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How Thor Could Factor Into The Future Of The MCU After Love & Thunder

Since almost the inception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the God of Thunder has been one of the fundamental driving forces behind its biggest stories. Debuting in his self-titled film in 2011, "Thor," he was the third major character to be introduced after Iron Man and the Hulk. Beyond that, his arrival on Earth to capture his brother Loki leads directly to the formation of the superhero team featured in "The Avengers."

He would go on to appear in two more of his own films and the next three "The Avengers" movies, playing a pivotal role in defeating the cosmic despot Thanos, often appearing in some of those movies' most crowd-pleasing scenes. He's also the first MCU hero to pass the trilogy mark for self-titled films, with a fourth movie, "Thor: Love and Thunder" arriving in 2022. However, actor Chris Hemsworth isn't ready to put down the hammer just yet, as he revealed on the Australian talk show "Today" when he told the hosts, "As long as they'll have me, I'll turn up."

It's rare that an actor makes that kind of enthusiastic commitment, but here we have one of the MCU's stalwarts ready to continue his legacy, potentially for years to come. But with so many adventures behind him and the MCU evolving every day, how could he factor into the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? We've got some ideas.

A Young Thor Disney+ Series

With Hemsworth willing to suit up as Thor again and again, he might be willing to do more than just star in his own films as the God of Thunder. If the Australian actor doesn't mind sharing the spotlight with a younger star, perhaps one route might be a Disney+ series that explores the early days of Thor on Asgard, growing up with Loki as his little brother. Hemsworth as Thor could introduce each episode via flashback or take part in current adventures that tie back to his childhood days. In the comics, his early years have been chronicled before, most notably in the 2004 series, "Thor: Son of Asgard," where a teenaged Thor goes on a variety of adventures alongside younger versions of famous Asgardian heroes like Loki, Sif, Balder, and others.

In the MCU, we've seen a few hints already of Thor's early days, such as when Thor and his adopted brother bickered over the time Loki turned into a snake to play a trick on him. In the first season of "Loki," as well, we meet a young teenaged variant of the God of Mischief, who says he has killed his brother Thor. It's clear there has been a long rivalry existing between the two godly brothers for a long time, at least in one universe, providing plenty of fodder for an ongoing series, assuming Hemsworth is willing to cede the spotlight. 

A supporting role in Loki Season 2

While we're at it, if Hemsworth doesn't mind taking a break from the big screen for a little while, we've got another role for Thor in mind for him. The first season of "Loki" was an undeniable hit, garnering strong reviews (via Rotten Tomatoes), an outpouring of love from fans, and setting records for Disney+

The series sees a Loki from another branching timeline scooped up by the Time Variance Authority — an organization that is tasked with preventing temporal incursions — to help them find an evil variant of himself. By the end of the series, the two Loki variants confronted the man behind the curtain and set in motion a series of events that left Loki looking for answers in an altered reality that doesn't seem to recognize him.

We know that Season 2 of "Loki" is coming, and if the Trickster God wants help from someone who does recognize him, perhaps he can get his brother Thor, or some variant of him, to come along. Whether it's the one we've known or some new iteration, Thor has always worked best as part of a group, like he was in "Thor: Ragnarok" and "The Avengers." Making him a supporting player to his brother in the second season of "Loki" could just be the best way to keep his story going. Beyond that, seeing Hemsworth play backup to Hiddleston could also make for a new and fun dynamic.

King of Asgard

It's funny to remember it now, seeing as he's been on an entirely different path in the decade since, but in the first "Thor" movie the Odinson's journey was on an inexorable road straight to the throne of Asgard, and that was his only motivating goal. However, after being sent to Earth to learn humility, Odin chose to stay on as King, and it's rarely been touched on since. Though he did reluctantly and briefly take the leadership position at the end of "Thor: Ragnarok," the God of Thunder would eventually pass the throne to Valkyrie when he left Earth with the Guardians of the Galaxy at the close of "Avengers: Infinity War."

Perhaps now might be the right time to finally elevate Thor to his rightful place as King of Asgard, inherit the Odinforce, and resettle its people on a new cosmic world somewhere beyond Midgard. In his new role as King, a wealth of stories could present themselves and alter Thor's position in the MCU. Or, if Asgard were to remain on Earth, he could even serve as a representative of the Asgardian people. It could also make the Asgardian world a major player again and set Thor up for confrontations with leaders of other alien kingdoms like the Kree, the Skrull, or the Sh'iar in a possible MCU adaptation of the "War of Kings" story.

A bigger cosmic hero

With months to go until the movie's release, we don't know what state Thor will be in when "Thor: Love and Thunder" concludes or where his character arc will be. He could once again wield Mjolnir, he may retain the Asgardian axe Stormbreaker, or he may even be crowned King of Asgard. However, with the MCU becoming an ever bigger cosmic playground with the release of "Eternals" and Thor finally embracing his true power in "Infinity War" and "Endgame," we'd love to see him get his due as a true cosmic powerhouse.

In the Marvel Universe, Thor's father Odin is among the most powerful beings in the cosmos who wields the Odinforce. If it has always been Thor's destiny to be elevated to the throne once held by his father, perhaps it's also to be his fate that he becomes just as powerful as his father was. If so, a truly god-like Thor would offer all sorts of new possibilities for the character, as it would put him on equal footing with the likes of the Celestials, the Watcher, and even the planet devourer Galactus — who is likely on his way to the MCU with the impending introduction of the Fantastic Four. A cosmic powerhouse Thor would give Hemsworth some juicy material and possibly see an entirely new series of films showing his adventures at his new power level.

The Asgardians of the Galaxy

From "The Avengers" to "The Guardians of the Galaxy," audiences clearly love a good superhero team. If Thor isn't going to be in either of those, why not create his own team? 

In the Marvel comics, there exists a more recent interstellar superhero group that we could still see pop up: The Asgardians of the Galaxy. The group comprises Valkyrie, Throg, Kid Loki, the Executioner, Skurge, former Spawn character Angela (handed over the Marvel in a legal settlement), and the Thor replacement called Thunderstrike. While "Love and Thunder" might show him adventuring with the Guardians of the Galaxy's at least briefly, a version of the Asgardians of the Galaxy could be a way of killing two birds with one stone by continuing the Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor beyond their respective film series.

Adapting the "Asgardians of the Galaxy" comic book run for the big screen would also offer Marvel the chance to introduce several key Marvel characters into the MCU like Angela and Throg. At the same time, it could bring back others that are already established but haven't been seen recently, like Valkyrie and Skurge, something that fans always love.

Leader of a new Avengers Team

With Marvel closing the chapter on the Infinity Saga, by the conclusion of "Avengers: Endgame," it seems the core team of Avengers are no more. Iron Man and Black Widow are gone, Steve Rogers is retired, and "Shang Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings" seems to indicate that Hulk is now fully human again. Vision and Scarlet Witch are on their own paths, while Hawkeye has seemingly become a street-level vigilante in his Disney+ series. While there are several new big heroes who could help reform the team, including Doctor Strange, Monica Rambeau, Captain Marvel, the new Captain America, — only one original Avenger is still on the board: Thor.

While Hawkeye may help form the Young Avengers with Kate Bishop, Marvel might want to consider using Hemsworth's interest in continuing as Thor to have the character lead the next new team of adult heroes. Surely they'll want to make Anthony Mackie's new Captain America a major player atop the team too, but he could still use the presence of an old pro like Thor. If Asgard remains on Earth, and Valkyrie is still its Queen, then Odinson might have some time on his hands to play teacher to a new team of Avengers in the MCU. 

A deus ex machina

In the comic book version of "Civil War," Tony Stark is caught in a bitter war with Captain America, and each of the two heroes recruits their own army of superheroes to do battle with the other. In one climactic encounter, Stark calls in Thor — or what we believe to be Thor — to settle the conflict in his favor. That version of the God of Thunder turns out to be little more than a clone of the original Thor, dubbed Ragnarok, made by Stark using a strand of his hair and an apparent android body. Part man, part machine, he was easily beaten, but the notion of Thor as a deus ex machina, called in to end a conflict is one that could be revisited.

In the original comic book version of the "Secret Invasion" storyline, which is coming to the MCU in a new Disney+ series, Thor plays a climactic savior, destroying the deadly biological weapon fail-safe the Skrulls use on the heroes. During "The Siege," Thor is again used as a means of defeating the supreme foe, illustrating how his almighty power is often used as a deciding factor to settle conflicts. Using the MCU's Thor in this manner could be an interesting route to take for the hero who sat out the conflict in "Captain America: Civil War."

Adventures of his human alter ego

The MCU has done the Marvel Comic character of Thor proud in more than seven big-budget blockbuster films, but there's still one key part of the character's comic originals that we have yet to see on the big screen. He's wielded Mjolnir, come to Midgard to prove himself worthy, joined the Avengers, and fought the demon Surtur, but we've still never seen Thor exist as a human alter ego as he did for so many years in the "Earth-616" continuity. 

His first human guise, Donald Blake, is mentioned in the first "Thor" film as the name of the man Foster had been dating, and also later in the film as the alias Selvig uses when he helps Thor escape from SHIELD custody. Still, it's high time that Thor and Blake become tied together and allow Hemsworth to finally play Thor's secret human identity.

He's had other human alter egos over the years, as well. These include emergency worker Jake Olson and architect Eric Masterson, who was less an alter ego as he was a human worthy of Mjolnir who took Thor's place for a time. Crafting a story around one of these human personas for a new film showing Thor living on Earth as a human could be an option to keep Hemsworth around and give him some different material to work with at the same time. 

Teaming up with the Eternals

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has already touched on some of Thor's biggest and most important storylines from the comics, including the downfall of Asgard in "Thor: Ragnarok" and his conflict with Gorr the God Butcher in "Thor: Love and Thunder." Some of his biggest villains have made their presence felt, including Loki, Skurge, Surter, and Hela. 

However, one often overlooked storyline from the 1980s feels like it's ripe for adaptation in the next phase of the MCU – "The Celestials Saga." In that story, which begins in "Thor" #283 and runs until "Thor" #301, Thor goes looking for answers when he discovers deep and ancient ties between his own Asgardians and the mysterious cosmic beings called the Celestials.

Depending on where "Thor: Love and Thunder" leaves off, perhaps Thor could get the same insight into his people, and he too could go searching for answers as his comic book counterpart did. Now that the Celestials and Eternals have been similarly introduced to the MCU, it would be perfect timing. With Marvel still dealing with "Eternals" setting franchise record low scores on Rotten Tomatoes, creating a sequel with the presence of Hemsworth as Thor could be just the shot in the arm that the franchise needs. Tying Thor and the Eternals races together would only deepen the connectivity of the MCU, which fans love to see and is exactly what makes this shared film universe so special.

Thor Corps

With the multiverse taking the spotlight in projects such as "Loki," "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," and "Spider-Man: No Way Home," it might be fun if Marvel adapted one of the lesser-known Thor teams from the comic books: the Thor Corps. This superteam has had several variations, but one recent version is made up of different versions of Thor from various alternate realities, each with their own Asgardian hammer. Their roster has included the Odinson himself, Throg, alien hammer-wielding Beta Ray Bill, Groot, the X-Men's Storm, Jane Foster, The Thing, Spider-Man's foe the Lizard, as well as versions of Iron Man, War Machine, Gamora, She-Hulk, and many others. 

Now that the MCU has access to any number of alternate realities through the death of Kang in "Loki," introducing the Thor Corp in his own series or movie as a group of multiverse protectors would be the perfect place for Hemsworth's God of Thunder to reappear as the leader of his own team. We're already well acquainted with many members of the comic book version of the group, so it would be a simple matter to introduce two or three more to round out the roster. The team-up of variant Lokis in Season 1 of "Loki" proved to be one of the series' highlights, so Thor Corps seems primed for success.

Party Thor: The Series

Marvel Studios truly began embracing alternate realities in the Disney+ series "What If...?" Far from presenting simple theoretical possibilities, the worlds visited in the animated spinoff have proven to be real parallel universes with the potential to cross over into the mainline MCU. In the series' first season, we are introduced to an alternate — or variant — version of Thor, who is lovingly referred to as Party Thor. 

A more carefree and arrogant hero, he helps the multiverse team take down the Ultron hybrid with the help of the Watcher. We're already getting a spinoff based around the undead walker universe shown in the series with "Marvel Zombies" announced for a debut on Disney+. A "Party Thor" spinoff series could also make sense, as he proves a likable hero in his own right, one who is very distinct from his main MCU counterpart.

Of course, if they want to get bold about it, Hemsworth could turn the character of Party Thor into a live-action film or series, allowing him to play a new character on screen while still appearing as Marvel's God of Thunder. We've seen Hemsworth excel at comedy, and director Taika Waititi has definitely leveraged his comedic chops for "Thor: Ragnarok." A true light-hearted comedy starring Party Thor, as played by Hemsworth, could be an interesting treat for audiences.