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In the comics, Thor is on Earth and the bridge between the two worlds of Asgard and Earth is intact.

I haven't read the comics, but in the movie, the gateway collapses. If that's so, how does Thor get back to Earth to become an Avenger?

Or did the movie mess that up?

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Have you seen the movie? I haven't but I wonder if that clears it up? – AncientSwordRage May 4 '12 at 23:40
Not yet, but I'm going to. – Nata2ha Mayan2 May 4 '12 at 23:47
@Pureferret I've seen it, but not really. They make one mention that confused me more – Nata2ha Mayan2 May 5 '12 at 19:00
up vote 18 down vote accepted

The movie does not directly explain how Thor gets to Earth. It is hinted that Odin uses up considerable personal power to get Thor to Midgard and that it may have a time limit.

Here is an interview where the writers and actors talk briefly about it here.

"Loki says, 'How much dark energy did the All-father have to muster to conjure you here?' Tom Hiddleston recalled in a recent interview. "The Bifrost is still down, he can’t just be riding down the rainbow bridge, Heimdall [is gone], it’s all changed since the end of 'Thor' so it’s obviously cost Odin a significant amount to get there," he explained. "I guess he’s been sent down by Odin to go and deal with this crazy cat that is his brother."

Chris Hemsworth reveals that while the movie doesn't really go into the specific details of Thor's return, his time on Earth is actually limited. "It’s not really explained, but it’s assumed that he can only be there for a window of time. Odin has had to call in some favors from around the realm. And he turns up. That or the bus," he joked.

As an aside, Mjolnir has always been able to open portals between Asgard and Earth, so I wonder why no one there did their homework and just put the line out there in the script.

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That's why I was wondering about in the comics. See, at one point, they bring Asgaurd down to Earth, and it's floating above Ohio. I was/am confused as to how this is possible if the bridge is gone, or if that was just done for the movie. – Nata2ha Mayan2 May 4 '12 at 23:49
+1 for the mention of Mjolnir being able to open inter-dimensional portals between Earth and Asgard. Link here, about a quarter down the page under Teleportation. This attribute of Mjolnir is apparently referenced in Journey Into Mystery #88. – Lester Peabody May 8 '12 at 17:14
@Nata2haMayan2: if you’re confused about how Asgard was brought to earth in the comics, you should ask about that. If you’re wondering why the movies and the comics don’t portray exactly the same events, you should probably stop watching movies that are adaptations of any other media, because there are almost always various changes, and that’s okay. – Paul D. Waite Aug 4 '14 at 13:05 – Chris B. Behrens Aug 4 '14 at 14:16

As Thaddeus correctly states, The Avengers doesn't explain how Thor got to Earth, except making brief references to “dark magic”. Since then, a prelude comic to Thor 2 was published which explains this in more depth.

Thaddeus’ answer was written in June 2012. In June 2013, Marvel published a comic called Thor: The Dark World Prelude. It spans the gap between Thor and (presumably) Thor: The Dark World, covering events of The Avengers (which occurs between the two).

This comic explores the destruction of the Bifrost, and the effects that has on the nine realms, and Asgard's ability to keep the peace. Here’s a page from the first issue, which mostly confirms Thaddeus’ theory:

enter image description here

Odin uses his staff (and dark magic) to send Thor to Earth (called Midgard above), after witnessing Loki’s plans and realising that humans had the Tesseract.

In the second issue, Thor and Heimdall use the power of the Tesseract to rebuild the Bifrost. This allows them to restore peace to the nine realms, and presumably sets the scene for Thor’s return to Earth in Thor: The Dark World, The Avengers 2, et al.

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I think dark energy should be read as magical energy, for all intents and purposes, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If so, the powerful sorcerers such as Loki, Odin, Dr. Strange, etc. would kinda be like mutants with the natural ability to draw on and manipulate dark energy to achieve various "supernatural" effects, with the use of different "focuses," such as Loki's staff in Avengers, to allow for a finer level of control, more powerful effects, and/or a broader range of effects. Assuming this, Odin basically used his natural powers to channel a large amount of dark energy into a spell to send Thor back to Earth, probably leaving him exhausted just as Loki was at the beginning of the movie. Side note, Loki is basically the most powerful sorcerer in Asgard, so he can probably draw on much larger amounts of dark energy at a time than Odin, which would explain why he was able to connect with the Cube and open a portal from so far away without direct access to the Cube.

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The question is a little confusing. As far as I know, the specific plot that played out in the film Thor didn't occur in the comics, it was largely an original story. So the particular issue of Thor needing to get to Midgard (i.e. Earth) from Asgard without using Bifrost may not have happened in the comics.

In the film, it's clear that the Bifrost is still not functional. Loki asks Thor how much "dark energy" Odin had to summon to "conjure" Thor to Earth, but we don't see the process happen. At the end of the film, Thor returns to Asgard by using the power of the Tesseract (the cube from Captain America). This conveniently confirms the fate of the Red Skull at the end of Captain America.

In an interview with Empire Magazine about Thor: The Dark World, Director Alan Taylor said:

When the Bifrost was broken at the end of the first film, Odin had to conjure a lot of dark energy and go through a lot of personal sacrifice to try and get his son back to Earth. And it was a one-shot deal. If Thor didn't succeed, without the Tesseract he couldn't have got back again.

The amount of energy Odin expended to get Thor to Asgard was significant, so much so that he couldn't bring Thor back.

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okay, thanks. that was what I thought (how the movie had a different plot) but I wasn't sure – Nata2ha Mayan2 May 5 '12 at 15:58

In the movie Loki jokes about how much dark energy Odin had to use to send Thor back. My guess is Odin used the infinity gauntlet that was seen in his weapons vault in the Thor movie. The gauntlet controls space, time, soul, mind, reality, and power so it could be used to transport Thor back. This also ties in to the easter egg with Thanos in the credits because the infinity gauntlet belonged to him in the comics.

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Loki said to Heimdall that there were other dark and hidden ways from where one can go into other realms... at the end Heimdall repeats this to Thor... maybe Thor succeeded in finding a similar path back to earth.

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