Ex-university professor Dr. Erik Selvig traveled to Puente Antiguo, New Mexico to assist Jane Foster, the astrophysicist daughter of a former colleague, in studying atmospheric disturbances she believed to be gateways between Earth and other worlds. while witnessing one such event, Selvig, along with Foster and her intern Darcy Lewis, accidentally struck Thor, newly exiled from Asgard, with Foster's truck, then transported him to County Hospital.
The next day, locals spoke of an immovable "satellite" in the desert - actually Thor's enchanted hammer, Mjolnir. When Thor asked for assistance to retrieve it, Selvig advised Foster to refuse, as he perceived Thor to be a delusional and dangerous individual for claiming Norse mythological stories were real. Despite the warning, Foster accompanied Thor to the site where S.H.I.E.L.D. had constructed a base camp around Mjolnir. Thor breached S.H.I.E.L.D.'s defenses but was discovered, and Foster left Selvig a voicemail asking for help before she was detected. After much convincing by Foster, Selvig went to S.H.I.E.L.D. and fabricated a story that persuaded Agent Phil Coulson to release Thor into Selvig's custody.
Taking Thor to a local bar, Selvig told the Asgardian that Foster cared for him, and then suggested Thor leave town before he could emotionally hurt her. But against his own advice, Selvig engaged Thor in a drinking contest that night and developed a fondness for him. Selvig's doubts of Thor's authenticity were soon cast aside when he witnessed four Asgardian warriors battle the lethal Destroyer weapon, as well as Thor's reunion with Mjolnir and reclamation of his power.
Sometime later, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury solicited Selvig to aid in studying an ancient cubed energy source; Thor's mischievous brother, Loki, influenced Selvig's decision to consent.
Following the events in New Mexico, while under the Asgardian Loki's subtle influence, Dr. Erik Selvig weaponized the captured Destroyer automaton for S.H.I.E.L.D. Because Selvig began acting strangely, Nick Fury assigned Agent Clint "Hawkeye" Barton to watch over Selvig's research at Project PEGASUS. When the Tesseract's energy levels spiked, Selvig proved unable to stop it and Loki arrived on Earth via a Tesseract-created portal. Needing Selvig's knowledge to open a larger portal for the alien Chitauri invasion, Loki used his scepter to completely corrupt Selvig into working on a Tesseract harness device using iridium as a stabilizer. While Selvig installed iridium onto the harness, he subconsciously created a failsafe to close the portal using Loki's scepter. Meanwhile, Loki allowed himself to be captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. to disrupt their plans to assemble heroes against him. Upon Loki's escape, the corrupted Selvig installed and activated the Tesseract harness atop Stark Tower, giving the invading Chitauri access to Earth. Selvig was subsequently knocked unconscious by a shock wave generated when Iron Man, unaware of the Tesseract's energy barrier, tried to blast the Tesseract harness device. Awakening with his mental faculties restored, Selvig realized what he had been forced to do and aided Black Widow in shutting down the Tesseract portal using Loki's scepter.
- Portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård
- 10 Appearances of Erik Selvig (Earth-199999)
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