Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor #1
When Mjolnir comes crashing through Jane Foster's apartment window, she fears the worst has happened to Thor. As Asgard's greatest enemies - including Hela, Ulik the Troll and Enchantress - mount an assault on the Golden Realm, Jane must find Thor and save Asgard - even if that means she must once again risk her life to become Thor herself!
Depicting Jane Foster as Thor wielding Mjölnir and Thor Odinson wielding a lightning sword, the cover of Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor #1 promises readers a story that never comes to fruition. While the cover may make false promises, I’d posit the comic itself is actually better.
In the first issue, Mjölnir flies through Jane’s window and she learns that Thor has gone missing, making it her job to take up Mjölnir once more to save him. As the audience, we also learn that a mysterious masked adversary is plotting Asgard’s downfall. Writer Torunn Grønbekk teases this mystery over the course of the comic’s first issue, but leaves us guessing. Even by itself, this may be enough to bring readers back for the second installment.
The series’ artist, Michael Dowling, does several excellent compositions throughout the issue, though the comic has very little to offer in terms of action. Jesus Aburtov’s colors in this issue make it feel incredibly inviting, as if readers have stumbled upon Jane Foster, R?na, and the rest of these characters on a twilit evening only to be whisked away on an adventure.
When it comes to the comic’s writing, Grønbekk’s work outshines Donny Cates’ current work on Thor in multiple ways. Fans of Cates’ action-heavy, text-light stories may feel at a loss, as Grønbekk’s work has much more in common with the work of Thor writers like Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, and Kieron Gillen. While Cates’ Thor focuses heavily on the title character, Grønbekk’s ten realms (like those of previous Thor writers) feel full, pulling in several familiar faces (not all of them friendly) including a classic character who hasn’t been seen in a Thor title since Jason Aaron’s departure.
At time of writing, this comic’s place in current Thor continuity is baffling, with Thor “hulking out” at the most recent Hulk issue but decidedly elsewhere at the beginning of Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor #1. It’s possible this continuity problem will be resolved by this week’s Thor (which has yet to be released to reviewers), but in that case may leave readers frustrated if they read the wrong comic first.
While this continuity problem is frustrating (and perhaps the curse of reading early), another element of the comic is very refreshing: its depiction of R?na, Marvel’s recently-added queer valkyrie. In my reviews of The Mighty Valkyries, I criticized Grønbekk’s depiction of R?na as being defined solely by tragedy and R?na’s dead girlfriend as yet another example of the troubling “bury your gays” trope. Cates’ Thor, meanwhile, has erased and ignored the queerness of numerous characters including Loki and Angela. As such, Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor #1 is a refreshing change of pace, putting R?na’s queerness front and center but also giving her a chance at happiness. All year round but especially in Pride Month, it’s important to see queer characters and lives not defined by tragedy — to be reminded that we deserve to see ourselves happy and loved in all of our complexity.
Seeing the return of both familiar faces and a mysterious foe, Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor #1 is sure to leave readers hungry for more.
ADVANCED REVIEW: Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor #1: Where in the Worlds is Thor Odinson?
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 7/107/10
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