When we next see Earth’s mightiest heroes in Avengers: Infinity War, the Avengers, Spider-Man, Black Panther, and the Guardians of the Galaxy will come together to stand against the biggest threat the universe has ever faced: the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin), seeker of the all-powerful Infinity Stones. With the entirety of existence on the line, our heroes will need all the help they can get — but what are the chances Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wields Thor’s mighty hammer, Mjolnir?
“Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor,” reads Mjolnir’s inscription, uttered by Odin (Anthony Hopkins), father of Thor (Chris Hemsworth). In Captain America: The First Avenger, scrawny, wannabe do-gooder Steve Rogers hopelessly strives to enlist in the military — a goal that is repeatedly denied to him due to his poor health and small stature.
When he’s offered an experimental procedure that will turn him into a super soldier, the program’s mastermind, Abraham Erskine, asks Steve one thing: “Do you want to kill Nazis?” “I don’t want to kill anyone,” says Steve. “I don’t like bullies. I don’t care where they’re from.”
“The serum amplifies everything inside,” Erskine told him. “So good becomes great, bad becomes worse. This is why you were chosen.” Succinctly said, the selfless Steve Rogers is as pure of heart as they come — proven time and again by Steve’s brave actions, like standing up against a movie theater bully despite being skinny enough to lose his balance with a slight breeze.
Come Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers take turns attempting to lift Thor’s hammer — a hammer that, as seen in The Avengers, even the incredible Hulk could not lift. (Physical strength means nothing when it comes to Thor's enchanted hammer.) Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) all take turns trying — and failing — to make it budge. When Steve goes to lift the hammer, Mjolnir moves, ever so slightly, drawing a brief look of concern from the Asgardian Avenger.
“How is Steve Rogers not worthy?” was the question on fans’ lips, with the question being directed towards Age of Ultron writer and director Joss Whedon at San Diego Comic Con in 2015. “Is he not? Are we sure?” Whedon replied. “Did he fail? Or did he stop?”
Longtime Marvel Comics fans will know Steve’s comic book counterpart has wielded Mjolnir before, with Cap proving himself worthy for the first time in Thor #390. Captain Americawould again wield it in issue seven of the Fear Itself storyline, drawing forth lightning with the rallying battle cry, “Avengers Assemble!” Eric Masterson, Beta Ray Bill, the Awesome Android, and even DC Comics’ Superman and Wonder Woman have wielded Thor’s signature weapon and assumed the demigod abilities that come with.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Vision (Paul Bettany) — a synthetic being helped brought to life by Mjolnir’s lightning, and who was essentially in infancy when he first encountered the Avengers — is the only other being to lift Mjolnir. Come Infinity War, Steve Rogers has abandoned the identity of Captain America, having disagreed with his government’s attitude towards superheroes in Captain America: Civil War. Will Steve’s status as a nomad — and possibly some of his actions during and since Civil War — affect his ability to lift Mjolnir? Or will the good captain prove, once and for all, that he’s worthy enough to possess the mighty power of Thor?
The movies have withheld using Cap’s iconic “Avengers Assemble” line, only partially teasing it at the end of Age of Ultron; but if there’s any time for Captain America to assemble the Avengers and wield Mjolnir — maybe when all the universe’s heroes are down, and the fight looks lost — Infinity War is the perfect opportunity for what would be sure to become one of the most iconic moments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s ten-year history. "I could do this all day," says a bloodied and beaten Steve Rogers, standing defiant in the face of Thanos. "Avengers... assemble!" Lightning. Thunder. The heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe band together in a shot that you could only dream about...
Of course, this is all assuming Thor gets Mjolnir back after its apparent destruction at the hands of Hela (Cate Blanchett) in the Thor: Ragnarok trailers. We'll see what happens when Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War opens May 4th, 2018.
Avengers: Infinity War is described by Marvel Studios as the culmination of everything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Iron Man in 2008. The movie is filming now under directors Anthony and Joe Russo, from a screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
The expansive confirmed cast includes Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bethany, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benedict Wong, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Pom Klementieff, and Josh Brolin as the villain Thanos.