There is a lot of hype about the MCU’s next installment in the Thor franchise, Thor: Love and Thunder. Christian Bale’s role as the infamous Gorr the God Butcher has tested even better than Thanos with test viewers so far. It is only fitting that we take a look at the source material that made it all possible. Issues 1 through 5 of Thor: God of Thunder is a must read for Thor fans and any comic fans that love an epic tale spanning across the furthest reaches of time and space. Gorr is a threat unlike any Thor had ever previously faced. Gorr is on a mission to kill every god in the universe claiming they either only cause harm or do nothing at all and that he is not sure which he finds more offensive. With Thor now in his sights, can the boastful and cocky son of Odin be humbled? Can he know fear?
We’ve seen Thor take epic beatings several times in comics and other media such as when he fought Apocalypse in the Middle Ages or his battles with Thanos and Hulk. However, I cannot recall a time that he ever lost his fighting spirit, ever expressed terror, or felt hopeless. After reading this story, I am convinced that Gorr is the most formidable foe Thor has ever fought.
It is not often when reading about Gods in comics, whether good or bad, that we feel empathy for them. We rarely see them appear vulnerable or express fear. However, throughout this tale each murdered god has a frozen look of terror that makes even Thor uneasy.
It is also not as common to claim that torture and trauma would lead to character growth and a self-awakening. We are used to Thor being overtly cocky and overconfident. He not only relishes in admiration and worship, but he often expects if not demands it. We have all been around those individuals who act as though the world revolves around them. Our world has its share of narcissists who at least seem incapable of empathy. However, for how long can a hero or even a God keep that up before they become the petty villain just looking for a fight.
Although I would not go so far as to say Thor lacked empathy which I believe kept him on the side of good. For as much as he relished in his victories and in admiration, he was quick to help the less fortunate. In this story he even answers prayers to suffering beings on another planet that is not within his jurisdiction. Of course, after saving them, he returns to his boastful ways.
However, although Thor’s ego did not prevent him from helping less fortunate mortals, his self-absorption did lead to him ignore the plight of his equals, gods from other pantheons. He was so preoccupied with his own glory, adoration, and his own personal quests for vengeance that he failed to notice the vast multitude of gods that had fallen at Gorr’s hands for over 2,000 years. This where he notices his flaws and can begin to work on them.
One of the most critical scenes in the story takes place in a dark cave. Gorr admits that this experience with Thor was the greatest lesson he ever learned in his life and was indebted to Thor. Thor admits that this was where he learned the meaning of terror and never wants to speak of the cave again. You will need to read the story to find out what happens here. It is far worth the wait to read it.
One last unrelated observation that I find fascinating is Gorr’s weapon, the All-Black. I had first learned about this sword when reading King In Black. It is a symbiote sword originally created by Knull, the god of the symbiotes and of the void. Although not mentioned in this book, it is clearly the same sword by appearance and the way it operates and appears to be made of the same “living darkness.” It is fascinating that this book came out well before King in Black yet still fits very well into the Marvel Universe. We even see a glimpse of the void at the beginning of time in this book.
I love the connection and now am eager to read the continuation of this epic battle across time and space and to find out Gorr’s origin, more about his motivation for killing gods, and how he got his hands on the All-Black in the first place.
Finally, I’m even more excited to see Thor: Love and Thunder after reading these books. All I can say is that the movie has a lofty goal set by the comics. I hope you get the chance to read this first and enjoy it as much as I have.