Thor Love and Thunder Cast

This Is the Best Order to Read the ‘Jane Foster’ Comics Before ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’

We're not worthy.

Since at least 2019, Taika Waititi has been crafting the highly anticipated third Thor movie, Thor: Love and Thunder. The film’s scheduled release is July 8th, yet much of the plot remains tightly under wraps. The only official poster shows just a stylized print of the film’s name with a black background. They have not released a teaser trailer. What we know is that Jane Foster (astrophysicist and Thor’s ex) picks up Mjölnir to take on the mantle of Thor.

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Before the movie’s release, now is the perfect time to review Marvel’s back catalog and witness Jane Foster’s character evolution. Here is the best order to read them.

1. Thor Vol 1 #136

Jane Foster Thor 136
(image: Marvel)

Jane Foster first showed up earlier on in Thor’s story. Her first appearance (and only Thor’s second) happened in 1962’s Journey into Mystery #84. However, comic Jane’s origins differ from Jane’s in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the comic, Jane was a registered nurse who assisted Thor’s human alter ego, Doctor Donald Blake. Eventually, she became a doctor in her own right, like in the films, but in the medical field.

For much of Jane’s early stories, the writers of Marvel mainly used her character as a prop for Thor. She needed saving, someone kidnapped her, someone poisoned her, etc. Published in 1966, Thor #136 showed Jane more as a person rather than a plot point. Odin gave her the chance at Godhood so she could marry Thor. She failed Odin’s arbitrary test, then told Thor she had enough of his drama and left him to find a non-superhero doctor to marry.

2. Thor Vol 4 #1-8

Jane Foster Thor 1
(image: Marvel)

Over the years, Jane weaved in and out of the comics with her on-again, off-again relationship with Thor. During events where Thor fights Gorr the God Butcher, he becomes unworthy of wielding the hammer Mjölnir. In Thor: God of Thunder #25, a mysterious woman wearing Asgardian battle armor holds the hammer instead.

At the time of publishing, the real identity of the new Thor remained a secret to readers and other superheroes. It wasn’t until the last issue of the series that we find out the Goddess of Thunder was Jane all along. In the Thor Volume 4 series, Jane felt the hammer calling to her after Thor Odinson could no longer hold it. She knew there must always be a Thor to protect Earth, so she took up the helm. Thor relinquished his first name to Jane and went only by Odinson.

3. Mighty Thor Vol 3 #1-23

Jane Foster Mighty Thor
(image: Marvel)

Mighty Thor Volume 3 solidified Jane as Thor. It followed Dr. Jane Foster through her normal life and her life as a superhero who must protect the world (and sometimes the universe). The real problem is not the villains she faced as Thor, but the cancer growing in Jane Foster.

4. Mighty Thor Vol 2 #702-706

Jane Foster Death of Thor
(image: Marvel)

Unlike Mighty Thor Vol 3, Volume 2 stuck with Odinson’s story. He needed Thor to help save the universe. However, Jane’s cancer was worse than ever. Each time she picked up the hammer and transformed, it purged her body of chemotherapy, letting the cancer run rampant. Still, Jane lifted the hammer and gave everything she could. In the end, Odinson had the hammer and the title of “Thor” back.

5. War of the Realms #1-6 and War of the Realms Omega #1

Jane Foster Valkyrie
(image: Marvel)

The War of the Realms crossover event brought Jane Foster face to face with a Thor from another reality. She used his hammer to fight as Thor and aid in saving reality. During the battle, the new hammer broke but reformed as a vambrace on Jane Foster’s arm. It turned into Undrjarn the All-Weapon (basically it will form into any weapon the wielder desires). Although it marked the end of Jane’s time as Thor, it began her journey as Valkyrie. This might be slightly cooler because now she has a talking, sarcastic pegasus named Mr. Horse.

Between Jane’s new expanded role, Valkyrie ruling as King of New Asgard, and the rumor of Thor’s chariot pulling goats making an appearance—this movie may kill me with its greatness. Or heal the world. Who knows? With Taika Waititi behind the wheel, and the triumvirate of Chris Hemsworth (Thor Odinson), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), I’m sure the movie will be nothing less than perfection.

(feature image: Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)


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Author
D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.