Jason Aaron Drops a Godbomb on THOR: GOD OF THUNDER

 

Earlier this week, we talked to Jason Aaron about Wolverine and the X-Men, his X-series currently in the midst of "season two." For the next part of our interview, we discussed the writer's other currently ongoing Marvel series, Thor: God of Thunder, which recently wrapped its first arc and will dive into the origin of Gorr with a one-shot story in issue #6, out March 13 and illustrated by guest artist Butch Guice. Courtesy of Marvel, we're also debuting a couple of interior pages by series artist Esad Ribic, from April's issue #7.

Newsarama: Jason, the last time we talked Thor: God of Thunder it was right as the series was being announced, and it was obvious how energized and excited you were about the series and concept of intersecting young Thor, current Thor and far-future King Thor with a story tied together by Gorr, The God Butcher. With the first story arc under your belt, how much has the experience lived up to your expectations? Obviously it's been a unique chance to do something different, in a mostly self-contained story.

Thor: God of

Thunder #7

cover.

Jason Aaron: I think it's gone beyond my expectations. I'm still having a lot of fun with it, and of course the stuff that Esad has done has just blown me away. I was already a big fan of Esad's stuff before he did this, and he and I had worked together before, but I think he's taken it to another level on this. He really seized the book and the character, and made it his own, and I think it's defining Thor for the 21st century.

I'm still having a blast on the book. I'm putting down roots. I'm expecting to be here for quite a long time. They'll have to use torches and pitchforks to run me off of this book.

Nrama: It definitely seems that there's a long-term plan at work, and you've mentioned in the past that for pretty much as long as you're on the book, you want to keep up with these three different timelines. Is that still the plan?

Aaron: That'll be an overarching theme to the book. We won't see that every arc; we won't see all three like we do in these first two arcs, and certainly won't see things weave together quite as intricately as they do in this.

Interior art from

Thor: God of

Thunder #7.

But yeah, going forward, present-day Thor of course will be the main focus of the book, but from time to time there'll be stories dealing with young Thor, and with King Thor. Actually, this week I'm writing a young Thor one-shot that'll come out, I guess probably next year. There will be stories like that sprinkled in from time to time.

There's a big long-term story that I want to tell with both of those other Thors. The young Thor one is obvious in that you see in Thor: God of Thunder #2, he's still not worthy to lift the hammer. That's why he's still carrying around a big axe. It's obvious that his story will be the continuing saga of him to become worthy to pick up Mjolnir, and to become the Thor we know. Of course, he's still going to have a few detours in there — we know he ends up becoming Don Blake, and getting sent to Midgard to learn humility. But the struggle of him to become worthy is a story that I want to explore over several issues.

The King Thor story, that'll become more obvious as things go on. But there's a big story there to tell with him, too.

Nrama: So far, the response to the book seems to have been very positive, which has to be encouraging because stories that aren't exclusively told in the present day can sometimes be a hard sell for superhero fans — they're not always quite sure “how does this fit, how significant is this.” But here, that doesn't appear to be a problem. People are on board, which has to be heartening for you.

 

Aaron: You're right, sometimes you run the risk of seeming too detached from the Marvel Universe at large, and comic readers in general do want to read things that are relevant to whatever the ongoing story of the Marvel Universe at large is. You don't want to feel like you're too detached from that, but at the same time I wanted to do a very Thor-centric story, to the extent where I wove together three different versions of Thor. It had to be a story that took place over the course of thousands of years, on a scale that only Thor could be involved.

That said, thankfully people have bought into it. I think it does seem epic and lofty enough that this feels like it's an important story, for whatever that means. For me as a reader, I don't really care. I like to read stories; I like to read the ones that excite me, and I don't really care whether this affects five books or not. But I think this is an epic enough story that people have bought into it. And going forward, I would expect right after this, we will see Thor back on Earth, back in the midst of the Marvel Universe. I've heard something about a Thor movie coming out later this year, so I would certainly expect around that time you will see Thor back in the heart of the Marvel Universe in a big way.

Thor: God of

Thunder #8

cover.

Nrama: And the first one if not two collected editions of God of Thunder will be out by the time the movie hits.

Aaron: Right. Sounds like a great Christmas present for the Thor fans in your family. Or just random people on the street.

Nrama: In this book, you're getting to do something a little more self-contained, which one of the cool things about Marvel NOW! — you see it here, in what Rick Remender is doing in Captain America, Kieron Gillen on Iron Man. It's giving a little bit more room for creators of a lot of books to do their own thing.

Aaron: That was the thing that I think excited everybody in the midst of this. It was an exciting two months there where we realized sort of everything was up for grabs, and people started to settle on different books. We had that first Marvel NOW! retreat where everybody came in and pitched their new books, which was probably the most exciting retreat I've ever been to, because it was all brand new. Usually at these retreats, you'll hear what's coming up in books maybe a year or so, even more, ahead of when it actually comes out. Going in with the Marvel NOW! stuff, everything was brand new. Hearing a year of Matt's Fantastic Four story pitched at once, and Jonathan's Avengers stuff, and Rick's Uncanny Avengers stuff… hearing all that stuff in one retreat was amazing, and certainly got me excited to get home and start writing Thor.

Thor: God of

Thunder #5 cover.

Everybody certainly wanted to come in, and were encouraged to come in, and do a hostile takeover of whatever book they were writing. I think everybody came in with their biggest and boldest ideas.

Nrama: And coming up in issue #6 is a one-off telling Gorr's origin, correct?

Aaron: Right. Issue #6 is a standalone drawn by the great Butch Guice, which gives us the full-on origin of Gorr. I've sort of teased a little bit, why this guy has such a strong dislike for all gods, but in issue #6 you see where he came from, how he started out, how he got this weapon he uses, and why he hates gods. And then we all get a little tease of where things are headed in the next arc, “Godbomb.”

When we last left off in issue #5, we had present-day Thor and King Thor together in the far future, and young Thor had seemingly just defeated the God Butcher in the past. We pick up with all three Thors. We see what Gorr is up to in the far future, at the end of the world, and what is the Godbomb? What is he building? We start to see the first teases of that in issue #6, and then dive right into that in issue #7 as Esad returns for the “Godbomb” arc.

 

Nrama: That's key element of the series — you're not just doing something different with the structure of it, but you've introduced a major new villain that's so far influenced the entire run of the book, and looks to continue to do so for the new future. What's it been like putting that kind of new stamp on Thor?

Aaron: This is a story I pitched at that Marvel NOW! retreat. It was initially one big arc. As things went on, Axel encouraged me to make it bigger, and I realized there was no way I can do this in five or six isuses. It's a big story. Having Marvel buy into that, especially since it is a time-travel story, it's a story that's just about Thor, it's a new villain — everybody at Marvel encouraged me to run with it. The story just got bigger, and it became two big arcs; thankfully Esad will be able to do the bulk of that. By the end, we'll have two trades that are really one big, gargantuan epic, time-traveling, multi-Thor, Thor story.

 

Nrama: Esad is scheduled so far for seven of the first eight issues, which has to be a huge asset.

Aaron: Thankfully, we haven't had too many double-ships in there, so he's been able to keep on schedule.

Nrama: Oddly enough, so many Marvel books double ship, that type of pace feels almost kind of old-school at this point, even though it's just normal, monthly comics.

Aaron: Sure. I sometimes see people online, when the new issue will come out, who will remark, “Wow, it seems like forever since the last issue came out.” And we weren't late, it was just that it was a month ago, which now seems like a long time, compared to how a lot of our other books are shipping.

Nrama: In the solicitations for May's issue #8, something called the "Girls of Thunder" are mentioned — is that anything you'd like to tease, or are you keeping that under wraps for now?

Aaron: I think we'll let that be a little surprise. As we'll see, Gorr has his own world in the future, and he has legions of godslaves building something called “the Godbomb.” We'll be meeting a few of those godslaves, and some of them will be a big part of the book going forward. Some new supporting characters for Thor, basically.

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