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I tend to the living as a doctor. I minister to the dead in the morgue. And I fight for them both — as the Valkyrie.
Jane Foster, Jane Foster: Valkyrie #5
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Jane Foster (formerly Thor, presently Valkyrie) is a Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby, first appearing in Journey into Mystery #84 (dated September 1962).

Introduced as Thor's coworker —a mortal nurse to his alter ego, Dr. Donald Blake— Jane soon became his primary love interest, appearing in nearly every issue of his initial solo adventures. Though her appearances started growing fewer and farther between in later years, Jane eventually received more attention throughout the wider Marvel Universe separate from Thor, showing up in storylines like Civil War, now a doctor of oncology instead of the nurse she originally was.

After decades serving mostly as a supporting character in other characters' titles, Jane finally became a headliner in the 2014 relaunch of Thor, starring as the new Goddess of Thunder when Odinson was deemed Unworthy in Original Sin. Jane's turn as Thor was originally kept a mystery, with her then-recent cancer diagnosis serving as the cover for her new secret identity. During this time, she joined the Avengers and helped restore the universe back to the way it was in Secret Wars.

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After "dying" as Thor, Jane relinquished the name back to Odinson, which also sent her cancer into remission as a result. But that wouldn't be the end of her time as a superhero, with developments in War of the Realms leading her to become a brand-new Valkyrie, headlining the first ever Valkyrie solo title.

Jane has appeared often in other media, either in her civilian form or as Thor. Most notably, she was portrayed by Natalie Portman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in Thor and its 2013 sequel Thor: The Dark World. She hasn't appeared in the MCU since the latter film, save a scene in Avengers: Endgame revisiting events from 2013, with Thor himself explaining they'd broken up between The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok. Following Endgame, she is set to officially return in Thor: Love and Thunder, where she is set to become Thor. As Thor, she featured in Avengers: Secret Wars, voiced there by Kari Wahlgren. She's also a playable character (usually as Thor) in many Marvel-based video games.

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     Notable Comic Books 

     Film 

     Video Games 

     Western Animation 

Tropes

  • Action Girl: Subverted initially. When she first tried to marry Thor (in a 1966 issue), Odin wanted to test her and so locked her inside a chamber with the Creeping Horror. She panicked without putting up any sort of fight and screamed for Thor to save her. Played straight as the former Thor and current Valkyrie.
  • Amicable Exes: Her and Thor. In the God of Thunder run she's actively encouraging him to find a new girlfriend, then later discussing Thor's new sort of girlfriend with Thor's mother, while he holds her in very high regard, noting that any new girlfriend he found would have to be very special because his last Earth girlfriend was so extraordinary, and encourages her to speak for Earth in the Congress of Worlds.
  • Bald Woman: She's lost her hair due to her cancer.
  • Cast From Life Span: Using the hammer spreads her cancer.
  • Briefer Than They Think: When the layperson thinks of Thor's primary Love Interest, they think of Jane. While it's true that the two have always had chemistry, the truth is that Jane's ship was pretty much sunk back in 1967, within Thor #136, where Odin's manipulation caused her to fail her Engagement Challenge and be sent back to Earth with her and Thor having no memory of each other. After that, she married and had a child with a Suspiciously Similar Substitute named Dr. Kincaid and the two never really got back together again. Still, Thor (2014) shows that Jane is still very bitter about what Odin did to her, and her infatuation with Thor actually caused the end of her marriage.
  • Combat Medic: Whenever she served as Thor and/or Valkryie she was on duty as a doctor.
    • As Valkyrie, she assembled 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.
  • Commuting on a Bus: This has been her status ever since she and Thor broke up way back in Thor #136. Jane, while a major part of Thor's mythology, actually hasn't been featured in many of his books since then, compared to someone like Lois Lane or Mary Jane Watson.
  • Did Not Think This Through: In the 2007 series, she tells Donald Blake that she divorced her husband and son to try and reconcile with Donald/Thor, only to find out that the "Thor" who'd appeared was a clone (Ragnarok). Since she didn't file divorce for a satisfactory reason, the courts granted custody of her son to Kincaid, leaving Jane alone. She herself says that it wasn't such a good idea in retrospect.
  • Distaff Counterpart: In one alternate universe, she's the one who finds Mjölnir instead of Dr. Blake and uses the hammer to become a female version of Thor, having many of the same advantages Blake had in the 616 universe. As the former Thor in the 616 universe, she was this once again.
  • Divine Date: She was Thor's earliest Love Interest — in the comics, that is.
  • Dressed to Heal: Usually played straight. She's immediately identifiable as a nurse by the swiftest glance at any of the early Tales to Astonish covers.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Played With. She's perfectly aware of all the crazy magic stuff, but she's also very aware that it comes with a price, hence why she forbids Thor from looking for a magical method of curing her cancer.
  • Hospital Hottie: She is considered very beautiful, which goes along with her good and pure occupation as a nurse.
  • Loser Gets the Girl: With her being "the girl" in question. In one of Hercules's earliest appearances, Jane humors Herc's flirting to make Thor jealous and goad the two gods into fighting over her. Thor (because of Odin's intervention) loses the duel but Hercules gets lured away by a throng of adoring fans, and a distraught Jane rushes back to Thor's side apologizing for her actions and re-declaring that Thor is the only man she loves.
  • Out of Focus:
    • From Thor's first appearance, Jane apppeared in every issue alongside him, until Odin prevented Jane from marrying Thor in Thor #136 and she fell in love with Dr. Kincaid instead. From then on, she only sparsely appeared in the books while the role of Thor's Love Interest fell primarily to Sif.
    • In issue #231, Sif gave a portion of her life force to Jane, merging the two of them (with Jane being in control). She and Thor/Donald Blake renewed their courtship, However, when Sif returned later, Jane returned to Dr. Kincaid and again only made sporadic appearances from that point on.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Zig Zagged Trope. After failing to become a goddess, Odin erased both she and Thor's memories of their love and both of them fell in love with other people. So they were romantic runnerups for each other, but neither minded at the time. When Sif merged with her later, they gave it another try, but that ended once again when she and Sif separated.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Generally averted. She may have started off as this, but her relationship with Don/Thor is as complex as one would expect, given the years spent fighting aliens and giant serpents.
  • The Topic of Cancer: As of Jason Aaron's God Of Thunder run, she's dealing with this.

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