- This is the gathering of the dead. If you liked it, there would be something wrong with you. ... Only Hela likes it. And it is not a matter of whether she likes it or not. It must be done and done swiftly...
- -- Hela src
Hela is allegedly daughter of the Asgardian god of mischief Loki (proven false in ). The three Asgardian goddesses of fate, the Norns, are said to have warned the Asgardian gods that Hela would prove to be a great danger to them.
Odin, ruler of the Asgardian gods, decreed that Hela would become goddess and ruler of the spirits of the dead on the day of her maturity. These spirits were in the other-dimensional realms of Hel and Niflheim, two more of the Nine Worlds, both of which Hela ruled. However, Odin himself directly ruled the souls of Asgardians and their human worshipers who died in battle as heroes, and had the palace of Valhalla built in a distant section of Asgard, known as Valhalla, to house them.
Hela sought for ages to bring more Asgardian souls under her control, and especially longed to possess the souls of Odin and his son Thor - however, during their first meetin, when Thor offered his own life in exchange for that of Sif, who was a prisoner of Hela, the Goddess was impressed by the young Thunder god's nobility and let both of them go. In recent years, when Odin's attention had strayed from the rule of Valhalla, Hela tried to annex that realm to her own, hoping to consolidate her power over all of Asgard's dead. Eventually Odin grew aware of her ambitions and opposed them. Hela finally withdrew to her own realms, and Odin reestablished his control over Valhalla.
For untold ages, Hela had directed the construction of a gigantic ship, Nailgar, said to be made of the fingernails of the dead. Hela planned that when Nailgar was finished, she would send an army of the dead to Asgard in it to destroy the gods. However, Nailgar was destroyed by the Asgardian hero Executioner as it neared completion.
Hela once cast a curse on Thor which prevented him from healing any wounds and also prevented his death. After many battles and untold amounts of pain, Thor, reduced to pulp by a battle with the Midgard Serpent, entered Hela's realm within the armor of the Destroyer. The Destroyer's power proved too much for Hela, and she restored Thor's health and removed her curse. The Destroyer remained in Hela's realm to remind her of her defeat.
It is said that should the forces of evil in the Nine Worlds ever succeed in destroying Asgard, Hela and her army of the dead would be at their side.
Hela is a goddess and as such enjoys superhuman resistance to injury, diseases, and an extremely long lifespan. Hela has the ability to use various spells such as levitation, illusion casting, and virtually any other desired effect. She is immediately aware of any actions in her realms, and she commands all who dwell there. Hela can project her astral essence to whichever dimensions as she pleases, for unlimited periods of time, and wields the same powers as usual.
Hela holds the power of life and death over the gods of Asgard. She can cast magical Eldritch bolts that cause aging in Asgardians, to the equivalent of 20 years for a human. The touch of the death goddess on bare flesh functions as a Death Touch. She can also restore life to a newly-fallen Asgardian, leaving them weakened or at their full measure of vitality, as she sees fit.
Hela's cloak/cowl headdress contains much of her life force. Without it, she becomes extremely weakened and cannot use any of her powers. The left half of her body assumes its true form: that of a petrified corpse. Replacing the cloak will restore Hela to full vitality, and even touching it will allow her to stand.
Hela was awakened from her mortal guise after Ragnarök by Thor, albeit due to Loki's machinations. She began living in Las Vegas, maintaining a lair where she could feed on the souls of random unlucky people, joining her powers with her father Loki's to enable him to travel back in time and prompt Odin to adopt him as a child, fulfilling the penultimate step of his mastermind plan against Thor. Quasimodo researched Hela along with nearly two hundred other anti-heroes and villains, revealing his knowledge of her current whereabouts and loss of Hel and Nifflehelm to Osborn, but suggested that, while the goddess herself seldom took an interest in mortal affairs, he believed she can be persuaded by Loki to support their agenda if needed.
She attended a meeting with Mephisto, Blackheart, Satannish and Dormammu about a disturbance created by the newly resurrected Magik, who was looking for the soulsword and the original Bloodstone amulet. Belasco's daughter, Witchfire appeared during the meeting and revealed she was now the current owner of the original amulet and vowed to take her father's place as ruler of Limbo and seat at their table.
Danielle Moonstar met with Hela at the Inferno Club of Las Vegas, asking her for a boon, though one not coming for free, which gave her a sword and a new ride home, thus allowing her to defeat Ares during Norman Osborn's attack on The X-Men in San Francisco.  During Necrosha when Selene attacked the X-men's new sanctuary Utopia, Asgardian Wolf-Prince Hrimhari called upon Hela offering his soul to save the life of X-men Healer Elixir so he could in turn save Hrimhari's pregnant lover, Rahne Sinclair.During the events of Siege, Loki brokered a deal between Mephisto and Hela in which from the Peninsula of Perfidy to the Gully of Hubris will be for Hela to govern for a thousand and one years. With Ragnarok past an Asgardian's only destiny is a place in Hela's halls, for Loki's part in the bargain it is a destiny he no longer shares. Danielle Moonstar was then called on by Hela to return her boon by once again becoming a Valkyrie, this time in service of Hela and ushering Asgardians killed during Siege into Hela's realm.
Hela continued to operate and prey upon the weak in Las Vegas. When her servant, Pip the troll, escapes with a pendant rendering him invisible to her, she hires X-Factor Investigations to locate him, which they do successfully. Jamie Madrox, upon discovery of Hela's intent, sends X-Factor to Las Vegas to rescue him, which they accomplish with help from Thor. During the fight Madrox maneuvers adaptive teammate Darwin in the way of Hela's killing touch. Due to Darwin's involuntary mutant ability to evolve to save his life, he becomes a male version of Hela, matching her powers equally. He then rips off her essential green cloak forcing her to revert to her true, half-petrified form, leaving her vulnerable to the attacks of the undead Asgardians now free of her control.
Down, but not out, Hela resurfaced again to thwart X-Factor when Rahne finally gives birth to Hrimhari's child. In the final stages of the pregnancy, the half-mutant/half-god and all lycanthropic infant became the target of numerous godlike and undead beings eager to either use or destroy it for their own ends and Hela was no exception. When the child was finally born, an exhauted and traumatized Rahne (having been captured by Hela's mortal brother Agamemnon) cast it away, wanting nothing to do with a being so central in the plans of evil. Hela took this opportunity to reach out to and raise the child herself but was immediatley set upon by the hoards of feral undead wanting to do likewise, weakned (most likely from her fight with Darwin) she was forced to abandon the idea and flee, leaving the child to be rescued by werewolf Jack Russel, who had helped Rahne earlier that day.
Loki thwarted the Serpent's plans to ally with Hela, manipulating both her and Mephisto, her landlord of sorts, into working with him against the God of Fear. The Serpent was defeated and Hela sent her handmaiden Leah to serve Loki.
The Word Made Flesh
Leah is eventually revealed to be Hela's past self, created unintentionally by Loki and ending the myth than Loki is her biological father. (Journey into Mystery 645)
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Hela possesses the conventional superhuman abilities of an Asgardian woman, although in fact her parents may have been members of the race of giants of Jotunheim, as well as certain special abilities that pertain to her role as a goddess of death:
- Superhuman Strength: Hela possesses vast superhuman strength considerably greater than most Asgardians. She has proven capable of standing toe-to-toe with Thor. Hence, she is capable of lifting well in excess of 100 tons.
- Superhuman Speed: Hela is capable of running and moving at speeds much greater than even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Hela's body produces considerably less fatigue toxins than the bodies of human beings, or most other Asgardians for that matter, during physical activity. As a result, Hela possesses almost limitless physical stamina.
- Superhumanly Dense Tissue: The skin, muscle, and bone tissues of Hela's body are about 3 times as dense as the same tissue in the body of a human. This contributes, somewhat, to Hela's superhuman strength and weight.
- Superhuman Durability: Hela's body is considerably more resistant to physical injury than the bodies of human beings, and most other Asgardians. Hela is capable of withstanding great impact forces, temperature and pressure extremes, high caliber bullets, and powerful energy blasts without sustaining injury.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite her body's high resistance to injury, it is possible to injure her. However, Hela's body is capable of healing itself with high levels of superhuman speed and efficiency. The extent of Hela's healing abilities is considerably beyond that the the vast majority of Asgardians.
- Extended Longevity: Hela, like all Asgardians, is not completely immune to aging but she does age at a rate much slower than that of a human being. She is also immune to all known Earthly diseases and infections.
- Astral Projection: Hela is able to travel about in her astral form, possessing the same powers of death as her physical form has. Because of her Asgardian metabolism, she does not have any limitation on the amount of time she can spend out of her physical form, unlike mortal astral projectionists.
- High-level Magical Energy Manipulation: Hela is capable of manipulating great quantities of Asgardian magic for numerous purposes, such as limitless astral projection, firing deadly bolts of energy from her hands that could kill an immortal, levitation, time-travel and the creation of illusions. She is even capable of channeling the energy through her hand and use them to strike a powerful blow that can rend even the strongest Asgardian flesh. She refers to this as the "Hand of Glory".
- Control Over Life and Death: As the Asgardian Goddess of Death, Hela holds the power of life and death over the gods of Asgard. Death for an Asgardian is somewhat different from death for an Earth human being. In both cases, the corporeal body ceases all functions and activities, but whereas mortal spirits flee the physical form at the moment of death, the spirits of gods remain in their bodies until the death goddess draws them out and dispatches them to her realms. These spirits (or astral selves) remain integral for eternity and reside, apparently forever, in the other-dimensional realms of Hel and Niffleheim, where they take on a quasi-physical existence, under Hela's control. The souls of those who die heroically in battle remain within their bodies and are accompanied by Odin's Valkyries into Valhalla, where the deceased heroes lead a new physical existence. These dead heroes are known as the Einherjar. Hela too accompanies these heroes on their journey to Valhalla, but she has no right to govern them. Although Hela is usually content to wait until an Asgardian is on the verge of succumbing to fatal wounds before she touches him or her and draws the spirit from his or her body, she can also kill perfectly healthy Asgardians with her touch if she chooses. Although Hela's touch of death is effective even when she touches someone with her gloved hand, she must contact that person's bare skin for him or her to die. However, Hela can also project mystic bolts that will cause their target to age or die, even if they strike a portion of the target's body that is covered by clothing. While Hela’s touch is also fatal to mortals, she does not generally leave the dimension of Asgard or have much traffic with human lives. The souls of immortals are her province, nor those of mortals.
AbilitiesAlthough she rarely does so, Hela is a formidable hand to hand combatant, as well as having great proficiency with swordsmanship. She is particularly skillful at using her powers in combat situations.
Strength levelHela possesses vast superhuman strength considerably greater than most Asgardians. She has proven capable of standing toe-to-toe with Thor. Hence, she is capable of lifting well in excess of 100 tons
When wearing the garment that serves as her cloak, cowl, and headdress, Hela's body is fully alive and healthy. However, deprived of her cloak, Hela reverts to her true form. The right side of her body is fully alive, but the left side is dead and decayed. Legend has it that Hela was born in this condition. It has been theorized that without her cloak, Hela would be unable to leave the realms of the dead. it has been demonstrated that without her cloak, Hela's life force is insufficient to maintain her usual physical strength. Indeed, she is unable to stand or levitate herself, or to project mystical bolts, and can barely crawl. Donning her cloak once more will restore Hela to full vitality; even simply touching it would again enable her to stand.
Hela is often armed with her "Nightsword," and is a proficient swordswoman. She battled Pluto proficiently with the Nightsword pitted against his enchanted Midnight Axe until Pluto brought demons in to attack Hela in the couse of their duel.
- She is the alleged daughter of Loki and Angerboda, both are Jotuns.
- Journey Into Mystery 641 & 645 address Hela's paternity and the myths surrounding her existence. Hela states that Loki was never her father. (Journey Into Mystery 645)
- 162 Appearances of Hela (Earth-616)
- 45 Images featuring Hela (Earth-616)
- 11 Quotations by or about Hela (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Hela (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Hela (Earth-616)
- Hela at the Guide to the Mythological Universe
- The Unofficial Handbook to the Marvel Universe
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- ↑ Journey into Mystery #645
- ↑ Journey into Mystery #102
- ↑ Thor Vol 3 #5
- ↑ Thor Vol 3 #12
- ↑ X-Infernus #1
- ↑ Dark Avengers #8
- ↑ Siege: Loki #1
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 []
- ↑ Thor: Wolves of the North #
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 14
- ↑ Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica #
- ↑ Thor #199
- ↑ Avengers Prime #4