Note: This article was originally published by Charles Murphy on MCU Exchange on November 6, 2017.
Thor: Ragnarok certainly revitalized the franchise and the character. Not only did it bring some of the more fantastical elements of the Thor comics to the screen, it also saw the character make some bold choices that lead to some major repercussions for him and the people of Asgard. We know we’ll see the God of Thunder again in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4 and expect him to play a significant role. While it seems that those films will be the swan songs for stars like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, it is possible that Chris Hemsworth could continue on in the role; after all, Asgardians age awfully slowly, making Hemsworth one of the few MCU stars whose aging could work out just fine. Furthermore, Tessa Thompson’s turn as the Valkyrie did nothing other than continue her ascension as a star and leave us all wanting much, much more of the character. If Marvel Studios is so inclined, they could potentially use the massive success of Thor: Ragnarok as a springboard to launch not only more Thor films, but also films centered around the Valkyrie. The source material certainly provides enough great stories for several films so we put together a sampling of some that we think would look great on screen!
To Wake The Mangog!
One of the great Thor villains that we’ve still yet to see on screen is the great and immortal Mangog! Seen above in concept art from Thor: The Dark World. the Mangog is a villain for whom the time may actually be right given some of the dark revelations about Odin’s past. In the comics, the Mangog was the sole survivor of his kind with the rest of his race being killed by Odin as he is imprisoned in the depths of the Realm Eternal. Fueled by the their combined rage (“the hatred of a billion, billion beings) the Mangog is released by Ulik the Troll (another Thor baddie we’re dying to see!) and proves an equal in battle for the Odinson.
The Mangog is returning to the comics and the events of Thor: Ragnarok could actually have set the stage for his entry into the MCU. The destruction of Asgard by Surtur could be used to explain how the Mangog escaped prison and a film featuring him could give us some more of the true history of Asgard, one of the juiciest and underserved plot points in Thor: Ragnarok. Of course the Mangog would turn his rage on the new King of Asgard, giving Thor a foe that not only challenges him physically, but threatens his burgeoning rule as well.
Journey Into Mystery
If they are going to give Tessa Thompson her own franchise, and I REALLY think they should, I love this as the title. This is the title that introduced Thor to the Silver Age of comics and told young readers the “Tales of Asgard.” Interestingly enough, any movie featuring the Valkyrie, or Asgardians in general, doesn’t need to take place in the present day, giving Marvel Studios a plethora of options for Journey Into Mystery films. While the title might evoke images of Lady Sif for loyal readers, it’s pretty clear that the studio has larger plans for Thompson than for Jamie Alexander; however, that wouldn’t stop them from making an absolutely fantastic team up film with the two badasses!
We know that Thompson has pitched an all-female film to Marvel Studios and, at this point, we have to think the studio is open to it. This may not be the story she had in mind, but we’d love to see the Valkyrie team up with Sif. A couple of classic Thor villains come to mind as wonderful antagonists for such a film and while their team up would clearly be short-lived, we’d love to see Karnilla, the Norn Queen and Amora finally grace the big screen!
The Undying Ones
Outside of being an absolutely fantastic individual character, one of the great things about the Valkyrie being introduced into the MCU is that we are now just one character away from being able to assemble the comic book Defenders on screen. With Doctor Strange, Hulk and the Valkyrie in the mix, we just need Namor and we have the non-team many of us grew up reading about. It seems like the issues surrounding a Namor solo movie are similar to those associated with the Hulk, so introducing him in a team-up film is probably the only way to go. It also seems that the future of the MCU is in team ups of “unexpected combinations of characters” and this idea certainly falls under that umbrella.
First appearing in Doctor Strange #183 and Sub-Mariner #22, the Undying Ones, a group of inter-dimensional demons who used to rule the Earth, were the threat that brought the Defenders together. Whether it’s in the first Valkyrie film or a Doctor Strange sequel, this Lovecraftian horror movie is the type of genre-bending experiment that Marvel Studios seems more and more comfortable attempting. Thompson’s character already showed a fantastic rapport with Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner and would definitely be an interesting foil to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange. Additionally, her irreverence would certainly grind Namor’s gears, cementing her as the centerpiece of this team up.
Gorr, The God Butcher
I’m aware that Thor: Ragnarok already introduced some facets of Jason Aaron’s incredible run on Thor: God of Thunder. While I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to which comics should be adapted into Marvel Studios films, I believe that Aaron’s Gorr arc is one of the finest Thor stories ever told. Those things considered, I feel that this is a story that can be told and told well at some point down the road, if Hemsworth chooses to stick around in the role (or if they recast someone else at some point).
In order for this story to be told, it probably makes sense that we are introduced to some other gods from other pantheons at some point. If future films introduce heroes such as Hercules and other characters like Ares and the Eternals, a story taking place in the future featuring an aged King Thor could be the fitting farewell to the character. The story of Gorr transcends time and space and would be perfect for the final, epic Thor story.