Membership: Carnivore, Conquest, Decay, Inferno, Stonecutter, Tempest;
formerly Bedlam;
Juggernaut (never joined the rest, but got his powers the same way, turned against them)

Purpose: Human hosts for great entities, who were to be the front for 1/8 of the world's population each, leading them in one gigantic war, with the winner as the world's ruler

Affiliations: Avatars of various magical beings through the Wager of the Octessence,
respective to their above avatars: Ikonn, Farallah, Krakkan, Valtorr, Balthakk, Raggadorr, Watoomb,

Enemies: Avengers (Captain America/Steve Rogers, Firestar/Angelica Jones, Giant Man/Hank Pym, Hercules, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Justice/Vance Astrovik, Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, Thor/Odinson, Wasp/Janet Van Dyne, Wonder Man/Simon Williams), Avengers Unity Squad (Black Knight/Dane Whitman, Brother Voodoo/Jericho Drumm, Captain America/Sam Wilson, Steve Rogers, Vision), Juggernaut (Cain Marko), J. Vernon Mann, Nova (Richard Rider), Professor X, Spider-Man (Peter Parker)

Base of Operations: Mobile

First Appearance: (Juggernaut) X-Men I#12 (June, 1965)
(other members of the Exemplars): Iron Man III#21/2 (October; 1999);
(as a team): Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#11 (November; 1999)

(Iron Man III#22 (fb)-BTS) - Approximately one thousand years ago, a gathering of eight great magical beings took place. These beings-- Balthak, Cyttorak, Farallah, Ikonn, Krakkan, Raggadorr, Valtorr, and Watoomb-- disagreed as to who had the greatest power. Hence, they settled on the Wager of the Octessence. Each being created an artifact with a fraction of their respective power, which would transform the first human who made physical contact with it into an Exemplar, a living personification of the power. Using outside agents, to construct temples to house the artifacts, the magical beings planned that the first mortal to find the artifact would trigger a spell that would quickly draw others to the remaining artifacts, creating eight Exemplars. Then would come the Ceremony of the Octessence, where a gathering of the Exemplars would attend the construction of a great magical engine, which would overwhelm the wills of all human beings. After the enslavement of humanity, each Exemplar would rule an eighth of humanity, with subsequently a war between all Exemplars in which only one would be left standing. Each of the entities created a temple in different parts of the world, and the various magical totems were placed in the respective temples.

(X-Men I#12 (fb)) - Cain Marko picked up the Crimson Ruby (or Crystal) of Cyttorak and was transformed into the Juggernaut.

BTS - Uncertain causes--probably the destruction of the Temple of Cyttorak and the subsequent incapacitation of the Juggernaut--served to throw a monkey wrench in the Wager. No other Exemplars would appear until years later, after the Juggernaut had clawed his way through the rubble, made his way to America, and battled the X-Men-- led by Xavier-- several times. Also, Marko, unlike the other Exemplars when they were created, did not initially lose his will to his power source, but retained his full individuality.

(Thor II#17 (fb) ) - Loki watched as Bridget Malone found the Kestel Key of Krakkan, after which she became Conquest, the living embodiment of battle. Loki also watched as Olisa found the Ivory Idol of Ikonn, and how she was transformed into Bedlam, Avatar of Mind and Madness.

(Iron Man III#21/2) - In the Nunevut territory, Sam McGee discovered a bright light, touched the totem of Balthakk and disappeared in a big bang, which transformed her into Inferno. She then attacked Iron Man.

(Thor II#17) - Bedlam and Conquest came to pick up Juggernaut during his battle with Thor. The three of them disappeared.

(Iron Man III#22) - Inferno continued her battle with Iron Man. Iron Man tried to bring her out in the open air with him to fight her better. When she said "You're supposed to get used to the cold, but I never have", Iron Man discovered that Inferno was Sam McGee. He tried to reason with her, but failed. She left with the words "Bedlam and Conquest have awakened, The Eight Day is approaching". Bedlam and Conquest were seen on a tv-screen. Later both Hachiman and Giroux were transformed into Exemplars as well.

(Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#11) - In Thailand, Utama became the last of the Exemplars. Later the Exemplars were all revealed to be present in the basement of the Daily Bugle. They fought Spider-Man, and later when Spider-Man returned with Dr. Mann, Iron Man and Thor fought them.

(Juggernaut: Eight Day) - While Stonecutter worked on the "God Machine", the rest were waiting. When Stonecutter finished it, it was brought to the North Pole. When they were there, Inferno expressed hatred of the cold. Conquest began to argue with Decay and Carnivore but was stopped by Bedlam. Later when Juggernaut began to attack the Exemplars, Bedlam was first knocked down by Juggernaut, Inferno fought Iron Man once more, and Conquest fought Juggernaut but was knocked down. Bedlam later returned to fight Juggernaut and the other superheroes, and then she fought Professor X. Still later, she tried to use her powers against Juggernaut. When the final battle was lost, all vanished.

(Avengers III#23) - Conquest, Decay and Stonecutter discovered Carnivore in the Himalayas. They brought him with them for the ultimate revenge against Juggernaut.

(BTS) - Bedlam, Tempest and Inferno were reunited with the rest.

(Avengers III#24) - In the stone plaza created by Stonecutter, Conquest fought Carnivore as a test. Inferno asked Bedlam to make Decay and Tempest stop fighting, and when Inferno yelled at her to stop, Bedlam had enough and used her powers against Inferno. Then Inferno yelled at Bedlam to stop now, and was attacked by her. The Exemplars later appeared before the Avengers and kidnapped Juggernaut.

(Avengers III#25) - The Exemplars were present at the stone plaza created by Stonecutter, preparing for the execution of the traitor Juggernaut, and for the gigantic battle between the Exemplars. Suddenly the stone plaza was attacked by the Avengers, Spider-Man and Nova. Bedlam used her powers against Justice, Firestar and Scarlet Witch. After having defeated the three heroes, she used her mental powers against Spider-Man, but was herself attacked by Iron Man. Conquest was attacked by Nova; she defeated him easily and then began to fight Quicksilver. Inferno joined forces with Carnivore to fight Thor. In the end the Exemplars were successful in defeating all the superheroes except Captain America, but Cap managed to talk to Bedlam's heart, and made her turn against her partners, defeating them all. They all vanishes again....


(Black Knight III#2) - The Exemplars returned and were stopped by the Avengers Unity Squad. They were all shocked when Black Knight apparently slew Carnivore with the Ebony Blade.

Comments: Created by Kurt Busiek, Roger Stern, Dan Jurgens, John Romita, Jr, Klaus Jansson, Sean Chen, Howard Mackie & Scott Hanna

This storyline renamed the Crimson Ruby of Cyttorak as the Crimson Crystal of Cyttorak, but as this was strictly for alliterative purposes, I don't see the name sticking.

In the Wager of the Octessence image above, the entities are named in a clockwise fashion, starting with Farallah in the bottom left corner, and ending with Krakkan in the bottom right corner.

According to Kurt Busiek the costumes for all the Exemplars (except for Juggernaut) were designed by Jos&eacte; Ladrönn. Thanks to Minor Irritant for the information.

Black Knight III addition by Markus Raymond.

Profile by: The Beetle

Thanks to Proto-Man for supplying the images. The information from the Octessence was adapted from Per Degaton's Cyttorak profile.

No known connection to:

The Octessence has no known connection to:

see individual characters for individual clarifications

images: (without ads)
Avengers III#24, p22, pan1 (Exemplars main image)
Iron Man III#22, p17, pan4 (Wager of the Octessence)

Iron Man III#21 (October, 1999) - Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern (writer), Tom Grummett (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Thor II#17 (November, 1999) - Dan Jurgens (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Iron Man III#22 (November, 1999) - Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern (writers), Sean Chen (pencils), Rob Hunter, Rags Morales, Nelson & Eric Cannon (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Peter Parker: Spider-Man II#11 (November, 1999) - Howard Mackie (writer), John Romita Jr (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Juggernaut: Eight Day (November, 1999) - Joe Casey (writer), Terry Shoemaker (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Avengers III#23 (December, 1999) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers III#24 (January, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez (pencils), Al Vey & Dick Giordano (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers III#25 (February, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Black Knight III#2 (February, 2016) - Frank Tieri (writer), Luca Pizzari & Kev Walker (artist), Wil Moss (editor)

First Posted: 01/02/2003
Last updated: 01/12/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

All characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com

Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Groups