It was announced in October that Marvel would be taking one of its most popular characters in a bold new direction. After eight issues, the new female version of Thor has become a definitive hit amongst fans, and that has prompted Marvel comics to finally reveal the identity of the new wielder of the iconic magic hammer.
According to Mashable, the answer to the big question was supposed to come on Wednesday, but the big reveal was leaked online Tuesday morning. So who is the mighty female knocking bad guys down with Mjolnir? None other than Jane Foster, who even new fans of “Thor” will likely recognize.
The character first appeared in the early days of Thor back in the 1960s when he operated under the alter ego of Donald Blake. Jane Foster was a nurse in his employment and they eventually became romantically involved. However, the character is also a key member of the comic book giant’s Cinematic Universe of films that includes all of the “Avengers.” Actress Natalie Portman first brought the character to life in the original “Thor” movie in 2011. While she was mentioned in the first “Avengers” film (and the second) she didn’t appear again until “Thor 2: The Dark World” in 2013.
In the most recent series of comic books, her character manages to pick up Thor’s hammer (which can only be wielded by someone who is worthy of the power) after the Odinson is unable to pick it up anymore. In the latest issue, it is revealed that Jane picked it up and has been acting as Thor ever since. Unfortunately, things in the Marvel comics world are never that simple. Although the woman is worthy of the power, she’s currently battling breast cancer – and morphing into the god of lightening isn’t helping her condition one bit.
“I am Dr. Jane Foster. And I will not stop being the mighty Thor,” she says in the leaked panel from Issue #8. “Even though it is killing me.”
“I mean, it was never just about the surprise or the mystery. Clearly I’ve had fun playing with that part of it over the course of these eight issues [since we introduced the new Thor]. But that’s really all just setup for the real story. And Jane was the one I had a story with, whose story I wanted to tell,” writer Jason Aaron told Vulture. “She’s grown and changed and evolved a lot over the years, become a doctor in her own right. So this to me is not just the next step for her character, but really the next evolution of the core promise that has always been at the heart of Thor’s mythology.”
While it’s an exciting prospect to think that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already laid the groundwork to tell the story of a female Thor, odds are good that we won’t be seeing Portman don a red cape and Viking helm anytime in the near future. However, Marvel’s third Phase of movies leading up to the “Infinity War” is believed by many to hold several casualties for the core group of Avengers that assembled in the 2012 movie. With Captain America (Chris Evans) leading a team of new Avengers many believe that the old team may be on its way out. In fact, the title of the newest Thor (Chris Hemsworth) movie “Thor: Ragnarok” alludes to the character’s demise. Perhaps Portman could pick up the hammer for whatever the “Infinity War” has to offer? Doubtful, but a fan can dream.