- "I am so much more than a god!"
Mallus (correctly pronounced "Malice") was a primordial time demon that was, according to John Constantine, a demon of the highest order, who was imprisoned in another dimension by five of the six tribes of Zambesi in ancient times. Unable to directly threaten the populations of other dimensions, he worked through his followers as avatars and intermediaries, before being released due to the actions of both the Legends and the Order of the Shrouded Compass, the latter of which was led by Nora Darhk and her father, Damien Darhk. However, he was ultimately killed once and for all by the Legends who were using the Totems of Zambesi to manifest a weapon that could destroy him, which ended up taking the form of a giant Beebo doll.
Centuries ago, the lost tribe of Zambesi that guarded the land of the dead with the Death Totem formed an alliance with Mallus, causing him to form a link with said totem, but he was soon imprisoned by the combined efforts of the bearers of other five Totems of Zambesi within a cage of time. This prison exists beyond the astral plane, which separates the physical world from Mallus' prison. In order to free himself from his confines, there must be enough rift and destruction in the fabric of time to release him.
According to Rip Hunter, Mallus was perceived as a myth, existing throughout all of the time, and known by many different names in all types of languages. Rip also states that the Time Masters were too frightened to even speak his name. Mallus acquired followers to aid in his endeavors, such as the Order of the Shrouded Compass.
Plotting his escape
Following the Legends' time storm that disrupted history and created anachronisms all throughout the timeline, Mallus took advantage of the disruption to maintain the anachronisms and deteriorate time as well as his prison. To create more temporal disruption from beyond his cage, he resurrected people who he also deemed worthy of wielding the totems that imprisoned him to prevent them from being used to stop him again.
Agent Ava Sharpe mentioned that Mallus became a threat after the Legends "broke" time. After Kuasa was resurrected by a servant of Mallus, she told her that "Mallus requested her services. Mallus was hunted throughout time by Rip Hunter for years. Mallus later ordered Nora Darhk to travel to London 1895 and resurrect Damien Darhk. During the ceremony, Rip Hunter interrupted them and demanded Nora to speak with Mallus. Without hesitation, Nora agreed and within seconds, Mallus took possession of her body and stated to Rip that it was a pleasure to meet him. Rip then demanded to see his true form, Malice wickedly laughed and said that Rip wouldn't live when he saw his (Mallus') true form and claimed that while Rip was mortal, he was a god. Just before Damien was resurrected, Malice stopped possessing Nora.
Mallus was not seen again until the Legends crossed paths with the Darhks again, this time in the year 1000 A.D. while endeavoring to rescue a younger Martin Stein from Vikings and preventing the modern-day United States from becoming New Valhalla. During a pitched battle between the two sides, Damien came rushing to his daughter's aid, using his time stone to transport them away. As they did so, White Canary grabbed on to Darhk and was transported suddenly to a dark, desolate place; the very dimension in which Mallus was imprisoned. Mallus called out to her from the darkness, never revealing his face or true form. Declaring his name when asked who he was, Mallus swore that he would soon be free and that the entire world would soon be subjected to unendurable pain. White Canary could only look on in stunned terror as a huge, black hand reached out towards her from out of nowhere as ghoulish laughter echoed all around before she was yanked back into her own world by Agent Sharpe through a portal hovering nearby.
Possessing Nora Darhk
While possessing a young Nora Darhk in 2017, Mallus soon attracted the attention of the notorious warlock John Constantine who subsequently broke into the mental hospital Nora had been placed in an attempted to exorcise her. Constantine, unfortunately, had no idea what he was really blundering into and recklessly tried to banish Malice from the girl with an ordinary exorcism without knowing the entity's name first; Mallus merely laughed it off and derided Constantine's efforts, citing his failure to save Astra, his own eternal damnation and his efforts to save the soul of Sara Lance. Frightened by Malice's power, Constantine fled the hospital and went in search of Sara.
Mallus didn't have to wait long before Constantine returned to the hospital with the Legends in tow to help him. Once he, Sara Lance and Leo Snart had revived the catatonic Nora inside a magical seal known as the Triangle of Solomon, Malice soon emerged and greeted them, focusing on Sara and remarking on how he had been expecting her; that she would soon see his true form when he took her back to his world for all eternity. Wasting no time, Constantine launched into another exorcism, this using Mallus' name to amplify it. Laughing ghoulishly, Mallus once more shrugged off Constantine's exorcism without even trying and simply strode out of the Triangle, bellowing that Constantine's powers were useless against him. Telekinetically tossing the group aside, Malice quickly scrawled a temporal displacement symbol on the ground and cast the group back in time to the 1960s version of the same hospital before withdrawing back into Nora. Obsessed with taking possession of Sara Lance, Mallus reached out telepathically to her in the 1960s and began haunting her, giving her hallucinations and dredging up her worst memories so as to incite enough fear and rage within her to prime her for possession. He was foiled in this regard by Constantine who coached Sara through the process of resisting possession.
Meanwhile, back in 2017, Mallus revealed himself to Zari and Ray in Jitters after they attempted to help Nora re-enter normal life and mocked their efforts. Roaring, screaming and bellowing as the building shook with tremors all around, Mallus ignored their appeals to Nora and threw Ray against a wall when he got too close. In response, Zari moved to grab Nora by the arm which unexpectedly started to badly burn the entity. Horrified and roaring with pain, Mallus accused Zari of being 'one of the six' and tried to fire a swarm of glass shards at her. Unfortunately, at that exact moment, Nora reasserted control over herself with the help of Sara, temporarily silencing Mallus.
Targeting White Canary
Determined to win over Sara Lance as an ally, Mallus concluded that, as a former assassin, she would be the perfect candidate to bear the Death Totem and thus be swayed to fight for him. To that end, he once more reached out to her in the temporal zone, this time more cautiously by disguising his telepathic voice as Sara's own and projecting harmless illusions into her mind via the Death Totem, which at the same time had already begun drawing her to it so as to ensnare a new bearer with promises of power over death. Sara was unable to resist the pull nor Mallus' influence and put it on, allowing Mallus' to take her over completely and transporting her mind to his home dimension.
Wielding the Death Totem through the possessed Sara Lance, Mallus rampaged throughout the locked-down Waverider, gravely injuring Ray and laying out Amaya, Mick, Zari, Wally and Nate in quick succession with relative ease while shrugging off Sara's efforts to reassert control over her body. Suddenly Ava Sharpe appeared through a temporal window with Gary and John Constantine in tow. Undaunted, Mallus casually tossed the Time Bureau agents aside telekinetically and taunted Constantine by mimicking the voice of Astra, (a young girl John had accidentally condemned to Hell during a botched exorcism) and tried to convince him to trade Astra's freedom from Hell for Sara's soul, to which Constantine refused. Enraged, Mallus began telekinetically choking Constantine when the Death Totem suddenly began glowing on its own; reacting to the activation of the restored Fire Totem being wielded by Mick. Mallus raced to the lab Mick and Amaya were in but was stopped in his tracks when Mick hurled a ball of fire at him, forcing Mallus to telekinetically catch and contain it and force it back. Seeing an opening, Mick hurled another fireball at Mallus and knocked him out.
Furious and smarting over being overpowered by Mick, Mallus frantically tried to revive his vessel but despite help from the younger Darhk, Sara rejected Nora's offers of power and an alliance with Malice and expelled him from her body as well as the influence of the Death Totem.
Assuming his true form
Eventually, Kuasa began having second thoughts about helping the Darhks to free Mallus and double-crossed them by returning the Anansi Totem, which the Darhks had stolen, to Amaya. In retaliation, Mallus used his magic to extract the Water Totem's powers from Kuasa's body, killing Kuasa in the process. Losing Kuasa prompted Amaya to take the Waverider's jumpship to 1992 Zambesi, the day before her village is attacked by warlords, Amaya's 1992 self dies, and her family is torn apart. Ultimately, the Legends decide to allow this anachronism to happen to the timeline in order to free Mallus so that they can take him down once and for all.
The plan backfired, however, due to Damien Darhk's sabotage in hopes of freeing Nora by unleashing Grodd on the village in an attempt to protect the timeline to keep Mallus from being freed. The Legends scatter in the chaos and Nora is set free by her father while the team battles Grodd. Once the rampaging gorilla is defeated, Mallus is freed, and Nora painfully transforms into the demon's true form.
With all six Totems, the Legends try battling Mallus but accomplish nothing, forcing them to retreat. In an attempt to buy the team time to escape, Rip removes the Waverider's timedrive and confronts the demon. The timedrive, which had become unstable due to Rip's actions, exploded; injuring, but not killing Mallus, and leaving Rip's fate unknown.
Later, Ray comes up with a plan to stop Mallus from completely taking over Nora's body. Desperate to save his daughter, Damien Darhk goes along with it. Ray and Damien take the jump-ship and time jump back to right before Mallus broke free in 1992 Zambesi, Damien shoots Nora with Ray's anti-magic gun, and, not to be defeated so easily, Mallus proceeds to take over Damien's body.
Desperate for answers about how to stop the demon, Amaya and Nate go on a vision quest to find out how the original Totem bearers were able to imprison Mallus. They then learn that the Totem bearers (aside from the bearer of the Death Totem, who sided with the demon) stood in a circle, joined hands and combined their Totems' powers to conjure something to fight Malus. However, without the power of the Death Totem, they were unable to kill the demon; they could only imprison him.
After finding out what to do, the Legends tried to do as the totems' original bearers had. Their first attempt to do so failed, creating a "Cronenbaby", but when they tried a second time, they were able to summon something that could kill Mallus once and for all: a giant Beebo doll. This led to a battle between Beebo and Mallus, ending with Beebo destroying Mallus by body slamming him.
Due to Sara's plan of releasing Mallus, John Constantine approached the Legends, revealing that Mallus' prison also held monsters of mythic origins including Dragons. These creatures, collectively known as "fugitives", have escaped when the Legends opened the prison to release Malice..
- "For the last five years, I've been chasing a phantom. A name whispered across time and in every language: Mallus. An evil so ancient and powerful that the Time Masters dared not speak his name."
- —Rip Hunter on Mallus[src]
Being a demon with a high disregard for humanity, Mallus is highly sadistic, cold, immoral, manipulative and completely cruel, as he enjoyed tormenting Sara Lance in an attempt to possess her and he enjoyed scaring Ray Palmer and Zari Tomaz while torturing a young possessed Nora Darhk. After fully possessing Sara with the Death Totem, Malice was cold and utterly remorseless when he fought and brutally tortured the Legends, both physically and psychologically.
Upon meeting her in his dimension, Mallus appears to take an interest in Sara Lance as she appeared to be a potential candidate to the next wielder of the Death Totem, thus, desiring to possess her like Nora and also sway her over to his side to fight for him. Mallus is arrogant, narcissistic and egotistical with a god complex, as he views himself as immortal, even when facing defeat in his final battle.
Mallus is also a highly vindictive individual, as he doesn't respond well to traitors as he ruthlessly removed the Water Totem from Kuasa, effectively killing her instantly. Upon being caged in a dimensional prison of time, he vowed to escape and make humanity suffer for it. In a more similar case, Mallus also shows no regard for the well-being of his own followers as he didn't hesitate to consume and kill his most loyal follower Nora to assume his true form. He also never valued their families as he angrily believed that he gave Kuasa "real power", unable to accept that Kuasa valued her own family over destroying time, which also cost Kuasa her life. Mallus also appears to be disdainful towards the wrong way his followers and enemies pronounce his name, as he angrily corrected the Legends when they pronounced it as "Mallus" rather than "Malice".
However, Mallus was not without fear, even though he was unfazed by John Constantine, the Time Bureau, Rip Hunter and the Legends' threats or attempts to subdue his seemingly unlimited power, he has shown to be physically afraid of the Zambesi Totems as they appear to be the only things that can harm him. His fear of the Totems has left him desperate to assemble all six of them before the Legends do and would become quite ill-tempered whenever they keep collecting them.
Powers and abilities
- "Mallus is everywhere and nowhere, refracted in every moment of time. He is dead, he is risen, and he will come again."
- —Nora Darhk [src]
- Demonic physiology: Mallus is a primordial, mysterious, malevolent and extremely powerful being, whom John Constantine identified to be a demon of the highest order. Malice possesses tremendous amounts of maleficent supernatural power and has so far shown the following powers and abilities;
- Immortality: Mallus states that Rip Hunter is "hopelessly mortal," suggesting that Malice is immortal. It is known that the ancient Zambezi tribes sealed him away, suggesting that he is a primordial demonic entity.
- Supernatural Immunity: Mallus was immune to John Constantine's traditional magic and exorcisms, even going so far as to be immune to a trap that Constantine boasted to be able to hold any demon. It should be noted, however, that he was vulnerable when splashed with holy water.
- Demonic possession: Mallus displays the ability to possess and speak through Nora Darhk. This possession is characterized by his target's eyes turning blood red. In the sense, he gained absolute control over Nora's body and inhabited her.
- Biological manipulation: Mallus made dark colored goo appear from Nora's mouth while possessing her.
- Demonic Transformation: Upon gaining complete control over Nora, he fully inhabited her body and transformed her human physiology into his true form, with extremities like claws, a tail, and demonic wings and horns.
- Power bestowal: Mallus was able to grant Damien and Nora Darhk powers similar to those obtained through the Khushu Idol and a few extra powers.
- Photokinesis: Mallus was able to grant Nora the powers to control condensed light blasts while being channeled through her.
- Thermokinesis: Mallus was able to grant Nora the powers to control fire and ice while being channeled through her.
- Mediumship: Mallus was able to grant Nora the ability to communicate with deceased spirits as well as himself. It's possible he granted Damien the same ability.
- Superhuman durability: Mallus can grant Nora the ability to take massive hits with no harm brought to her. He hit Nora's head on a table multiple times at high speeds without even damaging her physically, stating that she feels no physical pain.
- Superhuman strength: Mallus made Nora significantly strong, enough to use her nails to easily scratch on television without any signs of slowing down, strain or fatigue.
- Telekinesis: The ability to impart kinetic energy on objects.
- Immobilization: Mallus has been shown, on several occasions, to use telekinesis to halt all the movements of multiple people at once.
- Resurrection: Mallus has the power to resurrect the dead. He resurrected Kuasa, and later Damien Darhk.
- Telepathic powers: Mallus has also displayed telepathic capabilities. He's demonstrated the following telepathic powers:
- Illusion Conjuration: Mallus was able to cast realistic illusions into the minds of others. This made Sara believe that Mallus' demons were attacking her.
- Memory manipulation: Mallus was able to manipulate Sara Lance's memories, to show her the painful memories she had repressed for years, enthralling her in submissive fear.
- Flight: Mallus possesses massive wings that allow him to fly in the air.
- Pyrokinesis: Mallus was able to generate and hurl fireballs from his hands.
- Chronokinesis: Mallus shows he has an exemplary mastery of time itself, being able to pick up and bring numerous old enemies encountered by the Legends across their travels through history. Pitting Caesar, Freydís, Blackbeard and a host of their garrisons and armada's against them in Salvation in Dakota territory in the United States.
- Intimidation: Rip states that the Time Masters were too frightened to even speak his name. Mallus was able to strike fear into the highly courageous and dangerous assassin Sara Lance when she heard his voice in the very dark dimension he was imprisoned in. The Time Bureau are also terrified of him.
- Occult knowledge: Mallus is extremely knowledgeable of magic and spells works, such as a time based one in order to transport the Legends.
- Totems of Zambesi: Mallus is vulnerable to whoever wields one of six mystical totems of Water, Earth, Fire, Air, Spirit, and Death. If he (or an individual he's possessing) is even touched by the bearer of one of the totems, it burns him (or his vessel) considerably.
- Totem Being: When the powers of all six of the totems of Zambesi have combined, they form a being of light, which is strong enough to kill Malice once and for all.
- Temporal imprisonment: Mallus was imprisoned by the combined efforts of five of the six original totem bearers. His prison is within time itself, so when the Legends broke time (causing numerous anachronisms to appear in various places throughout the timeline), Mallus became capable of influencing the outside world from his prison in an effort to escape it entirely. The more the timeline was corrupted by the creation of even more anachronisms, the weaker his prison became.
- Possession resistance: Mallus can only possess someone who has been completely consumed by their rage and darkest fears. If they have not, they can successfully resist his influence.
- Holy water: While possessing the young Nora, Mallus was vulnerable to holy water, which caused him pain and burned the flesh of his vessel. It is unknown though whether it would have any effect on him in his true form.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
- Mallus' influence on the timeline has been identified as random anachronisms throughout history; when Nate Heywood conducted a scan of the timeline, he determined that a majority of the anachronisms present throughout the timeline were directly linked to the breaking of time caused by the Legends visiting the same time and place twice in order to defeat the Legion of Doom, but Mallus's anachronisms broke this pattern.
- Ray Palmer and Nate Heywood have noted that these divergent anachronisms have all had some connection to the Legends' own personal histories; Mallus' first role in an anachronism was linked to Ray Palmer's younger self, another involved Sir Henry Stein (Martin Stein's great-great-grandfather), and a later anachronism targeted a younger version of Professor Stein, while one anachronism was peripherally linked to Mick Rory's father.
- Mallus' claim that he would soon be free indicates that, at the time, he was imprisoned in the realm where White Canary had encountered him, answering the question as to why he must communicate with his followers through Nora Darhk.
- In "" Mallus appears to closely resemble a number of demon kings featured in who originated as pagan gods, such as Pazuzu, Lamashtu, and Nergal. Stripped of their old glory, these entities try to restore their worship as gods while possessing people and trying to escape their prison-like bounds.
- Mallus shares several similarities with Savitar:
- They're both godlike villains, who are initially trapped in some sort of alternate dimension; influencing the outside world by possessing a certain individual (Nora Darhk and Alchemy, respectively).
- Both are the main antagonists of the third seasons of their respective shows; and , becoming a threat after the heroes of their respective series did something to drastically affect the timeline.
- The Legends broke time by revisiting an event in which they'd already participated, thereby weakening Mallus' temporal prison.
- Barry had altered the timeline by going back in time and preventing his mother's murder, creating Flashpoint, but later tried to put it back to the way it'd been before, giving Savitar a chance to escape his prison within the Speed Force.
- Malius' existed simultaneously throughout all of time, which was Savitar's ultimate goal.
- While unconfirmed, it's possible that the reason that Mallus existed throughout all of time was because he was imprisoned within time itself.
- When Sara Lance asked Nora Darhk what she heard in her head from Malice, Nora replied the number 6, which John Constantine points out is the number of the Biblical Beast from Christianity's Book of Revelation. It could also be from Malice's fear of the Totems of Zambesi, as he also called Zari "one of the Six" (meaning that she was the bearer of one of the Six Totems).
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Malleus is an almost-identically named and similarly-looking metahuman supervillain in the Dakotaverse universe unrelated to most of the DC continuities. While he is not a demon, he shares more than a passing resemblance with Mallus, having similar bestial appearance with occasional bat-like leather wings, having his first appearance in shadows, having a shady and mostly unknown past (including name and time period) as well as creating a group of supervillains with supernatural powers, albeit with a "fail-safe" switch.
- Mallus shares many similarities with Trigon, a powerful demon trapped in another dimension who also uses a girl as a vessel to enter the mortal realm so that he can conquer it.
- Mallus served as the main antagonist of Season 3 of DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
- Malice is the main antagonist with the least appearance in the Arrowverse, with his true form only appearing in the last two episodes of Season 3.