Who's the first character you think of when somebody brings up Asgard? Probably Thor or Loki or even Odin? However, they are going to have to move over and share the spotlight with some of their fellow Asgardian warriors, many of whom are as cool or much cooler than clan Odin. Plenty of their allies have pulled incredibly awesome stunts over the years in comics, and it's about darn time someone sings the songs of their adventures.
Therefore, this list has already ruled out any Asgardians who are descended from (at the time of writing) Odin the All-Father, even if they are pretty cool in their own right. So sit down and get ready to hear the tales of the 15 coolest Asgardians who have kept the galaxy safe for the rest of us!
15 HOGUN THE GRIM
Hogun (not the Grim quite yet) has been one of Thor's oldest friends. He makes up one third of the Warriors Three, a group of Asgardian warriors and adventurers who made quite the name for themselves fighting alongside Asgard's favorite prince. Hogun first met Thor, Fandral and Volstagg when they began a quest to restore the Odinsword when it became cracked. He became known as Hogun the Grim after he was injured and forced to retreat from a battle in Hel.
However, Hogun is different from his friends because he is not an Aesir, the accepted name for the race of gods who were worshipped by the Vikings. He actually hails from a land that was conquered generations ago by Mogul of the Mystic Mountain. For most of his life, Hogun walked a line between being a quiet man and a man with sudden flares of anger. During Ragnarok, Hogun was the first warrior to die, but was resurrected by Thor.
Amora, or Enchantress as she's better known, has spent much of her publication history being one of Thor's greatest enemies. She was born to the Asgardian gods and uses her considerable magical abilities for charm and mind-control. However, after her most loyal henchman sacrificed himself to ensure the success of a rescue mission, Amora mourns him with a genuine grief that surprised everyone.
In recent years, she's fought more on the side of good than evil. When Surtur, a fiery Asgardian demon, was set on conquering Asgard itself, Amora defended the city with her numerous magical tricks. She was granted a royal pardon after the battle for these efforts, and pursued an on-and-off again romantic relationship with Thor. Amora's abilities come from her knowledge of mystic lore, and this makes her one of the most powerful mystics in Asgard or on Earth. She can project energy blasts, teleport and control the minds of her victims.
Skurge earned the name Executioner after he made his name in battles against the Storm giants. However, it became a signal of evil once he crossed path with Amora, also known as Enchantress. He was madly in love with her for most of his life, and she returned just enough affection to keep him strung along. Skurge was Amora's righthand man for years, assisting in most of her supervillain schemes.
Eventually, Amora set her sights on Heimdall as a potential lover and a heartbroken Skurge decided to join Thor and his allies on a mission to rescue a group of souls trapped in Hel. At the climax of the battle, Skurge takes Thor's place in order to hold the bridge Gjallerbru so the souls can pass into safe territory. He died in order to redeem his wasted life, and as result was able to pass into Valhalla. He is still remembered as a hero, and has one of the most badass death scenes in all of comics.
12 ORORO MUNROE
Yep, everyone's favorite weather-manipulator X-Man once did double-duty as Queen of Asgard. First appearing in 1985’s “Uncanny X-Men Annual” #9, Ororo Munroe was given the hammer Stormcaster by Loki. This gave her the powers of a goddess, and she soon became akin to a Queen of Asgard in place of any of Odin's family members. She was able to regain all of her old powers from when she was a mutant, but as an Asgardian she was given a link the same kind of divine power as Thor through Stormcaster.
However, Ororo ended up giving up the hammer when she realized it was a tool for Loki to manipulate her. After the Multiverse was destroyed and Battleworld was made in its place, Ororo gave up the throne. She ended up joining the Thor Corps, a group of warriors all across Battleworld as God Emperor Doom's police force.
Sigurd was an incredibly famous warrior in Asgard during the reign of Bor (Odin's father and former king). One of his most famous quests is the one which won him his sword, Gram, from Regin Hriedmarson, a shapeshifter. Regin told Sigurd that if he can defeat his brother, the dragon Fafnir, he will get this magical sword. When Sigurd defeats Fafnir and drinks his blood to see all hidden things, Sigurd learns that Regin plans to kill him in order to cook the dragon's heart. With the help of a time-travelling Loki, Sigurd eats the dragon's heart and gains immortality.
As an Asgardian, Sigurd has superhuman strength, senses and enough stamina to keep him at top strength for at least 24 hours before he begins to get tired. Sigurd also has a very powerful regenerative factor which can heal even broken bones after a single day. On top of all that, Sigurd's immortality also makes him invulnerable to any threat other than certain magical attacks.
The first badass female warrior on this list, Hildegarde is an Asgardian Valkyrie who fought alongside Lady Sif in several battles. Created by Gerry Conway and John Buscema, Hildegarde first appeared in 1972 in "Thor" #195 with super strength and incredible skill with a sword. In their first adventure, Odin sent Lady Sif and Hildegarde to Blackworld, an extra-dimensional world that appears like Earth but the history that took centuries on Earth takes hours on Blackworld.
They save the world from the monster Ego-Prime which was created accidentally by Tana Mile, one of the Colonizers of Rigel. Hildegarde helps Tana escape to Earth, but Ego-Prime follows them and Hildegarde joins the other Asgardians in order to save the world. They end up being victorious, but Hildegarde is banished to Earth with Thor and Sif for questioning Odin during the battle. She becomes Thor's ally during her time on Earth before eventually returning to Asgard, most recently appearing to replace Volstagg as one of The Warriors Three.
Tarene is what you might call a self-made Asgardian. Her original home world was destroyed Thanos in an attempt to get to the Designate, prophesied by the alien sorceress X'Hoss to help sentient beings into the next level of evolution. Tarene partnered with Thor and Orikal to defeat him, and went on to become Thor Girl. She had phenomenal cosmic powers (rivalling only Odin) as the Designate, but she gave them up in order to defeat the demon Surtur in battle.
However, she was able to retain her Thor Girl powers like super strength, super senses, immortality and Allspeak, the ability to speak in any language. After she lost her powers, Tarene adopted the identity of Tarene Olson to try and live a normal life, but she kept up her identity as a superhero. But after she was attacked again and again by the people she tried to protect, Tarene's Designate powers returned and she left Earth to travel among the stars.
Buri was the first-born Aesir to ever be worshipped by the Vikings, and is rumored to be the third deity to arise into creation after the giant Ymir and the cow Audumla. It's unclear what his origin story actually is. Some versions say he was licked out of the ice by Audumla, others say he licked himself out of the ice. Sometimes, there was no licking, and he's just seen as the son of Ymir, as noted by Doctor Strange.
In any case, he was allowed to live by the Giants, married a Frost Giantess, and had three sons who would make up the rest of the Asgardian pantheon of gods. When his son Bor established Asgard, Buri went to live as the recluse Tiwaz in the northern reaches of Asgard and was eventually forgotten by the rest of Asgard. He has come out of hiding a few times since then, usually to witness a birth or nurse Thor back to health after Odin's death.
7 LADY SIF
Lady Sif grew up as the playmate of both Thor and Loki, and was even betrothed to Thor for a time. However, they had a falling out and Lady Sif became a shieldmaiden while Thor started his superhero career on Earth alongside a long-lasting relationship with Jane Foster. Years later, the two reunited and fell in love, but Thor's love for Earth kept them apart. Eventually, Sif came to understand Thor's feelings of responsibility for the blue planet and defended from demons and Dark Elves while Thor and Loki defended Asgard from Surtur.
Sif teamed up with Beta Ray Bill, another alien protector, on Earth where they battled disgruntled American war veterans and the Russian villain Titanium Man. When she returned to Asgard, she and Thor reunited but kept postponing marriage. She even acted as her own champion, defeating her unwanted suitor Leir, the Celtic god of lightning. However, her story came to an end when she died during Ragnarok. Luckily, this is comics (and gods) and she has sine returned to defend Asgard.
Nobody really knows much about Volstagg beyond his exploits with Thor and the Warriors Three, but it is known that he's much older than his companions and was rumored to be a fierce warrior in his prime. After his first battle in Hel with the Warriors three and 80 days without food, Volstagg started shoving everything he could find into his face and hasn't stopped since. Since that initial battle, Volstagg has lapsed into oafishness and boasting. His bumbling actions usually cause more problems than they solve and can sometimes lapse into cowardice.
Sometimes he's gets into heroism despite himself. He's faced off against the Hulk, rushed into a tunnel to defeat the demon Mangog, and offered to battle the Arch-Fiend Mephisto in return for Thor's soul that was trapped in Hades. He also rescued a little girl from Ego-Prime despite his terror. Later it was revealed that Volstagg had children of his own and can't bear to see children in danger. He has since taken a role as the representative of Asgard in the so-called "Congress of Worlds," a forum to debate the goings-on in the Nine Realms.
Karnilla the Norn Queen is a rival ruler to Odin and is a powerful sorceress. She often works counter to Odin and Thor, but she is deeply in love with Odin's son (Thor's half-brother, and is, as such, exempt from this list), Balder the Brave. Whenever he travels with Thor and the Warriors Three, you can bet that Karnilla will do whatever she can to keep him safe. Because of this love, Karnilla has done a lot to save Asgard and its people.
Once she cast a spell to wake Odin in time to defeat Infinity, and allied with Thor and Loki against Mangog and Igron. She's also allied with Lady Sif in order to find Balder, who had gone missing. Together, they were held by Xorr the God-Jewel, before escaping. What makes Karnilla so tragic is that Balder has never returned her feelings, despite her best (and often villainous) efforts. Nonetheless, her unrequited love is often her saving grace.
4 BETA RAY BILL
Technically, Beta Ray Bill is more of an adopted Asgardian than anything else, but wielding Mjolnir should get him on this list. Bill is actually a Korbonite whose home was destroyed by Surtur. Bill was transformed by his people into a cybernetic being in order to protect them as his champion. The Korbonites followed Bill's spaceship the Skuttlebutt until they came across Thor investigating their presence. Thor and Bill battle each other and when Thor is separated from Mjolnir, Bill was able to pick it up.
After an initial conflict, a long relationship began, where Beta Ray Bill regularly assisted Asgardians in battle against evil, even getting his own hammer Stormbreaker in the process. He is often caught between his responsibilities among the stars and his Asgardian family, but eventually he's able to settle his people on a new planet. As Ragnarok loomed, Beta Ray Bill was willing to die on Asgardian soil but Thor sent him away to keep the memory of Asgard alive. He remains a firm presence as an adopted son of Asgard and brother-in-arms to the Odinson.
Even though Asgardians are considered gods by human standards, Heimdall has superpowers even among Asgardians. He was born with senses even more acute than the average Asgardian and so was given the responsibility of guarding the Bifrost, a bridge between the universe's dimensions. He is Lady Sif's brother, friend of Thor and loyal warrior to Odin. He even served as regent of Asgard when Odin required a rest.
In more recent times, Heimdall is the first Asgardian that Thor finds alive in the wake of Ragnarok. Thor found his spirit hiding in the body of a man on Earth furious at the destruction of New Orleans and his inability to stop it, as well as protecting a young girl and guarding a bridge. When Heimdall is resurrected, he joins Thor in his quest to bring back the rest of the Asgardian population. However, he would fail Asgard once again when he was unable to foresee Norman Osborn's siege, but has since returned to his post as guardian and protector, most recently battling the Shi'ar Empire to defend the Golden Realm.
Fandral is the last of the Warriors Three to make an appearance on this list, but that's not from lack of importance. Fandral the Dashing got his nickname after the Warriors Three's first battle in Hel, and has a reputation for being one the best-looking men in Asgard. However, his looks are only surpassed by his skill with a sword and his courage in battle.
Fandral's first brush with life on Earth was in the 13th century when he fell through a portal and landed in Nottingham, England. He ended up meeting a woman named Marion, gathering a band of Merry Men and stealing from the rich before giving it to the poor. Fandral married Marion and lived with her until she died of old age, after which he returned to Asgard. So yes, he's basically Robin Hood. However, the rest of Fandral's exploits are matched with Thor's, since he followed him into nearly every battle and continues to do so to this day!
Brunnhilde started her life as a princess and lover of the warrior Sigmund. However, when Sigmund died, Odin decided that he needed to create a paradise for humans upon their death. Therefore, he chose Brunnhilde to be his Valkyrie, a being who take the souls of warriors who die in battle to paradise in Valhalla. She became the leader of the Valkyior, goddesses who appeared over battlefields to choose which among the fallen are worthy to enter Valhalla.
However, in punishment for defying Odin's orders, Brunnhilde was kept from her sacred duty and forced to roam Asgard for something to do. Eventually, she adopted the moniker of the Valkyrie and became a long-standing member of the Defenders. She is occasionally called back to Asgard to help Odin's family, but she still spends a considerable amount of time on Earth working with its legions of superheroes. Brunnhilde also becomes the leader of a new faction of shieldmaidens at the suggestion of Freyja the All-Mother.
Who is your favorite non-Odin-affiliated Asgardian? Let us know in the comments!