If (s)he Be Worthy...

As most readers will undoubtedly by now be aware, come October, the God of Thunder we know as Thor will be taking a backseat to a new Goddess of Thunder, who will be taking his name as well as his hammer, and his power, not to mention his series as <b>Thor #1</b> launches in the place of <i>Thor: God of Thunder</i>. But this isn't the first time someone else has wielded mighty Mjolnir - or at least the power it possesses. <p>So has else has the hammer deemed "worthy?" In this list, we'll take a look at ten other characters who have lifted Mjolnir - ignoring times that the hammer was manipulated in spite of its enchantment, like when Magneto took control of its Uru metal, or when Red Hulk manipulated it in Thor's hands without actually lifting it. Apologies as well to Storm and Rogue, but while we allowed inter-company crossovers, we tried to leave What if? out of the equation. Without further ado, here are ten characters worthy of the power of Thor!

Miguel O'Hara

In the far-flung future year of 2099, many of Marvel's most iconic heroes see their legacies taken up by new characters, often with little in common but a codename. Chief among these was Miguel O'Hara, a fan favorite character whose adventures in the present day are now being told in a brand new title launched just this month. <p>After a bizarre string of events lead Dr. Doom's heir to become President of the USA in 2099, Spider-Man was given Thor's hammer by a once again unfrozen Steve Rogers as a symbolic passing of the torch of his era's greatest heroes to O'Hara. Though O'Hara could wield Mjolnir, he elected not to access its power, deciding that the world's problems could only be fixed by its true denizens.

Conan the Barbarian

Though it's technically an alternate universe story, the tale of how Conan the Barbarian wound up wielding Mjolnir is predicated on the idea of our mainstream Thor somehow travelling to Conan's world. And seriously, if you can't see how Conan wielding Thor's hammer is pretty much destiny, then there's not much else to say. <p>After finding himself fighting alongside the legendary Barbarian, Thor is felled in combat, leaving Conan to not only take up Mjolnir in his stead, but to deliver a stirring eulogy for his fellow warrior and Thunder God. Time to throw on some Manowar and lace up those gauntlets, cause that's about as metal as it gets.

Puddlegulp

Walter Simonson is a pretty funny guy. He had a long run writing and drawing Thor's adventures, and from time to time, he found some pretty outrageous ways to expand Thor's cast. Like the time the Enchantress turned him into a frog, for example. <p>As a frog, Thor met another amphibian by the name of Puddlegulp, who, as luck would have it, was also formerly a human named Simon Walterson (get it???). After seeing Thor, in his frog form, call upon the power of Mjolnir, Puddlegulp found a sliver of Mjolnir that, when he lifted it, became the mighty hammer "Frogjolnir," himself becoming the mighty Throg. You can't make this stuff up, folks. Well, I guess you can, if you're Walt Simonson.

Ragnarok

Unlike the others who have wielded facsimiles and copies of Mjolnir - such as Storm and Deadpool - Ragnarok, Reed Richards's uncontrolled clone of Thor eventually proved himself worthy of Mjolnir's true power. Granted, it was from an alternate timeline, but it was still the Mjolnir of Earth-616. <p>Ragnarok originally wielded a technological copy of Thor's iconic hammer, but when it was destroyed, he managed to find the true Mjolnir from another point in time, keeping it even after that timeline was sealed off.

Eric Masterson

One of the mortals granted the power of Thor - and the responsibility of tethering him to Earth - Eric Masterson was an architect that Odin chose to possess Thor's essence for a while. While this had dire consequences for Masterson's life - like the loss of custody of his son - it also provided him with incredible power. <p>Masterson was Thor's alter-ego for a period in the late '80's and early '90's before Thor was once more separated from his mortal form. At this point, Masterson was granted his own Uru weapon, Thunderstrike, which also became his codename when he continued fighting crime until his death, after which his then teenage son briefly took up his hammer.

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman managed to get ahold of Mjolnir the first time the Marvel and DC universes collided with the fate of both worlds at stake. However it ended up, Marvel Vs. DC started out as a way to finally settle the age old score of which heroes could beat up which, with major showdowns having their outcomes voted on by fans. <p>Wonder Woman wound up going toe to toe with Storm, Marvel's mutant mistress of weather, and though she came into possession of the storm-wielding hammer just before their conflict, she decided it would be unfair - and unnecessary - to use it against Storm. Pretty cool, especially considering that Wonder Woman is probably the closest analogue DC has to Marvel's Thor.

Captain America

One of Thor's closest mortal allies, there are few people whom Thor himself deems worthy to boss him around, so it makes sense that someone like Steve Rogers should be able to wield Mjolnir as well. <p>And it's not like it only happened once; over the years, Captain America has found it necessary to swing Thor's hammer numerous times. Here's hoping that this is one trope that makes it to the big screen sooner or later.

Donald Blake

There have been several mortals tasked with being Thor's mortal link to Midgard. But the first was Donald Blake, a doctor who discovered an ancient walking stick in a Norse tomb. Using the stick to prop up his lame leg, Blake was dumbfounded to discover that, in times of need, the stick became Mjolnir, and Blake himself traded places with Thor, Asgardian God of Thunder. <p>Donald Blake has come and gone over the years, with others carrying the burden of Mjolnir in his stead, but few mortals have as strong a tie to Asgard or to Thor and his power as Blake. Even in recent times, when Thor has been without a mortal anchor, Blake has been a presence in his stories.

Superman

Even though the ins-and-outs of continuity have rendered it impossible to know if this story really "counts," was there any better fan-gasm moment in Kurt Busiek and George Perez's Avengers Vs. JLA than Superman wielding not just Thor's hammer, but Captain America's shield to take on a threat greater than any of them could even imagine? <p>It seems like a given that Mjolnir would deem DC's greatest hero worthy of its power, given Superman's reputation, but some fans felt Superman lacked the "warrior's spirit" of someone like Thor. Still, for a brief moment, Superman was the most powerful being in two universes.

Beta-Ray Bill

Another of Walt Simonson's substitute Thors, fan-favorite Beta-Ray Bill is a monstrous Korbinite alien who was the first non-Asgardian to be deemed worthy of wielding Mjolnir. And wield it he did, after battling Thor to an utter standstill. After defeating Thor once, Odin determined that Bill should fight Thor for the right to wield Mjolnir. <p>Bill also won this fight - barely - but refused to allow Thor to perish. After rescinding his claim to Mjolnir despite needing it to save his dying people, Odin gave Bill Stormbreaker, a hammer with power equivalent to Mjolnir, solidifying the bond between Bill and Thor as brothers in arms.

Whosoever Wields This Hammer: Ten Characters Worthy of the Power of THOR

Date: 16 July 2014 Time: 09:00 PM ET