Thor is the best Avenger. Yes, you read that correctly. Here’s why.
I know what you’re thinking: what’s this crazy woman on about?! Thor isn’t even a great Avenger, let alone the best. How is he better than Iron Man or Captain America? But, hear me out. I can explain, I promise!
1 – Invincible
Thor is pretty much a god, which means he’s basically immortal. He will eventually die of old age but, as Loki clarifies in Thor: The Dark World, it’ll take thousands of years.
Thor is literally the only Avenger who hasn’t been in mortal danger and can hold his own in every fight. He’s faced Loki’s Chitauri hoards completely unfazed; Ultron’s metal minions didn’t make a dent on him and Ultron himself hardly bothered him.
In fact, the only time Thor has been close to death was when he was mortal. That didn’t stop him from facing down the Destroyer Loki sent from Asgard. Anyway, Thor survived that as well.
When push comes to shove, Thor is definitely the Avenger you want by your side. He can take the hits without dying while you complete the mission.
2 – Best superpowers
Unlike the X-Men, where everyone has superpowers, the Avengers are mainly made up of a bunch of regular people who use enhancements of the technological or biological kind to do good. And then there’s Hawkeye and Black Widow, who just beat people up, enhancements or no enhancements. How are they still alive?
Of course, this is true of almost everyone except Thor, who, along with being invincible, also has cool superpowers. With his magic hammer, Mjolnir, by his side, Thor can fly, summon thunder and create shockwaves to knock out multiple enemies. Mjolnir is also excellent for giving Thor’s enemies a good whack and, as Vision commented in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it feels very balanced in the hand.
[Spoiler alert for Thor: Ragnarok!]
During the events of Ragnarok, Mjolnir is destroyed (I’m not crying, you’re crying), but Thor learns how to summon thunder on his own (he is the god of thunder, after all, not of hammers!). So, it turns out Thor had it in him all along. Even without Mjolnir, Thor can continue to blast lightning at his enemies, leap great distances and win fights against baddies. Told you he had the best superpowers.
3 – Two for the price of one
Whatever our expectations were when Thor first appeared on our screens, nobody expected to fall quite so in love with Loki. Yes, the god of mischief has our hearts with his long black hair, golden helmet and general bad boy vibe.
Well, we can thank Thor for that. We wouldn’t have Loki at all had it not been for Thor always dragging his brother along with him. The two have practically become a package deal, much to Loki’s chagrin.
The first Avengers film even had Loki as the primary villain because of his popularity in Thor and he actually got more screen time than his hero brother (I’m still a bit miffed about that).
Avengers: Age of Ultron has been the only Thor outing without Loki and we can all agree it was poorer for it. In Ultron’s defence, Loki was pretending to be dead at the time.
4 – All the laughs
By now we all know, and whole-heartedly agree, Thor: Ragnarok is hilarious. It’s not only the funniest Thor film to date but one of the funniest entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
However, contrary to popular belief, Thor is hardly the most boring Avenger (that would be Hawkeye). There have been plenty of laughs associated with our golden-haired Avenger, long before Ragnarok came along.
The first Thor film had its jovial moments, especially once Thor landed on Earth. Remember him fighting the hospital staff? Getting hit by Jane’s car, twice? Cooking breakfast once he’d accepted his mortal fate?
Even in Thor: The Dark World, which was meant to be far grittier, Thor gave us some memorable light moments. Like when he and Jane were stranded on a planet with no way out, only for Jane’s phone to ring. Thor’s reaction: “It’s not mine”.
A god who is also funny, how could we not love him?
5 – So much heart
Laughs aside, Thor has the biggest heart of all the Avengers. I guarantee you, had he been on Earth during the Sokovia Accords fiasco, he would have stopped Civil War from ever happening. Because Thor just wants to see everyone get along.
Family has always been at the centre of Thor’s life, despite his love for a good fight. He’s given Loki numerous chances to redeem himself despite all the trouble he’s caused because Thor believes in his brother, even if Loki doesn’t believe in himself.
In The Dark World, after Thor’s mother Frigga is killed, Thor decides to go against his father’s wishes and break Loki out of prison so he can avenge his mother. He knows how dangerous his plan is, but he does it anyway because Thor needs to do right by his mum.
Later, when Selvig is relieved to learn that Loki is dead, Thor looks so pained. His brother has been a nuisance and a danger to the galaxy but Thor still mourns him because Loki was his family.
And in Age of Ultron, when Vision picks up Mjolnir like it’s no big deal? Can you imagine the other Avengers seeing someone touch their stuff and being so calm about it? In Iron Man 2, Tony only lets Rhodey – his best friend, by the way – take one of his suits after wrecking his own home in a massive fight with the guy. Captain America looks positively insulted when the Winter Soldier grabs his shield. He looks even more offended when Spider-Man straight up steals his shield in Civil War.
None of the Avengers are as full-hearted as Thor. Nor nearly as chill.
6 – Played by Chris Hemsworth
Duh, obviously, you say. But, this is a huge reason why Thor is an amazing character.
The reason Thor is such a refreshing change from the rest of the Avengers is because Hemsworth is ready to subvert the Hollywood ideals of masculinity. Hemsworth is the embodiment of the comic book power fantasy – tall, muscular physique (even Chris Evans says Hemsworth is more ripped than he is), easy on the eyes. He plays a character who is a god but he uses all of that to imbue Thor with a mixture of vulnerability, heart and heroism.
Whereas Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark embodies Hollywood’s idea of masculinity, and sometimes veers towards toxic masculinity (not blaming RDJ, just Hollywood), Thor more often than not, strives against it. Hemsworth easily carries Thor’s first outing in the franchise as a de-powered hero despite his impressive physique.
Hemsworth is also comfortable playing up the physical comedy of the character, and allowing us to laugh at and with him, in a way the other Avengers can’t, or aren’t allowed to.
The reason Ragnarok works is because director Taika Waititi specifically wanted to tap into Hemsworth’s comedic talents. You simply wouldn’t get this self-aware character-effacement from one of the other Avengers. The closest we have is Star-Lord but that only works because Chris Pratt’s comedic talents have long been established.
Hemsworth gives Thor a brilliant mix of pathos and humour, only rivalled by Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. Except, you expect Stark to be all sarcastic and hilarious. Thor was supposed to be dull; not in Hemsworth’s capable hands, though!
7 – The Full Package Deal
A mix of beauty, brains, heart, humour and just a touch of glam, Thor undoubtedly towers head and shoulders (in some cases, literally) above the rest of the Avengers. The MCU hasn’t quite done him justice, especially in the Avengers films, but in his solo outings, Thor has proven himself time and time again.
So, there you have it, the reasons I feel Thor is the best Avenger in the MCU! If you don’t agree, come at me, bro.