In Marvel Comics, it’s easy to find heroes and villains as famous as the weapons they wield. We have Captain America and his Vibranium shield, the Red Skull and the Cosmic Cube, Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet, and even Spider-Man and his web-shooters. But it is hard for anyone to beat Thor and the Mjölnir, his enchanted hammer.
This item has been present since the first stories of the God of Thunder and has a fundamental basis in Norse mythology on which the character was inspired.
Besides being a mighty and imposing weapon, it also has clear rules that allow wielding only by those considered worthy. And here, you will find out everything you need to know about Mjölnir, Thor’s enchanted hammer!
Mjölnir First Appearance in The Comics
Originally, Mjölnir had been “conceived” by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon in the Golden Age of comics in 1942.
However, the hammer was not actually introduced in Marvel Comics until Journey Into Mystery #83 in August 1962, featured in Thor‘s debut issue in House of Ideas comics. This version was “created” by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Joe Sinnott.
Initially, the weapon was just called the “Hammer of Uru,” and he was only given his traditional name in the pages of Thor #135, released in 1966.
However, its origin story was not told until the pages of Thor Annual #11, published there in mid-1983. Thus, for years, there was a mystery as to how that weapon had been developed.
Mjölnir in Mythology
The hammer is not a comic book original creation and has been present in Norse myths and legends for centuries.
It is regarded as a weapon capable of great devastation and destruction, but it is also used by Thor to bring blessings and improvements to the lives of his faithful worshipers. However, unlike in the comics, it has several origins told in the legends.
The most famous of these says that Loki tried to bargain with the dwarves living in Svartalfheim, getting them to build incredible gifts for the Asgardian deities in exchange for his head.
Thus the fearsome Mjölnir was conceived as a gift for Thor. But, in the end, Loki managed to rid his own ass by saying that his head was stuck to his neck (which he had not offered to the dwarves), so they could not take it.
How Was Mjölnir Created?
The “first” origin of Mjölnir in the Marvel comics is most similar to the mythological origin of the hammer – Loki goes to the dwarves to ask them to make various gifts for the Asgardian gods.
He also manages to trick the blacksmiths, and in return, has his lips sewn shut by the dwarves – something that didn’t take long to be reversed.
However, the hammer gradually gained revised origins. Finally, the hammer was created at Odin‘s request using a star to empower the weapon in the most recent versions.
He also tasked the dwarves to place the “Mother of Thunder” (a galaxy-sized storm) imprisoned in the hammer. The only element of the Mjölnir unique to the comics is its material since the enchanted Uru metal was created in Marvel, not in the mythos.
Why did Odin Enchant Mjölnir?
Before giving the hammer to his “favorite son,” Odin made a series of incantations and spells to strengthen the weapon and make it the most worthy instrument of a king.
The best known of these incantations is the inscription, which states: “Whosoever holds this hammer if he be worthy, shall possess the power of…Thor.” This served as a lesson for Thor to be more humble.
In addition, other incantations ensured that the hammer would “return to the call” of its master whenever it was thrown away; that the person wielding it would have the ability to manipulate storms and thunder; that the hammer would be able to survive the test of time (although it is not indestructible); and finally, that the hammer would be able to reveal the truth about Thor when he was “trapped” in Donald Blake‘s body.
What Are Mjölnir’s Powers?
The Mjölnir hammer is capable of countless wonders when used by a warrior capable of “unlocking” its full potential.
The weapon is potent and devastating, for starters, able to destroy cities and even entire worlds when applied with the correct strength. It can also create vortices, antimatter particles, and force fields when swirled deftly.
The tool can also absorb different kinds of energy and channel it through its master’s will – and this includes other forms of firing than just thunder and lightning, like gravity bursts and even a unique shot that uses part of Thor‘s own life force.
The hammer is capable of causing changes in time and space, allowing the user to use it for time travel or teleportation.
It also has other peculiar functions, such as detecting energy forms and even enemies, creating and dispel illusions, and even scaring vampires.
Finally, the user of the Mjölnir can fly by quickly turning its handle, using the hammer’s “head” to guide himself through the air.
Mjölnir Has Life of its Own
When Jane Foster took control of Mjölnir and became the Mighty Thor in one of the most acclaimed phases of Marvel comics, the enchanted hammer took on a whole new meaning – as the warrior could use it with great skill, unlocking abilities in a way that the Son of Odin had never been able to.
And in this period, it was revealed that the reason Jane had such a powerful contact with Mjölnir was that she could “communicate” with the weapon.
This is because the “Mother of Thunder” we mentioned above had her own consciousness and could “talk” to the hammer users. Eventually, Jane Foster could release this being (the deity who goes by the name God Tempest), giving her a physical form.
Who Has Wielded Thor’s Hammer?
Over the years, several heroes have managed to wield the Mjölnir, showing that Thor is not the only one worthy enough to hold it and use its power.
Some examples include relatives of the God of Thunder, such as Bor, Odin, and even Loki. In addition, other “thunder heroes” have also proven themselves worthy, such as Bill Beta Ray, Eric Masterson, and Jane Foster.
But it doesn’t stop there. We even often see some heroes considered very worthy and honorable raising the hammer of Uru.
Captain America has done this in the comics and the movies, as has well as Venom. In some of the crossovers between Marvel and DC Comics, Superman and Wonder Woman have also proven themselves worthy of the power of this extraordinary weapon.
Different Versions of Thor’s Hammer
Over the years, several different versions of Mjölnir have appeared in the comics.
On the one hand, we have versions from alternate universes, such as the Ultimate Universe‘s Mjölnir, which takes the form of an even more imposing hammer made especially for war, or the one from Earth-5113, in which the hammer is corrupted by the evil power of Dormammu.
However, on Earth-616 itself, several hammers have been created that “imitate” or are inspired by the strength of the original Mjölnir.
Thus, we have the Stormbreaker, the weapon wielded by Bill Beta Ray, the Stormcaster that belonged to Storm, a technological hammer created by Iron Man, an alternated hammer wielded by the android Ragnarok, and even a more recent version, also specialized, created by Hydra.
Mjölnir in The MCU
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the origin of Mjölnir was never well explored, but its appearance and uses were very similar to what we have seen in the comics. Just like its printed counterpart, this hammer is not indestructible either – and the proof is that it was unceremoniously destroyed by Hela, the Goddess of Death.
After this, Thor had to rely on another weapon (also existing in the comics), the Stormbreaker, created in Nidavellir. In the final battle of Avengers: Endgame, he even wields the ax alongside the Mjölnir, which he takes from another universe (and then returns).
However, it is believed that the original hammer from that universe will be restored, as Jane Foster will wield her own version in Thor: Love and Thunder.