This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on December 9, 2016.
It has been more than two years since Thor was discovered to unworthy in the pages of Original Sin. During a space battle against Nick Fury, the spymaster whispered something in his ear that caused the god to drop his hammer and plummet to the surface of the moon. In the intervening time a new God of Thunder has surfaced and been revealed to be none other than Jane Foster. Her exploits and those of the unworthy Thor have formed a truly epic narrative, but the whisper that started it all has remained a secret.
Now in the pages of The Unworthy Thor writer Jason Aaron and artist Olivier Coipel have promised to finally reveal the truth. Not only is a beautifully illustrated mini-series, but it is built around an impressively well-kept secret. That sort of secret can only lead to conspiracy theories, and we have a few of our own. Some are great and others… not so much.
But if you’re interested in hearing some ideas as to what was said, read ahead and determine if any of these theories are worthy.
He Indirectly Caused Jane Foster’s Cancer
This is the theory we are most confident in, which is why it’s our starting point. Given all of the places they traveled together and magics they encountered, it’s not inconceivable that something Thor did indirectly caused Jane Foster’s cancer. In fact, considering the number of Thor villains and plots involving the word “radioactive”, it’s pretty likely. Not only does this one seem plausible, but it would also tie in to the overall plot of Aaron’s run quite nicely.
While Jane would likely forgive Thor and it’s certain he would not have caused her cancer on purpose, it’s a question of whether Thor considers himself worthy as much as what Mjolnir might think. Afterall, it was Fury’s revelation not the pre-existing truth that caused this change in worthiness. If you were to give your greatest love a life threatening illness, how could you look in the mirror much less think of yourself as a superhero? This theory ties into the current plot, both iterations of Thor, and adds a truly tragic twist, which is why it’s where we’d place our bets.
An Ancient Asgardian Secret
It’s also worth noting that after Thor lost Mjolnir, not even Odin who forged the hammer could lift it. So it might be that not only Thor has been found unworthy, but all of Asgard has been judged the same. This would go a long way in explaining why none of the very virtuous women in Thor’s life, like Sif or Frigga, were able to lift the hammer either.
While the possibility of an ancient Asgardian secret seems a likely contender, what that secret might be is an even bigger question. It’s possible that Asgard was built upon the destruction of another society or that Asgardian immortality is derived from the suffering or death of other beings. Whatever the case may be, if this is the answer, then the secret is bound to be devastating.
Thor Possesses Valor Without Risk
This theory is a bit more philosophical in nature and is hard to summarize into a whisper, but it certainly has some merit to it. Consider how often Thor has died and been returned to life. It has happened twice in the past decade alone, not to mention an almost limitless number of close calls. If you’ve lived a life like Thor, especially one in which you’ve seen your future self outlive the Earth, what fear does death bring?
So what if the problem is that Thor cannot be worthy if he is incapable of taking risks with his own life? Secure in the knowledge of his future and the impermanence of death, Thor might have grown reckless and unable to understand the true meaning of valor, bravery, and sacrifice. In that instance, it might be possible that is actually impossible for Thor to even be considered worthy.
He is Actually “Clor”
It has been about a decade since “Clor”, a clone of Thor created by Reed Richards and Tony Stark, was introduced in Civil War. It was in the pages of that same series in which Clor was first killed, but that has never managed to keep a good villain down. In fact, any talk of clones in the Marvel Universe should immediately draw attention to the adventures of Spider-Man and the much maligned “Clone Saga”.
The lesson of this comparison is that clones can be anywhere and probably are. Think you know who the hero is? Nope. They’re probably a clone. So what’s to stop the current incarnation of Thor from having been a clone all long? If you ignore basic elements of storytelling and continuity, this theory makes perfect sense. While there have been plenty of clones running around on the streets of Manhattan, it might be time to see them run amok in Asgard as well.
A Grammatical Technicality
The text inscribed on Mjolnir has been literally set in stone since Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber, and Stan Lee first introduced the character in Journey Into Mystery #83. It’s exceedingly straightforward regarding the rules of who is allowed to lift the hammer. In fact, it seems like a simple true or false question regarding the intangible concept of worthiness.
But what if someone were to tweak the verbiage a bit? Who knows how stickly Asgardians with their Shakespearean speech are for the finer bits of grammar. Perhaps Loki could have cast a spell changing the gender to “she” and Nick Fury merely pointed this out to Thor in the midst of battle. All we know is that crazier things have actually happened in Marvel Comics before.
Only John Cena is Worthy
Whether or not this is actually the given reason for Thor’s unworthiness, it’s undeniably true. We don’t know if John Cena exists in the Marvel Universe, but if he does, then this is an easy solve. Thor would already know deep in the very pit of his soul that there is one man he cannot hope to rival and it would only take a whisper from Nick Fury to make him admit this failing.
In a world with John Cena, no man can hope to be truly worthy. That may be why a woman has taken up the mantle of Thor now.