Don’t be fooled by Torunn Grnbekk’s bright smile and upbeat demeanour. “I spend a lot of time figuring out how to make Jane [Foster] uncomfortable,” says the writer of the upcoming Jane Foster & The Mighty Thor. “Just, ‘Oh, this is something she would despise.'” ‘I’ll do it.'”
Grnbekk’s new book, due out on June 8, has a great hook. “Someone is plotting in the shadows, somewhere Sif’s all-seeing gaze cannot reach, gathering Asgard’s enemies and promising that if they attack, Thor will be gone,” she says. “And when they attack, Thor vanishes.” The only thing that remains of him is the bloody hammer that smashed through Jane’s living room window.”
Jane was in a very different place as Valkyrie than she was when she wielded Mjolnir. Without the hammer, Mighty Thor Jane was dying of cancer, undergoing chemotherapy and then undoing the chemo treatments every time she transformed into Thor.
She died defending Asgardia from the rampaging Mangog, chaining him to Mjolnir and hurling the beast into the sun, losing her powers in the process. But she obtained the All-Weapon during the War of the Realms, and this is where Grnbekk picked her up.”
One of the fantastic things about writing Jane is all the Jane fans who love her so much, who will send me long emails and messages telling me exactly how Jane helped them through, especially if they have sick people around them,” she says. “I think people find [Jane’s] kindness in her, and then they take inspiration from this fictional character, which I think is a really beautiful thing.”Grnbekk says it’s safe to assume Jane will keep her Valkyrie powers and the All-Weapon she’s been using while she gets to swing Mjolnir around one more time. That enhanced power set complicates writing Jane, but it’s also kind of the point of the book.
“We need to make a challenge big enough for Jane, but try to solve it in a Jane way,” she says. “That’s where humanity always comes into play.” Because Jane, despite her illness, the loss of her son, and the loss of many of the people she loves, is profoundly human and full of heart and life.” A superhero with heart and soul who leads with kindness (and a massive space hammer) appears to be exactly what the world needs right now.
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