After getting incredibly hyped by the Thor: Ragnarock trailer reveal at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con I wanted to take a deep dive into the Norse god from space who talked like a Shakespearean extra who forgot their lines. Reading some amazing stories by writers like Jason Aaron and Walt Simonson was invigorating and made me curious about the ORIGINAL story that got this whole ball rolling. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology there are plenty of legal (and not-quite-as-legal) ways to explore the foundations of superhero history and what I discovered after reading Thor’s first appearance in 1962’s Journey Into Mystery #83 was that no Marvel character has been as twisted and reformed as ol’ goldilocks himself.
Let’s see just how bizarre things get.
1. His First Villains Were “The Stone Men of Saturn”
Thor’s first villain wasn’t the treacherous Loki or the unstoppable Destroyer, they were squat little rock men from planet Saturn. These Easter-Island looking goobers arrive in Norway to plot their takeover of earth and a large chunk of the Thunder God’s first adventure is dedicated to their terrifying strength and abilities… which they mainly use to fuck up some trees for no reason.
No seriously, these guys just HATE trees for some reason.
It sort of makes sense when you realize that Journey Into Mystery was a science fiction and horror anthology series. It’s these kinds of stories that gave birth to such famous Marvel monsters like Fin Fang Foom and Groot, so when Stan Lee wanted to revitalize the commercially flailing book, he had to introduce the new superhero in a format that would be familiar to the regular readership, that format being “goofy looking aliens drawn by Jack Kirby wreck stuff while talking to nobody in particular”.