With the release of the latest Thor film imminent, everyone is excited for the return of their favourite Asgardian superhero, as played by Chris Hemsworth.
What fans are also losing their minds over is the reintroduction of his love interest, Jane Foster, who comes to us in her new guise of Mighty Thor for Thor: Love and Thunder.
With much to be explained for viewers, we’ve also got Fat Thor embarking on a fitness journey ‘from dad bod to god bod’, Christian Bale’s terrifying villain Gorr the God Butcher, Russell Crowe as Zeus and the return of the Guardians of the Galaxy crew.
For the eagle-eyed among us, we’ve also got a whole host of famous kids to look out for in the film.
Ahead of the movie’s release though, let’s take a look at the original Mighty Thor storyline and why we’ve been missing Jane Foster in the MCU lately…
How does Jane Foster become Mighty Thor in the comics?
As Thor’s on-again, off-again love interest over many, many years (she first appears in the comics in 1962) there’s a lot that goes on between Jane’s first encounter with Thor and her eventually becoming her own version of the superhero, Mighty Thor.
This includes her marrying another man, Keith Kincaid, and having a son with him before they both die in a car accident, and she is diagnosed with cancer.
It is then the 2014 story Original Sin which sets up the character (and comics) of Mighty Thor, after Nick Fury whispers something secret in Odinson’s (that’s regular Thor’s) ear, causing him to be unworthy of wielding his mystical hammer, Mjolnir.
This comes after an odd villain known as The Orb steals the knowledge possessed by The Watcher, before releasing it – superhero secrets and all.
A mysterious woman’s hand is then seen grasping the hammer’s handle – later revealed to be Jane – and the new hero steps in to defend Asgard.
Despite her ill health she does battle with villains including Malekith (yes, him from Thor: Dark World), but a rather big bummer for her is that every time Jane transforms into Mighty Thor, all the toxins are purged from her body – including the drugs in her system from her chemotherapy.
Of course, let’s not forget that Thor: Love and Thunder may choose to go in an entirely different direction with their introduction of the heroine.
Why wasn’t Jane Foster in Thor: Ragnarok?
The one main reason for this, it seems, is where the film was set, with Taika Waititi’s 2017 caper set almost exclusively in space.
Marvel boss Kevin Feige told Entertainment Weekly that was why Portman wasn’t returning back in 2016, and the film set up Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) as its female lead instead.
The Oscar-winner agreed with what seems to be the party line in 2019, telling ET: ‘Obviously, I wasn’t written into [Thor: Ragnarok] because of where it took place. It wasn’t really on Earth, and my character is on Earth.’
In Ragnarok, her absence was briefly explained away after Thor receives sympathy from a woman for their break-up, which the superhero brushes off as ‘mutual’.
She had previously appeared in both the first Thor movie and the 2013 sequel, but there were whispers that Portman might not have been entirely happy with her character’s development.
It also wasn’t until after those films were done and dusted that the Mighty Thor storyline was even introduced into the Marvel comics.
Returning director Waititi was ready to get Jane back into the Thor films for Love and Thunder and have her as ‘part of the adventure’.
‘You don’t want Natalie coming back and playing that same character who’s walking around with science equipment. You know, while Thor’s flying around, she’s left on Earth, tapping her foot going, ‘When’s he going to be back?’ That’s boring,’ he told Empire magazine.
It seems Portman was more than up for her reimagined role, buff guns and all.
Thor: Love and Thunder releases in cinemas on July 7.