My friend asked me a question that I couldn't answer, but I told him I knew where to find out. In traditional mythology Thor had red hair. Is there a reason why in the Marvel Universe that he is a blond? Thank you.

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Actually, there is... after a fashion.

Of course the real reason is artistic license, but in a story arc circa #276 (see below), Roy Thomas crafted a story which tied the Norse mythology of Marvel Comics into Wagner's Ring Cycle and Ragnarok with the intention (I suppose) of breaking the Marvel stories from the foregone conclusions of the Norse myths. IIRC (and there's every reason to believe I don't, because it's been so long since I've read them), Norse mythology is a kind of repeating cycle and "resets" itself after each successive Ragnarok.

Or something like that.

If this answetr didn't help, I hope it at least points you in the right direction.

My guess is Stan Lee made Marvel's Thor blond for the same reason that he gave him an entirely un-Norse-like costume---so Marvel could trademark the character. If he were more along the lines of the classic mythological Thor, then Marvel wouldn't be able to lay specific claim to his appearance. And if that were the case, then, if Marvel's Thor proved successful, then the publishers of Fly-by-Night Comics could scratch out bargain-basement stories using a very similar character.
On the other hand, Sif's hair, in the mythology was supposed to be 'famously golden' according to wiki, thought to represent fields of wheat, as she may have been a fertility goddess.

It also says she was Thor's wife, which I didn't know. What a classic simpering pose she is affecting there.

I kinda like Thomas' theory as the old tales tell that Ragnorak happened, but yet, in the MU Thor is still around. Then again, all mythology is like the Aboriginal dreamtime, in that, in a way, what they depict is always happening now.

We've all got our own personal Ragnorak ahead of us, ... just to get heavy for a moment!
I don't thee how that quethtion could make anyone thor.

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Don't scratch your head over it too much, you'll just end up getting Balder...
If I remember, the Marvel reason for Sif to have black hair is that she did have golden hair until Loki messed things up.
That scamp.

Thanks Cav.
Regarding Sif - I'm not an expert on the Edda, but I thought that Eitri (the dwarf king IIRC) had been given gold by either Thor or Odin to create a head of hair for Sif, who for some reason needed it - I think it was a jest by Loki again. The dwarves created the hair, and it only needed to be poured over Sif's head in order for it to adhere and become real hair. But Loki again interferes, and the hair got misplace or misused (obviously, my memory on this is not yesterday's headlines... happening too often lately. :) )

So they returned to the dwarves and had no further gold. Eitri then said, "If you have nothing, I will make you hair out of nothing!" and spun shadows into black hair... which is why Sif has the hair color she has now. (Is it harder to make hair out of shadows than gold? Dunno... I'm no Rumplestilskin, so I can't say. :D )

The Baron said:
Don't scratch your head over it too much, you'll just end up getting Balder...

You are too late with that advice.
Thank you. I had thought that was the explanation but wasn't sure.

Didn't Jack Kirby do a Sandman or Manhunter story in the '40's with Thor. I believe I had read a reprint of it in one of the fourth world books when they had the added pages.
Yup. Adventure Comics #75.

More recently, Kirby had done a story for Tales of the Unexpected #16 involving Thor and his hammer, described here (language warning). From the reproduced panels it appears the story's depiction of the power of Thor's hammer is similar to that of Marvel Thor's debut tale. The Unexpected Thor has a beard and a Kirby Viking costume, but he also has circles on his torso like Marvel Thor, and leg straps.

If the Commander will pardon me, I would think Marvel Thor's costume is less Viking-like than it might have been because Marvel wanted him to look like a superhero. A beard would've made him look older. Possibly he was given yellow hair to contrast with his cape while matching his belt and boot straps, or simply because it was felt to be a more attractive colour.

In myth, Sif's hair was shaved by Loki as a prank, and he commissioned three gifts from the dwarfs to escape punishment. One of these was new, golden hair for Sif.

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