Published August 19, 2022

The True Origin of Thor Odinson

Discover how the events of 'Avengers 1,000,000 BC' #1 led to the birth of the Marvel Universe's resident God of Thunder.

Thor, the God of Thunder, has remained one of the Marvel Universe’s key heroes since his introduction in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY (1952) #83. However, despite the character’s long history, we’re still learning about his true origins. Now, Jason Aaron and Kev Walker’s AVENGERS 1,000,000 BC (2022) #1 has confirmed the Phoenix Force’s major part in them. Here’s the full story of Thor’s secret beginnings. 

Since THOR (1966) #300, the God of Thunder has believed his mother to be Gaea, AKA Mother Earth. Before that point, he thought his mother to be Frigga, until Gaea appeared during a confrontation with the Celestials to save both Thor and Earth. It was there she told Thor that she herself was his real mother, a fact he readily accepted. As Gaea revealed at the time, Odin sought her out to have a child who would have enhanced strength on Earth, which also explained the God of Thunder’s affinity for Midgard.

AVENGERS (2018) #42, though, threw Thor’s parentage into doubt. In that issue, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and some of their fiercest allies faced off to get possession of the Phoenix Force, a cosmic entity that imbues its vessel with incredible powers. During that contest, the Phoenix told Thor that it was his mother. An issue later, the Phoenix said the story about Gaea being Thor’s mother was a lie designed to get him to protect Earth. The God of Thunder rebuked the claim, though subsequent issues of AVENGERS confirmed he did indeed have a deep connection to the cosmic entity.

Thor’s link to the Phoenix involves its romantic relationship with Odin in Earth’s distant past. Prior to Thor’s birth, a tribeswoman named Firehair became the cosmic entity’s earliest known human host and took on the title Lady Phoenix. She soon formed the Avengers of 1,000,000 BC to protect her world from major threats. Odin was among those on the team, and Firehair struck up a romantic relationship with the Asgardian. Still, despite serving on the team, Odin remained callous about the lives of humans and the fate of Earth in general.

AVENGERS 1,000,000 BC (2022) #1 reveals just what happened to that relationship and the team, which is directly tied to Thor’s origins. In the story, the titular team gathered in Asgard, where Odin attempted to spring a marriage ceremony on the Phoenix. The cosmic entity responded by slapping him and flying away. This caused a rift in the team, and they didn’t reassemble again for many years. Odin, angry that he had been spurned, also turned his back on Earth.

Phoenix remained worried about how best to protect Earth. While she loved the world and didn’t want to see it come to harm, the cosmic entity also desired to be free and unchained by responsibility. Firehair devised a plan and went to see Gaea in hopes of convincing her to have a child with Odin that would protect Earth. Gaea said she wouldn’t procreate with Odin just for that reason, but the Phoenix’s pleas led her to give the Asgardian a chance. Mother Earth also noted that, if she and Odin did have a child, the Phoenix would essentially also be the baby’s mother. 

Gaea and Odin did end up having a romantic relationship, and she became pregnant with Thor. As she was giving birth, Laufey, King of the Frost Giants, attacked, forcing the Avengers of 1,000,000 BC to assemble again. The villain successfully froze the infant God of Thunder almost immediately after he was born, seemingly killing him in the process. Phoenix responded by grabbing the child and using her fire to bring him back to life. Soon after, Odin told Phoenix to leave his family alone, and she complied, choosing instead to watch Thor from afar. However, Phoenix always carries with her the memory and knowledge of the child to whom she gave life. 

Gaea and Odin didn’t stay together particularly long. Instead, the All-Father soon took his son to Asgard, where Frigga raised him. As Thor grew up, he developed a close and personal connection to the Earth, initially by interacting with early human societies. Eventually, Odin sent his son to Earth to learn humility as Donald Blake, which started in earnest his journey as one of the Marvel Universe’s greatest heroes.

The truth behind Thor’s origin in AVENGERS 1,000,000 BC #1 still keeps Odin and Gaea as his biological parents. However, it also adds the Phoenix to the mix by having her be responsible for his life in numerous ways. The Phoenix did not, strictly speaking, lie to the man she identifies as her son. After all, she is directly responsible for his conception by serving as a matchmaker between Odin and Gaea, and for his life itself by reviving him after Laufey’s attack. Still, the revelation about Thor’s connection to the Phoenix is one that has rocked – and will continue to rock – the God of Thunder to his core.

To read Thor’s origin for yourself, check out AVENGERS 1,000,000 BC #1, on sale now.

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