WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League #69, on sale now from DC Comics, and recent issues of Thor, on sale from Marvel Comics.
Some characters have places or items in their lives that connect them to a heritage much larger than themselves. For Superman, this is the Fortress of Solitude, a safe haven for the Man of Steel surrounded by the last remnants of his Kryptonian heritage. For Thor, it's Mjolnir, the enchanted hammer that is not only the source of his great power, but a reminder of his Asgardian lineage. Both of these things have recently been stolen from their owners, a theft more emotionally impactful than most realize.
To call the Fortress of Solitude Superman's home away from home would be understating how important it is to the Man of Steel. When he needs a moment to catch his breath and his actual home is not ideal, this is where he goes. It contains the last traces of Kryptonian culture and history anywhere in the DC Universe. It is as close as he could possibly get to ever being on Krypton. The Fortress is also decorated with statues and images of his biological parents, connecting him to them and reminding him of the legacy entrusted to him.
Superman recently lost the original Fortress of Solitude during his first battle with Rogol Zaar. This also coincided with the destruction of the city of Kandor, so the Fortress has even more meaning now than it ever did before. To lose it again in Justice League #69 (by Brian Michael Bendis, Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, Hi-Fi) is surely devastating on a personal and emotional level. As one of his few remaining links to Krypton, losing the Fortress is like losing a part of himself.
A large portion of Thor's power is derived from Mjolnir. As an Asgardian he'd still be powerful, but he would no longer possess the power of the Thunder God. At one point this was made quite literal when he became unworthy of the hammer and took up the name Odinson as he traveled across the Marvel Universe. To lose the hammer again, and to have it literally stolen from the headquarters of the Avengers has to be a nasty reminder of when he was at his weakest point.
But more than that, Mjolnir is a testament to the kind of man Thor is. He can only wield it when he is worthy, meaning he must literally be the best that he can be. This alone is physical proof of his measure as a hero. It also begs the question of how someone stole it in the first place, as only a select few can even lift it.
But regardless of who took these precious items, they have dealt a devastating personal blow to two of the mightiest heroes in any comic book universe. Theft like this isn't just a way to steal power, knowledge or even embarrass their foe, but is rather an attack on their very identities and what makes them who they are.
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