If you loved Thor: Ragnarok, here are three stories you need to read!
It’s often said that the book is better than the movie. That’s not always the case. In fact, many of the Marvel movies are inspiration for future books. Sometimes even the history of a character is retconned (retroactively contrived) because of the film. In the case of Thor: Ragnarok, director Taika Waititi and writers Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher L. Yost draw indirect inspiration from many Thor stories, weaving them into the narrative while still creating something fresh and new. But if you are curious about some of the source material or even potentially where the plot might go for Thor, read on!
WARNING: The following article contains SPOILERS from Thor: Ragnarok
Walt Simonson’s Thor: Not all of Thor lore has been good. Often relegated to a second tier hero due to poor writing and a failure to understand the rich legacy of Norse mythology, Thor came into his own with Walt Simonson’s interpretation. He dug deep into the mythos but in a way that didn’t bury the readers with new material. Instead he expanded on Thor’s existing history while radically reshaping his universe. Considered by most to be THE most influential run on the book, his stories have formed the basis of all three Thor films to some degree. The Casket of Ancient Winters in Thor, Malekith the dark elf in Thor: The Dark World, and Surtur and Ragnarok in Thor: Ragnarok were all parts of significant storylines within Simonson’s run on the book. The one question I have and the most significant of Simonson’s run – will Beta Ray Bill return as Thor?
J. Michael Straczynski’s Thor: When Asgard got blown up in Ragnarok last time, Marvel brought in J. Michael Straczynski to pick up the pieces. Literally. Thor returns from some area of limbo and rebuilds Asgard in the middle of Oklahoma. Not only did that bring about some hilarious antics and an interesting discussion about what it means for gods and humans to interact, but it was a very interesting storyline. Eventually, of course, the Asgardians were found and returned to their true realm, but could this be the future of Asgard in the MCU? With the home of the Asgardians again in ruins thanks to Surtur, it would make an interesting plot device for a future film. Regardless, Straczynski’s Thor is fun to read and he reinvigorates the series once again.
Jason Aaron’s Thor: This is and should be the future of Thor – although with Natalie Portman apparently out of the picture (pun intended), not sure how that will happen. In 2015, as part of Marvel’s ambitious plan to introduce more diversity and interesting storylines to their catalog they reinvented Thor – as a WOMAN! In an interesting twist, the new Thor turns out to be Jane Foster, one of Thor’s earliest loves. It’s a brilliant piece of writing only marred by the fact they kept the old Thor around. But Marvel Comics hates to get rid of anyone for fear of alienating readers. Still, they did the smart thing by not giving Jane the moniker “Lady Thor” but just Thor. Which she is. So when Chris decides it’s time to hang up the cape (which I hope isn’t anytime soon), could Marvel go in this direction?
- Read my article on Babble about the inspiring ways Marvel has introduced female superheroes in the 21st century.
Reading these stories will give you the best of Thor from the comics and give you insight into the films past, present, and maybe future!