When the mighty Thor made his first appearance in a Marvel comic book, over 55 years ago, he had a mild-mannered alter ego like most of the other superheroes. In the movies, the thunder god is solely a displaced resident of Asgard, but in print he used to spend his days toiling as a surgeon named Dr. Donald Blake.
Recently, some Australian surgeons have brought Thor back into the OR. According to the website Courses.com.au, physicians at Wagga Wagga Rural Referral Hospital — located in New South Wales, Australia — have been employing a surgical hammer modeled after Mjolnir, the vaunted weapon of Thor.
The prototype hammer was crafted out of surgical steel by an Australian biomedical engineering company.
“The surgeons had requested we design and manufacture a medical grade hammer of increased weight as this increases the surgeons’ dexterity within the operation,” James Keevy, a member of the biomedical company’s team, explained to the website. “We came to the idea of crafting our own surgical Mjolnirs as a way of demonstrating the unique ability to develop purpose-built surgical instrument.”
Although Wagga Wagga surgeons were deemed worthy to wield the hammer in orthopedic procedures, there are no current plans to further commercialize the device.