Thor has gotten plenty of origin stories and character evolutions over the years, but this latest one is sure to tug on some heartstrings.
Spoilers for this week's Thor #7 below!
The issue followed the God of Thunder in his early days, as he made a home of sorts for himself on Earth. This proved to be an upsetting thing for Odin, who wanted his son to leave Midgard behind and get more involved with what was going on in Asgard.
Loki offered to help Odin with that problem, using his trickery to engineer something that would make Thor want to abandon Midgard forever. Pretty soon after, Thor was introduced to Erika, a delightfully badass Viking woman leading a horde of soldiers into battle. Thor helped Erika and company win the battle, even though she was initially a bit reluctant to accept his help.
Thor and Erika soon struck up a romantic relationship, with the pair proving to be foils of each other in some very interesting ways, and Thor realizing he would be more than fine staying on Earth with Erika forever. Odin seemed confused by this revelation, until Loki confirmed that it was all part of his master plan.
Thor and Erika fell deeper in love with each other, with Erika teaching Thor how to truly live life to the fullest. Loki soon orchestrated a conflict big enough to pull Thor away from Erika, as he had to go stop a conflict between the frost giants and the dwarves. Thor made a point to return to Erika as soon as the fighting was over, but that still proved to be much too late. As it turns out, Thor had been gone for forty years, during which Erika spent every day looking at the horizon and waiting for Thor until she died.
To Odin's dismay, this only motivated Thor more, as he realized that leaving Midgard would mean having Erika die in vain. He returned to his life of protecting the humans, all with the new-found outlook of living each day to the fullest. As the final panels of the issue explain, that positive outlook that Erika taught Thor helped him learn to truly be a god, and what it means to be worthy enough to hold his trusty hammer, Mjolnir.
It's certainly a heartfelt story for the God of Thunder, one that wholly justifies his attitude towards helping people, without drastically retconning the established Thor lore. It also has an added layer of emotion to it, especially since the issue happened to debut on the week of the death of Thor co-creator Stan Lee.3comments
"Legacy for me is about honoring the rich history of Marvel, the amazing cast of characters who call the Marvel U home and the legendary creators who've reached down from the heavens like Celestials over the last 50+ years to give those characters life." Thor writer Jason Aaron told ComicBook.com back in 2017. "And the only way I know to honor that rich, imaginative history is to try and take these characters somewhere they've never been before. To give them new challenges and new epics, new triumphs and tragedies."
Thor #7 is in stores now.