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3. That time Thor started the apocalypse
So, for this to make even a bit of sense, we have to take a moment here to discuss the concept of Ragnarok. You see, this apocalypse isn’t like many others you’re likely to encounter in mythology or modern religious practice. Whereas other gods may bring about the end of the world from a distant perch, Ragnarok requires the end of the gods themselves.
Norse mythology says that Ragnarok will spell doom for major figures such as Odin, Thor, Loki, and Heimdall. It’s discussed at length in both the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda, as well as numerous stones and crosses found in the archaeological record.
As dramatic as that may be, the first stories of Ragnarok aren’t quite ready-made for the world of comics. Anyone even the slightest bit familiar with comics knows that major characters simply can’t die, not really. No matter what writers and artists want you to think, someone, somewhere, will not be able to resist bringing back a supposedly dead superhero.
So, how does Ragnarok tie into the Marvel universe? It all starts with Thor vol. 2, #80-85, also known as “Thor Disassembled”. While this 2006 comic was nowhere near the first time the Asgardians faced the end of their world, it was one of the most self-aware occasions. Thor is especially aware of the unending, cyclical nature of prophecy and disaster that encircle Asgard and its people. Armed with this knowledge, he considers the possibility of finally ending the cycle and taking a well-deserved and serious rest.