Elves (Marvel Comics)

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Thor Vol 1 377.jpg
Grendell the Dark Elf on the cover of The Mighty Thor vol. 1, #377 (March 1987). Art by Walt Simonson.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThor #344 (June 1984)
Created byVarious
In-story information
Place of originAsgard

There are many fictional Elves appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The most common of the Elves are the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim and the Light Elves of Alfheim that are based on the elves of Norse mythology. They frequently appear in stories featuring the superhero Thor.

The Dark Elves appear in the 2013 Marvel Studios film Thor: The Dark World.

Publication history[edit]

Bright-Elves first appeared in Thor #277 (Nov. 1978) and were created by Roy Thomas, John Buscema and Tom Palmer. None of the small crowd of Bright-Elves who appear in that issue are named.

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.

Fictional history[edit]


The Dark Elves are ruled over by Malekith the Accursed, and the most powerful amongst their ranks was Algrim the Strong.[1] 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,[2] who seemingly kills Malekith for the betrayal.[3] 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.[4]

The trio of Bitterhand, Wormwood, and Grendell serve Malekith loyally and have attempted to destroy Thor on several occasions, including once while Mjolnir was being reforged.[5]


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.[6]


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.[7]


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.[8]


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.[9]


During the Fear Itself storyline, the Smoke Elves debut where they are the servants of the Serpent. They created a Golem that attacked Iron Man and the Dwarves in Svartalfheim.[10] The Golem that the Smoke Elves created was defeated by Iron Man.[11] While Iron Man prepares to take the Asgardian weapons to his allies, Splitlip and his Dwarves are given the approval to have Iron Man dispose of the captive Smoke Elves. Iron Man then gives the Smoke Elves the choice of either being dealt with by the Dwarves or taking their leave. The Smoke Elves choose to take their leave.[12]

Elves of Klarn[edit]

The Elves of Klarn are a race of Elves that reside on the floating Weirdworld island of Klarn. There was also a group of Savage Elves descended from the Elves of Klarn that weren't on Klarn when it was flung into the sky by the sorcerer Darklens.[13]

During the Secret Wars storyline, the Elves of Klarn and the Savage Elves ended up on the Battleworld version of Weirdworld when their Weirdworld was merged with the other alternate reality magical realms. The Savage Elves helped to fight the forces of Morgan le Fay until Battleworld fell apart and Weirdworld appeared on Earth in the Bermuda Triangle.[14]

As part of the "All-New, All-Different Marvel" branding, the Elves of Klarn ended up under the mind-control of Doctor Druid when he gained a corporal form when his spirit arrived on Weirdworld.[15]

Powers and abilities[edit]

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[edit]

Light Elves[edit]

  • Aeltri -
  • Faradei -
  • Hrinmeer the Flame -

Dark Elves[edit]

Elves of Klarn[edit]

  • Tyndall - An elf dragonmaster who befriends Velanna.
  • Velanna - A female blonde elf that Tyndall befriends.

In other media[edit]


  • Malekith the Accursed of the Dark Elves appeared in "The Casket of Ancient Winters". During the events of "The Fall of Asgard", Black Panther had fought Dark Elf souls while in Asgard.
  • Faradei of the Light Elves appeared in "The Fall of Asgard" voiced by Troy Baker. He fights alongside Hawkeye and Black Panther against a pack of wolves.
  • The Dark Elves appear in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "For Asgard". Malekith the Accursed leads the Dark Elves in a plot to take over Asgard where they ended up fighting Thor, Heimdall, the Warriors Three, and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. at the time when Odin was away on a peace mission.
  • The Light Elves appear in the Christmas TV special Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Frost Fight!. A bunch of Light Elves live in the polar parts of Alfheim where they protect the property of Jolnir, who is known on Earth as Santa Claus and is the son of a female Light Elf and a male Frost Giant.


Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Thor #347 (Sept. 1984)
  2. ^ Secret Wars vol. 2, #6 (Dec. 1985)
  3. ^ Thor #368 (June 1986)
  4. ^ Incredible Hercules #132 (Oct. 2009)
  5. ^ Thor #377 (March 1987)
  6. ^ Thor #277 (Nov. 1978)
  7. ^ Alpha Flight #50 (Sept. 1987)
  8. ^ Alpha Flight #81 (Feb. 1990)
  9. ^ Thor #615 (Nov. 2010)
  10. ^ Invincible Iron Man #507
  11. ^ Invincible Iron Man #508
  12. ^ Invincible Iron Man #509
  13. ^ Marvel Super Special #13
  14. ^ Weirdworld Vol. 1 #5
  15. ^ Squadron Supreme Vol. 4 #14