Thor is the most powerful in comics

Thor - the comics for the film : Divine slaughter

Be it a traditional saga, a religious prophecy or a cultural idea - the end of the world has always been imagined as a terrible end-time spectacle. This is also the case in the “Ragnarök” of Nordic mythology, in which entire dynasties of gods and rival peoples perish in a war that destroys everything. This classic Germanic legend from the end of the world has already flowed into various art genres, for example in Richard Wagner's opera cycle “The Ring of the Nibelungs” or in paintings and illustrations by the German painter Emil Doepler.

The legendary Marvel duo Stan Lee and Jack Kirby also adapted the Aesir apocalypse as a comic in 1968. After the author Lee and draftsman Kirby had introduced the thunder god Thor from the Nordic gods of Asgard into the Marvel comic universe in August 1962, they did not address Ragnarök in their own storyline until six years later: When the troll Ulik brought the muscle monster Mangog out of an underground Freed the cave, it wants to summon Ragnarok in revenge on Allfather Odin. In this comic, skilfully staged by exciting cliffhangers and reprinted in German in the anthology “Marvel Klassiker: Thor” at Panini, the heroic giant - this much can be revealed at this point - averted the impending disaster just in time.

The end of the world as an angry inferno

Much more devastating than in this classic comic is the end of all being in “Thor: Ragnarök” by Michael Avon Oeming, Daniel Berman and Andrea di Vito from 2004. The comic is a basis for the new film about the god of thunder, now started in the cinema. Here the end of the world actually flares up as an angry inferno, even in spite of the heroic support of Thor's superhero colleagues Captain America and Iron Man. Although the story is clearly located in the comic universe due to the appearance of these two other Avengers, the six-part saga appears conspicuously mythological: Because, in keeping with Oeming's and Berman's noticeably elaborately researched texts, di Vito's detailed images from another world take into account a multitude of traditional content , Actors and locations of Ragnaröks from Norse mythology.

In the prologue of their epic they begin with the creation of the world from the organic remains of the slain giant Ymir by the Allfather Odin and his two brothers Vili and Vé. The brutal brood of Thor's archenemy and half-brother Loki also appears in the comic: These include the Fenriswolf freed from his chains, the sinister Midgard snake and the death goddess Hel. In the midst of the heated battle between freezing rain, firestorm and thunderstorm, the flying death ship Naglfar, the fire giant Surtur and Thor's other half-brother Vidar also appear. And the Valkyries, which according to mythological models lead the honorable warriors named Einherjer to Valhalla, should of course not be missing in this feud.

Refreshing counterpoint to the conventional Marvel stories

The artists put the Ragnarök with all its horror and ruin surprisingly bluntly in scene. They in no way glorify the chaotic struggle between sir and giants, and so many warriors and confidants of Thor die on the sometimes melancholy sides. Fans of comics and lovers of mythology have to take a deep breath when the rainbow bridge called Bifröst breaks, Thor's mighty Uru hammer Mjölnir shatters and his lover Sif loses an arm. Even the god of thunder himself has to go to extremes when he throws more than one eye into the well of Mimir at the roots of the world ash Yggdrasil in order to be enlightened by a hoped-for wisdom.

“Thor: Ragnarök” convinces with a page architecture, frame rate and coloring that is well coordinated with the plot as a piece of sequential art. In doing so, the artists create a refreshing counterpoint to the conventional Marvel stories, particularly through the various references to Nordic mythology. This storyline offers Thor fans an interesting reinterpretation of Asgardian Armageddon, but it is not necessarily suitable for younger readers to read.

Colorful entertainment for the whole family

The third independent Thor film, which started in this country under the title "Thor: Day of Decision", however, offers colorful entertainment for the whole family: Chris Hemsworth plays the Prince of Asgard again and has to be with the cunning Loki (Tom Hiddleston) Defend kingdom against the death goddess Hela (Cate Blanchett). The incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) helps them with this. And when such a green Gamma Goliath is involved, the angry forces in a Götterdämmerung are already much more evenly distributed. You can find a detailed review here.

The film is now the 17th part of the large-scale Marvel Cinematic Universe, but its creation was also based on templates from the comic universe. The film scenes with an angry Hulk in a gladiator's robe are based freely on the multi-part comic series “Planet Hulk”, which started in 2006: When the great hero dispute “Civil War” was brewing in the comics, the six leading superheroes discussed Brains on the whereabouts of Banner's alter ego Hulk. Because, so their thought, if one of the warring parties would have the basically invincible Hulk as their opponent, they would automatically be at a strategic disadvantage. That's why the "Illuminati" - consisting of Professor Charles Xavier from the X-Men, Reed Richards from the Fantastic Four, Dr. Strange, Black Bolt from the Inhumans, Iron Man and Namor, the Submariner - without further ado, to maneuver the Hulk far away from all earthly bickering and to shoot him into space.

The adventures the green man has to endure as a result on the alien planet Sakaar, how he rises from slave to gladiator and even to king and finally wins the love of an alien can be read in the two anthologies "Planet Hulk".

But just as the Hulk has just got used to his new life, the destruction of his new home tears his life apart again. Again he blames the Illuminati for his suffering and is understandably angry when he returns to Earth. In the five-part series "World War Hulk", authors Greg Pak and Peter David as well as the cartoonists John Romita Jr., Lee Weeks and Rafa Sandoval describe that the rest of the world is not exactly green for him in his anger either.

Since a doomsday mood quickly arises in this vengeance too, Thor and Hulk's fateful paths are similar, at least in their original medium, the comic. Now, in the film, they are also sent into the race together against darkness and damnation: In this way, divine banter is guaranteed in any case.

An overview of current and newly published Thor comics is available from Panini at this link.

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