The first full-length trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder was finally released on Monday, providing some answers regarding Natalie Portman’s role—and of course, bringing up a variety of questions about just what type of emotional rollercoaster the upcoming Marvel adventure will be.
For the Twitter “fanboys” who have been insisting that “Thor” is not a title, and that Portman must be playing a Thor variant, this glimpse into the film must have been a massive disappointment—but for those of us who are fans of Jane Foster’s run as the Mighty Thor, it was confirmation that director Taika Waititi was directly influenced by her comic book arc. (An amazing arc, by the way, which we discussed on this blog several years ago.)
It can be a little confusing, I know; but while the Avenger we know and love might be Thor Odinson by name, he isn’t always the Mighty Thor, nor is he always worthy of being the God of Thunder (as we have already seen in his first film). This idea was driven home in October 2014, when writer Jason Aaron and artist Russell Dauterman created an arc wherein Thor is no longer able to wield Mjolnir—the mantle is instead taken up by a woman, who is later revealed to be Jane Foster, Thor Odinson’s former girlfriend. As stated by Aaron, “this is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is Thor. This is the Thor of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.”
The trailer for Love and Thunder certainly seems to be drawing from this idea, although we don’t know how or why Thor Odinson might not be wielding Mjolnir. There’s a lot to consider here since MCU’s Steve Rogers supposedly returned Mjolnir to its rightful timeline at the end Avengers: Endgame…and if everything went the way it was supposed to after their meddling with the space-time-continuum, then Mjolnir was destined to be destroyed by Hela (as seen in Ragnarok).
While we may not know how Jane will receive the power of Thor in Love and Thunder, or where on earth she finds a new Mjolnir, one thing is for certain: she is one bad-ass Goddess of Thunder. And although the MCU is a very different world than the comic-verse, I am hopeful that we will experience a journey with Jane similar to that created by Aaron and Dauterman—one where she might be struggling with breast cancer, but is still the only one worthy of Mjolnir’s power. One where she isn’t just Thor Odinson’s ex-girlfriend, but a future Valkyrie. One where femininity is strength, and something to be celebrated.
Thor: Love and Thunder arrives in theaters on July 8, 2022.
P.S. Did you notice Thor’s new ink?? Thoughts on the possibility of seeing a version of Loki in this film?? Let’s chat in the comment, or over on Twitter.