My @Quora answer to Which is more powerful, Mjolnir or Green Lantern's ring?
Answer by Thaddeus Howze:
"Mjolnir vs the Green Lantern's ring? Which is more powerful?" or better known as "Apples and Oranges: are we still comparing them?"
DISCLAIMER: Comparing power levels between comic universes is both juvenile and useless. Different comic companies with different writing styles, different standards, and often comparing objects used in entirely different ways is ultimately unsatisfying because there will never be a true test of comparison between the universes that both companies will agree on.
With that pesky disclaimer out of the way: Let's compare two of their respective universe's most powerful weapons:
- In this corner of the DC Universe, weighing five ounces, the rings of the Lightsmith Lantern Corps including the most famously known Green Lanterns Corps. The deliverers of colorful justice across the spaceways, the bringers of light to dark places, the destroyers (or perpetrators) of evil, the minions of bald headed, blue-skinned galactic meddlers, THE GREEN LANTERNS!
- In this corner of the Marvel Universe, weighing between 50 lbs and 3 billion depending on who you ask, the hammer forged of Uru metal by height-challenged craftsmen who work without union pay for an Asgardian demiurge, a weapon destined to slay the Midgard Serpent, the Asgardian Hammer "that which smashes", and the Body Slammer, MJOLNIR, THE HAMMER OF THOR!
Before we begin this titanic tale of the tape, I want you to consider the following image:
A scalpel, the CERN Large Hadron Particle Collider and Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear event to ever occur on Earth.
What we are comparing are tools, devices designed to perform purposes necessary to their function and here is where we have the primary disconnect between the two:
- The ring of the Green Lantern (or any other lightsmith) is first and foremost a tool, something that facilitates a variety of scientific, diplomatic and defensive functions of which combat is ONE of its many functions.
- Mjolnir, on the other hand, has a primary function with a number of secondary powers which are very similar to the powers of the Green Lantern ring but it is first and foremost a weapon of WAR, an engine of destruction.
Any meaningful comparison between the two is basically moot because they are rarely going to compare equally in any given demonstration.
The Tale of the Tape
The Oan Power ring is a complex omni-tool, a Swiss Army knife, capable of any number of amazing feats powered by the will of the user, including:
- : The ring can be used to fire blasts of Oan energy or create weapons such as projectiles of them. The ring can project beams of force powered by the will of the user. These energy displays can be as powerful as the wielder can imagine. Users whose familiarity with weapons, physics or other exotic knowledge can create even greater displays of destructive force equal to antimatter annihilation events.
- : The ring can create various forcefields of various sizes and shapes to protect the wearer and others around him. With the cosmic scope of a Green Lantern's duties, it is only natural that the power ring is designed for operation in space. The ring creates a force-field around the wearer, protecting him/her/it from the hazards of the void including filtration of stellar radiation and microscopic particulate matter which would ordinarily be fatal should the space debris strike the ring wielder at high speeds. An atmosphere appropriate to the ring wielder's biology is created inside the force-field, body temperature is maintained and waste products are removed.
- : The ring can form constructs of Oan energy. The primary function of the Power Ring is to provide a weapon capable of transforming the wearer's thoughts into physical constructs through the wearer's strength of willpower. A Green Lantern can create any particular items or construct that they can imagine as long as they have the willpower necessary to will it into existence. The constructs are made out of green energy, which is a tangible form of pure willpower, and they exist only as long as a Green Lantern is fueling it with their willpower. Items created by the rings are not indestructible and are only as powerful as the willpower of the Green Lantern creating them. The types of constructs usually reflects the ring wearer's personality. Green Kryptonite has also been constructed using a Ring.
- : The Power Ring allows the wearer to pass through certain solid objects, such as walls.
- Environmental Playback: Upon request, the power ring can recreate a holographic environment based on data in its memory banks. The ring wielder can observe events in a ghostlike state, but the ring wielder cannot alter the outcome of the playback.
- & Light Refraction: A ring wielder can render him/her/itself invisible by willing the ring to bend light waves around his/her/its form, as well as that of the power ring.
- : The ring can absorb and store most other energies. Doing so does NOT replenish the normal store of energy the ring has. A ring that needs recharging but contained a store of electricity could only discharge that electricity, for example.
- : By the manipulation of anti-gravitons and directed molecular movement, the ring allows the user to fly at incredible speeds. In atmosphere, a Green Lantern has been known to fly as fast as Mach 10 in atmosphere by creating an aerodynamic envelope around his body. Towing others, usually within a bubble, his speed is limited to the twice the speed of sound or 1440 mph. In space, Green Lantern's speed can be significantly greater and has been known to approach 80% of lightspeed in normal space.
- Wormholes & Spacial Warps: The power ring grants its wearer access to wormholes in space, enabling the ring wielder to rapidly cut time and distance needed for transport. The Guardians established at least one known wormhole to, which required the use of a power ring to enter. Black holes can be navigated by experienced ring wielders. During a battle with and his ally, Mad God Sector 3600, members of the Green Lantern Corps of Earth and the Green Lantern Corps of the Klyminade traveled through a black hole to be deposited outside a white hole in Space Sector 872. The power ring cannot generate a , as it needs a and a sample of the highly unstable X-Element.
- Time Travel: Time travel is possible with the power ring, though the further forward in time a ring wielder travels, the more willpower it takes. As Green Lantern,once explored as far as the 70th century. Jordan had also traveled to the 58th century as Pol Manning, a role later adopted by of Slyggia.
- Limited Cellular Regeneration: This ring has a limited ability to heal physical injuries; this seems to be a feature held over from the previous incarnations of the ring.
- Electromagnetic Scanning: The ring has a wide range of detection abilities based on the imagination of the user. If one can conceive of it, he can probably detect it. Magical effects like clairvoyance, seem to be beyond the scope of the ring. Most normal electromagnetic phenomena are within the range of the ring, including radio, television, infrared, ultraviolet, and high frequency band communications.
- Search Probes: A user was capable of sending probes through their Power Ring that were tasked with locating specific targets or individuals.
- Galactic Encyclopedia: The earlier rings worn by the Corps functioned as references for their users. Having the vast knowledge of the Oans to draw upon, each ring functioned as a ready reference on most peoples, stellar events and conditions that may have been seen by other rings or other Green Lanterns. The rings also served as a repository of adventures had by the Green Lantern and these mission reports were stored in the Prime Battery on Oa for review and training.
- Universal Translator: The power ring can translate virtually any language in the universe, facilitating diplomatic encounters rather than violent confrontations. Complications can arise, though, when a frame of reference for translation is not available, as evidenced during Katma Tui's induction of Rot Lop Fan into the Green Lantern Corps.
- Material Alteration: The Green Lantern's uniform is not made out of fabric. It is created by the Power Ring whenever the wearer wills to wear it. It automatically appears over the wearer's normal clothing, and vanishes when the wearer wills to return to their civilian attire. Most Green Lanterns wear similar uniforms that are programmed into the ring by default, such as Hal Jordan's uniform. However, each Green Lantern is able to adjust their uniform to fit their own needs, personalities and whims.
- Ring Duplication: Most Power Rings are capable of automatically duplicating themselves. Each duplicate typically shares the qualities and capabilities of the original ring. Each duplicate still requires to be recharged by a personal power battery. Some "temporary" rings can also be made, as well as rings with severe limitations and pre-programmed commands. All power rings, as being based upon the green ring templates created by the, are all programmed to be able to duplicate themselves on a specialised command known apparently only by the Guardians.
- Emergency Beacon: A Green Lantern in distress can use his/her/its power ring as an emergency beacon. The alert can be directed to a Green Lantern's neighboring sector, or it can be a Corps-wide alert.
- Homing Beacon: A homing beacon in the power ring can lead one Green Lantern to another. This was one of the recent power ring upgrade features added by the Guardians of the Universe. The power ring can be ordered to disguise itself to elude power ring wielding trackers. Most often ring wielders will allow the beacon to signal their location to others. The Green Lantern Corps of Earth found the remnants of the Green Lantern Corps of The Klyminade by tracking them through their power rings.
- Mind Alteration: Though the ethics of mind tampering may be debatable, sometimes it is necessary. As the power ring relies on thought and will to operate, mind tampering is not impossible. The difficulty lies in properly applying the power. There lies a risk of catastrophic damage to the mind should mistakes be made. A ring wielder can use the power ring to erase portions of an individual's memories. They are taught to build mental defenses to protect themselves from psionic attack. The power ring can also be used to beam information from the ring wielder to another being. Green Lanterns have used this technique to share information regarding their enemies during combat situations.
- Pocket Dimension: Within the ring exists the possibility of an entire world. When Green Lanternof Ungara defeated the evil sorcerer Myrwhydden, he reduced the magician to submicroscopic size and imprisoned him inside the power ring, into a world created by the Green Lantern's will. This undefined space may be a tesseract or a virtual reality created by the power ring. Whether or not this area exists in all rings has yet to be proven. Years after Abin Sur's death, Myrwhydden's power grew, allowing him to alter his environment and escape to battle the next Green Lantern, . The power ring's interior appeared as a barren wasteland, dotted with dead trees and sea shells which Myrwhydden used during an escape attempt.
- Security Protocol: The rings can be programmed. They are coded to the wearer to make them unusable if stolen. The ring will refuse to take an action that would kill a being unless they are on Oa or with permission. Therecently removed the lethal force prohibition, first to allow lethal force against members of the , then against all enemies of the Green Lantern Corps.
- Preset Conditions: Commands can be stored in the ring to be executed at a later date, even if the bearer is not wearing the ring.
- Thought Relay: Otherwise known as a telepathic link.
- Hope Symbiosis: When in the presence of a, a Green Lantern Power Ring gains a power boost, as well as allowing the Blue Lantern to fully utilize his or her powers.
- Compassion Absorption: Similar to other lanterns natural "purge" of certain Power Rings, the Green Lanterns' Power Ring has the ability to absorb energy of Indigo Lantern's. This is made possible by their natural weakness found in Will Subversion.
- Skill Magnification: Any skills held by a particular user can be augmented by the ring. A trained doctor would have greater healing capacities, an architect can create constructs with greater integrity, a warrior creates weapons with greater damage dealing capacity, an artist could create constructs whose abilities simply defy what would normally be known to be possible due to their heightened imagination.
This list is not all inclusive of the powers of the other Lightsmith colors who may have individual limitations or heightened powers depending on the emotional color their power has dominion over. This list is based primarily in the Green Lantern's ring powers.
Mjolnir: the Hammer of Thor
Unlike the Oan Power rings, the Hammer Mjolnir is unique to Thor and designed around his physical abilities as a god of war and storm. While his hammer possesses many of the same abilities as the Oan Power ring (how strange) the focus of Mjolnir is dealing damage, protecting Thor and killing his enemies.
Mjolnir has had an amazing number of powers, some of which could not be manifested without Thor or another god-like being using the hammer. One of its primary powers prevents it from being used by anyone else who isn't worthy…
- Worthiness Enchantment: This enchantment surrounding Mjölnir prevents it from being wielded by anyone save those who have been found worthy. Thus far, this includes Thor, the Red Norvell, Buri, Bor Odin, Beta Ray Bill, and Captain America. To anyone else, Mjölnir cannot be lifted from the ground nor wrested from Thor’s grip. Those who are deemed worthy are able to wield Thor's powers.
One of the features which makes Mjolnir an even more terrifying weapon is its ability to return to Thor when thrown.
- Mystical Link: Mjölnir obeys Thor’s commands as though it were alive, and if Thor’s will is strong enough, the hammer can pass through nearly any barrier to reach him should he so choose; Mjölnir will even carve its way through the very center of entire planets to get back to Thor.
Mjolnir's greatest power is its ability to create alter weather and manipulate the environment around the God of Thunder
- : Wielding Mjölnir grants Thor the ability to control the base elements of a storm, i.e. rain, wind, thunder, lightning and more. He can create giant raging electrical storms complete with thunder, lightning, hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, blizzards, tidal waves, exploding volcanoes, earthquakes and torrential rains across entire planets at a moment's notice. He can also create any of these phenomena individually. Another aspect of this power allows him to stop any of these weather conditions instantly as well. Thor can create storms on a planetary wide scale or larger if needed, and is not limited to the normal limits of Mother Nature and can go beyond and defy what natural weather can do such as creating rain in space where there is no atmosphere. Thor's ability to control and create storms extends to any and all storms as he has been shown to control and create raging temporal storms in time, create Solar Flares, powerful stellar winds in space and so on.
- Flight: Thor is capable of hurling Mjölnir with great force and, by holding onto the leather thong, is capable of flying through the air at tremendous speeds. While in an Earth-like atmosphere, Thor generally flies at roughly the speed of sound, roughly 770 miles per hour. Thor can fly so fast that he is invisible to the naked eye. He has been clocked flying at three times the speed of light, and is capable of achieving speeds far greater than that. He can perform complicated maneuvers in the air, and change course in mid-flight at the speed of thought. He can use the winds to hover and has shown the ability to fly without the aid of Mjölnir.
- Energy Projection: With Mjölnir, Thor can project powerful mystical blasts of energy. He can even channel his personal life force energies for stronger energy attacks including his God Blast, the Anti-Force and his planet-destroying Thermo-Blast. These projections of his personal energies are so powerful they have destroyed planets and even routed the mighty Galactus. But the use of these energies are so powerful and life draining Thor could actually die if he uses these powers indiscriminately. Thor will rarely use these powers on Earth due to their potential for cataclysmic destruction.
- Barriers: With Mjölnir, Thor is capable of creating powerful barriers, force fields and vortexes that are impenetrable. Not even Earth's most advanced weapons could weaken Thor's barrier field that shielded the U.N. headquarters. Thor stated that he could have contained a cosmic flash attack from Stellaris, this blast was strong enough to destroy the planet Earth.
- Energy Sensing: Mjölnir can detect practically all types of energy. It reacts particularly strongly to evil psychic energy, and supernatural energy.
- Energy Absorption and Redirection: Thor is able to use Mjölnir to absorb any energy blasts directed towards him as means of attack. Once the energy is absorbed, Thor can redirect it back amplified many times over towards the source and/or use it as a weapon of his own.
- Teleportation: By grasping Mjölnir by the leather thong and rapidly swirling it, Thor can channel energies for the purpose of opening gateways through means of a vortex and in this vortex time has no meaning, which means he and others can pass through it to their destinations instantaneously.
- Matter Manipulation: By spinning Mjölnir in a precise manner at cyclotronic speeds, Thor can manipulate matter from a molecular level to a vast scale, which allows him to create other configurations and even allows him to transmute the elements themselves.
Due to Thor's very long history, he has exhibited powers he rarely uses or in some cases, only used once. The limited nature of the use of these powers likely means they are very difficult or take a great deal of his personal power to perform or were used primarily as plot devices and haven't been used since.
- Resurrection: While channeling his power through Mjölnir, Thor was able to resurrect a man he had wrongly killed.
- Negation of Mystic Energy: He used this ability on thehimself to negate the mystical energies that grant him his mystical invulnerability, allowing him to defeat Juggernaut in combat. He was able to stop Mephisto from taking human souls to the Dark Dimension.
- Cosmic Energy: Mjölnir allows Thor to produce and control Cosmic Energy to an unknown limit for a variety of purposes.
- Invisibility and Intangibility: Thor can turn himself or others, using Mjölnir, completely intangible and/or invisible. An offshoot of this ability is that Thor can use Mjölnir to completely disrupt the phasing abilities of super humans such as the Vision, Shadowcat etc.
- Event Recall: Thor can use Mjölnir to recall past events.
- Transmigration of Souls: Thor's hammer has the ability to manipulate souls.
- Life Force Absorption: Thor used this ability on the super villain the, who was forced to surrender to prevent himself from being reduced to a lifeless husk.
- Illusion Detection: Mjölnir can distinguish images, holograms, and different illusions from reality: Thor once commanded the hammer to strike the demon lord Mephisto, who was hiding among false images of himself.
- Interdimensional Messaging: Thor can used Mjölnir to send psychic messages between the nine realms.
- Undead Lethality: As a former religious relic, Mjölnir is lethal to undead. Thor once threw Mjölnir at a vampire, with contact causing the vampire to burst into flame and crumble to dust.
- Transformation: When Thor was living on Earth under his mortal guise, he could use Mjölnir to transfer from his Donald Blake persona into Thor and vice versa. Thor loses this ability when Odin permanently separates the two personas.
- Immunity to Other Forces: Even without activating the powers of Mjölnir, Thor's hammer, enchanted by Odin, is impervious to nearly all forms of change, as he himself claimed that no power in the universe but the All-Father's could affect Mjölnir, shown when Amora's magical efforts during her first confrontation with Thor to change it into a deadly serpent availed her naught.
- / : Mjölnir can bend space and time and allow itself and its holder to travel through time. Mjölnir lost this ability when Thor was convinced by to remove it to help the planet , which was trapped in . This was later revealed to be a hoax by Immortus to deprive the of their main means of time travel. In spite of this, Mjölnir is still capable of manipulating time.
- : Thanks to the Allspeak, the wielder of Mjölnir can communicate and be understood by all races.
Which weapon/tool is the best?
Which of these weapons is the best? I think it depends on what you want to accomplish:
- If I wanted to investigate the unknown, protect an entire galaxy of independent worlds, communicate with alien lifeforms, then I think the DC Universe's most powerful omni-tool is the device best suited for this.
- When things go wrong, it can go from scientific/diplomatic tool into a weapon of phenomenal destructive capability depending on the user of that tool and their predisposition.
- The benefit of the Green Lantern Corp is there are 7,200 such wielders of said weapon at any one time, an army whose powers are rarely capable of being matched should those powers be leveled in any singular enemy's direction.
- If I need someone to do something deemed impossible under almost any other circumstance, I find a Green Lantern, the impossible is part of their every day working experience.
On the other hand
- If I needed to repel a destructive enemy whose powers dwarf everything in my known universe, whose destructive capacity has no equal, the ability to destroy planets, stars and perhaps entire galaxies, then Mjolnir and the very unique child of Gaea and Odin wielding said weapon is the only choice.
- A warrior who has been blooded against the most powerful forces in the Marvel Universe, the abstract entities, Magog, the Mad Titan, Thanos, Ego, the Living World, and the mighty Celestials, a being who doesn't know the meaning of quitting and rarely ever tasted defeat, Thor Odinson and the mystic warhammer, Mjolnir.
Green Lantern Wikia: