From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivially specific topic of geekery. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.
“The Grinder”, as Mjolnir is translated, is one of the most recognizable weapons in all of comic fandom and, thanks to the success of those films, in all of popular culture. Yup, Thor’s Hammer, as it’s also known, is without a doubt awesome! Hard-hitting, it returns when you throw it, oh, and it lets you fly! It may be the perfect “tool” for Thor when he needs to kick some Ice Giant arse or save Midgard (because those weak men are so petty!) but the Asgardian Avenger isn’t the only character worthy of carrying a weapon forged by a god with the core of star! So, without further ado, we go to the obvious, keep it in the family, and run into completely crazy on our way to the Top o’ the Lot: Wielders of Mjolnir Other Than Thor.
Honorable Mention: Rogue
There’s lots of places I could take this list. Superman and Wonder Woman have held Mjolnir, and there’s the Ultimate Universe, and all the What If? comics. A person could go mad! So, I kept my list to the Marvel 616 proper…for the most part. I couldn’t let this first one go.
In a 1994 one-shot What If? comic aptly named What If Rogue Possessed the Power of Thor?, Rogue possessed the power of Thor. During the X-Men’s first battle with the Avengers Rogue puts it to Thor a bit too hard, takes all of his power, and is overtaken by the experience. She kills most of the Avengers and goes on one hell of a warpath, Mjolnir in tow. She eventually snaps out of it and comes to terms with her new power, but it’s just one of a ton of crazy examples of wielders of that hammer. Conan the Barbarian, Storm, even Deadpool were options, but, as weird as some of the choices were, the picks on this Lot seemed a lot more important.
5. Air Walker, Awesome Android, Pretty Much Any Humanized Robot
Mjolnir seems to have a soft spot in its bright golden sun of a heart for sentient robots, because those droids with feelings have lifted the hammer quite often. Zarko, the Tomorrow Man, an evil scientist from the future, created a mining robot that lifted Mjolnir way back in 1962’s Journey Into Mystery. Air-Walker, the Nova Corps member formerly known as Gabriel Lan turned Herald to Galactus turned humanized android picked up the hammer in Thor #305 March 1981. Even the Mad Thinker’s Awesome Android was able to pick it up way back in Fantastic Four #15 June 1963. Kirby and Lee had a thing for robots, and lumping them all together into one spot on this Lot may be cheating, but the premise intrigues me, and I’d love to see it used more in today’s books. The next spot lumps a bunch of characters together, as well, but it makes a bit more sense.
4. Buri, Bor, and Odin
Among other Asgardians I’m sure I forgot to mention, Thor’s dad, his grandpa, and his great-grandpa are all able to pick up the hammer. And why shouldn’t they be able to? Heir to the thrown of Asgard and all. Everyone has seen Odin pick up and handle the weapon, but Buri, Thor’s great-grandfather in one version, and one of the forgers of the hammer in another, are worthy, and Thor’s grandfather Bor was resurrected by Loki in Thor #600 showing Thor exactly what IS possible (see image). Yes, this one may be cheating too, but it IS slanted and biased. This list is just a bit more slanted than usual. It gets a bit more straight and narrow from here on out.
Eric Masterson was once just one of Thor’s vessels on Earth, acting as his alter ego for almost 20 issues, and then taking on the role of Thor himself for another 20 or so, before being spun-off into his own character Thunderstrike, which was spun-off into a 24-issue comic called Thunderstrike in 1993. Thor was always going through stuff and loaning the mantle out to worthy folks to help out while the god was off doing whatever it is he does whilst away. Classic Thor! Yes, I know, Thunderstrike actually has his own enchanted uru metal hammer that shared the hero’s name, but he held Mjolnir, wielded it well, and it was fun to see him pop up in the Infinity Gauntlet and the Infinity War events. The next spot on the Lot is just plain old fun!
2. Captain America
Not that long ago in Thor #390 in 1988 Thor found himself a bit torn between Captain America and Ironman (his two best Avenger buds) who were having a bit of a falling out, and was confused when Cap showed up for a visit. If he hangs out with Steve, Tony may get mad! Oh, what’s a god to do?! Luckily, a bunch of badguys showed up and took his mind off his problems, and sometime during the fight Cap picks up Thor’s Hammer. That’s about it. Thor sees his buddy as a worthy ally, despite what that dick Tony Stark says about him, and they make up, hug, and do whatever people did back in the 60’s for fun. LSD? It’s an event that has yet to be repeated to my knowledge, and for decades we’ve had to wait and see if Captain America will ever wield the weapon again. We can hope for the impossible, but the Top spot on this Lot is obvious.
1. Beta Ray Bill
He was the first non-Norse to carry the weapon, and Walt Simonson’s 1983 monster turned hero creation isn’t only a fan favorite, he’s just plain old badass! Simonson wanted to go in a different direction with the entire idea of Thor; something new and weird; and that’s exactly what readers got with the alien turned Asgardian. In his very first appearance, Thor is dispatched by S.H.I.E.L.D. to intercept an incoming alien spacecraft. The spaceship turns out to be sentient (I hate it when that happens), sees Thor as a threat, and releases Beta Ray Bill from suspended animation to protect it. And then there’s the fight! And what it fight it was, as Thor loses Mjolnir, Bill grabs it, and Odin forces them both to fight for the reward of being the wielder of the weapon. Bill eventually concedes and Odin gives him his very own hammer, Stormbreaker, with the alien going on to protect Earth and Asgard on several occasions. Yeah, it’s the obvious choice, but it’s certainly the best one, putting Beta Ray Bill at the Top o’ this week’s Lot.
See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Tell us what you think about this installment of Top o’ Lot, join in the discussion and share your opinion.