CARETAKERS

Membership: Kammar (historian), Ular, Zolthar (a scientist and an engineer)

Affiliations: Natives of the Fortisquian race and Arcturan race;
    agents of the Beyonders;
    former pilots of the Comet;
    alleged creators of the Cat People and Werewolves,
    alleged creators/mentors to the
Maha Yogi and the Sphinx  (Anathna-Mut);
    creators of the
Children of the Comet and Project: Second Genesis

Enemies: Martine Bancroft, Daemond, Morbius, Tara

Aliases: Caretakers of Arcturus

Base of Operations: formerly Los Angeles, California, USA;
    formerly the Savage Land and/or Pangea;
    formerly the planet Arcturus IV

First Appearance: Adventures into Fear#20 (BTS, February, 1974); (full) Adventures into Fear#21 (April, 1974)

 

 

 

Powers/Abilities: The Caretakers possessed advanced knowledge of numerous fields of technology, especially genetic engineering. They created a race of superhuman warriors known as the Children of the Comet (other sources have described them as androids). They cloned another group of agents from their own DNA. These agents used jet-packs and energy weapons. The Caretakers also possessed certain magical knowledge and abilities, the extent of which is unknown. It is likely that all of their creations were based on a fusion of science and magic. They could fly, teleport over long distances, and project bolts of psychokinetic energy from their eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

History:
(OHotMU 2006 A-Z#2) - Untold millennia ago the Beyonders created the Fortisquian race via genetic engineering. Based at a station orbiting the star Arcturus they served mainly as colonizers throughout the galaxies.

(Fantastic Four I#316(fb)) <18000 BC> - The Celestials bombed Deviant Lemuria and precipitated Great Cataclysm, including the Great Flood that wiped out most of civilization on Earth. The Beyonders contacted  the Fortisquians and directed them to save their animal preserve on Earth (the Savage Land, which had actually been created by the Nuwali for the Beyonders). The Fortisquian colonizers from Arcturus traveled to Earth.

(Adventures into Fear#21(fb)/Fantastic Four I#316(fb)) - <8000 BC> The Fortisquian colonizers piloted their Comet ship to Earth. The Comet starship crashed on the planet Earth under unknown circumstances, and only three of the ship's personnel survived (actually, a fourth passenger survived, although his memory was somewhat damaged, and he went on to become Daemond). The Caretakers explored the Savage Land and found a teleportation warp that returned them to Arcturus, which was in ruins (how long their flight was is unrevealed). They found the return warp to Earth and set up a laboratory in the Savage Land.

 (Dr.Strange III#27/2(fb)) - The three chose to become teachers, or Caretakers, of the human race, or at least of the peoples populating the Savage Land and Pangea. They traveled the rest of the world and claim to have built Stonehenge, taught mankind (again, more likely the people of the Savage Land) how to build fire, and many other things. They have been credited with: the creation of the first werewolf, Greysire, via a combination of science and sorcery; empowering of the men who went on to become the Maha Yogi and the Sphinx (Anath-Na-Mut, around 1300 BC); guiding Ebrok (around 1000 A.D.) to create the first race of Cat People;. Very few of their activities of the millennia have been revealed.

(Adventures into Fear#21(fb)) - Apparently even the magic and technology of the Caretakers was not without limit, and they began to approach the end of their lengthy lives in the last century. They may have just been getting crotchety, but in the last century, they felt mankind had entered a decline. Fearing that mankind would destroy itself in nuclear war, they began to undertake Project: Second Genesis. This involved creation of a race of super-men, the Children of the Comet to join with man and carry on the work of the Caretakers after their deaths.

(Adventures into Fear#21,22)- The first of their Children of the Comet was a young girl named Tara, who possessed great powers and fomented a war between the Caretakers and Daemond, the other surviving Arcturan, who sought to lead mankind along the pathway to the supernatural. The Caretakers encountered the living vampire Morbius, who had already met both Daemond and Tara. The Caretakers convinced Morbius to slay Daemond, and in exchange they would reunite him with his long lost lover, Martine Bancroft. They told him that they were unable to slay Daemond themselves, as their race had been bred to abhor violence and they were unable to kill without irreparable psychic damage to themselves (in later appearances they were indeed quite bloodthirsty. Apparently they did commit some violence that deranged their minds, as is the case with other Fortisquians, such as Max).

(Adventures into Fear#25,26) - Morbius went after Daemond, but ended up on a journey to the Land Within (realm of the original Cat People) and Arcturus IV. When he returned, he was again met Tara who pulled him into a war between Daemond and the Caretakers. Fearing that Daemond would slay Morbius, and use him as a sacrifice to destroy the developing Children of the Comet, the Caretakers sent their agents against him, and when they failed, entered the conflict directly. However, when the Caretakers and Daemond learned Tara's true nature they joined forces in an effort to destroy her. Tara released the not-yet developed Children from their embryo-tubes, and infused them with life to attack their creators, the Caretakers. Morbius, however, attacked and slew Tara, whose death-throws caused Daemond's base to explode, apparently killing both Daemond and the Caretakers.

 

 

Comments: Created by Mike Friedrich, Steve Gerber, and Doug Moench.

The story of the Caretakers suffered from changing writers syndrome. The first issue was written by Mike Friedrich, the second by Steve Gerber, the third by Gerber and Doug Moench, and the last by Moench. The final issue seemed like a contrived way to end a plot that no one knew what to do with. I wonder what where this plot was originally supposed to go...
    Years later, in 1988, Steve Englehart revealed the Caretakers to actually be Fortisquians.

My theory is that the Caretakers in issue#26 were so dramatically different from their earlier appearance that they were actually clones of themselves, and the originals went off into hiding again after ridding the world of Daemond and Tara. It would make sense, but the word "clone" leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth. Also, I guess Tara could have been mentally controlling the Caretakers, as she claimed, to make them so bloodthirsty.

I know the Caretakers make several appearances in flashbacks in a number of other issues, but I don't have that chronology worked out yet. Let me know what I'm missing, as I seem to remember the Caretakers being credited with a number of other things that escape me. A discussion of their involvement in the creation of Werewolves can be found in the comments under the Wolf Men of Valusia.
    Also, the great cataclysm and sinking of Atlantis is usually stated to be around 18,000 B.C. A second, Lesser Cataclysm, followed the first, shifting the land masses, not too long after, perhaps 17000BC. A third Cataclysm, resulting in the splitting of the Euro-African continent, has been reported to have occurred @ 9,500-8000 B.C. The Caretakers are supposed to come to Earth just after the sinking of Atlantis, but their story brings them to Earth @ 8,000 B.C. Perhaps they have the Arcturan equivalent of Alzheimer's syndrome.

    At first I thought the Caretakers' memory was a little off in other cases, too, as mankind was a little more evolved in 8,000 B.C. than what was pictured in their flashback (some sort of pre-Neanderthal creatures). I think the Caretakers were recalling some of the races they met in the Savage Land, such as the Man-Apes, Swamp Men, or Botor/Tree People (of Pangea).

Thanks to Flank McLargehuge for reminding me of the name of the third Caretaker, revealed in Dr. Strange III#26/2.

Clarifications: The Caretakers of Arcturus should not be confused with:

Arcturan IV, from which the Caretakers came, is the same as that which eventually degenerated into a population of hideous mutants, first seen in Adventures into Fear#23

The Beyonders are the enigmatic race behind numerous events, not be confused with:

The Comet starship has no connection to:

Project: Second Genesis should not be confused with:

 


Appearances:
Adventures into Fear#20 (February, 1974) - Mike Friederich (writer), Paul Gulacy (writer), Jack Abel (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Adventures into Fear#21 (April, 1974) - Steve Gerber (writer), Gil Kane (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Adventures into Fear#22 (June, 1974) - Steve Gerber (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Luis Dominguez (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Adventures into Fear#25-26 (December, 1974 - February, 1975) - Steve Gerber (#25) & Doug Moench (writers), Frank Robbins (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Fantastic Four I#316 (July, 1988) - Steve Englehart (writer), Keith Pollard (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Dr. Strange III#27 (March, 1991) - Roy Thomas & Jean-Marc Lofficier (writers), Geof Isherwood (pencils), Paul Becton (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)


Last updated: 12/29/12

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