The Thor: Love and Thunder teaser is finally here, giving Marvel fans their first look at the upcoming film. This marks the first time a solo character has received a fourth movie in the MCU, and its witty yet melancholy vibes with a splash of classic rock is a far cry from the feel of the first Thor back in 2011.
After digging through classic storylines from decades ago for many of the Infinity Saga’s movies, Marvel Studios has begun to dive into some of the more recent comic storylines in the last few years. Fans have gotten to see Carol Danvers suit up as Captain Marvel, check out a preview of Kamala Khan’s on-screen origins as Ms. Marvel, and have now gotten their first look at the MCU’s Jane Foster wielding the hammer of Thor.
Of course, Marvel Studios doesn’t do direct adaptations of comic storylines for their shows and movies. Instead, they take in elements of various plots and adding in some original material. Some projects have more obvious comic inspirations than others, however, and right from its initial announcement at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, it was clear Thor: Love and Thunder would be taking some obvious inspiration from Jason Aaron’s run on The Mighty Thor.
So far, not much is known about Love and Thunder’s comic connections with The Mighty Thor besides the presence of Jane Foster suited up as Thor and wielding Mjolnir. Most of the characters besides Thor and Jane who feature prominently in the run are dead in the MCU, and it’s unlikely (and would be unfitting) for Thor to become “unworthy” of Mjolnir like in the comic. After all, so much of Avengers: Endgame was spent assuring the audience that he was still worthy of it after everything he’d gone through up to that point.
One story element from the comic run that was recently confirmed for Love and Thunder is Jane Foster’s cancer. In The Mighty Thor, she is suffering from breast cancer and undergoing chemotherapy treatments at the same time Mjolnir calls to her. When she wields the hammer she becomes The Mighty Thor, but there’s a downside: every time she does so, the chemo gets expunged from her body, making her disease progress.
If they make the story similar to that of the comic run, not only will Jane’s cancer worsening provide some serious stakes to her power-ups as Thor, it will be yet another example of the wider representation Marvel Studios has been working to include in Phase 4. Not all heroes are able-bodied, and Jane suiting up despite her illness would be a great way to showcase this. Bonus points for the element of her choice to be a hero for others actively hurting herself and her own health.
The timing of this storyline showing up in the MCU is also interesting. While this was surely part of the plan from the time the movie was announced in 2019, fans are still reeling from the loss of Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman after the actor succumbed to colon cancer in 2020. Boseman filmed nearly all of his Marvel appearances while battling the disease, so there would be a definite parallel between that and Jane fighting as Thor while fighting her own illness.
Even though Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will surely be the project that pays direct tribute to Boseman and his character, the incorporation of Jane Foster’s story of being a superhero with cancer into the MCU could be another poignant way of honoring his legacy.
One thing that will hopefully not be incorporated from The Mighty Thor is the mystery element. The question of who was behind the helmet of the new Thor was a fun question during the run but would be redundant in the movie considering the audience is already well aware that it’s Jane Foster. Dedicating more time to exploring Thor and Jane’s post-breakup relationship and how she is dealing with her cancer and newfound powers would be a much better use of the movie.
While not too much else from The Mighty Thor will be able to be incorporated into Love and Thunder (most of the major players from those comics are dead in the MCU, after all) it would be neat to see more little homages to the run here and there — like the shot of the dead god on the ice planet taken directly from a comic panel we’ve already seen.