MIGHTY THOR shouldn’t have worked. With its first issue coming out in 2015, only a few years after two popular Thor MCU films, the odds were immediately stacked against it. Superhero fans wanted Odinson — the brawny, armored Asgardian with chiseled good looks. What they got was Jane Foster — a dying female cancer patient with few ties to Asgard. The series was the complete opposite of every Thor comic series that came before it. Because of that, MIGHTY THOR should’ve struggled in sales and been canceled after a few issues. The Mjolnir should’ve been returned to it’s “rightful” owner. Everything should’ve stayed the way it had always been.

jane foster
GENERATIONS: THOR #1. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

But, instead, MIGHTY THOR became the series of the year and Jane Foster became the undisputed new Thor. Jane’s popularity soared as high as the Mjolnir as more and more comic fans came to accept — and adore — the Goddess of Thunder. Writer Jason Aaron and artists Russell Dauterman and Matthew Wilson gave Thor fans something they never knew they wanted: a female Thor who, though powerful, still has relatable struggles and human dilemmas.

Jane’s Thor is a unique brand of hero, who fights for things beyond nationalism and titles. She is, at her heart, a character who respects life and proves that gods — and Thor — are not static beings, incapable of change. Jane Foster may not be the first Thor people think of when hearing the name, but she is definitely the one people won’t forget about anytime soon.

If you haven’t read MIGHTY THOR yet, I highly recommend checking it out. You can find the first issue here, at Comixology.

jane foster
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Cancer Can Wait

If you’ve already read MIGHTY THOR, you should be familiar with the basic plot: Jane Foster has cancer that, because of her frequent Thor transformations, cannot be treated. Every time she picks up the Mjolnir, the cancer-fighting drugs she takes are removed from her system. Thor is inadvertently killing Jane Foster.

For most people, that would be enough of a reason to hang up the hammer. Unlike Odinson, Jane isn’t Asgardian and she doesn’t really have a reason to help anyone outside Midgard. No one would shame her for focusing on her health and ignoring her “duties” as Thor. After all, she has her life to consider and it would make more sense for Asgardians like Sif and Odinson to handle the safety of Asgard.

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MIGHTY THOR #3. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

But, that’s the opposite of what Jane does. Throughout the series, she acknowledges the fact that the Mjolnir is killing her, but she never shies from it. She quickly accepts her position as Thor and understands that, although she’s a strange choice for the title, the world still needs a Thor. But that Thor is not only there to defend Asgard, or to be a brave icon for a nation. The world needs a Thor because the realm of the gods needs someone with humanity.

Jane is unique because she isn’t interested in all the show that comes along with being Thor. As Thor, she has nearly limitless godlike powers, but she consistently shows less interest in being a god and more interest in helping people and saving lives. Because Jane is dying when she isn’t Thor, it increases her respect for life when she is Thor. And since she’s frequently surrounded by immortal gods who have no respect for life, that’s an important trait to have.

The Woman Behind the Mask

I could write a whole article about how important it is to have a female Thor, but I think by now, most readers know that. When you replace arguably the most masculine Avenger with a woman, you’re definitely making a statement. Of course it’s a big deal that Jane Foster — a woman — was Thor. But, there’s something deeper to Jane’s character than her gender. Yes, she’s a girl, and yes, numerous characters throughout MIGHTY THOR disapprove of her because of this, but there are a lot of characters who don’t necessarily disapprove of her because she’s a girl. They disapprove of her because she’s not the norm.

Even though she’s a skilled, capable fighter, many Asgardians don’t like her because she isn’t the Thor they’ve always known. Even others, from different realms, fail to respect her as Thor because she’s willing to break the status quo.

Jane Foster isn’t just a woman — she’s a woman who has taken a powerful title, thus usurping the man who once held it. The fact that Thor is a woman is important. However, I think it’s even more important that people oppose her not only because she is a woman, but because she is a person willing to take something that others don’t think should be hers. Jane is different in so many ways: she’s a human, she’s sick, she’s from Earth, she’s a woman, etc, etc. All of these things together are able to dismantle the original meaning of the word “Thor.” The things that make her different are the things that make her worthy of the hammer.

jane foster
MIGHTY THOR #703. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The End of Mighty Thor

MIGHTY THOR is over and the Mjolnir is no more. Jane Foster returned to Earth to focus on her health and Odinson will pick up the Thor moniker in the new THOR series coming out in June. The days of Jane Foster’s Thor are now behind us. Or are they?

Clearly, Jane Foster’s Thor is a pretty special character. During her series, she broke a lot of boundaries and completely rewrote the story of Thor. She did in a couple of years what normally takes decades to accomplish and the public noticed. MIGHTY THOR sold really well and I think Marvel realizes what a special character they have in Jane Foster. The one-shot MIGHTY THOR: AT THE GATES OF VALHALLA explicitly said that the Mighty Thor would return someday. With how popular MIGHTY THOR was, I think someday is probably soon.

The Future of Jane Foster

When she does come back, I hope to see a cancer-free Jane Foster who doesn’t have to hold up the weight of her illness. I want a Jane who retains her sense of self — and her humanity — but is able to be Thor without fear. I also want a Mighty Thor who doesn’t have an expiration date. MIGHTY THOR always had an end date since the lead character was dying of cancer. It couldn’t keep going on. But, if Jane Foster’s Thor were to come back cancer-free, more series could follow in the future.

Until that day, I’m just happy to re-read the masterpiece that is MIGHTY THOR while drinking a big goblet of mead. Huzzah to Jane Foster — the Thor us Midgardians truly needed.

4 Comments

  1. Lambert5883

    May 28, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    The horror! The horror!

    Reply

  2. Upper_Krust

    May 27, 2018 at 11:08 am

  3. Asgardian

    May 25, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Agreed…..just trash. Trash to the ”true”character, the Thor faithful, the mythos. Try creating something from scratch – like Stan.

    Reply

  4. Sol Invictus

    May 25, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    fake jane is feminazi tripe .. aaron has done nothing except destroy a character and mythos to push an sjw leftist agenda. fuck this bullshit.

    Reply

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