This story was originally published October 30, 2016.
Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Reader Rob N. wrote in to ask why was it that Steve Rogers didn’t transform into a Thor-like costume when he picked up Mjolnir?
For years, there was only one person who was ever worthy of picking up Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, and that was, well, Thor.
Walter Simonson changed everything in “Thor” #337 when Beta Ray Bill picked up the hammer and transformed…
Notice how Beta Ray Bill changed into basically a variation of Thor.
During “DC vs. Marvel” (by Ron Marz, Peter David, Dan Jurgens, Cluadio Castellini, Joe Rubinstein and Paul Neary), Wonder Woman picked up Thor’s hammer and is transformed…
See how her outfit was, in effect, “Thorized”?
In “Thor” #384, in the future, Dargo Ktor picked up Mjolnir and transformed…
He, too, was transformed into a variation of Thor.
Okay, so in “Thor” #390 (by the same creative team of “Thor” #384, Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz and Brett Breeding), Thor and Steve Rogers (then going by the name “The Captain”) are attacked by the forces of Set…
So, why didn’t Steve transform into a Thor-ized version of himself? Honestly, I think it’s most likely just a mistake. However, if I were to come up with an explanation, these are the best I can come up with/
First, the argument would be that Steve wasn’t really lifting up the hammer so much as he was just trying to get it to Thor. In the other three instances, the character had no specific intent when they picked up the hammer (or stick in Beta Ray Bill’s case) other than to pick it up and thus, they became a version of Thor. Cap, on the other hand, picked it up just to get the hammer to Thor, so that is why he didn’t change.
In the alternative, perhaps it is an issue where Thor was not present when the hammer was picked up by the other people. Thor had been transformed into Don Blake when Beta Ray Bill picked up the hammer, so there was no Thor at the time. Similarly, there was no Thor present in the future when Drago picked up the hammer. Thor was on a different Earth when Wonder Woman got his hammer in DC vs Marvel (he was on, I think, the Marvel Earth while Wonder woman was on the DC Earth – it could have been the other way around).
I would mention that Superman did not transform when he picked up Mjolnir in “JLA/Avengers”, but the enchantment was off of the hammer at the time, so it really doesn’t matter (if you did count it, it would work with the above theory, as Thor was present when Superman got the hammer and Superman did not transform into a Thor-esque costume).
So there you go, Rob, TWO possible answers! I think the second one works best.
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