It has taken some time for Malekith the Accursed to become the dominant supervillain as shown in Marvel Comics' War of the Realms from earlier this year, but the Dark Elf has a history of trickery, violence, and betrayal that makes him the perfect kind of evil to oppose Thor and the people of Asgard.
From his terrible childhood and his rise to an all-powerful being, Malekith has led the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim through various wars against other realms, as well as opposing unrest within his own ranks. We look at 10 things you never knew about Malekith and the Dark Elves.
10 Malekith Was Created By Walt Simonson
Walt Simonson's run on Marvel Comics' Thor was a dream come true for the writer and artist. He was already a huge fan of Norse mythology and had started to read the comics to which he fell in love with. In 1983, Simonson started to write for Marvel Comics and began his run on Thor.
He used stories he'd been writing about Norse mythology in the late sixties for the foundations of his run on the comic, working on Thor for nearly 3 years and being responsible for 30 issues. Simonson famously turned Thor into a frog, introduced Beta Ray Bill (who he'd also created), and in Thor #344 he brought Malekith into the fray.
9 His First Appearance Was in 1984
Malekith's first appearance in the Marvel Comics Universe came in Thor #344 in 1984, where the Dark Elf was introduced as a house guest of Loki. The two are discussing a business opportunity when Balder attacks them after Malekith unleashes his demons upon him.
Balder fights the demons, then goes to attack Malekith, however, he disappears. Balder was sent by Odin to deliver a letter to Loki, but he never reads it - tossing it away instead. Balder then breaks his oath to never kill by cutting off Loki's head. Unfortunately, it was all a trick and he picks up his head and places it back on his shoulders.
8 He Was Sold Into Slavery By His Mother
During the Forty-Third Troll War, a young Malekith watched all 12 of his siblings die. His mother, Lady Mazerot couldn't bare the thought of her only living child to suffer the same fate, so she sold him into a life of slavery for two sacks of snake liver and a barrel of pickled toads.
Whilst Malekith may have been saved from death, his mother's actions were not appreciated. He was forced by the Undertaker Elves to burn the corpses (some alive as well as dead) of the Dark Elves - his own race - whilst watching the enemy's corpses rot. Malekith would later find his mother and take revenge on her for selling her only son.
7 Malekith's Black Mark Symbolises His Betrayal
Whilst his childhood proved horrifying for the young Dark Elf, he was finally freed from his slavery by an elder wizard who was masquerading as a troll. Upon freeing Malekith, the wizard saw potential in him and decided to train Malekith up to be a powerful sorcerer, but was eventually betrayed by him.
As the elder wizard was nearing death, he lashed out with one final spell that marked the entire left side of Malekith's face, leaving a black scar that symbolised his betrayal. From here on out, Malekith used his magic to wreak havoc on the nine realms, believing war was all he knew and that he'd only exist as long as he was devastating worlds with his power.
6 The Most Powerful Dark Elf Is Algrim The Strong
Malekith may have become a powerful wizard, but Algrim the Strong was undoubtedly the strongest. Possessing superior strength in hand-to-hand combat, Algrim was a great warrior and asset to the Dark Elves. During a fight with Thor, Malekith opened up a chasm beneath them which led to Algrim almost dying, saved by his enchanted armor.
The Beyonder turned Algrim the Strong into an even stronger individual now known as Kurse, who was driven by pure hatred because he believed Thor was responsible for his death. However, when he finally realised it was Malekith who caused Algrim to almost die, he snapped his neck like a twig, seemingly killing the Dark Elf.
5 The Dark Elves Hail From Svartalfheim
In Norse mythology, Svartalfheim is one of the nine realms held within the life tree known as Yggdrasil, and it is where the Dark Elves come from, at least within the Marvel Comics Universe. The other realms are Asgard, Niflheim, Muspelheim, Midgard, Jotunheim, Vanaheim, Alfheim, and Helheim.
A lot of the basis for the Thor comics comes from the rich stories featured within Norse mythology, as do many of the beings that he has had to fight, such as the fire giant Sutur who comes from Muspelheim, and the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, The great Gods of Asgard, such as Loki, Odin, and his wife Frigga have also played a role within the Thor comics.
4 Thor Isn't Malekith's Only Enemy
Before this year's War of the Realms event, Malekith has battled other enemies within the Marvel Comics Universe. During the Rings of the Mandarin storyline, Malekith wanted to claim all of the rings for himself, but was eventually defeated by the remaining six ring bearers, as well as surrendering to Iron Man.
In X-Force and Cable Annual from 1997, Malekith gets into a scuffle with Cable, Moonstar and Sunspot, and also encounters Hercules in Incredible Hercules #134. Of course, when Malekith arrives on Midgard in War of the Realms, he wages war on everyone, making it a thoroughly enjoyable read.
3 The Dark Elves Have A Great Weakness To Iron
The Dark Elves are known for possessing high intellect and increased strength , speed, and stamina, as well as being a race of immortals, but even the most powerful of their race have one common weakness. They are vulnerable to iron, with the element crippling them an rendering them weak whenever they come into contact with it.
Malekith has the ability to heal even after suffering from a devastating injury, and can survive in extreme temperatures or after falling from a great height, but put him - or any Dark Elf - near iron, and all of their abilities are useless. When Iron Man challenged the Dark Elves it became clear just how dangerous the element can be.
2 The War Of The Realms Writer Was Found In A Talent Contest
Since 2001, Jason Aaron has written many different stories featuring a plethora of characters, as well as relaunching Wolverine in 2010, The Incredible Hulk in 2011 and Thor in 2012, famously introducing Jane Foster as the new God of Thunder. He also collaborated with Mike Deodato on Original Sin, and has written issues of Black Panther and Ghost Rider.
He got his big break after winning a Marvel Comics talent contest, where his eight-page Wolverine script was finally published in Wolverine #175. War of the Realms was responsible for making Malekith a huge threat within the Marvel Comics Universe, giving Jason Aaron a chance to give the Dark Elf ultimate villain status.
1 There's A Malekith Easter Egg In Avengers: Endgame
We all love a good Easter Egg in our Marvel movies, and one almost passed us by if it wasn't for Reddit user u/kobikwahbz. He pointed out that on a screen that pops up in Avengers: Endgame when Nebula transports Thanos from 2014 to the present day, there's an interesting date that pops up to the right of it.
Along with the date in 2012 where the battle of New York happens in Avengers: Assemble, and another in 2009 where the Tesseract was potentially easier to steal, 2988 BC appears. This is the date where Malekith and the Dark Elves battle the Asgardians on Svartalfheim in Thor: The Dark World, and is the first appearance of an Infinity Stone in the form of the Reality Aether.