Chris Hemsworth's Thor has had one of the toughest journeys in the MCU, having alreadylost his father, mother, best friend, and brother. As he endured the loss of his Asgardian family, the Avengers became something of a second family to Thor, which serves as one of the many reasons he suffered so much after failing to stop Thanos from erasing half of all life in the universe.
Unfortunately, that family lost two members recently in Avengers: Endgame as Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man and Scarlet Johansson's Black Widow sacrificed their lives to defeat Thanos. Those losses have certainly been felt across Phase 4, with the death of the Russian spy being particularly felt in Black Widow and Hawkeye.
Except for Spider-Man: Far From Home, Tony Stark's death hasn't played too much into Phase 4, although it soon will in Ironheart and Armor Wars. For the most part, nods to Iron Man have largely been contained to hidden Easter eggs, the latest of which has been found in Thor: Love and Thunder - this new one is particularly heartbreaking.
How Thor 4 Pays Tribute to Iron Man
In a recent post on Twitter, Marvel News Feed pointed out a reference to Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man and Scarlet Johansson's Black Widow in Thor: Love and Thunder.
After Russel Crowe's Zeus flicks his finger to remove Thor's clothes, a patchwork set of tattoos on his back pays tribute to Tom Hiddleston's Loki.
On closer inspection of one tattoo, a scroll can be seen that lists all the God of Thunder's fallen loved ones: "Mother," "Father," "Heimdall," "Tony," and "Natasha."
Thor's Story of Love and Loss
Thor has, unfortunately, had to suffer a major loss in almost every MCU outing he has appeared in, and Love and Thunder was no exception to that rule. Natalie Portman's Jane Foster tragically succumbed to her cancer after helping Thor to defeat Gorr the God Butcher, marking the latest loss in the God of Thunder's long life.
There may be no room left on Thor's scroll tattoo for a tribute to Jane, but perhaps he will add another design to commemorate her on his back whenever he resurfaces. With Love and Thunder wrapping up so shortly after Jane's death, the impact of that loss on Thor was never really felt, although it ought to play into his next appearance.
Odin, Frigga, Loki, and Heimdall were all losses that had a significant impact on Thor, as his back tattoos demonstrate. It's heartbreaking to see Tony and Natasha's names placed on the scroll alongside Thor's Asgardian family, as it shows just how important the Avengers are to him, and proves that he considers them to be like family.
As Iron Man and Black Widow's tragic deaths continue to play into Phase 4, who knows where the fallen Avengers will be referenced next. Perhaps Bruce Banner may drop a mention or two when he appears She-Hulk: Attorney at Law next month - he did have a romantic relationship with Natasha after all.
Thor: Love and Thunder is playing now in theaters worldwide.