Those familiar with the saga of Marvel's Thor know that his connection to his powerful hammer Mjolnir is based on his “worthiness” to wield it. Though what that means exactly has never quite been defined, the original Nick Fury, the former Marvel super spy and master of manipulation, managed to make Thor un-worthy during Marvel’s 2014 Original Sin crossover event by whispering some unknown words in the Thunder God’s ear.
Now, after several years of Thor – who has gone by “Odinson” since losing his connection to Mjolnir – wandering the galaxy looking for a purpose while his former lover Jane Foster now wields Mjolnir (and goes by the name “Thor”), readers finally found out what Fury said to Odinson back in Original Sin courtesy of The Unworthy Thor #5 by writer Jason Aaron and artists Olivier Coipel, Kim Jacinto, and Pascal Alixe.
Spoilers ahead for The Unworthy Thor #5.
After fighting his way across the abandoned Asgard, now conquered by the lieutenants of the powerful villain Thanos, Odinson finally reaches the Mjolnir of the Thor of the Ultimate Universe, an alternate reality where many of Marvel’s heroes had counterparts with unique twists, but which was destroyed in 2015’s Secret Wars. Grasping the hammer, Odinson feels the power coursing through it, but finally decides not to pick it up, instead vowing to guard it from anyone who comes to claim it.
While Thanos berates his minions for failing to seize the hammer, Hela, the ruler of the Asgardian underworld, arrives to court an alliance with Thanos – and possibly even a romantic connection with Thanos, who once fell in love with Death itself. The forging of this alliance is interspersed with scenes of Odinson discussing Ultimate Mjolnir, and his own unworthiness, with his old friend and ally Beta Ray Bill.
Bill asks if Odinson felt worthy enough to lift the hammer before choosing not to, to which Odison replies, “No god is worthy,” and reveals Fury’s words.
”Gorr was right.”
That’s a pretty simple sentence to bring a god to his knees, but longtime readers of Jason Aaron’s Thor saga know what it means. Gorr was the first villain of Aaron’s run, a monster given the moniker “the God Butcher.” The last survivor of a race that could have been saved by the gods, but were instead allowed to lose their homeworld, Gorr seized a powerful ancient weapon and used it to kill many gods from across the Marvel Universe, eventually setting his sights on Thor.
Fury’s words to Thor were enough to make him doubt himself, to allow himself to consider, just for a moment, that Gorr’s belief that the gods do more harm than good to be true. And that idea - self-doubt - was enough to lose his hammer.
As for what comes next, the story will continue in The Mighty Thor, with the recently released solicitation for June’s #20 showing an entirely different Thor – possibly the character identified as the “War Thor” in Unworthy Thor #5 - wielding Ultimate Mjolnir.
The Mighty Thor #18, the next issue in Thor and Odinson’s story, is due out on shelves April 26.