Everyone knows that Thor's arch-nemesis is the trickster Loki. But did you know the God of Thunder fought magical crowbars, two-headed robots, and intergalactic yokels? Here are 10 foes you won't see at the multiplex (but deserve to be).
With Comic-Con on the horizon, new set photos of Thor are being in released in drips and draps. And it looks like Kenneth Branagh is filming a fairly orthodox take on Thor's mythology (or at least as orthodox as one can get when it comes to making summer blockbusters about Norse space gods).
This is a pity, for Thor has a rich rogues gallery that's ripe for the picking. After almost 40 years of superheroing, he's encountered a panoply of foes, many of whom have languished in obscurity after receiving Mjolnir upside the head once or twice. Here are 10 strange foes who deserve a chance to wow audiences.
10.) The Bi-Beast
First appearance: The Incredible Hulk 169 (Nov. 1973)
Why does Bi-Beast rule? Because his traits were seemingly picked out of a hat. Super-strong android? Check. Genius intellect? Check. Two heads stacked on top of each other, totem pole style? Double check. The Bi-Beast was built by a civilization of Bird People — one of the Bi-Beast's head possesses the bird people's knowledge of warfare, the other knows all of their avian culture. Bi-Beast started off as a Hulk villain but eventually clashed with Thor.
Why He Deserves To Be In The Movie: Think of all the fantastic Hollywood duos you can CGI graft onto Bi-Beast's body. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Cheech and Chong. The Olsen Twins. The Barbarian Brothers.
Why He Won't Be: Potential boycott from the fundamentalist Right over Bi-Beast Happy Meal toys.
First appearance:Thor 256 (Feb. 1977)
Sporr was a giant glob of tentacles and telepathic sputum who constantly kidnapped members of an alien race known as the Levians. Thor assisted the Levians in pummeling Sporr when the giant glob absconded with his lady love Sif. Once the Levians murdered the giant space amoeba, Thor discovered that Sporr had been healing their sick and wounded. Nice one, Thor.
Why He Deserves To Be In The Movie: The Sporr Baba Ghanoush Wrap will add a much-needed vegetarian option to Burger King's menu.
Why He Won't Be: "Thor is a dick" is not the message you want to kick off your franchise with.
First appearance:Thor 130 (July 1966)
Crusher was a minion of the nefarious Olympian god Pluto. His special power? Crushing things. Thor fought him in one issue and beat the tar out of him. We haven't seen Crusher since.
Why He Deserves To Be In The Movie: Crusher's sole appearance did not adequately explore his motivation for crushing things. Was it a poor childhood? Obsessive compulsive disorder? A multimillion dollar summer blockbuster would be a great place to explore his past.
Why He Won't Be: Hollywood would crumble under the pressure and screw him up. Instead of a rich tapestry of characterization, audiences will get some one-note "I crush this! I crush that!" blatherskite. They'll consign him to the background rather than giving him the tetrology he deserves.
7.) The Man-Beast
First appearance: Thor 135 (Dec. 1966)
The Man-Beast (also known as the Super-Beast) was a wolf mutated by the mad god-being the High Evolutionary. He was part Man, part Beast. You can appreciate the simplicity of his name. It's akin to naming Thor "Hammer Blond" or Loki "Weasel Deity." He is what he says. Man-Beast's reign of manimalistic terror ended when Quicksilver turned him back into his lupine form. Unsurprisingly, Man-Beast was an ally of Bi-Beast.
Why He Deserves To Be In The Movie: His name will appeal to audiences who demand zero creativity from their cinema.
Why He Won't Be: Disappointed audiences will riot when they find out he's not Skeletor's sidekick.
6.) Xorr the God-Jewel
First appearance: Thor 214 (August, 1973)
Xorr The God Jewel was a giant sentient crystalline biosphere who wanted to consume planets. Reading his origin gives me a headache, as it's the apex of 1970s cosmic Marvel weirdness. Besides his whole galactic consumption M.O., he's kind of a supercilious jerk.
Why He Deserves To Be In The Movie: His name > Bi-Beast > Man-Beast. And that's saying a lot.
Why He Won't Be: He's like Galactus, but made of rock candy.
5.) Ricochet Monster
First appearance: Assorted comic books, 1980.
There's not a lot of information out there on the Ricochet Monster, but he really loves pastries and is able to wield Mjolnir. True, Thor is using Mjolnir like an intergalactic taxi service, but the Ricochet Monster is in select company.
Why He Deserves To Be In The Movie: Lunchroom product placement opportunities out the yin-yang.
Why He Won't Be: Wait until our #1 entry....
4 & 3.) The Wrecking Crew
First appearance: Defenders 17 (Nov. 1974)
I love the Wrecking Crew (Wrecker, Bulldozer, Piledriver, and Thunderball). They're easily the most legitimate villains on this list. Mind you, these are four men who based their entire superhuman career on mimicking construction equipment. Also, the Wrecker carries a magical crowbar that was enchanted by the Asgardian sorceress Karnilla — it's possibly the most stupidly genius origin story out there. In short, the Wrecking Crew are more or less the Village People of the Marvel Universe.
Why They Deserve To Be In The Movie: Despite their criminal incompetence when it comes to supervillainy, the Wrecking Crew are stalwart baddies of the M.U. They were present at the Secret Wars, joined the Hood's gang, and cameo whenever a writer needs a villain to pound on. Scratch that, they're the Clint Howard of the M.U.
Why He Won't Be: Actually, we could see the Wrecking Crew in a Thor flick. A magic crowbar and some body suits won't break the prop budget.
2.) Armak The First Man
First (and last) appearance: Thor 231 (Jan. 1975)
Arnold was as a nebbish fake psychic who conned rich people with his mother. For his misdeeds, the spirit of Armak, the First Man overcame Arnold and transformed him into a horndog neanderthal. Armak then kidnapped the nearest lady and scampered up a construction site. Thor punches him in the grill, Armak plummets to his death. See you in hell, Armak.
Why He Deserves To Be In The Movie: Armak the First Man shouldn't be in the first movie. He deserves his own film. See, a bunch of randy co-eds go out to the woods for spring break. They all have a dirty secret, à la I Know What You Did Last Summer. Suddenly, some of the co-eds begin transforming into Armak, The First Man. But who? It would be like The Thing meets Cavemen with Ringo Starr.
Why He Won't Be: Because I'm already writing an Armak script. Dibs!
1.) The Ding-A-Ling Gang
First (and last) appearance: Assorted comic books (January, 1978)
The Ding-A-Ling Gang were a group of intergalactic hillbillies who attempted to mug Thor. He bribed them with pies. The end.
Why He Deserves To Be In The Movie: Self-explanatory.
Why He Won't Be: Self-explanatory.
[Hostess ads via Branded in the 80s. Thanks to Lindsay Wolfe for the awesome research.]