Thor is one of the most famous characters in Marvel history. Even non-comic book fans are familiar with the god of thunder; the image of Thor using his hammer to weaponize lightning is iconic. In recent years, Thor has become even more recognizable because he’s gotten a trilogy of films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (he’s also appeared in several other Marvel movies). Thor’s hammer, Mjonir, is arguably the MCU’s most famous weapon and, most of the time, it’s only connected with Thor because he’ the only one worthy enough to use it. In one memorable scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the various members of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes tried to prove their worthiness and/or strength by lifting the hammer. Steve Rogers slightly made Mjolnir move but, otherwise, these efforts were unsuccessful. It seems that only one mortal is truly worthy and his name is Thor (Vision is an exception because he’s not a mortal being).
That being said, in the comics, many characters have lifted the hammer. Plenty of these characters have held the hammer despite being unworthy. Various villains have exploited loopholes in order to lift the hammer. Other characters are are as worthy as Thor, so they earned the right to hold Mjolnir (some might even be more worthy than Odinson). For this reason, CBR has decided to list some of the characters who have lifted Mjolnir. Which ones are more worthy than Thor? Which ones aren’t as worthy as Odinson? Read on to see who makes the cut.
20 MORE WORTHY: JANE FOSTER
When Jane Foster took over as Thor, she arguably changed the comic book industry forever. This change wasn’t the first time a typically male hero had been replaced by a female but, due to Thor’s status as one of Marvel’s leading heroes, it caught the fans’ attention. Foster can be considered more worthy than her predecessor because of the consequences she faces for following in Odinson’s footsteps.
Foster had been battling cancer before she became Thor; when she picked up the hammer, it seemed like a matter of time before she fell to her illness. But she persevered and, despite the cancer growing stronger, ultimately sacrificed herself to cement her status as a virtuous hero.
19 AREN'T: CONAN THE BARBARIAN
Historically speaking, Conan the Barbarian is one of Marvel’s most popular characters. Though his popularity has dipped in recent years, Conan was, at one time, a genuine star. Naturally, Marvel had the Barbarian fight another one of the company’s fiercest warriors: Thor, the god of thunder.
After an initial fight, the two fantastic characters became close friends. When Thor falls in battle against Toth-Amon, he leaves his hammer to Conan. As a result, Conan never necessarily proved his worthiness; he was just handed Mjolnir by its previous user. The Barbarian is a successful warrior but he doesn’t quite match Thor’s heart.
18 MORE WORTHY: BETA RAY BILL
Nowadays, Beta Ray Bill is viewed as one of Thor’s closest allies. But, when they first met, they came to blows and readers learned that Bill was worthy of lifting Thor’s famed hammer. Bill, like Odinson, cares about protecting his people, and he planned to use the hammer to do so.
When Odin arranged a match between the two, Bill, once again proved he’s Thor’s equal. Since then, Bill has frequently teamed with Earth’s heroes. Bill is particularly notable because he was Marvel’s first non-Norse character to be deemed worthy of lifting Mjolnir. Others have followed suit but it’s fair to argue Bill is the best of them all.
17 AREN'T: AWESOME ANDY
When it comes to lifting Mjolnir, one crucial aspect of worthiness is the candidate’s heart. Awesome Andy, as a robot and a villain, is lacking in this respect. Other villains have held Mjolnir but Awesome Andy stands out from the rest. Created by the Mad Thinker, the Awesome Android possessed the power to absorb other heroes’ abilities. Eventually, Andy became so powerful that, upon gaining Thor’s abilities, he could lift Mjolnir.
Andy broke away from his master before later returning to his roots. Though the android lifted the hammer, he wasn’t worthy of it. He merely used a loophole by essentially stealing Thor’s powers.
16 MORE WORTHY: VISION
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has given fans many memorable moments, and Vision lifting Mjolnir in Avengers: Age of Ultron is one of the most unforgettable of them all. Tony Stark couldn’t lift the hammer and neither could Captain America. Not even Hawkeye could pick up Mjolnir. But when Vision, one of the then-newest additions to the MCU, entered the fray, he proved that he was worthy when he casually handed the hammer to Thor.
Vision can be considered more worthy than Odinson because his “heart” is less prone to natural corruption (though it can get infected by a virus). Still, this synthezoid stands above the rest of the pack.
15 AREN'T: LOKI
Loki just might be the most unworthy character to ever lift Mjolnir. The trickster god has practically made it his life’s mission to make Thor miserable. Therefore, the sight of Loki lifting his brother’s famed hammer was quite jarring. But that’s exactly what happened in Axis.
In this crossover event, heroes and villains traded places so, technically, Loki was a good guy. With Thor serving as the villain in this sibling rivalry, Loki was able to lift the hammer because he was more worthy than Thor. But Loki has repeatedly shown his true colors, so it’s nearly impossible to say, in any sense, he’s genuinely the worthier brother.
14 MORE WORTHY: CAPTAIN AMERICA
Captain America is often considered the most “wholesome” Avenger so, in Avengers: Age of Ultron, when the team members try to lift Thor’s hammer, many fans expected Steve Rogers to succeed. After all, Rogers is practically Superman when it comes to his integrity. Plus, Captain America had, at one point, lifted Mjolnir in the comics.
Rogers has actually picked up the hammer three times. Most notably, he utilized the weapon in a battle against the Serpent. “Stevil” Rogers also lifted Mjolnir in Secret Empire, when the character was at his worst. The fact that Rogers was still worthy proves that, even while brainwashed, Rogers’ heart is pure (the real Rogers lifted the hammer later in the event, too).
13 AREN'T: MAGNETO
Magneto is one of the most evil X-Men villains in Marvel history. Sure, he’s had a few brief runs as a hero but, for the most part, he’s as bad as they come. As a result, his name isn’t the first ones that comes to mind when considering the characters who have lifted Mjolnir.
To be fair, Magneto didn’t lift the hammer by being worthy. Instead, he used his mutant abilities to do so. The Master of Magnetism isn’t strong like the Hulk or worthy like Jane Foster. But he was still able to lift the hammer and that counts for something.
12 MORE WORTHY: VALKYRIE
When Valkyrie made her big screen debut in Thor:Ragnarok, she quickly became a fan favorite character. However, the film barely scratched the surface of Valkyrie’s potential -- in the comics, she’s one of the fiercest warriors in Asgard.
In fact, Valkyrie is one of a small number of heroes who have lifted Thor’s hammer. During the Ultimatum miniseries, to avenge Thor, Valkyrie (Barbara Norriss) cuts Magneto’s arm off. Given that the villain had been in possession of Mjolnir, Norriss claimed the weapon for herself. She was able to lift it and, in the process, became Thor’s successor. Valkyrie went on to become a member of the New Ultimates.
11 AREN'T: HULK
Believe it or not, the Hulk has actually lifted Mjolnir a few times. Granted, some trickery is usually the cause of the Gamma Green Giant’s ability to do so but it’s still impressive The time Hulk believed he was holding Mjolnir when, in reality, he held a stick, is a notable exception, though.
But, on at least one occasion, the Hulk hasn’t needed blatant deception to lift the hammer. During a fight with Thor in Avengers Assemble, Bruce Banner’s angrier half lifted Thor while the Asgardian held the hammer. One could argue that, as a result, the Hulk lifted the hammer. However, Banner has never lifted the hammer as a result of his own worthiness.
10 MORE WORTHY: SUPERMAN
This one’s somewhat self-explanatory. Superman, when he’s right in the head, is arguably the most pure superhero in comic book history. He’s the embodiment of everything America stands for and the ideals mankind hopes to live up to -- characters don’t get more worthy than that. However, due to legal issues, fans had to wait a long time to see the Man of Steel lift Thor’s hammer, which is one of Marvel’s symbols for integrity.
In JLA/Avengers, Superman lifted Mjolnir while battling a villain but he wasn’t able to lift it when he tried to hand the weapon back to its rightful owner. Regardless, fans know Superman is arguably the most worthy character in comic books.
9 AREN'T: RED HULK
Bruce Banner isn’t the only Hulk who has lifted Mjolnir -- the Red Hulk has done it, too. When this Crimson Colossus got a solo series in 2008, Marvel pulled out all the stops in order to establish him as a legitimate powerhouse. For example, early in the series, Thunderbolt Ross, the man behind the monster, wiped the floor with Thor in a fight.
When Ross moved the fight to outer space, he was able to use the hammer against the Asgardian. Without gravity to weigh Mjolnir down, Ross was able to use it against its master. The Red Hulk didn’t need to be worthy to use the hammer, which is why he belongs here.
8 MORE WORTHY: STORM
The combination of a powerful X-Man and Thor’s hammer sounds unstoppable. Storm didn’t initially lift Mjolnir; instead, she lifted Stormcaster, a mirror image of Thor’s famous hammer. Loki created the weapon during one of his countless schemes against his brother. Ororo Munroe initially rejected the new weapon but she later embraced its powers.
Munroe eventually proved her worthiness when, in an attempt to destroy Stormcaster, she lifted Mjolnir. Storm went on to have more adventures as a Goddess of Thunder; recently, she’s used the weapon in the pages of X-Men Gold. Munroe is a perfect choice for a hammer-wielding hero, given that she already has the ability to manipulate the weather.
7 AREN'T: THUNDERSTRIKE
Thunderstrike is one of the most notoriously disliked versions of Thor in the character’s long history. For this reason alone, this iteration of the god of thunder can be considered quite unworthy, and even with a more extensive analysis, Eric Masterson still leaves a lot to be desired.
In the ‘90s, Thunderstrike was meant to be cool and edgy in order to match the changing comic book industry. At the end of the day, he wound up being little more than “Thor with a ponytail.” Thunderstrike didn’t stick around very long and, despite having a small following of fans, he likely won’t be popular anytime soon.
6 MORE WORTHY: WONDER WOMAN
JLA/Avengers received a lot of hype and it delivered a classic moment when Superman lifted Mjolnir. But this crossover wasn’t the first time a DC hero picked up Thor’s hammer. In DC Versus Marvel, Thor temporarily lost Mjolnir during a fight with Captain Marvel/Shazam. Wonder Woman capitalized and she lifted the hammer without breaking a sweat.
As further proof of her worthiness, Wonder Woman didn’t even use the hammer in her fight with Storm. Diana Prince didn’t want an unfair advantage so she stuck with her inherent powers rather than augmenting them with Thor’s hammer. Storm went on to win the battle but, in some ways, Wonder Woman won the war.
5 AREN'T: ROGUE
Storm proved that the combination of an X-Man and Mjolnir could be amazing. So, the thought of Rogue holding the hammer seems promising. Unfortunately, Rogue’s time holding the hammer wasn’t as beneficial as Ororo Munroe’s proved to be.
Like Conan, Rogue held the hammer in a “What if?” story. In this case, the issue took place during Rogue’s tenure as a villain. Having absorbed Thor’s powers (like Awesome Andy) she was able to lift Mjolnir. The new and improved Rogue took down the Avengers but ultimately took down the bad guys, too. There have been worse alternate versions of Thor but Rogue falls short of Odinson’s worthiness.
4 MORE WORTHY: SILVER SURFER
Frankly, the Silver Silver could be placed on either side of this list. He didn’t demonstrate his worthiness until it was far too late to use it to save the day. In “Thanos Wins,” as the title suggests, the Mad Titan finally succeeded in practically destroying everything. Surfer, a Herald of Galactus, was unable to stop the villain (The Eater of Worlds couldn’t, so what chance did Norrin Radd have).
Using the name “the Fallen One,” Radd tried one last time to stop Thanos. The former Surfer lifted Thor’s hammer in Thanos #16 but he still couldn’t stop the Mad Titan. Still, Radd’s reputation precedes him, which is why he can be considered more worthy than Odinson.
3 AREN'T: DOCTOR DOOM
As one of the most famous villains in Marvel history, Victor von Doom isn’t exactly the embodiment of virtue. He’s done some remarkably horrible things throughout his long history. But, as one of the smartest characters in the Marvel Universe, he’s often able to get what he wants. So, when Doctor Doom aimed to use Thor’s hammer, he made it his mission to do so.
When Ragnarok separated Thor from Mjolnir, Doom had his chance. When the hammer fell into hell, where Doom was trapped, he was able to lift Mjolnir. Lightning didn’t strike twice when the villain and the hammer returned to Earth, though.
2 MORE WORTHY: THROG
Laugh if you want but Throg is as worthy as they come. This character originated as a joke when Loki transformed Thor into a frog. A genuine Frog of Thunder debuted shortly thereafter in the form of Simon Walterson. Walterson eventually became Puddlegulp the frog (who has one of the best names in Marvel history). Puddlegulp briefly teamed up with Thor before vanishing for a while.
When the frog returned, he lifted a tiny piece of Mjolnir to become Throg. From then on, Throg has protected the various animals that populate Central Park. What’s not to love about a hammer-wielding frog?
1 AREN'T: RAGNAROK
Ragnarok has all of the powers of Thor but none of the heart. During the Civil War series, Tony Stark created this clone of the God of Thunder to tip the scales of the conflict. Ragnarok fulfilled his purpose because he took down Goliath, which radically changed the course of the war. The clone quickly became a villain and joined the Dark Avengers.
Initially, this Thor’s hammer was artificial -- it didn’t evaluate the worthiness of its potential holders. However, upon a journey to an alternate universe, Ragnarok learned he could lift Mjolnir. But this clone is not worthy and he’s a heartless villain who will destroy anyone who gets in his way.