This beautiful John Romita Jr. cover will grace the front of the Thor and Iron Man team-up that will hit stands on Free Comic Book Day on May 1. The issue is momentous — it will be the start of a new era of Thor as writer Matt Faction takes over the thunder god’s adventures. That’s big news, so we got hold of star writer Fraction for more scoop on the his upcoming hammer time. — Geoff Boucher
GB: Tell me a bit about Thor and how you viewed him as a fan – was he a key character for you growing up?
MF: There was one run– Walt Simonson’s– that I thought hung the moon but, weirdly enough, the character wasn’t a favorite particularly beyond what Walt did. And then, as an adult, a few years ago, I was at a friend’s house and saw a Kirby/Giacoia original Thor page on his wall and… and it was like an array of lock tumblers just clicked into place in my head. Like — the art, the character, the myth, the potential — the whole thing came to me in a weird revelation. I got obsessed with the character because for the first time I felt like I figured out, I sort of innately understood, just what you could do with Thor. How big it was, what the potential was, what the book was really, or could really, be about. For the first time I knew what Thor meant. Believe it or not, this is just one of several completely insane-sounding stories that have happened to me regarding Thor since I fell into the big guy’s orbit. I’ve reconciled myself with just buying the ticket, taking the ride, and sounding like a mental patient until I’m done.
GB: Stan Lee always made Thor sound like a Shakespearean actor but I always wondered if he might sound more like the Swedish chef. Describe Thor’s voice as you find it? What do you draw on?
MF: There’s almost a Victorian tongue, to me, when I close my eyes and listen for it– there this odd, mellifluous and loping cadence in my head. If I was smart enough I’d write the whole thing in Iambic
pentameter but, well, I’m not. And besides, onamonapeas are murder on the metrical foot. Although now that I think about it, maybe they’re really lifesavers. Short a couple syllables? Slap a FLAPPABIPPITTYBLABOOM! in there…
GB: There are so many great supporting characters in Thor’s mythology. Without giving away too much, can you mention some of the things you’re excited about pursuing with those supporting characters?
MF: I’m most excited about getting off of Earth. There are nine worlds in the Norse cosmology, sort of, and lately the book has been spending a lot of time here in Midgard sweet Midgard. I want to take these amazing people, these characters that are so known and loved (at least amongst the pages of THOR), and take ’em up and down the world tree. And beyond! Hell, why stop at just our world tree? I’ve said too much.
GB: What do you love about Loki?
MF: That Thor loves him in spite of everything. That they were raised as brothers and before he went completely off the rails he was a sweet, cranky, mischievous, and most of all, funny kid. He was bawdy and witty and for all the brutality and ferociousness of the Norse myth cycles– and, brother, believe me, that stuff can get brutal — Loki was the trickster in the middle of it all, cracking jokes in spite of himself. I love what used to be; I love what’s buried deep within him that Thor, for all of Loki’s sins, can’t quite let go.
GB: Does the “Thor” film tilt your approach in any way? It certainly won’t plot-wise, but I’m curious if the casting decisions, approaches and general excitement of the Hollywood venture have any unexpected influences on your work.
Well, it’s a lot of pressure being cast as “Thor” but really all I can do is hit the gym, learn the lines, and show up ready to work every morning. Why, what were you talking about?
— Geoff Boucher
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FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post said that John Romita Jr would be taking over the art on Thor. The announcement Marvel made about Romita was limited to the single-issue Thor and Iron Man comic book above.