Few writers have a grasp over their characters histories and tones like Jason Aaron has over the Thor mythos, and his understanding is on full display in Jane Foster: Valkyrie #2 out this week from Marvel Comics. Sharing writing responsibilities with Al Ewing, their script and plot are top-notch. Coupled with Cafu’s lines, Jesus Aburtov’s colors, and VC’s Joe Sabino’s letters, Jane Foster: Valkyrie #2 is another worthy entry into Aaron’s Thor collection.
Picking up immediately following Bullseye’s stabbing Heimdall from chapter 1, Jane Foster: Valkyrie #2 continues the ensuing battle between God and Man. Jason Aaron and Al Ewing decision to make most of the dialogue an internal monologue from Valkyrie’s perspective was a clever one as it allows the action to flow simultaneously.
This entry goes a long way in supporting Aaron and Ewing’s theme of establishing a new legacy, exemplified by Jane Foster destroying Brumhilde’s Dragonfang. In most other arcs or stories reacquiring Dragonfang from Bullseye would have been the main concept for the story. The idea of retaking a sacred artifact to restore it’s Divinity and maintain its holiness is a classic trope. However, Jane Foster: Valkyrie #2 is not concerned with this at all. Instead, it opts for reformatting of the canon, establishing Jane Foster as the tried and true Valkyrie by escorting Heimdall to the assumed-to-be-destroyed Valhalla.
This story arc is also a nice nod to the original Nordic mythos of the Valkyrie doing this exact thing instead of fighting with people in Iron Suits with superpowers. It shows that Aaron and Ewing has a respect for the source material dating back to the ancient tales.
The choice of using Brumhilde’s Dragonfang as the object symbolic of the past status quo is smart as well. There are thousands of stories of swords with mystical powers that give its wielder divinity or mystic powers (ie. Excalibur), but placing this holy weapon in the hands of a sociopath highlight the flaw in these stories. If someone who is outright evil holds this powerful weapon, the weapon itself becomes evil. Jane Foster’s Undrjarn, The All-Weapon shifts to be whatever Jane Foster needs it to be. Undrjarn is all about the intent of its wielder as well. But in Valkyrie’s hands, Undrjarn is a force for good.
Valkyrie’s ability to see Death approach is an interesting mechanic and reading Valkyrie says she could use it to essentially track Bullseye shows how well thought out her powers are. What seems like an ability less suited for combat gets repurposed into a quasi-detective ability. Cafu and Jesus Aburtov’s rendering of these blobs are equally impressive.
Similarly, the art in this chapter is phenomenal. Cafu’s lines are clear, kinetic, and fluid and Aburtov’s colors pop off the page. In combination, they produce some of the most stellar art of the year. One scene, in particular, is when Bullseye is riding in on his flying horse. It seems like a shot ripped right out of a traditional opera or fable, the powerful Valkyrie’s riding in on flying horses to conquer evil. But with Bullseye as the rider the sky is colored blood red, symbolizing the coming bloodshed. Not to mention that the close-ups of Bullseye make him look certifiably unhinged.
Jane Foster: Valkyrie #2 is a tremendous feat from Jason Aaron, Al Ewing, Cafu, Jesus Aburtov, and VC’s Joe Sabino. The story is bold, theatrical, and definitely, a launchpad for Valkyrie to remain a prominent figure in ongoing Marvel stories and the art more than holds it’s own. Jane Foster: Valkyrie #2 is a dramatic reshaping of the character and should be on everyone’s list.