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Who Is Thunderstrike In Marvel's Thor Comics?

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe enters Phase 4, the Avengers team we've come to know and love is rapidly changing. Tony Stark is gone and Steve Rogers has passed on his shield. The only original Avenger getting a fourth solo movie is Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth), but things are shaking up for him, too. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is going to take on the thunder god's power in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. There's a precedent for this from the comics, which have seen a slew of different Thors throughout the decades. However, new photos from the film's set reference a different version of the hero entirely.

The pictures in question show Hemsworth in a new outfit unlike anything we've seen Thor wear so far. He's casually holding his axe in an equally casual outfit made up of a sleeveless red biker jacket over a t-shirt and jeans. The jacket, combined with the return of his long locks, makes him appear awfully similar to a different comic book character: Thunderstrike.

Thunderstrike's origins are intimately tied to Thor Odinson

Over the long history of Marvel comics, two heroes have gone by the name of Thunderstrike. The first was Eric Masterson, a friend of Thor Odinson, and the second was his son, Kevin Masterson.

Eric's journey to become Thunderstrike starts in 1989's Thor #408, when he's on the verge of death following a battle with the villain Mongoose. Thor asks his father Odin to save Eric, but to do so, Odin merges them into one body. Following this, Thor has to continue his day job as a superhero while another person is living inside him. As might be expected, this little snafu turns Eric's personal life to shambles, forcing him to embrace the hero's role.

Eventually, they separate into two bodies. Eric takes Thor's place in the Avengers and gets his own weapon from Odin: the mace, Thunderstrike. Taking the mace's name as his superhero identity, he would go on to his own comic series, donning the rad leather vest over the usual four-circled Thor shirt. Unfortunately, when Eric encounters the weapon called Bloodaxe, he's corrupted by its power. In the process of destroying the Bloodaxe, he sacrifices himself, leaving his son to take on the mace and its moniker. Kevin Masterson would then become the second Thunderstrike in the 2010 comic series.

It's possible that Thunderstrike could appear in Thor: Love and Thunder, but Thor's outfit might just be a nod to the comics history of his character. Though fans are wondering if this film will mark the end of Hemsworth's career as Thor and will find him passing the name on, the actor has asserted that he wants to continue playing the character for awhile yet. We'll just have to wait and see if this new costume bears any significance beyond a Thunderstrike Easter egg.