Title: Thunder Over Musutafu
Disclaimer: With a myriad of writers, artists, and editors, actual rights are a nightmare when you go near a comic book universe. Suffice it to say that Marvel Entertainment LLC owns all of the property printed in their comics, along with the television and movie adaptations of said same property. Compared to that, the ownership of My Hero Academia is relatively simple: the entire thing belongs to Kōhei Horikoshi. Not mine, don't sue, and so forth and so on.
Summary: "Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor."
Joe's Note: To be honest, given how many stories cross some form of Marvel's intellectual property with My Hero Academia but how few do so without using either Spider-Man/symbiotes or Iron Man, I was initially excited to see The Almighty Deku by burgerkingpolicedepartment vault its way to the top of the latest page. It was definitely interesting but not quite what I was hoping for. Which really sucks because I fucking love Thor. I love Norse mythology. I love Marvel's additions and reinterpretations of classic Norse myths and characters. And so I decided to try my hand at my own story, building off the - relatively - cleaner world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to create a 'Midoriya with Mjölnir' story. There will obviously be similarities between the two in the early chapters, if for no other reason than that there are only so many ways you can tweak canon to put Thor's powers in Izuku's unsteady hands. It will rather quickly go its own way, though, and hopefully be something worth reading overall.
Dedications & Thanks: To Nicholas, Howard, Jade, Alexander, Tibor, Alonsis2, Daniel, Clark, Adrien, erlking, ridillin, Haematite, Charles, Jacky, Edward, Andrew, Roofcrawler, Wil, PbookR, Samuel, Mikey, Beverly, Daniel, Charles, Crygon20, Subtle, Christopher, Stephen, Fablesrogue, Morgan, Joseph, Jason, RileyWestfall, bloodylord, Marc, Ziryo, Chris, George, Koby, William, Devin, JJbelle, David, Gavin, TheTenthAncestor, Lookshy, Mauday, John, Roman, Warren, and Jess for sponsoring me on Patre0n, and making it easier for me to spend more of my time writing.
Not all men are created equal. That inviolable truth had governed Midoriya Izuku's life from an early age. For he was just a simple, normal boy living in a world dominated by the superhuman... a world that he eagerly longed to be a part of but life had decided to cruelly exclude him from.
It had all begun a few years after what society had later coined the 'Blip': the use of the Infinity Gauntlet to restore the half of the world's population that had been cruelly disintegrated five years prior in an event known as the 'Snap'. But when the reality-altering energies of the Infinity Gauntlet had washed over the world a second time... and then a third a short time later, restoring the lost members of the world's population and then wiping the greatest threat to humanity from existence? Something happened. Whether humanity came back from the void different or the energies emitted by the Infinity Stones had somehow intrinsically changed the population, even the best scientists in the world had never be able to determine with any certainty. But there was something unquestionably different about the world in the aftermath of the Blip.
It began in Qing Qing, China, where a boy was born with the ability to make his entire body glow. He was immediately declared a modern medical marvel, studied by scientists far and wide... until the miraculous happened again a few months later and an infant was discovered who could levitate his own bottles and toys. And then it happened a third time, and a fourth, and then again and again and again, a superhuman generation slowly rising out of the seemingly unremarkable mass of humanity as a whole and reaching their hands toward the sun.
Within the first century of this new status quo, over half of the population had what became known as a "meta ability" and then soon after a "quirk", with a disproportionate number of the minority being concentrated in the older generations. With each generation that followed, the numbers shifted even further, until over eighty percent of the population was 'quirked' and 'quirkless' children were a rare medical curiosity. An evolutionary throwback, according to many, possessing a vestigial second joint in the small toe to go with their lack of quirk. Nearly every child was born with some sort of quirk, ranging from the mundane to the fantastic, and it became common for children to grow up without knowing or even meeting someone without a quirk.
In this world, the extraordinary became ordinary and the power previously afforded to a privileged few became the reality for people everywhere. And with the rise of more common superhuman abilities came the advent of routine superhuman crime... and then came the superheroes to combat them. SHIELD, SWORD, and the self-proclaimed 'Earth's Mightiest Heroes' were quickly overwhelmed by the tide of criminals trying to make their own way with their new powers, forcing individual governments to codify new laws on the use of quirks... and a mechanism to combat those who refused to obey them. The Avengers were quickly relegated to planetary-level threats as across the globe, a whole new generation of heroes rose to prominence. Laws and regulations were put into place, governing what people could and couldn't do with their newfound powers. Specialized schools began pushing out class after class of fair and just heroes who used their powers to bring an end to the chaos and confusion.
But even as humanity took step after stumbling step into a new era of superhumanly powerful beings, a once great people settled into an isolated corner of Earth to live out their remaining days in peace. Tønsberg, Norway became the new home of several thousand Asgardians who survived the destruction of their homeworld. Their numbers doubled in the wake of the Blip but they remained humble, content to allow humanity to chart its own path into the future. Their days of glory had passed, their homeworld was gone, and they were happy to just... exist, integrating as best they could into the strange new world that they found themselves on.
It was into this world that Izuku was born. Diagnosed at the age of four as one of the few remaining 'quirkless' children in existence, his dreams of being a superhero were cruelly cut down before he even had a chance to try and achieve them. Bullied and belittled by his peers, dismissed out of hand and condescended to by adults. For as much as he dreamed of being a hero like his idol All Might, saving one and all with a smile on his face, according to everyone around him... he couldn't.
Until one day when the unexpected intersection of two outliers of Earth's population meant that he could.
Midoriya Izuku slowly trudged his way home from Aldera Junior High School, half-heartedly flipping through the charred and water-smudged pages of 'Hero Analysis for the Future Volume 13'. Thankfully Kacchan had damaged but not destroyed his notebook during his outburst. The thought of losing so many months of hard work and detailed notes made Izuku want to vomit. He had plenty of spare Kukuyo notebooks waiting for him at home, though. It would take some time and effort, but he could transfer everything to a new, dry, unburnt replacement. And then he would finish Volume 13 properly before continuing on to Volume 14.
And someday, he would use all the notes that he was taking all these years to help himself succeed in his quest to become the Number One hero.
He still couldn't believe how cruel Kacchan had been today, and not just in his attack against his beloved notebook. 'If you wanna be a hero that badly, there's a quick way to do it: believe that you'll be born with a quirk in your next life and take a swan dive off the roof!' While he was no stranger to being the target of awful remarks and bullying for his quirkless state - he'd been finding spider lilies on his desk on and off since his classmates were old enough to understand what they symbolized - had the blond really meant what he said? What if he'd put it down in a suicide note? That Kacchan had been the one to instigate his suicide? The arrogant blonde really needed to learn to think before he spoke; with a scandal like that to his name, he'd be lucky to get a job as a mall security guard, much less a pro hero of any real renown.
Not that he'd ever consider taking the boy's words seriously. Izuku had too much to see... too much to do... too much to prove to ever consider taking that sort of way out of his predicament. After all, there were pro heroes like the underground legend Eraserhead who essentially fought quirkless: his quirk put him on a level playing field with his opponents but all of his combat abilities came from extensive training and experience. If Eraserhead could be a hero without an offensive quirk to his name, then why couldn't Izuku? Sure, he'd probably need some top tier support gear to close the gap between his own abilities and a quirk like Eraserhead's but wasn't impossible... was it?
Heck, Eraserhead wasn't even the only one who fought crime essentially quirklessly. While details were scarce about both of the men who had served as All Might's sidekick, Izuku had been able to discover that Shield David 'only' had a quirk that altered his fingers, while Sir Nighteye had some sort of poorly understood precognition ability that he acknowledged existed but refused to talk about at any real length. Granted All Might did most of the fighting while working with either man, but both had entered the battlefield on rare occasion and managed to acquit themselves well. If a man who could 'only' see the future could successfully fight villains - and the sorts of villains that All Might crossed paths with at that - then why couldn't Izuku?
Looking up from his charred notebook to eye the shadowy underpass ahead of him, Izuku paused before taking in his surroundings. While the underpass was the fastest way for him to get home, he was in no particular hurry today - especially given how much work lay ahead of him transcribing his damaged notebook into a fresh volume when he did reach his apartment - and it just seemed so... dark and gloomy. Not the sort of thing that would do anything to improve his already lackluster mood. And so instead of pressing onward on his current path, he decided to try and buoy his already lackluster mood by taking a slightly longer - but sunnier and airier - way back to the building. After waiting a seeming eternity for the light to change so that he could cross the street, he made his way across the road and entered the barely pronounceable Endurfæðing Park.
Which he could neither pronounce properly nor spell despite his middling grasp of English. The sign featured at least one letter that wasn't standard in the Latin alphabet, and he wasn't entirely sure what to make of the weird way two of the vowels were mashed together and touching.
Technically speaking, the park was the one and only - albeit nontraditional - embassy of the Asgardians in the entire world, the sole sovereign soil that they maintained outside of the village limits of Tønsberg, Norway. Exactly one city block square, it was relatively primitive compared to the carefully cultivated parks maintained by Musutafu's city council. The grass was a different cultivar from what Izuku was used to seeing around the rest of town, and the flat stretch of ground was primarily broken up by a handful of particularly hardy looking trees that had been transplanted from Norway decades ago. The sole structure was a small golden gazebo located just to the left of the park's center point, home to a life sized statute of Thor. And then dead center in the middle of the park was a barren crater, the final resting place of Stormbreaker.
Thanks to his obsessive study of all the heroes fit to print about, both pre-quirk and current, Izuku knew as much about Stormbreaker as probably anyone in Japan who wasn't an Asgardian themselves. The second weapon of the original Thor - and the only weapon wielded by his temporary female successor - Stormbreaker had been forged by Eitri the Dwarf to replace Mjölnir after Thor's original hammer had been destroyed in a battle with a villain whose name was never made public. Significantly larger than Mjölnir and shaped more like an axe than a hammer, Stormbreaker had a winding, organic-looking handle marred by the blockish Norse runes that had been burnt into the wood. At a point in the past, one of the Asgardians who watched over the site had been kind enough to translate them for the rest of the world, seeing no harm in it.
"Whosoever holds this hammer, if they be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor."
Over a century after its arrival at its final resting place, much of the excitement surrounding Stormbreaker had faded. From sunrise to sunset, the park was always watched over by one or more of a rotating series of young Asgardians, although Izuku had learned that 'young' was a relative term when it came to the species. Sentinel duty at Endurfæðing Park was part of a rite of passage among the younger generation, according to the teenage-looking boy that Izuku had once worked up the courage to talk to, often times their first trip into the outside world that they'd been allowed to take. Every so often, someone passing through the park would try their luck with lifting Stormbreaker, obviously to no avail. And once a year, people from around the world descended on the park for 'Thor's Day', a festival dedicated to the pre-quirk 'God of Thunder' and Avenger.
What had become of the original Thor? Izuku was sure that a privileged few knew the answer to that question, but none of them were talking within hearing range of a resource that he could access.
Why had his hammer fallen to Earth when he vanished so completely? Again, Izuku was sure that someone out there knew. Whoever they were, though, they weren't talking.
Why did it land in Musutafu of all places? Again, nobody willing to share the information actually knew.
Entering the park, Izuku slowly made his way over to where Stormbreaker sat in the center of its nearly hip deep landing crater, the nearby gazebo staffed by a teenage girl a few years older than him who kept a watchful eye on the hammer. Or at least she looked to be a teenager a few years older than him. Given that Thor had looked to be in his thirties at best when well over a millennia old, Izuku was well aware that the 'girl' could quite possibly predate quirks... or maybe even superheroes as the world knew them. That nice boy he'd talked to once had been born on Asgard - had celebrated his third centennial a few years before they'd met, to be precise - and he just now looked like he should be graduating from university.
That said, she was an amazingly pretty girl, even compared to the other Asgardians who stood watch over the park. Izuku had seen her a few times before when cutting through the park on the way home: tall, with long blonde hair, green eyes a few shades lighter than his own, and generous curves. Definitely too pretty to ever give him the time of day if it wasn't required by her job, he recognized. Even her style of dress was utterly unlike what he was used to seeing around the city: a green leather dress with a string of golden ornaments hanging across her cleavage, and wide bands of green leather hanging down from her waist over a pair of black leggings emblazoned with golden rings. Looking up from the tablet she had propped up on the podium in front of her, she offered him an insincere smile before greeting him with a bored tone. "Hello. Have you come to try your luck at lifting Thor's hammer?"
Izuku reached up to rub the back of his neck as he blushed, looking from the cute girl to the hammer and back. He could do this, he told himself. He was awkward and she was exceptionally beautiful, but he could handle this... maybe? She wasn't actually trying to talk to him for personal reasons or anything, it was just like when he talked to cashiers or female teachers. "I wasn't intending to; I was just on my way home from school and decided to take a different route for a change of pace. But... I suppose it couldn't hurt anything, could it?"
"That's the spirit!" Somehow she managed to sound both encouraging and bored at the same time, like a cashier who was glad that he knew what he wanted from a fast food restaurant. Setting down her tablet on the podium in front of her, she stepped out of the gleaming gazebo and held out her hand toward him. "If you want, I can take a picture with your phone so you can show your friends what you did."
Before Izuku could stop himself, he shook his head with a self-deprecating smile. "That's okay, I don't have any friends." Awkward silence hung in the air for a moment, and then he pulled out his phone anyway and held it out to her. "But, I mean, I guess my mother would enjoy seeing this? I've come by here a few times before and even talked to one of your coworkers but I've never tried lifting the hammer. I'm a quirkless teenager, it just seemed sorta... fruitless."
Taking his phone, the girl waved dismissively. "That doesn't mean anything as long as you're worthy. After all, Jane Foster was a quirkless scientist before she took up Stormbreaker and became Thor. And Captain America was technically quirkless when he wielded both Mjölnir and Stormbreaker against Thanos and his Black Order.""
"To be fair, Captain America may have been quirkless in the literal sense but he definitely wasn't powerless. So I'm not sure I would use him as an example." Then the first half of her statement caught up with him and Izuku's eyes widened. "Are you talking about Foster Jane in the general sense or did you actually... know her? I know Asgardians age slower than the rest of us, but... how old are you? Did you know Thor? Loki? Valkyrie? Did you ever met any of the Avengers?"
"First of all, a word of advice that your mother evidently never saw fit to impart onto you? There are three things that you never ask a woman, especially one you don't know: her age, her weight, or her bra size. And I may be an Asgardian, but I'm still a woman." The girl stared at him with narrowed eyes until Izuku raised his hands in surrender, blushing fiercely. "Although to answer your other questions... we dated briefly, we're good friends, Brunnhilde and I are rivals of sorts who don't really get along, and unfortunately. Well, unfortunately for the most part. Bruce Banner was agreeable enough company. He reminded me of an old friend from Asgard. The less said about Scott and Hope Lang, the better."
Just as he was recovering from his initial chastisement, the girl's words made Izuku's eyes go wide with wonder again. "You lived on Asgard?!" That put her at easily over two hundred years old! Well, the fact that she knew Loki did as well, given that he hadn't survived to be a part of the establishment of the colony at Tønsberg. But wow. To have lived so long... the things she must have seen. The battles she could have witnessed. Izuku had so many questions.
The blonde rolled her eyes. "Yes, and now I live on this mudball, watching people try to lift my former king's hammer to no avail. Speaking of which..." Hefting his phone, she waved it back and forth. "I realize there's not exactly a line, but I would like to get this over with. I was at a particularly fascinating spot in my book."
Oh. Right. That part where she wasn't a friend, she was an employee whose time he was taking up. Caught up in his thoughts, Izuku had almost forgotten about that. Nodding, Izuku made his way over to Stormbreaker before glancing back at the girl, his eyes widening as he found her suspending his phone between two glowing discs of eldritch energy as she gestured with her hands, moving it about to get the best shot. She could do magic? Now he had even more questions! Ah! Wait! Focus! The hammer!
Reaching down, Izuku wrapped both hands around the wooden shaft of Stormbreaker and took a deep breath before pulling. Nothing. He gave a second pull and then a third for good measure before raising his hands in defeat and stepping back. "Oh well. Guess I'm still quirkless and hammerless. Would have been cool, though, wouldn't it?"
"Yeah. Cool." The girl gestured for Izuku to rest one hand on the hilt of Stormbreaker, waiting for him to follow her instructions before taking one last picture. Then his phone spun around and floated over to him, hanging there in front of him until he reached up to pluck it out of the air. "Now if you don't mind, I've got two hundred pages left to this book and only an hour until my replacement arrives."
As he tucked his phone back into his pocket, Izuku looked over at the blonde uncertainly. "I mean, if you're off in an hour... can't you finish your book then?"
"Why read on my own time when I can get paid to read?"
She had a point, he supposed.
For the next hour or so, Izuku sat on the grass near the gazebo in Endurfæðing Park drawing first Stormbreaker and then the Asgardian girl... woman... female whose name he was too cowardly to ask. The former because he'd gotten a lot better at drawing since he was eleven and had last stopped by the park with one of his notebooks in hand. The latter, he rationalized by telling himself that he needed to get better at drawing European features. Especially with Captain Celebrity and other American heroes breaking their way into the Japanese hero scene.
The fact that she was astonishingly pretty certainly didn't hurt matters any, of course.
Eventually, though, he exhausted all available entertainment in the park, including a bit that he made up on the fly. Namely, sketching what he might have looked like if he'd been able to lift Stormbreaker and become the new Thor, based on comparing the old photos of Jane Foster's Thor compared to the older published pictures of her. Eventually, though, he'd opted to move on from the park, slowly making his way down the sidewalk toward home. Checking his phone along the way, he perked up a bit at a message from his mother, and then ducked into the nearest grocery store obligingly to pick up some ingredients for dinner that evening. When he reached the apartment, he swung the door open and called out to her from the genkan as he slipped his shoes off. "Mom! I'm home!"
"In the living room, honey!" Izuku followed the sound of her voice to find his mother staring at the television with a look of concern on her face as the news played. "You made it home okay? Nothing out of the ordinary today?"
Izuku shook his head, looking from his mother to the television and back uncertainly. Why? What had he missed that her out of sorts? "No? I mean, I guess it depends on your definition of 'out of the ordinary'? I stopped by Endurfæðing Park on the way home for the first time in a while, which is why I'm late. Apart from that, it was just a normal day. Why?"
Shaking her head, Inko Midoriya rose to her feet and gently guided for him to take her spot on the couch before taking the bag of groceries from him and hustling off to the kitchen. "Well there was some sort of gigantification quirk villain this morning during rush hour, and then a sludge quirk villain of all things was seen robbing stores all through the neighborhood this afternoon. All Might went after him but the news doesn't report him capturing the villain so I'm worried that means he's still out there."
Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, Izuku did his best to keep a straight face through the mention of the gigantification quirk villain that he had most definitely watched Mount Lady defeat on his way to school. Then the latter half of his mother's explanation registered with him and Izuku perked up. "All Might? Here in Musutafu? I wonder why; his agency is Roppongi. He travels all over the country fighting crime but I never thought I'd see the day that he was in my own neighborhood!" Sitting up straighter, Izuku unzipped his backpack and pulled out his damaged notebook. "I'll have to get this copied over to a new book right away. What if I meet him? I can't possibly expect him to sign something this battered!"
Looking up from the counter, Inko shook her head fondly. "You need to take better care of your notebooks, Izuku. That's not the first time you've had to replace one that got too damaged to make it all the way to the end." Izuku bit his lip to avoid responding; his mother had no idea what sort of bullying and harassment he put up with on an ordinary day and it was going to remain that way if he had anything to say about it. She had enough to worry about and he had absolutely no desire to add to that load any. "How was the park? It's right nearby but I can't remember the last time you took the time to visit it. You're always so focused these days, sometimes I worry that you're missing out on the world around you."
Izuku considered how to respond to that for a few seconds before deciding to focus on the aspect that would please his mother the most: positive human interaction. Well, after a fashion. "I talked to a girl today!" His mother let out a gasp and he nodded eagerly. "At the park. She was watching over Stormbreaker. We talked for a while and she took some pictures of me trying to lift it."
"Oh, that's wonderful! Talking to someone new is the first step to making a new friend!" Inko leaned forward conspiratorially. "Was she pretty? What's her name?"
Blushing, Izuku racked his memory only to come up empty. Heck. He hadn't bothered to ask her what her name was before leaving, had he? He'd forgotten something that simple, but managed to insult her by directly asking her how old she was. What an idiot he was sometimes. No wonder he had no friends. So he shrugged in response. "Gazebo-san? Maybe I'll stop tomorrow and ask if she's there again. Or ask whoever's there what her name was. That might be less embarrassing than admitting that I talked to her for a while and didn't even bother to ask her name."
Inko offered him an enthusiastic thumbs up in response. "Do it! And... was she pretty?"