There must always be a Thor. For three years, a woman has held the hammer Mjolnir and the mantle of the Goddess of Thunder. She has fought the gods of Asgard, the nearly unquenchable rage of the War Thor, the gods of the Shi’ar, the Phoenix Force, and the All-Father himself. Now, she faces her final battle with the unstoppable Mangog.
I’ve talked in every review I’ve written for The Mighty Thor about the art and color. On its simplest page, it is striking. Russell Dauterman and Matt Wilson are a team to be reckoned with and absolutely deserve every ounce of praise they get. Page after page are gorgeously splashed with color, subverting the very concept of paneled comics. The most glorious moment comes right at the end where, surrounded by the fire of the sun, Thor makes her final choice.
I want to discuss that idea of choice for a moment. In 2015, when that unknown hand picked up Mjolnir and the Goddess of Thunder roared into existence, no one had any idea who held it. Now, thanks to a flashback, we know how it all happened: Jane Foster made a choice. Sick with cancer, she watched the Odinson drop his hammer, unworthy of its power. She stood with Heimdall, observing the universe turn and she made a choice. There must always be a Thor. After discovering that Mjolnir itself was killing her by curing her of the chemotherapy she needed to treat her cancer, she chose to wield the hammer again. She discovered that one more transformation into Thor would kill her, and yet, when duty called, she made the choice to grasp its handle once again.
As she tells the Mangog, a mortal made this choice. Jane Foster, of all the superheroes in the multiverse, faced the Mangog. Jane Foster, dying from the ravages of her own body, stood up when others ran. When faced with the temptation to quit, to lay down and die quietly, allowing the gods of Asgard, who had ignored, abandoned, and betrayed humanity time and time again, Jane Foster chose to fight to the end. Despite the pleadings of the gods, despite the grief of Odinson, despite the final, begrudging acceptance of the All-Father, Jane Foster’s time had finally come. It came and she chose it. She chose the way she would leave this universe and she would fight to the last to save what she believed in. Jane Foster is the hero we all wish we could be.
In her final moments, we realize that the vision of Valkyrian beauty that has been Thor for three years isn’t some disguise. That is Jane Foster’s true spirit. She is mighty. She is worthy. She will be greatly missed.