Thor: Love And Thunder merch and comic books – what to read before the new movie
Posted by  badge Boss on Jul 07
The God Butcher storyline is both similar and very different to Love And Thunder (pic: Marvel)

A new Marvel movie is out this month and if you want to read the stories that inspired it there’s a whole wealth of Thor graphic novels to try.

While all Marvel movies take at least some inspiration from specific comic books some are pretty much wholly original stories, such as the recent Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness. But while it takes a much more comedic approach, Thor: Love And Thunder is based on a series of comic book stories that are ranked amongst the best ever written for the characters.

We don’t want to spoil anything, obviously, but the trailers already make it clear that Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster has taken up the mantle of Thor, which is something that did happen in the comics (it didn’t last but during that period the original Thor was usually referred to simply as Odinson).

The main villain of the movie is Gorr and he’s also from the comics, as is his plan to destroy all gods. Things do play out very different in the original versions though, so if you’ve always wondered what the Thor comics are like this is the perfect excuse to give them a chance. Or at least treat yourself to an action figure or two to celebrate the new movie…

God Butcher comic book collection

This 11 issue comic run by Jason Aaron is the main basis for Thor: Love And Thunder, but while the characters and plot are similar the tone is very different. The God Butcher storyline, featuring a more alien looking Gorr, is a lot more serious and while it does lead into Jane Foster becoming Thor that’s something that only happens in later stories. Instead, the plot focuses on three version of Odinson Thor, from the past, future, and present day. Some early reviews have complained that Love And Thunder has quite a bit of tonal whiplash and that likely stems from taking what was an entirely serious story and turning it into more of a comedy.

Jane Foster has already been Thor in the comics (pic: Marvel)

Goddess of Thunder comic book collection

If you want to see Jane Foster in action as Thor then this is where it all happened. This collection follows on from the God Butcher and has the same writer in Jason Aaron. It includes over 19 comics worth of plot, including a fight with Odinson and a showdown with the Dark Elf Malekith – who was the main villain in Thor: The Dark World. These stories started in 2014, so the Marvel Cinematic Universe was well underway by then and so it’s interesting to see the influence that had on the comics and vice versa.

Beta Ray Bill and Walt Simonson are big fan favourites (pic: Marvel)

The Surtur Saga comic book collection

Marvel’s version of Thor dates back to the 60s, and comic legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, but the writer and artist most closely associated with the character is Walt Simonson. He worked on the character a number of times, but his comic run in the early 80s, with The Surtur Saga, is considered his best – and one of the best stories ever for Thor. It’s also one of the most important in terms of expanding the lore and introducing characters such as Beta Ray Bill, who’s already had an Easter egg style cameo in Thor: Ragnarok and is almost certain to have a bigger role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the future.

Thor has been a comic book character since the 60s (pic: Marvel)

Thor Vol. 3 comic book collection

The reason Thor works so well as a comic book character is that in the original Norse mythology he basically was a superhero already. Not only that but the story of Ragnarök is also a very superhero style concept, with the death and rebirth of the gods. In comics, characters are literally Ki**ed and reborn all the time but they’re also constantly reinterpreted by new creators as well. This run from 2007 is by the team of J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel, who set about reimagining the character in the wake of the Civil War storyline from the comics (which played out a lot differently from the movies).

Surprisingly good value given all the mini figures (pic: Lego)

Lego The Goat Boat

There are two new Lego sets to tie in with Love And Thunder and the good news is they’re both relatively low-cost sets. You can already see the Goat Boat in the trailers but the good thing about this set is that not only can it double as a regular Viking ship but it’s got all the main characters from the movie, without needing to buy anything else: Odinson, Thor, Valkyrie, Korg, and Gorr.

Maybe it just looks like that in the movie? (pic: Lego)

Lego Attack on New Asgard and Thor’s Hammer

If you want an even cheaper set then this still has all three main characters and, err… whatever that monster’s supposed to be. On the other end of the spectrum, if you want to splash out there’s a giant Lego model of Thor’s hammer Mjölnir. It’s based on the Infinity Saga more than Love And Thunder but it’s still a cool set if you’re a serious Thor fan.

It does everything but help you fly (pic: Hasbro)

Marvel Legends Series Mighty Thor Mjolnir Electronic Hammer

If you like the idea of a Mjölnir replica but would rather it had electronic sounds and lights, then Hasbro have a 1:1 of their own that’s specifically based on Love And Thunder. It is a display piece though, so you don’t want to go wild with swinging it around, and it’s probably going to be happier on the mantlepiece than throwing it around in the garden (because it won’t come back to you).

From when Odinson is hanging around with the Guardians of the Galaxy (pic: Hasbro)

Marvel Legends Series Thor: Love and Thunder action figures

As with any action movie worth its salt, especially a Marvel movie, there’s already a wide range of action figures ready to go, to tie in with Love And Thunder. And unlike these ones are available now, rather than having to pre-order and only getting them next year.

All the main characters from the film are included, and they all fit in with the same scale of the rest of the Marvel Legends series of toys. They’re all £25.99 each from Amazon.

Jane Foster Thor is sometimes referred to as ‘Mighty Thor’ (pic: Hasbro)