Turn everything off Of the makeovers Marvel’s movie superheroes have received, none have been more dramatic—or more fun—than Thor’s. After transforming from an average god brother in 2011 Thor to the dark hammer holder in 2013 Thor: The Dark Worldhe got a new attitude Thor: Ragnarok 2017. In the hands of director Taika Waititi, the mighty god of thunder not only got a new hairstyle, but also became a funny friend from work of the Avengers. He turned a little sad Avengers: Endgame (remember Lebowski’s Thor?), but with Thor: Love and Thunder, he’s back — and back in Waititi’s loving arms.
Waititi isn’t the only one he’s coming back for Love and thunder. It also features Natalie Portman reprising her role as Jane Foster, who – in a move inspired by Jason Aaron’s comic book story – becomes the new Thor. And that’s not the only influence on Aaron in the film. Christian Bale’s bad guy Gorr the God Butcher also comes from the writer’s work. Have we piqued your interest? Want to know what other comics might be relevant to this week’s issue Love and thunder? Start reading here.
Thor: God of Thunder #1-12 (2012-2013)
An epic dive into the life of a god told across three time periods, Jason Aaron’s first Thor story was an incredibly bold debut. Not only does it present the threat of the seemingly unstoppable Gorr, but it also shows Thor growing into the person he never thought he could be. (Side note: There might be some daddy issues at play here.) You’ll come for the emotional and violent melodrama, but you’ll probably stay for the gorgeous artwork by Esad Ribic and Matt Wilson, which is as beautiful as few superhero comics can be.
Thor #1-8 (2014); Mighty Thor #1-5, 8-11, 13-14 (2015-2016)
What happens when Odin’s son ceases to be worthy of the enchanted hammer Mjolnir? Apparently the hammer goes off and finds a new owner for itself, resulting in the creation of a new Thor, as unlikely as that may seem. Aaron’s clever, funny reboot brought in an army of new fans, excited by both the mysterious new god of thunder—her true identity was kept a secret, which was a significant part of the entertainment at the time—and the wonderful art of newcomer Russell Dauterman. Few suspected the tragedy at the heart of the story, but when it was revealed, it only added to the poignancy.
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #1-10 (2019-2020)
The price of being Thor is heavy. But even after Jane Foster found out how difficult it could be, Marvel wasn’t done with her. In this run, she finds herself in an even more unlikely position than the goddess of thunder: ferry woman for the dead. With murderous supervillains on the loose—hello, Daredevil villain Bullseye—and some familiar and unfamiliar faces on hand to help, Jane has a lot going on just when she might have expected to be well rested (in peace ).
Guardians of the Galaxy #1-18 (2020-2021)
While the version of the team that appears in the latest comic book incarnation of the franchise isn’t quite the same that director James Gunn made famous, this take on the Guardians is probably the best we’ve seen in years. It encompasses the many genres and influences present in the DNA of the concept and of science fiction superheroes in general. Also keep an eye out for new team member(s) in this special lineup. Not only will a few likely become your new favorite characters, but at least one of them should be looked out for for reasons that will become clear at the end Love and thunder.
Mighty Thor #126, 221, 356 (1966, 1974, 1985)
What makes these three different releases – released more or less a decade apart – a good trifecta to revisit after Love and thunder? The presence of another god, who does not come from Asgard and who initially does not even enjoy Thor’s company: Hercules, son of Zeus (Russell Crowe in Love and thunder). He’s a great foil for Odin’s favorite offspring, in part because they share so many traits: overconfidence, stubbornness, and a love of sleeveless outfits. You should really meet Hercules. When you watch the movie, you’ll have a good idea why.