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Beyond Mjolnir: The 15 Greatest Asgardian Weapons

by  in Comics, Lists, Comic News Comment
Beyond Mjolnir: The 15 Greatest Asgardian Weapons

The people of Asgard grew up in a world where going to battle was a matter of everyday life. As a result of all of these battles, the weaponry of Asgard has become quite developed and many Asgardians, including their greatest hero, Thor, are strongly associated with their personal weapons. Odin, the longtime leader of Asgard, can practically fill a museum with all of the amazing weapons that he has in his vault.

RELATED: Monsters Unleashed: Kirby’s 15 Craziest Marvel Monsters

One of the fascinating aspects of Asgardians is that due to their god-like physiques, bullets tend to be relatively ineffective against them. The most effective weapons against Asgardians are bladed weapons or blunt objects, because they are both powered by the enhanced strength of the Asgardians themselves. Thus, most of the weapons on this list fall into those two categories (although some energy-based weapons make the list, as well). Here, then, are the fifteen greatest Asgardian weapons.

NOTE: Valkyrie’s amazing sword, Dragonfang, was given to her by Doctor Strange. Since it isn’t really an Asgardian weapon we decided not to add it to the list.

15. Balder’s Sword

balder-sword

The only sword on the list without a name, we first saw the magical effects of Balder’s sword in “Journey Into Mystery” #111 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Chic Stone), where Jane Foster was dying of a mysterious ailment that could only be cured by finding Holdor the Healer. The problem was that he was located in the furthest reaches of Asgard (past the molten chasm), while she was on Earth.

With Thor stuck on Midgard, the only Asgardian worthy of the quest to find the elixir was Balder the Brave (although Loki tried to get the assignment just so he could intentionally fail at it). Once Balder received an elixir from Holdor, his sword (which was created by Odin personally) then transported through dimensions to show up by Thor’s feet, just in time to save Jane. The sword can also transport people between dimensions, which we saw occur when Balder and Sif were battling a deranged Thor in “Thor” #180 (by Stan Lee, Neal Adams and Joe Sinnott). In order to protect Sif, Balder used it to send her away from the fight.

14. Red Norvell’s Hammer

red-norvell-thor-hammer

Few beings in this universe are quite as willing to sacrifice people to get their way as Odin, the lord of Asgard. One of his more devious plans involved turning a man named Roger “Red” Norvell into a substitute for Thor so that when Ragnarok came around, it would be Norvell who died instead of the real Thor. And that’s exactly what happened. For the substitution to work, Odin had to give Norvell a special belt of strength as well as enchanted gloves that allowed the otherwise unworthy Norvell of wielding Mjolnir.

Years after Norvell’s death, Odin and Thor had one of their many falling outs, so Odin resurrected Norvell and created for him a new hammer made out of the same uru that made up Mjolnir. It theoretically should be higher on the list because it stood up well to Mjolnir, but as the Red Norvell version of Thor was not exactly memorable, you don’t exactly get the urge to brag all that much about his weapon.

13. Gram

loki-thor-gram

Gram was a sword that played a major role in the ongoing series “Loki: Agent of Asgard” by Al Ewing and Lee Garbett. The sword was created by Regin Hriedmarson as an attempt to gain vengeance against all Asgardians and his own brother, Fafnir, for Fafnir’s role in allowing the Asgardians to get away with killing their brother and father. Regin got the great Asgardian warrior, Sigurd, to kill Fafnir for him, but in the process, Gram became enchanted with special “truth” magic. When Regin tried to betray Sigurd, Sigurd instead stabbed him with Gram, which caused Regin to realize that his supposed quest was just an excuse to allow him to kill and feel honorable about it.

Eons later, Loki received the sword. He used it to cure Thor, who had been possessed by Loki’s evil future self, King Loki. Later, he was confronted by Odinson (formerly known as Thor) over the trickster god’s role in the destruction of Loki’s younger self and Gram was destroyed. King Loki actually manufactured the whole situation by going back in time and killing Regin’s brother in the first place.

12. Stormcaster

stormcaster-storm-asgard-weapon

At one point during the mid-1980s, the mutant inventor known as Forge was contracted by the United States government to create a device that could strip the mutant known as Rogue of her powers (as Rogue had formerly been a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants). However, Storm got in the way of the blast meant for her teammate, and thus lost her weather powers. She still had enough skills as a fighter to remain the leader of the X-Men, but she desperately wanted to gain her powers back.

This was just the sort of thing that Loki was made for, and in the famed “Asgardian Wars” crossover in “New Mutants Special Edition” #1 and “X-Men Annual” #9 (by Chris Claremont, Art Adams, Al Gordon and Mike Mignola), Loki offered her a hammer like Mjolnir that would give her powers like a goddess of thunder. Storm agreed and once again had control of the weather. However, as part of the deal, Loki had turned her against her own teammates. Ultimately, she had enough willpower to discard the “gift” Loki had given her.

11. Hofund

thor-heimdall-hofund

Hofund is the powerful sword that Heimdall wields as he guards the rainbow bridge into Asgard, practically the only way that anyone can enter the magical realm. Hofund has vast energy collection powers, as Heimdall can call upon cosmic forces to charge the sword, like when he powered it by the flames of a number of stars. The sword has other notable magical properties as well. It even allows Heimdall to disguise himself as a human whenever he visits Earth.

In a notable storyline from the “S.H.I.E.L.D.” comic book from a few years back, Hofund somehow found its way into the hands of a terrorist, so it took a large contingent of superheroes (coordinated by Agent Phil Coulson) to combat the power of Hofund when the terrorist unleashed it on Earth. It is a good thing that such a powerful weapon remains in the possession of one of the most steely-eyed warriors in the universe.

10. Gungnir

gungnir-thor-odin

Few Asgardian weapons are quite as mysterious as Odin’s powerful spear, Gungnir. There have been multiple origins for the spear, including that dwarves made it for Odin out of sunlight and that it was from a pre-Asgard world leftover from the previous Ragnarok. Adding to its mystery is the actual powers of the staff. It works a lot like Odin’s version of Mjolnir in that it sends out energy blasts, is made out of uru and returns to Odin when he throws it.

However, the question has long remained whether it did all of that because Gungnir itself was enchanted or if it was simply because it was being used by Odin. In other words, since Odin is the one who enchanted pretty much all of these weapons, does he need an enchanted weapon himself or can he just use his powers to make it do things? The question of whether Gungnir had its own powers was finally answered when Norman Osborn tried to steal it to turn the tide during his siege on Asgard (in the appropriately titled crossover “Siege”).

9. Fear Itself Hammers

thor-fear-itself-hammers

The crossover “Fear Itself” saw Cul the Serpent, the evil brother of Odin who was banished centuries ago, return to try to reclaim Asgard as his own. Part of his plan involved releasing seven uru hammers similar to Mjolnir down to Earth. Once there, they would be found by “The Worthy,” a collection of superheroes and supervillains who made contact with the hammers and were possessed by the children of Cul, transforming them into magical versions of themselves.

The Worthy were: Skadi, wielded by Sin (Red Skull’s daughter); Kuurth, Breaker of Stone, wielded by the Juggernaut; Nul, Breaker of Worlds, wielded by the Hulk; Skirn, Breaker of Men, wielded by Titania; Nerkkod, Breaker of Oceans, wielded by Attuma; Greithoth, Breaker of Wills, wielded by the Absorbing Man; Mokk, Breaker of Faith, wielded by the Grey Gargoyle; and Angrir, Breaker of Souls, wielded by the Thing. When the event ended and the respective characters regained control of their bodies, the hammers were cast across the universe so that they could never be brought together again.

8. Bloodaxe

bloodaxe-skurge-the-executioner

The Bloodaxe originally was the weapon of choice for Skurge the Executioner, the loyal henchman of Amora the Enchantress (Skurge was in love with the Asgardian goddess and would do whatever she wanted). It was an enchanted double-edged axe that allowed Skurge to achieve many great feats, like projecting fire or ice from the axe or, even more impressively, cutting rifts through dimensions that he could travel through.

Eventually, Skurge died in battle without his axe. It eventually made its way to Earth and was found by Jackie Lukus, a friend and colleague of Eric Masterson, the hero known as Thunderstrike. She used it to fight crime, but the bloodlust of the axe slowly took control of her and made her need to kill. Thunderstrike eventually took the axe from her, but when he was stuck in a battle against an enemy too powerful for him to defeat, he ended up using it himself. Once victorious, he knew that the axe had taken control of him as well, so he sacrificed himself to stop it. Sadly, his sacrifice didn’t destroy the axe and Thor also found himself using it in battle. Finally, Thor destroyed it when he felt the curse of the Bloodaxe taking hold of himself.

7. Fear Itself Weapons

fear-itself-weapons

During the aforementioned “Fear Itself” crossover, things looked awfully bad for Earth. Cul the Serpent was using his ability to make people feel fear to make the world panic. It did not help that The Worthy were cutting a path of destruction around the planet. Even the Asgardians were prepared to raze Earth to the ground if it meant that Cul would be defeated.

In stepped Tony Stark. He made a sacrifice of his own long-treasured sobriety to get Odin to listen to him. Odin heard his pleas, which was for Odin to allow Tony to come to Asgard and create a series of weapons made out of uru, to be enchanted by Odin and amplified by Tony’s own technological knowhow. Odin agreed and Tony helped save the day alongside a few fellow superheroes who were able to get past the fear that Cul was forcing onto them. Each hero was given a special weapon made specifically for them. In Tony’s case, it was a spiked uru armor! Red She-Hulk actually kept her weapon for a while after the event ended.

6. Thunderstrike

thunderstrike-thor-weapon

Eric Masterson was a single dad who worked as an architect. In this capacity, he befriend Thor while the thunder god was using the secret identity of Sigurd Jarlson, construction worker. During a battle against one of Thor’s foes, though, Eric was badly hurt. The only way Thor could think to save him was by merging their lifeforces together. So Eric would then switch bodies with Thor, similar to Billy Batson and Captain Marvel.

This went on for a while until Thor seemingly killed his evil half-brother, Loki. Thor was exiled for his actions and, surprisingly, the body and powers of Thor were left with Eric Masterson, who could now continue doing the changes in a way that put him in control of Thor’s body when he transformed into the god. Eric faithfully represented his friend as the replacement Thor until he helped bring the real one back. Odin then made Eric his own enchanted mace called Thuderstrike so that Eric could continue serving as a hero (especially since the returned Thor wasn’t planning on spending much time on Earth, thus making Eric sort of the Asgardian representative on Earth). Tragically, Eric ultimately sacrificed himself after defeating the evil Egyptian god, Seth.

5. Jarnbjorn

jarnbjorn-thor-ax

Jarnbjorn, loosely translated as “Iron Bear” was the ax that Thor used when he was a young man before he was allowed access to his mighty hammer, Mjolnir. Created by the same dwarves who created Mjolnir, Jarnbjorn had great powers of its own and was even known as the “Wrecker of Worlds” for how powerful it was. Thor eventually even upped the power of the ax by blessing it with his own blood. The already indestructible ax was now even powerful enough to pierce the armor of a Celestial!

Thor lost the ax over the years and it fell into the hands of the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror, who presented it to the Apocalypse Twins. They in turn used it to kill a Celestial. After the Apocalypse Twins were defeated, Thor regained Jarnbjorn. When he became unworthy of wielding Mjolnir, Thor (now going by the name Odinson) began using Jarnbjorn again as his primary weapon. Sadly for Odinson, the ax is so powerful that it was used by a villain to chop off Thor’s own arm! Thor then used an arm made of the material of the Destroyer armor.

4. Stormbreaker

stormbringer-beta-ray-bill

Walter Simonson shocked the comic book world when he took over as the writer and artist on “Thor” starting with #337. In that issue, Thor was trying to stop what looked like an alien invasion of Earth. As it turned out, it was actually a race of aliens who had lost their world and had been kept in cryogenics until they found a new planet. The lead ship in their fleet would move them in various directions while its computer tried to find said new world for them.

When Thor attacked the lead ship, it activated Beta Ray Bill from cryogenic sleep. Bill was the defender of the race. He fought Thor and shocked The God of Thunder by actually being able to pick up Mjolnir, at which point he was transformed into a Thor-like version of himself! Odin, being his typical rascally self, forced Thor and Beta Ray Bill to fight to see who got to keep Mjolnir. It pretty much ended in a tie, so Odin just invented a new, golden uru hammer with all the same powers as Mjolnir, calling it Stormbreaker. Beta Ray Bill has been wielding Stormbreaker ever since.

3. The Destroyer

thor-destroyer

The Destroyer is one of the go-to plot ideas in the history of Thor. It seems like whenever a writer is stuck for an idea, they call in the Destroyer. It even featured in the 2011 “Thor” film! The Destroyer is made out of enchanted uru and can be magically deployed as an automotan to attack the enemies of Asgard. Naturally, Loki frequently would take control of the Destroyer armor and use it to attack Thor. It is one of Thor’s most difficult foes, as it often nearly kills Thor while they are battling, and Thor almost always needs last second reprieves by outside forces to save his life.

Thor once traded the armor to Galactus to be used as the world eater’s herald in exchange for releasing his then-current herald, Firelord, from Galactus’ control. Also, Odin actually entered the Destroyer armor and grew to thousands of feet tall in order to fight against the Celestials (he also used another weapon you’ll see on this list). Most recently, Odin used the Destroyer to attack the new Thor to try to get her to give up Mjolnir. Luckily, Odin’s wife eventually convinced him he was acting way too evil to use such a weapon on a heroic person.

2. Mjolnir

mjolnir-thor-hammer

The most famous Asgardian weapon, by far, is Mjolnir, the famed hammer of Thor. Odin’s son, Thor, had to wait centuries until he was worthy of wielding the hammer, which gave him all sorts of spectacular powers, like control of the weather, flight, energy blasts, and even the ability to travel through time! When Thor disgraced himself yet again, though, Odin banished him to Earth. Eventually Thor found Mjolnir on Earth and atoned for his prideful past by becoming one of the universe’s most beloved superheroes.

Mjolnir has been wielded by a few other heroes over the years, as they have been found to be worthy, including Steve Rogers (normally Captain America, then going by the name The Captain), Eric Masterson and Wonder Woman. Superman used it, as well, but the “worthiness” enchantment had been temporarily removed, so it is unclear if he would normally be able to. Recently, the enchantment on the hammer changed. Instead of being “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor,” it now read “If she be worthy,” as Jane Foster became the new Thor. Mjolnir now has a life of its own, as even Odin cannot lift it anymore!

RELATED: The Secret Origin of Mjolnir Revealed in Mighty Thor #12

1. Odinsword

odinsword

While Mjolnir is clearly the most famous Asgardian weapon, its greatest is likely the Odinsword, the giant sword that we were first introduced to in “Journey Into Mystery” #117 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Vince Colletta), where we learned that if it were ever taken out if its giant sheath, it could mean the end of the universe. Naturally, writers could not bear to not use something like that, so it was first teased twice. Once in a story where Odin threatens to unsheath it unless a villain backs off and again when Thor and his friends almost unsheathed it to stop the evil Mangog (luckily Odin woke from his Odinsleep in time to stop Mangog first). Check out the cover to “Thor” #156 to see how big the Odinsword (also called the Oversword) is!

thor-156-odinsword-size

During a battle with the Celestials, Odin entered the Destroyer armor and grew large enough to carry the Odinsword, which he used to attack the Celestials. It even successfully penetrated a bunch of their armors (sadly for Odin, they quickly regenerated and defeated him). Still, the giant sword remains the greatest weapon in all of Asgard, as no other weapon could be used to attack a group of Celestials and actually hold their own.

What is your favorite Asgardian weapon? Let us know in the comments!

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