The strongest of all the Asgardians, second only his father Odin, Thor, the God of Thunder has a power that is well-known throughout the cosmos. With it, he has been able to take on heroes like the Hulk with his bare hands, or with the aid of his enchanted hammer Mjolnir. He’s immortal, impervious to most earthly weapons and has trained for millennia in combat.
Yet, for all his power, Thor is not unbeatable. In fact, while it is clearly no small feat, he has been known to suffer defeat on quite a few occasions. But who could possibly hope to beat the all-powerful Prince of Asgard? Well, CBR is here to help, as we look at over a dozen superheroes you have beaten The Mighty Thor.
15 THE SENTRY
Insanely powerful and downright dangerous on account of his unhinged mental state, the Sentry is often said to wield the power of a million exploding suns. Going from hero to villain and back again in a never-ending loop, it was in “What If…Norman Osborn Won The Siege of Asgard,” that readers got an entirely different ending to Siege. In this timeline, before the siege of Asgard, the Sentry kills Ares the God of War at the order of Norman Osborn. So, when the attack on Asgard begins, the Sentry is at full power.
The Sentry, who quickly adopts his personality of the Void, easily lays waste to all the heroes who have assembled, including Thor. The thunder god falls quickly, leaving the Void to continue his rampage around the Earth, killing every hero and villain he comes across. Originally in “Siege,” Thor’s power was the decisive factor in putting down the Sentry, but in "What if?" #200, it’s explained that killing Ares on the field of battle tired the Sentry to the point where he could be hurt. Even in his weakened state, the Sentry was more than a match for Thor and the rest of the Avengers.
14 PHOENIX FIVE
Back in 2012, Marvel’s event “Avengers vs. X-Men” featured the Phoenix, one of the mightiest cosmic forces in the universe, heading to Earth. The X-Men and the Avengers both rushed to the scene, with the X-Men wanting to wield the power to enact change for mutants and the Avengers wanting to stop the destructive power of the Phoenix. As the story goes, heroes fought, and on account of comic book shenanigans, Iron Man accidentally broke the Phoenix into five pieces. Those pieces splintered off and possessed five X-Men: Cyclops, Colossus, Emma Frost, Namor and Magick.
The new power takes over their minds as they go to extremes to champion their cause, including locking any heroes who oppose them in Limbo. Thor was such a hero. In fact, Thor gets beaten numerous times throughout the 12-issue event, unable to stand up to the immense power of the Phoenix. Despite giving it his all and being aided buy other heroes, having Thor defeated so utterly speaks volumes to the power of the Phoenix, despite being divided in five different hosts.
13 BLACK BOLT
Another "What If?" entry presents itself on this list in "What If" #4, “What If…The Alien Costume Had Possessed Spider-Man.” What If" scenarios tend to play out much bleaker than they did in the original timeline/universe. In this instance, the venom symbiote tried to possess Spider-Man, but thanks to the Fantastic Four, they were able to get it off him. Not in this universe, though. In this timeline, the alien fully bonds with Peter Parker and despite the Fantastic Four’s intervention, the creature escapes and bonds with Spider-Man permanently.
Enlisting the help of the Avengers, Reed Richards pursues the symbiote-controlled Spider-Man. Along the way, the Hulk is among the first to encounter it. The symbiote quickly leaves a withered/drained Peter Parker and tries to bond with the Hulk. Enter Thor. Now with the strength of the Hulk and Spider-Man, Thor does his best, but can barely hold his own. Even so, the symbiote, sensing the thunder god’s power, abandons the Hulk and tries to bond with Thor. Thor resists, but can’t hold out. Eventually, Black Bolt, the leader of the Inhumans, arrives on the scene. Using his famous sonic voice, Black Bolt blasts the Venom-Thor, easily defeating him and forcing the symbiote to run and hide until it gets destroyed by the Black Cat.
12 SCARLET WITCH
The Scarlet Witch, with deadly and potent hex magic at her disposal, can become more powerful than nearly any other hero on the planet; at least when she’s either crazed or not in control of her powers. It comes as no surprise then that she can take on Thor. In Rick Remender’s “Uncanny Avengers,” the Red Skull has stolen Charles Xavier’s brain and put it in his own head. With startling psychic power at his disposal, the Red Skull exercises his telepathy by throwing New York into chaos. The new Avengers team, made up of X-Men and Avengers alike, quickly arrives to do battle with the Skull and his minions.
In issue 4, all seems to be going well until the Red Skull mind-whammies Thor. The god of thunder immediately goes on the warpath, taking down Wolverine in an instant and then moving on to face Havok, the brother of Cyclops, and the Scarlet Witch. The two heroes are blasting Thor will all their considerable might, but it’s only slowing him down. Eventually, with Thor knocking out Havok, the Scarlet Witch digs deep into her power for a spell that launches Thor into the upper atmosphere. While not completely beaten, Thor is taken off the field long enough for our heroes to come together.
11 THE ULTIMATES
In Marvel’s “Ultimate” comic line, the Ultimates are the Avengers in every respect but name. The first arc of the reimagining shows how the team, made up of Thor, Captain America, Giant Man, the Wasp, Iron Man, and the Hulk come together as they face off against an alien invasion. In the second arc, the team, with newcomers Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch now a part the team, must contend with Thor’s half-brother Loki.
At this period in the Ultimate universe, the heroes still have trouble believing Thor is a god, which Loki exploits by using his magic to swell that doubt, leaving the thunder god with little choice but to battle his friends. What follows features the totality of the Ultimates, along with a bunch of European heroes like Captain Britain and his forces, against the might of Thor. Throughout it all, Thor is holding back, until he reaches his breaking point and starts going all out. Before he can deliver the final blow, Loki manipulates reality to the point where Thor loses all his powers. In so doing, Thor is left utterly defeated.
Loki isn’t Thor’s only sibling. As it turns out, Thor has a sister, Angela. During the “Original Sin: Thor and Loki” storyline, Thor discovers he has a sister who had been kept secret from him. The daughter of Odin and Freyja, Angela was raised in the Tenth Realm called Heven. The Hunter Angel shares many of the same attributes of her brother, including incredible strength, speed, durability and a remarkable proficiency with weapons.
When Thor and Loki enter Heven, a battle erupts. Loki slinks away and Thor is left to do battle with an army of Angels. As the battle ends, Angela appears and is quick to defeat Thor in hand-to-hand combat, knocking him out and leaving him chained up. Later, they have a rematch, with Thor explaining that while it’s true Angela beat him, she was only able to because he was exhausted from fighting and didn’t have his heart in the battle. Thor then defeats her with relative ease.
9 RED HULK
Bruce Banner isn’t the only Hulk to have faced the thunder god. In Jeph Loeb’s “Hulk,” readers were introduced to the Red Hulk, General Thaddeus Ross. Unlike his green counterpart, this engine of destruction had all of the original’s strength, but none of the reservations. The Red Hulk maintained a keen intellect, allowing him to strategize and make optimal use of his combat training from his human counterpart. Armed with the ability to absorb radiation, the Red Hulk proved one of Hulk’s mightiest foes.
In “Hulk” #4, Thor turns up to do battle. In a highly controversial fight among fans, the Red Hulk easily defeats Thor, taking the thunder god’s best shots and laughing. The real coup de grace came when the Red Hulk, taking hold of Mjonir (with Thor hanging on), leaps into space and beats Thor with his own hammer. To this day, the battle leaves a sour taste in many Thor readers. A new character at the time, writers needed a way to demonstrate the power of the new Hulk. However, since then, the Red Hulk’s power has been watered down significantly, having gone from a villain to an anti-hero, back to regular General Ross again.
8 WONDER MAN
In the early days of the Avengers, more specifically “The Avengers” #9, Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil started getting tired of being periodically beaten by the Avengers. Bitter with the taste of defeat, they experimented on poor Simon Williams, turning him into Wonder Man. Bestowed with incredible strength that rivals Thor’s, along with invulnerability, Wonder Man was originally a villain, a weapon to fire on the superhero team. Eventually, he comes to see the error of his ways and becomes one of the greatest Avengers the world has ever known. But hey, we're getting ahead of ourselves.
In issue #9, during a climactic battle between the Avengers and the Masters of Evil, Wonder Man gets the upper hand on Thor, sucker punching him and knocking him into a big hole. Though not knocked out, Thor is temporarily removed from the fight. From that day onward, and for years to come, Wonder Man would constantly brag about the time he beat Thor, ridiculously proud of the achievement.
7 GHOST RIDER
Ghost Rider, otherwise known as the Spirit of Vengeance, is a being of frightening might. Doctor Strange has said Ghost Rider’s power is potentially limitless. From his renowned Penance Stare to his blasts of hellfire, few heroes or villains have the ability, or nerve, to stand up to the flaming-headed motorcyclist. However, Thor has never shied away from a fight, whether his opponents be man, demon, or god.
That bring us to “The Avengers” #214. The details of the plot are of little importance, what matters is there’s a misunderstanding, as is typical among superheroes, which leads to fisticuffs between Ghost Rider and Thor, Captain America, Iron Man and Tigra. After beating Captain America, Tigra and Iron Man, Ghost Rider squares off against Thor. The heroes square off, with some of Ghost Rider’s attacks proving ineffective. That is, until Thor throws his hammer. Scurrying out of range of the hammer’s throw, just as the hammer begins its journey back to Thor, Ghost Rider takes hold of the hammer and rides the momentum, crashing into Thor. Ghost Rider departs the field of battle, leaving Thor with the wind knocked out of him.
6 ADAM WARLOCK
Many times, whenever Thor experiences a loss, it’s because someone was able to outwit him or on account of superficial circumstances or his opponent was a tiny bit stronger than him. However, it’s rare that he comes across heroes who can physically swat him aside like a fly. Introducing Adam Warlock. One of the mightiest being in the Marvel Universe, at least when the writing and situation deems it so, Adam Warlock is crazy powerful, even when he's not rocking an infinity gem or in his role as the new Living Tribunal.
In “Infinity Revelation,” Adam Warlock is sent to various points in history, some of which are his own. Along the way, he meets the Avengers (Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, Giant Man and Wasp), who do not know who he is, as it’s still early in their timeline, and consider him a threat. Attacking him, Warlock all but flicks them away. Taking a combined assault of both Thor and the Hulk, Warlock doesn’t even flinch, manhandling the two heroes, along with Mjonir. The totality of the Avengers is defeated in seconds and Warlock wasn’t even trying.
Potentially the strongest non-cosmic superhero in any universe, Superman has defeated gods, demigods, aliens, giant robots…the list goes on. Oftentimes without a limit to his profound strength, it’s uncommon for Superman to ever experiences a defeat, much less a challenge. It takes creativity for writers to come up with obstacles for the Kryptonian. In the 2003 series “JLA/Avengers” by Kurt Busiek, however, Thor becomes that obstacle.
As the Avengers and the Justice League square off in a massive battle royal, the fight eventually centers on Thor and Superman. The two beings are nearly matched, with Thor’s hammer giving him the ability to go toe-to-toe against the somewhat stronger Superman. It’s a battle for the ages as both heroes give it everything they got, with Thor launching storms and magic lightning and Superman going all out with his heat vision. Still, despite Thor’s awesome might, Superman lands the finishing blow, leaving him exhausted, as he admits that Thor was one of the toughest opponents he’s ever faced. To this day, there are fans who will contest that Thor, with his magic, ought to win a battle against the Man of Steel.
The son of Zeus and a demigod, The Lion of Olympus known as Hercules is a foe unlike any other. A hero in the truest sense of the word, perhaps the first ‘superhero, Hercules’ might is enough to stand up to practically any hero or villain. With millennia of combat experience and strength capable of moving mountains, Hercules and Thor have shared a rivalry to determine who’s the best for over half a century.
The two have clashed multiple times; sometimes in friendly sport, while other instances have been more serious. Rarely is a winner decided, as the two are usually evenly matched, but in “The Mighty Thor” #126, Hercules laid down the law. The fight lasts most of the issue until Hercules beats Thor in a decisive victory. Of course, it should be noted that at the time, Odin stripped Thor of half his power, leaving him steadily growing weaker the longer the fight went on. Still, the Odinson refused to surrender, and while Hercules acknowledged his rival’s bravery, claimed victory.
3 THE SILVER SURFER
A former herald of Galactus, the Silver Surfer has incredible superhuman strength, can travel through space at greater than light speed and can absorb and manipulate the universe’s ambient energy. He can fire energy blasts capable of destroying planets, heal living organisms from nearly any wound, look into the future and the past, use the Power Cosmic to further increase his strength to unknown levels and… well, the list goes on.
Having defeated everyone from the Hulk to huge cosmic beings, it should come as no surprise that he’s also beaten Thor. The two have clashed multiple times, though neither tends to unleash his full power. In "Silver Surfer" #4, they meet for the first time. Long story short, Loki tricks the two heroes into doing battle. While the Silver Surfer proves victorious, he realizes Loki boosted his power, helping him defeat Thor and later discovers that, despite his victory, Thor was holding back.
2 THE HULK
One of the greatest rivalries in all of comics, the Incredible Hulk and the Mighty Thor have been at odds for years, forever determined to prove who is stronger. Despite the decades they’ve had to sort it out, fans of the characters, and the heroes themselves, rarely discover an answer. Two of the mightiest superheroes on Earth, their fights often lead to the destruction of entire towns and cities.
In “The Mighty Thor” #385, the two square off in a battle that lasts the entire comic. It is nothing short of epic as Thor and Hulk fight with everything they have. About midway through the fight, the Hulk realizes the edge Mjonir gives Thor and tricks the God of Thunder into throwing his hammer away. From there, while Thor holds his own, he’s eventually left beaten, and with little strength left, calls his hammer back to him. Hulk gloats that he’s proven his point, that Thor needs his hammer to win, and jumps away. Then, in 2010’s "Hulk: Let the Battle Begin,” the Hulk defeats Thor by taking hold of Thor’s hammer arm and beats the thunder god in the face repeatedly with his own hammer. Harsh!
1 BETA RAY BILL
Transformed into a cyborg-like creature by his people the Korbinites to become their champion and protect them from those who would do them harm, Beta Ray Bill’s strength is matched only by his sense of honor and compassion. When the two first met, yet another misunderstanding occurs and they fight. Amidst the battle, Thor is separated from his hammer and transforms back into Donald Blake. Then the unthinkable happens, Beta Ray Bill picks up the hammer. A feat never before seen, he is granted the power of Thor.
Later in “The Mighty Thor” #338, Odin pits Thor and Beta Ray Bill against one another to determine who should wield the hammer. After an impressive fight, the two hit each other with enough force that they are both knocked out. Beta Ray Bill recovers first, proving himself the victor. Odin, impressed by Bill’s nature, orders the creation of the hammer Stormbreaker for Bill, allowing him power to protect his people. Thor and Beta Ray Bill would go on to become blood brothers.
What do you think was Thor's most brutal defeat? Let us know in the comments!