War of the Realms finally roars into comic shops this week and it's one of the biggest events from the House of Ideas in the past few years. Spanning throughout the entire Marvel mythos, War of the Realms is set to have an effect on all titles in the shared universe at some point in the coming weeks. ComicBook.com had the chance to sit down with both Jason Aaron — the Thor writer that serves as architect for this event — and Marvel Editor-in-Chief CB Cebulski to talk all things War of the Realms and what it means for Marvel fans going forward.
When asked to give an elevator pitch for the event, Aaron likened it to the Marvel version of Lord of the Rings, on the surface. With Malekith and his army branching into other facets of the Marvel universe that he normally never touches, fans will get to see elements at play that they would never see otherwise.
"The simple movie pitch is it's Lord of the Rings in the Marvel Universe," Aaron pitches. "It's all the worst villains of the 10 realms invade Earth and wreak havoc, and that would normally be a Thor story. That's normally the stuff Thor has to deal with. As we see in the opening of War of the Realms, Thor can't deal with it. Thor is taken off the board, so a Thor story becomes an everybody story. It's The Avengers, it's Wolverine, it's Punisher, The Fantastic Four. It's all of the main heroes in the Marvel universe having to deal with Thor stuff that they're not used to dealing with."
"The fun part is mixing up those elements, mixing up fantasy elements with Marvel Universe elements," the writer continues. "Sometimes that's Spider-Man wearing a viking helmet or it's Punisher having to up his arsenal to take on frost giants and trolls. There's a lot of fun stuff to be had. Daredevil is a big part of that. Daredevil gets leveled up in a big way. He [Daredevil] looks different. He's got a big sword. His powers are different. Everything's different. That's sort of War of the Realms number two you get the first taste of that."
War of the Realms isn't something Aaron simply dreamt up and pitched at a Marvel retreat last month. It's an intricately-woven event that's been building up since he first started writing the Thor title the better part of a decade ago.
"Really, stuff I've been doing for seven years in Thor has been building towards this," Aaron mentions. "The war itself started probably five years ago, in the pages of the Thor book, the Jane Foster Thor book Russell [Dauterman] and I did. That's really when the war kicked off and started moving realm to realm."
Not only will War of the Realms have big ramifications for the Marvel universe afterward, but the event will also mark the beginning of the end for Aaron on his iconic Thor run. While Aaron confirms that his time with the Asgardians is coming to an end, Cebulski mentions the two parties haven't decided when Aaron will eventually be pulled off the title.
"I can say certainly everything I've done on Thor has been building towards this," Aaron says. "And it will dramatically change Thor's status quo, and the status quo for kind of all those characters around him. Then I'm wrapping up my Thor run kind of right after that. Also, everything that I've been doing now will be building into Avengers, so it'll have big ramifications not just for the Thor corner of the Marvel Universe, but for the bigger gooey center of the Marvel Universe, as well."
"I don't want to spoil too much, but there will be a relationship between Midgard and Asgard that we have not seen before, and it's going to go both ways," Cebulski says of War of the Realms. "So, now that the denizens of Earth are a little bit more aware of everything that's going on in Asgard with Thor and everything that's happened and that there are all these creatures up there, there's more of an awareness that's going to affect everything going forward. There will be pieces of the story that are left behind on Earth, that we're going to be following up with, with the series starting over the summer."
"We're still in talks about when is he [Aaron] going to get off, what he wants to do with his arcs, but it's not going to be this year," the editor admits. "With War of the Realms he told the story he wants to do, now he's got to figure out what he wants to continue doing and when he's going to leave. Every creator has an end to their run. He's had an amazing run, but as to when that is going to be, neither I nor Jason, nor anyone at Marvel can say just yet, but we have been talking about things."
War of the Realms #1 is due out April 3rd.