Valkyrie: Jane Foster #1
Jason Aaron (writer), Jesus Aburtov (colorist), Cafu (artist), Al Ewing (writer), VC’s Joe Sabino (letterer)
July 24, 2019
Jane Foster wielded Mjolnir. Now, in Valkyrie: Jane Foster #1, she has the All-Weapon. We know she will rise to the occasion of the Valkyrie, but at what cost along the way?
She’s been Thor. She’s fought cancer. So handling death, life, and everything in between should be a walk in the park for Jane Foster, right?
This spin-off series from War of the Realms continues Jane’s struggle between her human and immortal sides, but now it’s without the spectre of a multi-realm conflict. Just your daily petty crime on the streets of Manhattan. Here’s a gal that takes down some knockoff thieving Power Rangers called Blue Streak and the Fast Five at 10 AM and then heads over to her hospital job at 10:30 AM, with a Starbucks along the way. Or so she thinks.
Being the Valkyrie isn’t like being Thor where you can just toss some bad guys around and call it a day. Jane’s going to have to rely not just on her immortal warrior skills, but her mortal doctor skills as well. And when you’re sent to the morgue for being late to your own performance review (*facepalm*), keeping these lives separate but integrating them when necessary is one heck of a challenge. When one of the Fast Five ends up dead at the hands of the Dragonfang sword, Jane ends up using her lunch break for a quick trip to the Asgardian Halls of the Dead for advice on finding the killer. And while fate delivers the possible perpetrator right to her doorstep, it’s only the start of the mystery.
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #1 presumes you read the War of the Realms event. You can certainly jump on with this series without having that knowledge, but reading (or re-reading) the event will provide a second layer of context to Jane’s existential struggle between her two worlds. I do wish this title had the touch of a female writer to lend a feminine perspective. But we do have Jason Aaron, a man who knows Jane Foster (The Mighty Thor) inside and out. Our Jane is in good hands.
He shares scripting duties with Al Ewing, a man who also knows the world of Asgard from work on Loki: Agent of Asgard. Ewing’s The Immortal Hulk provides a level of horror in our favorite Jolly Green Giant, while exploring some of the same observations and struggles that Hulk faces in the duality of his human and superhero self. I’m excited to see what these two combined will bring to this characterization of Jane.
Cafu is familiar to Marvel fans, having worked on some issues here and there at the House of Ideas, including one of the War of the Realms spinoff series. His use of soft, gradual shading gives characters three dimensions in a two-dimensional medium. That’s no easy feat. There are moments where he’s just a little too heavy-handed, particularly in Jane’s more human moments. His art gives the book a look that’s less animated, more CGI. It’s sophisticated and well-done for what is set to be a sophisticated story. Cafu’s depiction of Jane Foster’s human side is diminutive with quiet grace, a contract to Valkyrie’s bombastic power.
And what is to be said about Jane’s Valkyrie ensemble? It calls back to her moments as The Mighty Thor in the metal breastplate, helmet, and skirt over tights. The color scheme is uniquely Valkyrie, with the cape exchanged for some wings. It remains tasteful and functional, while retaining her womanhood. This is the wardrobe of a powerful warrior. This philosophy extends to our other female Asgardian warriors as well. But there is one notable difference: no full face helmet. While Jane hid her face throughout her time as Thor, her headgear keeps her face front and center, visible to all. She’s not totally hiding her glorious heroic identity anymore, at least when Valkyrie faces the world.
The silver screen gets Jane Foster wielding Thor’s hammer in November 2021 with Thor 4: Love and Thunder. Valkyrie: Jane Foster gives us a look at what a second Jane Foster-centered movie could look like—something I’m now more eager to see happen.