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Thor Meets Power Pack

Alex Zalben brings the Power family to Asgard beginning this April in THOR AND THE WARRIORS FOUR

By TJ Dietsch

Once in a great while, champions from different lands will rise to battle alongside and against each other in a journey of epic proportions. Such will be the case with the Alex Zalben-written and Gurihiru-illustrated THOR AND THE WARRIORS FOUR, which puts the Power Pack on the road to Asgard in order to save their grandmother's life.

While Zalben quickly gives credit to Walt Simonson's THOR #363 for first teaming up the characters and editors Jordan White and Nate Cosby for the idea to do it once more. The writer says he had a lot of fun coming up with the story, which starts off with something most people can relate to: not wanting grandma to die.

"Power Pack's grandmother, appropriately named Grandma Power, is sick and dying, and the doctors say they can't do anything about it," Zalben explains. "Julie ends up finding a book of Norse myths, which includes the story of the Golden Apples of Idunn, the mythical apples that grant the Asgardians their immortality. Knowing that Thor is an Avenger and an Asgardian god, they head off in search of him, to convince him to give them just one apple to save their grandmother's life. Once they finally find Thor, some other stuff happens that maybe keeps them a little busy."

But it's not like the Power Pack can just hop a bus to Asgard, they need to find someone with an in. That person-or rather amphibian-turns out to be none other than Thor Frog, who has been hanging out with the Pet Avengers of late.

THOR AND THE WARRIORS FOUR #1 cover by Gurihiru
"They're a huge part of the first issue, and a crucial step in Power Pack's search for Thor and Asgard," the writer reveals of Lockjaw and company's involvement. "Plus, they may or may not show up a little later in the series, too. Hint: they do."

Zalben had tons of fun writing all the characters in the series, but had the most when it came to Thor Frog. But one major question remains: will Thor and Thor Frog meet?

"With no offense to the other characters, in particular Jack Power who would kick my butt, Frog Thor is probably the most fun I had writing a character in the entire series," says Zalben. "He's like Thor, but it's okay to eat his legs! What's not to love? And yes, [he and Thor] do cross paths, but more than that, there's a moment in the last issue that made me giddy to write, which I'll call the 'League of Thors.' I will say no more."

We might not be able to get Zalben to talk further about this joining of Thors, but he did talk about his influences, which range from previous runs on THOR to classic mythology and Pixar movies.

"I grew up reading [Walt Simonson's] run on THOR, which is one of the best comics runs of all time," he touts. "I've always been a fan of the Norse myths, but I ended up reading a ton of them as I was getting ready to write this series. To keep it brief, I'll mention three things I had to include that are essential to all Norse myths: storytelling; mischief; and magic."

Oh, and did we mention that the series may or may not finish with the end of the world itself?

"If you go on a quest to take away the one thing that makes the gods immortal, and you succeed, what happens next," the writer asks.


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