The History of Jane Foster
By Tj Dietsch
As The Mighty Thor concludes, look back on the life and times of the hero!
In last week’s MIGHTY THOR #705, by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman, Jane Foster Thor fought alongside the Odinson for the final time.
The issue proved to be a beautiful send-off to a character that had long proved worthy of wielding Mjolnir’s power. Long before taking up the godly mantle, however, Foster made her first appearance in 1962’s JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #84.
One issue prior, in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83, physician Dr. Donald Blake stumbled upon an item that turned him into the mighty Thor. He used the power to fend of an alien invasion before returning home to New York City and his practice, where a nurse named Jane Foster also worked. Don secretly pined for her, but kept his feelings a secret…though he didn’t know that Jane had feelings for him as well.
When the Asgardian known as Thor started showing up in Blake’s stead, however, Foster was swept off her feet. Eventually, Jane and Don made their feelings for each other known and began dating—but Blake still kept his secret identity from her. Then, in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #124, he revealed his alter-ego to Foster in response to her worries about his constant disappearances and secrets.
Summoned back to Asgard by Odin, Blake planned on giving up his godhood in favor of a life on Earth alongside Jane, but they both ran into a few problems. He got caught up in a series of adventures with Hercules while she discovered that her new roommate, Tana Nile, was actually an alien sent to find Thor and request his help.
Finally, in the pages of THOR #136, Jane got to see Asgard for the first time. Having seen the error of his controlling ways, Odin gave Jane godlike powers so that she and Thor could wed. Unfortunately, Foster doubted her Odin-granted gift of flight and showed great fear in the face of a creature called the Unknown. However, before Odin could declare her unfit for godhood, Jane said that she didn’t want anything to do with it. Odin then returned her to Earth…with no memories of the Thor she once loved.
Foster went to medical school and earned her doctorate before finding herself in Thor’s orbit once again during the 1998 THOR series. There, she worked alongside a paramedic named Jake Olsen, who held the God of Thunder mantle at that point in time.
In THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #12, Foster revealed to the Odinson that she had breast cancer. And though he wanted to fight it with his Asgardian powers, she refused. Later, in issue #24, the Odinson asked Jane to represent Midgard at the Congress of Worlds, sending her to new heights on the galactic scale.
Everything changed for Jane Foster after the events of Original Sin, though, when Nick Fury whispered something into the Odinson’s ear that made him unworthy of Mjolnir. Soon after, readers started seeing a female Thor wielding the mighty hammer and eventually learned that Jane Foster had proven herself starting with 2014’s THOR.
After taking up the hammer, Jane Foster became the one and only hero to hold the title, starring in both THOR and then THE MIGHTY THOR. And in a storyline spanning years, Jane met her demise in worthy fashion as she fought, selflessly, to the very end.