From black-hole grenades to the prototype for a new shield for Captain America, Spider-Man: Homecoming was chock-full of the coolest Easter Eggs. But there's one that took fans by surprise: An intriguing reference to Thor's magic belt. It's the first time we've heard mention of a magic belt in the MCU, so what is this and what does it mean?
The Legend Of Megingjord
We all know Thor as the bearer of the enchanted hammer Mjolnir, but in Norse legend he actually had three main possessions. According to the Old Norse work of literature Prose Edda, Thor would always wear the iron gloves Járngreipr, which allowed him to handle his powerful hammer. Equally intriguing, though, is his "magic belt," Megingjörð. When worn, this powerful accessory doubles Thor's already prodigious strength.
In 1963 Marvel Comics introduced its version of Megingjord in Journey into Mystery, Issue 91, where we learned this item was a mystical belt held in storage by Odin when it wasn't in use by the God of Thunder. The belt has cropped up now and again over the years, most notably when Odin tricked Red Norvell into using it to lift Mjolnir as part of his plan to avert Ragnarok.
Since then, we've not had any mention of Megingjord in the MCU. Now, however, it's officially part of the movie canon!
Joining The Dots
This may be the first time we've had mention of Megingjord in the Mcu, but we've seen something similar in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Back in Season 1, episode "The Well" — a tie-in with Thor: The Dark World — we were introduced to the Berserker Staff. These were the weapons of the Asgard's Berserker Army. Any soldier who touches a Berserker Staff would receive an adrenaline rush of super strength fueled by the wielder's inner rage and hatred. A typical Asgardian's strength could be multiplied by up to 20 times, but at the risk of losing all self-control.
As awesome as the Berserker Staffs may seem, there's no way that particular enchantment could be safely used with the more formidable Asgardians, such as Thor, so it makes perfect sense that Odin would seek safer enchantments in order to strengthen his son. In the case of Megingjord, Odin found a powerful tool that would double even the strength of the mighty Thor, without the negative impacts.
Let's face it, this is probably the most unexpected Spider man homecoming Easter Egg of all — a reference steeped in Norse mythology, adding another mystical weapon to Thor's already impressive arsenal. I can't help finding it farcical that Thor left the belt on Earth, not reckoning that he was heading back to Asgard to face Ragnarok.
That said, there's real humor in Tony Stark keeping the belt at Avengers Tower. We can presume he did his level best to work out how to reverse engineer the belt, presumably with little success. After all, the magic of the Mcu may be rooted in science, but it's still beyond Tony Stark!
We'll next see Thor in Thor: Ragnarok, which opens November 3.