Thor

EXCLUSIVE: Russell Dauterman Brings Thor to Life

See behind the scenes sketches and get the artist's take on the Odinson, the new female God of Thunder and more!

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This October, the new God of Thunder kicks up a wicked storm in THOR—and artist Russell Dauterman finds himself right in the epicenter.

Only a few months after making a spectacular Marvel debut on CYCLOPS with Greg Rucka, Dauterman will be helping to launch the bold new era of Avengers NOW! with a female Thor wielding Mjolnir. How did he get here? He’s not even entirely sure!

“The past few months have been pretty crazy,” Dauterman says with a laugh. “I was just settling in on CYCLOPS and loved working with everyone in the X-Office and Greg and [colorist Chris Sotomayor], who are amazing. I’d worked out the schedule with my editors so I would be taking a little break to get married. When I came back from honeymooning, I checked in with editorial to get back to work; later that day I was offered the THOR gig.

“I actually don’t know all the details of what went down while I was gone, but I think there were some discussions at Marvel about my work and I think [THOR editor] Wil [Moss] pushed me for the project, which I’m very grateful for. I definitely was not expecting to leave [CYCLOPS] so soon, let alone be put on something like THOR, but I’m really, really thrilled.”

      Helming the new series as writer will be Jason Aaron, who already has a solid two years of Norse action under his belt with THOR: GOD OF THUNDER. Dauterman joins a creative and editorial team ready to make a mark on the mythology of the Marvel Universe.

      “[THOR: GOD OF THUNDER] is one of my favorite books from the last couple years, so getting to work with [Jason], especially in similar territory, is a treat,” says the artist. “[Editors] Wil and Jon [Moisan] have been great, too, giving really helpful feedback and being super supportive. And, Matt Wilson is coloring the book! He’s one of the best.

      “Really I just want to tell a good story. I’ve always gravitated toward strong female characters; with Thor, I hope to help shape one who’s nuanced, special, and whose stories people enjoy.”

      In addition to the sketch work that Russell provided, Marvel.com also got our hands on exclusive pages from THOR #1 and asked him to give his commentary…

          Marvel.com: One of your great strengths as an artist is being able to convey emotion powerfully through things like facial expressions and body language. How did you approach showing the former Thor’s despair on this page? What tools did you use?  And was it challenging to depict a typically proud character in such a state?

          Russell Dauterman: First off, thanks! I appreciate that. Working out the facial expressions and body language are some of my favorite things about drawing comics. Usually that involves me trying to act out the emotions of the scene and taking reference photos of myself as I'm doing it. I’m sure that looks ridiculous, but it works!  

          For this page, Jason did a great job of describing Thor Odinson’s emotional state, talking about how he was withdrawn and pleading with Mjolnir “like a jilted lover.” I love that description—it really helped. I tried to play up that desperation in his face.  

          I actually really liked getting to draw a more vulnerable Odinson. Classic Thor has been drawn so many times looking heroic and powerful, and drawn so well like that, so it was refreshing for me to get to do something different.

          Marvel.com: I love the perspective of the last panel from Mjolnir’s POV; was that in Jason’s script or did you come up with it?

          Russell Dauterman: That was something I added. The script said that Odinson was reaching for the hammer and described what he was feeling. At first, I had a side shot of Odinson’s hand, but it didn’t look great compositionally and didn’t have much impact. So, I tried a few other options and then thought it would be cool to show the perspective from the other side of this “break up,” especially since panel three is from Odinson’s perspective. And that allowed for a front-on look at his face, which I tried to make look pretty desperate.

              Marvel.com: What are we seeing on this page? After going heavy on emotion previously—and some here as well—how do you transition to action?

              Russell Dauterman: On this page, Odinson’s parents try to help him in different ways. Odin gets frustrated and tries to lift the hammer himself, which devolves into him getting super pissed and just blasting it with energy. Freyja takes a calmer approach and tries to comfort her son about the whole unworthy situation, but he’s so shell-shocked that Freyja ends up holding him, basically cradling him like a child.

              The transition to action usually happens with page layout for me; I try to use panel shapes to reflect the mood of what's going on. On page seven, things are pretty calm and straightforward, so that page has a more traditional layout than this one, where panels start to get skewed. Things definitely get more skew-y as the issue progresses!

                  Marvel.com: A really creepy approach to Malekith here—what are your influences as far as his design?

                  Russell Dauterman: Yeah, creepy was definitely what I was going for! My starting point for his design was Malekith’s original look, by Walt Simonson. I love that design with the crazy hair and Roman-style skirt. I knew I wanted to keep that silhouette, but modernize it. So, I de-80’s-ed the hair, trying to make it almost like a cape, shortened the sleeves, and added some armor elements, hopefully elf-ish looking; can’t really see it in this page, but the full design works in his star motif, too. Also, I worked with Jason and editors Wil Moss and Jon Moisan on the color scheme to make it a little more modern/subtle than previous versions.

                      Marvel.com: What went into creating the new look for the former Thor? What did you feel you needed to convey?

                      Russell Dauterman: That costume was actually designed before I came on board by the great Esad Ribic. I think it captures the derelict state we find original Thor in at the beginning of the series—he’s pretty bummed out.

                      I did work out how I was going to draw Thor and Unworthy Thor with some character models before I started issue #1, though. Basically I was just figuring out proportions and deciding how I was going to draw their faces, hair, and how I was going to interpret the designs.

                      The new THOR #1 by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman brings the thunder on October 1!

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                      50 comments
                      WolfieSmith
                      WolfieSmith

                      Female Thor

                      ''We believe there’s an audience of women out there who are hungry for this and we want to make sure they get it. This is affirmative action. This is capitalism.'' (Axel Alonso, Marvel’s editor-in-chief)

                      rrrrrr
                      rrrrrr

                      lol this is ....wow so even odin cant pick up mjolnir lol riiight if u say so


                      WolfieSmith
                      WolfieSmith

                      What's the average market value for Journey Into Mystery, still sought after fifty years on. What value is put on Thorita, Thoretta or Thor girl?


                      tatertot421
                      tatertot421

                      I am very disappointed in marvel. I don't understand why you would change a famous superhero's gender after almost 60 years. I hope they will change him back into a guy because this was a poor discussion that marvel had made.

                      were1234
                      were1234

                      Without the hammer the only thing different is the lack of flying he still strong can still summon the lightning but can not channel through the hammer 

                      GRAOUH
                      GRAOUH

                      We already know that Unworthy Thor will recover his hammer at some point and in the future replace Odin as the king of Asgard by reading the last story arcs.

                      Why suppose that this story arc will be bad when it follows excellent ones ?

                      Because classic thor becomes unworthy for a time and that we will have to follow his path to redemption while another character play with the avengers ?

                      stedman72
                      stedman72

                      I am 42 years old...I am with Thor since i am 10...and no I am not a narrow minded...I was following him for what he is...a strong GOD.

                      Not a godess...i already follow female caraters in other books.

                      So I am sorry I wont follow that new ...thor girl thing books

                      I am very disappointed about the direction you are going about Thor

                      Marvel2099UK
                      Marvel2099UK member

                      I will give this new "Thor" a chance.  Seeing as Marvel will change it back for the next Thor movie.  Look at all the major changes Marvel have made over the years and how many are still running.

                      Winter_Cat
                      Winter_Cat

                      Initially I wasn't too happy about this change, and I'm still not. But I guess I'll give it a chance. Who knows? Maybe I'll end up liking this new Thor.

                      jackson2171
                      jackson2171

                      horrible idea , how in the world can Odin not lift the hammer.  The hammer is Linked to Thor and his life this is one sad sad day for Thor I hope this goes away soon.

                      Kingsman0
                      Kingsman0

                      Happy for the change. The "Thor" title though...Not sure about that.

                      Unlike a lot of narrow minded folks, i will give it chance before judging the final product.

                      Only seems logical, IMHO.

                      khilton54
                      khilton54

                      HAVE YOU FOLKS LOST YOUR EVER LOVIN' MINDS??? A FEMALE THOR?? Let's JUST CHUCK OUT Norse MYTHOLOGY RE: THE GOD OF THUNDER. IF YOu'RE trying TO bankrupt MARVEL, YOU ARE HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!! FIRST PETER PARKER, NOW THIS? OMG!!!!

                      Knight35
                      Knight35

                      Glad they're adding a new woman into the mix and she's going to take up Thor's mantle, but I really wish they would call her something else and not Thor.  While it is a title, it's also his actual name; it's not like 'Captain America' or 'Hulk' which anyone can be. There is only one 'Bruce Banner' and one 'Steve Rogers' so there should only be one 'Thor'. Just my thoughts.

                      WolfieSmith
                      WolfieSmith

                      Thor is a god not a goddess, these Mjölnir pendants show he is still a popular deity, and how bad an idea this was. Thor is immortal, a super-hero from Norse mythology, what Marvel are doing is wrong on many levels. From the historical and cultural level to a commercial level it's a bad idea and I'm convinced they will suffer from the backlash in sales. Yes create new and promote female and ethnically diverse heroes, but this isn't the way to do it.

                      WolfieSmith
                      WolfieSmith

                      Marvel hopes this decision is going to draw in new readers and dollars, if their readership and dollar's fall as a result of this, Thor will become a GOD once more. If you want Thor god of thunder back, don't buy into the goddess or whatever they want to call this female Thor, then market forces will force them to change their minds.

                      WolfieSmith
                      WolfieSmith

                      Marvel are going to do this FEMALE Thor thing whatever, enjoy your back issues of Thor and the films with Chris Hemsworth and let them get on with it. I will buy old copies from e-bay and charity shops, I've got the Blu-ray's plus Thor and Loki from the first movie and the book Marvel's Thor: The Dark World - Art of the Movie. I guess until a new movie comes out with Chris Hemsworth that all the money Marvel is going to get out of me.

                      WolfieSmith
                      WolfieSmith

                      Here's a list of females from Norse mythology, Marvel should be able to find a new super-heroine from this without turning Thor into a female.

                      Frigga - Goddess of marriage and motherhood.

                      Gefjun - Goddess of fertility and plough.

                      Hlín - Goddess of consolation and protection.

                      Iðunn - Goddess of youth.

                      Jörð - Goddess of the Earth. Mother of Þórr by Odin.

                      Lofn - Goddess of forbidden loves.

                      Nanna - Goddess of joy and peace, an Ásynja married with Baldr and mother to Forseti. Died because of Baldur's death.

                      Nerþus - A goddess mentioned by Tacitus. Her name is connected to that of Njörðr.

                      Nótt - Goddess of night, daughter of Narvi and mother of Auð, Jörð and Dagr by Naglfari, Annar and Delling, respectively.

                      Sága - An obscure goddess, possibly another name for Frigg.

                      Ran - Goddess of the sea.

                      Sif - Wife of Thor. Goddess of harvest.

                      Sjöfn - Goddess of love.

                      Skaði - Goddess of winter; Njörðr's wife.

                      Snotra - Goddess of prudence.

                      Sol - Goddess of Sun. Swallowed by Skoll.

                      Vár - Goddess of contract.

                      Vör - Goddess of wisdom.

                      Yggdrasil - Goddess of life. Tree of life. Connects the 9 worlds.

                      Kingsman0
                      Kingsman0

                      @Winter_Cat

                      Yeah, you never know. Giving new things a chance is what growth is all about. Don't like it? You can stop reading it. But trying to get others to "Shoot down the idea" before it's even out? Very shallow minded stance to take, IMHO. Let others decide on their own.


                      Misery loves company I guess. If the title doesn't do well, I'm sure they switch it back. No need to cry and whine like little "Girls". ironic, huh... Anyway, good for you Winter Cat.

                      Daddymanrw
                      Daddymanrw

                      @Kingsman0 If my favorite rock band wanted to switch their format to folk music, I would express my misgivings, I would encourage them to continue in the genre that made me a fan in the 1st place.  Does that desire make me shallow?  If I made my opinion known, that I'm not interested in listening to folk music and I hope they don't switch, cause I'd like to remain a fan, izzat crying, whining...like a girl (is little girl crying worse than little boys? cause that seems sexist).  I am comfortable with not wanting Marvel to change significantly, one of my favorite titles.  I feel comfortable with expressing that opinion without insulting others whose opinions differs from my own.  

                      khilton54
                      khilton54

                      YOU GUYS WHO LIKE the IDEA MUST WORK for "MARVEL COMICS", RIGHT??

                      rickyg1974
                      rickyg1974

                      @Knight35 This x100000!!!  The whole "Obinson" and "Unworthy Thor" thing seems like such a cop out.

                      echoverse
                      echoverse

                      @Knight35 Pretty much my thoughts. 'God of Thunder' is a title that can be passed to another, but Thor is a name and should remain with Thor.

                      WolfieSmith
                      WolfieSmith

                      I think I'll have to look out for the October issue of THOR.

                      WolfieSmith
                      WolfieSmith

                      I cannot even find Thorita or Thoretta!

                      WolfieSmith
                      WolfieSmith

                      Look out for back copies of Thor from 1962-1996 series 1 Journey Into Mystery

                      Kingsman0
                      Kingsman0

                      @Daddymanrw @Kingsman0 Yes. And my point was, i am... unlike a lot of other people, NOT giving them petitions to sign!

                      Not attacking women and refusing to read comics because a women is in the lead, as some have stated.

                      That is insulting in and of itself. It works both ways!

                      If you don't like it... don't read it. Pretty simple. The only problem i have with this title, is the name.

                      I feel it should be something else. But simply because she's female, I'm going to start calling this an act of terrorism or some pc ploy? I mean really, have you read some of this crazy peoples rants?

                      And you come at me in comparison to that nonsense?

                      You have a right to your opinion. And so do i. I will leave it there, for now.  

                      WolfieSmith
                      WolfieSmith

                      Like the beard, looks like a Norse god of thunder, worthy of Mjölnir!

                      WolfieSmith
                      WolfieSmith

                      Maybe I won't bother until Marvel decide Thor is a GOD as in HE is a MALE!

                      WolfieSmith
                      WolfieSmith

                      Let the market decide whether Thor should be a God or a female goddess!