WALT SIMONSON On THOR: RAGNAROK - And His Own RAGNAROK

"Ragnarok" cover
Credit: Walter Simonson/Laura Martin (IDW Publishing)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Thor: Ragnarok comes out in three months, and one person who is familiar with both "Thor" and "Ragnarok" would be Walt Simonson. The iconic writer/artist created some of the most memorable adventures for Marvel's Thor, and his work - among others - has been the inspiration for much of the Thor movies to date.

With the film nearing release, Newsarama reached out to Simonson to get his thoughts on the film, and the progress on his own creator-owned Norse epic, Ragnarok, at IDW Publishing.

Newsarama: Now, while we’re talking to you, we wanted to ask about the Thor: Ragnarok movie, which clearly draws from several of your storylines, based on the trailer - for example, there’s Skurge the Executioner wielding heavy artillery, like in your storyline. So, we were curious if you had any thoughts on the film.

Walt Simonson: I’ve seen a trailer or two - I like how they look. I’m at the point where with any film, even if I have some involvement – and I have no real input in this film – I just want a good script. They can use my designs or not, but I want the writing to be good. I thought the writing in the other Thor films was good - the interplay between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston as Thor and Loki is hilarious. Like everyone else, I’m just looking forward to watching it  and excited about what I’m going to see.

Credit: Walter Simonson/Laura Martin (IDW Publishing)

Nrama: Fair enough. And of course you did your own Ragnarok story -

Simonson: I did! And still am!

Nrama: What’s coming up with that one?

Credit: Walter Simonson/Laura Martin (IDW Publishing)

Simonson: Mainstream comics are more integrated than they were when I was writing Thor’s comic – there’s good sides and bad sides to it. They’re much more coherent as full universes, but it can be tough to integrate all the crossovers and such into individual issues and storylines.

So, I’m enjoying not having to do that – I’m able to do my own take on the Norse myths, and go in my own directions, and try to find ways to build on ideas from those old myths that are inspired by them, but aren’t necessarily repeating them.

I feel like I’m able to go in my directions - I have fun writing the squirrel, it’s fun to do animals, I have a troll, which is fun to do. The next story arc, which won’t be out for a while, because I want to get enough done in advance so that when it’s released, it’ll come out monthly, for once. [Laughs]

Credit: Walter Simonson/Laura Martin (IDW Publishing)

The next story is about Thor going to Helheim, the Norse land of the dead, and it’s called “The Breaking of Helheim.” It’s not like the Christian Hell, not a place of punishment, but it’s not a pleasant place to be. In the myths, this great ship that carries the bad guys is built in Helheim, but you don’t hear much about the place - you don’t hear about Loki’s daughter, the half-dead, half-alive being. So, I would like to do a story where we find out why Loki’s daughter has not been heard from, why Helheim is this vast dust pit in the wastelands, but it’s not going to come out for a while.

The Marvel Universe is a great, vast playground, with a lot of fun things to play with - but with Ragnarok, I get to create my own playground, and that’s fun in itself.

Nrama: Anything else you have coming up?

Simonson: Well, I want to make sure people know about my short story in New Gods Special #1, which just came out – I didn’t have time to do a full story, but I have a short called “Teeth of the See.” It’s six pages, and two of them are double-page spreads, and it’s an excuse to do some big creatures in a homage to Jack Kirby.

Credit: Walter Simonson/Laura Martin (DC Comics)

And I am just about to embark on an issue of The Kamandi Challenge for DC, #11, and it’s with writer Rob Williams. And I’m working on Ragnarok while I’m waiting for the script to finalize, and then I’ll do Kamandi, and then back to Ragnarok again. Hopefully, it’ll all work out!

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