If there's one thing that's absolutely essential to Marvel's Avengers movies, it's artists. The films owe their hearts to the comic creations of icons like Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Don Heck and others who made Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Thor the characters we know and love today, and looking at newly revealed Thor concept art by Craig Shoji and Michael Kutsche, it's pretty clear the folks behind the big screen debut of the god of thunder were working to live up to the heroic settings and scales established by their forbears. Take a tour through their movie takes on Asgard, Jotunheim, Midgard's New Mexico and more after the jump.While it's not uncommon for a film to deviate -- sometimes even wildly -- from its concept art, in the case of Thor it seems like director Kenneth Branagh and company stuck with what Shoji, Kutsche and others brought to the table. A simple scan of their illustrations makes it easy to understand why. Though Asgard itself seems to have gone through a number of revisions, its soul seems very much in tune with its various comics incarnations over the years (especially Kirby and Walt Simonson's).

Check out the pieces by

Craig Shoji and Michael Kutsche below:

Michael Kutsche

Craig Shoji

[Via io9]

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