Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Extra-dimensional (Negative Zone, Sorenio) alien

Occupation: Former Explorer; Former mock deity

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Posed as deity to people of Mantracora

Enemies: Fantastic Four

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Taranith Gelstal, High Lord of the Keep

Base of Operations: Negative Zone, formerly the Keep, its citadel on the planet Mantracora;
    planet of origin unrevealed

First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#254 (May, 1983)

Powers/Abilities: Telepathy. It could communicate with and even manipulate others to some extentIt was a unique type of life of an unnamed race. It could scale solid walls. It could duplicate human speech with effort.

The alien was a brilliant and devious inventor. It manipulated the people of Mantracora into believing it was their god for many years. It created a machine able to drain psionic energy into a battery to power a starship. It had a group of loyal followers who kept a look out for minds suitable for hits needs. Its ship possessed anti-gravity drives. It also possessed access to mind-numbing drugs.

The alien wore an exoskeleton and helmet to appear as the roughly humanoid Taranith Gelstal.

Height: 19"
Weight: 31 lbs.

History: (Fantastic Four I#254 (fb) - BTS) - Approximately thirty sun-cycles ago (however long that is on Mantracora) in the Negative Zone, an alien crashed on the planet Mantracora. It found a world of primitive barbarism, and none of the technology it would need to repair its ship. The creature found that the natives worshipped a being known as Taranith Gelstal. Realizing that Gelstal held a position of power and influence, the alien slew Gelstal and usurped his role, designing an exoskeleton to manipulate the human sized form.

For the next period of years, the alien, as Taranith, would periodically choose two natives of Mantracora to serve ascend into Taranith's citadel and join his brotherhood. In reality, the alien would choose the natives with the most powerful minds, lead them deep into the bowels of its citadel, drug them, and hook them up to a machine that would drain their minds of its energy. Their bodies stayed alive while the machine continually drained them of their psionic energy. The alien drained this energy into a power battery, hoping to one day gain sufficient power to allow its starship to escape Mantracora.





(Fantastic Four I#254) - The Fantastic Four, while exploring the Negative Zone, traveled to the planet of Mantracora, and came to the city ruled by Taranith in order to investigate the unusual energies in its Keep. Taranith invited Reed and Sue Richards into the Keep to join him in a feast, while his agents captured the Human Torch and the Thing. Reed and Sue were drugged, and the alien brought Reed to its machine and drained his mind into its battery. Gaining sufficient power, the ship broke free from the base of the Keep, just as the other members of the FF revived broke free. It revealed that Reed's mind was forever lost, and they were trapped on its ship.

The alien had not encountered for the level of power of Reed's mind, and his consciousness reasserted itself and enabled him to take control of the ship. The alien, realizing it was foiled, fled into an escape pod and exited the ship. However, after years of inactivity, the pod was improperly maintained. It overheated and exploded, apparently killing the alien.

Reed used a cybernetic link-up to remotely control his physical form while his mind was trapped in the ship. He piloted the ship to the Distortion Zone, enabling the FF to return to Earth, despite Annihilus' destruction of their portal. The energies of the distortion zone enabled Reed to return his mind to his body as he passed through to Earth.



Comments: Created by John Byrne.

It seems like it might be only the city that was named Mantracora, but I refer to the planet by the same name for simplicity's sake.

    I think it's worth noting that the plot of Fantastic Four #254 bears some amazing similarities to the Doctor Who serial "The Krotons," which saw a group of aliens posing as god-like beings and manipulating the local populace into send two of their own brightest each year to "serve" them, in actuality being killed and drained of mental energy to rechange their
crashed spaceship.  Here's a rundown on that story...
In addition, the design of Taranith Gelstal's mask, and the name Mantracora, bring to mind another Doctor Who story, "The Masque of Mandragora."
I can't the only Doctor Who fan who has picked up on all those similarities.
--Ben Herman

In All-New OHotMU Update#4 Taranith's race was revealed as the Sorenio.


 Gelstal's SHIP






--Fantastic Four I#254 (254 (fb) - BTS, 254, 255








Fantastic Four I#254-255 (May-June, 1983) - John Byrne (writer/artist), Al Milgrom (editor)

Last updated: 02/09/05

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