By Jim Beard
The Mighty Thor once tagged the Destroyer as "the deadliest being ever to stride Midgard or the realm of the gods themselves..."-and that's putting it mildly! This ensorcelled suit of armor's nothing short of a walking Ragnarok and represents one of the Thunder God's mightiest ongoing challenges.
Though seemingly obliterated on more than one ominous occasion, the Destroyer, crafted by Allfather Odin himself, finds a way to return ever more-and lo! Its shadow darkens Thor's doorstep anew in January 27's THOR #606 and the Asgardian's old foe may just claim the edge this time if Doctor Doom's got anything to say about it.
Gaze now through the mists of time, back along the years as we examine the greatest battles between Thor and the disastrous Destroyer!
Loki led a greedy hunter to uncover ancient jungle ruins which housed the Destroyer and merged the man's mind with the unstoppable armor. The already sinister situation grew grim for an arriving Thor once the Destroyer's "bolt of limitless force" actually sliced his magic hammer in two! Zounds!
"No One Can Stop...the Destroyer!" Not even Hercules, Prince of Power! So Thor zoomed to the rescue and engaged the mystic armor, this time powered by the brain of a wayward scientist, in boisterous battle. The Destroyer withstood all the God of Thunder piled on him and incredibly managed to wrest the mighty Mjolnir from the hero's grasp...
The Destroyer's true origins stood revealed as Odin told the tale of its construction and its role in blocking the onslaught of the Fourth Host of the Celestials. That day then arrived and Thor watched in horror as Odin and the other Asgardians combined their wills to power the Destroyer and wield the Odinsword against the cosmic beings. For its troubles, the armor met its end as naught more than melted slag.
The Thunder God: killed by the Destroyer? Sadly yes, and Thor's sacrifice put his fellow Avengers at the possessed suit of armor's mercies. In Hela's realm, the Son of Odin agreed to merge his essence with a mortal to be able to return to vanquish the Destroyer once and for all. Return he did and in a stupendous show of strength and skill sent his foe to the cold depths of space.
Awakened from a long Odinsleep, Thor discovered the devilish Desak driving the Destroyer. Wielding his magic Uru hammer like never before, the Thunder God decapitated the Destroyer and Desak therein. Then, Thor set about restoring the timeline and repairing the past ills that led to this battle.
Many have inhabited the superior shell of the Destroyer, but none so hurtful to the Mighty Thor than his dearly departed comrade, Balder the Brave. His friend's spirit found itself trapped in the armor and filled with rage, Thor freed the bold Asgardian. Behind the scenes, the Destroyer's manipulation came at the hands of Loki and Doctor Doom and a new chapter for Odin's most terrible construct opened...
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