One of the biggest bombshells from Comic-Con 2019 was that Natalie Portman is returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Jane Foster. And she’s going to play a new Thor in the franchise’s latest film Thor: Love and Thunder.
For non-comic readers like myself, this news probably made zero sense and came out of nowhere. Jane Foster was just a casual love interest in the Thor movies. She barely had any character development or even a story line outside her romance with Thor. Natalie Portman basically left MCU because her character just wasn’t going anywhere. The under utilisation of her character was one of the biggest disappointments of the franchise, which was already kinda shitty until Taika Waititi breathed it back to life with Thor Ragnarok. But if you look up her character in the comics it’s clear that Jane Foster has a much more intense and heroic story.
natalie portman: im so tired! sick! of my role in thor! i dont want this anymore! im out!
marvel: *gives mjölnir*
natalie portman: hi bitches pic.twitter.com/WaVYp9UOcJ
— gab: thor love & thunder (@tellemthor) 21 July 2019
Jane Foster was a medic in the comics, but they make her an astrophysicist in the films. It just makes a lot more sense for her to find the magical multi-dimensional God of Thunder if she’s literally studying the universe.
She’s a spunky astrophysicist that helps the god of Thunder and at some point is like, possessed by an infinity stone. Aside from that, they don’t give her many remarkable moments. She’s funny and sassy and cute in her wonder for the universe, but they don’t let her grow. She doesn’t really exist outside of the whole “when will my husband return from the war” dramatic window staring scene in one of the later Thor films.
Jane Foster Is An Absolute Badass In The Thor Comics
The comics Thor and The Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and Russel Dauterman totally revolutionised Jane’s character. Aaron reintroduced her after she faded away in the Marvel universe as battling cancer – but not in a way that was an easy write-off. Instead, this spurs her into some major character growth, and she literally becomes the new Thor when our OG Thor loses his worthiness and hammer. Transforming into Thor would make her cancer treatment null, and thus she would constantly be battling between saving the world and also staying alive.
Cancer battler Jane Foster also faces more than the already huge responsibility of being the new Thor – she also would then have to challenge the patriarchy of Asgard.
How can you not love her, TBH.
You don’t have to read the comics to see what a sausage party that kingdom was – Odin was the king, he had a powerful daughter whom he feared and imprisoned, his wife was sweet but underestimated AF, and he was an asshole about Thor liking Jane in the first movie. Leadership lies in the male line, and considering Jane also comes from mortal roots, it’s pretty safe to say she would have trouble in gaining the acceptance and approval of the ten realms. Granted, Asgard is kinda dead and now everyone is chilling on Earth, so it’s possible that element of her character struggles may be downplayed. However, I do think it’s something they can’t really ignore given the first Thor movie.
And then, on top of all that, there’s her own emotional and spiritual struggles. Jane is a scientist really, and watching her have to come to terms with magic and godly power of her own will lead to a lot of challenges and growth.
New Thor Haters, Please Piss Off
Of course, there’s always going to be some losers crawling out of their basements and throwing doritos and mountain dew around as they have a tantrum about Lady Thor. You know the arguments: PC is ruining comics, we’re sacrificing good story telling for feminism, and how feminism is ruining fantasy, blah blah blah. TBH I really feel like this isn’t even worth engaging in that debate. I reckon this quote from Aaron is a pretty good explanation about why this isn’t just about having a female hero.
“This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe, but it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.” – Jason Aaro, one of the writers of the Thor comics.
See, Thor isn’t just a person. It’s a title. It’s conditional of your values and worthiness. If Thor can lose his hammer, then I don’t see why another can’t gain it.
Image Sources: Marvel Cinematic Universe, GIPHY, Pexels, Twitter: @tellemthor, Instagram: @natalieportman.