Captain America and Mjolnir

Everyone in the theaters was enthralled the moment when Captain America lifted the Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer. Add this beautiful scene with the scene where Thor was knocked down and almost killed by Thanos and you get a lot of cheering in the theaters. But there must be a question lingering in your mind. How did Captain America lift the Mjolnir, the hammer that only Gods could lift? The simple answer to that question is Steve Rogers was worthy. But how was he worthy and not the other members of the Avengers? And if that is the case, how did Captain America summoned lightning while using the Mjolnir? Don’t worry, we have a detailed answer of all the questions. We also have listed the two moments in the comic books where Captain America has lifted Thor’s Mjolnir. Of course, if you haven’t watched Endgame, Spoiler alert.

When Captain America Lifted Mjolnir in Comics.

The Marvel and DC movies have taken a lot of inspirations from the comics. Don’t get me wrong, I know that these movies are based on comic book stories and characters, but the cinematic universe always changes a few things here and there. Take for example the character of Thor. In the comics, he is a serious, stern God. But in the movies, he is a goofy, funny man. 

Captain America and Mjolnir
Steve Rogers after the Super Soldier Serum. Image : Marvel Studios

So when we talk about the scene where Captain America lifted the Mjolnir in the comics books, two instances can be noted. And one of these instances is very similar to the one in the movie, Avengers : Endgame.

In the comics issue #390 of Mighty Thor, we get a scene where Thor has been knocked down by Seth, the Egyptian God of death. Here, Captain America is not like in the movies. He has abandoned the word America and goes with just “The Captain.” Very similar to the scene in Avengers Endgame where Thanos is about to kill Hulk but suddenly Mjolnir flies to Captain America. The comic book story shows the same.

The other instance when Steve Rogers lifts the hammer of Thor is in “Fear Itself” where Cap lifts the hammer and summons lightning while he says “Avengers, Assemble.” So cool.

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Did Captain America lift Mjolnir in Age of Ultron?

In the movie Avengers : Age of Ultron, we have a lighthearted scene before Ultron introduces himself. In the scene, Thor challenges the other members of Avengers to try and lift the Mjolnir, to see if they are worthy or not. Needless to say, no one is able to lift the hammer. Although Bruce did not turn into the Hulk to lift the hammer (Hulk has lifted the Mjolnir in the comics). But the most interesting part in the scene is when Captain America tries to lift the hammer of the God of Thunder. And he moves it a tiny bit which makes Thor worry about his exclusivity in the Mjolnir lifter club. So was Steve Rogers worthy in Age of Ultron.

Thor looks a bit worried. Image : Marvel Studios

The Fan Theory.

Regarding this event, there are fan theories suggesting that the reason Captain America couldn’t lift the Mjolnir was because he wasn’t completely worthy. This is attributed to the fact that he did not disclose about Bucky murdering Tony’s parents. Due to this dishonesty, he wasn’t completely worthy. But in Avengers Endgame, after he has revealed the truth to Tony, he turned completely worthy.
What do I say to this fan theory? It is “worthless.” This theory does not make any sense because how does one measure worthiness? Is there a units system where you can see how many good things you have done and how many secrets you have kept? And how does that translates to the ability of lifting Mjolnir? Captain kept a secret so he could only move the hammer a little bit. So if he had kept a smaller secret from someone, would he be able to lift the hammer only 2-3 inches high? Is there a conversion chart for the height you can lift the hammer against the worthiness?

Captain America and Mjolnir
Captain America tries to lift the Mjolnir in Age of Ultron. Image : Marvel Studios

Captain America was always worthy.

Yes, Captain America was always worthy. In fact he was the only member of the Avengers who was truly worthy from the beginning. So to know what being “worthy” means, let’s wind the clocks back when the first Thor movie came out. And the whole concept of being worthy was introduced.

In the first Thor movie, Thor is kind of a douche bag. He is a rich spoilt brat version of Gods. We see him as this God who craves power and seeks battles just for the fun of it. He doesn’t care about the people or the good of anything. So to make him worthy, Odin casts a spell on Mjolnir. He says that only the worthy can lift this hammer. And as it happens, Thor learns the lessons and is willing to sacrifice himself to save others. This made him worthy again and he was able to lift the hammer. In the comics, Jane Foster also is ready to die to save other people. And hence she can also lift Mjolnir.

Remember it isn’t about sacrificing yourself to protect your loved ones, but worthiness is about sacrificing your life to protect lives. That is why not everyone is worthy. So by this condition, Captain America is the worthiest of lifting Mjolnir. First when he a weak man, he jumped over a live bomb so that he can protect the people around him. Then he was ready to die to save the civilians of New York City. Captain America has alway being ready to give his life if it meant saving another. And hence, he is worthy.

Why didn’t He Lift Mjolnir in Age of Ultron.

The reason why Captain America did not lift the hammer goes to show his worthiness. Remember the reason why Thor lost his hammer was because he used his powers in the wrong way? That is what Captain America lacks. He did not want to use his powers when it was not needed. So when everyone was joking around and Thor was actually worried that Cap would lift the hammer, Steve pretended that he was unable to lift it. But when it was necessary to do it to protect Thor, Captain America lifted it. And what a beautiful scene it was. Thor was aware of Steve’s worthiness. That is why in Endgame Thor screams saying “I knew it!” He knew Steve was worthy.

Captain America and Mjolnir
The Shield of Captain America

How did Steve summon lightning?

I have seen many people confused by the scene when Cap uses Thor’s hammer and summons lightning to attack Thanos. This confusion is understandable as the movie has established that the hammer is just a conduit of Thor’s power. It channels Thor’s power, focuses it. In Ragnarok, when Thor tells his father about the lack of his hammer, Odin sternly says, “Are you Thor, the God of Hammers? That hammer was to help you control your powers, focus it. It was never the source of your strength.” In the later parts of Ragnarok, we see Thor using his powers without Mjolnir when he channels thunder within himself. 

Odin saying the “Worthy” lines. Image : Marvel Studios

So how did Steve shocked everyone when he rained thunder (and literally shocked) Thanos? I have seen movie officials saying that it was an illogical bit that contradicts the established rules of the movie. But it never contradicted anything!

When placing the spell on Mjolnir, Odin says whoever could lift the hammer, shall also possess the power of Thor. So if anyone is worthy of lifting it, they can use it like Thor. Clearly mortal men would have a lot of problem in doing so, but Cap is not a just an ordinary man. And so this is how he used Thor’s power to summon thunder.

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