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New Ultimates: Thor Reborn

The Ultimate God of Thunder gets a second chance in ULTIMATE COMICS NEW ULTIMATES #2 by Jeph Loeb and Frank Cho

By Marc Strom

Since his apparent death in Ultimatum, Thor has spent the past eight months stuck in Valhalla. But now Jeph Loeb and Frank Cho will give him the chance to escape his imprisonment in ULTIMATE COMICS NEW ULTIMATES #2 on May 5.

"As far as the Ultimates are concerned, Thor sacrificed himself in Ultimatum," explains Loeb. "Valkyrie is holding out hope either because she's an incurable romantic or [because] she's a loon. She'll get some pretty disturbing news in NEW ULTIMATES #2.  Actually, really disturbing."

When asked how the God of Thunder's stay with Hela has altered his mental state, or if he will have changed at all should he make it back to the land of the living, Loeb would only respond that these queries raise "really good questions" before adding that "this chapter is called 'Thor Reborn'-the question is, at what price?"

For Loeb, a number of differences exist between Ultimate Thor and his regular Marvel Universe counterpart, but one distinction rises above the rest.

"What I love about the character [writer] Mark Millar created is he is so faith-based," he explains. "In ULTIMATES 1 and 2 he actually got to a place where he questioned his own sanity, or [rather he] was forced to. Now he's been immersed in the Asgardian world of Valhalla and is desperate to find his way back. I've found that the Marvel Universe Thor is more comfortable with Earth and who he is as a god. Ultimate Thor is challenged in that regard. Part of that has to do with the amount of time Thor in the [Marvel Universe] has spent with the Avengers and being on Earth versus how briefly Ultimate Thor has been with everyone."

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Thor's half-brother Loki has chosen this moment to once again invade the mortal plane, and he's brought a slow of trolls and dragons with him.

"Loki is the God of Mischief," reminds Loeb. "I'm staying very close to what Millar was doing in ULTIMATES 2 [with the character]. Some nice clues there. Oddly enough, I'm finding Loki and Thor can be very Batman and Joker. It's macabre fun."

While the Ultimates had Thor's help in taking down Loki last time around, they'll have to go it on their own, but luckily they have some solid leadership heading into the battle.

ULTIMATE COMICS NEW ULTIMATES #2 preview art by Frank Cho
"Look to Captain America," suggests Loeb. "He really gets front and center in this issue."

Loeb also praised the efforts of his artistic collaborators.

"The unbelievably talented Frank Cho is really doing the work of his career," boasts the writer. "With Jason Keith coloring it's like candy to read. I guess if you could read candy. In any event, it's gorgeous. He's such a superstar! Frank's the real god on this book!"

Ending on an ominous note, Loeb warns that things might get a bit darker for the team in the coming months:

"A lot of the themes that Millar was playing with [in ULTIMATES 1 and 2 such as] betrayal and sacrifice, will be coming up."


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      Ultimatum was frightening! Any time you decide to reboot a universe chances are the reboot will fail. However, Loeb in this instance struck the right nerve and has never let up. New Ultimates are just that "New"! As always with the Ultimate Universe names might be the same but who the character is, is something altogether different. I look with forward to each new issue with great anticipation!Foster for Frost Giant and Van Dyne for Valkyrie in 2010!