Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is the only one of the original six Avengers who has a real future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with Thor: Love and Thunder. Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that Thor’s adventures will continue; after all, the Asgardian hero is 5,000 years old, which means his time with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is a mere blip in his epic life. But the God of Thunder has also received the MCU’s most exciting reinvention, so that just as his fellow heroes’ stories wrapped up in Avengers: Endgame, Thor was getting his second wind.
In Phase 3 of the MCU, Thor had suffered more loss than any of the other Avengers. Director Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok delighted fans by being a giddy, irreverent comedy, but while Thor’s team-up with Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was a colorful romp on the surface, the film was underscored by tragedy. By the end of Ragnarok, Thor had lost his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), his beloved hammer Mjolnir, his homeworld, and even his eye. Thanos (Josh Brolin) immediately wiped out half of the Asgardian people in Avengers: Infinity War and Thor failed to save the universe by not aiming for Thanos’ head. The God of Thunder was a physical and emotional mess in Avengers: Endgame, but while Thor maybe have put on a lot of extra weight, he proved he was indeed still worthy and ultimately gained the self-confidence to leave Earth with the Guardians of the Galaxy to seek out his new destiny.
So, Thor is actually poised for a brighter future, unlike the rest of the founding six Avengers. Endgame gave Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) a happy ending but took him off the board as Captain America. Meanwhile, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) sacrificed his life to save the world from Thanos’ invasion, leaving the MCU without Iron Man. Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) also gave up her life on Vormir so that the Avengers could acquire the crucial Soul Stone; Black Widow is the first Phase 4 movie out of the gate in 2020, but it’s a prequel set after Captain America: Civil War and it remains to be seen if there will be any hint of Natasha returning from the dead. The complicated rights to Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) keep the Green Goliath from getting a solo movie, and there’s no indication yet of what the future for Hulk will be. Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is co-heading a Hawkeye TV series on Disney+ with his protege Kate Bishop, but he could possibly pass the torch and bow out.
Meanwhile, with Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor becomes the first and only Avenger to receive a fourth solo film. Taika Waititi’s sequel is poised to be a new beginning for the former King of Asgard, and there could be even more sequels after that. It’s a remarkable turnaround for Thor, considering that originally he wasn’t considered one of the most popular Avengers (especially after Thor: The Dark World). But Thor: Ragnarok tapped into Chris Hemsworth’s irrepressible comedic chops and between Ragnarok, Infinity War, and Endgame, Thor was the subject of a fascinating story arc where the God of Thunder was broken down and then rebuilt in ways no one saw coming. The fact that he’s still Fat Thor at the conclusion of Endgame signals that anything is possible for the self-proclaimed Strongest Avenger.
Part of Thor’s future, at least in Love and Thunder, will encompass the Odinson sharing the mantle of Thor with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Following the popular recent Marvel Comics storyline, Jane will be chosen to be worthy of Mjolnir and become the new Goddess of Thunder – which is yet another intriguing twist in Thor’s unpredictable life. Love and Thunder returns Jane Foster to Thor’s irreverent supporting cast, which includes Valkyrie and Korg (Taika Waititi), and there could even be more alternate Thors in the film. While it’s anyone’s guess what happens next after Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor has now eclipsed his fellow Avengers and the immortal Asgardian’s very real MCU future looks mighty.
Next: Predicting Marvel’s NEW Phase 4 Slate Through To 2023