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Comic Book / Jane Foster: Valkyrie

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You took on a role — but this is a responsibility. Thor is a god. Valkyrie is a job."

Jane Foster: Valkyrie is a 2019 Marvel Comics series, co-written by Jason Aaron and Al Ewing, with art by Cafu. Spinning off from War of the Realms, it stars Jane Foster in her new role as the last Valkyrie, aided by Undrjarn the All-Weapon.

The series ended after 10 issues, coming to an abrupt halt as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic's impact on the comic book industry, but was later followed by King In Black: Return of The Valkyries. A further continuation, The Mighty Valkyries, partially salvaged what would have been this series' canceled issues.

Tropes included in Jane Foster: Valkyrie:

  • A Dog Named "Dog": In issue #3, Jane's Cool Horse reveals (once he starts speaking) that his name is... Mr. Horse.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Or a Form You Are Familiar With. The Living Tribunal appears above Death's realm as a skeleton version of itself, complete with giant scythe. Inside, they meet what appears to be Charon, whose actual form Jane sees, and it looks like a giant virus.
  • Amplifier Artifact: Dragonfang is enchanted to enhance its wielder's fighting skills and ended up in the hands of Bullseye.
  • Art Shift: In issue #3, the art changes with each afterlife Jane and Heimdall pass through.
  • Back for the Dead: Downplayed; Dr. Whitman Knapp returns after a 26 year absence, but only one of his transformations end up dying. He and his two other forms still remain, but now as individual entities.
  • Blessed with Suck: Thanks to her activities as Thor, including skipping work and her chemotherapy, Jane's career is on the skids, and since she can't and won't explain herself to her bosses, she's sent to work in the mortuary. When that happens, she is with only one other co-worker, who is easily able to work out her secret identity, but he's pretty OK with letting her go superheroing.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Lisa Halloran, ex-girlfriend of America Chavez, appears as one of Jane's supporting characters.
    • Al Ewing's usual villainous punching bag, Bluestreak and his gang the Fast Five are Jane's first opponents.
    • Brunnhilde suggests Jane seek out Annabelle Riggs, one of the previous holders of the Valkyrie legacy (and who apparently missed the mass murder during War of the Realms). Annabelle shows up in issue #4.
    • Also, during that ish, shenanigans mean the Doctor Strange villains Kaecilius, Adria and Demonicus return from their very long bus trip.
    • The last time Dr. Whitman Knapp/Manikin appeared in person was in 1994, making a reappearance after 26 years.
  • Call-Back:
    • In issue 3, Jane passes through Hades, which is largely devastated after Nyx's god-killing rampage back in Avengers: No Road Home.
    • Heimdall asks Jane to take him to someplace he's never seen before instead of Valhalla, so she seeks out the Far Shore as the place to release his soul.
    • Mephisto's plan involves the deal made with Hela all the way back in Kieron Gillen's run of Journey into Mystery. Not surprisingly, he hid some small print in that deal.
    • Much of issue 7 is spent discussing what would happen if Death died, and that the result would be a Cancerverse, as was first seen in Realm of Kings, and was a major part of The Thanos Imperative.
  • Comic-Book Time: All those years of adventure and then years of settling down, becoming a parent and doctor... it just means that Jane is a youthful 33 years old and a millennial according to the 4th issue.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: At the end of the first issue, Jane sees a former veteran who's death is imminent. He plays a small role as a bystander in the fight next issues.
  • C-List Fodder: Goldrush, of the Fast Five, who gets shanked with Dragonfang by Bullseye.
  • Combat Medic: Jane Foster/Valkyrie assembles a team of medical superheroes to aid her: Doctor Strange, Night Nurse, Cardiac (Dr Elias Wirtham), Excalibur (Dr Faiza Hussain) and Manikin (Dr Whitman Knapp). They call themselves the Mighty Medics, unofficially.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • As Jane describes Undrjarn's nature to Lisa, a montage shows its previous holders when it was Mjolnir (Ultimate Thor, Volstagg and Jane herself).
    • Catching a falling Heimdall with Undrjarn, Jane finds herself thinking about how Spidey caught Gwen Stacey. Fortunately, her catching Heimdall doesn't kill him.
    • Mephisto lists off the other candidates for valkyrihood still running around not dead, such as Dani Moonstar, who is rejected for being a "part-timer", and Valkyrie from Exiles ("no parallel universes").
    • During their awkward encounter with Annabelle Riggs, Lisa mutters her hope that the ex-Valkyrie isn't dating her ex-girlfriend, America Chavez.
  • Death Is Cheap: Discussed in the arc where the Mighty Medics must save Death herself from being wiped out of existence. While there is a minor schism about whether it's right to save Death or not, eventually Jane decides to preserve the natural order and enable death to live to carry on her job.
  • Did Not Think This Through:
    • As Mephisto tells Grim Reaper in issue 4, hiring Bullseye and not telling him to go on an indiscriminate murder rampage was a bad move, since that's Bullseye's thing. And it might've made a serious dent in Mephisto's actual plans.
    Mephisto: It's Bullseye, Grim. "Only kill one person" is a necessary instruction with him.
    • The very next arc deals with Death being at risk of dying because the Green Door and Krakoan resurrection have respectively rendered her irrelevant and meaningless. Jane affirms the necessity of Death because without it life would be unending on the cellular level, which would make reality a Cancerverse.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The final arc introduces the Røkkva, an "antilife" entity from the abyss before the universe began. It resembles a cloud of darkness, can spawn tendrils, and is capable of bonding to or infecting other beings — corrupting them into corrupted evil versions of themselves... if it doesn't just kill them outright. Tyr engineers a complex plot to unleash it in order to conquer Asgard, but this backfires on him and Jane manages to seal it away again.
  • Empathic Weapon: Undrjarn more so than Mjolnir, as Jane discusses how it automatically becomes what she needs in battle and applies only enough force to subdue if she doesn't want to kill. The bond goes both ways, though, and if something actually manages to damage it, it'll hurt Jane as well.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Kaecilius and Adria make suitably dramatic proclamations on their return from the Purple Dimension. Demonicus, however, ruins the moment due to his nerves.
  • For the Evulz: Bullseye tells Jane that after he kills her with Dragonfang, he's going to kill everyone nearby "just 'cuz I can".
  • Funetik Aksent: Horse speaks wit' an Oop North one.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: On seeing the Living Tribunal, Jane's Valkyrie senses start giving her a momentary freakout, because some things man just isn't meant to see. Doctor Strange manages to help before she snaps.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest: Defied in issue 7 by Excalibur; a vision of Charon tells the Mighty Medics that "healing always has a price", which Faiza symbolically bypasses with the fact that she's not just a doctor — she's a National Health Service doctor, and her healing is free at the point of use.
  • Hellish Horse: Mephisto gives Grim Reaper one in issue 5, which comes with the requisite black hair and glowing red eyes. Also, spikes around its hooves.
  • Henshin Hero: Jane. As she notes in the first issue, Valkyrie is physically different from Jane (notable with their hairstyle - Jane's is still short as she's recovering from chemo, Valkyrie's is growing out). She muses that Valkyrie also comes with its own personality, and intuits things she has no way of knowing.
  • Hero of Another Story: Doctor Strange pops in during issue #4 for a crossover. However, while she initially thinks this, the Valkyrie part of Jane holds a different opinion.
    Jane: Nobody's a walk-on player. We all starring roles. This is all our story, always.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Mephisto insults Grim Reaper while the guy is sitting right in front of him.
  • Killed Off for Real: Heimdall is slain by Bullseye, who had the Dragonfang sword. His role as watchman of Asgard and his powers have been taken up by the goddess Sif, as his soul is taken to the Far Shore.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Mephisto's introduction has him note how recent events means he's been "contained", adding "I don't know if you've noticed" and the qualifier "technically", since most of his appearances elsewhere have had him running around willy-nilly, despite the events of Doctor Strange: Damnation.
    Mephisto: It's like, I'm Mephisto! You think I can't find a loophole somewhere?
  • Last of His Kind: Jane is both the last of the old Valkyrie and the first of the new (well, sort of... there are one or two stragglers).
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Mr Horse is a load of space and money for Jane to deal with, but when he gets to work as a steed, he loses all humor and turns into a equestrian badass.
  • Loophole Abuse: Turns out when Mephisto made his deal with Hela back in the "Everything Burns" arc of Journey into Mystery, he hid a few clauses in there. Such as, if all the Valkyrie die, any Disir working for him becomes the new Valkyries. Note, not the Disir, just anyone working for him.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Bullseye is hired to steal Dragonfang by someone. It turns out to be the Grim Reaper. Who then turns out to have a man behind him, in the form of Mephisto.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Jane, trying to have a conversation with Annabelle, who assumes she's asking her out, though Lisa comments that, thanks to Jane's behaviour, Annabelle probably thought she was stalking her.
  • Morph Weapon: Undrjarn the All-Weapon, which turns into whatever Jane needs in the situation, including wings when she needs to fly. It's also capable of predicting Jane's needs, hitting enemies with just enough force to keep them alive.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Bullseye introduces himself with a variant of what he said when he killed Elektra ("me, I'm magic!").
    • As she ushers Heimdall into the afterlife, Jane declares it a "Journey into Mystery".
  • Secret-Keeper: Doctor Strange recognizes Jane is the new Valkyrie, and lets her know at the end of issue 5.
    • History Repeats: Stephen tells her that her secret is AGAIN safe with him. He'd previously discovered her Thor identity the exact same way, because the Eye of Agamotto sees through magical disguises. He's actually one of the few heroes who knows Ms. Marvel's identity as well, for the same reason. You can't keep a secret identity secret from the Sorcerer Supreme.
    • Jane Foster's fellow mortuary worker is this, voluntarily.
  • Shape Dies, Shifter Survives: It seems like Manikin dies but in a twist only his amoeba form dies due to Doctor Strange's intervention.
  • Shout-Out: Annabelle Riggs's lecture is apparently called "'X' Never Marks the Spot". The lecture also involves her stating it does not involve cracking whips or running from boulders.
  • Spanner in the Works: Jane becoming a Valkyrie spanners Mephisto's plan, since he had no idea about her. Bullseye being Bullseye almost did this as well.
  • Spotting the Thread: Jane's fellow co-worker in the morgue reveals in issue 6 that he knows Jane is the new Valkyrie, thanks to basic logic - Dead Valkyries in the morgue one day, a new Valkyrie shows up soon after. All he had to do was check who was working at the time, which was Jane.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: As part of becoming a Valkyrie, Jane gets a cool talking horse... and runs into exactly the sort of problems you'd expect trying to keep a horse in a Manhattan apartment on a mortuary attendant's salary. Horses, even the magic kind, need food. And they take up a lot of space.
  • Tempting Fate: Grim Reaper does this in issue 5, much to his boss's exasperation.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Bullseye throws Dragonfang, which normally would leave him down a sword, but he manages to magically summon it back to him.
  • Trauma Button: In Death's realm, the team of super-medics encounter a painting showing their lost loved ones. Jane sees a picture of the car crash that took her husband and son. The only person who doesn't see anything is Doctor Strange, who's seen too much to be affected by it.
  • Warrior Heaven: How Jane defeats the powered-up Grim Reaper. She can't take him in battle, but she remembers that her role is to take warriors to their afterlife and so invoking the power of her Valkyrie role, she captures the Grim Reaper and imprisons him in Valhalla.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: Valkyrie wonders if she did the right thing in saving Death.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Annabelle Riggs delivers one to Jane in issue 5, thinking her a pretender who's just claimed the Valkyrie name to be a superhero, and is insulting Brunhilde's memory. Lisa gives her a speech in return that turns this right back around on her.
  • Wrecked Weapon: In order to stop Bullseye going on a rampage with Dragonfang, Jane reluctantly smashes it.