ELF with a GUN

Known Members: Melf, Relf, Time Agents#334A-W, Time Agent#3127.9 and Time Agent#3121.10

Classification: Uncertain; possible genetic creations

Affiliations: Agents of chaos (See Comments)
    the "Time Agent" Elves have been seen to serve the Tribunal;
    Relf worked with the Circus of Crime

Enemies: Defenders, Destroyer Duck, Officer Dragon, Howard the Duck, KISS (Cat, Demon, Space Ace, Starchild), Mac-Ray Moving Company, Ringmaster, Spider-Man (Ben Reilly), Beverly Switzler;
Tom Pritchett, Charles Lester, Stu, that bathroom chick, and Greg the Paperboy

Aliases: The Elf, the Enigmatic Elf

Location/Base of Operations: Uncertain.
    Melf was active across the USA and possibly across other dimensions and times;
    the Time Agents operated out of the pocket dimension of the Tribunal;
    Relf was seen only in Cleveland, Ohio

First Appearance: Defenders I#25 (July, 1975)

Powers/Abilities: Each of the Elves has been seen to carry a gun. In some cases, this was a conventional handgun, in other cases, it was a temporal displacement weapon.

    Relf actually demonstrated magical abilities. He could levitate and reshape matter, he could heal wounds, and transform living creatures. However, his powers had definite limits: "There's this whole rigmarole--ratios of time to damage point to mana level-->ptuii< Elven magic is harder to score than a role playing game--"

Height: 3' 2"
Weight: 60 lbs.
Eyes: Green or blue observed
Skin: Pink
Hair: Red or white observed

Traits: The Elves are sarcastic and fairly nasty in general.

Their true nature and motives remain an enigma.

History: The origins of the Elves are unknown. (See Comments)

(Defenders I#25) - The Elf appeared at the California mobile home of Tom and Linda Pritchett, called Tom by name, pulled out a gun, and blew him away.

(Defenders I#31) - The Elf appeared in Las Vegas, posing as a taxicab driver for Charles Lester and his wife. Suddenly, the cab driver's head popped off and out jumped the Elf. When the husband asked, "What is this?", the Elf replied, "It's 'Goodbye,' Charles." and then blew him away.

(Defenders I#38) - In the Grand Canyon, the Elf, dressed as an ancient American Indian, was encountered by Stu and his girlfriend. Stu figured the shaman would impart some ancient wisdom to him. Revealing himself, the Elf told him that he would indeed be wiser for this experience, and then blew him away.

(Defenders I#40) - In a unidentified city in the American Southwest, an Elf showed up in the Ladies' Room, where he blew away a woman, who had fled there to escape the Hulk.

(Defenders I#46) - Outside a house in upstate New York, owned by Kyle Richmond, the Elf prepared to ambush Greg, a paper boy. However, as he drew his gun, he was run over by a truck from Mac-Ray Moving Company, which took his measure and found him wanting.










(Marvel Comics Super Special#5) - In the Land of Leftovers--populated by symbolic figures from the 1960s living out that decade again and again eternally--the Elf (a white-haired version) encountered the alternate-dimensional superhero rock stars known as KISS. His curiosity got the better of his homicidal tendencies and so he just shouted "Bang! Bang! You're all Dead!" rather than actually shooting them. The Elf asked what they were doing there, and they said they just wanted a way out, since they'd been shunted there by a wizard, Khalis-Wu the Darklord.
    The Elf told them where they were and sent them into the town to find Saurian Holmes to help them out. He then vanished, saying he had a late lunch with Ghengis Khan, but that the next time he saw them, he'd blow off all their heads. Starchild commented: "Nice Guy. I hope he gets hit by a truck."










(Defenders I#115) - After the death of Nighthawk (Kyle Richmond), his friend and nurse, Luann Bloom suspected that the Defenders were involved with his death. When she received a call telling her that the story she had been told by SHIELD was a lie, she agreed to meet the caller in order to learn the truth. She waited for him on a street corner of New York, and she met...an Elf.

(Defenders I#117) - Luann joined the Elf in his old Model T Ford, which suddenly transported them to a dusty back road in South Carolina. He next drove them straight into an old shack and through a portal into another dimension--whistling the whole time.

(Defenders I#118) - The Elf and Luann's journey ended in front of the enigmatic entities known as the Tribunal, who identified the Elf as Agent 334A-W, and Luann as T.B.#6-C.

(Defenders I#119) - In front of the Tribunal, the Elf reached up and pulled the mask off of Luann Bloom, revealing her to be a robot. The Tribunal revealed her to be one of their Time Buoys, and forced her to reveal an encounter with Yandroth, which was previously unknown to them. However, they found the information less than useful and they revealed their plan to destroy the Defenders. The Elf suggested they scrap Luann for spare parts, but this idea was rejected.

(Defenders I#122) - An Elf summoned the original four Defenders--Dr. Strange, the Hulk, Namor, and the Silver Surfer to Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. After they all arrived, the Elf appeared and blasted them with his time displacement gun.

(Defenders I#123) - The Elf who blasted the Defenders then returned to the Tribunal, where he bragged of his success against the Defenders. When Luann flipped out, in denial of her existence as a robot, the one Elf (identified at Time Agent#3127.9) deactivated her, and then the two Elves split her in half to temporarily store her somewhere. The other Elf  (identified at Time Agent#3127.10) told the Tribunal that they were making the Time Buoys too good, as this was the third one that had started thinking it was real. The Tribunal told him to just do his job or he would be sent back to the genetic pool and melted down.


Meanwhile, one of the Elves then confronted the Defenders, who were floating around in the time-stream. He then directed them on how to take a short-cut to the Tribunal. More than once, the other had to stop Namor from throttling the smart-@$$ Elf, since they knew he was their ticket out of there. Along the way, the Elf stopped off at 24th Century Earth (specifically, @ 2387), which was a dead and decaying world, and he told them, "...you four jerks caused it!"

(Defenders I#124, 125) - Dr. Strange bound the Elf in a mystical sphere and demanded to know the hows and whys of what had happened to Earth, but they were all transported before the Tribunal. There the Defenders were told what had happened to that future Earth, and they were also identified as the cause of it all. The Tribunal had the two Elves return Luann Bloom, and reveal her true nature to the Defenders. After Dr. Strange probed the Tribunal with the Eye of Vishanti (with their permission), he verified their nature and their belief in what they were telling him. As a result, the original four Defenders agreed to never again work together, or risk the interaction of their karmic energies leading to the destruction of Earth.

Meanwhile, one of the Elves narrated both stories of the Old and New Defenders. He got to like it so much that he planned to narrate the stories every issue from then on, until the other Elf showed up and drug him away.





(Spider-Man Team-Up#5/2) - Another Elf, calling himself Relf, showed up, hoping to find the trucker driver that had killed his uncle Melf. Though quite powerful, Relf had a number of limitations, and so required the assistance of some humans in order to accomplish his goal. He teamed up with the Circus of Crime, who were at the time on the outs with the Ringmaster, who was trying to go straight. They sent the Elf to steal the Ringmaster's hypno-disc. Relf knocked on Tiboldt's door, shot him, and stole...a miniature ukulele. The Circus was furious with Relf and ridiculed him, but he suddenly turned and shot them all--except the lovely Princess Python, who served as a witness to his power. He then magically removed the bullets and healed the fallen criminals, who now had a more healthy respect for him.

Now having a better idea of what he was looking for, Relf confronted the hospitalized Ringmaster and asked him where the disc was. Tiboldt told him that it had been taken by the FBI--who  had searched his apartment after the shooting--and sent to Chicago. Relf then transformed Princess Python's snake into a winged creature, which transported them to Chicago. Relf called officer Dragon in Chicago and told him to bring the Ringmaster's disc to a warehouse in Cleveland, where he would trade it to him for the sitar (as which the ukulele is also referred). Officer Dragon brought with him Destroyer Duck.

Meanwhile, Peter Parker--at the time retired--and Ben Reilly--at the time Spider-Man--had tracked the Ringmaster's attack back to the Circus of Crime, in Cleveland. They both flew out there, and Spidey interrupted the exchange between Relf and Officer Dragon. Princess Python's snake attacked Spidey, but Officer Dragon pulled it off of him.  Relf shot at them, but Destroyer Duck returned fire. Beverly Switzler (Howard  the Duck's squeeze--hey, it's Gerber, and it takes place in Cleveland--had you any doubt!!??) tried to corral Relf, who cracked her in the head with his gun and took off. The rest of the Circus showed up and attacked the heroes, but Spidey used the Ringmaster's hypno-disc to subdue them.

Disgusted, Relf abandoned the Circus of Crime, determined to avenge Melf and finish his own mission his own way. Princess Python offered to...keep him company...along the way.

(Marvel Knights Spider-Man#6) - Relf attended the auction in which the Venom symbiote was sold.

Comments: Created by Steve Gerber (writer) and Sal Buscema (artist).

Gerber's original plans see fruition?

I think you're right. Both the Tribunal and their gun-slinging elves are creations of the Cockroach Conspiracy!  

More specifically, [they are] creations of those magic paints they stole from Yucoya-TzinWilhelm von Vile was whipped up first, of course, to make subsequent painting much easier. He then created the elves as a part of an elaborate plan against the Defenders.  

You see, when the Hulk butt-whupped their Wundagorian relative (the Inheritor from Beyond) all by his lonesome, the Cockroach Conspiracy became paranoid about the Defenders as a whole!  So, the elves were sent out to randomly capture innocent people [making it appear as if they were randomly killing them instead].  These people were narco-hypnotized by the Faceless One, so the Scarlet Beetle could have an easier job of telepathically implanting false memories in them (via the female Dragonfly, perhaps?).  And, their physical appearances were altered, by Von Vile, to make them look semi-ethereal!  Furthermore, because the pseudo-Tribunal really and truly believed what they had been brainwashed to believe, the Eye of Agamotto could do nothing else but verify the story!!  So, once the four original Defenders voluntarily disbanded, the Cockroach Conspiracy released the pseudo-Tribunal, restoring their true appearances while simultaneously erasing all memories of their cosmic imposture.  

As for Melf and the Circus of Crime?  That was probably just an attempt to avenge Howard the Duck's defeat of their Cleveland co-conspirator.--Carycomix 

To further back up the claim that roaches allied with the Elf had it in for the Defenders: In Defenders I#115 (around the same time of the Tribunal and the reappearance of the Elf), the first three panels of page five, a cockroach-like insect on Earth-S interferes with the mechanics of the Squadron Supreme's inter-dimensional teleporter sending some of the Defenders home and other members to a different dimension.  Coincidence?  Or was it another piece in the intricate scheme of the COCKROACH CONSPIRACY!!!!???
Kyle Smith

Another Elf story, @ 1978:
    (Marvel Comics Super Special#5) - In the Land of Leftovers--populated by symbolic figures from the 1960s living out that decade again and again eternally--the Elf (a white-haired version) encountered the superhero rock stars known as KISS. His curiosity got the better of his homicidal tendencies and so he just shouted "Bang! Bang! You're all Dead!" rather than actually shooting them. The Elf asked what they were doing there, and they said they just wanted a way out, since they'd been shunted there by a wizard, Khalis-Wu the Darklord.
    The Elf told them where they were and sent them into the town to find Saurian Holmes to help them out. He then vanished, saying he had a late lunch with Ghengis Khan, but that the next time he saw them, he'd blow off all their heads. Starchild commented: "Nice Guy. I hope he gets hit by a truck."
--This would normally not be considered canon, as KISS is licensed property, but I don't see why it couldn't have happened. Even if KISS are from an alternate world, they still could have encountered the Elf in the Land of Leftovers. Which Elf though, that is the question!

And, of course, Kyle Richmond didn't stay dead, he was brought back in the Nighthawk limited series.

And the late 20th Century reference to the Defenders story that destroyed the Earth is already topical...unless time works differently from "regular Marvel Time" in that alternate, non-existent world.

If you get the chance, read the Defenders letter pages from 1975-1978, you'll enjoy the numerous attempts by fans to try to guess the secret of the Elf.

There is another Elf profile, at the Defenders non-page, from which I got that quote. If you know how to contact the author, or can identify him/her/them, please let me know, and I'll credit the author.
The URL is http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Orion/4895/profiles/elf.html.
Check it out!

The Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck#1 story, courtesy of Madison Carter:

Thanks to the multitude of people who e-mailed me to correct my brain-fart misnaming of Destroyer Duck as Darkwing Duck (a Disney character). My explanation? D'oh!

"Love is a perky elf dancing a merry little jig and then suddenly he turns on you with a miniature machine gun."
-- Matt Groening, Love is Hell (quote supplied by Ben Peberdy, Spaceknight)

As you all may know, Steve Gerber was writing an 8 issue Dr. Fate feature for DC in "Countdown to Mystery" at the time of his death. For the final part in issue #8, DC printed four different four page conclusions by four different writers and artists. Gail Simone had a delusional Kent Nelson muttering "Ducks and bog monsters and a team of loner freaks who become friends somehow and a bizarro and a dancer with an ostrich and God, God, what wonders yet remained to be put to paper?" Adam Beechen has Kent Nelson, Inza Fox and Maddy rescued from the demon Negal and his lackey Ymp by a gun-toting elf who blows the demons away. "All clear. Anything else?" he asks. A voice answers him, "Nah. You done good. Come on home. Me, Bev, Megs [Omega the Uknown, I presume] and Thunny [Thundarr the Barbarian} are going for beer with the big guy (Steve Gerber) before he heads upstairs. You're welcome to join us." "I dunno," the Elf says, "Feels like more should happen before he goes. That there's more to do down here." "He feels the same way, pal," says the voice. "But he's cool with it. He's leaving behind a bunch a'others he's taught to handle things. Wauuggh." DCU appearances. Only one of four possible endings. But still worthy of mention?
--Al Sjoerdsma

Profile updated by Kyle Sims


For the purpose of clarification within this entry:

None of the versions of the Elf with a Gun have any known connection to:

The Tribunal has no known connection to:


Tom and Linda Pritchett


They lived in a mobile home, inside a trailer park in the woodlands of California. They were enjoying a night of singing folk songs when they were interrupted by a knock on the door. Tom thought it might be their friends Jeff & Marsha, but it wasn't. It was an Elf with a Gun, who shot Tom.


--Defenders I#25





Charles "Whizzo" Lester and his wife


They were native Oklahomans, visiting Las Vegas. After an unfruitful night of gambling, they got a ride home in a taxi. They stopped bickering only when they realized that their driver had taken them into an alley and then stopped. The driver's head then popped off, and the Elf removed the rest of the costume and shot them.


--Defenders I#31



Stu and girlfriend


They were taking a horseback ride down the Grand Canyon, when they encountered a lone ancient American Indian, who gave them the stereotypical greeting, "How!" Stu identified the headress as one worn by the chiefs of the extinct Wappidi tribe, and figured that it was a vision there to impart wisdom to them. Instead, it removed its costume to reveal an Elf with a Gun, who shot them.


--Defenders I#38





bathroom chick


She had been taking part in a protest demonstration against the movie Waste, which purported to portray the actual death of a pretty blond actress. The demonstration attracted the attention of the Hulk, who dropped down from the sky into their midst and drove the protestors off. She fled into a Ladies' room, across the street, where she was surprised by the Elf with a Gun, who shot her.


--Defenders I#40



the one that got away...


Greg the Paper Boy and his dog Patch were out doing their daily delivery, and nearly met up with erratic, elusive Elf with a Gun, who was hiding in the shrubbery. Instead, the Elf met up and was apparently killed by a moving van. Greg never knew what almost happened to him.


--Defenders I#46





Marvel Comics Super Special#5, p24 (numbered p35), panel 1 and 3 (full body and face close-up)

Defenders I#25 (July, 1975) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Jack Abel (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Defenders I#31 (January, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Defenders I#38 (August, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Defenders I#40 (October, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Defenders I#46 (April, 1977) - Roger Slifer & David Kraft (writer), Keith Giffen (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Marvel Comics Super Special#5 (1978) - Ralph Macchio and Alan Weiss (co-plotters), Ralph Macchio (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inker), Richard Marshall (editor)
Defenders I#115 (January, 1983) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Hilary Barta (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Defenders I#117-118 (March-April, 1983) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Jack Abel (#117), Andy Mushynski (#118), Al Milgrom (#118) (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Defenders I#119 (May, 1983) - Steven Grant (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Jack Abel (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Defenders I#122 (August, 1983) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Kim DeMulder (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Defenders I#123-125 (September-November, 1983) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Kim DeMulder (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Spider-Man Team-Up#5 (December, 1996), Steve Gerber (writer), James Fry (pencils), Chris Ivy (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Marvel Knight Spider-Man#6 (November, 2004) - Mark Millar (writer), Terry Dodson (pencils), Rachel Dodson (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)

First Posted: 03/22/2003
Last updated: 05/12/2012

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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