Unworthy Thor: Why the Avenger Lost His Hammer (And How He Got It Back)

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One of the most iconic weapons in all of superhero comic books is Thor's trusty mystical hammer Mjolnir. Forged from the legendary Norse metal Uru from within the heart of a dying star, the hammer was enchanted by Odin to only be able to be lifted by those it deemed worthy enough to wield its immense power and channel the power of the gods. However, for the past several years, the Odinson found himself suddenly unworthy to lift the hammer after learning a bombshell revelation, with Jane Foster stepping up to be the new Thor in his place.

Now, CBR is taking a look back at how Thor lost access to Mjolnir, what he did while separated from his longtime weapon, and how he eventually proved himself worthy to wield Mjolnir once again.

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At the start of writer Jason Aaron's celebrated run on Thor, the God of Thunder fought Gorr the God Butcher, a villain who declared gods more of an impediment than a benefit to sentient beings and began slaughtering them across the cosmos. Eventually successful in defeating him, Thor had to team up with incarnations of himself from different eras to secure a victory, although the encounter would leave him shaken for some time.

During the crossover event Original Sin, Thor and the Avengers confronted an aged Nick Fury in the Blue Area of the Moon for his role in murdering Uatu the Watcher. With his Infinity Formula that had kept him from aging failing him, Fury was severely weakened but able to incapacitate Thor by whispering something in his ear that immediately made him unable to lift Mjolnir; the Odinson rendered unworthy in an instant. Thor would later reveal that Fury had simply told him that Gorr was right, with the revelation immediately causing Thor's doubts and insecurities after fighting the God Butcher to overwhelm him and make him unworthy.

The Adventures of Unworthy Thor

Unworthy Thor

As Jane Foster takes up Mjolnir to become the new Goddess of Thunder, Thor wields his old ax Jarnbjorn, the weapon he possessed before he replaced it Mjolnir centuries ago after he finally proved himself worthy to Odin.

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As the evil Dark Elf Malekith the Accursed begins to conquer the Ten Realms, Thor learns that Ultimate Thor's hammer, Stormbreaker, has fallen in the main Marvel Universe after the events of the crossover Secret Wars. While Thor and Beta Ray Bill contemplate wielding the alternate universe weapon, Thor eventually decides to prove himself worthy of his own hammer again, leaving Volstagg to claim Stormbreaker and transform into the War Thor. While unworthy, Thor would confront Malekith again only to lose his left arm to the Dark Elf and replace it with a metal prosthetic.

How the Odinson Got His Groove Back

During a massive battle against Mangog that left Asgard in ruins, Jane Foster defeated the creature by tethering him to Mjolnir and flinging the hammer with the beast still attached deep into the sun, destroying both. As Jane returned to Earth to resume her chemotherapy to put her cancer into remission, Odinson reclaims the name Thor and cycles through an armory of substitute Asgardian hammers while co-founding the latest incarnation of the Avengers.

RELATED: War of the Realms Ends with Thor Adopting a New, Worthy Title

When Malekith launches his epic invasion of Earth during War of the Realms, Thor recruits the younger and older versions of himself that had helped earlier against Gorr. While battling the Dark Elf for the fate of the Marvel Universe, Thor reveals that the dwarves of Nidavellir have forged a new Mjolnir which he uses to defeat Malekith and truly become the mighty God of Thunder once again, with Odin proclaiming his son as the new Asgardian All-Father.

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