Why The Mighty Valkyries exists is almost as interesting as the book itself. Bear with me for a moment. Valkyrie: Jane Foster was a spin-off of War of the Realms, giving the now-cancer free Jane Foster a new superheroic identity as the very last of the Valkyries.
That this came around the same time as the announcement that Natalie Portman would reprise her role as Jane Foster in the upcoming movie Thor: Love and Thunder was a total coincidence, of course.
Regardless, Valkyrie: Jane Foster was canceled alongside several others due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And, like many of the other books canceled due to COVID-19 – such as Ghost Rider and The Union – it was briefly revived for a short miniseries during the King in Black event. This miniseries – King in Black: Return of the Valkyries – starred Jane Foster, Danielle Moonstar, and a new, unnamed Valkyrie. This Valkyrie looked exactly like Tessa Thompson’s character from Thor: Ragnarok. Return of the Valkyries was actually the second attempt to introducing such a character, with Saladin Ahmed introducing an identical character several years ago in his run of Exiles.
Mighty Valkyries, by the same writing team of Jason Aaron and Torunn Gronbekk, is the latest continuation of this saga. And, in many ways, it shouldn’t work. It’s a strange coda to Jason Aaron’s long since concluded Thor story; it’s a shameless attempt to cash in on an upcoming film. And, frankly, I haven’t been too impressed by Jason Aaron’s recent comics.
I’m not sure I could call The Mighty Valkyries strictly good, but it’s at least interesting. It reads like a book from an earlier era; the sort of comic that the medium has veered away from. It’s very bronze age. Jane Foster is a superhero in a very traditional sense, with a secret identity, an almost Superman-esque supporting cast, and her call to adventure in The Mighty Valkyries is something that you could imagine reading in a Neal Adams Batman book.
On the other hand, though, the B-plot, following Not-Tessa Thompson, is very much not. It’s a story with a wry sense of humor, almost 2000AD style, following a civilization that sells access to an oracle for very large sums of money.
Each story is in and of itself interesting, but they’re tonally dissonant and don’t mesh together well. And while I have no doubt that Gronbekk and Aaron will do their best to merge the two plot lines in the future and they have the technical competency to pull it off, The Mighty Valkyries’ thematic confusion simply disappoints. There’s no way around it.
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