Mjolnir (comics)


Mjolnir (comics)
Mjolnir

Mjolnir held aloft on the cover of Thor #494 (Jan. 1996).
Art by Mike Deodato Jr.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Journey into Mystery #83 (August 1962)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
Joe Sinnott
In story information
Type Mystic item/artifact, Weapon
Element of stories featuring Thor

Mjolnir (pronounced /ˈmjɒln(ɪ)ər/ myol-n(ee)r) is a fictional weapon that appears in publications from Marvel Comics. It is the favored weapon of the superhero Thor. The weapon, which first appears in Journey into Mystery #83, published in August 1962, was created by writer Stan Lee and designed by artists Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.

Mjolnir is typically depicted as a large, square-headed gray war hammer, although it more closely resembles a short-handled maul or sledgehammer rather than a standard war hammer[clarification needed], which typically have much smaller heads than Mjolnir. It has a short, round handle wrapped in brown leather, culminating in a looped lanyard. The object is based on Mjöllnir, the weapon of the mythical Norse god. The hammer's name translates as "The Crusher."

Contents

Publication history

Mjolnir debuted in Journey into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962), and was immediately established as the main weapon of the Thunder god Thor. The weapon's origin is revealed in Thor Annual #11 (1983), although another version is presented in Thor vol. 2, #80 (Aug. 2004).

Other significant moments in Marvel continuity include the altering of Mjolnir's enchantments in Thor #282 (April 1979) and Thor #340 (Feb. 1984); the temporary possession of Mjolnir by a member of the Enchanters Three in Thor vol. 3, #14–15 (Aug.–Sep. 1999); and when the hammer has been damaged, occurring in Journey Into Mystery #119 (Aug. 1965); Avengers #215 (Jan. 1982); Thor #388 (Feb. 1988);Thor vol. 2, #11 (May 1999); Thor vol. 2, #80 (Aug. 2004) and Thor vol. 3, #600 (Feb. 2009).

Background

In Marvel continuity, Mjolnir is forged by Dwarven blacksmiths, and is composed of the fictional Asgardian metal "uru". The side of the hammer carries the inscription: "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor."[1]

The hammer is created when Thor's adopted brother Loki cuts off the hair of the goddess Sif as part of a cruel jest, and when threatened with violence by Thor, promises to fetch replacement hair from the dwarf smiths. Loki commissions the hair from the Sons of Ivaldi and the obliging dwarves also make a magic ship and spear as gifts for the gods. Loki is convinced that no one can match their workmanship, and challenges a dwarf named Eitri to make finer treasures. Eitri creates a golden ring and golden boar with magical properties, and finally begins work on a hammer. Loki panics at the sight of the treasures, and afraid he will lose the wager, transforms himself into a mayfly and stings Eitri's assistant on the brow as he is working the bellows for the forge. The assistant stops for a moment to wipe away the blood, and the bellows fall flat – the end result being making the hammer's handle shorter in length than Eitri originally intended.

Despite the error, the Norse gods consider Eitri to have forged the greater treasures, and in retaliation the Sons of Ivaldi sew Loki's lips shut. The ruler of the Norse gods, Odin, uses the hammer – called Mjolnir by Eitri – and eventually passes it to his son Thor, who must first prove he is worthy to wield the weapon.[2]

Another version of the hammer's origin is presented in the second volume of the title Thor, stating that Odin orders the dwarven blacksmiths Eitri, Brok and Buri to forge Mjolnir using the core of a star (the movie reinforces that with Odin saying it was forged out of a dying star) and an enchanted forge. The forging of the hammer is apparently so intense it destroys the star and nearly the Earth itself.[3]

Mjolnir itself has several enchantments: no living being may lift the hammer unless deemed worthy by Odin or if they simply are worthy enough; it returns to the exact spot from which it is thrown and returns to Thor when summoned; it may summon the elements of storm (lightning, wind, and rain) by stamping its handle twice on the ground;[1] manipulate the weather on an almost global scale;[4] open interdimensional portals, allowing its wielder to travel to other dimensions (such as from Earth to Asgard);[5] and transform Thor into the guise of a mortal, the physician Donald Blake, by stamping the hammer's head on the ground once. When Thor transforms into Blake, his hammer takes the appearance of a wooden walking stick. When disguised, the hammer's enchantments limiting those who may lift it are not in effect. The hammer itself has also proven unaffected by external enchantments.[6] It is near-indestructible, surviving bullets,[7] Anti-matter,[8] and the Melter's melting beam.[9]

A previous provision of this enchantment required that the hammer could not be "gone from Thor's grasp," or out of physical contact with Thor for more than "sixty seconds full" without his spontaneous reversion to his mortal self; fortunately, Mjolnir is small enough for the god to tuck it into his belt for times when he prefers to have both his hands free. In some stories this limitation did not apply in Asgard, although this stipulation was removed in a storyline in which this enchantment is transferred to Stormbreaker, the hammer of Beta Ray Bill.[10] After this, the Donald Blake persona disappeared for a time, and Thor assumed a civilian identity simply by changing into modern clothing, carrying Mjolnir concealed within a duffel bag. Thor eventually adopts the mortal persona of Jake Olson as penance for accidentally causing the original Olson's death during a fight, and simply pounds a fist to effect a change;[11] during this time, Mjolnir would disappear when Thor became Olson, and reappear in Thor's fist when returning to his true form.

Mjolnir was originally capable of creating chronal displacement and therefore allowing time travel,[12] although this enchantment was removed by the entity Immortus with the Thunder god's consent to help the planet Phantus which was trapped in Limbo.[13] Thor, however is still apparently able to manipulate time with Mjolnir.[14]

When Ragnarok took place, Mjolnir is separated from Thor and fell through the dimensions, creating a tear in Hell that allows Doctor Doom to escape (Doom having been imprisoned there after his last encounter with the Fantastic Four). Although Doom and the FF attempt to claim the hammer, none of them are able to lift it, resulting in Donald Blake--who had been returned to life when the spell negating his existence wore off with Asgard's destruction--claiming it himself. With Blake and Thor once again co-existing, the hammer resums its original 'disguise' of a walking-stick (although Blake's original limp healed, he sustained minor spine damage during a later confrontation). The hammer is later damaged in a fight with Borr, Thor's grandfather. Doctor Strange is able to repair the hammer using the Odinforce possessed by Thor, but warns Thor that, should the hammer be damaged in such a manner again, the new link between them could result in Thor being killed himself.

Other wielders

Mjolnir has been wielded by a select number of other individuals: alien Beta Ray Bill;[15] Buri (also known as Tiwaz, and Thor's great-grandfather);[16] Avenger Captain America;[17] Eric Masterson;[18] Odin and Borr (Odin's Father);[19] Miguel O'Hara;[20]

The hammer has also been lifted by various sentient constructs (non-sentient machines apparently cannot),[21] such as Zarrko the Tomorrow Man's mining robot;[22] the Air-Walker (animated by the soul of Nova Corps captain Gabriel Lan);[23] and the Awesome Android (by mimicking Thor's abilities and worthy nature).[24] The hammer has also been lifted by Earth itself when animated via magical means.[25]

There are also several other non-canon instances of other characters lifting the hammer, including: Conan the Barbarian;[26] Dargo Ktor (Future Thor);[27] Loki;[28] Magni;[29] Rogue;[30] Woden;[31] Alex Power;[32] and the DC Comics characters Superman (though he was unable to later that issue and Thor claimed Odin had briefly lifted the enchantment)[33] and Wonder Woman.[34]

Several imitations of Mjolnir have also existed. These include Stormbreaker and the mace Thunderstrike, created for Beta Ray Bill[35] and Eric Masterson respectively.[36] Loki has been responsible for the creation of several imitations – a version of Mjolnir is presented to the mutant X-Men member Storm in an attempt to control her,[37] while another version is given to the mercenary Deadpool to spite Thor.[38] Loki also allows Surtur to use the forge Mjolnir was created from to craft copies during Ragnarok.[3] H.Y.D.R.A. created evil versions of Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye and Thor, the Thor imitator had a technological imitation of Mjolnir.[39] Tony Stark and Reed Richards also create a technological imitation Mjolnir for use by Ragnarok, the clone of Thor, during the Civil War storyline.[40]

Captain America wields Mjolnir at the climax of the Fear Itself event, after Thor's "death". He bellows "Avengers Assemble" and leads the cavalry to victory.[41]

Powers and abilities

Mjolnir can be used both offensively and defensively.

Described as impacting with sufficient force to "destroy mountains,"[42] with only primary adamantium proving too impervious.[43] Other offensive capabilities include creating vortices and forcefields (capable of containing an explosion that could potentially destroy a galaxy);[44] emitting mystical blasts of energy; controlling electromagnetism; molecular manipulation;[45] and generating the Geo-Blast (an energy wave that taps a planet's gravitational force),[46] Anti-Force (energy created to counter-act another force),[47] the thermo-blast which can even challenge such beings as Ego the living planet,[48] and god Blast (a blast that taps into Thor's life force).[49] The hammer can travel through planets to return to Thor.[50] It can even create Anti-Matter particles[51] and whirling it round can create wind powerful enough to lift the Taj Mahal.[52]

There are also other several rarely used abilities. Mjolnir can track a person[53] and mystical items;[54] absorb energy, such as draining the Asgardian powers of the Wrecking Crew into the Wrecker;[55] or detect illusions, as Thor once commanded the hammer to strike the demonic Mephisto, who was hiding amongst false images of himself.[56] As a former religious relic, Mjolnir is lethal to undead, causing creatures such as vampires to burst into flame and crumble to dust.[57] Mjolnir also can project images, as Thor shows a glimpse of Asgard to fellow Avenger Iron Man.[58]. The hammer can also take a fixed position out of that usual forces cannot move it (standing at the angle on pile of soft soil, it appears much more fixed than just very heavy)[59]

The hammer has also drained energy from the radioactive supervillain called the Presence, who is forced to surrender before being killed.[60] Mjolnir was able to absorb, contain, and direct the energy of a Null Bomb, which was powerful enough to destroy an entire galaxy.[61] Mjolnir also causes a side effect when used against the hero Union Jack: when Thor erroneously attacks the hero with a blast of lightning and then cancels the offensive, Union Jack is accidentally endowed with the ability to generate electricity.[62] The hammer has been used to both power an Atlantean warship[63] and temporarily drain the forcefield of the villain Juggernaut.[64] If someone swears on the hammer their spirit can be summoned up after death.[65] As well as absorbing radiation, the hammer can repel it back.[66]

But Mjolnir is also not indestructible, having been damaged several times: a force beam from the Asgardian Destroyer slices it in two;[67] the Molecule Man dispels the atomic bonds between the hammer's molecules, vaporizing Mjolnir;[68] the hammer shatters after channeling an unmeasurable amount of energy at the Celestial Exitar;[69] Dark god Perrikus slices Mjolnir in half with a magical scythe;[70] and the hammer is shattered when it collides with the uru weapons of Loki's Storm Giant followers, resulting in an atomic-scale explosion.[71] Mjolnir is damaged in battle when Thor defeats his own grandfather Bor,[72] but is repaired by mystic Doctor Strange, who transfers the Odinforce from Thor into the hammer. This ties Thor's lifeforce to Mjolnir.[73]

Other versions

During the Celestial Saga storyline, an earlier version of Mjolnir is revealed to exist and was apparently thrown to Midgard (Earth) by Thor's sons, Modi and Magni, landing in the Rhine river where it transformed into the magical Rhinegold.[74]

In a future visited by the Hulk where Earth had been decimated by nuclear wars, Thor's hammer was one of the many mementos of the age of heroes kept by the now-elderly Rick Jones; the Maestro- the Hulk's twisted future self- attempted to use the hammer against the Hulk, but failed to lift it even with Thor's death as he was naturally unworthy to do so.[75] A later storyline featured the elder Rick working with his younger self to defeat Thanatos- another alternate Rick- by using his own ability to lift the hammer, explaining that he had been judged worthy to use it for things that young Rick had yet to do and Thanatos would never achieve.[76]

In the Ultimate Marvel imprint title the Ultimates' first two series, the alternate universe version of Thor wields a weapon that while called Mjolnir is a hybrid of hammer and axe.[77] In The Ultimates 3: Who Killed The Scarlet Witch, Thor wields a hammer more closely resembling the mainstream Marvel Universe Mjolnir.[78] He later displays a wall of weapons, including both hammers, which he states were gifts from his father forged by Ulik the Troll.[79] However in the miniseries Ultimate Comics: Thor it is revealed that the original axe hammer is no longer necessary, as it's not the "real" Mjolnir but instead Dr. Braddock gives Thor, tech-armor, and Thor suggests to turn the power supply into a hammer.[80] It is stated that this version of the hammer is not restricted by the worthiness test.

In other media

Mjolnir by itself is depicted in a post-credits scene in Iron Man 2. S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) is seen looking into a giant crater in the New Mexico desert and informs Nick Fury: "Sir, we've found it." The hammer is then shown standing head-down as the camera pulls back. This discovery is elaborated on in the film Thor, which reveals that Odin banished Thor and Mjolnir to Earth after Thor triggered war between Asgard and Jotunheim. With Odin having enchanted Mjolnir so that it may only be lifted by the worthy, Thor is initially unable to lift it, but the hammer returns to him when Thor shows that he is willing to sacrifice himself for others when facing the Destroyer.

Publicity photos for the upcoming film The Avengers feature Thor wielding Mjolnir.[81]

References

  1. ^ a b Journey Into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962)
  2. ^ Thor Annual #11 (1983)
  3. ^ a b Thor vol. 2, #80 (Aug. 2004)
  4. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #339 (Sept. 1990)
  5. ^ Journey Into Mystery #88 (Jan. 1963)
  6. ^ Journey into Mystery #103 (April 1964)
  7. ^ Journey into Mystery #100
  8. ^ Avengers #8
  9. ^ Avengers #15
  10. ^ Thor #340 (Feb. 1984)
  11. ^ Thor vol. 3, #1 (July 1998)
  12. ^ Journey Into Mystery #86 (Nov. 1962)
  13. ^ Thor #282 (April 1979)
  14. ^ Avengers #300 (Feb. 1989)
  15. ^ Thor #337 (Nov. 1983)
  16. ^ Thor #355 (May 1985)
  17. ^ Thor #390 (Apr. 1988)
  18. ^ Thor #433 (June 1991)
  19. ^ Thor #600 (April 2009)
  20. ^ 2099: Manifest Destiny (March 1998)
  21. ^ Thor #387 (Jan. 1988); Fantastic Four #536 – 537 (May – June 2006)
  22. ^ Journey Into Mystery #101 – 102 (Feb. – March 1964)
  23. ^ Thor #305 (March 1981)
  24. ^ She-Hulk #14 (Feb. 2007)
  25. ^ Marvel Team-Up 26 (Oct. 1974); Avengers #212 (Oct. 1981)
  26. ^ What If? #39 (June 1983)
  27. ^ Thor #384 (Oct. 1984)
  28. ^ What If? #47 (Oct. 1984)
  29. ^ Thor vol. 2, #75 (May 2004)
  30. ^ What If? vol. 2 #66 (Oct. 1994)
  31. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #43 (Dec. 1993)
  32. ^ Thor and the Warriors Four #4 (July 2010)
  33. ^ Avengers/JLA #4 (May 2004)
  34. ^ Marvel vs DC #4 (April 1996)
  35. ^ Thor #339 (Jan. 1984))
  36. ^ Thor #459 (Feb. 1993)
  37. ^ X-Men Annual #9 (1985)
  38. ^ Deadpool #37 (Feb. 2000)
  39. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #520 (August 2005)
  40. ^ Civil War #1–7 (May 2006 – Jan. 2007)
  41. ^ Fear Itself 7
  42. ^ Thor #312 (Oct. 1981)
  43. ^ Avengers #68 (Sep. 1969)
  44. ^ Thor #407 (Sept. 1989)
  45. ^ Journey Into Mystery #115 (April 1965)
  46. ^ Thor #161 (Feb. 1969)
  47. ^ Thor vol. 3, #25 (July 2000)
  48. ^ Thor vol. 1, #133
  49. ^ Thor vol. 3, #12 (June 1999)
  50. ^ Thor Vol 2 #4
  51. ^ Journey into Mystery #85
  52. ^ Journey into Mystery #94
  53. ^ Avengers #13 (Feb. 1965)
  54. ^ Journey Into Mystery #120 (Sept. 1965)
  55. ^ Avengers #277 (March 1987)
  56. ^ Thor #310 (Aug. 1981)
  57. ^ Thor #332 (June 1983)
  58. ^ Earth's Mightiest Heroes #1–8 (Jan.–May 2005)
  59. ^ Thor (film), content.
  60. ^ Avengers vol. 3, #44 (Aug. 2001)
  61. ^ Thor #407
  62. ^ Invaders #33 (Oct. 1978)
  63. ^ JLA/Avengers #4 (Jan. 2004)
  64. ^ Thor #411–412 (both Dec. 1989)
  65. ^ (Thor vol 3 #11)
  66. ^ Avengers vol 1 #8
  67. ^ Journey Into Mystery #119 (Aug. 1965); repaired Journey Into Mystery #120 (Sept. 1965)
  68. ^ Avengers#215 (Jan. 1982) and restored in Avengers#216 (Feb. 1982)
  69. ^ Thor #388 (Feb. 1988) and restored by the Celestials in Thor #389 (Mar. 1988)
  70. ^ Thor vol. 2, #11 (May 1999) and restored Thor vol. 2, #11 (June 1999)
  71. ^ Thor vol. 2, #80 (Aug. 2004). Not seen again until Thor vol. 3, #1 (Sept. 2007)
  72. ^ Thor vol. 3, #600 (Feb. 2009)
  73. ^ Thor vol. 3, #602 (June 2009)
  74. ^ Thor #294 (Apr. 1980)
  75. ^ Hulk: Future Imperfect #2
  76. ^ Captain Marvel (Vol. 3) #27–30 (March–May 2002)
  77. ^ Ultimates #1 (March 2002)
  78. ^ The Ultimates Vol.3 #1
  79. ^ The Ultimates Vol.3 #4
  80. ^ Ultimate Comics:Thor#4
  81. ^ Goldberg, Matt (3 October 2011). "New Hi-Res Images from THE AVENGERS". Collider.com. http://collider.com/avengers-movie-images/118386/. 

External links

  • Mjolnir at the Marvel Universe wiki

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