Josh Fine is no stranger to bringing the tales of the God of Thunder to animated life. As Associate Producer for the Thor: Tales of Asgard direct-to-video animated movie and Producer for the first season of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, Fine has spent a lot of time thinking about Marvel's Thor. Fine took a few moments out of his busy day to answer the following Q & A concerning Thor's current role in Marvel Animation (and beyond!).
Marvel Animation Age: Not only is the live-action Thor theatrical film hitting it big on the big screen, but he has both a starring role in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the new Thor: Tales of Asgard animated film. Why is now a good time for the world to get pulled into Thor's world?
Josh Fine: This really is Thor’s time to shine. A few years ago the world at large barely knew who Iron Man was. Marvel made a concerted effort to bring focus to Tony Stark — to show all of the folks who have never read a comic why he’s so cool, and to remind comic fans why he’s one of their favorites. Two Iron Man live action movies and several animated incarnations later, including The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!, and he’s skyrocketed in popularity and become one of Marvel’s most recognizable and well-liked characters.
I think the goal is to do the same thing with Thor. Fans know why he’s great. We know why we love him. It’s time for the world to see why this character and his world are so cool. With Thor in theaters, Thor: God of Thunder on game consoles, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! featuring Thor on TV, and Thor: Tales of Asgard coming to Blu-ray/DVD, longtime fans and newcomers alike are going to get a broad view of Thor’s universe across a number of different mediums.
MAA: What makes Thor's world so perfect for animation?
JF: Thor’s stories are ones filled with fantastic locations — often impossible geography — incredible creatures, massive battles and awesome magical forces. Animation gives us an opportunity to see these things in all their other-worldly beauty and to translate the battles on the scale that they deserve.
From the soaring towers of Asgard to the icy reaches of Jotunheim to the raging inferno of Muspelheim, each of the nine realms offers up some incredible scenery and iconic creatures to explore. That’s one of things that makes Thor such a fun character to work with. His universe is incredibly deep and rich, moreso than I think many people realize. Sure, Thor may seem impossibly powerful when he sets foot on Midgard (Earth) and stands alongside mere mortals, but there are things out there in the other realms that are more than a match for him.
Thor: Tales of Asgard takes this even one step further, as we’re taking a look back at Thor’s youth. A time before he was the champion of Asgard. Before he became worthy of Mjolnir. To say that Thor is in over his head in this story is about as vast an understatement as saying Jotunheim is chilly.
The scale that we’re able to capture in animation really helps to reinforce this too. We’re able to capture the vast, lonely emptiness of being lost in the wastes of the ice realm. We’re able to pit Thor and his friends against 40 foot tall Frost Giants. We’re able martial entire armies of creatures to march on Asgard. Thor, by definition, is epic and I think we have a responsibility to capture that.
MAA: What are your favorite Thor moments, be it in animation, the comics...even the movie? Tell us!
JF: Man, there are so many. Here are a few off the top of my head and I know I’m going to forget something important:
- “Ultron, we would have words with thee.”
- The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill
- Ragnarok and Roll (and pretty much everything else by Walt Simonson for that matter.)
- The moment at the end of Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow when Torunn recovers her sword.
- Thor fighting a Mjolnir-powered Absorbing Man in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes "Gamma World, Part Two" and the way that he finally defeats him.
- Thor’s final battle in the dark at the end of Thor: Tales of Asgard
- Thor’s manner of asking for a refill in the live-action film.
Also, let’s give some credit to Thor’s supporting cast and his relationship with them, including his brother Loki (my favorite Marvel villain.) I particularly like the Loki mini by Rob Rodi and Esad Ribic.
MAA: What can we expect for Thor in the future, in terms of animation? Is there still a Thor animated series in the pipeline? What about his role in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes?
JF: For The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes you can expect to see a lot more Thor down the road. He’s got a bit to do with the three-part season finale, which takes place across the nine realms. In Season 2 we’ve already shown off his new costume, inspired by the Olivier Coipel look from the comics (and the movie.) I’m also very excited about a story that takes place a little ways into Season 2. I don’t want to give away too much, but it might be the closest we’ve come to a straight adaptation of an actual comic—from the visuals to the storyline. And it’s one of my favorite Thor tales.
With Thor being as big of a success as it is, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Thor popping up in a bunch more places as time goes on. As most folks know, I recently departed from my development position at Marvel, so I’m not really involved with the day-to-day of animation anymore. So with that said, I can’t really speak to what might be in the works / what’s in development because I’m looking from the outside in like you all now!
Marvel Animation Age would like to thank Josh Fine for his participation in this Q & A!