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Top 10 Thor Comics You Should Read

VO: Dan Paradis

Script written by Craig Butler.

By Odin’s beard, how is a mortal to know which tales starring the Mighty Thor are worth thyne time? Behold WatchMojo.com as we bring thee the top 10 Thor comics you should read.

Special thanks to our users Godslayer79 and WSK9002 for suggesting this idea, check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Thor+Comics+You+Should+Read

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Transcript
Script written by Craig Butler

Top 10 Thor Comics You Should Read


By Odin’s beard, how is a mortal to know which tales starring the Mighty Thor are worth thyne time? Behold WatchMojo.com as we bring thee the top 10 Thor comics you should read.

For this list, we're looking at the thunderous Thor tales that are exceptionally well told and/or have an important place in the Asgardian’s canon. Onward, true believers!

#10: "The God Butcher" (2013)

This 5-part series is an excellent jumping off place for those new to reading Thor. Why? Well, in addition to being an exceptionally exciting and well-told story, it’s set in three different time periods. Thus, a new reader gets a chance to see Thor as a rather callow young god; as the mighty God of Thunder in his prime; and as an older, more mature hero whose wisdom has been hard won. As a bonus, there’s Esad lovingly rendered artwork which is as dramatically potent as it is gorgeous.

#9: "Whom the Gods Would Destroy" (1966)

Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s silver age Thor tales have a vitality and boisterousness that really can’t be beat. This 3-part masterpiece pits the Norse God of Thunder against the Greco Roman legend known as Hercules. Normally, Thor would win easily. Unfortunately, Odin decides to punish his son by taking away most of his power. The resulting story demonstrates that, while Lee could definitely get a bit soapish in his storytelling, it still packed an emotional punch that still resonates today. And, oh those Kirby compositions are pure Asgardian gold!

#8: "Skurge’s Last Stand" (1985)

Walt Simonson totally revitalized Thor comics in the 1980s. Simonson’s work stands as some of the best Marvel stories of the 80s, and the stand-alone “Skurge’s Last Stand” issue is a true classic. It demonstrates exactly how Simonson could look at things and characters in a new, original way. In this instance, he took Skurge, a minor and colorless villain, and concocted a plot in which he was humanized, fleshed out and given an unforgettable moment of nobility. And he did it without shot-changing Thor or any of the other characters in the book.

#7: "Thor Disassembled" (2004)

One of the things that makes the Norse gods so different is the threat of Ragnarok, the end of the world, that perpetually hangs over their heads. In this saga, Ragnarok finally arrives and Thor must watch as so many of those he loves are lost in a battle with the forces that would destroy them. Most amazingly, readers see Thor himself make the decision that ultimately brings about the destruction of the gods. Because they cannot win, he sees that they die in glory and thus achieve seats in Valhalla, the honored afterlife of the Vikings.

#6: "Frog of Thunder" (1986)

By far the oddest entry on this list, it’s the kind of story that only Walt Simonson could have told. In this bizarre but strangely captivating tale, Loki manages to change the mighty Thor into a frog. Simonson recognizes that this is the kind of set-up that inspires mirth, and he doesn’t skimp on the humor. At the same time, it’s a serious examination of what makes Thor the unique being he is – and how his personality shines through, no matter the body that encases it.

#5: "Mangog" (1968)

Another incredible Lee-Kirby collaboration, “Mangog” takes the concept of “larger than life” to a new extreme. What is Mangog? He is the embodiment of the hatred of a billion souls, an entire alien race that was brutally destroyed. And to hear Mangog tell it, the one who did the dirty deed was none other than Thor’s father, Odin. Is it any wonder he wants to make Asgard suffer the same fate as his own home? This is exactly the kind of epic that draws forth the very best from the limitless imagination of Jack Kirby.

#4: "The Midgard Serpent" (1987)

An entire comic made up basically of nothing but splash panels? Once again, Walt Simonson pushed the limits of storytelling, and his incredible and distinctive art made it work beautifully. But the story is equally as interesting. Thor, who is suffering from a curse from a nasty villain, is far more vulnerable than he normally would be. With his own ability to withstand the might of the Midgard serpent impaired, he must choose how to win without losing his life. A classic situation told in an arresting and imaginative manner.

#3: "The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill" (1983-84)

An alien with a human physique and the face of a horse manages to give Thor a run for his money. Walt Simonson made it not only believable but refreshing and engaging as well. Beta Ray Bill initially seemed a villain, attacking the God of Thunder and nearly besting him. He even proved capable of lifting the magic hammer, Mjolnir. In the best Marvel manner, Bill’s attack was a bit of a misunderstanding, and he became an indispensable part of the Thunder God’s family. And he proved that appearances can indeed by deceptive.

#2: "Thor Rebirth" (2007)

Legendary and controversial writer J. Michael Straczynski brought Thor back after a 3-year absence and did so brilliantly. Returning from the dead after the events of “Thor Disassembled,” the Thunder God finds himself alone in Oklahoma – and must find away to restore Asgard and all his friends. Eventually, he finds that all of their souls have been placed inside mortal shells and he must rescue them. Within the framework of a typical quest tale, Straczynski looks into what makes a hero, what makes a family and what makes a life.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

"Thor: The Mighty Avenger" (2010-11)

"The Eternals/Celestials Saga" (1979-80)

"The Reigning/King Thor" (2003-04)

#1: "The Surtur Saga" (1984-85)

Probably no other hero is so at home in epic sagas than Thor, and Walt Simonson’s story of the battle against the deadly Surtur puts the Thunder God right where he belongs. With Loki joining forces with Thor and Odin, there’s always an internal tension to the proceedings. And with the fates of both Asgard and Earth at stake, and an uneasy alliance of heroes, tensions run high. Yet Simonson finds plenty of room for characterization and humor throughout. And he blessed this action-packed tale with some of his most impactful compositions. A beautiful, moving and enthralling story that stands tall in the canon.

Doth thou Agree with our choices? What other sagas of the Mighty Norse God should we have included? For more enthralling top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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