Recent issues of “Thor” have introduced several horror movie themes that could be a sign of things to come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Thor #11 by Donny Cates, Nic Klein, Matt Wilson, and VC’s Joe Sabino, on sale now.
While superheroes rule the industry now, there is a long history of comic books catering to a different kind of fantastic story in the horror genre. Although its heyday is long past, the genre is nowhere near dead, as titles such as Marvel Zombies and DCeased explore the dark side of fiction. Still, it’s rare that a tentpole superhero becomes embroiled in a world of terror, but that’s exactly where Thor can be found in recent issues of his title. In fact, it might not be long before the God of Thunder introduces the MCU to a new age of horror.
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Donald Blake, Thor’s longtime alter ego, has reemerged after years spent in the artificial world behind his transformations into the God of Thunder. The experience damaged his mind and twisted his psyche into that of a bloodthirsty killer, eager to eliminate all of those who share a shred of the power thrust upon him by Odin. Not only has Blake destroyed the cane by which his transformations were triggered and left Thor stranded, he’s also taken control of the Rainbow Bridge after leaving the greatest warriors of Asgard trapped in another dimension. Between leaving the field clear of almost any opposition and stripping the Midgard Serpent of his powers, there is little standing in the way of Blake’s onslaught, and the body count keeps growing larger.
In the latest issue, Blake meets with Jane Foster for the time in years over dinner at a posh restaurant, asking her to tell him everything that he’s missed out on during his time away. Jane knows him too well to buy the charade of happiness that he is putting on, leading Blake to admit that the holes in his memory and seeming lack of a connection to Thor are both concerning. He seems genuinely glad to be with someone he considers a friend, but when he asks Jane if she knows where Odin is, he finally learns that she spent her own time as the God of Thunder. This revelation fills Blake’s mind with visions of stabbing Jane at the table before he makes an abrupt exit, remarking that Jane doesn’t belong in the morgue on his way out.
While Jane may have thought Blake was talking about her recent career change, the former hero’s campaign of terror made its way to her office in horrifying fashion. Once she arrived at work, Jane is given tragic news by her coworker, who informs her that Roger Norvell came into the morgue that morning. Roger was the victim of a brutal attack that left him nearly unidentifiable. Roger also served as Thor off and on again throughout the years, and as such ended up a victim of Blake’s killing spree. It doesn’t take Jane more than a moment to put the pieces together, realizing that she just shared a casual meal with a murderer, one who might just be coming for her next.
Thor being taken deep into the realm of horror over the course of current events isn’t the only time that the titular character’s life has become something akin to a slasher film. Gorr the God Butcher, a relatively recent addition to the God of Thunder’s rogues gallery, is slated to make his big screen premiere in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. Gorr’s story begins on a starving, nameless planet, where the gods have stopped listening and the people die in droves. When Gorr witnessed a bright, shining god battling Knull, and the former deity begged him for help, Gorr slew the gold armored god with a piece of the living darkness that would come to be known as All Black.
After his initial taste of immortal blood, Gorr’s lust for the death of those he believed had abandoned him became all consuming. Gorr’s campaign of deicide throughout the cosmos would eventually bring him to Earth, culminating in a crusade against the Asgardians which spanned millennia. It might not be likely that Gorr’s introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe involves dead and dying gods hanging from metal hooks and chains as was shown in the comics, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to see a pillar of the MCU take a sharp turn in favor of the more horrific.
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