Your Comic Book Guide To Thor: Ragnarok

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Your Comic Book Guide To Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok, the third of Marvel’s Thor movies is hitting cinemas in the coming weeks (depending where you are in the world) and based on early reviews it seems like it’s going to be a cracker.

To get yourself warmed up, here’s everything you need to know about the characters and locations being introduced in Thor: Ragnarok as informed by the comics. In this guide I’ve also pointed to some of the comic book stories to read involving these characters if you want to know even more about them.

Note: I haven’t seen Thor: Ragnarok at the time of writing this guide. As a result any spoilers in this guide are unintentional. 

Movie Prelude

If you’re looking for a quick comic book read to lead up to Thor Raganarok then the Thor: Ragnarok Prelude comic will be want you need. It collects the 4-part series which retells the events of Thor: The Dark World as well as explores what the Hulk has been up to in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As added extras, the movie prelude also collects Thor 361, which is part of a classic Hela story, and Incredible Hulk (1999 series) #95, which is great issue in the Planet Hulk story.

Page from Thor #150 by Jack Kirby.

Page from Thor #150 by Jack Kirby.

Hela

Played In Thor: Ragnarok by: Cate Blanchett

First Comic Book Appearance: Journey into Mystery #102

Hela is a classic Thor villain and Norse Goddess of Death, who rules over the realm of Hel and Niflheim. As the Goddess of Death she has the power to take the souls of Asgardians back to her realm, where she rules over them. As the dead’s ruler, she can command any soul that is in her domain and has regularly used them in an attempt to overthrow Asgard.

It is believed that her touch to a mortal would instantly kill them, but this is rarely seen as she usually has no interest in them. Although, she has an ability known as the “Hand of Glory” which when used can kill an Asgardian.

While she has worn many different outfits over the years she has always been recognisable by the elaborate headpiece that she wears.

Notable Stories:

Into the Valley of Death! (Thor #360-362)

Journey into Mystery: Fear Itself (Jounrey Into Mystery #622-630)

Valkyrie

Played In Thor: Ragnarok by: Tessa Thompson

First Comic Book Appearance: Avengers #83

Inspired by the Norse figure Brynhildr, Valkyrie was introduced into comics in 1970 and where she became a regular for the Defenders throughout that decade.

She is a fierce warrior and is highly skilled with various weaponry along with having the other advantages of being Asgardian. On Earth she has has many mortal hosts including Barbara Denton-Norriss, Samantha Parrington, Sian Bowen, and Annabelle Riggs.

While she has never has her own comic book series she has been a member of many teams including the Avengers, Defenders, Secret Avengers and Fearless Defenders. In the latter she co-lead the team with Misty Knight.

Notable Stories:

Fearless Defenders (Fearless Defenders #1-12)

Grandmaster

Played In Thor: Ragnarok by: Jeff Goldblum

First Comic Book Appearance: Avengers #69

In the comics, Grandmaster is one of the Elders of the Universe and is considered one of the oldest beings in the universe. He’s a master of games, but prefers to pit other heroes against each other in these games instead of compete against anyone.

At one time he was in possession of the Mind Infinity Gem until it was taken by Thanos.

Notable Stories:

Contest of Champions (Contest of Champions #1-3)

The Day Death Died! (Avengers Annual #16)

Angela: Queen of Hel #4 cover by Stephanie Hans.

Angela: Queen of Hel #4 cover by Stephanie Hans

Skurge

Played In Thor: Ragnarok by: Krl Urban

First Comic Book Appearance: Journey into Mystery #103

Also known as Executioner, Skurge is an axe wielding Asgardian who has many times been a villain of Thor’s. He’s often used by The Enchantress, who has fallen in love with, and Loki to help them with their schemes. In the comics he became an original member of the Masters of Evil, where he has faced up against The Avengers, Doctor Strange, The Defenders and other Marvel heroes.

While know as a villain, he was able to redeem himself before his death while aiding Thor in the realm of Hel.

He doesn’t have any special abilities beyond the usual ones that Asgardians possess, but he does wield a giant double-sided axe. Although, that being said, he’s also been known to use M-16 rifles.

Notable Stories:

Like a Bat Out of Hel! (Thor #362)

Planet Sakaar

First Comic Book Appearance: Incredible Hulk #92 (1999 series)

Much of Thor: Ragnarok will be set on a planet called Sakaar, which was the setting for the classic Hulk story, Planet Hulk.

In the comics Planet Sakaar is an imperialist planet home to many cultures and races. It’s ruled by corrupt Red King, who rules the planet with an iron fist and tries to enslave many of the cultures on the planet. As part of this enslaving of cultures is the gladiator-like arena, where the strongest slaves compete against each other. When the Hulk was accidentally brought to Sakaar he was forced to battle in the arena, until he was able to beat all the challenges thrown at him and earn his place outside of slavery.

Notable Stories:

Planet Hulk (Incredible Hulk (1999 series) #92-105, and Giant-Size Hulk #1)

Korg by John Romita Jr.

Korg by John Romita Jr.

Korg

Played In Thor: Ragnarok by: Taika Waititi

First Comic Book Appearance: Journey Into Mystery #83

Korg is an alien made completely out of rock, known as the Kronans, who was part of an invasion force sent to take over Earth in the very first Thor story. Thor was able to defeat Korg and his companions with ease and forced them to retreat back to their home planet.

We don’t see Korg for many decades later when he reappeared in the Planet Hulk story, where he became the companion of the Hulk in the arena and in further endeavours on planet Sakaar.

Notable Stories:

Thor the Mighty and the Stone Men from Saturn! (Journey Into Mystery #83)

Planet Hulk (Incredible Hulk (1999 series) #92-105, and Giant-Size Hulk #1)

Have Your Say!

Which of these characters are you excited to see on the big screen? Let me know in the comments below or via Facebook or Twitter.

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Trevor Van As

Trevor Van As is the founder of How to Love Comics and has loved comics all his life. When he's not reading or talking about comics he can be found eating frozen yogurt and dancing like no one is watching.

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