A beautiful piece of fan art depicts a perfect look of Jane Foster as the Mighty Thor, set to appear in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. It comes in the wake of the surprise announcement of Natalie Portman’s return to the MCU to take up the mantle of the Goddess of Thunder now that the Odinson has abdicated the responsibilities of his birth.
Jane Foster becoming Thor is a development taken directly from the comics. Thor lost the ability to wield Mjolnir as a result of something Nick Fury whispered to him (which was not revealed for nearly three years) during the Original Sin story arc in 2014 where the Avengers investigate the murder of Uatu the Watcher. The hammer chose Jane as its new wielder, allowing her to temporarily overcome her weakening from breast cancer when she transformed into her powered state of the Mighty Thor, keeping her powers a secret and living a double life as ambassador and hero. She possessed an intrinsic understanding of wielding Mjolnir after spending so many years watching Thor use it, and also possessed the unique capability to control the hammer while it was in flight, altering its speed and direction, making it much harder to dodge and could even spin it around enemies to trap them. However, every time she tapped the weapon’s power it accelerated her cancer, as the transformation purged the drugs treating the illness since they were effectively poison, but left the cancer itself as it was a part of her, and she ultimately sacrificed herself to save Asgardia when Mangog attempted to destroy it.
The art, courtesy ApexForm, is a beautifully rendered photoreal depiction of Mighty Thor as seen in the comics, minus a vertical split down her abdomen that fastened in the middle, and crucially lacking the helmet and visor that shielded Jane’s identity. The breastplate, neck shield and greaves are etched with intricate designs, while the power of storms flows through her in lightning crackling down her arms and her eyes gleaming azure with elemental might. Mjolnir’s inscription is its altered state of promising power “if she be worthy,” and most significantly, it depicts Jane as being more powerful and muscular than Portman, matching Jane’s hero depiction in the comics that better externally exemplifies the superhuman strength she will attain via wielding the hammer.
Of course, the main question raised is exactly how Jane is to attain the hammer in the first place. Mjolnir was destroyed by Hela in Thor: Ragnarok and its shattered remnants were subsequently used to forge Thor’s ax Stormbreaker, while the duplicate hammer wielded by Thor and Steve Rogers in Avengers: Endgame was borrowed from the past and had to be returned to restore the timeline. With Thanos’ massacre of the dwarves of Nidavellir, constructing any weapon the equal of Mjolnir would be a challenge without superhuman help.
It had long been assumed that Natalie Portman was done with the MCU due to the increasingly jarring pieces of dialogue inserted to justify Jane’s absence from stories in which she would be expected to appear, so her return in such a significant role is a welcome surprise. Exactly how she will be depicted in her superhero guise remains to be seen, but if her appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder is anything like what we see here, then fans will be more than satisfied.
Next: Thor: Love And Thunder: 5 Elements They Can Keep From The Comics (& 5 They’ll Have To Change)