Celebrating Thor, My Favorite Marvel Character, On This Day Of Ragnarok

Well, according to Norse mythology, this day February 22, 2014 is supposed to mark the beginning of Ragnarok, the mystical battle among the gods that is supposed to literally split the planet on half.  Since the end of the world is neigh, I thought I'd celebrate my favorite Marvel character - Thor!

Photo: Marvel
I've loved Thor ever since I was a little boy.  As long as I can remember, I've been a fan of mythology and folklore.  So, when I was younger, I was drawn to the mythology based superheroes.  On the DC side, I always loved Wonder Woman for her connection to Greek mythology and, on the Marvel side, it was Thor for his connection to Norse mythology.  Although, unlike Wonder Woman, who is a fictional Amazon, Thor was THE Norse God of Thunder.

Photo: Marvel
My first introduction to the character, however, was not in the comic books.  It was the old The Mighty Thor animated series that was in syndication in the early 1970s.  I vividly remember the Bifrost and thinking that Asgard must be a wonderful place to have a rainbow as a bridge.

"Cross the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard,
Where the booming heavens roar,
You'll behold in breathless wonder
The God Of Thunder, Mighty Thor!"

Oh, how I loved that show!

Photo: Marvel
It was shortly thereafter that I started reading Thor in the comic books, with stories written by Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas or Len Wein and wonderful art by John Buscema.  But, what really had me hooked with Walt Simonson's historic run from 1983-1987.  We got Beta Ray Bill, Thor as a frog and Malekith the Dark Elf.  Amazing stories that I felt really highlighted the God of Thunder.

Photo: Marvel
When Marvel Studios announced that it was going to produce a Thor feature film, I was more excited about it than any of the other films in development.  And, to this day, Thor: The Mighty Avenger, directed by Kenneth Branagh, is still my favorite of the Marvel films.  Whereas Christopher Reeves showed us a man could fly in Superman, I really felt that Chris Hemsworth showed us a god could wield a mighty hammer.  He played Thor exactly the way I pictured Thor would be in real life.  He had the confidence and gravitas needed for Thor, yet could play the fish out of water with both tongue-and-cheek and believability.  I loved how he was also an integral part of the Avengers movie and, while I liked the first film more, I loved Thor: The Dark World.  And, I'm excited that it looks like he will be getting a third movie.

Photo: Loren R. Javier
Thor is also the first Marvel character to meet guests at a Disney Park.  In November last year, Thor began meeting guests at Disneyland.  And, for those who read my blog entry about my first meeting with Thor might remember that I actually got very emotional meeting him.  It was like a childhood dream come true to meet one of my favorite superheroes of all time.  And, it's wonderful to see how popular he is.  While his meet-and-greet was supposed to be temporary at Disneyland, Thor continues to meet to this day with no end in sight.

So, on this day Ragnarok, let's raise our goblet of Mead to celebrate Thor, the God of Thunder!

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