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In Love and Thunder Mighty Thor’s Cancer is Not a Villain

By Lori Perkins

I saw Love and Thunder last week, and enjoyed it, as I do like Chris Hemsworth’s interpretation of the Thor character, and I was eager to see what they did with this incarnation of the Jane Foster character.

I was so eager to see the pumped-up Natalie Porter in her role as an equal to Thor that I almost forgot the origin story of how and why she gets there. Of course, the marketing wants you to ignore that too, which is why the film is pitched as a father/daughter happy ending to its audience. I mean, no one would go see a superhero movie where the co-hero is portrayed as a weak chemo-drained bald cancer patient before she takes the mighty hammer, which makes her into a superhero, right?

But in the original comic book series, Jane has stage 4 breast cancer (never mentioned what kind of cancer she has in the movie) and she’s doing what all us cancer patients do (thus the fucking metaphor we are forced to endure of being a “warrior” and “fighting” cancer). In the film, she keeps her hair and her good looks, and isn’t even slowed down enough to be weak during a chemo infusion.

As a breast cancer survivor (not a warrior), I would have so loved to have her loose her hair during chemo and have those glorious blonde locks appear during her Mighty Thor moments. That would have given the Mighty Thor transformation a whole other metaphorical level.

The way the story is told in this incarnation, the only bad guy is Christian Bale’s Gorr, the god butcher. And he does an amazing job in that role, but, I feel Marvel lost the opportunity to make cancer, who took Jane Foster’s life, the real villain, because cancer is a real-life villain too many of us face.


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