How Jane Foster's Story In 'Thor: Love and Thunder' Differs From 'The Mighty Thor' Comic Run
A tale reimagined.
WARNING! SPOILERS for Thor: Love and Thunder.
Thor: Love and Thunder, the fourth entry in the MCU's Thor franchise, has hit theatres. Natalie Portman, who was absent in the third film, Thor: Ragnarok, returns in Love and Thunder as Jane Foster, now The Mighty Thor.
Alongside Love and Thunder's main plot of Thor and co rescuing a group of Asgardian children, the film adapts The Mighty Thor comic, which ran between 2015 and 2018. However, there are a few notable differences between the comic and Love and Thunder's version of Jane's story.
How Jane obtains Mjolnir
In Love and Thunder, Jane, left reeling after receiving a poor prognosis for her Stage 4 Cancer battle, heads to New Asgard, both as a last ditch attempt to find alternative treatment, and because she believes that Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, which was broken in Ragnarok, is calling to her. After arriving in New Asgard, Jane visits a display of Mjolnir's broken pieces, which rattle in her presence. Though not seen onscreen, Mjolnir then reassembles, marking Jane as worthy and granting her the powers of Thor. While wielding Mjolnir, Jane is immune from the effects of her Cancer. Unfortunately, the hammer also purges her body of 'toxins', including her Chemotherapy treatments.
In the comics, Mjolnir is not broken, however, Thor was forced to abandon it after being rendered unworthy, and gives up the name Thor, instead calling himself Odinson. From this point, the story is similar to the film, with the Cancer-stricken Jane lured to Mjolnir's location. She discovers that she is able to pick it up, becoming The Mighty Thor. Jane develops a different relationship with Mjolnir than the Odinson had, as she develops a connection with the Goddess Tempest Storm that dwells within the hammer.
The reveal of The Mighty Thor's Identity
In Love and Thunder, Thor learns Mighty Thor's true identity as Jane relatively early in the film. However, she keeps Thor in the dark regarding her Cancer, and Mjolnir's adverse affects on her health. It is only when Thor reaffirms his love for her that Jane reveals her diagnosis.
This seems to be a flip of the version of events in The Mighty Thor comic run, in which Odinson/Thor is aware of Jane's Cancer right from the beginning, but only becomes aware that she is Mighty Thor much later in the story. In fact, in his initial investigation as to who Mighty Thor could be, Odinson eliminates Jane as a suspect early on due to her illness. While Odinson is initially upset upon learning the truth, he and Jane soon reconcile.
The Death of The Mighty Thor
In the film, after Thor, Jane, and Valkyrie flee back to New Asgard from the Shadow Realm to seek medical help for Val after she has been stabbed by Gorr the God-Butcher, Jane also collapses. As Jane lay in a New Asgard hospital, Thor learns the full extent of Jane's illness, as well as the dire effect Mjolnir's use has had upon her health. Making Jane promise to stay behind and get well so the two of them may have a future together, Thor sets off alone to rescue the children of Asgard from Gorr, and prevent him from reaching the all-powerful Eternity, where they believe he will wish for the death of all Gods.
However, Jane senses Thor struggling during the battle, and unwilling to let him die, takes up Mjolnir once more and rushes to his aid, knowing that it will likely cost her her life. Jane uses Mjolnir to smash Gorr's God-killing Necrosword, but the hammer is damaged in the process, leaving her severely weakened, and they are unable to stop Gorr from making it to Eternity. However, when it is revealed that Gorr's actual wish is to restore the life of his young daughter, Love, Thor and the dying Jane promise Gorr, also dying due to the curse of the Necrosword, that Love will be cared for after his death. As the resurrected Love farewells her Father, Jane dies in Thor's arms. The film's final post-credits scene reveals that Jane has been admitted to Valhalla, the afterlife reserved for Asgard's great heroes.
A similar scenario plays out in The Mighty Thor comics, albeit with a different God-slaying villain. After learning that just one more transformation will most likely kill Jane, Odinson begs her to remain in Hospital and commit to her treatment, leaving guards at her door to keep Mjolnir away. However, after she learns that Asgard is under attack from a powerful God-killing monster known as the Mangog, Jane takes up Mjolnir, becoming Mighty Thor for a final time.
Mighty Thor defeats destroys Mjolnir, unleashing the powerful Goddess-Tempest Storm within on Mangog in order to defeat it. Unfortunately, the destruction of Mjolnir drastically hastens the decline of Jane's health. After sharing a last kiss with Odinson, she dies in his arms. However, unlike Love and Thunder, Jane does not remain dead. Though her soul is admitted into Valhalla, she does not feel ready to be there. Thankfully, Jane's sacrifice has finally earned her the respect of Odin, who works with his son, and the last gasp of the Tempest Storm, to revive Jane.
Now committed to winning the battle against her Cancer, Jane gifts a small sliver of the broken Mjolnir to Odinson. He can hold it, proving that he is worthy again, and Jane convinces him to retake the mantle of Thor. After beating her Cancer, Jane eventually returns as the newest Valkyrie.
While the MCU's Jane Foster is currently dead, the reveal of Valhalla leaves the door ajar for her return, either as a Valkyrie, or for a sweet reunion in the hopefully far-off future if Chris Hemsworth ever decides to leave the role of Thor behind.
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