If You Think MCU Thor Is Cool, Wait Until You Check Out The Comics

Thor has not always been the top-tier hero we know and love today. There was a time when the God of Thunder was one of Marvel’s B-listers who sat on the bench while Wolverine and Spider-Man got all the glory. Thanks to the MCU, the characters like Thor and Iron Man, whom most people outside of the world of comics didn’t care much about, had a chance to show just how awesome they could be.

That success led to a renewed interest in the comic series and gave the characters a chance to really shine. Now, there are tons of great new Thor stories, and interested readers are seeking out the stories from the past, as well. Those adventurous comic book fans are discovering a whole range of the Odinson that most audiences had no idea ever existed. From women to aliens to dinosaurs and frogs, there’s a Thor out there that could appeal to anyone.

If the only Thor you know is Chris Hemsworth, then it’s time to expand your palate and look at some of the coolest Thors you’ve never even heard about.

1. Beta Ray Bill

Of all the Thors in all the multiverse, none have stood the test of time quite like Beta Ray Bill. Bill is a member of a species called Korbinites and was introduced to readers back in 1983. Bill holds a place in history as the first non-Asgardian ever to take hold of Mjolnir and wield it. Walt Simonson, the creator of Beta Ray Bill, designed him specifically to look like a monster so readers would immediately think he was one, then be taken off-guard when he was proven worthy of the hammer.

Bill has gone on to be one of the most popular characters in the Thor universe. After a battle to determine the true owner of Mjolnir, Bill won but saved Thor’s life. Odin ordered the creation of a new hammer called Stormbreaker, equal in power to Mjolnir but made just for Bill so both could share the power.

2. Old King Phoenix Thor

Old King Phoenix Thor is a mouthful to say and it’s for a good reason. This isn’t the Thor from the Avengers; this is the most powerful Thor in creation. In fact, this is the most powerful being in the Marvel universe. Old King Phoenix Thor could arguably have lifted Thanos in one hand and popped him like a grape. But what does that mean? Let’s try to explain!

King Thor is the future Thor, when Odin has perished and his son has risen to the throne. More powerful than young Thor and more powerful than Odin himself, this is the being who exists in the universe of Old Man Logan in a dystopian, villain-filled future. In this timeline, Dr. Doom has the power of the Beyonder, a cosmic being who can do almost anything. And, in this storyline, Wolverine is the avatar of the Phoenix Force. Wolverine and Thor square off, two titans battling to the end, but Wolverine takes the fall and as he perishes, gives the Phoenix to Thor.  This powers him beyond belief so that he can take down the God Emperor Doom.

3. War Thor

In the first Thor movie, we got to meet the Warriors Three, which consisted of Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg. These loyal companions of Thor fought at his side and mostly stayed in the background. In the comics, they have had a little more to do in their lives, especially Volstagg.

Once a great warrior, Volstagg had become something of a boastful, drunken bumbler. On a diplomatic mission, he was attacked by the forces of the fire demon Surtur and many children in his care were slain. In his rage, he traveled to Asgard in another dimension, where he found an abandoned Mjolnir that transformed him into the destructive War Thor. Jane Foster’s Thor had to intercede to stop him before he destroyed Surtur’s entire race in retribution.

4. Iron Hammer

The origins of the Iron Hammer are extremely complex and weird, but the short version is that Gamora sealed all life in the Soul Stone and then merged them. The souls of Tony Stark and Thor Odinson melded into Stark Odinson, the son of Howard Odinson, CEO of Asgard. It gets weirder, but features some fun side characters like the War Machines Three, the Arachknight, who was a melding of Spider-Man and Moon Knight, and even the Soldier Supreme, a melding of Dr. Strange and Captain America.

After the storyline was sorted out, the universe was freed from the Soul Stone, but the world it had created, called Warp World, remained. So Iron Hammer lives on in a pocket dimension inside the Infinity Stone.

5. Jane Foster

Most audiences know Jane Foster from the MCU, in which she is portrayed by Natalie Portman. In the comic books, Foster was far more than Thor’s girlfriend, however. First introduced way back in 1962 as a nurse, Foster has evolved to the point that she became Thor the Goddess of Thunder in 2014. Since that time, she has been a member of the Avengers, and for a time dropped the Thor mantle to become Valkyrie. 

As Thor, Jane managed to save Asgard from total destruction at a great cost. In her storyline, Foster had cancer, and every time she became Thor it purged her body of toxins, including chemotherapy medication. The result was that being Thor was destroying her and, knowing that her life was on the line, she made the transformation one final time to save Asgard. Her demise was not permanent, though, as Thor and Odin worked together to bring her back from Valhalla.

6. Throg

The story of the Mighty Throg is a weird one, as you’d no doubt assume. He wasn’t always a frog, either. Simon Walterson, named for famed Thor artist Walter Simonson, was cursed by a witch. She turned him into a frog and he joined a clan of frogs in New York’s Central Park. There, in a battle against an army of rats, he met the real Thor, who coincidentally was also in frog form. A sliver of Mjorlnir broke off and Walterson picked it up. The tiny sliver transformed into a tiny Mjolnir, dubbed Frogjolnir, and Walterson was transformed in Throg, Frog of Thunder.

As Throg, he joined the Pet Avengers and went on a mission to assemble the Infinity Stones for Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, even fighting and defeating Thanos along the way. 

7. Storm

If Thor is the God of Thunder, then it makes sense that, if there were a Goddess of Thunder, it’d be the X-Men’s resident lighting-slinger herself, Storm.  In fact, Storm has had her hands on Mjolnir more than once in her history.

Back in the 1980s, she was given a hammer called Stormcaster, a kind of knock-off Mjolnir that transformed her into the Asgardian Goddess of Thunder. The hammer was resurrected in 2018 to give her the powers of a god once again. Of course, prior to being an X-Man, Storm was actually considered a goddess of weather in Africa according to the backstory that’s been created for her, and there may be more to her than a mutant X-gene.

8. Spider-Man

Once called “Marvel Age,” Marvel published a line of books called “Marvel Adventures” that covered a variety of heroes like the Fantastic Four, Iron Man and Spider-Man. The stories were geared for a younger audience and dealt with more family-friendly themes than some books so kids could enjoy the stories.

In Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man #40, Spider-Man travels to Asgard and takes hold of Thor’s hammer. Not only is he deemed worthy to wield the weapon, but he also gets a full Thor makeover, complete with the chest armor and the winged helmet.

9. Deadpool

Of all the characters in all the universe, how could Deadpool have ever been worthy of the Hammer of Thor? It’s a good question and there is a sort of good answer. Deadpool is generally not the heroic type of hero, and even when he is heroic, he tends to have a brutal and offensive approach.

But there was an occasion when Loki managed to dupe both Thor and Deadpool into thinking that Deadpool had not only found the hammer where Thor had dropped it, but also retrieved it. He went on to do the goofball sorts of things you’d expect Deadpool to do with the powers of the God of Thunder, but none of it was actually real; it was all an illusion cast by Loki. Nonetheless, we still got to see Deadpool with the little winged hat, and that’s fun.

10. Dino-Thor

Hailing from an alternate Earth, Dino-Thor was a member of the Thor Corps, a transdimensional team of Thors who all wield the same power. In a timeline that featured Doctor Doom as th God Emperor of the Universe, which he had reshaped into a place called Battleworld, Dino-Thor was tasked with appointing the baron of a realm called Spider Island. Naturally, he chose Spider-Man for the task.

Though Dino-Thor didn’t have much of detailed storyline, he does have one of the best pun names of any Thor, and he’s also clearly one of the biggest Thors in the multiverse, which is kind of a cool claim to fame.

11. Dani Cage

Marvel has published a series of future comics that take place in a time after the villains have taken over, destroying most of the world’s heroes. Old Man Logan followed the adventures of Wolverine in this dreary future and was in part, the basis for the film Logan, as well. But Wolverine is not alone in this dreadful future. Other heroes have emerged from time to time, including Old Man Hawkeye and the Avengers of the Wasteland. And you can hardly have Avengers without Thor, right?

The Thor we know and love has perished, slain by Magneto and the Absorbing Man. A place called Hammerfall exists as a monument to Mjolnir, the untouched hammer that sits alone where no one is worthy of lifting it. Until Dani Cage. The daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones proves herself worthy and takes up the mantle of Thor in 2020’s Avengers of the Wasteland alongside Hulk and the future Ant-Man.

12. Thorion

During the Amalgam event between DC and Marvel, Thor was merged with Orion from DC Comics to make Thorion. Thorion of the New Asgods was the son of Thanoseid, a mixture of Thanos and Darkseid. The main antagonist in the story was the merging of Loki and DeSaad, who joined to form L’ok D’Saad. It’s a little confusing, but those were the main players.

Like all Amalgam characters, Thorion only existed for a short period of time while the two publishers were working together, and has not really been seen since the miniseries he was a part of ended.

13. Rogue

Marvel’s What If? series existed outside the normal timeline and allowed writers to make up any crazy story they wanted without worrying about affecting any stories or characters. In issue #66, they decided to crack into the mystery of what would happen if Rogue from the X-Men took on the mantle of the God of Thunder.

Rogue’s powers allow her to absorb the powers of others, and in this storyline, she takes Thor’s powers and leaves him comatose. She then uses his powers to take on the Avengers, and the whole scene is a bit supervillainish. Thor perishes, Odin can’t take back her powers, and then Loki wants to use her for nefarious purposes. Uh oh! Fear not, however. After meeting Thor’s spirit, she realizes she needs to use her powers for good and becomes the Goddess of Thunder.

14. Thor-El

For a character with this much potential, there is sadly very little history to Thor-El, a character who should and could be much cooler than he was. Back in 1996 and 1997, DC and Marvel came together in a comics event called Amalgam. This wasn’t the first time DC and Marvel had teamed up or confronted each other, but this was the first time they had literally merged characters. The union gave birth to notable creations like Dark Claw, the mix of Batman and Wolverine, as well as Lobo the Duck, in which Howard the Duck and Lobo came together.

The next year they rolled out “Unlimited Access,” which featured the only appearance of X-League, a mishmash of DC and Marvel characters that featured Thor-El, a mix of Thor and Superman. He was a short-lived being and he was bright blue with a hammer. What else do you need?