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Comic Book / Thor: God of Thunder (2012)

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Now with three times the Thor

Thor: God of Thunder is a 2012 - 2014 superhero comic book published by Marvel Comics as part of the Marvel NOW! event, written by Jason Aaron and laying the groundwork for a decade-spanning saga that redefined the lore and character of Thor Odinson — including Jane Foster's tenure as the Mighty Thor and the War of the Realms;note  and was ultimately succeeded in 2020 by a run written by Donny Cates. Its legacy was continued in Cates' Venom — where the Necrosword's origins are revealed, and Aaron's The Avengers run — where Thor is a main character and discovers shocking truths about his past.

Thor Odinson is summoned to the desert planet of Indigarr, where he discovers that the local pantheon has been slaughtered by an enemy who had traumatized him in his arrogant youth — Gorr the God Butcher, a deicidal alien wielding a black blade of living darkness. Pursuing Gorr to the far future, Thor manages to stop him with the help of his past and future selves, but his resolve and belief in his own worthiness is shaken.

Returning to the present, Thor discovers that his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster has cancer, his beloved city of Broxton is being threatened by corrupt industrialist Dario Agger of Roxxon, and the dark elf warlord Malekith the Accursed has returned and is gathering allies in preparation to conquer the Nine Realms — starting with reclaiming the throne of Svartalfheim. Meanwhile in the distant future, Old Thor and his granddaughters struggle to defend the ruins of Midgard from the eternal hunger of Galactus.

In December 2020 it was announced that Thor: Love and Thunder would be a partial adaptation of the "God Butcher" arc, featuring Gorr (played by Christian Bale) as the main antagonist.

For the 2011 tie-in video game to the Thor film, see here.

Thor: God of Thunder provides examples of:

  • Alone with the Psycho:
    • In issue #2, Young Thor recalls an incident from his childhood where he was trapped in a prison cell occupied by a serial killer named Dagr, whose Dissonant Serenity over having killed his fellow Asgardians in cold blood terrified and traumatized Thor.
    • In issue #4, Young Thor is captured by Gorr and taken to an isolated cave, where Gorr tortures him in order to get him to reveal the location of Asgard. Thor lasts for seventeen days, which impresses Gorr so much that he offers to start his genocide with a father or a brother that Thor has a grudge against.
  • Amazon Brigade: Thor's granddaughters — Frigg, Ellisiv, and Atli — fight and work together as a team called the Goddesses of Thunder.
  • Army of The Ages: Gorr unintentionally creates one by bringing gods from across the time-stream to the distant future using the Pool of Forevers and enslaving them. While most are beaten and tortured until they forget what they were the gods of, the Goddesses of Thunder rally the survivors into a revolt. After Gorr's death, most of them choose to either settle on Asgard or form new pantheons for planets whose deities Gorr killed.
  • Asshole Victim: Gorr believes every god he kills is either evil or incompetent, though it's unlikely this is the case for many, like the gods of flowers he offhandedly mentions butchering.
  • Badass Boast: While fighting Thor for the first time, Gorr brags about all the different types of gods he's tortured to death — including a god of torture — before mockingly asking Thor what he's the god of. Cue a massive bolt of lightning.
  • Bad Future: Gorr makes an already bad one worse when he jumps into the far future using the Pool of Forevers, arriving in a timeline where Loki had already wiped out all life on Earth. Gorr proceeds to spend 900 years slaughtering or enslaving the Asgardians and other gods until only Thor — left a bitter, broken old man — is left. Horrified by his future self's resemblance to Odin, Modern Age Thor mutters to himself that he hopes this is one of those avertable bad futures the X-Men are always boasting about preventing.
  • Baldness Means Sickness: After defeating Gorr, Thor pays a visit to Broxton he discovers that Jane Foster is now bald and emaciated. She informs him she has developed breast cancer, but makes Thor promise not to scour the Nine Realms for a divine or mystical cure, pointedly saying she wants to beat her illness using mortal medicine or die with dignity.
  • Big Bad: While Gorr is seemingly the main antagonist of the first arc and has a huge impact on Thor, Old Volstagg and Thor the Avenger mock him for being an Unwitting Pawn to All-Black, which up until the end of the arc was assumed to be a mere weapon. In bonding to Gorr, the ancient symbiote amplified his misotheism into a deicidal hatred and turned him into a lesser version of Knull. It attempted to take over both Thor the Avenger and Old King Thor when they bonded to it to stop Gorr and Galactus respectively, and its literal appetite for destruction casts a shadow over the rest of Jason Aaron's run.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Goddesses of Thunder consist of the tactically-minded golden-haired leader Frigg, the flirtatious brunette Ellisiv, and the bloodthirsty redhead Atli.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Young Thor is hot-headed, arrogant, frustrated at being unable to budge Mjlonir, and confused as to why. As such, he's very bitter over his future selves' ability to wield their respective hammers with ease.
    • Old Thor's youngest granddaughter, Atli, is a Fiery Redhead who'd rather charge into battle than sit around plotting. When Old Thor bonds to All-Black out of desperation to stop Galactus from eating the Earth, she alone cheers him on and says that the ancient symbiote looks good on him.
  • Body Surf: All-Black jumps to Galactus during his fight with Thor, who assumes it was destroyed during their clash. Thor gives Galactus leave to eat Mars instead, whereupon the primordial symbiote reveals itself and takes over Galactus, turning him into the Butcher of Worlds.
  • Brutish Character, Brutish Weapon: While not evil, the younger Thor of the Viking Age is recklessly headstrong, brusque, and temperamental. Being unworthy of Mjolnir, he instead uses the divine battle-axe Jarnbjorn — which the equally rash and hot-tempered Atli later claims as her weapon of choice.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: Omnipotence City is an intergalactic bureaucratic hub for the cosmos' pantheons, complete with a Parliament of Pantheons, a Ministry of Inter-Deity Justice, and the High Holy Courts.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Dario Agger, the CEO of Roxxon, is a greedy sociopath who can turn into a minotaur and gleefully makes a point of being as much of an asshole as he can to everyone he meets, getting away with it because he's rich. When Thor one-ups him at the request of S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Rosalind Solomon, Dario develops a petty vendetta against the God of Thunder. He attempts to turn Broxton into a polluted wasteland to bait Thor into causing a diplomatic incident between Asgard and the United States, allies with Ulik the Troll King to bait Thor into violating a court order forbidding him from trespassing in "Broxxon" to prevent the city from being destroyed, and later joins Malekith's Dark Council when promised a shot at plundering the riches of the Nine Realms.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion:
    • The three Thors manage to pressure and frighten Gorr — smashing him across a solar system in seconds and into the surface of a moon — but once Gorr powers up by having his Black Berserkers slaughter several of the enslaved gods he turns the tide and trounces all three Thors at the same time.
    • Old Thor manages to get some good hits in on Galactus, even breaking his fingers, before Galactus punches him through the Earth and into the Moon, destroying it, and then blasts him halfway across the galaxy. Realizing he's no match for Galactus even with the Thorforce, Thor seeks out All-Black and bonds to it, but even with the ancient symbiote augmenting him Thor and Galactus nearly have a Mutual Kill.
  • Cure for Cancer: Discussed when Thor learns Jane Foster was diagnosed with breast cancer. His first impulse is to volunteer to scour the Nine Realms for a supernatural cure, but she expressly forbids him from doing so and half-sarcastically rattles off a list of mystical cures she doesn't want.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Gorr was born on a desert wasteland of a planet and lost his family one-by-one, all while being told to trust in the providence of his zealous tribe's sky-gods. After losing his son, Gorr lashed out and disavowed the existence of gods, being cast into exile... only to then discover that gods were real after all. His subsequent disgust and rage — helped along by the All-Black symbiote bonding to him — led him on a deicidal crusade until he became the very thing he sought to destroy.
    • When he was nine years old, Dario Agger's whole family were killed by pirates who attacked his father's island villa in the Aegean sea. Dario hid in a temple to the Minotaur and prayed for the power to avenge his family... and was granted it — gaining the ability to transform into a minotaur himself. Dario then killed the pirates — keeping their severed heads alive so he could enjoy their suffering for all eternity — and used his family's fortune to buy his way into becoming Roxxon's CEO, shaping his worldview that so long as one has money and power they can get away with anything.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Gorr is a chilling example, with very deadpan sarcasm.
    • The Lord High Librarian's dialogue is almost entirely this in a grumpy old man sort of way, usually directed at Thor.
    If it's the Hall of Murder you're looking for, it's down the other way. You'll love it. There's an entire wing devoted to your family.
  • Detonation Moon: Galactus punches Old Thor clean through the Earth and into the Moon so hard that it's reduced to rubble, Thor vowing to replace the Moon with Galactus' severed head.
  • Dragon Knight: In issue #6, Gorr exposits his backstory while torturing Volstagg and reveals he obtained the Necrosword from a (seemingly) deceased dark god dressed in black draconic armor. Volstagg then mocks Gorr for not even knowing the dark god's name, let alone the history and nature of the weapon he stole.
  • Driven to Madness: Shadrak was a god of bombs and fire who lived in the divine realm of the Diamond Moons of Oghogho... until Gorr came calling and tortured Shadrak into insanity in order to get his help designing the God-Bomb.
  • Eldritch Abomination: True to its moniker of the Necrosword, All-Black's preferred form is a black blade capable of slaying even immortal beings, but it is actually an ancient and nigh-indestructible symbiote created to kill gods. When Gorr is plunged into the core of a star by the three Thors, All-Black turns the star black, resulting in dark omens occurring across the cosmos; King Thor attempting to dispose of it by throwing it into a black hole results in All-Black straight-up devouring the black hole; and in King Thor Gorr uses it to devour the universe itself.
  • Evil, Inc.: Roxxon makes a comeback under the leadership of Dario Agger, and embodies the absolute rock-bottom worst aspects of capitalism and corporate greed; engaging in deliberately wanton pollution and environmental destruction, war profiteering, murder, treason, and numerous other crimes — all of it done For the Evulz and to turn a profit.
  • Fantasy Pantheon: To show how Gorr threatens all gods in the universe, Aaron creates whole-cloth gods like Falligar the Behemoth and the Sky-Lords of Indigarr.
  • Final Solution: Gorr wants to render deities extinct with the reasoning that if they're not willfully evil they're either corrupt or incompetent, and to this end uses the Necrosword to create the God-Bomb, a weapon of mass destruction that will use the Pool of Forevers to scatter the Necrosword's essence across the timestream and kill every god who ever has and ever would exist.
  • Generation Xerox: To the horror of both modern-day Thor and Young Thor, Old Thor is the spitting image of Odin in both looks and personality, even missing an eye.
  • A God I Am Not: The misotheistic Gorr hates gods with such a passion that he refuses to even consider that bonding to All-Black granted him a form of apotheosis, and when the simulacrum of his wife Arra reverently calls him a god he flies into a rage and murders her.
  • God Is Dead: Many worlds experience this trope after Gorr finds their gods and leaves them as dismembered corpses in the homelands, starting with the desert planet of Indigarr.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: The Halls of All-Knowing on Omnipotence City have books on every god in the universe, which Thor uses to track down who Gorr has killed.
  • Grumpy Old Man:
    • The Lord Librarian of Omnipotence City is an ancient deity who oversees the records of the cosmos' pantheons, and has little more than scathing contempt for the warlike Asgardians and Thor in particular.
    • Old Thor has ruled for thousands — if not millions — of years, and has become the spitting image of Odin, to the horror of modern-day Thor and Young Thor. Old Thor is well aware that he's a Generation Xerox of his father, and is just as annoyed about it as his past selves' are. He is, however, rather smug about his resplendent beard, and enjoys mocking his past selves' lack thereof.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Gorr, in his sheer hatred of gods, has become blinded to the fact that possessing the Necrosword makes him pretty godly. In fact, the Necrosword-construct of his son realizes this and helps the Thors defeat his father. As Gorr dies, his "son" calls him the "God of hypocrisy".
  • I Hate Past Me: While he's cantankerous and sarcastic towards Thor the Avenger, Old Thor finds Young Thor's hotheaded arrogance to be especially aggravating.
  • Kill the God: Gorr's whole plan involves doing this on a universal — if not multiversal — scale after growing sick of just randomly zipping around the cosmos slaughtering pantheons of gods over the centuries.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: The Goddesses of Thunder build a bomb out of unstable stellar plasma intending to destroy Gorr's Godbomb before it's finished... only for young Thor to steal the bomb and recklessly charge towards the Godbomb in an attempt to redeem himself for having gotten so many other gods tortured and killed. The star-bomb fails to so much as dent the Godbomb, and Young Thor is blasted into orbit for his trouble.
  • Minor Major Character: The seemingly-dead dark god in draconic armor who Gorr gets the Necrosword from only makes an appearance in Gorr's backstory but is implied by Old Volstagg to have been a figure of dread and horror among the divine community. Six years later, the dark god was given the name Knull and revealed to be the creator of the symbiotes and other dark entities; while eight years later his opponent — the first god Gorr butchered — is revealed to be an early host of the Enigma Force, aka Captain Universe.
  • Multinational Team: Thor establishes the League of Realms to hunt down Malekith, containing members from each of the Nine Realms; with an initial roster consisting of Screwbeard the dwarf from Nidavellir, Ud the troll and Oggy the mountain giant from Jotunheim, Sir Ivory Honeyshot the light elf from Alfheim, and Lady Waziria the dark elf from Svartalfheim.
  • My Future Self and Me: The "God Butcher" arc involves Thor the Avenger teaming up with his his bitter and cantankerous future self from millennia into the future, with his hotheaded and arrogant past self from the 9th century getting dragged forward in time by Gorr.
  • No Kill like Overkill: Gorr's Godbomb was designed to kill every god that ever had and ever would exist, using the Pool of Forevers to scatter All-Black's essence across the timestream.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Gorr divulges his backstory to Old Volstagg, Volstagg calls him a hypocrite for not realizing the Necrosword has turned him into one of the very gods he swore to destroy, and further mocks him for not knowing what the Necrosword is or the name of the dark god he got it from. Gorr furiously tortures Volstagg to death and leaves him crucified with the other gods who've angered him.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Gorr uses the Necrosword to create manifestations of his wife Arra and son Agar, both of whom torment him over his hypocrisy. Gorr murders Arra in a fit of rage at her reverently calling him a god, while Agar helps Thor gain a Heroic Second Wind and is revealed to be a manifestation of Gorr's self-loathing over having become the very thing he despises.
  • Really Gets Around: Young Thor enjoys celebrating his victories by sleeping around with the maidens of Midgard, which he also uses as a coping mechanism after being tortured by Gorr.
  • The Remnant: King Thor and his granddaughters are seemingly the only Asgardians left following Gorr's genocide, and while Asgard was repopulated with the freed god-prisoners the Time Skip towards the end of the run shows that an indeterminate amount of time later Thor, Frigg, Ellisiv, and Atli are the only gods left on Asgard period.
  • Retcon: 2004's Thor: Son of Asgard had established that Thor proved himself worthy of Mjolnir as a teenager, but Jason Aaron ignores this to establish that Thor was unworthy of Mjolnir — and very unhappy about it — well into the 9th century.
  • Sadistic Choice: Gorr keeps the gods he's enslaved for centuries in-line with a cruel choice: either be worked to exhaustion and death building the God-Bomb, or be tortured to death and crucified if they refuse to work on his Bomb or otherwise anger him.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Dario Agger is a smug sociopath who gets away with just about every crime he commits because he's the wealthy CEO of Roxxon.
  • Shipping Torpedo: When Young Thor's hot-tempered arrogance gets all the god-slaves in trouble, the Goddesses of Thunder haul him aside to berate him for screwing everyone else over. Ellisiv is immediately smitten and starts hitting on him, but her sister Atli advocates castrating him... at least until they learn that Young Thor is their grandfather's past self.
  • Shrouded in Myth: In issue #9, the narrator — eventually revealed to be King Loki — notes that the Necrosword is the subject of countless legends and myths as to its origins and capabilities. Its origins are revealed in Donny Cates' Venom, which is subsequently referenced in Mighty Thor Vol. 2 when Loki steals it from Ego.
  • The Sociopath:
    • In Thor: God of Thunder #2, Young Thor recalls an incident from his childhood where an Asgardian named Dagr had suddenly embarked on a killing spree. Confused, as Odin had been praised for slaughtering thousands on the battlefield, Thor had visited Dagr's prison pit expecting him to be a feral berserker, but was traumatized by Dagr's Dissonant Serenity about what he'd done — not helped by Thor falling into the prison pit and spending five hours trapped with him.
    • Gorr was once a member of an extraterrestrial hunter-gatherer society on an inhospitable desert planet. While the other members of his tribe were zealously devoted to their sky-gods, Gorr suffered the loss of his mother, pregnant wife, and children — leaving him a bitter atheist cast into exile for his blasphemy. Witnessing a duel between Knull and the God of Light's host, Gorr was enraged to realize that gods did exist but had done nothing to save his loved ones, stole All-Black the Necrosword from the incapacitated Knull, and embarked on a deicidal crusade. Thousands of years later, Gorr has become hellbent on committing genocide against any and all gods, taking immense pleasure in torturing them to death, and reacts with violent rage when it's pointed out he's become the very thing he hates.
    • Dario Agger, the CEO of Roxxon, is a greedy and exceptionally petty man with the ability to transform into a minotaur at-will. He seeks to cause as much environmental destruction to Earth (and everywhere else) as possible just because he can, and develops a special grudge against Thor and S.H.I.E.L.D. environmental agent Rosalind Solomon for interfering in his schemes. Out of petty spite, Dario tries to turn Thor's beloved town of Broxton into a polluted wasteland, feeds most of his lawyers to a pack of starving bears when they disappoint him, hires Ulik the Troll-King to destroy Broxton, lets the trolls eat the rest of his lawyers, and gets away with it all due to placing the blame on his minotaur alter-ego and the trolls. He later builds a flying island to serve as his base of operations, and as a failsafe against being kidnapped or assassinated he sets up a protocol to Colony Drop it into Manhattan if anything happens to him, and then goes on to ally with Malekith the dark elf in exchange for getting to strip-mine the Nine Realms. Oh, and he keeps the severed heads of the pirates who killed his family when he was a child alive so he can enjoy their suffering.
    • Malekith the Accursed is a dark elf warlord whose entire worldview is built around the idea that War Is Glorious and the enjoyment of suffering — even that of his own people, who he has enslaved, forcing them to live in squalor and commit cannibalism just to survive. Malekith seeks to conquer the Nine Realms purely for the sake of conquest and mindless slaughter, starting with tricking Thor into helping him reclaim the throne of Svartalfheim before mockingly saying the dark elves fear him too much to follow anyone else so long as he draws breath.
  • Surprise Incest: Ellisiv, one of Old Thor's granddaughters, is immediately besotted with Young Thor after Gorr pulls him through time... until she discovers she's been drooling over her grandfather's past self, and is horrified and disgusted.
  • The Symbiote: Gorr's weapon, the Necrosword, is a shapeshifting mass of darkness bonded to Gorr and capable of taking any shape its user desires. Venom later retconned it into being the first symbiote, and gave the dark god who Gorr obtained it from a name — Knull.
  • The Three Faces of Adam: The Thor Trio embody this trope in regard to Thor's life and character over the years. Young Thor is "The Hunter", bing brash, arrogant, promiscuous, and bullheaded; and embodies Thor's reckless youth and vigor. Modern-Day Thor is "The Lord", being conscientious, thoughtful, is still in love with Jane Foster, and has gained much knowledge and wisdom during his time as an Avenger and one of Earth's greatest heroes as "The Lord". Old Thor is is "The Prophet", being ancient, world-weary, cynical, constantly voicing distaste of his younger selves, and having lost much while expressing worries of the future.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Thor's own granddaughters embody this trope as the Goddesses of Thunder consist of the tactically-minded and mindful golden-haired leader Frigg as "The Wife", the flirtatious brunette Ellisiv as "The Seductress", and the bloodthirsty and spirited redhead Atli being a violent version of "The Child".
  • Time Machine: Gorr slaughters the Time Gods of Chronux to use the Pool of Forevers in order to travel back to before the universe began — obtaining the heart of an infant elder god — and then into the far future to stop Thor from meddling with his plans. Gorr then uses the Pool of Forevers to abduct gods from across the timestream — including Thor's past self from the 9th century — and bring them to the future to work as slaves; and then installs the Pool of Forevers into the God Bomb's core to scatter All-Black's essence across the timestream.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: When Modern Thor first meets Old Thor and learns he's in the far future, he asks if Old Thor remembers already having this conversation in his past and how the battle against Gorr ends. Old Thor snarks that most days he barely remembers how to dress himself before lamenting the intricacies of time travel. Modern Thor, meanwhile, fervently hopes that Old Thor's timeline is one of those avertable bad futures that the X-Men keep boasting about preventing.
  • Too Desperate to Be Picky: When Galactus shows up to devour Earth, Old Thor tries to stop him and is blasted halfway across the cosmos for his trouble. Realizing that even with the power of the All-Father he can't stop Galactus on his own, Thor seeks out the All-Black symbiote and bonds to it out of sheer desperation.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The narrative frequently jumps between Thor the Avenger's adventures in the present and Old Thor presiding over the barren wastelands of Midgard in the distant future. The first arc also includes segments from Young Thor's perspective in the 9th century.
  • Villain Has a Point: Part of Thor's character arc is him coming to believe that Gorr was right about gods being selfish and cruel, and thus are unworthy of worship; as his travels show most pantheons do not care about the plethora of other gods that Gorr has slaughtered over the centuries. Despite striving to prove Gorr wrong, this doubt eventually leaves Thor so shaken that he loses the ability to wield Mjolnir, setting up the relaunch as Thor.
  • Villain Team-Up:
    • Dario Agger — who has been using Broxton as a dumping ground for Roxxon's effluent — hires Ulik the Troll-King to attack Broxton in the hopes of luring Thor out of Asgardia and sparking a diplomatic incident that will see the god of thunder banished from the United States. He also joins Malekith's Dark Council as Midgard's representative.
    • Malekith tricks Thor into helping him reclaim the throne of Svartalfheim, and then sets out to gather allies in preparation for the War of the Realms.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The League of Realms' first mission is to protect Queen Alflyse of the dark elves from Malekith, who seeks to assassinate her so he can reclaim the throne of Svartalfheim. Due to their inability to trust one another — especially Lady Waziria due to her being a dark elf — the team fails miserably at this, with Malekith's success subsequently throwing Svartalfheim into an all-out civil war before he usurps the throne.

Alternative Title(s): Thor God Of Thunder