Ever since it was revealed that Jane Foster became Thor, there was an aura of death around her. We knew that the hammer was only making her cancer worse every time she wielded it, seeing how the hammer didn’t differentiate between her cancer and normal, healthy cells. If anything, it would heal her cancerous cells just as much as her normal cells. And it was also said from the start that it would end in tragedy. We knew it was only a matter of time before Jane Foster died. Well, that time is here.
Written by Jason Aaron, The Mighty Thor 705 is an epic issue. It pits Thor, Odin, Odinson and others against Mangog, a seemingly unstoppable being who wants nothing more than to destroy Asgard and its inhabitants. In previous issues, he easily plowed through Thor and Odinson working together. Even with the hammer, Jane Foster doesn’t stand much of a chance. In previous issues, it was also said that her cancer had reached the point where even picking up the hammer one more time would pretty much guarantee her death.
The previous issue brilliantly explored the pain Jane Foster had been through in life, including losing her mother to cancer, a bad breakup with Thor around the same time, and other major deaths among her family and friends over the years. It explored the idea that she was ready to face her own death, and this issue brilliantly closes that story out. The brief flashback at the beginning shows us the very moment Jane picks up the hammer for the first time, and the writing feels like she knew even then where it would eventually lead. You feel Odinson’s panic when he realizes what Jane Foster just did. And yet Jane seems to be perfectly at peace with her death, helping Odinson focus enough to get a short, yet very sweet goodbye. It’s a brilliantly written moment that closes out this issue very well. Oh, and the action is just as epic as you’d hope as well.
The art by Russell Dauterman is fantastic as usual. Panel arrangement is often broken up in smoke shapes or stone debris, making for creative layouts. Everything is highly detailed to the point where it almost looks like a high budget movie at times. The lightning effects are brilliant. The backgrounds are full of the ruins of what used to be Asgard. The cuts on characters arms are consistent, as are the cracks and holes in Thor’s helmet. Facial expressions perfectly convey emotion, especially the moment before Jane dies, when she gives Odinson a friendly smile, while Odinson shows a mix of panic, sadness and anger. Matthew Wilson’s colouring is also great. This is a bright and colourful book, with realistic looking shading and reflections throughout.
It’s hard for a writer to keep a series compelling for 6+ years, yet that’s what Jason Aaron has done with his Thor run so far. Although there’s a consistent, long form story running through his run for a while that makes it hard for new readers to just jump in, it’s actually worth starting his Thor run from the start, with Thor: God of Thunder 1. This issue feels like both a culmination of his entire run and the springboard for whatever comes next. It’s a satisfying conclusion to the tale of Jane Foster, the female Thor, on every level. If you’ve been reading Aaron’s Thor run from the start, you won’t want to miss this issue.