Why Jane Foster is ‘Mighty Thor’ and not ‘Female Thor’: Love And Thunder

Bruno Cooke April 18, 2022
Why Jane Foster is ‘Mighty Thor’ and not ‘Female Thor’: Love And Thunder

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The trailer for Thor: Love And Thunder dropped this morning (18 April 2022) – you’ll find it in cinemas on 8 July. The image of Natalie Portman (as Jane Foster) in full Thor gear has sparked a degree of debate about nomenclature. Does Jane Foster become Female Thor, Thor, Mighty Thor, Good Thor, or something else?

Director Taika Waititi says Jane Foster is Mighty Thor, not Female Thor

After it became clear that Natalie Portman would be reprising her role as Jane Foster, fans soon clocked that she would also be donning superhero threads. She would become Thor.

But calling Thor “Thor” and Natalie Portman’s Thor “Thor” makes things a little tricky. To circumvent this, writes Bustle, some fans chose to refer to Jane Foster’s version of the character as “female Thor”, or “Lady Thor”. 

Source: YouTube [Marvel Entertainment]

Some did so in a patronising way, the outlet added, while others did so “as a sign of respect”. 

But director Waititi made his views on the debate clear on 21 July 2019, responding to comedian Eva Victor’s tongue-in-cheek claim that Natalie Portman’s Thor should be referred to by the name of “Female Thor”.

Fans weigh in on both sides

Common parlance often prefixes sporting events involving women with “women’s”, such as “women’s football” or “women’s basketball”. Meanwhile, names for men’s sporting events don’t include the gender of the participants. 

It is in this vein that Eva Victor made her joke about Thor and Female Thor. Others soon added their voices into the mix. One wrote that, just as Jane Foster is “not ‘female Thor’”, Kate Bishop is also “not ‘female Hawkeye’”, and Sam Wilson is “not ‘black Captain America’”.

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Thor is a title as well as a name. In the comics, when Jane Foster lifts Mjölnir, she takes possession of Thor’s power – (male) Thor relinquishes the name and role of Thor and continues to work under the name “Odinson”.

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Others, meanwhile, argue that in some of the comics, Thor is not in fact whoever wields the hammer. Instead, it is the given name of the character we think of as Thor.

As such, it “depends on the comic continuity”. One suggested, by way of humorous diversion, the name “Mighty Jane Thorster”.

Ultimately, however, the name of Natalie Portman’s character Jane Foster, upon assuming the identity of Thor (by wielding Mjölnir), is Mighty Thor, not “female Thor”.

Gorr The God Butcher is absent from the Thor: Love And Thunder trailer

Major Thor villain Gorr The God Butcher, whom Christian Bale will play in Love And Thunder, was conspicuously absent from the trailer released today.

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Screen Rant writes that Gorr’s inclusion “makes the storyline especially intriguing”. Fans have been “awaiting his official MCU introduction”.

Gorr first appeared in the January 2015 comic Thor: God Of Thunder #2. His origin story goes back more than three millennia. He’s got a bone to pick with Thor and his fellow Asgardians, and creates the “Godbomb” in order to kill them all – in the comics, at least.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.