As the God of Thunder, Thor is obviously a commanding hero who is able to take out both his friends and enemies as needed. At times, he‘s faced with the difficult decision of fighting his allies for the greater good of Earth. He‘s even had to take on other members of his close-knit group the Avengers from time to time. In those cases, it‘s usually a possessed or altered version of his teammates, but we‘ll get to some of those down below. Mjolnir, Thor‘s magic hammer, is often a strong factor in whether he wins or loses any given battle. Sometimes his foes are able to get a hold of it and use it against him. Although it‘s nearly impossible for anyone else to lift, some of Thor‘s enemies have been able overpower him and basically make him beat himself up with it. And, if by some magical power of their own, they can lift it too, it‘s lights out for the Asgardian son of Odin.
In a world where we‘re so used to seeing the MCU version of Thor on the big screen, it can be easy to forget that he fights so many of his friends in the comics. Hulk seems to be a favorite, as the two duel constantly, often to no resolve. Thor is vulnerable to outside forces just like the rest of our favorite heroes and sometimes he loses big time. Here are some of the fights where Thor was sent home with his tail between his legs, and others where he landed a knockout.
20 DEFEATED HIM: HULK
Thor and Hulk have fought many times over the years, with their first one way back in 1963 in The Avengers #3. Although their battles usually end in either a draw or with one of the parties escaping, there was a definitive winner in the “Hulk: Let the Battle Begin” storyline in 2010.
When two friends duel, Hulk typically tries to gain the upper hand by taking away Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, a nearly impossible task as it takes magical strength to lift it. However, in this cleverly crafted sequence, Hulk bend’s Thor’s wrist to smash Mjolnir against himself. That’s right: Thor technically knocks himself out, proving that Hulk is the superior hero.
19 HE DEFEATED: IRON MAN
In Thor Vol. 3 #3, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Tony Stark confronts Thor to tell him that he must register to work for the government or face the consequences. Thor is angry at Stark for the events of Civil War and for creating the Thor clone, so he summons a bolt of lightning to come crashing down on him, starting an epic battle.
Thor’s rage continues as he withstands Iron Man’s blast and tells his friend that he’s not holding back on him. He viciously beats Iron Man to the ground and tells him to leave Asgard until he learns the difference between a God and a mortal man. Iron Man leaves defeated, left to repair his broken armor alone.
18 DEFEATED HIM: PHOENIX FIVE
The 2012 “Avengers vs. X-Men” plot focused on a strange event affecting several members of the X-Men. With Phoenix, one of the most powerful forces in the universe, quickly advancing towards Earth, the Avengers and X-Men disagreed on how to circumvent her powers. The Avengers wanted her to steer clear of Earth, while X-Men wanted to harness her abilities to help mutants. Iron Man ends up smashing Phoenix into pieces, with five X-Men absorbing her abilities.
Over 12 issues, Thor is defeated multiple times by the five new Phoenix hosts: Cyclops, Colossus, Emma Frost, Namor, and Magik. At one point, Colossus is even able to smash Mjolnir away from Thor’s hands, proving Phoenix is a strong force not to be messed with.
17 HE DEFEATED: WOLVERINE
Wolverine is an agile hero, able to take on the most fearsome enemies when he’s firing on all cylinders. But he’s also a loner and a drinker, vulnerable and cagey when put in a corner. In Wolverine vs. Thor #1 published in 2009, Loki, being the trickster that he is, casts a spell on Wolverine that makes him think that everyone in the bar is against him.
Under the spell, Wolverine mistakes Thor for Sabretooth and picks a fight with him. Thor once again defends himself with a lightning blast, knocking Wolverine back into reality. Once the two realize that Loki is behind the hijinks, they team up to find him, but it took a good wallop from Thor for Wolverine to see the light.
16 DEFEATED HIM: BLACK BOLT
Not only can symbiotes be a deadly, they can take control of heroes and make them think and act in ways they could never imagine. In the “What If?” comic What If… the Alien Costume Had Possessed Spider-Man? (What If Vol. 2 #4) the alien symbiote attaches to Spider-Man, causing The Avengers to go after him to save their friend. Hulk is unsuccessful and soon bonds with the disease as well.
When Thor arrives on scene, he’s overtaken by Spider-Man and Hulk working together. It’s up to Black Bolt to break the tension, using his authoritative voice to break up the fight. His screams are so overpowering that the symbiote leaves Thor and is eventually ended by The Black Cat.
15 HE DEFEATED: THE THING
Thor #74 saw Thor reigning over a dystopian version of Earth, with heroes Captain America, Vision, Doctor Strange, Hulk, The Thing, and Wolverine teaming up for one last stand against the Norse God. Wolverine starts the battle but quickly takes a strong punch from Thor right to the face.
Thor then uses the Odinpower to blast Wolverine and melt him into a skeleton. Thor uses his superhuman strength to take on both Hulk and The Thing at once. After toppling over a building, Thor is seen standing over The Thing declaring that he could not destroy the God of Thunder despite using sorcery and fighting him for hours.
14 DEFEATED HIM: HERCULES
As the son of Greek God Zeus, Hercules possesses many of the same powers as Thor: extraordinary strength, unreal stamina, and near immortality in his ability to absorb blows. One preliminary battle between Thor and Hercules occurs in Journey Into Mystery Annual #1, when Hercules appears as a warrior blocking a bridge Thor is trying to cross. The two exchange insults until the standoff turns physical. This particular fight ends in a draw when Zeus arrives, breaking up the battle.
However, when the two fight in The Mighty Thor #126, Hercules hits on Thor’s female friend and actually ends up victorious in the end. It should be noted, however, that Odin took away some of Thor’s powers, leaving him vulnerable to Hercules’ might.
13 HE DEFEATED: VISION
Vision has the unique ability to control his body’s density, making him able to levitate, walk through walls, and blast enemies with as much force as anyone. He was no match for Thor in Avengers Annual #8.
Controlled by an alien force, Thor thinks he has to fight his teammates and Vision jumps in to try to break up the fight. He teleports into Thor’s body, stops his heart, and renders him unconscious temporarily until Thor gathers himself and fights back. He slams Vision with his magic hammer Mjolnir while simultaneously unleashing a commanding lightning bolt. Vision is stopped in his tracks by his friend.
12 DEFEATED HIM: SCARLET WITCH
In Uncanny Avengers Vol. 1 #4, Red Skull had taken Professor X’s brain and used it to replace his own. He tries to recruit Captain America to his anti-hero campaign, and uses his newfound mind powers to control Thor. New York City is soon under siege. The Norse God takes out Wolverine and then sets his sights on Havok.
Scarlet Witch comes to rescue, teaming up with Havok and using her deadly spells to fend off Thor. Unfortunately, Thor is able to dispose of Havok, leaving Scarlet Witch to fend for herself. She’s somehow able to summon extra energy, however, and blasts Thor into the atmosphere long enough for the team of heroes to regroup.
11 HE DEFEATED: BETA RAY BILL
Beta Ray Bill was introduced in The Mighty Thor #335 back in 1983, intended to be a well-meaning monster that would eventually morph into a hero. He unexpectedly becomes the first non-Norse being to be able to wield Thor’s magic hammer Mjolnir. Odin then bestows God-like powers on him and gives him Stormbreaker, a hammer of his own. This sets up some interesting ongoing battles with Thor.
Odin later requests that the two fight again, but this time Thor doesn’t have Mjolnir to aid him. It’s an even battle, but Thor eventually has the upper hand on Beta Ray Bill. In a last ditch effort, Bill fights back and both heroes are knocked out. Without a weapon, Thor still came within minutes of finishing off Beta Ray Bill for good.
10 DEFEATED HIM: THE ULTIMATES
The second Ultimates storyline focuses on the Avengers -- Thor, Captain America, Giant Man, the Wasp, Iron Man, and Hulk -- teaming up with new additions Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch to take on Loki, who is using his magic to trick the team into thinking that Thor is not actually a God.
Placed in a tough position, Thor is forced to battle his friends, who now have the help of other heroes like Captain Britain. He doesn’t want to hurt them, so he holds back but eventually needs to unleash all of his power to keep up. Loki steps in and manipulates reality so that Thor becomes powerless, allowing the Ultimates to capture and incarcerate him.
9 HE DEFEATED: THUNDERSTRIKE
Eric Masterson (aka Thunderstrike) is a doppelganger character who first appeared in Thor Vol. 1 #391 in 1988. After being given Thor’s form and powers in order to save his life, Masterson gives up custody of his son in order to become Earth’s new protector. Thor even gives him Mjolnir, a symbolic gesture that shows he is ready to pass the torch.
However, Eric soon meets Enchantress who convinces him to attack Thor in order to gain Sif’s affection. Eric strikes Sif, throwing Thor into a rage. Thor easily defeats Eric and takes back Mjolnir, with Odin revealing after the battle that Enchantress was behind the quarrel.
8 DEFEATED HIM: RED HULK
General Thunderbolt Ross, a long time enemy of the original Hulk Bruce Banner, was turned into Red Hulk by a combination of gamma and cosmic rays. In one of his early battles, Red Hulk is surprised by Thor’s thunderbolt from Mjolnir but soon overpowers the Odinson. Red Hulk states, “I’ve studied you Thor!” and proceeds to take the fight into space.
Red Hulk takes control of Mjolnir and uses it to fly through zero gravity to another planet. He slams an unconscious Thor on the ground and kicks away his magic hammer so that he’s unable to escape the isolated, desolate planet. Red Hulk defiantly won that round, with Thor vowing that he will seek revenge.
7 HE DEFEATED: WONDER MAN
Wonder Man is a hero that appeared back in the ‘60s but seems to have been forgotten in today’s comic lore. Simon Williams was a businessman who was jealous of Tony Stark’s success, so when Baron Zemo approached him about experimenting with an ionic ray on him, he accepted.
Wonder Man claimed his “fists were stronger than Thor’s hammer,” which wasn’t true at all. Thor crushed him in a battle in 1964, and later used a spinning Mjolnir to collect Wonder Man’s power and launch it right back at him. Wonder Man eventually turned to the good side, but not before Thor showed him what a real fighter looks like.
6 DEFEATED HIM: GHOST RIDER
The cover of The Avengers Vol. 1 #214 depicts Ghost Rider with a chokehold on Iron Man, with Thor Captain America, Tigra, and Angel desperately trying to catch up to save their friend. When Angel and his girlfriend are attacked unprovoked by Ghost Rider in the desert, the Avengers arrive to search for the demonic hero.
When Ghost Rider traps Captain America and Tigra in a cave and attacks them with his hellfire as well, Iron Man comes to their aid. Unfortunately, both Iron Man and Thor are overpowered, with Ghost Rider using Thor’s own Mjolnir to incapacitate him. The fight ends when Angel is able to calm down Ghost Rider and turn him back into Johnny Blaze, but not before the damage is already done.
5 HE DEFEATED: STORM
During the Contest of Champions in 1999, Thor was forced to face off against Storm. Unlike the Granmaster’s Contest of Champions from 1982, this one was actually just a stunt crafted by the Brood Queen so that she could steal the powers of some of the universe’s greatest heroes.
Nevertheless, Thor had to fight the future Queen of Wakanda, Storm, who was easily outmatched in terms of size and strength. Storm luckily survives a near miss from Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, and attempts to fight him in close quarters. However, once his hands are locked with Storm’s, Thor employs an unusual trick: he kisses her, literally leaving her breathless and unable to continue the battle.
4 DEFEATED HIM: SUPERMAN
The 2003 “JLA/Avengers” crossover storyline pitted The Avengers against their counterparts in the Justice League. While the two teams squared off, Thor’s magic hammer Mjolnir gave him the ability to stand toe-to-toe with Superman, an alien who rarely has any trouble demolishing his opponents. It’s an epic fight, with Thor using his lightning to try to overpower Superman’s heat vision.
Eventually, Superman suppresses the Norse God and lands the finishing punch. Both competitors are exhausted, and Superman admits Thor is toughest opponent he’s ever faced. It’s caused some controversy over the years, with some fans believing Superman should have lost as he was vulnerable to Thor’s magic.
3 HE DEFEATED: NAMOR
Namor the Submariner is one of the Marvel’s oldest and most beloved heroes, yet he hasn’t appeared in an MCU films yet. Although Namor is considered the king of the ocean -- and even once declared that no one enters Atlantis without his permission -- Thor took him on and won easily in The Invaders #33. After one punch, Namor was incapacitated, leaving him to eat his words.
In Sub-Mariner Vol. 1 #59 published in 1973, Namor goes after Tamara after she’s caught in a fishing net and transported to New York City. Namor encounters Thor in the city and starts a fight with him. The God of Thunder easily crushes him and sends him home.
2 DEFEATED HIM: DOCTOR STRANGE
In New Avengers #34, Daniel Drumm seeks to avenge the demise of Brother Voodoo, his actual brother who sacrificed himself to save Earth. Drumm is hell-bent on taking out the Avengers, soon possessing mainstays like Red Hulk, The Thing, Luke Cage, and, of course, Thor.
Drumm uses his abilities to turn all of the heroes against Doctor Strange, a mystic who uses the Eye of Agamotto to defend against evil forces. Strange first tries to take out the team all at once, and then changes his strategy to defeat them one at a time. Needless to say, he made short work of Thor and the other affected Avengers.
1 HE DEFEATED: SILVER SURFER
Thor and Silver Surfer have fought many times, with Thor winning most of their battles. Silver Surfer actually hasn’t beaten Thor without the use of existential force. The cover of Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #86 from 1993 shows the two foes mid-fight. While traveling through space, Silver Surfer comes across Thor about to end Beta Ray Bill and decides to intervene.
He engages Thor in a fight long enough for Bill to wake up and join in. However, Thor draws extra strength from the Mind Valkyrie and soon takes out Bill once again. Silver Surfer is crushed by Thor and is sent plunging without his board to a planet below.