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How a "shitty father" and ideas self-worth helped Jason Aaron find his Thor run

The writer didn't have much affinity for the Marvel character, but his run became one of his favorite works of his career so far

Image credit: Russell Dauterman/Marvel

Jason Aaron has written a lot of different kinds of comic books. From the modern crime of Scalped and Southern Bastards through the cosmic superheroics of his Marvel work, which includes Wolverine and the X-Men, Avengers, and a celebrated run on Thor, Aaron has demonstrated a willingness to play around in different genres and tones that mark him as a rarity in the field — but as he shared at Thought Bubble 2023, there are certain ideas that keep popping up in his work, no matter what the official subject matter might be.

“Shitty fathers is a recurring theme,” Aaron joked when talking about his Thor run, and how it connects to his other work. “Odin is a great shitty father.” In fact, the writer continued, Thor might look like a standalone superhero run, but it’s filled with themes that he’s written about throughout his entire career, especially surrounding the idea of worthiness, and what it means to be “good” — and, for that matter, “ideas of questioning godhood.” (Think of Aaron’s series with R.M. Guera, The Goddamned, for more on that, for example.)

It’s these ideas that gave Aaron an “in” to Thor — the work he’s arguably most known for, despite his initial disinterest in the character. “I’d never really been a big Thor fan as a kid,” he admitted, although he added that he’d “read a lot of the [Walt] Simonson stuff.” It was only when he learned that he’d be working with Esad Ribic that he said he gained clarity about what his run would be about, although his time with the character (more than 100 issues, in total) would extend far beyond that collaboration… including his time with Jane Foster as the new Thunder God.

“I wrote a whole lot of Thor, but definitely Jane Foster, her story is one of my favorite things I’ve written, whether at Marvel or anywhere,” he told the Thought Bubble audience, calling the story the “most Marvel” story he’d ever written. “I loved having that powerful emotional undercurrent to the stories.”

Also at Thought Bubble, Jason Aaron talked about how his Vertigo series The Other Side started as a potential reboot of Marvel's The 'Nam.

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Graeme McMillan: Popverse Editor Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.
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