Steve Gerber's classic elf with a gun story

Posted by Rick manzella on

July 07 2021


I will be perfectly honest with you: the sole reason I started Defenders Week - heck, the sole reason I went back and started reading The Defenders from the start in the first place - was because of Steve Gerber's classic nihilistic, existential theater of the absurd interlude drama, The Elf With A Gun Saga.

"Enough with the John Denver, Tom, don't make me call the elf."

Intermittently throughout his groundbreakingly awesome run on The Defenders, Gerber would draw attention away from the primary plot for a seemingly unconnected series of vignettes in which otherwise ordinary people caught in the midst of doing nothing spectacular were suddenly set upon by a homicidal mythical midget intent on shooting them down like wooden ducks on a fairway ...

Look for our secret midgety murder surprise inside every Native American chief...

The implication was, of course, that the Elf With A Gun was ultimately to somehow cross over into the primary Defenders storyline, and frankly wouldn't have seemed out of place considering that Gerber's other contributions included an evil possessed deer, a personality cult centered around a cosmic being masquerading as an abusive schlep, and about all the Jack Norriss you can handle.

Complicating matters, Charles had bet their return ticket money on 'I WON'T be killed by an Elf tonight' ...

In fact, the one occasion when the Elf got within some sort of proximity to the main story seemed to be teasing a confluence.

He wasn't even going to kill her until she insulted him like that.

Fantastically though ... IT NEVER DID. The Elf snuffed it suddenly (see below) in its final appearance.

The Satisfying Conclusion

A hundred issues after the Elf's debut, series writers J.M.DeMatteis and Peter Gillis revisited the idea with something approaching a conclusion. As an authority in the overwhelming epic that is the Elf With A Gun saga, I give it a thumbs-down. The original saga is the amazing story about a serial killer master-of-many-disguises elf and how he got smooshed by a truck, and I dare anyone to put a better coda on it than that.

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