Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for War of The Realms #2
The MCU version of Jane Foster in Marvel's Thor movies may not have any story left to tell, but in the comics her star is on the rise. In fact, she's receiving more than just an Asgardian promotion... she's getting her very own comic series, as Marvel's brand new VALKYRIE.
That news won't be a surprise to anyone who has been following Jane's journey through the recent Marvel Universe. Having served as the greatest Thor in millennia, Jane died to save Asgard, proving her worth to any god that mattered. Now that the title has returned to Odin's son, Jane is left without a cosmic calling. But thanks to the new Valkyrie series coming from writers Jason Aaron and Al Ewing, Jane Foster's superhero legacy will continue.
The new Valkyrie series will be spinning out of the events of Marvel's ongoing War of The Realms comic event, bringing every horror of the other nine realms to Earth. In the first issues alone, Loki was eaten by his father, and the legendary warriors of Asgard's Valkyrie were slain. And as Brunnhilde, the most famous of Marvel's Valkyrie fell in the last pages of War of The Realms #2, fans were left to wonder if the winged women would ever return. Without them, no dead souls could be ferried to the Asgardian afterlife of Valhalla. As writer Al Ewing explains to Marvel.com, that's exactly where Jane Foster comes in:
At the end of WAR OF THE REALMS #2, the Valkyries are dead. And Valhalla is gone. Because without at least one warrior taking on the role and the name of Valkyrie, there can be no Valhalla. And, obviously, the fact that we have a new VALKYRIE comic coming out means that someone does take up that mantle... and it's someone a lot of readers have been waiting to see in action again -- Jane Foster!
The series itself will enjoy interior artwork from Cafu, but for now take a look at the new Valkyrie on the first issue cover by Mahmud Asrar and Matthew Wilson below:
Ewing goes on to explain why this task is perfect for a warrior like Jane Foster, while also hinting that the lore surrounding the Valkyrie may be expanded once Jane Foster helps to rewrite it, as well:
It's not like the old Valkyrie. Brunhilde is available for consultation occasionally, but she no longer belongs to the world of the living -- so Jane's mostly on her own... There's a line in VALKYRIE #1: "Thor is a god, Valkyrie is a job." Jane knows how to be Thor, but the role of Valkyrie -- the warrior who fights for the living and the dead, and stands between both -- is a very different beast. It's a sacred task, and brings additional abilities -- and responsibilities -- of its own. As the first of a new generation of Valkyries, Jane has to decide for herself what that task involves, and that's a big part of what we'll be exploring in this series. If you're reading this, you know who Valkyrie is, but what she is is one of the big philosophical underpinnings of the book.
So, is this still a story that could become a reality in the Marvel movies? Well, Natalie Portman has said she would return to Thor should the situation prove appealing, and her surprise attendance at the Avengers: Endgame premiere suggested that she's not as distanced from Marvel Studios as once seemed. More than one esteemed actor has signed up with Marvel or DC at the urging of their children, so there will always be hope Portman returns... and if it's to play the superpowered version of Jane Foster, all the better.
Valkyrie #1 will arrive at your local comic book shop this July.