Here is an archive of all the past top five lists I’ve one over the years.
Today, I spotlight the top five oddest powers of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir.
NOTE: There’s a lot of images in this piece, so I’m splitting it up over two pages to make the pages load faster.
Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, is quite a powerful little mallet. Most of its powers are pretty normal enough for a God of Thunder. It can control weather. It can hit people really hard. It can shoot blasts of energy. Thor can throw it and use the force from the throw to drag himself into the air. These are the basic powers of Thor’s hammer. The following are the…let’s say less basic powers of Thor’s hammer…
One of the Mjolinir’s properties that was so weird that Mark Gruenwald and Ralph Macchio specifically wrote a story to write it out of Thor’s arsenal was the ability to travel through time. It’s a weird one, to be sure, but to be fair, we actually see Thor gain the ability from Odin in Journey Into Mystery #86 (by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers)…
A Silver Age Marvel hero actually specifically OBTAINING a new power is about a gazillion times more effort than they usually put into explaining new powers of heroes at the time, so I’ll give them a mulligan on this one.
I think Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema and Sam Grainger did a similar thing in Avengers #70, where it seems Thor specifically asks Odin to help him have Mjolnir shrink Hyperion…
That’s a bit unclear, though. If you think that’s just a normal ability of Mjolnir and not a special one-off thing, then it likely deserves a higher spot on the list (or maybe not. The top five is pretty packed).
This one from Journey Into Mystery #84 (by Lee, Lieber, Kirby and Ayers) is certainly odd (as you’d figure Thor would use this power all of the time if he could), but I guess it really doesn’t rise into the weirdness of the top five…
5. The ability to summon the dead
In Thor #11 by J. Michael Straczynski, Olivier Coipel and a host of inkers, Thor decides to pay tribute to his old friend, Captain America, who was seemingly killed while Thor, too, was seemingly dead (or I guess in Thor’s case, ACTUALLY dead). Thor reveals a little-used ability of Mjolnir. It can summon from the dead people who have sworn an oath over it. I dunno when Cap did that, exactly, but it’s not that weird to presume that he did at one point or another…
Of course, Cap was not actually dead, so maybe Mjolnir just summoned some other dude. Maybe one of the other Caps who have died over the years, like the Patriot! Or the Spirit of ’76!
4. The ability to transmute elements
Yes, you read that right. Thor’s hammer can just do flat out alchemy, as seen here when he took down the Absorbing Man (who had just turned into the elements of the Earth after touching the ground) in Journey Into Mystery #115 by Lee, Kirby and Frank Giacoia…
I freakin’ LOVE the Anti-Force! In Thor #142, by Lee, Kirby and Vince Colletta, Thor is fighting the Super-Skrull and Thor would love to just kill the bad guy, but instead he whips out a never-before-seen ability of Mjolnir. It can produce “Anti-Force” which apparently just propels people into outer space at Thor’s whim…
How awesome of a power is that? Why doesn’t Thor ever use that power (he did during Dan Jurgens’ run, but it didn’t work like this – it was just a traditional energy blast)? Jason Aaron, where is Anti-Force?!
2. The ability to control anti-matter
I truly believe that this bit from Journey Into Mystery #85 (by Lee, Lieber, Kirby and Ayers) was just Jack Kirby thinking, “Eh, Thor will spin his hammer and they’ll get better. I’ll leave it to Lieber to figure out how to explain this one.”
Loki uses magic to turn people into anti-matter versions of themselves.
Thor’s hammer, of course, can reverse this effect. Because, well, shut up!
1. The ability to reverse a deadly lightning bolt strike and give the person struck by the lightning the ability to control lightning himself
This bit from Invaders #33 (by Roy Thomas, Alan Kupperberg and Frank Springer) is just ALL sorts of kooky.
Okay, so Hitler calls Thor to Midgard and convinces him to kill Joseph Stalin. The Invaders try to stop him. Their plan involves Union Jack pretending to be Stalin. Thor then kills “Stalin.”
When Thor realizes the error of his ways, he then REVERSES THE LIGHTNING STRIKE!!!
Better yet, while returning Union Jack to life, it also GIVES HIM LIGHTNING POWERS!!
Not to mention how Thor can just casually wipe everyone’s memories. I dunno if that’s a Mjolnir power, though. That might just be a weird Thor power. Hey, I think I have an idea for another Top Five…
Well, that’s this top five! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!