Classification: Terrestrial, aquatic race
Location/Base of Operations: Subterranean realm at the bottom of the sea, outside of Atlantis
Known Members: None identified
Affiliations: Neptune (Poseidon, god);
former agents of Suma-Ket and the Unforgiven Dead;
Zantor (former gatekeeper)
Enemies: Atlanteans (Homo mermani), Dorma, Harran, Namor, Tiger Shark
First Appearance: (Mentioned) Tales to Astonish I#72 (October, 1965), (seen) Tales to Astonish I#73 (November, 1965)
Powers/Abilities: The Faceless Ones are savage, carnivorous creatures, able to shred flesh and bone with their claws and teeth (?--see comments). They are aquatic and thus able to breathe underwater and survive the cold and pressure at the ocean's depths. Presumably they cannot survive out of water.
Weight: 90 lbs.
Traits: The Faceless Ones tend to work in large groups, numbering in the thousands, descending upon their victims and ripping them to shreds. They have demonstrated minimal intelligence, culture, etc., and no technology.
History: The Faceless Ones may have diverged from Homo Mermani at some point in the past (see comments).
(Namor I#38 (fb) ) - Around 5900 BC, thirty years after the death of the Atlantean ruler Kamuu, during his son Harran's reign, the Faceless Ones besieged Atlantis, swarming through its streets and slaughtering the people. A northern tribe of Homo Mermani known as the Old Ones, led by Suma-Ket, offered to eradicate the Faceless Ones in exchange for being allowed to settle within Atlantis. Ket quickly fulfilled his promise, using magical means, banishing the Faceless Ones to a subterranean realm.
(Tales to Astonish I#72 - BTS) - For disobedience of Warlord Krang--who had usurped the rule of Atlantis, Lady Dorma was sentenced to be banished to the subterranean world of the Faceless Ones.
(Tales to Astonish I#73) - Both trapped and protected in a plasti-steel cage, Dorma was sent into one of the Faceless Ones' caves. As they swarmed towards, Namor rushed to her rescue.
(Tales to Astonish I#74) - Namor fought his way through the swarm of Faceless Ones, reaching Dorma just as they shattered her plasti-steel cage.
(Tales to Astonish I#75) - As Namor held the unconscious Dorma in his hands, he prepared for a second onslaught on the Faceless Ones. However, one of their number called a halt, as an image of Neptune appeared and announced that by choosing to save Dorma over his previous quest, he had earned the right to claim Neptune's trident and the throne of Atlantis, in turn. The Faceless Ones dispersed, and Namor brought Dorma back to Atlantis.
(Namor I#36 (fb) - BTS) - Within a chamber of the Faceless Ones, Socus watched over "Fen" (now Artys-Gran) and the newly arrived Seth.
(Namor I#36 (fb) - BTS) - "Fen" had already been sent out to find Namor when Seth was allowed to escape.
(Namor I#33) - The Faceless Ones left their subterranean caverns and swam towards Atlantis, slaughtering all in their paths. A kelp farmer heard a distant trumpet sound just before seeing the Faceless Ones...and it sounded again soon after they swarmed over the farmer.
(Namor I#34) - The Faceless Ones swarmed over a clan of nomads in the Hinterlands outside Atlantis, slaying all present, with the exception of Arlys, the human mutate formerly known as Tiger Shark. Amongst those slain was Mara, the pregnant wife of Arlys, who had helped him to achieve a peaceful existence. His bloodlust resurfacing, Tiger Shark tore through the Faceless Ones for a period of time lasting perhaps hours or days. He finished the battle with the assistance of Tamara Rahn, who convinced him to join her in opposing those who had summoned the Faceless Ones.
(Namor I#37) - Arlys led Namor, Tamara Rahn, Seth, and Morel to follow the scent of the Faceless Ones. Seth confirmed as they approached the chamber to which he had been taken by the Faceless Ones, and Morel speculated that the chamber may have been built by the "Old Ones. Seconds later, a swarm of Faceless Ones overwhelmed Namor, Tamara, Arlys, Seth and Morel. Those five awakened in chains with Suma-Ket (with Socus at his side) as their captor.
(Namor I#40) - Pouring out of crevices in the ocean floor, the Faceless Ones answered a call from the Old Ones and swarmed towards Atlantis. However, Suma-Ket was killed in battle with Namor, and with his death, the life forces of his followers were lost as well. The Faceless Ones descended on the fallen bodies of the Old Ones, feasting like that had not in many a year.
Comments: Created by "Smilin'" Stan Lee and "Amiable" Adam Austin (who was actually Gene "The Dean" Colan working under an assumed name as revealed by Chris Matterface and as confirmed in this interview.)
In the Namor issues, beautifully drawn by Jae
Lee, the Faceless Ones had--faces: little red eyes and
mouths full of big, sharp teeth. Check out the first page of Namor#40, if you don't believe me.
Perhaps they shield their faces when fighting, and only expose them when feeding?...artistic license?...forgetting the name of what you're drawing?
I can't find the reference
for the Faceless Ones which named them as a divergent branch of
Homo Mermani. I have it in my "Master List"
notes, but didn't even remember that until I checked that while
writing the profile. I'd have thought it equally possible that
they were products of Deviant mutation, or possible demonic
offspring of some unnamed being...
Anyway, let me know if you can identify the reference (I've been looking for this information since like 2002, so I suspect it may be erroneous, but let me know if you find anything to support it).
In re-reviewing the story arc, it does not seem to explicitly spelled out that the Unforgiven Dead summoned the Faceless Ones...but
In Namor #33, the Faceless Ones appear and slaughter a kelp farmer...a trumpet is heard in the distance before and after (or during) the attack.
On the next page, Master Khan read through ancient Atlantean scrolls and referenced “written millennia ago...the thoughts and dreams of mystics and prophets who never once saw the sun or stars or sky...the very religion of a hidden race...” Opening another scroll, he was shocked, “Is it possible? By the unknowable...it has already begun.”
As Ket leads the Unforgiven Dead towards Atlantis in Namor#38, trumpets sound.
The Unforgiven Dead summoned monstrous leviathans from the depths via trumpets in Namor#38.
Artys-Gran had possessed the form of Fen decades before (like 1958, when Paul Destine leveled Atlantis) via the magic of the halfling Socus. This partially broke the spell holding the Unforgiven Dead, but nothing would happen further for decades. This flashback was in Namor#39.
Artys-Gran possessing Fen showed up in Namor#29
A text only flashback in #36 noted that Socus had directed the Faceless Ones to bring Seth to him, and that Fen was sent out before Seth was allowed to escape. This is the first evidence to me the Faceless Ones were under the direction of the Unforgiven Dead, or at least Socus...and this precedes #33.
In Namor#34, Socus predicted to Byrrah the coming of the Faceless Ones
In #40, the Faceless Ones answered Ket’s people’s call and swarmed towards Atlantis.
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe entry on Suma-Ket also references Ket as having sent the Faceless Ones on their carnivorous rampages, which were shown in #33#34.
In #37, the Faceless Ones overwhelm Namor, Tamara, Tiger Shark, Seth & Morel. Those 5 awaken in chains and Suma-Ket (with Socus at his side) is their captor. Seems like the Faceless Ones were pretty clearly under their sway.
To the best of my knowledge, there is not evidence that Ket sent the Faceless
Ones to attack Atlantis back around 5800 BC – the one that ended after the
return of Kalen.
I would certainly believe that Ket’s people or Ket himself did this to make the Atlanteans need Ket’s aid, but I don’t recall, nor could I find anything to support that actually being stated (or even hinted at)
The Faceless Ones have an entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1960s Handbook.
Profile updated/edited by Kyle Sims
No known connection to:
Kamuu, the early ruler of undersea Atlantis, @ Sub-Mariner I#64/2, should not be confused with
Old Ones - see clarifications under Elder Races
Tales to Astonish I#74-75 (December, 1965 - January, 1966) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Gene Colan (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks)
Namor I#33-34 (December, 1992 - January, 1971) - Bob Harras (writer), Jae Lee (artist), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Namor I#38 (May, 1993) - Bob Harras (writer), Jae Lee (pencils), Bill Sienkiewicz, Shawn McManus, Chris Ivy, Malcolm Jones & Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Namor I#40 (July, 1993) - Bob Harras (writer), Scott Kolins (artist), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Last updated: 12/14/13
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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