Real Name: Atum

Identity/Class: Elderspawn, terrestrial god;
   Distant Past, pre-Cataclysmic era, Hyborian era, post-Hyborian era, 1st through 10th century, (presumably active from 11th century to pre-modern era, but undocumented), modern era

Occupation: God-Slayer, Demon-Killer, Primal Force, sun & fertility god;
    former ruler of the Ogdoad and Ennead

Group Membership: Ennead, Council of Godheads;
    formerly the God Squad (Ajak, Hercules, Mikaboshi, Snowbird/Narya), Ogdoad, Elder Gods

Affiliations: Amadeus Cho, Gaea, Gods of Earth;
   formerly Sekhmet, Thor (Odinson)

Enemies: Set, Chthon, the other Elder Gods and deceased, forgottten deities;
    Sligguth, Damballah, Kirby/Kerberos imposter, Kly'bn, Nightmare, Skrulls, Sl'gur't, Thor (Odinson), many unidentified extraterrestrial gods (serving Kly'bn & Sl'gur't)
    formerly Apollo, Gods of the Dead (Ahpuch, Eriskegal, Hela, Mephisto, Pluto, Seth, Yama), Horus, Indra, Quetzocoatl, Shango, Tawa

Known RelativesGaea (mother), Demiurge (father), Bast, Hathor-Sekhmet, Tefnut (daughters), Bes, Hapi, Khnum, Kohnshu, Ptah, Shu, Sobek (sons), Thoth (brother), Chthon, Hyppus, Set (uncles), Issus, Oshtur (aunt), other Elder Gods (“uncles & aunts”);
Gods of Earth (siblings/descendants), massive extended family via Gaea, Chthon, Oshtur and Set

Aliases:  The God Eater, the Primal Slayer, Ra, Ammon Ra, Aten

Base of Operations: An extradeimensional between realms & sometimes the Earth’s Sun;
   formerly Heliopolis;
   formerly Hermopolis;
   formerly subterranean caverns deep within Earth (place of birth)

First Appearance: (Mentioned) Strange Tales I#70/5 (August, 1959); (as Ammon Ra) Thor I#300; (as Demogorge) Thor Annual I#10 (November, 1982)

Powers/Abilities :  Atum possesses powers above any other immortal/god on Earth including Odin, Zeus and Vishnu. He has superhuman strength, stamina, resistance to injury and can tap into and manipulate incredible elemental /solar energies which he can manifest as sunlight but with incredible destructive force.

    He can also absorb the life energies of gods who have degenerated into demons, but too much of these energies tend to cause him to transform into Demogorge, a massive hulk with both energy-siphoning powers and the tendency to physically absorb immortal/godly flesh into its body.

    Atum can also fly and when he does so he emanates light as bright as the sun. He also has incredible resistance on a cosmic scale enabling him to resist the heat and pressure it would take to reside within a star as with the sun of the Earth.

Height: 10' (variable)
Weight: 3700 lbs. (variable)
Eyes: Red
Hair: None (variable)


History:  (Avengers I#187 (fb) - BTS, Thor I#301 (fb) - BTS, Thor Annual I#10, Silver Surfer Annual I#2/7, Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#11/2, Conan the Barbarian I#245 (fb) - BTS) - Atum is the offspring of the female Elder God known as Gaea and the Demiurge, the sentient life-force of the Earth’s biosphere. Having infused her life-force into the planet, Gaea gave birth to Atum who began slaying all the Elder Gods who had degenerated into demons and were killing each other to survive and gain power. 

    Despite driving many of them to other dimensions, he absorbed so much of their energies that he transformed into Demogorge and left the planet to extinguish their absorbed energies.

(Iron Man Annual I#10/4 (fb) ) - Gaea realized that for the mammals to survive, she had to protect them from the huge reptiles and dinosaurs under the protection of the Elder God Set. Set manifested on Earth and worked his will through all the ancient reptiles on Earth; they began exterminating the mammals, but Gaea called upon Atum to slay Set and drive him from Earth. This centuries long battle contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs (except, of course, in the Savage Land and some other places). Eventually, there were not enough dinosaurs and huge reptiles on Earth to sustain Set and he was driven into another dimension unable to return to Earth.

(Conan: The Ravagers Out of Time - BTS) - Circa 18,500 BC, during the Pre-Cataclysmic Age, Kull and a time-displaced Conan and Red Sonja battle Rotath. The Pictish shaman Gonar invokes the names of numerous gods, demons and wizards to destroy Rotath, including the god Ra.

(Thor Annual I#10 (fb) ) - Over thousands of years, from the Pre-Cataclysmic Age to the Hyborian Age to the Bronze Age (see comments) Gaea gave birth to new races of immortals that became the new gods of evolving human beings on the planet.

(Strange Tales I#70/5 (fb) - BTS) - Atum the creator who rose from the waters of Chaos, has decreed to Ptah the duty to protect the Pharaoh's who obey Atum's laws.

(All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update#3) - Atum became Ammon Ra the Egyptian sun god. He ruled over the Ogdoad, the first incarnation of the Egyptian gods, based out of Hermopolis, but eventually they perished. Ammon Ra started anew with the Ennead and was succeeded as their ruler by his child Shu.

(Egyptian Myth) - At some point Ammon Ra seduced his niece (grandniece in the MU) Nut, who gave birth to Hathor, goddess of love and music, Khnum, the god of the Nile and Hapi, the god of floods.

   When Nut's brother Geb succeeded their father as Pharaoh of Egypt and he took Nut as his wife and queen against the wishes of Atum-Ra, he forbade them to have children. He ordered their father, Shu, to separate them and cast a spell that prevented her from giving birth on any day of the week. Thoth, however, saw how miserable they were and took pity on them and challenged Selkhet, the moon-goddess, to a game. Winning the game, Thoth was able to take enough of her power to create five new days which he gave to Geb and Nut to share together. For each of these days, Nut gave birth to one child: Horus, Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephthys.

(Avengers: Roll Call - Sekhmet profile/Myth) - When the people of Egypt rebelled against her father Ammon Ra, he claimed the Egyptians plotted against him, so he goaded gentle Hathor into punishing humanity. Her bloodlust transformed her into the violent Sekhmet.

(All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update#4/Myth) - Sekhmet released such fury against her mortal foes that Ra feared she would destroy the human race.

(Avengers: Roll Call - Sekhmet profile/Myth) - Ra tricked Sekhmet into drinking 7000 jars of red-dyed beer. Inebriated, Sekhmet lost consciousness and awoke the next morning as Hathor.

(Legion of Monsters: Satana#1 (fb) - BTS) - To prevent another transformation into Sekhmet, Ra fashioned the Orb of Ra from Hathor's right eye.

(Egyptian Myth) - Eventually Atum-Ra became disenchanted with mortals and decided to distance himself from them by ascending into heaven. Impressed by Nut’s ability to deceive him, he enlisted her help to enter into heaven, but she became so dizzy from the ascent that she had to return to Earth.

(Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica: Demogorge entry) - Ammon Ra reverted to his Demogorge form and returned to the sun, waiting for the Cosmic Axis to shift and the current generation of gods to come to an end so he could feast on them. 

(Thor I#300 (fb) ) - Circa 1000 AD Ammon Ra participated in a meeting of the Council of Godheads.

(Thor Annual I#10) - When several of the gods of the dead lost their worshippers, they decided to merge their realms in order to acquire new souls into their realms. Their ritual actually opened a portal back to Atum and he returned to Earth as Demogorge. Sensing the evil energies generated by the seven gods of the dead, he commenced with absorbing them, but was fought back with representatives from the other gods of Earth. When he tried to absorb Thor, the thunder-god caused a shift in Demogorge’s palate and he expunged both the hero-gods and the death gods before transforming back into Atum and returning to his home dimension.

(Hulk vs. Hercules: When Titans Collide#1 (fb)) - When the Titan Cronus escaped from Tartarus, Demogorge flew over Olympus, warning the gods that if Cronus bested them he would feast upon their realm. However, Cronus was defeated by Hercules and Demogorge departed.

(Thor Annual I#14) - Thor called upon Atum for help to defeat Set who had been called back to Earth by the Deviant Lord Ghaur. Atum refused because he knew it would involve transforming into Demogorge. Thor forced him to become Demogorge once more and was consumed by the entity as a result of Atum’s wrath.  Thor managed to possess Demogorge, asserting his will as the dominant one, long enough to defeat Set, and Atum ended up releasing Thor from his body after realizing the passion and nobility in his efforts.

(Incredible Hercules#117 (fb)) - Demogorge flew out of his lair. Horus recruited Atum/Demogorge to join the God Squad to oppose the Skrull gods.

(Incredible Hercules#117) - Demogorge appeared at a meeting of the Council of Godheads and joined the God Squad, departing in a ship through the Dreamtime to reach the realm of the Skrull gods.

(Incredible Hercules#118) - With the Godsquad, Demogorge stopped at the realm of Nightmare to ask for directions. They were each tormented by Nightmare until Mikaboshi freed them, at which point they fled.

(Incredible Hercules#119) - The Godsquad arrived in Skrull dreamtime, and they were assaulted by Gods conquered by Skrulls. Kirby/Kerberos, the coyote pup of Amadeus Cho, was revealed to be a Skrull imposter, and Demogorge consumed it. After Snowbird fought off the Skrulls' god agents, Demogorge and the others were confronted by Kly'bn & Sl'gur't. 

(Incredible Hercules#120) - Demogorge devoured Sl'gur't only to be torn apart from within as Sl'gur't proved to contain the essences of too many Godheads for him. Demogorge spine was subsequently used by Snowbird to skewer and apparently kill Kly'bn.

BTS - He got better.

(Secret Warriors#10) - Demogorge was present when Phobos (Alexander Aaron), son of Ares, was found worthy by the Council of Godheads to be a god.

(Journey Into Mystery I#627 (fb)) - Demogorge attended the Devil's Advocacy to talk about the Serpent (Cul)'s actions on Earth.

(Mighty Thor I#12 (fb) - BTS) - Demogorge resided in a place outside space and time between the dimensions where forgotten gods went to die by being consumed by the God-Eater.

(Mighty Thor I#8) - Demogorge waited for God Arks, filled with the souls of dead gods including Thor's (died recently battling the Serpent/Cul), to descend into his maw.

(Mighty Thor I#9) - Demogorge consumed a God Ark while Thor partially remembered a previous encounter with the God-Eater. Thor eventually decided he didn't want to die that day and broke free of his crystalline shackles on the God Ark.

(Mighty Thor I#10) - Another God Ark found its way into Demogorge's maw and the God Ark with Thor and two other forgotten gods moved ever closer to their final destination. Thor freed the two other god souls and when he decided he wouldn't give up so easily his hammer Mjolnir was summoned to his extradimensional location. When it crashed into the God Ark and Thor held it in his hand once again he remembered who he was. Meanwhile another God Ark was consumed by Demogorge.

(Mighty Thor I#11) - Thor and his two amnesiac divine allies destroyed their God Ark and assaulted the gigantic Demogorge, who sucked them into his maw. Inside Demogorge the trio battled their way through the monstrous God-Eater. They found the graveyard of the gods inside Demogorge with forgotten god souls trapped in Demogorge's mind-clouding tendrils. Thor and his allies fought their way through the tendrils to reach Demogorge's heart.

(Mighty Thor I#12) - Thor kept hitting Demogorge's gigantic heart with Mjolnir causing agonizing pain to the God-Eater. A portal to Asgard opened when the God-Eater's heart was apparently destroyed.

Comments : Created by Alan Zelenetz and Robert Hall.

    Alan Zelentz probably chose the name "Atum" since in real-life history, the name comes from Egyptian culture, and the Egyptian pantheon represents one of the oldest of the pantheons of human civilization (The Sumerian pantheon is also comparably old.) However, in the Marvel Universe, the Egyptian pantheon may not be among the oldest pantheons, since the history of the Marvel Universe includes two periods of relatively advanced civilization that predated ancient Egypt-the Pre-Cataclysmic Era and the Hyborian Era. You can read about the Pre-Cataclysmic gods under the comments to Varnae's entry and see a refresher on the Hyborian Era gods here. (In addition, Red Sonja III#4 indicated that a race of "titans" predated the "gods of Lemuria" and "the lords of Atlantis", with two of these "titans", Byrina and Calanda, named.)

    Actually, Atum’s relationship to Demogorge is rather similar to that between Dr. Bruce Banner and the Hulk.

    A caveat vis a vis the way the gods are depicted in flashbacks to the Demiurge; Silver Surfer Annual I#2/7, Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#11/2, and Set's Update '89#7 entry noted that the Elder Gods did not have forms that human eyes could perceive, and it is only for the sake of convenience that they are shown as humanoid, or in Set's case, reptillian.

    Y'Garon (or his brothers) and Belathauzer have never been shown or mentioned by name in any of the retellings of the Demogorge/Atum/Demiurge story. They were designated as one of the Elder Gods that fled from Atum in the Demons entry in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#3 and this has been repeated in other sources, such as the Marvel Age Midnight Sons Special.

    Following off of an idea from Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#8, Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme Annual#2 (published around 1991) had Rintrah go through a list of Doctor Strange's worst opponents, and note that a great concentration of evil energy was left around after the Demogorge's battle with the Elder Gods. In time, this energy split, producing Thog, Satannish (later revealed as a creation of Dormammu), Mephisto, and other, newer demons.
The story in Iron Man Annual I#10 indicates that Gaea allowed the dinosaurs to become extinct because she did not think they could have evolved into sentient lifeforms. In fact, several alternate Earths (or their natives) have been seen that are populated by sentient races descended from the dinosaurs: Earth-99476 (Excalibur I#9-10, #51); Cretacious Sam from Nightcrawler I#4, Dino Knight from Moon Knight: Marc Spector#42, Dinosaur World from Devil Dinosaur#1 and Marvel Two-In-One#73, Kang-Mesozoic from Avengers I#296, a throwaway world in Thor I#440, and a world seen in a story reprinted in Fantasy Masterpieces#1. Gaea may have jumped the gun.

    At some point Chthon bound some of Demogorge's power into a Darkhold page. The page was first seen in Darkhold: Pages from the Book of Sins#8, where it was given to Samantha Regent by the Dwarf. It was in her possession in Nightstalkers#8-9 until it was stolen from her. Blade retrieved it from the thief in Nightstalkers#10 and used it in a plan to destroy all magic. It turned him into Switchblade and Blade had to be stopped by the Darkhold Redeemers. The storyline named Midnight Massacre ran through Nightstalkers#10, Ghost Rider III#40, Darkhold#11, Morbius#12 and Spirits of Vengeance#13.
--Markus Raymond

    Demogorge received an entry in the All-New OHotMU Update#3.

Profile By: Will U, Prime Eternal and Per Degaton. Mighty Thor update by Markus Raymond. Various updates and edits by Snood


Damballah, the spawn of Set, should not be confused with:

Set, the Elder God, should not be confused with:


Demiurge is the sentient life-force of Earth’s biosphere. Gaea mated with him to give birth to Atum.

--Silver Surfer Annual I#2/7 (Silver Surfer Annual I#2/7 (fb), Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#11/2 (fb)

   Because of his role, Demiurge could be the sky-god prevalent through all of Earth’s myths just as Gaea was the mother-goddess of all of the same. If so, he was the Hindu Purusha, Chinese Pan-Ku, Japanese In, Mexican Hunab-Ku, Incan Tecumotzin, Slavic Rod, Finnish Jumala, Native American Gitche Manitou and the Oceanic Papa all before he was killed in his role as Ouranos by the Titan Cronus. The exceptions in this list would be the Asgardian snow giant Ymir and his Hindu counterpart Himavat, the god of freshwater Apsu who fathered the Mesopotamian gods with Tiamat, possibly Nuadhu who may or may not be Nauda, and the African Buluku who may have been alive as late as the 15th century AD when Damballah (Dam-Ayido) taught mortals how to create zombies.

   On the other hand, Gaea's entry in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#4 recounts that Greek myths state that she gave birth to Ouranos as well; if this is true for Earth-616, then this would rule out Ouranos as serving as the same entity as the Demiurge. Rather, the Demiurge probably returned to a state of dormancy after the passing of the Elder Gods, allowing his children to do as they would.

   In the dictionary, a demiurge is a sensible figure who fashions the world with sensible ideas and a demagogue is a leader who champions for the cause of the people. Both come from the Latin prefix demo- (as in democracy) meaning people as opposed to the term “demon.” (Demon comes from the Greek “daemon,” any of those spirits considered between god and man.) 

   Incidentally, since other planets, such as those of the Skrulls, Shi'ar, etc. have been shown to have biospheres as fertile as Earth's, it stands to reason that other planets should have their own Demiurges and own gods. So far, though, very few, if any, gods of alien worlds have appeared. S'lgurt, the Skrull god of war, was depicted as a statue in the Super-Skrull back-up in Fantastic Four Annual I#24, while the Skrull deity of death was shown as a form assumed by Death (the cosmic entity) in Excalibur I#63. The Shi'ar worship Sharra and K'ythri, a married couple, as elaborated upon in Warren Ellis' Starjammers limited series. (The Kree worship the Supreme Intelligence, who is a cyborg, not a god.) The Uncreated are a race seen in the Ellis Starjammers mini-series and Excalibur I#90 who killed their gods and exterminate anyone who continues to worship deities. In the Microverse, the Worldmind of the planet Spartak (home of Acroyear) exists. Ego the Living Planet stands in the unique position of being his own Demiurge. Strangely, Ishtar, a Terran deity worshipped since the Hyborian Age, has been invoked by extraterrestrials!

images: (without ads)
All-New OHotMU Update#3, Demogorge main image (main image, original source Thor Annual I#10, p16, pan3)
Silver Surfer Annual I#2/7, p5, pan1 (Atum)
Silver Surfer Annual I#2/7, p5, pan3 (Demogorge)
Thor I#300, p13, top panel (Ammon Ra)
Silver Surfer Annual I#2/7, p5, pan2 (Demogorge vs demons)
Incredible Hercules#120, p4, pan3 (with God Squad)
Mighty Thor I#8, p20 (Demogorge in massive God-Eater mode)
Mighty Thor I#12, p1 (Demogorge destroyed)
Silver Surfer Annual I#2/7, p5, pan4 (Demogorge vs Elder Gods)
Thor Annual I#10, p1, pan4 (Demiurge)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#3: Demogorge entry inset (forms of Atum, Demogorge, & Ammon-Ra); originally designed forThor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica: Demogorge entry, but not used for space reasons - thank to Loki for finding this and suggesting its addition.

Strange Tales I#70 (August, 1959) - Steve Ditko (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Thor I#300 (October, 1980) - Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio (writers), Keith Pollard (pencils), Gene Day (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Thor Annual I#10 (1982) - Mark Gruenwald (writer/editor), Alan Zelenetz (writer), Bob Hall (penciler), Rick Bryant, Joe Rubinstein, Andy Myshynsky, Al Gordon, Kevin Dzuban (inkers)
Iron Man Annual I#10 (September, 1989) - Peter Sanderson (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Silver Surfer Annual I#2 (1989) - Peter Sanderson (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Thor Annual I#14 (1989) - Roy Thomas (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Don Heck (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#11 (December, 1989) - Roy Thomas, Jean-Marc & Randy Lofficier (writers), David &amP; Dan Day (artists), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Conan: The Ravagers Out of Time (1992) - Roy Thomas (writer), Michael Docherty (pencils), Alfredo Alcala (inks), Mike Rockwitz & Barry Dutter (editors)
Legion of Monsters: Satana#1 (August, 2007) - Jonathan Hickman (writer/artist), John Barber (editor)
Hulk vs. Hercules: When Titans Collide#1 (June, 2008) - Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (writers), Khoi Pham, Paul Neary, Dennis Calero, Eric Nguyen, Reilly Brown, Carlos Cuevas, Terry Pallot, Chris Sotomayor, Bob Layton (artists), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Incredible Hercules#117-120 (July-October, 2008) - Greg Pak & Fred van Lente (writers), Khoi Pham (penciler), Paul Neary (inker), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)

Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#3 (July, 2008) - Jeff Christiansen (head writer/coordinator), Madison Carter, Mike Fichera & Stuart Vandal (coordination assistants), Sean McQuaid, Stuart Vandal, Ronald Byrd, Michael Hoskin, Eric J. Moreels, Madison Carter, Mark O'English, Mike Fichera, Al Sjoerdsma, Chad Anderson, David Wiltfong, Chris Biggs, Jacob Rougemont, Rich Green & Gabe Shechter (writers), Kevin Sharpe (Demogorge art), Brian Overton (copy editor), John Denning & Cory Levine (assistant editors), Mark D. Beazley (editor, special projects), Jeff Youngquist & Jennifer Grunwald (editor)

Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica (2009) - Anthony Flamini (head writer, coordinator), Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Paul Cornell (consulting writers), Kevin Sharpe, Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Secret Warriors#10 (January, 2010) - Jonathan Hickman (writer), Alessandro Vitti (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Journey Into Mystery I#627 (November, 2011) - Kieron Gillen (writer), Richard Elson (art), Ralph Macchio (senior editor)
Mighty Thor I#8 (January, 2012) - Matt Fraction (writer), Pasqual Ferry (artist), Ralph Macchio & Lauren Sankovitch (editors)
Mighty Thor I#9 (February, 2012) - Matt Fraction (writer), Pasqual Ferry & Pepe Larraz (artist), Lauren Sankovitch (editors)
Mighty Thor I#10 (March, 2012) - Matt Fraction (writer), Pepe Larraz (artist), Lauren Sankovitch (editors)
Mighty Thor I#11 (April, 2012) - Matt Fraction (writer), Pasqual Ferry & Pepe Larraz (artist), Lauren Sankovitch (editors)
Mighty Thor I#12 (May, 2012) - Matt Fraction (writer), Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Lauren Sankovitch (editors)

First Posted: 06/06/2003
Last updated: 12/10/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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