After the sneak peek given to us by the Blu-Ray release of #DoctorStrange, we got a much better look at Thor: Ragnarok thanks to Entertainment Weekly's new issue. We got to see new characters like Jeff Goldblum's Grandmaster and Cate Blanchett's Hela. But most importantly, we got to see Thor's new look.
The Odinson got rid of his signature golden locks in favor of shorter hair and beard. That may have seemed like just an interesting design choice for the character, but something you might have not noticed is that his new appearance indicates the #MCU will be tackling a pivotal comic book storyline for the God of Thunder: Unworthy Thor.
What's 'Unworthy Thor' About?
The story deals with a Thor who's unable to lift his trusty hammer, Mjölnir, after a revelation by The Watcher made him unworthy. Now he's a sleepless alcoholic who wields a magical axe as he roams around space and fights who he can in the company of his flying goat. Clearly he's handling this well.
Thanks to a being called The Unseen, he learns there's a second mysterious Mjlönir in Old Asgard, so he takes off to his former home world in the company of his brother in arms, Beta Ray Bill. Unfortunately for the former God of Thunder, Thanos and Taneleer Tivan, a.k.a. The Collector, also covet the powerful weapon.
Eventually, Thor and Beta Ray Bill discover Asgard has been captured by The Collector, simply to take possession of the iconic weapon, which is stranded in the land. The villain manages to capture them both and it's revealed the hammer belonged to the Thor in the now defunct Ultimate Universe.
This reality's Thor then spends months breaking out of his cage and trying to touch the weapon, but gets captured every time. Finally, Beta Ray manages to escape, finds his Stormbreaker, and frees Thor. Then alongside Thor's trusty goat and a hound from Hell (I know, comics), they battle The Collector's servants to reach Ultimate Mjlönir.
Unfortunately for the group of heroes, The Unseen forged an alliance with Thanos (who's a prisoner on Earth), and alongside the Mad Titan's enforcers, the mysterious figure appears to wreak havoc for our beloved underdogs. The storyline is ongoing, so there's no much more information, but I trust you get the gist if it.
How Do We Know The MCU Is Probably Adapting That Storyline?
As fans, we love to speculate on which elements upcoming superhero films will borrow from their source material. But because of that, we often run the risk of falling into "unfounded theory" territory. Fortunately, this time there's a lot of solid evidence that tells us #Marvel Studios is setting everything up to adapt the storyline.
Thor's New Look In 'Ragnarok'
When Thor trimmed down his signature golden locks in the comics, it was a pivotal moment for him as a character, as it signaled an evolution, a reconstructing of sorts. And believe it or not, there's a thematic similarity between the live-action and printed page godly haircuts. During his EW interview, #ChrisHemsworth talked about what the bigger significance of his intriguing new look:
"It felt like a rebirth for me as the actor but also as the character.”
It's also worthy to note that there's no two ways around it: Hemsworth looks exactly the same in the EW cover as his comic book counterpart, even his thick, envy-inducing beard is a great callback to the tougher days the God of Thunder is currently going through.
The Lack Of Mjölnir In 'Infinity War'
Thor will lose his hammer in Ragnarok. As the plot description reveals:
"Thor’s initial encounter with Hela gets him blasted to Sakaar, a barbaric planet ruled by the charming but nefarious Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). [...] Thor is then forced into becoming a gladiator, which leads to his haircut and the loss of his trusty hammer."
Earlier in the year, Marvel released our first official look at #AvengersInfinityWar. While it was a behind-the-scenes video, there were plenty of interesting tidbits to pick up. One of the most significant ones was the concept art above, depicting Rocket Raccoon and Thor fighting side-by-side.
If you look closely, Thor is not wielding Mjölnir, but what appears to be a sword, or even the battle axe he wields in the Unworthy Thor comics. That tells us something very important: He will not make it out of #ThorRagnarok with his hammer. You might think he's simply wielding the same sword as the one seen in EW's cover, but the hilts are completely different:
So he will be wielding a new weapon in Infinity War. In the latest issue of Unworthy Thor, the Odinson manages to grab Ultimate Thor's weapon, which is a sort of battle ax-hammer combo.
Could that be what Thor is holding in the Infinity War image? Maybe.
Connections To The Rest Of The Marvel Cinematic Universe
As I'm sure you noticed from the Unworthy Thor description, the story connects the God of Thunder to characters prominently featured in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, such as Thanos and The Collector.
We've known for quite a while that Thor: Ragnarok will give audiences a better look at the cosmic side of the MCU. We could reasonably expect a crossover (as small as it may be) between Thor and the world presented in #GuardiansoftheGalaxy, especially if we take into account the fact that Ragnarok is the last film dealing with the cosmic side of the MCU before Infinity War.
Using Thor's third solo outing as a bridge between the Earth and space environments is the smoothest way to present Thanos' impending arrival. And an adaptation of the #UnworthyThor storyline offers Marvel the easiest way to achieve that.
- We Finally Know How Thor: Ragnarok Will Adapt Marvel's 'Planet Hulk'
- The Grandmaster's Connection With Thanos Means We Could See The Origins Of The Mind Stone In Thor: Ragnarok
- Thor: Ragnarok Early Set Images Teased Hidden Villains, But When Will They Be Revealed?
Of course, with all of this evidence, it's important to keep something in mind before getting hyped up for seeing the comic book storyline in question adapted for live-action: Marvel Studios has a very specific way of adapting #comicbook storylines. They aren't entirely faithful to the source material as they are with the characters, but they take elements from different comic book runs and build a movie around them.
A great example is #TheWinterSoldier. It didn't follow the original intricate story beat by beat, but there was enough on screen for us to know that was its inspiration. Same with #CivilWar. So while Thor: Ragnarok and Infinity War will not be entirely faithful to Unworthy Thor, Marvel Studios is definitely taking inspiration from it for the character's new journey.
Are you happy with the MCU adapting Unworthy Thor? Given the evidence, how faithful do you think the films will be to the storyline? Let me know in the comments!