The Destroyer was originally created by Odin as the choice weapon to be used against the Fourth Host of Celestials. The giant construct is made out of a material enchanted by Odin to be even mightier than Uru. The various pantheons of Earth had previously met with the Third Host, and knew that their next arrival would be to proclaim judgment on the planet. It was magically endowed with invulnerability, and the most powerful gods of Earth (Odin, Zeus, and their peers) poured part of their powers into the armor to give it titanic strength, incredible invulnerability and potent energy blasts. The Destroyer was sealed away on a plateau in Asia in the Temple of Darkness, a temple Odin built himself, the Destroyer would be stored until the time of its purpose. Of course naturally Loki would manage to find out about the powerful artifact and scheme to find ways to use it against Thor.
The Asgardian Destroyer is a Marvel Comics character and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. The Destroyer suit first appeared in Journey Into Mystery #118 released in 1965.
Designed as much as an armor and a weapon as much as a character, the Destroyer has become one of Thor's most iconic villains. Its origin story coming relatively long after its introduction, its otherwise been used as a foil for Thor's highly vaunted physical prowess. Although the mighty thunder god has encountered many powerful foes, the idea of the Destroyer was to essentially have a character he could not defeat merely with his fists or Mjölnir. In this sense the Destroyer could be charged with being one dimensional which is true to some extent, which usually results in much of the depth and complexity with the characters usage contingent on additional characters and plots. Many friends and foes have occupied the Destroyer armor raising some interesting scenarios. The actual armor does have a degree of sentience, however its motives are simple, pure destruction.
Major Story Arcs
Destroyer Armor first appeared in the story Journey into the Mystery #118-119. Loki who wanted to defeat Thor, who at the time was carrying norm stone which would act as proof that Loki cheated in their last contest, manipulated a hunter named Buck Franklin to find and ancient temple where Odin kept Destroyer hidden so that it would one day activate and defend humanity (After Thor# 300 however, Destroyer Armor was said to have been created to fight Celestials, however at this early history in Destroyer Armor, when the battle with Celestial wasn't yet printed, it was merely a weapon put in Earth to protect humanity from some unknown foe). Thor finds himself completely helpless against a much more powerful foe. Destroyer Armor is eventually defeated when Thor takes on a gambit, pull the now soul-less body of Buck Franklin himself before the Armor. Franklin choose to inhabit his body back as opposed to destroy Thor and himself with his disintegration beam. After having the soul transferred to his mortal body he tried to reposes the Destroyer but Thor prevented him and destroyed the temple burrying the Destroyer.
Destroyer Armor was next seen in Thor Annual #2 when exiled Loki send his conciousness to the destroyed temple under which Destroyer was buried. Loki planned to used the armor to oppose and kill Odin. As Loki moved to Asgard he was opposed by the Asgardian army as well as Thor who found themselves completely helpless against the armor. When Destroyer finally opposed Odin, the all father stopped time and with a magic cast his spirit out back into Loki letting Loki dift in the void where he was imprisoned.
Destroyer Armor was next seen in The Mighty Thor #150 where Loki and Karnilla manipulated Sif. Thor at the time was depowered of his godly essence and was struggling against the Wrecker, Loki and Karnilla suggest Sif merge with the Destroyer to go help Thor, which Sif agrees. After being merged to the Destroyer Sif is send on Earth where she casually disposes of the Wrecker only to realise that she cant talk from within the armor and Thor sees her as a much bigger threat than Wrecker. Sif tried to hold back the wrath of Destroyer for as long as she could but the armor and its destructive properties took over eventually and a fight with Thor ensured. Thor , as expected, was pretty helpless against the Destroyer. Fortunately for Thor, Karnilla called back the spirit of Sif from the Destroyer in order to protect her lift against Ulik, upon Balders behest in The Mighty Thor #152.
Destroyer Armor was seen again in The Mighty Thor #224 where the Destroyer Armor after turning inanimated after its last appearance in The Mighty Thor #152 was found by Professor Clement Holmes who wanted to awaken the Destroyer using laser, but instead the Destroyer activated using Professors own soul. Upon activation Destroyer starts looking for Thor but finds Hercules instead. A short fight ensure where Hercules is clearly outmatched. Fortunately Thor arrives on the scene and using his hammer drops Destroyer into a river, Destroyer shortly gets out. Then a fight with Thor ensures and Thor is again outmatched againt a much more powerful Destroyer. The Destroyer is eventually stopped when Hercules, finally finds and brings the soulless body of Professor Clement Holmes and his soul repossess the Professor's body leaving Destroyer soulless.
Destroyer Armor is seen against in The Mighty Thor #228. Firelord no longer wants to be the herald of Galactus but Galactus would only let Firelord free if he finds a subsitute herald for Galactus. Thor offers Galactus the Destroyer Armor. Galactus animates the Armor using a fraction of his life essence and takes Destroyer as his herald thereby leaving Firelord to go free.
Destroyer Armor is then next seen in Fantastic Four #172 when Galactus comes to consume counter-earth, a perfect replica of Earth made by the High Evolutionary that revolves on the opposite side of the sun. Destroyer is opposed by Thing and suddenly in midst of battle the Destroyer falls down unconscious. Thing interprets it as a victory for him, only to be reminded the very next issue that the Destroyer Armor merely fell because Galactus pulled out the life essence from within it, as he saw a conflict between the armor and Thing as trivial and inconsequential.
Destroyer Armor is next is The Mighty Thor #265. When Galactus was pre-occupied fighting High Evolutionary , Loki who current resides in Odin's Thorn manage to teleport the Destroyer Armor back to Asgard, animated it with Balder essence. The Destroyer fights Thor who is completely helpless yet again. Karnilla tries to stop the Destroyer by teleporting Balder's soul less body near the destroyer and using her norm magic to pull the soul out of Destroyer. Karnilla is attacked by Loki to prevent her from stopping the Destroyer. Perhaps it was because of Balder's affection to Karnilla, or something else, but after this the Destroyer turns its attention towards Loki instead of Thor. Loki uses his power to return Balder spirit to his body living the Destroyer inanimate again. Loki then tries to grab the Destroyer hoping to re-animate it with his own soul, however Thor manages to touch the Destroyer first. Loki instantly realizes he is in big trouble and knowing he is outmatched attacks Destroyer using all his powers at once which doesnt even slow him down. Destroyer opens his visor ready to disintrigate Loki when Odin arrives and ask Thor inside the Destroyer armor to kneel before him. Destroyer empowered with Thor does, and Odin transfers Thor soul back into Thor leaving the Destroyer lifeless.
Destroyer Armor was briefly donned by Sif in Mighty Thor #289 to stop Thor for rebelling against Odin, and Thor is rather easily subdued.
Destroyer Armor was next seen The Mighty Thor #300 where Odin, fearing the second coming of Celestial creates the Destroyer Armor. He then goes around to various realms of fellow skyfathers who pour a portion of their power in the Destroyer. Then houses with the power of various skyfathers, Odin animates the Destroyer with every soul on Asgard, expect then missing Thor. The Destroyer grows 2000 ft tall and opposes the Celestial but fails to do any significant damage against them and is melted into slag.
Destroyer armor is seen next in The Mighty Thor # 381 who at the time is animated by an un-named soul, although we know he was being controlled by Loki. The Destroyer fights an army of Frost giant and defeats them all but finds the near lifeless body of Thor. Thor , after his fight and death against Midguard Serpent was left lifeless, unable to neither die nor heal, because Hela commanded so for Thor lack of respect for her. Destroyer tries to kill Thor but fails and realizing that with Thor soul Destroyer need not worry about anyone killing or manipulating Thor to stop him, it fuses with Thor. Thor however manages to gain control of the Destroyer, wear his cape and wield his hammer and makes his way to Hela. Thor in his journey into Hel, is first opposed by Gram then by Hela undead army, none of whom last very long against the Destroyer empowered Thor. Thor goes against Hela asking either to let him die or heal him, which Hela refuses. Thor angered seemingly loses control and tries to kill Hela. Hela knowing that Destroyer does have the power to kill even her in Hel, grants Thor's wish, only to realize that Thor merely pretended to lose control.
Destroyer Armor was then seen again in The Mighty Thor # 437. When Balder and Sif journey into Hel looking for Thor, they fight Destroyer Armor there who was now usurp Hela, the armor at this time was animated by Lorelei,the sister of Enchantress. Using the norm stone in their possession they turn themselves invisible and escape the Destroyer wrath. Knowing that they are outmatched against the Destroyer they go to seek the only person they believe could stop the Destroyer, Hela herself. They find entire army of Hela defeated and turned into stone, and Gram turned into a rock. Gram tells them that Hela has been imprisoned by the Destroyer in a crystal prison, After Balder manages to locate and free Hela, she banishes Destroyer into the Dimension of Great Beasts.
Destroyer Armor is seen again in The Mighty Thor # 476 when Hela frees the Destroyer from the Dimension of Great Beasts and empowers it with the soul of Gram as well as the soul of Donald Blake. The Destroyer is sent to Earth where it is opposed by Thor and Thunderstike both of whom are helpless. Upon sensing the spirit of Donald Blake from within the Destroyer Thor finds and brings the soul less body of Donald Blake in-front of the Destroyer. This brings an internal struggle inside the Destroyer , with the soul of Donald Blake fighting Hela and Gram for the control of Destroyer. Weakened by the internal struggle Destroyer is fell by Thor and Thunderstrike and all 3 soul leaves the Destroyer at the same time leaving it inanimate again.
Destroyer Armor is next seen in The Incredible Hulk # 461. At this time the Armor is animated by the soul of Mastero, the future version of Hulk. The Armor is trying to assassinate General Ross but is opposed by Hulk who finds himself pretty badly outmatched by the Destroyer. However because they have the same soul, Hulk soul manages to find itself inside the Destroyer fighting for the control of Destroyer. Right before Destroyer could unleash the disintegration beam, Hulk manages to shut the visior thereby injuring Destroyer with its own mighty attack. This also forces both Hulk and Mastero to leave the armor leaving it inanimate.
Destroyer Armor is next seen in The Mighty Thor Vol 2 # 1, where the armor is animated by Colonel Preston Case. The Destroyer is opposed by the Avengers (Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye , Scarlet Witch and Thor) who find themselves completely outmatched against the Destroyer. Destroyer leaves Thor near Death, only to be brought back to life by the actions of Scarlet Witch as well as a bigger struggle in Hel against Marnot and Hela. Brought back to life Thor finds the Avengers defeated and knowing he cant defeat Destroyer in a straight confrontation he teleports Destroyer away from Earth.
Destroyer Armor is next seen in The Mighty Thor Vol 2 # 11 where Thor goes to meet the Destroyer Armor, promising him that should he help Thor against the Dark God, he will request Odin to put the spirit from within the Destroyer into the human body of Colonel Preston Case. Destroyer agrees and they go fight the Dark Gods. The Dark God merge into a single, extremely powerful entity, that nearly kill the Destroyer but is eventually defeated by Thor and Odin. After the fight with Dark Gods have ended Odin puts the soul of Colonel Preston Case back into his mortal body.
Destroyer Armor is seen next in The Mighty Thor Vol 2 # 36, animated by the soul of Tarene the Destroyer comes to Earth seeking to kill the injured Jake Olsen. Marnot intervenes unleashing Thor from inside Jake Olsen. Thor finds himself yet again unable to actually defeat the Destroyer, but before the Destroyer can kill Thor Odin comes to earth and physically makes the Destroyer relinquish Tarene soul.
Destroyer Armor is next seen in a couple of alternate realities which should be put under a different section.
In the mainstream reality Destroyer Armor is next seen in Thor Vol 3 # 5 where a Destroyer, empowered by Balder opposed Thor, who at the time at Odin Force. Realizing Thor is outmatched he tries to call forth a small army of Asgardians to oppose the Destroyer armor, but in process Balder soul inside the Destroyer is brought to life as well, leaving the Destroyer yet again, lifeless.
Destroyer Armor is next seen in Thor : Man of War # 1 where in order to teach Thor humility Odin opposes him wearing the Destroyer Armor, and carrying the Odin shield. Thor is easily defeated and cast out on Earth, de-powered in order to learn humility.
Destroyer Armor is next seen in Thor/ Iron Man God Complex # 1 where Destroyer is one of the component required by High Evolutionary to create the perfect god for the era. The Destroyer armor is preserved by Thor, who is attacked by an amped up Ulik and Diablo, the latter of whom uses his alchemy to hold Destroyer property inert preventing it from absorbing the soul of whoever touches it. High Evolutionary uses the Destroyer to start the process but unwittingly turns Diablo into god instead of himself.
Diablo is defeated when Thor merges his power through Iron Man, because if science and magic together can make a god, it can together unmake one just as well.
Destroyer is next seen in Fraction run of The Mighty Thor # 2 where Odin uses the Destroyer Armor to hide the Galactus seed.
Destroyer is next seen in Journey into the Mystery # 623 working alongside Loki. It is however revealed that Destroyer Armor doesnt have enough power to oppose Serpent and should he choose to do so will be reduced to scrap.
Powers and Abilities
The Destroyer was built by Odin as an answer to the Fourth Host of Celestials. It is animated by the life force of a sentient being, although it can be imbued with the essences of many. The Destroyer possesses its own violent consciousness, which usually dominates the consciousness of whomever animates it. However, beings with great willpower or magical ability (Odin, Thor, Loki, Hulk) can force the armor to their whims. Once animated, the Destroyer has enormous physical strength (exceeding even that of Thor) and seems to be indestructible, thanks to Odin's enchantment. The Destroyer has withstood a million tons of pressure without even falling over; while the near-omnipotent Celestials were able to melt the construct with energy blasts, its melted form was easily reanimated to its original state. It is capable of vast supersonic flight as well as firing various beams of electricity, plasma, heat and magnetic force. A disintegration beam is located in his helm that can destroy almost any substance.Technically the armor is not a living being, hence it can pick up and use Mjolnir.
Height: 6'6" to Variable
Weight: 850 lbs
In the movie, Destroyer is an automaton consisting of great energy encased in a shell of interchangeable metallic plates; it can lower its face plate to fire the energy in destructive bursts. Kept in the the weapons vault in Asgard, when the frost giants try to sneak in and reclaim their casket of ancient winters, Odin senses the break in and calls upon the Destroyer to do its job in protecting the weapons. Later on, when Loki became king of Asgard, he sends Destroyer to go to Earth and kill Thor, so that Thor cannot return to Asgard and foil Loki's plan to destroy the entire race of frost giants. Destroyer attacks and defeats Sif, the Warriors Three, and Agent Coulson's SHIELD subordinates (who mistake the Destroyer for a creation of Tony Stark), so Thor has to fight Destroyer to save Sif, the Warriors Three and Jane Foster. Thor goes to face the Destroyer as a mortal man. Has he begins walking towards the Destroyer, he talks to his brother Loki, who can hear him through the Destroyer and apologizes to him. Thor pleads with Loki and tries to make peace with his brother. He also wants to spare the lives of the people of Midgard (Earth) by asking Loki to take his life instead of the people of Midgard. The Destroyer strikes Thor with a great crushing blow and kills him. As Jane Foster cradles Thors lifeless body, a flash to Asgard shows Odin in his slumber shed a single tear that rolls down his face. Then the Mjolnir begins to shake and returns to Thor's hand as he is now, once again, worthy to wield the power of the Mjolnir. Then Thor rises and decimates the Destroyer with the power of the hammer.
The Avengers (2012)
After SHIELD captures the remains of the Destroyer, they experiment and use the this knowledge on its power to create an experimental weapon, that is used by Agent Coulson, which he fires upon Loki.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (2010)
The Destroyer features in the animated television show The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The mighty metal suit appears in the episode Powerless, after the cunning Enchantress propositions Loki with an offer summoning the Destroyer suit for Loki to inhabit, granted he use it to defeat Thor. The Avengers are also made powerless by an Enchantress spell. Its dependent on Thor's lack of humility, so if he were to show some the spell would be reverted. Inspired by Tony Stark and Captain America Thor is humbled and revitalized and the trio force Loki's spirit from the Destroyer armor.
The Marvel Super Heroes (1966)
The Destroyer appears in The Mighty Thor segment of the 1966 animated television series The Marvel Super Heroes.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (2006)
The Destroyer appears in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Loki's mind inhabits the armor after tricking the superheroes into releasing it. In addition to possessing great strength and power, The Destroyer armor is invunerable to all attacks. Only by having the Destroyer fire a concussive blast at the crystal containing Loki's body can both it and Loki be defeated.