In Drawing Crazy Patterns, I spotlight at least five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics).
Today we look at how “Thor” comics often pulled powers for Mjolnir out of nowhere (on top of the normal “God of Thunder” stuff. 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). We’ll go in chronological order!
From “Journey Into Mystery” #84 (by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby and Dick 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…
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!
In “Journey Into Mystery” #86 (by Lee, Lieber, Kirby and Ayers), Odin gives Thor a new power with his hammer…
A Silver Age Marvel hero actually specifically being GIVEN a new power rather than it just showing up without explanation is about a gazillion times more effort than they usually put into explaining new powers of heroes at the time.
In “Journey Into Mystery” #115 (by Lee, Kirby and Frank Giacoia), Thor’s hammer just does 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 “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…
I freakin’ LOVE the Anti-Force! 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)?
In “Avengers” #70 (by Roy Thomas, Sal Buscema and Sam Grainger), Thor specifically asks Odin to help him have Mjolnir shrink Hyperion…
That’s a bit unclear, though, whether that is just now a thing Mjolnir can do or if it is a special one-off thing.
In “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’s some crazy stuff.
In “Thor” (Volume…I dunno, let’s say Volume 19) #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!
That should just about do it, but perhaps I’m missing a good one. Be sure to let me know in the comments (as if I had to say “point out something you think I missed”) and also drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an idea for a future installment!
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