Ever since I started this blog last July, I have spent a fair bit of time writing about my favorite comic book character. Marvel Comics has been getting my hard earned cash for many years now as I eagerly anticipate the exploits of The Mighty Thor. As I sat here I thought “Why Him? Why Thor? What draws me to the character?”
I have liked many different comic book characters over the years. I love the craziness and uniqueness of Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley), the darkness of The Batman, the struggle of Spawn to toe the line of good vs evil, the humor and real life issues of Spider-Man and the viciousness of Wolverine. Then there is the God Of Thunder.
Thor is very different than any of the other characters that I enjoy in the medium of comic books. You see, I am infatuated with history and mythology. When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created Thor back in 1962 for Marvel Comics, they unknowingly created a character that bridged the gaps between both of those formats. You see, Thor is not just a part of the Norse mythology but he was and still is worshipped by people today. As well, Thor’s name is sprinkled throughout history.
When I was in Compu College about 10 years ago, I actually did one of my big projects on the difference and similarities between Marvel’s Thor and Norse Mythology’s Thor. I created a website on the school’s internal server using just notepad to code it and it was a lot more fun to do than it should have been for a project of it’s size.
I guess I have not answered the question fully yet though for “Why Thor?” have I? The foundation of my appreciation for Marvel’s hero was based in the mythology I could not get enough of growing up. I did/do love to expose myself to as much mythology as I possibly can. Whether it is Norse, Greek, Indian, Japanese, Celtic, Egyptian or any other pantheon you think of. I am fascinated by it all but the only one I could find in my favorite medium was “The Mighty Thor.”
In a universe full of different types of characters, Thor is truly unique and stands out from all the others that Marvel Comics, DC Comics and Image Comics have created throughout the years. He is a warrior that has lived for countless centuries, not just the prince of Asgard but also the God of Thunder and the protector of Earth. Thor had to learn the lessons of humility and humanity to truly become worthy to not just wield his uru metal hammer Mjolnir but also to take his place as the most powerful hero in the Marvel Universe.
No other “super hero” combines the warrior instinct, the knowledge of battle, the immense strength, the power of the elements, the nobility, the honesty, the loyalty and the selflessness of Thor. Not one hero comes close to having all these traits all at one time. Even though Stan Lee admitted that Thor was created as Marvel’s answer to Super-Man, I truly feel he surpassed what Super-man was and currently is.
The difference with Super-Man and Thor is that there is a sense that Thor is more believable to me. You see, Super-man was created with having almost every possible power a writer could think of, kind of like he is his own utility belt but he was also created to be unbeatable. Well, that is unless you knew he was weak to Kryptonite, which was said to be rare but found everywhere.
Marvel took a different route with Thor, one that I do not always agree with, as he does not have a shoehorned weakness to something like Kryptonite or magic, but his weakness is more political. His weakness is that he is used as a stepping stone to demonstrate just how powerful another character is.
There are very few characters in comics that has the respect that Thor has from his peers. When things are about to get bad, he is looked to as “the big gun” to turn the tide and his comrades recognize how he will stand by himself against insane odds to save them. He shows no fear, but the heart to fight until he takes his last breath. Is that not what a hero should be?
So that is why Thor is my favorite hero. He embodies everything that a true hero should be, is extremely powerful and is based in mythology. The hammer he carries is one of the most powerful weapons in the Marvel Universe but also is a barometer to show how worthy a person is. There is no other character that measures up to Thor.