This past summer movie-goers finally got to see Captain America lift Mjolnir and wield the mighty power of Thor in Avengers: Endgame (2019). The idea that someone else besides Thor could be worthy to lift the hammer enchanted by Odin himself had been teased twice before in the MCU. During the party scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) Steve Rogers is able to budge the hammer ever so slightly from its resting place. The android known as Vision also easily lifts the magical mallet, although his worthiness is later questioned by both Iron Man and Cap because of his status as a non-living robot. But did you know that in the comicbooks multiple people have been deemed worthy? Including DC Comics characters Superman and Wonder Woman!
(Slight spoilers are ahead for Thor: The Worthy #1.)
The first issue of the new Thor comicbook is filled with a number of chapters and side stories, each featuring characters who have wielded Mjolnir at one time or another in the past. The chapter that stars the character of Jane Foster features Jane and Lady Sif encountering an enchanted piece of glass known as the Mirror of Finvarra. The mystic artifact of the dark elves is revealed to have the ability to peer into other realms.
Lady Sif and Jane manage to reclaim the stolen mirror, but before Jane can destroy it to prevent others from using its dark power, she witnesses a vision of all who have possessed the hammer before her.
Jane sees seven individuals in total beginning with Beta Ray Bill, the alien warrior and first non-Asgardian to lift the mighty Mjolnir back in 1983’s The Mighty Thor #337. Next in the slide show is of course Captain America, who first picked up the hammer in The Mighty Thor #390 from 1988.
Coming in at number three is Eric Masterson, the construction worker who was given the mantle of Thor (and later Thunderstrike) to save his life after being critically injured in The Mighty Thor #408, also from 1988.
Flashing forward to issue 14 of She-Hulk in 2006, the evil Mad Thinker’s android creation known as Awesome Android (Awesome Andy for short) used his automaton abilities to copy Thor’s personality traits, thus attaining the worthiness and nobility to lift the unliftable hammer. Then who could ever forget Throg!? Also known as Thor-Frog, this croaker lifted a broken sliver of Mjolnir and transformed into an amphibian version of Thor in the first issue of Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers from 2009.
Finally, we come to the main event, the two characters featured in Jane Foster’s flashback that don’t even exist in the Marvel Comics universe! That’s right, both Superman, the last son of Krypton, and Princess Diana of Themescyria aka Wonder Woman have held Mjolnir in the comics. Wonder Woman came across Thor’s trusty hammer in Marvel vs. DC #2 from 1996. Thor had dropped his hammer during his battle with Captain Marvel (Shazam), and Wonder Woman retrieved it whilst she was in combat with the X-Men’s Storm, combining both legendary power of the Amazons and the Asgardians.
Superman’s brush with Asgardian greatness came in issue #4 of JLA/Avengers from 2003. In a panel of epic proportions, Supes wields not only Mjolnir but Captain America’s shield as well. Combining both his awesome alien abilities with Thor’s godly power, Superman was able to stop the omnipotent villain called Krona. It was later revealed that although Superman was honorable enough to wield Thor’s hammer, he does not possess the heart of a warrior, and so Odin temporarily took away the hammer’s enchantment so that Superman could save the day.
Whether it’s Thor’s hammer, Green Lantern’s ring, or even the Venom symbiote, mixing and matching items and powers has always been a fun and fascinating part of comicbook storytelling. The fact that Marvel was able to have a little cross-company Easter egg fun and reward longtime readers while encouraging new fans to seek out past stories from the House of Ideas and the Distinguished Competition is worthy of Mjolnir’s might! Excelsior!