Classification: Gods (Extra-Dimensionals/Immortals)
Location/Base of Operations: The Upperworld/Tamoanchan (extradimensional realm)
Known Members: Ahpuch (god of the dead), Buluc Chabtán (god of war), Camazotz (god of darkness), Chaac (god of rain & lightning), Gucumatz/Kukulkán (god of the wind), Hunab Ku (god of the sky), Itzamna (god of the sun), Ixchel (goddess of the moon), Wayeb (god of mischief)
Affiliations: Other races of Gods
Worshipped by Mayans
Aliases: Maya gods, Ajaw
First Appearance: (Mentioned) Namora#1 (August, 1948); (seen) X-Men I#25 (October, 1966)
Traits/Powers/Abilities: The Ahau all possess certain superhuman physical attributes. They are true immortals who cease to age upon reaching adulthood, and they cannot die by conventional means. The Ahau are immune to all terrestrial diseases and are resistant to conventional injury. If an Ahau is wounded, his or her godly life force will enable him or her to recover at a superhuman rate. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it incinerates an Ahau or disperses a major portion of his or her bodily molecules to cause him or her to die. Even then, it may be possible for a god of greater or equal power, or several gods acting together, to revive the deceased god before the god's life essence is beyond resurrection. Ahau flesh and bone are about two-and-a-half times denser than similar human tissue, contributing to the gods' superhuman strength and weight. An average male god can lift about 25 tons; an average goddess can lift about 20 tons. The gods' metabolism gives them superhuman endurance in all physical activities. Many Ahau also possess additional superhuman powers. For instance, the rain and lightning god Chac can command the elements of the storm (wind, rain, thunder, lightning, etc.). In addition, many Ahau have the ability to partially alter their physical forms, and can form the protective scales of a reptile or the powerful claws of a jaguar while engaged in hand-to-hand combat.
(Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - The Ahau (also known as the Maya gods or "Ajaw" in modernized Maya orthography) have been worshipped by the Mayans of Southern Mexico and northern Central America from 1800 BC to the 16th century AD. Most of the Ahau dwell in the Upperworld, a small "pocket" dimension adjacent to Earth; an interdimensional nexus between Upperworld and Earth exists at Tulan-Zuiva, "the Place of the Seven Caves," somewhere near the ancient city of Chichen Itza on the Yucatán Peninsula. Very little is known about Upperworld other than it appears to be built upon a small planetary object enclosed on all four sides by the bodies of four giant iguanas. Xibalba, the Maya underworld, is also connected to Earth via an interdimensional nexus near the modern-day city of Cobán, Alta Verapaz Department, Guatemala. The Ahau are called different names by their human worshippers; for example, the wind god is known as "Kukulkán" in the Yucatec Maya language and as "Gucumatz" in the K'iche' language. Worship of the Ahau was largely supplanted by Christianity in the late 1500s, although elements of the indigenous population still actively invoke their traditional gods today.
The precise origin of the Ahau, like that of all Earth's pantheons, is shrouded in legend. According to ancient myths, the Sky Father Hunab Ku emerged out of primordial nothingness and created the "Heart of Heaven," which he then used to create the first generation of Maya gods, including his son, the sun god Itzamna Kauil. The Maya believed that these gods lived in a universe where nothing existed except for the sky and the sea, and soon began using their divine powers to cause mountains, lakes, rivers, and fields to rise from the seabed. At the suggestion of Kukulkán, the gods then created the first mortals out of maize flour. Hunab Ku eventually ceded many of his responsibilities to Itzamna, such as the duty of watching over their mortal worshippers.
(Thor I#300 (fb)) - In approximately 1000 AD, Itzamna met with his fellow Godheads to discuss the threat posed by the extraterrestrial Celestials.
(Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - Beginning in the late 13th century AD, upon the rise and spread of the Aztec culture in the Valley of Mexico and surrounding areas, many worshippers of the Ahau fell under the control of the Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs, who worshipped the rival pantheon known as the Tēteoh. This caused tensions to escalate between the two pantheons, and their frequent clashes often led to confusion among their human worshippers, who began to attribute the acts of certain Ahau to their Tēteoh counterparts (and vice versa).
(Thor I#301 - BTS) - When the Asgardians lost their lives to the Celestials invasion, Thor went to Xibalba to petition a portion of the life energies to revive the Norse gods. Sensing a debt had been paid to his realm, Itzamna offered Thor the necessary energies.
(Thor Annual I#10 - BTS) - Under the threat of Demogorge the God Eater, Odin asked Itzamna for a warrior to fight the entity alongside Thor. Itzamna sent Quetzalcoatl.
(Infinity Gauntlet#2) - Possibly having come to a truce, Itzamna and Tezcatlipoca came together with the other godheads over the threat of Thanos wielding the Infinity Gauntlet. Briefly stranded in Asgard, Itzamna assisted Odin to preserve that realm as Adam Warlock led Earth's heroes against Thanos.
(Marvel Universe: The End#2) - The Council of Godheads met to discuss the actions of Akhenaten against humanity. Hunab-Ku was among them.
(Marvel Universe: The End#5-6) - The Godheads including Hunab-Ku joined together with a multitude of heroes and villains from Earth and the rest of the universe to oppose Thanos, who had gained supreme power from the Heart of the Infinite. Thanos easily wiped out every single being in the universe, but later was convinced by Adam Warlock to sacrifice himself to restore the universe to its previous state.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#555 - BTS, 556-557) - Computer scientist Professor Benjamin Rabin used a computational system composed of abstract symbols resembling Mayan glyphs to contact the mischief god Wayep during a period when the dimensional barriers separating Xibalba from the Earth realm were weakened (the "Uayep Cycle"). Wayep besieged Manhattan with a mystical blizzard and offered Rabin the powers of a Kuhul Ajaw ("Divine Lord") if he sacrificed a man and woman in his name. However, Rabin's attempts to sacrifice a woman to complete the ritual were thwarted by Spider-Man (Peter Parker), and Wayep was forced to return to Xibalba.
(Journey Into Mystery I#627 (fb)) - Mephisto spoke with Wayep in the Infinite Embassy where various godheads had gathered to speak of the threat of the Asgardian fear god, the Serpent. Wayep spoke of vague plans and the coming end of the Mayan cycle.
The main image in this profile is by Ben Oliver.
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica, p4
Knights of Pendragon II#15 (September, 1991) - Dan Abnett & John Tomlinson (writers), Gary Erskine (pencils), Bambos Georgiou (inks), Steve White (editor)
X-Force I#81 (September, 1998) - John Francis Moore (writer), Adam Pollina & Guillermo Zubiaga (pencils), Mark Morales (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#1 (March, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Lewis LaRosa (pencils), Jim Royal (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica (2009) - Anthony Flamini, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lante & Paul Cornell (writers), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Journey into Mystery I#627 (November, 2011) - Kieron Gillen (writer), Richard Elson (artist), John Denning (editor)
Last updated: 12/23/12
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