Thor 4 Updates: The comeback of Natalie Portman in Thor: Love & Thunder shows an issue with the MCU: the emotional influence of comic books cannot be replicated.
Natalie Portman is returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor: Love & Thunder, but the essence of her return leads to a significant issue with this particular comic book adaptation.
Jason Aaron, a comic book artist, forever altered the Thor franchise in 2014. Thor Odinson was made unfit to wield his enchanted hammer, Mjolnir, at the close of the “Original Sin” incident. Soon after, readers were introduced to a new Thor, who was later discovered to be his ex-girlfriend, Jane Foster.
The concept was successful, and it’s not shocking that Marvel Studios is adapting it for the big screen. Jane Foster in the MCU differs from the comics in that she is an astrophysicist rather than just a nurse, but she is nevertheless destined to be turned into the Mighty Thor.
Natalie Portman, who played the character in the very first two Thor movies, is returning as a heroine in her own right, not only as a love interest. Unfortunately, this return illustrates a common issue of comic book adaptations.
Thor 4: What is the Problem?
It’s quick to forget that the female Thor’s identity was once a mystery. In reality, the first Mighty Thor run starring this character was built on the fact that she was a mystery. Thor Odinson compiled a spreadsheet of all the women he could see as she alters ego, and he went through it all just to cross off every single name.
Jane Foster was removed from the list because she was doing chemotherapy, and neither Thor nor the readers thought she might be the Goddess of Thunder. In fact, Jane’s cancer treatment was the explanation for her worthiness – and any time Jane turned into Thor, the chemotherapy’s effects were reversed.
Mjolnir was actually murdering Jane, but she found it a small price to pay because the Nine Realms desperately wanted a Thor.
The trouble with this particular comic book adaptation is that the mystery has already been solved. A realistic reconstruction of this iconic comic book plot is unlikely due to the lack of the “shock factor.”
This is why Marvel hasn’t even tried to keep the identity of the female Thor a secret; in truth, Portman’s return was revealed alongside the release of Thor 4. It’s a shame that the dramatic strength of Jason Aaron’s excellent story can never be repeated effectively.
That isn’t to suggest there aren’t any puzzles in Thor 4. The identity of the female Thor has been replaced by another mystery, the mystery of how Jane Foster obtained Mjolnir in the first place.
Mjolnir was killed by Hela in Thor: Ragnarok, so it should be unlikely for anyone else to take up the mantle of Thor Odinson. Any set picture for Thor: Love & Thunder is being scrutinized for hints to justify Mjolnir’s continuing life or reconstruction – a mystery Marvel would be best not to disclose until the film itself.
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