5 Comics to Read After You’ve Seen ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

5 Comics to Read After You’ve Seen ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Thor: Ragnarok has it all: sibling rivalry, superhero battles, the final fate of mythical realms, and the Hulk dressed up like a gladiator. It’s the kind of movie designed to have you exiting the theater wanting more—and that’s where we come in. Or, more accurately, that’s where the following five comic runs come in. Each one of the suggestions below fills in a Thor need you didn’t even know you had, and gives you even more of the grandiose melodrama and unapologetic fun that makes Taika Waititi’s movie a mighty Marvel masterpiece. Get ready to smash your way through these comics at lightning-fast speed. (See what we did there? Oh, you did? OK, cool. Read on.)

The Mighty Thor #337-382

If Ragnarok leaves you suddenly more interested in the god of thunder than you’d ever been before—not to mention wanting to read more about Hela, Skurge, Surtur, or the dysfunctional relationship between Thor and Loki—then this four-year run by comic book legend Walter Simonson is the motherlode. Written and drawn by Simonson (with art in some issues by the equally legendary Sal Buscema), these 1980s comic book classics were the inspiration for almost everything you liked in the movie, on the Thor side at least. And there’s far more to discover here, including Hela’s ultimate revenge on Thor: taking away his ability to die. It’s really not what you think, and it just might be the end of the man with the Mjölnir altogether. Genuinely great stuff, and some of the best superhero comics ever made.

How to read it: Available digitally and in the Thor by Walter Simonson print collections.

The Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #92-105

In addition to Walter Simonson’s Thor comics, Ragnarok also lifts heavily from the “Planet Hulk” storyline, which was the first time the Hulk crashed on Sakaar and found himself getting into gladiator cosplay. Played far less for laughs than in the movie, this storyline by Greg Pak, Carlo Pagulayan, and other artists is regarded by many as one of the greatest Hulk stories ever—and given that it includes love, death, and the Hulk literally becoming the ruler of an entire planet, it’s not hard to see why. Spoilers: Prepare to come away from it fully believing that Tony Stark is far more of a jerk than you’d ever previously believed.

How to read it: Available digitally and in the Hulk: Planet Hulk Omnibus print edition.

Thor Vol. 3 #1-12, #600-603, Thor Giant-Sized Finale #1

Ignore the confusing numbering above—#600 is actually the thirteenth issue, and it’s best not to think too hard about what was going on there—and dig this glimpse at what might be awaiting the cinematic Asgard. In this run, J. Michael Straczynski, Oliver Coipel, and Marko Djurdjevic tell the story of what happens after Ragnarok (or, at least, a Ragnarok) and detail how Asgard rebuilds itself on Earth, with all the culture shock that follows. The basis for contemporary Thor comics, including the wonderfully fun and highly recommended current run by writer Jason Aaron, is here, and don’t be too surprised if it ends up being the basis for the future direction of Thor’s onscreen adventures, as well.

How to read it: Available digitally and in the Thor by J. Michael Straczynski print collections.

Loki, Agent of Asgard #1-17

While the comic book Loki may not have the charm of Tom Hiddleston, he’s arguably a more interesting and morally ambiguous character—especially in this recent series by Al Ewing and Lee Garbett, in which an attempt to work as a good guy for once is complicated by a world that refuses to believe he’s for real, and a time-displaced self who’s determined to ensure that he stays exactly as bad as everyone expects. A Loki comic might be the last place you’d expect to find meditations on whether or not we can ever escape expectations or our past behaviors and change, but this is the god of tricks. It’s only fitting that this series confounds expectations and ends up being surprisingly affecting in the process.

How to read it: Available digitally and in print collections.

Contest of Champions #1-10

Meanwhile, after getting a chance to see Jeff Goldblum’s hypnotically immoral Grandmaster, it’s almost impossible that you won’t want to read more about him. This 2015 series—again written by Loki‘s Al Ewing with art by Paco Medina—is likely to fulfill your every need. In Contest of Champions the Grandmaster, an evil intelligent Hulk called the Maestro, and a pacifist British version of the Punisher (no, really) get mixed up in a reality-bending game where hero fights hero and villain fights villain—all for the entertainment of cosmic entities with a gambling problem or two. You haven’t lived until you’ve found yourself rooting for the British Punisher to defeat the psychopathic Punisher from the future while wondering if the cat is going to make it out alright.

How to read it: Available digitally and in print collections.


More Thor

  • Angela Watercutter’s review of Thor: Ragnarok
  • Director Taika Waititi talks about suiting up to play Korg in his new movie
  • Using physics to measure how hulky the Hulk is in Thor: Ragnarok

Source: https://www.wired.com/story/thor-ragnarok-comics-reading-list/

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