Which Malekith came first?
May 4, 2012 7:47 PM   Subscribe

Who came first: Malekith the Accursed, foe of Thor in the Marvel comics, or Malekith the Witch-King of Naggaroth, ruler of the Warhammer Dark Elves? Was one definitely swiped from the other? Has legal action ever ensued?
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot to Society & Culture (4 answers total)
The Marvel comics Malekith first appeared in June 1984 in Thor #344. The Warhammer version was first mentioned in the 1992 High Elf book.

The name itself could have been independently created, being a combination of the Latin male- ("evil") and kith ("friends, acquaintances, and relations"). So, an evil relation, which is a meaning that fits both characters.
posted by jedicus at 9:52 PM on May 4, 2012

To be clear, male- is from Latin, but kith is from Old English of Germanic origin, so it's a hybrid word, which some people find distasteful.
posted by jedicus at 10:09 PM on May 4, 2012

> To be clear, male- is from Latin, but kith is from Old English

How do you know this? It's not mentioned, for instance, in the Wikipedia article. I mean, it's a reasonable guess (if it's a guess), but it's not fair to accuse it of being a hybrid word if you made up the etymology yourself.
posted by languagehat at 8:18 AM on May 5, 2012

How do you know this?

It is, as you say, a reasonable guess. On further research, there's some second-hand evidence supporting this theory: "[Malekith creator] Walt [Simonson] has written about how he named Malekith (Mal being a latin/spanish prefix for bad and kith just sounded good to him, sort of Celtic in a way, IIRC)."

So maybe Latin/Celtic instead of Latin/OE, but a hybrid nonetheless. Unfortunately I couldn't find a primary source for this. I suspect it's tucked away in the letters section of a Thor comic.
posted by jedicus at 9:15 AM on May 5, 2012

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