Warning: SPOILERS for War of The Realms
Marvel Comics may have just revealed the moment Thor first became worthy of Mjolnir, but the famous hammer has just been transformed into a new, and far more effective weapon--and only Jane Foster, the new Valkyrie, is worthy of its power.
The former female 'Mighty Thor' proved she was just as effective a god of thunder as the Odinson when she wielded the power in recent years (in a journey so epic, the new Thor movie will adapt that comic story). When the recent climax to the War of the Realms required past and future versions of Thor to unite, Jane did her part, lifting what remained of the War Thor's 'Ultimate' Mjolnir to take her Asgardian form once more. But when the fight was over, the hammer didn't crumble, as some expected. Instead it has transformed and bonded with Jane… becoming the incredible All-Weapon of the new Valkyrie. And trust us: this new magical weapon makes Thor's hammer seem dull by comparison.
The Tragic Death of (Ultimate) Mjolnir
If Marvel fans think there is only one Thor in the comics universe, then they're sorely mistaken… but there isn't just one Mjolnir, either. When Marvel killed its Ultimate Universe, it meant the end of the parallel reality version of the Avengers, X-Men, and every other Marvel doppelganger. Luckily, some remnants of the universe were shoved into Marvel's main continuity: Wolverine's Son Jimmy, the now famous Spider-Man Miles Morales… and that reality's version of Mjolnir, too. And after Thor decided NOT to lift the Ultimate Mjolnir, it called out to another champion--transforming Thor's friend Volstagg into the mighty War Thor.
Driven by rage and grief, Volstagg was eventually defeated by Jane Foster, and helped him return to the man he had been. But not long after, the villainous Mangog arrived, crushing the hammer along with Volstagg's arm. Jane has the power to reform the Ultimate Mjolnir into a charred, broken hammer when Thor calls on any ally he could find. It's not a perfect solution, but Jane decides it's best to to see for herself if the War Thor's hammer has any power left to give. Spoiler: it does.
Mjolnir Transforms To Bond With Jane Foster
As played out in The War of The Realms's final battle, Jane was right to predict that the damaged Ultimate Mjolnir was on its final breaths powering her up for the fight, believing it would turn to dust if it managed to see her through the action. The hammer performed as well as one would hope, keeping Jane in the fight long enough for Thor's re-forged Mjolnir to return and end the war with a single blow. But as Jane Foster left to bid the hammer and her time as the God of Thunder a permanent goodbye… the unexpected happens.
Instead of either losing its power and turning into a simple metal hammer, or crumbling into dust, the Ultimate Mjolnir melts into liquid gold, acting as if it somehow possesses a mind or spirit of its own. It was only been wielded by Jane once, but as she feels its form weakening, the metal reaches out for her--wrapping onto her arm and bonding in a way she doesn't understand. Until now.
Mjolnir Was Never a Hammer At All?
When readers return to Jane Foster in the pages of War of The Realms Omega, the liquid gold on her wrist remains just as mysterious. But she confirms that, just as she could sense Mjolnir calling to her when she first raised it, the metal on her arm now calls with the same request. The metal wishes to transform her, so that she can understand its true power: that this hammer was never a hammer at all. The metal is capable of taking any shape it wishes, and seems fated for a greater (or at least more nuanced) purpose.
Thankfully for fans of Jane Foster, the truth of the former Mjolnir is soon revealed thanks to the spirit of Brunnhilde, leader of the vanquished Valkyrie. Jane is clearly the key, with the strange metal allowing the dead Valkyrie to make contact from beyond death. But she does more than just explain the true name and magic ability of the weapon on Jane's arm… she transforms Jane into a new kind of champion, who can use it for a new kind of mission (as more than just a god of thunder).
Undrjarn, The All-Weapon of Valkyrie
Brunnhilde makes Jane Foster an offer to become the merciful angel of Asgard, as opposed to its brutish champion. Knowing that it's the mission she is truly being called to, Jane accepts. And so she is reborn as Valkyrie, her weapon glowing gold upon her arm now that its name and purpose has been revealed. Officially known as 'Undrjarn The All-Weapon,' the first issue of the series shows that it truly lives up to the name, transforming into whatever weapon, or tool Jane needs for the job at hand. The opening pages of the issue alone demonstrate the liquid gold's ability to transform into a club, a mace, a launched bola, and even a pair of golden wings with which Jane can traverse the realm.
How Jane will adapt to her new mission isn't as clear this early on. It's implied that her new role as Valkyrie is what will restore Valhalla, so that the spirits of the dead can not only be ferried to the Asgardian afterlife, but that they actually have a destination at which to arrive. But what that mission will require of Jane is a secret to be unraveled in her coming series, which may or may not include a reunion with the new Thor, King of Asgard. For now, fans can only sit in awe of the All-Weapon, and wonder how Thor got stuck with such a simple chunk of metal instead.
Valkyrie #1 is available at your local comic shop, or direct from Marvel Comics.