Beta Ray Bill is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appears in Thor #337 (November 1983) and was created by writer-artist Walt Simonson.
Debuting in the Bronze Age of Comic Books, the character was initially intended to be a surprise as an apparent monster who unexpectedly proves to be a great hero. As such, Bill becomes the first being outside of the Marvel Universe's Norse pantheon to be deemed worthy enough to wield Thor Odinson's hammer, Mjolnir. After an initial rivalry for possession of the weapon, the alien warrior was granted a war hammer of his own, called Stormbreaker, and the two reconciled as staunch allies.
Beta Ray Bill has been featured in other Marvel-endorsed products such as animated television series, video games, and merchandise such as action figures and trading cards. He was voiced by Paul Dobson in the animated DVD film Planet Hulk.
The homeworld of the Korbinites was destroyed through the machinations of Surtur and his Fire Demons . The surviving Korbinites decided to choose a champion that would protect them during their journey to a new galaxy. That champion, known as Beta Ray Bill, was successful and was transformed into a cybernetic being resembling a fierce creature from their homeworld. The Korbinites then massed their fleet, put themselves into stasis, and followed Bill's ship, Skuttlebutt. Bill fought a legion of demons sent by Surtur.
As the fleet approached the Milky Way galaxy, it was detected by a SHIELD satellite. Nick Fury asked the mighty Thor to investigate. Thor was deemed a threat by Skuttlebutt, so Bill attacked him. During the short battle Thor was separated from his hammer, Mjolnir, and when he reverted to Donald Blake, Bill knocked him out. Curious, Bill picked up the hammer and gained the powers of Thor. Skuttlebutt landed on Earth, but Odin summoned Thor and Bill to Asgard to resolve the problem.
Bill claimed Mjolnir as spoils of battle. Odin decreed that the two would battle to the death in Skartheim for the right to keep the hammer. Bill's super Korbinite physiology gave him an advantage in the lava-filled realm and so he won again - it was later revealed that Odin gave Bill the advantage on purpose, so he could defeat the weakened Thor. However, he refused to take Thor's life. Odin may have chosen that arena to further test Bill's worthiness and to teach Thor a lesson; regardless, he returned Mjolnirr to Thor and had a new hammer made of Uru metal , Stormbreaker, forged for Bill.
In the following months after he was given his hammer Stormbreaker, Bill continued to protect his people, and he assisted the Asgardians as well. He grew particularly close to Sif, who accompanied him to battle Surtur's demons.
Powers and abilities
Beta Ray Bill has powers and physical attributes similar to Thor's, which augment his already powerful cyborg body. He possesses incalculable strength, nearly invulnerability, immune to disease, and virtually immortal.
- Transformation: By tapping his enchanted hammer Stormbreaker on the ground, he is transformed from his Beta Ray Thor form to his original Korbinite form. For his Korbinite body, it is transformed into a cane. He can transform back into his Beta Ray Thor form by tapping his cane upon the ground or when he was in the body of Simon Walters, by pounding his fist on the ground.
- Superhuman Strength: Bill is phenomenally strong. He was capable of matching Thor punch per punch in their first encounter as foes to a certain extent. Bill has claimed to possess enough strength to crush entire moons with his fists, and to shatter entire planets with the force of his blows with Stormbreaker. His strenght level is over 1000 tons.
- Superhuman Speed: He is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than even the finest human athlete. With Stormbreaker, he can fly at speeds faster than mach 50.
- Superhuman Stamina: Bill has superhuman stamina which can allow him to function at full capacity for many days at a time without tiring at the very least. In hot environments, his stamina is near limitless.
- Superhumanly Dense Tissue: As a Korbinite his skin, muscle, and bone tissues had 3 times the density than the same tissue of a human being. This contributed, to his superhuman weight. He is immune to penetration wounds, tremendous impacts, and falls from great heights.
- Superhuman Durability: Bill's body is far more resistant to physical injury than the body of an ordinary human. He is capable of withstanding great impact forces, temperature and pressure extremes, surviving in the heart of a Sun with little discomfort, and even survive at point blank range, powerful energy blasts capable of destroying entire planets with only a few physical injuries.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: If injured, his body can heal itself with superhuman levels of speed and efficiency. However, he cannot regenerate missing limbs or organs.
- Extended Longevity: In his cyborg body, he is immune to the effects of aging making him effectively immortal. When he was in the body of Simon Walters, he was the same as a mortal.
- Stormbreaker: A mystical Uru hammer similar to Mjolnir. Bill can use it to fly, manipulate weather, absorb and channel various energies, teleport, sense various energies and shoot the devastating God Blast beam.