"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of...Speaker of the House?"

To some it's the start of The Heroic Age, to others a new Dark Reign, to still others a possible Orange Lantern attack, but yesterday Ohio Republican John Boehner became the 61st Speaker of the House, as the GOP assumed control of the House of Representatives for the 112th Congress. And to mark the occasion, he dropped the hammer -- a ceremonial gavel so big that pundits and twitterati have taken to comparing it to Mjolnir, the enchanted hammer of the gods wielded by the Mighty Thor. Apparently, Speakers may select from a range of gavels of different sizes and styles, depending on the occasion; Boehner, with customary subtlety, selected one that looks like it could have come from Kenneth Branagh's prop department. Does this make President Obama Loki and Nancy Pelosi the Enchantress? If so, that would make the Tea Party a rampaging barbarian horde, right?

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