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The Destroyer is an enchanted suit of armor in humanoid form which, when animated by the life force of a sentient being, exercises immense powers which make it virtually invincible. It was created over a thousand years ago by order of Odin, monarch of Asgard, to be that otherdimensional realm's ultimate, most powerful weapon. The Destroyer is composed of an unknown metal of Asgardian origin and was enchanted by Odin so that its metal was harder even then adamantium or uru and was therefore almost totally indestructible. Ordinarily, the Destroyer stands at a height of six and one-half feet and weighs 850 pounds. However, when it was animated by the combined life force of all the gods of Asgard except Thor, the Destroyer grew to a height of 2000 feet.

No one can physically wear the armor of the Destroyer. Moreover, the Destroyer's armor cannot be disassembled by any known means. Rather, to utilize the Destroyer, one projects his or her own life force into the form, leaving his or her own body in a state of entranced paralysis. Usually, the transfer of life force is achieved when a willing subject (or one who is not mentally on guard against such a transfer taking place) stands within arm's length of the Destroyer. Masters of mystical powers, such as Odin or Loki, can accomplish the transfer over great distances.

The Destroyer was mystically endowed by Odin with its own intelligence and personality and was "programmed" by Odin to battle and to destroy, especially to destroy the first being it sees on becoming activated. Usually, a human being or Asgardian who projects his or her life force into the Destroyer will be unable to assert his or her own sentience over that of the Destroyer itself. Hence, that human being or Asgardian will be unable to control the Destroyer. Only Odin, Thor, and Loki have proved capable of subjecting the Destroyer's will to their own after each used his own life force to animate the Destroyer. In Thor's case, on the first occasion that his life force animated the Destroyer, Thor's own personality was submerged beneath that of the Destroyer and only achieved control of the Destroyer after a great effort of will. On the second occasion, Thor's consciousness engaged in combat with the Destroyer's when Thor's spirit entered the Destroyer, but Thor soon achieved mastery of the Destroyer, submerging the Destroyer's own consciousness. Odin has projected his consciousness into the Destroyer and taken control of it without apparent struggles. Loki once animated and took control of the Destroyer while allowing its consciousness to remain active. The Destroyer's consciousness will allow its animator's consciousness to work alongside it if their goals coincide; hence, when hunter Buck Franklin animated the Destroyer, his consciousness and that of the Destroyer operated as one in seeking to destroy Thor.

When animated, the Destroyer remains mystically linked to the body of the person whose life force it contains, thereby preventing that person from dying from lack of a life force. The body of the person whose life force animates the Destroyer; therefore, is the Destroyer's sole weakness against any force less powerful than the Celestials. A sufficiently powerful spell directed toward the mind of that person can reverse the transferal of life force, and cause the Destroyer to become inanimate.

The limits of the Destroyer's superhumanoid physical strength have never been measured. (Presumably, that strength was vastly increased when Odin projected the combined life forces of himself and all the Asgardian gods except Thor into the Destroyer.) Because the Destroyer is not itself a living being, it is not affected by Odin's spell that prevents anyone who is unworthy from lifting Thor's enchanted hammer. The Destroyer can travel through the air through self-levitation. The Destroyer can project bolts of energy of many different kinds, including an unknown form of energy that could shatter any known substance, including uru, the Asgardian metal from which Thor's hammer was made. The Destroyer can project magnetic energy and flames which can reach solar levels of heat. The Destroyer can transmute and rearrange atoms and molecules so as to change one form of matter into another. It can alter the density of matter and convert solid matter to liquid or vice versa:

The Destroyer's most formidable weapon is its disintegrator beam, which, it is said, can annihilate anything. To disintegrate something, the Destroyer lowers its visor; the destructive energy then builds atop the visor and fires outward from it. The Destroyer cannot fire disintegration blasts in rapid succession but must wait for the disintegrating energy to build up again.

The Destroyer was created a little over a thousand years ago by the greatest Asgardian craftsmen on the order of Odin, lord of Asgard, to battle the enormous alien Celestials. The Celestials had conducted genetic experimentation on ancestors of humanity. Odin encountered the Third Host of the Celestials a little over a thousand years ago. The Celestials intended to return a millennium later, when superhumanly powerful beings would have begun emerging in large numbers on Earth; then the Celestials would begin their judgment of the human race's fitness to survive. Odin and Earth's other gods believed that the Celestials would destroy Earth if the latter found humanity to be unworthy according to the Celestials' unknown standards of judgment. Odin and Earth's other gods were determined to prevent the Celestials from destroying Earth, but the Third Host had demonstrated that even the powers of one Celestial far exceeded those of Earth's gods. Therefore, Odin had the Destroyer created as a weapon to be used against the Celestials' Fourth Host a millennium hence. Upon the Destroyer's completion, Odin, Zeus, and the other leading gods of Earth bestowed a fraction of their powers upon it, thereby giving it great strength and energy-manipulating abilities. Once the Third Host had left, Odin concealed the Destroyer within a temple he himself created in Indochina; and then concealed the temple within a plateau. Thus, he hoped, the Destroyer would remain out of the reach of anyone who would use it for evil.

The Destroyer remained Inert nearly until the return of the Celestials. However, Loki, searching for a means of vengeance upon Thor, magically destroyed the plateau concealing the temple within which the Destroyer stood, and led an unscrupulous hunter, Buck Franklin, to it. The life force of the unwitting Franklin entered the Destroyer, activating it, and the Destroyer battled Thor within the temple. However, by using Franklin's inert body as a shield, Thor bluffed the Destroyer into projecting Franklin's consciousness back into Franklin's human body. Thor then demolished the temple, burying the Destroyer within it, and rescued Franklin.

Sometime later, while in exile, Loki projected his own consciousness into the Destroyer and, using its power to traverse dimensions, sent it to Asgard to attack Odin. Odin, however, located Loki's body and directed a mystical bolt towards Loki's brain, causing Loki's consciousness to be pulled back into his own body and to retreat into unconsciousness.

The Destroyer was subsequently animated by the unwilling goddess Sif in a plot by Loki and Karnilla, the Norn Queen, and still later was animated by Professor Clement Holmes, who "entered" the Destroyer by accident. Thor, not knowing Odin's plan for the Destroyer to combat the Celestials, gave the Destroyer to Galactus for use as his herald. Loki later stole it from Galactus for use in another scheme against Thor, employing first Balder and then Thor himself as the animating persona.

By this time the Fourth Host of the Celestials had arrived on Earth, and sometime thereafter, Odin decided that the time had come to do battle with them. He therefore drew the life forces of all Asgardians except the absent Thor into himself and then projected his vast collective consciousness into the Destroyer. The Destroyer grew to gigantic size, and, wielding the enormous Odinsword, which was composed of the mystical Rhinegold, invaded the Fourth Host's South American base. Yet, inconceivably powerful as the Destroyer now was, it was unable to inflict any serious damage upon any of the gathered Celestials, despite its best efforts. The Celestials fired bolts of energy in unison at the Destroyer, reducing it to a slag of molten metal and setting adrift the life forces of all the Asgardians. Arishem, the leader of the Celestials on Earth, then melted the Odinsword into apparent nothingness.

Gaea, the elder Earth goddess, persuaded the Celestials to deliver a favorable judgment on Earth by presenting them with twelve young noble human beings who had evolved into "godhood" as examples of what humanity was becoming. By gathering mystical force from Earth's other pantheons of gods, Thor was able to resurrect Odin, who in turn revived the other Asgardians.

Later, seeking a means of avenging himself upon a group of Frost Giants, Loki mystically transported the melted remains of the Destroyer to a place on Earth where the Giants would find it. Loki tricked one of the Giants, Siggorth, into stepping onto the remains of the Destroyer. which immediately returned to its normal form. The Destroyer attacked and drove off the Giants, but then perceived the remains of Thor, who had recently been placed under a spell by the Asgardian death goddess Hela that made him incapable of dying. As a result, Thor still lived after his cataclysmic battle with Jormungand, the Midgard Serpent, even though Thor's body had been reduced to a :pulped mass of organic matter in the process. The Destroyer attempted to annihilate Thor's remains (although the Destroyer did not use his disintegration power upon them) but failed. Intrigued, the Destroyer realized that this body could not be killed. Therefore, if that body's life force animated the Destroyer, no one could defeat the Destroyer by threatening the body of as animator. The Destroyer therefore drew Thor's life force into itself, expelling that of the Giant. But Thor's consciousness overcame that of the Destroyer and took control of the Destroyer's form.

Inhabiting the Destroyer's form, Thor invaded Hela's otherdimensional realm, Hel, and wreaked havoc, finally pretending to lose control to the Destroyer's compulsion to destroy and threatening to kill Hela herself Terrified. Hela restored Thor's body to its normal condition and to full health. His plan thus having worked, Thor revealed to Hela that he was still in full control of the Destroyer and demanded that she vow to no longer take possession of the souls of Earth people, as she had recently done. Hela did so, and Thor returned to his own body. But on leaving the Destroyer's form. Thor used its power to seal it within a virtually unbreakable crystal so that the Destroyer could not be employed for evil. Hela has lifted her spell that made Thor incapable of dying.

The Destroyer remains trapped within that crystal in Hel, serving as a continuing reminder to Hela of her ignominious defeat by Thor.

First Appearance: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #118

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