Thor was one of the original Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and he’s now one of the few remaining members of that iteration of the team. Outlasting Iron Man, Captain America and Black Widow, Thor is poised to have perhaps the longest-lasting legacy of any Marvel hero. Said legacy could even go beyond Thor himself and the actor portraying him.
Chris Hemsworth has played the God of Thunder since he debuted in his eponymous 2011 film, but he’s now signaling that he’d like Thor’s story to end. Even if Thor Odinson’s adventures come to a close, the essence of the character could live on in other ways and other heroes. Here’s how the MCU could continue to use “Thor” even after Hemsworth has hung up the hammer.
Fans Are Desperate To See Beta Ray Bill Join the MCU
Ever since Thor joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, those familiar with the hero’s comic books were ready to see him “replaced” by another character entirely. The arrival of Beta Ray Bill was one of the many highlights in Walt Simonson’s iconic Thor run, with the disfigured alien proving worthy of wielding Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Since then, he’s been a powerful ally of Thor and one of the best examples of an expy or replacement character done right. Despite his popularity, the character has yet to show up in the MCU, with a planned appearance in Thor: Ragnarok ultimately being scrapped.
Whether it be done in a potentially much different Thor 5 or another Marvel Studios movie, Beta Ray Bill’s introduction could showcase someone to whom Thor can finally pass the hammer. Bill’s alien nature would also allow for more cosmic stories, which have only been heightened in the Thor mythos through his last two films and his friendship with the Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, having the Guardians introduce Thor to Beta Ray Bill might be the best way to start passing the torch. Bill would be a mostly CGI creation, at least concerning his alien head. Thus, it’d be easy to let Thor himself go away and no longer need Hemsworth, all the while decking Bill out in a costume very similar to the Asgardian’s.
Thunderstrike Can Give Thor a More Human Replacement
Introduced in the ’80s, Eric Masterson was once a human alter ego of Thor. He’d come into his own, however, in the edgy ’90s, which saw many heroes replaced with expies of themselves. Thor had united with Masterson to save the wounded mortal’s life, and when the two were split apart, the latter retained superpower via his own magical mallet. Thunderstrike’s adventures were somewhat more grounded and relatable than Thor’s, and this likely played into the fact that his secondary title was — according to series writer Tom DeFalco — supposedly far more popular than Thor’s book.
Chris Hemsworth’s Thor wore a costume somewhat reminiscent of Thunderstrike in Thor: Love and Thunder, but the character hasn’t truly debuted in the MCU or been much of a recent factor in the comics. Nevertheless, he’d offer a way for Thor’s legacy to live on without Hemsworth, showing that even mere mortals could wield the power of the gods. A new actor could be brought in to play Eric Masterson, namely one who’s visually similar to Hemsworth himself. One option would be Chris’ brother Liam, but no matter who’s cast, the power of the God of Thunder could continue to strike in the Marvel Cinematic Universe even after the Mighty Avenger’s adventures are over.