Say that fast and you’ll be saying “Mjolnir,” right. Although, I’ve heard it pronounced with both the “l” and the “j” silent. Whatever you maniacs call it, Mjolnir’s a powerful hammer; a weapon that strikes like it’s bringing all the heavens right down on Thor’s foes. The new movie doesn’t touch upon its origins, nor the full breadth of its abilities, but those details could fill a whole story of their own.
Like much of Marvel’s Asgardian mythos, the creation of Mjolnir draws from the original Norse mythology with a degree of creative license. Believe it or not, one of Loki’s mischievous schemes led to the hammer's forging. One night, the trickster god cut off Thor’s girlfriend Sif’s hair in a prank with about the same maturity as spraying shaving cream into her hand and tickling her nose (try that one out, if you haven’t already.) Needless to say, Thor was quite angry at his annoying little brother and, to hastily make amends, Loki sought out some dwarf blacksmiths, the Sons of Ivaldi, to make Sif some new hair. Not a whig, mind you - - new hair. These dwarves proved all too eager to please the gods, though, and they forged a number of weapons for Loki to bring back to Asgard in addition to his follicular purchase order. As you might’ve surmised, Mjolnir, a hammer fashioned from the enchanted Uru metal, was among the weapons. == TEASER ==
In another, more sensible, version of continuity, Odin directly commissions these dwarves to make Mjolnir by forging the hammer in the heart of a star. Which story holds in continuity, of course, depends on who’s currently writing THOR. Regardless of the details of its creation, Mjolnir is always similar to King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur, for how its magic only allows certain individuals to wield it. An inscription on its side reads, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor” and you better believe it wasn’t written idly. If a person isn’t as virtuous or brave as Mjolnir requires, they simply can’t lift the thing. Not an centimeter. While Thor, himself, has become unworthy at times, other men like Captain America, Eric Masterson, Dargo Ktor and the alien Beta Ray Bill have prove fit enough for hammer time.
What powers does Mjolnir grant those worthy to wield it? Like many items borne of myths, its exact abilities are broadly and vaguely defined. It might be more to the point to ask what Mjolnir cannot do. In addition to allowing control of thunder, lightning and most all aspects of weather, it can level mountains with its blunt force and create force-fields, illusions and portals that traverse space and time. In short, it has about as many as abilities as Superman did, pre-Crisis.
It might look and walk like a man, but the Destroyer is actually a weapon in much the same fashion that Mjolnir is. This hollow war armor was forged by All-Father Odin (instead of dwarfs, wouldn’t you know) for a millenia-in-the-making battle against the sublimely-malevolent alien giants, the Celestials. Requiring either a host to wear it or a dose of life-force to get it running, the Destroyer was appropriated several times by Loki over the years of its dormancy for some schemes against Thor. When the Celestials finally arrived, Odin donned it to fend off their invasion with a high-stakes bid that put all of the Aesir through another cycle of death and rebirth. With its original purpose fulfilled, the Destroyer's become something like a Soviet nuke as various villainous factions have stolen it over the years, such as the High Evolutionary, the Dark Gods, the Frost Giants and even the Hulk’s villainous doppleganger, the Maestro.
While the Destroyer’s designed to be worn, it can be remote controlled from afar - - as both Loki and Odin did in the movie - - and it also has enough base, primal intelligence to operate on its own for short periods. As for abilities, it can fly at supersonic speeds, it possesses unfathomable invulnerability, it can fire all wavelengths of energy and, most spectacularly, it can blast a highly-destructive disintegration beam from its “face.” And here's a fact to keep its threat in perspective: while Thor makes quick work of the Destroyer once he gets his hammer back in the movie, this thing was once able to split the seemingly-indestructible hammer in half in the comics!