Claiming to be older than the gods, Dark Man's purpose is to test all warriors to see if they succumb to fear or show stronger mettle; his wife, Desire, turns failed warriors into stone trophies. Long ago, Dark Man defeated young Asgardian
god Odin Borson
, but released him after Odin wisely recognized Dark Man as fear incarnate. Centuries later, Odin's son Thor encountered Dark Man in Asgard's frontiers; in front of Thor's friends, Dark Man berated Thor for trespassing. To regain his honor, Thor Challenged Dark Man, who allowed Thor to strike first, beheading him and beginning Thor's test. Simply replacing his head, Dark Man challenged Thor to prove himself by journeying to Dark Man's fortress near the Vanaheim border for a conformation. Desire tried to seduce Thor at the Golden Bridge leading to the fortress, but Thor resisted temptation; Dark Man was amazed at Thor's fortitude. At the fortress, Dark Man struck and nearly killed Thor; awakening, Thor again rejected Desire.