Which Marvel Comics Inspired ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’?

The year 2022 marks an exciting one for Marvel fans. The long-awaited fourth Thor film, Thor: Love and Thunder, is set for a July release. It’s just in time to be a potential summer blockbuster film. Taika Waititi returned to direct this Marvel Cinematic Universe entry following the success of his first Thor comics flick, Thor: Ragnarok.

The MCU films don’t always stick to their comic book origins. However, the source material influenced various story arcs throughout the franchise in several instances. Which comics did Thor: Love and Thunder pull from? 

The MCU’s ‘Thor’ films

(L-R) Director Taika Waititi with 'Thor: Love and Thunder' stars Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, and Tessa Thompson at the Marvel panel during San Diego Comic Con 2019.
(L-R) Director Taika Waititi with ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ stars Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, and Tessa Thompson at the Marvel panel during San Diego Comic Con 2019. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

The filmmakers in the MCU have decades of material in the source comics from which to draw inspiration. Thor first appeared in August 1962 in Journey Into Mystery #83. Disguised as a medical student named Donald Blake, he reveals his true identity to a group of aliens. In the 2011 film, Dr. Erik Selvig arrives to free Thor from SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson. Selvig claims Thor is a medical student named Donald Blake, harkening back to the comic.

The first three films drew story arcs from numerous Thor comics, including The Mighty Thor and the Loki series. The third film, Thor: Ragnarok, took storylines from Thor Vol. 2 and Planet Hulk, among others, as detailed by CBR.com

Despite a lapsed partnership with Universal preventing Marvel from doing future solo Hulk movies, Waititi implemented the Planet Hulk storyline in the film with a slight change: The character accidentally ends up as a gladiator on another planet instead of being sent there.

‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ draws from 1 major comic book storyline

Fans are excited about the upcoming fourth film because of the chaotic, fun style Waititi brought to the third film. The announcement that Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) was returning to become the new Thor further boosted the hype. According to Nerdist, this plot comes from the comic The Mighty Thor.

Foster’s transition to Thor happened over an arc that took several years and saw Jane take over as the wielder of the legendary hammer Mjölnir. She maintained a secret identity, and when she wasn’t the heroic Thor, Foster battled breast cancer. The tragic tale depicted Foster as entirely free of illness when in the Thor persona. When she was mortal Jane Foster, chemotherapy treatments for cancer weakened her, eventually claiming her life.

Jane Foster’s Thor story plays out in The Asgard/Shi’ar WarThunder in Her VeinsLords of MidgardThe War Thor, and The Death of The Mighty Thor.

What Taika Waititi has told us about the film so far

Oscar-winning actor, director, and writer Waititi claims Thor: Love and Thunder is the “craziest film I’ve ever done.” 

Principal filming wrapped in June 2021, and Waititi posted an Instagram photo of Hemsworth and himself with a caption that had Marvel fans in a frenzy. In it, he said he and Hemsworth were “too cool” to care about anything about creating films to bring absolute joy to people.

In an interview with Empire, Waititi explained that he’d done some “crazy s—” in his life and had lived 10 lifetimes. Even so, he claims Thor: Love and Thunder is the craziest film he’s worked on. He even joked that the film is so crazy it might be the end of his career.

Thor: Love and Thunder is currently set to release on July 8, 2022, in theaters.

RELATED: Chris Hemsworth Was Paid $20 Million for ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’