20 times Thor was the best Marvel superhero

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2. When he faces off against the goddess of death

Once again, Thor takes a cue from Norse mythology. In the Norse world, Hel (called Hela in the comics) was a goddess of the dead who ruled over a realm also called Hel. She’s also occasionally referred to as the daughter of Loki, the trickster god. The mythological Loki, by the way, is also said to have fathered the world serpent, Jörmungandr, and Fenrir, a massive wolf who will help to bring about the end of the world. Family reunions for them must be fun.

Marvel’s Hela is a bit different, however. While she is still the ruler of an underworld realm named Hel, she’s much more of an active villain their her Norse counterpart. Though she’s in charge of an entire realm, it is still a realm of the dead, after all. I can’t imagine that it’s very exciting for any intelligent, superpowered individual to hang out in such a gloomy, dismal place.

Whenever she oversteps her bounds, however, Thor is there to oppose her. That doesn’t mean she’s defenseless, though. Remember Thor’s earlier battle against the Midgard Serpent? Hela made it far more interesting when she cursed Thor for effectively invading her realm.

What exactly did she do? Hela cursed Thor with a real doozy: he would be immortal, yet his bones would be especially brittle and slow to heal. That’s a pretty serious handicap when you’re going up against a gigantic, angry snake. Thor eventually forced Hela to undo the curse, but it’s clear that she’s more than a match for Thor himself.