Thor readers probably went through a full box of tissues while reading Mighty Thor #705 (which came out this past Wednesday) because Jane Foster has gone to her final resting place, joining the hall of the slain in Valhalla. Foster’s duty as Thor ended when she sacrificed herself in a final act of worthiness to the gods, who needed her more than she needed them. Thus it is the gods who must be worthy of her act.
Let's take a closer look at what happened, and what may happen down the road...
Warning: This following article contains spoilers for Mighty Thor #705
For those who are not up to speed, Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson’s masterful run on Mighty Thor began four years ago and set off shockwaves when they introduced the first female Thor, revealed later on to be Jane Foster. She became worthy of holding Mjolnir, only after she contracted terminal cancer. And each time she became Thor, the magical hammer's magic canceled out her chemotherapy. So the snowball effect of her term as Thor inevitably brought her closer to death with every heroic act. Despite her dilemma, Foster carried on because she felt the world needed a Thor.
In the current Marvel Legacy “War of Realms” storyline, Malekith’s alliance is declaring war on the 10 realms. For Asgard, Malekith has a major card up his sleeve. Mangog is unleashed and wreaks havoc on the gods, destroying the rainbow bridge and all of Asgardia, knocking it on a one-way ticket into the sun. As Asgard is evacuated, Thor assures the gods that they need not enter the battle with the Mangog because “The world needs gods that everyone can believe in… (it’s time for the gods) to earn the gift they’ve all been given.”
As told by Dr. Strange in issue #703, “If you change into Thor… even one more time… there will be no coming back. Jane Foster will die.”
Despite pleas from Lady Freya and Odinson himself, Foster holds Mjolnir one more time. Mangog tries to appeal to her displeasure with the gods, asks her to step aside and allow him to finish his goal. But Jane Foster isn’t going out like that. She puts up a mighty final fight and comes up with a clever resolution, but at a large cost to her.
Aaron and Dauterman’s take on Thor has always been a hard look at what makes a hero. Is it the costume? The weapons they wield? Nope, and it isn’t the superpowers, either. With Jane as Thor, they showed that a hero depends on what the person does with their life, regardless of the challenges or advantages they may have. For better or worse, Jane’s journey has been one that exemplifies that standard.
In a tearful scene between Thor Odinson and Jane Foster (sans Mjolnir), one of Marvel’s longest running romances was brought to a close with a final goodbye as she reverts back to the lifeless body of Jane Foster. If one was skeptical at the beginning of this saga for Thor, Aaron, Dauterman, and Wilson have certainly earned their keep in what’s been one of the best superhero run in recent years. But it’s not done.
What comes next? Foster’s death comes with Thor Odinson’s return. But how will he regain the mantle, and under what circumstances? With Mjolnir destroyed, what is the hammer or weapons Thor will wield? Now that the gods have seen Jane establish the high bar of worthiness, will they find refuge on Earth with Asgard destroyed? We'll find out the answers to at least some of these questions in the next issue.
Thankfully, Aaron is not yet done with the title, as the "War of Realms" is far from over, and Thor will not be a spectator. After what should be a somber Mighty Thor #706, as Foster is laid to rest, a new Thor #1 issue will kick off the new start for Odinson back at the helm. See the cover below, and let us know what you thought of the Jane Foster-Thor saga in the comments section!