Classification: Gods (Extra-Dimensionals/Immortals)

Location/Base of Operations: Dilmun
Underworld is Allatum

Known Members: Tiamat (ancestor), Anu (god of heaven), Apsu (ancestor), Aqhat, Baal (god of storms), Dagon/Enlil/El (god of wind & air), Ea (Enki), Eriskegal/Ereshkigal (goddess of the dead), Inanna/Ishtar (goddess of love & war), Lilith, Marduk (god of judgment & magic), Martu (possibly Demon of the Dunes), Nergal (god of death & pestilence), Ningal (god of metal), Ninhursag (Gaea), Pazuzu, Shamash (Utu), Saja (god of messengers), Tammuz (god of shepherds & fertility), Ullikumis

Affiliations: Moloch, other races of Gods

Aliases: Assyrian Gods, Babylonian Gods, Canaanite Gods, Hittite Gods, Hurrian Gods, Mesopotamian Gods, Philistine Gods, Phoenician Gods, Sumerian Gods

First Appearance: Strange Tales I#150 (November, 1966); (seen) Chamber of Chills#3 (March, 1973)

Powers/Abilities/Traits: The Annunaki all possess certain superhuman physical attributes. They are true immortals who cease to age upon reaching adulthood, and they cannot die by conventional means. The Annunaki are immune to all terrestrial diseases and are resistant to conventional injury. If a Mesopotamian god is wounded, his or her godly life force will enable him or her to recover at a superhuman rate. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it incinerates a Mesopotamian god or disperses a major portion of his or her bodily molecules to cause him or her to die. Even then, it may be possible for a god of greater or equal power, or several gods acting together, to revive the deceased god before the god's life essence is beyond resurrection. Annunaki flesh and bone are about three times denser than similar human tissue, contributing to the gods' superhuman strength and weight. An average male god can lift about 30 tons; an average goddess can lift about 25 tons. The gods' metabolism gives them superhuman endurance in all physical activities. Many Annunaki also possess additional superhuman powers, and several have degenerated into archdemons in attempts to maintain influence in the Earth realm following the loss of their mortal worshippers. For instance, the desert god Martu possesses the ability to create powerful sandstorms and haboobs.

History: (Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - The Annunaki (also known as the "Anunna" and "Mesopotamian gods") are a race of superhumanly powerful humanoid beings who were worshipped as far back as pre- Cataclysmic Atlantis and Valusia circa 19,000 BC, continuing through several of the Hyborian-era nations, and then achieving prominence amongst the Sumerians, Assyrians and Babylonians in Mesopotamia (between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) up to about 500 AD; the Canaanites, Hittites, Hurrians, Philistines and Phoenicians worshipped the Annunaki as well. Most of the Annunaki dwelled in Dilmun, a small dimension adjacent to Earth; a nexus between Dilmun and Earth existed on what is the modern-day island-nation of Bahrain. The Annunaki are called different names by their human worshippers; for example, the wind god Dagon is known as "Enlil" to Sumerians, while he was called "Ellil" by Canaanites. Generally speaking, the Annunaki no longer have worshippers on Earth, and many degenerated into demons in their attempts to retain influence over the Earth realm.

The Annunaki's origins are shrouded in legend. According to ancient myths, the dragon-like Tiamat (aka Leviathan, the primeval embodiment of the sea) coupled with Apsû (the embodiment of the fresh water below the Earth's surface) and gave birth to the first Annunaki: Lahmu and Lahamu. One generation later, Anu, the grandchild of Lahmu and Lahamu, was born and eventually matured into the god of heaven and the Sky Father of the Annunaki. With the primordial Earth Mother Gaea (known among the Annunaki as "Ki," and later as "Ninhursag"), Anu sired a new generation of Annunaki. When Apsû grew annoyed by the chaos introduced by these younger generations of his offspring, he planned to destroy the Annunaki, but the water god Ea learned of this and preemptively slew Apsû. This enraged Tiamat and her son Kingu, who led armies of Tiamat's monster progeny in an attack on the Annunaki, resulting in a prolonged civil war that ended with Anu's allies victorious and Tiamat dead. Marduk, Anu's grandson who served as the god of judgment & magic, led the Annunaki to victory during the war and replaced Anu as ruler of the Annunaki upon the defeat of Kingu and Tiamat.

(Conan the Barbarian I#30, Savage Sword of Conan#230-231, Savage Sword of Conan#220/2-221/2) - During the Hyborian era, the Hand of Nergal - a talisman empowered by the underworld god Nergal - fell to Earth and was used by a number of dark mages, including Xaltotun of Acheron; the Hand was opposed by its counter-talisman, the Heart of Tammuz, empowered by Nergal's rival, the benevolent shepherd god Tammuz. Circa 10,000 BC, the Hand of Nergal was acquired by Munthassem Khan, the satrap of Yaralet, who was corrupted by it. Ultimately, Munthassem was destroyed when the Hand was used against the Heart, and Nergal met defeat at the hands of Tammuz. The wizard Atalis claimed both artifacts, eventually merging them with the demonic Arm of Kx'ulthuum, granting an immensely powerful limb to a formerly one-armed barbarian later known as Fafnir Hellhand.

(Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - When monotheistic religions began to replace worship of the Annunaki in the Middle East, Anu decided that the time had come for the Annunaki to break most of their ties with Earth and return to Dilmun, where their power was not dependant on mortal worshippers. However, his edict was unpopular with several of the Annunaki, who feared losing their influence over the mortal sphere. Sensing their desperation, an ancient demon borne from the concentration of primordial evil energy that remained on Earth following Demogorge's destruction of the Elder Gods approached several of the Annunaki with an intriguing offer. Calling himself "Marduk Kurios" (a name familiar to the Annunaki), this ancient evil tempted them with everlasting power. Those Annunaki who succumbed to Kurios' trickery and accepted the terms of his deal were transformed into demons.

In modern times, the Annunaki who returned to Dilmun with Anu have remained largely removed from mortal affairs; however, those who degenerated into demons have frequently come into conflict with Earth's heroes. For instance, the god of metal Ningal (Dr. Strange II#35-37) possessed the Black Knight (Dane Whitman)'s body, but Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Stephen Strange eventually imprisoned the demon in a block of mystic amber. Later, as the "Demon of the Dunes," the desert god Martu (Marvel Comics Presents I#47/4) plagued the Arabian Knight (Abdul Qamar) in the Saudi Arabian deserts. (follow the links under membership to see more on each god's appearances)


Leadership was held by Anu, who was replaced by Enlil/Dagon {Sumerian}, by Marduk {Babylonian}, and by Baal-Hadad (Assyrian and Phoenician})

Lots of Mesopotamian Gods have gone the "demon degeneration" route. The line between a demon and an evil god is a fine one. It's also possible that a lot of the characters that we've seen are demons posing as or usurping the role of the gods.

The main image in this profile is by Mario Gully.

Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica, p8

Last updated: 09/18/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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