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10 Best Non-Marvel Depictions Of Thor In Pop Culture – Screen Rant

Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of Thor in the MCU may be the most well-known, but there are other excellent depictions of the God of Thunder.
The God of Thunder, Thor, was once a worshipped deity by the Vikings, but in recent years, the mighty warrior and the mythos around him have garnered a cultlike following. This is in large part thanks to Chris Hemsworth’s incredible acting skills, portraying Thor as a superhero in the MCU.
RELATED: 10 Of The Nicest Things Thor Did In The MCU
As contemporary as this fascination with the Norse god may seem, he has been somewhat of a pop culture figure for ages and his fame runs well beyond the boundaries of the Marvel franchise. From anime to DC comics, Netflix shows to oil paintings, Thor has been represented in a myriad of ways.
In tandem with his other depictions in pop culture, Thor in Record of Ragnarok is a tall and brawny man who sports waist-length red hair and wields a colossal hammer, Mjölnir. However, contrary to the annals of Marvel, the Thor in this manga/anime series is a cold, villainous god who only gets joy out of fulling his bloodthirst during battles.
When it comes to his abilities in Record of Ragnarok, Thor possesses exceptional strength and power, making him “Nordic’s Strongest Warrior.” Along with that, as seen in his representation in Marvel, he often summons lighting from his hammer and uses it to destroy enemies.
There have been several portrayals of Thor in DC as well, with one of them being in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic series. In the “Season of Mists” tale, Thor makes a brief appearance when he tries to get his hands on a key to hell with Odin and Loki.
RELATED: 10 Best Neil Gaiman Projects That Show His Genius
In Neil Gaiman’s comics, the god of the Norse pantheon remains faithful to his representation in the original mythology. He sports red hair, a thick beard, and is always armed with his divine hammer. Unlike Marvel’s Thor, who has high morals and a strong sense of justice, this one is a lot more brutish and proudly flaunts a lewd sense of humor.
Diana awakens amidst a brutal war in Wonder Woman #770 and soon realizes that she’s in the Norse afterlife. In what follows, she finds herself smackdab in the middle of a raging showdown among Asgards and Vikings, where she’s accompanied by the God of Lightning, Thor.
Thor makes a grandiose entrance in the battle, riding on a huge Yeti-like beast. He then draws his mighty hammer, Mjölnir, and uses it to blow up enemy Viking forces with lighting strikes. While his earnest and noble personality in this DC comic align well with his representation in the Marvel universe, his appearance is quite different — Thor sports a heavy armory with a lighting bolt across his chest and also wears a golden helmet.
Although forgotten by many, Dexter’s Laboratory had some great episodes, and the Cartoon Network show has one of the best parody representations of Thor. The backup segments of the series feature a group of three superheroes — Major Glory, The Infraggable Krunk, and Val Hallen — known as The Justice Friends.
Major Glory is a hilarious crossover between Superman and Captain America; The Infraggable Krunk satirizes Hulk and The Thing; and Val Hallen combines the gimmicks of mighty Thor and famous guitarist Eddie Van Halen. Instead of flaunting Thor’s signature hammer, the Viking rockstar carries a guitar that exhibits powers similar to the Mjölnir. Moreover, just like Mjölnir grants Thor the ability to fly, Val uses the powers of his guitar to accomplish the same task.
Netflix’s Ragnarok is a Norweigan fantasy series that focuses on a teenage boy named Magne Seier who, after arriving in his hometown Edda, learns that he is the reincarnation of Thor. While Magne isn’t loud and barbaric like the usual depiction of the God of Thunder, he does have a strong sense of justice like Marvel’s Thor.
RELATED: 10 Things Netflix’s Ragnarok Does Completely Different From Marvel’s Thor Ragnarok
In appearance, again, the teen hero has more in common with Marvel’s portrayal of Thor than his mythological representation. For instance, Magne has blonde (not red) hair and striking blue eyes. Along with that, he also helms the ability to manipulate the weather and beholds the godly Mjölnir that helps him enhance and control his powers.
In History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi, Thor is depicted as a Japanese Sumo wrestler who sports a large belly with a muscular, well-toned body, akin to Chris Hemsworth’s look in Avengers: Endgame. Also known as the Seventh Fist in the manga/anime, Thor hails from a gang of villainous martial artists known as the Ragnarok.
Here, Thor has short black hair, wears a sleeveless kimono, and only relies on his hybrid sumo style during combat. While he does possess incredible strength, endurance, and speed, he’s bereft of the Norse god’s traditional supernatural abilities and rarely uses weapons of any kind.
Rick Riordan’s refreshing take on Greek mythology stimulates the imagination of the reader and rarely leaves a dull moment with its combination of humor and fast-paced action. In the second installment of fantasy novel trilogy Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Riordan author introduces a predicament well-known to Marvel fans: Thor’s hammer goes missing.
There is a lot of common ground between the original Norse god and Riodan’s portrayal of him. However, in the novels, Thor is a lot more gimmicky and has a complex love-hate relationship with Loki, similar to his portrayal in the MCU. The origin story of Thor losing his hammer in the book and then disguising himself as a woman to retrieve it also serves as a subtle nod to the comedic poem Þrymskviða.
Thor only makes a small appearance towards the end of the 2018 video game God of Warwhen players meet certain difficulty conditions. However, as confirmed by Game Rant, he’ll be an antagonist in the 2022 sequel game God of War: Ragnarök and is being voiced by Ryan Hurst.
RELATED: 10 Pantheons The God Of War Franchise Could Explore In The Future
Many fans of Chris Hemsworth’s muscle-bound Thor showed dissatisfaction towards the God of War’s stout representation of the Norse deity. However, powerlifting champion Darren McCormac begged to differ, telling The Sixth Axis that, “God of War’s Thor is the peak of male performance.”
Stargate SG-1 brings an exceptionally unique take on Thor and his representation. The Norse god here is shown as the Supreme Commander of the Asgard Fleet and a member of the Asgard High Council. He looks nothing like a human and usually speaks in a monotone with little to no expression.
However, despite the physical limitations of the character, the creators of the series make good use of his vocal pitch to convey his emotions. As a result, his imposing personality as Thor shines right through. He may not befit the expectations many Marvel fans have from a character named Thor, but he’s admirable nonetheless.
From sculptures to paintings, there have been many depictions of Thor in art. Among them, one that has had a significant cultural impact is Swedish artist Mårten Eskil Winge’s Thor’s Fight with the Giants. Created in 1872, the oil painting features Thor in a battle against the jötnar, summoning lighting while swinging the Mjölnir.
After capturing the public eye in 1872, the painting was also appreciated by many for its bold and brave portrayal of the God of Thunder. However, according to modern interpretations, Thor’s battle against giants in the painting is perceived as an allegory to xenophobia and fascism. The swastika symbolism surrounding his hammer has further popularized these notions.
NEXT: The 10 Best Characters In MCU’s Thor Trilogy
For a long time, Dhruv aimlessly explored the world of things he had no interest in. But when he finally realized that writing was his true calling, he took a leap of faith and decided to follow his dreams. The rest is history. Since then, he has written more than 2K articles online, covering a myriad of topics including fitness, self-improvement, anime, movies, and television. Using Screenrant as a platform, he’s now on a mission to learn, grow, and bloom through all things cinema.


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