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Thor: Shaping the God Butcher Pt. 3

Jason Aaron discusses the evolution of Gorr through the ages and what it means for Thor!

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Thor: God of Thunder #8 cover by Esad Ribic

By Tim O’Shea

When THOR: GOD OF THUNDER writer Jason Aaron introduced Gorr the God Butcher he set the wheels in motion for a tale of three Thors and captured the interest of many Marvel NOW! readers.

In the final installment of this week’s three-part interview series with Aaron, we consider the past, present and future Gorr to understand the hatred that fuels this epic villain and serves as a backbone for his seemingly unceasing god bloodlust.

Marvel.com: Am I right in thinking that while Gorr had a hatred of the gods from the start of his days as the God Butcher, his hatred grew a thousandfold once he faced Thor?

Jason Aaron: Gorr hates Thor in part because he's the god who got away. It was young Thor who hacked Gorr's arm off and almost killed him, which led to Gorr rethinking his strategy, to thinking bigger and grander. But more importantly, I think Gorr hates the God of Thunder because Thor is the one thing he can't accept or reconcile: a genuinely good god; a god willing to chase him across the centuries and to risk everything to stop him, all because it's the right thing to do. That doesn't fit with the way Gorr likes to see gods. And maybe that's what bothers him the most, the fact that's Thor existence raises the question within him of whether or not he's doing the right thing.

Thor: God of Thunder #7 cover by Esad Ribic

Marvel.com: Understandably over the eras of facing Thor, Gorr's power has evolved. In trying to convey the scope of that power and its nuances, how important is colorist Ive Svorcina to conveying the dramatic effects of Gorr's fury?

Jason Aaron: Ive and [artist] Esad [Ribic] have become an unbeatable team. Their abilities have really shaped the story in every way, opening it up to the grandest, most epic scale imaginable, while still keeping readers grounded and emotionally invested. I'd go so far as to say they've defined the look and feel of Thor for the 21st century. And they've still got some of their biggest and craziest scenes and settings yet to draw.

Marvel.com: In looking at the different eras of Thor, there are certain visual cues that make it obvious which Thor we are dealing with, in tone and appearance. In writing Gorr, do you write past Gorr in a different way than you write future Gorr? Also am I right in thinking the God Butcher's arrogance grows as he the years pass in a manner that may be more of a liability than an asset as the story proceeds?

Thor: God of Thunder #6 cover by Esad Ribic

Jason Aaron: Maybe that's Gorr's arrogance growing. Or maybe the louder and more hateful he seems to get, it's really just him trying to drown out the tiny voice inside him telling him he's gone too far, that he's lost sight of who he originally was and why his whole crusade began. There are certainly big differences between the three versions of Gorr, just as much as there are between the three Thors. Future Gorr feels like a very different character from the Gorr that first appeared in the Viking Age back in THOR GOD OF THUNDER #2.

Marvel.com: Periodically in the letter pages of Thor—which you curate—you seek musical soundtrack suggestions for Thor. Let me turn this around on you, what music should people have in their minds when reading God Butcher's scenes?

Jason Aaron: If Thor is metal, and I definitely feel like my Thor is very metal, then Gorr is more sparse and haunting, so maybe some Nick Cave or Townes van Zandt.

Marvel.com: Speaking of the letters page, not every Marvel writer takes the time to answer letters. In fact in issue #5, the letters page took up two pages. How important is it to you to interact with the readership in this classic Stan Lee manner? Is it consciously or unconsciously an effort to capture the old Lee/Jack Kirby vibe that clearly inspires your approach to Thor?

Jason Aaron: I just do it because it's fun, and it's been easy because we've gotten such great letters. I'm certainly no Stan Lee. But story-wise with Thor I definitely did want to try and get back to the sort of big, crazy, imaginative, otherworldly epics that Lee and Kirby made look so easy back in those early days. There's no other character in comics quite like Thor, so he provides you the chance to tell stories you couldn't tell anywhere else. And I certainly want to take advantage of that for as long as I'm allowed to steer his long ship.

You can pre-order THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #6 right now!

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