If you’re at all familiar with Marvel’s Thor, you’re probably aware that Mjolnir (his trusty hammer) is capable of pulling off some amazing feats. Whoever wields the weapon1 can use it to not only smash obstacles and would-be attackers, but also to fly. But considering the tool was forged from an enchanted piece of metal containing the remnants of a massive sentient space storm2, it seems like Mjolnir should do more than just break stuff and fly. And it does!
Over the years, the comics have revealed a laundry list of strange and awesome powers that Mjolnir possesses. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the coolest entries on that list.
Resurrecting The Dead With A Reverse Lightning Strike
On Earth, if you have the power to resurrect the dead, you’ll probably end up being worshiped as a god3. But apparently in Asgard, the power to resurrect the dead only gets you the chance to be some big blonde dude’s hammer.
In Invaders Vol. 1 #334, Thor decided it was a good idea to team up with Adolph Hitler5. On Hitler’s orders, the God of Thunder traveled to Moscow to kill Joseph Stalin6. Upon arriving in Moscow, Thor fights his way to “Stalin” and uses his hammer’s lightning to kill him. However, before long, it is revealed that the man Thor killed was actually Union Jack in disguise, and the real Stalin was safely in hiding.
After realizing he had killed the wrong man7, Thor used Mjolnir’s powers to resurrect Union Jack via a reverse lightning strike. The resurrection process also ended up granting Union Jack the power to shoot lightning from his fingers, which is a nice gesture, all things considered.
Aside from resurrecting the dead, the hammer also has the power to summon the spirits of dead beings who have sworn an oath over it. But considering it can literally bring back the dead, that just doesn’t seem as cool.
Throwing Enemies Into Space
Yes, we all know that Thor can use Mjolnir to fly. And you might even know that Thor can use its power to send his enemies flying. But did you know that the hammer is capable of launching attackers all the way into outer space8 via Anti-Force?
In Thor Vol. 1 #142, an alien villain named Super-Skrull becomes Loki’s unwitting pawn, and attacks Earth with the hope of killing Thor. After a previous run in with the Fantastic Four, Super-Skrull gained the ability to mimic their powers. But even these powerful skills are not enough to defeat Thor, and the Son of Odin uses Mjolnir’s power to launch the invader into space.
Clearly, smashing your enemies with a giant hammer is an idea that resonates with a lot of comic readers. But sometimes, a melee weapon, magical though it may be, just isn’t enough. Luckily for Thor, Mjolnir is also a great ranged weapon thanks to its ability to emit various energy blasts at would-be attackers. However, since the hammer’s energy attacks (such as “God Blast,” “Thermo-Blast,” and “Anti-Force”) are capable of decimating entire planets, referring to Mjolnir as a “ranged weapon” seems like a bit of an understatement.
For the record, Mjolnir is also able to absorb an enemy’s energy attack, and, if need be, reverse it, which is a nice feature.
Transforming Thor Into A Human
In a storyline from the late 1960s, Odin, Thor’s father, decided that his son was getting a little too big for his britches and needed to learn some humility. So he wiped his son’s memory and sent him to Earth to live as a Harvard medical student. Because nothing says “humility” like an Ivy League medical degree9.
Without going into too much detail, Thor eventually realized that he was actually a god and regained his memory. But his experience resulted in a new-found love of humanity, which is why Thor splits his time between the realms of gods and men. And thanks to an enchantment Odin placed on Mjolnir, Thor was able to use his hammer to transform himself into a human10 whenever the mood would strike11.
If you went around telling people that you could control the $6.00 hammer you bought at Home Depot with your mind, they’d probably haul you off to the loony bin12. But then again, your hammer was forged by some dude at a factory in China, not by Dwarves using a giant star. So the fact that Thor can telepathically communicate with Mjolnir (steering it in flight, beckoning it to return, etc.) probably isn’t that surprising. But it’s still pretty awesome.
Travelling Through Time
It’s common knowledge that Mjolnir allows Thor to fly through space, reaching speeds approaching Mach 32, according to Marvel.com. But did you know the hammer has also allowed Thor to travel through time?
In Journey Into Mystery Vol. 1 #8613, a mad scientist from the future travels back in time to steal an atomic weapon. Next, Thor basically spins Mjolnir so fast that he is transported to the future where he ends up fighting some robots and recovering the weapon. I guess the whole “time travel” thing made plots a little too easy, because it was eventually written out of the comic. But at one time it was possible, so it works for this list.
Opening Interdimensional Portals
We’ve covered space and time. Now for our last entry, let’s deal with other dimensions. Once again, if the God of Thunder is able to spin his hammer fast enough, he can open portals allowing for interdimensional travel. We see this when he travels between Asgard and Earth, but there are many other examples.
In Thor Vol. 1 #19214, when the New Orleans Mardi Gras parade was attacked by Durok the Destroyer, Thor used this teleportation technique to temporarily evacuate the parade’s spectators in order to fight the creature without fear of civilian casualties. The crowd was later transported back and proceeded to wipe their own memories of the event using alcohol15. Best Mardi Gras ever!
Thor’s Funko Pop is perfect for your desk at home. Pick him up here.