In 2007, when J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel revived Thor and reunited with him with Doctor Donald Blake alter-ego, it wasn’t long before Blake sought out Jane Foster. Jane revealed to Blake that when she heard rumbling that Thor had returned from the dead following Ragnarok, she asked her husband for a divorce and was currently in a custody battle for their which she believed he would win. That was the last time anyone made any reference to Keith or Jimmy Kincaid, until this week, when Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman revisited the characters, with tragic results.
The Mighty Thor #704 splits its time between the present day fight between the forces of Asgardia and The Mangog in the present day and flashbacks to the most traumatic days in Jane Foster’s life. As a child, she watched her mother slowly die of cancer, as a young adult her father passed away from complications with his heart and not too long ago, her ex-husband and son died in a car accident. In the flashback, Jane blames Thor, Sif, Odin, Hercules and any of the other gods who routinely meddle in Earth’s affairs and in particular her life, for not being there to save them. According to Jane, Keith fell asleep at the wheel with Jimmy in the backseat and the car went through the guardrail, with no survivors.
Though she blames Thor in the abstract, there’s also the sense that she blames herself; maybe if she didn’t leave them to chase the fantasy of Thor, Keith wouldn’t have fallen asleep at the wheel and her son would still be alive. The death of the Kincaids is also reminiscent of the death of Donna Troy’s ex-husband and son’s deaths, who also died in a car crash to show that sometimes bad things happen to ordinary people and that the gods aren’t always there to inverne.
With the imminent conclusion of Jane Foster’s story, it was important to revisit her forgotten family. And while it may seem dismissive to say, “They died off-panel, years ago,” it also speaks to the kind of god Jane strove to be; someone who was there for the people that needed her, whether they knew it or not.
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