As The Mighty Thor concludes, look back on the life and times of the hero!

In last week’s MIGHTY THOR #705, by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman, Jane Foster Thor fought alongside the Odinson for the final time.

The issue proved to be a beautiful send-off to a character that had long proved worthy of wielding Mjolnir’s power. Long before taking up the godly mantle, however, Foster made her first appearance in 1962’s JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #84.

Mighty Thor (2015) #705

Mighty Thor (2015) #705

One issue prior, in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83, physician Dr. Donald Blake stumbled upon an item that turned him into the mighty Thor. He used the power to fend of an alien invasion before returning home to New York City and his practice, where a nurse named Jane Foster also worked. Don secretly pined for her, but kept his feelings a secret…though he didn’t know that Jane had feelings for him as well.

When the Asgardian known as Thor started showing up in Blake’s stead, however, Foster was swept off her feet. Eventually, Jane and Don made their feelings for each other known and began dating—but Blake still kept his secret identity from her. Then, in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #124, he revealed his alter-ego to Foster in response to her worries about his constant disappearances and secrets.

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #83

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #83

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Summoned back to Asgard by Odin, Blake planned on giving up his godhood in favor of a life on Earth alongside Jane, but they both ran into a few problems. He got caught up in a series of adventures with Hercules while she discovered that her new roommate, Tana Nile, was actually an alien sent to find Thor and request his help.

Finally, in the pages of THOR #136, Jane got to see Asgard for the first time. Having seen the error of his controlling ways, Odin gave Jane godlike powers so that she and Thor could wed. Unfortunately, Foster doubted her Odin-granted gift of flight and showed great fear in the face of a creature called the Unknown. However, before Odin could declare her unfit for godhood, Jane said that she didn’t want anything to do with it. Odin then returned her to Earth…with no memories of the Thor she once loved.

Thor (1966) #136

Thor (1966) #136

  • Published: January 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Foster went to medical school and earned her doctorate before finding herself in Thor’s orbit once again during the 1998 THOR series. There, she worked alongside a paramedic named Jake Olsen, who held the God of Thunder mantle at that point in time.

In THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #12, Foster revealed to the Odinson that she had breast cancer. And though he wanted to fight it with his Asgardian powers, she refused. Later, in issue #24, the Odinson asked Jane to represent Midgard at the Congress of Worlds, sending her to new heights on the galactic scale.

Thor: God of Thunder (2012) #12

Thor: God of Thunder (2012) #12

  • Published: August 28, 2013
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: February 24, 2014
  • Rating: Rated T+
  • Writer: Jason Aaron
  • Cover Artist: Esad Ribic
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Everything changed for Jane Foster after the events of Original Sin, though, when Nick Fury whispered something into the Odinson’s ear that made him unworthy of Mjolnir. Soon after, readers started seeing a female Thor wielding the mighty hammer and eventually learned that Jane Foster had proven herself starting with 2014’s THOR.

After taking up the hammer, Jane Foster became the one and only hero to hold the title, starring in both THOR and then THE MIGHTY THOR. And in a storyline spanning years, Jane met her demise in worthy fashion as she fought, selflessly, to the very end.

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This variant cover for Mighty Thor #706 features Laura Martin on colors!

The final issue of writer Jason Aaron, artist Russell Dauterman, and colorist Matt Wilson’s landmark MIGHTY THOR series is getting the send-off it deserves with a special variant cover for issue #706 by legendary creator Walter Simonson!

Colored by Laura Martin, the variant for THOR #706 depicts Jane Foster, engaged in battle with the walking hatred, the Mangog. For the first—and last—time, Walter Simonson lends a hand to the Mighty Thor.

 

“We’re honored to have legendary THOR writer and artist Walter Simonson provide this variant cover for the finale of ‘The Death Of The Mighty Thor,’” says series editor Wil Moss. “This is actually his first time drawing Jane Thor and the Mangog, a classic Thor villain from the Jack Kirby and Stan Lee era that he never go the chance to draw before.”

Say farewell to Jane Foster Thor with this special variant cover for MIGHTY THOR #706, by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matt Wilson, on April 18!

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Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matt Wilson say farewell to The Mighty Thor.

Somewhere in Kansas, Jason Aaron sits alone in a room talking to action figures.

Jane Foster and the creature called Mangog, the central characters of the climax of his seminal series, MIGHTY THOR #705—out March 21—stand on opposing sides of his office. Jane says something inspirational and defiant; the Mangog spits and roars. Jason hears them, and writes.

“These characters speak to me; I’m just a vessel for them,” he explains. “This Jane Foster Thor statue just stands there looking at me as I write. And my Kirby-style Mangog statue as well. He’s been there for years.”

It’s something he’s been doing since childhood—talking to characters, making them clash, telling their stories. The only difference between the stories he imagined as a kid and the ones he dreams up today is that now thousands of people are watching what he does in the sandbox. And though the anticipation for the penultimate issue of Jane Foster’s story is at a fever pitch, he maintains a sense of youthful appreciation for the work: “Not only do I get to write these characters—not only do I get paid for it—but then I get to see them brought to life by some of the best artists working today.”

Common consensus has emerged that this run of MIGHTY THOR will go down as an all-time great. And forging the story alongside Aaron, since issue #1, has been artist Russell Dauterman and colorist Matt Wilson.

Since the series began, Dauterman’s dexterity has allowed readers to jump page-by-page between heartbreaking emotion and heart stopping action—between Jane’s solitary moments staring at a chemo drip and the War Thor defending Asgardia from a monster comprised of a billion angry souls. Those lines, combined with Wilson’s colors—from the anemic halogen lights of hospital waiting rooms to shimmering fragments of a shattered Rainbow Bridge—have matched Aaron’s poetry every step of the way.

“Jason’s scripts for this arc have been incredible. They’re big, bold, and really moving. I’m trying to capture all of that and have it seep into every bit of the art,” says Dauterman. “I drew my first Jane Foster Thor nearly four years ago, and I had no idea the impact the character would have. I think a lot about all the people who’ve written to say what Jane means to them. I really want to do right by those folks with the finale, and to do Jane justice.”

Via their seamless, stellar work, Aaron, Dauterman, and Wilson have formed their own Warriors Three (Jason would be Volstagg, because beard)—an inseparable force committed to Thor’s cause. “It’s not often that creators get to work on longer runs in super hero comics these days, or even stick together as a creative team,” Wilson says. “We’ve been very fortunate to have all this time together, to tell this story.”

Jason’s been in conversation with Jane Foster for years. And though she advises him on every panel and page, he’s been steering the series to a definitive point since the very beginning. “This is a story I’ve been waiting to write for literally years,” he says, “I’ve always known that this is where Jane ends up.” A worthy end awaits the Mighty Thor.

The final story arc, titled “The Death of The Mighty Thor,” began in the landmark issue #700. And the emotion present in all Jane Foster Thor stories extends beyond the page. “Saying goodbye is going to be rough. I did the layouts for issue #706 recently, and the finality of everything really hit me. I’ve never been so emotional when drawing layouts before,” recalls Dauterman.

And Aaron, the master of Jane’s fate, agrees. “This was the first time I ever cried as I was writing. I was surprised by it. And it happened again as I received the art for these issues.” Time is winding down for this unlikely hero. The creators, and Jane Foster herself, know what’s coming next.

In issue #703, Doctor Stephen Strange, standing beside the hero’s hospital bed, put the situation in plain terms: “If you change into Thor…Even one more time…There will be no coming back. Jane Foster will die.”

“It’s been spelled out to her,” says the scribe. “She can fight her cancer as Jane, or pick up the hammer one last time… To save the gods.”

And she does. At the conclusion of the latest issue, Jane Foster took hold of Mjolnir again. Just like the statue that observes Jason as he writes—with the ancient mallet in her right hand—there was no other way this story could end.

Since issue #1 in November 2015, Jane Foster has proven herself worthy. And she’ll prove it once more as she looks to save the gods from destruction; from the Mangog on the other side of Jason’s office. A battle for the ages arrives in issue #705, the penultimate story of a series already known as a modern classic.

“My name is Jane Foster,” the Mighty Thor concludes, “And if this is the story of how I die… Then know that it won’t end without one hell of a fight.”

Read MIGHTY THOR #705, by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matt Wilson, on March 21.

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Jason Aaron signals the end for The Mighty Thor!

Jane Foster’s body decays. The War of the Realms rages. The Mangog roars. As these events culminate, a moment of reckoning arrives for The Mighty Thor.

With Asgardia on the brink of destruction—and the other realms soon to follow—the wielder of Mjolnir needs to make a choice: will she sacrifice her own life in exchange for those at risk on the other side of the universe? On February 21, witness the beginning of the end in writer Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman’s MIGHTY THOR #704!

We sat down with Aaron for a wide-ranging two-part interview about this modern classic. Read the first half of the conversation here before jumping into Part Two below.

Marvel.com: Jason, tell us about the wonderful artists you’ve worked with on this storyline.

Jason Aaron: I’m tremendously proud of what those guys have put on paper over the course of this run. What Russell Dauterman and [colorist] Matt Wilson are doing on this arc is so great. And, no hyperbole, I genuinely think Russell is doing his best work yet; he just raises the bar with every new storyline. It’s been great to have Russell come back for #702; to have Matt and Russell work together with this arc. I’ve been so blown away with what they’ve done on this series. I wanted to do this finale right and not screw the story up, so it felt good to really just sit down and write those issues all in a row, something I haven’t had the luxury of doing in eight or ten years.

[Artist] James Harren did such a great job on issue #701. I’ve been wanting to work with James for a long time on MIGHTY THOR, actually. That fight between the Mangog and the War Thor was originally going to take place at the end of #700, which would have been just a seven-page  brutal beat-down. But our scheduling changed around a little bit and then we thought, with the art being so evocative, why don’t we just make that fight an entire issue? Initially James had just signed up to draw those pages in #700 but thankfully he was able to do #701 as well and I think he’s the perfect guy to draw that fight. He loves the Mangog and I love his version of the Mangog, so that was a huge thrill.

Marvel.com: How does it feel to see this end on the horizon?

Jason Aaron: This arc is something I knew we’ve been heading towards for a long time, and something I’ve both been looking forward to and dreading. On the one hand it’s a total joy, but it’s also tinged with sadness. I mean, I’m pretty sure that this issue #705 was the first comic that ever made me cry while I was writing it.

Marvel.com: There are going to be a lot of tear-stained issues out there in a couple months.

Jason Aaron: [Laughs]

Marvel.com: As this story comes to a close, I wanted to see if you have any meditations on the concept of “worthiness.” Obviously, you’ve had years of in-depth philosophical examination on that idea in this book…

Jason Aaron: I think I still have lots of thoughts on that idea and you can still see them playing out in this storyline. This is not my last storyline on THOR, so I think you’ll continue to see those themes playing out in the comics for the foreseeable future as long as I’m on the book.

I can see where the end point is for me on this series and I’ve always known what those last few stories will be. Some of it should be obvious and some will be a bit of a surprise.

Marvel.com: Do you ever ponder the concept when thinking about yourself? (Not that you should!)

Jason Aaron: Well, I try not to think of it that way and would never presume to say I’m worthy to follow in the footsteps of people like Jack Kirby and Walt Simonson, but I think, as a creator, the worthiness of your writing is for other people to decide.

A few years ago I was the world’s biggest fan of [writer] Garth Ennis’ PUNISHER MAX run—one of my favorite comic runs of all time. And when Marvel announced that he was leaving, I thought, well, I want to be the next guy. Even though it’s incredibly intimidating to follow something that you have such tremendous respect for, I knew I could never do what Garth had done, but I wanted to carry it on and continue to tell the story of that character in my own way.

That’s how I approach every job. You can’t stop to wonder whether you’re good enough to do this. You can’t get intimidated by that prospect or let it stop you from telling your own story. I certainly don’t feel as good as those creators who I idolize, but…man, I can’t wait to throw my hat in the ring every time.

The finale nears in MIGHTY THOR #704, by Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman, on February 21!

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Jason Aaron sounds a death knell for The Mighty Thor!

As Mangog rampages through Asgardia, Thor—the last hope for the innocent lives at risk—lies dying from a cancer that has brought her body to the brink.

Jane Foster, faced with the responsibility of her heroic mantle and the sickness that it exacerbates, can see the end on the horizon. And as “The Death of the Mighty Thor” story arc continues, we can too. Today, issue #703 of writer Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman’s MIGHTY THOR sets a grave course of events in action—and on February 21, issue #704 escalates the situation entirely.

We caught up with Aaron for an expansive two-part interview about the climax of this iconic series.

Marvel.com: Now that “The Death of the Mighty Thor” arc has begun, what’s going on in Jane’s head?

Jason Aaron: Well, in issue #702, we saw Odinson confront her and point blank tell her that she’s got to stop. He’s one of the few people who knows her secret and knows what being Thor is doing to her, so he directly confronted her and she seemed to understand and relent. But by the end of the book she had collapsed, so…as to what she’s facing and where her mind’s at, I think you’ll have to see issue to issue.

I will say that issue #703, directly and specifically lays out what her situation is, what her health looks like, and what that means going forward. By the next issue, the decision she faces is very clear.

Marvel.com: As a quick catch-up, what events have been leading to this moment in MIGHTY THOR?

Jason Aaron: Well, Jane Foster’s been Thor for the last two years or so and that whole time she’s been fighting some of the biggest, craziest enemies from around the various realms—most importantly Malekith the Accursed, who’s at the center of a War of the Realms that’s created chaos across the landscape.

So at the same time Thor’s been dealing with all of that, she’s had cancer as Jane Foster and the two kind of spiral together; being Thor is making her condition worse. See, every time she transforms into Thor, it neutralizes the cancer treatments she’s been receiving. And when she goes back to being Jane she’s worse than before. Jane knows all this, but she continues to pick that hammer up because somebody’s got to. Somebody has to do that job and try to stop this War of the Realms from spreading to every realm.

So she’s been dealing with all that, and then in issue #700—the beginning of this whole arc—the Mangog showed up. Mangog is one of the original Stan Lee and Jack Kirby villains and one of my favorite Thor villains.

Marvel.com: And even War Thor couldn’t stop him.

Jason Aaron: Right, he beat the crap out of War Thor. He defeated War Thor and tore the hammer apart.

Marvel.com: So what does the Mangog want?

Jason Aaron: The Mangog hates the gods and wants vengeance against them because he was born when Odin slaughtered an entire alien race. The Mangog exists as sort of the combined rage and hate of all those billion, billion beings channeled into one monster, out for justice. It’s come for revenge many times over the years and gets defeated, but always somehow comes back stronger than he was before.

We talked in issue #701 a little bit about why that is, what fuels the Mangog, and how he’s become a bigger thing than just a means of vengeance against Odin for that original sin…he’s sort of become a bigger force of nature, a cosmic judgment against all the gods. It remains ambiguous whether he’s justified in that vengeance or not, though, and very much ties into the themes going back to my first arc on the book and that initial idea: “Are the gods really worthy?”

Marvel.com: It’s so amazing that the thematic seeds of this finale were planted so long ago. Did you have the big story events planned from the very beginning or did they evolve organically over time?

Jason Aaron: Oh, I’ve known for years that the Mangog was coming. I always had plans to use him from the get-go and, if you go back over the course of my whole run, you’ll see references and teases to the Mangog going back several years. I’ve always known we were building towards that and I’ve known from the beginning of the Jane Foster Thor story that her story was building towards this very specific moment.

Marvel.com: What inspired your choice to bring the book to this point?

Jason Aaron: I mean, when I first started working on MIGHTY THOR, the first thing I did was sit back down and read those first Lee and Kirby issues from the very beginning. I think a lot of what I’ve done—the toys I’ve played with—has come from those issues. You know, I’d never read a lot of those stories before and the Mangog was one of the first things to jump out to me.

I wasn’t a huge THOR fan at first, if you can believe it.

Marvel.com: Really?!

Jason Aaron: I mean, I knew the Walter Simonson stuff, but that was my only reference, really. But when I read all the way through, I realized that the character that I was drawn towards was Mangog. And the more I read, the more I could see stuff that I really wanted to sink my teeth into.

I think the job is that, no matter the character, you don’t ever want to go into it and just preach to the choir, assuming everybody already knows why this character is cool. You want to show why this character is different from any other character in the Marvel Universe; what makes their adventures so unusual and exciting. I do try to keep that up in every new issue.

Marvel.com: Of course, this is very much Jane’s story, but I’m curious about the Odinson’s emotional reaction to all of this. If Jane dies, might he get his identity as Thor back? Does he want it back? He must be feeling a lot of conflict.

Jason Aaron: Well, he’s got a very conflicted relationship with the hammer and that idea of worthiness. But as far as his relationship with Jane goes, I think he’s just worried about his friend. Regaining that hammer isn’t even part of that equation right now—he just wants to try to save her life.

The thought about the Thor identity is definitely one of the questions going into this story. I would say most all of them will be answered by the end of it. Maybe not all of them, but a lot of them…just perhaps not in the way that you’d expect.

The end begins in Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman’s MIGHTY THOR #703—available now! Then continue the tale in issue #704 on February 21!

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Thor must team with Sif to battle Ulik, the trolls and an extra-dimensional being called Orikal!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

One of the great things about the partnership between Stan Lee and Jack Kirby is that the duo didn’t take the easy or obvious way through a story. Take THOR #137139 from 1967, for example. Most of the story revolved around the trolls scheming to take over Asgard while Ulik distracted Thor. That might seem fairly straightforward, but then we came to realize that the trolls had an extra-dimensional super powered robot-like being on their side called Orikal!  

Thor (1966) #137

Thor (1966) #137

  • Published: February 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

When last we saw Thor in KIRBY 100, he and Jane Foster had broken up but he’d been reintroduced to Sif who had grown up since last he saw her. The two showed off their warrior skills to one another, but that came to an end when a band of trolls attacked and made off with Sif!

Enraged, Thor gave chase, even entering the Under-Kingdom Of The Trolls, only to come face to face with a new, but legendary enemy: Ulik! While those two titans battled, the trolls gassed Sif and sent her to Earth so that Thor would follow and turn into Don Blake, giving them a chance to steal Mjolnir.

As Thor and Ulik battled, the Odinson realized quickly that his opponent’s might nearly matched his own! In fact, the troll eventually gained the upper hand and went to land a potential killing blow when he disappeared.

Thor played right into the trolls’ plans as he transported himself to Midgard right as the other trolls attacked Asgard. He even changed into Don Blake to more easily blend in. Since the trolls knew Thor’s alter ego, they tracked Blake and used a molecular disperser to snatch him from below the very streets of New York!

The trolls even managed to grab the walking stick, but couldn’t change it until Don tricked them into changing himself into Thor! That lead to another fight with Ulik. When Thor gained a moment’s rest, he stumbled across Sif’s prison. Distracted, he put his hammer down for a few moments, but enough time for the trolls to capture it in the Orb of Orikal. They ran off with the weapon leaving Thor to turn back into Don Blake as he did after not touching Mjolnir for 60 seconds.

Distraught over both losing his hammer and not being able to get back to Asgard to help his fellow Asgardians, Thor resorted to a dire plan: he intended to jump in front of a train after changing into Blake in hopes that his spirit would return home! However, Sif reminded him that she had power of her home and transported them both to Asgard, which also meant that Thor would not change back into Blake.

They made it just in time too because the trolls used the weapons provided to them by Orikal that not only helped them invade the shining city, but also steal energy away from Odin himself!

Instead of joining the main battle, Thor and Sif took on Ulik once again before entering the flaming prison that the head troll kept Orikal captive in. The Asgardians agreed to free Orikal from his fiery prison as long as he offered to leave their dimension forever! With their secret weapon – and weapon-maker – out of the picture, the trolls surrendered to plot their next invasion!

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Jane Foster finally travels to Asgard in another Kirby classic!

1917 to 2017: 100 years of Kirby.

Join us to celebrate Jack “King” Kirby’s 100th birthday by learning about the characters and stories he created that changed comics forever. To commemorate Jack’s centennial, we’ve sat down with the modern-day creators he influenced—and the decades of work he gifted us all.

Meeting your betrothed’s dad can be a nerve-wracking and tricky situation. Now imagine you’re getting hitched to a guy who happens to be a Norse god with none other than the All-Father, Odin, for a dad! That’s the strange life Jane Foster found herself living as THOR #136 launched in 1967 thanks to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. At that point, Odin had finally approved of Thor’s relationship with Foster and she knew all about Don Blake’s secret identity, so the time seemed right to visit his homeland.

Upon their arrival on the Rainbow Bridge, the lovers saw the Calvary of Asgard running off to battle trolls and then one of the captured enemies brought back for interrogation. Jane met Heimdall and Odin, saw the Asgardian war room, and then received garb worthy of a god and the ability of flight from the All-Father! Foster then took off into the skies and enjoyed her new powers for just a few moments before doubting that they might remain consistent. As she plummeted, Thor flew to save her, but wondered why she lost faith in Odin so quickly.

All of this turned out to be the road to Thor and Jane marrying which would include her evolution into a goddess herself! As another test of Jane Foster, the All-Father requested the presence of The Unknown and sent Jane in after the mysterious being. Paralyzed by fear, Foster called for Thor’s help, which he quickly provided his beloved, seemingly sending the creature away. Convinced that Jane had not proved herself prepared for godhood, Odin reminded them that The Unknown fed on fear, an emotion that no immortal on Asgard could hold in their breast. Speaking for herself, Jane said that she wanted no part in godhood and left for Midgard alone!

Thor (1966) #136

Thor (1966) #136

  • Published: January 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: September 17, 2008
  • Cover Artist: Jack Kirby
What is Marvel Unlimited?

Angered with his father, Thor lashed out, claiming that all of this had been Odin’s plan from the beginning to get Jane out of his son’s life! The accused denied these claims, put Thor in his place, and then ordered him to the Glade of Crystals to keep an eye out for the still-loose Unknown. Once there he found a Troll summoning the creature!

The Odinson soothed his inner turmoil to some extent by trying to destroy The Unknown. Heart-sick and off his game, our hero nearly fell to his foe, but regained himself thanks to the help of an unseen ally. After vanquishing the beast, Thor got a good look at the one offering assistance and recognized Sif, sister of Heimdall. As it happened, she had romantic feelings towards him dating years back and he seemed quite taken aback by her, all of which proved part of Odin’s master plan to help move his son along.

But what of Jane Foster? Of course, as we now know, Jane Foster would eventually return to Asgard, not as a potential goddess, but as Thor herself!

Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more throughout Kirby Month and beyond! And join the conversation on all of our social channels with the hashtag #Kirby100.

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Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman reveal their plans for Jane Foster.

Jane Foster has wielded Mjolnir for three years now, and we’re reaching the moment that all those stories have led to. Just as Marvel Legacy gets underway, Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman kick off “The Death of the Mighty Thor” arc in THE MIGHTY THOR #700. What threats will Jane and the various Thors face in this new tale? We went straight to the source to find out.

Marvel.com: Thor is one of the oldest heroes in Marvel history, dating back 55 years. In the spirit of Marvel Legacy, what do you think that kind of history means for Thor and for the Marvel Universe?

Jason Aaron: Yeah, I mean to me, I just think about the legacy of the creators who worked on the book, or worked on the character over the course of all those years. You know, going back to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, up to Walt Simonson and, you know, [Tom] DeFalco and [Ron] Frenz, and [J. Michael] Straczynski, and, you know, Matt [Fraction] and Kieron [Gillen]. You know, creators who have all kind of added pieces to the mythology along the way. It’s a big thrill for me to be a part of doing issue #700 for THE MIGHTY THOR, and to be able to throw my own stuff into that mix, and to continue to build the idea of Thor and what a Thor story means. In a way that, to me, goes back to that original appearance of the character while also taking things forward and doing Thor stories we’ve never seen before.

Marvel.com: What has it been like to work with this character for as long as each of you have? How has your connection to the characters and Thor’s unique storytelling environment grown over the years?

Jason Aaron: You know, I think that has always kind of been an important part of what I’ve been trying to do with the character, that’s kind of what attracted me to the book in the first place: That you can do stories with Thor that you can’t really do with any other Marvel character. You know, that was kind of what made the character different from Spider-Man and the [Fantastic Four] and everybody else in the first place. Stan and Jack wanted to come up with a character who was a god, who was a part of this crazy pantheon of gods. So I’ve always leaned into that, and done stories that are very much about the God of Thunder, stories that stretch across eons.

We’ve gone into the distant past, into the far, far future, and yeah, I’ve made it a point to do a lot to try and explore and flesh out the very unique setting for Thor stories. There are these various realms, there used to be nine, now we’ve got ten of them. So there are very different, fantastic realms that we’ve continued to explore little by little over the course of my whole run.

Part of that is the War of the Realms. As the war continues to spread from one realm to the next, we get an idea of what each one of those realms is like and who lives there and are they friend or are they foe? That will continue on and we’ll continue to see each and every realm get affected by this war. I think that’s always been a big part of it – being able to do stories that are cosmic fantasy and that make use of this immense, unique timeline that the character has and the very unique setting.

Russell Dauterman: When I first got the job, I wasn’t sure how long it would last, or if people would embrace the new Thor.  But I’ve been really surprised at the response, and really moved by all the people who’ve sent messages about how much Jane means to them.  That’s energized me and strengthened my connection to the book.

I love these characters, even more than I already did at the start.  This book has been an excellent fit for me, and to work with Jason, Matt, and everybody is wonderful.  I feel really lucky that we’re having such a (relatively) long run with this series.

Marvel.com: This issue kicks off the “The Death of The Mighty Thor” story arc. With Jane Foster staving off cancer throughout your run, it’s seemed inevitable that her story would reach this place. And it’s right there in the title: Should fans expect Jane’s story to come to an end soon?

Jason Aaron: I don’t know that I want to answer that question directly. [laughs]

From the get go, from the beginning of the “Jane as Thor” story, and even from before that, we’ve seen that Jane’s been battling cancer. That’s been a big part of why she became Thor in the first place and everything she’s had to deal with since then. I’ve enjoyed exploring that dynamic of these two different battles she’s fighting – she’s fighting this grand cosmic battle as Thor and also fighting this very personal, human battle. That’s something that has been very important and that has affected a lot of people, a lot of readers. And I’ve always said, “That’s not something that we’re just going to magic away.” You’re not going to pick up the next issue and Jane rubbed a magic lamp and her cancer is gone. That’s not the way it works. That story has always been moving forward and heading in a very specific direction. We’ll see how that develops, beginning in this “Death of Mighty Thor” arc.

At the same time, the Thor part of that story is that the Mangog has been unleashed. The Mangog is one of those crazy Kirby characters that I’ve literally been talking about using since I first started writing Thor. I’ve been building toward the coming of the Mangog for years now. It’s this being that was born when Odin wiped out a whole alien race. So, it has the power of a billion, billion beings, all of them enraged and hungry for revenge. We saw how the Mangog was released in the pages of Thor as part of the Challenge of the Gods that’s going on between Thor and the Shi’ar gods. So, Mangog is coming, that’s kind of all we know right now. It doesn’t matter if you know who it is or not – we’ll explain everything and try to shed a little more light on why the Mangog exists, what its purpose is, and all that sort of stuff. So, that’s the other big part of the Death of Mighty Thor arc: Mangog is finally on the scene and destruction follows.

So, those are the two big challenges that Jane is looking at, but, you know, issue 700 in particular is very much about the celebration of all things Thor. We’re going to see various versions of the character show up, pretty much every version of the character I’ve used over the course of my run, which is quite a few at this point. As well as touching base with everything else that’s going on in the various realms. It’s really a huge, oversized, wide-ranging story and just sort of a primer for everything that’s going on in the ten realms right now.

Marvel.com: You mentioned the challenges that Jane is facing: The cancer on one end and the Mangog on the other. You’ve been telling the story of Jane as Thor for about three years now. What have been your biggest personal challenges in putting together this storyline for Jane?

Jason Aaron: Certainly dealing with her cancer treatment and wanting to do right by that. And also to not overplay it and feel like we’re hitting that button too much, just not to make it too maudlin or tugging on the heartstrings too much. It’s still a story about a God of Thunder who flies through space with a hammer in her hand. But, again, I’ve liked that balance between the cosmic stuff and keeping it grounded in a very real, human and emotional story. So, I think that’s always the challenge with Thor stories. You can spend too much time flying through space or all fighting elves or dragons, and lose the human part of that. So, I’m always trying to find the humanity in Thor, no matter which version of Thor we’re talking about.

Marvel.com: Russell, you and Matt Wilson created a stunning wraparound cover for this issue, and there’s a lot going on there. I count at least 9 hammer-wielding heroes! Can you tell us how you came up with this cover concept and what it means for the new arc?

Russell Dauterman: Thanks – glad you like it! I was so thrilled that we got to do this. The cover’s definitely one of my favorite things we’ve done for the series. I’m always blown away by Matt’s colors, but I’m especially crazy about these.

This is our big anniversary issue, and I wanted something big to celebrate it. We did the wraparound-foldout cover for THE MIGHTY THOR #1, and I wanted to do something similar here. But, where the #1 cover had all sorts of Asgardian characters, this cover focuses more closely on the various Thors that Jason’s had in his run. I wanted Jane to be the most prominent, leading them into battle. The threat of Mangog has been looming over the book for a little while now, and that’s only going to intensify, so he’s literally looming over our heroes here.  And we had to get the Frog of Thunder in there!

Marvel.com: Outside of starting this new story arc, what makes THE MIGHTY THOR #700 special in your mind?

Jason Aaron: It’s not just the beginning of the Death of Mighty Thor arc, this is very much a celebration of 50+ years of Thor stories, and all the different variations of Thor we’ve seen over the years, including most recently in my run. So yeah, they’re all on that cover, they’re all in the book, all drawn by different artists – it’s a total murderer’s row of artists we’ve got. This is probably the greatest collection of artists on anything I’ve ever worked on. You know, led by Russell and Matt Wilson – Eisner Award-winning Matt Wilson now. Walt Simonson coming back to Thor, which is a huge thrill. It’s a huge, impression collection of artists – I don’t think we’ve even announced all of them yet. And again, it celebrates everything that has come before and also takes a big stride in forging ahead where everything goes from here.

Russell Dauterman: The issue, itself, is a celebration of all things Thor, as Jason said. It’s oversized, where Matt and I are joined by that murderer’s row of guest artists – Walter Simonson!! – who are all spotlighting different characters and parts of the Thor world.

The story I’m drawing deals with a favorite character of mine, and has a bit in there with major teases for what’s coming up.  I’m super excited for readers to see.

Marvel.com: What are the two of you most looking forward to about the tale you get to tell readers in “The Death of The Mighty Thor?”

Jason Aaron: I would say that this Legacy arc of Thor is one that I’ve been wanting to write for a long, long time. That’s what I’ve always said, when we started the Jane Foster as Thor story, it was never about “let’s just make that change and figure out where it goes.” I was always telling a very specific story. So, I always knew where that was headed and what was coming. I’ve certainly enjoyed the ride along the way, but I was always very excited to get to this part of the story. So, I’ve been looking forward to writing this for a long time.

I think we can say we get to see Jane Foster’s Thor in action against the Hulk. We get a very different Thor/Hulk confrontation than we’ve seen in the past. We get to see Odinson standing alone against some of the worst villains from across the ten realms. We get to see what War Thor is up to, you can expect him to be very angry and calling forth the Bloodstorm. We get to see Loki spend some quality time with his biological father. We get Young Thor, in the Viking age, we get King Thor in the far, far future – I’m picking up threads from that.

Last time we were in that future of King Thor, we saw how he had to use the Necrosword, the weapon of Gor the God Butcher, in order to defeat Galactus. A piece of that seemed to bond with Galactus, either being absorbing by him, or absorbing Galactus. We teased that we had a very, very different sort of Galactus in the far future, so we pick up with that thread. Again, you know, all the different versions of Thor that have been done over the years – we’ve always been telling very specific stories with them. So this moves all of those stories forward. And you also get Frog Thor, as if that wasn’t enough Thors.

Russell Dauterman: This is definitely the biggest story we’ve done with our run on Jane’s series. The arc builds on everything we’ve been doing for the past few years, with a lot of threads coming together. There are a few moments in particular that we’ve talked about that I’m really looking forward to drawing. Sorry for being so vague! I don’t want to spoil anything.  But really, I’m most excited for fans to read this arc. I hope it’s really satisfying.

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Marvel's Editor-in-Chief speaks on the true identity of the Goddess of Thunder!

SPOILERS FOR THOR #8 AHEAD

After months of mystery, THOR #8, available now, revealed the woman behind the masked helmet.

Writer Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman unveiled longtime Marvel mainstay Jane Foster as the Goddess of Thunder on the issue’s final page. First introduced in 1962’s JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #84 as a member of Thor’s supporting cast, Foster started out as a love interest for the Odinson, but has emerged as a key part of the Marvel Universe in her own right, becoming a doctor responsible for treating the Avengers and others.

Last year, in THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #12, Foster shared with Thor that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Now, Jane’s story continues as the new female wielder of Mjolnir, her true nature still unknown to the Odinson and the rest of the Marvel Universe.

We spoke briefly with Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso about what went into making Jane Foster the new Thor, plus the ramifications and what’s next for the Goddess of Thunder.

Marvel.com: How early on did you know that Jason Aaron’s Thor opus was leading to Jane Foster taking up the hammer?

Axel Alonso: At the very outset. It was part of Jason’s story, so it was part of his pitch.

Marvel.com: What elements does Jane being the one behind the mask add to the already unique role of the new Thor?

Axel Alonso: Well, for one thing, Jane’s history with Thor goes back to the very beginning. They have a deep and complex relationship. I’m certain that was one of the reasons Jason wanted to tell this story.

Marvel.com: In terms of the real-world message Marvel is sending, how powerful is it to have a woman with breast cancer as one of our most prominent heroes?

Axel Alonso: I certainly think it gets people talking. One of the important aspects of this story is that Jane’s super heroics as Thor take a toll on her as Jane. Jane pays a physical price for her heroism. She gets out of bed and tries to live life to its fullest, tries to make a difference. I think there’s a metaphor there, not too far under the surface.

Marvel.com: What’s next for Jane Foster as Thor? What will her part be in Secret Wars and moving in to the future?

Axel Alonso: Can’t give away too much, except to say that Thor plays a big role in Secret Wars and beyond.

Read the reveal of Jane Foster as the Goddess of Thunder in THOR #8, available now!

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The dangerously alluring Asgardian first set her sights on Thor way back in 1964!

Thanks to co-creator Jack Kirby’s gorgeous pencils, the cunning Enchantress has lived up to her name from day one! The Asgardian femme fatale named Amora has many tricks up her green sleeve, namely her sorcerous powers and breathtaking good looks. But to get distracted by Enchantress’ stunning beauty would be to fall into another one of her traps, for few characters in the Marvel Universe have proven as skillful in mastery over the art of deception as this villain. Even the god of mischief himself, Loki, acknowledges her commendable manipulation skills – which makes sense considering he’s fallen for her charms a few times over the past five decades!

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #103

Journey Into Mystery (1952) #103

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Enchantress made her debut 50 years ago this month in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #103. Angry that his son had fallen in love with someone from the wrong side of the Bifrost, Odin allowed Loki to meddle in Thor’s love life. Knowing that Thor’s carousing past could get the better of him, Loki hired Enchantress to travel to Midgard and use her feminine wiles to break up Don Blake (Thor’s alter-ego) and Jane Foster. With Amora’s luxuriously fur-covered digs as the backdrop to this backstabbing plot, this issue could also be called “The Real Housewives of Asgard.”

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

Enchantress traveled to Earth and took on the appearance of a blonde bombshell, thus allowing Jack Kirby draw more than just muscle-bound do-gooders. Enchantress then breezed into Dr. Blake’s office and began seducing him.

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

The classic “my hand itches” pick-up line – works every time!

After Thor/Blake somehow avoided Amora’s flirtatious skin allergy plan, the Enchantress traveled back to Asgard to hire more muscle. Yes, Odin hired Loki, who then hired Enchantress, who then hired Executioner. Seriously, there’s more hiring going on in this one issue than in all of America right now (topical zing!).

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

But the newly hired Executioner proved to be no match for Thor and Mjolnir’s might. As punishment, Enchantress turned Executioner’s hands and feet into wood and stone. Fingers crossed that this version of Executioner finds its way into the Marvel Super Hero Mashers toy line.

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

Art from Journey Into Mystery #103

With Thor undefeated and Executioner down for the count, Enchantress found herself on the losing end of a super hero throwdown for the first time. Like any good villain, though, she kept at it! She enlisted in the Masters of Evil and gave the Avengers a run for their money, and she’s currently aiding Lady Deathstrike in her evil exploits in X-MEN!

For more of Enchantress, check out X-MEN!

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