EARTH-Sword in the Star
Type: Potential future Earth (@ 10, 000 - 15, 000 years in the
Core Continuum Designation: Earth-7614
Environment: Essentially Earth-like
Usual means of access: Time travel
Dominant Life Form: Inhabitants of an Earth-type universe, including numerous divergent forms of humanity (including the Ithacons and the Haamin)
Significant Inhabitants: Sword in the
Residents of Ithacon; Alkinoos, Delphos, Prince Wayfinder and his father;
Resident of Witch-World: Kirke and her animal men knights (Sir Cat, Sir Ram, etc.), monstrous tree, Plagueosaur, formerly Rocket Raccoon;
possibly Agni, Kali, Mara, Yama, and numerous others
First Appearance: Marvel Preview#4/2 (January, 1976)
(Marvel Preview#4/2 (fb)) - At some point in the future, humanity had exhausted its land and seas, both of which were overrun with filth. Earth was abandoned as mankind took to its Silver Ships, and the seed of man was sown across the stars, penetrating to the edge of the galaxy and beyond. In the stars man sometimes found paradise, and sometimes hell, while many others never reached a destination at all: some ships were rent asunder by shifting solar winds, others were torn apart by the passions of men. Those who survived either changed their worlds to fit themselves, or adapted themselves to fit the worlds they lived in, evolving into a number of variant races.
Eventually the races of man forgot the existence of the others, and each world grew to fear what they felt was different from their own evolutionary progression. Knowledge, science, all began to fall before the onslaught of barbarism--the principle of the star-state, the planet-state, the isolated man casting man into a Dark Age the likes of which he had never known before. Man fought again, as he has always fought, but this time the battlefield was the galaxy. Stars were moved from their orbits, their worlds either freezing or burning up, their peoples destroyed.
At the nadir of civilization came the Haamin, evoluted (sic) man from beyond the edge of the galaxy, who had fled into madness and the unknown eons before...and whose return may well mark the end of man as he is known. Though of human origin, the Haamin were "different," changed by whatever lay beyond the others' knowledge. Man, in his state of barbaric dissolution, did not stand a chance before the murderous conquerors from beyond the fringe.
(Marvel Preview#4/2) - The Haamin assaulted Ithacon, slaying their leader, who told his son, Prince Wayfinder, of the legend that he would "one day see with more than his eyes, and the sword he would bear in blistered hands would glow with the fires of the stars." Prince Wayfinder was taken away by the leader's advisor, Delphos, who taught him of their race's origins. The two made it to Delphos' ship, the Star-Seed, narrowly attaining lift-off as the Haamin discovered them. With the aid of the ship's pilot, the robot Alkinoos, they escaped, but Delphos was mortally wounded in the process.
(Marvel Preview#7/2) - After burying Delphos in space, Alkinoos guided the Star-Seed to gather provisions and hide out from the Haamin on the planet Hailailae, a.k.a. Witch-World. Wayfinder set out to explore the world, fighting and slaying a tree that attempted to protect its watering right, and then meeting Rocky the Raccoon. The two were attacked by and managed to slay a monstrous Plagueosaur, after which they were confronted by Kirke and her animal men, who wished the beast's meat for her own. When Wayfinder tried to fight her men off, Kirke unleashed a blast of force that subdued both he and Rocky. The pair agreed to come along with her knights peaceably.
(Micronauts I#31 (fb) - BTS) - Wayfinder eventually acquired the Sword in the Star, which rendered him physically blind so that he would learn to rely on a deeper vision. The Sword then guided Wayfinder to lead a group of aliens to defeat the Haamin.
(Micronauts I#31 (fb) / Micronauts I#35 (fb)) - Wayfinder and his allies then traveled across time and space in the Star-Seed, back to Earth-616, where they arrived millions of years B.C. (see comments) in what would become India's Indus Valley/Bahawalpur, believing it to be uninhabited. Wayfinder claimed the world in the name of the displaced and homeless, proclaiming that all should be content and wage war no more. However, the city they built was observed by a group of Whirldemons, who wished the destruction of all other intelligent life. They attacked, and Wayfinder, using the power of the Sword in the Star, fought back alongside his people, but the demons greatly outnumbered the refugees, who began to fall.
Wayfinder's allies, including Agni, Kali,
Mara, and Yama, threatened to be overwhelmed by the whirldemons. Meanwhile,
Wayfinder communicated with the Star in the Sword, which agreed to help
Wayfinder and his people escape offworld before the demons could destroy them.
However, apparently having tired of bring criticized by Wayfinder and his
allies, the Sword created the Microverse (a "micro world" accessed by the
energies of shrinking), then imbued them with its own energies, filling them
with awesome power. Wayfinder, empowered by the Sword, became the first
Time-Traveler of the Microverse, while the energies of the Sword itself became
the Enigma Force. Wayfinder's followers spread throughout the Microverse,
spawning the races that would later populate that realm.
At the same time, the Sword bound the demons so that they could not follow them.
(Micronauts I#31 (fb) - BTS) - A great tomb was built in Homeworld's Deadzone.
(Micronauts I#31 (fb) - BTS) - The Enigma Force was damaged somehow, causing it to retract to within Wayfinder's tomb in the Deadzone.
(Micronauts I#30 - BTS) - In the modern era, an obelisk detailing information on Wayfinder (though in a precursor of Sanskrit) was found by agents of the Dutch archeologist Dr. Martin Vandenburg in India's Indus Valley/Bahawalpur. The very same message which was detailed within the Microverse:
"A time of darkness will there be;
Of great distress on land and sea;
Find thyselves and thou wilt find me;
The secret lies in these keys three!"
Some time later, Vandenburg presented his findings that apparently pushed back the earliest civilizations on Earth by millions of years. However, while he had been unable to decipher the hieroglyphs, another man, who had been drawn by the obelisk, could: Dr. Strange.
(Micronauts I#31) - As Dr. Strange viewed the past of Wayfinder and his allies on Earth, the Micronauts encountered one of the "great distresses" on Homeworld's Oceania, gaining one of the keys to the Enigma Force after Aquon had used it to save the people of Seazone as their city shattered, transforming them into mer-people.
(Micronauts I#32) - In the city of Polaria, on Homeworld's Subzero Zone, Prince Peacock obtained after another of the keys after slaying the Snowbear, not realizing it was his transformed queen and lover, Fria. Peacock surrendered the key to Commander Rann.
(Micronauts I#33) - On Homeworld's Tropica, Acroyear located the third and final key, also gaining new allies in Devil and Fireflyte. Meanwhile, Dr. Strange followed the energies from the Obelisk into the Microverse, to Homeworld's Deadzone, where he was stalked by one of the whirldemons.
(Micronauts I#34) - Prince Argon, corrupted by Karza, betrayed
the Micronauts and stole all three keys, but they were freed by loyal members of
the rebellion and took the keys, fleeing to Deadzone with Argon in hot pursuit.
Dr. Strange found the legendary tomb of Wayfinder and his allies, but was then ambushed by one of the whirldemons.
(Micronauts I#35) - The Micronauts arrived, freeing Dr.
Strange from the whirldemons, after which Argon, his Dog Soldiers, and his Death
Squad joined the struggle. Despite the efforts of the whirldemons and Argon's
forces, Commander Rann eventually learned that the spacewall between the Earth
dimension and the Microverse was crumbling, so that the realms would merge and
destroy each other. Rann began placing the keys into Wayfinder's crypt, and the
power of Wayfinder and his allies was released. The Sword, the embodiment of the
Enigma Force, then merged Dr. Strange and Arcturus Rann, imbuing them with the
Uni-Power and transforming them into Captain Universe. Captain Universe flew out
to the Spacewall, and its component parts used their knowledge and abilities to
restore the Spacewall, after which Captain Universe split up, with Dr. Strange
returning to the Earth dimension. Meanwhile Fireflyte sacrificed the remainder
of her energies to destroy the whirldemons.
The Sword meanwhile apparently dissipated, spreading its energies across the Microverse once again.
Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo, Ed Hannigan, Craig Russell, and Rick Bryant.
The Enigma Force and the Microverse, etc., are beyond the scope of this profile and will be dealt with in later profiles.
The Sword in the Star was initially to be a set story,
10-12 issues long, as the back-up feature in a bi-monthly Starlord magazine
(which never came out). Instead, both features started out in the pages of
Marvel Preview, with Starlord continuing to receive intermittent coverage over
the succeeding decades. Only the first two chapters of the Sword in the Star
were ever seen, and unless they are already written somewhere, they will
never be seen. A tragedy on so many levels:
My understanding is that Bill Mantlo suffered brain damage from a closed head injury (essentially too much swelling of his brain with an intact skull), is no longer able to write, and is cared for by his brother. For further info, please see here: http://home.hiwaay.net/~lkseitz/comics/Rom/comic/mantlo.shtml
Our appreciation goes out to Bill and his work with the obscure, especially in resolving plotlines. Our best wishes go out to Bill and his family, as well.
Similarly the story behind Rocky Raccoon's presence on Witch-World and his transportation to Halfworld (and subsequent loss of his British accent) will never be known, either.
The essential bit to note is that Bill Mantlo, both in the MICRONAUTS expanded version of SWORD IN THE STAR, and the X-MEN MTU with the Hindu Gods (Marvel Team-Up Annual#1), utilized ideas from Roger Zelazny's Hugo-award winning LORD OF LIGHT.
The Hindu Gods as portrayed in MTU are lifted straight from Zelazny's modified Hindu pantheon.
The story of a ship full of Humans coming to a world, finding it inhabited by energy demons, using their powers to "bind" and exile the demons, and use their super-science to turn themselves into Hindu-like gods, is the essence of LORD OF LIGHT.
Mara in Zelazny's version (hence, Manlo's) is a male god with the power to cast illusions -- nicknamed The Dreamer. (Sort of like the X-Men's Mastermind.)--Apparently patterned after the Hindu Goddess Maya.
Offhand I don't recall a Maya or Maia in LORD OF LIGHT, but there might have been one. She would have been a minor character.
The major players were Yama (Death - the One in Red), Agni (Lord of Fire), Kali (death, female), then Shiva (chaos), Ratri (night)... Brahma was supposed to be in charge but he didn't do much... Wayfinder in its MICRONAUTS appearance is sort of like Zelazny's hero, Kalkin (or Siddharata, or Sam, or Binder) -- except Sam is not blind and there's no
Sword in the Star...
Did I read somewhere that the Sword in the Star was supposed to be Galactus' lifeforce/consciousness very very far in the future? I can't have made that up.... So obviously SOMEONE revisited the theme after Mantlo...
--That would be Universe X, issue#5 to be specific (as I was reminded by Crekeels). What's true of Earth X is not necessarily true of any other reality unless expressly stated as such in non-Earth X books. That's my policy, and that's Marvel's policy, too. I wasn't even allowed to make it the classic Deathlok the Demolisher that appeared in the Heralds mini-series. That doesn't mean that it is definitely not true, though...just no more true than if it had never been printed--Snood.
It's interesting that Mantlo patterned his own epic after Greek epics, such as The Odyssey, but when he added it into the Microverse, the characters were all patterned after Hindu gods. Wayfinder was to have been a "modern day Ulysses."
Mantlo described the Sword in the Star as "a power carefully hidden by a long dead science. It is a power so great that it could very well shake the foundations of the galaxy."
When Wayfinder and his people arrived on Earth, a little green dinosaur was seen in the background. That would normally mean they had to have landed before 65 million years BC, though it could be that they landed in the Savage Land.
Profile by Snood.
Wayfinder has no known connection to:
Delphos has no known connection to:
Agni is obviously patterned after (by the writer)
Kali is obviously patterned after (by the writer)
Mara is obviously patterned after (by the writer)
Yama is obviously patterned after (by the writer)
The robot pilot of the Star-Seed, he guided Wayfinder and Delphos off of Ithacon, and then led Wayfinder to Witch-World. He was capable of dispensing with a monstrous alien that tried to board the Star-Seed on Witch-World.
He was either highly programmed or was actually intelligent, and he sought to provide guidance to Wayfinder. He did contain programming to guide Wayfinder to the Sword in the Star.
--Marvel Preview#4/2 (7/2
Former advisor to the king of Ithacon, he was actually over 10, 000 years old (via advanced science) and remembered the mass exodus from Earth. He took in Wayfinder after his father's death, taught of his past, and led him to the Star-Seed to depart from Ithacon, though he was mortally wounded by the Haamin in the escape. He was not saddened by his own death, merely remarking that he had spent enough time "in this crummy universe." He told Wayfinder when he found the Sword, to "think before he used it."
Delphos had a base containing numerous relics from ancient Earth.
--Marvel Preview#4/2 ([4/2], 4/2)
A race diverged from humanity at some point, they had fled into madness and the unknown beyond the edge of the galaxy eons before. The return threatened to mark the end of man as he is known. Though of human origin, the Haamin were "different," changed by whatever lay beyond the others' knowledge. Man, in his state of barbaric dissolution, did not stand a chance before the murderous conquerors from beyond the fringe.
The Haamin slaughtered many of the races of divergent humanity, including the Ithacons.
Eventually, via the power of the Sword in the Star, Wayfinder and his followers defeated the Haamin.
--Marvel Preview#4/2 ([4/2(fb)], 4/2, [Micronauts I#31(fb)]
Also referred to as Ithacans and Ithakans, they were one of the diverged races of humanity. Only Wayfinder was named, and his father was king before being slain by the Haamin. Shortly thereafter, the entire race, except Wayfinder, were slaughtered by the Haamin.
King of the ITHACONS
Wayfinder's father, he ruled the Ithacons, keeping secret from his son the prophecy that there would not be another ruler of Ithacon after his own reign. When he was mortally wounded in the Haamin attack, he told Wayfinder of his destiny involving the Sword in the Star.
Apparently either connected to or named for the Circe/Seeress of Earth myth (and who knows about Sersi, the being who was Circe on Earth-616), she ruled a group of animal men knights, including Sir Cat, Sir Ram, and several others, likely named Sir Warthog, Sir Anteater, and Sir Ant. She came across Wayfinder and Rocky after they had slain the Plagueosaur, demanding that it be given to her knights. When Wayfinder and Rocky resisted, she unleashed a cry that was transmitted through here ram's head scepter, unleashing a blast that subdued the duo. They then agreed to willingly go with her knights.
Though blind, Kirke could sense the events around her, and she could channel her vocal energy through her staff to release devastating bursts of energy.
A monstrous creature on Witch-World, it guarded groups of flowers known as Boondoggles. Wayfinder unwittingly plucked several of them, leading to an attack by one of them. It was pained, but not actually injured by Rocky the Raccoon's laser blaster, but Wayfinder stabbed it with his blade, which then unleashed a sonic charge that built until it exploded the creature. The Plagueosaur is apparently fit for eating.
The ship with which Alkinoos flew Delphos and Wayfinder off of Earth, it rode the solar winds and could form shields able to protect it from the heat of re-entry. Much later, Wayfinder used the Star-Seed to bring his followers to Earth.
--Marvel Preview#4/2 (7/4, Micronauts#35(fb)
SWORD in the STAR
An enigmatic, intelligent, immense power source from the distant future, it blinded Wayfinder to allow him to see from a deeper vision, then enabled him to defeat the Haamin. It accompanied Wayfinder to Earth-616 allegedly one million years ago, and from there it transported he and his allies through a dimensional portal to escape the Whirldemons that attacked them. On the other side of the portal, it created the Spacewall and the Microverse, after which it transformed Wayfinder into the first Time Traveler. The Sword eventually dispersed throughout the Microverse, becoming the Enigma Force.
The Sword briefly reformed after the Enigma Force had apparently been dealt a severe blow and retreated to the Tomb of Wayfinder. A series of three keys were located within Seazone, Subzero Zone, and Tropica, and the Micronauts gathered these keys and placed them in the Tomb, re-awakening the Sword, which restored the Spacewall. The Sword then apparently dispersed once gain, reforming the Enigma Force.
--[Marvel Preview#4/2], Micronauts I#31 (31(fbs)/35(fb), 35
The son of the former ruler of the Ithacon, he is the last survivor of his race, who were slain by the Ithacons. After learning of his destiny to find the Sword in the Star as well as the fate of humanity and its diverging races, he left Ithacon with Alkinoos aboard the Star-Seed. They first landed on Witch-World, where Wayfinder encountered a monster tree, the future Rocket Raccoon, and a Plagueosaur before being captured by Kirke and her animal men knights.
At some point, he did encounter the Sword in the Star, and it blinded him so that he could see from a deeper vision. After this, the Sword enabled him to defeat the Haamin.
Wayfinder then gathered a group of the survivors of myriad worlds, transporting them to Earth-616, apparently around one million B.C., where they established a city in what would become India's Indus Valley/Bahawalpur.
Later, when the Whirldemons threatened to destroy them all, he asked the Sword for help, and it transported he and his followers to the Microverse, which it created. Wayfinder, imbued with the power of the Star in the Sword, then became the first Time Traveler. His subsequent fate is unknown, but the Tomb of Wayfinder exists on Deadzone. The Engima Force was later channeled through the statue of Wayfinder on the Tomb.
Wayfinder is the ancestor of Arcturus Rann (Space Glider).
--Marvel Preview#4/2 (7/2, Micronauts I#31(fbs)/35(fb)
They bore an unexplained resemblance to a number of Hindu Gods, even having the same names as Agni, the god of fire and purification; Kali, the goddess of destruction; Mara/Maya, the goddess of dream; and Yama, the god of the dead. They were the survivors of myriad worlds, gathered together by Wayfinder, and brought to Earth around one million B.C. in what would become India's Indus Valley/Bahawalpur.
Despite their powers, they were overwhelmed by the Whirldemons, and transported to the Microverse by Wayfinder and the Sword in the Star. They were imbued with power by the Sword, after which they spread throughout the Microverse, spawning the races that would later populate that realm. Their subsequent fate is unknown. Their statues rest on the top of the Tomb of Wayfinder which exists on Deadzone. The Engima Force was later channeled through the statues.
--Micronauts I#31 (31(fb)/35(fb)
A planet some distance from Ithacon, it is home to Kirke and her animal men knights, the Plagueosaur, a monstrous tree, and formerly the future Rocket Raccoon.
It possesses six ocean, four large land masses in her temperate zones, two poles (frozen over), and an atmosphere suitable for oxygen-breathing life-forms.
Wayfinder and Alkinoos docked the Star-Seed on Witch-World to gather food and to hide out from the Haamin.
Marvel Preview#4, p47, panel 2 (Delphos)
p48, panel 1 (king of the Ithacons)
p48, panel 3 (Wayfinder)
p49, panel 4 (Ithacons)
p63, panel 1 (Alkinoos head)
p64, panel 1 (Star-Seed)
Marvel Preview#7, 57, panel 8 (Alkinoos body)
Micronauts I#31, p3, panel 2 (Agni, Kali, Mara, Yama)
p5, panel 4 (Sword in the Star)
p5, panel 5 (Wayfinder in turban)
Micronauts I#35, p9, panel 3 (Wayfinder, white hair)
p10, panel 4 (creation of the Microverse)
p17, panel 1 (Whirldemons)
Marvel Preview#4 (January, 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Ed Hannigan (pencils), P. Craig Russell & Rick Bryant (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Marvel Preview#7 (Summer, 1976) - Terry Austin & Bill Mantlo (writers), Terry Austin & Keith Giffen (pencils), Terry Austin & Keith Giffen (inks), John Warner (editor)
Micronauts I#30-34 (June - October, 1981) - Bill Mantlo & Pat Broderick (#30-31, 34) (writers), Pat Broderick (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Louise Jones (#30-32) & Tom DeFalco (#33-34) (editors)
Micronauts I#35 (November, 1981) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 10/08/10
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