if I am worthy to wild Mjolnir. Or if it would let me merely by my blood.”

Turns out, that’s all he needed to think (or say) to be worthy. The moment that Ragnarok touches it, he becomes engulfed in lightning, reappearing, not only holding a hammer which, up until that moment, only Thor could wield, but with a completely new look: bald and with a goatee.

11. He Once Had A Crazy Weakness

via: space.ca

Most cyborgs — or any type of technology with artificial intelligence — need a fail-safe system of some sort just in case something goes horribly, horribly wrong and you need it to just stop functioning. As a cyborg himself, Ragnarok also had a fail-safe.

The system was first utilized after Ragnarok killed Goliath and the opposing side had escaped. Now that the insanity of battle was over, Reed Richards had the time to deactivate the “fake” Thor with a vocal code: “Shutdown code: Richard Wagner Eighteen-Thirteen to Eighteen Eighty-Three.”

With the cyborg now out for the count, Reed attempted to operate on his creation’s brain to make sure that the act which had gotten Ragnarok deactivated in the first place would not happen again.

10. He’s More Of A God Than Thor

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No, we’re not saying that Ragnarok somehow became deity and became a more effective god than the actual God of Thunder. We meant that Ragnarok more aptly shares the inherent cognitive thought processes of the Asgardian gods, such as their personalities and, more importantly, their opinions.

The best way to explain this is by including a quote by Christos Gage, writer for Avengers: The Initiative, wherein he described Ragnarök as such: “He’s got all the haughtiness and arrogance of a god without any of the humility Thor learned while living as Don Blake.” In other words, this exposure to humanity, in a way, diluted Thor’s Asgardian perception of things. Gage continued: “[Ragnarok] can’t understand why these inferior beings don’t bow down before him and worship him like they’re supposed to.”

Plus, Ragnarok is kind of like, as Gage points out, a sociopathic kid who throws temper tantrums that have the ability to break cities in half. That doesn’t make him more of a god, though. It’s just bada*s.

9. He Is A Godly Beast

via: slashfilm.com

Ragnarok is a force to be reckoned with just because, as a cyborg clone of the God of Thunder, he shares the same knowledge and powers that Thor possesses. This includes super-strength as well as other god-like attributes, such as a seemingly endless supply of stamina, an impressive resistance to physical injury, Flash-like agility and reflexes, and immunity to all Earthly diseases.

This does not, however, include Thor’s recent acquisition of the Odin Force, an ancient and vast Asgardian power once only wielded by Odin, which Thor has inherited.

These are some of the things that Ragnarok cannot do, all of which Thor has done, thanks to the Odin Force: dent Captain America’s shield (which is meant to be virtually indestructible), pull two nuclear warheads out of his chest without maiming himself in the process, cure a man of terminal cancer, stop time, and both restore the floating city of Asgard on Earth and the lives who were lost, among others.

8. He Can Be Defeated

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During the final battle in the Civil War story arc, Hercules was able to get the upper hand over the cyborg, whom he later referred to as “monster” and “imposter,” by punching him hard in the face. But it didn’t end there. While Ragnarok was recovering, Hercules led to his next and, what turned out to be, final blow by adding his own little spin to the stereotypical “bada*s” speech that sometimes occurs between two battling meta-humans.

With his short monologue, Hercules condemned the cyborg for looking like Thor, while slowly making his way towards the stunned cyborg. Hercules then asked him what the cyborg knew, during which he lifted Ragnarok’s own hammer over his head.

But he didn’t give the cyborg time to respond. The hero answered his own question by doing two things: one, saying he’s “no Thor,” and, two, physically bringing down the hammer with all his might onto the clone’s head, smashing the cyborg to bits.

Later on in New Avengers, Ragnarok was weakened to the point that Spider-Man could deliver the final blow, which he did by “punching” Ragnarok by extension through Iron Fist’s fist. In other words, Spidey threw him.

7. He Was Compromised By Aliens

Let’s try to keep this as simple as possible. Basically, one of the people who helped Reed and Tony Stark create the clone wasn’t actually who they thought he was. We’ll call this person “the alien imposter.” Anyway, this alien imposter wanted to utilize the clone to help his race’s invasion of Earth. He did so by placing a program into Ragnarok while he was not awake. All the alien imposter had to do was input a special code into this recently placed program at least once during a 15-day period. If he didn’t, then the clone would reawaken.

Let’s just say that when the alien imposter died, no one was there to input the code. So when the 15 days passed and the program hadn’t received any code, guess what happened? That’s right, Ragnarok opened his cyborg eyes. This came to pass during the Dark Reign storyline.

6. He Was In A “Suic*de Squad?”

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Before Ragnarok had anything to do with anyone besides those who created and/or programmed him, there was Marvel’s version of DC’s Suicide Squad called Thunderbolts, a team of super villains that worked on behalf of the government. Of course, villains who are forced to do good are undoubtedly not very happy about their predicament. Some of Thunderbolts’ members soon escaped, but, in so doing, gotten lost in the time stream, a phenomenon that stretches across all sections of the Marvel multiverse that keeps reality flowing in the same direction. These poor villains, unfortunately, were thrown into the past.

With many of its members lost, the government needed to find new evil-doers to join the Thunderbolts and force them to do their bidding. Ragnarok turned out to not only be a new recruitment, but became the government’s safety measure that would ensure that neither he nor his teammates would escape. See, the government had, unbeknownst to the clone, installed a new system within him, a technology which they developed after having extensively monitored the Thunderbolts. This system, when initiated, would unleash lightning from the lightning god clone, trapping him and all of his team members within the electrifying bolts.

5. He Is Based On Norse Mythology

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The character known as Ragnark isn’t a creation of the Marvel creators. In North mythology, Ragnarok is a series of future events (not a person) where basically everyone will die. In the comics, Ragnarok not only shares the same name as these prophesied moments, but becomes greatly entwined in certain events (whereby he is what causes them) that eventually lead to the destruction of Asgard and the death of many gods.

The events come to pass in Thor #608, where a god foretells the destruction of Asgard after he bursts into the main halls of Asgard. Among many things, the decrepit deity says they are all “hell-bound,” and are “a banquet for worms.” Probably the most disturbing image from this ranting wretch, however, is that the bodies of the Gods will be heaped “like slaughtered swine.”

This “poor brother,” as he is called, is dismissed by the deities. But the reader knows better. Throughout the course of the issue, the hours until Ragnarok comes to Asgard is displayed every few pages in the upper-left-hand corner (each time getting shorter and shorter). And when the countdown finally reaches zero, Ragnarok allows the things to come to pass that the old man had foretold.

4. Ragnarok Survived Asgard Crashing Down On Him

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While on his quest to find and defeat the god whom he’d been cloned after, Ragnarok ran into the god Volstagg. Seeing as Ragnarok saw Thor as a stain that needed to be vanquished and Volstagg was his friend, Ragnarok saw no other choice but to annihilate Volstagg. The two soon resorted to blows, with Ragnarok seeming to have the upper hand.

Not wanting to hurt innocents, Volstagg led Ragnarok away to a remote area. But turns out that this land just so happened to lie beneath the floating city of Asgard.

Here, too, under the massive shadow of the godly realm, it seemed that Volstagg was no match for Ragnarok. Sure, he may have gotten one strike in, but he was soon beaten to the ground before being hit back into the air like a golf ball. When Volstagg’s body fell back to the ground, it appeared that the fight was over. Well, it was, but not in the way anyone intended. Before Ragnarok could end the god’s life, Asgard’s foundations suddenly exploded, toppling down and burying the cyborg. But he survived.

3. Who Is Actually More Powerful? Thor vs. Ragnarok

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The pivotal moment when Thor and Ragnarok finally met for the first time took place in Thor #610 when the latter came to Asangard to fight him, disgusted by how Thor had been leading Asgard. Unfortunately, this confrontation was, while greatly hyped, kind of lame. From the very first blow, Thor had the upper hand. The moment their two hammers collided, it created a shockwave so great that it thrusted the cyborg backward, but not Thor.

Like all great heroes, rather than fight with their fists, they had to fight with their words. The two commenced their squabbling about who was the real hero, with Ragnarok’s reasoning being that he had to be because he was alone, to which Thor retorted, saying that Ragnarok wasn’t alone because he was standing on a mountain of bodies.

Luckily, their bickering came to an end after Ragnarok  made a “jest” about someone he’d killed, to which Thor responded by firing a bolt of lightning at his clone. The attack was quite effective. No joke. It blew off the cyborg’s right arm. From there, all Thor had to do was thwack him in the chest, and that fight was over.

2. Goliath Probably Hates Ragnarok The Most

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Before hate could even be instilled in the minds of any superhero, there was first complete and utter shock when the cyborg first appeared. Ragnarok first made his identity known during the worst possible moment for everyone present, in what only exacerbated their surprise.

Ragnarok premiered during the third issue of the Civil War story arc, a story that followed the damaging rift that formed between Marvel’s superheroes. Leading up to that third instalment, friction had already been escalating between the two factions, the culmination of which finally reached its climax at the exact moment Ragnarök appeared right in the middle of the first battle.Chaos ensued.

As the battle raged on, Goliath attempted to take down the man who he thought was Thor, an endeavor he undoubtedly believed would succeed because he led his attack by saying, “Get ready for the shortest comeback in history, Thor.” To which Ragnarock replied, “I don’t think so.”

Short and sweet. Like his sentiment, Goliath’s assault, too, was brief. In moments, he had a hole in his chest the size of a lightning bolt, which the cyborg clone had blasted from his hammer, killing Goliath instantly. Sure, Goliath probably didn’t have time to hate Ragnarok (because he died immediately). But, if someone could react to being the first fatality (which Goliath was), then hate is something that he would undeniably feel towards the thing that killed him.

1. He Has A Hammer That’s Almost As Cool As Mjolnir

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While Ragnarok wields a hammer that ostensibly emulates Thor’s enchanted Mjolnir perfectly, that emulation, however, only manifests on the surface. For starters, Ragnarok’s “Mjolnir” isn’t forged from the mystical ore known as Uru, the creation of which, alone, is of such epic proportions that it is essentially unmatched (it spawns from the core of a dying star). No, this hammer is not forged from Uru. It’s constructed of a vibranium and adamantium alloy. Boring.

The spurious Mjolnir can, however, absorb and discharge lightning and be manipulated by Ragnarök mentally, but that’s about it. Plus, anyone— and we mean anyone — can pick up or use this “fake” Mjolnir.

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