The New Thor’s Identity Is Revealed, And She Has Breast Cancer
Spoilers for “Thor #8″ follow!
Tomorrow comic book readers will finally find out the civilian identity of the woman who’s taken on the mantle of Thor since she was first announced on “The View” last summer. OR, if you’re a giant fan who regularly scours the Internet for fan theories, you might have already noticed that the secret was leaked last night and is all over the Internet today. Womp womp. But at least now we get to talk about it, right?
If you don’t know who Thor is already, you have last chance to flee if you’d rather wait until tomorrow to read the issue for yourself. Ready?
It’s Jane Foster! You know, Man-Thor’s Earthling girlfriend — or rather, now his ex-girlfriend in the comics.
Wait, how is being Thor killing Jane? Unfortunately, she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer in the comics and is currently undergoing treatment. According to Vulture’s interview today with comic book writer Jason Aaron, the cancer disappears when she lifts the mighty Mjolnir and magically transforms into Thor, but is starting to come back even stronger when she isn’t.
To get more on the story, we talked to Marvel editor Will Moss about the reveal. Check out our interview after this exclusive artwork from Issue #8, below:
Will Moss: It feels good. It’s been tough. Everybody has wanted to know this and we’ve tried to keep it from everybody, from staff to family to friends, everybody’s wanted to know this mystery. Even people who don’t read the book are still just curious. So it definitely feels good to have out out there now. We don’t have to watch everything that we say or consider every preview that goes out. It’s nice not to think about it anymore and just know that the story’s out and people can enjoy it now. ‘Cuz now you can go back and read the whole story again, which is fun. I’m glad that’s happened too.
MTV: Jason Aaron’s said that there was no other choice for the new Thor than Jane because she’s so integral to Thor’s mythology. Is that true? What was the conversation like when you were deciding to go this route with the character?
Moss: It was always Jason’s idea. He’s kind of the author of this whole big Thor story he’s telling, so he came to us with Jane. It was the logical story decision for him to make. We talked about other people but none of them felt as right as Jane because she is so key to Thor’s whole mythology, she’s been there pretty much every step of the way. It also just had this — there was something more to it, this nice Marvel element in the fact that she’s doing this despite the fact that she has cancer. It adds this level of tragedy to it and sacrifice that especially made this a nice choice for what Thor can be. So it really could only have been Jane.
MTV: It’s pretty rare to see superheroes dealing with such normal human things like cancer. Is the representation aspect something you took into consideration?
Moss: Yeah, Definitely. We didn’t want it, because it was a superhero story, to come across as trivial or that we were trying to put a coat of paint on this, like “oh, here’s something else this Thor can be!.” It’s something that Jason and artist Russell Dauterman definitely took into consideration as they were making this story, to portray it — and they will continue to portray it, because the story’s only just begun — they’re gonna treat the situation with the respect it deserves.
The creative team, we’ve been emailing back and forth today just talking about the fun that people know now, and Russell sent us a message saying somebody’s already contacted him to thank him and Jason because his mother had passed away from cancer years ago and it helps him remember how heroic she seemed to him at the time. It connected with him, and that’s so good to hear because it means Jason and Russell did this story right.
Moss: Again, there wasn’t anybody that really went beyond, “What about this person? Nah.” Nothing was every seriously considered. The main other candidate, really, was this character RoZ Solomon. She’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who’s been in the book recently. She was more of a red herring, that’s the role she played in the story, to get people to think that this new character who’s been around and an active S.H.I.E.L.D. agent — it wouldn’t be a stretch for her to be a superhero. That’s what we were hoping people would guess, and a lot of people did, and we had a lot of speculation that it was Roz. She could have been as well, but it wouldn’t have had the same connection to the Thor title and the Thor character that Jane has, or that Marvel element of there being something noble and that she’s sacrificing something to do this.
We also introduced Thor’s sister Angela here, she has a title here, That’s something a lot of people thought — when we first premiered the image of Female Thor, it was right around the time we established that Angela is Thor’s sister, and that’s what everybody was saying, “Oh, that’s what they’re going to do with that character,” despite the fact that Angela has bright red hair and Thor has blond hair. [The theory] got quelled pretty quickly, but that’s what a lot of people thought.
MTV: So Jane has wielded the hammer before in What-If comics, and it seems like there’ll be a lot of What-If comic characters in “Thors,” the upcoming “Secret Wars” mini-series. Are we going to get to see Jane interact with herself in the same way that all the different Thors will?
Moss: We’re trying to keep things pretty tight lipped about “Secret Wars,” but I wouldn’t be surprised. In “Secret Wars #1,” Thor was in that issue and got transported onto a raft that was there at the end when the world collided. So there’s a chance that Jane will be a part of “Secret Wars” in the “Thors” miniseries, but everybody’s going to have to wait to see on that. It would definitely be a shame if we finally revealed that she’s Jane and then didn’t do anything with her for quite a while, I will say that.
MTV: That’d be a lot of fun. We have no idea on this end — we work with the studio but we’re not in lockstep with them, there’s no real connection for this idea and that. But it would be a lot of fun, and Natalie Portman would do a great job. It’s pretty easy to see her playing a role like that, where it’s this vulnerable, strong hero. So it would definitely be a lot of fun, and that’s something we all think about, but who knows? We’re hoping that it happens as much as everybody else, but that’s the extent of the control we have over it.
MTV: Thor’s going on a hiatus because of Secret Wars. Can you tell us what to expect when it comes back in full?
MTV: One of the reasons it feels so good to get here to this point, where everybody knows who she is now, is that this was just the beginning of her story. Jason has so much more planned for this character that it’s exciting to be able to actually get to that point now. Now he doesn’t have to hide behind the need to keep her identity secret from the readers.
But that’s fun too, because the characters in the Marvel Universe still don’t know who she is. It’s just the readers who know. So there’s still going to be a lot of — this Thor’s got a tough job ahead of her, because Odin does not want her to be Thor, she’s dealing with cancer as well. She’s got a big uphill battle. So if we do more Thor stories, she’s going to have a lot to deal with.