Since Thor’s mighty hammer Mjolnir was crushed by his not so loving sister Hela in Thor: Ragnarok, it was speculated that Thor would jump into the battle with Thanos without any weapon other than his newly discovered lightning powers and will. However, if you are a Marvel Comics fan, then you might have been able to guess that Thor would be wielding Jarnbjorn, which his comic book counterpart had wielded in The Unworthy Thor.
No matter what, you would have been wrong.
Thor doesn’t jump into Avengers: Infinity War with a new weapon straightaway. In fact, most of his story arc is about how he visits Nidavellir where assisted by a few Guardians of the Galaxy members; he is able to discover his new weapon called Stormbreaker. However, you might wonder what is Stormbreaker and what kind of powers it gives to Thor?
In the comic books, an alien called Beta Ray Bill was provided a weapon of his choice after he defeated Thor in battle and displayed true respect. Odin tasked the dwarves from Nidavellir create a new Uru hammer for Bill. It works pretty much like Mjolnir and has various identical powers. The only major difference was visual. Stormbreaker turned out to be a huge, rounded mallet mostly, but, had a short and sharp edge at the back of its head.
It has undergone several visual changes, but, it always resembled something similar to the original. For a while, it became more similar to an ax when Beta Ray Bill was given the power cosmic in Cosmic Powers Unlimited #5 (written by Greg Wright and illustrated by Scot Eaton, Don Hudson, and Paul Becton). It also changed shape during the Secret Invasion when the shape-shifting Skrulls managed to break Stormbreaker into two so that it could be wielded by a Super-Skrull.
Taking into account the tiny Beta Ray Bill Easter egg seen in Thor: Ragnarok (where his face was visible on the Grandmaster’s arena), a number of fans expected the character to be a part of Avengers: Infinity War, carrying his signature weapon. That didn’t happen. Rather, Thor’s new weapon as seen in the movie has nothing similar to its comic book version other than the name.
After smacking into the ship of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor is accompanied by Groot and Rocket to visit the home of the dwarves, Nidavellir. As explained by Thor, the dwarves had made Mjolnir; thus, Nidavellir was the best place to get a new weapon that could have killed Thanos. When they reach the planet, they find a deserted, dead star in place of the dwarves and a smoldering forge. Inside it, they spot a cast of Thanos’ Gauntlet and the solitary dwarf king Eitri, who was maimed and devoid of any hope after witnessing the massacre of his people by Thanos. Jointly, they help Eitri create a mighty ax: Stormbreaker.
Thor and Rocket reignite the forge, although doing that put Thor’s life in great danger, but, it was necessary so that Eitri could melt the mystical metal and forge the ax head. Just when Thor collapses and goes crashing down the edges of the dwarf planet, the ax head was completed and the only thing needed was a handle. Eitri searches around in panic as Thor lies sprawled on the floor, dying. That’s when Groot offers a piece of his body to create the handle and complete the Stormbreaker.
Overall, Thor’s new weapon appears to do what the Mjolnir did as witnessed when Thor swung it around and used it to channel the lightning in the battle against Thanos’ armies in Wakanda, and the axe is also capable of transporting Thor and his allies from one place to another with a bright, mighty beam, similar to what the Bifrost Bridge used to do before it went down with Asgard.
Stormbreaker also seems to be deadlier than Mjolnir as see towards the end of the Avengers: Infinity War. We are sure it will once again be used in battle in Avengers 4 when the surviving heroes confront the aftermath of Thanos’ deadly finger-snap.