WW Philly: Braithwaite Draws "Secret Invasion: Thor"

Announced this weekend at Marvel Comics' "Secret Invasion" panel at Wizard World Philadelphia was the exclusivity of artist Doug Braithwaite. Perhaps best known for his work on "Justice" at DC Comics, Braithwaite is presently contracted to work exclusively in the Marvel Universe for three years.

"The prospect is exciting because I've been away from the Marvel Universe for too long," said Braithwaite, who previously drew "Punisher" and "Universe X" for the publisher. "I get chills just thinking about this big playpen I'm in for the next three years and all the characters and storylines I'm going to be working on."

The first project under Braithwaite's Marvel contract will be the much anticipated "Secret Invasion: Thor," written by Matt Fraction. The three-issue miniseries, which begins in August, sees the God of Thunder fighting to protect Asgard from the invading Skrulls. In conversation with CBR News' Dave Richards, Fraction said of the project, "It's sort of like '300' re-imagined with a half dozen Asgardian Gods standing against an onslaught of Skrulls. It's almost kind of a self contained story you don't even have to know that much about 'Secret Invasion.'"

Known for his grandiose, illustrative style, Doug Braithwaite is particularly excited about "Secret Invasion: Thor." "I'm sure I don't have to tell you that [Matt Fraction] is one of the hottest writers out there, so I'm thrilled to have the chance to work with him on my first project back at Marvel," said the artist.

Sweetening the deal is Braithwaite's lifelong affection for Thor. "I love Thor -- I always have done since I first read those Kirby stories as a kid, so yes I'm literally buzzing that I'm doing this," he said. "I'm a great fan of the new series and have a hard act to follow in the renditions of Thor that Olivier Coipel and Marko Djurdjevic have put out there, but I don't think anyone is going to be disappointed with my take on Thor."

Braithwaite's style has evolved since his days on Marvel's "Universe X" and "Punisher," and "Secret Invasion: Thor" will be approached in a fashion completely dissimilar to those projects. "'Universe X' and 'Punisher' seem like a lifetime ago!" said the artist. "My drawing style has developed a bit since those days, so it will look different in the first instance, "The colors are being applied directly to my pencils, so there is no inker involved. The idea in this new approach is to bring my pencil work to the fore, and I hope fans will see my pencil work in a new way."

Whilst writing the miniseries, Fraction listened ceaselessly to Led Zeppelin's "Led Zeppelin III" album, hoping to channel the spirit of the music into his tale of the thunder god. "My Thor is very much a 'Led Zeppelin III' kind of Thor," Fraction told CBR News. "It's very power metal; lots of power chords, huge riffs and epic colossal guitar noises. So it's grim, but it's only grim as all things awesome have to get a little grim before they get awesome."

"I love Matt's work, and as a massive Led Zep fan myself, I get where he's coming from," Braithwaite laughed. "I think in my cover art that is being released this weekend, you'll see that I get the whole 'Led Zeppelin III' reference. I can tell you that visually, it's one of the most exciting books I've ever done."

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