With official pictures being released of Thor’s new haircut and costume from the upcoming “Thor: Ragnarok,” it’s a good time to take a look back at all the different costumes the God of Thunder has sported over the decades. Like many superheroes, Thor has gone through a bunch of different looks, from the slight variations on his classic design to complete re-imaginings that may or may not have succeeded.
Some of the costumes Thor has worn over the years have been wild successes, and have influenced his other appearances outside of comics. Others were quick appearances that served the story, but stood out for looking completely badass. Let’s take a look at 15 of Thor’s best costumes that have earned his newest title among those at CBR – The God of Fashion.
15. DESTROYER THOR
The Destroyer has an iconic look. The enchanted suit of armor created by Odin himself has been featured heavily in comics and on the big screen. Providing a huge threat to Thor in his self-titled first film, the Destroyer is a hulking beast of metal that can shoot huge amounts of energy. So what do you get when you combine a nearly indestructible suit of armor with the God of Thunder? Destroyer Thor!
Making its first appearance in “Thor” #381, the Destroyer Thor costume makes only a quick appearance. After a battle, Thor’s body is badly beaten and Loki decides to unleash the Destroyer on Thor. Unable to kill the thunder god, the Destroyer realizes that Thor has an undying spirit and absorbs it. After Thor battles for control of Destroyer, he picks up his cape, costume and Mjolnir, and Destroyer Thor teleports away. Of course, Thor eventually regains his physical body, but the image of the Destroyer armor wearing the Thor costume lives on as one of the best costumes for the God of Thunder.
14. MCU THOR
The costume worn by Thor in “Marvel’s The Avengers” in 2012 was probably many people’s first introduction to the character, and Marvel Studios made sure it was a great first look. Borrowing bits and pieces from other costumes appearing later in this list, Thor’s movie costume goes down as one of his most iconic portrayals. With the signature flowing red cape and chainmail-esque arms, Thor is in his full warrior mode. Even when he’s not battle ready, he wears the chest plate that has the signature circles that have appeared in just about every version of the character’s costume.
He even wears blue pants, calling back to his classic Kirby look. The film gave audiences a version of Thor that was faithful to the various comic book versions of the character while also having a costume that didn’t look completely ridiculous in three dimensions. Face it, if Marvel Studios didn’t take time and care when creating this costume, Thor would have been the laughing stock of the film. Instead, he’s the God of Thunder that fans were happy to see fight alongside Cap and the rest of the Avengers.
13. MODERN AGE THOR
When J. Michael Stracynski and Olivier Coipel took over in “Thor” vol. 3 #1 in 2007, Thor was in desperate need of an update. The character had spent the better part of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s without much of a direction. Attempting to return the character more to his roots, Coipel redesigned the God of Thunder.
Adopting a more “battle ready” look for the Asgardian, Coipel gave Thor chainmail arms and legs. He kept the chest piece that Kirby used in the classic look, but ditched the blue color scheme for a darker verve. The bright red cape was still a necessity, as was the winged helmet. However, Coipel tweaked the helmet slightly, adding a V-shape to the front of it, instead of the classic metal bowl look. All in all, the look is very faithful to the Kirby design, but adds a much more rugged, warrior presence to the character.
12. THE UNWORTHY THOR
Recently in Marvel Comics, Thor has fallen on some rough times. Deemed “unworthy,” Thor loses his hammer and has adopted a new weapon of choice, Jarnbjorn. Now, after relinquishing the title of Thor and becoming Odinson, he battles with a new prosthetic arm. The Odinson costume seen in “The Unworthy Thor” #1 is a big departure from the classic Thor design that fans know and love. Other than the loss of his hammer, the most obvious difference is the missing arm.
After loosing an arm in a battle with Malekith the Accursed, Thor now has one black prosthetic arm that he uses to wield Jarnbjorn. He also ditched the traditional armor for a more makeshift design of pieced together garments. His red cape also includes a hood, and his trademark chest piece is now just a shirt with remnants of the metal circles in the belt. His boots look like wrapped leather, and he has grown a pretty healthy beard. While the look ditches most of the classic design, Odinson still looks like one of the most brutal Asgardian warriors around, though more like a penitent warrior monk than we are traditionally used to seeing.
11. ULTIMATE THOR
When Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch created “The Ultimates” back in 2002, they tried to create an Avengers team that was updated for the modern times. Getting rid of most of the backstory and origins that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created back in the ‘60s, Millar and Hitch created a new version of Thor. This Ultimate Thor was less of a godly hero and more of an anarchist, eco-friendly hero that initially scoffed at the idea of joining the Ultimates because of the “military-industrial complex.”
First seen in “The Ultimates” #4, Ultimate Thor only has a couple visual similarities to the original design. Gone are the signature red cape and helmet. Instead, the character wears a sleeveless chest piece with the circles that are seen in the Kirby design. However, now these circles glow when he’s powered up. Mjolnir has a completely new design, resembling an ax more than a hammer. The big bushy beard that is seen in many Thor designs is now reduced to a manicured goatee. This Ultimate Thor fit well in the Ultimate line of books, even though it veered off course from the colorful original.
10. JANE FOSTER THOR
When the new female Thor burst onto the scene in 2014, readers didn’t initially know who was the new person wielding the hammer. Eventually, it was revealed that none other than Jane Foster was deemed worthy and became the newest version of Thor. With this new version comes a completely new design. While she sports the red cape, hammer and helmet that are synonymous with the character, Jane Foster’s Thor doesn’t share many similarities to previous versions of the character.
The helmet is a completely new design, for example. Instead of the metal bowl version that her male counterpart has worn, Jane wears a helmet that doubles as a mask, which helps to conceal her identity from others. Her chest piece is completely chrome and sleeveless, and it doesn’t have the signature metal circles that Thor has worn previously. She does retain a few metal circles on her belt, however. She also has flowing pieces of fabric coming out of her belt. Even though Jane Foster has a completely new design for the character, Thor still resembles the Odinson version enough that there’s no denying who she is.
Only seen in the “Hulked-Out Heroes” miniseries from 2010, The Mighty Thorr is a version of the classic God of Thunder that is crossed with the Hulk. The result is a Thor costume that is so different than the original that it’s almost impossible to tell who the character actually is. And guess what? It works!
Thorr is, as you would guess, a very hulked out version of the character. With muscles on top of muscles, the character isn’t green like the Hulk. Instead, Thorr is actually blue with what can only be described as glowing swirls on his skin that resemble tribal tattoos. Thorr still has the classic Mjolnir, but the only other additions to his costume that are seen in the classic design are the metal circles that he now wears across his loincloth. For many fans, this could be seen as blasphemous to a character, but the Thorr design is actually fun and interesting. There are so many ways an artist could go depicting a Thor/Hulk hybrid, and Thorr is a fun, colorful play on the character.
8. EARTH X THOR
“Earth X” is a miniseries by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross, and John Paul Leon from 1999 that told the story of a dystopian future of the Marvel Universe. In this alternate universe, Loki has convinced Odin to turn Thor into a female to teach him about being the object of desire of men, and to be the “weaker” sex. Odinson, now a female, continues to be the hero known as Thor.
This design of a female Thor is completely different than the Jane Foster version that would be seen 15 years later. The helmet that normally had smaller metal wings now has a full, large set of wings. The metal circles that have been a staple of most Thor costumes are now prominent on the front of the costume, with the top two being positioned right over her chest. While the cutouts along the sides of the outfit seem a bit over the top, the rest of the design is pretty faithful to the classic Kirby costume. And of course, the costume comes complete with a huge flowing red cape.
7. KING THOR
King Thor was first seen in “Thor: God of Thunder” #1 in 2013. In the story, Young Thor, Thor the Avenger and King Thor combine forces to defeat Gorr, the God Butcher. King Thor comes from a dystopian future where he is now the All-Father and wears a suit of armor as he sits on the throne of Asgard.
King Thor wears one of the most detailed and interesting costumes on this list. Like the Unworthy Thor, King Thor is missing his arm, and now has a prosthetic. However, King Thor’s prosthetic arm is created using the Destroyer armor. The metal circles on his chest piece call back to the classic design, but the entire costume is a metallic armor, so the circles can be lost at first glance. Like his father, Odin, King Thor now sports an eye patch and a long, straggly, white beard. Even though he looks beaten and a bit disheveled, King Thor is vital to the defeat of Gorr, and his costume will forever go down as one of the best.
6. MARVEL NOW! THOR
King Thor isn’t the only new costume to make its debut in “Thor: God of Thunder” #1. The regular Thor received a very minimalist makeover during the Marvel NOW relaunch of his series. After the colorful original design, and the metal chain mailcovered redesign in the early ‘00s, Marvel NOW Thor is a very basic design for the character. His helmet is now more of a full-face design, coming down the sides of his head.
The red cape is still there, but other than that, no other color is really seen in the design. No elaborate chest piece is found here, instead replaced with a black sleeveless top. The metal circles that are seen in most every Thor design are strategically placed near his cape and barely on his belt. This design is a stark contrast to the classic Kirby design, and it works well for the story that Jason Aaron and Essad Ribic wanted to tell. This is a warrior’s look and in the story, Thor has to be at his brutal best.
5. BATTLE ARMOR THOR
Thor only dons battle armor when he’s enduring tough times. Perhaps no time was tougher than in “Thor” #378, in which Thor is seen beaten and broken after a battle with the Dark Elves. When Loki toys with his brother, using him to distract the Frost Giants, Thor uses a device to call to him a new set of armor, built in none other than Pittsburgh! That’s right, Thor’s mystical battle armor was forged in a steel mill in Pittsburgh, PA.
The battle armor that Thor uses in that issue is quite a sight to be seen. Instead of the normal chrome look to the character, Battle Armor Thor dons gold armor from head to toe. Over top of the armor he wears a blue top that looks like Captain America’s textured uniform. His helmet is now gold with silver wings on the side. To top it all off is the big red cape that attaches to his chest piece. Never has Thor looked so regal and badass at the same time!
4. CROP TOP THOR
Now, you might be thinking that this is supposed to be a “15 Best Thor Costumes” list, so why is Crop Top Thor among these entries. Well, the truth is, the Crop Top Thor look from the ‘90s isn’t the character’s best look ever, but it’s far from his worst. Crop Top Thor gets his name because of… well, the crop top he wore. Baring his midriff, Thor shows off his abs while wearing an outfit that is just a great representation of ‘90s comic book character design.
With the bare-face mask that characters like Gambit wore, and the overuse of pads and straps seen on characters like Cable and most of the X-Force, Thor was given a more updated look meant to help revitalize the character. Sure, it’s over the top, and it’s definitely a departure from anything else on the list. But you know what? If the abs were covered, more people would probably like the costume. This outfit is the first to step away from the Norse mythology and embrace the sci-fi aspects of the character. He looks more like a superhero than ever and it works!
3. FEAR ITSELF THOR
Marvel’s “Fear Itself” event wasn’t the best series to be released by Marvel. For all its faults, it did give readers a new Thor costume that just might be one of his very best. With a more rugged looking armor than ever seen before, Thor defeats the Serpent, but ultimately dies from his injuries. Decked out in all chrome, Fear Itself Thor looks unstoppable. His armor covers him almost entirely from head to toe. The only bare parts of his body are his biceps and his face.
He still retains a lot of the signature elements of his costume, including the winged helmet, the red cape, and the metal circles on his chest piece. However, Thor now wields a massive sword (the Odin Sword) along with the incredibly powerful Mjolnir. The only other version of the costume on this list that comes close to how intimidating this looks is the King Thor armor, but it still doesn’t capture the sheer power that comes across in the Fear Itself look. Sadly, this battle armor was never seen again.
2. MCU RAGNAROK THOR
Not much is known about the upcoming “Thor: Ragnarok” film. While we know that Thor will be banished to Sakaar to fight the Hulk in a gladiatorial battle, we aren’t sure about much else. However, we do know what the God of Thunder will look like in the film and it’s a big change from how we’ve seen him before.
First and foremost, it’s all about the hair. Gone are the long, flowing golden locks that Chris Hemsworth has had in four previous movies. Now, he’s got almost a buzz cut, but still retains the beard. Other than that, he no longer has Mjolnir, which has been replaced by a sword or long daggers. His chainmail sleeves are now gone and his elaborate Asgardian armor is now just dark leather gladiator duds. This is a new look for the God of Thunder, and it looks amazing. For the first time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor now looks like a brutal warrior and less like a Prince. The icing on the cake is the teal shoulder pad that just pops with color, right next to the little red cape.
1. CLASSIC THOR
No Thor costume list would be complete without the original, classic Kirby design. First appearing in “Journey Into Mystery” #83, Thor is seen in the costume that would start it all. The perfect combination of God and superhero, the classic Thor costume is amazing. Introducing all the elements that would go on to influence every redesign of the character, Kirby gave Thor his classic winged helmet, red cape and blue pants.
The metal circles and bright gold belt, complete with the “T,” are all present. The boots that are black with gold straps, that look like they wouldn’t be cool, but some how are perfect, are there. Jack Kirby is perhaps the greatest character designer to ever grace the comic book medium, and Thor’s design is one of his best. While many artists tended to go more into the warrior side of things, Kirby still knew how to make him look like he’d fight in a war, but wouldn’t stick out like a sore thumb around the likes of Captain America or Spider-Man. Put simply, the original Thor design is perfection.
Which of Thor’s looks do you think is the most divine? Let us know in the comments!
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