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Balder

Real Name: Balder
Occupation: Warrior-god, Asgardian god of light
Identity: Publicly known on Earth, although the general public of Earth does not believe him to be the god of Norse mythology.
Legal Status: Citizen of Asgard
Other Aliases: Balder the Brave
Place of Birth: Asgard
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Gods of Asgard, frequent personal ally of Thor and the Warriors Three
Base of Operations: Asgard
First Appearance: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #85

History: Due to his many heroic deeds over the ages, Balder noblest god and its greatest warrior next to the thunder god Thor, who has long been Balder's closest friend. Balder has been unsuccessfully sought as a lover by the sorceress Kamilla the Norn Queen.

Because of prophecies that Balder's death would help trigger the coming of Ragnarok, the destruction od Asgard and its inhabitants, Odin, ruler of Asgard, commanded his wife Frigga to make Balder invulnerable to harm. Frigga cast spells that would protect Balder from harm by any living or inanimate thing while he was in the Asgardian dimension. (The legends describe her as extracting promises from all of these things not to harm Balder, as if they were all sentient and capable of speech.) The sole exception was mistletoe. This omission is probly not due to forgetfulness on Frigga's part, since she has made him invulnerable to harm from misletoe since his vulnerability to it became known. It is more likely that his vulnerably to mistletoe is a necessary side effect of the spells making him invulnerable to harm from other things.

Loki, the god of mischief, learned of the prophecies tying Balder's death to the coming of Ragnarok, and also learned of Balder's vulnerability to misletoe. Seeking to bring about Ragnarok, Loki tricked the Blind god Hoder into firing an arrow tipped with mistletoe wood at Balder. Balder was fatally wounded, but Odin's power prevented him from actually dying and instead kept him in a state resembling suspended animation. Nevertheless, Balder's spirit journeyed to Hel, one of the Asgardian realms of the dead. There Balder was appalled at seeing the horrors endured by the spirits of so many of those whom he had slain in battle.

Odin finally restored Balder fully to life, but Balder's hair turned white as a result of his experiences in Hel. His beloved, Nanna, sacrificed her life to save him from entrapment in marriage by Kamilla, and Balder was so distraught that he has resolved never to speak of this incident or of her again. Anguished by Nanna's death and by what he had seen in the land of the dead, Balder forswore the life of a warrior, attempted unsuccessfully to forget his misery through eating, gaining considerable weight in the process, and finally rode out into the desert, hoping to die there. Instead, Balder encountered the Noms, the three goddesses who oversee the working of destiny. The Noms gave Balder a vision that restored his faith in the value of life and in the need for him to continue living. Balder rode back to Asgard and was sent by Odin to Kamilla to seek her aid in the Asgardians' battle against Surtur and the legions of Muspelheim. Balder was successful in the mission, and his relationship appears to have changed in the process. Balder has, also returned to his normal weight through vigorous exercise.

Height: 6 ft. 4 in.
Weight: 320 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: White, formerly brown

Strength Level: Balder is somewhat stronger than the average Asgardian male, and can lift (press) about 35 tons. (the average Asgardian male can lift about 30 tons.)

Known Superhuman Powers: Balder possesses the conventional superhuman physical attributes of an Asgardian. Like all Asgardians, Balder is extremely long-lived (through not immortal like the Olympians), superhumanly strong, and immune to all diseases. (Asgardian flesh and bone is about three denser than similar human tissue, contributing to the Asgardians' superhuman strength and weight.) His Asgardian metabolism gives him superhuman endurance in all physical activities.

Because of spells placed on him by Frigga, queen of Asgard, Balder cannot suffer injury by any living or non-living thing while he is in the Asgardian dimension. Any projectile hurled at Balder which is capable of killing or injuring an Asgardian will be magically deflected from its path before it can strike him. However, Balder can be injured or killed by weapons made of mistletoe wood. Presumably he can also be harmed by the power of Odin, and possibly by spells and magical energies used by others. Balder could also die in the Asgardian dimension through means that do not involve weaponry: for example, he could starve to death or be asphyxiated. Moreover, Frigga's spells do not protect Balder when he is in the Earth dimension. It is not known whether Balder also becomes vulnerable when he is in dimensions other than those of Asgard and Earth.

Abilities: Balder is a brilliant warrior, greatly skilled in hand-to-hand combat, swordsmanship, and horsemanship.

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