Here’s All You Need to Know about Dr. Jane Foster aka Mighty Thor
‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ will draw on writer Jason Aaron and graphic artist Russell Dauterman’s storyline from Marvel comics
When director Taika Waititi handed a hammer to Natalie Portman last Saturday at the San Diego Comic Con, folks who hadn’t read the Thor comics thought the introduction of a female Thor to be a token feminist move on Marvel’s part. As they might have learned soon after, the Goddess of Thunder aka the Mighty Thor was introduced to the Thor comics back in 2014 (Thor Vol 4). And the character behind the mask was no stranger to readers.
Portman’s Thor arc will be based on writer Jason Aaron and graphic artist Russell Dauterman’s storyline from the comic books. Dr. Jane Foster takes on the mantle of the Mighty Thor, Goddess of Thunder in Issue #1 of Thor. The last anyone saw of Foster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Rocket was extracting the aether from her body in Avengers: Endgame. We don’t know how exactly Foster will make her return in 2021’s Thor: Love and Thunder, but here’s what we do know from the comics.
After the events of Marvel Comics’ 2014 Original Sin, Thor (who then goes by the name Odinson) is made unworthy of wielding Mjölnir and drops the hammer onto the surface of the moon. A mysterious shadow raises Mjölnir and it is when the inscription changes to ‘Who ever holds this hammer, if she be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor,’ we realize that Mjölnir not only has a new wielder but that she is a woman who goes by the name Mighty Thor or the Goddess of Thunder. It is only at the end of Issue #8 of Thor that Mighty Thor’s identity is revealed — to readers.
While lying abandoned on the moon, Mjölnir had telepathically reached out to Dr. Jane Foster who answered the hammer’s call, requesting Heimdall to transport her to Mjölnir‘s location. With the words “there must always be a Thor,” she claims Mjölnir and her physical self transforms, her body now clad in mask, cape and armor.
Mighty Thor’s first order of business was to deal with the threat of the dark elf Malekith the Accursed and frost giant King Laufey. Then came the War of the Realms, the Secret Wars and the Battle against Mangog. Even Odinson eventually relented in his quest to reclaim Mjölnir, leaving the Goddess of Thunder unchallenged (though Odin didn’t accept her as Thor).
She keeps her true identity hidden through most of the series for fear of being stopped from being Thor (a year prior to the comic book’s events, Foster had been diagnosed with breast cancer for which she was undergoing chemotherapy). “I am Dr. Jane Foster and I will not stop being the Mighty Thor. Even though it is killing me,” she says. Transforming into Thor purges Foster’s body of all toxins, rendering the chemotherapy useless, thereby pushing her closer to death each time she wields Mjölnir. Jane Foster transforms into the Goddess of Thunder, one last time, to destroy Mangog – a literal personification of the hatred of those killed by Odin – thus saving Asgard before succumbing to her cancer.
But that couldn’t possibly be the end of the road for the former Goddess of Thunder who is resurrected by Odinson and Odin shortly after. She decides to take a good long break from being a savior until her cancer goes into remission. When the War of the Realms arrives at Earth’s door, Foster aids in the fight and assists refugees, later being appointed as the All-Mother by Frigga. She also leads an attack against Roxxon Energy Corporation’s forces in Antarctica with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Agent Solomon.
In the ultimate battle, Foster takes Thor’s broken hammer (the Ultimate Universe’s Mjölnir) and transforms into the Goddess of Thunder to join Thor in rescuing Odin and Frigga from Malekith. After slaying Laufy, the remains of the hammer crumble and merge into a vambrace on her left arm.
Armed with Undrajarn the All-Weapon and the blessing of Brunnhilde and the fallen Valkyrior spirits, Dr. Jane Foster then becomes the first in a new generation of Valkyries, proving that no matter the mantle, it is her strength and will alone that truly make her a worthy defender of the worlds and ages.