Hardly anyone in Marvel Comics history other than the God of Thunder himself was deemed worthy to wield the enchanted hammer Mjolnir and possess the power of Thor. However, Mjolnir is made of an extraterrestrial metal moon rune, meaning it succumbs to the laws of magnetism. Seeing that Magneto’s main power is controlling metals – nay, controlling magnetic fields – does that mean he can easily lift, control, and wield Mjolnir? Can he bypass the enchantment and be deemed worthy? It’s more complicated than you might think, so let’s break it down in detail.
What is Mjolnir, actually?
We all know that Mjolnir is an incredibly powerful weapon when wielded by Thor, the God of Thunder. However, do you know what Mjolnir actually is, what it is made of, and what makes it so damn powerful? It would be easiest to go through its history to explain Mjolnir and why Magneto can use it in some capacity.
In the Marvel universe, there’s a plethora of extraterrestrial alien materials that cannot be found on Earth naturally. Some of them, like vibranium, can be found on Earth after falling to the planet from outer space, but they’re still not native to Earth in no way.
One such material – the one that Mjolnir was forged out of – is Uru metal. It is a rune from a destroyed moon – the first moon in the universe’s existence, that has incredible properties in terms of density and durability, essentially being nigh-indestructible.
It’s definitely less durable than vibranium, but still much more durable than anything naturally found on Earth. Also, the thing about Uru that separates it from other alien ores is that it is a very potent conductor of magic and enchantment – the stronger the magic, the more powerful Uru becomes.
It’s extremely difficult to forge anything out of Uru as it’s highly durable. It takes the heart of a star, an enchanted forge, or even both to create weapons out of Uru. That being said, the dwarves of Nidavellir have both, and Asgardians have worked with the dwarves to create incredibly powerful weapons there for eons.
Odin’s spear, Gungnir, the Destroyer armor, Stormbreaker, or Hofund (Heimdall’s sword) were all made out of Uru metal – and so was Mjolnir. That makes it incredibly powerful, but Mjolnir’s true power lies in the enchantment: “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”
That’s the part that renders nearly everyone incapable of lifting Mjolnir. Remove the enchantment, and you have a very durable, strong hammer. It’s still quite useful, but not Thor-level useful. Now, how can Magneto use all of these facts to his advantage?
Magneto’s powers explained
One of the biggest misconceptions about Magneto’s powers is that he can only control metals. But, in fact, Magneto doesn’t just control metals – he controls magnetic fields. The more powerful the magnetic field itself is, the easier it is for Magneto to control it. Metals have powerful magnetic properties – hence, Magneto can control them much more easily.
That doesn’t mean it’s the only thing he can do. In fact, depending on his power levels at the given moment, Magneto could even manipulate Earth’s magnetic fields, allowing him to fiddle with gravity and easily move non-metallic objects. He could even control the atoms of iron in a person’s blood.
When it comes to controlling alien metals, however, he sometimes displayed difficulties with it. Not because he couldn’t do it, per se, but rather because of the lack of practice – it was simply different. This brings us back to our main question – could he lift and control Mjolnir?
Mjolnir is made out of an alien metal, so Magneto might have issues controlling it. On top of that, there’s the super-powerful enchantment attached to it, making things even more difficult. And yet, numerous times, we’ve seen Magneto control Mjolnir. How in the world can that be?
Can Magneto lift & control Mjolnir?
We’ve seen instances in the comics where Magneto had trouble lifting Mjolnir, but on numerous other occasions, he did it – he lifted Mjolnir just like it was any other piece of metal. For instance, when Thor and Magneto fought for the first time in ‘Journey Into Mystery’ #109, Magneto could use his magnetic fields to repel Mjolnir with relative ease.
Then, in ‘Super-Villain Team-Up’ #14, Magneto yet again controlled Mjolnir and even smacked through Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor using it.
In the Marvel Ultimate universe, Magneto lost it after his children were killed, so he basically stole Mjolnir and used it as his own weapon.
That kind of settles the debate, right? Magneto can lift and control Mjolnir with ease. It must mean that he is worthy, or, at the very least, he can bypass the enchantment, right?
Well, not quite – here’s why.
Is Magneto ‘worthy’ like Thor?
The truth is, Magneto is NOT worthy to possess the power of Thor, nor will he ever be. That’s because he never actually ‘wielded’ Mjolnir – not in the way Thor, Jane Foster, or other worthy beings can wield it.
Wielding Mjolnir means granting the powers of Thor and everything that comes with them: unfathomable strength, durability, lightning projection, etc. Through all his magnetic might, Magneto could never wield Mjolnir and use its powers.
You see, Mjolnir is made of Uru. Uru is a metal of high magnetic conductibility, meaning it responds to normal laws of physics and magnetism, regardless of the enchantment. That means that Magneto could lift and control Mjolnir like it was just another hammer made of, for instance, steel.
He does not wield it in the sense that he gains any additional powers – he can just bend the laws of magnetism around Mjolnir the same way he would be able to do with any other hammer. The enchantment still remains, and Magneto is still unworthy of wielding the power of Thor.
But hey, using Mjolnir as ‘just a hammer’ still makes it a more powerful hammer than any other hammer you can find at your local hardware store, right? Unless you’re in Wakanda, of course.
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