Thor’s ‘Infinity War’ Storyline Puts A Cool Twist On His Marvel Comic History
Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War. As you probably remember, Thor: Ragnarok saw the God of Thunder’s trusty hammer, Mjolnir, get destroyed by Hela — really, nobody could forget that shocking scene. Hela (Cate Blanchett) lived up to her title as the Goddess of Death when she crushed the weapon with her bare hand. In Avengers: Infinity War, though, fans get introduced to Thor’s axe from past Marvel comics, called Stormbreaker in this version. It’s a bit different from the comics’ iteratin, as according to CBR, before Thor got Mjolnir (which first belonged to Thor’s father Odin) the young god used a weapon called Jarnbjorn. The axe that Thor (Chris Hemsworth), uses in Infinity War doesn’t necessarily play an important part in the long history of Marvel comics, though.
CBR reveals that Jarnbjorn only first appeared in the 2013 comic Thor: God of Thunder, which writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribic created. That comic portrays Thor as Young Viking Thor, who spent time partying with Earth vikings earlier in his life — talk about being born in the wrong era, right? 800 A.D. was where it was at, apparently. According to CBR, Thor uses Jarnbjorn again in the 2015 comics, Uncanny Avengers, by Gerry Duggan Ryan Stegman.
In the comics, dwarves forged Jarnbjorn for Thor, and a similar backstory for Thor’s axe plays out in Infinity War because Eitri, King of the Dwarves (played by Peter Dinklage), creates the axe that Thor uses as his weapon in the newest Avengers movie. Nothing could ever replace Mjolnir, however.
It makes sense that Jarnbjorn would be called Stormbreaker in Infinity War; it’s a lot easier to remember than Mjolnir, and even doubly so than Jarnbjorn, which sounds more like a new model of Babybjorn carriers for jars than a superhero’s weapon.
As tragic as it may be that Thor doesn’t have his all-powerful hammer in Infinity War, the whole situation is rectified by the fact that Dinklage plays a part in helping the Viking out. The hammer isn’t the first mighty weapon that Dinklage’s character, Eitri, has forged for an Asgardian though. According to the Marvel Cinematic Universe wiki, Eitri forged Mjolnir for Odin, so he’s well acquainted with the craftsmanship required to make a powerful weapon that can last hundreds of years. Considering that Hela had the power to destroy Mjolnir, you’d better hope that Stormbreaker is built a little more sturdier if it’s going to help defeat Thanos.
One major theory about Infinity War was that Mjolnir would return for the film, but not into Thor’s possession. Many thought that Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) would get to use the mighty hammer instead. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, each of the the Avengers try their hand at lifting Thor’s weapon. Despite Hulk’s strength, the only one who got Mjolnir off the ground was Vision. The next contender was Steve Rogers, who only slightly moved the hammer — much to Thor’s dismay. What started as a fun game, which offered the perfect opportunity for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to make a joke about not being able to «get it up,» turned into a intriguing moment that made fans wonder if Cap had actually just given up instead of really trying to get Mjolnir off the table.
The theory that Cap might use Thor’s hammer in Infinity War was stoked by Age of Ultron‘s writer and director Joss Whedon at 2015’s San Diego Comic Con. According to Comic Book, Whedon responded to fans’ questioning of why Cap was unworthy of wielding the hammer by saying, «‘Is he not? Are we sure?'» Then he went on, «‘Did he fail? Or did he stop?’ Infinity War will finally answer that question that has hanged over everyone’s heads for the past three years, and it also proved that Thor’s power definitely doesn’t depend on Mjolnir.
‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ director says Groot is responsible for Stormbreaker acting out
Stormbreaker is jealous about Mjölnir’s return because the ax is basically a moody teenager.
By James Grebey June 27, 2022, 3:51 PM ET
Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) Photo: Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder | Official Teaser / Marvel Entertainment YouTube
In Thor: Love & Thunder, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor comes face to face with somebody he once loved. Sure, there’s his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who makes her return as the Mighty Thor, but Thor also reunites with another ex — his hammer, Mjölnir. Thor is delighted to have the repaired hammer back in his life, but his joy causes some friction between him and his new weapon, the ax Stormbreaker that he forged in Avengers: Infinity War. Stormbreaker is jealous and acting out, and according to director Taika Waititi, it’s Groot’s fault.
Speaking at a press conference attended by SYFY WIRE, Hemsworth explained how Stormbreaker’s jealousness emerged organically while shooting the upcoming film.
“The ex-girlfriend turns up dressed as him, that’s a shock,” Hemsworth said of Jane’s unexpected return. “And all of the sudden the weapon that he held so dear for so many years now belongs to someone else. And then he has Stormbreaker, who starts to sense a little jealously there. So, that kind of evolved through the film, didn’t it? I don’t think it was in the original script, but it was fun.”
Waititi then jumped in with an explanation for why Stormbreaker — an apparently semi-sentient weapon — would act up when faced with a potential rival from Thor’s past.
“I don’t know if this is the way anyone else thought about it, but you gotta remember Stormbreaker’s made of Groot’s arm — well, you know, the handle is,” Waititi said, referencing the forging of the weapon as seen in Avengers: Infinity War. “Groot was like a teenager when he did that. So we felt like Stormbreaker was young and had only just been born about five or six years ago. It had to feel a little bit like an adolescent and like it was going through changes.”
“It was having mood swings,” Hemsworth added.
While Stormbreaker is no longer a part of Groot, it makes a certain amount of sense that the weapon would take after his co-creator. As seen in the post-credits scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 and more fully in Infinity War, the teenaged Groot is indeed a teenager.
Without spoiling anything (indeed Hemsworth looked to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige for permission to discuss Stormbreaker’s jealousy before talking about it to the press, lest he incur Marvel’s famously anti-spoiling ire), the dynamic between Thor and his ax is one of the funnier bits in Love and Thunder. It is, however, based on some actual character drama that previous Thor films had clearly established. As Korg (Waititi) said in Thor: Ragnarok, Thor had “a pretty special and intimate relationship with this hammer and that losing it was almost comparable to losing a loved one.»
You can see why Stormbreaker might be jealous.
Thor: Love and Thunder opens in theaters on July 8.
Thor: Love and Thunder is one of many big blockbusters expected to light up the box office this summer. Jurassic World Dominion is out now, and Jordan Peele’s sci-fi horror mystery Nope opens July 22 in theaters.
Iron Man’s Suit
You could say that Tony Stark was a bit under pressure when he developed his first Iron Man Suit, captured by terrorists and having suffered an injury by a shrapnel that is moving dangerously close to his heart. With the help of a fellow captive Stark builds a generator to power an electromagnet keeping the shrapnel from killin him as well as the very first Iron Man Suit that he uses to escape.
While this prototype suit was welded together from steel, and was therefore actually made from iron, Stark kept improving and developing his armours over time for different applications. This means that the Iron Suit materials changed over time.
Stark must have quickly replaced steel with a different material since it is a very heavy and rusts easily. The following armours were probably made from titanium since it is much lighter than steel, but still extremely strong. In addition to its strength, this metal can resist extreme temperature changes as well as chemicals such as acids, alkalis and water.
Stark might have chosen the alloy “nitinol” later on when improving his armours. This alloy is a mixture of the metals titanium and nickel. Therefore, it has all the above mentioned advantages of titanium, but it also has two special features called “shape memory” and “super elasticity”. These two properties help the alloy to return to its original shape after deformation. This means the material can “self-heal”, a huge advantage when fighting super villains like Thanos and Ultron.
For his final suits Stark seems to have moved away from metals completely. At the beginning of “Avengers: Infinity War”, he proudly tells Dr Strange that his new suit is made from carbon nanofibers. These fibers are very long and thin threads of carbon. Woven together, carbon nanofibers are both stronger and lighter than titanium and nitinol. This sounds like the perfect material for an Iron Man Suit (which is actually not made from iron as we have seen).
Thor’s Hammer and Axe
(Mjolnir and Stormbreaker)
Thor’s Hammer, Mjolnir, was forged from the heat of a neutron star, called Nidavellir. These incredibly heavy, dense stars are made when giant stars die in supernovas and their cores collapse. Due to the heat and pressure protons and electrons inside the core melt together to form neutrons. There are no repulsive forces between the neutrons, which means they pack together extremely tightly creating a relatively small, but super heavy object, the neutron star.
Unfortunately, all of this does not exactly tell us which material Thor’s Hammer and Axe are made from. I personally always assumed that it was in fact made from the neutrons inside the star. This would explain why it is so incredibly heavy.
However, in “Avengers: Infinity War”, this does not seem to be the case. Thor, Rocket and Groot travel to Nidavellir to forge a new weapon for Thor. In the scene that shows the forging of Stormbreaker, Thor’s Axe, it is clear that the heat to melt the metal comes from the neutron star. But that does not seem to be the case for the metal inside the boiler.
So, what else could Mjolnir and Stormbreaker be made from? Thor’s Hammer is always said to be extremely heavy. This means it must be at least partially made from a very dense metal. The two densest metals on today’s periodic table are osmium and iridium. These two materials could be a part of Mjolnir’s and Stormbreaker’s composition.
Besides being heavy, Thor’s weapons should also be reasonably strong when fighting Thanos, Ultron and other intergalactic villains. However, osmium and iridium are not very strong metals. Therefore, the material for Thor’s weapons would have to be an alloy (a mixture of metals) between osmium and/or iridium as well as a stronger metal like steel (which already is an alloy itself). With a mixture like this, you might just get the right material for Thor’s Hammer and Axe.
Captain America’s Shield and Black Panther’s Suit
Captain America’s Shield and Black Panther’s suit are both made from vibranium, a very rare metal that does not naturally exist on Earth. The only source of vibranium is the African kingdom Wakanda, the home of Black Panther. The country has a prehistoric meteorite to thank for this incredible natural resource. Vibranium fuelled Wakanda’s rapid technological development making it one of the most advanced nations on Earth.
In the movy “Captain America: The First Avenger” we get some demonstrations about what makes vibranium so special. Moreover, Howard Stark claims that vibranium is stronger than steel, which is proven later in the movie when Captain America’s shield defends projectiles from machine guns and even withstands rocket grenades.
In addition to being extremely strong, vibranium also has a low density, which means that it is very light. Howard Stark also reveals that the name vibranium comes from the fact that the material absorbs any kind of vibrations including sound.
There have been some discussions regarding the nature of vibranium. Some say it could be an alloy or a composite material since no pure metal on Earth comes close to its extraordinary properties. However, all composite materials and alloys that we know of have to be made in longer processes by humans, they do not exist naturally. Therefore, it is very unlikely, in my opinion, that such materials have reached Wakanda on a meteorite.
In my personal view, the meteorite must have either contained vibranium in its uncombined form or bound up in an ore. Ores are rocks that contain enough of a metal to extract it, so the Wakandans could have found an easy way to extract the vibranium. However, both these two scenarios would mean that vibranium is a new, unknown element.
Nevertheless, everyone is entitled to their own view on the Marvel Universe.
M. Lorch and Andy Miah: ”The Secret Science of Superheroes”, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017, Chapter 7 and 8.
Movie: Captain America: The First Avenger, 2011.
Movie: Thor, 2011.
Movie: Iron Man, 2008.
Movie: Captain America: Civil War, 2016.
Movie: Black Panther, 2018.
Movie: Avengers: Infinity War, 2018.