When you’re an immortal God of Thunder, every hundred of years or so, you have just got to change your outfit. And that’s just what Thor has done, veeery slightly changing his clothes every once in a while to suit various storylines. Here’s some of our favorite looks Thor has sported throughout the years:
THOR CLASSIC: First introduced in Journey Into Mystery #83, and created by artist Jack Kirby, the classic Thor is still probably the simplest, and best. Stan Lee famously “created” Thor because he was looking to give the flailing Journey Into Mystery title a shot in the arm; and also, was looking for a character who would be even stronger than The Hulk (though that particular strength level has been an area of debate over the years). Though the costume has changed slightly, this basic design has been the template every Marvel artist since has worked off of.
BEARD THOR: A fan favorite from Walt Simonson’s seminal run on the title - and quite possibly one of the best runs on any comic book, ever, no hyperbole - Thor was cursed with brittle, breakable bones by one of his arch-enemies, Hela, and forced to wear armor to protect his Mr. Glass like body. Oh, and he grows the beard because his pretty, pretty face was mangled in a fight. Eventually, armor or not, Thor is hurt so badly he’s reduced to liquid form (seriously), which allows him to somehow gain the upper hand on Hela, and demand his old body back.
FROG THOR: Another fan favorite from Simonson’s run, for a brief period Thor was changed into a frog, and had various adventures in Central Park. After he was returned to human size, he gave a small shard of his hammer to Simon Walterson (get it?) a human who was also changed into a frog. Now that guy parades around as Throg in the excellent Pet Avengers series; but he’s not Thor, okay? Thor’s not a frog anymore… OKAY?
RIDICULOUS ‘90S THOR: In the “last” issue of the Thor ongoing, #502, artist Mike Deodato, Jr. threw caution to the wind, and created a new suit for Thor that is basically every ‘90s cliché thrown in a blender. Thor, you see, was about to “die” in the Onslaught crossover, and then be reborn with a new team and image, so we got a Thor with his belly showing, useless straps, ridiculously long mane of hair, and we won’t even talk about the codpiece. Oh wait, we just did. Anyway, here’s hoping this doesn’t show up again any time soon (even if Deodato is usually a reliably great penciler).
ULTIMATE THOR: There were a number of important story changes for Marvel’s “Ultimate” version of Thor. It was unclear – at first – whether he was a crazy hippy who thought he was the God of Thunder, or the actual Thor himself. So the costume split the difference, making it look more like clothes, and adding glowing circles into the suit, reminiscent of Iron Man’s tech. The suit, it turned out, allowed “Thor” mechanically to fly around, rather than that being his superpower; and added to the mystery of whether this guy was just a crazy dude with a fake hammer, or the real deal.
NU-THOR: The most recent reinvention of Thor’s armor by artist Olivier Coipel is a riff on Kirby’s classic costume… But it’s a good riff. More functional than the original skin-tight suit, Thor’s useless little circles become giant buttons or snaps, the whole thing fuses the Simonson armor with the Kriby superhero costume, and also makes the God of Thunder a little broader and beefier than the WWE muscleman he used to be. For now, this is what Thor looks like in the comics; and we’re pretty happy with that.