The Destroyer was an enchanted suit of armor in humanoid form which, when animated by the life force of a sentient being, exercised immense powers which made it virtually invincible. It was composed of an unknown metal of Asgardian origin and was enchanted by Odin so that its metal was harder even than adamantium or uru and was therefore almost totally indestructible. Ordinarily the Destroyer stood at a height of 6 1/2 feet and weighed 850 pounds; however, when animated by the life force of all the gods of Asgard, the Destroyer grew to a height of 2000 feet. No one could physically wear the armor of the Destroyer; the Destroyer's armor could be disassembled by no known means. Rather, one projected one's life force into the Destroyer's form, leaving his or her own body in a state of entranced paralysis. Usually, the transfer of life force was achieved when a willing subject stood within arm's length of the Destroyer. Masters of mystical powers, such as Odin or Loki, could accomplish the transfer over great distances. The Destroyer was mystically "programmed" to battle and to destroy. Usually, a human or Asgardian who projected his or her life force into the Destroyer was best able to control it if he or she was using to for destructive ends. A human or Asgardian who had no clear purpose in mind, or who attempted to use the Destroyer for peaceful ends, would inevitably lose control of it. That person's or god's life force would then remain entrapped within the Destroyer, helpless to control its actions as its destructive "programming" took over. Worse, if the human or Asgardian unwillingly had his or her life force projected into the Destroyer by a mystical spell, his or her personality would take on the destructive urges of the Destroyer. Only by a tremendous act of will could the human or Asgardian manage to reassert his or her personality and thus take control of the Destroyer under such a circumstance. The only being who projected his life force into the Destroyer and was fully capable of controlling it from within under all circumstances was Odin, who is the leader of the gods of Asgard, and who had the Destroyer constructed. When animated, the Destroyer remains psychically linked to the body of the person whose life force it contained, thereby preventing that body from dying. The body of the person in mental possession of the Destroyer, therefore, was the Destroyer's sole weakness. A sufficiently powerful spell directed towards the mind of that person could reverse the transferal of life force, causing the Destroyer to become inanimate. The limits of the Destroyer's super-humanoid physical strength were never measured. Because the Destroyer was not itself a living being, it was not affected by Odin's spell that prevented anyone except Thor from lifting his hammer. The Destroyer projected bolts of an unknown form of energy which could shatter any known substance, including uru, the Asgardian metal from which Thor's hammer was made. The Destroyer could project magnetic energy and flames which reached solar levels of heat. It could transmute and rearrange atoms and molecules so as to change one form of matter into another. It could also alter the density of matter, and convert solid matter to liquid or vice versa. The Destroyer's most formidable weapon was its disintegrator beam, which could annihilate anything. To disintegrate something, the Destroyer would lower its visor; the destructive energy would build atop the visor and then fire outward from it.
The Destroyer was created roughly a thousand years ago by the greatest Asgardian craftsmen on order of Odin, lord of Asgard, to battle the enormous alien Celestials. The Celestials had conducted genetic experimentation on what would become humanity. They intended to return in a millennium, when superhumanly powered beings would have begun emerging in large numbers on Earth, to begin their judgment of the human race. Odin and Earth's other gods were determined to prevent the Celestials from destroying Earth, but the Celestials had demonstrated that even the powers of one of their number far exceeded those of Earth's gods. 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. Loki caused Franklin's life force to enter the Destroyer, and it battled Thor within the temple. However, by pretending to endanger Franklin's inert body, Thor bluffed Franklin's consciousness into returning to Franklin's form. Thor then demolished the temple, burying the Destroyer within it, and rescuing 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 goddess Sif in a plot by Loki and Karnilla the Norn Queen, and by Professor Clement Holmes who "entered" the Destroyer by accident. Thor, oblivious of his father's plan for the Destroyer, gave the construct to Galactus for use as his herald. Loki later stole it from Galactus for a ruse in another scheme against Thor, with Balder as the animating persons. By this time the Fourth Host had arrived, 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 this vast collective consciousness into the Destroyer. The Destroyer grew to enormous size, and, wielding the enormous Odinsword, 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. Then the Celestials fired bolts of energy in unison at the Destroyer, which reduced it to a slag of molten metal, and set adrift the life forces of all the Asgardians. Arishem, the leader of the Celestials on Earth, then melted the Odinsword into nothingness. Gaea, the elder Earth goddess, persuaded the Celestials to deliver a favorable judgment on Earth by presenting them with twelve noble young humans who had evolved into "godhood," as examples of what humanity was becoming. By gathering mystic force from Earth's other pantheons of gods, Thor was able to resurrect Odin, who in turn revived the other Asgardians.
After the death goddess Hela cursed Thor to be unable to heal or die, Loki tricked the giant Siggorth into walking upon the Destroyer's slagged remains, restoring the armor with Siggorth as its host. The Destroyer slew Siggorth's fellow giants, then turned its attentions to Thor, unleashing its disintegration beam. Loki hoped the Destroyer would leave Thor in perpetual torment because of Thor's inability to die and the Destroyer's compulsion to destroy, but the Destroyer recognized its situation and, noting in the past its hosts' mortality had been a vulnerability, it decided to make Thor its new host; the Destroyer slew Siggorth as it began to absorb Thor's life force, but within the psychic plane that controlled the armor, Thor fought and beat the Destroyer for control of its form. As the Destroyer, Thor journeyed to Hel and tricked Hela into thinking he had lost control over the armor and would destroy her realm. Panicking, Hela removed her curses and restored Thor's body to health; Thor returned to his body and left the Destroyer in Hel.
Hela kept the Destroyer frozen in a block of crystal until the deceased goddess Lorelei's spirit animated it, waging a one-person assault on Hel and flinging Hela into the crystal block. When Balder and Sif came to Hel in search of then-exiled Thor, they battled the Destroyer and set Hela free; Hela cast the Destroyer into the dimension of the demonic Great Beasts, longtime enemies of the Inua ("Eskimo") gods. After Loki's wife Sigyn conjured a being that claimed to be Thor's previous mortal identity Donald Blake, it confronted Thor. Hoping to make Thor kill the seeming Blake, Hela retrieved the Destroyer and drove Lorelei from it, then placed her guard dog Garm and the seeming Donald Blake within the armor at once, sending it to attack Thor. However, Thor realized the trap and with the aid of his friend Thunderstrike (Eric Masterson) pummeled the Destroyer into defeat while the false Blake wrestled with Garm for control of the armor and finally drove both their spirits out.
The Destroyer was next found by the Maestro, an alternate reality (Earth-9200) counterpart of the Hulk (Bruce Banner). The Maestro animated the armor and led an army of trolls to attack the Hulk, but because the Hulk and Maestro were the same man it began to draw the Hulk within its consciousness, causing the two to wrestle for control. As the Destroyer was preparing its disintegration ray, the Hulk willed it to close its visor and the energy feedback forced the Maestro's spirit from the armor. The Destroyer subsequently fell into the hands of the US Army and Colonel Preston Case inadvertently animated it; overcome by the Destroyer, Case went on a rampage, battling the Avengers. The armor played into Case's worst fantasies, enabling him to retain control over it as he unleashed destruction. Thor finally sent the Destroyer through a dimensional vortex into an uninhabited dimension. After the Dark Gods of Narcisson conquered and imprisoned the Asgardian gods, however, Thor retrieved the Destroyer and recruited him on a rescue mission, promising to restore Case to his body in exchange for his aid; Case wielded the Destroyer against the Dark Gods alongside Thor and Hercules. With the Dark Gods' defeat, Odin returned Case's spirit to his body.
Loki and Karnilla next obtained the Destroyer and tricked Thor's ally Tarene (aka Thor Girl) into animating the Destroyer, wielding the armor against Thor. However, Odin eventually intervened and restored Tarene to normal. After the Asgardians endured Ragnarok and were reborn into mortal bodies, Loki caused Balder's spirit to take up residence within the Destroyer and collect the other transformed gods for him. Thor finally battle the Destroyer and drove Balder back into his body, once again rendering the Destroyer inert. Dr. Victor von Doom soon fashioned a suit of uru armor for himself using Asgardian technology which duplicated the Destroyer's designs and some of its capabilities. The geneticist known as the High Evolutionary later absconded with the Destroyer, employing the alchemist Esteban Diablo to help him tap into the Earthly pantheons powers. However, Diablo wanted the power for himself and used the Destroyer as a conduit for the multi-pantheon energies. Thor and Iron Man (Tony Stark) combined their powers to force Diablo from the Destroyer, leaving it inert.
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- The Destroyer's superhuman strength is beyond normal reckoning, lifting in excess of 100 tons.
- It can also fly at Mach 32 and its uru form is nearly indestructible.
- The Destroyer has the ability to project immensely powerful bolts of energy, magnetism, heat, and concussive force; molecular transmutation of matter; disintegrate beam capable of destroying virtually anything.
- Supremely skilled in combat using its specialized powers.
- When animated, the Destroyer is compelled to eradicate everything it sees and can only be haled if its host possesses exceptionally strong willpower.
- A mystic spell directed toward the mind of the person animating the Destroyer can reverse the transferal of life-force, rendering the Destroyer inanimate. The power of the Celestials is sufficient to destroy the Destroyer.
- The Destroyer utilized the Odinsword.
- The above statistics apply to the Destroyer in its normal mode. When animated by the combined life-forces of Odin and all the Asgardians, the Destroyer grew to a height of 2000' and became proportionately powerful.
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