Thor's 8 Greatest Costumes Ever
As Donny Cates and Nic Klein launch 'Thor' #1, look back at some favorite Odinson uniforms!
Thor has himself a brand-new series...and a brand-new tailor!
Since last week's launch of THOR #1, members of the Merry Marvel Marching Society have been musing about the Odinson's debonair new duds. Written by Donny Cates, the first ish was brought to life by artist Nic Klein, who designed a starry new costume for the God of Thunder...
In celebration of Scion of Asgard’s style, Marvel.com is taking you on a vogue voyage to see how Thor has been serving looks for decades. By Odin's beard, let's begin!
Thor’s first costume, designed by Jack Kirby, remains as iconic as ever. Each costume that has come since has been created in response to this look—some have tweaked it, as we will see, with slightly altered colors or different epaulet placements. Others have tried something different, though, somehow, this first look is always standard against which others are compared.
The color scheme of blue, back, gold, and red, the helmet, the chest epaulets, the cape, and the high cut boots—all major costume features throughout the decades—all first came to life with this costume.
Hela can be brutal and does not take being crossed very well. As evidence, one need look no further than THOR (1966) #374.
In this issue, Hela decided to curse Thor with both brittle bones that will never heal and...immortality. No matter what he got hit with, the God of Thunder would never die; he would, however, shatter like glass. As his injures mounted, Thor grew a beard to cover his scars—and turned to armor for protection.
While still evoking Thor’s classic look, it proved a bold redesign. The light blue tunic, the epaulets, and the significant use of gold made it very clear that this costume had both form and function.
Feeling as though he had no choice, Thor found himself committing fratricide and slaying Loki in THOR (1966) #432. In violation of Odin’s law, Thor had to be banished into the netherworld. Unwilling to leave Midgard unprotected, Odinson begged that his power be given to another.
Eric Masterson had previously aided Thor in his latest adventure and proved both his courage and his willingness to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Thus, he seemed the best choice to become the new “human” Thor in issue #433. Masterson honored the role with a fairly traditional costume, right down to the four chest epaulets. However, he did add his unique stamp on the helmet; it extending over the top of his face, making a kind of metal domino mask. Additionally, Masterson kept his beard cut close, marking the first time Thor had had facial hair since his cursed armored period.
THE CROSSING Costume
Perhaps Odinson’s busiest costume, this model ditched the much of the familiar trappings for a sort of chest harness with shoulder pads, lots of straps, and a fetching half shirt. Considering he had previously just been running around bare chested in a pair of black paints, though, at least no one could argue that this look did qualify as a costume.
Thor had just emerged from a period of great upheaval. He'd become incredibly ill, saw Asgard barely survive another possible Ragnarok, and lost his godhood. It made a certain amount of sense to choose a new look to mark his return to super powers and godliness. But when the suit arrived in THOR (1966) #502, Thor never really acknowledged the change. Perhaps with the twin threats of Tony Stark corrupted by Kang and Onslaught, he simply didn't have time to elucidate his sartorial choices.
Ascending to the throne after the death of his father in THOR (1998) #44, Thor adopted a new costume to befit his new office. A blue chain mail suit that recalled his cursed armor in both the shade of blue and the overall design, it immediately had a more aggressive feel. The more complicated helmet was a combination of Thor’s classic winged design and Odin’s own intricate headwear.
The aggressive costume ended up predicting emotional changes for Thor. As Asgard’s ruler, he became increasingly concerned with making sweeping changes and acting proactively. Eventually, Odinson destroyed his relationships, his alliances, and his reputation with this obsession. Finally seeing the light, he realized he'd gone too far and reset the timeline, erasing his actions—and this costume along with it.
Following yet another near-Ragnarok, Thor decided to bring Asgard to Oklahoma, building a new home for the gods on Midgard in THOR (2007) #1. And with a new-look Asgard came a new-look Thor. Dotted with plenty of new elements that nonetheless echoed previous costumes, this design proved both a step forward and an homage to the past.
Stretching the epaulets out more and using the top two as clasps for the cape, what was once purely ornamental became seemingly functional. The chain mail recalled Thor’s time in armor, but the silver coloring gave the costume a very different, more muted, feel. The boots, similarly, opted for the same look in a dark blue that matched the tunic. Overall, the elements gave the costume a kind of classic credibility while making it feel more in-step with Super Hero designs of the moment.
The beard returns! Of course, even if you do like the God of Thunder with a beard, that usually points to tough times for Odinson and that proves to be the case here as well. After learning a secret at the start of the ORIGINAL SIN crossover, Thor found himself unable to lift Mjolnir anymore. By the time UNWORTHY THOR (2016) #1 hit shelves, Odinson had lost an arm, spent a lot of time wallowing in his own anger, and decided he still needed to hit things to feel even close to okay.
Another remixed appearance that looked different on first blush but revealed familiar elements upon closer examination, the Unworthy Uniform reflected then thunderless god’s state of mind. In place of the red cape was a damaged red cloak. The light blue tunic echoed the color of his brittle bones-era armor. His belt featured those familiar silver epaulets. It incorporated nearly every classic Thor element in a less flashy, more world-weary style, and ended up being an impressively subtle bit of costume commentary.
And now, of course, we have the newest pick of the bunch...
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