Real Name: Olórin
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Eä) divine spirit; magic-user
former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Group Membership: Istari (Morinehtar/Alatar,
Radagast/Aiwendil, Rómestámo/Palandro, Saruman/Curumo),
formerly Howling Commandos (Abominable Snowman, Blade/Eric Brooks, Bradley Beemer, Brother Voodoo/Jericho Drumm, Clone of Frankenstein, Dimensional Man, Dragoom, Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, Fangu, Glob/Joseph Timms, Golden Gator, Golem, Goom, Gorgolla, Gorilla Man/Ken Hale, Grogg, Groot, Hellstorm/Daimon Hellstrom, Timothy Hunter, It the Living Colossus, John Jameson, Kraa the Unhuman, Lilith, Living Mummy/N'Kantu, Manphibian, "Buzz" McMahon, Orrgo, Joshua Pryce, Sasquatch/Walter Langkowski, Satana, Tonto, Vampire by Night/Nina Price, Warwolf/Vince Marcus, Werewolf/Jack Russell, Zombie/"John Doe", others), Fellowship of the Ring (Aragorn, Frodo Baggins, Boromir, Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck, Samwise "Sam" Gamgee, Gimli, Legolas, Peregrine "Pippin" Took), Thorin's company (Thorin Oakenshield, Bilbo Baggins, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Dwalin, Fíli, Glóin, Kíli, Nori, Oín, Ori), White Council (Círdan, Elrond, Galadriel, Saruman)
Affiliations: Beorn, Glorfindel, Gwaihir, Manwë
Enemies: Durin's Bane, Gollum (Smeagol), Merlin, Morgoth (Melkor), Nazgûl (Witch-King of Angmar, Khamûl, seven others), Saruman, Sauron (Mairon), Smaug
Known Relatives: Ilúvatar (creator), Ainur (varying unspecified relations)
Aliases: Big Grey Beard, Gandalf the Grey, Gandalf the White, Greyhame, "Elf of the Staff," Incánus, Láthspell, Mithrandir, Old Grey Beard, Stormcrow, Tharkûn, the White Pilgrim, the White Rider
Base of Operations: Mobile interdimensionally;
formerly Arda (Middle-Earth, Aman)
First Appearance: The Hobbit (novel, 21st September
(alongside Marvel characters) Mystic II#15 (September 2001)
(Marvel) Nick Fury's Howling Commandos I#6 (March 2006)
Powers/Abilities: An immortal and powerful spirit inhabiting a human-looking form, Gandalf ages incredibly slowly and is stronger and fitter than a man of his visible age would normally be, never mind a man of his actual age. He is a powerful wizard capable of numerous and varied feats of magic, especially pyrotechnic ones. He is an excellent swordsman and master horse rider.
Height: 6'2" (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
(The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, other Middle-Earth novels) - In the reality known as Eä, the creator Ilúvatar brought into being many powerful spirits, the Ainur, the offspring of his thoughts, who directed them in turn to design the world, Arda, which he then created proper. Many of the Ainur then chose to take form on Arda to prepare it for the coming of the Children of Ilúvatar, elves and humans. Setting up home on the Western continent, Aman, the fifteen most powerful Ainur formed the Valar, while the more numerous lesser Ainur formed the Maiar. However, the first and greatest of the Valar, Melkor, sought to dominate and corrupt Arda, soon coming into open conflict with his fellows. Fleeing to the center continent, Middle-Earth, where elves and humanity were to awaken, he corrupted several Maiar to his cause, most notably Mairon (later known as Sauron) and several who became fire spirits known as Balrogs. By torturing captured elves, he created a twisted new race, the Orcs, and also brought into existence many other monstrous beings, including dragons, werewolves, vampires and giant spiders, that would plague Arda for ages to come. Another Valar, Aulë the Smith rebelled in a far smaller and non-harmful way, creating his own race of children, the dwarves; though not Children of Ilúvatar, and often at conflict with the elves, they were not a malevolent species and were ultimately accepted by the Ainur.
Olórin was a Maia, created before the birth of Arda by Ilúvatar, and served Manwë, Melkor's brother and King of the Valar, associated with the winds, airs and birds. Olórin inherited many of his master's traits, but also learned much from Manwë's wife, Neinna, who was associated with grief, sorrow, pity and courage. Olórin's specific activities during Arda's earliest years remain unrecorded, though he doubtless assisted in the battles against Melkor, now dubbed Morgoth, "Black Foe of the World," by the elves. Eventually Morgoth was defeated during the War of Wrath, which all the Maiar, including presumably Olórin, took part in. Morgoth was cast out of the world, though at the price of sinking huge portions of land beneath the oceans; his defeat ended what became known as the First Age.
Unfortunately, though their master was gone, many of Morgoth's underlings remained to plague the world, chief among them Sauron. With the Valar unwilling to venture back to Middle-Earth and directly contest him lest they cause further continental decimation, throughout the Second Age Sauron sought to conquer and manipulate elves, dwarves and humanity, but luckily, despite lacking the Ainur's help, the most powerful among each of those three species had learned much from contact with the Ainur, and so were able to resist him. During the Second Age Sauron tricked the races into forging rings of power for their greatest leaders, which in turn would allow him to corrupt and control them via his own creation, the One Ring. Finally he corrupted the greatest of humanity's kingdoms, the island nation of Númenor, inciting them to sail towards Aman intending to attack the Valar's home, Valinor, but this prompted Ilúvatar 's direct intervention; he sank Númenor beneath the waves and removed Aman from the world, making it impossible for the ships of men (but not elves) to ever reach it again. Númenor's destruction marked the end of the Second Age.
Though his power had been diminished by Númenor's destruction, Sauron continued to be a threat to Children of Ilúvatar, so Manwë called the Valar to council, and it was decided to send emissaries to Middle-Earth to help. Five Maiar were dispatched, becoming known to the elves as the Istari, or humans as the Wizards, each marked by a color that identified their position within their small order; one of these Istari was Olórin, known the elves as Mithrandir and humans as Gandalf the Grey, second greatest of the Istari after Saruman the White. They assumed human form, their powers limited so they could only assist the people of Middle-Earth, not seek to conquer them as Sauron did, and charged with assisting through persuasion and encouragement, not force or fear. For over 1700 years Gandalf diligently carried out his duties, including helping the dwarf lord Thorin Oakenshield's quest to reclaim his lost kingdom from the dragon Smaug, which from Gandalf's perspective deprived Sauron of a potential weapon in the north of Middle-Earth. During this quest Gandalf's ally, the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, accidentally gained possession of Sauron's long misplaced Ring, though it took Gandalf several decades to confirm just what Bilbo now owned. With Sauron's power again growing, Gandalf knew that destroying the Ring would bring about the rogue Maia's final defeat, but that failure to do so would ensure Sauron's eventual domination of Middle-Earth, so he put in motion a mission to get the Ring to the one place on Middle-Earth where it could be unmade; the same place it had originally been forged, the volcano Mount Doom, in the heart of Sauron's stronghold kingdom, Mordor. Despite Sauron's armies attacking humanity's kingdoms and Saruman revealing he been corrupted and now sought the Ring for himself, Gandalf and his allies prevailed. With Saruman and Sauron both destroyed, Gandalf's mission was at an end, and he returned to Aman.
(Mystic II#15) - In the modern day Gandalf traveled to the magic-rich world of Ciress, where he had a drink in Jazzrats, a bar patronized by mages and magical beings from multiple realities, including Reality-616's Dr. Stephen Strange, Clea, the Scarlet Witch, Dormammu and Diablo, post-Crisis Earth-1's Dr. Fate, Morpheus and Death, Bat-Mite, Etrigan the Demon, Klarion the Witchboy, Phantom Stranger, Zatanna, the Floronic Man, Cain and Abel, Raven, Deadman, the Spectre, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Wotan and John Constantine, local heroine Giselle Villard and her friend Thierry Chevalier, Promethea, Witchblade (Katrina Godliffe), Mandrake the Magician and the Seven Dwarfs.
(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos I#6 (fb) - BTS) - Visiting Earth-616, Gandalf was recruited into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Howling Commandos unit.
(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos I#6) - Gandalf joined other similarly recruited mages, including Brother Voodoo, Tonto, Satana and Tim Hunter, who were teleported to locations around Salisbury, England, to sweep the area of enchantments cast by Merlin, whose army of magical beings had invaded that region.
Comments: Created by J.R.R. Tolkien; snuck into Crossgen by Ron Marz, Brandon Peterson and Andrew Crossley; snuck into Marvel by Mike Norton.
Gandalf is, of course, the main wizard in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and as such is one of the most iconic wizard characters in literature after Merlin.
In case anyone thinks that the character in
Howling Commandos might not be Gandalf, and that the Appendix has misidentified
him, his identity was confirmed by the artist back when the Handbooks were
working on a profile for the Howling Commandos team. Obviously it's an
unauthorized and unofficial cameo, but it is definitely him.
I recall discuss Gandalf as a potential Reality-616 native character, and I've seen Dakimh listed as appearing in that series on multiple sites, but it's not correct.
Profile by Loki.
Gandalf has no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos I#6, p2, pan3 (main image)
Mystic II#15, p2, pan3 (at the bar)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos I#6, p2, pan4 (silhouette with Tim Hunter)
The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth cover (with Frodo Baggins)
Mystic II#15 (September 2001) - Ron Marz (writer), Brandon Peterson (pencils), John Dell, Rob Stull and Mark Farmer (inks), editor
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos I#6 (March 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Mike Norton (pencils), Derec Aucoin and Norman Lee (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
First Posted: 03/29/2019
Last updated: 03/29/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
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