The Thor and Jane melodramaPosted: 09/03/2012
Well, not exactly Thor, but we’ll get to that. You guys all saw the movie, right? The handsome, selfish god falls in love with a beautiful, selfless astrophysicist Jane Foster. A delightful tale and perfect for the movie, but not terribly true in the comics. Mainly because Thor doesn’t love Jane, but the goddess Sif. Y’see, the connection between the thunder god and Jane relies on a single man: Dr. Donald Blake.
Here’s the real origin on Thor from Journey to Mystery #84 in 1952, written by Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby. Thor premiered the issue before, but this is the first appearance of Jane:
Complete with all the secret identity stuff that made comics great back then:
Most of you should have no idea who Don is, and that’s totally normal. As comics have progressed and stories evolved, Don’s presence has been diminished and subsequently done away with for long periods of time. But he can’t truly disappear, as Thor and Don share the same body. In Thor #1-12, 601-604, volume 3, written by J. Michael Straczynski and drawn by Olivier Coipel and Marko Djurdjevic, brought back Don Blake and continued his relationship with Jane.
I have to warn you, if you’re expecting romance and emotional turmoil, you won’t find it here. I want to provide you dear readers with an update of what Jane’s been up to and a friendship 60 years in the making, but soap opera-y lacking.
Our story picks up immediately after Ragnarok, the Norse apocalypse that killed Thor, Odin, and all those other gods you know and love. I’m serious:
Luckily for us, Thor’s connection with the non-god world happens to be the dear doctor. Lucky Thor.
Don’t forget, Thor or Don can be around, but not both at the same time. So when the two converse, they have to do it in some weird spirit world, but you probably guessed that.
In a wonderful twist, Don/Thor travel to rural Oklahoma to bring back the destroyed Asgard. Oh and for reference’s sake, the two are able to switch identities instantly with a bump of Don’s staff or Thor’s hammer. Very convenient.
Now, I’m not a scientist, but apparently resurrecting all the dead gods and bringing a giant city back to its glory across dimension into the mortal world can be exhausting. Especially with all that cool Odin power Thor now possesses. You saw the movie, that nifty magic requires sleep to recharge, and finally Don gets a chance to shine.
Adventure with excitement and thrills? No way. He’s a doctor, and not the Indiana Jones types of doctor. Yup, Don’s got some catching up to do with his many years of being away from comics.
Jane’s lofty career goals have been a success! No longer that timid beautiful nurse, now a beautiful mid-30s official doctor. Who just so happens to be buddies with the most powerful of the Avengers. And speaking of which, what is Thor up to?
Oh, keeping busy. Let’s go back to the doctors.
Drama! I’ve been lax in details, but I probably should have mentioned that while all the dead gods came back to life, dear Sif still remains missing. Thor can’t find the body she resides in (Loki’s fault) and Don figured he’d go investigate. Too bad his detective skills don’t take broken hearts into account.
With emotional band aids firmly placed on open wounds, Don and Jane’s first reunion comes to a bittersweet end.
By the way, Straczynski’s run on Thor has some of my absolute favorite Loki manipulating, scheming, and plotting. An absolutely fantastic display of exactly why he’s Thor’s arch-nemesis. Also, Loki’s now a woman. Gods, right? We’ll skip ahead to that lovely dinner promised in previous pages.
Look, Don and Jane can’t get back together. Thor has control around 75% of the time, and as Don’s stated before, the thunder god’s way more important in the whole protection of society than the human doctor. Our story isn’t over, but that last panel happens to be the end of Don and Jane’s love affair, now a deep, platonic friendship.
We have a few pages left to read, but it wouldn’t hurt to explore Thor and Don’s relationship a little.
And the return of Thor’s soul mate, Sif.
And finally, the actions that bring Jane Foster back to the forefront of Thor’s world:
Note for those who want a quick timeline, this takes place before Siege, where Norman Osborn and his bad guys attack Asgard and everything escalates into a full-out war.
The end! Well, the happiest ending Thor, Don, and Jane can get. More like a content ending. But at least there’re smiles all around, and that’s my favorite comic book emotion.