Why Couldn’t Cap Lift Thor’s Hammer In Avengers: Age of Ultron?  

The Avengers was a rip-roaring success which raised the expectations bar for the second movie. Although Age of Ultron did well at the box-office it wasn’t a smashing hit. The big villain was an evil AI created by Tony Stark who is hell-bent on the destruction of humanity as it believes that is the only way to save it. The voice-over of Ultron is done by James Spader.

The sequel to the blockbuster first Avengers movie is famous for intense action set pieces and well-choreographed battle sequences, but it also had few memorable light moments as well. For instance, the scene where everyone was trying to lift Thor’s hammer Mjolnir. What else would you be doing after months of fighting H.Y.D.R.A to chill out but to make an attempt to lift one of the most powerful objects in Marvel Universe? At first, Cap managed to lift a little but then he couldn’t. It was really baffling to see Cap struggling to lift the hammer.

Why couldn’t Captain America do it? Is he not worthy?

Well, if he is not worthy of it then its impossible for anyone to lift Mjolnir. He is the most principled, patriotic and revered superhero for whom mission comes first and his own life later. He has always put the interests of the country and team above his personal interests. Moreover, this was not the first time he was lifting the hammer.


In comics, so many times he has lifted the mighty hammer and even used it against the bad guys. Moreover, the so-called “unworthy” Iron Man has lifted Mjolnir in comics. In DC/Marvel Crossover in the 1990’s, Superman and Wonder Woman managed to lift it as well.

The only explanation we have is Cap is not worthy in the MCU. But why? One Quora writer Ishita Roy pointed out something interesting about the nature of worthiness in terms of Thor’s hammer. She said that Cap may be an honest and decent man with noble intent but he is a “Blood Knight” which is a problem from the point of view of the mighty hammer. Then, what explains temporary lift of hammer? It suggests that Cap is on a right path and needs some kind of realization to become worthy of the hammer.

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Cap’s worst nightmare was that the war is over. Moreover, his objection to Tony’s Stark’s creation of Ultron was that war can’t be stopped like this, instead of a broader moralistic argument.

On the other hand, when Thor was fighting for war sake, he lost his ability to lift the hammer for demonstrating general lack of compassion, as a result, he was banished until he evolved into a peace-loving figure that allowed him to regain the strength to lift Mjolnir and place in Norse pantheon of gods.

It is not very shocking to know that Cap is unworthy of wielding Mjolnir, in fact, it’s only recently he was shown to be a sleeping member of H.Y.D.R.A., a mole/traitor in the new Marvel comics titled Captain America: Steve Rogers # 1 created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby who brought the character to life 75 years ago. Elisa Sinclair, who spends her time helping the poor of New York, rescued the young Steve Rogers from his abusive father. Elisa is shown as a member the HYDRA Society in the 1920s, and she insists Steve Rogers and his mother joined HYDRA as well.

In the Captain America: Steve Rogers # 2, Marvel revealed the mystery behind the entire conspiracy, apparently, Red Skull used the cosmic cube to implant the false memories inside Steve Roger’s head to make him think he is HYDRA agent. In the issue Captain America: Steve Rogers # 10, Cap is constantly trying to remove Mariah Hill from the leadership position, but his plans are soon derailed when Hill came up with a daring plan to create a giant energy field to thwart Red Skull’s sinister alien invasion agenda.

In the end, Mariah Hill was fired from her position and world council asks Captain America to nominate a person to oversee military and covert operations. He chose Sharon Carter who now enjoys greater powers owing to the S.H.I.E.L.D Act including dragnet surveillance, wire-tapping etc. She was offered Directorship by the World Council but she declined, instead suggested Captain America’s name for the post.

If that wasn’t enough, Red Skull took over Sokovia with significant Hydra’s presence in the Eastern European region. S.H.I.E.L.D fell and is totally compromised as Steve Rogers is calling the shots. In the issue Captain America: Steve Rogers # 15, we saw Red Skull and Steve back and forth in their power struggle from the days of World War II. Schmidt managed to then takeover H.Y.D.R.A by threatening the lives of Elisa Sinclair and Helmut Zemo. At present, when Red Skull met Cap, he challenged Herr Schmidt for the leadership of Hydra. Before Red Skull could react, Steve pushed him off the window, killing him and claiming control of entire H.Y.D.R.A.

Fans were wondering where was Agent Coulson when evil Captain America was wreaking havoc upon S.H.I.E.L.D. Well, he was chasing leads and found hidden Chitauri nest kept by Steve Rogers as he knew aliens would attack the Earth. He immediately put Cap under surveillance and launched an investigation. But before he could do anything, he found his communications jammed, S.H.I.E.L.D Agents cut off from colleagues. Captain America hired Wade Wilson/ Deadpool into S.H.I.E.L.D and ordered the murder of Coulson. He fired at Coulson’s signature ride. Coulson survived somehow, but Deadpool cornered him and killed him on sight believing Steve Rogers is still the principles man he once was. Further, he was seen wearing a suit akin to H.Y.D.R.A. high-ranking officer Kraken.

And then we got another shocker as evil Captain Hydra killed Black Widow in Secret Empire #7 as she came for Cap with a small team comprising of Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales. Ulysses, the inhuman with abilities predicted that it would be Miles Morales who will kill Hydra Cap. As Morales attempts to kill Cap, Black Widow intervened and got her neck snapped by the shield. Yes, down goes Natasha Romanoff.

This incident shocked the conscience of the Avengers and others and they decided to up the ante against evil Cap. They launched a major offensive which broke Roger’s defenses, finally, they tasted a small victory for the first time. But it didn’t last long as Helmut Zemo captured Black Panther and secured Cosmic cube fragment. In the end, Bucky Barnes slipped into HYDRA and freed Panther.

captain america

As Secret empire reaches its climax, Captain America has become an evil deity and an epitome of neo-fascist ideals. The Cosmic Cube is one of the most powerful objects in the Marvel universe at par with Infinity Gauntlet. With such an enormous power at his disposal, there is nothing much that Avengers can do except wishing that he doesn’t get the last fragment (which is with Sam Wilson) which would neutralize his goodness.

Finally, Marvel pulled off a “dopple-ganger” trick and then the ‘new’ Steve Rogers was brought from Marvel Ultimate Universe. He is a leader of the “Ultimates” who could be a mystical remnant of cosmic cube’s altering Marvel history. He is supposedly the “real Steve Rogers” who brought down the evil imposter.As the Secret empire plotline came to a close, Marvel: Legacy series want to start a new course and assemble the world once again. But its confirmed that Steve Rogers/Captain America is not coming back as the enormous damage has been done. The world will never see him as the principled Avenger as the scars are deep and lasting.

There is no way that one can restore the patriotism of Captain America through a magic wand, his sins can’t be redeemed just like that. But at least Marvel comics did’nt let Steve Rogers to completely fall off the cliff and betray the faith of millions of people who believe in him. Someday he will be worthy enough to lift Thor’s hammer.

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Anuj Aggarwal

A Voracious reader. An explorer. An Intellectual. A Die hard fan of Leonardo dicaprio and a Game of Thrones fanatic. Love to dabble in different things at the same time - Politics, International Cinema, History, Music, Literature etc. Welcome you all...
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