Thor and the Mighty Wielders of Mjolnir
Meet some of the heroes who have proven worthy of Thor’s hammer!
“Whosoever holds this hammer, if they be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
The legend of Thor is closely tied to his magical hammer, Mjolnir. When Dr. Donald Blake discovered the hammer in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83, he became Thor. Although later stories revealed that Blake was an aspect of Thor who was created on Earth to help the Odinson gain humility and perspective, the enchantment on the hammer has remained – until now.
In this week’s THOR #7, Donny Cates has elaborated on a problem that Thor has faced since the first issue. (No, this is about his penchant for pranking his fellow Avengers.) Somehow, Mjolnir is becoming heavier and heavier for Thor, while others, including the unworthy, are able to lift it with ease. That could prove to be quite a problem, especially since Thor recently had a vision of Thanos using Mjolnir as a receptacle for the Infinity Stones.
In the Marvel Universe, there have only been a handful of individuals who have proven to be worthy under the hammer’s original terms. As the Odinson faces an uncertain future, Marvel.com is taking a look back at some of the most memorable wielders of Mjolnir.
Thousands of years ago, Odin commissioned the Dwarves of Nidavellir to forge a chunk of Uru with the powers of the God Tempest. The result was Mjolnir, a weapon he used as his own for ages to follow until he passed it down to his son, Thor. Odin was the one who placed the enchantment on the hammer, in part to teach his son a lesson. As such, Odin can call back Mjolnir as needed.
Beta Ray Bill
Walter Simonson famously began his run with a bang in THOR (1966) #337, when the alien Beta Ray Bill gained the powers of Thor on a fluke. Bill needed a weapon and grabbed Donald Blake’s walking stick after the hammer’s magical disguise reasserted itself. To the amazement of Blake, Bill was transformed into a new version of Thor and summoned to Asgard to defend the realm. Bill’s bravery and prowess as a warrior impressed Odin so much that he was given his own Uru hammer: Stormbreaker.
Thor and Beta Ray Bill have recently had their differences, and Stormbreaker was destroyed. However, Thor has promised to give Bill a new weapon and a new position in Asgard.
Steve Rogers AKA Captain America (though in this issue, he was just the Captain) never wanted the power of Thor, which may be one of the reasons he proved to be worthy in THOR (1966) #390. He was simply trying to return Thor’s hammer while they were overwhelmed by enemies. When Rogers grasped Mjolnir, it did not transform his costume or his persona, but it did give him a taste of the strength that Thor commands as he easily freed himself and passed the hammer back to Thor.
Eric Masterson AKA Thunderstrike was Thor’s friend before he became Thor himself. Odin merged them to save Eric’s life, which only made things more complicated. When the Odinson was banished in THOR (1966) #432, Masterson was separated from Thor and given Mjolnir to protect the Earth. As the new Thor, Masterson fought alongside the Avengers in INFINITY GAUNTLET, before eventually freeing the original Thor from his confinement.
But the world still needed heroes, so Masterson was given a new Uru hammer called Thunderstrike. He took his new codename from the hammer, and ultimately gave his life in defense of his planet.
Over 500 years in the future, a young man named Dargo Ktor became worthy of Mjolnir in THOR (1966) #384. Dargo lived under an oppressive regime until he inadvertently claimed the mantle of Thor. He returned in THOR (1966) #438-441 as a charter member of the Thor Corps alongside Masterson and Beta Ray Bill.
Puddlegulp was once a human named Simon Walterson, who was cursed to become a frog. He befriended the Odinson when he was also cursed to be a frog in THOR (1966) #364. Puddlegulp proved to be a good friend and ally to Thor in his time as a frog. Years later, in MIGHTY THOR #700, Puddlegulp reemerged with Frogjolnir, a small piece of Mjolnir that granted him the powers of Thor as Throg. He even served alongside the Asgardians of the Galaxy in his new role as a hero.
During X-MEN: THE ASGARDIAN WARS, Loki attempted to make Storm the new Thor by giving her an enchanted hammer called Stormcaster. In the wake of SIEGE, and Loki’s apparent death, Thor returned Stormcaster to Storm in X-MEN: TO PROTECT AND SERVE #3, and she briefly fell under Loki’s enchantment again. But even when possessed, Storm showed that she was worthy of Mjolnir when she used Thor’s hammer to call down the lightning and freed herself of the enchantment.
For a brief moment in AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #9, Loki achieved his dream of becoming worthy of the power of Thor. Because he and Thor were both morally inverted, Loki even professed his love for his adoptive brother as he tried to stop his destructive behavior. That selflessness allowed Loki to temporarily become the new Thor. But when the inversion was reversed, Loki despaired when he was no longer able to lift the hammer. To add insult to injury, Thor didn’t believe Loki when he told him what had happened.
Thor’s former lover became perhaps his most well-known replacement. In THOR (2014) #1, Dr. Jane Foster was dying of cancer when she was given the opportunity to wield Mjolnir. The hammer transformed her into a new Thor, and she proved to be a quick study. As Thor, Jane worked alongside the Avengers and even the Odinson while slowly winning over Odin as well. She sacrificed her life, and Mjolnir itself, to save Asgard and Earth in MIGHTY THOR #700. But Jane lives on, and she now has the role of the last Valkyrie.
Who is Adam Aziz? He’s the ex-con, turned reformed mechanic who discovered Thor’s discarded hammer in THOR (2020) #7. Adam would probably be the first to tell you that he isn’t worthy of the power of Thor. That’s why it was so shocking that Mjolnir turned him into Thor on the final page. It speaks to the larger problem with Mjolnir’s enchantment, and we’ll be seeing a lot more of Adam in THOR (2020) #8.
Who will be the next one to wield the power of Mjolnir? You’ll have to read to find out!
THOR #7, written by Donny Cates with art by Aaron Kuder, is on sale now in comic shops and digitally!
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