Loki may have been killed by the Void in “Siege” #4, but that doesn’t mean the recently deceased God of Mischief won’t have a role to play in Gillen’s final “Thor” arc. “There are some flashbacks involving Loki. A couple of other elements from Loki’s plan are brought to light in this story. A lot of it involves why he won his fight with the Disir. He’s Loki. He prepared. He knew what he was doing. It’s very rare that Loki doesn’t plan for something,” The writer explained. “Also, I had a lot of fun with the Loki-Mephisto scenes in the ‘Siege’ tie-in, so there’s at least one of those scenes in this arc; just to get them chatting again. Because they do like to keep in touch [Laughs].”
The idea of Thor going to Hell conjures up all sorts of stark, apocalyptic, and foreboding imagery and Gillen feels that his artistic collaborators on the story, Rich Elson and Doug Braithwaite, will blow readers away with their depictions of Hell. “Both Rich and Doug are guys who are very good at this kind of thing. I’m trying to create enough space so they can really cut loose and create these incredible pieces of imagery. The idea of Thor going to Hell and marching across this plain of bones just fires the imagination,” Gillen said. “This story involves prototypical pulp imagery. I’m embracing that part of the genre.”
For any readers who may want to dismiss the story arc that runs through “Thor” #611-614 as a place holder to fill time until the book’s new creative team begins their run, Gillen cautions that he feels that he’s saved his best story for last.
“This is a logical story that I think people might be interested in. It’s not like this is a story that’s been generated from nothing. It was built from my work and I’m hoping it will be my definitive ‘Thor’ story; that people will look at these four issues and go, ‘That’s what Kieron’s run was all about,'” Gillen stated. “The fact that this story arose so naturally was very pleasing. I was asked to write the story and then I literally sat down and wrote an e-mail a few hours later outlining my rough idea. I threw down the basic story and a few beats. I asked them if this was something that was worth doing, and they were like, ‘Yeah, absolutely!’ This felt like a story that really had to be told.”
When Gillen finishes his run on “Thor,” the writer will have completed what he feels was one of the most enjoyable assignments he’s ever taken on. “I grew to love the universe and the characters so much. They were characters that, initially, I didn’t have a complete grasp on, but by the end I really genuinely empathized with all of them. I liked Loki, especially. He’s someone I felt like I didn’t have a proper handle on in the beginning, but by the end I had very firm ideas about Loki,” the writer said. “I was able to put so much of myself into these characters. I joked that Balder was basically in my position, a gentlemen who’s been put in charge of a kingdom he’s maybe not qualified for and wrestling with the enormity of the task he was facing. I could magnify all my hopes and fears about the world and put them into these characters, because essentially that’s what mythology is for. These gods reflect, inspire and critique us. I was having dinner with Matt Fraction at the San Diego Comic Con last year, and I told him that I’m going to really miss writing these characters. I feel a good kind of melancholy. It was a real joy writing ‘Thor’ and I’ll genuinely miss it.”