Jane Foster has had many roles throughout her life. She’s been a nurse, a doctor, a love interest, Thor, Valkyrie, and a mother. That last one might surprise you, since Jane’s son Jimmy hasn’t played a huge role in the Marvel Comics saga. Despite this, he remains an important part of Jane’s backstory, helping her become the fan-favorite character she is today. In recent years Dr. Jane Foster has taken up the mantle of Thor in Jason Aaron’s critically acclaimed run. This story serves as the basis for the movie Thor: Love and Thunder, which features Natalie Portman’s Jane taking a similar path. Jane Foster’s star is rising, but who is her son, and whatever happened to him?
Love and marriage
The story of Jane Foster’s son Jimmy goes all the way back to Thor #136 (1966). Jane had gone with Thor to Asgard in preparation for their upcoming wedding. Thor’s father Odin deemed that only a goddess can marry a god, so he set up a series of trials for Jane to prove her worth. However, Odin never had any intention of letting Jane become a goddess and marry Thor, and the trials were designed to drive her mad.
Asgard and Odin’s trials were too much for Jane to take, and she begged to return to Earth. Odin obliged, wiping Jane’s memories of her time with Thor. Odin placed her in the office of a physician named Dr. Keith Kincaid, a man who resembled Thor’s mortal-form Donald Blake. Jane went to work for Dr. Kincaid as his nurse, and new a romance soon developed.
Jane eventually regained her memories, and for a time she merged with the goddess Sif to fight alongside Thor. After being separated from Sif, Jane reunited with Keith. Jane and Keith got married in Thor #336 (1983), but that didn’t necessarily lead to a happily ever after.
And a baby makes three
Keith and Jane tried to live a quiet life, but their connection with Thor made that difficult. In Thor #372 (1986) Jane and Keith are seen relaxing in a suburban home. Keith is reading while the pregnant Jane is knitting. They appear to be the picture of marital bliss, until a villain known as Zaniac arrives and murders Jane. Luckily Thor was able to go back in time and prevent her death. Jane was seen again in Thor #394 (1988) when a screenwriter tracked her down to interview her about her relationship with Thor. This is where Jane’s son is seen for the first time. Throughout the interview, Jane is seen caring for the baby boy.
We don’t learn the boy’s name until his next appearance in Thor #475 (1994). Jane and little Jimmy are kidnapped by the villainous Man-Beast before they’re saved by Thor. At this point Thor meets Jimmy Kincaid for the first time. Jimmy is illustrated as a toddler, and he’s fascinated by his mother’s godlike friend. When the dust settles, Jane explains that she and Keith have separated, and Jimmy is all she has left.
At this point, Jane and Jimmy become regular supporting characters. Jane stays in the high-tech mountain sanctuary known as Wundagore Mountain, where she acts as a tutor and physician for the group of creatures known as the Ani-Mutants. Jimmy loves life on Wundagore Mountain, seeing it as his personal playground. The Anti-Mutants dote on the toddler, and are constantly seen playing with him. Jimmy Kincaid made his ninth and final appearance in Thor #486 (1995) before disappearing into comic book limbo.
The disappearing son
At first Jimmy’s absence didn’t seem unusual. After all, there isn’t much a toddler can do while Thor fights demons or his mother treats patients. However, Jimmy’s absence got more conspicuous as time went on. When the Thor title was relaunched in 1998, Jane Foster and Keith Kincaid became regular supporting characters again. At the time Thor had merged with a paramedic named Jake Olsen, who worked at the same hospital as Jane and Keith. Despite their earlier marital troubles, Keith and Jane had reconciled.
Although Keith and Jane were regular fixtures in Thor’s life, their son Jimmy never made an appearance. One could assume that he was in preschool while his parents were working, but it’s odd that he was never mentioned. We were finally given an update on Jimmy’s whereabouts in Thor #8 (2008). The issue sees Thor catching up with Jane Foster after an extended absence.
Thor tells Jane that he heard she had gotten married and had a child. It’s weird that Thor is talking about this like it’s new information, since he had gone to Jane’s wedding and personally knew Jimmy. Either way, Jane explains that her marriage to Keith has ended once and for all, and he currently has custody of Jimmy. From there, Jane continued to weave in and out of Thor’s life, while Jimmy remained forgotten. In Marvel Digital Holiday Special #2 (2010) Thor and Jane spend Christmas together with no mention of her young son. Although one could conclude that Jimmy was with Keith for the holidays, it’s odd that Jane never mentions him on Christmas.
Jimmy’s fate revealed
In 2014 Jane Foster took center stage when she ascended to godhood and became Thor. Sadly, the new power came with a price. At the time, Jane had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Every time Jane Foster used the hammer Mjolnir to transform into Thor, the effects of her treatments would be flushed from her body, bringing her closer to death. Jason Aaron’s critically acclaimed run took Jane to new heights, showing that she was a true hero worthy of being Thor.
The new run also shifted the story to Jane’s perspective, which made the absence of Jimmy even more conspicuous. Jane’s cancer prognosis had her contemplating her mortality, yet she never thought of her son. In Mighty Thor #8 (2016), Jane is interrogated by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and she defiantly tells them that she’s dying of cancer and they have nothing they could hold over her. It’s an odd thing for someone to say if they have a child out there. Readers eventually started a message board thread on Comic Book Resources speculating on Jimmy and Keith’s whereabouts. Some speculated that Jane was staying away from Jimmy for his safety, while others dismissed Jane as a “deadbeat mom.”
The speculation was put to rest when Jimmy’s fate was tragically revealed in Mighty Thor #704 (2018). As Jane is undergoing chemotherapy treatments, she reflects on all the losses she’s experienced throughout her life. The first flashback takes place during Jane’s childhood when she helplessly watches her mother succumb to cancer. The next flashback occurs during Jane’s early adult years when she mourns the passing of her father after a fatal heart attack. The final flashback is set a few years before the present day and depicts a shellshocked Jane reacting to the death of her son and ex-husband.
Thor flies in to comfort her, but Jane initially rejects him. Consumed by her grief, Jane blames Thor for not being there to save her family. During this discussion, we learn that Keith had fallen asleep while driving, causing an accident that killed him and Jimmy. This revelation gave new context to Jane’s storyline. She wasn’t a deadbeat mother, she was a woman who had lost everything but still found the strength to be a hero.
The legacy of Jimmy
Although Jimmy is gone, he remains an important part of Jane’s story. He’s no longer a forgotten character. Throughout the Valkyrie: Jane Foster ongoing series, Jane has reflected on the loss of her son, and how it has shaped her as a hero. Recently Jane was tempted with an illusion of her son in King in Black: Return of the Valkyries #4 (2021). Jane affectionately held the child but accepted the fact that he was an illusion, and the real Jimmy was never coming back.
Today Jane Foster is one of Marvel’s premier characters. She has starred in multiple ongoing titles, she’s a member of the Avengers, and her cinematic counterpart is currently dazzling audiences on the big screen in Thor: Love and Thunder. For a time it looked like her son Jimmy was forgotten, but we now know she carries the weight of his loss with her every day. Like Batman and his parents, or Spider-Man and his Uncle Ben, Jimmy Kincaid will always be an important part of his mother’s heroic journey.