Lady Thor is officially gone with issue 705 that came out last week, written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Russell Dauterman. It was the long-awaited answer to the question that was getting strung along a little too far for several issues: How long can a human woman, who happens to have metastatic cancer, really last when she takes up the call of Mjolnir that negates her chemotherapy treatments?
The better question should be: Why the hell didn’t Marvel think of this before?
For anyone that’s kept up with the Mighty Thor comics since Odinson was dethroned from his pedestal and replaced by the female mortal Jane Foster (which was actually kept secret for longer than I expected it to be) you’re like me and have been faced with the long-winded gripes of fanboys that went with it: “Those Damn SWJs! A female Thor, WTF! Why you gotta make Thor a woman, man?! We got too many gender-bending, queer-loving, racially ambiguous characters! Stop changing my original heroes!”
But see, this is where my beef lies with that whole argument: She’s a legacy character. Jane is NOT replacing Odinson, she is her own hero with her own drive and own motivations. Your perfect norse mythology god is still there, still himself, just stepping out of the limelight to deal with issues of his own so another character can fill his shoes and breathe life into the Asgardian comics (which, let’s admit: If you’ve been a comic fan as long as I have, it really needed it).
Jason Aaron, in a stroke of pure brilliance, gave Odinson the first REAL intangible challenge he’s faced in YEARS – a psychological issue that broke his connection with Mjolnir. When Nick Fury, under the guidance of The Watcher, busted out that one liner “Gorr was right” – Odinson’s inner voice agreed with him. He felt unworthy and Mjolnir responded to that and off it went, into Jane’s hands.
Jason Aaron heard the uproar and used it to his advantage: He made Odin the voice of those angsty fanboys, having Asgardia outlaw “Fake Thor” and gave voice in the comics about how this mystery woman wasn’t WORTHY, she was merely a “hammer thief.” (But seriously: We’ve had a tree frog as Thor, a freaking space horse as Thor – but Thor suddenly having a vagina is an issue? Get over yourselves.)
Aaron didn’t fix everything, but he gave these old characters something new to fight over and also highlight what’s been wrong with the Thor comics for years. If you’ve read them long enough – any comic with the original hero long enough – they go through this rinse/wash/repeat cycle every so often, facing the same dilemmas and irritatingly responding yet again in the same manner. Any comic worth its weight will adapt its setting and topic to whatever happens to be going on in the time it’s being published but as a seasoned fan, I see the same stuff just told through different storytellers. And let me tell you, it gets old. I’ve seen Odinson mad, I’ve seen him fight gods and monsters, I’ve seen him try and redeem his brother, fight with the Avengers, etc etc. But I’ve never seen him have to come to terms with his short fallings, not like Aaron has done. That was new with Jane and it was damn exciting.
Jane, being mortal, finally revealing her secret, wasn’t without its animosity. Odinson was still in denial of what had happened to him and essentially did Jane dirty – calling her a thief, basically admitting to her he whored around when she found out she had cancer and they were together (Like damn, son, that’s harsh!) – and it showed Odinson hated himself, not Jane. It made Jane stronger than a god and that is some deep stuff. It reminded you that even mere mortals can shape the world – like a real life Hawking, Einstein or Turing.
In 705, Jane paid the ultimate price. Makelith (once again, Aaron making boring characters from the Thor franchise actually interesting for the first time in years) had unleashed Magog on Asgard and the gods were getting their asses handed to them, literally.
Jane – unloved, hated, mortal Jane – saved them all and killed herself in the process. If that’s not a humbling move, I don’t know what is. Odinson really understood the importance of her sacrifice and I’m hoping it motivates him for several years to come. I also feel Freya will be inspired to live by Jane’s example. Odin is and always will be the ultimate ego tripper, but the others should realize that with Jane’s sacrifice they have a chance to change for the better.
And let’s not forget that the Dark Council of Worlds is still at large and burning down half the nine realms while all this is going down. Y’all got some cleaning up to do on isle seven, Thor franchise. (Aaron really handed this to you on a silver platter, don’t muck it up!)
I’ll say this one more time: You’ll be missed Jane. You were probably one of the best iterations of Thor I’ve ever read and that’s saying something. Aaron is moving onto Avengers and here’s to hoping he does as good of a job with that title as he did with Mighty Thor. I tip my hat to you!
What did you think of the exit of Might Thor?