Back in the day - maybe it's true now, but I don't really know anymore - Thor was about as rough and tough as super hero could be. He was Marvel's version of Superman. If the story Stan Lee told was true, he struggled with the idea of how to create a hero as powerful, or even more powerful, than the Hulk. So he decided that only a god would fill that role, and The Mighty Thor was born.
|Also, they may have gotten married.|
As the mythos expanded, his father, Odin, was on order of magnitude mightier than Thor himself, a cosmic entity that was far above the triumphs and failures of mortal men. For a time, probably for much the same reasons that DC has struggled so much with Superman, it was tough to find bad guys that Thor couldn't just pound to a pulp and be done with it. So he spent much of his time battling other gods, demons, cosmic entities and the like. Leaving earthly concerns to Spider-Man and Captain America. It seems like much of the 70's and early 80's Thor was just pissing off his dad. Dating Jane Foster, Dating Sif, being a doctor, a warrior, a cripple, a god. Blah blah blah.
So the storylines weren't always the most accessible. What was a young and impressionable youth to do?
Get lucky. In my opinion now, looking back, most of Thor was crap. Wasn't my thing then, and isn't my thing now. So why did I love him so?
Because the first issue I ever picked up (#337) started what I think was the greatest story ever told in comic book form. For the next year and a half, I got sucked into the soap opera (before those year long story arcs were cool) and he became my favorite hero. During that year and a half I spent all my time thinking of how lame all other comics were. In fact, once the storyline was complete I hung on for a few more months, but really, my heart wasn't in it any more. I quit comics for 20 years.
But that story arc brought Odin to the forefront, and I became a huge fan of his too. Just thinking about it makes me want to rush out and purchase all the graphic novels in hopes of reliving the glory. But I'm afraid to read the story again, as is often the case, it might suffer if I read it as an adult.
So, in an ode to the greatest story I ever read, well, at least to an 11 year old boy in 1983. Here's to you Thor, and to your Father, Odin. They should name a day of the week after you, both of you.