(Warning, HUGE SPOILERS for Thor comic-book readers below. If you haven't read Thor #8, then be forewarned, mortal)
For months now, one of the biggest controversies in the Marvel comic-book universe has been the arrival - and subsequent resounding success - of a new, female Thor. Y'see, not only did Marvel replace the original, very-much-male God of Thunder with a new, more-worthy female counterpart - which ruffled a fair few feathers along the way - but her comic is actually noticeably outselling the male Thor's.
All of which is, of course, absolutely awesome - and fantastic news for all of us who've been clamoring for more female superheroes for...well, the entire history of comic-dom. It's also, though, raised a pretty big mystery: who is this new Thor?
Y'see, though she's been around for a fair few months now, we don't actually know who this new Thor is...until now, at least:
The New Thor's Identity Has Finally Been Revealed...And It Might Just Change the Marvel Cinematic Universe Forever
Y'see, Thor #8, which was released today, finally confirmed exactly who the new God of Thunder is - and as it turns out, it's someone we've already seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe...
Yup - that's right. Jane Foster - otherwise known as Thor's love interest and (in the movies) one of the world's leading astrophysicists - is Thor.
And, in the comics (where she was actually a nurse, and later a doctor, as opposed to a famous scientist), she isn't just battling villains as the Mighty Thor - she's also battling breast cancer...
Not, though, that Marvel editor Will Moss and the book's creative team ever considered that to be any kind of limitation:
"We talked about other people but none of them felt as right as Jane because she is so key to Thor’s whole mythology, she’s been there pretty much every step of the way. It also just had this — there was something more to it, this nice Marvel element in the fact that she’s doing this despite the fact that she has cancer. It adds this level of tragedy to it and sacrifice [becoming Thor halts the cancer, but transforming back leaves it worse than before] that especially made this a nice choice for what Thor can be. So it really could only have been Jane."
The big question, though?
How Will This Effect the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Well, potentially, not at all. After all, the MCU and Marvel comics are completely separate entities...except, of course, for the fact that the upcoming Secret Wars crossover may well be set to bring the two universe's a whole lot closer to being in sync.
On top of that, Chris Hemsworth's time as Thor will come to a close eventually - and Marvel doesn't seem particularly inclined to recast any of their main roles in the near future. Add in the current popularity of the new female Thor, and it's not actually too hard to imagine Jane Foster being given the hammer in the MCU as well.
As Moss put it, when asked about Jane's comic-book role being transferred to the big screen:
"That’d be a lot of fun. We have no idea on this end — we work with the studio but we’re not in lockstep with them, there’s no real connection for this idea and that. But it would be a lot of fun, and Natalie Portman would do a great job. It’s pretty easy to see her playing a role like that, where it’s this vulnerable, strong hero. So it would definitely be a lot of fun, and that’s something we all think about, but who knows? We’re hoping that it happens as much as everybody else, but that’s the extent of the control we have over it."
So, if - in, say, five years time, the female Thor has proven a roaring success, and Chris Hemsworth happens to want to leave the MCU, don't be too surprised if Marvel throws a bucket-load of money in Natalie Portman's direction and follows the comics with this one.
Ragnarok is coming, after all...
What do you think, though?