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Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Annotations

Learn more about the characters from this past week's episode of 'The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!'

Greetings, Marvelites! After every new episode of "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!" airing Sundays at 10:00 a.m. ET on Disney XD, we here at Marvel.com will run down some of the characters and key artifacts from the Marvel Universe spotlighted in that episode! So sit back as we crack open our Marvel history books to provie you with Earth's Mightiest Annotations!

By Marc Strom

Malekith from "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!"
The Avengers faced their most chilling threat yet this past Sunday, when Malekith the Accursed unleashed the full fury of the Casket of Ancient Winters on New York, putting the city under several feet of snow and ice!

But where did Malekith come from and what is the Casket of Ancient Winters? And what about the Radioactive Man, the explosive villain that Thor and Iron Man had to face down at the beginning of the episode? We've put our Mighty Marvel History Degrees to work and dug up everything you need to know on these threats and more!

Malekith & The Casket of Ancient Winters

Malekith and the Casket of Ancient Winters
The Dark Elf first made his presence known as a servant to the evil Surtur when he encased the Earth under a layer of ice to prepare for his master's invasion.

While Thor eventually stymied Surtur's invasion and defeated Malekith, the villain would later disguise himself as Balder in an effort to be crowned King of Asgard. Kurse, unfooled by Malekith's treachery, apparently killed Malekith, ending his threat for the time being.

Later, Malekith would appeared once again, alive and well, when he stole the Casket of Ancient Winters for himself, unleashing its power on Midgard for the second time. With the help of Sif, Beta-Ray Bill and the Warriors Three, Thor triumphed yet again.

Containing within itself the icy cold of Niflheim, the Casket stands as an incredibly dangerous weapon. Once opened, its effects are so far reaching that it is even able to freeze the fires of Hel. The Gem of Infinite Suns, one of the many treasures which Thor's father, Odin, has acquired though the ages, is one of the few items which can counteract the Casket's effects.

For Thor's first battle with Malekith, check out THOR #344-348, collected in THOR VISIONARIES: WALTER SIMONSON VOL. 1, while Malekith would go on to impersonate Balder and meet his apparent demise in THOR #367, found in THOR VISIONARIES: WALTER SIMONSON VOL. 3. THOR Vol. 2 #30-32 recounts the story of the Odinson's next battle with the Dark Elf, and may be found collected in THOR: ACROSS ALL WORLDS.

Radioactive Man

The Radioactive Man makes his first apperance
Chen Lu first gained his powers as the Radioactive Man when the Chinese government ordered him to come up with a way of defeating the mighty Thor. Exposing himself to radiation, Lu became a walking reactor, nigh-invulnerable and capable of putting even the Odinson into a walking trance.

The Radioactive Man would go on to join forces with Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil, fighting against the original Avengers. Over time, however, Chen came to regret his villainous tendencies and made an attempt to reform by joining the Thunderbolts. He would stay with the team for some time before being called back to his homeland of China, where he served in the People's Defense Force.

Radioactive Man first appeared in JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #93, collected in MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE MIGHTY THOR VOL. 1, and joined forces with the Masters of Evil in AVENGERS Vol. 1 #6, found in MARVEL MASTERWORKS: AVENGERS VOL. 1. He later went on to join the Thunderbolts in NEW THUNDERBOLTS #1.

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