UNDERGROUND of DENEB IV
Membership: General/Head and formerly Rambu;
others unidentified (see comments)
Purpose: To oppose the Null-Trons
Affiliations: Indirectly Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) and Rick Jones
Base of Operations: Subterranean sanctuary on Deneb IV (see comments)
First Appearance: (Rambu's foot, unidentified)
Captain Marvel I#41 (November, 1975);
(Underground seen and identified) Captain Marvel I#44 (May, 1976)
Powers/Abilities: Originally mortal beings, the Underground members progressively lost limbs in battle, and they were replaced with bionic parts, transforming them into cyborgs.When last seen the Underground members were more machine than organic tissue.
They wore armor, including
helmets, apparently composed of an unidentified metal (some of their
armor may have been part of their bionic parts.
They likely possessed some degree of superhuman strength and durability.
A number of them carried staffs or spears and/or used energy rifles.
(Captain Marvel I#44 (fb) - BTS) - Kree Null-Trons devastated the Kree frontier outpost Deneb IV.
(Captain Marvel I#45 (fb) - BTS) - Rambu and at least he man who would become their General were dispatched to Deneb IV to fight against the Null-Trons.
(Captain Marvel I#45 (fb) - BTS) - The Underground was formed on Deneb IV to rid their world of the Null-Trons.
Marvel I#45 (fb) - BTS) - While the Underground's members were once
fully human, over time they gradually lost their mortal limbs and
had them replaced with cybernetics.
Eventually they were mostly machine. Their General existed only as a head and neck grafted to the body of a Null-Tron.
Marvel I#45 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to absorb the Destiny Force (as it
was later called) from the human Rick Jones, the Supreme Intelligence engineered
a convoluted plot, involving arranging for the General to obtain
the Mind Gem (see comments) and use it to condition Jones and Mar-Vell for this purpose.
(Captain Marvel I#41 - BTS / Captain Marvel I#45 (fb) - BTS) - The Supreme Intelligence also increased the power to the Null-Trons to make their danger to Deneb IV more acute.
(Captain Marvel I#41 / Captain Marvel I#45 (fb) - BTS) - Rambu tripped on loose soil, uncovering the Mind Gem (see comments).
(Captain Marvel I#45 (fb) - BTS) - Rambu showed the gem to the General, who said its strange power would be their salvation: No more new limbs, no more watching themselves becoming more and more machine.
Marvel I#44) - Captain Marvel arrived with the seemingly dyring Rick on Deneb IV and
found it to have been destroyed and its people slaughtered. Mar-Vell located the central medical facility and placed Rick within
one of its standardized life-support chambers.
Surveying the city and finding no other living beings, Mar-Vell then discovered the Null-Trons, realized them to be the cause of the devastation, and fled when they attacked him.
(Captain Marvel I#44 (fb) - BTS) - Members of the Underground took Rick to the General.
Marvel I#44) - After finding Rick missing, Mar-Vell was assaulted and
subdued by members of the Underground -- presumably including a
helmeted Rambu -- who brought him
before the Head of the Underground, where Rick was being held. The
General told Marvel that he
wanted them both to not only join but to lead the Underground.
In exchange, the General would cure them of the disease he had discovered in Rick' brain as Rick and Mar-Vell's minds were merging into one.
(Captain Marvel I#45) - The General revealed his origins and their progressively losing the battle against the Null-Trons, but refused to reveal anything further about his plans unless Mar-Vell agreed to his proposal, as he could not risk compromising his plans otherwise.
After Mar-Vell agreed to the General's offer, the General told him of the Mind Gem. Acting under the General's presumably previous instructions, Rambu and a number of the other Underground members removed Jones from his life support chamber and physically hurled him into the Mind Gem. The General then instructed Mar-Vell to follow Jones into the Gem or forfeit all hope, and Mar-Vell entered the Gem as well.
Within the Mind Gem, Rick and Mar-Vell battled to
preserve their own identities, and -- and, as the General had
planned -- the Mind Gem transmitted the energies of their fight to the
Underground who then assaulted the Null-Trons, even mirroring Mar-Vell and Jones' dialog.
Rambu met with the General, who told him that their people were rallying and that the two inside the gem were beginning to formulate battle strategies. When the General noted that they would at last be free of their eternal war, Rambu asked whether he meant they would win. However, the General told Rambu that his pride and humanity were nuisances, after which he noted that they had been dispatched there to die: While cyborgs were the elite, they were all expandable, although very slowly so.
The General elaborated that when one of the two in the Mind Gem won, the Underground would win their war against the Null-Trons. Rambu questioned how the General knew which one would win, but the General replied that it did not matter which one won, as whatever the outcome, the war against the Null-Trons would be over. He clarified that whether they greeted the evening as conquerors or the conquered, they would know peace: "That is what I promised and what I will deliver."
Rambu was outraged that
his General had no concern whether they won or lost, but when he
denounced the General, the General swatted him down with his powerful
(Captain Marvel I#45 - BTS) - Mar-Vell and Jones' fierce battle led the Underground to gain the upper hand against the Null-Trons, until the two realized what they were doing to each other and paused, at which point the Underground and Null-Trons' struggles halted as well.
(Captain Marvel I#45) - As the General stared into Mind Gem, awaiting the next assault, which he knew would soon occur, Rambu struggled to his feet and began pounding on the Mind Gem, accusing "this soul gem" of being the cause of their misery. The assault was transmitted to both Mar-Vell and Jones inside the gem; and, through them, to the warring Underground and Null-Trons forces, who toppled to the ground.
Fawn -- a manifestation of his own subconsciousness created via his connection to the Nega-Bands -- subsequently introduced herself to Rambu and then noted that while her goal was to save Jones, it would save Rambu's cause as well. Her presence giving him understanding of what he needed to do, Rambu took Fawn's hand and dove into the Mind Gem with her, ignoring as the General cried out in impotent rage.
Marvel I#45) - Fawn
and Rambu stopped Mar-Vell and Jones from fighting, and Fawn granted
Mar-Vell understanding that he and Jones were merely evolving rather
Fawn then led Rick Jones, Mar-Vell, and Rambu with her to escape "this jewel of madness and death."
Marvel I#46 (fb) - BTS) - The quartet departed the Mind Gem, the
subterranean sancturary, and Deneb IV, traveling to confront the
Comments: Created by Steve Englehart and Al Milgrom.
Rambu and the General/Head discuss being dispatched to Deneb IV. Rambu
says "we," so it is at least Rambu and the General, but it is not clear
how many others were sent. I would think it likely that SOME of the
Underground were residents of Deneb IV and that some were dispatched to
aid them, but that is not confirmed.
When Rambu's assault on the Mind Gem was transmitted through it via Jones and Mar-Vell's connection to those fighting, the Null-Trons noted that the Denebians were toppling as were they. That would SEEM to indicate that many of Underground members were Denebians.
That being said, the Null-Trons hated all life equally, and they may not have just considered any at-least-partially organic beings as Denebians.
Profile by Snood.
The Underground of Deneb IV has no known connections to:
At some point, the Underground established their subterran sanctuary in
the rocky caverns beneath the surface of Deneb IV.
The General/Head was based out of this sanctuary.
The sanctuary contained at least some computer banks of an undetermined nature.
After discovery the Mind Gem, Rambu brought it to the General in the sanctuary.
After Captain Marvel and Rick Jones arrived on Deneb IV and Mar-Vell placed the seemingly dying Rick in a life-support chamber, the Underground took Rick and a life-support chamber into the sanctuary, after which they overwhelmed Mar-Vell and brought him there as well.
It was from the sanctuary that the General sent Rick and Mar-Vell into the Mind Gem, although they eventually escaped with aid by Rambu and Fawn, and they departed the sanctuary and Deneb IV altogether.
--Captain Marvel I#44
images: (without ads)
Captain Marvel I, #44 cover - the scene didn't happen in the comics, as Marv only faced the bland solid silver-armored Underground, but it's a good image nonetheless, so here it is
pg. 16, panel 4 (Underground assaulting Marv);
pg. 17, panel (Underground overwhelming Marv);
panel 5 (Underground carrying Marv down stairs into their base);
panel 6 (Underground with Marv in subterranean base);
pg. 18, panel 1 (Rick in vertical life-support system);
#45, pg. 1 (Marv and General in Underground base with Rick in stasis);
pg. 4, panel 6 (Rick removed from life-support chamber by Mind Gem-containing sphere);
pg. 7, panel 7 (Underground vs. Null-Trons);
pg. 8, panel 1 (General and Rambu in base by computer bank);
pg. 12, panel 4 (Underground vs. Null-Trons again);
pg. 13, panel 5 (Underground and Null-Trons...pause)
Captain Marvel I#41 (November, 1975) - Steve Englehart (plot/script), Al Milgrom (plot/pencils), Bernie Wrightson, Craig Russell, Bob McLeod, Terry Austin & Al Milgrom (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Captain Marvel I#44 (May, 1976) - Steve Englehart (writer), Al Milgrom (artist), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Captain Marvel I#45 (July, 1976) - Steve Englehart (writer), Al Milgrom (artist), Terry Austin (finishes), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Captain Marvel I#46 (September, 1976) - Chris Claremont (script), Steve Englehart (co-plot), Al Milgrom (co-plot/breakdowns), Terry Austin (finishes), Archie Goodwin (editor)
First posted: 05/30/2023
Last updated: 07/09/2023
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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