Thor (2011) – Comics You Should Read + All Comic References

In the comics, Thor has had decades of convoluted history, needed to make a Norse God fit into comic books. The filmmakers lose a lot of Thor’s backstory and simplifies things. There are still a lot of comics you need to read after Thor (2011). Here are our picks.

Journey Into Mystery #83
August 1962
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First appearance of Thor

The very first Thor story. His story is very different, with a secret identity that the film abandons. The name Donald Blake is used for one of Jane’s ex boyfriends in the film. But we meet Asgardians and much of the Thor mythology.

Journey Into Mystery #84
September 1962
Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby

First appearance of Jane Foster.

Thor’s love interest is quickly introduced, although she is very different. A sign of the times, she was a nurse in the hospital where Thor’s secret identity works. In the film, Jane becomes a much more filled out and modern character.

Journey Into Mystery #85
October 1962
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First appearance Loki, Odin, Heimdall

More of Thor’s vital supporting cast. Thor faces Loki for the first time, and we meet their father Odin. Heimdall is also introduced. All play vital roles in the MCU.

Journey Into Mystery #92
May 1963
Stan Lee, Joe Sinnott

First appearance of Frigga.

We meet Thor’s mother a few issues later. She is a slightly changed version of Odin’s wife in the comics. She is called Freya and not Thor’s biological mother, but still a powerful god.

Journey Into Mystery #102
March 1964
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First appearance of Sif.

More of Thor’s epic supporting cast. Sif was a warrior god in the comics, and the sister of Heimdall. She’s been powered down for the film, being a fierce warrior but no other powers.

These first Thor stories are collected in Thor Epic Collection: The God of Thunder.

Tales Of Suspense #57
September 1964
Don Heck, Stan Lee

We get our first clip of Hawkeye, but we don’t get to know much about him. In the comics, like a lot of the early Avengers, he was a villain turned hero. Here, he remains mysterious.

Journey Into Mystery #112
January 1965
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First appearance of the Frost Giants and Laufey.

Laufey and the Frost Giants also appear early on, a race of foes for the Asgardians. They play a similar role in the film, and Laufey is also Loki’s father.

Journey Into Mystery #118
July 1965
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First appearance of the Destroyer.

It was thrilling to see a fairly comics accurate Destroyer in this film. A hulking giant, a weapon created by Odin but abused by Loki. It has faced off against some of the strongest characters in Marvel.

Journey Into Mystery #119
August 1965
Stan Lee, Jack Kirby

First appearance of the Warriors Three.

Thor’s gang comes together in the very next issue. The Warriors Three introduce us to three wacky warriors. Some of their weirder, comedy elements (Volstagg the Enormous) have been shaved down for the film. They do have the same weapons as the comics.

This second set of Journey Into Mystery comics are collected in Thor Epic Collection: When Titans Clash.

Strange Tales #144
May 1966
Stan Lee, Howard Purcell

Jasper Sitwell is a SHIELD agent from the comics. He looks completely different in the comics, and has a very different fate.

Other comic book references

  • A billboard mentions Journey Into Mystery, the title of the comic of all these early Thor adventures.
  • SHIELD, of course, plays a big part
  • We see Nick Fury in the post credits sequence, and a strange artefact. It looks like a Cosmic Cube, but ends up being an Infinity Stone.
  • We also see the Casket Of Ancient Winters, which powers the Frost Giants. Also from the comics.
  • Odin’s trophy room as a number of items from the comics. Orb of Agamotto, The Tablet of Life And Time, Warlock’s Eye and an Infinity Gauntlet (a fake).

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