The following contains minor spoilers for Doctor Strange: Damnation #3 by Nick Spencer, Donny Cates, Szymon Kudranski and The Mighty Thor #705 by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman and Matt Wilson.
Marvel Comics creators love dropping pop culture references in their work wherever they can, be that a famous quote or background gag you may not notice until it’s on Twitter or Tumblr a week later. Usually, these are planned, but last Wednesday featured a pair of Thor moments that when taken together combine for a fun Game of Thrones reference, even if they did do so by coincidence.
Jane Foster is going through a lot right now. As the Mighty Thor, she’s taking control of her life in its last days to fight the villainous Mangog, a powerful god-killing creature that’s currently beating down on Odinson and Odin. And in Doctor Strange’s Damnation event — which takes place canonically before her final fight with the Mangog — she’s been turned into a Ghost Rider after Mephisto showed up in the recently restored Las Vegas.
It’s through both of those events that she manages to channel her inner Daenerys Targaryen of Game of Thrones fame by bringing in some fire and blood for the last few times we’ll be seeing her swing Mjolnir.
Though she’s not quite herself, the hellish adventure of Damnation hasn’t seen Thor lose a step in terms of power; the laws of her hammer Mjolnir still work, where no one but the worthy can pick it up, which Wong’s team of Midnight Sons learn painfully when she uses it to pin down Blade the Vampire Hunter. She’s also kept her ability to summon thunder and make it rain, but with a gross little twist thanks to being “upgraded” into a Spirit of Vengeance. With a powerful, demonic cry of “Aveeengers…Asssemmmble!” thunder cracks and it begins to rain… blood. As in, she calls blood from the sky instead of water.
But the blood rain has nothing on what she brings with the fire.
When The Mighty Thor #705 opens, Jane is in a painful, bloody fight with the Mangog as Asgardia is hurtling towards the sun. As both Odinson and Odin work on getting Freya and the other Asgardians to safety, the beast pins Thor to the ground and taunts her for her lack of faith in the gods, despite being one herself. But to Jane, this is the perfect time for her to be a god; she’s hated them her whole life, but has grown to love them, and she would literally die for them. Just to make her point clear, she sends Mangog into the burning sun not once, but twice. The first time doesn’t take, but she succeeds on the second attempt, tying the monster to Mjolnir with the help of powerful Asgardian chains. And among the burning wreckage of Asgardia in front of the sun, a bloody Jane Foster loses her Thor form… and dies.
Though the reference to Game of Thrones was likely unintentional, it does present her appearances in Damnation and her solo book in a new light. When Daenerys speaks of “fire and blood,” she’s talking about what she’ll do back to take what’s hers, and the same can be said of Jane as well. The whole reason her soul is taken by Mephisto in Damnation is that her sin is essentially a slow form of suicide — each time she becomes Thor, her body is further ravaged by cancer. But the power is too addictive for her, to the point that Mjolnir will just show up without her command.
Obviously Jane will have her soul returned to her when Damnation ends, but Thor #705 shows Jane actually taking her soul back. She knew it was never going to be Thor to defeat the beast. It was going to take Jane Foster to end him, the woman who learned to believe in herself when the gods of the world were unworthy of her beliefs.
Drenched in blood and standing in fire, in her final hours, Jane Foster took back what was hers.
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