Despite Thor’s personal growth in Phase 3, Marvel’s What If…? makes him a goofy comic relief character. Thor: Love and Thunder could fix this.
Marvel’s What If…? episode 9 depicted Thor as an awkward comedic relief character instead of the powerful God of Thunder he really is, but Thor: Love and Thunder could rectify this. When Thor got in tune with his ability to harness lightning during his fight with Hela in Thor: Ragnarok, fans expected to see him embrace his status as one of the MCU’s most powerful characters. Avengers: Infinity War honored this promise, as Thor singlehandedly turned the Battle of Wakanda in favor of the Avengers. But once Thor failed to kill Thanos due to his own ego, his personality took a 180 turn.
After so many consecutive defeats, Thor finally broke in Avengers: Endgame. He found comfort in alcohol, food, and video games and abandoned his will to fight. This was actually an understandable reaction. However, Avengers: Endgame dropped all the nuance of this character development by constantly poking fun at Thor’s weight and mental state. Unfortunately, Thor became the butt of the joke for most of the movie. Then, What If…? cemented Thor’s character as one of the MCU’s goofballs, with Party Thor performing most of the gags in episodes 7 and 9.
However, Thor: Love and Thunder‘s story could end up restoring some of Thor’s complexity and gravitas if it chooses to. Footage shows Chris Hemsworth’s Thor sporting a look and demeanor that are on the whole pretty similar to Party Thor’s from What If…?. This might indicate a continuation of the God of Thunder’s goofy characterization. But the very real threat posed by Gorr the God Butcher, as well as the genuine progress Thor’s mental health seems to have made, could round out his comedic relief role with some gravitas and depth in Thor: Love and Thunder.
What If’s Party Thor Was A Mistake
What If…? episode 7 showed how Thor would have remained irresponsible if Odin hadn’t adopted Loki. While this is accurate considering Thor’s insolent behavior during the first half of the 2011 Thor movie, his first multiversal appearance in What If…? doubled down on this aspect of Thor’s personality. Episode 9 only made it worse, as Thor’s only contributions for most of his scenes were screaming and failing to understand what the Watcher explained to the Guardians of the Multiverse. It may be true that growing up as Odin and Frigga’s party-obsessed only child would have made Thor more scatterbrained, but it certainly wouldn’t have removed his ability to react properly to the potential end of the multiverse.
What If…? insulted other MCU characters such as Thanos, who was massively underpowered, and Captain Marvel, who never won a fight despite being Earth’s last hope. The short runtime of What If…?‘s episodes meant that most characters didn’t have enough time to show more nuance, which resulted in dumbed-down versions of the characters fans know and love. “What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?” managed to answer many unresolved cliffhangers and deliver a better-paced story than most previous episodes, but perhaps Party Thor would have been a more complex comedy relief character in a movie-length version of the finale.
Love And Thunder’s Thor Isn’t Too Far From Party Thor – At First
Thor: Love and Thunder may wind up continuing the MCU’s trend of reducing Thor to comic relief, but it could just as easily do him more justice. Carrying on with Thor: Ragnarok’s colorful comedy vibe, Thor: Love and Thunder promises to be lighthearted in some ways. It will see Thor exploring who he is by adventuring across the cosmos, sporting a laid-back look and a new content, go-with-the-flow attitude. In these ways, Love and Thunder‘s Thor may end up very similar to Party Thor. At the same time, however, the Guardians of the Galaxy will likely occupy much of the comic relief space in Thor: Love and Thunder, leaving room for Thor’s journey of self-discovery to carry a bit more depth and nuance. Likewise, the seriousness of Gorr the God Butcher’s vendetta and the potent existential threat it poses to Thor and New Asgard can offer Thor a more serious context in which to thrive.
With Marvel’s What If…? season 2 coming in 2022, it’s safe to say that the Guardians of the Multiverse will be called upon once again, which gives season 2 the opportunity to fix the mistakes of the first, including the goofy characterization of Thor. After his arc gets developed even further with Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor could easily become a more grounded character moving forward.
More: Marvel Finally Fixed What If…?’s Problems, But Was It Too Late?
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
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