PEOPLE OF THE DUST
Classification: Terrestrial race (Distant Past until Pre-Cataclysm Era)
Location/Base of Operations: Catacombs beneath Cypress Hills Cemetery
formerly: distant past until Pre-Cataclysm Era mobile over the whole Earth
Known Members: None named
Affiliations: None known (see comments)
Enemies: Blade, Blood, Caretaker, Frank Drake, Saints
First Appearance: Marvel Comics Presents I#145/4 (early January, 1994)
Powers/Abilities: Immortal, invincible, superhuman strength, able to walk through earth, bodies consisted of earth
Traits: They ate meat, saw life forms consisting of flesh as cattle and were very sadistic.
History: (Marvel Comics Presents I#145/4 (fb)) - The People of the Dust were born from the dust to shape the world to their will. They watched the lizards (Dinosaurs) rise and fall, continents shift and many other races live and die. The apes and their descendant the humans were no challenge to them like everything that came before them. They thought the human flesh to be a delicacy and liked their pained screams as it was the rarest music for them. Everything worked out well for them until one day the Blood merged their powers and Caretaker imprisoned them in his base.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#145/4) - Frank Drake entered the base of Caretaker and stopped in front of a sign on the wall. Suddenly he heard a voice calling for flesh and the People of the Dust emerged from the wall. They were afraid that the Caretaker would find them, but one of them stated that he had to be dead because otherwise they would not have been free. They talked about their past and laughed about the humans who would once again become their prey without their protectors. They were surprised when they heard the voice of Frank and wanted to eat him. His weapons were useless against the People of the Dust, and when he ran away they followed him through the walls. Blade appeared and tried to help Frank, but the People of the Dust weren't afraid of him and surrounded both men. They wanted to kill them.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#146/4) - For a few seconds the People of the Dust were surprised when Blade fought back, but when Frank and Blade tried to flee from them they once again followed them through the walls. Blade was knocked out by one of the People of the Dust. They had the heroes cornered in front of a wall. Frank heard a voice and touched the wall. The People of the Dust saw their demise in the arriving Saints. They tried to beat them, but the Saints pulled them back into the ground to imprison them again in it. The People of the Dust were again experiencing the death of ages because they weren't able to die.
Comments: Created by Steven Grant & Lawrence Brown
Oh my god! The People of the Dust don't have much history to work with for characters that lived since dirt existed on Earth.
When were they born?
The picture that was seen when one of the Dust People was talking about their birth showed plants. These plants look like fern, bushes and stems of trees can be seen in the back. So it had to be in the middle or even the end of the Devonian age which lasted from around 415 to 350 million years before our time.
When did their reign end?
I don't know exactly when the Blood stopped them, but it did occur in a time before Atlantis as the People of the Dust were hunting primitive humans on the last picture before their imprisonment.
Where did they live?
First they lived on the first and only continent known as Pangaea. After it cracked they were probably still able to move around the whole world, but did they do it? In the end they were trapped in North America. Going through earth was no problem for them. They could've gone through the bottom of the sea to other continents, but I doubt it. They weren't a big race and so I think that they just stuck around were they lived and consumed the flesh-beings there.
Who created them?
This really is the big question. My first thought was that they probably were from the same origin as the Brethren (Avengers I#334-339), a race consisting of Bacteria created by the Celestials, but the Celestials weren't even near Earth at the time of the Dust People's creation.
Then I thought that they were possibly created by one of the Elder Gods. Probably Set who wanted them to destroy everything that Gaea protected. Problem to this theory is that they seemed so arrogant and selfish. They didn't seem to be thankful to anyone for their existence and gods like Set liked servants or followers who prayed and killed for them in their name.
The People of the Dust saw themselves as the rightful ruler to everything alive on Earth. My next approach to their origin was that there is a connection to That Which Endures from West-Coast Avengers II#46-49 (the intelligence behind evolution which was generated by the first mutation billions of years ago). They were sentient dirt and they consumed everything consisting of flesh. They were Earth's dominant life form until they got imprisoned. Not much of a problem with this theory except that That Which Endures was more into being part of flesh-beings as seen in the Flashbacks of West-Coast Avengers#48-49. The intelligence was also destroyed in this storyline and controlled beings were normal again. Still this possibility is not really out of the game.
If they really weren't created by some being they just came into existence by some force. Radioactivity could have mutated the mud and made it a race of sentient beings. Radioactivity was around since the existence of the universe and it created many things in the Marvel Universe. Probably the swamp were they came to life was radiated by material beneath it or a meteorite with radioactive material in it. This would also explain the small size of their race (it seemed as if they were just a few dozen).
I strongly suggest that they might be connected to Chthon, whose name comes from the Latin word for Earth. Either that, or they are just one of the many "Elder Races" which existed before the dawn of humanity.
These are all just possibilities of a big unanswered question.
This story occurred right after the events of Nightstalkers#14.
In Silver Sable & The Wild Pack#19 creatures (Lilin AFAIK) that looked like more fleshy versions of the People of the Dust attacked during the Lilin's assault on NYC. The issue was part of the Siege of Darkness crossover, but played before Caretaker was captured by the Fallen. Therefore these creatures couldn't been the People of the Dust.
The People of the Dust have no known connection to
The Saints have no known connection to
The Saints were the ghosts of people who were buried in Cypress Hills Cemetery, collected across the time to guard the base of Caretaker forever. They called for Frank before the People of the Dust awakened and continued to call him and his partner Blade until they arrived at their sign. Frank broke their sign and the Saints arrived and dragged the People of the Dust back into their eternal prison. One of the Saints told Frank that their history and told him that probably Frank would become one of them in the future.
--Marvel Comics Presents I#145/4 (146/4
People of the Dust: Marvel Comics Presents I#145, barcode side, p13, pan1
People of the Dust sigil: Marvel Comics Presents I#145, barcode side, p11, pan1
Saints: Marvel Comics Presents I#146, barcode side, p13, pan1
Saints sigil: Marvel Comics Presents I#146, barcode side, p15, pan3
Marvel Comics Presents I#145-146 (January, 1994) - Steven Grant (writer), Lawrence Brown (artist), Richard Ashford (editor)
Last updated: 06/12/04
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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