Thor’s Asgard/Shi’ar War and Odinson’s Return

War is coming to the cosmos of the Marvel Universe. Soon, the gods of Asgard will find themselves clashing with the Shi’ar Imperial Guard in glorious combat.

While the war drums are starting to sound, the Odinson is also making his way back into the spotlight in The Unworthy Thor, which will also see the return of the man responsible for Odinson’s fall from grace.

Marvel editor Wil Moss spoke to ComicBook.com about all things happening the Thor corner of the Marvel Universe. See what he had to say, as well as preview art from The Mighty Thor, below.

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The next big story for The Mighty Thor is going to be “The Asgard/Shi’ar” war. What can you tell me about what brings these two powerful cosmic factions into conflict?

WM: I’m really excited about this story. Jason [Aaron, writer] and Russell [Dauterman, artist] have got a really fun story here. Thor’s kind of been dealing with Thor stuff and Thor characters for a while now. The Shi’ar are definitely an outside element that feels at first like left field swerve, but once we get to the story it’s actually a really great continuation of Jason’s whole exploration of gods and what it means to be a god and everything like that. The story gets into the Asgardian gods and the Shi’ar gods. The Shi’ar gods are something that they talk about, but I’m not sure if there’s ever been an on panel representation of them. That’s what we’re going to be getting here in this story.

That leads to terrific fights with the Imperial Guard and Gladiator. Asgard is literally going to go to war with the Shi’ar. There’s going to be all of Asgardia on fantastic, space-faring, old Viking ships sailing off to the Shi’ar Empire. Jason likened it to Lord of the Rings vs. Star Wars. It’s cool and it deals with all the kind of fun Shi’ar toys. Jason’s going to touch on some of the elements from that empire that he had in his Wolverine and the X-Men run, like Kid Gladiator, Warbird, and a couple other fun things that will, I think, surprise a lot of people, and fun twists. It actually builds to this huge finale I really can’t say anything about, but it’s going to be something that I think people will really enjoy.

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How do the Shi’ar view the Asgardians? Do they think of them as gods, or pretenders, or just another cosmic nation?

WM: That’s kind of where the story engine comes from. The Shi’ar gods kind of want to test Asgardian gods and find out what they’re made of. The Shi’ar gods think of themselves as gods and they want to know if the Asgardians are gods like they are, like real gods. It’s what leads to a lot of the fights. It’s almost like a challenge of the gods kind of deal, to prove how godly you are. It’s a pretty crazy story. Thor is a unique character in this whole story because she’s not full Asgardian, her identity is she’s human, she’s Jane Foster. Aside from just being our POV character, she also has this really unique point in all of this where she’s god and human at the same time. It’s something that makes her really cool and interesting to read.

Thor Asgard/Shiar War
Thor Asgard/Shiar War

What role, if any, does the Odinson play in the Asgard/Shi’ar war?

You said that the Shi’ar are testing the Asgardians to see if they are true gods. Does the Odinson think of himself as a true god since he became unworthy of Mjolnir?

WM: That’s a question that Odinson can’t answer. It’s something that he’s been wrestling with and has been from Thor: God of Thunder #1. This war against the Shi’ar will definitely further stir up his feelings of doubt and unworthiness. It becomes more fuel for the fire. He’s going to be learning things in The Unworthy Thor series that won’t change his perspective but will inform his perspective further. It will continue to be something that he and Jason explore.

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WM: Well, it’s just kind of, “Who is he now?” When he lost the hammer there wasn’t a whole lot of talk before Jane picked it up and it became her book. This is Jason’s chance to really delve into the mind of Odinson now that he’s the one who passed the mantle of Thor onto Jane. He’s not at peace with what’s happened and his status, but it’s something that he’s dealing with where he’s at right now. That’s kind of where the story starts at least. He doesn’t get much of a chance to actually do that because sooner than later the action kicks in and takes him to crazy different scenarios like with the Collector and Beta Ray Bill coming in. There are a couple more twists and turns. There’s something every issue that going to surprise readers. It’s all centered around Odinson having to figure out who he is now that this is his situation.

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The Unworthy Thor #1 features the Unseen. What can you tell me about his role in the series?

WM: I mentioned earlier that in The Unworthy Thor story Odinson is going to learn certain things about himself. That’s stuff that’s connected to the Unseen. He’s responsible for Odinson’s situation. We know that that’s what Nick Fury Sr. has become. Odinson’s not aware that’s who it is. The Unseen definitely has a feeling, not guilt or anything like that, but an obligation, to a degree, for the situation that Odinson’s in. He plays a very interesting role in the story, I’ll say that. He comes and sets everything off and then that won’t be the last we’ll see of him.

Steve Epting soars with the gods in MIGHTY THOR #13 with Jason Aaron on November 16. Jamie Lovet