Elsa Bloodstone Reading Guide

elsa bloodstone reading-guide

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Hello monsters & mortals, and welcome to the Elsa Bloodstone Reading Guide!

Monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone is one of the newer comic characters who have exploded in popularity over the past decade. Maybe you know her as a Midnight Son, maybe you know her from her eight video game appearances in the past ten years, or maybe you’re hearing her name for the first time today!

Whatever your history with Elsa, she is not a character to miss out on. To get up to speed before her appearance in Marvel’s Werewolf By Night Halloween special, here’s what you need to read:

Quick start:

  • Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. (2006)
  • Bloodstone & The Legion of Monsters
    • Astonishing Tales: Boom Boom and Elsa (2009) #1
    • Legion of Monsters (2011) #1-4
    • Marvel Presents (1975) #1-2
    • Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone (2006) #1
    • Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular (2009) #2
    • Girl Comics (2010) #2 [E Story]
  • Marvel Zombies: Battleworld (2015)
  • A-Force: Rage Against the Dying of the Light (2016)
  • King Deadpool Vol. 1-2 (2019)
  • Death of Doctor Strange: Bloodstone (2022) #1
  • Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest (2021) (novel)

These 40 issues are the greatest hits from 20 years of Elsa comics – and there’s plenty more ahead! Proudly English, outspoken, and forever sarcastic, Elsa is a great character for personality alone – but she also carries the Bloodgem, which gives her enhanced physical abilities and immunity to vampirism (Could we see her pop up in Blade?). So get ready for a wild ride of monsters, magic, and mayhem as we watch Elsa evolve from a simple Lara Croft copy into one of Marvel’s greatest original characters of the modern age.

As always, strong recommendations are in bold. Have fun reading!

                                            “🕱🕱🕱🕱 🕱🕱🕱🕱 🕱🕱🕱🕱 🕱🕱🕱🕱! – Elsa, probably on a good day

 

 

Ulysses Bloodstone

Elsa’s story starts with her father Ulysses. More than just a monster hunter, Ulysses is also a monster of a human being. You’ll learn more as you go, but for the most part, Ulysses’ stories aren’t essential reading for Elsa herself. Just keep in mind that Elsa’s father was a monster hunter who lived for thousands of years thanks to a rock called the Bloodgem (also called the Bloodstone).

  • Strange Tales (1951) #73
  • Tales of Suspense (1959) #9
  • Marvel Presents (1975) #1-2
    • Included in Bloodstone & The Legion of Monsters
  • Rampaging Hulk (1977) #1-8 [B Stories]
  • Incredible Hulk (1962) #211-212
    • Features the Bloodgem!
  • Captain America (1968) #357-362
    • Captain America: The Bloodstone Hunt
  • Marvel Universe (1998) #4-7
  • Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty (1998) #6-7 [C Stories]
  • New Avengers (2010) #10-12

 

Extra reading:

  • Supernaturals (1998) #4
  • Marvel: The Lost Generation (2000) #2
  • X-Men: Hellfire Club (2000) #2
  • Universe X (2000) #6
  • Defenders (2001) #9-10
  • Nova (2007) #34-35
  • The Punisher (2009) #14
  • Immortal Weapons (2009) #1
  • Avengers 1959 (2011) #1
  • Captain America Corps (2011) #4-5
  • Captain America and Namor (2012) #635.1
  • Alpha Flight: True North (2019) #1 [B Story]
  • Black Cat (2019) #1 [C Story]
  • Bizarre Adventures (2019) #1

 

 

Bloodstone (2001) & Nextwave (2006)

Long after Ulysses’ prime, writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning developed a spinoff character with artist Michael Lopez in the new series Bloodstone. Sort of like Buffy the Vampire Slayer + Lara Croft/Indiana Jones thrown into the world of Castlevania, their early version of Elsa Bloodstone seemed simultaneously exciting and unoriginal, and wildly different from the current Elsa we know today.

A few years later, Warren Ellis (the creator of Mr. Knight!) and Stuart Immonen rebooted the character by capitalizing on Elsa’s unique character potential and breaking the cliches she had been trapped in. Their massively popular, award-winning run on Nextwave is still considered one of the greatest runs in modern Marvel history and even has its own official theme song. If you’re going to read one only series of Elsa comics, read Nextwave.

MCU theory: In Bloodstone, Elsa works alongside Dracula, a version of Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Living Mummy to take down “Nosferati” vampires. Could we see a similar scenario in Blade with Elsa, Blade, Black Knight, and Werewolf by Night against a horde of vampires led by Dracula?

Check out our articles on the Blade/Dracula connection and the Werewolf By Night/Dracula connection to learn more about the supernatural comics that could tie into the MCU! 

  • Bloodstone (2001)
    • Bloodstone (2001) #1-4
      • Features Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Living Mummy, and an early concept of Elsa Bloodstone
      • Included in Bloodstone & The Legion of Monsters
    • Marvel Universe: Millennial Visions (2002) #1
    • Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone (2006) #1
      • Included in Bloodstone & The Legion of Monsters
  • Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. – The Complete Collection
    • Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. (2006) #1-12
      • Features Monica Rambeau
      • First appearance of “modern” Elsa Bloodstone
      • Also published as
        • Nextwave: Agents of HATE – The Ultimate Collection
      • Also published as
        • Nextwave: Agents of HATE: This is What They Want
        • Nextwave: Agents of HATE: I Kick Your Face
  •  Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular (2009) #2 [D Story]
    • Included in Bloodstone & The Legion of Monsters
  • Astonishing Tales: Boom Boom & Elsa (2009) #1
    • Features “Franken’s Teen”. Really.
    • Included in Bloodstone & The Legion of Monsters
    • Also published as Marvel Heartbreakers #1
  • Girl Comics (2010) #2 [E Story]
    • Included in Bloodstone & The Legion of Monsters

 

Extra reading:

  • Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness (2007) #3
  • Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas (2008) #1-2
    • Elsa & Iron Man vs. Fin Fang Foom in Las Vegas

elsa bloodstone covers 2000s nextwave agents of hate

 

 

Legion of Monsters (2011)

With Nextwave reigniting interest in the character, Elsa really took off in the early 2010s. Working with the Legion of Monsters, Wolverine, the Defenders, and even the Thunderbolts, Elsa quickly began gathering the exposure she deserved. During this time she also started appearing regularly in Marvel video games, which introduced her to new fans around the world.

I would encourage readers to check out her Legion of Monsters comics specifically to see her relationship with Werewolf by Night and how that could inform the upcoming Disney+ special!

  • Punisher: Frankencastle (2009) #11-17, 21
    • #11-17 is a major arc featuring the Bloodgem and Legion of Monsters (but no Elsa)
    • #14 is a major Ulysses Bloodstone issue
    • #21 includes Elsa!
    • Optional prelude: Marvel Zombies 4 (2009)
    • Leads into Legion of Monsters (2011)
  • Legion of Monsters (2011)

Theory: Marvel Studios Could be Setting Up a Legion of Monsters

  • Wolverine: Covenant (2013)
    • Wolverine (2010) #314-317
  • Fearless Defenders: The Most Fabulous Fighting Team of All (2016)
    • Fearless Defenders (2013) #8-9, 11-12
    • Features Valkyrie, Misty Knight, and Clea
  • Thunderbolts Annual (2014) #1
    • Thunderbolts & Elsa vs. Doctor Strange!

 

Video games:

  • Marvel: Avengers Alliance (2012)
  • Marvel Puzzle Quest (2013)
  • Contest of Champions (2014)
  • Marvel: Future Fight (2015)

Extra reading:

  • Dark Wolverine (2009) #89
    • Features the Bloodgem only
  • Avengers Arena (2013) #1-18
    • Series starring Elsa’s fan-favorite brother Cullen, who can turn into a monster
    • Elsa appears in #5, 14
  • Avengers Undercover (2014) #1-10
    • Continued adventures of Cullen Bloodstone
    • Elsa appears in #4 
  • Avengers World (2014) #15-16
    • Elsa joins Doctor Doom’s Avengers to fight an “inverted” Wanda Maximoff
    • AXIS tie-in

elsa bloodstone covers 2000s legion of monsters wolverine defenders

 

 

Marvel Zombies (2015) & Monsters Unleashed (2017)

Elsa’s Marvel Zombies (2015) run is set in an alternate world but it’s such a fun run and it’s so iconic for her character that it is essential reading for any Elsa fan. In the late 2010s, Elsa also joined A-Force for a fantastic mini-arc before diving back into monster action with Monsters Unleashed and Damnation.

These two might be fun extra reading, but neither is really recommended or essential – Legion of Monsters is a better choice than the much-maligned Monsters Unleashed, and Elsa just didn’t have much to do in Damnation (but the Midnight Sons look cool!). She also had a small team-up with Jessica Jones that might be worth a look, especially for fans of Jessica’s Netflix show.

  • Marvel Zombies: Battleworld (2015)
    • Marvel Zombies (2015) #1-4
      • Secret Wars (2015) tie-in
  • A-Force: Rage Against the Dying of the Light (2016)
    • A-Force (2016) #8-10
      • Civil War II tie-in
      • Revealed that Elsa has a magical fake hand (never mentioned again)
      • Also revealed that Ulysses is the one who cut off her real hand 💀
  • Monsters Unleashed (2017)
    • Monsters Unleashed (2017a) #1-5
    • Monsters Unleashed (2017b) #1-10
      • Monsters Unleashed
      • Monsters Unleashed: Monster Mash
      • Monsters Unleashed: Learning Curve 
      • Cameos by the Avengers, Champions, Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men, and more!
  • Damnation (2018)
    • Doctor Strange: Damnation (2018) #2-4
    • Doctor Strange (2015) #387
      • Elsa joins the new Midnight Sons!
  • Infinity Wars: Weapon Hex (2018) #1-2
    • “Elsa Bladestone” – a version of Elsa who was merged with Blade
  • Jessica Jones: Blind Spot
    • Marvel Digital Original: Jessica Jones (2018) #1-3

 

Video games:

  • Marvel Avengers Academy (2016)
  • Marvel Strike Force (2018)

Extra reading:

  • Venomized (2018) #2, 5

 

 

King Deadpool (2019)

Rounding out Elsa-mania in the 2010s was King Deadpool, a wonderful 10-issue run from Kelly Thompson that saw Deadpool rule over an island of monsters with Elsa at his side. This series is absolutely crucial for uniting Elsa with her best pal Jeff the Landshark, who is the sweetest little baby and deserves the world (see below).

Heading into the 2020s, Elsa had a few more guest appearances and her own one-shot as part of the Death of Doctor Strange event, but she hasn’t had a new ongoing yet. With Irish actor Laura Donnelly bringing the character to live action later this year, we can expect Marvel to spotlight Elsa and her family accordingly in the coming months. Though with so many great comics and video game appearances already, there’s plenty to keep us busy until then! 

  • Deadpool (2019) #1-10
    • King Deadpool: Hail to the King (#1-6)
    • King Deadpool: Vol. 2 (#7-10)

elsa bloodstone covers 2010s deadpool

  • Marvel Comics (2019) #1000 [BL Story]
  • Fearless (2019) #1 [C Story]
  • Marvel Action: Chillers (2020) #2, 4
  • Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade (2021) #1-5
  • Death of Doctor Strange: Bloodstone (2022) #1
  • Elsa Bloodstone: Bequest (2021) (Marvel Heroines novel)

 

Video games:

  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (2019)
  • Realm of Champions (2020)

Extra reading:

  • Excalibur (2019) #7-8
    • Continued adventures of Cullen Bloodstone
  • Marvel’s Voices (2020) #1 [E Story]
    • Continued adventures of Cullen Bloodstone
  • It’s Jeff! Infinity Comic (2021) #12
  • Dark Ages (2021) #2, 4

elsa bloodstone covers 2010s

 

 

And those are all the Elsa Bloodstone stories so far! What caught your attention? What’s your history with the character? Let me know on Twitter @vinwriteswords and remember to follow the site @MyCosmicCircus for more cosmic content!

Of course, be sure to check out our other reading guides here and stay tuned to The Cosmic Circus for more coming soon!

All images courtesy of Marvel Comics.

 

 

 

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!!!

I can’t mention Jeff the Landshark and not give Jeff recs, so presented here is the JEFF THE LANDSHARK READING GUIDE!!!!

This adorable little guy is the star of the show across much of Kelly Thompson‘s recent work with Marvel. First created in West Coast Avengers as a minor background character, Jeff took the world by storm in the pages of Gwenpool and Deadpool and nothing has ever been the same! This past year he even got his own solo digital series because he simply deserves the best. Please check out our good boy today:

  • West Coast Avengers (2018) #7-10
  • Gwenpool Strikes Back (2019) #1-4
  • Deadpool (2019) #1-10
  • It’s Jeff! Infinity Comic (2021) #1-12
  • Extra reading:
    • Marvel Comics (2019) #1000 [BL Story]
    • Fearless (2019) #1
    • Captain Marvel (2019) #23, 26
    • Infinite Possibilities Infinity Comic (2022) #1

An early version of the Jeff the Landshark Reading Guide was originally published for Cosmic Circus Patreon members.
Join our Patreon today for more exclusive early content!

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Reviews, reading guides, and crazy theories. Currently obsessing over Moon Knight, Blade, and Doctor Strange. Find me on Twitter @vinwriteswords!
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