Who doesn’t love Thor? He’s handsome, crazy powerful, and kind of quirky in his attempts to understand Earth. Even if Thor’s not your favorite Avenger, you can’t help but like him. So, in honor of the latest Thor movie, Thor: Ragnorak, I decided to do an article on the Norse god himself.
Thor is a very interesting superhero since creators took him directly out of actual mythology. Compared to other superheroes that had their own beginnings, Thor has a rather unique background. It depends on the author, but Thor often draws influence from his mythological origins, adding some interesting elements to him, his battles, and his interactions with people on Earth. Whether the superhero version of him is similar to the mythological one is up for debate, but it’s still pretty interesting. I mean, how many people can say that a member of a superhero team is literally a god?
I also don’t think Thor gets quite enough love in the MCU, but hopefully, this new movie has changed that. But he has quite the presence in comic books. So here are ten of the best comics and graphic novels starring our favorite Norse god and many fans’ favorite Avenger.
Note: These comics aren’t ranked in any particular order. You should check them all out!
Thor: Tales of Asgard by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
This is a great anthology for those new to Thor, or those that want to get a look at how Thor was originally. It collects the original back up stories from Journey into Mystery. With these stories, we get a lot of background on Asgard and supporting characters. It’s basically a Stan Lee twist on Norse mythology, so if you’re into that, you’ll love this book.
Thor vs Hercules by Various Writers
This comic may be a bit campy for some fans, but it’s still a pretty fun story. Who doesn’t like the idea of a god of Asgard working with a Greek demigod? Both are spoiled, arrogant princes, so their interactions are pretty fantastic. Pretty much anytime these two heroes work together or against each other, it’s hilarious. This is a great crossover that also reminds us of Thor’s mythological origins.
Thor: Ages of Thunder by Matt Fraction
This book covers Thor before he is banished to Earth, so we’re dealing with a more arrogant, reckless, and rash God of Thunder. This is the story of the Thor you may not really like, since he’s kind of an idiot at this point. But it makes for an interesting tale that weaves actual Norse legends with the powerful Norse god of the Marvel Universe. If you want to see how Thor was before he was sent to Earth, this is a great comic to pick up.
Thor: The Mighty Avenger by Roger Langridge
This one isn’t as well known, and unfortunately, it was canceled after only eight issues. But it’s a great story about Thor’s early days on Earth. It’s a wonderful combination of a romance comic and a classic superhero story. Many regard it as some of the best storytelling in a Thor comic, so if you’re looking for a beautiful, interesting story about Thor, this is a good one to read.
Thor: Worldengine by Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato
If you’re looking for something a little different and out there, this is a great comic to pick up. In Worldengine, a powerless Thor has to stop a mad scientist from bringing about Ragnarok through a machine known as the Worldengine. It’s a great story that’s a little different from what you may be used to with Thor. We also get a team-up with Enchantress!
Thor by Walter Simonson
Just like Batman has Frank Miller, Thor has Walter Simonson. This omnibus has so much packed into it, it’s insane. It covers so many elements in Thor’s story from the origins of Asgard to the death of Odin. If you read nothing else starring Thor, you should read this. It gives you a great overall look at Thor, who he is, what he fights for, and what he’s up against.
Avengers Disassembled: Thor by Michael Avon Oeming
This is the comic that finally covers Ragnarok! While it’s been talked about and teased many times throughout Thor’s history, this graphic novel actually makes it happen. It takes place in the Disassembled storyline and shows Thor and the Avengers fighting off the Norse apocalypse.
What’s interesting about this storyline is that while fighting it, Thor is questioning whether he’s supposed to stop the world from ending, or actually help bring it about. It’s a very interesting read that has quite the tone of finality to it.
Essential Thor Vol 1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
If you’re looking for the original comics of Thor, this is a good graphic novel to pick up since it’s an anthology of the first 30 issues of Thor written by Stan Lee as well as Jack Kirby’s opening run on the series. Through this anthology, you can experience Thor the way your parents, or even grandparents did. It’s also great for those looking at the history of how Thor came to become a hero in the Marvel Universe.
Thor Omnibus by Michael Straczynski
This story tackles Thor after Ragnarok, where Thor comes back from the Norse afterlife and re-creates Asgard. . . in Oklahoma. As a result, we get some entertaining and hilarious interactions between the gods and the locals. It’s kind of that part in the story where everyone is recovering from a cataclysmic event. The story is interesting and the artwork is beautifully done. Definitely worth a look.
Ultimate Comics Thor by Jonathan Hickman
If you want to read about a rather different version of Thor, then the Ultimate universe might be up your alley. This graphic novel covers the origins of Ultimate Thor, which may be a little different from what you’re used to with Thor. In this universe, Thor actually relies on technology for his powers while he’s on Earth, and many people are skeptical of his story of being a Norse God. If you’re looking for something a little different in Thor, this is a great graphic novel to pick up.
No matter what version of Thor you prefer, whether it’s the classics, or something a little out of the box, there are many stories that you can find on the Norse god of legend. So, go check out some of these stories and get lost in the world of gods, heroes, and what it means to be an Avenger.
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