Robot 6

How did the Red Hulk lift Thor’s hammer?

Stop! Hammer time!

Stop! Hammer time!

Consider this the nerdiest public service announcement ever. If you’re like me, you were vaguely aware that at some point in Jeph Loeb’s ongoing Hulk run, its semi-eponymous star, the villainous and uber-powerful Red Hulk, grabbed Thor’s hammer Mjolnir and delivered Ye Olde Smacke-downe on the God of Thunder. You’re also vaguely aware that this is more or less a total no-no — no matter how physically strong Rulk is, only those who are “worthy” are even able to pick the hammer up. And there aren’t very many such people: According to Wikipedia, you’re basically talking half a dozen dudes, consisting solely of people who’ve wielded Thor’s power itself, people who’d be present at a Thor family reunion, and Captain frickin’ America.

What gives? I’d always just chalked this up to Jeph Loeb’s, shall we say, zesty writing style, which tends to put a premium on big moments in lieu of story cohesion. But on his Formspring account, where at any given time around 25% of the questions being submitted to him are about whom the Mighty Thor could beat in a fight, editor Tom Brevoort has offered the official explanation of how a bad guy like the Red Hulk could wield Mjolnir.

…during a pause at one of our editorial retreats a few years ago, Jeph Loeb asked me if there were any circumstances under which the Red Hulk might be able to lift Thor’s hammer. We batted it around for awhile, and after some thought I told him that I could foresee two circumstances under which that might work: 1) If Thor still had his hand within the hammer’s thong or in his hand as well, so that the worthiness enchantment was defeated in that [Thor] himself [was] still in contact with the weapon, and 2) if the battle occurred in space where there was no gravity, and therefore the hammer was weightless. Jeph ended up using versions of both of these approaches in the story he thereafter wrote.

Well, that explains that! A quick Google search reveals that readers were skeptical of the zero-gravity loophole, which was advanced by the Red Hulk himself in the comic, but it seems it’s canon. Apologies if this is all common knowledge in the Thor/Red Hulk debate community, but for an outside observer like me, it was a real “The More You Know” moment.



That doesn’t explain the conversation they’re having in the vacuum though. Is Jeph unaware that sound doesn’t travel in a vacuum?

Yeah, the conversation in space thing bothers me more. Actually, Red-Hulk using Thor’s hammer in zeroG never bothered me.

” if the battle occurred in space where there was no gravity, and therefore the hammer was weightless”

this is a shockingly dumb explanation. Weightless is not the same as massless. Rulk couldn’t pick up the moon and hit someone with it even if he was in space.

Long time Hulk reader since 1976, stopped at Hulk 12, Rulk not only picked up Thor’s hammer, (zero gravity Please!) it’s not the weight it’s enchanted! And then what! he broke the Hulk’s arm, WTF? later!

It’s kind of interesting that they went to such lengths to try and explain Rulk picking up the hammer yet didn’t think twice about having the conversation in a vacuum.

They aren’t really talking in space, Thor being a GOD, is essentially broadcasting thier thoughts into each others heads. Thor does this with Iron Man in the free comic book day, comic.

While most vacuums are very loud, my wife and I can often carry brief conversations while I’m doing my weekly chores. I can always hear her quite clearly scream: “You missed a spot.” What? It’s not that kind of vacuum? My apologies.

The Hammer is mystical. The zero-gravity rule doesn’t apply. Tell the mighty Marvel crew to try again…

lamuella bakes a very good point above. The weight of the Hammer has nothing to do with it’s immovability on earth, so it stands to reason that it has nothing to do with it’s immovability in space. It seems like it should be stationary in space, and if anything, Red Hulk would merely be swinging himself around while holding onto it.

we could always attribute it to bad writing.

I think it was established that the hammer is “pickup-able” by the unworthy in Avengers 122 from 1974. Iron Man could pick it up in space but then his arm was pinned under it and he could not move as he tried re-entry with it. Long way back, though…

Loeb is terrible writer. That’s how the red hulk lifted Thor’s hammer.

red hulk and thor are battling in space so without gravity thors hammer would not have its normal weight not to mention the red hulk is suppose to be almost like the hulk in nastiness. so if the hulk can pick up Thor’s hammer maybe the red hulk could also besides the battle is between two fictional characters and anything can happen in fiction.even the red hulk picking up thor.s hammer and giving the thunder god a beat down.

“the battle is between two fictional characters and anything can happen in fiction”

Yes, but, if you don’t ground your fiction in relatable things you loose your reader. Even if those relatable things are just the characters emotions. Especially when you’re dealing with the abnormal and the supernatural, you have to make things be so that the reader can identify with ‘em.

In comics, as we all know, this identification comes, more often then not, through keeping the stories coherent with what the reader know about the characters (and their props). So, for example, Captain America’s shield is bulletproof; Daredevil is blind; the only limit of the Green Lantern is his will power and so on. Of course, you (meaning the writer) can subvert those “rules” to build a good story, but it’s likely that readers will speak up. And if you subvert and the storie is bad (case in point, the Hulk by Loeb), you are in for A LOT of trash talk.

WRONG! The worthiness enchantment does not just apply to lifting, but to wielding as well. Red Hulk would never have been able to strike Thor with Mjolnir regardless of what gravity they were in. According to Marvel’s own wiki

Worthiness Enchantment: This enchantment surrounding Mjolnir prevents it from being wielded by anyone save those who have been found worthy or anyone Thor deems acceptable to wield Mjolnir for a time; certain Asgardians, such as Skurge, have successfully lifted its handle from the ground, but not entirely lift Mjolnir itself. Thus far, this includes Thor, the Awesome Android, Odin, Tiwaz, Red Norvell, Beta Ray Bill, Bor and Captain America. To anyone else, Mjolnir cannot be lifted from the ground nor wrested from Thor’s grip.

Mjolnir is also mystically bonded to Thor so he can command it mentally. Thor would simply issue a mental command to Mjolnir should anyone ever actually be able to use it against him.

Just to back up what KrisinWV said you can actually see images from Avengers 122 showing Iron Man moving Thor’s hammer in space:
Links posted on a message board thread here:

Not saying that should convince anyone this was a good fight scene, but an interesting piece of trivia perhaps…

red,green,gray,blue…irradecent…..Mjolnor cannot be wielded, lifted by ANYONE NOT WORTHY…..

consult your Iconic Stan Lee-Jack KI0rby ,John Byrne issues…! & NEVER ARGUE WITH A Lifer Marvel Comics Fan (39 YRS & counting)–aka me & the FANS OF OLE MARVEL….!

Cap America lifted it, as did Wonderman-& the Silver Surfer ,the Thing,almost….BUT….Grey/Green Hulk Failed….!

( OH YEH- I got 5-FIVE issues where Ben Grimm-aka the Thing Beat the Raging Hulk in a fair fight! )


March 3, 2011 at 4:39 am

The whole ‘weightless’ loophole is ridiculous. Think of all of the different Characters in the Marvel Universe that either have anti-gravity/nullifying powers, and/or technology to accomplish the same feat. Are we to believe that any half-assed Mad Scientist with a gravity nullifying ray could take off with Thor’s Hammer? That is quite possibly the stupidest loophole that Marvel has ever came up with. I can let it slide in some comic from an earlier decade…but NOW? Comics are supposed to be a tad bit more sophisticated and the writers are SUPPOSED to care just a TINY bit about how their fictional universe works. Honestly In recent yrs Marvel seems to be disappointing me more and more. First they ruined Spider-man with quite possibly the WORST story line in that comics entire history (brand new day) And yes I AM suggesting that its worse than the clone saga. If that wasn’t bad enough they seem hellbent on destroying MOST of their comics with ridiculous stories and/or continuity problems. Did you read the Frankencastle storyline in Punisher……Punisher had FINALLY gotten to a relevant spot in Marvel again…..then they pulled that crap. He had a stock pile of weapons from various super villains that he was using, and it was great…it MADE SENSE! Then they conveniently all but forgot about his weapons stash, and decided to turn him into a Frankenstein’s Monster…….Just horrible. Another one that ticks me off (to a much lesser degree) is the newest twist in Taskmaster’s newest short run. Now that one was not so bad a story…but there is just that whole CONTINUITY thing that they completely destroyed. If we are to accept that Taskmaster is really a good guy with memory problems, then we have to throw out EVERY background story we have ever read about him. Its not as if this most recent short series was his first. He’s had his own short run before this one, and has been a major player in everything from Osborn’s temp position as the head of SHIELD (renamed HAMMER by Norman)….to being a leading character in Deadpool comics, as well as being pretty much the supporting star of Comics such as Agent X. This new run just ruins all of that. There is no way any of it makes the slightest bit of sense…especially since it had been already established that he had a photographic memory, AS WELL as photographic reflex’s…..but I digress……

I stopped following Marvel seriously when Aunt May was brought back from the dead. I’ve lost track of what has been going on, but I know this. Gwen Stacey igave her Virginity to Norman Osborn? She also had his kids?! (What a awful storyline) Harry Osborn back from the dead?

So many things messed up with Marvel. The Universe is too broken for me to enjoy.

Marvel needs to do what DC did. Give your Universe an enema. Flush it all and start over with consistency being paramount.
Haven’t paid much attention to them since the House of M stuff.

It’s like most say here, the inscription on the hammer is clear.”whosoever holds this hammer, if ye be worthy, shall posess the power of Thor” . it’s not about lifting, but wielding. I stopped watching the unlimited avengers movie when I saw hulk lift mjolnir. It’s a very bad storyline, I mean it contradicts the fundamentals of the characters. And well no to mention that Thor is Odin’s son, and Odin created Midgard, or planted the seed, as we see in the comic. If Rulf or anyone else would lift it it would automatically have Thor power, which brings questions like. Is that person more worthy? Did Thor lost his power while the other one had the hammer?

Could it not be that the enchantment makes it heavy if the person isn’t worthy? Meaning that weight IS a factor and a vacuum is the only loophole?

Sounds plausible to me.

Or does the whole enchantment stuff explicitly state it has nothing to do with weight at ALL?

You would think in zero gravity the hammer would be simply static. In other words, if Rulk pushed against it he would float away. Loopholes are annoying and mostly not clever. 2012 Avengers had it right when Hulk failed to lift it. Let’s see if Captain America can in Avengers2.

Wow the fact that being in outer space makes mjolnir, makes it slighly less impassive, so pretty much if anyone is fighting Thor in space, they could use mjolnir, that’s a little lame to me, so it’s actually only those worthy are able to wield the mjolnir or those who live in outpace where there is no gravity…. Yeah right….

yea in zero gravity it would make more sense for when red hulk swings the hammer to whip around and hit Thor with his back cause he would be the one moving not the hammer. Considering the hammer i think was made from the heart of a dead star. That would make the hammer extremely heavy and could only be lifted by someone who was very very strong which Thor is considering he is a demi-god. I know red hulk is really strong but i really don’t think he is as strong as Thor. That would be what i would expect. But this is the marvel universe were normal physics don’t have to work.

The excuse they came up with was bad. But I was thinking of scenarios on how anyone not worthy could pick up or wield it.

My main one is why can’t no one worthy pick up the hammer? And it isn’t the weight or gravity etc but the enchantment that was placed upon the hammer. And in most cases enchantments tend to be flawed because they are only as powerful as the person who placed the chants. And yes, Odin is a Demi God, not a proper God so I guess somewhere in the Marvel Universe there would be some unworthy evil do go-er who could overcome the enchantment or remove it all together?
I think this is more plausible than it being in zero gravity. But I don’t know if Rulk is strong enough to overcome that sort of magic.

And weatherguy. I am sure it isn’t that heavy. Robots or Non-living things can lift the hammer but not use the power of the hammer.

“How did the Red Hulk lift Thor’s hammer?”

Bad writing… Should of never happened. End of…

Red Hulk could liftBMjolner because it happened in a Hulk comic Post World War Hulk. After Hulk gets forced back to banner at the end of WWH every Hulk story point since has been about creating stronger enemies to deal with the fact that Hulk put the pimp hand to pretty much everybody in Marvel. And so far they been destroying intelligent plot construction ever since.

Sasquirt said above that Marvel should do a complete restart like DC. They did, they also destroyed it and every childhood memory I and many others had of Marvel comics. They called it Ultimate marvel and it was easily the worst comic book continuity I’ve ever read.

Could a INNOCENT new born be considered WORTHY to Lift it????


Bernadette Wolowitz

January 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

The issue here is “Worthiness”! The enchantment surrounding mjolnir bars anyone from being used by the wrong hands (i.e. unworthy ones). We can all agree that the enchantment is godlike in nature and therefore universal. Meaning regardless whether it’s in outer space or not, that enchantment should still work! On earth where there’s gravity, it can’t be lifted. In space where there’s gravity, the enchantment should still work, not to be used by unworthy hands. It stands to reason that there should be an equivalent enchantment preventing from anyone else from using it and should not be gravity dependent. Thor is able to fly in space, so that godlike essence and power should also apply to mjolnir in space. Odin must have taken the space factor into consideration, being godlike and all that.
GRAVITY DOESN’T PREVENT UNWORTHY ONES FROM USING THE HAMMER, THE ENCHANTMENT DOES. Gravity in this sense is BEING USED by the enchantment as a force to make the rule happen and not the other way around. Gravity should have nothing to do with it–to sort of providing a crack in the enchantment. So whether the hammers just floats in space or whatever, it still should not be used by anyone who is unworthy.

Thor is a god with his own set of god powers. The hammer is a tool that he uses to fly by throwing it and holding on, and to channel electricity. The mjolnir is not the source of his power. The hammer is a proper weapon for a god, nothing more. By “wielding the power of Thor” the enchantment refers to the awesome power of Mjolnir, but it will not make you an immortal, and it will not make you stronger. If I am an astronaut and I hold his hammer in space, I will not become a god, nor will I wield lightning. This Loeb is obviously a terrible writer. I hope Marvel never does the new 52 garbage because I will never buy another issue, just as I don’t buy anything that is Ultimate Universe. The reason I collect is to try to get as much of this great 50+ year story as I can; to change it makes me annoyed and disinterested.

Lets think of it this way.. Yes the enchant ment stops people from weilding it like thor, LIKE THOR! it wouldnt stop someone who could lift it from say, simply swinging it like a hammer.. you dont need magical god powers or enchantments to hold something like red hulk is doing.. and simply hit something with it.. so he cant weild it like thor or channel shit through it, he can still use it like a freaking hammer XD

Bad writing. The scene above could have been equally (or more) epic if they established the hammer as an immovable force while in space, then red hulk just grabbed Thor’s arm/leg and swung him around like a rag doll, beating him against the immovable object over and over again. That would retain the enchantment, give Thor a thrashing and establish that red hulk fights with his brain as well as his brawn.

Could someone pickup the ground underneath the hammer and move it that way?
Ie, forklift picks up the slab the hammer sits on.


May 20, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Now I may be wrong. The enchantment says whoever is worthy. Worthy doesn’t necessarily mean good. Red Hulk’s alter ego General Ross is a highly decorated war general. Maybe it somehow recognizes the warrior heart and deems him worthy of holding the hammer?

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