The universe is dying, and Jane’s emergency medical squad is on the ropes…  Your Major Spoilers review of Valkyrie: Jane Foster #7 from Marvel Comics awaits!


Writer: Al Ewing & Jason Aaron
Artist: Pere Perez
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 15, 2020

Previously in Valkyrie: Jane FosterValkyrie teams up with Marvel’s Mightiest Medics to save the life of the ultimate patient… Death herself!  With a universal force on the cosmic operating table, the end of everything is one slip of the scalpel away…  but has one of Jane’s surgical team forgotten their Hippocratic Oath?


Having been demoted to working in the morgue, thanks to her Valkyrie/Thor-related absences, Jane has discovered that Death herself is dying and has assembled a team of superhero doctors to travel into Death’s own realm, where they have discovered a startling sight: The Living Tribunal as a skeleton, embodying The Death of Death. Jane is barely able to hold onto her sanity, thanks to a little nudge from Doctor Strange, traveling past it to find a literal River Styx… made of pus. (Ew.) Faiza Hussein, the current wielder of Excalibur strikes with her sword, holding off the “infection” long enough for the others to press on, only to find themselves in a gallery of paintings, one of which depicts the effects of Death on them. In fact, each of them sees a different image, each equally horrifying. While Doctor Strange is distracted, Cardiac takes a moment to incapacitate him, leading to a battle between Cardiac and Manikin that ends with one of them dead, and only Jane able to enter the “patient’s room…”


I’m totally here for the use of lesser-known Marvel folks, so the return of Excalibur and Manikin makes me quite happy, but seeing how they’re used is even more interesting. The idea that even Jane isn’t sure that she wants to help the embodiment of Death after losing her family and even dying herself is an interesting one, and once again the rapid resurrection of characters is actually an in-universe problem rather than just a fan complaint. Most interestingly, Doctor Strange isn’t able to handle this crisis, as his painting is blank, he hasn’t had the traumatic interactions with capital-d Death that Jane has, leading her to be the natural one to resolve the story. Perez’ art is incredibly subtle throughout, with facial expressions that are perfect, especially Jane’s face as she returns to reality and states that they didn’t lose… but she’s not sure if they actually won. It’s a subtle moment for both the art and the writing, and the final page shot of Death literally gave me goosebumps.


In short, this book is my jam, reviving old-school Marvel heroes, dealing with cosmic archetypes in interesting ways and ending with enough ambiguity that you wonder if it’s a win at all. Valkyrie: Jane Foster #7 hits the sweet spot with 4.5 out of 5 stars overall and making me want to go back and read it from the beginning… If you’re not reading this book, you’re missing out.

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Worth It For

The NHS Joke

A truly thoughtful story that examines the concept of Death through the lens of a world where death is cheap, with excellent art and a fun cast of returning Doctors... I recommend it.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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