The trailer for Thor Ragnarok is still buzzling and has become the most watched Marvel Studios trailer for its first 24 hours period. There’s much see in the trailer for the future film coming out in November, but one of the most important things at the beginning is the shocking destruction of Mjolnir.
It is, with no doubt, Thor‘s almighty war hammer, made of mystically empowered material called “uru metal”. It’s a powerful mallet that owns different enchantments such as being able to transfer the mighty god of thunder between his Asgardian self and his human incarnation Donald Blake, as well as temporarily bonding him to Earth people such as Jake Olson and Eric Masterson. It has control of weather, grant its user ability to fly, and bring down cosmic beings. So what could possibly break Mjolnir?
The fact is, there have been plenty of times where the hammer has been sliced, broken or shattered in the comics. Uru metal is incredible, but not totally invincible, and anything that was forged can be broken. So for your curiosity, here are five times Mjolnir has been broken and repaired.
“Journey into Mystery” #118 (1965)
In the story written by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the almighty Thor faces with the Destroyer, a suit of armor created by Odin to be an almost unbeatable walking weapon and able to be inhabited by a living mind. The Destroyer armor can be seen back in the first Thor film, when Loki was its owner.
During this particular fight, Mjolnir is cut in half by a powerful energy blasts unleashed by the Destroyer. Thor continues the fight and later finds that he can no longer control his hammer’s abilities or flight. He needs Earth’s mightiest smith to have his hammer repaired. Hence, he travels to the great American metal-forging city known as Pittsburgh.
I’m not kidding. On page one of “Journey Into Mystery” #120, Thor is seen hanging out in a Pittsburgh steel mill, repairing his magical uru hammer while workers look on in amazement. It’s that kind of real world pragmatism mixed with comic book ridiculousness that Lee and Kirby excelled at delivering. A part of me really hopes the same thing will take place in the movie Thor. It would be fantastic!
“Avengers” vol. 1 #215 (1981)
An early Marvel villain created Stan Lee and Jack Kirby is Owen Reece the Molecule Man. Quite a simple name for an insanely-powerful person. The Molecule Man, like his name, can control matter on a molecular level. Originally, he would only able to work with inorganic matter, but afterwards realized this was a psychological block. In a particular event, the Molecule Man was battling against the Avengers and with one attack, he broke Captain America’s vibranium-iron alloy shield, Thor’s uru hammer, and the Silver Surfer’s flying surfboard, while also tearing Tony Stark’s Iron Man armor into an absolute mess.
After the fighting ended, Owen decided to fix what he had broken and so he mended the shield, hammer and surfboard. Tony’s armor wasn’t fixed though, as it not just simply involve gluing pieces back together but also understanding how the technology within works. But hey, Thor got his mighty Mjolnir back, good as new!
“Thor” vol. 1 #388 (1988)
How much do you know about the Celestials? They are, similar to other Jack Kirby creations, sci-fi alien equivalents of gods. Giant dudes dress in Kirby-designed armor, travel around to other planets, judging the dominant life forms, sometimes messing with the genetics of the dominant life forms which leads to Earth’s mutants and super human beings later, and then sometimes come back to see if they like how things have progressed or if it might be better just to put the entire planet out of existence. Just like many gods of mythology, they’re quite jerks.
Exitar the Celestial tends to be the guy who destroys life on planets that are deemed failures. Thor gets involved with Exitar in a story entitled “Alone Against the Celestials.” The mighty thunder god is able to pierce Exitar’s armor and create some serious damage, but Mjolnir is destroyed in the process by the affection of the Celestial’s energies. Thor continues battling without his hammer, but is eventually defeated by the cosmic giant. Luckily, the conflict is shut when the Celestials decide that there’s no more reason to fight. Then a Celestial-created clone of Thor, Replicoid makes sure there are no hard feelings by using advanced, god-like tech to heal Thor’s wounds and repair Mjolnir.
“Thor” vol. 2 #10 (1999)
In the 1990s, Thor found out that there were these supernatural beings known as the Dark Gods who share some similarities to Asgardians and Olympians but way more wicked. One of them, Perrikus, spent centuries in a cell hidden by Odin. Everything was completely fine until then he gets out in the modern day, does some damage, and uses a huge Dark God-forged blade to cut Mjolnir in half. He later attempts to pick up the remaining half of the hammer by the handle, only to discover that it can only be lifted by the worthy is still intact.
The two pieces of the hammer crackle with energy until its true owner, Thor returns and puts the two back together in “Thor” vol. 2 #11. The energies then instantly heal the hammer and wham, Thor is back in action. This is definitely the easiest repair job Mjolnir has ever experienced and also the only time Thor didn’t need help from anyone or a Pittsburgh steel mill. He then quickly defeats Perrikus, as we all knew he would.
“Thor” vol. 2 #80 (2004)
In Marvel Comics, as in Norse mythology, the gods of Asgard are destined to fall in a great battle known as Ragnarok. In Marvel Comics, this has actually happened more than once already, and each time Asgard and its inhabitants were reborn afterward, in slightly different forms and often with different relationships to each other, but always fated to fill certain roles and lead lives that would lead to another Ragnarok. This idea clears some differences between comic and myth, like why Thor is redheaded in the original myth while blonde in the Marvel Universe, or why Loki is a brother to Odin in mythology but a brother to Thor in the Marvel Universe. In 2004, it happens again, in the story arc “Ragnarok” by Michael Avon Oeming, with art by Andre di Vito and Laura Villari.
As in mythology, the comic book story “Ragnarok” begins with Loki attacking Asgard. In this story, he has used the forge of the great fire demon Surtur to form uru hammers that similar to Thor’s own Mjolnir, arming himself and his main troops with them. In the fight, Thor slams Mjolnir against the uru hammer of Loki’s son Fenris Wolf and the uru gauntlets of Ulik the troll. The repeated clash of so many uru weapons creates an explosion so great that it form a mushroom cloud. As the battle ends, Thor realizes that all the uru weapons, including his Mjolnir, are now broken in pieces.
A number of battles continue to happen later, leading to the destruction of Asgard. By story’s end, Thor sacrifices himself to make sure that if Asgard is reborn in the future, it and its inhabitants will no longer serve as slaves to fate but may live a life they want without any choice that may not necessarily lead to Ragnarok again. In 2006, Mjolnir reforms itself somehow and falls to Earth in the pages of “Fantastic Four” #536, hinting the soon-to-come return of the Asgardians. At the same time, Thor’s human incarnation Donald Blake is reborn on Earth and soon afterward reunites with the mighty uru mallet, allowing the god of thunder to return in a new comic book series in 2007.