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Thor (comics)


In 1977 Interpresse, a Danish editor, commissioned a noted Danish illustrator, Peter Madsen, to draw the first album in a series of adventures of the gods of Valhalla, based on the Elder Eddas, in collaboration with Hans Racke Madsen, a writer. Thor would very much be the hero of this "Valhalla" series.

The accent was on humor but the characters and much of the plot followed closely the Elder Eddas. The albums were works of art and each took a year or more to produce, the first one coming out in 1979, the second in 1982, and the seventh only in 1992. They were very much in the tradition of finely drawn and well plotted franco-belgian graphic novels like the adventures of Tintin or of Asterix.

No translation was made from the Danish to other languages, but anyone a bit familiar with a scandinavian language (or the Old Norse language) and with a good knowledge of Norse Mythology can enjoy this droll rendition of the adventures of Thor and Loki.

United States

Thor is a comic book superhero from Marvel Comics (loosely) based on the thunder-god figure from Norse Mythology. The character was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. His visual appearance is much different from that of the Thor of Norse mythology, as Marvel's Thor is blond and usually clean-shaven. There are a number of other differences between Marvel's version of Thor and the Norse gods, such as making Loki Odin's son and making Thor's wife Sif a brunette.

According to the current version, Thor's history follows the traditional myth and later on, he abandoned his worshippers in disgust when they massacred a Christian mission.

Much later, his father decided that Thor had to be taught humility, and so transformed into a lame mortal called Don Blake (aka Chad Don Blake) and erased his memory. For years, the man trained to be a doctor and lived upon Midgard with no knowledge of his true nature. Eventually, Odin was satisfied that Thor had spent enough time without his power and subconsciously guided him on an mountain outing where he discovered a wooden walking stick.

Just then, aliens attacked and trapped in a sealed cave with little hope of escape. Desperately, Blake tried to used the walking stick as a lever to remove the blocking rubble. When he struck the rocks, he triggered the special change spell of the stick and Blake was transformed into his true form of Thor and the stick became the war hammer, Mjollnir.

With his rediscovered power, he escaped the caved and defeated the aliens. With that, Thor dedicated himself to fighting evil as the Thundergod. At this time, Thor had no memory of his true identity and history for some time and the character was depicted as a Norse version of Captain Marvel. That situation was reinforced with a new spell on the hammer that would change Thor back to Don Blake if he was out of physical contact of his hammer for more than 60 seconds. That condition reinforced the notion for Thor that Don Blake was his true identity, but fortunately Mjollnir was small enough to tuck his belt so he would not have to continually hold the hammer to keep his Thor form.

Soon he gained of enemies such as his half brother Loki, who had sworn to kill him. To that end, created powerful minions like The Absorbing Man and The Wrecker and manipulated other enemies like Ulick of the Trolls to challenge the thunder god. At the same time, Thor had a romance with his nurse, Jane Foster, which Odin disapproved of and that attitude proved a source of constant frustation for Thor.

This status quo in the comics was shaken up in the 1980s under the authorship of Walt Simonson. This included the permanent integration of Jane with the Norse Goddess, Sif who was powerful ruler in her own right. As well, Thor encountered an alien sleeper that was guarded by the formidable and monstrous sentry called Beta Ray Bill. The dedicated guardian confused Thor with his people's deadly enemy and engaged him. During the fight, Thor lost contact with his hammer and Beta Ray Bill inadvertantly gained it instead with his good nature being judged worthy of the weapon. Bill changed into a varient of Thor's costume and was shortly summoned to Asgard by Odin, who confused Bill with his son. Realizing his mistake, he retrieved Thor as well. Bill claimed Mjollnir as a prize of fair combat, and Thor naturally disputed that. Odin had the matter settled by Trial by combat which Bill won. Odin worked out a compromise for the equally worthy warriors, with Bill receiving a close copy of Mjollnir called Stormbreaker and transferred the transformation spell to it so Bill could enjoy his original form when he wanted it. Thor on the other hand, abandoned the Don Blake identity and settled for a change of clothes and hairstyle that could instantly changed into his usual livery when he needed.


Special Abilities: Carries mystical hammer, Mjolnir, which is indestructable. The hammer controls the elements, grants the user the ability to fly, and always returns to the master after being thrown. The hammer is mystically enchanted so that only those of worthy character can wield it. Thor is immune to all terrestrial diseases due to his god-like physical constitution. Thor is a superb hand to hand combatant, even against other Asgardians. He is very cunning and intuitive in battle, but is not the greatest thinker.