The Once-Created Boys Wrote Thor’s Bloodiest Comic


Thor may be a Norse god, but these days he’s more associated with Marvel Comics heroes. Various series of his books have embraced his Norse origins, but perhaps no other title has done so viscerally as Thor: Vikings. This book is by Garth Ennis – creator of the cynical superhero series The boys – and artist Glenn Fabry, and it’s one of the most interesting and dark Marvel stories about the God of Thunder.

Dripping with blood, guts, violence and Viking zombies, Thor: Vikings allowed Ennis to blend his love of historical war fiction with his apparent hatred for superheroes. Although Thor and even the Avengers are in the story, the graphic hits the heroes receive prove that there is no “love and thunder” for them by the writer. Here’s how a true Ragnarök of a story put Thor Odinson to the test.

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Thor: Vikings Avoided Superheroes For Zombified Bloodletting

The real stars of Thor: Vikings are not Thor or any of the Avengers, but the titular plundering horde from centuries ago. Led by Harald Jaekelsson, these Vikings ransack a village and fight their way through the inhabitants, even killing a helpless sage as they leave. Before dying, however, he begs the gods to curse them, so that they never reach their destination. It sees the Northmen navigating for eons, eventually ending up in modern New York. Now, undead zombies, the Vikings once again engage in devilry, halted only by the arrival of Thor.

Even the divine power of the Mighty Thor is not enough to stop them, their curse making them extremely powerful. It sees the battered God of Thunder’s arms shattered, while the Avengers are brutally beaten and swathes of civilians savagely killed. The only fairly useful hero is the mystical Doctor Strange. He uses his powers to determine the death of the Wiseman and discovers that Jaekelsson and his men can only be defeated by his descendants, forcing Strange to summon Sigrid, Magnus and Erik.

Empowered by Strange’s magic, the group is now as tough as the zombie Vikings. From there, they decimate Jaekelsson’s ship, killing his men and leaving their leader to Thor to deal with. Stronger and angrier than before, Thor sends the Viking into space, ending his bloody reign of terror in New York.

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Thor: Vikings Channels The Boys Through The Marvel Universe

Since Garth Ennis is the author of the story, those who read Thor: Vikings shouldn’t expect a typical Marvel adventure. This series was released under the Marvel MAX banner, which is otherwise home to The Punisher’s most violent executions (many of which were written by Ennis). Aimed at adult readers, the book, despite its narrative elements, shows a realistic version of how battles between gods, monsters, and heroes would affect the real world. It looks a lot like the iconic and infamous Ennis The boys, which completely soaked the superheroes. While not so cynical in this regard, it’s the human historical heroes and the Norse Thor himself who ultimately save the day. The more superheroic Avengers such as Captain America, Iron Man, and Hawkeye are quickly reduced to a pulp, which certainly sounds like a major blow, given who’s writing the book.

Surprisingly, the book is actually considered canon, at least to some extent. This means that at one point, New York was completely ravaged by Jaekelsson and his gang, with the superhero population mostly powerless to stop them. Sadly, this is one of the few times Thor is allowed in such a story, with the character’s colorful and magical origins usually ruling him out. It’s such a shame, because, along with the Hulk, he’s the Avenger most suited to such bloody and thrilling adult stories. Although he may be best known for comedy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: Vikings showed readers that the god of thunder is best suited to dabble in blood on the battlefield.

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