Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
May I present to you the ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim: Malekith
Appearances in Heroclix: Mighty Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Hammer of Thor
First Appearance: Thor #344
Team Affiliations: N/A
Created By: Walt Simonson
Malekith is born into a war torn Svartalfheim. Twelve of his brothers die during a war with the trolls and his family is so desperate, his mother eventually sells him for two sacks of snake livers and half a barrel of pickled toads. His master puts Malekith to work cremating fallen warriors after battle, which he does until he is captured by trolls. During his imprisonment by the trolls, he meets a fellow prisoner that happens to be a wizard. This wizard helps Malekith escape their prison and takes the dark elf as his apprentice. Malekith excels in his studies to the point that the wizard wants to perform a powerful spell that will combine their power and bring peace to the land. A bitter and resentful Malekith refuses believing that any peace would mean that the pain and suffering he had suffered was pointless and all for nothing. Malekith kills the wizard but not before the wizard can scar his face. Stronger than before, Malekith returns home and also kills his mother, taking from her the dogs of the Wild Hunt.
Some time later, Malekith enters into a deal with Loki on behalf of Surtur. Malekith begins the search for the Casket of Ancient Winters by taking control of a number of humans from Midgard and killing its guardian, Eric Willis. This then sents him on the trail of the Casket’s new guardian, Roger Willis the son of Eric that has sought out Thor’s help. Malekith battles Thor before kidnapping Lorelai, who has been bewitching Thor, and using her as bait. When Thor arrives to save his beloved, Malekith sends Algrim the Strong against him and attempts to kill them both by sending them into a pool of magma. This gives Malekith time to capture the Casket and open it, plunging Midgard into an ice age. Roger Willis and Thor are ultimately able to defeat Malekith and the dark elves, Roger using iron bullets, and Thor brings Malekith to Asgard as his prisoner.
Loki visits Malekith in Asgard’s dungeon and is tricked into taking his place, glamoured to look like the Dark Elf. Malekith, meanwhile, disguises himself as Balder who is about to be crowned new king of Asgard. Kurse, a reborn and monstrous form of Algrim the Strong, makes his way to Asgard and is able to see through Malekith’s glamour. He snaps Malekith’s neck and seems to leave the villain for dead.
Malekith reappears, alive and well, and again takes the form of Balder. He seeks Hercules aid in attacking Alfyse, the Dark Elf Queen of the Eastern Spires, and makes Hercules appear as Thor. This plan falls apart when Thor, who is disguised as Hercules, appears and the Greek god Zeus easily defeats the revealed Malekith.
After conquering Svartalfheim, one of the Mandarin’s rings comes to Malekith seeking a host. The Dark Elf accepts but refuses to be controlled by the ancient technology. Once he has brought the ring under his control he begins to track down the other rings to gain all their power and carry out their mission to “save the Earth from Iron Man.”
After losing the rings, Malekith sets out across the Nine Realms and kills every Dark Elf that does not swear loyalty to him. This act of terrorism results in the Dark Elf council naming him as their king, as fear is a powerful currency among Dark Elves. This rampage has the unintended consequence of uniting the other races against Malekith and Svartalfheim.
Malekith reaches out to the Minotaur and strikes a bargain. Minotaur gives Malekith the Skull of Laufey and in exchange, Roxxon gains the mineral mining rights of any realm that Malekith conquers. Thor, goddess of thunder, tries to stop the meeting but is attacked by the Serpent in the Destroyer Armor. Once the Serpent and Thor battle away, Malekith invites Minotaur to a celebration the commences in the resurrection of King Laufey.
Laufey, Malekith and Minotaur enact their plans after consolidating their power. Malekith disguises himself as Loki and tricks Thor into traveling to Jotunheim while also sending Dark Elf assassins after Odin. They then unleash their evil armies on Earth, trying to conquer and control as much of the world as possible. Loki saves Frigga from an attack by Laufey and strikes directly at Malekith before Dr. Strange is able to teleport Loki away. Dr. Strange intends on unleashing his full power but discovers that a number of War Witches are blocking his power. After much effort and focus, Dr. Strange is able to evacuate the heroes at the cost of Valkyrie’s life.
Malekith continues the invasion in Europe with the aid of the Ebony Blade, even absorbing the Venom symbiote into it. Malekith attempts to torture the symbiote and forge into a blade like Knull’s All-Black blade, strong enough to kill Asgardians. Just when he thinks he’s done it and throws the symbiote, forged into a spear, at Frigga, Odin arrives in new armor and is able to deflect the blow. Odin buys Frigga enough time to destroy the Black Bifrost Bridge, seemingly killing the Asgardian heroes.
Malekith reveals that Odin and Frigga have both survived and he continues to torture them at Stonehenge as bait to draw in Thor and his allies. As the heroes approach, Malekith bonds with the Venom symbiote and uses it to empower his troops. After a bloody battle with the Thor Corps, Malekith attempts to summon the hounds of the Wild Hunt to turn to the tide. Instead, however, they devour Malekith.
He awakens in Niffleheim to the sight of Hela and Karnilla. The goddesses explain that the hounds and Bog Tiger died after devouring him, as the black magic he used on the symbiote was poisonous. They were able to draw his soul out of the dead beasts’ stomachs and rebuild him, finding the last piece of his true self: the little boy that had been ravaged by the consequences of war. His punishment is this: he is tied to a rock with his eyes sewn open, forced to watch as the bog tiger and hounds are transformed into harmless puppies and a kitten, playing peacefully with his younger self for all eternity. Joy and peace that the older, crooked Malekith will never enjoy.