Who the Heck is Thor?

ultimate thorOver the weekend, I was talking to a friend of mine about Iron Man and the eventual Avengers movie, including a discussion of who the main characters are going to be and what movies are going to be released before the big team-up in 2012.

He doesn’t read comic books, so he knows nothing about any of the Avengers aside from what’s been shown in the movies. He asked me who Captain America is, and I explained it to him with relative ease. I say “relative,” because it’s not everyday that you can tell somebody that a character survived several decades while frozen in suspended animation inside a block of ice all that easily.

When the topic turned to Thor, though, I found myself scratching my head. I said, “Uh…well, he’s a god or something like that.” Yeah, real smooth. Thing is, I’ve never regularly read Thor comics, so I don’t know doodley squat about the guy (really, though, who has regularly read Thor comics? Come on.).

In an attempt to redeem myself, I am now going to write out an explanation for my clueless friend (as well as for all of you faithful readers!) entitled, “What I Kind of Know About Thor (But Not Really).” Enjoy.

Thor is the God of Thunder. That much is easy. His primary weapon is a giant hammer named Mjolnir, which can only be lifted by the genuinely pure of heart. Thor’s powers include flight and super strength, as well as near invincibility. Oh, and did I mention he has a giant friggin’ hammer?

The son of Odin, Thor’s chief villain is his brother (or half-brother or step-brother or something) Loki, the Trickster God. They’re from a different world called Asgard. Asgard exists on an alternate plane of existence from Earth (which all Asgardians refer to as Midgard).

Thor is able to travel to Earth with the help of Mjolnir, I think, which serves as a sort of lightning rod to call him down. Mjolnir was found several years ago by a bright young medical student named Donald Blake. When Blake lifted the hammer, he became Thor. Or he swapped places with Thor. How does that work exactly? Is it a Billy Batson/Captain Marvel thing or a Prince Adam/He-Man thing? I don’t know, but it doesn’t really matter.

As far as I know, Donald Blake hasn’t been in a comic book for years. It’s pretty much all Thor, all the time. So I don’t worry too much about the whole Donald Black business, since it’s sort of a moot point. I’m sure he’ll be in the movie, though.

Aside from that, Thor was a founding member of the original Avengers (along with Iron Man, Hulk, Ant-Man, and Wasp – – please tell me they’re not making a Wasp movie).

What else? I think he married the Enchantress at one point, and I know he was thought dead for awhile. He’s currently starring in the mini-series “Siege,” which focuses on Norman Osbourne’s efforts to destroy Asgard and kill Thor (I think; I honestly haven’t been paying much attention).

I think that’s all I know. I’m not sure what the hell Beta Ray Bill is, and I forget how Valhalla fits into all of this. Thor also has a group of, like, two or three close Asgardian allies. I think they have a group name, but I don’t know what it is. They’ll probably be in the movie.

I know I’m forgetting something, and I know that some of this is probably completely inaccurate. Somebody who’s an expert should help me out here. Set the record straight in the comments section.