Thor is many things for Marvel. He’s a god, an alien, an Avenger, and now–he’s a film franchise. Love and Thunder will be Thor’s fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and Chris Hemsworth’s eighth appearance as the hammer-wielding hero.
He’ll be joined by Christian Bale as the hideous Gorr the God Butcher, Russell Crowe as Zeus, and Natalie Portman returning as Jane Foster. She now wields the hammer instead of Thor, who remains stuck in the same character rut he’s been in since Ragnarok in 2017. So, with so much Thor already under our belt, below you’ll find the stories Marvel will likely adapt in Thor: Love and Thunder, premiering in theaters on July 8, 2022.
Thor: God of Thunder
Every story found in this list is written by Jason Aaron, a comic book writer best known for his six-year-long tenure as the creative force behind the modern Thor. Aaron’s older cousin Gustav Hasford wrote The Short-Timers, which was later adapted into Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, and it inspired a young Aaron to want to write as well.
Eventually winding up at Marvel, he penned Thor: God of Thunder, which introduced the comic book world to Gorr the God Butcher, a forgotten alien on a forgotten planet, scorned by unanswered prayers to the gods. After Gorr comes in possession of the Necrosword, a weapon forged and imbued with the power of symbiotes (like Venom), he vows to kill the gods of the universe.
- Thor by Jason Aaron: The Complete Collection Vol. 1 collects all of Thor: God of Thunder #1-18
Original Sin was a major crossover event for Marvel in 2014 helmed by Jason Aaron that, while crucial to setting up Thor stories for the next four years, would be incredibly dense for anyone trying to read as a standalone story.
What’s important to take away from Original Sin, however, is that in a verbal exchange with Nick Fury, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Director whispers something in Thor’s ear so hurtful that it sends the Asgardian God of Thunder into a state of total depression. I won’t reveal what Fury said (for those who wish to read the story unspoiled), but know that Jason Aaron didn’t tell readers either until the big reveal in Unworthy Thor two-and-a-half years later.
- Original Sin by Jason Aaron collects Original Sin #0-8
Thor: The Goddess of Thunder
With Thor in despair and unable to lift his hammer following Nick Fury’s damaging words, the universe is without one of its strongest Avengers. Malekith the dark elf attacks Earth, and Thor fights the villain alone without his hammer. Malekith severs Thor’s arm in the fight and leaves him to bleed out until a mysterious Mjölnir-wielding female arrives to help.
Fans may remember Malekith from how bad they did him in Thor: The Dark World, one of the most hated MCU films in history, so the villain likely will not be returning in Love and Thunder. We’ve got enough to worry about with Gorr (and Russell Crowe’s Zeus).
Revealing herself to readers as Jane Foster–Thor’s human love interest on Earth–she explains that despite her recent breast cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy, her time as the new Thor has given her reason to keep fighting for survival.
- Thor: The Goddess of Thunder, Thor: Who Holds the Hammer?, and Mighty Thor: Thunder in Her Veins collects Jane Foster’s beginning run as the new Thor in Thor (2014) #1-8 and Mighty Thor (2015) #1-5 by Jason Aaron
The Unworthy Thor
Thor, unworthy of the hammer and calling himself “Odinson,” sets out on a journey to find himself once again and attempt to make amends to everyone he’s wronged. In the process, he gets a necessary wake-up call from his friend Beta Ray Bill (who needs to be in the MCU already!) and even acquires his now-MCU famous battle-ax.
In the end, Beta Ray Bill helps Thor realize that it’s his continual fight every day to prove that Gorr and Fury were wrong about him that makes him worthy, not the hammer or the title of “Thor.”
- The Unworthy Thor collects The Unworthy Thor #1-5 by Jason Aaron
The Death of the Mighty Thor
The end of Jason Aaron’s six-year Thor run of course ended with a very epic, leading title, but know that although I won’t spoil how his saga comes to an end, no one ever truly stays dead for long in comics.
In the final pages of Mighty Thor, Jane Foster ends her time as the new Thor, the Odinson reclaims his hammer, and Asgard is saved from yet another Ragnarok that of course involved Loki in some capacity. Writer Donny Cates picks up Thor next in a story I happen to still really be enjoying, but that’s a list for another day–and possibly a fifth Thor film in the MCU.
- Mighty Thor: The War Thor and Mighty Thor: The Death of the Mighty Thor collects Mighty Thor (2015) #20-23, Thor #700-706, and The Mighty Thor: At the Gates of Valhalla by Jason Aaron
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