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Origin

Younger Volstagg

Volstagg is an Asgardian and the large, jovial member of the Warriors Three. Seemingly much older than other Asgardians, Volstagg will often be the cause of more problems than the solution. He likes food and drink and is very boastful. Despite his flaws, Volstagg is a trusted member of the Warriors Three and a trusted ally to Thor. Volstagg has a large family and an unknown number of children with his wife, Gudrun. The most well known of these is Hildy. Originally Voltsagg was a slimmer and more athletic man, in his days before meeting his future cohorts and best friends Fandral and Hogun. Volstagg was known and celebrated as a mighty warrior and adventurer. He would exclaim that a dead frost giant a day, by his hand, was required to cater to his battle lust. An encounter with a younger, brasher Fandral however resulted in a bet, a challenge in which both warriors would try to prove who was the greater and braver adventurer. A much quieter and shier Hogun would be the judge and impartial observer. The challenge? To pet the monstrous creature wolf creature Fenris on his head. However the journey itself to the bounded and mighty Fenris itself was tasked and fraught with adversity. Adversity that brought the three men to friendship and loyalty, and by the time Volstagg, Fandral and Hogun reached their destination they were bonded in friendship.

An incident and a pact would happen subsequently, one that would supposedly affect Volstagg's psyche to such an extent he would let his muscular physique fall to appetite, however this is somewhat ambiguous theory. Years later after his own adventures both apart and with the Warriors Three after an order by Odin himself calling forward for Asgard's greatest warriors, Volstagg and his co Warriors Three reunited and have been a constant defender of both Asgard and their inhabitants and allies, including Thor, Sif and Balder.

Creation

Volstagg the Voluminous

Volstagg was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for use in a back feature for Thor comics, debuting in the issue #119 of the Journey into Mystery series. In the beginning and original years Volstagg was portrayed as a stumbling oaf. Like his fellow Warriors Three characters, Volstagg differs from the majority of his fellow Asgardians by not being based on Norse mythology, rather he was based on Sir John Falstaff, a Shakespearean character known for his rotund figure, boastfulness and comic relief role. These character traits helping form Volstagg to compliment Fandral's dashing, charm, and Hogun's grim, demeanor

The creative process described by Stan Lee "I made those up. I specifically remember that I did them because I wanted a Falstaff-type guy, a guy like Errol Flynn, and then I wanted a guy like Charles Bronson who was dire and gloomy, riddled with angst. Those three were mine" Volstagg of course fulfilling the 'Falstaff-type guy' role.

Character Evolution

Popular supporting character from the Thor corner of the Marvel Universe, Volstagg's imposing and distinguishing rotund figure mark him out as a source for comedic moments and dialogue, but can also be the source of sincere and genuine moments for the character. His personality and idiosyncrasies often further played off and nurtured with his closest friends and allies the Warriors Three of who he is an integral part off. Where as Hogun plays the role of stoic, and serious warrior, Fandral is the suave and cocky, womanizing charmer, Volstagg is the boisterous and loud oaf. Since his inception, the character has been intrinsically tied to his fellow Warriors Three members and with time this association has only grown, but so has Volstagg's characterization and he has developed into the very definition of a tough guy with a soft heart. He has also shed some of his bumbling ways, to receive many impressive and dramatic story moments, somewhat reducing any preconceived notions of one dimensionality and casting a more rounded and deep character. In recent stories such as Thor's Siege story arc and Journey into Mystery penned by Kieron Gillen, Volstagg has had some individual character development independent of his fellow Warriors Three.

Major Story Arcs

The Warriors Three

Volstagg in his physical prime

A much younger and slimmer albeit still large and physically imposing Volstagg ends up having a quarrel with the young and show boating warrior Fandral. Hogun, a meek and quiet young man is witness to their banter and taunts. The task the two more confident warriors put forward to each other, is to venture forth into dangerous territories to find the menacing Fenris Wolf and to pat it on the head. The first of either Volstagg or Fandral to achieve this, will be considered the victor of the dispute that had just arisen! After days of travel, the three warriors facing arduous challenges, one after the other, they reach the menacing Fenris Wolf. Chained still, but still an impressively fearful sight. Though at this stage, after much travel and bounding, Volstagg and Fandral and Hogun are more brothers endeared than rivals with arrogant attitudes towards each other. No long is this a quest of individual pursuits but a challenge for a team. Unfortunately the young trio have underestimated the Wolf Fenris. The beast forces the young trio into a pact, to be paid at a later date. This pact was necessary but weighed in on the three Asgardians conscious.

In modern day era, and times, Volstagg has tasked himself a challenge at a Bronxton Food Diner with an All You Can Eat Challenge (rather menu) failing to realize that the All You Can Eat meal wasn't an actual challenge, much to the horror of the establishments owner. However once the Gjallarhorn of Heimdall sounded, Volstagg was quick to join his close companions for the emergency that the horn's blow meant. The emergency warranting their attention, was that Fenris had escaped. With their history with the beast, the Warriors Three set about trying to capture him. Volstagg along with Fandral and Hogun discover that Earth corporation AIM is involved and worse still, trolls, Rock Trolls, bar their path led by the dangerous Ulik. With Fandral injured its Volstagg that is instrumental in defeating the trolls. Further on in their quest to apprehend Fenris they encounter a AIM employee, however they are quick to realize she is not normal human - she has been infused with Fenris' blood, providing her augmented strength (enough to lift and throw Volstagg himself), speed and durability. After a small skirmish they learn her name, Helen Gable and they realize she is an ally. The Asagrdians learning that AIM has been weaponizing Fenris and more than that, the deal they struck with him, had resulted in Fenris being able to shape shift into a mortal guise. A most unsettling development. Worse still, he planned on taking a power Ragnarok bomb to the heart of Asgard where he would destroy it, and destroy himself as well. With their new ally the Asgardian warriors are able to trick Fenris defeating him and preventing him from succeeding in his attack against Asgard. Volstagg had a pivotal role in the plan, as it was he who had the strength to lift the giant Ragnarok bomb and carry it away from Fenris, the Ragnarok bomb significantly larger in size than Volstagg.

Blood Oath

After accidentally killing a shapeshifting Giant the Warriors Three are put on trial and must redeem their actions by collecting several rare artifacts in order to appease the giants family. The artifacts they need to retrieve are the Apples at the highest branch of the World Tree Yggdrasil , the skin of a pig, that belongs to the god Dionysus , the spear of Chulain , and the legendary Grasscutter sword! Volstagg himself challenging a giant Eagle to a mead drinking contest.

Eating Contest

Volstagg once participated in a rather unique eating contest with other competitive, famed and voracious eaters, in Olympus once. His competition was Hercules, Googam, and Fat Cobra. Although ultimately Volstagg lost he did reasonably well.

Secret Invasion

Alien shape shifters the Skrulls have plotted to take the Earth as their own ordained by their own Skrull gods and prophecies. Knowing Asgard and the powerful Asgardian gods to be an impeding factor in their capture of Earth, the Skrulls send a legion of "Godkiller" Skrulls. Volstagg and his fellow Warriors Three are in Asgard when the attack begins. Their warrior companion Thor is in Broxton, Oklahoma on important business. Volstagg and the rest of the Asgardians must contend with the elite Skrulls by themselves. They manage to fight off most of the Skrulls, until a particularly powerful female Skrull brandishing Beta Ray Bill's hammer Stormbreaker arrives and lays waste to Hogun, Fandral and Volstagg. Beta Ray Bill using Thor's hammer goes toe to toe with deadly female Skrull, who possesses the cumulative powers of Titania, Thundra, Battleaxe and Volcana. However even Beta Ray Bill falls in battle. Donald Blake arrives and stares down against the female " Godkiller" and the mood is tense as if Donald Blake can reach the beaten down Beta Ray Bill he can reclaim his hammer and transform into the mighty god of thunder Thor, however until then he is mortally vulnerable. Sensing the urgency of the situation, Volstagg valiantly leaps in to distract the female "Godkiller" giving Donald Blake time to reach Mjolnir and transform into Thor. The mighty thunder god proves too powerful for the female "Godkiller" and so she uses desperate tactics by fling Stormbreaker into the sky, aiming for Broxton. Thor flies to intercept it, and Hogun, Fandral and Volstagg attack the female Skrull again despite knowing they are likely to lose. Thor returns and reenergizes Beta Ray Bill by returning his hammer and the hammer wielders emphatically destroy the female "Godkiller" Skrull.

Siege of Asgard

After his death at Ragnarok, Asgard had been moved to Earth and hovers over Oklahoma. Volstagg went to explore the Earth when he was attacked by the U-Foes, who were sent by Loki and Norman Osborn in order to cause an event that would allow them to invade Asgard. It succeeded, Volstagg fighting back against them created an explosion at Soldier Field in Chicago, killing many spectators. Now Norman had a reason to invade, bringing the Siege event. Volstagg went to return to Asgard to accept punishment for his actions and was met by journalists Ben Urich and Will Stern. They offered to give him a ride to Asgard so they could get Volstagg to help them get information to bring Osborn down with the truth. Upon arriving in Broxton he turns himself in to the local police station. However, when the guards saw the assault on Asgard after befriending Volstagg, they let him send out a message via webcam apologizing for the role he played and detailing the events leading to the explosion.

After sending out his message Volstagg went to join the battle on Asgard. However, he was intercepted by Thor's mad clone, Ragnarok. Fearing that their fight would endanger the citizens of Broxton, Volstagg fled toward Asgard with Ragnarok in close pursuit. Beneath the floating city Ragnarok viciously beats Volstagg. Then Volstagg is knocked from under the floating city as the Sentry destroys the foundation, collapsing the city onto Ragnarok. In the aftermath of Asgard's collapse Volstagg helps round up agents of HAMMER for the local police to arrest. Volstagg also halts Norman Osborn from escaping. Soon after, while assisting with the search and rescue in the rubble, The Warriors Three uncover Ragnarok who swiftly defeats all three of them. However, they are spared when the true Thor arrives and destroys the impostor.

Fear Itself

After the events of Siege Loki has returned but he is now a young boy who seems innocent of all wrong doing and Volstagg and the Warriors Three make an oath to Thor to protect the new Loki. Volstagg comments often that he'd rather eat Loki then trust the boy, but when Thor is sent to the Asgardian prison for disobeying Odin Volstagg takes Loki under his wing. He defends Loki from Galinn and gives him chores to keep the boy out of mischief. One such chore is cleaning the stalls of Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, and this is when Loki learns the story of how an earlier form of Loki tricked Thor into crafting the Bregd-Thrall Bridle, a magical item Loki will use to enslave the Hel Wolf.

Volstagg then takes the blame for Loki when he is caught trying to help Thor escape, and Odin catches him. Then when Loki comes to Volstagg for help he agrees to aid Loki in the thief, and concealment of the Destroyer armor. Volstagg it the pilot of the armor in the assault on The Serpent's dark Asgard. It is later revealed that it was Volstagg's idea to hide is body in the roots of Yggdrasil the World Tree so Heimdall would see it.

Powers and Abilities

Volstagg with the Brandrheid Undrsigr

The Gods of Asgard have physical attributes that make them superhuman compared to human beings. They are near ageless, immune to all diseases and have superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and a high level of resistance to injury. Volstagg possesses the conventional superhuman abilities of an Asgardian male.

Volstagg is superhumanly strong, his strength being somewhat greater than that of the average Asgardian. Volstagg is also extremely long lived, though not immortal, and ages at a pace much slower than humans. The tissues of his body are also more resilient than those of a human, rendering him much more resistant to physical injury. If he is injured, his body is able to heal itself with superhuman speed and efficiency. Volstagg's superior musculature and metabolism grants him superhuman levels of stamina. Like all Asgardians, Volstagg's bone, skin and muscle are much denser than that of a human, which helps to contribute to his superhuman strength and durability.

Volstagg is an excellent overall battlefield warrior, a superb hand-to-hand combatant and horseman. He is also sometimes armed with a sword. He has also demonstrated skill in the area of battlefield medicine and healing arts, though he makes no claim of being a healer of any real proficiency. He has also used the Elixir of Recovery, an Asgardian medical potion.

Volstagg also is known to have a specialized weapon, the Brandrheid Undrsigr, also known as the Bright Blade of Wondrous Victory.

Physical Characteristics

  • Height: 6'8"
  • Weight: 1425 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue
  • Hair: Red

Alternate Versions

Earth - 1610: Ultimates Universe

Volstagg as well as his constant companions the Warriors Three make a brief cameo in this Universe, in a flashback to Asgards glory days. The trio are slightly reinvented to better suit the nature of the Ultimate Universe, yet as with most realities, they are bonded though friendship. In the sport of battle, Hogun, Fandral and Volstagg are pitted against Thor, Loki and Balder. They are subsequently defeated. Humble in defeat however and bearing no ill will, when Asgard is attacked by Frost Giants and Nazi's, Volstagg and his fellow Warriors Three are ready at its defense and valiantly defend it will all their will, creating much problems with their would be invaders and conquerors. Volstagg is noticeably different in this reality with his shaved head in lieu of thick red hair. He is also a bit more aggressive

Earth - 904: What If The X-Men Had Stayed In Asgard

Nightcrawler joins Hogun, Fandral, and Volstagg to become a member of the Warriors Three.

Earth - 3515: Thor: The Reigning

In this reality where Thor has effectively become the ruler of Earth, the Warriors Three must chose between their friend or Earths freedom.

Earth - 12591

In this reality Asgardian's are Zombies. Loki seeking more mischief has induced a zombie wide apocalypse during World War 2. It is the Nazi's that benefit from this and as zombies they take over the world. A collection of heroes including the Ducky's Dozen and the Suffragists must try and stop not only the Zombie Nazi's but also Nazi Volstagg who is hungrier than usual.

Earth - 726633: Thor The Mighty Avenger

Mighty Avenger Volstagg

Thor has been banished to Earth, but he has no idea why, until his old friends the Warriors Three show up. In this reality their friendship is just as strong, if not stronger. Volstagg in particularly missing Thor hugging him in a huge bear life hold at first sight. They aid Thor with the problems and questions he has, and they are their to provide support when he realizes he has been banished. They are also introduced to Jane Foster and they are very kind and friendly towards the human women.

Still not quite so familiar with the new world they find themselves in, they get lost very fast in an attempt to a food establishment. Even despite consulting a map. Finding themselves in an English pub. A mix up of sorts occurs with the UK superhero Captain Britain and a brawl ensues. At one point Volstagg even ends up sitting on the British icon. It is a fairly friendly battle though, in which is ended with both parties parting as allies and rounded out with much drinking and friendly discussion.

Other Media

Movies

Thor (2011)

Volstagg

Volstagg "the Valiant" appears in the upcoming Marvel film, Thor. He is portrayed on screen by Ray Stevenson, of Punisher: Warzone fame. Close and loyal friend of Thor, Volstagg and his fellow Warriors Three Hogun (played by Tadanobu Asano) and Fandral (played by Joshua Dallas) despite apprehension, follow Thor into Jotunheim the home of the Frost Giants to teach them a lesson. This sets into motion events which lead Thor to being banished. After piecing clues together bringing into question Loki's actions, Volstagg, Lady Sif, Fandral and Hogun depart for Midgard to aid Thor and let him know of his brothers treacherous doings. Despite his slightly smaller stature compared to his comic counter part (slightly) Volstagg retains his ravenous hunger, and loud jovial nature and booming voice.

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Volstagg will appear in Thor: The Dark World. Volstagg will be portrayed once again by Ray Stevenson.

Hulk Vs Thor (2009)

Volstagg has a small part in the Hulk VS animated movies. The Warriors Three are a part of the defense of the mythical city from numerous threats including the Hulk. Hogun, Fandral and Volstagg would initially stand against the many forces that would assemble annually to try and destroy Asgard at its most vulnerable, the week where Odin undergoes the Odinsleep. After killing and slaying many trolls, giants, dark elves and demons the three warriors would joke around. Fandral accusing Hogun of making a joke, Volstagg with his mind on the food. Hogun would retort that he had still slain the most out of the three warriors. Fandral would joke that regardless of that he would still win more maidens. Eventually it would fall to Thor and Bruce Banner to stop the Hulk and Loki. Volstagg's voice is provided by voice actor Jay Brazeau.

Television

Animated Volstagg

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1991)

Volstagg has a cameo appearance in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, in a plot involving the scheming Loki.

The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (2010)

Fred Tatasciore voices the Volstagg character in this animated cartoon ongoing series. Volstagg appears in the Siege of Asgard episode.

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