Mjolnir held aloft on the cover of Thor #494 (Jan. 1996).
Art by Mike Deodato Jr.
|First appearance||Journey into Mystery #83 (August 1962)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
|In story information|
|Type||Mystic item/artifact, Weapon|
|Element of stories featuring||Thor|
Mjolnir (// MŌL-n(ee)r) is a fictional weapon appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is depicted as the favored weapon of the superhero Thor. Mjolnir, which first appears in Journey into Mystery #83 (August 1962), 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, culminating in a looped lanyard. The object is based on Mjölnir, the weapon of the mythical Norse god, although in a 2002 documentary with Kevin Smith, Lee claims his brother Larry "made it up." The hammer's name translates as "The Crusher" or "The Grinder."
Mjolnir debuted in Journey into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962) for Marvel Comics. Prior to this time, "Mjolnar," invented by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, appeared in "[Adventure Comics]" #75 (Jun. 1942), in the Sandman story, "The Villain from Valhalla." For Marvel, the hammer 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).
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."
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 spear 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. As a result, the hammer's handle is shorter in length than Eitri had originally intended, meaning that the hammer could only be wielded one-handed.
Despite the error, the Norse gods consider Eitri to have forged the greater treasures, and in retaliation Loki loses the bet and the Sons of Ivaldi sew Loki's lips shut. The ruler of the Norse gods, Odin, uses the hammer—called Mjolnir ("Grinder") by Eitri—and eventually passes it to his son Thor, who must first prove he is worthy to wield the weapon.
Another version of the hammer's origin is presented in the second volume of the title Thor, in which Odin orders the dwarven blacksmiths Eitri, Brok and Buri to forge Mjolnir using the core of a star (the movie uses this origin as well, and Odin says that Mjolnir was "forged in the heart 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.
Mjolnir itself has several enchantments: no living being may lift the hammer unless they are worthy; 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; manipulate the weather on an almost global scale; open interdimensional portals, allowing its wielder to travel to other dimensions (such as from Earth to Asgard); and transform Thor into the guise of a mortal, the physician Donald Blake, by stamping the hammer's head on the ground once and willing the change. 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 shown to be unaffected by external enchantments.
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. There are times when Thor had both hands free but produced Mjolnir by reaching behind his shoulder; the suggestion was that he placed Mjolnir in some kind of sheath or sling on his back, with handle pointing up so he could grasp it quickly.
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. 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; 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, 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. However, Thor is still able to manipulate time with Mjolnir.
When Ragnarok took place, Mjolnir was separated from Thor and fell through the dimensions, creating a tear in Hell that allowed 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 resumes 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 Bor, 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. The hammer was also sliced in two by the Destroyer, in Thor #118 -he had to go to the forges in Pittsburgh to mend it. Thor has several times used the hammer to pin down opponents, since they cannot lift the hammer.
After Thor's death in the fight against the Serpent, Loki is able to take Blake's walking stick—the only remaining trace of Thor after he was 'replaced' by Tanarus—and turn it back into Mjolnir in front of the Silver Surfer, the Surfer's energy and Loki's belief in his brother allowing the hammer to return to Thor and restore his memory in time to face the God-Devourer that was about to consume his soul in the afterlife.
During the "Original Sin" storyline as Thor and the Avengers investigate Uatu's murder, Nick Fury whispers an undisclosed secret to Thor that causes him to lose the ability to pick up Mjolnir. The nature of Mjolnir's enchantment also changes so that even Odin cannot lift it. The hammer is subsequently picked up by an unknown female who inherits the power of Thor, as the inscription changes to "if she be worthy".
- Individuals in the primary continuity
- Roger "Red" Norvell
- Beta Ray Bill
- Captain America
- Eric Masterson
- Odin (Thor's father)
- Bor (Thor's grandfather)
- Buri (also known as Tiwaz, Thor's great-grandfather)
- Jane Foster
- Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999)
- Sentient constructs (non-sentient machines apparently cannot) in the primary continuity
The hammer has been lifted by Earth itself when animated by magical means.
- Characters from outside the primary comic book continuity
- Conan the Barbarian
- Dargo Ktor (Future Thor)
- (Old) Rick Jones of Hulk Future Imperfect
- Miguel O'Hara (Spider-Man 2099)
- Professor X (In Issue 69 of X-Men)
- Sarah Rogers (Crusader, daughter of Steve Rogers and Rogue)
- Alex Power
- Wonder Woman
- Black Widow
Several imitations of Mjolnir have also existed. These include Stormbreaker and the mace Thunderstrike, created for Beta Ray Bill and Eric Masterson respectively. Loki has been responsible for the creation of several imitations – a version of Mjolnir, called Stormcaster, is presented to the mutant X-Men member Storm in an attempt to control her, which she later destroyed using Mjolnir. To spite Thor, another version is given to the mercenary Deadpool. Loki also allows Surtur to use the forge Mjolnir was created from to craft copies during Ragnarok. HYDRA created evil versions of Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye and Thor, the Thor imitator had a technological imitation of Mjolnir. Tony Stark and Reed Richards also create a technological imitation Mjolnir for use by Ragnarok, the clone of Thor, during the Civil War storyline. A tiny version was created from a sliver of Mjolnir for the use of Throg, leader of the Pet Avengers.
Powers and abilities
Mjolnir can be used both offensively and defensively.
Described as impacting with sufficient force to "destroy mountains," with primarily adamantium and vibranium proving too impervious. Other offensive capabilities include creating vortices and forcefields (capable of containing an explosion that could potentially destroy a galaxy); emitting mystical blasts of energy; controlling electromagnetism; molecular manipulation; and generating the Geo-Blast (an energy wave that taps a planet's gravitational force), Anti-Force (energy created to counter-act another force), the thermo-blast which can even challenge such beings as Ego the living planet, and God Blast (a blast that taps into Thor's life force). The hammer can travel through planets to return to Thor. It can even create antimatter particles and whirling it round can create winds powerful enough to lift the Taj Mahal. The hammer can also move extremely heavy objects, including the Washington Monument.
There are also other several rarely used abilities. Mjolnir can track a person and mystical items; absorb energy, such as draining the Asgardian powers of the Wrecking Crew into the Wrecker; or detect illusions, as Thor once commanded the hammer to strike the demonic Mephisto, who was hiding amongst false images of himself. As a former religious relic, Mjolnir is lethal to the undead, causing creatures such as vampires to burst into flame and crumble to dust. Mjolnir also can project images, as Thor shows a glimpse of Asgard to fellow Avenger Iron Man. It is near-indestructible, surviving bullets, Anti-matter, and the Melter's melting beam.
The hammer has two properties relating to movement. When it is deliberately thrown by Thor, it will return to his hand despite any intervening obstacles or distance, even traveling through planets to return to Thor. When it has been dropped or set aside, it takes a fixed position, from which it cannot be moved except by a 'worthy' individual.
The hammer has also drained energy from the radioactive supervillain called the Presence, who is forced to surrender before being killed. Mjolnir was able to absorb, contain, and direct the energy of a Null Bomb, which was powerful enough to destroy an entire galaxy. 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. The hammer has been used to both power an Atlantean warship and temporarily drain the forcefield of the villain Juggernaut. If someone swears on the hammer their spirit can be summoned up after death. As well as absorbing radiation, the hammer can repel it back.
The hammer's ability to transform its user also purges the user of any toxins or radiations in their systems; however, this works against its current wielder, Jane Foster, as she is currently suffering from cancer, with the result that her transformations purge her of the radiation used in her chemotherapy while leaving the cancerous cells alone.
But Mjolnir is also not indestructible, having been damaged several times: a force beam from the Asgardian Destroyer slices it in two; the Molecule Man dispels the atomic bonds between the hammer's molecules, vaporizing Mjolnir; the hammer shatters after channeling an unmeasurable amount of energy at the Celestial Exitar; Dark god Perrikus slices Mjolnir in half with a magical scythe; and the hammer is shattered when it collides with the uru weapons of Loki's Storm Giant followers, resulting in an atomic-scale explosion.
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.
A version of Mjolnir in the What If? series was wielded by Rogue after she accidentally absorbed Thor's powers, the remnants of Thor in her psyche helping her assume his role.
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 during their second confrontation in Rick's museum of hero memorabilia, but failed to lift it even with Thor's death as he was naturally unworthy to do so. A later storyline set before the Hulk's fight with the Maestro featured the elder Rick working with his younger self to defeat Thanatos- another alternate Rick- by using his own ability to summon and 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. In a similar but alternate dystopian future, Mjolnir also rests in a super-hero artifact vault overseen by Rick Jones.
Mjolnir can be seen as one of the many treasures in the one-shot 'The Last Heist' that takes place in the "Tellos" universe.
In the Ultimate Marvel imprint title The Ultimates and its sequel The Ultimates 2, the Ultimate version of Thor wields a Mjolnir styled after a classical war hammer. It is not magical in origin, but rather an advanced technological marvel designed by the European Union Super Soldier Program to mimic Thor's powers. At the end of The Ultimates 2 Thor proves his divinity and reclaims his Asgardian powers to defeat Loki. In The Ultimates 3: Who Killed The Scarlet Witch, Thor wields a hammer more closely resembling the mainstream Marvel Universe Mjolnir. In one scene where he is entering a secured building, the computer controlling access identifies first Thor, then Mjolnir; this leads another character to question why the computer identified Mjolnir as a separate, sentient organism, but Thor does not give an explanation for this. He later displays a wall of weapons, including both hammers, which he states were gifts from his father forged by Ulik the Troll. However, in the prequel miniseries Ultimate Comics: Thor it is revealed that the original hammer is not the "real" Mjolnir but instead Dr. Braddock gives Thor tech-armor, and Thor suggests to turn the power supply into a hammer. Neither version of the hammer seems to be such that its use is restricted by the worthiness test. In Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates Thor puts his hammer inside the Room With No Doors with his son Modi, so that he may escape the destruction and genocide of the Asgardians. With Thor being the last Asgardian alive and his hammer is gone, he loses his divine powers and becomes mortal. Tony Stark kept Thor's tech armor and hammer since Thor no longer felt he had use for it, and gives it to Thor to "restore" his powers because he feels the world "needs a god of thunder".
In other media
Mjolnir is briefly seen by itself during a post-credits scene in Iron Man 2 (2010) at the bottom of a giant crater in New Mexico; S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson informs Nick Fury, "We've found it." It has since appeared in every Marvel Cinematic Universe film that features Thor including Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).
- Journey Into Mystery #83 (Aug. 1962)
- Thor Annual #11 (1983)
- Thor vol. 2, #80 (Aug. 2004)
- Amazing Spider-Man #339 (Sept. 1990)
- Journey Into Mystery #88 (Jan. 1963)
- Journey into Mystery #103 (April 1964)
- Thor #340 (Feb. 1984)
- Thor vol. 3, #1 (July 1998)
- Journey Into Mystery #86 (Nov. 1962)
- Thor #282 (April 1979)
- Avengers #300 (Feb. 1989)
- Fear Itself #7
- The Mighty Thor #9
- The Mighty Thor #10
- Aaron, Jason (w), Deodato, Mike (a). Original Sin #7 (August 2014). Marvel Comics
- Jason Aaron (w), Russell Dauterman (a). Thor v4, 1 (October 2014), Marvel Comics
- "Thor" #276 (Oct. 1978)
- Thor #337 (Nov. 1983)
- Thor #390 (Apr. 1988)
- Thor #433 (June 1991)
- Thor #600 (April 2009)
- Thor #355 (May 1985)
- Loki: Agent of Asgard #9 (December 2014)
- Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #9 (December 2014)
- Thor vol. 4 #8 (May 2015)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (May 2015)
- Thor (May 2011)
- Thor #387 (Jan. 1988); Fantastic Four #536 – 537 (May – June 2006)
- Journey Into Mystery #101 – 102 (Feb. – March 1964)
- Thor #305 (March 1981)
- She-Hulk #14 (Feb. 2007)
- Marvel Team-Up 26 (Oct. 1974); Avengers #212 (Oct. 1981)
- What If? #39 (June 1983)
- Thor #384 (Oct. 1984)
- Captain Marvel vol 2 #30 - Time Flies IV of IV (May 2002)
- What If? #47 (Oct. 1984)
- Thor vol. 2, #75 (May 2004)
- What If? vol. 2 #66 (Oct. 1994)
- 2099: Manifest Destiny (March 1998)
- What If? vol. 2 #114 (Nov. 1994)
- Guardians of the Galaxy #43 (Dec. 1993)
- Thor and the Warriors Four #4 (July 2010)
- Avengers/JLA #4 (May 2004)
- Marvel vs DC #4 (April 1996)
- "What If? Age of Ultron" #3 (2014)
- Thor #339 (Jan. 1984))
- Thor #459 (Feb. 1993)
- X-Men Annual #9 (1985)
- To Serve and Protect #3
- Deadpool #37 (Feb. 2000)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #520 (August 2005)
- Civil War #1–7 (May 2006 – Jan. 2007)
- Thor #312 (Oct. 1981)
- Avengers #68 (Sep. 1969)
- Thor #407 (Sept. 1989)
- Journey Into Mystery #115 (April 1965)
- Thor #161 (Feb. 1969)
- Thor vol. 3, #25 (July 2000)
- Thor vol. 1, #133
- Thor vol. 3, #12 (June 1999)
- Thor Vol 2 #4
- Journey into Mystery #85
- Journey into Mystery #94
- Journey into mystery #96 (Sep. 1963)
- Avengers #13 (Feb. 1965)
- Journey Into Mystery #120 (Sept. 1965)
- Avengers #277 (March 1987)
- Thor #310 (Aug. 1981)
- Thor #332 (June 1983)
- Earth's Mightiest Heroes #1–8 (Jan.–May 2005)
- Journey into Mystery #100
- Avengers #8
- Avengers #15
- Thor vol. 1, #337
- Avengers vol. 3, #44 (Aug. 2001)
- Thor #407
- Invaders #33 (Oct. 1978)
- JLA/Avengers #4 (Jan. 2004)
- Thor #411–412 (both Dec. 1989)
- (Thor vol 3 #11)
- Avengers vol. 1 #8
- The Mighty Thor vol.2 #1
- Journey Into Mystery #118 (July 1965); repaired Journey Into Mystery #120 (Sept. 1965)
- Avengers#215 (Jan. 1982) and restored in Avengers#216 (Feb. 1982)
- Thor #388 (Feb. 1988) and restored by the Celestials in Thor #389 (Mar. 1988)
- Thor vol. 2, #11 (May 1999) and restored Thor vol. 2, #11 (June 1999)
- Thor vol. 2, #80 (Aug. 2004). Not seen again until Thor vol. 3, #1 (Sept. 2007)
- Thor #294 (Apr. 1980)
- Hulk: Future Imperfect #2 (Jan 1993)
- Captain Marvel (Vol. 3) #27–30 (March–May 2002)
- "The Last Avengers Story" #1-2 (Nov. 1995)
- The Ultimates #4-13 (March 2002)
- The Ultimates 2 #1-13(February 2005-February 2007)
- The Ultimates 3" #1
- The Ultimates 3" #4
- Ultimate Comics: Thor#4
- Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates #3
- Mjolnir at the Marvel Universe wiki