At last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel’s Kevin Feige announced that Natalie Portman would return as Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder. However, Jane would be assuming the moniker of Mighty Thor and wielding Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer. Now, an ambitious new theory reveals how Jane’s reappearance in Thor 4 could set up multiple timelines and explain how both her and Thor can exist in Avengers 5.
Reddit user TheMediocreCritic theorizes that there will actually be two Janes within the MCU and that the Mighty Thor version of the character comes from an alternate timeline. In short, the theory hinges on the fact that Jane takes up Thor’s mantle following his death in this alternate timeline that Loki escaped to with the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame.
Loki’s self-titled Disney+ series will center on his time-travel adventures and include a run-in with the Time Variance Authority, an organization tasked with protecting the time stream. With that in mind, it’s possible that the show will bounce around to parallel timelines and universes. That’s where Jane’s Mighty Thor comes in.
Since Thor’s sister Hela already destroyed Mjolnir in the primary timeline, Jane can’t inherit that hammer. Obviously, the God of Thunder will appear in Thor 4, but even Thor will likely be limited to his new axe after Captain America returned Mjolnir to the past at the end of Endgame. Having a new version of Jane emerge from a parallel dimension where the hammer was never destroyed is a clever workaround that also lets you skip over yet another origin story.
What’s more, this theory creates a situation where both Thor and Mighty Thor could be fighting alongside each other in Avengers 5. We know Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will, as the title suggests, introduce the multiverse, so it's possible that Thor 4 will be the first real instance where we see duplicates of our favorite MCU characters.
With the combination of alternate timelines in Loki, it’s possible that an alternate Jane means Thor will be sticking around for the next big team-up. If that’s the case, he may be one of the only original Avengers in the film, depending on what the Marvel's plans are for Avengers 5.
The Inverse Analysis — In the comics, Jane becomes Mighty Thor after Thor loses the ability to wield Mjolnir. Long story short, the hammer chooses Jane to wield the hammer and she later goes on to fight in Marvel’s Secret Wars storyline, which sees Earth’s mightiest heroes transported to another planet by the villain Beyonder.
The 2015 version of the nine-issue comic story includes a multitude of superheroes and villains from across the multiverse and timelines. Coincidence? Maybe not. With the speculation that Secret Wars will potentially be the next major storyline to play out in Avengers 5, it seems even more possible that Jane’s Mighty Thor could be a version from another timeline. Whatever the case, the theory is sound considering the time-travel and interdimensional worldbuilding the MCU has been doing since Endgame.
Thor: Love and Thunder is scheduled to hit theaters on February 11, 2022.