The world of comic books is filled with countless vigilantes, mutants, and more than a few superhero teams, but standing tall among them all are the two godly characters of Thor and Superman. For decades, these two have been the most powerful heroes at their respective companies: Thor at Marvel and Superman at DC. Both have the ability to benchpress mountains, fly through the cosmos, and stand toe-to-toe against any villain the writers can throw at them. Because of their similar god-like status, fans have been debating for years over which is supreme.
Well, after watching Man of Steel this summer and Thor: The Dark World, as well as reading countless comic books over the years, we’re confident that we have finally have our answer. So to get you even more pumped up for the release of The Dark World this Friday, we humbly submit: Why Thor is a Better God-Like Superhero than Superman.
Thor would never get beaten down by a mortal.
Image via DC Entertainment
He’s a god from outer space, can blow out suns like birthday candles, and juggle planets like tennis balls, yet on more occasions than we can count, the Man of Steel has been pounded like a cheap steak by both Batman and Lex Luthor. Batman is an utter badass and Lex Luthor has a suit of armor that would make Tony Stark salivate, but it’s embarrassing to watch Supes get punked by these two flesh-and-blood opponents routinely.
The accepted excuse is that Superman holds back his strength when fighting lesser foes to avoid turning them into a smear of bodily fluids on the wall. That’s all well and good, but it comes at the expense of his dignity and our respect. Thankfully Thor doesn’t subscribe to this lifestyle, which is why you’ll never see him break a sweat with mere mortals.
He actually has a personality.
Image via Marvel Studios
Contrary to popular belief, the Superman in the comic books is actually far more interesting than people give him credit for, but in Man of Steel, the guy just has no personality. He barely speaks, and when he does it’s basically just for plot and exposition purposes. Henry Cavill certainly looks the part, but it’s painfully obvious that director Zack Snyder and writer David Goyer have little faith that he can pull off the necessary gravitas to make the movie work. Instead, they turn him into a mute. Seriously, count the amount of lines he has in the movie. You’ll be shocked.
This is where Thor easily outshines Superman in every respect. Chris Hemsworth both looks the part and turns in performances that have the ferocity of a god and the vulnerability of any great comic book hero. We think Cavill needs to put down the curling bar and study a bootleg copy of Thor: The Dark World if he really wants to transform himself into Superman for 2015.
He has a fashion sense.
Image via Marvel Entertainment, DC Entertainment
When Superman debuted in 1938, the red underwear on the outside of his tights was meant to resemble the look of a circus strongman, and the audience at the time got it. As decades passed, and Superman still kept that look, his suit went from iconic to dated. Noticing this, DC gave the Man of Steel a new costume during 2011’s New 52 relaunch, and the results were atrocious. Resembling something a high school kid would doodle inside his Chemistry notebook, the new Superman suit is decked out with garish line work and nonsensical plastic armor that makes him look uncharacteristically bulky.
Over at Marvel, Thor got a few costume redesigns since the mid-2000s, and each one has been an improvement on the one that came before it. Thor’s current costume keeps the spirit of the original while updating it for a modern audience brought up in Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth. Superman’s new costume just looks like what a 40-year-old editor at DC thinks teenagers would think is cool.
His arch enemy isn’t a bald dude.
Image via Marvel Entertainment
Superman is the most universally recognized superhero on the planet, but we bet the casual fan can’t name more than a handful of his arch villains. Really, what damage is the Toyman going to do? How about Mr. Mxyzptlk? All you need to do is make this dude say his name backwards and he’s done for.
On the other hand, we’ve seen Thor tackle some of the most dangerous beasts and gods in all of comics on a monthly basis, including Ymir, Malekith, Gorr, Surtur, Loki, the Enchantress and countless more. Even the Superman movies have had to resort to recycling Zod and Lex Luthor ad nauseum simply because Hollywood can’t even make his enemies remotely watchable.
He doesn’t hide behind a pair of glasses.
Image via Warner Brothers Pictures
When Thor first debuted in 1962, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby gave him a civilian identity known as Donald Blake to hide his godliness from the world, unless there was trouble. This made absolutely no sense to anyone, and later writers soon shed the Blake persona and made Thor a 24/7 god like he was meant to be.
Unfortunately no one has pulled the trigger on retiring the Clark Kent persona as of yet. Instead, we’re left with writers who struggle to find any reason for Kent to exist at all. The one thing Man of Steel actually did right was downplaying Clark Kent’s role in the Superman mythology. Now if we can just get the comic book writers to agree to let Supes run wild, we’ll be happy nerds.
He has orgies.
Image via Marvel Entertainment
For decades, comic book fans watched the courtship between Lois Lane and Clark Kent blossom into one of the most endearing story threads in all of comics. But after a few decades, their “Will they, won’t they?” dynamic went from charming to pathetic. How is it that the most powerful being on the planet can be completely befuddled around women? And explain to us how Lois Lane, the most successful investigative journalist in Metropolis, can’t realize that Clark Kent looks exactly like Superman without his glasses on?
Forget the grade-school love story between Thor and Jane Foster in the recent movies. The comic book version of the God of Thunder usually celebrates his victories on the battlefield by bedding three or four women at once. We’re not likely going to see these godly romps on the big screen under the Disney banner, but you should catch up on Matt Fraction’s version of Thor stories. That dude was prolific between the sheets.
Mjolnir. Nuff said.
Image via Marvel Entertainment
There’s no doubt that Superman’s powers would all come in handy in everyday life, especially that X-ray vision of his. But when compared to Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjolnir, everything Supes does just looks like child’s play.
Made from the strongest Uru metal in the nine realms, Mjolnir is an enchanted weapon that only Thor and a few select beings can master. It has a mental connection to its owner and is powerful enough to punch a hole in the side of a planet. Superman has a cape. You get where we’re going with this, right?