Religion: Norse/Teutonic deity
Alter Ego: Donald Blake
Other Names: Thor Odinson; "Sigurd Jarlson"; War Maker; Don Blake
Classification: hero deity
Number of appearances: 4,362
Comic book appearances: 4,325
TV, film appearances: 33
Video game, computer game appearances: 4
Native Planet/Dimension: Asgard
Thor is best known as a Marvel Comics character. He might best be said to have been "adapted" by Marvel comics creators Stan Lee, Larry Liebe and Jack Kirby, rather than "created" by them, because the character was already in existence for centuries as a member of the traditional Norse/Teutonic pantheon.
Because the mythological Thor is a public domain character and does not belong only to Marvel Comics, he has appeared in comics from other publishers as well. For example, he was one of many minor deities in Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Also, he appeared in DC Special #4: Thirteen Shock Ending Stories (Sep. 1969).
Thor was depicted as a villain and an enemy of the superhero Supreme and the heroic team Youngblood in Image Comics. Thor's first appearance in the Image universe was in Supreme (vol. 2) #5 (Aug. 1993)
Thor is occasionally categorized as a "thunder god", alongside other thunder gods, including the Sioux god Haokah.
Thor's hammer Mjolnir is one of the world's most famous weapons. The hammer was created by the dwarfs Etri and Brokk and then enchanted by Odin himself. Before any other Asgardian characters or elements of Asgardian myth, Mjolnir appeared first in Marvel's Thor mythos, right alongside Thor himself, in Journey Into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962).
Years after the introduction of Mjolnir, Thor (vol. 2) #80 revealed how the "Mjolnir Forge" was used in the creation of Thor's mighty hammer. This forge was cast into the Gunin Gap by Brok, Buri and Etri after they used it to create Mjolnir. But Loki retrieved the Mjolnir Forge and gave it to Odin's enemy Surtur. Surtur used the forge to create powerful hammers for a number of Asgard's enemies.
BELOW: Nick Fury tells Thor he doesn't believe in any gods:
Fury put down his pen and squeezed the bridge of his nose. "Okay," he said with his eyes closed. "I get it. If I have to raise my right hand and swear that I believe you're the Norse god of thunder just to get you to leave, I'll do it." He raised his right hand, looking down at his desk. Ten seconds or so later, he looked up. "You're not gone."
"You're not very convincing," Thor said.
"Neither are you, Mister Son of Odin, or Wotan, or whatever we're supposed to call him. I don't believe in gods--any of them--and until you bring Jesus Christ himself in to walk across the Upper Bay from Battery Park to here, that isn't going to change. Far as I'm concerned, you're a garden-variety anti-globalization wacko who got hold of some tech that nobody can reverse-engineer. Doesn't make you anything special."
Thor had started smiling at "Wotan," and couldn't stop. "Quite a speech, General Fury."
"You provoke me," Fury said.
"Well. Let me provoke you to pay attention."
Source: The Ultimates: Against All Enemies (2007), pg. 38-39. Written by Alex Irvine. See also: gods; impiety; disbelief; Jesus Christ; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Atheist; Non-Religious; Christian (generic); Thor (Donald Blake); Nick Fury; Jesus Christ (Jesus of Nazareth); Odin
BELOW: Elise Erickson writes to Thor: "Every night I say a prayer to you...": As demonstrated by her prayers to him, Elise Erickson's relationship to Thor at this point must certainly be characterized as sincere worship. Elise is an unusual character because she was definitely not raised to worship Thor or have Norse/Teutonic pagan beliefs. (In fact, her father actively discouraged this.) Elise appears to have become a Thor worshiper completely on her own, acting counter to cultural and family expectations. In her letter, the now-adult Elise alludes to a tormented childhood, but she tells Thor: "You gave me hope." Elise later states that finding some of the letters she wrote as a child "give [her] hope for a brighter future. Elise promises Thor that she will raise her own son "believing in" him.
Source: Marvel Double-Shot #1 (Jan. 2003): "Dear Thor...", pg. 4. Written by Marlan Harris. Art by Kia Asamiya. See also: prayer; superhero worship; belief; hope; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Thor (Donald Blake); Elise Erickson
BELOW: Thor explicitly refers to himself as the "God of Thunder" in response to the Hulk's impious banter: The Hulk was one of the founding members of the Avengers, but his time with the team was shot-lived. The friction between the Hulk and his teammates is evident in this Avengers meeting when the the Hulk calls Thor a "yellow-haired yahoo" and threatens to "boot him up to Asgard for good!" Thor, demonstrating his genuinely godly self-identity, responds: "You dare speak so to the God of Thunder?!! Why, with one blow of my hammer, I--"
Source: The Avengers (vol. 1) #2 (Nov. 1963): "The Avengers Battle... the Space Phantom", pg. 1-2. Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman. See also: gods; impiety; Norse/Teutonic paganism; The Hulk (Bruce Banner); Thor (Donald Blake)
BELOW: Thor once again refers to himself as "the God of Thunder":
Source: The Avengers (vol. 1) #2 (Nov. 1963): "The Avengers Battle... the Space Phantom", pg. 19, panel 5. Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman. See also: gods; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Thor (Donald Blake)
BELOW: More than mere words: Thor's status as the "God of Thunder" causes the Space Phantom's power to backfire: For the third time in this issue, Thor refers to himself as the "God of Thunder." Here is a demonstration of the fact that this isn't mere braggadocio. Thor's divine nature actually causes the Space Phantom's alien abilities (which are presumably scientifically-based) to backfire. Instead of sending Thor to Limbo, the Space Phantom is himself forced into Limbo. Thor tells the Phantom, "Your power only affects humans!" Of course, we have already seen the Space Phantom's power affect insects and meta-humans (such as the Hulk). But apparently the Space Phantom's power doesn't work on a powerful divine Asgardian deity such as Thor.
Source: The Avengers (vol. 1) #2 (Nov. 1963): "The Avengers Battle... the Space Phantom", pg. 21-22. Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman. See also: gods; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Thor (Donald Blake); The Space Phantom
BELOW: Captain America thinks of Thor as a "norse God"... maybe:
Thor actually did a double take. Steve thought that as long as he might live, he would never see anything quite so strange as a Norse god doing a double take . . . if, that is, he was going along with the proposition that Thor was a Norse god.
BELOW: Impressed by the way Thor saved his fellow Ultimates, Iron Man jokes that he will become a Norse god himself:
"Wha . . . ?" Tony's eyes rolled in Nick's direction... "Everyone?"
"Yeah," Nick said. "Thor got them out."
..."That crazy son of a b----. He did, huh?"
Nick nodded. "Yeah, he did."
"Good for him... I'm going to quit this robot suit business and become a Norse god," Tony said through the chattering of his teeth.
BELOW: Hawkeye consesses to Thor that he pelted Loki (in disguise as a SHIELD technician present at an Ultimates team meeting) with super-accurately thrown straightened paper clips. Note Hawkeye's explicit reference to Loki as a Norse god.
...and Thor wondered what had really happened.
Clint winked at him. "Can't stand a sneak," he whispered. "Especially a sneaky Norse god. I mean, if you're a Norse god, show yourself."
Clint held up a paper clip, bent straight except for a single curl at one end. He made a flicking motion with the fingers of his right hand. "Sent him a little greeting card, is all."
BELOW: Thor ponders Captain America's belief system:
What would he have told Rogers? That Loki had taken a special interest in him? Rogers believed in flag and country, nothing else. His was a pure belief, not ignorant of nuance but dismissive of it, deeply invested in a black-and-white view of the world. There was an innocence about it that gave Rogers much of his strength, but that innocence was also part of what made him a useful tool for those who operated by deceit. Strength of belief, Thor thought, was admirable, but it was a lever that when used against you always tipped you long before you knew it was being used.
And so, Thor thought. I have come looking for him to call him a naif and tell him that my half brother, another god he doesn't believe in, has a plan for him. Hardly an errand with good prospects of success.
To know, and not be believed. This was the lot of the gods. All the same, Thor was glad he wasn't a mortal. Fate would do what Fate did, to Steve Rogers and to them all.
Source: The Ultimates: Against All Enemies (2007), pg. 45. Written by Alex Irvine. See also: belief; gods; knowledge; fate; disbelief; patriotism; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Captain America (Steve Rogers); Thor (Donald Blake); Loki
BELOW: Elise Erickson writes to Thor, who she humbly worships: "Thank you for watching over us and granting us this contentment.": Elise Erickson's feelings about Thor as a genuine religious deity are further illustrated by this letter that she wrote to him. She notes the good things that have happened in her life recently - moving away from her dysfunctional family, her marriage to a "wonderful man" and generally having a good life with her husband and son. She thanks Thor for watching over her family and for "granting" her and her family "this contentment." This goes beyond simple appreciation to a super-hero for specific acts of heroism. Elise's sentiments are analogous to a prayer of gratitude a person might say, thanking God or Jesus for the blessings in their life.
Source: Marvel Double-Shot #1 (Jan. 2003): "Dear Thor...", pg. 5. Written by Marlan Harris. Art by Kia Asamiya. See also: gratitude to God; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Thor (Donald Blake); Elise Erickson
BELOW: Thor feels that Nick Fury is going to great lengths to rationalize rather than accept the facts of Thor's and Loki's existence. Thor gently chides Nick Fury for his inability to believe that Thor is a god and that Loki has just appeared before them in the form of somebody else. Nick Fury's secular mindset simply can't allow for such possibilities. Thor tells Fury: "I know what I know." Fury's disbelief will not dissuade Thor from his convictions.
"And you," Fury went on, now pointing to Thor, "are one crazy son of a bi---."
Thor spread his hands. "General. After all we've seen in this past year, you still think it's crazy to believe in shapeshifters?"
Fury glared daggers at him.
"And the truth is, I don't care about what you think where my mental stability is concerned. I know what I know. However you want to rationalize it to yourself is fine."
"Oh," Fury said. "You're going to lecture me about rationalizing? Let me get out my tape recorder."
"General Fury," Thor said. "That was Loki... If you need to think I'm crazy because that's the way your world makes sense to you, be my guest," Thor said. "But this happened. And what needs to happen now is..."
Source: The Ultimates: Against All Enemies (2007), pg. 41. Written by Alex Irvine. See also: rationalization; knowledge; disbelief; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Atheist; Thor (Donald Blake); Nick Fury; Loki
BELOW: Thor ponders the fate of gods and the goodness of Captain America:
...At times like these, Thor thought, I would just as soon fly, and to hell with this pretense for mortals and their small fears. He felt the absence of Mjolnir in his hands... Being immortal had its privileges . . . and its drawbacks, Thor thought, remembering the dark and shining malice on the face of his half brother.
Steve Rogers is my favorite, Loki had said. That much Thor had told Fury. What he had not mentioned was Loki had said something else. Rogers I love, Loki had said, because he will squeeze so hard with his fists of order that chaos will inevitably squirt out. And laughed, Loki had, long and loud.
Thor picked up the pace, spurred on by a sense he couldn't shake that something was about to happen, some trick about to be played on a man whose goodness would be the lever that evil would use against him. To be a god was to know things; the joke of fate was that too often, what even the gods knew was not quite enough.
Source: The Ultimates: Against All Enemies (2007), pg. 44-45. Written by Alex Irvine. See also: gods; evil; order; knowledge; fate; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Captain America (Steve Rogers); Thor (Donald Blake); Loki
BELOW: Captain America doesn't believe Thor is a god; he thinks Thor is a crazy Communist ("pinko"):
What Steve couldn't figure out was why Thor was along .He couldn't imagine that General Fury had decided to trust an obviously crazy pinko with something as serious as the details of a new Chitauri incursion. Regardless of what Thor had done with the Chitauri bomb in Arizona, Steve didn't for a minute believe in a thunder god. Either the bomb hadn't done what the Chitauri said it would, or the tech in Thor's hammer had some secret functions that he hadn't told any of them about. Whichever it was, Thor was a loose cannon and a security risk. If it was up to Steve, Thor wouldn't have been let within a mile of the Triskelion.
Source: The Ultimates: Against All Enemies (2007), pg. 112. Written by Alex Irvine. See also: gods; disbelief; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Communist; Captain America (Steve Rogers); Thor (Donald Blake); Chitauri
BELOW: Tony mistakenly thinks Thor is quoting eddas (the primary source of Norse mythology, sometimes thought of as Norse/Teutonic scripture):
Thor took a deep breath, letting the smells of the land and the battle flood through him. As he exhaled, he said, "Here amid icebergs rule I the nations."
"Oh, God," Tony groaned. "Are we quoting eddas today?"
Thor shot him a grin. "No, that's Longfellow. He was a big fan of mine. Gotcha."
And then he raised Mjolnir and leapt down again, blood singing with the battle to come.
Source: The Ultimates: Against All Enemies (2007), pg. 302-303. Written by Alex Irvine. See also: scripture; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Iron Man (Tony Stark); Thor (Donald Blake); Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
BELOW: Thor invokes Asgard: In an utterance which seems as though it might be the equivalent of "By God" for an American, the Norse god Thor invokes his homeland, Asgard. Asgard is the mystic realm of the Norse/Teutonic pantheon of deities.
Source: The Avengers (vol. 1) #3 (Jan. 1964): "The Avengers Meet... Sub-Mariner!", pg. 18, panel 6. Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman. See also: invocation (other); Norse/Teutonic paganism; Thor (Donald Blake)
BELOW: Nick Fury is not comfortable citing the "Norse thunder god" as a source of information:
"Okay," Fury said. "Let' say I believe you. How do you suggest I explain to the congressional inquiry that I knew I had to do it because of the word of the Norse thunder god?"
Thor put away his smile. "Is that the worst problem you can think of?"
BELOW: Tony Stark expresses frustration at Thor's "hippie canards" when Thor reveals Tony's recent subterfuge to their other teammates:
"All except for the part about the amplifier being fake," Thor said.
Clint looked from Thor to Tony to Nick, and then back to Thor. "What?"
"Sure. Ask him. There is no amplifier. He showed it to us, then put out a distress call to get us to come save it. Only . . . what's the best way to put it, Tony? Would you call it instilling brand loyalty?"
"Oh, for Christ's sake," Tony said. "You and your hippie canards. It worked, didn't it? And aren't you the one who called down lightning in the middle of my headquarters, with my employees all over the place? You can shove your sanctimony, too."
BELOW: Thor calls Hank Pym's scientific achievement "miraculous": There is a certain irony in this scene. Thor, who is an actual deity, the Norse god of thunder, sees Hank Pym (Ant-Man) and Janet Van Dyne (the Wasp) change from insect-sized to human-sized, and then hears Dr. Pym explain his invention - the pills that allow them to change size. Thor calls this scientific achievement "miraculous." This could be viewed as an interesting inversion of the standard use of this word, in which a scientifically unexplainable and presumably divinely-caused event is referred to as "miraculous" or a "miracle."
Source: The Avengers (vol. 1) #2 (Nov. 1963): "The Avengers Battle... the Space Phantom", pg. 2, panel 4. Written by Stan Lee. Art by Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman. See also: miracles; Thor (Donald Blake); Giant-Man (Hank Pym)
BELOW: Thor compares himself to Captain America:
Perhaps I understand Steve Rogers a little better than most, because he is lost in time as well. But he is also a creature of duty and obedience, and I understand only the first of those. In obedience I have not the slightest interest.
This character is in the following 482 stories which have been indexed by this website:
The 3-Minute Sketchbook #1 (Oct. 2007)
Alpha Flight (vol. 1) #40 (Nov. 1986): "Love" (only on cover)
The Amazing Spider-Man
Suggested links for further research about this character: