Thor: Love and Thunder will continue the recent Marvel Studios pattern of uniting franchise characters in one hero's solo sequel. Fans most recently saw this with the integration of Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange in Spider-Man: No Way Home. The trend will continue next month, as Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch stars opposite Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The Thor franchise is no stranger to this method either. After the first two installments featured Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye and Chris Evans' Captain America in cameo roles, Thor: Ragnarok welcomed Mark Ruffalo's Hulk to the ensemble as a top-billed supporting star.
This July, Thor: Love and Thunder will pick up where Avengers: Endgame left the title character off, meaning the full Guardians of the Galaxy roster will star alongside leading man Chris Hemsworth. Thor teased in the final moments of Endgame that he would be part of the "Asgardians of the Galaxy," much to the chagrin of the man in charge.
While enough time has passed for Bro Thor to get back in shape, a new piece of merchandise indicates that the God of Thunder is much more integrated with the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise than expected.
Ravager Thor is Born
We all know who's in charge.
As revealed by a new Hasbro figure, Thor: Love and Thunder will feature a "Ravager Thor" iteration of Chris Hemsworth's Marvel hero.
The Guardians of the Galaxy and the Ravagers made amends by the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but the two groups started out as foes. This was due to Chris Pratt's Peter Quill double-crossing the Ravagers in his own personal quest for the Orb, the containment unit of the Power Stone, in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy.
The two groups would unite in a common enemy alliance at that film's final battle, but remained on opposite sides come Vol. 1's conclusion. Michael Rooker's Yondu forged a closer friendship with the Guardians in Vol. 2, which caused a rift within the Ravagers' ranks. After that mini-civil war and Yondu's subsequent sacrifice, the various Ravager clans put their differences aside to pay respects at the whistling warrior's funeral.
The Guardians and Ravagers went their separate ways since, but the two briefly shared the battlefield against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame.
The Ravagers of the Galaxy?
Thor's inclusion among the Ravagers' ranks indicates that the space pirates are on good terms with the Guardians of the Galaxy. The two factions have always put their differences aside for the greater good, but are known to butt heads during downtime.
Considering the Guardians are rumored to only have a small role in Love and Thunder, which will likely be at the beginning of the film given how Endgame leaves off, the presence of a "Ravager" Thor makes peace between the Guardians and the Ravagers all the more likely.
That said, Thor being considered a "Ravager" instead of a Guardian feels uncharacteristic. Sure, the mighty one bickered with Star-Lord throughout Avengers: Infinity War, but the two's relationship was more of a friendly competition than actual animosity. Rather than the two groups making peace, this product alludes to the two groups unifying.
The Ravager Clan is made up of numerous sub-factions already, and it may be time to add the Guardians to those ranks. If that's the case, the God of Thunder might just be the key to getting all parties under the same roof.
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8.
MCU Writer, Editor, Podcaster