The brotherly rivalry between Thor, God of Thunder, and Loki, God of Mischief, has ever been the stuff of epic Marvel myth. Love and resentment in equal measure have long defined their relationship. Following the death of the Watcher in Original Sin and the revelation of secrets long thought buried, that relationship will get more complicated very shortly.
Original Sin reveals that Odin has another child, one he kept hidden from our world and banished to another. That child has returned, and it’s a character readers have recently become familiar with. The significance of this secret and its epic ramifications will play out in special issues of ORIGINAL SIN this July, written by Al Ewing and Jason Aaron with art by Simone Bianchi and Lee Garbett.
We spoke to Ewing and series editor Wil Moss to find out more.
Marvel.com: The death of the Watcher brings a lot of secrets out of the woodwork, and this one is a doozy. I believe we're alone right now, it's just the three of us, so tell me; what's Odin's big secret, and what does it mean for the Marvel Universe?
Wil Moss: Odin actually has two big secrets that come to light because of Original Sin: The whole “Nine Realms” thing? Which includes Asgard and Midgard, aka Earth? Turns out there was once a Tenth Realm. But no one speaks of it, and it exists on no known maps. What happened to it? Why was it not only removed from its physical location but from all known records? Well, turns out that’s connected to Odin’s other secret: Thor and Loki have a sister—Angela.
Al Ewing: All this is revealed to Thor as part of the events of Original Sin: there's a lost Realm and a lost sister and one is connected with the other. What would you do? You'd journey to that lost realm and try and get some answers. And if, say, the current ruler of Asgard—the All-Mother—were to prevent you, well, maybe you'd get help somewhere else. Like from your devious, disavowed half-brother, Loki.
Obviously, when these two get together it's the team-up the Marvel Universe has been waiting for—and the Marvel Universe might not survive it! There's some nasty stuff waiting in that realm.
Marvel.com: This revelation really establishes Angela's place at Marvel. Has this plan been in the works for a while?
Wil Moss: Yes. Once the full story is revealed—and we might not quite learn all of it in this Original Sin story—it will be clear that all her appearances in the Marvel Universe so far—from the end of AGE OF ULTRON to her appearances in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY—have all been with this revelation, this backstory in mind.
Al Ewing: When Wil brought me fully into the loop on this I got an idea of how much planning's gone into this—and it's a lot. It's been in the works for ages, probably since long before I started writing for Marvel, so it's a bit of a responsibility for me to be telling this story. Or at least part of the story. There's a lot of revelations coming.
Marvel.com: Is Angela going to shake up the dynamic of brotherly love and brotherly hate between Loki and Thor?
Wil Moss: Absolutely. As seen in recent issues of LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD, Thor and Loki are getting along better than they ever have. Then this bombshell—figuratively and literally—arrives. Angela makes Thor question everything he thought he knew about Asgard and his father. And Angela’s very existence really changes how Loki feels about his place in the family. Which leads to—well, let’s just say, “trouble.”
Al Ewing: Trouble is the word for it, yes. Everyone's world gets rocked with these particular revelations - and when the dust has settled, is there going to be any room for Loki in the family dynamic? Will there even be room for Thor? Maybe this revelation is going to be the domino that starts the collapse and sends this whole dysfunctional family at each other's throats...
Marvel.com: Can you tell us what to expect from the Tenth Realm, and what sets it apart from the nine we know?
Wil Moss: Well, we don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say that it’s as different from Asgard as Svartalfheim—the Realm of the Dark Faeiries—is from Jotunheim—the Realm of the Giants. And that it is as beautiful as its people are vicious, i.e., very.
Al Ewing: To try and stay with the “not-giving-much-away” vibe, fans of strange architecture and sweeping vistas will probably love it. It's almost tailor-made for epic moments.
In terms of culture and philosophy, it's very different from Asgard. These realms will never get along without some serious attempts made by the Asgardians to understand the Tenth Realm's point of view, and vice versa. So...they'll never get along. Expect situations to deteriorate quickly.
Marvel.com: Al, what's it like working with Jason Aaron? Are you a good match?
Al Ewing: It's great working with Jason. We've got plenty in common: beards, sexy accents, the lot. He's thrown a load of really brilliant ideas and set-pieces into this, and I've enjoyed putting them together with my own jigsaw pieces to create some big epic fun. And it's nice of him to trust me with a couple of important beats that Thor fans—and Loki fans for that matter—won't want to miss. Things are about to get a bit heavy in the halls of Asgardia.
Marvel.com: You're fortunate to have artists Simone Bianchi and Lee Garbett on the book. What's the scale and tone they'll bring to this story on the page?
Al Ewing: Everyone knows by now from LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD how good Lee is at drawing Asgardians - he's great at mixing the fantastic and the down to Earth, putting the epic struggles of the Gods on the same page as ordinary people hanging out, so he's taking charge of the Nine Realms stuff. And space. We have some space battles for him.
For the Tenth Realm, we have Simone, who needs no introduction from me; fans have been drinking in his beautiful work for years, so we all know the kind of richness and general gorgeousness we're in line for. It's going to be a wonderful moment when we see the splendor and strangeness of the Tenth Realm for the first time.
Marvel.com: Will the death of the Watcher have other lasting ramifications for Thor and Loki?
Wil Moss: I’ll let Al speak for Loki, but for Thor, the Watcher’s death leads to a real curveball—one connected to Thor learning about Angela and The Tenth Realm—and it’s something that will change Thor the character and THOR: GOD OF THUNDER the series on a fundamental level.
Al Ewing: Loki's affected by the aforementioned curveball as well, but he'll also be coming face to face with someone as cunning, manipulative and materialistic as he is on his very worst day; and he'll be coming face to face with some uncomfortable truths as a result. Like, what if your whole life you'd been told you were the villain, and then you found a world where you could be a hero? Where everything you'd been told was wrong was seen as right? Would you want to go back?
And let's not forget, when you're talking about Loki, you have to specify which one. There's the Other Loki out there, and he's always got his own agenda...