Real Name: Ootah
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Negative Zone, unnamed planet) hybrid biological/mechanical entity
Occupation: Autonomous life form
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: formerly worshipped by the Children of Ootah (Brides of Ootah, Korta, Mama Shonti, Taiya, Tannar, Wise Ones)
Enemies: Fantastic Four (Human Torch, Invisible Girl, Thing)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Unnamed planet in the Negative Zone; That world was at the center of a globular cluster, whose network of stars provided strong light in even the night sky.
First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#252 (March, 1983)
Powers/Abilities: Ootah is a large mechanical structure
encompassing approximately half of the planet on which it exists. It possesses
the capacity for independent thought, enabling it to make changes in response to
specific situations. It can affect the emotions of others (or at least generate
fear, specifically). It can build on its own structure, and can form a variety
of weapons. Its intelligence is centered in a large living brain, which is also
its most vulnerable point.
It was originally an enclosed city, but its current infra-structure is uncertain.
History: The origins of Ootah are unknown.
(Fantastic Four I#252 (fb)) - Forty thousand life cycles ago (as the people of that world reckon time), the Children of Ootah lived within the great walls of Ootah, which covered half of the world. The "Wise Ones" of the Children labored, creating a living brain for Ootah, and commanding it to bring forth perfection. Ootah responded by stimulating a great fear within its inhabitants, driving every single one of them out of the city and beyond the walls in a mad panic. Ootah then closed its walls.
(Fantastic Four I#252 (fb) - BTS) - Ootah continued to
build its walls higher and enclose itself more tightly to keep out its former
inhabitants, who eventually degenerated into savagery and came to worship their
former servant. Periodically, the Children would select a young woman to become
a Bride of Ootah. The Bride was sent into a portal in Ootah, who would respond
by disintegrating the Bride as she entered the portal, which to the Children
signaled his acceptance.
Nonetheless, the Children of Ootah sought the means to again establish dominion over Ootah and return to their former city.
(Fantastic Four I#252) - When the Fantastic Four landed on
Ootah's planet, Ben, Johnny, and Sue learned of Ootah from the Children (Reed
had been paralyzed by a dart fired by one of the superstitious children). When
they saw the laser fire at a would be Bride of Ootah, Johnny saved her and Ben
showed the children that Ootah would fire upon anything that entered its portal,
including a large boulder. The rest of the FF then forced their way past Ootah's
walls until they found its brain, which Ben then pulped. Reed--recovered from
his paralysis seconds too late to stop them--arrived to find Ootah dead. As Reed
explained that Ootah had been a living thing and that it had cast out its
inhabitants much like other living things cast out germs. It had only been
acting out of self-preservation and might have one day evolved into a unique
form of life
As the FF hung their heads in shame, the villagers swarmed over Ootah, destroying it.
Comments: Created by John Byrne.
I'd guess that the "Children of Ootah" originally constructed Ootah. Alternatively, it could have been the remnants of any number of alien beings who once dwelt on that world.
Though Ootah built up its walls to keep out the would-be inhabitants, it never increased to more than half of the planet, much like the Halfworld of Rocket Raccoon.
Both Ben and Johnny suspected that the prophecy voiced by Mama Shonti was something "made up on the spot when she saw them whompin' her men folk." This is unconfirmed.
Fantastic Four I#252 was a very early sample of the sideways book, with all pages designed along the "widescreen" effect.
Byrne's FF will always be my favorite.
No known connection to:
Mama Shonti has no known connection to:
Tannar has no known connection to:
TANNA – cavewoman from distant past, befriended the Hulk--Incredible Hulk: Lost in Time
TANNAS – Atlantean--Sub-Mariner I#64/2
The Wise Ones have no known connection to:
MEN (Ishenko (Russia), Pablo (Columbia), Yoshi (Japan) - Funded General
Trask’s Alaskan stronghold plotting to usurp Kamchatka’s mineral resources.
wise man of Lakstad – cursed the a group of Vikings 1000 years ago, unwittingly granting them great power--Thor: Vikings#1
Children of Ootah
They dwelled within Ootah in the distant past (40,000 of their life cycles ago). It is not whether they originally constructed Ootah, but while they lived within its walls, they all lived lives of peaceful luxury. No one had to work: Ootah gave them food and anything else they wanted. Eventually, at the heart of Ootah, a group of "Wise Ones" labored, creating for Ootah a living brain, which granted it the capacity for independent thought. When they commanded Ootah to bring forth perfection, it responded by creating a great fear in their minds, which drove every inhabitant out of the city.
The Children of Ootah clung to its walls, but found that Ootah made itself ever more impregnable to their attempts. Eventually degenerating into savagery, the Children of Ootah came to worship Ootah. They began to choose young women as Brides of Ootah and offer them--cleansed and clad in ceremonial robes--into a certain portal on Ootah's surface. When Ootah would incinerate the Bride with a laser as it approached the portal, the Children saw that as Ootah's acceptance. Still, they longed for the day when one day they would again establish dominion over Ootah and return to the city. Legends foretold of four who would fall from the heavens, come in kindness, and act in ignorance (see comments).
Eventually, the Fantastic Four landed on their world in their Exploratory Module. The superstitious Children attacked them, paralyzing Reed with a dart, but they were stopped by their tribal shaman, Mama Shonti, who recognized them as the ones from the prophecy. The next day, as the Children prepared to offer a new Bride, Taiya, to Ootah, Ben showed them that Ootah would blast anything that approached the portal, by hurling a boulder to land in front of it.
The Children were shocked by the realization that they had sacrificed countless wives, sisters, daughters, and sweethearts to their strange god for naught. Meanwhile, the FF moved swiftly, forcing their way through Ootah's walls and destroying its command center. As Ootah died from the FF's unwitting actions, the Children of Ootah swarmed over their fallen god, destroying it life a maggots attacking a corpse.
--Fantastic Four I#252 (252(fb), [252(fb)], 252
Though he was never clearly identified, it was he who fired the poison dart that incapacitated Reed.
--Fantastic Four I#252
The tribal shaman of the Children, she told of the prophecy of the four from the heavens, which later led the FF to slay Ootah.
--Fantastic Four I#252
Chosen as one of the Brides of Ootah, Taiya became an outcast to all, except her boyfriend Tannar, who tried to convince her to flee the city with him and abandon her destiny. When the FF landed, she tried to use a knife to finish off the fallen Reed, but was stopped by Sue. Later, when she performed her tribal obligation and approached Ootah's portal, Johnny saved her from being disintegrated by Ootah's laser.
--Fantastic Four I#252
The son of the tribal chieftain, he was also Taiya's lover and tried to convince her to flee the city with him and abandon her destiny. Later, as Taiya fulfilled her obligation, Tannar watched in shamed silence.
--Fantastic Four I#252
images: (not including ad pages)
Fantastic Four I#252, p1;
p9, pan2 + 3 +1;
p8, pan 2;
Fantastic Four I#252 (March, 1983) - John Byrne (writer/artist), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Last updated: 01/25/04
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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