Jason Aaron

On this date in 1973, comic book writer Jason Aaron was born in Jasper, Ala., into a Southern Baptist household. He would later quip that he was Jasper’s most notable personage after George “Goober” Lindsey of “The Andy Griffith Show” and mixed martial arts fighter Eric “Butterbean” Esch.

“You grow up with religion and pork and college football, and that’s all you know for most of your life. I still love two of those things. So I grew up with faith and religion as a big part of my life, until I got to be 19 or 20 in college and just got to a point where it didn’t make sense for me anymore, and I didn’t buy into it.” (War Rocket Ajax podcast #138, Dec. 3, 2012)

Fascinated as a child by comics, he knew what he wanted to do when he grew up. He entered and won a Marvel Comics talent search contest in 2001 with an eight-page story script, which was published in Wolverine #175 (June 2002). It would be four years before he got another one published. Aaron earned a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, then worked at a variety of menial or unfulfilling jobs while writing DVD and film reviews.

He broke out as a writer with “The Other Side” (2006), a five-issue series with a Vietnam War theme that was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Miniseries. The first of 60 issues of “Scalped,” a series with artist R. M. Guéra set on a fictional South Dakota Lakota Indian reservation, was published in 2007. The day Aaron got the call it was green-lighted was the day before his wedding. He and his wife had a son, Dashiell (after novelist Dashiell Hammett), before divorcing.

Another crime novelist, James Ellroy, would later give Aaron one of the best pieces of advice he ever got: “Don’t write the shit you know, write the shit you want to read.”(Comic Book Resources online, April 8, 2011) After four issues of “Wolverine” in 2007, Aaron returned to the character with the series “Wolverine: Weapon X,” launched to coincide with the feature film “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” He moved to Kansas City the day after the film’s premiere. 

The writing continued with a “Wolverine” relaunch (2010), another of “The Incredible Hulk” (2011) and “Thor: God of Thunder” in 2012. The Thor character’s comic book history goes back to 1962. (It was announced in 2019 that Aaron’s Thor storyline was the basis for “Thor: Love and Thunder,” directed by Taika Waititi with Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor.) It opened in theaters in July 2022.

He was part of the 2015 Marvel relaunch of “Star Wars” that was the best-selling American comic book in over 20 years. As of this writing, he is the current writer on Marvel’s flagship “Avengers” and its spinoff “Avengers Forever.” His critically acclaimed “Southern Bastards” series (2014 debut) received numerous nominations and awards. 

PHOTO: Aaron in 2017; Stephanie Manning Photography under CC 4.0

Freedom From Religion Foundation