In relatively short order, Donny Cates became a household name amongst comic book readers. Changing the landscape of the Marvel Universe throughout the pages of Venom, Thanos, and Silver Surfer (to name just a few series he’s written), the man takes bold and exciting creative choices whenever the opportunities present themselves. When it was announced that Cates would be penning the upcoming Thor series, fans of the thunder god went nuts, eager to see how the scribe would handle the lore of one of Marvel’s oldest and most powerful heroes.
As for ourselves, we just announced our partnership with Marvel Comics! Because of this union, we have a ComicTom Marvel exclusive variant for Thor #1 by Donny Cates that we’ll be shipping out in the upcoming Mystery Mail Call. With all that happening, we’re taking some time to reflect on Thor and some of the things that make the God of Thunder so mightily awesome. With that in mind, our first article of the series is, as the title suggests, going to focus on 10 things/people we’d like to see get brought back into Thor’s world. What and who Donny Cates will introduce or bring back is anyone’s guess, so think of this as a personal wish list.
10. Dr. Donald Blake and Jake Olson.
Do you remember the last time we saw Thor’s aliases Dr. Donald Blake and/or Jake Olson? It might have been during the Marvel event Siege. Since then, Thor’s other half/halves has been missing. Sure, Thor’s resolved his personal issues and doesn’t really NEED alter egos anymore as he’s come to terms with many of his personal and emotional issues, but stories involving Thor and other personas are great nonetheless. Blake was something of a “false” identity created by Odin to give Thor a sense of humility, but nonetheless, Donald Blake, and Jake Olson for that matter, is as important to the Thor mythos as any character. Blake and Olson both being meek doctors serve as a perfect juxtaposition to Thor’s warrior frame and mentality. Odds are Donny Cates won’t be including either, but stranger things have happened.
9. The Celestials
When one thinks of Thor, the interstellar cosmic gods known as the Celestials don’t often come to mind. Wielders of the Power Cosmic and nearly as old as time itself, their appearance often foretells impending doom. Heck, part of the reason Odin originally created the Destroyer armor was in order to battle the Celestials should the need arrive.
There was a period in Thor’s life where the Celestials were the bane of the thunder god’s existence and our hero had to put it all on the line in order to save a planet or two. One of the few heroes of Earth, or anywhere in the Marvel universe, with the power to do battle with the cosmic juggernauts, anytime you’re witnessing a Thor vs. Celestial fight, you can rest assured it’s going to be a doozy.
8. Surtur the Fire Demon
When it comes to big baddies, they don’t get much worse than Surtur. The Lord of Muspelheim and King of the Fire Giants, Surtur represents a constant threat to Thor and all of Asgard. Possibly older than Odin, the fire demon is simply waiting for Ragnarök, at least when he’s not in the midst of battling the God of Thunder. Every time he’s been defeated, Surtur bounces back shortly thereafter. So powerful is this creature, that not only can he shrug off Thor’s strongest attack, a technique capable of hurting Celestials, but it’s thought he cannot be killed, only delayed or temporarily imprisoned. We have to imagine Donny Cates could do wonders with a being as mighty as the Fire Demon.
7. The God Blast
Goku has his Kamehameha, Batman his batarangs, and you get the idea. Iconic heroes have iconic finishing moves that oftentimes leaves their opponents shredded and/or lying helpless and in tatters at their feet. But what about Thor? Believe it or not, Thor has an ultimate attack of his own. The heroes of the Marvel Universe aren’t known for shouting out their abilities like an anime character, but Thor is the exception to this rule. Known as his God Blast, this ability harnesses all of Thor’s life force, channeling it in and out of Mjolnir, becoming one monumentally destructive energy beam. Capable of stopping the Juggernaut in his tracks and even giving Celestials pause, it’s been decades since Thor has rang out the call of battle and unleashed one of the most powerful forces generated by a superhero.
6. The World Serpent
Now where has this guy been? Dead, you say? It’s possible, since no one has seen the dreaded World Serpent in a hot minute. A divine creature with practically limitless power, the World Serpent is so mighty, that his movements alone are enough to cause earthquakes across a planet. He and Thor go together like water and oil. They both hate each other and their history spans millennia. Neither one can seem to get rid of the other and it’s high past time that we got another great Thor story featuring the magical creature.
5. The Belt of Strength
Similar to the God Blast, Thor’s Belt of Strength is not an item that often finds its way into modern Thor comics. Capable of doubling Thor’s already awesome strength, it’s easy to almost understand why. When you have a character as powerful as Thor, finding ways to make him stronger almost seems a bit unfair to everyone around him. Having said that, the guy is fighting snakes the size of planets and space gods with a flair for blowing up worlds, so give the man a break. Watching Thor get pushed to the edge in the midst of battle is a tremendous experience and seeing how he responds even more so. If we know Donny Cates, the writer is sure to put the thunder god through the ringer so there’s no reason why Thor couldn’t or shouldn’t use every tool in his arsenal. Ultimately, we know Cates would undoubtably find a unique and clever way to use the item.
4. Awesome Team-Ups.
Yes, we know Thor is going to be teaming up with Beta Ray Bill in Cates’ run, but it’s always cool to see the thunder god hang out with folks outside his typical wheelhouse. By that we don’t mean spending time with the Avengers, oh no, but rather with heroes like Spider-Man and even the X-Men. Spidey and Thor team up from time to time, and it takes a clever writer to imagine a situation where Thor needs helps from the wall-crawling hero, who’s always outclassed when dealing with godly situations. As for the X-Men, there was that time during Walter Simonson’s run when Thor teamed up with X-Factor during the Mutant Massacre storyline. As it turns out, the heroes complemented each other’s strengths and weaknesses rather well and it’d be great to see the mutant outlaws fight side-by-side with the God of Thunder. While we’re on the subjects of team-ups, can we get Hercules to spend an issue or two fighting alongside Thor?
3. Modi Thorson
Donny Cates loves throwing characters and their worldview for a loop. Cates gets a kick out of digging deep into a character’s lore and asking questions that no one has posited. This brings us to Modi Thorson, the son of the Ultimate Thor. Streamlining directly from Marvel’s Ultimate Comics universe, Modi deserved more attention than he initially got. Though he died in battle against his dad, the entire Ultimate Universe ended up dying during the Secret Wars event, only to see something of a rebirth in later comics. Bringing back the son of Thor would be a curve ball nobody, including the thunder god, would see coming.
2. Ultimate Thor
Where oh where has Ultimate Thor gone? It’s not a trick question, since he was killed during Secret Wars, but again, like with Modi, all it would take is a bit of retconning and clever wordplay and boom, what an event that would be! Thor meeting Thor! To be fair, Ultimate Thor’s hammer found its way to the 616 Universe, so is it really unthinkable that through some comic book shenanigans its wielder couldn’t be far behind?
Nearly every superhero worth their salt has been replaced at one point by a friend or mystery character. Peter Parker had Ben Reilly, Captain America had Sam Wilson, Tony Stark had James Rhodes, and so on and so forth. Thor had Eric Masterson. In every way, shape, and form Eric Masterson was no Thor. The audience knew it, his fellow heroes knew it, and most importantly, he knew it. That didn’t stop Eric from doing his best when the call came and he was forced to take on the thunder god mantle. Eventually, Masterson retired the Thor persona and became the hero Thunderstrike. Sporting a leather vest, ponytail, and a 90’s attitude to match, Eric became a hero in his own right, earning his spot in the halls of Valhalla. When Masterson died, his son Kevin Masterson took over. Since the Asgardians of the Galaxy series, we haven’t seen Kevin Masterson, but it’s definitely well past time not just for an Asgardian reunion with Thor, but for the young godling to shine once more; he genuinely deserves to.
Honorable Mention: Thanos
Donny Cates loves Thanos, readers love Thanos, and Marvel loves Thanos. You know who doesn’t love Thanos? Thor. While in recent years the pair haven’t shared much time on the written page, their rivalry was made rather clear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as seen in Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. But what makes Thanos a character we want to see appear in the pages of Thor? For starters, Donny Cates has built much of his career around the Mad Titan. With nearly all his storylines intersecting around the villain, it would make sense for his Thor run to involve Thanos at one point or another. As for the duo’s antagonistic relationship, few writers have taken the time to explore it, but there’s an entire story arc, combined into the trade paperback called Thor vs. Thanos, that is exactly what it sounds like. Without spoiling anything for those wanting to pick it up, there’s a reason why these two beings are considered some of Marvel’s biggest hitters. There was also that time years earlier when Thor went mad after acquiring the Power Stone of the Infinity Gauntlet; some of the galaxy’s heroes recruited Thanos to help take Thor down. With the way Donny Cates’ mind works, and the manner in which he interprets a character’s power, you can bet your bottom dollar that if he did square off the two otherworldly beings, it would be a fight for the ages.
As always, geek responsibly! ‘Nuff said!
- Octavio Karbank
A writer by trade and aficionado of all things pop culture, Octavio Karbank is a recent addition to the ComicTom101 team! A devoted comic book collector, with plenty of long boxes to prove it, Octavio is always on the hunt for those elusive key issues! A freelance writer who has penned articles for websites like CBR and Bleeding Cool, he’s excited to be working alongside some of the greatest minds the world of comic book speculation has to offer! If you’re interested in checking out more of his ramblings, go to his Twitter page: https://twitter.com/TymeHunter