Anyway…back to Gillen’s run on Journey Into Mystery.
Most conveniently collected in Journey Into Mystery by Kieron Gillen Complete Collection Volumes 1 and 2
This is the fascinating, funny, and tragic tale of the new kid Loki and how he tries his hardest to be good and escape the long, ugly legacy of his previous incarnation. Even though he was technically still an old character, this new version of Loki had his own new personality that was just so damn charming and interesting and it is an awful shame that he was pushed aside for the old, familiar version of Loki to return (which didn’t even end up happening anyway, really). Young Avengers continued the plot a bit and Al Ewing would later do a version that felt much like a spiritual successor, which I’ll get to in a bit, but still…I miss that nutty kid Loki. This is a must read series for anyone at all interested in Thor (though he doesn’t actually appear much here) and Kieron Gillen. Also included here was the Everything Burns crossover with Thor, which wrapped up both titles so that Thor could be relaunched once again, but at least he was put in good hands again.
So when last we saw Thor, JMS had left him exiled from Asgard, had all the Asgardians move to Latveria with Dr. Doom, and many other assorted dangling plot threads. Amazingly, Kieron Gillen, who was still relatively unknown at the time, appeared out of nowhere and sorted that shit out.
Gillen’s initial Thor run of Thor 604-614 and a few other misc issues, most conveniently collected in the Thor by Kieron Gillen Ultimate Collection
As far as I’m concerned Thor begins in the 80s with the essential Walt Simonson run, which covers roughly issues 337-382 and a Balder mini-series.
Most conveniently collected in the Thor by Walter Simonson Omnibus (in theory anyway. good luck finding a copy at a reasonable price now!)
This classic run features the first appearances of Beta Ray Bill, the Casket of Ancient Winters, Malekith, and Kurse. Also featured within are the short-lived 80s Thor armor and even more short-lived frog Thor. Interaction with the general Marvel superhero world is pretty minimal. Most of the run focuses on Asgard and/or very Asgard-specific themes and threats. I don’t know well this art and writing would hold up to a modern audience, but if 80s comics are your thing, this is a must-read.