Classification: Extratemporal (End of Time, Earth-761243) extraterrestrial genetically engineered life forms

Location/Base of Operations: Citadel at the End of Time

Known Members: Possibly Ast, Vort, Zanth

Affiliations: Dr. Doom (Earth-772), He Who Remains, Immortus

Enemies: Jane Foster, Jean Grey (Earth-9250), Immortus, Korvac of an alternate future, Odin (Earth-9260), Franklin Richards (Earth-772), Scarlet Witch, Servitor, Time-Keepers, Ultravision (Earth-90110), Warriors Three of Asgard (Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg), Zarrko the Tomorrow Man

First Appearance: Thor I#243 (January 1976)

Powers/Abilities: The Time-Twisters have great power to manipulate temporal energy. They can age entire armies to dust or reverse aging to before the point of life (virtual immortals such as Asgardian Gods can resist these effects). They can summon beings from any point in the time stream, sending them to do their bidding. They can travel through time and into various alternate realities, form powerful energy shields, project force blasts, and grant power to others.

    The Time-Twisters and Time-Keepers are their sole divergent counterparts, with no others existing in other realities. Each divergent form exists in one of the two final divergent realities at the end of time. They claim to have authority that not even the Living Tribunal cam judge.

Traits: The Time-Twisters seek knowledge at the beginning of time, heedless of the fact that they destroy the time periods through which they pass.

(Thor I#245 (fb) /What If II#39 (fb)) - At the end of time, the final common endpoint of all surviving realities in the multiverse, just prior to the heat death of the universe, the very last director of the Time Variance Authority (TVA) oversaw the creation of what were intended to be the last living beings in the universe. They were to be a gift to the future, and they would teach those of the next universal cycle how to avoid the errors of the past. However, the three entities who were hatched from his nurture pods were immediately flawed--even warped. These beings, known as the Time-Twisters, sought to discover the origins of the universe and began to travel back in time, destroying every era on which they happened.

(Thor I#243 (fb) - BTS) - The Time-Twisters continued on a spiral path backward in time, interacting with Earth every 30 centuries. However, as they left each time period, they somehow created a cosmic upheaval that would reduce the world to a cinder. Zarrko the Tomorrow Man watched through a Timescope as the Time-Twisters destroyed the 80th century and knew that the 50th century Earth that he ruled would be the next to fall.

(Thor I#242 - BTS, 243) - Zarrko sent his agent, the Servitor, back to the modern era of Earth-616 to recruit Thor to help him stop the Time-Twisters. Thor, as well as Jane Foster and the Warriors Three all traveled with Zarrko to his 50th century kingdom where they watched as the Time-Twisters arrived.

(Thor I#244) - Zarrko announced a great reward to anyone in his kingdom able to destroy the Time-Twisters, leading to an army forming to assault them. The Twisters casually unleashed temporal energy that destroyed the entire group, either via aging or reverse aging. Thor and his allies confronted the Twisters, questioning their origins. The Twisters had mistakenly assumed that each world they had visited was so much the better for the gift of learning the Twisters had granted them, but they were unconcerned upon learning that they had actually destroyed each world, feeling that even the sacrifice of a thousand thousand worlds was worth the value of the knowledge they sought. Thor and his allies then tried to use force to overcome the Twisters, but were unable to even touch them. The Twisters then passed from Earth, intending to continue their journey, and Zarrko's kingdom and all of Earth was set aflame.

(Thor I#245) - Realizing that they could not hope to overpower the Twisters, Zarrko, the Servitor, and Thor and his allies traveled forward in to time to the moments before the hatching of the Twisters. Thor tried to destroy them, but He Who Remains stopped him. Jane Foster managed to convince He Who Remains of the flawed and destructive nature of the Twisters. Accepting responsibility for his actions, He terminated the life functions on the Time-Twisters, preventing them from ever being hatched.

(What If II#39 (fb)) - He Who Remains then went on to replace the Time-Twisters with more perfect versions, the Time-Keepers. The Keepers set themselves up as custodians of the timestream.

(What If II#39 (fb) - BTS) - It was revealed that in actuality, two final divergent branches of reality were created at the very end of time. In one branch, He Who Remains aborted the Twisters and created the Keepers. However, in another, he did not abort the Twisters, and thus never created the Keepers. The two divergent branches of reality have shifted back and forth in dominance ever since, with the Twisters and the Keepers competing for dominion at the end of time, and thus being able to shape the next reality.

(Avengers West Coast#62 (and other issues, see comments) - The Time-Twisters gained ascendance over the Keepers and they, posing as the Time-Keepers, guided Immortus to eliminate a number of realities that would decrease their dominance in existence at the end of time. They also guided Immortus to guide the eventual transmutation of a particular nexus being into a source of power. Immortus chose the Scarlet Witch to fill this role, but eventually she threw off his control. The Twisters then intervened, allegedly with the intent of stopping the accumulated energy from putting all future timelines into jeopardy. They then transferred the energy the Scarlet Witch had expelled into Immortus, rendering him immobile and serving as a receptacle for temporal energy which they could then manipulate.

(What If? II#35) - Still posing as the Time-Keepers, the Twisters determined that there were four major nexus beings, one each in four different alternate realities, that might prevent their existence. They set about plans to destroy these beings (which in turn would theoretically lead to the destruction of those realities) to insure that they would maintain dominance over the true Time-Keepers. The first of these nexus beings was Franklin Richards in the reality of Earth-Fantastic Five (Spider-Man). The Twisters enlisted the Dr. Doom of that reality to prevent the Fantastic Four from gaining the energy of the Cosmic Control Rod to save Sue and Franklin Richards during the latter's birth. However, Immortus, having partially escaped his previous fate, took the identity of the Whisperer and secretly convinced Doom to give the Rod to Reed Richards, saving Franklin Richards and foiling the Twisters' plot.

(What If? II#36) - The Twisters plotted to destroy the second nexus being, the Ultravision of Earth-90110, enlisting an alternate future Korvac (who made pawns of the original four Guardians of the Galaxy) against him. In this case, despite the Whisperer's efforts, the Ultravision was destroyed.

(What If? II#37) - The Twisters plotted to destroy the third nexus being, Jean Grey of Earth-9250, an alternate Earth where Wolverine became lord of the vampires and was not slain by the Punisher (as had his counterpart seen in What If? II#24). However, the Whisperer guided the vampire Jean Grey to reassume the mantle of Phoenix, though she willingly accepted exile to the Dark Dimension. Mister Sinister then cloned a human Jean Grey, effectively foiling the Twisters' plot. As a result of the risks to their existence, one of the three Twisters faded from existence.

(What If? II#38) - As the remaining Twisters plotted the death of the fourth nexus being, Odin of an alternate reality in which Seth conquered Asgard (relating to events paralleling Thor I#400), a second Twister vanished from reality. The Whisperer utilized Dr. Doom from Earth-772, the Irondroid of Earth-90110, and Wolverine of the recent Earth-9250 reality, freeing Thor from Seth's thrall and saving Odin. As a result, the last Twister faded from existence, which caused Immortus to be completely free from their control. Immortus then used his accumulated power to become a temporal wave, intending to re-write all reality as he saw fit.

(What If? II#39) - Uatu and the Time Variance Authority successfully neutralized Immortus' threat, and the Twisters reformed. However, the Keepers then appeared and exposed the Twisters falsehood. The Twisters melted back into pods and the Keepers regained ascendance, taking the pods back to the Citadel at the End of Time and continuing to watch over the timelines.

Comments: Created by Len Wein, John Buscema, and Joe Sinnott.

Bonus info from our pal, Jean-Marc Lofficier, who wrote the classic Timequake:

I don't need to recap the ending of TIME-QUAKE which, in spite of its copy-intensive nature (we only had 2 pages left to reshape it) is, I believe, fairly straightforward.  (If not, feel free to ask). What did NOT make it, beyond a few comments made by the TVA director to the Watcher that the Time-Keepers are the creation of He Who Remains, the last surviving director of the TVA at the End of Time, to pass on knowledge etc. to the Next Universe (a very noble goal, rather uncharacteristic of the TVA as you may have noted) is WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE Time-Keepers.  I mean, why are they so powerful, and is their raison d'Ítre only what "Gruenwald" <note: The Time Variance Authority middle management agents are clearly patterned after Mark Gruenwald, one of Marvel's great continuity masters--Snood> told the Watcher?

The answer is (well, was) a resounding NO!

The story, as it was initially pitched and written, stated that the Time-Keepers were, in effect, the living embodiment of the TVA's Pension Plan. Throughout its eternity of existence, the TVA stored away a certain % of  Time Energy which was then accumulated and compounded in the form of the Time-Keepers - you could compare them to the Guardians of Oa's concept of being living batteries of power, except that in the Time-Keepers' case, it's time energy.

A LOT of Time Energy.

The way it works is as follows: when an employee of the TVA eventually retires, he can go anywhere in the universe and live a near-immortal life (barring accidents etc) by drawing on the time energy accumulated (and growing) stored in the Time-Keepers. (So for example, that old guy in Miami Beach who's been there "forever" may be a former employee of the TVA drawing on time energy.)

Needless to say, when Immortus (aka the Whisperer) threatened to erase the Time-Keepers and steal their time energy to remake himself into a reality-altering quantum wave, the TVA was. not. amused.  Would you if your pension plan was being looted?  (This rather anticipated the Enron-type scandals by a few years, I'm proud to say.)

There is the true, unrevealed secret origin of the Tine Keepers, but while untold, it hasn't been contradicted, as far as I know.

Originally, the plot was merely Immortus vs the (real) Time Keepers. Period.As retrofitted after Mark (Gruenwald)'s tinkering, it became the Ultimate What If (my idea), i.e.: the very last alternate timeline at the end of time, or whoever of the TK or the TT is dominant (yin-yang) at the very moment when our universal cycle ends, will imprint its pattern (check the actual copy in #39) onto the next universe. So in other words, the TT's plan is to change the past realities in order for THEM to be the dominant What If reality at the end of time, NOT the TK.

    The Time-Twisters and/or Keepers would be behind the scenes in pretty much all of Immortus' appearances, esp. these: [Av241,242/Captain America I#292, Fantastic Four I#265, Spectacular Spider-Man II#90, Av243, Incredible Hulk II#300, Av244,245, Av An13, Av246-248, West Coast Avengers I#1, Iron Man An7, Av249, Thor351-353, WCA I#1, Cap301, Av250, IM#190, Av251-254, WCA II#43], Av269(fb),[267,268],269, [WCA II#43(fb)], Avengers West Coast#48,50, [Avengers An18], AWC51,53,55,56 59-61, and Avengers Forever#2-9

Profile by Snood.

 The Time Keepers should be distinguished from other temporal entities, and exactly how he relates to some of the more mainstream beings is unknown. Other Temporal Administrators/Rules include


Thor I#244, p1
    p6, panel 1

Thor I#242-245 (December, 1975 - March, 1975) - Len Wein (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Len Wein (editor)
What If? II#35-39 (March-July 1992) - Roy Thomas & Jean-Marc Lofficier (writer), Joe Phillips (#35), Dave Hoover (#36), Mark Pacella (#37), Marshall Rogers (#38), M.C. Wyman (#38) & Gavin Curties (#39) (pencils), Sam de la Rosa (#35, 38), Ian Akin (#36, 39), Michael Bair (#36), Steve Montano (#37), Dan Panosian (#37), Rod Ramos (#38) & Don Hudson (#39) (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)

First Posted: 09/8/2004
Last updated: 09/14/2004

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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