This week, Avengers writer Jason Aaron is reuniting with his Jane Foster: Valkyrie (opens in new tab) co-writer Torunn Grønbekk alongside artist Nina Vakueva for a new limited series starring Jane as part of Marvel's Venom-centric King in Black crossover. And to defeat the forces of Knull, Jane Foster, the last of the Valkyries, will have to call on help from none other than the first of the Valkyries – along with some of Jane's other predecessors as the main bearer of the title.(opens in new tab)
"Torunn Grønbekk and I were doing the previous Jane Foster: Valkyrie title showing her in her role as the one-and-only Valkyrie, and that ties into this," Aaron tells Newsarama ahead of King in Black: Return of the Valkyries #1 (opens in new tab)'s January 6 release.
"There used to be a whole team of Valkyries who guarded the gates between the living and the dead, and for a while now there's been only Jane," Aaron continues. "So with King in Black, this world-shaking event with Knull's army raging this huge battle on Earth, Jane finds she needs some help, for very specific reasons."
Along the way, Jane will recruit former Valkyries Dani Moonstar, Brunnhilde, and Hildegarde, as well as the still-unnamed first Valkyrie, who bears a striking resemblance to the also-unnamed MCU Valkyrie played by Tessa Thompson.
"I don't know exactly how much I can say about the new character. We've shown the preview images, but outside that she's someone we haven't seen in Marvel Comics before, but I think there will be things about her people recognize," Aaron acknowledges, coyly.
As for what Jane and her team's mission is, Aaron states that it all ties back to threads he initially planted in his long run on Thor, which included Jane Foster's tenure as the bearer of Mjolnir. Threads, he says, that Venom writer Donny Cates has weaved directly into the story of Knull and the symbiotes being told in King in Black.
"If you look at a lot of what Donny Cates has done with his Venom run and the mythology he's built, you can see the connections layered between that world and some of the stories I told in Thor, going back to Gorr the God-Butcher and the Necrosword, which was also the sword of Knull," Aaron explains.(opens in new tab)
"There's some natural connective tissue between those two worlds, and it gives Jane a very specific threat to deal with that only a Valkyrie can deal with – but she needs help," he continues. So she brings in other Valkyries, most of whom we've seen before, and then one brand-new character who is a big surprise."
Of course, that "big surprise" seems to be the new first Valkyrie, who, despite her in-story history as the apparent founder of Jane Foster's Asgardian order, is actually brand new to comic books.
Aaron isn't shy about the synergy he shares with Cates either, as seen in the plot lines shared between Aaron's Thor run and King in Black, as well as in Cates's current Thor run, which picks up the torch from Aaron's years-long tenure on the title.(opens in new tab)
In fact, Cates and Aaron have discussed working on a story together – and there's something in the works.
"We've talked about it a few times, it's just something that hasn't quite shaken out schedule-wise yet," Aaron states. "But it's definitely something we're both interested in when everything lines up."
King in Black: Return of the Valkyries #1 (of 3) goes on sale on January 6.
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