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How Thor: Ragnarok Characters Should Really Look

The MCU suits behind the scenes are no strangers to taking creative liberties when it comes to adapting their costumed crusaders for the big screen. Sometimes, that means clipping Captain America's helmet wings—other times, like in the case of Civil War's Zemo, it means completely rewriting a character's backstory, motivation, methodologies, and appearance to mesh with the "rules" of the cinematic universe. 

For better or for worse, these alterations are typically put into place to retain a sense of cinematic realism—at least as far as films regularly featuring Norse deities, alien invaders, and less-than-jolly green giants go. With this in mind, here's how the cast of Marvel's Thor: Ragnarok should really look.


Let's face it: Idris Elba can do no wrong. That's why it comes as no surprise that he totally owns his performance as Heimdall, guardian of Asgard's Bifrost Bridge and loyal servant to Thor's father, Odin. But Marvel fans who skipped the comics may not realize that the MCU's Heimdall shares few physical similarities with his comic book counterpart save for their beefy physiques and enchanted blade, Hofund.

Obviously, Elba's complexion is a few shades darker than his comic book counterpart—but that's just the beginning of where these two interpretations diverge. Old-school Heimdall boasts armor that looks more like unused The Elder Scrolls concept art than extra-dimensional equipment. Sometimes he's drawn with furry pauldrons, sometimes, he's garbed in a hide tunic—but he's always rocking a pretty nondescript horned helmet. Heimdall's MCU incarnation, at least as he's appeared in previous entries, calls to mind a kickass steampunk warrior. In Thor: Ragnarok, however, the warrior looks like he's seen better days—his space Viking armor's been swapped out for a ratty cloak and a dingy belted tunic. Plus, he looks like he hasn't seen an Asgardian barber in quite some time.


Sorry, Loki who? When the trailer for Thor: Ragnarok exploded onto computer screens, comic book nerds worldwide pledged collective allegiance to their new dark queen—Hela, Asgardian goddess of death. Cate Blanchett brings sinister—and sultry—style to her take on the character, who first appeared in "Tales of Asgard: Death Comes to Thor" from Journey into Mystery Vol 1 #102. Based on her appearance in a series of trailers for the blockbuster, Hela's costume appears surprisingly faithful to the skin-tight vestments worn by the Mistress of the Darkness in the comics. While Hela, alleged daughter of Loki and sorceress Angerboda, sports a variety of equally ominous outfits in the clips, she's primarily portrayed in her signature black and green bodysuit rounded off by a horned?—antlered?—helmet that Lady Gaga would kill for.


Let's get one thing straight: "Valkyrie" is actually the title of Asgardian warrior and all-around butt-kicker Brunhilda—but for the sake of saving this list from becoming an essay on Norse mythology, we'll skip the backstory and stick to one name. Suffice to say Valkyrie is a typical Asgardian: she's tough as nails and as stubborn as they come, inhabiting the forms of strong female humans ever since her spirit was sealed in a crystal by the double-crossing Amora the Enchantress. Her blond-haired, blue-eyed comic book incarnation keeps things relatively basic—if highly impractical—wearing a black one-piece with a blue cape, a metallic belt and... "boob armor?" Anybody know the technical term for boob armor?

Luckily, Tessa Thompson's MCU Valkyrie ditched the chrome cups for a more utilitarian leather tunic/trouser combo complete with matching armguards and white warpaint. Another set of armor—which appears ceremonial in nature—is also shown off in the trailer, and it's lightyears ahead of comic Valkyrie's glorified "sexy viking" Halloween costume in the badass department.


Skurge, AKA "The Executioner," is a half-Asgardian, half-Storm Giant warrior and all-around edgelord best known for his mean streak, his well-trimmed goatee, and his big, honkin' weapon of choice—the appropriately-if-lazily named "Bloodaxe." Prior to his death at the hands of Hela's minions in the comics, Skurge was seduced by Amora the Enchantress (big surprise...) and he worked alongside her on many a joyful blood-soaked scheme. Interestingly enough, however, he is shown working alongside Hela—a character with whom his comic book counterpart never exactly got along—in the Thor: Ragnarok trailer.

The latest addition to the MCU roster, Skurge, is jacked, bald—with symmetrical tattoos on either side of his head—and outfitted in enough armor to weigh down even the muscliest of men. His comic book counterpart... well, he's pretty much identical to Karl Urban's take on Thor's on-off frenemy, albeit with shorter sleeves, a more colorful tunic, and, sometimes, an inexplicable pink axe insignia on his breastplate.

Hey—you do you, dude.


Here's everything you need to know about Surtur: he's anti-Odin all the way, he's the king of a realm of eternal fire (Muspelheim), he rules over a group of unsavory dudes called the Fire Demons, and he's an actual giant made of—you guessed it!—fire. In case it's not clear enough, this guy's bad news, and judging from the two-second, blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot of the Hulk hurling himself into an extra-dimensional monstrosity who's essentially a sentient volcano, he's not about to loosen up on his plan to incur Ragnarok—the Asgardian apocalypse—any time soon. While the MCU shows Surtur as a (literally) larger-than-life behemoth skulking through an all-enveloping firestorm, comic iterations of this nefarious ne'er-do-well portray him as a demonic-looking entity akin to the archetypal Western "devil." Oh, except his head's on fire—like, his head is always on fire.


It's common knowledge (at least, in comics circles) that the MCU borrowed elements from Greg Pak's 2006 "Planet Hulk" arc when drafting the script for Thor: Ragnarok—and if there's one scene from the film's trailers that most explicitly shows off this influence, it's the coliseum battle between the Hulk and Thor.

Let's rewind a bit: "Planet Hulk" is a 13-issue storyline that chronicles the Hulk's accidental exile on a planet called Sakaar (thanks, wormholes!). During his stay, the Hulk is forced to fight for the amusement of the Red King—Sakaar's ruler—engaging in battles to the death with fellow gladiators. Donning armor, he easily bests his opponents, eventually proving victorious over even the Red King and claiming his rightful throne... only for his spaceship's power systems to fail, sending an explosive wave across the planet and killing millions—including his new wife and unborn child.

Phew. OK. So back to the outfits. Thor: Ragnarok's Hulk is pretty much identical to his standard comic book incarnation save for the gladiator armor he wears during his chance encounter with his "friend from work," Thor. This particular outfit looks like it was lifted right off the cover of The Incredible Hulk #92, as both sets of gladiatorial armor include a single pauldron on the Hulk's left arm paired with an arm guard and a red plumed centurion helmet.


You're forgiven if you've never heard of the Hulk's Kronan companion, Korg—you're also forgiven if you've got no idea what in God's name a Kronan is. Another character from the "Planet Hulk" storyline, Korg is part of a genderless species of "Stone Men" from Saturn. As such, his body is covered in an impenetrable hide of rocky material à la the Thing, and he stands at a staggering 8 feet tall. While he only appears for a split second in the film's trailer, his presence in the film is sure to be intriguing—after all, he's portrayed by the film's director, Taika Waititi, who claims the Kronan will be acting as something of a mentor to Thor, "[showing] him the ropes."

While the comics see Korg sporting a lighter shade of stone along with two pauldrons (one on each shoulder), a leather harness, and a loincloth—an outfit similar to that which he wore in his brief Thor: The Dark World cameo—he appears to be rocking (pardon the pun) an outfit very similar to that worn by his co-gladiator the Hulk, with one exposed shoulder and a blood-splattered harness bearing a mysterious insignia on its buckle.

The Grandmaster

En Dwi Gast—better known as The Grandmaster—is an immortal cosmic being, one of the Elders of the Universe, and brother to the Collector (that's Benicio Del Toro, for people who didn't read the credits at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy). But while the aforementioned Collector, well, collects, the Grandmaster prefers manipulating beings from across the universe to engage in complex—and often violent—games. In trailers for Thor: Ragnarok, he can be seen in the coliseum stands, watching opposite Loki as Thor and the Hulk duke it out gladiator style. And wouldn't you know it? He's played by none other than the dashing Jeff Goldblum.

Who knows why the creative team decided against slathering good ol' Jeff's skin in blue. They did it to poor Karen Gillan in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies (and they'll be doing it again when she appears in The Avengers: Infinity War). And why swap out his rubber ducky-yellow robe and matching dishwashing gloves for a muted blue-red tunic and gaudy tablecloth/semi-sleeveless jacket? What's wrong with a little pop of color every now and then, huh?