Spider-Man's greatest foe is a Halloween party reject and Captain America's arch enemy is just a guy who forgot his suntan lotion — but when it comes to the God of Thunder, Thor's antagonists are in a whole other league.
Half-brother Loki is a fan-favorite, proving to be a constant thorn in Thor's side, but it's his daughter Hela who's really the one to watch. As the ruler of Hell itself, Hela's Asgardian powers are off the charts. Combine that with her thirst for the souls of the dead — including Thor's and Odin's — and Hela becomes one of the most fascinating characters in the Asgardian pantheon.
The Goddess of Death has clashed with Thor numerous times over the years, and now that Cate Blanchett is set to bring Hela to life on the big screen, there's never been a better time to round up the pair's greatest battles. Any of these story lines could make an appearance in Thor: Ragnarok — along with that Hulk grudge match, of course.
Hela Starts Out as a Big Old Softie
Hela has existed in Norse mythology since the Vikings roamed the earth and Odin first took one of his legendary power naps, but the goddess's debut in the comics didn't come along until Journey into Mystery #102 hit the stands in 1964.
For her first comic book encounter with Uncle Thor, Hela took the God of Thunder's love interest hostage in a bid to steal Thor's soul. However, Odinson offered to give his own life in exchange for Lady Sif's, a move that impressed Hela so much that she decided to let them both go. We're pretty sure that the Goddess of Death lived to regret that decision, if the following battles are anything to go by.
Just a few years later, Hela and Thor crossed paths once again in Thor #150 after the God of Thunder was finally defeated in battle by his long-time adversary, the Wrecker. It's worth pausing here for a moment to point out that the guy who killed the legendary Odinson wears a purple mask and hits stuff with a crowbar. Just saying.
Anyway, after Thor's apparent demise, Hela arrived on the scene to claim his soul. Luckily, the Asgardian warrior projected his astral form to stay her hand and then reclaimed his body to defeat the Wrecker.
Let's add that to the list of random powers that superheroes pull out of the bag when the writers are desperate to clock off early. At least Thor's a god though, so it kind of makes sense that he can do things like this. The creative team behind Superman IV: The Quest for Peace had no excuse.
Thor Dies... Again.
You know what they say: never trust a Goddess of Death. Turn your back for one second, and they'll rob a piece of your soul without a second's thought. That's what Grandaddy Odin discovered when Hela stole part of his soul, which transformed into a powerful entity known as Infinity and ran rampant through Asgard.
Hela then successfully managed to kill Thor, who once again evaded permanent death after being restored to life by the Silent One, a former servant of Hela. Because gods can be petty too, Odin then killed his granddaughter Hela in return — although she was restored to life too in order to preserve the balance between life and death.
This all might sound quite ridiculous, but this is comics after all, and nobody stays dead for long. Even the likes of Captain America and Spider-Man have snuffed it in the past too, only to return a few years later to boost sales.
Hela Forces Thor to Grow a Beard
Walt Simonson's run on Thor during the '80s is literally the stuff of legend and throughout his work on the comic, tensions built between Hela and the god of Thunder until they eventually come to blows in their most epic battle yet.
After tricking Thor and the Warriors Three into believing that they were living in paradise, the God of Thunder breaks free and challenges Hela to combat on the condition that he would belong to her if he loses the fight.
Thor eventually wins by tearing Hela's precious cloak away from her, revealing a half-decayed corpse underneath that's now been rendered utterly powerless. The victory comes at a cost though. During the fight, Hela slashed Thor with a death-touch that disfigured his face and weakened his entire body, to the point where he had to wear a beard and extra armour for most of the '80s. As if the fashion wasn't already bad enough.
Will any of Thor's and Hela's greatest battles appear in 'Thor: Ragnarok'?
While little has been revealed about Hela's role in the story of Thor: Ragnarok, concept art suggests that the Goddess of Death won't receive the warmest of welcomes upon entering the gates of Asgard. Understandable, really. She does want to suck out their souls, after all.
Whether the team behind Thor: Ragnarok decide to utilize classic comic book story lines or devise new material, it's clear that Hela's relationship with Loki will play a large part in the film, although it's hard to tell if they'll be working with or against each other. Loki is now king of Asgard after all and it may not benefit him to lose the souls of his followers to the realm of Hel.
Likely story lines will revolve around Hela's never-ending quest to obtain Thor's soul, as seen in the animated movie Thor Vs Hulk and there's even rumours that Blanchett's role in the MCU could extend to Avengers: Infinity War. The similarity between her and Marvel's personification of Death means that the two could be combined in order to become Thanos's lover in the MCU.
While we're waiting for Thor: Ragnarok to hit theaters on November 3, 2017, check out this hilarious video Chris Hemsworth filmed on set, and hit play below to watch Hela's cinematic debut in all its emo glory.
How will Hela take down the God of Thunder in Thor: Ragnarok? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!