Things Marvel Got Wrong About Thor And Norse Mythology
Thor was around long before Marvel added him to their roster of superheroes. They’ve done a good job of translating Norse mythology to the page and screen, but there have been a few big changes. From Sif’s hair to Hela’s parents, here are the things Marvel changed about Thor’s mythology.
The most obvious difference between Marvel’s Thor and the original figure, at least from a visual standpoint, is his hair color. The Odinson who hangs out with the Avengers is famously blond, to the point of being nicknamed “Goldilocks” by a few of his teammates when they’re feeling brave enough to throw shade at a guy who obliterates fire giants with his magic hammer. The original version, however, is usually depicted with a slightly different hairstyle.
In the book Vikings: A History of the Northmen, W.B. Bartlett cites legends that refer to Thor as being “red-haired, red-bearded, red-eyed,” as shown in much of the artwork that was around long before Jack Kirby designed Marvel’s Thor for the comics page. In fact, Kirby did stories about two other versions of Thor before he co-created the Marvel character, with a red-haired look much more in line with the legends.
It’s worth noting that this has been addressed in the comics, although the explanation might not be as satisfying as you want: Thor just says the legends got it wrong. As for the real-world reason why, that’s never been explained, but we have a pretty good guess. The early Thor stories were essentially Marvel’s take on Superman, which is reflected in his blue-and-yellow costume with the long red cape. If he had red hair, it would’ve blended in with the cape, confusing the look and making it a lot less striking than the contrast of the yellow hair.
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