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Top Five Oddest Powers of Thor’s Hammer

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3. The ability to produce “Anti-Force”

I freakin’ LOVE the Anti-Force! In Thor #142, by Lee, Kirby and Vince Colletta, Thor is fighting the Super-Skrull and Thor would love to just kill the bad guy, but instead he whips out a never-before-seen ability of Mjolnir. It can produce “Anti-Force” which apparently just propels people into outer space at Thor’s whim…

How awesome of a power is that? Why doesn’t Thor ever use that power (he did during Dan Jurgens’ run, but it didn’t work like this – it was just a traditional energy blast)? Jason Aaron, where is Anti-Force?!

2. The ability to control anti-matter

I truly believe that this bit from Journey Into Mystery #85 (by Lee, Lieber, Kirby and Ayers) was just Jack Kirby thinking, “Eh, Thor will spin his hammer and they’ll get better. I’ll leave it to Lieber to figure out how to explain this one.”

Loki uses magic to turn people into anti-matter versions of themselves.

Thor’s hammer, of course, can reverse this effect. Because, well, shut up!

1. The ability to reverse a deadly lightning bolt strike and give the person struck by the lightning the ability to control lightning himself

This bit from Invaders #33 (by Roy Thomas, Alan Kupperberg and Frank Springer) is just ALL sorts of kooky.

Okay, so Hitler calls Thor to Midgard and convinces him to kill Joseph Stalin. The Invaders try to stop him. Their plan involves Union Jack pretending to be Stalin. Thor then kills “Stalin.”

When Thor realizes the error of his ways, he then REVERSES THE LIGHTNING STRIKE!!!

Better yet, while returning Union Jack to life, it also GIVES HIM LIGHTNING POWERS!!

Not to mention how Thor can just casually wipe everyone’s memories. I dunno if that’s a Mjolnir power, though. That might just be a weird Thor power. Hey, I think I have an idea for another Top Five…

Well, that’s this top five! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

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61 Comments

What a wonderful way to make people positive.

What a wonderful way to make people positive.

Ha! Thor, just spreading some joy, one hammer twirl at a time! :)

Love how they just chose my year of birth (1972) and 2013 out of a hat. The latter wasn’t relevant last year nor the next, but it’s still cool to see right now.

I liked that scene of Thor summoning Cap’s to offer praise and the chance to be avenged far more than the actual resurrection. It was more in character with Cap and Thor’s friendship. Maybe Cap should have been rescued from something like Hela’s realm instead? It would have fit in more nicely with JMS’s piece here.

interesting for always thought thors hammer just shot lightning , and was his means of travel did not know it had other powers too.

Once Thor has figured out a uniquely-designed-to-defeat-Absorbing-Man power, it kind of seems like he ought to just use it every time he faces AM as his very first move in a very short fight.

I would imagine that their reasoning would be that it only worked because Absorbing Man was specifically made up of elements at the time. But of course, he’s never NOT made up of elements, so yeah, agreed, it doesn’t really make sense that Thor wouldn’t just do the same thing to him every time they fight.

I dunno, I kind of like the anit-force power. No matter how big and bad you are…falling “up” will make you look like a pansy.

Wasn’t there a time when Thor used his hammer to shrink Hyperion of the Squadron Supreme/Sinister and imprison him in a glass globe? That’s an odd power, if ever there was one!

Good call. I think that goes with the time travel (as in Thor asked Odin for help before doing it, so I think we can presume it was a unique property) but it should definitely be mentioned and through the wonders of editing, it now is!

Some of those Kirby panels. WOW. And the bombastic Kirby dialogue. What a team!

The JMS panels, a little heavy-handed and maudlin for my tastes. I used to love JMS’s stuff, but whenever I read it now I groan. Also, I usually love Coipiel but his Thor looks really bloated and meatheadish.

The Roy Thomas/Frank Springer/Alan Kupperberg story just looks terrible on all counts. More Roy Thomas fanfiction story ideas. Ugh.

Great feature Brian.

The #115 and #142 stuff in particular. Holy shit, Kirby!

Oops, I mean bombastic Lee dialogue of course.

in norse mythology Thor has some connections to resurrections I though…

One of my least favorite things about powerful comic book characters …

OT: Those JMS pages … man, he really didn’t play well with others, did he?

Did they ever account for Cap’s “ghost” given that we now know he was actually time-travelling? Maybe it was a Space Ghost.

Phantom. I meant Space Phantom. Grrr.

After Cap returned, I went back and re-read the encounter with Thor. I’ve just assumed he summoned Steve Rogers’ spirit from after he actually does die, whenever that will be (unless Remender is making him immortal, I guess). Their conversation still works even if Cap knows he died 50 years (or however many) after Thor thinks he had died.

But that might just be me.

Remember an early Avengers issue prolly before Cap came or the issue he came into the Avengers where Thor’s hammer had some kind of magnetic powers.

Am I the only one who read the line ‘Hello, old friend” and had a Babylon 5 flashback?.

Are we sure #1 was inked by Frank Springer, and not Frank Robbins?

Wasn’t JMS’s run cut short due to Siege? Maybe he had a plan for the maybe-Steve spirit that he was never able to follow through on?

Get on the case, Detective Cronin!

@Joe Cavanaugh: Probably not a coincidence, JMS seems to really enjoy B5 callbacks. I know I geeked out during Changling when Angelina Jolie said “never start a fight, but always finish it.”

Ha! I’ve got that Invaders, but I forgot all about Thor giving UJ powers (and totally forgot he killed him first).

I mainly remember it for a cool WWII Victor Von Doom appearance. How old is that guy, anyway?

So Thor’s pretty much a useless hunk of meat without his hammer. Got it.

Now how exactly is Absorbing Man supposed to return to Earth and assume his rightful form??

I loved when he summoned Cap’ amazing scene that actually makes more sense when you realise 1. He had the equivalent power to Odin and 2. he probably summoned Cap from the time stream because he was quantum bouncing around.

Ahhh what the heck, it was just cool :D

“Okay, so Hitler calls Thor to Midgard and convinces him to kill Joseph Stalin.”

I love how as comic book fans we can all read this line without batting an eyelid.

I love how Thor used to be skinny in the beginning. His increasing girth is … maybe acceptable, but I like the idea of skinny strong dudes. Like Miracle Man.

I believe Cap was actually killed and replaced by Ed Asner. Just look at Cassaday’s Avengers, you’ll see what I mean.

Cap’s Ghost is making me sad that we didn’t get a full-on Hamlet adaptation in the pages of Thor. He even talks about the Serpent Crown in the play! (Well, it was “the serpent that did sting thy father’s life”, but still…)

Thor is bordering on Fletcher Hanks levels of bullshit. They don’t even really make an effort to explain what exactly his powers even are.

Now how exactly is Absorbing Man supposed to return to Earth and assume his rightful form??

Yeah, that part of his plan made no sense. It took Loki rescuing him using Asgardian science to keep him from floating out in space for seemingly forever.

Perhaps one day (if you already haven’t done so) you could cover the 5 oddest powers of Green Lantern’s ring. My favorite was when GL used the ring to turn Pieface into a seagull (GL # 7)!!

” I love how Thor used to be skinny in the beginning. His increasing girth is … maybe acceptable, but I like the idea of skinny strong dudes. Like Miracle Man. ”

He wasn’t skinny by the standards of the times. Superhero art in general tended towards beefier and beefier heroes over the years, as the increased detail put into comics manifested by exaggerating the genre’s most obvious tropes (re: the adolescent power fantasy of being bigger and stronger than everyone else). This reached its roid-raging endgame in the 1990s with the likes of Rob Liefeld and Joe Madureria, and while most Marvel and DC heroes have slimmed down to more human proportions, they’re still significantly beefier than in 1960′s comics. Thor’s just bulked up in proportion with the rest of the Marvel Universe.

They did a whole scene with Odin granting Mjolnir the power of time travel?

How odd. Thor is a god. He shouldn’t need such a crutch. If Captain Kirk can travel through time, Thor should as well.

As for the ghost of Cap… well, it is a ghost. Its existence, particularly when associated with a particular powerful mystical object and specifically summoned to boot, means next to nothing and is no evidence at all about whether Cap was alive or not. It is just an “animated recording”, so to speak.

Early on, Thor had very ill-defined powers, and his power level seemed to fluctuate quite a lot according to story demand.

“Anti-Force” seems to be just an odd name for centrifugal force in this scene. Although it could also be some sort of gravity negation, I dunno. The whole scene needs considerable suspension of disbelief, since it implies that Thor expects the Super-Skrull to survive unprotected outside of an atmosphere.

If Loki can cause such an effect (which is definitely not anti-matter, but apparently just a visual effect), sure, why can’t Mjolnir (a very exalted mystical object) disrupt it? The only odd thing is that Thor calls it “anti-matter”.

Reversing a lightining and the effects of it on the striken person don’t sound too odd, either; Thor is both the god of thunder and the son of the master of the Valkyries, at least in the MU; it stands to reason that he must have considerable mastery over the fatal effects of his own lightning.

That he can fly with Mjolnir, or cause mind-wipes with it, is far odder.

Perhaps one day (if you already haven’t done so) you could cover the 5 oddest powers of Green Lantern’s ring. My favorite was when GL used the ring to turn Pieface into a seagull (GL # 7)!!

Easy. #1, #2 and #3 are making a Green Lantern out of Kyle Rayner.

#4 is making an editor out of Kevin Dooley.

#5 is left as an exercise for the reader.

I never thought (and re-reading still don’t) that Thor actually transmuted Crusher Creel. He transmuted the air around him to helium and Creel simply absorbed what he assumed was a deadly a attack. So it’s not surprising Thor didn’t do it again (though tricking Creel into absorbing the wrong thing has happened often enough).
Dhole, Doom’s appearance has been redefined as time-travel. Brian covered that one in another column.
If you think Thor’s physique has changed just look at the Hulk. It’s startling to see the early stories in which he was well, physically fairly normal. Big and buff but nowhere near what he’s been the past 20 years.
The weird thing about so many of these is that Lee tries to give them a veneer of science as though Thor’s hammer was some high-tech weapon.

hmm my idea for a top five would be which villains can take a hit from Thor’s hammer easily? Thor’s hammer has always kind of been the nuclear bomb in the Avengers arsenal….but how many times has Thor thrown his hammer only to have the bad guy laugh it off

off the top of my head, Radioactive Man, Graviton, Count Nefaria and Ultron….and I bet there is a Thanos issue somewhere where it happened

Travis Stephens

October 18, 2013 at 1:38 am

Remember when Thor would stick his hammer in the engine of a Quinjet and it would all the jet to travel in outer space and faster than light speeds?

That ghost Cap scene is the worst part of JMS otherwise good run on Thor. Just an awkward scene.

hmm my idea for a top five would be which villains can take a hit from Thor’s hammer easily? Thor’s hammer has always kind of been the nuclear bomb in the Avengers arsenal….but how many times has Thor thrown his hammer only to have the bad guy laugh it off

off the top of my head, Radioactive Man, Graviton, Count Nefaria and Ultron….and I bet there is a Thanos issue somewhere where it happened

Also known as the Worf Barrage:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheWorfBarrage

Didn’t you post another article where Thor was vibrating his hammer to release static electricity? I wonder what the different vibration frequencies are for static and anti-matter. What else can Mjolnir do at various different vibration frequencies?

What else can Mjolnir do at various different vibration frequencies?

I suppose we could ask Sif or Jane Foster.

I can recall other hammer oddness. As mentioned upwards a bit, some were when he was early in his career. I seem to recall he can make it magnetically repel bullets. The inscription on it seems to vanish and reappear when the story demands it.

Look at Avengers #58, second issue of the two part Vision intro, where Thor takes the Avengers from the mansion to Hank Pym’s suburban lab by spinning his hammer to create a sphere of levitation big enough to fit them all. Certainly he could have used that often.

Another thing forgotten for the most part is that magic girdle of strength that he could summon invisible flying Valkyries to strap on him. I’d be tempted to wear it constantly.

The time travel page doesn’t read like Odin is granting Thor the ability to travel through time, but rather telling Thor how to use an ability that was already present (and which Thor simply hadn’t realized how to achieve on his own).

Thus the “Hast thou forgotten, my son?” part. The hammer already had “the power to spin faster than light,” and in comic book science of the time that was all that was needed for time travel. Thor just hadn’t realized that he could pull a Superman or a Flash by spinning in a circle faster than the speed of light.

The only other important bit was Odin telling Thor to attach the piece of metal to the hammer so that he’d end up in the desired time period, the period where the metal came from.

I like how Jerome Opena draws Thor, it’s probably the thinnest Thor since Kirby/early Buscema. He looks more like Lance Armstrong than Barry Bonds.

I love the one for Union Jack. He gains new powers, and now won’t remember where he got them! Hilarious.

“I suppose we could ask Sif or Jane Foster.”

WOOOOOO-OOOO!

“If you think Thor’s physique has changed just look at the Hulk. It’s startling to see the early stories in which he was well, physically fairly normal. Big and buff but nowhere near what he’s been the past 20 years.”

Think of it this way; the Thor of today is as big as the Hulk of yesterday, and the Hulk of today is a pin-headed mass of pecs and biceps.

Daniel Wheeler:

That was Avengers #4 where Cap was reintroduced. Thor used his hammer to produce “cosmic magnetic waves” to pull the alien’s ship out from being mostly buried and under 100 feet of water.

A Horde of Evil Hipsters

October 19, 2013 at 5:44 am

I’m just disappointed he didn’t give lightning powers to the actual Stalin.

I just read the first appearance of the Growing Man (Thor 140), and the tail end of that book reads like a pair of five year olds on a playground:

Kang: I use my cobalt force to stop you! It’s like having half a planet pushing you down!
*Kang expounds his plot to hide the Growing Man in the 20th century and use it in the future to defeat his enemies, then:*
Thor: You thought your stupid Cobalt Force could hold me? Nuh uh! I was faking so you’d reveal your plan! Now I’ll beat you up!
Kang: No you won’t! My time machine is right here, camoflaged the whole time! I escape!
Thor: No, because I’ll throw my hammer, and it’ll whirl around your time machine faster than light, and it’ll create an infinity vortex, and it’ll destroy you completely forever! So THERE!

This fine selection of powers of plot convenience for Thor’s hammer brought that back to the top of my mind. How did the Infinity Vortex not make the list? Stupid Anti-Force, always denying the Infinity Vortex its rightful place in the sun.

Speaking of “in the sun”, Thor seemed to use that “away from here forever” trick a lot back in the day. Off to space with the Absorbing Man. Off to space with the Super Skrull. When Galactus fights Ego, Thor uses Mjolnir to generate god-force to push him back into his spaceship (did the hammer have anything to do with Galactus flying away after that? I cannot recall.).

[...] Don’t sweat it, we’re down to the silly, fun stuff now, like asking how many of these bizarre Mjolnir capabilities will make it into Thor: Dark World? Or wondering whether this comic’s loving but knowing [...]

Just have to add that Thor using Mjolnir to pin Loki in place during the first Thor movie was the most innovative idea in any Marvel cinematic universe film.

I am helpless–Caught in the grip of a force I cannot begin to comprehend!

That’s some great stuff right there.

Hitler calls Thor to Midgard and convinces him to kill Joseph Stalin
Hitler calls Thor to Midgard and convinces him to kill Joseph Stalin
Hitler calls Thor to Midgard and convinces him to kill Joseph Stalin
Hitler calls Thor to Midgard and convinces him to kill Joseph Stalin
Hitler calls Thor to Midgard and convinces him to kill Joseph Stalin
Hitler calls Thor to Midgard and convinces him to kill Joseph Stalin

Next movie plotline right there.

“Attach… And spin…”

Ouch, there’s a recipe for a trip to the emergency room and possibly an appearance on one of those medical reality shows.

Wasn’t there another character with red cape and blue costume that also used to pull new powers out of his *** every now and then? ;)

reminds me of when Stan Lee would just have a character pull a new power out of his a$$ to move the story along. I am specifically thinking of Fantastic Four #6 when it is show that Namor can basically use the ability of any marine animal. If i remember right, he uses the powers of an electrical eel in the middle of a fight. He didn’t even get bit by a radioactive electric eel to get this power, it just appeared, and Namor was all cool about it.

That Anti-Force dialogue was pretty good.

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