is a fictional
weapon that appears in comic books
published by Marvel Comics
. Mjolnir resembles a large short-handled hammer
and is the favored weapon of the Thunder God and superhero Thor
- based on Mjöllnir
, the weapon of the original Norse god. The hammer first appears in Journey into Mystery
#83 (Aug. 1962) and was created by writer Stan Lee
and artists Jack Kirby
and Joe Sinnott
Forged by Dwarven blacksmiths, Mjolnir is composed of the fictional Asgardian metal Uru
, and has a strange stone-like appearance. On the side of the hammer is the inscription: "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor
There are two versions of the origin of Mjolnir.
According to Norse myth, Loki the trickster cuts off the hair of the goddess Sif as part of a cruel jest. Threatened with grave physical harm by Thor, Loki escapes his fate by promising 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 first makes a golden ring; then a golden boar and finally begins work on a hammer. Loki begins to panic at the sight of the treasures, and fearful that he would 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 that the hammer is shorter in the handle than Eitri had originally intended.
Despite this, the Norse gods consider Eitri to have forged the greater treasures, and in retaliation the sons of Ivaldi sew Loki's lips shut. Odin uses the hammer - called Mjolnir by Eitri - and eventually passes the hammer to his son Thor, who must first prove he is worthy to wield the weapon.
Another version claims Odin orders the dwarven blacksmiths Eitri, Brok, and Buri to forge Mjolnir, using the core of a star and an enchanted forge. The forging of the hammer is apparently so intense it destroys the star and nearly the Earth itself. When Thor and Loki were still infants, Odin used the hammer in battle to slay Loki's father, Laufey.
- No living being can lift the hammer from the ground unless he or she is deemed worthy by Odin. The hammer, however can be lifted by machines such as robots.
- The hammer returns to the exact spot from which it is thrown after striking its target. The hammer will also return to Thor's hand when summoned.
- Its wielder may summon the elements of storm (lightning, wind, and rain) by stamping its handle twice on the ground. It can also be used to manipulate the weather on an almost global scale, as Thor once did at Spider-Man's request to spread a chemical agent around the world to counteract another set of chemicals released by Doctor Octopus that risked destroying the ozone layer.
- Mjolnir is able to open interdimensional portals, allowing its wielder to travel to other dimensions, such as from Earth to Asgard. The hammer can also be used to create portals to travel great distances within the same dimension.
- The hammer enables Thor to transform into the guise of a mortal, physician Donald Blake, by stamping the hammer's head to the ground once. A provision of this enchantment requires that the hammer can not be out of physical contact of Thor for more than one minute without his spontaneous reversion to his mortal self. 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. This enchantment was later transferred to Stormbreaker, the hammer of Beta Ray Bill. When Thor adopted the mortal persona of Jake Olson the stick was removed and Thor simply pounded his fist into the ground to effect a change.
- Previously, Mjolnir could be swung in such a way as to generate chronal displacement inertia enabling its wielder to travel through time. This property, separate from the hammer's dimension-spanning ability, was removed by the entity Immortus with Thor's consent. Thor, however, has since been shown to be able to stop time with Mjolnir.
Mainstream Marvel Universe continuity
Powers & abilities
Mjolnir can be used both offensively and defensively. Thor often uses the hammer as a physical weapon, with almost nothing being capable of withstanding a hammer blow or throw. It has been described as impacting with sufficient force to "destroy mountains" and has proven capable of shattering the armor of a Celestial A rare exception is primary adamantium
Other offensive capabilities include creating vortices; emitting mystical blasts of energy; controlling electromagnetism; molecular manipulation and generating the Geo-Blast, Anti-Force, and God Blast.
Defensively Mjolnir can also be used to block attacks, absorb and redirect energy and by being spun in an arc repel all attacks, be they physical or energy-based. Thor also uses Mjolnir as a means of transportation by hurling the hammer and gripping the thong on the shaft, being pulled along by the force created. Once airborne, Thor can change direction, speed and altitude.
There are also other several rarely used abilities - Mjolnir can detect illusions - Thor once commanded the hammer to strike the meta-physical villain Mephisto, who was hiding amongst false images of himself. Also a former religious relic, Mjolnir is lethal to undead. Thor once threw Mjolnir at a vampire, with contact causing the vampire to burst into flame and crumble to dust. Mjolnir can project images, as Thor shows a glimpse of Asgard to fellow Avenger Iron Man. Mjolnir can also drain or restore the life force from an opponent. Thor uses this ability on the supervillain the Presence, who is forced to surrender before being reduced to a lifeless husk, and uses Mjolnir to restore the life of the second Union Jack and also endow the hero with electric generating powers. The hammer is also used as a power source to augment the abilities of an Atlantean warship.
Although an incredibly powerful weapon, Mjolnir is not indestructible. It has been damaged several times over the years: A force beam from the 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 incredible 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 it was revealed that another version of Mjolnir had survived a previous incarnation of Asgard and the eventual Ragnarok. It was apparently thrown to Midgard (Earth) by Thor's sons - Modi and Magni - and landed in the Rhine river where it was transformed into the magical Rhinegold.
- In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Mjolnir is a hybrid of hammer and axe, but later changes in appearance to resemble the mainstream version.
Several imitations of Mjolnir have existed. The most well-known are the two created by Odin himself: Stormbreaker for Beta Ray Bill
, and the mace Thunderstrike
for Eric Masterson. Loki has been responsible for the creation of several imitations - a version of Mjolnir is presented to the mutant X-Man Storm
in an attempt to control her, while another version is given to the adventurer Deadpool
to spite Thor. Loki later allows Surtur
to use the forge Mjolnir was created from to craft copies during Ragnarok. Tony Stark
and Reed Richards
also create a technological imitation Mjolnir for use by the clone Thor during the events of the Civil War