Name: Brunnhilde (also spelled Brunnhilda)
Occupation: Chooser of the Slain, Adventurer
Identity: The Valkyrie's godhood is not acknowledged
by the general populace of modern day Earth
Legal Status: Citizen of Asgard
Other Aliases: Barbara Norriss, Samantha Parrington
Place of Birth: Presumably Asgard
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: Gods at Asgard, Valkyrior, Defenders
Base of Operations: Asgard, later New York City
area, later Defenders Mansion, Colorado.
First Appearance: (Enchantress in Valkyrie's form)
AVENGERS #87, (Samantha Parrington in Valkyrie's form) INCREDIBLE
HULK #142, (Brunnhilde in Barbara Norriss's body) DEFENDERS #3,
(Brunnhilde in her own body) DEFENDERS #109
History: The origin of Brunnhilde the Valkyrie
remains a mystery. Her parentage is unknown. She has claimed to
be not "just an Asgardian"
and to have served something older than Asgard,
but what she meant by this statement is as yet unknown.
Brunnhilde was selected by Odin, monarch of the gods of the otherdimensional
realm of Asgard, to lead the Valkyrior, the Choosers of the Slain,
a group of warrior goddesses who would appear over the battlefields
of mortal worshippers of the Asgardian gods and choose which of
the fallen were worthy to be taken to Valhalla, the land of the
honored dead in the dimension of Asgard. Brunnhilde served Asgard
capably in this capacity for centuries.
According to a sentient, disembodied eye that one belonged to
Odin, the Asgardian monarch once gave his son Thor
the mortal identity of the warrior Siegmund. Circumstances reluctantly
forced Odin to decree that Siegmund must be slain. Brunnhilde,
recognizing that Odin was acting against his true wishes, sought
to protect Siegmund, but Odin himself then caused Siegmund's death.
Brunnhilde helped Siegmund's pregnant lover, Sieglinde, get to
safety. As punishment for her defiance, Odin removed Brunnhildes
godly powers and immortality and cast her into a trance. She was
eventually awakened by Siegfried, who was the son of Siegmund
and Sieglinde and was a mortal reincarnation of Thor. Brunnhilde
and Siegfried became lovers, but Siegfried fell under the influence
of magic and betrayed her. Siegfried was later murdered, and Brunnhilde,
still in love with him, leapt into his blazing funeral pyre. Odin
restored both Siegfried and Brunnhilde to life, giving them back
their godly roles, powers, and near-immortality as Thor and the
Valkyrie, but removing their memories of their recent lives on
Earth. It is unclear how much truth, if any, there is to this
account by the eye.
Brunnhilde and her fellow Valkyries continued to gather heroic
mortal warriors for Valhalla until roughly a millennium ago, when
Odin was forced to cease virtually all intercourse with the Earth
in accordance with a pact that he and the leaders of Earth's other
pantheons of gods made with extraterrestrial Celestials.
From then onward, the Valkyries could only choose slain heroes
from among fallen Asgardian warriors. Brunnhilde was bitter over
being barred from choosing warriors on Earth and roamed Asgard
in pursuit of something meaningful to do.
In a tavern on the outskirts of Marmoragard, Brunnhilde encountered
Amora the Enchantress,
who offered her a life of adventure. For several weeks Brunnhilde
accompanied the Enchantress on her conquests. Brunnhilde soon
discovered Amore's inclinations towards immorality and tried to
end their partnership. In response Amore entrapped Brunnhilde
within a mystic crystal of souls. Whith Brunnhildes body remained
in suspended animation, her immortal soul became Amora's plaything.
Over the centuries the Enchantress used Brunnhilde's spiritual
essence to give the Valkyrie’s powers to herself or to her
pawns. The Enchantress usually used her magic to alter the recipient's
appearance to resemble Brunnhilde herself.
Specific instances of Amore's exploitation of the Valkyrie before
recent years are not yet known. The first time Amore assumed the
Valkyrie's physical aspect in recent years was in a plot to lead
a handful of female superhumans against the male Avengers. Her
true identity was discovered, however, and her plan thwarted.
Months later, the Enchantress bestowed the Valkyries power upon
a socialite named Samantha Parrington in an attempt to get revenge
on the Hulk.
Finally, a woman driven mad by being trapped in another mystical
dimension, Barbara Norriss, was given the Valkyrie's power and
consciousness by Amora in order to help the Enchantress and her
erstwhile allies, the group of superhumans called the Defenders,
escape from the clutches of the sorceress Casiolena. Amora did
not undo her spell on Norriss after Casiolena's defeat. As a result,
Norrisss body now possessed Brunnhilda's consciousness, appearance,
and powers, while Norriss’s own mental essence was trapped
in Brunnhildes real body in Asgard. However, thanks to partial
amnesia induced by the Enchantress, Brunnhilde was unaware that
she was not in possession of her real body and full memory. Indeed,
while trapped in Norriss’s body Brunnhilde personality lacked
much of its usual strength of will.
It was not until a minor Asgardian warrior named Ollerus attempted
to take over Valhalla that the Valkyrie’s two mixed aspects
met for the first time. Brunnhilde’s mental essence trapped
Norriss’s transformed body, fought Norriss’s mental
essence trapped in Brunnhilde’s real body. At the end of
that encounter, the Valkyrie’s body, still possessed by
Norriss’s mind was consigned to Niffiehelm, the realm inhabited
by the spirits at the non-heroic Asgardian dead, while Brunnhilde’s
mind in Norriss’s transformed body accompanied the Defenders,
who had made the other dimensional journey with her, back to Earth.
For reasons yet unknown, Brunnhilde was not concerned at this
time about reuniting her mind with her true body. It was not until
Barbara Norriss’s body was murdered that the Valkyries spirit
and mind were inadvertently freed from their mortal host. With
the help of Doctor Stranges
magic, Brunnhilde regained her true body, which was rescued from
Niffleheim by the Enchantress. Back in her real body, Brunnhilde
regained her full memory and normal warriors personality as well.
Brunnhilde then battled Amore and banished her into the crystal
of souls in which she had been trapped.
Feeling estranged from Asgard in general and Odin in particular
for their neglect of her centuries-long plight, Brunnhilde chose
to return to Earth with her mortal friends, the Defenders, rather
than to remain in Asgard. She had joined the Defenders after their
battle with Casiolena and remained with them continuously until
the group finally came to one of its end.
Odin placed the dangerously powerful self-styled goddess Moondragon
into Brunnhilde's charge. Brunnhilde was to teach Moodragon humility,
and Moondragon served alongside Brunnhilde in the Defenders. Brunnhilde
was to take action against Moondragon should she again become
a menace. Eventually Moondragon reformed, but later she fell once
again under the malevolent influence of the alien entity called
the Dragon of the Moon. Moondragon attacked the Defenders, but
Brunnhilde, given temporary additional powers by Odin for this
occasion, including the power to grow to gigantic stature, opposed
her. Brunnhilde summoned other Valkyries to her aid and together
with two other Defenders, the Angel and Cloud, they battled and,
thanks to Cloud especially, defeated Moondragon. Moondragon escaped,
Months later Moondragon returned to attack the Defenders, and
during the encounter her power was vastly augmented by the alien
Beyonder. In order to
defeat the Dragon, Brunnhilde and the Eternal
projected their immortal life forces against it. They were joined
by the Defender Andromeda
and the Defenders’ former foe Manslaughter,
for it was necessary that Brunnhilde’s and Interloper’s
life forces pass through “mortal instruments” in order
that Moondragon be defeated as well. Joining hands, the four allies
hurled the tremendous power of their combined life forces at the
Dragon, Moondragon, and the Gargoyle,
whose body was now under the Dragons control. Three other Defenders
went to rescue endangered innocents, and when they returned, Brunnhilde,
Interloper, Andromeda, Manslaughter, Moondragon and the Gargoyle
had all seemingly been transformed into statues of ashes and dust,
and the Dragon of the Moon was apparently gone.
Recently when Doctor Strange was on the brink of death, his astral
form found itself being drawn towards a realm of the afterlife.
His astral form saw Brunnhilda, who had come to escort him into
the hereafter. Strange, however, refused, and after considerable
effort, returned to life in the mortal world. It’s unclear
whether Brunnhilde herself was dead and appeared to Strange in
her astral form, or whether she still lives in physical form.
It’s clear, however, that she once more serves to escort
the spirits of dead heroes into the hereafter.
Height: 6 ft. 3 in.
Weight: 475 lbs.
Strength Level: Brunnhilde the Valkyrie possesses
superhuman strength and can lift (press) 45 tons. (The average
Asgardian female can lift about 25 tons. Brunnhilde is the strongest
Known Superhuman Powers: Brunnhilde the Valkyrie
possesses the conventional attributes of an Asgardian woman ("goddess").
Like all Asgardians she is extremely long lived (although not
immortal like the Olympians), superhumanly strong, immune to all
Earthly diseases, and resistant to conventional injury. (Asgardian
flesh and bones are about three times as dense as similar human
tissue, contributing to all Asgardian superhuman strength and
weight ) Brunnhilde’s Asgardian metabolism gives her far
greater than human endurance at all physical activities: she can
exert peak strength for an hour before fatigue impairs her ability
Like all Valkyries, Brunnhilde can perceive and sense the coming
of Death. She can see a "deathglow" surrounding a person
who is in serious danger of dying, although most Asgardians and
human beings cannot see the glow. A person surrounded by the deathglow
might still be saved from dying (until he or she meets his or
her inevitable end at some later time under different circumstances).
Brunnhilde can transport herself and a dying or dead person from
the Earth dimension to an otherdimensional realm of the dead,
just by willing herself to do so. She can also return through
an act of will.
Abilities: Brunnhilde the Valkyrie has had extensive
training in unarmed combat swordplay, and horseback riding. Her
natural fighting ability is unsurpassed among Asgardian women,
and is perhaps equaled only by Sit.
Weapons: Brunnhilde the Valkyrie employs two
weapons: an unnamed iron spear and the enchanted sword, Drayonfang.
An Oriental wizard named Kahji-Da was said to have carved the
sword from the tusk of an extradimensional dragon. The sword eventually
passed into the possession of the Ancient
One, who in turn gave it to his disciple Doctor Strange. Strange
awarded the sword to the Valkyrie after she had returned the current
Ebony Blade, which she had been using, to its rightful owner.
Dragonfang is virtually indestructible.
Transportation: Brunnhilda the Valkyrie rides
the artificially mutated winged horse Aragorn
a gift from the current Black Knight.