Isn't it pointless to ask who the best Thor is? Out of all the names in the superheroic tradition, his would seem the hardest to make into a legacy mantle. Iron Man can lend his armors out and Cap can pass his shield down, but only the worthiest of the worthy can even lift Mjolnir off the ground. Thor is Thor. He's immortal and he's never going to age enough to take his feathered helmet off for anybody. That’s that. Or is it? Would you believe that Thor actually had his own corps (yes, the rhyme is intentional) like Green Lantern and Captain Britain’s? It’s been almost 20 years since they last assembled, so I won’t fault any of you maniacs for not being too familiar with them.
While you'd be hard pressed to find anybody who thinks Thor isn't the best Thor, it's still fun to discuss how these other mens' styles of thunder godhood have so greatly differed. In honor of the spectacular trailer you all just watched recently, I figured it was appropriate to spotlight characters whom I deeply doubt we'll ever get to see on screen. If, somehow, Thor were to go into the old Odinsleep once again, which one of these heroes could fill in for him? == TEASER ==
THUNDERSTRIKE (First Appeared: THOR #391)
Out of all these would-be thunder gods, Eric Masterson is the only one who actually was Thor (both in title and in embodiment.) An architect who became Thor's civilian identity as part of another of Odin's punishment, he'd swap places with Goldilocks, Shazam style, and eventually got good enough to take over the role for a while. After a big mistake, he got demoted to the Thunderstrike identity, but received the consolation prize of his own enchanted mace. The character's more known for being dead now (dying in a fight with Bloodaxe,) but you can't think of a more fitting solution to humanizing Thor than a working class mortal who rocks a leather jacket over a regal red cape.
BETA RAY BILL (THOR #337)
Undoubtedly the oddest bird on the list, Bill's also the most controversial. While today’s readers are perhaps more accepting of a cyborg, alien Thor, creator Walt Simonson has often spoken about how revolted fans were by the prospect of a superhero this gruesome. Thors should be handsome, right? Odin granted him his own hammer, the more gavel-like Stormbreaker, after he proved worthy of Mjolnir and defeated the Odinson in combat. These days, you can expect this Korbinite to show up for almost every cosmic affair (why, he was just recently in THE THANOS IMPERATIVE). I’ll always root for him for being such an aggressive example of why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. He's the hero who looks likes a villain, the gallant defender who appears to be a horrible monster.
RED NORVELL (THOR #273)
Very much the red-headed stepchild here, Roger Norvell was an impostor set up by devious Aesir. Part of a documentary team Loki brought to photograph Asgard, he was given enchanted garments to battle Thor for his sometimes-paramoure, Sif (though they'd all mend fences later.) After ONSLAUGHT, Red filled in during the Lost Gods era of JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY and proved to be the ultimate fall guy. It turned out that Odin pushed him forward to die in Thor’s place to both fufill and delay the Ragnarok prophecy.
DARGO (THOR #384)
The closest thing to a Superboy for Thor, Dargo Ktor came (or comes?) from a dystopian future ruled by evil corporations. He was part of the Cult of the Hammer that's devoted to the thunder god but, thankfully, unlike the first Gog, this hero worshipper from the future didn't harbor an insatiable, deadly grudge against his idol. Little has been done with this guy since his days in the Thor Corps almost two decades ago, but I reckon it’s only a matter of time before he shows up somewhere. There's a lot untapped potential in a younger Thor with some rock 'n roll attitude. When it does happen, you can impress your pals by saying you already knew the skinny on this obscure character and didn't have to look him up.
THUNDERSTRIKE II (THOR #392)
Thunderstrike’s son, young master Kevin’s had an unusual career, by-the-by. The bulk of his appearances have actually been as a grown-up in A-Next, the latter-day Avengers of the MC2 future. However, we all know that children age rapidly in the Marvel Universe (even as adults’ ages stay frozen) and this timeline’s finally caught up with that future as Kevin’s finally grown old enough to wield his father's magical mace. An angry young man who blames the entire cape community for his dad's death, Kevin’s only just recently started his adventuring and he's been magically transforming into the spitting image of his old man. Out of all the would-be Thors on this list, he’s the one who will most likely prove important in the near future. Surely, he will challenge Thor soon to settle the perceived wrong that's been inflicted upon his family and then, who knows, maybe son will imitate father even more by taking the mantle of Thor, too.In addition to all these broard-shoulder gentlemen, I should also mention Thor's evil clone robot Ragnarok, his would-be sidekick, Thor Girl, the cuckoo bananas false prophet Thor from the Ultimate Universe and, of course, the one to unite Asgard with New Genesis, Thorion.
Once again, I put the question to you Comic Vine maniacs... were the hammer to ever fall out of Thor's grasp once again, which of these worthy warriors would you want want to wield it in his stead?