Van Lente and Glass Talk Writing THOR Movie Tie-In Comics

Van Lente and Glass Talk Writing THOR

After five full days of release, the Thor feature film is still firmly perched in the No. 1  spot at the box office. But it's not just screenwriters Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne who got a chance to write the movie version of the Marvel hero — so did Bryan J.L. Glass (Mice Templar) and Fred Van Lente (Amazing Spider-Man), in two different tie-in projects.

Glass wrote a four-part all-ages Thor digital comic for a Burger King promotional tie-in — you can read the comics, illustrated by Ig Guara, after entering a code online found with the kids' meal toys. Van Lente wrote a story for Disney Publishing's Thor: The Official Movie Magazine, which came out in April and features art by Ron Lim.


For Van Lente, the main distinction between comic book Thor and movie Thor was the dynamic between the God of Thunder and his adopted brother Loki.

"The major difference is that the movie takes place early on in Thor and Loki's relationship, at least as we see it in later comics," Van Lente said. "What's neat is that it's much closer to the way it was in Norse mythology rather than in the kind of black-and-white '60s morality that [Stan] Lee and [Jack] Kirby were working with."

While many early comics presented Loki as a mostly unambiguous villain, the movie, like the source material mythology, presents a more ambivalent antagonist.

"[Lee and Kirby] kept describing Loki at the 'God of Evil' — which he's really not, if you look at the actual myth and the spirituality of that part of the world," Van Lente said. "Loki is dangerous. He is a trickster. He does end up helping bring about the end of the world, but lots of other things contribute to that, and initially he and Thor fought the enemies of Asgard side-by-side."

Loki is one of the good guys in Van Lente's Thor: The Official Movie Magazine story, which also introduced Alfyse (created by Van Lente in Incredible Hercules), plus Kurse and Malekith (both from Walt Simonson's legendary run on Thor) into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


Glass had a bit of a different task, writing a version of Thor that was aimed at an even broader audience than the PG-13 film.

"Burger King wanted a movie Thor that was also appropriate for their all-ages audience, so many aspects, like violence, that would be perfectly acceptable in the comics or film had to be carefully tailored to the needs of the company commissioning the license," Glass said.

Even though the movie version of Thor is devoid of the decades of continuity that's shaped him into the character currently appearing in Marvel's The Mighty Thor (and several other monthly titles), Glass said the character played by Chris Hemsworth is "true to the spirit" of the comics.

"The movie Thor is not bogged down in 40-plus years of comic continuity, so boiling the character and his large supporting cast down to their primary aspects has actually made them more accessible to the general public," the writer said.

Van Lente's Thor: The Official Movie Magazine story is scheduled to be reprinted in the Cap and Thor! Avengers one-shot coming from Marvel in July. Currently, no print plans for the Burger King Thor digital comics have been announced. 

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