Melf, the Elf with a Gun was created by Steve Gerber and first appeared in The Defenders #25.
Relf, the original Elf with a Gun, showed up in several early Defenders issues and killed several seemingly random people for no apparent reason. Gerber later said, “'He was nothing but a metaphor for the chaotic and inexplicable nature of existence, the "beast in the jungle" that you spend a lifetime planning for but which still comes as a surprise or maybe never comes at all.”
The nature of the Elf with a Gun was heavily retconned by J.M. DeMatteis in later issues of The Defenders to the point that many fans of the original Elf with a Gun were disappointed. However, in a later story by Peter David, Dr. Strange said the Time Agent storyline was a cosmic hoax. A yet later story by Gerber featured Relf, who claimed to be Melf’s nephew. He was seemingly unrelated to the Time Agent storyline. Therefore Melf and Relf have their own pages separate from the Time Agent Elves.
Major Story Arcs
Melf originally appeared in a trailer park in California. There he showed up at the door of Tom Pritchett, and shot him without explanation. He may or may not have also killed Tom’s wife Linda.
He next showed up in Las Vegas, where he was hiding in a cab driver robot’s body. Climbing out, he shot the cab’s passenger, Charles “Whizzo” Lester, and possibly his wife Frances.
When tour guides Stu and Sally take a ride down the Grand Canyon, they run into a Native American. Stu believes they are having a mystical experience, since the Native American wears ancient garb. However, it is really a dummy, and Melf climbs out and shoots Stu and possibly Sally.
After the Hulk jumps away from a scene in New York, a protester hides in a nearby restroom. Melf comes in and shoots her.
A boy, Greg, delivers a newspaper to Kyle Richmond’s home. After remembering his father’s advice to stay out of the road, he takes a path through the grass to the next house. Meanwhile Melf appears and prepares to shoot him, only to be run down by a truck in the road and apparently killed.
In a possible appearance by Melf, he appears in a crossover with the band KISS in the Land of Leftovers. He threatens KISS but doesn’t shoot them, and tells them a possible way out of the dimension. One KISS member says he hopes the elf gets hit by a truck. Note that this elf has white hair, green clothes, an orange hat, and a revolver.
Differences between Melf and the Time Agents
Relf wears green and has red hair and a red goatee. He carries a revolver. The Time Agents wear red and have white hair and goatees. They carry semiautomatic pistols.
Powers and Abilities
Relf isn’t shown to have any powers. He has access to fairly life-like robot dummies that he can hide in. He carries a revolver.