The final post-credits for Thor: Love and Thunder showed the recently deceased Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) arriving at the gates of Valhalla, greeted by Heimdall (Idris Elba). While some people might think this is just a nice button on the story for Jane, Marvel Comics fans know that it could lead to a bigger future for the character. One which may also involve Tessa Thompson’s King Valkyrie. The inspiration lies right there in the pages of Marvel Comics.
Jane Foster’s Comic Book Fate Was Different
Jane Foster’s cancer storyline in the MCU followed a very similar trajectory to her comics story. But there were some differences. In the comics, when Jane succumbed to her illness, she was proven worthy of Valhalla. But Odin stopped just short of letting her in, instead restoring her to life on Earth. This doesn’t happen in the movie, as Jane fully died and entered the realm of fallen heroes. But MCU Jane Foster probably has a similar fate going forward as her comics counterpart in one respect. Because just like in the comics, we foresee Jane Foster becoming the heroic Valkyrie.
What About Tessa Thompson’s Val?
Now, you might be wondering “isn’t there already a Valkyrie in the MCU, and isn’t she Tessa Thompson?” Well, yes. But King Val was but one of an elite warrior group of Valkyries, who escorted the heroic dead Asgardians to the halls of Valhalla. She was the only survivor of the Valkyrior who Hela slaughtered millennia ago. (This was all shown in flashback in Ragnarok). She eventually wound up on Sakaar, where she became Scrapper 142 in the Grandmaster’s arena. And she pretty much drank and punched her life away until meeting Thor, and getting reacquainted with her Asgardian roots.
The Valkyrie from the Marvel Comics was Brunnhilde, who was also a leader of the Valkyrior. But unlike her MCU incarnation, the original comic book version had a different backstory. Her Asgardian spirit was often fused with that of a mortal woman from Earth. Sometimes this was Barbara Norris, and other times she was Sian Bowen. She was a frequent member of the Defenders, fighting alongside Doctor Strange, Namor, and the Hulk. Thus, she was a very prominent hero in ’70s and ’80s Marvel Comics.
The War of the Realms Changes Everything
The MCU never referred to King Valkyrie as anything but “Val,” but some official materials did refer to her as Brunnhilde. So Tessa Thompson played the same character, just one with a very different history. In the comics, Brunnhilde formed a new Valkyrior, in the series The Fearless Defenders. She recruited some of the most formidable mortal women, not just Asgardians, to join this new version. But during the War of the Realms storyline, she was killed by the Dark Elves.
This led us right back to Jane Foster. In the comics, after her time as The Mighty Thor was over, Jane Foster completed her chemotherapy, and began to return to health. During the War of the Realms, Jane became the first of a new generation of Valkyries, after the death of Brunnhilde. She became armed with Undrjarn the All-Weapon, named so by the soul of Brunnhilde as she and the Valkyrior spirits rose from their bodies to find Valhalla. The All-Weapon could transform into any weapon the user desired. It even became wings that allowed her to fly.
How These Comics Could Inspire the MCU
The MCU could have their “cake and eat it too” solution with both characters, based on their comics history. What if, now a soul in Valhalla, Jane Foster met the rest of the Asgardians who were there? And at this point, there are a lot. Odin, Frigga, the Warriors Three, Heimdall. Heck, even Loki. They should have all earned their way into Valhalla. And the Valkyior existed to guide worthy Asgardian souls into that realm. It would make sense that Odin would initiate a new army of Valkyries to replace the old one he lost to Hela.
And who better to lead the charge than Jane? Especially after proving her worthiness by wielding Mjolnir. He could task her with becoming the first in a new army of Valkyries, and send her back into the mortal world. After all, there are still Asgardians on Earth, and when they die with honor, someone should be there to usher them into Valhalla. So why not Jane Foster?
Of course, King Valkyrie is still on Earth in the MCU, and not dead. Instead, she rules New Asgard. But as we saw in Love and Thunder, she’s not all that into the role. She craves battle and adventure. It’s in her blood. Maybe a newly reborn Jane comes to Earth and asks King Val to help her restart the Valkyrior, where the two recruit the most badass women to join them, just like in Fearless Defenders. And who all get their own winged horses of course. (You gotta have those).
All of this sounds like the perfect setup for a Valkyries Disney+ series or movie. And given how great Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson’s chemistry was together, we definitely want more. And Thor doesn’t even have to be there. Although a brief appearance wouldn’t hurt, should Chris Hemsworth be down for it. We’d say call it Fearless Defenders, but we have a feeling that the MCU might have plans for a team with a similar name. All we know is that Thor: Love and Thunder should not be the last time we see these amazing ladies together. And the blueprint for how they return is right there in the pages of the comics.