Beta Ray Bill is a Marvel Comics superhero. He is connected to Thor, which is why he was set to show up in Thor: Ragnarok. However, it was such a small role that the choice was made to put Beta Ray Bill on hold until the chance came up to present him with his rightful measure of prominence. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Beta Ray Bill:
1. Introduced in the Bronze Age of Comic Books
Beta Ray Bill was introduced in the Bronze Age of Comic Books. Generally speaking, this means the period between 1970 and 1985, thus preceding the Modern Age of Comic Books that has continued into the present time. For the most part, the Bronze Age of Comic Books retained the conventions of the Silver Age of Comic Books but started to feature darker storylines as well as storylines that were centered on social issues.
2. Designed to Look Monstrous
The character is interesting in that he was designed to look monstrous so that the readers would be caught off-guard when he turned out to be a true hero. Background-wise, Beta Ray Bill is supposed to be a member of the fictional species called the Korbinites whose consciousness had been transferred over to the form of a carnivorous beast that had undergone extensive genetic as well as cybernetic modification.
3. First Character Outside of the Norse Pantheon to Be Capable of Picking Up Mjolnir
Speaking of which, Beta Ray Bill can claim the honor of being the first character outside of the Norse pantheon in the Marvel Comics setting to be capable of picking up Mjolnir. Something that says much about his intended character. This is particularly true because his creator has stated that in his opinion, Captain America shouldn’t be able to pick up the hammer because he is too much a symbol of the United States while Superman shouldn’t be able to pick up the hammer because he wouldn’t kill.
4. Came Close to Being Called Beta Ray Jones
Beta Ray Jones came very close to being called Beta Ray Jones. However, his name was changed to something just as common-sounding because there were already too many Joneses in the Marvel Comics setting.
5. Possesses Incredible Superpowers
The character possesses incredible superpowers, though none of them are as iconic as, say, Cyclops’s eye-beams and Wolverine’s claws. Still, Beta Ray Bill is capable of fighting Thor on even terms, which is pretty impressive when Thor is supposed to be one of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the entire Marvel Comics setting.
6. Fought Thor Because of a Misunderstanding
There are a lot of jokes about superheroes getting into fights because of misunderstandings. They are funny because they are often true, as shown by how Beta Ray Bill got into a fight with Thor because the sentient ship called the Skuttlebutt perceived Thor as a threat but couldn’t stop him on its own, meaning that it was forced to revive its powerful defender from suspended animation.
7. Beta Ray Bill Beat Thor
A series of events resulted in Beta Ray Bill fighting Thor for the right to wield Mjolnir in what was supposed to have been a fight to the death overseen by Odin. The two managed to beat one another senseless, but Beta Ray Bill’s superior heat resistance meant that he was able to recover first. With that said, while he wanted Mjolnir to protect the last remnants of his people, Beta Ray Bill saved Thor from falling into lava because he respected Thor too much as an opponent to let him die.
8. Received Stormbreaker
Odin was impressed enough to have a new weapon made for Beta Ray Bill, thus resulting in Stormbreaker. In the comic books, this was a hammer rather than an axe like the one featured in the MCU.
9. Fought Surtur’s Forces
It turned out that the one who came very close to wiping out the Korbinites was Surtur, who was similar enough to the Asgardians for Skuttlebutt to perceive Thor as a threat. Beta Ray Bill put Stormbreaker to excellent use in leading Earth’s superheroes in a fight against Surtur’s forces, while Thor teamed up with both Odin and Loki to fight Surtur in Asgard itself.
10. Has Shown Up in a Wide Range of Media
Beta Ray Bill is prominent enough for him to have shown up in a wide range of media. For example, he has been on three animated shows as well as one animated movie. Likewise, he has been in numerous video games either on his own or in connection to Thor.