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STONIANS

Classification: Extraterrestrial race, semi-humanoid, winged, silicon-based

Location/Base of Operations: Milky Way galaxy, Stonus star system, planet Stonus VI;
    formerly Stonus I through V (all destroyed)

    Planetary habitat: Unrevealed, though the Stonians inevitably reduced the Stonus I-V to wastelands through warfare

    Gravity: (Stonus V) 140% Earth

Known Members: Basaltar, Crustor, Gorgolla, Granitor, Magnor, Skytower, Strator;
    population estimated at 350 million

Type of Government: Monarchy

Affiliations: Intergalactic Council, Ruul, Yandroth

Enemies: Diane Cummings, Fin Fang Foom, David Hartnell, It the Living Colossus, Lectronn, Dr. Aloysius Vault

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#74 (April, 1960)

Powers/Abilities: The Stonians are a humanoid, alien race somewhat resembling gargoyle statues found on building from medieval times on. Stonians have a silicon body chemistry, which results in them growing rock-like hides that offer immense durability. Stonians vary in size, with their average height being 6" although some grow 25 times that. The color of their rock-like skin differs from gray to orange and even green and purple like colors.

    Many Stonians possess wings, which somehow enable them to fly, despite their large weight.

    Compared to humans, Stonians have an extraordinarly expanded lifespan, easily capable of existing for hundreds of years without any noticeable sign of decay (though that might also be an unconfirmed form of hibernation). While posing as lifeless statues, Stonians remain fully aware of their surroundings, though their lifesigns remain undetected.

    Stonians' ears are also especially sensible to electromagnetic pulses, a trait they use for communication.

Level of Technology: The Stonians possess advanced technology that allows them to travel between star systems via teleportation, though they apparently do not possess starships. Destruction of one of their teleporters while it was transporting others apparently resulted in the destruction of the transportees.

Cultural Traits: The Stonian race is split between a peace loving faction benevolent to Earth, and a warlike faction that treats all other races (and even their own kind) with contempt. The Stonians are a monarchy, based on a caste system built on slavery. The lower classes consider themselves to be slaves of the ruling body, viewing their rulers more like dictators than actual democratic leaders.

Average Height: 6' (though occasional representatives were gigantic, between 30' (Granitor) and at least 150-220 feet (Gorgolla)
Average Weight: 460 lbs. (for the above representatives, weights should be closer to 28.75 tons and 3600-11, 360 tons, respectively and approximately, assuming the same proportions) - see comments
Eyes: Two (on head)
Hair: None on representatives seen, though some have false beard structures
Skin: Varies (green, orange, yellow, brown, gray observed)
Fingers: Four, plus opposable thumb
Toes: Two (cloven hooves)

History:
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#10 - BTS) - The Stonian species once inhabited no less than five planets in their system. However, due to their destructive, warlike tendencies they inevitably reduced Stonus I through IV into uninhabitable wastelands, forcing the entire population to relocate to Stonus V. For several centuries, the planet was ruled by king Granitor and his son, the ambitious and gigantic Gorgolla.

(Strange Tales I#74 (fb)) - Centuries ago, Gorgolla assembled a Stonian invasion force comprised of Stonus V slaves under his command and headed for Earth, planning to take over the world. Creating a base for himself in the Himalayan mountains, he ordered his troops to disperse across the globe and pose as common statues sitting atop building. That way, he could monitor mankind's progress over the centuries until he felt the time was right to start the invasion.

(Strange Tales I#74) <1960> - Gorgolla's Himalayan base was discovered by David Hartnell, an American archeology student who had come to investigate the hidden origins of gargoyles. Upon seeing Hartnell, Gorgolla realized that after centuries of waiting, the time had come for the invasion to begin in earnest. He reached for the solar-electromagnetic instrument designed to signal his troops to swoop down and destroy mankind's cities. Instead, all the Stonians descended upon his Himalayan base and attacked Gorgolla himself, seemingly destroying the royal Stonian in the process. After the conflict, representatives of the Stonian army explained to the shocked Hartnell that they'd spent centuries observing mankind. After learning about human values like love and charity, they no longer wished to be warriors. Instead, they proclaimed themselves to become protectors of humanity.

(Astonishing Tales I#22 (fb) - BTS) - When news of his son's apparent death reached king Granitor on Stonus V, he ordered a legion of assassins to hunt down and kill the Stonians responsible for Gorgolla's demise. He also sent several spies to Earth to keep him apprised of anything that might interest the Stonian royal court.

(Astonishing Tales I#21) - One of Granitor's Stonian spies witnessed the reappearance of the animated statue known as It, the Living Colossus. Figuring his king would want to know about the imposing creature, the spy filed an intelligence report.

(Astonishing Tales I#22) - With Stonus V in the grips of a civil war between Granitor and a Stonian slave rebellion, the king was determined to conquer Earth to turn it into Stonus VI. Traveling to Earth, Granitor could not prevent members of the rebellion from moving to the Sol system as well, where their fight continued. A small group of Granitor's agents, sent to investigate It, attacked the rebel Magnor on Earth, but they did not survive the encounter. Magnor himself was wounded following the confrontation, but still managed to inform Bob O'Bryan, the human whose mind piloted It, of the Stonian threat. Just then, four more Stonians broke in and captured O'Bryan and his associate, actress Diane Cummings. O'Bryan placed his mind within the Colossus and took the fight to Granitor himself, but found not even It could face an entire army. Granitor and his army escaped with Diane and Magnor.

(Astonishing Tales I#23) - When It, the Living Colossus caught up with Granitor, he was joined by the rebel allies of Magnor, and the ancient dragon Fin Fang Foom, who was controlled by his enemy Dr. Aloysius Vault. They decided to join forces and after a brief struggle made Granitor realize he was fighting a losing battle. He and his men entered their teleportation device set to return them to Stonus V. However, moments after they dematerialized, It destroyed the device. Magnor then informed It that this action had killed Granitor and his forces, considering they were demolecularized and in transit. Magnor and the rebels the prepared to return to Stonus V to what remained of Granitor's regime.

(Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1 (fb) - BTS) - During the battle between It, the Living Colossus and the Stonians, local superhero Lectronn did his best to rescue random bystanders from the ongoing conflict.

(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet I#1 (fb) - BTS) - The battle between the remainder of the Stonian monarchy and the rebels apparently led to the destruction of Stonus V. The Stonians were forced to relocate to a new homeworld they named Stonus Six (VI).

(Maximum Security: Dangerous Plane It#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Stonians were aided during an unidentified, but massive, crisis by the alien race the Ruul (secretly the remainders of the Kree, hyper-evolved by the Supreme Intelligence using the Forever Crystal). As a result, the Stonian ruling body figured they owed a debt of favor to the Ruul.

(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet I#1) - Balsatar, serving as the Stonian representative to the Galactic Council, attended the meeting at which the recent intergalactic problems related to Earth were being discussed. Like many of the other delegates present, Balsatar opposed Earth's continued interference in the affairs of other, far more civilized races. In the end, Balsatar supported the decision to quarantine Earth by turning the entire Sol system into a penal colony for the universe's riff raff.

(Defenders II#1) - While tapped into the powers of the Earth goddess Gaea, the magician Yandroth unleashed a variety of menaces to Earth. Among them were a group of Stonians he  teleported to New York. Their appearance was caught on camera by  reporters circling Richmond Enterprises in a helicopter. Other invading forces included the Negative Zone Borers, the Mindless Ones, the Tribbitites, Dark-Crawler, Quasimodo, Warlord Kaa and his Shadow-Warriors, the Living Erasers, Gorgilla, Vi-Locks and the Microverse native Lizard Men of Tok. After the newly assembled Defenders had defeated Yandroth, the Stonians and all the other threats automatically were returned from whence they came.

(Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#1 (Director's Cut)) - Gorgolla was revealed to have survived the revolt of his rebel army. His body secured by SHIELD, he was forcibly recruited into the spy organization's Howling Commandos program, which consisted strictly of monsters and aliens in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. However, Gorgolla was noted as an inactive operative, his final fate unrevealed.

 

 

Comments: Created by Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks).

    The massive differences in height between Stonians could be explained by the fact that members of the Stonian royal family are simply larger than the common folk.

    It's not unthinkable that whenever Spider-Man or another rooftop traveling New York vigilante (Daredevil, Black Cat and Moon Knight) landed on a gargoyle, it might be a Stonian in disguise. After all, they remained here as our protectors. One could note that every time Spider-Man has sat down on a gargoyle while resting from web slinging it was a Stonian... but let's not go there. Still, it would hardly be the first time alien or (outer)dimensional invaders used the Stonians' trick of disguising themselves as innocuous statues. During the Inferno crisis, a limbo-Otherplace animated (presumably) gargoyle bit Spider-Man (Spectacular Spider-Man I#147), while Ngh the Unspeakable and his minions acclimated to Earth by posing as gargoyles down in Hell's Kitchen for most of the Larry Hama penned Avengers I#329. Some of those could have actually been Stonians, right?--Snood.
    The Gargoyle(s) associated with Derwyddon and the Gargoyle (Isaac Christians), were also supposed to have been the gargoyles on buildings all over Earth.--Snood.















    The Stonians received profiles in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#10 and II#15. Both Stonians OHOTMU profiles wrongly notes their first appearance to be Astonishing Tales#21. Gorgolla called his race the Stonusians in Strange Tales I#74/1, this was not corrected in both reprints in Where Monsters Dwell #1 (1970) & #35 (1975).

    Kurt Busiek was kind enough to confirm the Gargoyles seen in Defenders II#1 were indeed meant to be Stonians. Which does make one wonder why they shifted their look from pebble grey to Dragon Man purple. While we could suffice with a glib answer and simply say those particular Stonians hailed from a different continent on which rock men were born with a slightly different hue... The actual answer lies in the somewhat shoddy printing standards used up until the early to mid 90s. Before higher quality paper and printing processes became the appreciated norm, most of the color appearing in newsprint quality material used the CMYK color set. For those of you not in the know, that's short for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key (code for Black). A print would start with only the Cyan, or purple color, and it would proceed adding additional layers of colors according to whatever desired final color was needed through the combination of different primary hues. This sounded great in theory, however, in reality, the process often resulted in odd blends of color, when different tones unexpectedly overlapped and emphasized a shade the creators did not intend to bring to the fore. In the case of the 1983 OHOTMU handbook... in order to create gray, an overwhelming amount of Cyan (purple) combinations was required. This led the final print product to, unfortunately, show the Stonians as being purple instead of the intended stone grey. The creative team behind 2001's Defenders II#1 most likely attempted to remain true to the source material and ended up giving the Stonians the wrong color purple.

How much does a Stonian weigh? I asked Mike Fichera, the resident engineer of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe team. --Snood

Original profile by Prime Eternal

Profile redone and updated for 2014 by MarvellousLuke

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Stonians should not be confused with:


Basaltar

Ambassador Basaltar


    Balsatar served as the Stonian delegate to the Galactic Council during its discussions how to deal with the many transgressions committed by the inhabitants of Earth.

    Ambassador Basaltar, or another Stonian representative, was most likely present at the Galactic Council during the Phoenix trial focused on the teenage, time-displaced Jean Grey - Guardians of the Galaxy III#12 (2014)

--Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1











Crustor

Crustor


    Crustor was the leader of Granitor's legion of assassins whose prime target was to hunt and kill the Stonians who had helped "murder" Prince Gorgolla (though he got better in the end...). As such, Crustor and two other Stonians tracked down the rebel Magnor. However, Crustor was no match for when Magnor effortlessly killed him.


--Astonishing Tales I#22








Strator

Strator


    Strator was one of the many Stonians forced to serve under Granitor's command. That's why he tracked down the rebel Magnor when he tried to warn a group of humans for the approaching invasion. After beating up one of O'Bryan's and Diane's friends, he grabbed O'Bryan (human operator of It, the Living Colossus) to fly him to Granitor. In midair, O'Bryan managed to kick Strator, upon which Strator decided to let the human fall to his death. (O'Bryan managed to activate the Living Colossus in time to save his own life). Strator was most likely part of the big battle against It and Fin Fang Foom.


--Astonishing Tales I#22








images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#10, p31, pan1 (main image, left) - art by Paty Cockrum
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#15, p59, pan2 (main image, right) - art by Kyle Baker
Strange Tales I#74/1, p4, pan4 (Stonians infiltrating Earth cities)
Defenders II#1, p22, pan1 (flock of Stonians)
Spectacular Spiderman 147, p6, pan1&2 (Spider-Man bitten by New York gargoyle)
Avengers I#329, p6, pan1 (Ngh and company pretending to be gargoyles in Hells Kitchen)
Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1, p35, pan4 (Ambassador Basaltar)
Astonishing Tales I#22, p4, pan7 (Crustor)
Astonishing Tales I#22, p10, pan2 (Strator)


Appearances:
Strange Tales I#74 (April, 1960) - Jack Kirby (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Astonishing Tales I#21-23 (December, 1973 - April, 1974) - Tony Isabella (writer), Dick Ayers (artist), Roy Thomas (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#10: Appendix to Alien Races: Stonians entry (October, 1983) - Peter Sanderson, Mark Lerer, Tom DeFalco (writers), Joanne Harras, Fred Baumann, Myra David, Peter David (researchers), Mark Gruenwald (editor/head writer), Paty Cockrum (art); writers and researchers are not individually credited
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#15: Appendix to Alien Races: Stonians entry (March, 1987) - Peter Sanderson (writer/researcher), Mark Gruenwald (writer/producer), Gregory Wright & Marc McLaurin (editorial assistants), Kyle Baker (penciler), Josef Rubinstein (inker/embellisher)
Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet (October, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Jerry Ordway (pencils), Will Blyberg & Paul Ryan (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Defenders II#1 (March, 2001) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Erik Larsen (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Nick Fury's Howling Commandos#1 (Director's Cut) (January, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Eduardo Francisco (penciler), Mark Paniccia (editor)


Last updated: 06/06/16

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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