He is a God from Norse Myths & Legends. Wouldn't it make more sense if it was set in Norway? I'm guessing that Jack Kirby and Stan Lee didn't know much about the place.
Why isn't Thor set in Norway I wonder
@KingOfAsh: What do you mean? I believe the origin story for Thor had Donald Blake on a trip to Norway when he became trapped in a cave and ultimately found the cane that he uses to change forms from Blake to Thor. Aside from that, most Thor stories take place in modern times, even when Stan Lee and Kirby where doing the stories. It only makes sense that Thor would be with the rest of Marvel's hero line up; most of whom live in New York. Thor adventures across the Nine Realms as well; he is much more of a cosmic character depending on the storyline.
There are a bunch of Thor stories that do have him in Norway however. Most stories involving a younger version of Thor usually have the setting of Viking age Norway, usually right around 900 AD. The current run "Thor: God of Thunder" has a major portion of the story take place in Viking age Norway.
Partially because he's just moved on, partially because he's a NORSE god, and there's simply not much for him in Norway anymore: The Vikings who worshiped him were pillagers, pirates, warriors, and they reveled in it. They loved fighting, drinking, fighting, sleeping, fighting, reproducing, and fighting, and most of this carried over into their gods. Hell, most of their belief system is based around HOW GOOD YOU WERE AT KILLING PEOPLE when you were alive. Nowadays, like most of the world, Norway is 'civilized'. Relatively peaceful.
Now New York? There are people in bright colors swinging and flying around all day every day, doing incredible things! There's always a fight to be had, a villain to punch, a wrong to right, a dame or damsel to save! World destroying crises, end of the universe disasters, all of it is a day in the life of Marvel's New York. To Thor, it must be like a carnival every day. Of course he's based there: It's where the party's at.
Well their Norse mythological knowledge was a bit iffy, but your better off guessing they were writing Thor for an American comic book audience. So you have to apply a creative real world publishing approach to this subject. It makes more sense that as a fictional character they will attempt to present the character in ways they think will gel and fit better for their audience/target market.
Also why decades later when a new retelling of Avengers in Ultimates had Ultimate Thor hanging out in Norway more (and why modern Thor is a bit more worldly depending on the writer)
From a publisher's perspective, Marvel is an American company so that is why his stories take place here. Its not that Americans don't care about the rest of the world, its simply that when you are writing a story, you make your character's relatable to the people you are writing them for. Its why Marvel created a European branch for the comic company.
From a story perspective, Thor does find his hammer in Norway in the original comic. The reason Thor is set up currently in America is because that's where Donald Blake lived. Thor simply returned there and began operating, and by the time he got seperated from Blake the first time, most of his friends (the Avengers, Jane Foster, etc) and such were there.
Restricting Thor to Norway however is a bit stupid, considering he was worshiped all over Europe. Monuments to Thor have been found in in nearly every Eurpoean country, and most of what we know about him comes from Icelandic tales. The earliest recordings of him actually come from the Germans by way of the Romans. Add that to the fact that there are more people of European decent in the U.S. than any single Country in Europe (including over 50 million German Americans and over 11 million Scandanavian Americans compared to about 5 million total population in Norway) means the U.S. likely houses more decendants of the original worshipers of the Germanic gods (and gods are more tied to people than places). So in all actuality it actually makes as much sense for modern Thor to be based in the United States as it does for him to be based anywhere else.
Because Stan and Jack conceived and created Thor to be written for an American youth audience in the early 60's. The Marvel Thor character they created has been quite popular and successful as an American-based character over the decades so they probably never felt the need to base him in Norway as per his Earthly roots.
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