CW: cancer, cancer storylines, and chemotherapy.
I went to see Thor Love & Thunder with a friend of mine a month ago. While Thor is the main character, I really was there to see Valkyrie and Jane Foster’s return to the Marvel franchise. After the movie was released, I was browsing the internet and I read an interesting article. The article was referring to Thor Love & Thunder and whether it should have included content warnings for viewers. If you couldn’t tell from the content warning I posted earlier, the content warning that viewers were asking for was regarding cancer, cancer diagnosis, and chemotherapy.
In Thor Love & Thunder, it’s revealed that Jane was diagnosed with cancer and her outcome was grim. She seeks out Mjölnir (Thor’s old Hammer) to see if this type of magic could help cure her. When Jane connects with Mjölnir, she’s given powers related to Thor, however, it’s at a cost. While Jane is Thor, her body is suppressed to fight cancer. For many viewers, they would have liked a heads up that this was a storyline happening in this movie.
I have never been diagnosed with cancer, so this isn’t a lived experience I’m able to speak to. However, I have had a loved one pass away from cancer, so I can at least relate to that aspect of this conversation. I personally didn’t have a problem watching this film. I’m sensing that there might be someone reading this who would think “people should stop being so sensitive”. I don’t see content warnings as being too sensitive. It’s simply saying that “this media contains x,y,z. If that’s something you want to avoid, don’t watch this film, TV show, etc.” The way that anyone handles trauma is so varied. I can see why others would have appreciated the heads up as Jane’s backstory includes her cancer diagnosis.
I will say that Jane’s cancer is a storyline in the comics, so it can be argued that this is comic book accurate. Some fans aren’t thrilled with the idea of bringing Jane back, giving her a cancer diagnosis, she gets powers and ultimately ends up dying in the end. I’m not sure how I feel about it as I go back and forth.
Anyway, I thought this was an interesting article and conversation to write about. I would be curious as to your thoughts. Should Thor Love & Thunder have included a content warning? or is cancer so common that it isn’t worth it to include it?