After seven issues of narrative buildup, the truth behind the identity of Marvel's female Thor was leaked early this week ahead of the release of issue #8.
Though red herrings in the run hinted at Odinson's mother Freyja or S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Roz Solomon as potential Thors, the woman actually inheriting the heroic mantle is Jane Foster.
Thor's hammer Mjölnir imbues Jane with superpowers and gives her a costume that shields her identity, but once the hammer's powers are stripped away, the Jane underneath it all is fighting a different kind of fight.
So the news broke a little earlier than anticipated; how did that feel? How has the response been so far, especially from those who'd been guessing along with the story?
Jason Aaron: Of course as the guy who writes the book, I'd rather people get the reveal the way it's intended, which is from reading the actual comic. But whenever you're dealing with a big mystery like this, you're going to have deal with the allure of the spoiler. Though the mystery in and of itself has never really been the story; the mystery was only a way of setting up the story. Simply knowing the person's name who's underneath the mask doesn't tell you everything you need to know. The real story will be where we go from here and what very particular challenge this lady is now facing. As for the response to all of this, it's been simply amazing. Far beyond anything I ever expected. It was fun to read all the different guesses and theories people had. Pretty much everyone under the sun got guessed at one point or another, including some characters I never imagined. So there were plenty of people who correctly guessed that it was Jane. But only one or two that I saw who had an inkling as to the rest of the mystery, in terms of Jane's cancer and how being Thor has affected her physically.
Has it always been Jane?
JA: It was always Jane. As I've said all along, this was never a case of "Let's make Thor a lady and figure out later what the actual story is." This was me saying, "I want to tell this particular story with Jane Foster." It was always about the story, not the announcement or the promotion or anything else. If you don't have the story first, then the rest of that stuff is just noise. And I've always felt strongly about the story I'm telling here.
JA: This is clearly the next step in her evolution, an evolution that's been going on since she first appeared in 1962. She's gone from Donald Blake's nurse and Thor's love interest to a doctor and a movie star and now the all-new Thor. Any longtime Thor fan should see the symmetry between this new Jane Foster story and the original Thor dynamic set up by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Again, as I've said all along, this is a story that harkens back to those very first adventures with the character. This to me feels like a story that was in many ways inevitable. This is the true fulfillment of the inscription on Thor's hammer, which promises magical transformation to anyone who can prove themselves worthy.
What does it mean that Jane is now worthy in this universe?
JA: The whole idea of worthiness has been a big theme for all of my work on Thor and will continue to be so. I'd say though that from what we've seen so far, worthiness is always a mutable condition, not an absolute. Just ask the previous version of Thor about that. What makes one person worthy while someone else isn't? What does it mean to be a worthy god? Why is Jane Foster worthy when so many of the Asgardians weren't? Those are all questions we'll explore as we go forward.
What is the significance of having Thor be a woman right before Secret Wars?
JA: I knew I wanted to have some fun with the mystery of the character's identity for a bit, but I didn't want to drag that out too long. Luckily I've known Secret Wars was coming for a few years now, so I knew exactly how much time I had before the Marvel Universe was going to literally explode. That seemed to me like the perfect time to wrap up the mystery, at least for readers. The characters in the story still have no idea who's under Thor's mask.
What can we expect from Jane going forward, both as herself and as Thor?
JA: Right now, we can look forward to Secret Wars, and I can say that we will be seeing both of those versions of Thor in the event, along with a whole lot of other Thors. More Thors than we've ever seen before.