Elves (Marvel Comics)
|First appearance||Thor #344 (June 1984)|
|Created by||Walt Simonson|
|Place of origin||Asgard|
The Dark Elves of Svartalfheim and the Light Elves of Alfheim are fictional races in the Marvel Universe based on the elves of Norse mythology. They frequently appear in stories featuring the superhero Thor.
Dark Elves first appeared in Thor #344 (June 1984) and were originally created by Walt Simonson. The only Dark Elf to appear in that first issue was Malekith the Accursed. Algrim the Strong / Kurse and Wormwood later appeared in Thor #347 (Sept. 1984), once again created by Walt Simonson. Grendell and Bitterhand appeared in Thor #377 (March 1987), and were created by Walt Simonson and Sal Buscema. Alflyse first appeared in Incredible Hercules #129 (Oct. 2009), and was created by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, and Reilly Brown.
Light Elves first appeared in Alpha Flight #50 (Sept. 1987) and were created by Bill Mantlo and June Brigman. The Light Elf Aeltri and her son Hrinmeer the Flame first appeared in Thor Annual #18 (Dec. 1993), and were created by Ron Marz and Tom Grindberg. A few subspecies of Light Elves have also been introduced. Cat Elves first appeared in Alpha Flight #81 (Feb. 1990), and were created by James Hudnall and John Calimee. Ice Elves first appeared in Thor #615 (Nov. 2010), and were created by Matt Fraction and Pasqual Ferry.
The Dark Elves are ruled over by Malekith the Accursed, and the most powerful amongst their ranks was Algrim the Strong. However, Algrim was betrayed by Malekith in a bid to kill Thor. Algrim was dropped into lava and though he survived, he was critically wounded. The Beyonder transformed Algrim into the monstrous Kurse, who seemingly kills Malekith for the betrayal. Years later, Malekith reveals that he survived, and he sets forth an ultimately unsuccessful plot for Hercules to kill Alflyse, the Dark Elf Queen of the Eastern Spires.
The Bright-Elves first appeared in Thor when mortal cameraman Roger "Red" Norvell (who had acquired the powers of Thor) carries the goddess Sif away to "a world far distant in time and sub-space" from Asgard. Once there, the duo are soon greeted by a crowd of humanoids who introduce themselves as the Ljos-Alfar (or Bright-Elves) and welcome the outsiders to their home, Alfheim. The aggressive Red responds by claiming their land as his and knocks the entire welcoming party off their feet with his hammer. These Elves are somewhat shorter than Asgardians (like Sif) and have large pointed ears.
The Light Elves first appear in Alpha Flight when Loki lies to an ill and delusional Northstar and claims Northstar is one of them. This prompts Northstar to journey to Alfheim to reside there and abandon the rest of Alpha Flight.
A subspecies of the Light Elves called the Cat Elves are introduced when Northstar learns he has been deceived by Loki. These Elves are smaller than their brethren and ride winged cats as their steed.
Another subspecies of the Light Elves called the Ice Elves were revealed when one of their palaces was wiped out by the Ano-Athox warlord Uthana Thoth. The Ice Elves reside in the frozen portion of Alfheim.
Powers and abilities
Dark elves possess gifted intellects, as well as superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes. They also all possess a vulnerability to iron.
Light elves also possess superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes. Additionally, they have a penchant for archery.
Known Elves of Asgard
- Faradei -
In other media
- The Elves of Asgard appear in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Malekith the Accursed of the Dark Elves appeared in "The Casket of Ancient Winters." Faradei of the Light Elves appeared in the episode "The Fall of Asgard" voiced by Troy Baker. He fights alongside Hawkeye and the Black Panther against a pack of wolves. The Black Panther meanwhile had fought Dark Elf souls. Both of the realms have been taken over by Loki.
- Algrim of the Dark Elves appears in the animated film Thor: Tales of Asgard. He is seen as an advisor to Odin and his kind driven to near-extinction by the Frost Giants.
- The Dark Elves appear in the Marvel Studios film Thor: The Dark World, with Malekith portrayed by Christopher Eccleston and Algrim/Kurse portrayed by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. There, it is stated they existed before the Nine Realms, in the primordial chaos. Their goal is to destroy the current universe and return existence back to that state. They were believed exterminated after an attempt to do that five thousand years ago, but in reality, Malekith and a number of warriors escaped on a stealth ship and went into stasis until another attempt would be possible.
- Dark Elves appear as enemies in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.
- Dark Elves also appear as enemies in Marvel Heroes, where they were released as part of the Asgard event to tie in with the release of Thor: The Dark World.
- Thor #347 (Sept. 1984)
- Secret Wars vol. 2, #6 (Dec. 1985)
- Thor #368 (June 1986)
- Incredible Hercules #132 (Oct. 2009)
- Thor #377 (March 1987)
- Thor #277 (Nov. 1978)
- Alpha Flight #50 (Sept. 1987)
- Alpha Flight #81 (Feb. 1990)
- Thor #615 (Nov. 2010)