Classification: Extra-dimensionals (sub-class (warrior caste) within Kosmosian race)
Location/Base of Operations: Kosmos (planet and dimension).
Known Members: Kolai, Pelel, Pirei, Pilai (the Creature from Kosmos),
Affiliations: Growing Man; formerly Captain Atlas, Dr. Minverva, Shi'ar
Enemies: Kang, the Thunderbolts, and all users of Pym Particles (Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath (Henry Pym), Ant Man (Scott Lang), Giant-Man (Bill Foster), Goliath/Atlas (Erik Josten), Hawkeye (Clint Barton, formerly Goliath), Tigra (briefly shrunk), Wasp.
First Appearance: Tales to Astonish I#44 (June, 1963)
Powers/Abilities: The Creatures are approximately 50 feet tall, and possess enormous strength and durability, although the extent is unspecified (Class 20?). They possess a dense outer shell, but have a more rubbery internal composition. they can extend tentacles from within their shells.
They can shift into a fluid form to maneuver through virtually any space. They can exist in the vacuum of space unprotected. In this form, one Creature appeared to be comfortably bathing in a magma pool.
They possess unspecified mental powers, enabling them to generate fear in others (humans and insects have proved susceptible), as well as to mentally control some beings. In at least one instance, this fear has proven great enough to cause death. The ants serving Ant-Man I proved reluctant to confront Pilai.
A significant portion of their bodies is composed of formic acid. They have proved vulnerable to a chemical used to neutralize that acid.
Traits: Uncertain. The majority of Creatures observed were escapees from a prison dimension in Kosmos. These Creatures have demonstrated desire to take over and control other planets, and to avenge a fallen comrade. Presumably, as warriors, most Creatures are somewhat bellicose and aggressive.
History: Details are sketchy, but the Creatures appear to be a warrior caste sub-class within the extra-dimensional Kosmosian race. Whether they evolved naturally, or were created through genetic manipulation is unknown. The Kosmosians are an insectoid race, and the Creatures retain some of those characteristics in any of their forms.
(Tales To Astonish I#44)- Several years ago, a Creature named Pilai nearly took over and enslaved the entire Kosmosian society, but failed and was imprisoned in a prison dimension. Pilai escaped from a when a human scientist, Dr. Vernon van Dyne, inadvertently opened a portal while scanning for extra-terrestrial life. Pilai generated such intense fear in Dr. van Dyne that he died, and then Pilai destroyed his machine to prevent other Kosmosians from following him, and then set out to take over Earth.
Dr. van Dyne's daughter, Janet, to seek aid from another scientist, Dr. Henry Pym. These events led to the creation of the Wasp, who joined Pym, as Ant-Man I, in an effort to stop Pilai. Ant-Man's ant allies informed him of the formic acid composition of the Creature, and Ant-Man apparently destroyed Pilai using the "antidote" for formic acid.
(Quasar#14-15, 16 (BTS))- However years later, Quasar encountered Pilai on the Stranger's Laboratory World. He was freed as part of the Overmind's attack on the Stranger. His fate subsequently was not revealed.
(Avengers I#379/2-380/2 (BTS), 381/2-382/2)- Not too long after that, Goliath's ionic powers were disrupted in a battle against the Avengers West Coast. This somehow opened a portal into the prison dimension where Pilai's former allies were held. These Creatures managed to establish a psychic link with Josten, and convinced him to assist them. Josten grew to immense size, drawing on the mass of the walls of the prison dimension as the source for his mass, until the Creatures were freed. This energy disruption and effects on the Pym Particles affected all that had ever been exposed to them, except Pym himself (who was immune due to his being the first human exposed to the Pym Particles, when the source was still uncontaminated), causing them to lose control of their growth and/or shrinking powers.
Josten was incapacitated and enslaved by the Four Creatures (Kolai, Pelel, Pirei,and one other), who continued to infuse him with mass from their realm. The Creatures traveled to Earth, planning to take it over. Pym, however, deduced the connection between the Creatures and the growth aberrations, and reasoned that Josten was the only person exposed to Pym Particles who had not been seen to be involved. Pym, as Giant-Man, confronted and overpowered one of the invading Creatures, who opened an inter-dimensional portal to flee back to the prison dimension. Pym followed him into the portal and found Josten, who explained his involvement with the Creatures. Pym managed to open dimensional portals and suck the other Creatures back to their prison dimension, and then repair the walls by replacing the mass taken by Josten. Josten reverted to normal size, but was initially comatose. All the people affected by the "Josten Juice" were cured as well.
The whole dimension of Kosmos was affected by the mass shifting plot of the four Creatures, and the ruling class sought vengeance on Josten. They abducted him to their realm, where they tortured him, keeping him in a constant state of pain. The fate of the four Creatures who instigated the plot is unknown, although execution seems a likely punishment.
(Thunderbolts '97 Annual (fb))- Baron Zemo (Helmut) re-organized the Masters of Evil as the Thunderbolts in a plot to gain the trust of the American government and gain access to their security files. The Fixer (Norbert Ebersol) designed a machine to pierce the dimensional barrier and locate Josten. Despite the efforts of the Creatures guarding Josten, the Fixer severed the links between Josten and Kosmos, flushing his system of Pym Particles, and freed him. Josten went on to become Atlas as part of the Thunderbolts.
(Thunderbolts I#13-14)- After their exposure as the Masters of Evil, and their subsequent separation from Zemo and the Fixer, the Thunderbolts were abducted by the ruling class of Kosmosians to Kosmos, where they were to stand trial. The Kosmosians had learned that in their future, Kang the Conqueror would come to their realm and take it over, enslaving the Kosmosians and forcing them to create the Growing Men. The Thunderbolts had recently battled a Growing Man, and a beacon within it was somehow activated that alerted the Kosmosians to its existence. The Kosmosians mistakenly believed the Thunderbolts to be allies of Kang, and brought them to Kosmos to learn more about the future threat of Kang. This struggle mostly involved the ruling class, but the Creatures were present as well. Atlas battled and defeated one of them.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee, H. E. Huntley, and Jack Kirby. Reworked by George Perez and Jeffrey Moore, and later Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley.
I don't know what specific chemical would be used to neutralize formic acid. I'd imagine any base, such as sodium bicarbonate would work. I'm not sure if that antidote was some sort of anti-venom. Anyone?
Donald Campbell points out that "the
winning entry for the
contest from QUASAR#14 specifically lists Pilai as the Kosmosian"
the Stranger's World "so reports of his death are exaggerated. Of
his fellow Kosmosian Creatures probably don't know that yet".
writer Mark Gruenwald, noted Master of the Obscure both wrote that
and chose the competition winner, there's no arguing with this one.
is alive and well. Donald further points out a number of other "dead"
amongst the captives, and suggests "that maybe all these beings
'just happen' to survive their seemingly-inevitable deaths, that maybe
Stranger used their imminent deaths as a cover so that he could
abduct them without anyone knowing.".
Pilai's appearance above has
indeed been confirmed, via Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses
Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters#1. - Madison
...For the completest (ie. obsessive-compulsive, like me)...OK, so Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara) was in the future at the time of the Creatures' attack, so she was exempt. Wonder Man had been temporarily dispersed by a Kree weapon, so he was not involved. What about Dr. Nemesis, a chronic Pym Particle user? Second Story Sam? Dr. Pym (in that identity) also shrunk down Yetrigar and a bunch of other things...why not them? - Dr. Nemesis was indeed revealed to have been affected by this, as reported in Marvel Monsters: From the Files of Ulysses Bloodstone and the Monster Hunters#1 - Madison
The Avengers story was part of the Avengers Double Feature starring Giant-Man, which ran on the back half of those issues, with their own covers.
I'd like to see the Thunderbolts return to Kosmos and be held accountable for their origins, and see a lot more of the Creatures.
The Dimension Kosmos has no known connection to
Tales to Astonish I#44 (June, 1963) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Ernest Hart (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Don Heck (inks)
Avengers I#379-382 (October, 1994 - January, 1995) - George Perez (writer), Jeffrey Moore (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), Ralph Macchio & Mark Gruenwald (#382) (editor)
Quasar#14-16 (September-November, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Manley (pencils), Dan Panosian & Keith Williams (#16) (inks), Len Kaminski (editor)
Thunderbolts '97 Annual (1997) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez & Bob McLeod (pencils), Karl Kesel & Will Blyberg (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#13-14 (April-May, 1998) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
First Posted: 09/03/2001
Last Updated: 12/07/2005
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