Thor, already one of Marvel's strongest characters, has experienced an intense power increase in recent years. But even now, having inherited and then rejecting the Power Cosmic from Galactus, his latest enemy could be his biggest yet. A new god has emerged that ties in very closely to the legacy of Thor's hammer, and it could be the thing that finally kills him.
The Marvel incarnation of Thor first appeared in 1962's Journey Into Mystery #83 (by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby and Stan Goldberg). When the mortal doctor Donald Blake found a walking stick in a cave and hit it against a rock, he transformed into Thor, and the stick into the mythic hammer, Mjolnir. Thor #159 (Stan Lee and Jack Kirby) would add that Blake and Thor were always the same, with the mortal form created by his father to teach the god humility.
In the recent Thor volume 6 #9 (by Donny Cates, Nic Klein and Matthew Wilson), it is further clarified that although they share memories, when Blake becomes Thor, his body and soul are sent to an alternate suburban paradise. But that's not where all the weirdness ends, nor where Thor's deadliest troubles even begin.
During the extensive and somewhat controversial arc, Unworthy Thor, by Jason Aaron (by Jason Aaron, Olivier Coipel and Matthew Wilson), a harrowing thought leaves Thor unable to lift Mjolnir. He now answers to the name Odinson, and Jane Foster, his ex-girlfriend, takes on the mantle of Thor in his stead. When she sacrifices the hammer to defeat Mangog, Odinson is left with only duplicate weapons. At the conclusion of Aaron's Thor run and the War of the Realms crossover, a new Mjolnir is forged, making Thor worthy once again.
Ever since Donny Cates took the reins of Thor, he's been toying with the thunder god's relation to his hammer. In the very first issue, King Thor notices that it is getting heavier. On top of this, characters who are noticeably unworthy or otherwise unremarkable are now able to easily lift Mjolnir. In one case, a lowly mechanic named Adam Aziz grabs the hammer with no problem, instantly getting full Asgardian powers and getup. Bothered by this turn of events, Thor seeks to swap places with Donald Blake in order to consult with the dead kings and spirits.
To everyone's surprise, the decades Blake had spent in the fantasy world without his powers drove him insane. When Thor emerged in Blake's realm, he found that the doctor had slaughtered everyone, painting messages for the gods in blood. As Donald emerged in Asgard, he broke the walking stick in half, trapping Thor in the desolate suburbia. Throughout the arc, several other characters wielded Mjolnir, including Beta Ray Bill, Loki and even Blake.
After Blake had been defeated and imprisoned, Mjolnir continued to act up. It smacks Thor in the face, attacks Captain America unprompted, and disappears without a trace. In the latest issue, Thor #20, Odinson comes face-to-face with a never before seen god. Mjolnir itself, a being of coursing blue lightning, is thus revealed to be the God of Hammers, and its impact on Thor and Asgard could be catastrophic.
There's no telling what the reveal of Mjolnir will entail. It's long been assumed that the power of Thunder comes from Thor, merely being channeled through the hammer. But with Mjolnir seemingly made of lightning, this could call into question whose power affects whom. What does Mjolnir want? How long have they been alive? Hopefully some answers will come in future Thor issues.
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