OSIRIS

Real Name: Osiris

Identity/Class: Egyptian god

Occupation: Ruler of the Egyptian Gods, God of the dead and fertility, Former Pharaoh of Egypt

Group Membership: Council of God Kings, The Ennead (Gods of Egypt)

Affiliations: Earth Force, Odin, Thor

Enemies: Celestials, Demogorge, Seth, Thanos

Known Relatives: Geb (father), Nut (mother),
    Isis (sister/wife), Nephthys (sister),
    Horus (alias Heru-Ur), Seth (brothers), Khneum, Hapi (half-brothers), Hathor (half-sister),
    Horus, Anhur, Neper, Min, Anubis, Bata (sons), Bast, Sesmu (daughters),
    Duamutef, Hapi, Ihy, Imsety, Qebhshuf, Upuaut, Mihos (grandsons),
    Kebehut, Sakhmet (granddaughters),
    Qadesh, Hatmehyt, (daughters in law),
     Sebek (alias Suchos), Babi (nephews), Edjo, Nekhbet (nieces)

Aliases: Ousir, Ausir ("Many Eyed"), Usire, Wennofer ("Eternally Good")

Base of Operations: Celestial Heliopolis and Tuat

First Appearance: Thor I#240 (October, 1975)

Powers/Abilities: Osiris possesses powers above most of the Egyptian Gods except possibly Seth. He has superhuman strength (at least Class 80), stamina and resistance to harm. He has several powers elemental in nature as well as the power to manipulate energy. In ancient times, he could cause plants to sprout from the Earth. He is also been described in myth as a very charismatic and beneficent deity.

Height: 6' 3"
Weight: Unknown
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Unknown

History: (Egyptian Myth)- Osiris is the son of Geb, the Earth god and Nut, the sky goddess. When Geb retired as Ruler and Pharaoh of Egypt to take his place among the gods, Osiris took his place. He took Isis to be his queen and taught mortals how to make bread and wine and foresaw the building of the first temples and statues of the gods. He created civilization among the ancient Egyptians and outlined what is known today as the Valley of the Kings. Osiris even carried his ideas into other countries such as Phoenicia to teach what he had shown the Egyptians.

Osiris' subjects began to love him, but his brother Seth hated him for several reasons. He hated him for being passed over as ruler and became jealous of the adoration given him. He eventually conspired to be rid of Osiris by creating the first sarcophagus fit exactly to Osiris' size. He then produced it in his brother's court and said that whoever fit it exactly could have it. Osiris became fascinated by the sarcophagus and fit himself into it as Seth immediately nailed his brother up inside it and pushed it into the Nile. In Osiris' absence, Seth seized the throne of Egypt as Isis fled in search of Osiris.

Several years later, Osiris was discovered by Isis still trapped in the coffin. Seth then appeared in the shape of a bull and then a crocodile and chopped him up into pieces that he flung to the winds. As Isis regathered the pieces, Osiris' spirit found its way to an unknown spirit realm called Duat where he learned the secrets of life after death. His son, Anubis, however, working in tandem with Isis, Nephthys, Thoth and Horus (Heru-Ur) restored him to life on Earth. Upon reviving, Osiris revealed his dissatisfaction with his brother and returned to the afterlife to rule it.

Osiris' son, Horus, meanwhile ousted Seth from the throne and returned Egypt to the prosperity it had endured under his father. Osiris meanwhile replaced Ammon-Ra as King of the Egyptian Gods.

(Rise of Apocalypse#3 (fb)) - Osiris and Isis appeared in a vision to the youth En Sabah Nur, who would later become Apocalypse, but was at the time a slave of later Pharaoh Rama-Tut. Osiris warned the boy not to become drawn to the Princess Nephri as he could never have her, but Nur did not fully understand the warning and did not heed it.

(Thor I#240 (fb)) - Seth eventually learned that Osiris had replaced Ammon-Ra and overthrew him from that position and took command of both the heavens and the earth. He then imprisoned Osiris, Isis, Horus and the rest of the Egyptian Gods in a pyramid for all millennia.

(Captain America I#166-167 - BTS) - Osiris was invoked by the Yellow Claw in order to place the spirit of the Egyptian princess Fan-Le-Tamen into the body of his niece Suwan. When Fan-Le-Tamen turned against him, the Yellow Claw invoked Osiris again to have her spirit enter him.

(Thor I#240-241) - Osiris and the rest of the gods trapped in the pyramid managed to have it appear in the Twentieth Century. The appearance of it attracted the attention of the gods Thor and Odin who sensed the gods trapped in it. Odin fought Seth in his attempts to free the trapped gods and severed the god of evil's left hand in the process. Freed from the pyramid, Osiris and the released Egyptian Gods made Odin the reincarnation of their ancestor, Atum-Ra.

(Marvel Two-In-One#23 - BTS) - Seth in Heliopolis imprisoned Osiris as he attempted to sacrifice Horus to the Devourer. The entity became a bit more than he could control as Horus, Thor and the Thing helped to defeat it.

(Thor Annual#10 - BTS) - Odin discovered that Seth, working in tangent with other gods of the dead, had released Demogorge. Odin requested that Osiris dispatch a warrior to defeat the entity. Osiris sent his son Horus, the sun-god, to combat the beast.

(Thor I#301) - As part of a pact with Odin for confronting the Celestials, Osiris donated some of his own life energies to Thor to revive the Asgardians affected by the destruction of the Destroyer.

(Thor I#386 - BTS) - Seth absorbed the life forces of Osiris and the Ennead in order to invade Asgard.

(Thor I#397 - BTS; 398-400) - Osiris and his fellow powerless gods, calling themselves "Lost Ones", encountered Wind Warrior as she aided Thor and Earth Force against the forces of Seth. Despite their lack of power, Osiris and the others joined them in combat, and finally regained their powers after Hogun the Grim seemingly slew Seth.

(Infinity Gauntlet#2) - Osiris met with the Council of God Kings to discuss the threat posed by Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet. Just then, the mad Eternal cut loose all the realms of the gods, trapping Osiris in Asgard, unable to aid Heliopolis during the crisis.

(Infinity Gauntlet#5-6 - BTS) - Nebula, Thanos' granddaughter, took the Infinity Gauntlet from him while his life force was from his body and in an elevated plane of existence. She restored everything to the way they were twenty-four hours earlier, returning the godheads to their cosmic axis. Osiris returned to Heliopolis.

(Thor II#61) - Osiris and the Council Elite met with Thor to discuss his worthiness to join the Council since replacing Odin.

(Incredible Hercules#116-117) - Osiris attended the Council of Godheads meeting gathered by Athena to prepare a force with which to combat the Skrullian gods.

Comments: Adapted By Roy Thomas, Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema.

In Egyptian Myth, Ammon Ra is the King of The Egyptian Gods, particularly during Greek occupation of Egypt. During that time, Ammon Ra took on many attributes of Zeus including the affinity of seducing lesser goddesses and fathering children. Since Osiris was never more than a god of the dead, some adjustments have to be made to adjust the actual myth with Osiris as Ruler of The Gods in the Marvel Universe.

In Egyptian Myth, Tuat was the afterlife, a realm of everlasting peace like Elysium of the Greeks. Abydos, the city of the dead was the underworld where the dead wandered aimlessly looking for peace. Anubis took the dead below to wait by the river Duat for Mahaf, god of death (equal to Thanatos or Charon of the Olympians), to ferry them across. Ammit, a foul beast with the head of a crocodile, body of a lion and hindquarters on a hippo, guarded the entrance to Abydos and devoured anyone who tried to escape. Seth stabbed at Apophis the serpent that swam in the Duat. The dead were judged by Amaunet (Mut), wife of Ammon-Ra who measured the hearts of the dead against an ostrich feather to see if they were good or evil in life. The good passed on to Tuat guarded by Aken, god of night and father of Mahaf. Anyone else entered Abydos where they wandered under Ammit's watchful eye. Anyone ruled a sinner was watched over by Edjo, the cobra-goddess, and Nekhbet, the vulture goddess, before being ripped apart by Babi, the baboon god and fed to Sebek, the crocodile-god.

Considering the overlap in Greek and Egyptian myth, it is curious to wonder what if it had been Zeus and Hercules to free the Egyptian Gods from their exile imposed by Seth.

Osiris' brother, Horus, known alternately as Harpocrates and Heru-Ur, has not been seen in the MU, but there may be an argument for him posing as the Horus seen in Marvel: The End since that Horus bares no resemblance to the Horus previously seen in previous accounts.

The time period for Osiris and the Egyptian Gods' rule of Egypt would have to predate the start of Pre-Dynasty Egypt (c. 3100 BC). In the Marvel Universe, it could be almost immediately after the end of the disasters that ended the Hyborian Age as Atum-Ra, Ammon-Ra, and the others through Horus gathered the ancient Stygians and brought them into what would be modern Egypt. The reign of Rama-Tut would have to precede them several years later but before the established list of kings of Egypt.

Per Degaton adds: "If you read the Hyborian age essay (http://hyboria.xoth.net/history/hyborian_age.htm), it would seem the ancient Stygians simply remained in their land and the name was changed to Egypt after the Vanir adventurers came to power. On the other hand, perhaps they migrated away from it for a time and then were brought back by the Gods of Heliopolis. I suppose the rule of the gods on earth would have been after the conquest of the Vanir adventurers. Maybe those Vanir-descended first pharaohs came to power after the gods so that the gods ruled an interregnum between the Vanir conquest and the first human pharaohs. So, rough timeline:

Sidebar: the modern Sphinx might exist back to a real-life "Hyborian Age" since recent discoveries indicate the original lion-headed Sphinx was constructed back when Egypt was still a lush tropical jungle. This theoretical dating is based on a previous Discovery Channel episode revealing that the Sphinx shows it was being eroded by water and storm long before eroding started by sandstorms. The fact that the Sphinx once had a head of a lion is compounded by the sheer out of scale proportion the modern head has to the body.

It is also worth mentioning that the name "Egypt" is supposed to be derived from the Greek ruler, Aegyptus, a grandson of Poseidon, who possibly ruled parts of modern Egypt and Libya around late 1500 BC. The truth is that the name is based on much older references that got mixed together wrong and then came out to be "Egypt." The ancients though called it Kemet (kmt), which also slightly works its way into the name. The Greeks were the ones to name most of the towns of Egypt (Thebes, Heliopolis, Karnak, et al.) and were middle and late contemporaries to the Egyptians. (Even Cleopatra who has been typically depicted as Egyptian was actually of Greek descent.) The Histories of Herodatus even give a first hand look of Ancient Egypt through his travels.

Special thanks to Sean Curtis for his assistance.

by Will U

CLARIFICATIONS:
Osiris should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#5, page 43, panel 1
Thor II#61, page 8, panel 3


Appearances:
Captain America I#166-167 (October-November, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (#166) & Frank Giacoia (#167) (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Thor I#240 (October, 1975) - Roy Thomas (plot), Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Roy Thomas, Marv Wolfman & Len Wein (editors)
Thor I#241 (November, 1975) - Bill Mantlo (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Marvel Two-In-One#23 (January, 1977) - Bill Mantlo & Jim Shooter (writers), Ron Wilson (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Thor Annual#10 (1982) - Mark Gruenwald & Alan Zelenetz (writers), Bob Hall (pencils), Rick Bryant, Joe Rubinstein, Andy Myshynsky, Al Grodon & Kevin Dzuban (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Thor I#301 (November, 1980) - Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio (writers), Keith Pollard (pencils), Chic Stone (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Thor I#386 (December, 1987) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Ron Frenz (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Thor I#397 (November, 1988) - Tom DeFalco & Roger Stern (writers), Ron Frenz &l Brett Breeding (pencils), Don Heck (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Thor I#398 (December, 1988) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Ron Frenz (pencils), Don Heck (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Thor I#399 (January, 1989) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Ron Frenz (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Thor I#400 (February, 1989) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Ron Frenz (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Infinity Gauntlet#2 (August, 1991) - Jim Starlin (writer), George Perez (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Infinity Gauntlet#5-6 (November-December, 1991) - Jim Starlin (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Rise of Apocalypse#3 (December, 1996) - Terry Kavanagh & James Felder (writers), Adam Pollina (pencils), Mark Morales (inks), Mark Powers (editor)
Thor II#61 (May, 2003) - Dan Jurgens (writer), Ben & Ray Lai (artists), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Incredible Hercules#116-117 (June-July, 2008) - Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (writers), Rafa Sandoval (penciler), Roger Bonet (inker), Mark Paniccia (editor)


Last updated: 09/04/11

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