Thor: 9 best comic book numbers of the 1990s

The Asgardian God of Thunder and his allies went through several trials and tribulations in the 1990s. From facing a Ragnarok-type situation to jumping between dimensions, this decade has seen some extremely creative and ambitious storylines, especially with the introduction of characters like Eric Masterson.

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Comic book designer Ron Frenz and writer Tom DeFalco have offered significant contributions to Thor Volume 1, which hosted most of Thor’s main stories of this era. The Guardian of Asgard has also appeared in limited series like Heroes are reborn and other series like Spider-Man 2099.


9 The One With The Hammer (Thor Vol 1 # 433)

While Thor is banished to the underworld, Eric Masterson takes his mantle to preserve Midgard. Even though this human Thor is initially defeated by Ulik, he changes his combat tactics to emerge victorious. Masterson discovers that most of his initial movements were directly inspired by Thor Odinson. So this time he tries to fight like him instead of ape Thor.

Masterson also sported an iconic look in this comic, with a mask that can slide over the helmet. This mask would also be found in comic book issues of Thor from the 2010s, with Jane Foster adopting a similar headgear.

8 Heroes Reborn (Limited Series)

The Avengers vs. Squadron Supreme in Heroes Reborn.

Heroes are reborn reinvents several members of the Avengers in new avatars as Mr. Fantastic’s son Franklin Richards teleports them to a “Counter-Earth”. However, in Thor’s case, he creates his own version in this alternate dimension. Continuing his lifelong enmity with Loki, this new Thor helps the Avengers in their battles against Kang The Conqueror.

This version is more hot-tempered and often engages in pious narcissism. He also started having ideological clashes with Captain America. There were times when the captain felt they shouldn’t kill their enemies. Thor disagreed with this notion, calling the Avengers “weak.” This modified avatar is in line with Ultimate Thor which will debut in several Avengers comics from the 2000s.

7 Worldengine (Thor Vol 1 # 491-495)

Thor injured and lying on the ground looking at Hela's leg

The Ragnarok doomsday event is destined to happen one day or another. And Thor is aware that his death is destined to play a major role in this cataclysmic event. So when the World Tree (a cosmic entity that predicts the time and fate of Asgard) signals a “false Ragnarok,” Thor is confused as to his actions.

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Even though this is not the real Ragnarok, it serves as training for the Asgardian to mentally prepare for the next disaster. This comic is a perfect example of showing Thor’s devotion to his homeworld and the fears he has around its impending destruction.

6 Thor Corps (limited series)

Thor holding his hammer and stretching his arms

Beta Ray Bill. Eric Masterson. Dargo Ktor. The three “Thor” put aside their differences and join forces for this ambitious crossover. Thunderstrike also joins the gang as the new “Thor Corps” plans to save the wife from his nemesis Demonstaff on a multidimensional journey.

Certainly one of Thor’s weirder comic book arcs, the presence of multiple versions of Thor in one wacky adventure makes Thor Corps a fun read. If readers tire of Thor Odinson and his usual heroism, this particular ’90s gem would be a good detour.

5 The Rise of the Hammer (Crossover)

Spider Man 2099 swinging from a web as Thor's shadow appears in the background

An alternate version of Thor from Earth-928 debuts in multiple issues of Spider-Man 2099 and X-Men 2099. As he and Heimdall arrive on Earth to usher in a Golden Age, multitudes of downtown civilians become worshipers of Thor and call themselves “Thorites.” Miguel O’Hara, the Spider-Man of that dimension, questions Thor’s true intentions, leading to an intense clash between the two.

Spider-Man is clearly overpowered by the God of Thunder, but he still tries to fight fiercely. The central conflict aside, which makes The rise of the hammer new is that no other comic has ever seen Thor as a true deity. Even though he has roots in Norse mythology, Thor Odinson began to be seen as just a superhero in Midgard. This number showed not only his divine powers, but also his divine supremacy.

4 Put on the bear’s shirt (Thor Vol 1 # 502)

Hela holding Thor's shoulder on the cover of Farewell To A Living Legend

After Asgard survives a possible Ragnarok, Thor becomes disillusioned with his powers. He also ends up losing his divinity and suffers from illness while countering issues on Midgard, such as Tony Stark being controlled by Kang. If that wasn’t enough, the sentient entity called Onslaught also attacks New York, testing the limits of Odinson and Red Norvell.

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This question is emblematic for several reasons. First, it marked the end of Thor’s monumental 502 issue series. Following this publication, Thor Book 1 has been renamed Journey into the mystery Volume 1 for a while. The portrayal of Thor in this story is also a standout, as he sports a new look that includes a chest harness, shoulder pads, and a half-shirt.

3 Unlimited Access (Limited Series)

Unlimited accessThe title refers to Access, a character co-owned by Marvel and DC who can cross both universes. His interdimensional journeys also give birth to new hybrid heroes. For example, one of the original characters in the series was Thor-El, a Kryptonian god of thunder who can be seen as an alternate version of Superman and Thor.

Since Superman and Thor are celestial beings from other worlds, their combined powers lead to an extremely powerful being. Overspeed and thunder manipulation were Thor-El’s favorite powers as he faced off against Magneto. The unique crossing makes Ultimate Access a rare time capsule for Thor fans.

2 Thunderclap (limited series)

Thunderclap header

Eric Masterson has become a cult hit among fans since becoming the new Thor of Midgard. Wielding the Asgardian mace known as Thunderstrike, the eponymous limited series has added more context to his adventures as he thwarts a wave of violent crime.

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Thunder clap serves as a good flow for readers who need a break from the colossal Thor Book 1. With his laid back demeanor and newfound powers, Masterson is the perfect overlooked hero. Initially, he’s an ordinary architect, but when he’s saved by Thor (and vice versa) his life changes forever.

1 A Gathering of Heroes (Journey Into Mystery Vol 1 # 503)

Thunderstrike raising his hammer as other Thor characters gather behind him

Come off Thor Book 1, Journey into the mysteryThe reboot of Red Norvell is convinced he is one of the “Lost Gods”. As mysterious men in black pursue him until his death, the true lost gods appear to arrive at the scene. This collective is nothing but a group of Asgardians like Odin, Balder, Sif and Loki in their human forms.

The plot thickens with future issues of the series, but it’s still important reading for Norvell’s death and the debut of The Lost Gods. Thor Odinson does not make an appearance but the comic stands on its own as it details the aftermath of his melancholy departure from New York (in the latest issue of Volume 1).

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