Written by Joe Naz (@Naz_islike) Follow us on Facebook at For The Bl0g
With Thor: The Dark World coming out this Friday (November 8th 2013) I thought i’d throw a small list together of my top five Thor story arcs. These are the stories that made me rethink how I view Thor and left a major impact on me. If I missed any of your favorite stories, please let me know in the comments. I’m always down for a good Thor story!
Thor Masterworks Vol 1 #1-10 written by by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Robert Bernstein , and Jack Kirby and Hartley as artists.
Some of the best looks into any hero is through some of their earliest appearances. Here we get to see Dr. Donald Blake transformation into the Mighty Thor. We also see Thor fight some of your most memorable villains such as Stone Creatures from outer space, Merlin the Mad, Lava Man, and Loki. (I’d really love for some of those old school villains to make a comeback.)
Thor vol 1 #337-340 (Thor by Walter Simonson – Volume 1 collects 337-345)
Beta Ray mother fucking Bill!!! I only recently got the opportunity to read this story arc and find out his true origins. Before that I used to just imagine he was from a different dimension where the Asgardians are dinosaur warrior mutants and this was the Thor of their world. Sadly, I was a bit bummed to find out I was wrong but it didn’t hurt too much as the story is one of the best Thor arcs you’ll ever read. Walter Simonson even does the art for these issues and holy balls they are beautiful. There were two scenes that really sold me on the art. One was the look on Thor’s face when first meeting Beta Ray Bill. Let me try my best to describe this face to you. Imagine you are taking a shower late at night. Your tired, it’s been a long day, and all you wanna do is clean yourself and have your bed hug you. All of a sudden, you feel a slight tickle on your ankle. You wash the soap off your face and take a peek down at the floor, only to discover where the tickle came from. What just touched you was in fact a 1 foot tall spider, that is 2 feet wide, has glowing red eyes and is hairy. He’s just looking you in the eyes while he is rubbing your leg with his arms. It’s not a rough touch, just something where he is saying hello. Needless to say you would cry, I would cry, we all would cry, and burn our house down! The other takes place on the last few panels of Thor #337, where we see the pain and anguish of Dr. Donald Blake getting what he wished for (“FATHER!!!!!!!”). There is love, deception, action, mystery, uncertain heroes and redemption. This is everything a Thor story should be and more. I’d love for Thor 3 to involve this story arc (and so would you, trust me)!
The Trials of Loki #1-4 written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Sebastian Fiumara as artist
While not strictly about Thor, this mini-series does cover a more in depth look into the mind and past of his famous step-brother, Loki. The Trails of Loki kind of reads much like The Killing Joke, where we have a large mix of the past and the present slowly blending into one. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Sebastian Fiumara really do create a beautiful and rich history that leaves us with what is truly a stunning piece of work. It’s not every day you get to be placed in the mind of someone completely different from you, and yet in the end, leaves you wishing you really could help them overcome their ways. Even in all the dark, you can still see a sliver of light in Loki.
Thor #1-12, 600-603, and Thor: Giant Size Final written by J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel, and Marko Djurdjevic as artists
This was the first Thor series I have ever read. To be honest, in the past I was never big on him. I never really got any comics he was in as a kid so my exposure to him was minimal. It wasn’t until 2010 where I saw J. Michael Straczynski’s storyline rated as one of the best Thor runs ever. After seeing so much praise over it I went over to Barnes and Noble and decided to give the first volume a read. I wasn’t blown out the water… I was hanging onto Thor’s cape and making my way into Asgard! Olivier Coipel’s art is absolutely fantastic! The way he draws Thor surrounded by lighting, ready to take on anyone who dares pose a challenge to him, or anyone dear to him, is majestic. You really get to see Coipel flex his (and Thor’s) muscles when J. Michael Straczynski sets up the terrifying confrontation between Thor and Iron Man over the events of Civil War. Lots of laughs, new characters, and a fair share heart breaks are to be had in this short, yet impressive run. You’d be missing out by not adding this run into your own personal collection.
Thor: God of Thunder #1-11 “The God Butcher, Godbomb” written by Jason Aaron, Esad Ribic as artist and Dean White on colors.
This to me is the holy trifecta. Jason Aaron, writer for Wolverine and the X-Men, Esad Ribic who did the beautiful cover art for Uncanny X-Force #1-5, 6-18 and Dean White who colored Uncanny X-Force. These are some of the most talented people in the game right now and they all came together to bring one of the greatest Thor stories into being. Lasting a whopping 11 issues, this arc stretches the past, present, and future. We get a look at a young, brash, and careless Thor. A Thor who’s actions and mistakes will echo far, far into the future. We have the Thor we all know and come to love. Smart, thoughtful and the man he was destined to be, worthy of the all-powerful Mjlornir. Lastly, we have future Thor. A man who has become ruler of Asgard, a man who hangs his head in shame, and a man with a death wish. All of these events take place in one comic and sets up a truly dramatic story. Thor has finally met someone of his own creation. Someone is killing all the gods in the known universe and even the Mighty Thor, God of Thunder, may not be able to stop the events put into motion. This story is part action epic and part horror story. Go ahead, ask anyone what some of their top Marvel Now books are. I bet Thor: God of Thunder is listed on there!