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Thor Reading Order

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Based on the Norse mythological god of the same name, Thor Odinson–or simply Thor–is a Marvel Superhero created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby that was introduced in Journey into Mystery #83 (August 1962)–possibly as an unofficial equivalent to DC’s Superman.

In order to make the Asgardian god of thunder (whose enchanted hammer Mjolnir–called the ‘Uru Hammer’ at first–enables him to fly and manipulate weather) relatable for the average American reader, Stan Lee imagined a secret identity (à la Clark Kent). Partially disabled human medical student Donald Blake only had to strike his walking stick to transform into the thunder god.

As Donald Blake, the hero took care of his patient in his private practice, working with nurse Jane Foster. As Thor, he defended humanity from his numerous Evil enemies, and notably his adoptive brother Loki, but also the Absorbing Man, the Destroyer, the Wrecker, Zarrko, the Radioactive Man, the Lava Man, the Cobra, Mister Hyde, the Enchantress, the Executioner, and more.

Thor joined the Avengers, fall in love with Jane Foster, opposed his father’s will, and went on epic adventures, alone or with allies from Earth and Asgard. As the years went by, we learned more about Thor and Asgard’s real origins, the Gods, and their enemies. Also, Thor was freed from Donald Blake. Like a lot of Marvel heroes, Thor died (Loki and Odin too), but came back to life. Asgard was destroyed and rebuilt. Even Mjolnir disappeared at one point.

Thor Reading Order

Notes on collectionsMarvel Masterworks is a collection of hardcover reprints of classic stories in chronological order. A premium edition with restored artwork. Starting in 2021, Marvel launched the Mighty Marvel Masterworks, a new (smaller in size) trade paperback line. The Epic Collection line is a numbered collection of sequential issues of one title (large, full-color trade paperback), sometimes including crossovers from related titles, starting from the beginning of a character – not released sequentially.

Where to start with Thor?

The first Thor story was published in 1962. Of course, you don’t have to read everything from the start. In fact, there are multiple perfect entry points in the saga. You just have to follow the menu:

Thor, the Silver and Bronze Age

This reading order focuses on Thor’s solo series and other adventures, not on the Avengers, except when necessary. Thor is a founding member of the superhero team and, as such, was present in The Avengers #1. He also appeared in every subsequent volume of the series. For more about the Avengers, go to the dedicated reading order.

All the issues collected in those 12 hardcover books can also be found in the oversized paperback Epic Collection:

Most of them, from Journey into Mystery #83 to Thor #194, are also available in the omnibus collection (harder to find, though)

Thor By Walt Simonson

Walt Simonson took over both writing and art from #337 to #382. Simonson’s run, which introduced the character Beta Ray Bill, is still regarded as a popular and critical success, and for some as the greatest run on Thor ever. It’s definitively full of classic tales as Simonson focused on Thor’s mythological origins and featured some of the greatest enemies of the god of thunder.

Everything was collected in one big omnibus:

But also in other collections like the “Thor Visionaries” and more recently:

The same issues are available in the “Thor Visionaries” collection:

Thor by Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz

With issue #382, Walt Simonson’s run on Thor ended. The duo Tom DeFalco/Ron Frenz took over and introduced their own ideas (like the new warriors or the saga of Eric Masterson) in a more classic approach.

The DeFalco/Frenz run concluded with Thor #459, then Ron Marz (#460-471) took over before Roy Thomas came back for a short run (#472-489). Warren Ellis (#491-494) and William Messner-Loebs (#495-502) took Thor Volume 1 to its conclusion.

With the Onslaught Saga (see full reading order for more details), the Marvel Universe was… changed. Following the apparent deaths of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and Doctor Doom, Marvel asked the Image Comics founder to come back to relaunch their heroes. This led to the Heroes Reborn era.

  • X-Men / Avengers: Onslaught Omnibus
    Collects Wolverine #104-105; Cable #32-36; Uncanny X-Men #333-337; X-Force #55, #57-58; X-Man #15-19; X-Men (vol. 2) #53-57, Annual ’96; X-Men Unlimited #11; Onslaught: X-Men, Marvel Universe, Epilogue; Avengers #401-402; Fantastic Four #415; Incredible Hulk #444-445; X-Factor #125-126; Amazing Spider-Man #415; Green Goblin #12; Spider-Man #72; Iron Man #332; Punisher #11; Thor #502; X-Men: Road to Onslaught #1; material from Excalibur #100, Fantastic Four #416.

Heroes Reborn (optional)

Like the other members of the Avengers, Thor disappeared from the regular Marvel Universe to join the Heroes Reborn line from Image founders. For one year, a re-imagined version of Thor lived on in an alternate universe–more in our article “Heroes Reborn: Marvel Heroes, Image Style, the famous 1996 relaunch“.

During that time, the Thor title reverted to Journey into Mystery with issue #503. The book ran four different, sequential features (“The Lost Gods”; “Master of Kung Fu”; “Black Widow”, and “Hannibal King”). The publication ceased with issue #521.

If you are not familiar with the Heroes Reborn story, here is the official synopsis: Marvel’s greatest heroes, revamped and reborn! Featuring Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, the FF, and more — on a whole new world, boldly reimagined by the hottest creators of the 1990s! Steve Rogers takes on the mantle of the Sentinel of Liberty, gains a brand-new sidekick, and faces down the Red Skull! Cap, Hawkeye, Vision, Swordsman, Hellcat, and more form the Avengers, but can they awaken Thor and defeat the devious Loki? The Fantastic Four face old threats for the first time, from the Mole Man to Doctor Doom! The newly forged Iron Man takes on Hydra and the incredible Hulk! But can these reborn heroes save the Earth from the hunger of Galactus?

  • Heroes Reborn: The Original Epic Omnibus
    Collects Heroes Reborn (1996) 1/2, Captain America (1996) #1-12, Avengers (1996) #1-12, Fantastic Four (1996) #1-12, Iron Man (1996) #1-12, material from Incredible Hulk (1968) #450. 

    • Heroes Reborn: The Avengers (Only The Avengers relevant material)
       Collects Avengers (1996) #1-12, Fantastic Four (1996) #12, Iron Man (1996) #6 And #12, Captain America (1996) #12 & Material From Fantastic Four (1996) #6 And Captain America (1996) #6.
  • Heroes Reborn: The Return
    Collects Heroes Reborn: The Return #1-4; Heroes Reborn: Doomsday, Ashema, Masters Of Evil, Rebel, Remnants, Young Allies And Doom.

Heroes Return: Thor

Once Thor was reintroduced into the regular Marvel Universe, his ongoing series was relaunched with Volume 2 (though, the legacy numbering came back with #36). Dan Jurgens wrote the first 79 issues, with Daniel Berman and Michael Avon Oeming completing the series.

All the issues from that era have been collected in two big omnibuses:

  • Thor: Heroes Return Omnibus, Vol. 1
    Collects Thor (1998) #1-35, Rough Cut; Silver Surfer/Thor Annual 1998; Thor Annual 1999-2000; Peter Parker: Spider-Man (1999) #2 & 11; Iron Man (1998) #21 (B-Story) & 22; and Juggernaut: The Eighth Day.
  • Thor: Heroes Return Omnibus, Vol. 2
    Collects Thor (1998) #36-85 & Annual 2001; Iron Man (1998) #64; Avengers (1998) #63; and material from Marvel Double-Shot #1.

…but you can also find them in regular paperback format:

Logo Avengers for the Jonathan Hickman's Avengers Reading OrderAvengers Disassembled is an important event for Thor and the Avengers. see the reading order. It begins with the return of a team member thought dead – and by the time it’s over, everything you know about the Avengers will have changed! It’s also the beginning of Brian Michael Bendis’ run on the Avengers.

Following what happened in Thor Disassembled, the God of Thunder was no more, but Marvel still published mini-series featuring the character, prequel series.

  • Thor: Vikings
    Collects Thor: Vikings #1-5. By Garth Ennis in the Max line, out-of-continuity.
  • Thor: Son of Asgard
    Collects Thor: Son of Asgard #1-12. Tales of young Thor.
  • Thor: Blood Oath
    Collects Thor: Blood Oath #1-5. Takes place before Journey Into Mystery #125.
  • Thor: The Trial Of Thor
    Collects Thor: Truth of History One-Shot, Thor: Wolves of the North #1, Thor: The Trial of Thor One Shot, Thor: The Rage of Thor #1, Thor Annual (2009) #1, Thor: Heaven & Earth #1-4 and material from Dark Reign: The Cabal One-Shot. Legendary talents tell tantalizing tales of Asgard!
  • Thor: Gods & Deviants
    Collects Loki (2004) #1-4, Thor: For Asgard #1-6, Astonishing Thor #1-5, Thor: The Deviants Saga #1-5.

Thor Volume 3 by J. Michael Straczynksi and Olivier Coipel, Kieron Gillen, Matt Fraction

Almost three years after the conclusion of Volume 2, Thor Volume 3 was launched with J. Michael Straczynski as the main writer and Olivier Coipel as the penciler. Like with the precedent volume, legacy numbering quickly came back. Issue #13 became #600.

First, you can collect the entire era with two omnibuses:

  • Thor By Straczynski & Gillen Omnibus
    Collects Fantastic Four (2003) #536-537; Thor (2007) #1-12, 600-614; Thor Giant-Size Finale (2010); Siege: Loki (2010) #1, New Mutants (2009) #11.
  • Thor by Matt Fraction Omnibus
    Collects Thor: Ages of Thunder One-Shot (2008); Thor: Reign of Blood One-Shot (2008); Thor: Man of War One-Shot (2008); Secret Invasion: Thor (2008) #1-3; Thor God-Size Special (2008) #1; Free Comic Book Day 2010 (Iron Man/Thor); Thor (2007) #615-621, 620.1; The Mighty Thor (2011) #1-22, 12.1; Fear Itself (2011) #1-7; Fear Itself #7.2: Thor (2011); Journey Into Mystery (2011) #642-644; The Mighty Thor Annual (2012) #1.

You can also find the Straczynski & Gillen era in two big books:

…and now, a more detailed version:

The Secret Invasion begins with a brutal battle between the New Avengers and the Hand—one that claims the life of Elektra and reveals that she was a Skrull! What does this mean for Tony Stark and his Mighty Avengers? How about the Illuminati? go to the Reading Order!

Kieron Gillen took over from Straczynski in Thor #604 with artists Billy Tan, Richard Elson and Dougie Braithwaite.

Marvel Siege LogoAnd now, Siege! It’s the end of the Dark Reign Era. Coerced by Loki and on the brink of madness, Osborn, in his final bid to take total control, targets the final obstacle in his mission…Asgard. More with the reading order of the event.

Matt Fraction’s run on Thor starts here with Thor #615. However, the series quickly ends at #621 and restarts as The Mighty Thor (2011) at the beginning of Marvel’s Heroic Age.

Also, following The World Eaters, Kieron Gillen took over Journey Into Mystery to write stories focusing on Asgard and more precisely on Loki. More about that in our Loki Reading Order.

Be afraid of Fear Itself! A 2011 crossover Marvel Comics event written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Stuart Immonen. It’s not from Bendis, but it affected all of the Marvel Universe, including the Avengers of course. The entire planet has been seized by Fear and only chaos reigns. The Serpent, Asgard’s most ancient evil, has awakened and is feeding off the fear of Earth’s populace. Don’t be afraid, the Reading Order is here.

  • Fear Itself
    Collects Fear Itself: Book of the Skull, Fear Itself 1-7.

The Avengers and the X-Men go to war in Avengers vs. X-Men! This 2012 crossover event involved the return of the Phoenix Force and the subsequent war between the Avengers and the X-Men. For a more comprehensive look at the event, go to the reading order.

Thor by Jason Aaron

With Marvel Now, Jason Aaron started his now-famous run on Thor. This run covers the Original Sin event, the God Butcher, the now-famous female Thor, and the War of Realms

There are multiple collections already in print. You’ll find below a simple listing of the more complete collection. For more details, go to our Thor by Jason Aaron Reading Order.

First, the Omnibus collection

  • Thor by Jason Aaron Omnibus Vol. 1 
    Collects Thor: God of Thunder (2012) #1-25, Thor (2014) #1-8, Thor Annual (2015) #1, Thors (2015) #1-4, Mighty Thor (2015) #1-12.
  • Thor by Jason Aaron Omnibus Vol. 2
    Coming soon…

Mighty Thor Vol. 3 The Asgard Shi'ar Wa - Thor by Jason Aaron Reading Order

or the Complete Collection:

Thor by Donny Cates

Once Jason Aaron tied all the loose ends of his run, Donny Cates became the main writer on the Thor series.

Last Updated on June 7, 2024.

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