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Old 10-30-2014, 05:57 AM   #1
seahammer
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Default Ragnarok storylines in the comics to read or re-read before the film

I posted a version of this over in the main Thor: Ragnarok thread, but I thought it might be better to have a place just to talk about what comics we expect to see influence the movie, and a place for new readers to see what comics they should check out between now and the release. As I'm sure I'll miss some the first time around, I can keep updating this first post for people to check out.

So:
In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is the end of the world. It starts with the death of Baldur. Most of the gods die in battle (Thor is killed by Jormangund, the Midgard Serpent; Odin is killed by Fenrir the Wolf, etc), and the whole world, moon, and sun are destroyed in various ways (the sun and moon are eaten by giant wolves, for example). There is a three year winter on earth (if I remember right), but eventually the remaining gods start things over and the human race re-starts. (This was from memory, so if I made mistakes let me know and I'll fix it!)

There have been several versions of "Ragnarok" in the book, and a lot of Asgardian time and effort was spent delaying the Twilight of the Gods.

We have:
Thor Volume I #273-278
This had the death of Balder (one of my favorite covers ever, with Thor holding Balder like a pieta), mortals in Asgard (Red Norvell), etc. I don't expect this one to really influence the film since we are missing some key players, like Balder. However, I do suggest this run for anyone who likes the Thor of this era. I have fond memories of reading this as a kid (even though I never much liked Red Norvell)

Thor Volume I #349-353
Walt Simonson's "Surtur Saga." This is a biggie, and the one I think will influence the film the most. It has Loki, Thor, and Odin teaming up to stop Surtur, and is the culmination of a lot of long building plot threads. It's really a definitive part of Thor's history, and very Ragnarok-esque. (To be honest, I highly recommend reading the entire Simonsson run, which goes from 337-382. It has been a big influence on the movies so far, and it is revered for a reason!)

Thor Volume I #380
Thor vs The Midgard Serpent (his adversary in the mythological Ragnarok); Thor has been cursed by Hela with brittle bones, and is the most vulnerable he has ever been. It is not exactly a re-telling of Ragnarok, but a lot of mythological aspects of Ragnarok are referenced and incorporated. (Also, for those who haven't read it, it's a beautifully written and illustrated issue that can stand on its own.)

Thor Volume II #80-85
Oeming's tie in to Avengers Disassembled. This had Rune Thor (a super-powerful version of Thor who gained the Odinforce), the destruction of Those Who Sit Above In Shadow (who were sort of a set of "gods for the gods"), the "death" of every Asgardian (who were later resurrected after the Thor comic returned from hiatus by JMS). It's a great run, and not very long. It incorporates a number of elements and visuals from the mythology, gives wonderful closure to decades of Thor stories, and (I would guess) will have some influence on this film.

Other possibilities:
-"Ragnarok" is the name of the Thor Clone... the less said about that the better, and I hope that this film has nothing to do with that.
-Wasn't there a story in the Ultimates where Loki brings an army from the 9 realms to attack earth or something? I'd stopped reading the Ultimates by that time, but I remember seeing artwork from it online.
-There have multiple appearances of Surtur, and pretty much every time he shows up, Ragnarok is mentioned. I can add some of these later.
-Some other storyline from the comics that does not specifically deal with the Norse Ragnarok, but is very end-of-the-world-y. (think Celestials, Godbutcher, etc).
-Something completely new, not based on a storyline from the comics (like The Dark World).

I'm sure there's some that I forgot. Like I said above: if anyone tells me what I missed, I'll add it to this post. I pretty much did this from memory, except I had to look up a few issue numbers, so I'm sure it can be revised.

Discuss! Suggest! Read!



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Last edited by seahammer; 10-30-2014 at 06:03 AM.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ragnarok storylines in the comics to read or re-read before the film

Trying to get my hands on the 80's Simonson run, is that included in any omnibuses?

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Old 10-30-2014, 09:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ragnarok storylines in the comics to read or re-read before the film

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Originally Posted by MahvelBaby! View Post
Trying to get my hands on the 80's Simonson run, is that included in any omnibuses?
Thor Visionaries Vol 1-5 are all Simonson

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Old 10-30-2014, 09:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ragnarok storylines in the comics to read or re-read before the film

Thanks!

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Old 10-30-2014, 12:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ragnarok storylines in the comics to read or re-read before the film

I really like Walt Simonson's run on the Thor comic! The Surtur Saga would provide great material to use in the movie.

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Old 11-03-2014, 11:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ragnarok storylines in the comics to read or re-read before the film

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Thor Visionaries Vol 1-5 are all Simonson
They've also re-released his entire run just this past year.

I've seen it at numerous Barnes & Noble stores - it's labeled as The Mighty Thor on the covers, and it can be found under 'Thor by Walt Simonson' on Amazon.

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Old 11-04-2014, 04:24 AM   #7
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Thumbs up Re: Ragnarok storylines in the comics to read or re-read before the film

I'm not really a Marvel fan, or a Thor fan, but I am really excited about Thor: Ragnarok (and roll) because it looks like it might draw on more of the legendary Simonson run (mentioned by previous posters).

People say a lot about the last few years of Thor, but I doubt it can hold a candle to Simonson's incredible storylines and art - the man did for Thor what Byrne did for the Xmen in the late 70's- early 80's (three words people, Dark Phoenix Saga, although have to give Claremont some credit there).

Anyway, Simonson just ticked all the boxes, he managed to have an epic scale to his stories, but make the characters engaging, his stories were dark, but had plenty of light moments and they gave us so many great Thor characters ( Beta Ray Bill, Balder coming into his own, the Warriors three and yes, the Frog of Thunder). And of course all beautifully drawn.

Just to see Odin, Loki, and Thor standing together against Surtur would be a real goosebumps moment.

So very much to everyone who suggested that essential reading for this film is the Simonson run (might have to dig out a few old issues and relive the glory days).

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Old 11-04-2014, 05:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ragnarok storylines in the comics to read or re-read before the film

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batmannerism View Post
I'm not really a Marvel fan, or a Thor fan, but I am really excited about Thor: Ragnarok (and roll) because it looks like it might draw on more of the legendary Simonson run (mentioned by previous posters).

People say a lot about the last few years of Thor, but I doubt it can hold a candle to Simonson's incredible storylines and art - the man did for Thor what Byrne did for the Xmen in the late 70's- early 80's (three words people, Dark Phoenix Saga, although have to give Claremont some credit there).
Well said, Batmannerism! I just finished reading the three volumes of Miller's DD Visionaries, and I was thinking, "man, Miller is to DD what Simonson is to Thor."

Quote:
Anyway, Simonson just ticked all the boxes, he managed to have an epic scale to his stories, but make the characters engaging, his stories were dark, but had plenty of light moments and they gave us so many great Thor characters ( Beta Ray Bill, Balder coming into his own, the Warriors three and yes, the Frog of Thunder). And of course all beautifully drawn.

Just to see Odin, Loki, and Thor standing together against Surtur would be a real goosebumps moment.

So very much to everyone who suggested that essential reading for this film is the Simonson run (might have to dig out a few old issues and relive the glory days).
I have a nearly full Thor collection (7 issues to go!), but the Simonson issues are without a doubt the ones I dig out and revisit the most. Part of that is probably because I remember getting a lot of those as a kid (ah, nostalgia), but they really are definitive issues for Thor. IMO, Jason Aaron is (still) doing a great job on Thor, but it is doubtful there will ever be another Uncle Walt.

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Old 11-04-2014, 02:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ragnarok storylines in the comics to read or re-read before the film

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Originally Posted by seahammer View Post
Well said, Batmannerism! I just finished reading the three volumes of Miller's DD Visionaries, and I was thinking, "man, Miller is to DD what Simonson is to Thor."
Good analogy ! I'd even say that what Simonson was to Thor, Giffen was to the Legion of Superheroes ( I think I've already said Byrne to the X-Men, but also Byrne to the West Coast Avengers).

Yeah, Simonson was such a talent, he made me sit up and really take notice of Thor (something I'd never done before then, and really haven't since).

The Miller DD comparison is a very solid one, nice !

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