|First appearance||Journey into Mystery #118 (July 1965)|
|Created by||Stan Lee (writer)
Jack Kirby (artist)
|In story information|
|Element of stories featuring||Asgard|
The Destroyer is a fictional magical character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Usually depicted as an opponent of the Thunder God and hero Thor, it is in fact a suit of Asgardian armor animated by magic. The character first appears in Journey into Mystery #118 (Jul. 1965) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the Destroyer is featured in over four decades of Marvel continuity and other Marvel-endorsed products such as animated television series, live-action films, video games, and merchandise such as action figures and trading cards. Due to trademark issues, at least one toy version of this character is marketed as Marvel's Destroyer.
The Destroyer is an enchanted suit of armor forged by Odin, and when it first appeared it was hinted that the Destroyer had been created as a weapon to face some dark menace from the stars. It is first seen residing in the Temple of Darkness in Asia. The Destroyer is used by Thor's arch-foe Loki on several occasions, and each time has actually come close to killing Thor. First, it was used by a hunter whom Loki had lured to the temple using his mental powers. At one point Thor was imprisoned in the ground, but Loki saved him by making him intangible briefly before the Destroyer could strike him with an elemental transmutation beam. Thor forced the hunter's consciousness to leave the armor by using the hunter's body as a shield before the Destroyer could fire at Thor, then burying the Destroyer under thousands of tons of rock when the hunter tried to return to it. It is next salvaged by Karnilla and animated by Sif, who attempted to use it to battle the Wrecker when Thor was temporarily deprived of his godhood and all his powers but his strength by Odin as a lesson, only for the Destroyer to proceed to attack Thor before Sif broke her connection with it. At one stage Thor offers the armor to the World Devourer Galactus, in exchange for the release of Galactus's current Herald, Firelord. Galactus accepts, and the Destroyer acts as his Herald, detecting Counter-Earth for him and going on to battle the Fantastic Four until finally recaptured for reuse by Loki.
Years later the menace from the stars is revealed to be the Celestials, with the Skyfather gods (Odin, Zeus, etc.) having pooled their resources a millennium before to create the Destroyer as a weapon to stop the arrival of the so-called Fourth Host of Celestials. At the penultimate moment, Odin enters the Destroyer armor and then absorbs the life essences of all present in Asgard (with the exception of the absent Thor), growing to a height of 2,000 feet (610 m). The Destroyer then draws the Odinsword, and together with the Uni-Mind confronts the Fourth Host, who dissipate the Uni-Mind and melt the Destroyer armor into slag, scattering the life-forces of the Asgardians. The Asgardians were later revived by Thor gathering power from the other Skyfathers. The armor, however, is not completely ruined and several years later Loki reforms the armor in a bid to destroy a severely weakened Thor, who has been reduced to pulp after killing the Midgard Serpent due to a curse by Hela which made his bones brittle and made him incapable of healing or dying. Thor, however, wrests control of the armor from the host—an enthralled Frost Giant named Siggorth—through sheer force of will and goes on to defeat Loki. The Destroyer, depicted as thinking and speaking for the very first time, tries to take control of him but fails. Then the death goddess Hela is defeated by the Destroyer—attired in Thor's raiment and wielding his hammer—attacking her realm, forcing her to restore Thor to his true form and undo the curse that left him in such a dire condition. The Destroyer is left in a crystal in Hela's realm, and is eventually animated by the goddess Lorelei. Lorelei battles several Asgardians and becomes trapped in the dimension of the Great Beasts.
The Destroyer is later deployed by trolls, who empower it with the spirit of the Maestro, an evil future version of the Hulk. Although the Hulk fails to defeat the Destroyer in combat, he is able to enter the Destroyer because he and the Maestro are the same spirit, allowing him to fight the Maestro for control and defeat it from within. Thor has two more encounters with the Destroyer, with the armor almost killing him on the first occasion and breaking his jaw on the second. The armor is eventually retrieved by Loki and occupied by the entity Desak, although Thor—equipped with the Odinpower—decapitates it with one throw of Mjolnir.
The armor was later under the control of the god Balder when Thor was on a quest to locate his missing brethren, the Asgardians. Doctor Doom takes possession of the Destroyer armor and uses a copy of the Destroyer armor to attack the Asgardians.
After Thor loses the ability to wield Mjolnir, and the hammer is claimed by an unknown woman, Odin, working with the restored Serpent, decides to dispatch the Destroyer to make her rescind Mjolnir, despite even Thor accepting his replacement as a worthy heir. With Cul animating the Destroyer, Odin unleashes it on the new Thor, but although she is unable to hold her own, she receives aid from Odinson, Frigga, and the various women that Odinson had identified as possible candidates for his successor's true identity, Frigga forcing Odin to stand down as she confronts him with the knowledge that he has essentially become the villain with his unprovoked attack on the heroes.
Powers and abilities
The Destroyer is forged of an unknown metal and enchanted to be more durable than Uru. All of the Sky Fathers imbued the Destroyer with a portion of their power. Although the Destroyer can act independently for brief periods, in general the construct is lifeless until animated by the life-force of a sentient living being. When so animated, the Destroyer retains a rudimentary base personality that will eventually subvert the host unless that host is a particularly strong-willed individual, such as Thor or Loki. Odin is also able to cast a spell that can force the animating persona from the armor and deactivate it.
The Destroyer armor possesses vast superhuman strength of unknown limits. While inhabited by the lifeforce of a sentient being, its strength is immeasurable. It possesses enough superhuman strength to easily overpower even the likes of Thor,[volume & issue needed] and Hulk.[volume & issue needed] The Destroyer armor is maintained by the lifeforce of a sentient being and is not subject to physical fatigue. While inhabited, the Destroyer literally possesses limitless superhuman stamina in all activities.
The Destroyer armor is practically invulnerable to all forms of physical damage. The armor can withstand high caliber bullets, tremendously powerful impact forces, falls from tremendous heights, exposure to absolute extremes of both temperature and pressure, and powerful energy blasts from the likes of Thor and Odin without sustaining damage.[volume & issue needed] While possessed of the lifeforce of all the Asgardians, the Destroyer could withstand powerful blasts of energy from beings as powerful as the Celestials.[volume & issue needed] The Destroyer has withstood a million tons of pressure without even falling over;[volume & issue needed] while the near-omnipotent Celestials were able to melt the construct with energy blasts, its melted form was later easily reanimated to its original state.
The Destroyer armor is capable of firing extremely powerful bolts of energy, primarily for destructive purposes. It has such power that the simple energy that crackles within can shatter planets.[volume & issue needed] The armor can project beams of intense heat, electricity, plasma, and magnetic force. The armor is also capable of manipulating the molecular structure of most materials and matter itself for a variety of purposes including, but not limited to, transmutation such as the creation of impenetrable substances. Its most devastating weapon, however, is a beam fired from the armor's helmet, where a person's face would be in an ordinary suit of armor, that is capable of disintegrating practically any known substance in existence. The Destroyer must keep its visor open in order to build up the energies to use in this attack. The beam is even capable of destroying material as durable as Uru.
While the armor itself has no weaknesses, the spirit inhabiting the armor will begin to grow more progressively violent while spending extended periods of time within the armor. Also, after a time, it becomes nearly impossible for an inhabiting spirit to maintain control over the armor while attempting to use it for non-violent purposes in non-combat situations. In time, the armor itself will dominate the inhabiting life force. Only a being of extreme willpower, such as Thor or Odin, is able to hold control over the armor.[volume & issue needed]
During the Secret Wars storyline, there were alternate versions of the Destroyers present.
- The Maestro of the Battleworld domain of Dystopia seeks the Destroyer armor so that he can use it against Doom, only to find that it is guarded by the 'Ancient One', an elderly version of Rick Jones. Although assigned as the Destroyer's Guardian, Rick allows the Maestro to take the Destroyer, but it is soon revealed that it has been enchanted so that anyone who attempts to take it will enter an illusionary world where they succeed, Rick stating that the Maestro will simply remain in front of the Destroyer until he dies.
- There is also a Destroyer that is a member of the Thor Corps who are Battleworld's police force that answer to God Emperor Doom.
In other media
The character appears in:
- Episode 6 of the "Mighty Thor" segment of The Marvel Super Heroes (1966).
- Episode ("Powerless") in the series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (2010 - 2012).
- Episode 12 ("Itsy Bitsy Spider-Man") in Season 2 of the animated series Ultimate Spider-Man (2013).
- The Destroyer appears in the Avengers Assemble animated series, voiced by Maurice LaMarche (in "The Doomstroyer"), and by Jim Meskimen (in "A Friend in Need").
- The Destroyer appears in the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series. In the episode "Stuck in the Metal with You", the Destroyer was found on the planet Retsemaw where Destroyer was part of a peace deal between the Spartax and the Asgardians. Rocket Raccoon activates Destroyer during the Guardians of the Galaxy's fight with the Black Order and easily defeats them. The Destroyer armor is brought to Knowhere where the Guardians of the Galaxy hope that the Broker would help to figure it out. When a bar patron insults, Rocket Raccoon uses the Destroyer armor to attack. Rocket Raccoon soon loses control of the Destroyer armor causing Drax the Destroyer to fight Destroyer until Loki shows up on Knowhere. Loki then controls the Destroyer armor to attack the Guardians of the Galaxy. With help from Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon was able to break Loki's control on the Destroyer armor to use to defeat Loki. The Destroyer armor then takes Loki back to Asgard. In the episode "Asgard War Part One: Lightnin' Strikes", the Destroyer armor accompanies Thor's group to Spartax as part of the war between Asgard and Spartax. As Rocket Raccoon obtains the information they need from the Destroyer armor that involves Loki stealing back the Cosmic Seed from J'son, Loki takes control of the Destroyer armor in order to attack Thor. In the episode "Asgard War Part One: Rescue Me", the Destroyer armor accompanies Thor and Angela into helping the Guardians of the Galaxy rescue Star-Lord from Thanos.
- The Destroyer appears in the 2011 live-action film Thor. In this continuity, the Destroyer is depicted as a giant semi-autonomous construct created to act as a guardian who obeys the direct command of the King of Asgard, its main function being to protect Odin's chamber of relics. When Loki takes the throne and Thor is banished to Earth and stripped of his powers, Loki sends the Destroyer to Earth to kill the powerless Thor. Temporarily waylaid by several of Thor's friends, it continued its advance through the small New Mexico town of Puente Antiguo until Thor stepped forward to face it alone. Thor appealed to Loki through the Destroyer, asking him to take his life, but leave the nearby populace alone. The Destroyer then dealt him a mortal blow, but his nobility proves him worthy to wield Mjolnir once again, allowing him to fight the Destroyer by lifting it off the ground in a tornado. When the Destroyer fires its beam weapon, Thor uses Mjolnir to charge through the beam and thrust it into the Destroyer's head, causing its power to turn in on itself and blow its head up, damaging it beyond its ability to function.
- The Destroyer appears briefly in the 2012 film The Avengers, during the scene in which Tony Stark is debriefed by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Phil Coulson. Several screens depicting the events occurred in the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe appear, and one of them displays the Destroyer during the climactic battle in the Thor film. Additionally, Coulson uses a prototype cannon on Loki, which was reverse-engineered from the Destroyer's technology.
- The Destroyer appears as a boss in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Loki's mind inhabits the armor after tricking the superheroes into releasing it. In addition to possessing great strength and power, The Destroyer armor is invulnerable to all attacks. Only by having the Destroyer fire a concussive blast at the crystal containing Loki's body can both it and Loki be defeated.
- The Destroyer armor is an unlockable costume in the 2011 videogame Thor: God of Thunder, which acts as a prequel to the film. Thor retains his red cape while wearing it.
- Destroyer is featured as a boss in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance and later on can be unlocked as a playable character.
- The Destroyer appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
- The Destroyer is a playable character in the mobile game Marvel: Future Fight.
- The Destroyer is a playable character in Lego Avengers.
- The Destroyer was included as a chase variant in the 15th wave of Toy Biz's 6" Marvel Legends action figure line.
- A figure of Destroyer was released in wave 39 of the Marvel Minimates line.
- Destroyer was released in the Battle for Asgard's Vault 3-pack from the Marvel Super Hero Squad line, packaged with figures of Thor and Loki.
- Two figures of the Destroyer were released in Hasbro's 3.75" Thor: The Mighty Avenger movie tie-in line. Additionally, an 8" figure was released in that same line.
- The popular strategy miniatures game HeroClix, by Wizkids Games, has featured the Destroyer in two of its sets, Hammer of Thor and the Avengers Movie set.
- Funko released a bobblehead for the Destroyer based on the 2011 Thor movie. It was only available in certain Bethany Beach, Delaware stores unboxed in mint condition.
- Hasbro.com - Inferno Marvel's Destroyer
- Journey into Mystery #118-119 (Jul. - Aug. 1965)
- Thor Annual #2 (Sept. 1966)
- Thor #150-152 (Mar. - May 1968)
- Thor #224-225 (June - July 1974)
- Thor #228 (Oct. 1974)
- Fantastic Four #172-174 (Jul. - Sept. 1976)
- Thor #264-266 (Oct. - Dec. 1977)
- Thor #300 (Oct. 1980)
- Thor #301 (Nov. 1980)
- Thor #380 (Jun. 1987)
- Thor #381 (Jul. 1987)
- Thor #382 (Aug. 1987)
- Thor #437-441 (Oct. - Dec. 1991)
- Incredible Hulk #461 (Feb. 1998)
- Thor vol. 2, #1-2 (Jul. - Aug. 1998)
- Thor vol. 2, #36 (June 2001)
- Thor vol. 2, #79 (Jul. 2004)
- Thor vol. 3, #5 (Jan. 2008)
- Thor #605 (Jan. 2010)
- Original Sin #7
- Thor vol. 4 #1
- Thor vol. 4 #5
- Thor vol. 4 #6
- Thor vol. 4 #8
- Thor vol. 4 #9
- Future Imperfect 4
- Future Imperfect 5
- Thors #1
- "The Doomstroyer". Avengers Assemble. Season 1. Episode 10. September 22, 2013. Disney XD.
- "A Friend in Need". Avengers Assemble. Season 3. Episode 15. September 11, 2016. Disney XD.
- "Exclusive: First Look At The Destroyer From THOR!". Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- Destroyer at Marvel.com