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TNTM: Origin story of Mjolnir

Whenever you think of Thor you also think of his trusty hammer. Did you know that hammer has a name and a very interesting back-story? If you answered no, then this video is for you.

You always see Thor with his trusty hammer. That hammer is named Mjolnir. The loose translation of Mjolnir is “that which smashes”. The origin story for Mjolnir has been tweaked a little over the decades.

In Norse mythology Loki entered a bet that the dwarven blacksmiths couldn’t make a weapon better than Odins spear and Freya’s fold-able boat. When it looked like Mjolnir was gonna be better, Loki interfered. He transformed himself into a fly. He continually bit the dwarf running the billows. The dwarf did not flinch or falter until Loki bit his eyelid hard enough to draw blood. The dwarf paused long enough to wipe the blood from his eyes. This is what caused Mjolnir to have a shorter handle, making it a one-handed hammer.

Marvel’s early origin for Mjolnir was a bit different. Odin ordered Eitri, Brok, and Buri to forge Mjolnir using the core of a star and an enchanted forge. The forging of the hammer is so intense it destroys the star and nearly Earth itself. They allude to this being the cause of the dinosaurs going extinct.

Recently Marvel changed the Mjolnir origin again. This time the story has a storm the size of a universe named the God Tempest heading toward Asgard. Odin fought the God Tempest for days before finally being able trap it inside a nugget of Uru.

Odin has the dwarven blacksmiths forge a hammer from this nugget of Uru. Odin is unable to wield the hammer as the God Tempest trapped inside fights him for control. The hammer flies around Asgard destroying everything in it’s path.

Odin gets the hammer under control long enough to put an enchantment on it to prevent others from picking it up and re-starting the destruction. The hammer lays dormant for many eons until the God Tempest trapped inside eventually dies, but the power remains.

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TNTM: How many versions of Mjolnir are there?

Thor has a hammer.  With the popularity of the Avengers movies most people know Thor is equipped with a war hammer.  The name of that hammer is Mjolnir.  There have been and still are other versions of this hammer in the Marvel Universe.

Some have Odin’s worthiness enchantment and others do not.  The common characteristic of these hammers is their enhancement of whoever wields it.  Everyone of them adds some kind of power to the user.  Let’s discuss the different versions of Mjolnir.

What is Mjolnir?

Mjolnir is a fictional weapon appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is depicted as the favored weapon of the superhero Thor. Mjolnir first appears in Journey into Mystery #83 (August 1962).  It was created by writer Stan Lee and designed by artists Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.

Mjolnir was typically depicted as a large, square-headed gray lump hammer. It has a short, round handle wrapped in brown leather with a looped lanyard. The object is based on Mjölnir, the weapon of the mythological Thor.

Mjolnir was forged by Dwarven blacksmiths and is composed of the fictional Asgardian metal Uru. The hammer was enchanted by Odin with the inscription “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”  This makes the hammer wieldable ONLY by those who are worthy.

Other versions of Mjolnir

There have been many other versions/replicas of Mjolnir.  Roger “Red” Norvell originally is able to best Thor and take Mjolnir.  He later returns Mjolnir and is presented with his own hammer called “Crusher”.

Beta Ray Bill also beats Thor in battle…twice.  He has every right to claim Mjolnir, but he doesn’t.  Odin is so impressed with Beta Ray Bill he gives him his own hammer called Stormbreaker.

Eric Masterson becomes the superhero named Thunderstrike.  The Mjolnir type weapon he uses is more of a mace than a hammer.  He names it Thunderstrike.

Ororo Munroe (Storm) is presented a version of Mjolnir called Stormcaster.  She later learns Loki is trying to manipulate her through the hammer so she destroys it.

Thorlief Golmen (Ultimate Thor) has a version of Mjolnir that is a hammer/axe type weapon.

There are many other versions of Mjolnir.  Each with varying degrees of power bestowed upon the wielder.  Some have the worthiness enchantment, others do not.  But rest assured, each version is a very formidable weapon.

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What made Thor unworthy of Mjolnir?

Why doesn’t Thor have his hammer?

Thor Whisper
Credit: Marvel Comics

Even the most casual comic book fan knows that Thor’s weapon of choice is his hammer, Mjolnir.  A lot of people don’t Mjolnir is enchanted to only allow those deemed worthy to wield it.  Even more people don’t know the hammer has a name.

During Marvel Comics Original Sin story-line we saw Thor Odinson become unworthy to wield the hammer.  During a fight, Nick Fury was able to utter a simple sentence in Thor’s ear.  Whatever was said to Thor caused him to be unworthy to wield Mjolnir.

As a result of Thor being unable to lift Mjolnir a mysterious woman become the new wielder of the hammer. It was revealed a few issues later to be Jane Foster.  That put Thor on a journey to once again become worthy and regain his hammer.

History of Mjolnir

The name given to Thor’s hammer is Mjolnir.  The literal translation means “that which smashes”. Mjolnir does so much more than just smash things.  Before I go into detail about all it’s abilities and powers let me give you the origin of Mjolnir.

Long ago a powerful cosmic storm called the God Tempest approached Asgard. This storm was called the “Mother of Thunder”.  The storm could knock planets out of their orbit and make black holes shake. Odin held the storm off for many days weakening it enough to trap it in a chunk of Uru.

Odin ordered the Dwarves of Nidavellir to forge Mjölnir from this chunk of Uru. The Dwarven blacksmiths Eitri, Brokk, and Buri had to use the heat of a star to get the forge hot enough to smelt the Uru. It took them seventeen weeks to finish the hammer.

The hammer was uncontrollable due to the God Tempest still retaining its power.  Odin cast an enchantment on the hammer to prevent anyone else from wielding the hammer.  It was stored away where it sat for many ages. The God Tempest would eventually die, but its power would remain inside Mjolnir. Odin also cast several very potent spells upon the hammer. Mjolnir was given to Thor after he proved himself worthy by completing several trials.

Properties of Mjolnir

Mjolnir grants its user mystical attributes and powers. Many of these were unknown by Thor until revealed when Jane Foster wielded the hammer. Mjolnir can be used both offensively and defensively. Almost nothing is capable of withstanding a hammer blow. It has been described as impacting with sufficient force to “destroy mountains” and has proven capable of shattering the armor of a Celestial.  Mjolnir is classified as an Omega Class Weapon.

A few of the enchantments placed on Mjolnir

  • Worthiness Enchantment: This enchantment prevents it from being wielded by anyone that has not been found worthy.  
  • Mystical Link: Mjolnir obeys the wielder’s commands as though it were alive. 
  • Weather Manipulation: Wielding Mjolnir grants the user the ability to control the base elements of a storm , i.e. rain, wind, thunder, lightning and more.
  • Flight: The wielder is capable of hurling Mjolnir with great force and by holding onto the leather thong, is capable of flying through the air at tremendous speeds.
  • Energy Projection: The wielder is able to project powerful mystical blasts of energy. The wielder can even channel energies for stronger energy attacks.
God Blast: Thor is capable of channeling different amounts of his godly energies in combination with the mystical properties of Mjolnir for a single massive blast known as the God Blast.
Anti-Force: Thor is capable of producing an indescribably powerful blast known as the Anti-Force which is capable of annihilating entire planets.
Thermo-blast: Thor has the ability to produce a universe shaking thermo-blast capable of decimating even entire planets and beings as powerful as Ego the Living Planet.
  • Barriers: Mjolnir is capable of creating powerful barriers, force fields, and vortexes that are impenetrable. 
  • Energy Sensing: Mjolnir can detect practically all types of energy.  It reacts particularly strongly to evil psychic energy, and supernatural energy. Mjolnir can also track down the energy pattern of someone in hiding, detect any Asgardian’s aura by their electrons discharge, and can sense and track the energy radiating from mystical objects.
  • Energy Absorption and Redirection: Thor is able to use Mjolnir to absorb any energy blasts directed towards him as means of attack. Once the energy is absorbed, Thor can redirect it back amplified many times over towards the source and/or use it as a weapon of his own. 
  • Teleportation: By rapidly swirling Mjolnir by the leather thong Thor can channel energies for the purpose of Wormholes through means of a vortex. In this vortex time has no meaning, which means he and others can pass through it to their destinations instantaneously.
  • Matter Manipulation: By spinning Mjölnir in a precise manner at cyclotronic speeds, Thor can manipulate matter from a molecular level to a vast scale, which allows him to create other configurations and even allows him to transmute the elements themselves. 
  • Resurrection: While channeling his power through Mjölnir, Thor was able to resurrect a man he had wrongly killed.
  • Alpha Particles: Thor’s hammer can harness Alpha Particles from the atmosphere and could use it to atomize any weaponry.
  • Negation of Mystic Energy: He used this ability on the Juggernaut himself to negate the mystical energies that grant him his mystical invulnerability, allowing him to defeat Juggernaut in combat. He was able to stop Mephisto from taking human souls to the Dark Dimension.
  • Nether World Power: Thor can use Mjolnir to tap into the power of the Nether Worlds.
  • Cosmic Energy: Mjolnir allows Thor to produce and control Cosmic Energy to an unknown limit for a variety of purposes.
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum Manipulation: Thor was able to absorb and manipulate the electromagnetic energies of the Celestial Mothership.
  • Invisibility and Intangibility: Thor can turn himself or others, using Mjolnir, completely intangible and/or invisible. An offshoot of this ability is that Thor can use Mjolnir to completely disrupt the phasing abilities of super humans.
  • Event Recall: Thor can use Mjolnir to recall past events.
  • Transmigration of Souls: Thor’s hammer has the ability to manipulate souls.
  • Life Force Absorption: Thor used this ability on the super villain the Presence, who was forced to surrender to prevent himself from being reduced to a lifeless husk.
  • Illusion Detection: Mjolnir can distinguish images, holograms, and different illusions from reality.
  • Interdimensional Messaging: Thor can used Mjolnir to send psychic messages between the nine realms.
  • Holy Object: As a former religious relic, Mjolnir is lethal to vampires.
  • Transformation: Thor can use Mjolnir to transfer from his Donald Blake persona into Thor and vice versa.
  • Immunity to Other Forces: Even without activating the powers of Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer is impervious to nearly all forms of change.
  • Time Travel/Chronokinesis: Mjolnir can bend space and time and allow itself and its holder to travel through time. 
  • Allspeak: Thanks to the Allspeak, the wielder of Mjölnir can communicate with and be understood by all races.

Original Sin

In the Original Sin issue #7 Nick Fury is revealed to be the one who killed Uatu.  Thor and Nick Fury get into a scuffle.  At some point during the fight, Fury whispers something in Thor’s ear that causes him to become unworthy of wielding Mjolnir.  That happened back in 2014.  We have never been told exactly what was said to make Thor unworthy.  That is about to change.  Thor writer, Jason Aaron has promised the secret that Nick Fury told Odinson which made the Asgardian unable to lift Mjolnir will be revealed in March 22’s The Unworthy Thor #5.  

“I always said we’d eventually find out just exactly what Nick Fury whispered to Thor Odinson that made him unworthy,” said Unworthy Thor writer Jason Aaron. “The words have been scribbled in my trusty Thor notebook for years now. Words that speak to the overall story I’ve been telling with this character going back to Thor: God of Thunder #1. The next phase of that story begins now.”

Aaron gives no hints as to what the revelation will be.  Editor Wil Moss gives some insight saying, “I remember when Jason told me what it was that Nick Fury whispered, it just felt so satisfying.   Like, it’s definitely a big curve-ball, but it feels so organic to Jason’s overall larger Thor story. It feels earned”.

Official Solicitation

The Unworthy Thor (2016-) #5

 The hammer of the Ultimate Thor is finally within reach of Asgard’s fallen son. Is redemption finally at hand? No matter what happens next, life will never be the same for the Odinson.
Written by: Jason Aaron
Art by: Olivier Coipel
Cover by: Olivier Coipel
 Print Release Date: March 22 2017

Digital Release Date: March 22 2017

Age Rating: 12+ Only

Copyright: 2017 Marvel Characters, Inc.

Official Press Release

Press Release

This is it! A mystery years in the telling will finally be unfurled! Once upon a time, the God of Thunder was rendered unworthy. Not by a great and terrible foe, but by a mere whisper. At long last, the contents of that whisper will be revealed! Today, Marvel is pleased to present your look inside THE UNWORTHY THOR #5 – the senses-shattering final issue! Superstar creators Jason Aaron and Olivier Coipel bring the thunder and give fans the answers they’ve been waiting for – just HOW did the Odinson become unworthy of his magic hammer Mjolnir? Is redemption on the horizon for the fallen son of Asgard? No matter what happens next, life will never be the same for the Odinson. No fan should miss out on the blockbuster conclusion – THE UNWORTHY THOR #5 – on-sale in comic shops everywhere on March 22nd!

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TNTM: Unworthy Thor

Thor Odinson back in Marvel Comics

Whisper

Marvel Comics Original Sin event starts out when the Uatu the Watcher is murdered at his moon base and his eyes are stolen. Uatu’s eyes contain everything he has ever seen.  Every deep, dark secret of the Marvel Universe.

Nick Fury and a team of Earth superheroes investigate the Watcher’s murder.  During the investigation a lot of dirty laundry was exposed about characters.  At one point Nick Fury and Thor Odinson fight on the moon.

During this fight Nick Fury whispered something into Thor’s ear.  It is not revealed what phrase was muttered by Fury, but it caused Thor to become unworthy to wield Mjolnir.

The main Marvel Universe version of Mjolnir was enchanted by Odin so that only those deemed worthy could wield the hammer.  Thor stayed for some time as he was unwilling to accept his loss. He tried numerous times to lift the hammer with no success.

Jane FosterShortly after a mysterious woman appears and takes possession of Mjolnir.  She is granted the powers of Thor and becomes the Goddess of Thunder.  They keep the woman’s identity a secret for a few issues, but it is revealed to be Jane Foster.

Jane was diagnosed with breast cancer. While wielding Mjolnir she is at perfect health. When she is returned to her normal human form the chemotherapy is removed from her system making her cancer worse and endangering her life.

Thor initially attempted to reclaim Mjolnir, but relinquishes the name and power when he sees how well she wields it’s power.

 Unworthy Thor

Thor is not without a hammer for very long.  The Unworthy Thor #1 shows him finding the Ultimate Universe version of Mjolnir.  As a result of Marvels 2015 Secret Wars event (that is a story for another article) the Ultimate Universe Mjolnir is flung into the main Marvel Universe.  The Ultimate Universe version is a hammer/axe configuration.  This Mjolnir is not imbued with the worthiness enchantment, therefore anyone is able to wield it.

Jason Aaron, writer of Unworthy Thor, said the following concerning the title. “How he will be referred to as far as we know right now, he’s given up being Thor. He gave that to Jane. Doesn’t want to be called that name. But we also know he’s on a quest to figure out who he is, without Mjolnir. And striving to become worthy again. So, you know this book really kicks off by him finding out— you know what, there’s another hammer out there— there’s another Mjolnir. It sets him off on the thing, so… is this it? Is this how he becomes worthy? How he becomes Thor again? That’s one of the big questions driving the book.”

That means we will have three different versions of Thor now in the Marvel Universe.  Did you guys do the math right there? Notice how I have only mentioned two versions of Thor so far? The Mighty Thor Jane Foster version and the Unworthy Thor Odinson version.  That wasn’t a typo.  Unworthy Thor #2 will have Beta Ray Bill helping Thor regain his worthiness.  Let me fill you in on Beta Ray Bill’s story as most people aren’t aware of his character.

Beta Ray Bill backstory

Beta_ray_billThe Burning Galaxy had been destroyed.  The Korbinites chose a champion to follow to their new home. the Korbinite known as Beta Ray Bill was transformed into a cybernetic being resembling a fierce creature. The Korbinites put themselves into stasis and followed Beta Ray Bill’s ship, Skuttlebutt.  As the fleet approached the Milky Way galaxy, it was detected by a S.H.I.E.L.D. satellite. Thor was sent to investigate. Thor was deemed a threat by Skuttlebutt and Beta Ray Bill fought him. During the battle Thor was separated from Mjolnir and Bill picked up it up.  Mjolnir deemed him worthy and granted him the power of Thor. Thor and Beta Ray Bill were transported to Asgard by Odin. Bill claimed the hammer should remain his as he had won it fairly.

Odin ordered the two battle to death in Skartheim to see who would own the hammer. Bill’s was able to defeat Thor, however he refused to take Thor’s life.  Mjolnir was returned to Thor and Odin ordered the creation of the hammer Stormbreaker for Bill to use.

So far, Unworthy Thor is shaping up to be a very interesting story-line.  With the popularity of the Jane Foster Thor, I don’t think Odinson will be reclaiming his hammer any time soon.  That may be a good thing.  Watching Thor on his journey to becoming worthy again is an experience where I want to tag along.

Official solicitation

THE UNWORTHY THOR #2 (of 5)

  • JASON AARON (W) OLIVIER COIPEL (A/C)
  • Variant Cover by KRIS ANKA
  • Variant Cover by JIM CHEUNG
  • TEASER VARIANT Cover by MIKE DEODATO
  • The Realm of Old Asgard has vanished, taking with it Odinson’s hope for redemption. But good tidings from Beta Ray Bill might breathe new life into the quest. For Bill knows the fate of the Realm Eternal. To win back Odinson’s honor, the brothers in arms must infiltrate the fortress of THE COLLECTOR.
  • 32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

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