Odin created it to be used against the world-judging Celestials, whom he encountered over 1,000 years ago and foresaw their return, believing the Celestials would destroy humanity should they fail judgment. Odin concealed the armor within a temple he built concealed in a plateau in far-off Indochina, hoping it would be out of reach from those who would misuse it. Legend has it that the Destroyer armor would one day, be activated at the time of Ragnarok.
There it remained until recently, Odin's adopted son, Loki, seeking vengeance against Odin's true son, Thor, destroyed the plateau and arranged for Buck Franklin, a corrupt treasure hunter, to unwittingly activated the armor and battle Thor. Animated by the spirit of the hunter, the Destroyer battles the thunder god to a stand still and manages to damage the hammer Mjolnir with its energy beam. Loki is forced to intervene and stop the Destroyer when Odin threatens to kill him. Thor then buries the Destroyer under a mountain.
The Destroyer armor is briefly used again by Loki in a failed bid to usurp Odin, before being recovered by Karnilla, Queen of the Norns, and animated by Thor's companion Lady Sif, who attempted to use it to battle the villain the Wrecker when Thor was temporarily deprived of his godhood and powers. The Destroyer, however, goes rogue once again and attacks Thor, with the battle ending when Sif breaks her connection with it.
Thor later offers the armor to the World Devourer Galactus, in exchange for releasing his current Herald, Firelord. Galactus accepts, and the Destroyer acts as his Herald, detecting Counter-Earth for the entity to eat before going on to battle the Fantastic Four for the fate of the planet. The Destroyer is then finally recaptured for reuse by Loki.
When the Celestials make their return on Earth,, Thor learns the Skyfather gods (Odin, Zeus, Ra, etc.) pooled their resources a millennium before to create the Destroyer as a weapon to stop the arrival of the Fourth Host of Celestials. At the penultimate moment, Odin enters the Destroyer armor and then absorbs the life essences of all present in Asgard (with the exception of the absent Thor), growing to a height of 300 meters. The Destroyer then draws the Odinsword, and together with the Uni-Mind of the Eternals confronts the Fourth Host. The Celestials, however, dissipate the Uni-Mind and curbstomp the Destroyer armor into slag with a combined energy attack, scattering the life-forces of the Asgardians. The initiative of the Skymother goddesses led by Thor's real mother Gaea pacifies the Celestials, and Thor revives his people via Odin by using a fraction of the gathered power of the other Skyfathers.
Loki eventually finds the remains of the Destroyer and rebuilds it in a bid to destroy Thor, who has been reduced to pulp after a triumphant but destructive battle against the Midgard Serpent. The Destroyer, however, cannot kill Thor due to a curse induced by the Norse Queen of the dead, Hela which made his bones fragile and incapable of healing or dying. Thor wrests control of the armor through sheer force of will and goes on to defeat Loki. The Destroyer - depicted as thinking and speaking for the first time - tries to take back control from Thor but fails. Wearing Thor's mind and wielding his hammer Mjolnir, the Destroyer confronts Hela and forces her to restore Thor to human form.
The Destroyer is later deployed by the trolls, who empower it with the spirit of the Maestro, an evil future version of the Hulk. Unable to physically defeat the Destroyer, the Hulk enters the armor on the mental plane and banishes the Maestro. Thor has two more encounters with the Destroyer during Dan Jurgens run, with the armor being possessed by the spirit of Preston Case, a frustrated officer of the US army. Under the violent influence of the Destroyer, Case tried to vent his frustration by destroying the docks of New York before being confronted by Thor and the Avengers. Destroyer Case managed to almost kill Thor with the face plate beam, but Thor manages to save his soul from the grasp of Hela by merging with the paramedic Jake Olson and defeats the Destroyer by teleporting it to the depths of space. Later, Thor convinces the stranded Destroyer Caase to help him save Asgard from the Dark Gods in exchange of reuniting Case's spirit with his comatose body. The souless armor is eventually retrieved by Loki and merged with the god killer Desak, although Thor—powered by the Odinpowerr—decapitates it with one throw of Mjolnir and then uses the Odinpower to erase Desak from existence.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
The Destroyer armor later appeared in the live action movie Thor as a supporting antagonist. The evil God of Mischief Loki who assumed the throne of Asgard from his slumbering, adopted father Odin, activated the Destroyer from Odin's armory and sent it to Earth under his new order: eliminate Thor and anything else that gets in its way.
Powers and Abilities
The Destroyer is forged of an unknown metal and enchanted to be more durable than Uru. All of the Sky Fathers imbued the Destroyer with a portion of their power. Although the Destroyer can act independently for brief periods, in general the construct is lifeless until animated by the life-force of a sentient living being. When so animated, the Destroyer retains a rudimentary base personality that will eventually subvert the host unless that host is a particularly strong-willed individual, such as Thor or Loki. Odin is also able to cast a spell that can force the animating persona from the armor and deactivate it.
The Destroyer armor possesses vast superhuman strength of unknown limits. While inhabited by the lifeforce of a sentient being, its strength is immeasurable. It possesses enough superhuman strength to lift thousands of tons and easily overpower even the likes of Thor, Gladiator (Kallark) and Hulk. The Destroyer armor is maintained by the life force of a sentient being and is not subject to physical fatigue. While inhabited, the Destroyer literally possesses limitless superhuman stamina in all activities.
The Destroyer armor is capable of firing extremely powerful bolts of energy, primarily for destructive purposes. It has such power that the simple energy that crackles within can shatter planets. The armor can project beams of intense heat, electricity, plasma, and magnetic force. The armor is also capable of manipulating the molecular structure of most materials and matter itself for a variety of purposes including, but not limited to, transmutation such as the creation of impenetrable substances. Its most devastating weapon, however, is a devastating beam fired from the armor's helmet, where a person's face would be in an ordinary suit of armor, that is capable of disintegrating practically any known substance in existence. The Destroyer must keep its visor open in order to build up the energies to use in this attack. The beam is even capable of destroying material as durable as Uru.
While the armor itself has no weaknesses, the spirit inhabiting the armor will begin to grow more progressively violent while spending extended periods of time within the armor. Also, after a time, it becomes nearly impossible for an inhabiting spirit to maintain control over the armor while attempting to use it for nonviolent purposes in peaceable situations. In time, the armor itself will dominate the inhabiting life force. Only a being of extreme willpower, such as Thor or Odin, is able to hold control over the armor.
The Destroyer in Ultimate Spider-Man.
The Destroyer in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.