Happy Birthday to one of Steve Gerber’s wildest, most anarchic, and random creations: Elf with a Gun. He first appeared in The Defenders #25, out of nowhere and apparently for no reason, he killed a character who we’d never seen before and we never heard about again.
Then, in The Defenders #31 and #38, he killed more random “normal people.” After that, Gerber left the title–and left Marvel–so it appeared the character would disappear and his purpose never would be explained. But then David Kraft decided to offer some closure, having the character get run over by a moving truck–a death as random as every other Elf appearance.
But that wasn’t it for him. Rather than dying, the Elf was transported to another universe where he met the rock band KISS.
This story was written by Kraft as well. It’s odd that Elf appeared in the Marvel KISS comic, because the first Marvel KISS comic was written by … Steve Gerber. It didn’t have the Elf in it.
Thereafter, he returned to the pages of The Defenders and tried to break up the band.
Meanwhile, Steve Gerber–angry over Marvel’s unwillingness to give him at least a partial creator’s rights share in Howard the Duck, went indie and created Destroyer Duck–and brought over Elf With a Gun.
There’s a fantastic article about how this comic was actually the reverse image of a Marvel Comic–go here to read it. Very, very nerdcool.
Happy Birthday, Elf! And RIP Steve Gerber.