With Thor: Love and Thunder coming on July 8, fans are left wondering just what kind of Asgardian craziness Taika Waititi has in store for us. Although the MCU movies definitely do their own thing separate from the original Marvel Comics, we’ve spotted the heavy influence of the original source material over the franchise’s run. Thanks to trailers and promotional material, we know a bit about what Thor‘s next movie will entail. And so we have some ideas about just which of Marvel’s comics Thor: Love and Thunder might draw inspiration from. Here are six comics that Thor: Love and Thunder could be based on.
Asgardians of the Galaxy
We last saw the Odinson at the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame. Thor had decided to leave Earth behind and head to the stars with the Guardians of the Galaxy. And we know the Guardians are going to play a part in Love and Thunder. Even if only to transition Chris Hemsworth’s character from point A to point B in his life journey.
When we do see them, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Thor officially name them the “ Asgardians of the Galaxy.” That term was jokingly dropped by the Odinson in Endgame, but it was an actual comic book. The Asgardians of the Galaxy series ran for ten issues, from 2018 to 2019. This comic featured characters like Valkyrie and Skurge, who have already been introduced into Thor’s big-screen world. We don’t expect to see those characters exactly as they appear in the comics, but we’re likely to hear the name Asgardians of the Galaxy at least once in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Back in the ’90s, the big trend in superhero comics was to kill off or incapacitate your iconic hero and then replace them with a new one. Thor was no exception to this trend. In the early ’90s, Eric Masterson was a mortal architect who wielded Mjölnir and became the “new” Thor for a time. “NuThor” even served with the Avengers, many of whom didn’t even know he wasn’t the true Son of Odin.
When the original Odinson returned, he was given his own weapon. Taking the name Thunderstrike, after his hammer, he wore a costume that looked very similar to what Chris Hemsworth wears in Love and Thunder. This is probably just a visual homage, but you never know. Maybe the Thunderstrike comics could have a role to play in the upcoming Thor film.
The Mighty Thor
Given that Natalie Portman is returning as Jane Foster and becoming the new Thor, we suspect that Love and Thunder will find heavy influence in writer Jason Aaron’s The Mighty Thor run of comics, drawn by Russell Dauterman. During this several-year arc, we saw Jane wield the mighty hammer Mjölnir. But there was a twist to it all. The new Thor’s identity was a secret, and another secret was that Jane was battling breast cancer while performing as a hero.
Undergoing chemotherapy, she would become completely healthy when in Thor-mode. In mortal form, the chemo was purged from her system, setting her back to square one. Ultimately, this new path would cost her her life. A tragic set of circumstances, but one that made for great drama. And it seems at least some parts of this Jane Foster story are coming to film. Several comics chronicle Jane’s run as Thor, including Thunder in Her Veins, Lords of Midgard, The Asgard/Shi’ar War, The War Thor, and The Death of The Mighty Thor. And all of these comics may have a role to play in inspiring Thor: Love and Thunder.
Thor: God of Thunder
Christian Bale trades his cape and cowl for something a bit more magical in Love and Thunder, with the former Batman taking on the role of Gorr, the God Butcher. Introduced by Jason Aaron in 2013 during his Thor: God of Thunder run, Gorr grew up in an unnamed world. When his family all died tragically, he denounced his belief in gods, as no divine beings could exist and allow such suffering. Due to his heretical beliefs, Gorr was outcast by his people.
Eventually, Gorr discovered that gods did indeed exist, but didn’t help those in need like his family. Angered that these higher beings just couldn’t be bothered, he vowed to kill them all, becoming “the God Butcher.” Armed with his mystical Necrosword, he ultimately became a sworn enemy of Thor’s. We feel confident that the Thor: God of Thunder will influence Thor: Love and Thunder because we’ve seen the trailers directly homage scenes from the comic.
You can read most of the Thor vs. Gorr stories in the God of Thunder collections, The God Butcher, Godbomb, The Accursed, and The Last Days of Midgard.
Thor by J. Michael Straczynski
In J. Michael Straczynski’s run, we saw the Kingdom of Asgard reborn hovering above a small Oklahoma town. Much of the humor from those stories came from the immortal beings interacting with regular human folk. Well, we’re certain to see a version of that Marvel Comics’ vision in Thor: Love and Thunder. We see in the trailers that New Asgard is very much a technical wonder of a city in Norway, under the Kingship of Valkyrie. We expect a lot of the same humor of gods among mortals from J. Michael Straczynski’s beloved Thor run from the 2000s.
Jane Foster: Valkyrie
Although Jane “died” as Thor, she was recently reborn as one of the Valkyries. The Jane Foster: Valkyrie series, which began in 2019, is still currently running. The first few issues are collected in the trade, which showcases Jane taking on her new role as a guide and ferrywoman to the dead. We are not sure how much this comic will influence the MCU’s upcoming Thor movie, but we know that the MCU Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) is now King of Asgard and looking for a Queen. Could that Queen be Jane? It would make even more sense if Jane were also a Valkyrie, wouldn’t it?
Originally published on July 28, 2020.