WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Mighty Thor #704 by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, Matthew Wilson and Joe Sabino, on sale now.
If you think superheroes and protagonists have a rough go of it in monthly superhero comics, they’ve got nothing on supporting characters. Over the decades, those who stand on the periphery have been made to suffer through some of the most traumatic, dangerous and deadly experiences, usually as a means to get to the hero. Whether it’s Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend being shoved in a fridge, Peter Parker’s girlfriend being thrown off a bridge or Wolverine’s many, many girlfriends killed in increasingly elaborate and heartbreaking ways, it just isn’t safe to be a supporting character -- particularly if you're female.
This week’s issue of The Mighty Thor revisited an old dangling plot thread that hasn’t been revised since 2008 in order to address a major absence in Jane Foster’s life since becoming Thor. Unfortunately for her, the only thing in more danger than a supporting character is a supporting character that hasn’t been seen in a decade, and this particular plot thread is tied up by a death in the family.
Jason Aaron has been helming the Thor titles for nearly six years, and a good chunk of that time has been spent with Jane Foster as Thor. Despite his lengthy run, though, he hasn’t referenced the fact that Jane has an ex-husband and young son that have been around for decades, going back to when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were still on the title -- until now. All the way back in 1967’s Thor #136, the God of Thunder brought Jane Foster with him to Asgard in order to introduce her to Odin and hopefully win his approval. Unfortunately, Jane failed to do so and was cast back to Earth without her memories of Thor and was assigned a nurse to Doctor Keith Kincaid, the man whom Odin based Doctor Donald Blake on.
Decades later, an aspiring screenwriter was researching the God of Thunder which led her to Jane Foster, happily married to Keith Kincaid and young mother to Jimmy Kincaid, who was a toddler at the time. Jane and Keith remained background characters in the Marvel Universe for sometime; Keith later became a consulting doctor for The Avengers and was used by Hela as a vessel for one of her demons to strike at Thor, but the characters slowly drifted more and more into the background and that particular plotline was never fully addressed.