Surtur (Marvel Comics)

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Thor battles Surtur on the cover of Thor #176 (May 1970). Art By Jack Kirby.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceCameo appearance:
Journey into Mystery #97 (Oct. 1963)
Full appearance:
Journey into Mystery #99 (Dec. 1963)
Created byStan Lee (writer)
Jack Kirby (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoSurtur
SpeciesFire Giant
  • Superhuman strength, durability, endurance, and longevity
  • Fire and heat manipulation
  • Abilities via Twilight:
    • Dimensional transportation
    • Magical Manipulation
    • Molecular manipulation

Surtur is a fictional Fire Giant appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He usually appears as a villain in stories featuring the Norse hero Thor. Based on the fire giant Surtr from Norse mythology, he was adapted by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, and first appeared in Journey into Mystery #97 (October 1963). The character was once described as one of "The Ten Most Heinous Enemies of the Mighty Thor".[1]

Surtur appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Thor: Ragnarok, motion-captured by Taika Waititi,[2] and voiced by Clancy Brown.[3]

Publication history[edit]

Based on the fire giant Surtr from Norse mythology and created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the character first appears in Journey into Mystery #97 (Oct 1963).[4]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Surtur is a fire giant native to the extradimensional plane of Muspelheim, land of the fire demons and one of the nine worlds in Norse mythology. He first appears in the title Journey into Mystery, where it is claimed he sits at the end of the world waiting for the end of time where he can slay men and gods.[5] The character's first encounter with the Asgardian ruler Odin is told in flashback and establishes their enmity when Surtur is imprisoned by Odin inside the Earth after forming an alliance with the Trolls and trying to destroy the world in anger for Odin defying him, although he gives Odin a winged horse, hoping to be released one day.[6] Surtur reappears in Journey Into Mystery #104, having been freed by Odin's adopted son, Loki, who intends to usurp Odin and rule Asgard, having been given a portion of the Odinforce. Together with the Storm Giant Skagg, the character invades Earth, although the pair are met by Odin, his son the Thunder God Thor and fellow Asgardian Balder. Odin stops time and sends every human on Earth to another dimension. Surtur sends Thor into the ocean using a fireball. Skagg is saved from sinking into the ocean by Surtur hardening the ground, but is defeated by Odin, who is weakened by the feat. Surtur creates a blazing fireball and travels to the North Pole to melt the icecaps. Using Odin's sword, Thor stops Surtur and traps him on a meteorite of magnetic particles in another galaxy.[7]

In the title Thor the seer Volla predicts that Loki will free Surtur and other enemies of Asgard and eventually bring about Ragnarok - a war that will end with the destruction of all the Norse Gods.[8] The character features in the title Avengers when summoned - together with ice giant Ymir - to Earth by the cult the Sons of Satannish. The entities are banished by the combined efforts of the superhero team the Avengers, the hero the Black Knight, and the sorcerer Doctor Strange. They are tricked into striking each other, which defeats them both.[9]

Surtur becomes a recurring foe in the title Thor, and first attempts to invade Asgard during the Odinsleep when Loki has briefly taken control, causing Loki to flee Asgard, but he is repelled and imprisoned.[10] Surtur reappears wielding the huge magical blade Twilight, and after sending a horde of demons to invade Earth storms Asgard. The heroes of Earth battle the fire demons while in Asgard Surtur defeats both Thor and Odin in turn. Loki deceives Surtur with an illusion until Odin recovers, who battles the fire demon until both fall into a dimensional rift.[11] After a long absence Odin returns to Asgard, and it is revealed that he absorbed Surtur's essence, which eventually possesses him. Surtur manages to recreate his physical form and decimates Asgard until Thor, wielding the Odin Power, banishes Surtur to the Sea of Eternal Night.[12]

Surtur appears at the conclusion of the second volume of Thor during the final Ragnarok of Asgard, and is allowed to storm Asgard by Thor as the Thunder God attempts to break the endless cycle of death and rebirth for the Norse Gods.[13] In the limited series Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill, the alien Beta Ray Bill visits the ruins of Asgard after the battle, and sees Surtur's dead form falling from the sky, still clutching Twilight.[14]

Thor returns from a period of self-induced hibernation in a third self-titled volume, and enters the Odinsleep to find Odin in a limbo dimension between life and death, where Surtur stored a portion of his essence to prevent himself from being killed forever. Here Odin and the demon battle to the death, being reborn each day to repeat the cycle, preventing either from being reborn. Thor helps Odin beat Surtur twice, even though he will be reborn, before returning to his body. Thor offers to help Odin escape from this realm and the constant battle with Surtur. Odin chooses to remain in order to protect his people from the demon.[15]

Surtur was resurrected and made a deal with Loki and a group of beings known as the Manchester Gods, who he manipulated to depose the native gods of the British isles.[16] He then set the world tree Yggdrasil on fire and attempted to turn the Vanir gods against the Aesir in preparation for his assault on Asgard.[17] This succeeded because of old grudges, namely Odin's insistence that the people of Vanaheim fall under his rule no matter what.[citation needed]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Surtur was depicted as an immense and malevolent elemental fire demon whose power was of apocalyptic proportions. Standing over 1,000 ft. in height, Surtur possessed strength and durability far surpassing that of Thor; the ability to generate intense heat, flames or concussive force; molecular manipulation such as transforming his fingers into serpents;[18] levitation and inter-dimensional travel. Surtur's scale of power is usually shown to equal that of Odin. He is a skilled warrior and swordsman, and has a prehensile tail. He possesses a great intellect, and has vast knowledge of ancient and arcane wisdom. He is vulnerable to intense cold, and can be imprisoned by certain magical spells or by other beings wielding cosmic energy powers equaling his own.

Surtur possesses the giant sword Twilight, also known as the Sword of Doom, composed of a metal known as Scabrite which can only be found in the mines of Surtur's realm. The sword is magical, capable of manipulating vast amounts of mystical energy, and can be used to perform feats such as shattering dimensional barriers and inhibiting Odin's powers. Loki has temporarily tapped into the power of the sword to change Thor into a frog (Thor is normally resistant to this type of magical transformation) and making the Asgardian populace sick (Asgardians are normally immune to disease). Morgan Le Fay tapped into the power of the sword to reshape the entire planet Earth from modern day into a medieval world after using the chaos magic of the Scarlet Witch to "bridge the gap" between her personal faerie powers and the Asgardian magics bound to the blade. When the sword is bonded with the Eternal Flame, its powers are further increased to an unknown level.

The Eternal Flame has an unknown connection to Surtur. When in its vicinity, Surtur claimed it increased his powers. It is unknown to what extent this power increase leads to.

Other versions[edit]

Surtur appears in an Amalgam Comics one-shot publication Thorion of the New Gods, in which he assaults Asgard during Ragnarök, but is stopped and imprisoned by the DC Comics Source on the Ego-Mass—an amalgamation of Ego and the Source Wall.[19]

In the Ultimate Marvel reality, Surtur is seen summoned to Earth by Loki and battling the Ultimates. However he is not seen in the final battle with the Ultimates.[20]

In the series JLA/Avengers, Surtur is part of Krona's army, and attacks Wonder Woman near the end of the issue after she vows to guard a pass so the other heroes can get through, although She-Hulk stays to help her.[21]

In other media[edit]


  • Surtur appears in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends animated series episode "The Vengeance of Loki".[citation needed] Iceman gets teleported to Surtur's domain and experiences difficulty fighting the fire giant off until Zerona the Ice Giant comes to his rescue.
  • Surtur appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes animated series, voiced by Rick D. Wasserman.[22] In the episode "Acts of Vengeance", Baron Heinrich Zemo uses the Norn Stone associated with Muspelheim to protect himself against the Enchantress, which freed Surtur from his imprisonment. The fire demon attacks the Dwarves' realm as Eitri held fragments of his Twilight Sword and enslaves the Enchantress after she appears before him. In "The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill", Surtur sends a possessed Enchantress to unleash Fire Demons upon different planets, with one of them being Beta Ray Bill's home planet. After he and Thor defeat the Enchantress, Surtur teleports her away before reforging his Twilight Sword.
  • Surtur appears in the Avengers Assemble animated series.[citation needed] In the episode "Nighthawk", the titular character uses a Norn Stone to send Thor through Surtur's realm 81 times before the Hulk frees him. In "Back to the Learning Hall", Thor, Hulk, and Hawkeye are transported to Surtur's realm, but Heimdall rescues them.


Hulk fighting Surtur in the 2017 film, Thor: Ragnarok.
  • Surtur's sword "Elderstahl" serves as a focal point of the animated film Thor: Tales of Asgard, while Surtur himself appears in flashbacks battling Odin over the fate of the Nine Realms.
  • Surtur makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in the animated direct-to-video film Hulk Vs Thor.
  • Surtur appears in the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe film Thor: Ragnarok, motion-captured by Taika Waititi[2] and voiced by Clancy Brown.[22][3][23] He imprisons Thor in his lair in Muspelheim and reveals that Odin is not on Asgard, where Surtur plans to unite his crown with the Eternal Flame so that he can cause Ragnarök and destroy Asgard. While Thor manages to defeat Surtur and escape with his crown, Thor later realizes that causing Ragnarök is the only way he can defeat Hela, so he tasks Loki with resurrecting Surtur, allowing the fire demon to succeed in his plans and kill Hela while Thor, Loki, and the Asgardians escape.

Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Thor #17 Annual (Dec. 1992)
  2. ^ a b Brandon Davis (2017-07-23). "Clancy Brown Cast As Surtur In Thor: Ragnarok". Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  3. ^ a b Anderton, Ethan (July 23, 2016). "'Thor: Ragnarok' Footage: Hulk vs Thor, Surtur the Demon & More [Comic-Con 2016]". /Film. Archived from the original on July 25, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  4. ^ Rovin, Jeff (1987). The Encyclopedia of Supervillains. New York: Facts on File. p. 334. ISBN 0-8160-1356-X.
  5. ^ Journey Into Mystery #97 (Oct. 1963)
  6. ^ Journey Into Mystery #99 (Dec. 1963)
  7. ^ Journey Into Mystery #104 (May 1964)
  8. ^ Thor #128 (May 1966)
  9. ^ Avengers #61 (Feb. 1969)
  10. ^ Thor #176 - 177 (May - June 1970)
  11. ^ Thor #337 - 338 (Nov. - Dec. 1983); #341 - 348 (Mar. - Oct. 1984); #351 - 353(Jan. - Mar. 1985)
  12. ^ Thor #399 - 400 (Jan - Feb. 1989); #418 (Jun. 1990) & #425 (Oct. 1990)
  13. ^ Thor vol. 2, #85 (Dec. 1984)
  14. ^ Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill #1 - 6 (Mar. - Aug. 2005)
  15. ^ Thor vol. 3, #7 - 8 (Mar. - April 2008)
  16. ^ Journey into Mystery #641
  17. ^ The Mighty Thor #19
  18. ^ Journey into Mystery #99
  19. ^ Thorion of the New Asgods (June 1997)
  20. ^ Ultimates vol. 2, #13 (May 2007)
  21. ^ JLA/Avengers #4
  22. ^ a b c d "Surtur Voice - Mighty Thor franchise | Behind The Voice Actors". December 20, 2019. Check mark indicates role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  23. ^ Vejvoda, Jim (July 23, 2016). "COMIC-CON 2016: THOR: RAGNAROK INCLUDES SURTUR AND FENRIS". IGN. Archived from the original on July 24, 2016. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
  24. ^ "SEGA Inks Actors Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston to Star in the Video Game Thor: God of Thunder". Business Wire. 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2010-12-02.

External links[edit]

  • Surtur at the Marvel Universe wiki