Real Name: Tempus

Identity/Class: Extratemporal (Limbo) being

Occupation: Servant of Immortus

Group Membership: Legions of Immortus

Affiliations: Army of Ages, Kang, Immortus, Space Phantoms

Enemies: Annihilators (Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator/Kallark, Ikon, Quasar/Wendell Vaughn, Ronan the Accuser, Silver Surfer/Norrin Radd), Avengers West Coast (Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Dr. Hank Pym, Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff, USAgent/John Walker, Wasp/Janet Van Dyne, Wonder Man/Simon Williams), Doctor Doom of Earth-772, Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Girl/Susan Richards, Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm), Goliath (Clint Barton), Irondroid of Earth-90110, Rick Jones, Kang the Conqueror, Supreme Intelligence, Thor, Thor of Earth-9260, Volx, Wolverine (vampire) of Earth-9250

Known Relatives: Immortus (creator)

Aliases: Chrono Key

Base of Operations: Tenebrae, Limbo

First Appearance: Giant-Size Fantastic Four#2 (August, 1974)

Powers/Abilities: Tempus posseses superhuman strength, as well as the ability to age beings he touches or blasts. However, should he stop touching or blasting his victims, they will generally return to their previous age. Tempus can also create timestorms by which he can cause beings to relive painful memories.Tempus seems to be able to absorb force directed against him, able to feed it back to whoever attacked him "like an electrical circuit". However, causing Tempus to fall will cause him injury, as that effectively forces his own energy against him. Tempus can also regenerate limbs, even regenerate himself.

Height: 30' (variable)
Weight: 48 tons (variable)
Eyes: White
Hair: None


(Thor I#282 (fb)) - Immortus fashioned Tempus from the very ether of Limbo and took the Space Phantom(s) as his servants. (see comments)


(Avengers: Terminatrix Objective#3) - Immortus' terminal future self created the simulacrum Tempus in the distant future to serve his younger self as a receptacle for temporal energies and a warrior. Immortus then sent Tempus back in time.

(Avengers: Terminatrix Objective#3 (fb) - BTS) - Tempus appeared to Immortus, constructed and sent to him by his own terminal future self to perform his duties in the earlier days of his life.

(Giant-Size Fantastic Four#2 (fb) - BTS) - Tempus claimed to live in his own dimension, a "chronal continuum", "a world existing outside the time that we know-but obviously paralleling our own" since "the beginning of eternity". He stated that he existed unchanging, and that the resultant ennui caused him to want to desire to end his existance.
Alternatively, Immortus has described Tempus as his own creation, fashioned fom the very ether of Limbo to serve as his guardian.

(Giant-Size Fantastic Four#2 (fb) - BTS) - Tempus manipulated Willie Lumpkin into entering the Fantastic Four's time machine. Lumpkin got bounced into various points in time, wreaking havoc. Tempus claimed that he desired to create time paradoxes that would destroy both his and Earth-616's universes.

(Giant-Size Fantastic Four#2/Captain Marvel I#39 (fb)) - The Fantastic Four (at this time with Medusa in place of Sue Richards) had tested a sub-orbital shuttlecraft for NASA, but saw a giant flash enveloping Earth. They returned to Earth, but crash-landed. They survived to find no signs of civilization, only wilderness. They defeated a group of attacking primitive hunters. The Watcher appeared then, explaining how history had gotten tampered with. Uata sent them back in time to straighten things out. Reed and Johnny discovered that George Washington had gotten captured by the British due to the time traveller's meddling, as Washington's horse got spooked by the traveller's sudden appearance and threw him off, rendering Washington unconscious. Washington got discovered by British and Hessian soldiers. Reed and Johnny freed Washington, and then disappeared.
Ben and Medusa got sent back to 1928 Chicago, where Ben (probably due to Uata) returned to human form.
Robbing a store to get clothes, they then, on a hunch from Medusa (Inhumans have greater psychic sensitivity), sought out a speakeasy. They found Willie Lumpkin conferring with gangsters, giving them stock market tips. Ben and Medusa abducted Lumpkin, but had to face the gangsters. A car chase ensued, with Ben crashing the purloined car into a lightpost. After the crash, Ben became the Thing again, and defeated two gangsters with Thompson guns. Ben, Lumpkin, and Medusa then disappeared.
Lumpkin and the Fanstic Four then materialized in Tempus' world. Tempus explained his plans, and then expressed his intent to destroy the Four. However, after a pitched battle, Reed expanded his body around Tempus, grabbing onto an elevation to firm his hold on his enemy, while Ben tripped Tempus. Tempus seemingly shattered on impact when he fell. After this, his world seemed to unravel, but the Watcher retrieved the Four and Lumpkin, the latter getting mind-wiped.

(Thor I#281-BTS, 282/Avengers Forever#8 (fb)) - Seeking answers to the Celestials' judgement of Earth and their past history, Thor attempted to travel through time. The time powers within Mjolnir malfunctioned and he ended up in Limbo instead, where Immortus stole his hammer, Mjolnir. Thor agreed to help the Space Phantom in exchange for recovering his hammer, and he wound up tangling with Tempus when they entered Immortus' castle. Tempus attacked Thor repeatedly, but Thor managed to take Tempus' club, and used it to shatter the giant's face, incapacitating him.

(Avengers West Coast I#62) - Immortus, attempting to use the Scarlet Witch's powers to aid in his control of timelines, confronted the Avengers West Coast in Limbo. Erecting a force field around himself and Wanda, he saw it get battered by Wonder Man. Tempus then grabbed Wonder Man and aged him. The other Avengers attacked Tempus, but Tempus only got fazed when Quicksilver hit him in the face with a fragment of Immortus' castle. Tempus then decided to create a timestorm, which besides hurling the Avengers about as strong winds would, caused them to relive hard memories--Hank Pym relived getting shown his first wife's corpse in the morgue; USAgent relived the death of his parents Caleb and Emily, and so forth. Immortus debated with himself as to whether Tempus should kill the incapacitated Avengers, but eventually decided to tell Tempus to do it. However, Agatha Harkness intervened, awakening the dazed Wanda, who rejected Immortus.

(What If…? II#39) - Immortus, having siphoned off reality-altering nexus power from four timelines, evolved into a quantum wave, able to reorder the multiverse. The Time Variance Authority, in retaliation, sent the Irondroid (an entity from the future of Earth-90110 who wore an armor based on Iron Man's), the Doctor Doom of Earth-772 and Thor of Earth-9260, and the vampire Wolverine of Earth-9250, to Limbo to oppose Immortus' soldiers (see comments). They faced an army led by Tempus comprised of Space Phantoms, Rama-Tut's robots, and Dire Wraiths. Tempus' powers could not affect the Thor (a god) and Wolverine (a vampire) he faced. In fact, the ragtag group of TVA servants would have won, but Immortus reset events back to the start of the battle. In this new version of the conflict, the Phantoms destroyed the Irondroid, the Wraiths killed Doom, leaving only Thor and the vampire Wolverine. Immortus reset the battle again, with no casualities on his side, but with the Thor and Wolverine only left on his enemies' side. Eventually, the TVA managed to defeat Immortus, with the result that the TVA's minions got returned to their own worlds (those who had died returned to life), except for the undead Wolverine, who got sent to an alternate version of the Dark Dimension that his subordinate vampires had conquered.

 (Avengers: Terminatrix Objective#4) - As part of his machinations against the primordial temporal entity Alioth, Kang handed the Chrono Key, a transformed Tempus to the Avengers as weapon against Alioth. It turned into a Tempus statue in Thor's hand and drained the life forces of the Council of Cross-Time Kangs. The energies made the statue grow to his true size and further. Tempus grew gigantic in size and wrestled with Alioth, holding him in place. The two beings stalemated each other, supposedly for all time.

(Avengers Forever#9 (fb) ) - Kang eventually weakened Tempus slightly to allow Alioth to break through him and attack the Time Variance Authority's realm.

(Avengers Forever#1) - The Avengers brought one of their own, Rick Jones, before the Supreme Intelligence in hopes that the Kree leader would once again awaken the Destiny Force within him, as he did during the Kree-Skrull War. They left him for 24 hours, at which point Immortus arrived and viewed Rick. He summoned forth Tempus from the timestream and Tempus began draining the lifeforce from Rick until Kang arrived and smashed Tempus into pieces and summoned fighters from various timelines (the Army of Ages) to battle Immortus. During the course of the battle, Libra awoke the Force within Rick, who summoned Avengers from various timelines (including Hank Pym as Goliath and the Wasp from the present, Clint Barton as Goliath from just after the Kree-Skrull War, Hank Pym as Yellowjacket, Captain America circa the '70s, and Captain Marvel and Songbird from the not-too-distant future).

(Avengers Forever#3) - Once the Avengers were summoned, they aided Kang in battling Immortus' troops. During the fight that ensued, Kang ducked into his base and sealed his exit. Once there, he was attacked by Tempus and Immortus, who revealed his plan and left to grasp the Forever Crystal, able to destroy and create time.

(Avengers Forever#7) - As the Avengers entered the temporal base of Immortus, they were all thrown in seperate directions. Clint Barton as Goliath was sent to a room filled with statues of his various costumed identities. He was then attacked by Tempus who was once again shattered to pieces.

(Annihilators#3/1) - With the bound Dire Wraith Queen Volx, the Annihilators (Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, Ikon, Quasar, Ronan, Silver Surfer) journeyed to Wraithworld, which was in Limbo, to investigate a threat. Immortus detected them and unleashed his legions, dominated by Tempus, against them.

(Annihilators#4/1) - Tempus and the Army of Ages attacked the Annihilators, with Quasar blasting an arm off, but was aware that Tempus could regrow it. Quasar then challenged Immortus, who withdrew his troops, including Tempus.

Comments: Created by Gerry Conway (writer) and John Buscema (art).

The story from Giant-Size Fantastic Four#2 has quite a few kinks in it with regards to the currently established ideas about time travel. When Tempus first appeared, the rules about time travelling had not really gotten firmly established at Marvel. It took until Marvel-Two-In-One#50 that the rule that time travel produces alternate realities got set down. Also, much of the mythology related to Immortus and Limbo had not been explored yet, so Tempus' home dimension did not get called Limbo in G-S FF#2. Most of the details about Immortus and Limbo came from Steven Engleheart's run on the Avengers. Actually, when Immortus first appeared in Avengers I#10, there existed no hint that he and Kang had any relationship. Limbo itself first appeared in Tales of Suspense I#9, when Chondu the Mystic banished the thug Joe Parker there. Later, the Watcher briefly banished the Red Ghost there in Fantastic Four I#13, and the Space Phantom used Limbo against the Avengers in Avengers I#2.

Thor I#281+282 detailed the original origin of the Space Phantom--a native of the planet Phantus, whose inhabitants' use of temporal energy in warfare had pushed their planet partially into Limbo. Kurt Busiek retconned this out of existence in the Avengers Forever saga, revealing the Space Phantoms to be any number of beings that had stayed too long within Limbo.

At this point it is pretty clear that Tempus' origin as told in Thor I#282 was as much a lie as the Space Phantoms origin from the same issue.

Tempus' appearance in What If ?II#39 got covered as we did not see an alternate reality version of Tempus, but rather the same Tempus we saw elsewhere. (Presumably, there exists no alternate universe counterparts of Tempus; as with the Living Tribunal, he presumably presents an example of a multiversal singularity.) What If ?II#39 formed a part of the complex Timequake story, in which various nexus beings of various alternate realities got threatened by elimination. The alternate realities mostly had gotten seen in earlier What If ? stories or served as variations on earlier stories.. To wit:
--Note: for the purpose of clarification, I have chosen a name, phrase, etc., with which to identify the alternate Earths. No official nomenclature exists--Snood:

No known connection to:

The Fantastic Five of Earth-Fantastic Five should be distinguished from:

FF: 50 Fantastic Years, p50, Tempus entry main image (main image)
Giant-Size Fantastic Four#2, p22, pan3 (original form)
Avengers: Terminatrix Objective#3, p8, pan1 (newly created)
Giant-Size Fantastic Four#2, p24, pan3 (using powers)
What If..? II#39, p7, pan1 (alternate form)
Avengers: Terminatrix Objective#4, p12, pan1 (as Chrono Key)

Giant-Size Fantastic Four#2 (August 1974) - Gerry Conway (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Chic Stone (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Captain Marvel I#39 (July, 1975) - Steve Englehart (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Thor I#282 (April, 1979) - Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio (writer), Keith Pollard (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Jim Shooter & Roy Thomas (editor)
Avengers West Coast I#62 (September, 1990) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Dan Bulanadi (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
What If..? II#39 (July, 1992) - Roy Thomas & Jean-Marc Lofficier (writer), Gavin Curtis (pencils), Ian Akin & Don Hudson (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Avengers: Terminatrix Objective#3-4 (November-December, 1993) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Gustovich (pencils), Bud LaRosa, Don Hudson & Dell Barras (#4) (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Avengers Forever#1 (December, 1998) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Jesus Merino (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers Forever#3 (February, 1999) - Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern (writers), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Jesus Merino (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers Forever#7 (June, 1999) - Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern (writer), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Jesus Merino (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers Forever#8 (July, 1999) - Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern (writer), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Jesus Merino (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers Forever#9 (August, 1999) - Kurt Busiek & Roger Stern (writer), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Jesus Merino (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Annihilators#3/1-#4/1 (July-August, 2011) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers). Tan Eng Huat (art), Bill Rosemann (editor)

First posted: 08/31/2002
Last updated: 10/04/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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