Empire is giving THOR: THE DARK WORLD the Asgardian royal treatment with dueling Thor and Loki covers (with variants for each) along with several images from the film. The October issue of Empire will feature the magazine’s set report from THOR: TDW including interviews with the cast and crew. Producer Craig Kyle explains the state of affairs when audiences reenter the Realm Eternal on November 8:

Asgard at the beginning of the first film was at a time of peace. Now our guys have been fighting for over a year, constantly. It’s a time of war. When the Bifrost was broken at the end of the first film, Odin had to conjure a lot of dark energy and go through a lot of personal sacrifice to try and get his son back to Earth. And it was a one-shot deal. If Thor didn’t succeed, without the Tesseract he couldn’t have got back again. And in our film, finally the Bifrost has been rebuilt, but during that time, when the cops were largely cut off from the rest of the universe, you had miscreants that came in from outside the Nine Realms, pillaging and destroying and causing havoc. So that’s what our guys have been doing now – trying to put all these fires out across the Nine Realms.

The idea of Thor, Lady Sif, and The Warriors Three having to restore order throughout the Nine Realms is exciting. THOR (2011) is an underrated superhero classic, but its story is told on a relatively small canvas. Director Alan Taylor and Marvel Studios have set their sights on much bigger things this time around, which will go a long way in separating the title character from his earthbound Avengers teammates.