For a nigh-immortal god, the mighty Thor sure does get his butt kicked a lot. The Norse God of Thunder, Thor Odinson is, as the name suggests, the son of Odin, the All-Father. Along with Loki, Lady Sif, and most of his other comic co-stars, Thor was (is?) an actual, factual god, and a very real part of ancient Norse mythology. As practicing Vikings died off, though, mythology became folklore... and then became comic books.
Debuting during the Silver Age, Marvel’s Thor quickly took center stage in the anthology title Journey into Mystery, and the thunder god was awarded his own book in 1966. Already a part of the Avengers by then, Thor soon became a cosmic champion, called into action whenever some kind of alien or Celestial needed punching.
In fact, equipped with his magical hammer Mjolnir, Thor is one of the undisputed heavyweights of the Marvel universe. If there’s a fight that needs winning, Thor gets called. Seeing the thunder god go down sends a shock of horror through onlookers, signifying the unbridled, pants-soiling power of whoever did the downing.
Maybe that’s why Marvel seems to sic, like, every new character they have against Thor, whenever they need to make a point about how strong someone is – and we’re not just talking about villains.
Here are the 16 Superheroes Who Have Defeated Thor.
During 2003’s cross-company crossover "JLA/Avengers," comic book readers finally got an answer to the age-old question of whether Thor or Superman would win in a fight. It was Superman.
After the rest of the Justice League and the Avengers have knocked each other out of the fight, all bruised and bloodshot eyes are on Thor and Superman. The godlike alien and the actual god go at it with everything they’ve got, throwing lightning and lasers around like they were at a Metallica concert. In the end, an exhausted Superman claims victory, landing the last punch and sending Thor face-first into the grass.
A lot of folks had some issues with this turn of events, as one of Superman’s only weaknesses is magic, and magic is basically what Thor is made of. Kurt Busiek disagreed, though, and now we all have to accept Thor’s improbably humiliating defeat as canon.
15 Squirrel Girl
Lest you think this list is only about the humiliating defeats of the original flavor Thor, the new cool ranch Goddess of Thunder, Jane Foster, once got her butt whipped by none other than Squirrel Girl.
Jane shouldn’t feel too bad about it, though: in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe, Squirrel Girl beats up the entire Marvel universe. Well, a clone of Squirrel Girl, technically-- a slightly evil clone.
Face-to-face with the Avengers, Squirrel Girl 2.0 just kind of electrocutes them, dropping them all to the ground and then tossing them into the Negative Zone.
Now, obviously, you’d think that the Goddess of Thunder could handle a little extra electricity coming her way, but, as Squir’l explains, Thor runs on a direct current, and she hit them with alternating current. They don’t call her “unbeatable” for nothing.
In Avengers #114, Mantis and her boo, Swordsman, ring the Avengers’ doorbell and politely ask if they can join the team. Everyone agrees and they’re invited inside the mansion, at which point Mantis immediately summons the Lion God to murder Black Panther.
During the ensuing scuffle, Mantis and Swordsman pretend to be on the Lion God’s side – with Mantis Vulcan nerve pinching Thor into unconsciousness – at least until they can trap him in one of Tony Stark’s machines and hurl him into another dimension.
Later, in Avengers #123, Mantis and Swordsman have officially been made Avengers, and help the team stop the Zodiac Cartel from murdering all of the Geminis in New York City. As they’re rounding everyone up, Libra, one of the cartel members, explains that he’s Mantis’s father and that her mother was murdered by the villainous Monsieur Khruul.
Mantis, understandably, doesn’t believe Libra and starts shouting at him. Iron Man tries to restrain her, at which point Mantis beats up every last one of Earth’s mightiest heroes.
13 Red Hulk
While comic readers are pretty okay with the notion of the OG Hulk whaling on Thor, they were decidedly less so when General "Thunderbolt" Ross’s Red Hulk was the one doing the deed.
After a cosmically-- and comically-- supercharged Red Hulk beats up the Watcher and breaks the Hulk’s arm, Thor arrives to put things straight. Instead, as documented in Jeph Loeb’s Hulk #5, the Red Hulk easily bests Thor, laughing as the thunder god lays into him, deflecting glances and eventually grabbing Thor’s arm – the one holding Mjolnir.
Red Hulk leaps into the air, dragging Thor and his enchanted hammer with him, rocketing the pair well outside of Earth's orbit. In the cold void of space, Red Hulk is able to steal Mjolnir out of Thor's hands and beat him mercilessly with his own magic cudgel. After sufficiently putting the hurt on Thor, Red Hulk tosses him into the moon.
Angela was originally an antagonist of Image Comics’ Spawn, created by author Neil Gaiman and artist Todd McFarlane. After Gaiman claimed victory in a legal battle between the two, Angela was folded into the Marvel Comics’ mythos, as a long-lost sister to Thor – a storyline that was co-opted for Cate Blanchett’s Hela in the Thor: Ragnarok.
After the murder of Uatu the Watcher during “Original Sin,” his disembodied eye reveals the truth about Angela, and Thor and Loki end up in Heven, the banished Tenth of Asgard’s Nine Realms.
The two are immediately attacked by Heven's guard of Angels, at which point Loki slinks away and telepathically informs Angela – currently chilling with the Guardians of the Galaxy - about what’s happening. As Thor defeats the last of the Angels, Angela appears and quickly defeats him, chaining him up for the Queen of Angels.
Ultimately, Thor escapes, and, fighting his sister once again, easily bests Angela, explaining that he had just been a little tired earlier.
11 Wonder Man
After repeatedly being defeated by the Avengers, Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil decide to get creative. Turning to imprisoned embezzler Simon Williams, Zemo, along with the Enchantress, turn Williams into the ion-powered Wonder Man, then tell him to join the Avengers as a double agent.
After initially helping to defeat Zemo, Wonder Man is ordered to turn on the Avengers during the rematch, at which point he tears through the team like they were made of the paper they were printed on. He even manages to take out Thor, sucker-punching him into a pit.
As the Masters of Evil move in for the kill, however, Wonder Man has a change of heart and turns on Baron Zemo. Zemo, meanwhile, had earlier poisoned Wonder Man and, now, faced with his treachery, refuses to dose him with the antidote, and Wonder Man dies.
For the record, all of this happens in the space of a single issue, Avengers #9, because early Marvel comics did not mess around.
10 Scarlet Witch
Shortly after “Avengers vs. X-Men” saw Professor Charles Xavier get wasted by his surrogate son Cyclops, the Red Skull went ahead and stole Chuck’s brain for his own. Like, literally his own: He put the mutant’s brain into his own head.
With this newfound telepathic power, the Red Skull immediately sends New York into chaos and confusion. The Avengers, doing what they do best, step up to save the day, only for Thor to get himself caught in the Skull’s psionic clutches in Uncanny Avengers #4.
The God of Thunder promptly goes full Viking berserker, taking out Wolverine and Havok, and leaving the Scarlet Witch to face him alone. After throwing a truck at him doesn’t work, Wanda the Witch goes ahead and magics Thor into the upper atmosphere for a while, granting the Avengers time to regroup and get back to day-saving.
"Avengers vs. X-Men" pit the two teams against one another as the Phoenix, a nearly omnipotent cosmic force, was making a beeline for Earth. The X-folks wanted to harness the Phoenix force to make the world a better place, while the Avengers, remembering all the other times Phoenix made landfall, wanted to kill it dead.
After the Secret Avengers – led by Thor - tried and failed to tackle the Phoenix force head on, they retreat to Hala, the Kree homeworld. There they meet a Phoenix-resurrected Captain Marvel, who proceeds to beat them all over again.
Later, after Iron Man somehow manages to splinter the Phoenix into five separate fragments, each one possesses a different X-Man: Cyclops, Colossus, Emma Frost, Namor, and Magick. A mildly depowered Phoenix-possessed Emma Frost was still more than enough to kick Thor’s butt, though, even after he shattered her crystal form and sent it into space.
8 Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider is everyone’s favorite leather-clad, demon-possessed former stunt performer with a flaming skull for a head. Even Doctor Strange is a little bit afraid of him, and for good reason: dude’s nearly impossible to beat. Something the Avengers know all too well.
In Avengers #214, the titular team of titans find themselves being attacked by Ghost Rider for comic book reasons. The Rider starts shooting hellfire from his eyes, taking out most of the Avengers, only to discover that Thor is not so easily beaten.
The thunder god throws Mjolnir after Ghost Rider, only for the flame-headed stunt rider to outrun it. Turning his bike around, he catches up to the flying hammer, grabs it, and is hurled at full-speed into Thor. Even though the Asgardian technically caught the hammer, he also got a face full of Vengeance Spirit and ends up laying in the dirt while Ghost Rider makes his getaway.
The son of Greek god Zeus and a powerful demigod in his own right, Hercules, the Lion of Olympus, is a hot-headed, ultra-strong, nigh-invulnerable warrior with thousands of years of combat experience and a penchant for speaking in such a way that letterers need to use that old-timey font to make it look right. Sound familiar?
Hercules and Thor have, perhaps unsurprisingly, developed a bit of a rivalry over the years, often trying to best one another before teaming up to fight some kind of evil or other. Rarely is a winner declared, with the two gods (mostly) content to acknowledge one another as equals. Except in Thor #126, that is.
Hercules put the moves on Thor’s ladyfriend and the two heroes brawled for the better part of the book. In the end, Hercules clobbered the Norse god and left him in a pile on the ground.
Although this was the only decisive victory between the two, Hercules did also shove Thor off his own comic book cover in Thor #356, and, honestly, that probably stung even more.
6 Silver Surfer
Thor and the Silver Surfer have come to blows a few times over the years. Of course, since they both generally consider themselves good guys and recognize the same in their opponent, they’ve rarely unleashed their full powers on one another and most fights end in a draw. Silver Surfer #4, however, is a different story.
Loki, Norse God of Being a Jerk, tricks the Surfer into picking a fight with Thor. Growing tired of getting smacked in the face with Mjolnir, Silver Surfer blasts the hammer from Thor’s hand-- and the hammer stays out of his hand.
Even though his heart’s not really in the fight, the Surfer continues to whale on the helpless Thor, knocking him to the ground and gloating about his win. Only then does he realize that Loki’s actually the one keeping Mjolnir from Thor, not Surfer.
Before the two heroes can turn on him, Loki zaps the Silver Surfer back to space, leaving Thor to deal with his only loss against the Sky-Rider – even if it did come with an asterisk.
5 The Thing
While not usually at the top of the Strongest Marvel Heroes list, the Fantastic Four’s Thing has regularly tangled with both the Hulk and Thor – occasionally at the same time. Though not quite as hotheaded and dangerous as those two, you still don’t want to get on the wrong side of Ben Grimm.
Case in point: The Thing once took out Thor with a single punch. Fantastic Four #27 finds Sue Storm set to marry Doctor Doom, something that has the Avengers a little concerned. Hoping to talk some sense into her via her rocky teammate, Earth’s mightiest heroes sit down with the Thing and, soon enough, punches start flying-- only a couple, though.
The Thing clobbers Thor so hard that he goes sailing backwards into Scarlet Witch and takes her out of the fight too. The Avengers make sure that the reader knows it, lamenting that both of their big guns are down for the count.
The rest of the fight is so one-sided that the artist didn’t bother drawing it. The very next panel is simply Wonder Man flying through a wall and everyone else already on the ground.
4 Adam Warlock
Adam Warlock, currently holding sway as the Living Tribunal, is one of the most monstrously overpowered characters in Marvel history. Over the years, he’s had the powers of both Eternity and Infinity, and often carries around the Soul Gem with him. Marvel keeps saying that he’s not going to be in Infinity War, but we’ll believe it when we (don’t) see it.
As Marvel’s go-to cosmic heavyweights, Thor and Warlock have sparred a few times over the decades, but in last year’s The Infinity Entity #1, Adam Warlock tosses the thunder god aside like he was a cardboard cutout of Chris Hemsworth.
Spinning out of Thanos: The Infinity Revelation -- in which Warlock destroys and then recreates the universe -- Entity finds Adam Warlock bouncing around the past, at which point he ends up going toe-to-toe with the original Avengers, from before they first met him.
Though they’ve held their own in the past, this current incarnation of Adam Warlock steal Thor’s hammer, tosses him through a window, and then drops everyone else without a second thought.
3 Doctor Strange
Early in the second volume of New Avengers, Brother Voodoo sacrifices himself to save the world, something that cheeses off his brother, Daniel Drumm (also dead), to no end. He blames Doctor Strange for his brother’s death, and, in New Avengers #34, after a lot of haunting, he makes his move.
Drumm goes ahead and possesses every Avengers he can find, new and classic combined. Among the heavyweights are the Thing, Red Hulk, Luke Cage, and Thor – all of whom, as you may recall, like to punch things and are basically impervious to harm.
Daniel Drumm turns them all against Doctor Strange. After trying and failing to bind them all together, Strange gets creative and goes after them one at a time, incapacitating and eliminating every last one of his teammates – except for Captain Marvel. She hits Strange and sends him bleeding to the ground.
2 Beta Ray Bill
A champion of the refugee Korbinites, Beta Ray Bill accidentally brings his starfleet into S.H.I.E.L.D. air space – space space? – inciting the investigatory ire of Thor. Things end badly for the thunder god... twice.
In Thor #337, for generic comic book reasons, Thor and Beta Ray Bill battle. Thor ends up losing his hammer briefly, turns back into Donald Blake, and gets knocked out by Bill. The horse-faced champion picks up Mjolnir and, found worthy, gains the powers of Thor.
In the very next issue, Thor #338, Odin decides to pit the two heroes against one another, because Odin is not a great dad. Thor and Beta Ray Bill square off again in the fire realm of Skartheim, a battle to the death to see who’s really worthy of being the God of Thunder.
Thor puts up a good fight, but Bill, born in the Burning Galaxy, is a lot more used to scrapping in a lava world. Bill knocks Thor out again, but, feeling bad about letting him burn to death, carries him back to Asgard where the two hug it out and become best bros.
Thor versus Hulk. enough said. In Thor #385, the two go absolutely bananas on each other, really doing some damage. Part way through, though, Hulk realizes that Thor’s hammer is more than a little magic, and tricks the thunder god into tossing it away. Unarmed, Thor puts up a fight, but Hulk puts up a better one, jumping away before the Odinson can get Mjolnir back.
Hulk: Let the Battle Begin is even more brutal – and embarrassing. Realizing that he can’t pick up Mjolnir directly, the Hulk actually grabs Thor by the hand – the hand he’s holding his hammer with, specifically – and plays the bloodiest game of Why Are You Hitting Yourself ever seen.
Finally, Thor: Ragnarok. Pitted against one another in Jeff Goldblum’s Contest of Champions, Thor and the Hulk start whaling on one another hard, breaking weapons and parts of the stadium, before the God of Thunder realizes what that title actually means. Crackling with electricity, things look bleak for the Hulk – which is precisely why the Grandmaster zaps Thor and drops him to the ground.
Really? Thor didn’t, you know, short out that inhibitor? We’re all okay with that?
Are there any other superheroes who we forgot? Are any of these fights that Thor should have won? Are you as upset about the inhibitor thing as we are? Let us know in the comments!
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