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Origin

Algrim The Strong, while in battle with Thor, was dropped into a pit of molten magma. The pit was opened not by Thor, but by Malekith the Accursed, who was supposed to be Algrim's ally. Saved only by his enchanted armor and his desire for vengance against Thor, Algrim was severely injured and lost all memories of his former self. His only memory being Thor and the magma pit, Algrim became a vessel of rage known only as Kurse, his sole focus...Thor! Kurse set out to exact revenge and was encountered by the Beyonder. The Beyonder was so intrigued by Kurse's single-mindedness towards revenge, that he transported Kurse to Thor's location to witness Kurse's actions. Before transporting Kurse, he greatly increased his strength and not only made his armor more resistant to damage, but altered it so that it would be a living part of him that would grow and heal organically. Upon his arrival to Thor's location Kurse attacked and, with his new found strength, was vastly more powerful than the Thunder God. To make his strength the equal of Kurse's, Thor donned his Belt of Strength, effectively doubling his already Class 100 power. Beyonder again greatly increased Kurse's power so that it was again vastly greater than that of Thor's. Thor blasted Kurse with his hammer, and the resulting heat jarred Kurse's mind and returned his memories. Kurse now remembered being Algrim and he also remembered that it was Malekith and not Thor that had caused him to be cast into the molten pit. Unable to beat Kurse alone, Thor had Energizer absorb the power of Mjolnir and Beta Ray Bill's hammer Stormbreaker and unleash it in one gigantic ball of energy. The resulting blast knocked Kurse unconscious. Thor then told the Beyonder that Malekith was in Hel. This was not true, but Thor wanted Kurse to create havok for Hela and disrupt her realm. Transported again by the Beyonder, Kurse began destroying Hel in search of Malekith. Unable to deal with engine of destruction that was Kurse, Hela transported him to Asgard where Kurse eventually found Malekith and killed him. Having completed his "mission" of vengance Kurse became a peaceful being and now dwells in Asgard as one of it's most powerful guardians.

Creation

Kurse is a Marvel comics character, created by Walter Simonson. Kurse first appears in Thor #347 released in 1984. Kurse originally appeared under the name Algrim the Strong. His transformation into the being Kurse, takes place in the Secret Wars II mini series #4 released a year later.

Character Evolution

Kurse is a reoccurring Thor antagonist and supporting character created by celebrated Thor writer Walter Simonson, distinguished by his transformation by the polarizing character Beyonder. Formerly Algrim the Strong, transformed into the massive and terrifying Kurse, with strength greater than that of even Thor. Kurse would serve as an antagonist that could actually provide a credible threat to Thor in the pure physical sense although eventually the character's hatred would be redirected away from Thor towards another Thor antagonist Malekith the accursed once Kurse would realize that it was Malekith who had actually deserved his anger from the start. Despite that Kurse would occasionally still play an antagonist towards Thor in stories manipulated to compensate for the buried hatchet between the two characters. Kurse would even go on to be considered a heroic ally of Thor and great protector of Asgard's most vulnerable and children. Since the characters death at the end of the second volume of Thor under Michael Avon Oeming's pen. However with Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje set to play Kurse in the upcoming blockbuster movie Thor : The Dark World it is likely that Kurse will experience a resurgence of sorts.

Major Story Arcs

Algrim to Kurse

The Mighty Thor # 347: In order to achieve glory Kurse joined Maleikth to fight and kill Thor. Hidden in shadow thanks to his ebony armor Kurse attack Thor, catching him unaware and believe he has won, but Thor Odinson isn’t so easily stopped. At this point Algrim wasn’t as powerful a behemoth as we would later come to know and Thor believe him to actually be weaker than Ulik the Troll, to quote Thor “Only thy treacherous blow from behind enabled thee to fell the son of Odin. Thy strength is nothing compared to that of Ulik the Troll and its less than nothing to me. “Seeing Algrim as disposable, Maleiketh drops them both in a pit, Thor manages to escape thanks to Mjolnir but Kurse is trapped.

Secret Wars Vol 2 # 4: Beyonder finds the creature (Alrgim) or what remains of him lying virtually dead far, far underground beneath the English countryside. The mystical properties of his Elfin armor is what kept him alive thus far, though his body was rather thoroughly cooked and shrivelled. Beyonder thought of all the highlife on Earth he is the most single minded of purpose and perhaps it is his one all-consuming desire that kept him alive as much as his armour did. Knowing that he desires the death of his arch enemy Thor, and that alone, Beyonder decided to restore Alrgim to his health and vigour , giving him far more powers than before. Beyonder believed it would be interesting to watch him fulfil his desire and when he does see what his reaction would be. Algrim sensing that Thor is in the United States walks across the ocean bottom to reach him. Beyonder contemplates if he should teleport Algrim to his desired location but decides against it because he wishes to let Algrim to it all on his own.

Secret Wars 2 # 6: Now having taken the Kurse, and in search of Thor, Kurse eventually finds Beta Ray Bill. Kurse attacks Beta Ray Bill, obviously mistaking him as Thor, whom he despises. Beyonder remarks that perhaps its Bill’s hammer which must be confusing him. Beyonder further remarks that Kurse would certainly kill Beta Ray Bill and that he ought to stop Kurse specially since he was the one who animated Kurse as an experiment but because Beyonder considered Avengers and Fantastic Four as bigger visitors which warrant more concerns, he decides to procrastinate his act. Apparently while Beyonder was talking to Avengers and Fantastic Four, Beta Ray Bill escaped death at the hands of Kurse by reverting to his civilian, if alien, disguise. Kurse has no interest in him now that he doesn’t seem to be Thor anymore. Beyonder remarks that he is happy he doesn’t have to make a decision about Kurse yet, not until he finds the real Thor.

Power pack Vol 1 # 18: Kurse, in search of Thor, has reached Manhattan and is shouting “Thor, Give me Thor”. Kurse sees his own reflection in the mirror, but he barely remembers himself considers it a monster’s visage attacks the reflection yelling “Away cur its Thor I seek”. Evident after being dropped into the world’s core, searing magma ate away at his memories, his self, till all that remained was his need to kill Thor. Being restored by the Beyonder, he is now a colossus of living, mutating, armour and all that is left of Algrim is his rage. For now he is Kurse, not like other denizens of earth, torn and pulled by a stray thought, a creature of single minded overwhelming purpose. Pulled from destruction set for him, renewed, and newly armoured on his chosen path to find and kill Thor. Kurse continues screaming “I have come Thor, I challage you”, causing destruction on Manhattan, standing against the Manhattan police who don’t seem to be able to hurt him in the least but hope arrives in the form of Power Pack. Power Pack eventually manage to defeat him by burring him under a building.

The Mighty Thor 363: The issue quickly recaps Kurse earlier appearances, which ends with Kurse fighting the Power Pack and buried beneath the ruins of a building that collapsed during their furious battle. But his powers and his hate were perhaps beyond dying and eventually he climed out of the depth a second time. Power Pack find Beta Ray Bill in his human guise who comments “in my present condition I could scarcely win a battle against even a baby”, that’s how bad a thrashing he got from Kurse. Beta Ray bill further comments “So great is his power that I wonder even Thor and I together could withstand him. Thor must be warned.” Beyonder who is still watching Kurse comments at the time he freed Kurse, he had thought Kurse would show him something of the nature of humans but he has now already learned much more than simple beings like Kurse could teach him. He contemplates releasing his energy from Kurse’s shell and returning him to his former state. But when he sees that Kurse has finally found Thor after all this time he decides why not to let the experiment finish anyways after all, he believes, it shouldn’t take more than a moment or two. Kurse attacks Thor intending to slay Thor and rest. Thor Kurse is now greatly changed, no cosmetic cover can deceive the eyes of Thor, he recognizes and states “Algrim the strong, is it not. Late of the realm of Faerie.” Upon hearing his name Algrim remembers his past, as he sees before him not the stone work of a mortal city but the molten lava that rushes to engulf him in the instant of his defeat Again he feels its fiery embrace, it is beyond understanding and before him stands, who he believes, is the author of his torment , Thor, whom he attacks furiously yelling “Die, Thor, Die”. Thor realises that Algrim’s power has increased beyond all belief and that the change of the name indicates more than cosmetic change in Algrim himself. So when Thor finally gets a moment’s respite Thor grabs his belt of strength which doubles his own power . Though the belt drains him so much that once remove he can barely walk without it, Thor realises such is Kurse’s strength that he has no choice. Beyonder realises that Thor has found a way to neutralize his foe’s great strength Beyonder wanting to know about Thor’s strength of mind increases Kurse strength to off-set the advantage gained by Thor. Kurse continues to batter Thor badly, and Thor is trying not to pass out of the damage. Led by Beta Ray Bill, power pack then fire an energy field at Kurse, while Thor knocks Kurse ensuring that the energy field finds its intended target. Kurse however sees Maliketh in place of the power pack and slowely remembers it was Maliketh and not Thor who betrayed him, who caused him the agony. Kurse vows to find Maliketh and kill him slowly, and painfully. Though Kurse has completely diverted his attention from Thor, Thor still fears that, Midguard is still in danger as Kurse seeks Maliketh with the same deadly fervour that would have slain him, so Thor joins with Beta Ray Bill and Powerpack. Knowing that no earthly power could defeat Kurse, Thor lets Energizer drain the entirety of power from both their hammer, which is fired directly at Kurse knocking him out. Beyonder even comments how now their hammers are powerless but seeing and being impressed by their sacrifice he decides to repair their hammers. Upon Thor request, Beyonder sends Kurse to Hel so he could find Maliketh and fulfil his desire.

Hel on Earth

Malekith the accursed would being exercising his vendetta against Thor, first by manipulating The Fantastic Four member Thing against Thor, but even enhanced by Lorelei, the Thing would fail. Realizing that he would need someone stronger, Malekith would use his magicks to enchant Kurse. Kurse is on a destructive warpath attempting to hunt down Malekith the accursed, and knowing Malekith to be in Hel he would head there. In his blind pursuit he would even appear to attack Hela, as indiscriminately as he has all so far. He appears to usurp her beneath a tower of rubble. Aided by the Enchantress's sister, Lorelei, Kurse then takes his leave from Hel to continue his search for Malekith. On Earth, New York specifically, Kurse views Thor but illusions mean he views him only as the one he pursues, Malekith. Kurse claims and then demonstrates that the creatures of Hel, are his to command as he summons the mighty Midgard Serpent to Earth. He fights Thor and calls on increasingly more denizens of Hel to cause destruction. Kurse continues to claim he is master of Hel and Niffleheim and calls forth even more of Hela's subjects, he calls forth Nidhogg the Dragon, an Ice Giant, personal guard to Ymir, Farsung the Enchanter, King Fafnir, Fafnir the Giant, and several Ice Dwarfs. Thor tries to pacify the former Dark Elf Kurse, but Kurse's hatred of Malekith and perception that Thor is Malekith means Thor's pleas fall on deaf ears. The Godpack, a group of young gods led by the High Evolutionary appear, to help bring the destruction caused by the dead Asgardian creatures to a halt. Beta Ray Bill even appears to try and turn the tide. Warriors Three join the fray and finally the odds seem favorable for the heroes. Things however get from grim to worse when Hela appears and reclaims her authority and rule over the dead. Her very presence turns the day into pitch black, and caused ominous rumblings to the ground. Many of the creatures summoned by Kurse seem confused, claiming that Kurse had led them to believe he had killed Hela. Hela seems almost offended by the idea, as she states she has been away in the far parts of the nine realms, and that this was probably Malekith deceiving Kurse by impersonating Hela. A confused Kurse orders his monstrous undead army to attack Hela, but with a simple gesture she deadens all of them in their tracks. The two Fafnir's, Nidhogg, and the rest of the undead creatures all turn to obey their true master. Kurse then attempts to over power Hela, but his vicious and powerful strikes are dismissed casually by the death goddess. Viewing Kurse as beneath her in power, persistent but simple, she enlightens him of further deception, by allowing him to see it has be Thor he has been attacking all the while and not Malekith. Kurse rushes off enraged by being fooled by Malekith yet again.

Powers and Abilities

Strength level: Though Algrims strength level was greater than that of any of the other dark elves, it was less than that of Thor's. Once Algrim became Kurse and his powers were initially enhanced by the Beyonder, Kurse was said to be twice as strong as Thor who possesses Class 100 strength. The Beyonder later vastly increased Kurse's strength again granting him almost immeasurable strength.

Powers: The Beyonder increased not only Kurse's strength but also his resistance to injury. Kurse is now virtually invulnerable to harm, he has proved capable of walking the ocean floor, not only without injury, but also without need to eat, or breathe. His armor is a living part of his body, and if great enough force were set against it as to cause Kurse injury, the armor would "heal" at a rapid rate as if it were his living tissue.

Physical Characteristics

  • Height: 7'
  • Weight: 840 lbs.
  • Eyes: Yellow
  • Hair: None

Alternate Realities

Earth-199999

The mighty Kurse opposes Thor in this reality set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Other Media

Video Games

Marvel Ultimate Alliance (2006)Kurse appears as a villain in the video game, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance voiced by Tom Kane. He and Ulik steal a chest containing Volla's ring and the heroes had to fight them to get it back. A simulation disk has Thor fighting Kurse in Asgard, where the player must use an iron hammer to weaken him so that other attacks will be effective.

Movies

Thor: Tales of Asgard (2011)

Kurse is voiced by Ron Halder in the animated movie Thor: Tales of Asgard released in 2011.

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

The British actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje portrays Kurse in the sequel of Thor, Thor: The Dark World.

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