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Comic Book / War of the Realms

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In the beginning, there was only darkness.
The great unending nothingness of the Yawning Void.
Then from the south came roaring fire, and from the north swirling ice and mist.
And where the two forces clashed in the heart of the void, life was born.
Elves and giants. Dwarves and goblins. Gods and men.
And realms were made for each of them. Ten in total.
Each with its own place along the World Tree. Each with its own wonders and terrors.
This is the story of those ten realms.
And of the mighty war that ravaged them all.

War of the Realms is a 2019 Marvel Comics crisis crossover, written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Russell Dauterman, both previously of the Jane Foster era of Thor.

War has been raging across the Ten Realms. Led by Malekith, his massive army of Dark Elves has torn through various realms and taken them over. With the Bifrost Bridge destroyed and Heimdall now blind thanks to the Mangog's rampage, Thor has been unable to directly aid the other realms in battle.

But now, the war has made its way to the final realm — Midgard, also known as Earth— and Thor cannot fight Malekith on his own. It's all-hands-on-deck as the God of Thunder gathers his allies old and new (including The Avengers, Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Asgardians of The Galaxy, and more) to defend Earth from this invasion.

War of the Realms is the culmination of plot threads started by Aaron since launching his Thor: God of Thunder title in 2012, as well as his 2013 event series Original Sin, which led to Odinson being deemed unworthy and Jane Foster replacing him as Goddess of Thunder.

     Comics involved in War of the Realms 


Main title

  • War of the Realms #1 — #6
  • War of the Realms Omega



     Release schedule 

February-March 2019 — Road to War of the Realms

  • Feb. 13th: Thor #10
  • March 6th: Avengers #16
  • March 13th: Asgardians of the Galaxy #7
  • March 20th: Avengers #17, Thor #11

April 2019 — Act 1: The World At War

  • Week 1: War of the Realms #1
  • Week 2: Asgardians of the Galaxy #8, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #43, War of The Realms: Journey Into Mystery #1
  • Week 3: War of the Realms #2, Thor #12, War of the Realms: Punisher #1, War of the Realms: War Scrolls #1
  • Week 4: Avengers #18, Venom #13, War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1

May 2019 — Act 2: Reclaim the Realms

  • Week 1: War of the Realms #3, Champions vol. 2 #5, War of Realms Strikeforce: The Dark Elf Realm
  • Week 2: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #44, War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #1, War of the Realms: Journey Into Mystery #2
  • Week 3: War of the Realms #4, War of Realms Strikeforce: The War Avengers, Giant-Man #1, War of the Realms: Spider-Man and the League of Realms #1
  • Week 4: Asgardians of the Galaxy #9, Avengers #19, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #43, Venom #14, War of The Realms: Journey Into Mystery #3, War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #2, War of the Realms: Punisher #2, War of Realms Strikeforce: The Land of Giants, War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men#2
  • Week 5: Fantastic Four #10, Giant-Man #2, Thor #13, War of the Realms: Spider-Man and the League of Realms #2, War of the Realms: War Scrolls #2

June 2019 — Act 3: Midgard's Last Stand

  • Week 1: War of the Realms #5, Captain Marvel vol. 10 #6, Deadpool #13, Tony Stark: Iron Man #12, War of The Realms: Journey Into Mystery #4, War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #3
  • Week 2: Asgardians of the Galaxy #10, Champions vol. 2 #6, Giant-Man #3, Superior Spider-Man #7, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #45, Venom #15
  • Week 3: Captain Marvel vol. 10 #7, Deadpool #14, Superior Spider-Man #8, War of the Realms: Spider-Man and the League of Realms #3, Tony Stark: Iron Man #13, War of The Realms: Journey Into Mystery #5, War of the Realms: War Scrolls #3
  • Week 4: War of the Realms #6, Avengers #20, Thor #14, War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #4, War of the Realms: Punisher #3, War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men #3

War of the Realms contains examples of:

  • Abdicate the Throne: In Issue #2, Freyja does this before leaving on the potential suicide mission to destroy the Black Bifrost, naming Jane Foster as her successor.
    Freyja: Jane Foster. With the power invested in me by the gods, I hereby name you All-Mother of Asgard.
    • Odin does the same in Issue #6, naming Thor as All-Father.
    • Subverted with Loki. Using Heimdall's sword, Loki cuts his way out of Laufey's stomach, killing him and making himself King of the Frost Giants. The subversion is Laufey hated Loki and would never willingly crown his son. He was however a believer in the Klingon Promotion so Loki got the crown exactly the way Laufey would approve of.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Thanks to the Avengers' evacuation plan working too well on themselves, Malekith's army successfully takes Earth and it's up to our heroes to get it back. Unlike Secret Empire, which laid that situation to a bunch of B- and C-Listers, all heroes are involved in this in some way, no matter the ranking.
  • Amazon Chaser: A pair of trolls witness She-Hulk taking down a dark elves' moss wooly mammoth thing. They're both immediately smitten with her even as she promises to smash all trolls.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Malekith's killing of Brunnhilde the Valkyrie in Issue #2 leaves the fate of Annabelle Riggs (who had to share Brunnhilde's life force) unaddressed. To put the situation in context, Annabelle was planning on proposing to her girlfriend Ren Kimura, and the issue was quickly followed by an announcement that Jane Foster would be taking on the Valkyrie title, with Brunnhilde as her Spirit Advisor. Asgardians of the Galaxy #9 will address this situation.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • Thor loses his artificial arm in the midst of his Warrior's Madness. Upon recovering in Avengers Mountain, he replaces his missing arm with the Destroyer's lost arm, bringing him closer in appearance to his future self as All-Father of Asgard.
    • After getting Venom knocked off him, Malekith gets his right arm cut off by Young Thor's axe. As Malekith gives in to fear, he loses his legs to two of his Helhounds, while his remaining arm gets maimed by his Bog Tiger.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The Omega issue is framed as Heimdall sharing the Allsight with Daredevil one last time so he can know what all the other realms are up to now. He's shown previews of Thor, Jane, Loki and Punisher's new titles, along with the perpetrators of the War of the Realms being punished, like Malekith being tormented by the Queens of Hel.
  • Anyone Can Die: Promised but subverted. Yes, Loki, Freyja, and Odin (twice) die in this crossover, but all of these were revealed to be fakeouts undone in a couple of issues. The only real casuality of the War of the Realms were being Valkyrie and her Red Shirt Army of Valkyries, the Queen of Heven, Laufey, and Malekith.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: When the heroes finally reach Thor in Jotunheim he's standing in a literal mountain of Frost Giant corpses, soaked in blood and with his Artificial Limb torn off. And even with his hammer broken down to the base he's still primed to fight, consumed by his Warrior's Madness.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In Issue #2, Dr. Strange casts an evacuation spell to send the city's citizens safely to Avengers Mountain. However, the spell turned out to be too strong and ended up sending nearly all the heroes there as well. Soon, Dario Agger's Roxx News declares Malekith's total domination of Midgard.
  • Badass Driver: Kate Bishop in Journey Into Mystery by virtue of being the only person in the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that has a driver's license. She does a bang-up job of evading War Gods, fire demons, and other dangers with only a Winnebago as her getaway vehicle.
  • Battle Trophy: In Punisher Kill Krew, Frank is going around with a bad-ass helmet. Where did he get it? In Central Park, an undead warrior was carrying off a woman. Frank made it drop the girl and kindly donate the helmet it wore.
  • The Berserker:
    • In the third issue, Thor is shown to have lapsed into a borderline feral bloodlusted state that Wolverine recognizes all-too-well; surrounded by mountain-sized piles of corpses and screaming for more, even with his prosthetic missing and his hammer all-but destroyed.
    • Eddie Brock gets in on the berserker action due to his artificial dreamstone symbiote needing to feed off his negative emotions to function, sprouting a fanged maw and prehensile tongue when particularly enraged. However, he recognizes the dangers of giving in to this, and ultimately curbs his rage for a more creative solution.
  • BFG: With the Punisher Kill Krew hunting him, the frost giant Kasyckla holes up in an uru fortress in the dwarven realm of Nidavellir. When the Krew breaks in, Kasyckla yanks out a Nidavellir defense gun that's at least as big as him. The gun's enchanted rocket is so strong it knocks out the Juggernaut with a direct hit and stuns the others at the edge of the blast.
  • Big Bad: Malekith and his army of Norse monsters, which are intent on conquering all Ten Realms.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence:
    • Arthur Adams's first cover depicts one between Thor and his allies from The Avengers (Blade, Black Panther, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, She-Hulk), Fantastic Four (The Thing), X-Men (Wolverine) and several street-level heroes (Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, Spider-Man) fighting it out with Malekith's army of Dark Elves, Fire Giants, Frost Giants, Trolls and Angels in the streets of what is likely New York City.
    • Another preview image by series artist Russell Dauterman features the aforementioned Thor, Blade, Black Panther, Captain America (riding on a winged horse!), Doctor Strange, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Wolverine, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Punisher and Spider-Man fighting alongside other Midgard defenders such as Ghost Rider, Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, Okoye and Venom, as well as Asgardians Odin, Freyja, Lady Sif, Hildegarde and Valkyrie, implying there will be many versions of this throughout the Crossover.
    • Issue #3 features a sequence highlighting the battles across the globe concurrent with the main events of the plot. The Agents of Wakanda assault the Roxxon Base in Antarctica/the Kingdom of Roxxon, Inc., Namor battles Fire Goblin Sharks in Atlantis, the Dora Milaje fight the Angels in Africa/New Heven, and the Fantastic Four take on Malekith's army in Manhattan.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After seemingly perishing at the beginning of the first issue, Odin reappears in the middle of the second, heavily wounded from the Dark Elves' assault, but alive. He proceeds to fly through the chest of a Frost Giant while leading a cavalry of Valkyries to battle.
  • Boxed Crook: The Punisher hijacks a prisoner van and press-gangs the cons inside into helping refugees from a hospital to escape from New York. Since this is the Punisher, those cons that survived the trip are rewarded... with a bullet to the head.
  • Brainy Baby: Even though she's just a baby who can't even form words yet, Laussa in Journey into Mystery has enough royal strategic instincts to have been leading her protectors into gathering an army to fight in the war. She even managed to hijack by proxy Sindr's handling Ares, so she could also recruit him to their side.
  • Breath Weapon: Issue #6 sees Laufey eating the Casket of Ancient Winters and gaining blizzard breath, intending to use it to freeze the entire world.
  • Bring It: When Thor is tricked by Malekith into an ambush by Frost Giants, he is able to hold his own.
    Thor: Is that all you've got, Malekith?! SEND MORE GIANTS!!!
  • Brought Down to Normal: After welding Heimdall's sword and gaining his powers in Issue #3, Daredevil loses them by throwing the sword into Laufey's mouth in #6.
    • At the end of the Uncanny X-Men mini, Dani Moonstar discovers her Valkyrie powers are fading away.
    • Averted for Jane Foster, who becomes Thor one last time, loses those powers, only to get new ones as the new Valkyrie.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Ratatoskr, the squirrel of Yggdrasil, makes her first appearance in a while, appropriately within the Squirrel Girl tie-ins.
    • Likewise, Wiccan and Hulkling are slated to make a return in War Scrolls #2 after being MIA in the comic books for a few years now.
    • White Fox was last seen stuck on Battleworld with the Civil Warriors keeping Iso-8 shards out of the hands of villains and she also appeared as a rival to the Black Widow in a Domino miniseries. The Agents of Atlas tie-in has her suddenly back in 616.
    • Death Locket is a supporting character in the Journey into Mystery tie-in, marking her first appearance since her cameo in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and her first major role in a series since Avengers Undercover.
  • Call-Back:
    • At the end of Issue #5 of the main series, Jane Foster approaches the remains of Ultimate Thor's hammer, saying, "There must always be a Thor," calling back to when she first gained Thor's power. "And sometimes..." she adds as she picks up the hammer to transform, "...there must even be more than one!"
    • Channelling Gorr the God Butcher from Thor: God of Thunder, Malekith bonds to the Venom symbiote, manifests a Necrosword, and dubs himself the Butcher of Thors.
  • Canon Immigrant: Luna Snow and Crescent, two characters exclusively created for the Marvel Future Fight mobile game will make their comic book appearances as part of the New Agents of Atlas with Jimmy Woo, Amadeus Cho, Shang-Chi, Silk, Wave, Sword Master and Aero.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Captain Marvel has to chastise Iron Man for openly flirting with the Angels of Heven during battle in the first issue. Tony in turn brags to Carol that his flirtation worked when the Angels express their desire to breed with him.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Jennifer "She-Hulk" Walters gets focus in Issue #20 of Avengers as it ties into the event. There, even though she still beats herself up over her new persona ruining her reputation as a charming bombshell, she monologues internally about how that same persona of being fun and sexy got her a lot of unwanted objectification from villains and paparazzi alike, which fed a growing resentment she's been repressing until her new savage persona gave her an outlet. This also calls back to the central theme of her cousin's current series, of the freedom that being a Hulk allows.
  • Cessation of Existence: Invoked in War of the Realms #6 and Thor Vol. 5 #14, when Present Day Thor, All-Father Thor, and Malekith realize that if Young Thor is killed the other Thors will disappear from the timestream.
  • Collective Identity: Both Eddie Brock and his former symbiote operate independently as Venom — Eddie using an artificial symbiote created from a dark elf dreamstone, and the symbiote using its ability to take on a humanoid form without a host.
  • Continuity Lockout: Averted with the Squirrel Girl tie-ins, which are designed not to require readers to read the main event to understand what's going on.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • During Issue #3 of the main comic, when Daredevil, empowered by the powers of Heimdall, is about to defend the Asgardian Bifrost against a Dark Elf assault, the narration notes, "Matthew Murdock hears a voice quietly mumble a prayer, and with surprise... realizes it's his own." This refers to Matt's fake twin Mike Murdock, who had mistakenly been brought to life by an Inhuman called the Reader in a recent Daredevil storyline.
    • In the Superior Spider-Man tie-in, Reed Richards agrees to give Otto and the West Coast Avengers a few minutes of distraction as a favor for what Otto did long ago, referring to the time Reed came to Otto for help in trying to save Sue and the initially-failed attempt to save Valeria.
  • Cool Horse: Captain America is seen riding one in Russell Dauterman's preview image. It's as of now unknown whether this is Brunnhilde's winged steed Aragorn or another flying horse commonly seen used by the Valkyries.
  • Covers Always Lie: The covers for Venom Vol. 4 #13 show Eddie and the Venom symbiote back together and using All-Black to fight Mangog... but nothing of the sort happens in the book itself. Eddie acquires a synthetic symbiote created using Dark Elf magic, while the Venom symbiote ends up being captured by Malekith, and All-Black is stuck in the distant future and bonded to King Loki.
  • Curb-Stomp Cushion: When the War Avengers show up to stop Malekith from conquering Europe in the third issue, Venom charges headlong at the dark elf warlord declaring his intent to eat him, and is later shown dominating the fight... until Malekith quips that he wasn't even aware he was supposed to be fighting — having been too busy learning about Knull and All-Black — and casually one-shots him with the Ebony Blade.
  • Criminal Convention: During Journey into Mystery #4, the crew makes a pit stop in Las Vegas to gamble their pocket change and get enough money for gas and diapers. The band of superheroes walks into a hotel/casino and find out they arrived just in time for Hench Con. While the supervillains are fighting the heroes for control of the planet, the villains' henchmen are busy singing karaoke, comparing health insurance packages, and networking.
  • Crisis Crossover: Seemingly incorporating every corner of the Marvel Universe.
  • Cruel Mercy: Malekith's ultimate punishment by Hela and Karnilla: being Forced to Watch as they unmake his Freudian Excuse by giving a happier life to his younger self, resulting in a Loss of Identity. Malekith is left begging them to stop.
  • Deal with the Devil: Venom Vol. 4 #13 has Eddie Brock — who parted ways with the Venom symbiote on bad terms — realize he can't protect his son Dylan as a normal human and bargain with one of Malekith's war witches for the power to do so; obtaining a Dream Stone that transforms into an artificial symbiote studded with crystalline spikes and Nordic runes. "Magic Venom" promptly bites off the war witch's hand — forcing her to flee — and sets out to help fend off the invasion.
  • Devoured by the Horde: Malekith ends up getting ripped apart by his own Bog Tiger and hounds once they detect his fear.
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: Unknown to the heroes and villains alike, the High Evolutionary's mutates from Counter-Earth were among the participants in the war. During the chaos, the mutates went out to kill people for fun or kidnap them for experiments. The Punisher finds this out and had a moment of shock in Punisher Kill Krew, when an orphan gives him a picture of a giant shark with bionic limbs killing their parents.
  • The Diaper Change: Issue #2 of Journey Into Mystery has a battle between heroes interrupted by baby goddess Laussa's "needs." Sebastian Druid takes care of the job- but only barely, fleeing the van for a Vomit Discretion Shot. Only Deathlocket the cyborg can survive the smell long enough to dispose of the remains.
  • Discard and Draw: Jane Foster takes up Ultimate Mjolnir to become Thor again. However, the hammer is too unstable to keep its form and crumbles... only to covalesce into a golden gauntlet, tying into her becoming the new Valkyrie.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Loki guts open Laufey after being devoured by him.
  • Doppelganger Link: According to the Thor tie-in and final issue, Old Thor and Modern Thor's existence is predicated on the survival of Young Thor — their past self from the 9th century. Malekith quickly figures out that if he kills the hammer-less Viking, the other two more powerful versions will cease to exist, and orders his soldiers to focus on him.
  • The End of the Beginning: Issue #6 ends with Odin declaring Thor the new king of Asgard, with a caption box saying, "The Beginning."
  • Enemy Mine: The Juggernaut hadn't rejoined the X-Men at this point in time, but he is joining the Punisher in Punisher Kill Krew. Justified in the Punisher and Foggy Nelson saving the Juggernaut from Frost Giant wizards who had Juggy trapped with magic and trying to take his Cyttorak gem and Juggy needs a ride back home plus he wants some payback.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas:
    • Loki tries to give his life to save Freyja from his biological father, Laufey.
    • Young Thor, in the spur of the moment to save Freyja from the Venom symbiote, briefly becomes worthy enough to wield Mjolnir for the first time.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Juggernaut is so horrified watching the Punisher torture a helpless frost giant, that he pukes... all over Foggy Nelson.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: In Issue #1, Thori notices something off about "Loki" that Thor doesn't.
    Thori: (sniffs "Loki") Master? Thori think...
    (Thor ignores Thori and asks "Loki" to take him to Malekith)
    Thor: (as the Black Bifrost prepares to take him and "Loki" away) Thori, go to the mountain and alert the Avengers.
    Thori: But Master, wait...
    (Thor and "Loki" disappear)
    Thori: ...that not... Master?
  • Evil Me Scares Me: In Thor Vol. 5 #12, Loki is disgusted by his past self's sadism as well as his own evil deeds — starting Malekith on the path to become a warmonger and stealing the life of his child self. To top it all off, he sees a vision of his future self as the All-Butcher Necrogod in the distant future of All-Father Thor and is horrified at the prospect of being so evil. It's enough to make him plead he stay dead once and for all.
  • Evil Overlord: Malekith seeks to become one over all ten realms.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: In Issue #6, Daredevil throws Heimdall's sword at Laufey, who ends up eating it. Sif declares Daredevil to have doomed everyone, but Captain America wonders why he's smiling. Eventually, Loki cuts through Laufey's stomach, emerging with both the sword and the Casket of Ancient Winters which Laufey had been using in an attempt to freeze the world with his breath.
    Loki: What's the matter, father? Was it something you ATE?
  • Eye Scream: In the penultimate issue, Thor sacrifices one of his eyes to Yggdrasil in order to find a way to stop Malekith, making him even closer appearance-wise to his Earth-14412 counterpart.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Sabretooth, having spent a few years in real time as a hero, returns to being a villain. Weapon X (2017)'s final issue revealed that Sabretooth's reversion to villainy was due to Wolverine's return and going insane while trapped in hell.
    • It turns out that the current Kurse (Malekith's pet powerhouse), was the Dark Elf member of the League of Realms.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Zigzagged. The Light Elves don't have this... the Punisher gives them enough assault rifles and machine guns to outfit an army. But the Angels of Heven get nailed with it, when they first debuted in the Original Sin event, the Angels had laser guns and spaceships. In the War of the Realms, they just have energized swords and spears... making them cannonfodder when the Punisher and the Light Elves shoot them out of the skies.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Hela invokes this on Malekith in Thor #15 as his eternal punishment: crucified and his eyes sown open, forever forced to watch... as his younger, innocent self frolic and plays with his War Dogs and Bog Tiger, now regressed to adorable and harmless puppies and a kitten, the life Malekith was denied.
  • Final Battle: Issue #6 has two happen simultaneously: Team Thor vs. Malekith, and Team Avengers vs. Laufey.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: At the beginning of Issue #6, after Thor gets the knowledge needed to defeat Malekith, the scene switches to Asgard at the end of time, with Future All-Father Thor's granddaughters reading about the War of the Realms when they come across a passage in their book saying that Thor had his allies (who are said to be experienced with "dealing in the fantastic") travel to the far future to the Asgard of an "old friend". As the girls begin to parse what the book is talking about, Reed Richards and Ben Grimm of the Fantastic Four suddenly appear via the Time Platform to recruit Future Thor for the Final Battle.
  • For the Evulz: When Malekith allies with the Angels, he requests to the queen to sacrifice one of her Angels, Anemone, simply so he could feel what it's like to kill an Angel. This act prompts Fernande, the commander of the Queen's forces and Anemone's lover, to perform a Heel–Face Turn and join the League of Realms.
  • Fusion Dance: In Thor Vol. 5 #14, a group of symbiote-augmented "Spider-Elves" fuse into Svartalfvenom and try to eat Freyja.
  • Genre Savvy: Spider-Man swings through New York in the first issue noting that it's been almost a whole day since someone has tried to kill him, Jonah has had laryngitis and it's been awhile since he's talked out loud to himself, even, so naturally something terrible is about to happen. Cue his Spidey-Sense as all hell breaks loose and a group of Dark Elves attack the Asgardians on Midgard, bringing the War of Realms to Earth.
  • Grand Finale: This event is meant to be the grand finale of the Myth Arc going on in Jason Aaron's Thor run since 2013.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: The fact that Thor's calling on his major allies to kick numerous amounts of butt with him is telling. Thor has even attempted this with other pantheons, asking Hercules to ask his father Zeus for aid in the coming war.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: How Laufey meets his end, when Loki slices him open from the inside.
  • Hazy-Feel Turn: Venom enters the storyline with the Venom symbiote feeling this way as it realized that it has done a lot of crappy things to Eddie and it desperately wants to make amends... just... away from Eddie. Malekith takes advantage of this to captures the symbiote and bend it to his will, even turning it into a sword in emulation of the symbiote-god Knull.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In War of the Realms: Spider-Man & the League of Realms, Spider-Man — who was belittled and berated for his aversion to killing by the other members of the League of Realms — convinces the commander of the Angels of Heven, Fernande, to turn against Malekith using empathy and diplomacy.
  • Heroic BSoD: Kamala enters the Champions storyline in this due to Miles quitting after revealing he made a small Deal with the Devil, Sam leaving to try to regain his powers, Nadia having her manic episode over in her title and the growing rift between Viv and Riri over Viv's odd attempts to reveal her feelings towards Riri.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In War of the Realms #4, Odin and Freyja attempt to sacrifice themselves destroying the Black Bifrost, although #5 reveals that they survived and were captured by Malekith.
  • Hero of Another Story: The Superior Spider-Man tie-in is this. Otto, thinking he can save the Ten Realms with his arrogant genius, attempts to hijack the story, first by hijacking the West Coast Avengers for his needs then trying to hijack the Strikeforce hunting down Thor. Spidey repeatedly tells Otto to go home and protect Earth, but it isn't until Gwenpool explains this trope in a meaningful manner that Otto accepts his place and returns to LA to protect it.
  • He's Back!:
    • The storyline sees the adult (and resurrected) Cyclops reunite with the Champions while Jimmy Woo builds an all-Asian version of the Agents of Atlas with some of the members from the Protectors storyline in Totally Awesome Hulk.
    • Likewise, Thor was tricked into coming to Jotunheim and giving in to Warrior's Madness right before Malekith brought the War of the Realms to Midgard. In Issue #4, he is rescued by an Avengers strike team, and when Jane Foster (having been named All-Mother by Freyja before she left for Svartalfheim) declares the Avengers to lead the last stand against Malekith, Thor speaks up:
      Thor: Nay! There's only one who will lead this fight! And his name is Thor!
    • Jane Foster repairs Ultimate Mjolnir and claims it to become Thor again, in order to help Thor Odinson rescue his parents.
    • Mjolnir returns in Issue #6, having been destroyed in Thor #700, reforged by Thor's force of will. This ends up turning the fragment of the hammer from that issue a Chekhov's Gun.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Malekith is done in by his own war dogs, torn apart as they sense his fear.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: Having had enough of Loki's double and triple crossings, Laufey seemingly kills his son for good by devouring him at the end of the first issue.
  • It's All My Fault: Loki is hit with this in Thor Vol. 5 #12 when he remembers he's the one that started the Troll-Dark Elf war that set Malekith on the path to warmongering. All because he started wars across the realms out of frustration over his relationships with Odin and Thor.
  • It Has Only Just Begun: Daredevil tells Jennifer that the Celestials intentionally powered her up for some far off conflict, and that she's only going to get more powerful until she's ready to take part. She's already powerful enough to, per Carol's words, power the whole of Coney Island with her spit.
  • It Only Works Once: Jane might have repaired Ultimate Mjolnir, but the hammer was way too damaged and only have one mighty swing in it left. She uses it to strike King Laufery.
  • La Résistance: In Issue #4, the Strikeforce members in Svartalfheim use the Black Bifrost to travel to the realms unaligned with Malakith and recruit their inhabitants for Midgard's last stand, with The Punisher recruiting the Light Elves of Alfheim, She-Hulk recruiting the Dwarves of Nidavellir, Blade recruiting the Vanir of Vanaheim, and Ghost Rider recruiting giant spiders representing Niffleheim's Lords of Hel.
  • Legion of Doom: Malekith has assembled one consisting of himself, Dario Agger, King Ulik, King Laufey of Jotunheim, Sindr, Queen of Cinders, the Queen of Heven, Kurse, The Enchantress, Loki and their associated armies.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Act 2 of the event features three one-shots revolving around Earth's heroes forming a Strikeforce split into three five-person teams, each with its own purpose. One team, consisting of Freyja, The Punisher, Blade, Ghost Rider, and She-Hulk head to Svartalfheim to bring down the Black Bifrost. Another faction, consisting of Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, go off to rescue Thor from Jotunheim. The last group, consisting of Captain Marvel, Weapon H, Captain Britain, Venom, and Deadpool (with support from the Winter Soldier and Black Widow), stay on Midgard to take on Malekith's forces directly.
  • Living Weapon: In Issue #4, Malekith turns the Venom symbiote into a sword in emulation of All-Black the Necrosword, using it to badly wound Freyja, dubbing it the "Venom Blade" and "Symbio Sword".
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • The Asgardians of the Galaxy use this to rescue Annabelle from the crumbling Valhalla thanks to Clea.
    • Malekith casts a spell that bars anyone but Thor from coming to confront him to rescue his captive parents. Thor gains wisdom from Yggdrasil to mitigate being outnumbered by Dark Elf forces by having his past and future selves join him, along with Jane as the new War Thor.
  • Magic Misfire: Doctor Strange casts a spell to evacuate the humans of New York to Avengers Mountain so the civilians are out of the way. Unfortunately, the spell works too well and sends all the human heroes along with them, leaving New York largely defenseless against Malekith's forces and their invasion successful.
  • Meaningful Echo: When contemplating the death of the Valkyries Jane says, "There must always be a Valkyrie" just like when she became the next Thor.
  • Mercy Kill: Both Kurse and Ymir want one. Kurse was originally a member of the League of Realms who's now under the control of Malekith, while Ymir is helpless while Moonstone has her slaves chip pieces off of him. Neither gets their wish, instead something better happens. The Vanir shaman of the League of Realms is able to free Kurse from the armor and mind-control, while the group of Giant Men are able to liberate Ymir and let him escape from Earth.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Dark Elf mounts seem to run on this principle, ranging from Malekith's bat-winged Siberian tiger to his soldiers' moss-covered woolly mammoths.
  • Monster of the Week: The Journey into Mystery books have the larger narrative of the heroes trying to protect Thor's baby sister Laussa and Sindr sending Ares to hunt them down, but largely the stories are one-offs as the team has one adventure after another as they travel across the country — Skrulls in a trailer park, ghosts in the Old West, "Hench-Fest" in Las Vegas, and so on. The McElroy Brothers have stated that their goal was to emulate the wild self-contained adventures of the Silver Age, but there's also a reason for it in the narrative itself: Laussa's been using her power to guide her babysitters towards an eclectic array of potential allies.
  • Mood Dissonance: In Issue #1, Loki gets gruesomely murdered by Laufey who bites off half of Loki's body and eats him. Ghost Rider and Spider-Man's response? Crack jokes about it in front of Loki's grieving mother.
  • Morph Weapon: The Omega issue shows the bracer that the Ultimate Mjolnir turned into is now capable of turning into a golden copy of any weapon. It's fittingly name Undrjarn, the All-Weapon.
  • Mythology Gag: That the Ultimate Mjolnir would be the facilitator of Jane as the new Valkyrie, seemingly empowered by all the Valkyries that had died, harkens back to Ultimate Thor being designated Valhalla for all the Asgardians after their annihilation, carrying their spirits with him.
  • Nay-Theist: Frank Castle, who has worked for Heaven and been to Hell, scoffs at the notion of swearing on souls, even those of his family, in the final issue of his tie-in mini.
  • Never Trust a Title: War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men is actually a series involving the New Mutants opposed to the main cast members of the X-Men typically associated with the name. Though the characters pictured on the cover of Issue #1 (Dani Moonstar, Magik, Karma, Wolfsbane) have all been members of the X-Men over the years the series has more to do with their time spent dealing with Asgardian affairs as New Mutants. The adult members of the current Uncanny X-Men team are busy elsewhere, Wolverine with the Avengers sub-team in the Land of Giants, and Cyclops reuniting with the Champions.
    • This mini-series will also serve as a Sequel Series to New Mutants: Dead Souls, which came out in 2018, written by the same writer.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In the New Agents of Atlas tie-in, Amadeus Cho does this in their mission in Korea in a sequence of Epic Fail. First, he ignores Jimmy Woo's advice to perform reconnaissance and tries to land the ship to help the Korean heroes, even though the heroes clearly had the advantage over the invaders. This leads to their ship getting shot down and Woo getting knocked out in the resulting crash. The Korean heroes then mistake Amadeus for working with the fire demons due to his attempt to take over America last time, which leads to the two groups fighting each other. Amadeus, trying to help, tries to dose the fire demons with water, only to hit Luna Snow and accidentally freeze her instead. Whoops...
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Malekith possessing the Venom Symbiote turned out to be a good thing... for the symbiote. When Thor ends up beating the symbiote off of him with the revived Mjolnir, it ends up fixing its mental instability, allowing it to focus more on the upcoming Carnage.
  • Not Me This Time: In the first issue of the Avengers tie-in, Phil Coulson is seen talking to Mephisto and asks him if he's behind the invasion. Mephisto tells him that this is all Malekith's doing.
  • Offing the Offspring: Laufey kills Loki in issue one by biting him in half and eating him in front of the gathered heroes... or at least he tries. It turns out Loki survived and handily inverts the trope.
  • Orcus on His Throne: A rare heroic one, as Odin has been sitting things out for months leading up to the war sequestering himself in his throne room in the ruins of Asgard. He's ambushed by a group of Dark Elves before he gets a chance to get up from it and help, taking several stabs in the first issue.
  • Panthera Awesome: Malekith's personal steed is a Bog Tiger, which is basically a giant white tiger with bat-like wings.
  • Pet the Dog: When the Juggernaut finds out that the Punisher is on a mission to avenge the parents of New York's war orphans, Juggy starts crying and wants in on killing all the monsters. Frank and Foggy actually found him touching.
  • Powered Armor: Odin survives the Dark Elves' ambush in the first issue, but due to the wounds sustained from it, he is forced to rest upon being brought to Avengers Mountain. While he recuperates, Iron Man, in collaboration with Screwbeard and Shuri, builds an "Iron All-Father" armor for him to get him back into the fight sooner.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: In War of the Realms: Spider-Man & the League of Realms, Fernande, the commander of the Angels in Africa and lieutenant of the Queen of Heven, is opposed to the senseless bloodshed of the War of the Realms; all it takes to convince her to change sides is a few kind words from Spider-Man.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The Fantastic Four use Time Travel to fetch All-Father Thor from the distant future of Earth-14412 and Young Thor from the fifth century of Earth-616, uniting them again for the first time since they fought Gorr the God-Butcher.
  • The Quisling:
    • Moonstone has sided with the invading Dark Council.
    • Sabretooth as well, in hopes that the Malekith will award him his own country in exchange for boosting the effectiveness of his army.
    • Dario Agger and ROXXON sold out Midgard to Malekith for power and profit, being given control of Antarctica.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits:
    • The Strikeforce tie-ins have strange team gatherings. Dark Elf Realm has Freyja leading Punisher, She-Hulk, Ghost Rider and Blade to take down the Black Bifrost and The War Avengers has Carol Danvers leading Sif, Deadpool, Venom, Black Widow, Winter Soldier, Captain Britain and Weapon H in protecting the Earth. The Land of Giants isn't as Ragtag-y as Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage and Iron Fist are essentially the New Avengers.
    • The Journey Into Mystery series (written by the McElroy Brothers as a love letter to the bizarre pulp comics of the '60s) puts the misfits in a Winnebago. Kate Bishop, Miles Morales, Wonder Man, Balder, Druid, Deathlocket, and Thor's dog Thori go on a cross-country road trip to keep Thor's baby sister out of the clutches of Malekith. This also applies to the army they recruit along the way, which consists of Skrull defectors, the ghosts of western heroes, a villain henchmen's convention, and Ares, who was the main one hunting the baby in the first place.
    • War of the Realms: Spider-Man & the League of Realms has Thor put Spider-Man in charge of the titular League of Realms: Titanya Vaetilda Vinnsuvius the Mountain Giant, Ud the Rock Troll, Ro Bloodroot the Vanir, Sir Ivory Honeyshot the Light Elf, and Screwbeard the Dwarf. The League of Realms are annoyed by his witty banter and almost kill him when he tries to stop them from slaughtering the Angels of Heven; but are shocked when he singlehandedly wins the battle by convincing the commander of the Angels, Fernande, to join the League.
    • Perhaps the oddest is the Punisher Kill Krew which was assembled to avenge war orphans on Earth. They consist of the Punisher, Toothgnasher (Thor's giant goat that Frank "borrowed"), Belith the navigator — a Dark Elf that the Punisher captured and press-ganged into his mission, the lawyer Foggy Nelson, supervillain and occasionally superheroic powerhouse the Juggernaut and crazed ex-Avenger with a magical sword, the Black Knight.
  • Reforged Blade:
    • Jane Foster, through force of will, reconstitutes Ultimate Mjolnir so that she can be the new War Thor. It's explicitly a temporary situation, as it's blackened with all the cracks of it's destruction clearly visible from internal energy.
    • In Issue #6 Thor, also through force of will, revives the Mother Storm and with it the original Mjolnir, this time with a branch from Yggdrasil for a handle.
  • Reforged into a Minion:
    • Wariza had been a member of the League of Realms in the leadup to the War of the Realms, but was brainwashed by Malekith and forced to don the Kurse armor.
    • Twofold on two halves of the same character:
      • In Venom #13, one of Malekith's war witches tries to do this to Eddie Brock by offering him a dreamstone in exchange for him agreeing to serve Malekith. Eddie accepts... and promptly turns on her. This is according to her plan however, as she sets an equally empowered Jack O'Lantern against him with the ultimate goal of pushing him into giving up his humanity in bloodlust, making him a perfect pawn for Malekith. Eddie recognizes this and that the dreamstone's power is corrupting him, ultimately giving it up to wait out the war alongside his son.
      • In issue #3, Malekith captures the Venom symbiote, and in Issue 4 he magically tortures it to bend it to his will... and he evidently succeeded since he turns it into a blade in emulation of Knull's Necrosword.
  • The Reveal: After years of being known as just Howard the Duck, War of the Realms: War Scrolls #1 finally reveals Howard's surname to be Duckson.
  • Revisiting the Roots: The X-Men tie-in focuses on the former members of New Mutants, namely through their connection to their legendary trip to Asgard where Dani Moonstar became a Valkyrie.
  • Road Trip Plot: In the Journey into Mystery tie-ins, Balder the Brave, Thori, Kate Bishop, Miles Morales, Deathlocket, Druid, and Wonder Man cram into a Winnebago with little Laussa Odinsdottir, instructed to get the infant princess as far away from the villains as possible. From there, they have all sorts of wild adventures across the continental United States, with Ares (acting under Sindr's orders) on their trail.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: As he is wont to do, Cap shuts up Malekith's initial victory monologue when the Dark Council arrives on Midgard with a well-timed vibranium shield to the face.
  • Spanner in the Works: Loki is nominally a member of the Dark Council, but has been playing every side since his most recent series, The Mighty Thor and 2018's Thor that it's likely he's got something planned to spoil everyone's plans for the conquest of the Ten Realms. Of course, Malekith and Laufey are aware that Loki is untrustworthy and have been keeping him at arm's length since recruiting him into the Dark Council. Averted when he's eaten by his father in the first issue of the main title, though not before aiding a few heroes already, as well as telling Freyja what happened to Thor.
  • Spinoff: At least three new titles will spin off from the main series — Valkyrie, in which Jane Foster takes over the late Brunnhilde's job; Punisher Kill Krew, following Frank Castle on a personal crusade throughout the Ten Realms; and Loki, which supposedly deals with him returning from the dead after the events of Issue #1.
  • The Starscream: In Issue #6, Laufey reveals he doesn't really care about Malekith and his cabal, and wants to conquer all of Midgard, not just North America.
  • The Stateless: Happens to the Angels of Hevn in the Asgardians of the Galaxy tie-in. Angela decapitates the Queen of the Angels and releases a legion of undead gods on Heven itself. The angels are massacred until Angela spares a handful of survivors and instead exiles them into the far corners of the galaxy.
  • Status Quo Is God: Sabretooth had years of character development trying to atone for his sins, deciding to become something other than the lie of his inverted self and truth of his evil self, and even fell in love with an X-Man, Monet St. Croix. Erase all of that because he's now back as a villain who wants revenge on the X-Men for making him a pet.
  • Stupid Evil: Malekith requests an Angel to be sacrificed to him, simply so he could feel the sensation of killing an Angel. Unfortunately, the Angel that was sacrificed happened to be the lover of the Angel Fernande, who promptly defects to Spider-Man's side. She then helps the heroes free his prisoners and turned her forces against him. In short, Malekith's own needless sadism potentially costs him victory on one front of the war.
  • Take Over the World: Malekith becomes the dominant overlord of Earth, with each member of his Dark Council presiding over its seven continents — Malekith himself with Europe (rechristened New Svartalfheim), Laufey with North America (rechristened New Jotunheim), the Enchantress with South America (rechristened the Dusk Lands), Ulik with Australia (rechristened the Kingdom of the Trolls), Sindr with Asia (rechristened New Muspelheim), the Queen of Heven with Africa (rechristened New Heven), and Dario Agger with Antarctica (rechristened the Kingdom of Roxxon, Inc.).
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Deconstructed. The League of Realms do not take kindly to Spider-Man's stance with this and tell him that this is a war and he can't be soft. In fact, they initially believe him to be a traitor when he spares his enemies.
  • Time for Plan B: In Issue #3, while defending the Rainbow Bifrost, Daredevil becomes overwhelmed by his newfound omniaudience, letting down his guard and letting a Dark Elf destroy the rainbow bridge. Fortunately, the Strikeforce at Svartalfheim hadn't destroyed the Black Bifrost yet, so a change of plan is necessitated and the heroes have to capture the Black Bifrost for themselves.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies:
    • Issue #2 is solicited as saying, "AS THE BATTLE FOR NEW YORK CONTINUES, A HERO FALLS!" It's Valkyrie.
    • War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #4 also declares "A hero falls!" in its solicitation.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In Venom #13, Eddie Brock accepts a dreamstone from one of Malekith's war-witches in order to obtain the power to protect his son, then backstabs her when she tries to recruit him to Malekith's side. However, the war witch exposits to Jack O'Lantern in Venom #14 that the more Eddie gives into his rage while using the dreamstone the more it will corrupt him into being Malekith's servant.
    • Nightmare, of all people, to Doctor Strange, in War Scrolls #2. Strange can't figure out why his teleportation spell relocating Manhattan's civilians went wrong, so he decides to head to Nightmare's Realm, listens to one villainous monologue from the dream lord gloating over how Strange was too fixated on saving everyone (including the Avengers he teleported away from the fight), then magically binds Nightmare with nary a thought after getting his answer.
  • Villain Decay: It's on full display for Sabretooth, the man who gutted Psylocke & took out numerous X-men in the 90's. Here, he has his throat bitten out by Rahne, who usurps him as alpha of the wolf army. Then to add insult to injury, he's beheaded by Magik while attempting to beg for mercy.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Malekith has one in Issue #6 of the core series after Thor, Young Thor, All-Father Thor, and Jane Thor manage to separate him from the Venom symbiote. This leads to him getting devoured by his Bog Tiger and hounds.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In the final issue of the New Agents of Atlas mini, it's revealed that the Pele everyone has been following is actually a convincing robotic duplicate built to get close to Sindr and drain her strength. Cho calls out Woo on doing this, both for manipulating his teammates and impersonating a goddess, something he knows is going to come back to bite him.
  • Worf Barrage: The Punisher unloads a semi-auto shotgun on a pair of Frost Giant wizards, only to see the shots had no effect once the smoke cleared. Good thing a rescued Juggernaut wanted some revenge...
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • As we see repeatedly with Rahne, Sabretooth has no problem at all with this.
    • Eddie Brock bites off the arm of one of Malekith's war witches after she tries to recruit him to the dark side and gives him a magical dark elf artifact that turns into an artificial symbiote.
  • Zerg Rush: This is the Dark Council's plan for keeping Thor out of Midgard's defense, stranding him on Jotunheim and throwing wave-after-wave of Frost Giants at him.

Alternative Title(s): The War Of The Realms