A Review of The Mighty Thor #1 (2016)
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
Mjölnir, the mythical hammer used to defend the realms from villainous beings for ages. It is surely a fascinating weapon as it can only be used by an individual who is worthy of lifting it. With that being said, it is safe to say that when you envision an individual wielding Mjölnir, that individual is none other than the Norse god, Thor. This makes sense considering Thor is probably Mjölnir's most notable handler.
Now, in 2016, a change took place. The god we once understood to be worthy of wielding Mjölnir suddenly became unable to do so. Consequently, another individual stepped forth to literally take matters into their own hands.
That individual was none other than Jane Foster.
Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson's run on The Mighty Thor is undoubtedly a memorable one. The characterization of Jane Foster as Thor is one that pulls us into her journey of fulfilling her heroic destiny, a destiny she embraces despite the consequences it maintains upon her mortal self. Additionally, the artwork Dauterman and Wilson implement is simply exquisite.
Ultimately, the world of The Mighty Thor is a dynamic one that truly takes us on a journey through the realms.
Now, I don't want to give too much away right now. So, let's start from the beginning.
The Poison in the Magic
The opening of The Mighty Thor #1 depicts Jane Foster undergoing her routine chemotherapy procedures. She reflects on the year-long journey it has been for her, a journey that began when she found a lump in her breast.
Today, she sits in a chair reflecting on the effects chemotherapy inflict on her body. Ironically, she perceives dying to be an easier process than this procedure.
Now, this very opening is a forthright one. It does not shy away from depicting the psychological and physical effects the toxins associated with chemotherapy impact a person with. Additionally, it does not shy away from the sacrificial nature Jane Foster encompasses.
Jane goes on to state that these procedures have not stopped the cancer from spreading throughout her body. The doctors have struggled to find a reason for this, but Jane knows why.
When she is not spending her days as Jane Foster, she lives her life as The Mighty Thor, wielder of Mjölnir.
Now, her body as Thor rejects all the toxins that derive from chemotherapy because those toxins are not a natural part of Jane's body. This promotes an issue though, as her form as The Mighty Thor perceives Jane's cancerous cells as natural parts of Jane's body, and, therefore, the cells persist.
Of course, if Jane were to stop transforming into The Mighty Thor, the chemotherapy may actually prove to be successful.
However, The Mighty Thor #1 showcases Jane's inability to put the hammer down. When she witnesses the explosion of the Roxx News Storm-tracking Space Station on the news while undergoing chemotherapy, she decides to take a stand.
Jane lifts Mjölnir and flies out to the Space Station as Thor, rescuing many in the process. However, when she finds herself in space, she comes to discover a slew of corpses, those of Light Elves.
Thor thus comes to the conclusion that Malekith the Accursed is responsible for the chaos on the Space Station and the deaths that resulted.
Now, one of my favorite aspects of The Mighty Thor #1 is the way in which writer Jason Aaron depicts Jane's fortitude. Her duty as Thor is one that she embraces, and, despite the fact that her Thor persona is ironically weakening her mortal self, she shows little to no fear.
Thus, it comes as no surprise that Jane speaks up about her Malekith theory and expresses a desire to investigate further.
However, the Congress of Worlds rejects Jane's theory, dismissing it entirely. With this, a multitude of Asgardians perceive this new incarnation of Thor as a "False Thor", therefore dismissing Jane as a protector of the realms.
Though, these rejections do not impact Jane's assertiveness in fulfilling her duty. She does not waiver in her instincts, and, thus, decides to pay a visit to Alfheim, the realm of the Light Elves. There, she will investigate the slaughter of Light Elves, an act she will do with our without allies.
Now, in the context of Joseph Campbell's definition of a hero, The Mighty Thor #1 depicts Jane Foster embarking on the "threshold" segment of her quest to fulfilling her heroic destiny.
As both Jane Foster and The Mighty Thor, she faces much opposition, whether that is in the form of cancer or her Asgardian peers.
Despite these opponents though, Jane persists in her duty. She does not seek approval of others. She does not seek permission. Rather, she pursues her own objectives with the well being of the realms as her priority.
As aforementioned, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson's artwork in The Mighty Thor is simply magnificent.
I have a multitude of favorite panels, but one of the panels I will call out comprises Thor rescuing civilians alongside The Avengers. The way the green and blue hues juxtapose each other embolden the vivacity of the issue.
Perhaps my favorite panels of all comprise the sequence in which Jane first turns into Thor. The image of Jane reaching out to Mjölnir with a soft smile is not only a glorious shot but also a wholesome image.
From this moment on, the tone of the issue changes subtly. Previous sequences, particularly those depicting Jane undergoing chemotherapy, maintain colder hues that lack vibrancy.
After Jane becomes Thor though, the world of The Mighty Thor #1 becomes warmer in tone. It is certainly a subtle alteration within the issue. Though, it encompasses the enjoyment Jane gets out of being Thor.
Sure, she has a duty to uphold and takes it with the utmost seriousness. However, she is also a mortal fascinated by the world of heroes. She maintains the awe we all have in observing heroes fly across the sky and save the day.
Thus, she carries that admiration and that joy with her everytime she takes flight.
The arc of Jason Aaron's run on The Mighty Thor holds a special place in my heart.
It is an inspiring tale that constructs a character wielding power beyond our comprehension. Of course, that power goes far beyond superhuman abilities. Rather, it tethers itself in the will of Jane Foster herself, a will that comprises an inability to quit.
So, take flight with Jane Foster as she commences her quest across the realms to take down Malekith the Accursed and fulfill her own heroic destiny.