What If? Thor: The God of Thunder’s Greatest Alternate Adventures
Get ready for 'What If? Thor' by reading its predecessors!
This October, Marvel’s WHAT IF? was reborn as a series of one-shots that feature drastically different takes on several iconic heroes. On Wednesday, October 24, Ethan Sacks and artist Michele Bandini unveiled a new vision of the Odinson in WHAT IF? THOR #1. For the first time, readers will learn what would have happened if Thor and Loki’s roles were reversed. In our reality, Loki was a Frost Giant adopted by Odin after the King of Giants was killed in battle. For this new world, it was Odin who perished, and Thor who was raised in a kingdom far from his home on Asgard.
Marco Checchetto’s cover has teased a version of Thor who looks like he’s gone native with the Frost Giants. But Thor’s rivalry with Loki seems poised to live on even in this reality. Their relationship is one of the few constants of Thor’s appearances in the original WHAT IF? and its follow up series. Whenever Thor suffered a life-altering event, the Prince of Lies was almost inevitably behind his misfortune.
However, those divergent incarnations of Thor led to some very interesting stories. As a way to herald WHAT IF? THOR #1, Marvel.com is revisiting Thor’s WHAT IF? stories for the honor and glory of Odin and Asgard!
If the sight of Jane Foster wielding Mjolnir seems familiar, it’s probably because Jason Aaron made Jane’s Thor into one of the centerpieces of his run. Don Glut and artist Rick Hoberg hit upon that idea a few decades earlier with a simple question: What if Jane Foster found the hammer of Thor?
In this twist of fate, it was Jane who found Mjolnir and became the Mighty Thordis, while Don Blake hopelessly pined for his lady love. Odin’s solution for this dilemma would probably raise a few eyebrows today. Hey, the cover promised a “shock ending,” and it really delivered!
WHAT IF? Vol. 1 #39
Thor and Conan the Barbarian are a very unlikely pairing, but writer Alan Zelenetz and artist Ron Wilson gave them a done-in-one epic in WHAT IF? Vol. 1 #39. Thanks to the machinations of Loki, Thor found himself stripped of his memory and trapped in the Hyborian age. After a short but memorable battle with Conan, the two became inseparable comrades. Even a tragic turn of events couldn’t diminish the friendship they shared. It’s been over three decades since Thor and Conan met. Perhaps it’s time for a reunion? After all, Conan is returning to Marvel next year...
The very last issue of the original WHAT IF? was a cautionary tale about what would have occurred if Loki found Thor’s hammer before Don Blake. Peter B. Gillis and Kelley Jones devised a scenario in which Loki was freed from his prison before Thor’s awakening. From there, Loki’s interference caused death and destruction for Asgard, as a grieving Odin contemplated the unthinkable to restore his son. Bill Sienkiewicz’s cover was also an unforgettable way to close out this series.
WHAT IF? Vol. 2 #12
Your eyes do not deceive you. That really is Thor as a humanoid frog, battling Storm for the fate of Asgard. The classic Asgardian Wars storyline was revisited in WHAT IF? Vol. 2 #12, as Jim Valentino wrote and drew a tale about the X-Men that decided to stay in Asgard. While the Golden Realm offered the former outcasts a new life, Loki’s schemes threatened this golden age before it could truly begin. For some X-Men, remaining on Asgard was a dream come true. But all dreams come with a price.
"The Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman and "Powers" co-creator Michael Avon Oeming went cosmic with their WHAT IF? story. In this tale, Galactus came to Asgard to feed on the Golden Realm. To save his people, Thor became the new Herald of Galactus. And unlike the Silver Surfer, Thor had no problem leading Galactus to inhabited worlds... as long as those inhabitants threatened other worlds with their warlike ways. But even a cosmically empowered Thor couldn’t resist the call of Asgard in its time of need. That paved the way for a final showdown between the sons of Odin.
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