Take a Journey Through the Afterlifes of ‘Valkyrie: Jane Foster’ #3 with the Artists Who Created Them
Jane Foster’s role as Valkyrie sends her on a brand new journey through multiple Marvel realms – see how this team of artists brought Heven, Hades, and more to life!
At the end of VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER #2, after dying at the hands of Bullseye, the all-seeing Asgardian called Heimdall expressed his final wish to the Valkyrior: to see what he has never seen before. As VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER #3 kicked off, the new Valkyrie made sure to grant his wish. In this issue, on sale now, Jane Foster takes Heimdall on a “journey into mystery,” crossing several realms of the afterlife. Since this was no ordinary journey, several artists were on board to render each realm -- CAFU, Ramón Pérez, Cian Tormey (with Robert Poggi), and Frazer Irving.
In the script for the issue, co-writer Al Ewing described his intentions: “The overarching idea here … is a kind of tour of Heaven and Hell in the Marvel Universe that’s also a journey up the middle pillar of the Tree of Life.” The journey would begin on Earth and go as far as the Godhead at the Far Shore, “the furthest place in Marvel cosmology.”
In terms of style and momentum, Ewing specified “one long, thundering ride,” and providing the direction to the artists to “bear in mind that we can never have a panel where the motion has stopped.”
So, if you’re ready to go on this journey with Heimdall and Valkyrie, here is how VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER #3 was made, in the words of Al Ewing, CAFU, Ramón Pérez, Cian Tormey, and Frazer Irving.
Ewing: “For the first time, Jane is letting her Valkyrie-self take the wheel, acting entirely on primal God-instinct. So it’s a journey for her, as well.
“VALKYRIE is focused, but kind of swept up in this – the experience of this all hitting at once, as if she’s on a rollercoaster. HEIMDALL is smiling – this feels new, different, exciting. His eyes are in shadow – ghost-Heimdall is still wearing his helmet – but twinkling with light. … [I]t’s an incredible rush [for Jane], like fire in her veins, but she’s a little worried about that. If she allows the Valkyrie so much control, what happens to Jane? Can she come back from this?”
CAFU: “When I read Al’s and Jason [Aaron]’s script for the first time, I was gobsmacked. In the first pages I already had to draw Valkyrie and Heimdall riding a Pegasus over the surface of the Moon with the Earth behind them!
“I thought: ‘I NEED to draw this NOW!’
“I believe this is the most… HEAVY METAL scene I’ve ever drawn in my career.
“I love the work Ewing and Aaron are doing. The freedom and tremendous display of imagination in these first issues of VALKYRIE… It’s easy to see they’re having a great time writing them… as much fun as I’m having drawing them!”
Ewing: “We’re going to be contrasting the beauty of this place with the horribleness of the Abyss later – so it’s a really classically beautiful scene. Lots of gold, ivory pillars, vast and beautiful rose quartz crystals and yellow diamonds.
“A little more gold and dazzle, but that’s the kind of setting – although it should be mentioned that it was left in ruins the last time we saw it, so maybe there’s a touch of beautiful ruin to it – the lush, gorgeous greenery overwhelming classical rubble, the beautiful gems nestled in patches of ivy. But even if there are ruins, the ruins look expertly sculpted.”
Ramón Pérez: “Working on VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER #3 I got to dive into HEVEN, the realm of the angels. I wasn’t creating the realm, as it has been referenced before in various stories. What I did try to do was create a sense that there was no up or down, even underground where the male angels reside. In my interpretation the ‘city’ is a floating M. C. Escher-type kingdom, which makes sense [since] when you have wings, up or down really doesn’t matter. This was my approach and inspiration as I depicted HEVEN. To be honest, I wish I had more pages to better explore the realm, it’s structure, beauty, and nuances.”
Ewing: “It’s a red rocky desert, studded with caves – from within the caves, grotesque light and flickering shadows. (In these caves are what’s left of the individual torments of Hades.) Floating above the desert – a grotesque, leafless, inverted TREE – like Yggdrasil, the World-Tree, but leafless and hanging upside-down, with horrible twisted branches growing down to the ground and gnarled roots stretching up to the sky. And in the middle, a warped knothole, oozing blood. This is the ANTI-TREE – Yggdrasil’s dark opposite.”
Cian Tormey: "I’ll never forget opening the script and reading Al’s description of ‘the Anti Tree - Ygrdrassil’s dark opposite.’ How could you not get excited about drawing something like that? I knew I had to make it look cool, but with everything Al had given me to work with, it would have been hard not to!
“I haven’t worked Marvel plot style before, so the challenge was new to me -- measuring out the beats to make sure I was landing the main points the script called for, I tried to organize the flow of the panels around the moments I found most exciting. When I saw the final result lettered and colored, I was delighted with how it all came together."
THE FAR SHORE
Ewing: “This is the FAR SHORE – the furthest place it’s possible to go in Marvel Cosmology, unreachable by normal means. So it’s space-like, but not like normal space – maybe more like one of those very cool nebulas. (I’m thinking most of this spread will be focusing on the beauty of the location.) VALKYRIE’s flying slightly behind the HORSE now.
“HEIMDALL doesn’t have his helmet any more, but his eyes are still starfields in dark sockets – he’s looking forward. VALKYRIE gently lifts him by the shoulders up off the horse – so now she’s flying forward with him.
“We get a close-up of Valkyrie, and one of Heimdall. She gently asks if this is what he truly wants. HEIMDALL’s been through a lot, and he’s clearly wounded, but he’s ready to go. This is what he was looking for – the place he’s never seen or been.
“Then – Valkyrie lets him go, and he falls.”
Frazer Irving: “My script called for me to draw a familiar subject: the unending emptiness of the void. What I mean is, I’d drawn black holes before, so this was a shot at doing it again, but this time soaked in cosmic purples, seeing as it’s a Marvel book. Of course, the edge of existence is just abstract art without the characters that set it off with their super-saturated sparkles, so it was a matter of contrast that took so long at the end. Being all digital, one can get engrossed in that final tweak...”
Now that she’s reached the farthest possible point of the Marvel Universe, where does Jane Foster go from here? And where will she keep her talking horse?
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