7 Things You Need To Know About Marvel's New Thor
BuzzFeed interviewed Jason Aaron, the writer behind the new female Thor.
1. The new Thor will be a character we've already met.
Jason Aaron: I don't...finish one story and think, Man, Tumblr is gonna love this one — I just tell the story I want to tell and put it out into the world and see what people think. I knew I wanted to get to the point where the previous Thor was unworthy and it kinda opened the door for someone else to come along and pick up his hammer and carry it for a bit. But I never really considered another character than the one that we have — the one that's underneath that mask — for a couple reasons: One, we've seen a lot of different characters pick up that hammer over the years, over the 600-plus issues of Thor. Very rarely have those characters been women… really just in a scene here or there or a one-shot, so on the one hand this is a slant on the story we haven't really seen before, and on the other, I knew I didn't want this to be a brand-new character who came out of the blue. I wanted it to be someone from Thor's corner of the Marvel Universe. So, if you look around at the supporting cast I've surrounded Thor with, most of them are female. A lot of them are characters who have been in Marvel comics for years and then there are also some brand-new female characters I've added to the mix. If I was looking to pick somebody from Thor's supporting cast, chances are that was gonna be a lady.
2. The story won't just revolve around finding out the new Thor's identity.
JA: We get the first tease ever at the end of Issue 1, and Issue 2 we get to see her in action for the first time — and there's already a lot of speculation of who she is underneath that mask. ... We'll start to compile those suspects in the pages of the book and, of course, there will be a lot of characters in the book who are interested in figuring out who this woman is... including the previous Thor — he's gonna wanna know who's running around with his hammer. So, there will be a lot of suspects and at some point we'll start crossing those suspects off the list. We'll play with the mystery for a bit but really the focus of the story isn't just about the mystery or surprise of there being a female who is Thor and the surprise of finding out who is under the mask. The real story, once we do lift that mask, is finding out what the story is of that character. All the mystery and surprise is really just an introduction to her and what her real story is.
3. There will be a long list of suspects.
JA: All the (fan) theories are pretty good. I think they've pretty much covered all the bases. I've seen pretty much every conceivable suspect mentioned at one point or another. There clearly seem to be better odds on a few rather than others, which I think is great. All the strong suspects will be a part of the book and even those characters who aren't the new Thor won't disappear from the book. Even after we start crossing those suspects off the list, those characters will still be around and have their own arcs within the book.
4. The former Thor will still have a prominent role in the new book.
JA: Yup. Odin's son will still be around. He still has a story of his own that I'm telling. I really like taking him to a place of unworthiness. I've always played with that idea of worthiness in the stories I've done with him. I've always written him as a god who would wake up every morning and look at that hammer and not know if he was gonna be able to pick it up today. It's clearly a different challenge for him to find himself unworthy and the big question is how does he continue on and of course, once he finds out about this new version of Thor what does he think about her. He will definitely have a big place in the book going forward.
5. Thor will eventually cross paths with the new Captain America.
JA: Yes, I'm sure you'll see that happen eventually. You know, not right away — I think with both characters, we wanna build their stories and their identities on their own. But yes. We have big Marvel retreats a few times a year where a bunch of us writers sit in a room with editorial and talk about where our stories are going months down the road or a couple of years down the road. The last one when we'd be talking about what the big Marvel stories would be for 2015 and beyond, when we'd be talking about Thor, we'd be talking about her — about the new Thor. She's very much gonna be part of the Marvel Universe in general and not just the lead in her own book. She'll be out there interacting with all sorts of new characters.
6. You should expect Beta Ray Bill to return to Thor.
JA: Well, I really like Beta Ray Bill — I assume he counts as an alternate version of Thor. I haven't written him yet. I've kinda avoided writing him until I had a good story idea, which I think I've got now. So you should see the return of Beta Ray Bill at some point.
7. Thor hopefully will be a launching pad for more minorities in the Marvel Universe.
JA: Well, I mean, I think everybody should be a part of the Marvel Universe. Over the years, especially the last few years, you've seen Marvel try and diversify the lead characters in their books. Everyone is more aware of their diverse audience and when to appeal to everyone and one way to do that is to give people characters who they recognize — who think like them, look like them, act like them — so I think you've seen a lot more awareness of that. And on an outgrowth of that, diversifying our audience, hopefully that leads to more diversity among the creators making the books. I think one kind of leads to the other. I think there's a place for everybody in the Marvel Universe: The great thing with comics is you can do absolutely anything, you're not really bound by any budgetary restrictions. Whatever I can write, whatever I can get somebody to draw — we can do in the pages of the comic. We're not bound by anyting. You've always seen a diverse mix of books and genres and representations of the world in general through all of comics and now you've started to see that diversity start to affect mainstream superhero comics which, I think, is great.