Often considered one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe, Thor has remained a comic book mainstay since his first appearance in Journey into Mystery #83 way back in 1962. While he’s remained a relatively popular character over the decades, his introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe served as something of a renaissance for the character, with many fans taking a newfound interest in Marvel's Asgardian hero. With his god-tier powers, warrior’s mentality -- and let’s face it, luck -- it seems that the God of Thunder is almost impossible to topple, coming out on top of the vast majority of his many, many skirmishes. Occasionally though, Thor does in fact fail -- sometimes miserably -- showing that although he may be a god, he’s also surprisingly human.
With the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok looking to explore a more vulnerable, hammer-less Thor, what better time to take a look back at some of the Odinson’s greatest and, at times, most humiliating defeats? Ranging from other, more powerful gods to war-mongering aliens to puny mortals without a single superpower, Thor has been defeated by all walks of life throughout his career. In the spirit of that, here are 15 times Thor was completely destroyed.
15 SHATTERED BY THANOS
With hype for the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War continuing to mount as the movie creeps ever closer to theaters worldwide, fans are naturally excited to see Thanos in all his glory after years of anticipation and speculation.
One of the most powerful villains in the entire Marvel Universe, the original “Infinity Gauntlet” arc sees Thanos bat aside Marvel’s most formidable heroes without so much as a second thought, with even Thor -- a literal god -- serving merely as a brief distraction for the Mad Titan. Attempting to take on Thanos alongside Spider-Man -- who is also swiftly dispatched -- the villain uses his newfound Infinity Gems to turn the God of Thunder to glass, before shattering him into a million pieces with one final blow.
14 SWATTED BY DEADPOOL
Cullen Bunn’s Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe is often funny and disturbing in equal measure. Following Wade Wilson as he falls even deeper into madness at the hands of the villainous Psycho-Man, Deadpool ultimately takes it upon himself to murder every hero and villain in the Marvel Universe as a means of getting back at his comic book creators.
There are several gruesomely memorable scenes throughout Wade’s killing spree, but none more so than his creative method of taking out the god of thunder himself, Thor. Using the Pym particles from a freshly murdered Ant-Man’s helmet, Deadpool vastly increases the size of Mjolnir just as Thor throws it, causing the now-gigantic hammer to plummet straight down to earth -- swatting Thor like a fly in the process.
13 PUMMELLED BY EMMA FROST
After the Phoenix Force manages to take possession of five mutants during the events of Avengers vs. X-Men -- Cyclops, Magik, Namor, Colossus and Emma Frost -- the resulting battles between the Phoenix Five and several other heroes were detailed in the AVX: VS spin-off, including the battle between Thor and Emma Frost.
Starting the battle in her more robust diamond form, the Phoenix-imbued Frost is no match for the might of Mjolnir -- or so it seems. Smashing her to pieces with the hammer and sending the shards into space, it appears that Thor has won the battle -- until the shards begin to rain back down on Thor, cutting through him before Frost regenerates and beats him to within an inch of his life. To top it all off, Frost proceeds to taunt and belittle Thor throughout his beating, making the already painful loss sting that much more.
12 SMASHED BY HULK
Despite being one of the most hotly contested superhero match-ups in the entire comic book community, you’d be surprised just how little of a definitive answer fans have for the age old “Hulk vs Thor” debate. Although they’ve fought dozens of times over the decades, the majority of their battles end in a tie, or are interrupted.
On certain occasions though, one of the heroes does in fact come out on top, which was certainly the case in The Mighty Thor #385, which sees a rampaging Hulk toss a hammer-less Thor around like a ragdoll. After beating him to a bloody pulp, slamming him into the ground with his own cape and crushing him with a train, Thor is left bruised and bloodied, realizing just how much he lost control during the fight -- causing massive collateral damage and making him no better than his foe.
11 SOAKED BY SURTUR
Often considered to be one of Thor’s mightiest opponents, Surtur is a giant fire demon based on the Surtr of Norse mythology, and is set to make an appearance as an ally of the villainous Hela in Thor: Ragnarok. Between his sheer strength, fire-based attacks, magical abilities and famed Twilight Sword, the hulking demon is more than a match for the God of Thunder.
In their first meeting for instance, Surtur and the storm giant Skagg attempt to attack Earth, with Thor and Balder managing to temporarily distract Skagg. Turning his attention to Surtur, Thor is immediately met by a powerful fireball, knocking him off balance and sending him crashing straight into the ocean below. This gives Surtur enough time to escape, setting the next stage of his dastardly plan in motion, while a dripping wet Thor emerges from the water looking more than a little bit silly.
10 DESTROYED BY THE DESTROYER
Created specifically to be more powerful than the likes of Thor, the Destroyer is one of the most memorable -- and outright dangerous -- enemies in the God of Thunder’s rogues’ gallery. In fact, the only thing more dangerous than the Destroyer itself is when it’s being controlled by a psychopathic genius. Enter Dr. Doom.
After Loki tricks Balder into moving Asgard to Latveria, friend of Thor and fellow Asgardian Kelda is captured by Doom when she begins to investigate his nefarious plans. Tearing Kelda’s heart from her chest Temple of Doom style, a furious Thor attempts to tackle Dr. Doom head on, only to be met by the Destroyer -- redesigned by Doom -- who proceeds to beat the snot out of Thor before throwing him through a brick wall.
9 BESTED BY BETA RAY BILL
Despite his somewhat monstrous appearance, the heroic and honorable warrior Beta Ray Bill is one of Thor’s most trusted companions. A member of the Korbinites, an alien race who augmented Bill’s body to serve as their champion, Beta Ray Bill is deemed worthy of lifting Mjolnir in his first appearance -- making him the first non-Asgardian character to do so.
With Odin declaring a battle between Thor and Bill to determine the rightful owner of the hammer, the two heroes engage in a gruelling slugfest, beating each other into oblivion. Exhausted, the two gradually float towards a lava waterfall, prompting Bill to use the last of his strength to carry a now-unconscious Thor to safety -- making Bill the last man standing. Being the nice guy he is however, Bill ultimately denies Mjolnir, and Odin forges him his own weapon -- Stormbreaker -- to use in future battles.
8 DEPOWERED BY QUICKSILVER
Like many other characters in the Ultimate Universe, Thor as a character differs greatly from his Earth-616 counterpart, not just in terms of story, but power level. Somewhat nerfed in the Ultimate Universe, Thor’s story is grittier and much less whimsical as a result.
After Loki manipulates the Ultimates into believing that Thor is a mentally ill man who has come into possession of Mjolnir, the heroes attempt to subdue the Odinson. Putting up an impressive fight by using a raging storm to his advantage, Thor is eventually defeated by Quicksilver, who removes his mystical belt -- rendering the hero incapable of wielding Mjolnir. Unfortunately for Thor, he’s then captured and incarcerated by the Ultimates as Loki taunts him in his cell, attempting to drive him to madness.
7 BEATEN BY BOR
Following a convoluted plan by Loki to kill Odin’s father -- Bor -- in the past, only to bring him back in the future, a deranged Bor begins to lay waste to New York, forcing Thor to intervene. Driven insane by Loki, who’s planting delusions in the god’s head, Bor sees both the inhabitants of Earth and Thor himself as demonic creatures, attacking without mercy.
After being vastly overpowered by Bor, Thor decides to call the Avengers -- only for the Dark Avengers to show up. With Bor quickly defeating the Dark Avengers too, his attention soon turns back to Thor, resulting in a brutal beatdown. Eventually gaining the upper hand, Thor uses the brief opportunity to kill Bor, concerned that he would destroy the planet. As punishment for killing someone of royal blood however, Thor is eternally banished from Asgard, in a sense giving Bor the final victory.
6 BLOWN UP BY SENTRY
A schizophrenic superhero whose alter-ego happens to be an immensely powerful entity known as the Void, Sentry is perhaps the most unstable superhero in Marvel Comics. Using this to his advantage in the “Siege” storyline, Norman Osborn manipulates and recruits the god-like hero into his Dark Avengers team to further consolidate his power.
Attempting to put a stop to Osborn’s plans, Earth’s heroes take on his Dark Avengers, with Thor taking on Sentry. After enduring several devastating blows from Thor, Sentry begins to lose his cool, transforming into the Void in the process. Causing a huge explosion, the Void defeats Thor and completely destroys Asgard, leaving a distraught Thor kneeling in the ruins of his home. Thor does eventually defeat the Void with the help of Loki’s sacrifice, but there’s no question that the monster brought Thor’s world crashing down around him -- both literally and figuratively.
5 BLASTED BY THE PHOENIX
Touted upon its release as one of the biggest events in Marvel history, Avengers vs. X-Men featured the two superhero teams battling it out over the fate of Hope Summers following the alarming re-emergence of the all-powerful -- and always so dangerous -- Phoenix Force.
As Earth’s mightiest heroes detect the entity lurking around the Eridanian System, they attempt to halt its destructive path, before being quickly defeated one by one -- all except Thor, that is. In a last-ditch effort to defeat the Phoenix, Thor launches Mjolnir with all his might, sending the creature crashing into a nearby planet. Not so easily defeated though, the Phoenix soon recovers and hits back twice as hard, striking Thor with a blast that sends him plummeting back down to Earth.
4 DISCIPLINED BY ODIN
The “Fear Itself” story arc follows the Fear God known as the Serpent, as he and his “Worthy” followers attempt to usurp Odin as ruler of Asgard, following the revelation that the Serpent is in fact Odin’s sibling. As the Fear God’s generals cause chaos on Earth before moving to Asgard, Thor naturally approaches Odin for help, who vehemently denies him, deeming humanity unworthy of his aid.
Insisting that Odin take the imposing threat seriously, Thor insults his father by claiming that Odin is frustrated that so few humans worship him anymore, theorizing that this is the reason Odin refuses to help. Not taking this lightly, Odin swiftly disciplines his son with a powerful chokeslam to the ground, telling Thor to choose between gods and men -- to which Thor chooses men.
3 BUTCHERED BY GORR
The first several issues of Jason Aaron’s excellent Thor: God of Thunder follow three different Thors -- young Thor, present day Thor and elderly Thor -- and the struggles they face in their eternal battle with the terrifying villain Gorr the God Butcher. It’s young Thor who perhaps gets the biggest beating from Gorr however, as he attempts to track down the being responsible for the murder of countless gods.
Ambushed by Gorr, the villain uses his Necrosword to slash and stab the God of Thunder, all while impaling and choking him with his black tendrils. Soon on the verge of death, Thor’s quick thinking luckily facilitates his escape, as he uses a bolt of lightning to separate himself from the God Butcher. While this saves his life for the moment, it also marks the beginning of an age-old battle against Gorr that would have ramifications for millennia to come.
2 NULLIFIED BY NICK FURY
It’s hard to believe that Nick Fury -- a character with basically no superpowers outside of his extended lifespan -- could defeat a character as supremely powerful as Thor, but that’s exactly what happened during the “Original Sin” story arc that saw Nick Fury take a somewhat villainous turn after murdering Uatu the Watcher. What’s more is that Nick Fury manages to defeat Thor with merely a single whisper.
Catching Thor off guard during their battle, Fury whispers something terrible into Thor’s ear. Something so terrible that it instantly renders Thor unworthy, sending him plummeting down to the surface of the Moon -- completely unable to lift Mjolnir. Still not able to wield the hammer to this day, the moment was a major turning point for the Odinson, and serves as one of his greatest defeats to date.
1 HEXED BY HELA
Serving as the central villain of Thor: Ragnarok, Hela is an inspired choice for the movie’s antagonist, bringing much more charisma, power and over-the-top fun to the table than Thor: The Dark World’s lackluster Malekith the Accursed. Her feud with fellow god Thor is also well rooted in the comics, with Hela appearing very frequently as a thorn in the Odinson’s side.
While Thor often comes out on top of their numerous skirmishes however, Hela is still one of the character’s most formidable and intimidating villains -- and that’s no more apparent than the time she curses Thor. Turning all of his bones brittle and easily breakable, Hela ensures his resulting injuries are unable to kill him, essentially destroying Thor’s body with constant agony and greatly reduced fighting ability, making his life a torturous misery before she finally decides to lift the curse.
Did we miss any other of Thor’s biggest beatdowns? Let us know in the comments below!