Other than perhaps Iron Man, no Marvel cinematic superhero has seen their profile increase by greater leaps and bounds than Thor, the God of Thunder. Some of this can be attributed to Chris Hemsworth’s masterful Australian-Asgardian performance, but the character himself deserves plenty of credit. The spotlight brought on by the films has only brought attention to what comic book fans have known for awhile: Thor Odinson, wielder of Mjolnir and traveler of the Rainbow Bridge, is a true badass.
While Thor has had a steady presence in Marvel comics since the 1960s, that certainly doesn’t mean his life has always been stable. With a multi-millennia lifespan, there’s been plenty of time for Thor to find himself in some pretty messed up situations. His unique background as a warrior, royal, and space deity means that Thor goes on the sorts of adventures and experiences that would make the average superhero shrink in their spandex. It’s all in a day’s work for Thor Odinson, the God of Thunder and Beating People With a Hammer.
The single biggest change in Thor’s life of late came during 2014’s Original Sin event, a crossover penned by Thor’s own regular author, Jason Aaron. Nick Fury was the antagonist for this event, and he used his reputation for knowing everyone’s secrets against the Thunder God. A single whisper from Fury into Thor’s ear caused Thor to immediately drop his hammer, as whatever he had been told had rendered him suddenly unworthy. Nobody knows what was said, but the truth of the matter will be revealed sometime in 2017.
Sometimes, even an immortal god has to deal with some real down-to-Earth problems. Never was this more true than when Thor learned that Jane Foster, his long-time ally and love interest, had cancer. Real-life diseases aren’t the sort of thing an Asgardian deals with on a regular basis and Thor took the news hard. The mighty Avenger was flabbergasted as to what to do against a foe he couldn’t fry with lightning or beat with a hammer. Even more troubling for Thor was the fact that Foster rejected the aid of Asgardian medicine, preferring to stick to her human methods.
Comic book continuity is complicated enough when it only involves one publisher, but things got even more complex for Thor when Angela entered the scene. Angela, an angelic-looking but death-dealing anti-hero, actually originated in an Image Comics series, Spawn. Due to some real-world legal battling between creators Todd MacFarlane and Neil Gaiman, Angela’s rights ended up at Marvel, and Marvel revealed during 2014’s Original Sin event that Angela was actually Thor and Loki’s long-lost sister. So lost, apparently, that she’d been hiding at another publisher all this time! Nobody took the news well.
Despite his massive powerset, Thor is generally thought of as a team player. He’s a founding member of the Avengers, and has been a mainstay on their roster pretty much ever since. However, that’s only his Earth-bound team. Thor felt the need to put together a team more prepared to take on the troubles of Asgard, Niflheim, and the other nine realms, and so he formed the League of Realms. This Ocean’s 11-style outfit included a gun-toting elf, a monosyllabic giant, a dwarven demolition expert, and even a troll! Good times were had by all.