- "It shines a light into your dark places. Doesn't matter if you're human, Asgardian. The effect is the same-- unpleasant. It was forged from a rare metal and reacts to whoever is holding it. Or interacts."
- ―Elliot Randolph
The Berserker Staff is an ancient Asgardian weapon left behind on Earth centuries ago by an Asgardian soldier. The Soldier broke the staff into three pieces and hid them across Europe. It was recovered by a group of Norse Paganists who wanted to use the staff to aid in their terrorism. The staff was later taken into possession by S.H.I.E.L.D., then HYDRA, then S.H.I.E.L.D. again.
When the soldiers returned to Asgard, the staff remained with the one Asgardian that remained on Earth. The Asgardian, who would eventually take the name Elliot Randolph, had become a pacifist and feared the dark magic of the staff falling into the wrong hands.
When members of a Norse Paganist hate group, established after the mythological Norse gods were revealed as actual being a race called the Asgardians, were able to found a manuscript with directions on finding the staff, they located the first piece in Norway. This started a race between the paganists, Randolph and S.H.I.E.L.D. to locate the various pieces.
Melinda May quickly relieved Kaminsky of the staff and used it to enhance her prowess. She fought many of the soldiers until Coulson ordered her "to bring the house down." Using the Berserker Staff, May destroyed the support columns of the base, and as her teammates fled, the building collapsed, burying it and her opponents.
Any who touch the Berserker Staff, whether human or Asgardian, receive an adrenaline rush and a burst of super-strength fueled by the wielder's inner rage and hatred, often accompanied by particularly hateful and unpleasant memories. Afterwards, the wielder will feel fatigued and require sleep. In humans, however, the psychological after-effects of confronting one's inner rage and hatred could take decades to overcome.
In chronological order:
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- The Norse runes on the staff are transliterated into the words "Inspire", "Rage", "War" and "Power".
- In the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode Days of Future Smash: Smashguard the Hulk follows Leader back in time to the Viking Age where they are apprehended by a young Thor and Loki who accuse them of trying to steal the fragments of the Berserker Staff.
- In the comic books, the Berserker Rage is an ability that evokes strength and stamina, utilised by such characters as Thor and Wolverine.