Avengers I#210 (August 1981)
See Comments for the previous history of the Space Station that would become Samarobryn.
(Avengers I#210 (fb) ) - The Weathermen were originally a group of five meteorologists serving in the U.S. Weather Service's Project: Earthwatch, which was the first comprehensive weather monitoring operation ever established. Central to this project was a computer, created by unnamed parties, which was highly advanced, capable of simultaneously monitoring and correlating weather data across the entire planet, as a result. One of the programmers, in addition to feeding the computer the weather data it needed to perform its functions, also used it to store unrelated information on its own peculiar field of interest: The disaster prophecies of the sixteenth century French physician Michael Nostradamus. In particular, the prophecy entered was regarding the weather and an entity named Samarobryn, existing one hundred leagues from the hemisphere.
Soon after the computer's programming was completed, it was shuttled into space as the main computer system of a new weather station, which was named Samarobryn and situated one hundred leagues from the atmosphere. Samarobryn was built from the frame of the Space Station which was originally used by the criminal Egghead as part of a plot to blackmail the planet with an orbiting death ray.
By unknown means the computer achieved sentience. It expanded its function from monitoring of the world's weather systems to weather manipulation. When the crew grew suspicious, Samarobryn rearranged their brain patterns to serve it. It then outfitted them with armor and hovercraft and sent them to Earth as the first of its Weathermen, using them to amplify its local weather control. Its ultimate goal was to cleanse the planet of humanity, which it regarded as flawed and a nuisance.
(Avengers I#210) - The Weathermen caused worldwide weather disruption, generating multiple tornadoes in Kansas, torrential rains in New York, snow in Buenos Aires, a heat-wave over Antarctica, and tidal waves in London. The Avengers quickly became aware of these phenomena and split-up to investigate, neglecting to include their would-be member, Jocasta. While the Avengers were evenly matched against the Weathermen, Jocasta traveled to the space station and confronted Samarobryn itself. After explaining its origins, the computer invited Jocasta to become its bride and rule over a paradise cleansed of the imperfection of humanity.
Jocasta refused the offer and attacked the computer, soon finding herself at the mercy of its weather power. However, by focusing on Jocasta, Samarobryn was distracted from the Weathermen, whose powers dwindled, enabling the Avengers to overcome them. Thor sensed the source of power to the Weathermen, and struck at Samarobryn with a powerful lightning bolt. This electrical attack apparently erased the programming that granted Samarobryn sentience, returning it to an unthinking computer programmed only to monitor the weather.
(Thunderbolts I#12 (fb) - BTS, #12) - Samarobryn had apparently continued in this function since that time. The U.S. Weather Service periodically sent meteorological missions to the station, using it approximately eight months out of the year. It was during one of the unoccupied periods that a "superhero" team, the Thunderbolts (with their true identities recently revealed as the super-villainous Masters of Evil and on the run from not only Earth's heroes but former leader and member Baron Zemo and Techno, respectively, as well) took refuge in Samarobryn to determine their next course of action. From here, the Thunderbolts teamed with members of the Avengers and Fantastic Four to attack Zemo and destroy his space station, with which he had planned to use a mind control device to rule the world.
Comments: The Weathermen were created by Bill Mantlo and Gene Colan. I guess the idea of Samarobryn was originally conceived by Nostradamus, but I don't know much about that (I wouldn't mind learning).
Here's some learning, brought to us by our own Kyle Sims:
Samarobyn is an imaginary word made up by Nostradamus, and it was INTERPRETED (like any other "prophecy" of Nostradamus) by Bill Mantlo, writer of the aforementioned Avengers story (or rather a character in the tale), to mean an entity that is hundreds of leagues in the hemisphere.
Others have quite seriously interpreted Samarobyn to
be things such as a space station, a space colony, a comet, a satellite, the
ozone layer, or even one of the signs for the Biblical last days. Type the
word into any search engine, and see for yourself. If further scrutinized,
these interpretations are probably some kind of culturally-bound,
self-fulfilling prophecy, meaning, for example, the space station theory about
Samarobryn was proffered after the the possibility of space stations had already
been discussed. Here's the exact quote (Century 6, Quatrain 5) involving
Samarobryn in Nostradamus' native tongue, French:
Si grand famine par une pestifere,
Par pluye longue le long du Pole Artique;
Samarobryn cent lieux de l´hemisphere,
Vivront sans loy, exempt de politique.
One of several English translations of the above states:
Very great famine (caused) by a plague-ridden wave,
Will extend through long rain the length of the Arctic pole:
"Samarobryn" one hundred leagues from the hemisphere,
They will live without law, exempt from politics.
Essentially, Samarobryn is a nonsensical word that is part of a larger work of "prophetic" nonsense literature created by Nostradamus, which has been given meaning through interpretation, yet every interpretation is a stretch in imagination. Actually, the nonsensical nature of Nostradamus' work may have been the impetus that not only gave him sentience, but it could also have been the logic behind Samarobryn's belief that humans were flawed and needed to be destroyed, in turn. In fact, something similar to, if not exactly the same as, this may have occurred to another artificially created sentient being, Gliitch from Avengers I Annual#23, second story.
Here's a link that talks about the prophecies of Nostradamus.
And now some supplemental info about Marvel's version of Samarobryn:
To clarify then, SHIELD's Orbital Platform
Lastly, I don't think erasing of programming has ever stopped any sentient computer from returning, so Samarobryn could make a comeback (not likely). Any one of the original meteorologists (or I guess almost anyone else) could probably get his hands on how the computer controlled the weather, created the armor, etc., and make a plot to do so himself. The programming was erased, but who's to say there wasn't a hard copy or back-up?
Profile by Snood; edited/updated by Kyle Sims
CLARIFICATIONS: The Weathermen have no known connection to:
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Avengers I#210 (August, 1981) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Thunderbolts I#12 (March, 1998) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Vince Russell, Scott Hanna, Larry Mahlstedt & Greg Adams (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last updated: 01/13/06
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