Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1962, Thor has become one of the most recognizable superheroes in the modern age of comics. Part Norse legend, part original superhero, the Odinson has starred in many comic books, animated television shows, and live-action films over the years. Between the multitude of storylines he has been a part of over the years, Thor has worn his fair share of costume designs. He may have his familiar threads, but different continuities, stories, and timelines call for new looks, and some have looked great while others have looked far more... questionable, to put it nicely.
We’ve seen creators put Thor in some really ugly costumes, like the halter top from the mid-90s and Rob Liefeld’s Heroes Reborn redesign. However, there have still been a great many costumes that are actually pleasant to look at. It would seem that in recent years, professional artists learned that the more they honored the original Jack Kirby design, the better the end result. Still, that hasn’t stopped fans from creating their own take on the God of Thunder, and some of them get pretty wild. In honor of Thor’s new look in Thor: Ragnarok, CBR has compiled the best Thor designs from Marvel and the fans.
15 GLADIATOR THOR
For years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has depicted Thor as a gallant superhero from another world. His beautiful flowing hair and bright and shiny armor has made him stand out against his other companions in The Avengers. Taika Waititi has changed all that as the director of Thor: Ragnarok by cutting his iconic locks and fitting him with a new costume, which makes him look like a space gladiator.
The new costume mimics his more traditional threads well, even giving him a helmet that is more similar to the comic book version than the helmet he wore (for like a minute) in the first film. The outfit does far more with much less than the original and gives us one of Thor’s best overall looks in years.
14 MAGE THOR
The costume Thor wore in the first two films of his MCU trilogy combines a lot of elements from the comic book depictions of his suit. It gives us something familiar while also being a unique take on the character. Artist Daniel Kamarudin honored that look by giving us a fun new spin on Thor that still looks like it fits in with the movies, or even the 616 itself.
As part of his series of pieces depicting the members of the movie Avengers as fantastical sorcerers, Kamarudin’s Thor actually looks like the real deal. By his own admission, his version of the character is influenced by Viking imagery with an extra layer of robes decorating the Odinson in order to truly transform him into a mage.
13 WARRIOR THOR
In the mid-2000s, the superhero world believed Thor to be dead. By 2008, Matt Fraction and Patrick Zircher returned him to his Asgardian roots in a series of one-shots together known as Thor: Ages of Thunder. In these adventures, the Odinson fought Frost Giants and other threats to his homeworld while Odin and the other gods sat around and drank. It eventually led to an altercation between father and son.
In Ages of Thunder and the follow-up Reign of Blood, Thor wears a variation of his traditional costume that looks less like cosmic armor and more like a warrior’s fighting uniform. It puts Thor in a leather outfit that is distinct for its short sleeves with gloves look. Thor is a god, so there’s no reason for him to wear any more than he has to.
12 NORSE THOR
Despite his status as a superhero in the Marvel Universe, Thor comes to us through Norse mythology and the stories told by the people in the Scandinavian region of Northern Europe. Much of the visual style for Thor came from the stereotypical views of Vikings, but artist Jarreau Wimberly decided to honor that legacy by going with something a little more authentic.
Wimberly talks about the 2009 film Valhalla Rising from Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn as his inspiration for his version of Thor. The film is a dark and cerebral Viking tale starring Mads Mikkelsen that really gets at the gritty hopelessness of the time period. Wimberly’s Thor is a bare-chested warrior covered in body paint with wild hair flying about as he uses his two-handed hammer.
11 CLASSIC THOR
There are few variations of Thor that are better than the classic depiction that Jack Kirby first came up with in 1962. Kirby had previously drew a version of Thor for DC Comics in the 1950s, so when Stan Lee asked him to create a Marvel version of the character years later, the artist decided to blend the old Viking aesthetic with his own cosmic style in order to modernize the look of the character. What came out was a classic.
In this outfit, he looked like a mighty god of Norse mythology with the winged helmet, long flowing hair and magical hammer in his hand. However, Kirby’s design aesthetic, mixed with the red cape and yellow boots, made it clear that he was a superhero.
10 OLD MAN THOR
In 2008, Mark Millar and Steve McNiven gave us the “Old Man Logan” story that depicts an old Wolverine following the fall of the superheroes. It would one day serve as a rough basis for the movie Logan. The universe’s story is being continued in 2018 with the prequel series Old Man Hawkeye, that depicts a blind Clint Barton before the events of the original story.
If there was an Old Man Thor in the series, this would be it. Artist Armand Dimitri created a fantastic vision for an older version of Thor that still looks familiar. The costume looks similar to his traditional outfit with modifications he has made over the years. The short sleeves with no cape or helmet make this once-mighty god look far more down to earth.
9 MODERN THOR
Following the “Avengers: Disassembled” storyline in 2004, Thor disappeared from comics for a few years before returning in a new Thor series from J. Michael Straczynski. In this run, fans were introduced to what became known as the modern Thor costume, which depicted an updated version of his traditional wear.
This new costume made Thor look far more ready for battle than he ever had before (outside of his war armor variations). His short sleeves and pants were replaced by chainmail material, he had padded boots ready for battle, and a new armored shirt that resembled Kirby’s aesthetic. The helmet was updated as well to look far more subdued that it had been in years prior. This was a modernized Thor for a new audience, and it looked great.
8 METAL THOR
The superhero version of Thor is based on the Norse god from Scandinavian legends, and in turn, the character borrows from Viking imagery. Artist jaroldsng embraced that style and turned it up to 11 in order to create a version of Thor that is totally metal. Rendered in this style, the Odinson looks both dangerous and godly at the same time.
The artist managed to put this look together by tying together several key details, including a pointed metal crown, plated armor, and a tattered cape. What really ties it all together, and what you likely see first, is the intricate design in the body of the armor that creates something that resembles a skull. What’s more metal than a skull designed into the body of a god’s battle armor?
7 UNWORTHY THOR
In 2014’s Original Sin, Thor was deemed unworthy to wield the power of Mjolnir after Nick Fury whispered a simple secret in his ear. While Jane Foster would go on to pick up the hammer and take over the role of Thor, the Odinson continued his fight for justice by picking up a new weapon and wearing a new, more revealing outfit. It was great.
Odinson picks up his new trusty axe Jarnbjorn, throws on a cloak, and ran bare-chested right back into battle. Unfortunately, without the power of his hammer, he proves to be no match for his enemies, and he loses an arm. Now, he’s running around half-naked, with a prosthetic arm made out of uru. It may not be much of a costume, but he looks pretty awesome.
6 VIKING THOR
The Norse gods were celebrated by Vikings, who wore thick furs and dined in great halls by the fireplace. Artist Gonzalo Ordóñez Arias created a Thor that fits right into this aesthetic and looks like he comes from sometime around 1000 AD. This is probably how the Odinson would have dressed if he was hanging out on Earth at this time. He was probably a good friend of Beowulf.
This Viking Thor has his armor for battle, but he also has a cloak and plenty of fur to keep warm (those short sleeves get chilly in the winter). He looks like how the mighty Thor would look if he showed up in some other time in some other place. If we know what Odin looked like in 1,000,000 BC, why can’t we also get a look at what Thor looked like back in the day?
5 THE AGES OF THOR
During Jason Aaron’s run on Thor: God of Thunder, the Odinson must team with his past and future selves to stop a serial killer from slaying any more gods. During the Marvel Now initiative, Thor was given a new costume with a big, flowing cape, bare arms, and a battle helmet. It’s the costume he wore right up until he was deemed unworthy to wield the power of Mjolnir.
In Aaron’s series, we see a young Thor decked in black with a tattered red cloak. This version of him wields the battle axe Jarnbjorn, the weapon he used before he was deemed worthy to wield the hammer. There’s also an older version of Thor, who has since taken Odin’s place as the All-Father and is dressed in silver armor similar to his father.
4 LEISUREWEAR THOR
What does Thor wear in his time off from being Thor? Sure, we’ve seen him lying around nude in his bed in Asgard, and he had that great leisurewear going for him in Age of Ultron, but what does he wear to be comfortable? Artist Franco Spagnolo tried to answer this by revamping the founding members of The Avengers, including the Odinson.
His Thor doesn’t wear armor because, as a god, he’s pretty invulnerable all on his own. Instead, this Thor wears a sleeveless tunic with a large cape adorned with fur. Everything Spagnolo puts him in seems to be built around comfort rather than style, which is a big difference from what most designers tend to go for. The sash tied around his torso really completes the look.
3 ULTIMATE THOR
In the Ultimate Universe, Thorleif Golmen is actually the reincarnation of the Norse god Thor. The character that Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch created was an anarchist and ecocentric, which makes him nothing like the more familiar Thor that we know from the 616 Marvel Universe. As you might imagine, a different Thor gets a different costume that was actually pretty awesome.
In 2002, when The Ultimates first debuted, Thor had just gone through a rough go of it in the ‘90s with a series of ugly, ugly costumes. This Ultimate Thor came dressed in a sleek black bodysuit with big discs on the torso that light up during battle. It’s at once familiar and completely new to Thor fans. After years of overly complicated designs, this one was simple.
2 LADY THOR
Marvel Comics shocked the comic book world when they revealed that the hammer of Thor would be taken up by a woman. After Thor was deemed unworthy to wield Mjolnir, it was revealed that Jane Foster took on the mantle. With the new identity, Thor got a whole new wardrobe, carrying over what made Thor Thor, but also giving her something unique to wear.
Artist John Staub put together a gorgeous piece of Lady Thor that enhanced some of the elements from her new costume. The intricate designs in the chestplate and armor bring it all to life as something pieced together by magic. She retains the bare arm and buckler, however, the helmet is shaped slightly differently to give her a more regal look.
1 GOLDEN THOR
Jane Foster is still Thor in the Marvel Universe, but according to The Mighty Thor #700, as part of the Marvel Legacy initiative, change may be on the horizon. Jane’s time as Thor—and her mortal life—may be coming to an end. According to a prophetic vision, the Odinson may step in and reclaim his title once again, but according to the two-page spread, he may look a little different this time around.
This version of Thor carries a golden hammer that looks just like Mjolnir, and he has a golden arm in place of the black uru one he currently has. The costume seems to be a combination of his modern age attire mixed with some elements of his Marvel New look with a few original bits mixed in to make for a great new look.
What is your favorite Thor outfit? Let us know in the comments.