WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Mighty Thor #704 by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman, on sale now.
There isn’t the title of an arc so literal in Marvel Comics right now like “The Death of the Mighty Thor.” Since she first grabbed Mjolnir four years ago, Jane Foster has been on a ticking clock. Each transformation into the Goddess of Thunder has shortened the lifespan of Jane, who has been battling cancer before she adopted the heroic mantle. Despite being actively aware of this since taking the hammer, she’s still been a part of the War of the Nine Realms, a defender of both Earth and Asgard, and an Avenger.
But her friends aren’t exactly so enthusiastic about the sacrifice that Jane’s been making. Thus, they recently staged an intervention in the hopes that she’ll give her god duties a break and attempt to overcome her cancer. With finality, Doctor Strange informs a bedridden Jane that if she becomes Thor one more time, she will absolutely die. Unfortunately, their interference comes at a rather inopportune time; the Mangog, a monstrous, god-killing beast, has torn through Asgardia, leaving only Odinson and Odin to defend it.
As Mighty Thor #704 opens, Jane remembers all the death that’s been a part of her life, which comes via three flashbacks. The first takes us back to her childhood, where it comes as no surprise that her first encounter with death was when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Jane remembers her mother’s final days and biggest regret that she had for her daughter. Bedridden and approaching her end, Jane’s mother tells the future Goddess to find a deity to believe in, “one who’s worthy of you, my beautiful daughter.” But throughout her life, Jane never did go to church or find a god because only turning to them during death felt hollow. She could never find a god to truly believe in.
Her second flashback concerns her father, the last living person she had in her family. Having passed passed away from a heart attack when she was still a nurse, Jane just simply visits his body in order to say goodbye. Of the three, it’s the final flashback that serves as the most important, and takes place years after she’s met and dated a pre-Odinson Thor. When the God of Thunder shows up to console Jane following her ex-husband Keith and son Jimmy’s death in a car crash, she slaps the Asgardian before he can offer his condolences. Enraged, she demands to know where they were for her to believe in before walking off and declaring that she’s not sure the gods believe in mankind.
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