Female Thor Natalie Portman Jane Foster, The Big Picture

Marvel Studios’ 2019 San Diego Comic-Con presentation for their Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 yielded many major announcements and a few big surprises. However, there was no bigger surprise than Natalie Portman taking the stage as director Taika Waititi confirmed that she’ll be returning to the role of Jane Foster in the Thor franchise for the recently announced fourth installment, Thor: Love & Thunder.

But perhaps there is something more surprising than the (apparent) mending of fences between the studio and the Oscar-winning actress, who famously departed the series’s female lead role amid dissatisfaction with her character and the removal of original Thor: The Dark World director Patty Jenkins. It was the news that the film will feature a version of the controversial 2014 comics arc where Jane took up the powers, mantle, and even title of “The Mighty Thor” herself. The story arc was praised by many but proved divisive to a vocal minority of fans. But how does the idea of “inheriting” Thor’s role even work? Here, The Big Picture attempts to explain.

Bob Chipman
Bob Chipman is a critic and author.

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