20 times Thor was the best Marvel superhero

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10. When Thor is surprisingly light-hearted

Now, there’s no shame if you’re a fan of the dark and tragic side of comics. For a long time, it was almost impossible to get anything else out of your superhero stories (thanks and blame both largely go to Frank Miller and his run with DC Comics for the “grimdark” comics trend). But, people love to read a well-done tragedy. It can be beautiful and compelling. Look at the long-lived acclaim of some of Shakespeare’s darkest works, like Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear.

However, a constant stream of serious tales does not make for a well-rounded comics diet. Neither will it really satisfy you as a reader, or at least not once you find a good, humorous story you didn’t know you’d enjoy. After that, you’re likely to realize that it’s perfectly fine to step into some light-hearted stuff as well.

For all that Thor delves into the realm of epic and myth, many of the Thor comics are actually a lot of fun. After all, he’s often a fish out of water when he’s here on Earth, which proves to be rich territory for levity. In recent story arcs, where a long series of events leads to his stepbrother, Loki, being reborn as a tech-savvy teenager, Thor’s good-natured confusion is actually fun to read.

Walt Simonson, whose run on Thor has been hailed as the best in the character’s series and one of the best comics runs of all time, understood this balance. There’s plenty of grand exclamations and noble, lonely heroes in his work, to be sure. Then again, Simonson is also responsible for turning Thor into a frog. Clearly, he’s not afraid to have fun.