Balder is the son of Odin by Frigga, a dancer at a feast who would eventually become his wife. Balder's birth was not celebrated, as Odin received dreams and portents that foretold Balder's role as the catalyst for Ragnarok. The visions saw that Balder's death would start the Ragnarock. This made his mother decide to make him invulnerable to all weapons and spells, save for mistletoe wood. Balder grew up in the fabelled halls of Asgard and became a stalwart friend and ally to Thor. He was also often seen with the Warriors Three, but was not part of that merry band. Balder became known for his kindness, which resulted in all sorts of creatures wanting to be around him, such as birds or deers. This made fellow Asgardian Loki sick. More then just once, Loki tried to set a trap for the kind Balder, hoping for him to either perish or trying to blame a misdeed on him. Loki however never really succeeded and Balder's reputation as a kind and just God remained. During his years as an adult, Balder fought alongside his fellow Asgardians' in many battles, earning the name "Balder the Brave" for his bravery shown in these battles.
Based on the mythological Norse god Baldr, Balder was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appeared in Journey into Mystery #85 (1962).
Balder originally started out as one of the friends of Thor alongside the warriors 3 and Sif. However he came to the forefront when it was revealed Odin was his father and thus Thor his half-brother. He like Thor had time on the throne of Asgard, however his reign resulted in the siege and destruction of Asgard and the culmination of this and several deathly experiences took its toll on Balder and led to him wishing to Abdicate. His nobility and courage are never in question although of late his confidence and determination are less steady.
Major Story Arcs
Balder in Hell
Balder fought alongside Thor and Asgard for many battles, but also made many enemies, of which Loki was one. Loki learned of the prophecies of Balder's vulnerability and shot Balder with an arrow of mistletoe. Odin prevented him from truly dying, but not before his soul traveled the underworld. Balder tried to find a way out of the underworld, but it was a dangerous ordeal. He wandered the hellish landscapes in hope of finding a way out. Eventually Balder found an exit, but Hela was there to stop him from leaving. She told him he could leave the underground if he could withstand 1000 warriors that he had slain during his life. These warriors where in Hell and where eager to keep Balder in the underground with them. Balder accepted the challenge and fought all the people he had slain over the years. A brutal battle erupted with Balder coming out victorious. He managed to leave Hela's underground world, and returned to life. He was scarred and on his return, he had grown white hair on his head. After being resurrected and reliving the vision of those he had slain, Balder refused to kill again.
A new love
During a battle against Loki, Balder met Karnilla, the Norn Queen to the Northern lands in Asgard. In their first meeting, Karnilla saved Balder from Loki. The two of them fell in love and a romance blossomed between the two. This romance however sometimes put Balder's loyalties to Asgard to the test. This was because Karnilla was an ally to Asgard most of the time, but was known as a cold and sometimes heartless ruler of her kingdom. Something Asgard and it's king did not approve of. Their love did not stand the test of time, especially when Karnilla had put Asgard at risk for her own gain during another encounter with the Asgardians. Balder ended their relationship.
Karnilla however could not stand her broken relationship with Balder. She used Nanna, a citizen of Asgard in hope of bringing him back to her. Karmilla orchestrated a meeting between Balder and Nanna. Balder and Nanna fell deeply in love with eachother. Their relationship was however used by Karnilla. She was threatening to harm Nanna if Balder did not agree to marry her, transporting the couple to Nornheim. Balder accepted, not wanting Nanna to come to harm and promised to marry Karnilla if no ill would befall Nanna. She was transported back to Asgard. A heartbroken Nanna wept for Balder, after witch she decided to steal a horse from Odin's stables and rode back to Nornheim in time to interrupt the wedding. She then plunged a dagger into her heart and died, breaking the bargain between Karnilla and Balder. Karnilla was just as shocked as Balder was, never thinking this could have happened. Balder left Karnilla at once again, but did not hate her for what had happened.
Karnilla and Balder's Limited Series
Years went by, and eventually Balder and Karnilla found one another again. Balder eventually started living with Karnilla in her kingdom. This was one of his happiest periods, while Karnilla too finally found a place for love in her heart. All of this however did not last, when Balder's loyal friend Agnar came seeking him, in hope of him joining a battle into Asgard's Hell. Karnilla was aware of Agnar's coming and kidnapped him before he could ask Balder for help. Balder however found out about Agnar's whereabouts and rescued him. The two of them trained a week before they went back to Asgard and helped Thor. On their return to Karnilla, she was kidnapped by Frost Giants whom had learned of Odin's apparant death. Balder managed to rescue Karnilla eventually. After these events, Balder and Karnilla remained together for some time, but their relationship remained unstable at best.
Balder remained in Asgard for many years and fought alongside Thor for many more battles. He also helped out Thor's replacement Thunderstrike and later Red Norvell, a human whom took the role of defender of the earth when Thor was seemingly lost and killed in the battle against Onslaught. Thor eventually returned from his seeming death and returned to Asgard. Balder helped Thor deal with the loss of his father after he had been slain by Surtur . As of these events, Thor became the ruler of Asgard. A difficult task in witch Balder helped him to make the dessicions that he stood for as a king. Eventually Thor brought Asgard to Earth, hoping to inspire the people living there. While Balder was not sure of this dessicion, he supported Thor anyway. Eventually, the kingdom returned to it's former place, leaving Earth once again.
Times however soon worsened when Ragnarok was upon the Asgardians. Ragnarok started with the death of Balder, whom was killed by the betrayer Loki whom had allied himself with the Frost Giants. Thor and his fellow Asgardians tried to avenge Balder's murder, but it seemed that the prophecey had become real. Ragnarok really happened after Balder was killed. Thor and all of his friends where killed in the final battle and all seemed lost forever.
Return to life
However, not all was lost, when the spirit of Thor once more inhabited the body of doctor Donald Blake. He found a way to revive all the Asgardians, including Balder. This experience of death and rebirth left Balder distraught. He fell into a deep depression. He tried to forget his misery through eating, gaining whait. He left Asgard and took refuge in Norn-realm, taking an oath of non-violence. Odin sent Balder on a mission to bring Loki a letter calling him to Asgard to fight Surtur and his army. Balder is captured and brought before Loki and Malekith, Lord of the Dark Elves, and mocked. Fighting Malekith's trolls, Balder breaks his oath of non-violence and cuts off Loki's head, however not killing him.
He rode in to the desert to die, but met the Norns, three goddesses who oversee the workings of destiny. The Norns gave Balder a vision that restored his faith, and he rode back to Asgard, eventually losing the weight and becoming a warrior again. Since then he has come to love Karnilla, with whom he fought against Surtur and the legions of Muspelhien. He ruled Asgard for a shot time when Odin was believed to be dead, but following the rules of the Gods, returned the throne back to Odin upon his return. Balder then left to return to Karnilla, his new love. Balder, as well as all the other Asgardians, died during Ragnarok. When Dr. Blake brings Thor back he decides to bring all of the other Asgardians back as well. After doing so, he finds Balder inside the Destroyer.
King of Asgard
Balder later found out that he was also a son of Odin, and the half-brother of Thor. Balder then became the Prince of Asgard, made possible by his Royal Family Blood. Loki brought Bor, the first king of Asgard, back. As Thor and Bor battled, Loki told Balder that Bor was in fact their grandfather. Thor then killed Bor without knowing that he was his grandfather. Balder was forced to punish Thor for killing a member of the Royal Family, even though he did so unknowingly. Balder was forced to exile Thor, all as Loki had planned.
During this time, Loki convinces Balder to move the Asgardians to Latveria, under the rule of Dr Doom. Balder does not really notice the large numbers of Asgardians that Doom takes for his experiments until a mortal: Bill delivers a message regarding his witness of such acts at the cost of his life. Balder then uses the great Asgardian horn to summon all the Asgardians as they march upon Doom with the aid of Thor completely destroying him and his castle, but leave the rest of the country and its inhabitants alone.
During the SIEGE, Balder realizes that he made a mistake in banishing Thor and learned of Loki's treachery bringing back Thor and banishing Loki. After it Balder blamed himself for Asgard's recent disasters and attempted to abdicate, but Thor convinced him to stay.
When the World-Eaters began their rampage across the nine worlds Balder learned of their coming, but refused to take any action to prepare for it. He appeared to have had his spirit broken by recent tragidies despite claims to be preparing for the future. When Thor resurrected Odin, Balder along with Tyr left Asgard to confront the World-Eaters in Svartalfheim. They hoped to die a noble death in battle to somewhat atone for their failures. Both were killed, but not before killing many of the Ano-Athox including their prince Thane. After the World-Eaters were banished to the limbo within the World Tree they were confronted by the spirits of a vengeful Balder and Tyr.
Powers and Abilities
Balder possesses all of the natural skill set of an Asgardian, including:
Superhuman Strength - He can lift around 50 tons.
Superhuman Durability - He is unaffected by all known substances other than mistletoe.
His body tissue is 3 times thicker than normal humans, this contributes to his strength and weight.
Balder is also a natural fighter. He is extremely skilled with a blade and in other forms of weapons. He also once possessed the highly powerful Norn Stones.
As the God of Light, Balder can also generate a wide arc of light of unknown energy and heat.
One of the three sons of Odin, who formed the Warriors Three with his brothers Loki and Thor. Of the three, Balder was the better fighter and he was also the All-Seeing Eye of Odin. He was killed by Loki when he tried to stop his brother from stealing the Norn Stones out of Odin's Chamber. Being the All-Seeing Eye of Odin, Balder knew that Loki was evil and would turn on Asgard and the Asgardians.
An older Balder gave his life to protect Thor from Galactus.
- Balder made a cameo appearance on the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "The Vengeance of Loki!".
- Balder appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episodes "Thor the Mighty" and "The Breakout Part One", voiced by Nolan North.
- Balder appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Lo, How the Mighty Hath Abdicated", voiced by Travis Willingham.
- Balder makes an appearance in the animated direct-to-video film Hulk vs. Thor voiced by Michael Adamthwaite.
- Balder appears in the video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance voiced by Dave Wittenberg. He is considered vital in organizing a much-needed war effort.