The MCU and the world of anime aren't so different after all. Many characters in Western comics or anime have remarkable similarities, even if one didn't directly inspire the other. Shonen series such as One Piece, Bleach, Naruto and Fairy Tail have plenty in common with DC and Marvel Comics, and that includes Laxus Dreyar, the lightning dragon slayer.
Plenty of anime and comic characters use the power of lightning, but Fairy Tail's Laxus has much more in common with Thor of the MCU than an element of power. These two men have remarkably aligned character arcs, including the price of arrogance, conflict with the people dearest to them, hard-won lessons of humility and what it really means to be a hero.
The Tragic Hubris Of Laxus Dreyar & Thor Odinson
Laxus' character arc in Fairy Tail begins in a similar fashion as Thor's, both being born into powerful families with a father figure to look up to. Thor's father is the wise Odin, king of Asgard, while Laxus looked up to his grandfather, guild master Makarov Dreyar. These sons were soon at odds with their father figures, resulting in more than one kind of conflict. Laxus was distraught when Makarov banished Laxus' father, Ivan, from the Fairy Tail guild. The boy saw this as a betrayal of the guild's emphasis on family ties and the power of friendship.
A rift grew between Laxus and Makarov, with the former growing bitter and forming new ideas on what a wizard guild should really be like. Similarly, Thor grew frustrated being in Odin's shadow, impatient for his turn to claim the Asgardian throne. He saw everything in terms of power and glory, being a shallow warrior who thought he could hammer his way to greatness. Laxus' resentment and twisted ideals exploded onto the scene not long after the Fairy Tail-Phantom Lord guild battle, when he returned with his Thunder God Tribe and some radical new ideas on how the Fairy Tail guild should be run.
Laxus pitted his fellow guildmates against one another in a test of survival of the fittest, and personally battled both Natsu Dragneel and Gajeel Redfox before narrowly losing in a close bout. Upon his defeat, the arrogant Laxus was banished from the guild, but Makarov took no pleasure in exiling his grandson. With a familiar and kind gesture, Makarov made it clear he still believed in his grandson and awaited the day they could be reunited. Meanwhile, in the MCU, Odin banished Thor to Earth in a reverse isekai adventure after Thor's ill-advised assault on the Frost Giants.
The Lost Lightning Warriors' Redemption In Fairy Tail & The MCU
Laxus' role in Fairy Tail was to prove that even a bitter and misguided person like him still has good inside, and there is hope for redemption. Sure enough, Makarov and Odin didn't give up on their hotheaded charges so easily, and both prepared ahead of time for Laxus' and Thors' inevitable returns. Odin prepared Mjolnir for Thor's later worthiness, and Makarov gave Laxus a farewell gesture to say "I remember the bond we have, and it will unite us again someday."
After wandering the continent of Ishgar for a time, Laxus returned during the "Tenrou Island" arc -- his first tentative step at redeeming himself and discarding his arrogance in favor of humility. Laxus helped defeat Hades and later took part in the Grand Magic Games tournament as a reformed wizard and a better grandson. He even risked his life to protect his friends and the townsfolk from the wrath of Tempester. This new Laxus was a true team player who knew better than to make everything about his own glory and accomplishments.
Thor had a similar experience, facing death itself before finally letting go of his self-centered arrogance and thus becoming worthy to wield Mjolnir once again. Victorious, he returned to Asgard with a new perspective on himself and the world at large. That laid the groundwork for him joining the Avengers and viewing them as peers and friends rather than minions to be pushed around.
Later still, Thor humbly acknowledged his inferiority before Hela and the massive Surtur, and found the strength to carry on even after Asgard was destroyed in Thor: Ragnarok. Thor suffered so much personal loss, but instead of pridefully denying his weakness and failures, he accepted his role in it and moved on regardless. Laxus learned a similar lesson in Fairy Tail and became a better wizard for it.