There is a very simple rule regarding the God of Thunder’s hammer, and it is that whosoever lifts that hammer if found worthy, will wield the power of Thor. That’s the message carved on the hammer called Mjolnir. However, it is less clear to see as the worthiness is decided by a lifeless magical object. This can be manipulated as per the story’s needs. Even when the world has several superheroes, it is not necessary that everyone would be pure at heart to wield Thor’s patent weapon.
This worthiness question was highlighted in the party scene of Avengers: Age of Ultron when each of the Avengers tried lifting it in vain. Even Thor didn’t get the hammer as a birth-right but only after he proved his worthiness to his father Odin, and he has lost it a number of times over the years. Worthiness is not constant, but, it can be circumstantial and can change with time. That’s why several characters have managed to get Thor’s power, at times by cheating or by some loopholes. Irrespective of how let’s see who has lifted Thor’s Hammer in the comic books.
Those who are even a little bit familiar with the funny, destructive vigilante called Deadpool will be shocked to know that he once lifted Thor’s hammer. It was all a trick of Loki who manipulated Deadpool into stealing the weapon. Deadpool stole it while Thor was on a heroic mission. Thor dropped the hammer, and Deadpool managed to reach it first in the ensuing chaos. Without the hammer that gives him his godlike powers, Thor appears as his human self, and we suddenly see Deadpool sport a cape.
He goes on carrying the hammer and embarking on typical Deadpool activities such as ordering fast food, playing festive games and knocking around some baseballs. However, the catch was that Deadpool didn’t pick up the real Mjolnir which remained where Thor had dropped it, and Loki had made it invisible. It was Loki who also created the fake that made Deadpool believe he had Thor’s powers. It was fun for a while.
The Ultimate Universe by Marvel is an alternate world famous for its darker and tougher portrayal of the heroes. That world shows Magneto losing his children Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch and the grief that followed made him take extreme steps. Magneto had electromagnetic powers that enabled him to manipulate all kinds of metals, and we later found out that Mjolnir was also not beyond Magneto’s impact. He couldn’t really wield it, but, he manipulated the air around it to get the same done.
Although, we don’t see Magneto lift Thor’s hammer in the core Marvel Universe. The hammer is made out of Uru, a metal not found on Earth and its alien origins would make it less conducive to Magneto’s influence. While it doesn’t clearly define the differences about the Ultimate Universe, but, what will comics be if not imagination beyond the plausible.
3. BLACK WIDOW
There was another comic issue post-Ragnarok events which featured an apocalyptic scenario wherein all the superheroes were getting killed and only those that didn’t have superhuman powers were left, and that was a big problem while facing the Frost Giants.
While people are falling like ninepins, Natasha is dispatched to fetch the hammer. There are no special abilities or loopholes here, apart from the simple fact that she was worthy of wielding Mjolnir at that time. Some people felt that it was a warrior heart which qualified to lift the hammer as nobility and honor are not the only requisites, but, some other qualities also appealed to a group of Norse warrior gods. Natasha has a moral grey area, but, she is a warrior by all means.
The movie Avengers: Age of Ultron surprised us when we saw the humanoid Vision nonchalantly pick up Thor’s hammer and hand it over to him. Although it was shown as a brief sequence, it emphasized that Vision was worthy when the other Avengers apparently were not. This is a novelty of MCU as Vision hasn’t been known to do this in the comics.
Vision could have done so due to reasons similar to Awesome Andy: who was a robot, but, didn’t have the same rules as the humans. They can pick the hammer up, but, mere picking it up doesn’t let the Android access Thor’s full powers. Even then it is a way of telling you about the new character and the fact is it doesn’t make much of an impact on the audience to see anyone other than Thor lift the Mjolnir.
A mega DC Comics and Marvel crossover had been in the works for a long time before becoming a reality. The deal to publish some crossover titles was on the table as early as in 1979, but, after a long spell of back and forth, it got abandoned for several years. Justice League of America/Avengers didn’t come out until 2003. Fortunately, it had enough drama and action to make up for the lost time.
During the series, Superman grabbed not just Thor’s hammer, but, also Captain America’s shield, and it made quite an iconic cover of the fourth issue. Superman used Mjolnir on one occasion to deliver a crucial blow to the enemy, but, later when he tried to pick it up to give it back to Thor, he failed to do so. The writer Kurt Busiek explained that worthiness was a subjective quality which changed with the situation. At times, it was linked to an action which was defeating the evil in this case. Therefore, Superman was worthy at one point, but, the thought of handing the hammer back is not compelling enough.
6. CAPTAIN AMERICA
Captain America’s worthiness is not difficult to believe since he has a kind heart and unwavering morals. He is honest and does the right things, and he is fearless while trying to get into a battle which makes him an ideal fit for lifting the Mjolnir and he has done that twice already.
On both occasions, Avengers faced immense danger including threats which rendered Thor useless, and Captain had to take charge. The first time saw Captain only lift the hammer to give it back to Thor (Superman failed to do the same thing when he tried, but, then that’s the way comics work) and on the second occasion the Captain picked up the hammer when his shield was destroyed in a huge fight. He used it to gather the other Avengers to battle the enemy called Serpent. Sadly for him, he failed to get any cape out of the whole thing.
7. WONDER WOMAN
The crossover between Justice League of America and The Avengers took several years to materialize, but, we saw a short series in the 1990s which featured iconic Marvel and DC characters battle each other to see who was superior and it was akin to The Last Man Standing sort of battle for comics. Wonder Woman battled Storm from X-Men, although, before the fight, she had a tryst with Mjolnir. Thor lost it in the battle against DC’s Captain Marvel, and that’s when Wonder Woman came across it.
She picked it up without any difficulty (talking to herself about the whole ‘worthiness’ thing) and then she received a bolt of power which gave her superiority over her rival. However, she not only became worthy but, noble enough to use the unfair advantage in the fight. She gave up the hammer and battle Storm with honesty, though, it didn’t turn out to be the best policy as Storm won the fight.
Since Loki has made countless mischiefs to mess things up for his brother, it is surprising to know that he once managed to hold the power of Thor. Right from the childhood, he has been envious of Thor and had tried nearly everything to grab Mjolnir or at least deprive Thor of it.
During an event called Inversion, Loki became the God of Heroism and Truth rather than the God of Mischief and Evil. He also became an Avenger (inverted Thor was a bad guy). Loki was proven to be worthy of Mjolnir, and he found that out when he tried to access it during a battle with the now rampaging Thor. Although, the Inversion spell was reversed during the fight and Loki once again ended up losing Mjolnir to his brother.
9. HULK AND RED HULK
This list is proof of the fact that loopholes can cause lifting of Thor’s hammer. Hulk and Red Hulk both have exploited Mjolnir without really being worthy of wielding it.
Red Hulk grabbed the hammer’s momentum to propel himself and Thor into space which allowed the combination of his physical power and absence of gravity to let him use the hammer against Thor. Hulk has done similar things, however, during one of the battles with Thanos, he managed to use the hammer which was still held by Thor. That bypassed the worthiness clause, and Hulk used the hammer as he wanted.
BONUS ENTRY: Batman