Marvel's Phase 4 Timeline May Tease a Big Spoiler From 'Thor 4'

It may be a coincidence, but that's how Jane Foster made her original debut as the God of Thunder.

Hear us out in this one: What if the new Marvel series What If…? introduces Jane Foster as the new Thor before Marvel ever releases Thor: Love and Thunder?

At San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios rolled out its new slate of movies and brand new TV shows coming to Disney+. Among the new stuff is a bizarre new animated anthology series, What If…?, an adaptation of the immensely popular speculative anthology comic that imagines major events in the Marvel Universe turning out differently. The series will star Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) as Uatu, an ancient alien who monitors the events that transpire on Earth.

What If…? premieres in “spring 2021” (an exact date has yet to be announced) on Disney’s streaming service, Disney+. Not long after, on November 5, 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder will hit theaters.

The film will introduce Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) as the new Thor, taking over from Chris Hemsworth. At Comic-Con, Hemsworth and director Taika Waititi even presented Portman with Mjolnir.

Got it? Good. Now, what if — and hear us out — Natalie Portman, who is also confirmed to reprise her Jane Foster in What If…? actually makes her debut as Thor on Disney+ before Thor: Love and Thunder?

It might be a coincidence, it might not, but Jane Foster’s first time as Thor actually happened in issue #10 of What If back in 1978. Aptly titled “What If Jane Foster Had Found the Hammer of Thor?,” the one-off story written by Don Glut imagines an alternate story where Jane Foster, a nurse who fell in love with Thor’s human identity of Dr. Donald Blake, was worthy to wield Thor’s powers.

Unlike most What If…? comics, where the issues usually ended in misery or death (a troll by the Marvel bullpen to “prove” their decisions in the “real” comics were the right ones), Jane Foster as Thor was a positive tale.

Marvel What If Jane Foster Thor
Jane Foster's first transformation into Thor happened in 1978, in an issue of the popular Marvel series 'What If...?'

Upon gaining her powers, Jane names herself “Thordis” and pretty much kicks ass all the way from Earth to Asgard. She confronts Loki and judo tosses Fandral for making a pass at her. She forms the Avengers with Captain America, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp, and even prevents Mangog from causing Ragnarok. All in all, it’s a busy single issue.

When Asgard is saved, the comic makes the weird decision of honorably stripping Jane Foster of her mantle as Thor and imbuing the powers back into Donald Blake/Thor, while leaving Jane the powers of an immortal Asgardian goddess. Because Jane and Thor never fell in love (Thor ended up with Lady Sif), Jane ended up marrying — deep breath here — Odin. Yeah, it was weird.

Thor What If Jane Foster
Jane Foster's "Thordis" had a pretty busy issue in 'What If...' #10.

Thankfully, Jason Aaron gave Marvel fans a more comprehensive and more complete story of Jane Foster as Thor in his epic seven-year run on The Mighty Thor. It’s the potential adaptation of Aaron’s comics, in which Jane simultaneously battles cancer as she pummels supervillains, that has fans hyped for Portman to be Thor in the MCU. In fact, to differentiate Hemsworth’s Thor from Portman’s, Jane Foster will be known as the “Mighty Thor.”

Whether or not Portman does voice a version of Jane Foster playing out What If…? #10 on Disney+, nothing will change the fact that she’s already Thor.

WATCH: Eric Francisco from Inverse predicts plot of Thor 4 in March 2018.

Thor: Love and Thunder will be released in theaters on November 5, 2021.

Media via Marvel Entertainment, Inverse