Thor: Love and Thunder is a cosmos-hopping adventure flick. That means it takes viewers on a wild ride through numerous outlandish locations. But which ones come from the comics? And how much of an inspiration did they have on the movie? We’re here to answer those burning questions. And we’re diving deep into the back catalog of Marvel to do so. If you haven’t watched Thor: Love and Thunder yet, then beware as there are some light spoilers ahead.
New Asgard’s Comic Book Counterpart
Though we got a glimpse of New Asgard in Thor: Ragnarok, we’re including it here as it plays such a huge part in Thor: Love and Thunder. First named in 2003’s Thor (Vol. 2) #68, New Asgard holds a very interesting role in Asgardian comics history. After the destruction of Asgard proper, Thor brought a floating version of the city to New York. The ominous skybound citadel quickly caught the eye of enemies. After those enemies attacked, Thor incorporated the two, naming them New Asgard. That’s not where most readers look to when they think of New Asgard though, with most fans connecting it to Thor Vol. 3. In that 2007 series that launched with a new #1 issue, Thor had been MIA.
When Thor returns to Earth he rebuilds Asgard outside / above Brockton, Oklahoma. It’s this version that fans often remember, the large floating city above America’s Great Plains. Of course, in the MCU they instead took New Asgard to the Nordic city of Tønsberg, connecting it back to the real world viking lore and culture that inspired the original Thor mythos. That’s not the only relevance of Tønsberg, though. In the MCU it’s also where the Frost Giants first battled Odin and the Asgardians in Thor, as well as the location of the Tesseract for many centuries. So basically the MCU is making New Asgard an even more important spot on its Marvel map.
Marvel Comics’ Omnipotence City
Taken from the comic which shaped Thor: Love and Thunder more than any other, Omnipotence City first debuted Thor: God of Thunder #3. That story describes it as a 12 billion-year-old “Nexus of the Gods.” Unlike Thor: Love and Thunder, it’s not a playground for the deities. Instead, it’s home to an ancient series of archives known as the Hall of All-Knowing. Thor heads there to find the names of the missing gods, and is shown to the Hall of the Lost. While we didn’t see that version in the movie, it feels like something that could come into play in future MCU movies.
Omnipotence City and the Halls of All-Knowing play a recurring part in the God of Thunder series, and later on it introduces something we do see in Thor: Love and Thunder, the Parliament of Pantheons, which was definitely adapted as the place where Zeus holds court.
In the Marvel Comics universe, the biggest impact Omnipotence City has had is definitely introducing the Halls of All-Knowing. They’re a fun, cosmic, in-universe place for characters to explore Marvel history. So we could see that come to life as we the old gods begin to play a bigger part in the wider MCU.
The Shadow Realm’s Comic Incarnation
Shoutout to Taika Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson for this extreme Marvel Comics deepcut. When it comes to selecting where to base Gorr the God Butcher and his greyscale nightmare world, Thor: Love and Thunder swings for the dustiest of back issue bins with the Shadow Realm. Unlike the other two locations here, the Shadow Realm in Marvel Comics is an ephemeral thing. Its origins begin in 1960’s Strange Tales #79. It was there in the pre-Doctor Strange issue of the series that readers were introduced to Kaa. A warlord from a strange alien planet, Kaa and his followers had found a strange liquid that allowed them to change shape. Soon, he came up with the nifty scheme to take on the appearance of human shadows, allowing them to follow unsuspecting humans around without them knowing. The point was, of course, world domination, though they failed.
The reason Kaa is important is that the character and his planet would return in issues like The Incredible Hulk #184 and Marvel Spotlight (vol 2) #4. Each time readers would get to see into the strange world of the shadow people. Though the words are never written in the pages of the issues, Marvel fans colloquially began to call this planet or dimension the Shadow Realm. Something really cool is that not only does Thor: Love and Thunder make this canon, but the Shadow Realm being a far off planet actually leans into the comic book representation of Kaa’s homeland. It’s described as a “planet on the other side of the sun.” The film also seems to take inspiration from Kaa’s shadow monsters, in their reimagining of Gorr’s symbiote henchmen the Black Berserkers. So is the Shadow Realm in the comics? Yes and No.
Featured Image: Marvel Studio