One question I’ve been asked a lot about the movie Thor: Ragnarok, out in the UK now, is about any appearance of Beta Ray Bill. A regular in the period that this film refers to in the comics, he was an alien of the Korbinite race (no relation to current leaders of the Labour Party) who was able to wield Mjolnir and gained Thor-attributes, before being granted an Asgardian hammer of his own.
His presence was referred to in a scene that was visible in the trailer, his face on the Grandmaster’s tower alongside a number of other Marvel characters including Man-Thing and the Bi-Beast.
But is there another? And might you have to wait to the credits to see it? And has no one who has seen it noticed yet?
Here’s the theory. Obviously spoilers.
After the tumultuous conclusion of the movie, Thor and Loki hit space in their big space ship, along with a number of their friends old and new. When the come up against a mighty space ship far bigger than their own, seemingly on its way to Earth.
The most accepted theory is that this is Thanos’s spaceship, on its way to start Infinity War, the next Avengers film.
But there’s another theory entirely that this is not Thanos’s ship, but Skuttlebutt.
Skuttlebutt, in the Thor comics, is a sentient battleship built by the Korbinites and that Beta Ray Bill and Skuttlebutt are brother and sister. Skuttlebutt’s purpose is to assist the protector of the Korbinites, the remnants of whom fled in a fleet of ships, Battlestar Galactica-style and the Korbinites only have Skuttlebutt and Beta Ray Bill to defend them.
In the comics, Skuttlebutt attacks Thor because she recognized the Asgardian magic as similar to that of the previous global threat, and assumed the Korbonites were being threatened once again. Which is why Beta Ray Bill is awakened from stasis to fight Thor, gaining Mjolnir in the process. As trailers may have shown you, that probably can’t happen this time around…
…if that is indeed what’s happening. But it would tie into the whole Ragnarok vibe, and Walt Simonson got the biggest comic creator credit in the movie after Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby…
It’s a theory. First appearance is Thor #337, if you are speculative-minded.