ByTom Bacon, writer at Creators.co
I'm a film-and-TV fan who grew up with a deep love of superhero comics! Follow me on Twitter @TomABacon or on Facebook @tombaconsuperheroes!
Tom Bacon

Mjolnir, the greatest weapon used by Thor, is literally the stuff of legend. In Norse mythology, Loki the trickster god manipulated the dwarves into creating powerful weapons for Asgard; Mjolnir was one of the greatest, and it was actually Loki who presented it to Thor! In Marvel, Mjolnir's origin has always been very different — and now, in Mighty Thor #12, writer Jason Aaron has revealed why!

WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW!

The Plot

The hammer has a will of its own! Image: Marvel Comics
The hammer has a will of its own! Image: Marvel Comics

Over in the comics, Thor Odinson no longer wields Mjolnir. Instead, the hammer is now held by a new Thor — Jane Foster. It's a tragic tale, as her heroism risks her life; she's dying of cancer, and every time she uses Mjolnir, the effect of her chemotherapy is reversed. This, incidentally, is why Jane is worthy: she understands that the universe needs Thor, even at the cost of her life.

Aaron has been giving ominous hints, though, that Mjolnir almost has a mind of its own — one that can even resist Odin himself! In one recent issue, the hammer projected itself in Jane's image, protecting her secret identity, but leaving Jane (and readers) bewildered as to just what Mjolnir truly is. In Mighty Thor #12, Jason Aaron finally gives us an answer.

Aaron sets this issue in a new, cosmic location known as the Halls of the All-Knowing — the greatest library in all creation, a repository of knowledge used by Marvel's pantheons. The location alone adds an incredible new element to Marvel's cosmic mythology:

A fantastic new location! Image: Marvel Comics
A fantastic new location! Image: Marvel Comics

The Lord High Librarian of Omnipotence City guides Jane Foster's Thor through the secret history of Mjolnir, revealing an element that has been forgotten in all the tales of the hammer's forging. He reveals that, in the days before Mjolnir was forged, Odin was given a chunk of Uru — a unique metal, one that the Dwarves value beyond any other.

There came a day, though, when Immortal Asgard was threatened by a storm beyond all other storms — the God Tempest, powerful enough to rip worlds from their orbits and snuff out stars like candles. Hailing from the first days of creation, the God Tempest was said to have a mind of its own, a will and desire to judge. Inevitably, there came a day when it found Asgard — and found the gods worthy of judgment. So Odin and the God Tempest battled, and even the might of the Odin Force was matched for a time. Finally, Odin used dark and primeval magic to trap the God Tempest within the Uru. Desiring a weapon, Odin had the Dwarves forge the Uru into the hammer Mjolnir; but the will of the God Tempest resided within Mjolnir, and it would not be controlled by Odin. It could only be held by those it deemed... worthy.

On the face of it, this is a tremendous change in the story of Mjolnir. Now, the power of Mjolnir rivals that of Odin himself. It may well be the most powerful weapon in the entire Marvel Universe!

Here's the thing, though; Aaron has been intelligently mining the older Thor comics in order to tell his tales. We're used to the modern Mjolnir, but back in the Silver Age the hammer could tear open dimensional barriers, tap into the gravitational force of planets, and even create explosive antimatter! Modern comic book writers have actually toned down the hammer's power quite significantly, but Aaron has changed all that. He's amped Mjolnir back up to the power levels older fans of Thor will recognize with real fondness.

The Art

Deadly history. Image: Marvel Comics
Deadly history. Image: Marvel Comics

It's the art that elevates Mighty Thor #12 above the rest of this week's comics, though. The present-day section is drawn by Russell Dauterman, with Matthew Wilson as colorist; the flashbacks, though, are the work of Frazer Irving. The contrast between these two artistic styles creates a beautiful, deeply immersive book that's tremendously effective.

Dauterman and Wilson introduce us to a fascinating new mythological world, and their art is top-quality, but it's Irving's that shines. Whether using splash panels or traditional multi-panel pages, Irving creates a mythic tone that's perfectly suited to his tale. This gorgeous art easily makes Mighty Thor #12 the #ComicOfTheWeek.

See also:

Comic book canon is an ever-changing, fluid thing — one that is shaped and transformed by every writer and artist. Jason Aaron is determined to leave his mark on the mythology of Marvel's God of Thunder, and this is possibly the most fascinating twist yet. It's definitely an issue I recommend!

Poll

Do you like Mjolnir's new secret origin?

Poll Image: Marvel Comics