Jane Foster first appeared in Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and Larry Lieber’s Journey into Mystery #84 comic in 1962. Jane Nelson was her name in her first two appearances, but it was later changed to Jane Foster. She first appeared as the female Thor in Thor: God of Thunder issue 25 as a cameo, and then in Thor Vol. 4 issue 1 in full (2014).
Jane Foster worked for Dr Donald Blake as a nurse. Both were romantically interested in each other, but they didn’t talk about it for a long time. Blake’s father Odin forbade him from telling Foster that he was Thor, which caused friction between the two. Jane was greatly distressed by his long, unexplained absences. Jane was smitten by Thor, who was unaware that he and Blake were the same person. When the tension became too much, Blake revealed that he was Thor and pledged his allegiance to her. Because of Jane’s mortality, Odin forbade Thor from marrying her and refused to make her immortal.
Major Story Arcs
Pawn of the Gods
Odin seemed to relent after a while, and Thor took Jane to Asgard. Jane gained immortality and was renamed the Goddess of Flight. Odin was enraged that she had taken so long to adjust to her new form, and he assigned her a task to prove her worth. Odin put her in a room with the Lurking Unknown, despite her protests that it was a task only he could complete. She enlisted the help of Thor, but Odin deemed her unfit for godhood. Jane demanded to be returned to Earth, enraged by Odin’s tests. Odin agreed and stripped her of her godhood as well as her memories of Thor, leaving her in the care of Dr Keith Kincaid in a hospital.
Jane was perplexed by this because Kincaid resembled the long-forgotten Dr Blake. Kincaid and she began a relationship. Thor discovers Jane dying in hospital after a few years, his love for her undiminished. Sif recognises Thor’s undying love for Jane and uses her life essence to bring Jane back to life and restore her memories. Thor and Jane rekindled their romance. Sif’s spirit was trapped in the runestaff dimension, unknown to both, and Jane could use Sif’s experience and skills to fight. Jane and Sif switched places when Jane was given Sif’s sword, and Jane was trapped in another dimension. Jane had been trapped in the Runestaff dimension for quite some time when the cops arrived and arrested Donald Blake for her murder. Jane was sought out by Thor and Sif. Jane had no recollection of her relationship with Thor or Donald Blake after leaving the dimension. Jane later married Keith Kincaid and suffered from selective amnesia for a long time.
Return of the Norse Gods
After the events of Avengers Disassembled and Ragnarok, Jane heard rumours of Dr Donald Blake and Thor returning. Blake paid her a visit at her work in a New York City hospital while looking for Sif after she divorced her husband and lost custody of their child. Thor had the impression that Sif had been reborn in Foster because their spirits had previously merged. After an initially tumultuous reunion, the two went on a date. Jane, on the other hand, was the one who discovered that Sif’s spirit was indeed residing in the body of a dying elderly cancer patient. Jane informed Blake of her find. He returned to New York as Thor and was able to save Sif.
Following that, Blake maintained contact with Jane. Even though he was in Oklahoma and she was in New York City, he kept her up to date on his life. Jane later relocates to Broxton out of concern for Blake, and the two open a practise together in the town. She assisted Dr Selvong in delivering his message to Thor regarding the world eaters. She aids refugees from the nine realms in their search for a safe haven from what appeared to be the end of the world. She is seen holding Dr Selvong’s hand during the world eater incident, implying that she has developed a romantic interest in him.
Jane was later diagnosed with cancer and began a fight for her life. Thor was there for her every step of the way, especially during her chemo treatment. After the events of Original Sin, Thor had lost his right to wield the magical hammer Mjolnir during this time. When Jane Foster was with the Asgardian Gods, she discovered the hammer and was able to lift it, transforming herself into the first female Thor. She kept her newfound abilities hidden from everyone and has been trying to figure out how to use them ever since. The only drawback to her abilities is that when she transforms into Thor, all of the chemo is expelled from her body because it is poison. This however did cause Jane to keep getting sicker and sicker. Like Thor, she felt no effects of cancer. During a skirmish against a rogue Chitauri named Warbringer, Jane joined the All-New, All-Different Avengers.
Jane wields Mjolnir as Thor, and like those before her, she has been bestowed with power equal to that once possessed by the Odinson by the hammer; whatever powers she possesses outside of those provided by Mjolnir are unknown.
Jane possesses class 100 strength in her Asgardian form and is easily capable of lifting/carrying massive weights in excess of 100K tonnes.
Jane can think, react, and fight at superhuman speeds when she takes on the form of Thor.
Thor has superhuman durability and stamina while in the form of an Asgardian Goddess and is virtually immune to all known Earthly diseases and infections. She can work out at a high level for several hours before becoming exhausted. She is also capable of surviving in space without assistance.
Thor, like all Asgardians, has a highly advanced metabolism that allows her to heal at a superhuman rate and efficiency. While the extent of her healing ability is unknown, it appears that she is unable to heal her cancer. Instead, cancer appears to be suppressed, and Thor appears to be unaffected as long as she maintains her Asgardian form.
The Marvel Super Heroes
Jane Foster appears as a supporting character in The Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Peg Dixon. She appears in all but two of the 13 ‘The Mighty Thor’ stories.
Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
Jane Foster appears as a recurring character in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, with Kari Wahlgren providing her voice. She made her first appearance in the minisodes of ‘Thor the Mighty. On the show, she is a paramedic who seems to specialize in helping out with superhuman situations. She fearlessly puts her life on the line to help the injured.
Jane Foster appears in the fourth season of the series, Secret Wars. She first appears in the two-part season premiere, “Avengers No More,” where she is voiced by Erica Lindbeck. This version of the character is a famous scientist who works for Stark Industries rather than as a nurse or doctor, making her similar to her movie counterpart. She is introduced as the creator of a special device that will be used to locate and retrieve Iron Man, who had been trapped in a distant dimension after a fight with Ultron at the end of the previous season. Unfortunately, the Leader and his goons steal the device as part of a plan to destroy the Avengers.
The Cabal subsequently uses Jane’s device as part of a weapon that scatters the Avengers across time and space, seemingly ridding the world of them once and for all. Jane is later seen meeting with Black Panther’s new team of Avengers (Captain Marvel, Vision, Ant-Man, Wasp and Ms Marvel), where she informs them that she plans to work with them to find a way to rescue Iron Man and the other Avengers. During the incident with the Beyonder, Jane is able to lift Mjolnir and temporarily becomes the new Thor. Unlike in the comics, she quickly returns the hammer to the original Thor once the danger has passed. However, for her bravery, Odin gives Jane an enchanted mace, as well as the new codename Thunderstrike.
Jane Foster appears in the episode “What If… Thor Were an Only Child?” with Natalie Portman reprising her role.
In the feature-length Thor movie, Jane appears as the main character portrayed by Natalie Portman. Jane Foster is reimagined as an astrophysicist specializing in Einstein-Rosen Bridges connecting the Earth to other dimensions (which are simplified to be labelled as wormholes). In the remote desert town of Puerto Antigua in New Mexico, she has assembled a small team of herself, an intern named Darcy and another physicist and friend of her father’s named Erik.
Investigating a strange storm on a late-night research trip she and her colleagues drive towards it to record the scientific data but in the confusion accidentally hit an unknown man. After taking him to the hospital Jane discovers on one of the frames of film that she captured the form of a man falling through the storm and she goes to the hospital to question him however he had escaped. Luckily for Jane, he had not gotten far and she proceeds to hit him with her truck yet again.
The three researchers are not sure if he is crazy or if the fantastic stories he is telling are true. Jane firmly believes he knows something about the natural phenomena she is investigating and overtime is convinced that his tales of Gods and Asgard are true. Soon thereafter her research is seized by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and she goes with Thor to a secure S.H.I.E.L.D. the site where she hopes to retrieve her work and where he aims to retrieve his hammer. He is captured in the process and he is unable to free either the hammer or most of the research, though he does manage to retrieve her notebook of field data.
Despite Erik’s insistence that Thor leave town, Jane and Thor bond while discussing the idea of the nine realms, as he explains to her and clarifies some of her understanding of the form of travel that Asgardians use. Thor’s Asgardian allies and friends eventually come to Earth and they fight the Destroyer. Jane is adamant that if he will stay and help while powerless she will too and they both help evacuate the citizens in the small town. During the battle Thor is returned to full power, at which point he decides he must return to Asgard to confront Loki. Thor promises to return for her and the two share a kiss. In the process of stopping Loki from destroying Jotunheim Thor is forced to break the rainbow bridge (Bifrost) which leaves him stranded in Asgard and unable to keep his promise. Jane leaves the desert disappointed but she had not given up. Working with Shield Jane continues her research into the bridge in the hope of making contact with Asgard again. Thor asks Heimdall to look in on her and what she is doing, to which he replies ‘She searches for you’. An answer to which Thor smiles.
The Avengers (2012)
Although she does not appear in the film herself, Jane Foster is seen on a photo while Phil Coulson tells Thor that SHIELD has placed her in a safe and secure location, after the arrival of Loki.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Natalie Portman reprises her role in the sequel, where Jane has been continuing her research and is now dating a man named Richard. Her relationship with Thor has become somewhat strained, as she is upset that he did not try to contact her when he was on Earth during the events of The Avengers. Thor comes crashing back into Jane’s life after her body accidentally absorbs the Aether, a liquid-like substance that is one of the ancient Infinity Stones, while she is investigating the Convergence of the Nine Realms. This brings her to the attention of Malekith, the leader of the Dark Elves who seeks to claim the Aether for himself. After Loki tricks Malekith into extracting the Aether from Jane, she and Thor are reunited on Earth.
Jane is once again absent from the film. It is mentioned near the beginning of the movie that she is busy overseas, as her research regarding the Convergence from The Dark Worldhas resulted in her becoming a highly respected and sought after expert in the field of physics.
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
Portman will reprise her role as Jane Foster for the upcoming film Thor: Love and Thunder, taking up the mantle of Mighty Thor.
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