Kieron Gillen on Thor

The solicit information for Thor #604 has been released and it looks like Ron’s favorite indie book, Phonogram has placed the writer, Kieron Gillen at the reigns of the Thunder God’s title for at least 6 issues, following the departure of J. Michael Straczynski.  Well actually, Gillen has quietly been doing a bunch of work with Marvel like Dark Reign: Ares and Beta Ray Bill, so this seems like a natural progression.

The iFanbase has a long history with Phonogram, so make sure you check this out.

Here’s the solicit:

THOR #604
Written by KIERON GILLEN Pencils & Cover by BILLY TAN Gatefold VariantCover by OLIVIER COIPEL

Has Doctor Doom crossed a line…? And what role did Loki play in Doom’s sinister plans? What did Loki know…and when…? Now, as Thor heads to Latveria to settle the score, only one thing can happen: Thor sitting Doom down and having a serious chat about their feelings. By which we mean, STATE-OF-THE-ART SLEDGHAMMER SKY-SCRAPING SUIT-SMASHING SUPERHEROICS!

Billy Tan (NEW AVENGERS) draws the action-packed escapades while Kieron Gillen (NEW UNIVERSAL: 1959, DARK REIGN: ARES, Phonogram) starts his six issue run. Hold onto your runestones, True Believers – things get hectic quick!


  1. I might actually pick this up. I’ve really been enjoying Gillen’s Beta Ray Bill comics.

  2. Godhunter has been pretty entertaining so far, so I will be picking this up. Good job Kieron!

  3. Thor vs. Doom? sign me up

  4. Billy Tan is good, before people bash him.

    Though I’ve never read this writer, he won’t be as good as JMS.  But I’ll read and will gladly be proven wrong.  (But it won’t happen)

  5. No name calling. You want to fight with each other, do it somewhere else.

  6. While I’m sorry to see JMS go, maybe with his departure the book will get back to a monthly schedule.  And so long as Doom doesn’t cry or make Wikipedia references, I’m excited to see where Gillen takes the series.

  7. No.

    No no no no no no no.

    Not going to do this. Going to read up to JMS’s run and call it quits. Sorry to Mr. Gillen, I know he posts here and/or reads this site frequently. But I can’t allow myself for a downgrade like this. Phonogram might be a great comic, but from what I’m told his mainstream work is pretty medicore. Again I mean no offense to Kieron but I am not going to force myself to try and read Thor after JMS.

    Plus you have a Tan working on art? That is more then enough to drop a book, Gillen doesn’t even fit in the equation if Tan is the artist. I’d rather take a late JMS and a slow Coipel then what Marvel is going to offer me.

  8. Very cool.   

  9. If you ever get to meet Kieron, ask him to say "Beta Ray Bill"

    cracks me up every time

  10. I’ve been liking the Thor trades, and I’m not a fan of JMS.  I was wondering if I’d be continuing, and while the tone might be a bit different, I’m in.

  11. Always saw Thor and Loki as sort of the Gallagher brothers with longer hair.

  12. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @TNC – "…from what I’m told…"

    Have you ever looked at the words that come out of your head?  

  13. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I knew the variant cover with Thor listening to the iPod was symbolism! 

    Very cool choice.  

  14. ive been diggin his beta ray bill stuff, i’ll be reading anyways. THOR!

  15. I think Bullet Points and Thor are the only JMS Marvel books I’ve ever liked. So, I’m sad to see him go, but I am happy to see Gillen come on the book. Then, I’m sad again because Billy Tan is drawing the interiors. Oh, look. Olivier Coipel covers. Pretty. Only variants? Awww. This rollercoaster is tiring me out. 

     Oh, and am I the only one that notices Thors armor looks kinda like a disco ball in that pic? 

  16. @ron – Does he say "beeta"?

    He does doesn’t he?

  17. I’ll give it at least an issue or two. I’ll be curious to see what this new writer will do with what JMS has set up– and how much JMS resolves for him before turning the book over.

    Really wish they were keeping a top flight artist like the two they’ve had on this book, though. 

  18. @Paul: Sorry if I need to pay respects to ‘New Universal’ and ‘X-Men Manifest Destiny’. Yeah I’m sure those are gems.

    I’ve read Phonogram and that’s more then enough proof I won’t read any more stuff written by him. Especially if he’s going to do a superhero I have loved the last two years. How a guy, who does a niche comic goes to doing a Norse God makes no sense.

  19. Sounds awesome.  Congrats to Kieron.  I’m definitely in on this one.

  20. I’ve always seen Phonogram as an extremely well crafted book that doesn’t fit my particular tastes so I’m definitely willing to give this a shot.

  21. I’m kind of worried about this, since JMS has been doing such a great job, but I’ll give it a chance. I’ve heard great things about Phonogram, so hopefully he’ll have some good writing on this as well.

  22. "Baita Rai Bul."

    "From clubs of London to the halls of Asgard." I love that!

  23. @TNC With that last line you just described Matt Fraction, JMS and a number of other high profile writers in comics.

    I’m not terribly happy about this. I’ve enjoyed the Beta Ray Bill series, but it’s been mediocre at best and reads a little bit rushed. Still, I’m willing to give it a shot. I wish this had happened a bit sooner, though because it seemed they were grooming Fraction to take over for JMS. I guess Fraction’s being groomed to be one of the architects of Marvel’s future.

  24. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I’d really rather Fraction not take over Thor proper. Having read his Thor one-shots, I don’t think it’s his strongest work.  

  25. LOL i just realised it was Kieth Giffen that wrote Doom Patrol, not Kieron Gillon. haha, I’m a retard…

  26. @ron Does he say it like how the Beta Band is supposed to be pronounced?  Beeta?

  27. This news came much sooner than I would have expected. I’m fairly excited by the creative team. Even Tan, who (from reading New Avengers) I know has the potential to pull off some great stuff on a title like Thor. I still managed to say that like he’s a bad artist, but he really isn’t.

    @TNC – Gillon’s Newuniversal one-shot was actually very good. VERY good. You know nothing. "From what I’m told". Try reading the books. Give Paul’s question some deep consideration. And maybe try getting away from the computer for a while 🙂

  28. aaaaaaaannnnnnnndddddddd gabe is sold on a book he has never ever ever had any interest in.

  29. Dunno the author. Barely know the artist. I’ll give it a try for sure, though.


  30. @zombox: I wish I saw people saying this kind of thing more often. Taking a chance, I like it.

  31. Artist I don’t typically enjoy. Check.  
    Author I am completely unfamiliar with. Check.
    Book I tried and didn’t like. Check.

    Everything about this announcement is so far out of my comfort zone that I feel somehow intrigued and obligated to try this out.   

    If I like this it will completely change my world view. The ball is in your court Thor/Tan/Gillen.

  32. JMS has taken Thor to such a great place Gillen would have to try and ruin it. I’m in for an arc or so. Never read Phonogram and it’s probably better that way. I look forward to seeing what Gillen can do with this book.

    but I WILL follow Coipel wherever he may go

  33. I’m not a huge fan of Thor comics, and Phonogram isn’t for me, but I’m always curious to check out a writer whose known for doing one type of work (be it superhero mainstream, indie character studies, or humor) who switches it up.  Good on any author/artist mixing things up.   Thanks for reminding me about this.

  34. I loved his Bill oneshot but decided to wait for the trade on the mini series.  I’m excited for this, though.  Billy Tan must have a lot of fans, he’s always on the biggest books.  I’m less excited for the art but he seems to put books out on time which will be great.

  35. Oh man! How could I forget Matt Fraction’s series of one-shots on Thor!?

    Those were, along with JMS’s run, the best take on Thor this decade. I would totally want Fraction on this title. I might not like his X-Men, Iron Man, or other works; but his Thor was badass to read. Why did they decide to pick over him for a guy who barely has credentials?

  36. Looks good.

  37. The thing that I’m worried about the most is Kieron Gillen only being on for six issues. I hope that if they deem his initial run successful that they keep him on the book for a while. So excited.

  38. They’re likely not going to announce a relatively unknown writer as the long time writer.  But you’re right in that it’s a wait and see how it goes approach, which is fairly common.  We like this 6, and we’ll order 6 more, and so on.

  39. As good a writer as Kieron Gillen is I was really hoping for Matt Fraction. But then again I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s taking over after the 6 issues.

  40. I feel like, between running the Iron Man world, and running the X-Men world, it was likely a bit much. That’s just a guess though.

  41. That’s what I was thinking but as it seems with good writers juggling 3 books isn’t that unbelievable. At one point he was writing The Order, Casanova, Punisher War Journal, Immortal Iron Fist (which granted was with Brubaker) and a handful of one-shots. I’m just hoping that Gillen will have a great 6 issue run and it will give Fraction enough leeway to get some issues in the bag if he already hasn’t. I guess I’m just being hopeful since the feeling I get while reading Fraction’s stories with Marvel is the same feeling I get reading Geoff Johns at DC. They can both do no wrong in my book.

  42. Matt Fraction could juggle another book. @Soma pretty much gave me my examples. But his co-writer for a time, Ed Brubaker, had to do five titles per month at one point. It might be a bit rough, but Fraction could totally do X-Men, Iron Man, and Thor every month.

    All he needs to do is Captain America and he can write the Avengers reunion.

  43. I just picked up the Phonogram trade based solely all the phenomenal press it gets from this site and I’m really looking forward to reading it because it seems right up my alley. I also love Thor, so I’ll gladly take some of this action.

  44. @s30 :"From clubs of London to the halls of Asgard." – did you actually read Phonogram? It was mainly in Bath & Bristol.

  45. I’m sad to see JMS go but I will give this a shot.  Especially if we get 6 straight months of Thor.

  46. Color me intrigued. Looking forward to it.

    Congrats Kieron! 🙂

  47. I’ve enjoyed JMS’s Thor run and I’ll keep picking this up and give the new team a chance.  Does anyone know what Coipel is going to be working on?

  48. I hated Phonogram, but the actual writing was never bad, so I might give this a shot, if it comes out in a light week.

  49. This is excellent news.

  50. I’ll give it try and see where it goes. JMS got me into reading Thor since I thought previous versions of him were silly, but I’m curious to see where this goes.

  51. Nice, Phonogram is one of my favorites and I’m intrigued to see what he does with Thor. Very cool news

  52. It looks like Thor is about to a ‘Hadoken’ on somebody

  53. Glad to know this book will get back on schedule. JMS’ departure doesn’t bother me. I enjoyed Fraction’s one-shots more than JMS’ ongoing. No oddly forced references or meandering to be found there. Can’t wait to see what Gillen has in mind for the character. I guess JMS not wanting to play along with Marvel’s next event is gonna pay off, at least for me. Gillen understands the craft of comics, that’s pretty obvious from Phonogram (especially the last two issues.) He’s gonna do something great with this book.

  54. So we’re going to throw in a writer, who barely has any experence with Marvel characters, and have him do an event for the character? Yeah I trust that…

  55. @TNC. Is it such a bad thing that a company is taking a chance on something like this? You’re always the one complaining that Marvel sucks currently. Wouldn’t shaking things up a bit be a possible solution for what you see as a creative slump?

  56. @Anson17: I’m fine with giving people a chance. It’s just that your going to throw in, essentially a rookie in mainstream writing, to do a major event for a character? Even if it came in late JMS could’ve had a good idea on where to take an event. I’m going to trust someone to:

    A) Write an effective event with a staple character for Marvel.

    B) Have him write Loki and Dr. Doom as the antagonists

    C) Trust him to do all this when this could be the most work he’s ever had in his comic profession life as of today

    I can’t support those three options.

  57. Is Kieron writing an event?  I thought it was just a 6 issue arc


  58. So no new writers (with a bunch of Marvel stories under their belt) get to write 6 issue arcs?  Got it.

    God, if that’s the case, I don’t have a chance of writing for Marvel.

  59. @TNC. You know who else didn’t have "mainstream experience" or experience with the character? Bendis when he started Ultimate Spider-Man. That book is pretty damn good. Plus, I wasn’t saying JMS couldn’t do the event. He refused to do the event. This isn’t some editorial switcheroo going on. He quit.

  60. @Anson17: First off, touche for you with the Bendis example.

    Second, I didn’t say JMS couldnt do the event either. I’m just saying I would trust him to write it out if he decided to stay on the title.

  61. @TNC JMS wouldn’t have done an event at Marvel anyway. He tolerated the Civil War issues on ASM because they fit into his narrative (after some creative bashing), and his Fantastic Four Civil War issues had almost nothing to do with the series and more to do with Thor. And after One More Day, JMS decided he would stick it on Thor (a book he admittedly loves writing) and try and finish the Twelve (One hopes, a great series) but has been slowly moving over to DC since OMD. In that regard, JMS and Peter David are very similar. Both have more or less complained about having to do events and how distracting it is to their ongoing narratives. You’ll notice that the past six months of X-Factor have been stellar since David more or less divorced the book from any of the current X-Men goings on. This has been coming for a while, though. JMS just needed a good enough excuse to end his Thor run prematurely so he could cut ties to Marvel. And "line-wide Thor event" was it. 

    I see no real problem with Gillen other than what I said. His Beta Ray Bill stuff has been good comic booking, but not earth shattering. He certainly gets the universe, it will be interesting to see what He (and Marvel) do with the Thor universe once JMS leaves. (I predict it will be similar to what happened when Morrison left, everyone will do their best to nullify anything that came out of the run except for Joss Whedon. 😉 )

  62. @anson Ummm just to clarify… Bendis was already writing/had written Powers, HellSpawn, Sam and Twitch and Daredevil before launching Ultimate Spider-Man. Let alone having written several critically acclaimed independent minis and gns. He may not have been the "household name" he is now, but he was certainly someone people knew about when he started USM.

  63. Perhaps Bendis isn’t the best example, but the point is still a valid one.  I can think of lots of pros who didn’t have much experience when they started writing Marvel or DC books.

    There’s this one guy, Geoff Johns… and he’d only written a mini series and a couple of co-writing jobs before getting JSA and Flash.  

  64. @josh Oh, I’m not dismissing the point, I think it’s valid and very true. However, it’s been the trend in the past 3 years or so that Marvel and DC generally only use firmly established comics writers or "Hollywood names."  And good point on Johns. Despite writing Stars and STRIPE,  Johns was given Day of Judgment because no one else at DC wanted to write it. An interesting "Origin."

  65. Kieron Gillen IS a firmly established comic writer, certainly as much as a Jason Aaron, Rick Remender, Jeff Parker and other people were when they started writing big books at Marvel. 

    It’s basically like Jason Aaron jumping on to Wolverine for an arc and Wolverine is a FAR bigger draw than Thor.

  66. If the reviews are positive for Gillen’s first issue, then I’ll give it a chance.

    Until then…..still waiting for JMS’s issues. Maybe you guys are right about his lateness…

  67. @Prax. Should have clarified. I was only using Bendis as an example from the "not having experience with the character" angle.

  68. colour me meh’d

  69. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Ah, my pet peeve strikes again. Not the "meh" but that goes without saying. 

    Everything starts somewhere. If high profile books could only be written by those who have written high profile books, there would be NO high profile books. That’s not opinion. That’s simple logic. For anything to get done, chances have to be taken. Everybody starts somewhere. For anyone suggesting that people shouldn’t be given an opportunity to prove themselves, best of luck reaching the top of whatever ladder you’re on without touching a single rung.  

  70. I’ve read Godhunter not impressed I’ve seen Tan’s artwork also not impressed so….meh

  71. Why hire Gillen to write Thor? Because it causes people like me with no interest in Thor to pick it up. That’s 3.99 that they didn’t have before but will have now.

  72. Aw, I wanted Matty Fraction on Thor.

  73. @TNC – at this point, anybody would be an upgrade from JMS in my eyes.

  74. @ActualButt: You so crazy! 🙂

  75. Talk about left field ideas, who saw this coming? I’m not complaining, I just thought that with all of the one-shots that Fraction has been writting, Marvel has been grooming him like a king-to-be for the Thor mantle.

    Since I’m not too familiar with Gillen’s writting, I’m going to give his issues a shot, especially if they continue the story that JMS has been crafting.

  76. I’m really puzzled as to why everyone is so constantly down on Billy Tan. For one thing, I think he gets unfairly lumped in with the other Tans. While not in my personal top 10 favorite artists, he’s a more than capable illustrator. The only real weaknes I can see is that his visual style is a little reminiscent of the 90’s, but aside from that, I have no complaints with his work.

  77. it’s a preference thing.  I really don’t care for his figures, but I think his storytelling is very strong, as evidenced by his work in New Avengers.  It’s a style thing.

  78. I don’t think Gillen is really out of left field at all, he’s writing the Beta Ray Bill mini and will be writing an Ares mini.  He’s turning into their go-to guy for gods

  79. I think it’s definitely possible the coming event will either start after Gillen’s six issues or might even put the ongoing Thor on hiatus.  I hope Gillen isn’t kicked off after 6 as I really prefer longer runs.

    There’s a strong case against Matt Fraction in that he may have blown his Thor load.  He had described a difficulty in finding the right approach to Thor prior to his Age of Thunder one-shots.  So since it was difficult enough for him to come up with stories for those, he could be totally wrong as an ongoing writer of the book.

  80. Not big on the Tan but love the Gillen. Dropped Thor cause the wait got to be too much, gonna give this a shot. Also love that they dropped the book a buck. Noticed a lot of new 2.99 Marvel series in Solicits for November.

  81. I think it’s kinda silly to judge something before it’s come out, but i guess that’s a staple of culture now.

  82. I made that mistake with Duane Swierczynski on Iron Fist.  I ended up liking his issues more than the prior ones.

    Then it got canceled.

  83. @josh: Iron Fist got cancelled!?

    Oh and didn’t you misjudge it because of the art? He looked like the Hulk on roids I believe with the ad.

  84. Nope, my particular precedent was that I didn’t want to read a book by a guy I’d never heard of, who was also writing *Cable*.  Bad move on my part there.

    Ron didn’t like the art.  I always did.  It was delightfully odd.

    And yes, the Immortal Iron Fist series is over.

  85. @Josh-Hiatus!!  Swierczynski confirmed it several months ago on the  Marvel podcast when the Immortal Weapons mini was announced.  Will be back after the mini wraps up.  I know this because Iron Fist is to drake, as Hawkeye is to Josh. (not quite, but almost)

  86. Drake, I hope that’s true!  I’d heard there were tentative plans but I don’t know how definitive it is.

    Anyway, good to see Gillen getting more Marvel work.  The SWORD book looks interesting as well. Looking at the things Marvel is doing welll, I think they’re showing an appetite for fresh voices by bringing in writers with a following from creator-owned work, or from other media (like Cornell’s TV writing and Swierczynski’s prose fiction).  Not everything’s going to hit for everybody but it’s a good way to keep the talent pool interesting.

  87. I am excited about this!Just saw it. I love the JMS Thor, but I also love Phonogram and I could see Mckelvie doing well with Thor. It’s gonna be awesome.


    When is #603 comingout? Will be an end to teh arc?

  88. someone didn’t read the article

  89. @drake Yeah I think you’re right, same thing happend with Ghost Rider and I think is happening with Agents of Atlas.  It does give them an out though if the mini doesn’t sell well to just not bring the book back

  90. @gobo: I thought Ghost Rider was straight up cancelled. That he is doing the mini-series and there will be more title.

    If there’s one thing to say: I do like the idea of the SWORD comic he’s doing. A bit late on that idea (about 2 years late), but I love the characters involved.

  91. EDIT: *No more title*

  92. The "hiatus" cover was used to obfuscate Captain Britain getting cancelled at first, but too many people saw through it so Marvel admitted it. While I’m not certain of Iron Fist’s situation, I think they’re testing the waters with it before cancelling it.

  93. I thought Peter Milligan was gonna be on this book? Or is that just part of the special wrap-up deal?

     The only reason I’m uneasy about Gillen on this is his (albeit brief) treatment of Thor in his BRB comics. The way Thor spoke in the first issue of Godhunter not only seemed like a throwback, but was also out of place when compared it to how Bill has spoken in the series (which, funny enough, sounds a lot like how JMS has written Thor’s dialogue).

    The biggest concern is Tan, though. I do not care for his art at all – judging from what I’ve seen in New Avengers –  and think he will not fit the tone and style of this volume of Thor even less. I was just getting used to Djurdjevi succeeding Coipel, too.

    All this talk about Doom vs. Thor will get me to at least buy the first issue of this, but I’m still cautiously hesitant about staying on board.

  94. If Thor-speak returns in full force I will consider picking this up.

  95. @conor: JMS’ Thor speak-lite was a minus for you? I thought it was a unanimous thing that Thor was better off without the "thou’s" and "thee’s".

  96. @comicBOOKchris: A big minus for me. Pretty much 90% of the reason why I didn’t buy the book in the first place.

  97. He did have a special font.

  98. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I think I’ve decided I’ll take Thor however I can get it. Paging through the second JMS trade and it’s just stupid pretty. Like one of the most gorgeous comics I’ve seen from Marvel or anywhere else. I’ve also started reading Simonson’s run, which is badass in an entirely different way. I just wish the collections weren’t so pricey. 20+ dollars…on Amazon? 

  99. looks really good

  100. @Paul: I’ve been collecting Simonson’s run. I picked up a ton of issues for approx. a buck each. Granted they aren’t in the best condition, the experience is enhanced by content that is woefully missing from today’s comics: Lego advertisements.

  101. …and Fraction is officially on Thor!