Jane Foster (comics)

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Jane Foster
Jane Foster.jpg
Jane Foster.
Art by Marko Djurdjevic.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance As Jane Foster
Journey into Mystery #84 (Sept 1962)
As Thor
Thor, Vol. 4 #1 (Oct. 2014)
Created by Stan Lee
Larry Lieber
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Species Human
Place of origin Earth
Team affiliations Secret Avengers (Civil War)
Avengers
Notable aliases Thor
Abilities

Jane Foster is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics, usually as a supporting character of the superhero Thor. Created by writers Stan Lee and Larry Lieber, and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in Journey into Mystery #84 (September 1962). For many years, Foster was a nurse employed by Dr. Donald Blake, Thor's first mortal host, before becoming a doctor herself. In 2015, Foster was revealed to be deemed worthy to wield Thor's hammer Mjolnir when the former is no longer able, becoming the new Thor and joining the Avengers.

Jane Foster has also appeared in various media adaptations of Thor, including the 2011 feature film Thor, and its 2013 sequel Thor: The Dark World, in which she is portrayed by Natalie Portman.

Publication history[edit]

Jane Foster first appeared in Journey into Mystery #84 (Sept. 1962), and was created by plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber and penciler Jack Kirby. Named "Jane Nelson" in her first two appearances, she went on to appear as the love interest of Dr. Donald Blake, the secret identity of the Norse god superhero Thor, in nearly every issue through #136 (Jan. 1967) of the title, by then renamed Thor.[1]

In October 2014, a fourth volume of Thor by Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman debuted that featured a female character in the role of Thor after the classic hero is no longer able to wield Mjolnir. Aaron stated that "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."[2] In March 2015, Marvel announced that this Thor will join the Avengers in All-New All-Different Avengers FCBD (May 2015), which takes place in the aftermath of the "Secret Wars" storyline.[3] In Thor vol. 4 #8 (May 2015), the identity of the female was revealed to be Jane Foster. Aaron said, "It grew out of the idea of the previous Thor becoming unworthy, which was something I was always building toward. I liked the idea of dealing with his worthiness and the idea of what it means for a god to be worthy in the Marvel universe. You know, the god of thunder waking up every morning and looking at the hammer and not knowing if he’s gonna be worthy to lift it. Then, of course, one day he should wake up and not be able to lift it. That opened the door for someone else to pick up the hammer and carry it around in his place. Really, the only character that was discussed was Jane."[4] Jane Foster will continue starring as Thor in a new ongoing after Secret Wars, The Mighty Thor volume 5.[5]

Fictional character history[edit]

Early history[edit]

Jane Nelson, known by her more common name of Jane Foster, was a nurse for Dr. Donald Blake, eventually developing feelings for him and Thor, not knowing that they were one and the same. The love triangle went on for a while until Thor revealed his secret identity to Foster, which caused Odin to punish him though he was forgiven after saving Asgard, and in return Thor even took her to Asgard with him.[6] There, Foster was briefly granted immortality and the power of gods, until she failed to pass the tests of courage set forth by Odin when she showed fear battling the monstrous Unknown. Odin then strips Foster of her new powers and returns her to Earth, with no memory of Thor or her time in Asgard, where she meets her new love Dr. Keith Kincaid, who resembles Blake. Meanwhile in Asgard Odin reunites Thor with his childhood love, Sif.[7]

Foster and Thor remain separated for some time until Thor learns that Foster had been manipulated into attempting suicide by an entity known as "Fear" and rushes to her hospital bedside.[8] Sif, seeing that Thor still has feelings for Foster, chooses to save Foster's life by merging their life-forces together.[9] Foster is soon separated from Sif and is exiled to a pocket dimension only accessible through the Possessor's runestaff.[10] Thor and Sif eventually rescue Foster and return her to Earth. Upon her return Foster marries her mortal love, Dr. Keith Kincaid.[11] Foster and her husband are later slain by a merging of old Thor enemies. Specifically 'Thug Thatcher' a mob boss Thor put away [12] and 'Zaniac', a multi-being entity that enjoys murdering women.[13] Zaniac takes over 'Thug' and focuses on the one woman he hates. Thor arrives too late to save Foster. Fortunately he is followed by 'Justice Peace', a policeman from the future where Zaniac had caused mass destruction. Thor and Peace manage a one hour jump back in time, saving Foster and her husband. Zaniac is destroyed and Thug dies of fright.[14]

Physician[edit]

Foster appears again in the second Thor volume; now a doctor herself, she is in a position of authority over several New York paramedics, including Jake Olsen. Unbeknownst to her, Jake and Thor have become merged, which creates much conflict. In one instance, Olsen ignores medical orders and utilizes Thor's (Blake's) knowledge to perform a complicated procedure on a critically ill man.[15]

Later, Foster becomes involved in a police case against Olsen, who is accused of stealing drugs.[16] She also examines Jack Monroe, who stated that he sought her out due to her familiarity with superhuman patients. She later informed Monroe that he was dying due to the effects of the Super-Soldier Serum he had ingested as a youth.[17]

During the superhero Civil War, Foster takes Captain America's side against the registration act and joins his resistance group, the Secret Avengers. She operates from SHIELD safe-house number 23. She is also seen in issue 4, helping to assist a beaten Spider-Man.

Return[edit]

After hearing rumors of the return of Dr. Donald Blake and Thor, Foster divorces her husband and subsequently loses custody of her child. Blake soon visits Foster at her work in a New York City hospital in search of Sif, whose spirit Blake mistakenly thought had been reborn in Foster since their spirits had been merged once before.[18] Foster and Blake go on a date after an initially turbulent reuniting.[19][20] Foster discovers that Sif's spirit had actually been reborn in the body of a dying elderly cancer patient that was under her care. She alerts Blake and Thor manages to restore Sif just before the patient dies.[21][22] Foster then travels to Broxton, Oklahoma, the site of the resurrected Asgard,[23] and opens a medical practice with Donald Blake.[24]

Cancer and becoming Thor[edit]

Jane Foster as Thor on the cover of Thor vol. 4, #1 (October 2014). Art by Russell Dauterman and Frank Martin.

Foster is later diagnosed with breast cancer,[25] and accepts an invitation from Thor to represent Midgard in the Congress of the Worlds on Asgard while she undergoes therapy but refuses all magical treatments.[26] During the Original Sin storyline, Nick Fury whispers an unrevealed secret to Thor that causes him to lose the ability to wield Mjolnir.[27] Soon afterwards an unidentified woman picks up the hammer, taking possession of Thor's power, and fights Malekith the Accursed, Dario Agger (the new Minotaur), and the Absorbing Man. Although Thor initially attempts to reclaim the hammer,[28] he – referring to himself as 'Odinson' – relinquishes the name and role of Thor after witnessing her wield its power.[29] Odinson suspects Foster might be one of the possible identities of the mysterious female who has replaced him as Thor,[29] but he soon dismisses her as a candidate due to her weakened condition from chemotherapy.[30]

Angered that someone else is wielding Mjolnir, Odin sends the Destroyer after the new Thor but Odinson and Freyja assemble an army of female superheroes to aid her.[31] When the battle is over, Odinson asks Thor to reveal her face, but is interrupted by S.H.I.E.L.D agent Roz Solomon, another person Odinson suspected to be Thor. Unbeknownst to Odinson, Mjolnir has given Foster the strength to fight as Thor while it is in her possession.[32]

Secret Wars[edit]

During the Secret Wars storyline, Foster was a participant in the final battle between Earth-616 and Earth-1610 during its collision during the incursion event. In the end, she is one of the few survivors past the end of the entire Marvel Universe, boarding Reed Richards's "life raft."[33] She and the other survivors are awakened 8 years later, having been trapped in suspended animation.[34]

Powers and abilities[edit]

When wielding Mjolnir, Foster gains all the powers of Thor, including superhuman strength, enhanced durability, flight, speed, and control over lightning. Foster, however, has demonstrated better control over Mjolnir than her predecessor, such as changing its trajectory and velocity in mid-throw, and spinning it around her enemies to trap them.[29] Odinson believes this is because Mjolnir favors her, as she is more worthy of it.[35]

Other versions[edit]

Marvel 1985[edit]

In the 6th and final issue of Marvel 1985 (2008), Jane Foster is the attending nurse present when Jerry Goodman wakes from his coma. He asks her on a date, and she accepts. Jerry has had a crush on Jane since reading Thor comics as a child.[36]

Thor The Mighty Avenger[edit]

In this all ages "non-continuity" comic published in 2010 and 2011, Jane Foster is the newly promoted head of the department of Nordic Antiquities at the Bergen War Memorial Museum in Bergen, Oklahoma. She first encounters Thor when he attempts to smash one of the museum's exhibit cases (which is later revealed to contain an urn inside which Thor's hammer is concealed). Over the course of the title's eight issues Jane and Thor (who has been exiled from Asgard by Odin and is staying at Jane's apartment) become romantically involved and have a variety of adventures together.

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

Jane was briefly seen in the Ultimate universe during the first series of Ultimates, where she was one of the few people that was convinced Thor really was the thunder god. She was also described as a nurse from San Francisco.[37] In recent events, it seems she and Thor live in a flat together.[38]

What if[edit]

In What If? #10 (August 1978) titled "What If Jane Foster Had Found the Hammer of Thor", Jane was also briefly transformed into a goddess and called herself Thordis. She even used those powers to rescue Donald Blake (Thor's powerless alter-ego) from danger. Upon saving Asgard from Ragnarok, Odin forces her to relinquish the hammer to Donald Blake, who then transforms back to Thor. This resulted in Jane losing her powers, but she was allowed to remain on Asgard and keep her goddess status since she later falls in love with and marries Thor.[39]

In What If? #25 (February 1980), titled "What If Thor Fought Odin over Jane Foster" (also known as "What If Thor Fought the Asgardian Gods"), Thor is banished from Asgard along with Jane when Thor refused to accept Odin's judgment following Jane's failure to ascend to godhood. Thor subsequently leads the Avengers against the forces of Asgard, leaving Iron Man and Loki (who once again attempted to seize rulership of Asgard during the conflict) dead and forcing Thor himself into self-imposed banishment for almost destroying Asgard in his selfishness.

Secret Wars[edit]

In the Secret Wars: Thors miniseries, after various alternate Earths are merged into one, the various alternate Thors are recruited to police the resulting zones. During their activities, they find themselves investigating the strange deaths of at least six women from different zones, all killed in such a manner as to make identification impossible. With his last act, after being murdered by an unknown assailant, Beta Ray Bill identifies the victims as Jane Foster.

In other media[edit]

Natalie Portman as Jane Foster as depicted in the film Thor.

Television[edit]

  • Jane Foster is a supporting character in "The Mighty Thor" segment of The Marvel Super Heroes voiced by Peg Dixon.
  • Jane Foster appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, voiced by Kari Wahlgren. She made her series debut appearing in "Thor The Mighty". In this version, she is not a nurse, but a paramedic. She appears to have a heroic personality as Thor noted, and this is why he felt so amazed by her.

Film[edit]

Video games[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jane Foster at the Grand Comics Database
  2. ^ "Marvel Proudly Presents Thor". Marvel Comics. July 15, 2014. Archived from the original on November 26, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ Arrant, Chris (May 24, 2015). "MARVEL Begins To Unveil ALL-NEW ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS". Newsarama. Retrieved March 24, 2015. 
  4. ^ Riesman, Abraham (May 12, 2015). "We Know the New Female Thor’s Secret Identity!". New York. Retrieved May 13, 2015. 
  5. ^ http://io9.com/marvel-just-revealed-its-entire-all-new-all-different-1714899675
  6. ^ Journey into Mystery vol. 1, #125 (February 1966)
  7. ^ Thor vol. 1, #136 (January 1967)
  8. ^ Thor vol. 1, #231 (January 1975)
  9. ^ Thor vol. 1, #236 (June 1975)
  10. ^ Thor vol. 1, #249 (July 1976)
  11. ^ Thor vol. 1, #334–336 (August–October 1983)
  12. ^ "Journey Into Mystery" # vol 1 #89 (Feb. 1963)
  13. ^ "Thor" Vol. 1 #319 (May 1982)
  14. ^ "Thor" vol 1 #372 (October 1986)
  15. ^ Thor vol. 2, #5 (November 1998)
  16. ^ Thor vol. 2, #15–16 (September–October 1999)
  17. ^ Captain America vol. 5, #7
  18. ^ Thor vol. 3, #8
  19. ^ J. Michael Straczynski (w), Olivier Coipel, Mark Morales (p), Thor vol. 3, #11 (October 29, 2008), New York, NY: Marvel Comics
  20. ^ "Preview: Thor vol. 3 #11". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved September 28, 2010. 
  21. ^ J. Michael Straczynski (w), Marko Djurdjevic (p), Thor #602 (June 24, 2009), New York, NY: Marvel Comics
  22. ^ Nevett, Chad (June 23, 2009). "Review: Thor #602". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved September 28, 2010. 
  23. ^ Thor #606
  24. ^ Thor #615
  25. ^ Thor: God of Thunder #12
  26. ^ Thor: God of Thunder #24
  27. ^ Aaron, Jason (w), Deodato (a). Original Sin 7 (August 2014)
  28. ^ Thor vol.4 #4
  29. ^ a b c Thor vol. 4 #5
  30. ^ Thor vol. 4 #6
  31. ^ Thor vol. 4 #7
  32. ^ Thor vol. 4 #8
  33. ^ Secret Wars #1
  34. ^ Secret Wars #3
  35. ^ Thor vol. 4 #4
  36. ^ Marvel 1985 #6
  37. ^ Ultimates 2 #3
  38. ^ Avengers vs New Ultimates #3
  39. ^ Beard, Jim (September 23, 2010). "Essential Thor: Jane Foster". Marvel.com. Retrieved September 30, 2010. 
  40. ^ "Natalie Portman Joins 'Thor' Cast, Chris Hemsworth Confirmed As Lead". MTV Splash Page. 2009-07-13. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  41. ^ Kaufman, Amy and Boucher, Geoff (2010-11-19). "Natalie Portman says ‘Thor’ role hammers away at ‘cute’ stereotypes". LA Times. Retrieved 2010-11-19. 
  42. ^ "Marvel's The Avengers". Boxoffice (magazine). 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  43. ^ Flemming, Mike (2011-10-13). "TOLDJA! Patty Jenkins Confirmed As 'Thor 2' Director". Deadline.com. Archived from the original on 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2011-10-13. 
  44. ^ Lee, Esther (December 3, 2013). "Natalie Portman: Chris Hemsworth's Wife Elsa Pataky Was My Stand-In For Kissing Scene in Thor: The Dark World". US Weekly. Archived from the original on December 4, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]