Ymir was the oldest and most powerful of the Ice Giants, an otherdimensional race of enormous humanoid creatures. The huge size, durability, and colossal strength of the Ice Giants made them formidable foes to the gods of Asgard over the millennia.
Ymir was the progenitor of the entire race of Ice Giants as well as the Frost Giants, although he differed considerably in appearance from many of his current descendants, such as Utgard-Loki. Ymir and many of the first members of his race were also known as Ice Giants. Like the other Ice Giants, Ymir was covered with snow and ice, and constantly generated intense coldness from his body. The later generations of Ymir's race, such as Utgard-Loki, did not generate cold, and were not covered with ice and snow, and were therefore known simply as Frost Giants. Nonetheless, the great size of the Frost Giants was dependent on cold temperatures, and members of the later generations of Frost Giants, unable to create coldness from their own bodies, would shrink in size if exposed to sufficient heat. Continued exposure to such heat would melt such a Frost Giant entirely.
Except for the fire demon Surtur, Ymir was the oldest known being in the "Nine Worlds" of the Asgardian cosmology. It was said that millennia ago warm air from the other-dimensional realm of fire, Muspelheim, crossed a dimensional barrier into the location of the magical Well of Life, Tons of ice from Niffleheim, the other-dimensional realm of ice and cold, formed above the Well of Life. It was said that in time the warm air from Muspelheim caused these tons of ice over the Well to transform into the living, sentient Frost Giant Ymir. Another being appeared from the ice, the enchanted cow Audumla. Audumla fed off the ice itself, and Ymir subsisted on the milk Audumla produced. Some claimed that Ymir's first child was a female named Atali.
Ymir went to live in Niffleheim, which he populated with the race of Ice Giants. (The more recent generations of Frost Giants lived instead in the realm of Jotunheim.) At some point before 10,000 BCE, humans began to worship Ymir and his first daughter as deities. Among these humans were the Vanir people whose members would include Ulysses Bloodstone, Niord Worm's Bane, and possibly Raa and the Maha Yogi. Legends tell of Ymir imprisoning a group of vampires. The young god Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve fought a war with the Ice Giants and slew Ymir. According to Asgardian legend, Odin, Vili, and Ve created the Earth and sky from Ymir's corpse, but this part of the story is clearly untrue.
Ymir, however, succeeded in regenerating himself, and led the Ice Giants in war against Asgard at some later time. Odin created a chasm containing an interdimensional nexus through which Ymir's army plunged into Muspelheim, where the native demons took the Giants prisoners. Odin then entrapped Ymir himself within a circle of flame within a volcanic area. It is not known how long Ymir remained there.
In recent times a member of the mystical cult called the Sons of Satannish used the so-called Spell of Fire and Ice to bring both Ymir and Surtur to Earth, where they began wreaking havoc. Earth's Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Stephen Strange, used the Crystal of Conquest, which contained part of the mystical power of the demons known as Santannish and Mephisto, to transport Surtur and Ymir magically into each other's presence at the very instant they were lashing out with their weapons. Ymir and Surtur thus struck each other's weapons, creating a mystical "implosion" in which each being temporarily cancelled out the powers of the other, and each was returned to his home dimension, Surtur to Muspelheim and Ymir to Niffleheim.
Ymir is a Marvel comics character, adapted for Marvel comics Thor title, by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. Inspired and based on the mythological Norse creature Ymir. Ymir first appears in Journey Into Mystery #97. Accounts of the mythological Ymir stretch back to sources such as Poetic Edda, and Prose Edda, which are collections of older Norse stories and poems. Much of the comic version of Ymir owes and is based on his older mythological counterpart.
Major Story Arcs
Formerly, the tales of Conan were part of Marvel history. In these tales Ymir was worshiped as a god of war and storms by the peoples of the north before the current civilization of man rose to power. Due to legal reasons, it is unknown if these stories are still considered canon.
Ages ago Odin and his brothers slew Ymir and according to Norse myth created the world from his body.
Despite being killed Ymir has returned numerous times to plague Asgard. Each time he has been defeated with the result being either imprisonment or death , but he constantly returns. Several times he has been summoned to Earth by the Sons of Satannish and battled various superhero times such as the X-Men or Avengers before being returned to his native dimension. He is a sworn enemy of Odin due to their past history. He is also an enemy of the fire giant Surtur due to being opposing elements. The last known battle with him left him imprisoned in the Sea of Eternal Twilight.
He did not participate in the final Ragnarok and is presumed to have died with the rest of the Norse cosmos. Considering how difficult both him and Surtur have been to kill he is expected to return.
Powers and Abilities
Despite being a frost giant, Ymir has been at times referred to as an Elemental like Surtur. This makes him more akin to a force of nature than a god or giant allowing him to return more easily from death.
As such, Ymir is one of the most powerful beings known. He has all the abilities of other frost giants, but to a much greater degree. His size, strength, and resistance to injury are far greater then any other frost giant surpassing that of even the thunder god Thor. He can generate intense cold from his body. He can freeze nearly anything he touches. As an elemental, Ymir is so far immortal and immune to the effects of time. Should his body be shattered he can mentally reform it and even if he is completely destroyed he can regenerate his body.
In battle Ymir prefers brute force and to use a giant club made of ice. This abilities combined with his immortality make him one of the few beings to be capable of actually challenging Odin and Surtur in direct battle with a chance at winning.
Like all frost giants, Ymir is vulnerable to intense heat, but his own ability to generate intense cold negates all but the strongest sources of heat allowing him to survive in environments where other giants would die.
Despite his vast age, unlike Odin or Surtur, Ymir has never taken the time to develop his mind or demonstrated any capability for strategy. This makes most of his attacks a straight forward affair relying on brute force and his thinking bent on outright destruction with little else.
Ymir appears in the Ultimate Marvel Universe reality and engages in a large battle between Asgardian creatures and the Ultimates, in Ultimates 2. He is defeated when the Ultimate incarnation of Thor summons a mighty Asgardian army.
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (2006)
Ymir makes an appearance in the 2006 video game, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. He acts as a mini-boss in Asgard after telling the heroes
have taken Odin. He is voiced by Paul Eiding and has a special conversation with
if he is in the party.
Thor: God of Thunder (2011)
Ymir appears in this multi platform 2011 video game loosely based on the Thor movie. Ymir is voiced by Mitch Lewis
Spider-man and His Amazing Friends (1981)
In the animated series Spider-man and His Amazing Friends, Ymir appears in the episode "The Vengeance of Loki." In the episode, Ymir has taken over a kingdom ruled by the Ice Giant Zerona. Aided by Iceman, they are able to remove him from the kingdom. He is voiced by John Stephenson.
The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (2010)
The powerful frost giant Ymir appears in the 2010 animated series The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. When the
Masters of Evil
plot sends all the Avengers to the various realms of Asgard, Ant-man ends up battling Frost Giants including Ymir. He is outnumbered and out powered until several
warriors led by Lady
intervene and rescue him. Ymir is voiced by Rick D. Wasserman.