With roots in sci-fi and fantasy, the mythology of Marvel's Thor stretches across multiple genres with ease. Soon, those various realms will be battlegrounds in a rapidly escalating and massive war. "The War of Realms" is currently unfolding in writer Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman's "Mighty Thor," which pits the title character and her allies against the treacherous Dark Elf king Malekith, and the rival realms of Asgard that make up his Dark Council.
This November, Aaron gives Thor fans a double dose of mystical hammers and cosmic fantasy as he welcomes former Mjolnir wielder, the Odinson, back to the forefront of the Marvel Universe with the launch of the new ongoing series "The Unworthy Thor," which features art by acclaimed artist Olivier Coipel. Meanwhile, in "Mighty Thor" Aaron and Dauterman will turn the "War of Realms" into an intergalactic conflagration with a new arc titled "The Asgard/Shi'Ar" War.
CBR News spoke with Aaron about bringing the Odinson back and his initial quest to retrieve the hammer of the Thor from the Ultimate Universe, the events that will lead to "Asgard/Shi'ar War," and how his two Thor books will connect.
CBR News: You checked in briefly with the Odinson early on in this volume of "Mighty Thor," but come November, he's returning to the Marvel Universe in a major way.
Jason Aaron: Yeah, we went several issues without seeing him after "Secret Wars," and then we got a tease of him being held prisoner somewhere in "Mighty Thor" #5. In November, we'll start give you the answers to where he's been all this time and what he's gotten himself into.
Those answers start to come in "The Unworthy Thor," and one of the big questions about that book is how connected it is to the larger story you're telling in "Mighty Thor." Will the Odinson have any idea about what's going on with the "War of Realms" when his new book kicks off?
He's been off on his own since "Secret Wars," so there's a lot that he's missed and doesn't know about, including what's happened in Asgard and what's happened with Loki and Freyja.
Initially, he's off dealing with his own problems while Jane Foster is dealing with all the chaos going on in the various realms. As you can imagine though, once the Odinson gets everything sorted out on his end he's going to be very involved in everything that's going on back on Midgard and in the other realms.
The other big questions is what kind of character will the Odinson be when we catch up with him.
He's still kind of the guy we last saw. He's very haunted by being unworthy, and very driven to reclaim his mantle. He's a darker and angrier version of the character than we've seen in the past.
Will the series include flashbacks to what happened to him during his off panel post "Secret Wars" exploits? Are you ready yet to reveal the mystery of what made the Odinson unworthy back in the 2014 event series, "Original Sin?"
You'll have to wait and see on that, but we do flash back and see how he got himself into whatever sort of mess he's in. That also brings us right up to the present day.
I feel like most of the stuff I've done with the character has been a blend of fantasy and sci-fi. This is definitely a cosmic and a space story, but it's still pretty much the same guy from "Thor: God of Thunder," which I think was very much a fantasy driven book. Heavy Metal"-esque was kind of what we were going for.
This is definitely in that vein, and it's drawn by the amazing Olivier Coipel. It's the first time he's drawn Thor in a while. I'm just trying to give him as much cool, crazy stuff to draw as I can think of.
"Unworthy Thor" welcomes Olivier back to the world of the character, and over in "Mighty Thor" you're continuing your collaboration with Russell Dauterman.
Right. I'm pretty lucky; I'm working with two of the greatest Thor artists ever, at the same time, on two different books. I have no complaints about that.
On one hand, I think there's a different flavor and tone to these two different books and two different Thors, but at the same time, it's still all one big story. It's still the same story I've been telling, going back to "Thor: God of Thunder" #1.
What sets the Odinson's quest for the otherworldly Mjolnir in motion?
It starts with him back on the moon again, where he lost his hammer in the encounter with the Unseen, which is what Nick Fury became at the end of "Original Sin." This is the first time the Odinson has found himself face to face with the man who was once Nick Fury since Fury whispered in his ear. That encounter sends the Odinson off in a new direction, and that's how he finds out that there's another hammer out there; the hammer of Ultimate Thor that we saw fall into the Marvel Universe at the end of "Thors" [Aaron's "Secret Wars" series].
Someone has found out that it's here. So that sends the Odinson off to track it down.
Who are some of the characters and adversaries the Odinson will initially tangle with in his quest for Ultimate Thor's hammer?
Right out of the gate we'll see Odinson butting heads with Ulik and a bunch of trolls, and one of the main villains of the arc is the Collector; a being who most people know from the "Guardians of the Galaxy" film and who wants to get his hands on anything that's rare and powerful in the Marvel Universe. A hammer of Thor certainly qualifies.
He's just one of a number of cosmic entities that we'll see in this arc that are desperate to get their hands on that hammer.
If and when the Odinson finds Ultimate Thor's hammer, will he be able to lift it? Didn't that have a worthy enchantment on it as well?
Yes, that's the big question. This is very much a quest for that hammer, but he has no idea if he'll be able to pick it up. He wasn't able to pick up his own hammer, but this is the hammer of a dead Thor from a dead universe. I think there are a lot of questions about the nature of that hammer, and there are still some questions about the Odinson's worthiness.