Comics give background for Thor’s return in latest outing


From the Friday, July 8, 2022, edition of The Oklahoman

Thor: Love and Thunder

Can’t a Thunder god get some peace?

Thor’s semi-retirement is interrupted in “Thor: Love and Thunder,” the latest Marvel Comics film, in theaters this week. 

Gorr the God Butcher, a galactic killer who seeks the extinction of the gods, is the enemy Thor must face. 

Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Love and Thunder” stars Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman and Christian Bale and is directed by Taika Waititi, who helmed “Thor: Ragnarok.” 

Some of the key players appearing in this installment, and their comics background, are as follows: 

Jane Foster: Foster was introduced way back in 1962’s “Journey Into Mystery” No. 84 as a nurse. Portman, an Academy Award winner for “Black Swan,” plays the character in the upcoming “Thor” movie after playing the role in the first two “Thor” solo adventures. Her expanded role in the Jason Aaron-written run on the “Thor” series informs her role in the film.  

Valkyrie: Thompson stars as Valkyrie, who first appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in “Thor: Ragnarok.” The comic-book version of the character, based on the Norse mythological figure Brynhildr, was created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema in “Avengers” #83 in 1970. In June 2018, a version of Valkyrie more similar to Thompson’s version appeared in “Exiles” Vol. 3 #1 from writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Javier Rodriguez.   

Gorr: Played by Christian Bale, “Gorr the God-Butcher” was introduced in January 2013’s “Thor: God of Thunder” #2. Writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribic are responsible for the character’s creation. 

More than 50 issues of Aaron’s run, alongside artistic collaborators including Esad Ribić and Russell Dauterman, were released in an omnibus collection in April. 

“Thor by Jason Aaron Omnibus” collects “Thor: God of Thunder” (2012) 1-25, “Thor” (2014) 1-8, “Thor Annual” (2015) 1, “Thors” (2015) 1-4 and “Mighty Thor” (2015) 1-12. Featuring Thor’s stand against Gorr the God Butcher and much more, this collection is a great place to start for fans wanting to dig deeper into the inspirations for “Love and Thunder.” 

Matthew Price,, has written about the comics industry for more than two decades. He is the co-owner of Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman.

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