At long last, the death of Marvel's THOR has finally come. Way back in 2014, writer Jason Aaron introduced a brand new Thor - making headlines at first for making Thor a woman this time. It was hardly the first time Mjolnir had been wielded by someone other than the Odinson, but Aaron spun a clever tale, carefully holding back on the female Thor's true identity for almost a year. Finally, he revealed that the new Thor was none other than Jane Foster, the Odinson's classic love interest.
That revelation always meant Thor's story had a time-limit imposed on it, and Marvel made no secret of Jane's impending death. Jane Foster's "worthiness" took the form of becoming Thor before dying of terminal cancer, sacrifice herself because she knew the world needed a god of thunder. Tragically, every time she transformed, the hammer's magic negated the effect of her chemotherapy. Being a hero was literally killing her, but she continued to choose that path.
Her fate has always been inevitable, and in Thor #705 Jane Foster's story has finally come to an end.
The Death of the Mighty Thor
It's certainly fitting that while Jane's identity is now known by Earth's great and good, the Asgardians are ignorant of it. The scientists and sorcerers of Earth have examined Jane's body, and came to a disturbing diagnosis: that she had to stop transforming into Thor before it killed her. Doctor Strange cautioned that her body couldn't survive even one more transformation... and then the Mangog attacked Asgard, knocking the shining city out of orbit and sending it plummeting towards the Sun.
Although most of the Asgardians were evacuated, three stood battling against the ferocious beast; Odin, Lady Freyja, and Thor Odinson. And even the combined might of these three would not be enough. The Hammer came for Jane, and she sensed the need. She took up Mjolnir one last time.
Thor #705 is a fitting end to Jane Foster's story. It's not possible to out-fight the Mangog, who was created to wreak vengeance upon the gods. Instead, Jane chooses to restrain the creature in a chain, which she fastens to Mjolnir. Then, bringing a final fateful end to the battle, she flings Mjolnir into the heart of the Sun itself - dragging the Mangog with it.
Thor must watch in horror as his enchanted hammer is destroyed, before realizing the enormity of what Jane has done: without Mjolnir in her hand, the female Thor will revert to human form once again. To defeat the gods, Jane destroyed her only chance at life.
The death of Jane Foster is a beautiful and poignant sacrifice; it's also, in thematic terms, a death that turns the typical story upside-down. The Judaeo-Christian tradition stresses the sacrificial nature of God and his Son, and the Thor franchise has often toyed with a similar concept of "worthiness," even on the big screen. In both Thor and Thor: The Dark World, it is Thor's willingness to sacrifice himself that makes him worthy.
This time round, though, the Messianic story has been neatly inverted. It is the human who must give her life to save the gods; it is the capricious gods who must go on to prove themselves worthy of Jane Foster's sacrifice.
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