Thor is one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe. It is a strong aspect of his character to brag about his victories. He’s had plenty to brag about, after all.
However, that doesn’t mean that, in the character’s long history, he hasn’t suffered a few devastating defeats. After all, Thor has one of the longest legacies of any character in comics. His history dates back thousands of years and he has a knack for getting himself into trouble. It makes sense that not every battle would be easily walked away from.
What might surprise people, though, is just how many villains of the Marvel Universe have gotten the upper hand on Thor in the past. In some instances, his ego has gotten the better of him and led him to bite off a bit more than he can chew.
Other times, a villain who wouldn’t seem like a match has proven to have a trick up their sleeve in order to knock Thor for a loop. For the purposes of this list, a defeat can range from a physical beat down to a total humiliation.
Here are the 15 Villains You Never Knew Defeated Thor.
The Enchantress is one of Thor’s most popular villains for a reason. She’s cunning, smart, and though her power is to seduce people, it is always done with an agenda in mind. For a character as defined by his masculinity as Thor, she represents a particularly difficult challenge. She’s always one step ahead of him.
It’s incredibly hard to tell what side she’s on at any given moment, as she always chooses her own self interest above all else. Many of her early stories centered on her wishing to erase Jane Foster from the picture so that she could have Thor for herself.
Luckily, she’s gotten more ambitious over time. However, each time she manages to seduce Thor, it’s a defeat of his own will. Especially when he has to answer for the things he did while under her trance.
When Enchantress joined the Masters of Evil, she forced Thor to attack his fellow Avengers, nearly killing them before Iron Man snapped him out of it.
14 The Midgard Serpent
The Midgard Serpent, known as Jormungand, is one of Thor’s most deadly foes, particularly because the creature is prophesied to kill the God of Thunder.
The prophecy states that, when Thor defeats the Midgard Serpent in battle, he will be poisoned and only walk nine steps before he dies, resulting in less of a victory and more of a mutually assured destruction.
With this fate always in mind, their battles have always been messy. Occasionally, the creature has taken the upper hand and the prophecy has even come true— for a time.
At one point, the Serpent comes to Earth under the guise of Fin Fang Foom. Thor succeeds in killing it, but breaks every bone in his body due to a combination of his injuries and a curse from Hela. He has to force her to resurrect him into a new body in order to recover.
As one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe and its first truly global threat, Galactus is a being that very few heroes have ever attempted to fight alone. Except, of course, for Thor.
He first faces Galactus on his own after learning that the entity had kidnapped Sif, at which point he learns of Galactus’ origin.
Over time, Thor has slowly come to realize that he can’t defeat Galactus head-on in a physical fight. He’s proven this by doing something he rarely does: bargaining. When Firelord comes to Earth to be free of Galactus, Thor offers the Destroyer as a new herald.
Occasionally, he’s gotten close to Galactus only to be drawn into battle with heralds like the Silver Surfer. Even when these matches end in a draw, even a win for Thor, they usually result in Galactus being able to retreat or move on to a larger plan. He’s a bit too, well, big for Thor to simply take on his own. But that hasn’t stopped him from trying.
Adolph Hitler has to be the most unexpected name on this list. However, he did appear in the pages of Invaders and his victory over Thor, while brief, still stands.
Obviously, this is not someone who could beat Thor in a physical fight. His defeat is trickier and goes deeper than that. Hitler’s defeat of the Thunder God is simply in the fact that he manages to convince him that his side is the right one. For a brief time, he even gets Thor to work for him.
Hitler convinces Thor to go to Russia in order to kill Joseph Stalin, where he is drawn into a fight with the Invaders. Needless to say, the World War II heroes are shocked to see him there.
When Thor eventually learns the truth about Hitler, he turns on him, causing Hitler to use a machine to summon forth an army of trolls. It’s a very bizarre storyline
There’s some debate as to how much Destroyer actually counts as a character, but given that it is often thought of as one of Thor’s most powerful, iconic villains it definitely warrants a place on the list.
Even though it’s simply magically powered armor, it has come close to killing Thor on several occasions. One of the most obvious examples would be the 2011 film, in which Destroyer takes down a mortal Thor in one hit.
This is a crushing defeat that would have even resulted in the Odinson’s death, were it not for Odin returning Thor’s power to him at that moment. With the hammer back in his hand, he swiftly crushes it. However, in the comics, it’s never that easy, even when wielding Mjolnir.
The fact that Thor has never had a clean victory against the Destroyer proves its value and makes it easy to understand why Odin would keep it locked away for fear of it falling into the wrong hands.
The Mad Titan will be taking on the God of Thunder on the big screen in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War, but the two also have a long history of fighting in the comics.
Though Thor has come out on top, Thanos is one of the strongest villains in all of Marvel, especially when wielding the Infinity Gauntlet. He does wield it when easily smacking down Thor—and most of the known Marvel Universe—in the original Infinity Gauntlet story.
The two have continued to tussle since, with the fights being much more balanced since Thanos’ loss of the gauntlet. Most recently, they crossed paths in the pages of Unworthy Thor, where Thanos begins to form a relationship with Hela, Goddess of Death.
Many fans have speculated that is meant to tease Hela taking the place of Thanos’ great love, Death, in Avengers: Infinity War. However, that remains to be seen.
9 The Phoenix Force
The Phoenix Force has taken several human hosts at several points in time. While those hosts are usually heroes, the force itself is a cosmic destroyer and has often been perceived as a threat to the entire universe.
Heroes have debated as to whether it is inherently evil or whether they simply don’t understand its motivations, but it’s caused more than enough destruction to be labeled a villain. In a rare turn, during Avengers vs. X-Men, it selects several hosts at once. Cyclops, Colossus, Emma Frost , Magik and Namor become known as the Phoenix Five and serve the entity’s purposes.
Thor attempts to go up against them, believing himself powerful enough to take them all on, but is quickly defeated instead. He is taken prisoner by Colossus and Magik. This one-sided fight serves as a crushing defeat for both Thor and the Avengers as a whole during the event.
Although he has not made a ton of appearances, Perrikus is an incredibly powerful villain. He is first introduced when he accidentally gets freed from his Asgardian prison by Thor.
As one of the Dark Gods, he blames Odin for his lengthy imprisonment, as well as the conflict that led to the death of his wife, as he chased the killer to Asgard only to ignite a war and find himself imprisoned. His goal is to seek vengeance by killing Odinson. Shockingly, he comes very close. In their first battle, Perrikus slices Mjolnir in half, rendering the Thunder God powerless.
Thor has to regroup and team up with Hercules and the Destroyer when he faces off against Perrikus for a second time. When Thor is drawn into battle with Perrikus again, clearly still shaken by his defeat, he fights without mercy and severs Perrikus’ arm in order to get the villain to concede. Perrikus has not made a prominent appearance since.
7 Molecule Man
While he is certainly not a household name and is often underused, Molecule Man is one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe.
He can manipulate the molecules around him, reshaping the molecular structure of anything, which essentially gives him complete control over everything nearby.
He can alter reality itself. His power is so great that he even had to subconsciously set restrictions for himself to keep him from manipulating organic matter. Similarly, he used to use a wand to focus his powers, but has grown to realize that he never needed it.
He’s a nearly impossible villain to fight and has proven such by taking down enemies as powerful as even the Mighty Thor. He was one of the first villains to ever rid Thor of Mjolnir at a time when Thor was very much reliant on his most trusted weapon.
This act also revealed his Donald Blake identity to the other Avengers, who had not known it beforehand. The fact that Molecule Man accomplished this in the early days of his abilities is even more impressive.
People tend to forget that Magneto’s abilities extend far beyond the ability to control metal. He has the power to manipulate the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The force fields he generates are incredibly strong. He’s withstood not only the X-Men, but the Phoenix itself and even Thor.
Although Mjolnir is made of stone, Magneto has been one of the few villains who has actually be able to control it. Changing the direction of the hammer might not seem like much, but it’s a hair’s breath away from being able to actually wield it for himself.
In their first encounter, Magneto’s control over Thor’s hammer forces the Thunder God to battle him without it, though Magneto is able to keep Thor at bay with his force fields, allowing for a brief victory before Thor ultimately returns to gain the upper hand.
Still, it’s an impressive and unexpected fight, and is certainly one that proves that Magneto is a character that should never be underestimated.
5 Malekith the Accursed
Malekith is most well known as the somewhat forgettable villain of Thor: The Dark World. However, in the comics he has proven to be an incredibly formidable foe.
Leader of the dark elves, he first encounters Thor when he makes an alliance with Loki to feed humans faerie food so that they fall under his control.
Even when Thor captures him, Malekith’s defeat causes the Earth to plunge into a deep winter, which winds up becoming a reoccurring theme of their encounters. Malekith almost always has an ace up his sleeve.
Most recently, he takes a large role in one of the biggest shake-ups in Thor’s life, as he is part of the event that causes Thor to lose the hammer and for Jane Foster to take up the mantle. When Thor loses the hammer to Jane, Malekith comes into to take advantage of the Odinson’s weakened state and severs his arm.
Surtur might be Thor’s most powerful foe. He is Asgard’s very own Devil, a fire demon destined to bring about Ragnarok: the end of all things.
If achieved, Ragnarok will spark a war that will destroy all of the Norse Gods. In his first appearance with Thor, after appearing in a flashback battling Odin, he tosses the God of Thunder into the sea with ease. Thor is only able to defeat him by using Odin’s sword to trap him in another galaxy.
During Surtur’s time wielding the Twilight Blade, he causes a horde of demons to invade Earth while he assaults Thor and Odin in Asgard, and defeats both of them.
Thor and Odin’s lives are only saved by Loki, who deceives the demon long enough for Odin to recover. Although Surtur has been killed many times, he will always be able to come back, and each return proves devastating whether he’s defeated or not.
3 Doctor Doom
Although he is most known as the chief antagonist of the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom has faced off against nearly every single Marvel hero. He’s even won a lot of those battles.
Being a human in a suit of armor, he could easily be outmatched by someone like Thor on paper. However, he’s one of the smartest people on the planet and, in addition to that, has an extensive knowledge of black magic that most of Marvel’s scientific minds can’t even comprehend.
Given that Doom doesn’t stand a chance against Thor physically, he’s only been able to defeat the Odinson with prep time. Luckily, Doom is all about prep time and overthinks every situation he finds himself in.
Once, Doom defeated Thor by reverting him back into Donald Blake, hoping to use Blake’s medical expertise to fix his own scarred face. Given that Doom has taken down enemies as powerful as the Silver Surfer, this shouldn’t be all that surprising.
As one of the strongest villains Thor has ever gone up against, fans rightfully can’t wait to see Hela on the big screen in Thor: Ragnarok. She’s not only defeated the Odinson in battle, but has also she’s straight-up killed him.
In fact, she killed him twice in the span of just a few issues. When she slew him the first time, Thor was resurrected by her servant, the Silent One. Odin stepped in to kill her on Thor’s behalf, but Thor insisted that she be kept alive to preserve the balance of life and death. The second time she killed him, Sif stepped in and offered her own life instead.
In a later fight, she reverses this by making him incapable of dying but also making him incredibly weak, so that his bones break easily and he becomes incapable of fighting. He’s only able to live in endless, helpless pain until he is able to use the Destroyer to convince her to break the spell.
1 The Celestials
Although the Celestials are not always thought of as villains, they serve their own purposes and have been the cause of genocides stretching across the entire universe.
Although the Watchers insist that it is not the place of cosmic entities to interfere in the affairs of mortals, the Celestials have not always practiced this belief, causing the two races to become enemies. Also, though they are essentially divine beings, that hasn’t stopped Thor from flinging himself into battle against them.
It usually goes about as well as one would expect. Thor has tried to take on the Celestials by himself and has literally just wound up getting stepped on. Other times, he’s been a witness to their proceedings without getting involved. He walked away from that one unscathed. But a direct fight has proven to be too much for even the God of Thunder to handle.
Can you think of any other villains who have brutally defeated Thor? Let us know in the comment section!