Superhero Origins: Thor

Vastly different from the Thor audiences know today, the Marvel hero and Avengers member once possessed a secret identity which was central to the character. In fact, Thor’s original comic book outing began following American doctor, named Donald Blake, who was visiting remote parts of Norway only to discover the powers of Thor. Eventually, he learned of his true origin, that he was an Asgardian sent to Earth to learn humility, while coming to face off against his adoptive brother Loki. Join WatchMojo.com as we explore the comic book origin of Thor.
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*Script written by Clayton Martino,

Superhero Origins: Thor


He has flowing blonde hair, an all-powerful hammer, and a place in the Norse pantheon of gods! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of Thor. His, Th-origins, if you will.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the original storyline, which unfolded in 1962’s “Journey Into Mystery” #83 and was expanded upon in 1968’s “Thor” #159 and 1983’s “Thor Annual” #11.

Vastly different from the Thor audiences know today, the Marvel hero once possessed a secret identity which was central to the character. In fact, Thor’s original comic book outing began following American doctor, named Donald Blake, who was visiting remote parts of Norway.

It was during his trip that Blake encountered aliens from Saturn, who were scouting Earth in the planning of their grand invasion. Attempting to hide, Blake ducked into a nearby cave, only to discover that a large boulder blocked the other exit. Just as he was about to be discovered by the aliens who were nearly upon him, a secret door opened, and Blake stumbled upon a relic, an ancient cane.

Nearly out of time, and fresh out of options, the frustrated Blake struck the boulder with the cane, which incredibly transformed it into a mighty hammer, and himself into Thor, the Norse God of Thunder.

As Thor, he was able to easily move the boulder and escape the cave. He then discovered that in order to remain Thor, he must continually hold the hammer, which held untold abilities and powers.

Soon after, the alien army from Saturn began their invasion, and Earth’s defences proved no match for the superior alien technology.

Just when all seemed lost, Thor used his mighty hammer to defeat the aliens and send them fleeing back to their homeworld.

In “Thor” #158, Thor, was struggling with an identity crisis, began to reminisce on his past. This included thinking back on the various battles, and his relationships with both the Earthling Jane Foster and the goddess Sif.

In the next issue, “Thor” #159, Thor, in his human form as Donald Blake, asked Odin for answers on his true identity, which Odin agreed to provide.

Odin told him the story of a young and reckless Thor who broke a truce between the Asgardians and giants of Niffelheim. Upon returning to Asgard, Thor engaged in an arm wrestling match with someone at the local tavern, which eventually resulted in a huge brawl.

An infuriated Odin had berated his son Thor, criticizing him for lacking in humility. As punishment, Odin decided to send Thor to Earth to live the life of a mortal with a disability. He also made Thor a doctor so he would be forced to help the sick and wounded. Odin has likewise hid the mighty hammer mjolnir, but orchestrated events so that Thor would find it only after he had learned his lesson.

Thor’s origin was expanded even further in “Thor Annual” #11. Here, Odin was shown to have wanted a son with the power of both heaven and Earth. Visiting Midgard, or Earth to us, he seduced Jord, the personification of the Earth. When Thor was born, Odin brought him back to Asgard to be raised by his wife, Frigga. She was cool with it though.

Over the years, Thor would constantly have his hands full with the evil schemes of his adoptive brother Loki. Loki eventually got so out of hand that Thor teamed up with Ant-Man, Wasp, Hulk, and Iron Man to stop him. By working together, they were able to stop Loki, and decided to continue to work together as a team, calling themselves the Avengers. Thor would remain an essential part of the Avengers until eventually stepping down from the team in “Avengers” Volume 3 #63.

Like most comic book heroes, Thor has gone through numerous re-imaginings, perhaps none more prominent than in the Ultimate universe. In this version of the character, Thor has no human alter ego, and is a reluctant warrior with a personality other people consider to be unstable. While Thor never received his own Ultimate comic book, he appeared in many different Ultimate storylines as a member of “The Ultimates”.

Aside from comics, Thor has appeared in various media. In the 1960s, he starred in his own segment in the 1960s animated series “The Marvel Super Heroes”. Recently, Thor has grown in popularity thanks to Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and was featured prominently in the animated series “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes”.

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