Heimdall (Marvel Comics)

Heimdall is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe, based loosely on the god Heimdall of Norse myth. He first appeared in a comic in Journey Into Mystery vol. 1 #85.

Fictional character biography

Heimdall is the brother of the warrior Sif. He is the all-seeing and all-hearing guardian sentry of Asgard, he stands on the rainbow bridge, Bifrost and stands watch for any attacks to Asgard. For ages, he stood as the guardian of Asgard, defending the city's gates from any intruders, and was one of the most trusted servants of Odin.

In his first appearance, Heimdall warned Odin of a Vanna's reconnaissance of Asgard. When next seen, he battled Thor to prevent him from entering Asgard; He then battled Thor to prevent him from leaving Asgard. Heimdall was then immobilized by Seidring. Some time later, he encountered the Recorder.

Later still, Heimdall battled Thor at Loki's command. In the prophesy of Ragnarok, he severed the Rainbow Bridge, and sounded Gjallarhorn. He traveled to Earth with Kamorr the dwarf to search for human candidates for godhood. He gathered three such human beings, and arranged for them to be exposed to Ego-Prime's energies and become the first three Young Gods. Heimdall then accompanied the Asgardians into the Dark Nebula.

Heimdall later became afflicted by lethargy in one of Odin's absences from Asgard. He then blew Gjallarhorn to summon Odin's elite guard. Some time later, he summoned Asgardian troops to restrain Thor. Later, he battled Thor again to prevent him from bringing mortals into Asgard.

When Asgard was invaded by the fire demon Surtur, Heimdall attempted to defend the gates, but was overcome, and the Rainbow Bridge was shattered. No longer needing to be stationary, Heimdall spent more time in Asgard. Heimdall is given the Great Scepter of Odin to guard by Loki. Heimdall discovered Malekith's escape. He fetched Amora the Enchantress to help free Thor from ensorcelment. Heimdall later learned of Loki's possession of Surtur's sword.

Heimdall became close to Amora, who was soon infatuated with him. He comforted Amora about the Executioner's death. Heimdall rescued Balder from Seth's assassins. Heimdall was gravely injured during the war with Seth, the Egyptian god of death, when he was struck down in battle with the legions of Seth. Heimdall later battled Sif. Leir, and Caber. Heimdall confronted Surtur disguised as Odin about the imprisoned Grand Vizier. Heimdall led the legions of Asgard into battle against Ymir.

When Odin returned to Asgard after Surtur's defeat, he gave a portion of his power to Heimdall to restore the Rainbow Bridge, and Heimdall resumed his duties.

Seemingly Betrayed

Shortly afterwards, when Odin was about to enter his Odinsleep, he passed the Odinpower on to Heimdall to rule Asgard until he awoke. Heimdall had to deal with a major crisis in the life of Thor, as Thor had been banished into the subconscious of the mortal Eric Masterson, who had assumed Thor's responsibilities. Sif was determined to find the real Thor, and her determination drove a wedge between her and Heimdall. When Karnilla conspired with Loki to rule Asgard by having Odin awaken with Loki's soul possessing him, Heimdall was branded a traitor and banished to the Dream Dimension, ruled by the demon Nightmare. During this incident, his mind had been altered, leaving him little more than being able to follow directions. The Enchantress battles Nightmare in order to save him, ultimately rescuing them both. Eric Masterson helped restore Odin and later Thor as well.

Loss and Death

Heimdall and Amora drifted apart when Amora realized that his duty to Asgard was greater than his love for her. When Odin cast the Asgardians into the guises of mortals to protect them from a false Ragnarok, Heimdall became Donald Velez, and joined the other "Lost Gods" in attempting to rediscover who they were and battling the Egyptian death-god Seth. Heimdall and the others regained their true forms and defeated Seth just as Asgard was attacked by the Dark Gods, and they were all taken prisoner. They were finally rescued by Thor.

Around this time, Jason, a powerful member of the earth-based team the Pantheon, claims to have eluded Heimdall's senses during a trip through Asgard and over the Rainbow Bridge. Not many people trust Jason.

An alternate reality version of Asgard featured the realm itself floating over the East Coast of America. This raises worship of Thor, who was the ruler and he utilities Heimdall's senses to hear the prayers directed to him.

Asgard is struck by another Ragnarok, one from which there was no seeming reversal. Heimdall perishes in battle defending his people. Many Asgardians, Heimdall included, reform as Earthly beings.


It has been revealed that Thor has broken the cycle of Ragnarok, the end of all things that has seemingly come to Asgard many times. Heimdall, along with the others of Asgard, have been reborn on Earth yet again. A new version of the city has been established in Oklahoma.

Thor traveled to New Orleans to start his journey of finding the missing gods. After a confrontation with Iron Man, he encounters a man named Ezra, keeping vigil over a bridge. Realizing who he really is, Thor releases Heimdall from within the mortal. Heimdall was drawn to Ezra due to them both feeling angry and helpless due to the fact that neither of them could stop the destruction of their cities, New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and Asgard during Ragnarok. Heimdall has now joined Thor in the new Asgard.

Powers and abilities

Heimdall possesses the powers of a typical Asgardian god, including superhuman strength, stamina, speed, agility and durability. However, he is generally stronger and more durable than all but a few Asgardians, such as Odin and Thor. He also possesses extraordinarily acute superhuman senses, most notably his vision and hearing, and he can see or hear anything occurring on Earth or in Asgard. His senses are said to be so acute that he could hear sap running through trees and see events occurring miles away. In one particular issue from the late 1970s or early 1980s the writer apparently surrenders himself to hyperbole and gives Heimdall the ability to detect the fluttering of a butterfly's wings "a thousand worlds away". He has the ability to focus on certain sensory information or block it out of his consciousness as he chooses. Certain magical spells can block his sensory powers.

Heimdall also briefly possessed the Odinpower which granted him the ability to channel vast magical energies.

Heimdall is an experienced warrior and a fierce hand-to-hand combatant. He has proficiency with edged weapons and wields a variety of swords, shields and spears and, not surprisingly, he wears a suit of armor. Heimdall bore the Gjallerhorn, which he would sound to alert all of Asgard to dangers threatening the city's gates. While in the mortal form of Donald Velez he wore enchanted glasses which granted him super-enhanced vision.

In other media

Heimdall appears in the video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. He is seen defeated and his frozen body is being guarded by Rhino and Shocker. After defeating them, the cages blocking the mirrors must be lifted to thaw him. After that happens, he will request to the heroes to find his horn.


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