Written By: 
Image Work: 
Last Updated: 
18th March 2021

Membership: The periodic table of elements

First appearance: Avengers (1st series) #188
Last appearance: Avengers (3rd series) #56


  • Vasily Khandruvitch was a Russian scientist who devised the means of imbuing human beings with elemental traits, transforming them into living avatars of a given element. Once he created his first Element named Carbon, however, the altered entity turned on his creator. Carbon and those who followed him intended to capture and forcibly transform other unwilling human hosts to create more of their kind. [Thunderbolts (1st series) #7]


On their way back from Attilan in the Himalayas, the Avengers passed through Soviet airspace. When one of their MiG escorts was shot down, the Avengers followed the other jets back to their airbase, where a nuclear power plant had been taken over by the Elements of Doom. The Avengers tried to gain access where the Soviet tanks and ground forces had failed, and defeated 

the Elements’ advance guard, Vanadium. Further inside the power plant, the Avengers discovered the apparatus used to create more of the Elements, and the additional villains Carbon, Phosphorus, Radium and Chlorine. Surprised by their opponents, the Avengers were driven into retreat and a reforming Vanadium captured the Falcon.

The Wasp returned from a scouting report, having seen another Soviet technician transformed into Cobalt, and reasoning that was what the Elements of Doom intended for Falcon. Ms. Marvel and Beast ripped the laser cannon out of one of the Soviet tanks to use it as a portable weapon, and Captain America prepared a counter-strike strategy. Once Wonder Man and Scarlet Witch freed the Falcon, Beast directed Ms. Marvel to aim her laser at the reactor’s fusion core, spilling nuclear plasma over the unsuspecting Elements. The plasma separated the Elements’ atoms, breaking them down and neutralizing the threat of the Elements of Doom. [Avengers (1st series) #188]

Members: Vanadium, Carbon, Phosphorus, Radium, Chlorine, Cobalt

After the Avengers’ defeat of the Elements, the nuclear facility was shut down and buried in concrete. Diablo, master of all alchemy, determined that the Elements of Doom were actually a form of alien sentience that used Khandruvitch’s experiment to invade this dimension through host bodies. He traveled to Russia and broke through the dimensional barrier localized at the nuclear site to summon a new group of Elements. He forged an alliance with these alien forces, renaming them his Masters of Alchemy.

Diablo foresaw the value of creating another avatar being out of the exotic metal, Vibranium. He and the Masters of Alchemy invaded Wakanda, taking the royal court hostage as well as their visiting guests, the Avengers. Black Panther and the Avengers were forced to comply with their demands or risk the lives of the civilians. Diablo intended to use those hostages as raw materials to summon forth an army of Vibranium-based Masters of Alchemy. Vision and the Black Knight were not among the captured party, however, and worked to free their teammates. As the Avengers and the Masters of Alchemy battled, the Wakandan scientist Baru was forced into Diablo’s elemental machine, emerging as the Element, Vibranium. Despite the Masters’ intentions, Baru’s mind remained in control of the elemental avatar, and Vibranium fought beside the Avengers to defeat Diablo and the Masters of Alchemy. The Masters were placed in containment and the Avengers expected it possible to rescue the dimensionally-displaced hosts of the avatar bodies. [Avengers Collector’s Edition #1]

Members: Carbon, Phosphorus, Cobalt, Titanium, Neon, Plutonium, Hydrogen


  • Vasily Khandruvitch was punished by the Russian government for the disastrous failure of his original Elements of Doom. He was reassigned to menial work and was unable to secure better employment because most of his credentials were top secret and classified. Khandruvitch eventually relocated to America and devised the resources to recreate his Elements of Doom. Instead of using human hosts, these new beings were pure chemical elements, possessing a crystalline matrix as a brain to store and process data. [Thunderbolts (1st series) #7-8]

Chronology, continued

Doctor Khandruvitch arranged for his Elements of Doom to perform terrorist attacks in and around New York City. He hoped to showcase their skills and solicit requests for their services from the American organized crime figures. First, the Elements sank a Dutch freighter off the coast called the Zandvoort. Khandruvitch anonymously claimed credit for the attack and threatened the mayor’s office with more attacks at LaGuardia Airport and Madison Square Garden. The mayor requested local heroes, the Thunderbolts, respond to the threat.

Carbon and a few other Elements attacked a passenger jet on its way into LaGuardia. The Thunderbolts managed to remove the Elements from the hull, but the plane was badly damaged and it took Meteorite’s strength to hold it together while Techno patched in MACH-1’s flight computer to bring the jet down safely. At the Garden, Citizen V led Jolt, Songbird and Atlas in fighting more of the Elements of Doom. The hardier Elements battled the Thunderbolts while their poisonous brethren assaulted the hostages in the amphitheater. Techno and the LaGuardia squad arrived, feeding Songbird the blueprints to create a turbine exhaust fan with her sonic constructs, sucking the dangerous elemental gases out of the enclosed space. With their plans foiled, the Elements of Doom fled to strike again.

Unknown to the mayor’s office (or even their newest member, Jolt) the Thunderbolts were actually the Masters of Evil in disguise. They had assumed heroic identities to fill the void left by the death of the Avengers and Fantastic Four in the Onslaught crisis, positioning themselves to gain an advantage from inside the system. Citizen V (secretly Baron Zemo) had been lobbying the authorities for access to top secret Avengers files, under the argument that the Thunderbolts should be better informed about the super-villains and other threats they were facing for the city. Because the Elements of Doom were former Avengers foes, he raised the demand again with the mayor’s office, and even threatened to withhold the Thunderbolts support against the next attack by the Elements of Doom. [Thunderbolts (1st series) #6]

Meteorite wanted to build her own support network in the Thunderbolts and possibly overthrow Zemo, so she manipulated the others into joining her and Jolt to seek out the Elements of Doom against Citizen V’s orders. Techno created a method for tracking the radioactive elements among them, and zeroed in on the Elements of Doom as they raised a citadel in Central Park. Without Citizen V to coordinate a strategy, however, the Thunderbolts proved ineffective against the Elements of Doom when they attacked. Atlas was beaten down by the heavier elements, Meteorite inhaled bromine gas, Helium removed Songbird’s voice, and so on until the heroes fell and were captured.

Vanadium and Nickel secured their Thunderbolt prisoners as Doctor Khandruvitch addressed his captives. Excited by his success, Khandruvitch had moved beyond dreams of mere crime and now wanted to hold the United Nations hostage, perhaps even receiving a radioactive atoll to forge his own national technocracy for him and his Elements. His dreams turned to ash when Europium and Cadmium revealed these Elements of Doom were no more loyal to Khandruvitch than his original creations. The Elements inherited Khandruvitch’s dreams of conquest, but would no longer take orders from their maker. Instead, Doctor Khandruvitch would be forced to use his original process to turn humans into element-drones, slaves to the superior pure Elements of Doom. [Thunderbolts (1st series) #7]

The other, unaffiliated heroes of Manhattan gathered in Central Park to assault the Elements’ citadel. However, even the united force of Spider-Man, Daredevil, Cage, Iron Fist, White Tiger, Justice, Firestar, Rage, Night Thrasher, Speedball, Nova, Darkhawk, Swordsman and Magdalene could not overcome the 109 different and deadly beings defending the base. Songbird managed to slip her bonds and covertly sought out Doctor Khandruvitch at Techno’s suggestion. Iron discovered the Thunderbolts freeing themselves and killed Techno, leaving Songbird alone at the other end of their radio link. Still, she found Khandruvitch and fought her way through Gold, Silver, Beryllium and Europium to reach him.

Somewhat humbled by the Elements’ betrayal, Doctor Khandruvitch reluctantly agreed to help destroy his creations. Techno revealed he had survived as an electronically uploaded consciousness in his Tech-Pac and the citadel’s systems, and he reached out to converse with Khandruvitch and the other Thunderbolts. Techno and Khandruvitch conceived a destabilization ray that would break down the crystalline matrixes that served as each Element’s “brain.” Using the Elements themselves as resources, the Thunderbolts used hit-and-run tactics to isolate and retrieve the elemental matter necessary to build the device. Once the ray was completed, Techno used it to destroy the Elements of Doom, bringing an end to their threat. Doctor Khandruvtich was taken into custody in the aftermath. [Thunderbolts (1st series) #8]

Members: Phosphorus, Scandium, Barium, Cobalt, Hafnium, Carbon, Disprosium, Erbium, Cadmium, Zirconium, Sodium, Iron, Chlorine, Thallium, Arsenic, Nobelium, Tellurium, Indium, Tungsten, Nickel, Chromium, Magnesium, Mercury, Copper, Bromine, Helium, Vanadium, Europium, Gold, Silver, Beryllium, Cesium, Radium, Californium, Neptunium, Uranium, Plutonium

Eventually, the science terrorists Advanced Idea Mechanics gained access to Vasily Khandruvitch’s notes and intended to recreate the Elements of Doom. They holographically contacted Khandruvitch in prison, offering to free him in exchange for his assistance deciphering his notes. Khandruvitch had learned his lesson at this point, though, and believed recreating the Elements of Doom posed a threat to the world, and for him personally. Undeterred, A.I.M. promised to proceed without Khandruvitch, and warned they would have him silenced for refusing his aid.

Sure enough, A.I.M. eventually activated their own unit of Elements of Doom, unleashing them on St. Louis, Missouri. A contingent of Avengers arrived to deal with the emergency call, and Iron Man recognized the Elements of Doom. He alerted Captain America and Jack of Hearts back at Avengers Mansion, and Cap decided to make contact with Doctor Khandruvtitch in federal prison to see what he knew about the Elements’ return. They encountered Platinum, intent on fulfilling A.I.M.’s kill order on Khandruvitch. While Jack fought Platinum, Captain America interviewed the doctor, who was eager to help against his treacherous former creations. He supplied the notes for his destabilization ray to the Avengers, and Jack of Hearts flew it to St. Louis. Together, Iron Man, Wonder Man and the Beast cobbled together a new version of the chemical destabilization cannon, destroying all the Elements present. [Avengers (3rd series) #56]

Members: Neodymium, Arsenic, Ruthenium, Sodium, Cesium, Tungsten, Nickel, Platinum


  • The elemental remains of the Elements of Doom were preserved in the NYPD’s long-term evidence storage facility. During World War Hulk, S.H.I.E.L.D. dispatched Agent Scorpion to retrieve a sample of weaponized Thallium from storage. They hoped to create a gamma-irradiated thallium toxin for Scorpion’s unique powers to use against the Hulk. [Heroes for Hire (2nd series) #13]