Location/Base of Operations: mobile throughout the universe aboard an immense starship
Known Members: None by name
Affiliations: Employ several Darbians and Grunds; see themselves as protectors of the inferior races of the Universe
Enemies: Cloak and Dagger, Old Man, Franklin Richards,
Aliases: The Bosses; Byan'Nantandu (the ink is smudged, and this may be there actual correct name (it's definitely an "N" in a subsequent description)...but I'm sticking with my original assessment...whatever)
First Appearance: Cloak and Dagger III#2 (December, 1988)
Powers/Abilities: The Byan'Hantandu have
vast technology. They possess an immense interstellar ship, which
apparently dwarfs the planet Earth in size. Their ship has
advanced cloaking technology, enabling them to approach a planet
undetected (I guess they can shield the planet from the
affects of their immense graviational pull as well).
The Byan'Hantandu long ago lost their mobility, and have deteriorated physically to such an extent that the vast bulk of their immense ship is dedicated to life support processes for them. As such, they are dependent on their pawns/agents to continue their mission.
They mentally control their ship, or instruct their pawns to do so. The ship's technology can perform a large number of functions, including the formation of Bhontars, which are spheres which can support and transport a being over at least orbital distances. The ship has medical technology, and is capable of performing neurosurgery, cloning techniques, and presumably others. The ship carries powerful weapons, and can cancel out the molecular bonds of an entire planet, causing it to disperse into random atoms. It can also be used for two-way astral projection.
Traits: The Byan'Hantandu travel the
universe with the intent to remove dangerous objects that might
pose a threat to inferior races. They follow the instructions of
the mysterious Book, which predates even their ancient history. They
blindly follow the Book, although they often no longer remember
the reasons for what they are doing. They have lost site of the
reason behind their mission, and they are willing to destroy a
planet if they have troubles in the process of trying to extract
the object of which they seek.
They are happy to use, manipulate, and even mutilate others in order to accomplish their needs.
It is uncertain if only three of the Byan'Hantandu continue to exist, or if there are others out there. It is similarly unknown whether the other members of their race engage in a similar mission, or if these three are a separate movement.
History: (Cloak & Dagger III#3 (fb) ) - As far back as the
Byan'Hantandu can remember, they have traveled from galaxy to
galaxy, removing certain dangerous objects from the grasps of
planetary inhabitants who were too unsophisticated to safely
As the eons passed, the Byan'Hantandu were forced to construct an increasingly elaborate life support on their ship to keep them alive to fulfill their mission. Their growing dependence on their life-support made them physically unable to leave the ship to perform the collections themselves. They recruited others to be there "hands", specifically members of the Darbian and Grund races.
(Cloak & Dagger III#2-3) - The Book, the sacred tome of the
Byan'Hantandu foretold of an incredibly dangerous object on Earth
in the modern era. This object was unconsciously cobbled together
by Franklin Richards while playing with his father's equipment.
The Byan'Hantandu dispatched a team of Grunds to locate and
retrieve the object. The Grunds used the vigilante Cloak as an
interdimensional "shortcut" to obtain the device.
However, he was prepared for them when they returned, refused
them entry, and ended up in possession of the object.
The Byan'Hantandu sent one of the Darbians to obtain the portal guardian for Earth, but their information was out of date, and he instead brought the previous portal guardian, the Old Man, to their ship. When they realized their mistake, one of the Darbians captured Cloak and brought him to their ship.
The Byan'Hantandu decided to punish Gromitz, the Grund who had first used Cloak as a portal, by destroying Earth, which was his totem planet (explained below). Cloak refused to allow them to obtain the object, hoping to use it as a bargaining chip to force the Byan'Hantandu to spare Earth. They had no intention of sparing Earth, but in exchange for giving them the object, they did agree to allow Cloak his final request, to say goodbye to his partner Dagger.
The Byan'Hantandu used a two-way astral projector to allow Cloak to communicate with Dagger. However, Dagger was emotionally distraught after being blinded a few days before in a previous battle. Dagger lashed out at Cloak with her light energy, which was channeled back through the projector to the Byan'Hantandu ship, where it shorted out everything except life support. As the Grunds scrambled to get things back on line, the Byan'Hantandu named Dagger as a "Begetter of the Living Light," who are the most sacred beings in all the myriad galaxies, according to their book. Rather than risk injuring Dagger, the Byan'Hantandu used their crippled ship to limp away to another planet, to retrieve another object.
The Byan'Hantandu placed Cloak in a Bhontar to send him back to Earth, but its power was too drained, as well, and he was stranded in space, where he died (for awhile). Meanwhile, the Byan'Hantandu revealed that they had collected a cellular sample from Cloak and created a number of clones.
Comments: Created by Terry Austin and Dan Lawlis.
The Darbian race has an entry in the OHotMU Deluxe edition. They are the same race to which Umbraa and Jaguur belong, @ Fantastic Four I#297. Presumably only a relatively small number of the Darbians were taken by the Byan'Hantandu, but this is unconfirmed.
The Grund race has entries in both the OHotMU regular and Deluxe editions. They are indeed the same race to which Grott the Man-Slayer belongs (of the Minions of Menace/Intimidators, in the alternate future of the Earth-Guardians), @ Giant-Size Defenders#3.
Cloak fought off some "Inferno" demons and then seemed to die while trapped with the Bhontar. His Cloak was usurped by Ecstacy...and then he got better, in Cloak and Dagger III#8.
Besides the Old Man, there have been a few other homages to the pulp hero, the Shadow, Lamont Cranston
As far as I know, nothing's every happened with the Cloak clones...wait a minute...maybe the guy we think is Cloak is really a clone, and the real guy has been off living the life of Reilly somewhere...someone should write a story about that...just kidding, please don't!
Per Giuseppe Mainardi of Italy
"I think there is a in-joke in the "sound" of this name.When I see "BYAN'HANTANDU" I say "bien entendu" in French (or similar, my French is ugly). "Ben capito", "compreso bene" in Italian, "well understood" in English."
The Old Man has no known connection to:
Some Grunds were gathered by the Byan'Hantandu, who found that they were quite childlike and enamored of Earth's television shows. The Byan'Hantandu found that the Grunds would only carry out their commands if it were fun for them to do so. The Byan'Hantandu were forced to inventthe Galaxy Game, a sort of scavenger hunt, in order to insure their cooperation. In addition, the Grunds were each given a totem planet to represent in the game. They wore globes patterned after their planets as helmets. They also used some sort of air-scooter to travel at great speeds. Only two were named, Grundane and Gromitz.
Gromitz had Earth as his totem. He "cheated" during the hunt for Franklin's object by using Cloak as a shortcut, and the others followed him. When he attempted to use Cloak to return with the object to the Byan'Hantandu ship, Cloak refused to be used as a portal. Gromitz tossed the object into the portal to prevent the other Grunds from getting it. The Byan'Hantandu decided to punish Gromitz for his actions by destroying his totem planet, Earth. Gromitz thought that was funny, and egged the Byan'Hantandu on, saying that if they didn't destroy Earth, he'd never learn.
When the Byan'Hantandu came across the Darbians, they found them to have the asset of great strength, but also to have the deficits of being savage and uncontrollable. Lobotomization made them more cooperative, but left them unable to perform any but simple tasks under explicit command. Durbuur was another, although only his hand was seen.
Blustar was sent to attack Cloak, in the hopes that Cloak would engulf Blustar within his cloak as defense. Blustar would then be able to locate the object Cloak was holding. However, Cloak resisted the urge to engulf Blustar, despite taking quite a beating.
Jophurg was sent to Earth to claim the portal guardian (Cloak), but grabbed the previous guardian, the Old Man, due to out of date information. It might have been Jophurg who then returned to Earth, hid underneath the hospital sheets of Dagger's former bed, ambushed Cloak, and brought him to the Byan'Hantandu ship...or it could have been another.
portal guardian/keeper, known only as the Old
Man remains a mystery. Before Cloak, he served as
Earth's guardian to the portal to the Dark Dimension. He
apparently even had Cloak's cloak, although when the Old Man had
it, it was an opera case of sorts. He claims to have had lots of
time to practice in his role. After that, he neded up in Nepal,
doing who knows what...possibly a lot of drinking.
After Cloak ended up with the object sought by the Byan'Hantandu, they read in their Book who the Portal Guardian of Earth's sector was and sent Jophurg to bring him to their ship. Their information was out of date, and they sent Jophurg to bring in the Old Man, which he did. The Grunds realized that the wrong guy had been brought in, and a Darbian then brought Cloak in. The Old Man only had time to make a brief explanation to Cloak about being his predecessor, when the Grunds sent him back to Nepal. As he faded from view, Cloak yelled, "What IS the Dark Dimension?! What about the Predator..." to no avail. The Old Man said, "S'Long Sonny" and was wisked back to Earth.
As pointed out by Greg O (and it now seems so painfully obviously I can't believe it never occurred to me), the Old Man was most likely intended as an homage to the pulp hero, the Shadow.
images: (without ads)
Cloak & Dagger III#3, p8, pan2 (Byan'Hantandu main image)
Cloak & Dagger III#3, p9, pan3 (Byan'Hantandu haed shot)
Cloak & Dagger III#2, p16, pan1 (Byan'Hantandu ship)
Cloak & Dagger III#3, p3, pan2 (Sacred Tome of Byan'Hantandu)
Cloak & Dagger III#2, p9, pan1 (Grunds)
Cloak & Dagger III#3, p21, pan5 (Gromitz)
Cloak & Dagger III#2, p6, pan4 (Gromitz flying)
Cloak & Dagger III#3, p16, pan1 (Blustar)
Cloak & Dagger III#2, p16, pan5 (Jophurg)
Cloak & Dagger III#3, p2, pan7 (Old Man)
Cloak & Dagger III#2 (December, 1988) - Terry Austin (writer), Dan Lawlis (pencils), P. Craig Russell (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Cloak & Dagger III#3 (January, 1989) - Terry Austin (writer), Mike Vosburg (pencils), Scott Williams (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last updated: 10/12/13
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