Are you worthy of lifting Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjölnir? Let’s face it, you’re not – in fact, none of us are – and the only ones who are worthy of lifting it are Thor, Captain America, Black Panther, and Odin (Thor’s father). Despite the Mjölnir being extremely picky as to who should wield it, the hammer is still made of metal and is still affected by magnetic fields, like all other metals on Earth.
With that said, if a particular someone had the ability to control metals through the manipulation of magnetic fields, would that someone be technically ”worthy“ of lifting the mystical hammer? The particular someone in question is none other than Magneto, who is one of the most powerful mutants in the Marvel universe. Given his abilities, can Magneto actually be able to circumvent the “worthiness rule“ of the Mjölnir?
While it is true that the Mjölnir is metallic, Magneto will still never be able to lift it simply because he’s too villainous to be worthy. However, he can manipulate the hammer’s magnetic field which means that he can move it around and even deflect its attacks but he can never truly “wield“ it in the same way that Thor does.
There is more to the Mjölnir than its being just an ordinary and thick hammer. Similarly, Magneto is not just an everyday villain since his powers are actually more powerful than you think. In this article, we will be looking more into Magneto’s unique magnetokinesis ability and how he can use it to technically wield Thor’s magical hammer.
Additionally, we will also take a look at the Mjölnir’s forging and see how these made it vulnerable to Magneto’s abilities. Lastly, we will determine whether or not Magneto will even be able to defeat Thor or if his powers simply would not be enough to defeat the Asgardian. Let’s start by learning about the so-called “Master of Magnetism“, Max “Magneto“ Eisenhardt.
Can Magneto lift Thor’s hammer?
Max “Magneto“ Eisenhardt is categorized in the Marvel universe as a mutant – more specifically, he is an Omega Level Mutant – and he is considered to be the strongest one . Mutants, otherwise known as Homo Superior, are essentially human in nature but what makes them different is the presence of the X-Gene in their DNA. This particular gene is responsible for giving the mutants their respective powers and it just so happened that Magneto was gifted with the ability to control magnetic fields, also known as Magnetokinesis.
It may be easy to jump to the conclusion that Magneto can just nonchalantly lift the Mjölnir since it’s metallic anyway; however, the hammer is not that simple. What’s interesting is that the Mjölnir actually contains the power of a cosmic storm called God Tempest. One day, the storm-ravaged Asgard and this prompted Odin to use a chunk of Uru metal – which was gifted to him by the Dwarves of Nidavellir after he saved them from a troll invasion – to entrap God Tempest. Afterward, Odin commanded the dwarves to forge Mjölnir.
When the hammer was forged and Odin tried to wield it, things immediately went out of hand as God Tempest still manifested within Mjölnir and managed to cause mass destruction in Asgard. Because of this, Odin had to enchant the Mjölnir in such a way that it will never move unless someone is worthy of doing so.
Odin is capable of giving anyone permission to wield the Mjölnir as long as he sees them as worthy. But most of the time, it’s the Mjölnir itself that gives permission by detecting whether or not the one wielding it is in fact worthy. It is safe to assume that in order to be worthy, one must have good intentions.
However, that is exactly what Magneto does not have. His primary objective is to cause destruction and suffering in order to replace humans with mutants as the dominant species. Magneto’s disdain for humans originates from his traumatic experience as a Holocaust survivor – wherein he witnessed first-hand the brutality of human beings – as well as the death of his daughter, who died from the hands of humans. Albeit there were times in which Magneto somewhat had a change of heart (as seen in God Loves, Man Kills, and Uncanny X-Men #200), he is still malevolent for the most part.
On the basis of being worthy of wielding the Mjölnir, Magneto will never be able to do so. This is simply because he is too villainous for the hammer to even consider him as worthy in the first place. Perhaps the only way that he can lift it is if he either completely has a change of heart or finds a way to break the Mjölnir’s enchantment.
These are only true within the bounds of Earth 616 (which is the canon universe that Marvel is set in). In Marvel comic spin-offs which take place in alternate universes, Magneto was actually able to lift the Mjölnir. A notable example is the Ultimate Marvel universe; specifically, Ultimatum #5 and Ultimates 3 #5. In these issues, Magneto was able to “lift“ the Mjölnir but was not able to use the powers associated with it; thus, it was restricted to being a blunt weapon and also a symbol of power.
So technically, Magneto can lift the Mjölnir but only in non-canon spin-offs that were written by different writers. In the canon Marvel universe, Magneto will never be worthy of lifting it.
But he can control it.
But, can Magneto control Thor’s hammer?
We should all know by now that Magneto can control magnets. But what is important to take note of is that – at least in the real world – there are six types of magnets but we will only discuss the three main types: Diamagnetism, Paramagnetism, and Ferromagnetism. Ferromagnetism is a very strong type of magnetism that must involve one of or all of these elements: Iron, Cobalt, and Nickel. This is what Magneto commonly exhibits with his powers. It could be possible that the dwarves who forged the Mjölnir added either of the three ferrous elements in the mallet.
Consequently, this was what gave Magneto the ability to deflect its attacks in Journey Into Mystery #109, where he fought Thor for the first time. Similarly, he was also able to deflect both Captain America’s shield (which is non-ferrous) and Iron Man’s suit in Super-Villain Team-Up #14; although, it is important to note that this was made by a different writer. We now know that Magneto can repel the Mjölnir (or pretty much anything), but can he attract it?
So far Magneto has not attracted the Mjölnir in the same way Thor does. However, this is where Diamagnetism and Paramagnetism come into play. Every object in the universe has its own magnetic field and these can be attracted with Paramagnetism or repelled with Diamagnetism.
This was what allowed Magneto to be able to lift an entire mountain just by generating an extremely strong magnetic field. Theoretically, Magneto may be able to attract the Mjölnir just by generating a powerful-enough magnetic field to do so. The only downside to this is that it will be very exhausting for Magneto and exhaustion can actually temporarily degrade his powers.
Another ability that Magneto can use against the Mjölnir is his ability to reverse gravity – like what was shown in New Mutants #35. If the Mjölnir were to fall on top Magneto, he can invert gravity’s downward direction to instead turn upward and combat the Mjölnir force.
While the comics are yet to show more instances of Magneto being able to somewhat control the hammer, he can theoretically attract or repel the hammer – or anything, really – with his ability to control the entire magnetic spectrum. But this still does not ignore the fact that Magneto will never be worthy to lift the Mjölnir. He may not be able to wield the hammer but is that really necessary for him to defeat Thor?
Is Magneto even capable of defeating Thor?
Given the magnitude of his powers, Magneto is without a doubt a fair match against Thor. Magneto essentially has not only every metal in the universe in his arsenal but also everything that has a magnetic field around it. With this, he can throw as many things as possible towards Thor until he eventually gets overwhelmed and vulnerable.
Magneto is also capable of countering Thor’s primary weapon – the Mjölnir – by generating a defensive magnetic field around him and he can also reinforce himself with magnetic armor with a durability comparable to Captain America’s shield.
Even without the help of Asgardian energies, Thor is already superhuman in nature. He has superhuman strength which he can use to counter Magneto’s projectiles and his body is also extremely durable. Additionally, he can also rapidly heal himself if ever he gets damaged.
While Magneto’s powers are strong and intimidating, the one thing he lacks that Thor has is the connection to the powerful cosmic energies of Asgard. When Thor combines his powers with those of Asgard, he can become absurdly powerful enough to counter anything that Magneto can throw at him.
The takeaway here is that Thor is essentially a god while Magneto is a demigod. While Magneto is indeed very powerful, he will not be able to defeat Thor simply because Thor has access to abilities and forces that are beyond Magneto’s control. And even without the help of cosmic forces, Thor’s natural strength will be more than enough to defeat Magneto. If ever Magneto becomes able to control cosmic energies, then and only then can he defeat Thor.