Classification: Alien (extraterrestrial)
Location/Base of Operations: The planet Carmondy IV in an unnamed solar system in an unnamed galaxy
Known Members: Balb, Felfa, Jara, Jara and Balb's unnamed children, others shown but not named (priest, schoolchildren, teacher)
Affiliations: Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell), Veeda Leebre
First Appearance: Captain Marvel IV#4 (1996)
Powers/Abilities: None shown
Traits: The Carmondians are a humanoid race that are the same size as a normal human. Some have dark pinkish skintones and some have grayish skintones. All have pupilless blue eyes and pupilless red eyes (though there looked like a couple had green eyes; it was kinda hard to tell in a couple of panels)
History: (CM IV#5 + 6 - BTS) - Very little is known of the history of the Carmondians. All that is known is that the cosmic being Veeda Leebre came to the planet Carmondy IV thousands of their years ago during a troubled time in their history and brought peace and harmony to this world. In gratitude the Carmondians wrote a religious text they called The Book of Paths, which stated that the Carmondians would be lost without Leebre, and that if ever he did leave the people would not continue to exist.
(CM IV#4) - The people of Carmondy IV were busy minding their own business when the Godstalker showed up to take Veeda Leebre prisoner.
(CM IV#5 - BTS) - The Godstalker fought and defeated Leebre, then took him away to the Desecration Annex. The Carmondians got together and decided to commit mass suicide. Jara was left alive to find Captain Marvel (Genis) and have him avenge the deaths of the Carmondians.
(CM IV#5) - Jara contacted Captain Marvel (Genis) and told him what happened to the other Carmondians and asked him to avenge her people's deaths, and to free Leebre from the Godstalker.
(CM IV#6 (fb)) - Veeda Leebre brought the dead people of Carmondy IV back to life with more idealized bodies and with no memory of their suicides. Captain Marvel (Genis), not liking the ethics of this situation, tried to put the dead Carmondians back to rest by convincing them that they had all died and were in fact still dead. He had no luck at this until he had Jara listen in on a conversation with Leebre where the "god" admitted to bringing the dead back to life. Jara forgave Leebre for his actions, stating that the Carmondians' own weaknesses were at fault for the suicides, not Leebre's disappearance. Once Leebre realized that Jara no longer believed in him like she used to he allowed the dead Carmondians to return to being dead and allowed Jara to follow her people into death by stabbing herself in the heart.
Comments: Created by Fabian Nicieza and Ed Benes/Joe Pimental (humanoid version) and Daerick Gross/Sellers & Albrecht (only names given for the inkers) ('alien' version).
If anyone ever wanted to know why most fans do not like artist changes in the middle of a story arc, CM IV#'s 4-6 will give you a prime example. In#'s 4 and 6 (the Benes-drawn issues) the Carmondians were drawn like full-sized humans spray-painted in different colors and wearing exotic clothes. The Carmondians in#5 (drawn by Daerick Gross) were given more alien-looking faces, were about half the size of a normal human, but still had the same skin tones but different exotic clothes. While this may seem a small nitpick, in the story the Carmondians were supposed to undergo a physical transformation between#5 and#6. Based on the dialogue in#6 the transformation was supposed to be a subtle one, not the gross (no pun intended) one that was ultimately shown. Like I said, it's a minor nitpick, but this sort of thing can and does distract from the intended impact of the finished story. To better illustrate this point I have included a panel of Jara from CM IV#5 ( the Gross issue). Compare the picture of her on the left to the one on the right (the Benes one) and see which version you like better.
This story could have benefited from an extra issue or three as a subplot, and from an extra issue as the main plot. Some scenes and/or dialogue showing what life was like before and during Veeda Leebre's rule, and how the Carmondians and Leebre interacted in their day-to-day affairs, would have gone a long way to show the reader whether or not the Godstalker was right about Leebre's actions being wrong. As it is all the reader has is the Godstalker's word for it that Leebre was wrong to bring his version of peace to the Carmondians. A more in-depth discussion of the pros and cons of Leebre's actions would have made this story a lot stronger, at least in my opinion.
Also it would have been fascinating to read the discussions by the Carmondians regarding the proper response to the disappearance of Leebre at the end of the fight. Assuming that Leebre wasn't captured in a manner that could have been mistaken by the watching Carmondians as his death, the method by which the Carmondians decided that suicide was the only proper response, and the reasons why other responses (such as them hiring Genis to spring Leebre before killing themselves, or going after the Godstalker themselves, for example) were deemed incorrect would have gone a long way to show just what Leebre did to this culture over the centuries. While one of the real-world inspirations for this mass suicide seems to be Jim Jones and the People's Temple cult of the 1970's (and their mass suicide, decent info here, here, here, and here), I find it very hard to believe that similar behaviors/beliefs on a planetary scale would result in the same actions that the real-world cult performed. It is a lot harder to convince four billion people to believe that suicide is the only right response to a problem than it is to convince nine hundred people it is (and even then Jones still needed the help of his thugs to get it done). At the four billion population mark there should have been a significant number of Carmondians who would want to avenge Leebre first before killing themselves, or who would want to hire somebody to avenge him before offing themselves. Or something along those lines at least. Saying in effect that their religion 'brainwashed' them into thinking that 'suicide was the only proper response no others need to be considered' is way too easy of an out for this problem. A few pages discussing this issue should have been shown, or somehow referred to elsewhere in the story, to help avoid the 'religion automatically equals brainwashing' clichés that showed up in this story.
Whether this mass death is truly the final fate of the Carmondian people remains to be seen. They did have access to faster than light spaceships (Jara sure didn't walk the distance from Carmondy IV to Calculex and back in three week's time!), and news of what happened to them did spread pretty darn fast for them being a backwater planet. It is entirely possible, if not probable, that a number of Carmondians were off-planet at the time of Leebre's defeat and the others' mass suicide, and that those survivors could have returned to their native world and attempted to repopulate it.
Profile by Elf with a gun
Clarifications: The Carmondians should not be confused
Balb should not be confused with:
Felfa should not be confused with:
Jara should not be confused with:
Mistakenly refered to as Jella in one caption in CM IV#5. She was
the sole survivor of her people's 'spiritual cleansing'. It's not known how
she was chosen out of the entire population for the job of going out into
the universe and hiring an avenger for her people (perhaps by a lottery?),
since her occupation before Leebre was kidnapped seemed to be housewife and
mother, careers not normally associated with such weighty missions. Her actions
in both Captain Marvel issues are described above.
- CM IV#5, (CM IV#6
Jara was married to an office worker (manager?) named Balb
- CM IV#6
Jara and Balb's children
Jara and Balb
had two unnamed children. The children seem to be around
7-10 years old, and also seem to be twins.
- CM IV#6
This unnamed priest of Veeda Leebre was one of the Carmondians
that Genis tried to convince he was still dead by debating philosophy with
him. Genis had no success in this endeavor.
- CM IV#6
This group of schoolchildren, who appear to be around 5-6 years old and who
are all unnamed (except for Felfa in the picture on the right)
and their unnamed teacher were also among the Carmondians that Genis tried
to convince were still dead by attempting to undermine their unquestioning
belief in Leebre. He failed here too.
- CM IV#6
(page count on all issues includes ads)
group shot, CM IV#4 p 13, pan 2
Gross version of Jara, CM IV#5 p 16, pan 2
Benes version of Jara, full view, CM IV#6 p26 pan3
Jara facial shot, CM IV#6, p28 pan3
shot of Balb, CM IV#6 p 3, pan 1 (detail)
shot of their children, CM IV#6, p 3, pan 2 (detail)
head shot of the priest, CM IV#6, p 11, pan 1 (detail)
shot of the children, CM IV#6, p 16, pan 5
shot of Felfa and the teacher, CM IV#6, p 19, pan 1
Captain Marvel IV#5-6 (April-May, 1996)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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