Warning: SPOILERS for War of The Realms #6
The epic War of The Realms has ended, thanks to Thor, but just as many fans will want to know how the final issue explains how Jane Foster has become the Marvel Universe's new Valkyrie. But the mysteries of her new transformation are still being revealed...
Jane Foster had always been a secondary character in the Thor comics, best-known as a love interest to keep Thor grounded. But over the last few years, writer Jason Aaron has reinvented Jane and transformed her into one of Marvel’s most complex characters. Aaron made Jane the unlikely inheritor of Mjolnir, the star of his Mighty Thor run. At the heart of Jane’s worthiness was the fact that she believed the Realms would always need a Thor, even to the point of self-sacrifice. Jane had been diagnosed with potentially terminal cancer, and every time she picked up Mjolnir and transformed into the female Thor, the effect reversed her chemotherapy. And yet she persisted, refusing to stand by and watch as the Realms plunged into chaos.
In the end, Jane sacrificed Mjolnir itself in order to defeat the Mangog, and her cancer went into remission when she stopped using the enchanted hammer. Aaron’s War of the Realms #6 neatly wraps up Jane’s time as Thor, and sets her up as the MCU’s new Valkyrie. She retrieves the hammer of the War Thor – which originated from Marvel’s Ultimate Universe – and transformed into Thor one last time, in order to help in the final battle against Malekith.
But this latest transformation is unstable, simply because the Mangog had damaged the hammer of the War Thor and almost destroyed it. In the end, Jane tossed it one last time in a devastating blow against Laufey. But instead of being destroyed, the shards of the War Thor’s hammer transform into something else, some sort of gauntlet, turning Jane Foster into something new.
Marvel’s already teased that Jane will be the first of the new Valkyrior. In the comics, the Valkyrior were created by Odin to take the souls of warriors who perished in battle to Valhalla. Their powers were shaped by this role, and they rode winged steeds that could move between the Realms without need of the Bifrost. Odin led them to battle in War of the Realms #2, and they were slain by Malekith and his forces. If Jane Foster is the first of the new Valkyrior, though, they’re presumably servants of the new All-Father Thor, and their powers and indeed their role in Marvel’s cosmic mythology may be subtly different.
The key may well lie in the fact that Jane Foster’s Valkyrie was granted her powers by the hammer of the War Thor. This implies that her new abilities will be related to Thor’s, perhaps with a degree of mastery of lightning and storms. Further, though, it suggests that Jane may be driven by a bloodlust greater than the average Asgardian’s. The hammer of the War Thor drove Volstagg into constant berserker rages, boosting his adrenaline and testosterone.
It will be fascinating to see how Jane is affected by being bonded by such an object. It could well be that these new Valkyrior aren’t the Choosers of the Slain, focused on ferrying the dead to safety; instead, they could be All-Father Thor’s greatest and most formidable warriors.
War of The Realms #6 is available now from Marvel Comics.