(from Reality-691)

Classification: Alternate reality (Reality-691 circa 31st century) extraterrestrial (Brotherhood of Badoon) technology (31st century)

Creators: Badoon scientists/engineers (unidentified)

Users/Operators: Brotherhood of Badoon (from Reality-691)

Subjects: Humans of Earth-691

Aliases: Slave disks (or slave discs)

First Appearance: (Mentioned) Marvel Super-Heroes II#18 (January, 1969);
   (first depicted) Guardians of the Galaxy I#26 (July, 1992)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: Psyke-Disks are small round silver disks about 2 inches in diameter with slender curving filaments which extend out about three inches from either side and end in slightly-wider spheres. They were worn (by humans) in the center of their lower foreheads, with the lower part of the disks at about the level of the eyebrows and the spheres at the ends of the filaments resting against the temples of the wearers.

   Although exactly how the Psyke-Disks functioned has never been revealed; it seems likely that they generated a field that affected the brains of the humans wearing them in such a way that made their minds extremely suggestible, enough so that they would obey any orders that were given to them, even those that they would normally chose to disobey.

   Another possibility is that the Psyke-Disks functioned by monitoring how their wearers reacted to commands given to them by their Badoon masters and punishing them if they disobeyed those orders. These punishments would presumably have been in the form of inducing pain sensations in the disobedient slaves.

   Given that the Badoon would not have wanted their slaves to be able to remove them, the Psyke-Disks were presumably very securely attached to their wearers. Alternatively, any slaves caught not wearing their Psyke-Disks might have been subjected to severe (and possibly lethal) penalties.

Limitations: Since the Badoon eventually stopped using Psyke-Disks on their human slaves, they may have had some defect that made them ineffective for prolonged use.

(Defenders I#26 (fb) - BTS) <3000 A.D.> - After some years of tension between them, Earth and its colonies on the solar planets Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto and the extrasolar planet Centauri-IV joined together as co-equal partners in the new United Federation of Earth.

(Marvel Super-Heroes II#18 (fb) - BTS/Defenders I#26 (fb)) <3006 A.D.> - Major Vance Astro, an American astronaut who had been sent into space on a thousand-year journey to the stars in 1988 A.D., landed on Centauri-IV and found that Earthmen had beaten him there.

(Marvel Presents#3-4: text pages) - In that same year, the Centauri-IV colony was attacked and destroyed by the Brotherhood of Badoon. Along with the Terran colonists, all of the native Centaurians, except for the weapons master Yondu, were (believed to have been) wiped out by the Badoon.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#12: Vance Astro and Yondu entries) - After the Badoon had massacred the entire human settlement on Centauri-IV and begun methodically eradicating the scattered tribes of native Centaurians, Major Astro took Yondu aboard his survey ship, Odysseus I, and attempted to escape to another planet in the Alpha Centauri star system. However, the antiquated starship was swiftly overtaken by the Badoon who found the ancient vessel so intriguing that, instead of destroying it on sight, they captured it and took its passengers captive. Astro and Yondu were held as prisoners until Earth had been secured.

(Marvel Super-Heroes II#18 (fb) - BTS/Defenders I#26 (fb)) <3007 A.D.> - The Brotherhood of Badoon invaded the Sol system and wiped out the colonies on Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto before finally capturing Earth.

(Defenders I#26 (fb) - BTS/Marvel Presents#3 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, the Badoon, who had conquered Earth for its resources and had no use for humans except as slave labor, eradicated most of the humans on Earth, leaving only 50 million survivors.

(Marvel Super-Heroes II#18 (fb) - BTS / Guardians of the Galaxy I#26 (fb) - BTS) - The Badoon enslaved the human population of Earth and required all (or almost all) of them to wear psyke-disks that forced them to work for the Badoon.

(Marvel Super-Heroes II#18 / Guardians of the Galaxy I#26 (fb)) - Major Astro and Yondu were transported to Earth as prisoners so that they could be brought before Drang, Supreme Commander of the Eastern Sector of the Badoon Empire, who wished to be amused by hearing the thousand-year-old Earthman's story from his own lips. When Astro refused to comply, Drang had the Memory Probe used on him, and it painfully extracted some of his memories and displayed them as an audio-visual presentation that Drang watched.


(Marvel Super-Heroes II#18) - After the probe of his memories had ended, Major Astro demanded to know why he and Yondu had been brought there. Drang answered him by saying, "You know, of course, Major, that you are the only Earthman permitted to not wear a Psyke-Disk! We respect the special knowledge of a man who has lived forty generations!"

   Astro replied, "You want me to work for you voluntarily -- That's why I'm spared your slave disk!"

   Drang responded, "Exactly! We could command you like those poor wretches out there!"

   Astro answered by saying, "I see what you mean, Drang! Okay, you've made a deal! But -- for a price!"



(Marvel Super-Heroes II#18 / Guardians of the Galaxy I#26 (fb)) - Drang told Astro that he would be well paid for betraying his people but this prompted Astro to state that his people had died 1,000 years ago. Drang replied that the major did have had "one people" and asked if Yondu wasn't his creature, but Astro dismissed that idea, claiming that he just kept Yondu around for laughs. This gave Drang the idea of asking Astro to kill Yondu and offering him a Badoon hand weapon. Astro stated that he knew Drang was testing him by making him Yondu's executioner and agreed to kill Yondu but added that it would be more interesting if he did it with Yondu's own weapons and asked for them. However, although neither Drang nor Yondu realized it, this was just a ploy by Astro to get his hands on Yondu's weapons. Once Astro had the bow and had used it to shoot a Yaka arrow at Yondu, the Centaurian was able to use his whistles to take control of the arrow and send it against the nearby Badoon, giving him and Astro a chance to break through a glass window and escape from the palace.

   Seven years passed

(Marvel Two-In-One I#4 (fb) - BTS / Defenders I#26 (fb) - BTS / Marvel Presents#3 (fb) - BTS) <3014 A.D.> - By the time Earth-616's Captain America (Steve Rogers), the Thing (Ben Grimm) and Sharon Carter had time-traveled from their Earth's modern era to this future's New York City, the Badoon were no longer using psyke-discs. Instead, the surviving humans were either kept in prison camps around the world or had been transformed into Zoms. For some reason, the humans inhabiting New York City were allowed to live freely except for severe restrictions (like nighttime curfews) imposed upon them by the Badoon.

Comments: Concept created by Arnold Drake but first actually drawn by Jim Valentino and Steve Montano.

   I had always believed that the slave disks that the Brotherhood of Badoon required their human slaves to wear were devices that somehow compelled those wearing them to obey orders given to them by their masters. I assumed that they were similar to the slave discs that the Controller used on his victims (except that the Badoon disks did not absorb psychic energy from their wearers and transmit that energy to the Badoon). However, while working on this profile and reviewing the very limited data about them, I began to wonder if they actually did anything to their wearers and to consider the possibility that the discs were only ways to visibly identify the wearers as being slaves who could be punished if they disobeyed. Fortunately, those doubts ended as soon as I recalled that the Badoon called them Psyke-Disks and that Psyke was probably a reference to the word "psyche" which means soul, personality or mind. Based on that fact and Drang's words about how the Badoon could make Astro work for them involuntarily if he were wearing a Psyke-Disk, I concluded that my initial assumption had been right all along.

   Another thing that writer Arnold Drake established in Marvel Super-Heroes II#18 was that Major Astro possessed a "psyke-pusher" that he used to enable himself and Yondu to safely glide down to the ground after they had both jumped out of that high window in the Badoon palace. In its second (and final) mention in Defenders I#27, writer Steve Gerber clarified that Astro's "psyke-pusher disc" was a device that he wore hidden beneath his metallic hood and that he could gather sparks of psionic force from within his consciousness and channel them outwards through the device as blasts of psycho-kinetic energy. However, the psyke-pusher was never mentioned again and Astro's powers were later revealed to actually be latent mutant abilities that had been stimulated by the stresses he experienced during his long spaceflight. Since the psyke-pusher is no longer in continuity, I'm not including it under Clarifications, but its appearance in that first story does establish that Drake did consider the word "psyke" to be associated with the mind.

   Writer Jim Valentino made some changes when he retold the origin of the Guardians in Guardians of the Galaxy I#26. Aside from omitting any mention of Astro's psyke-pusher disc, he also slightly changed the conversation between Drang and Major Astro so it read as follows:

      Drang: "You know, of course, Major, that you are one of the few Earthmen not required to wear a Slave Disc! You see, we Badoon respect the special knowledge of a man who has lived for over forty generations!"
      Major Astro: "And you want me to work for you - - voluntarily!"
      Drang: "Yes, Major. Look outside -- The war is over and we have won! Your people are our slaves now!"
      Major Astro: "All right, Drang. You've got yourself a deal! I will work for you - - but for a price!"

   I've included Valentino's version of that conversation because, although it does say almost the same things as the original version, I feel that it also makes it less clear how (or if) the slave discs were affecting the humans wearing them. It could be read as being similar to how certain authoritarian human regimes have forced segments of their populations who they considered to be religious or ethnic outsiders (or criminals) to wear distinguishable clothing or symbols that would make them readily identifiable to the rest of the population.

   The Guardians of the Galaxy have always been an interesting concept but there have also always been problems with how their whole continuity has been handled. The biggest problem has been how little new information has been added to the skeletal frame of their timeline. Sure, writer Steve Gerber did a great job connecting the futures of the Guardians and Killraven with Marvel's modern-day world of super-heroes but it has been almost fifty years since he wrote "An Outline Course in World History" for Marvel Presents#4 and there's still a serious lack of information about exactly what happened and when in that timeline. A detailed chronology is long overdue and two of the elements missing from that threadbare backstory would have been helpful in writing this profile.

  • The first bit of useful data would have involved how and when the Badoon eradicated most of the human population of Earth-691. We know that the Badoon conquered Earth in 3007 A.D. and that the human population had been reduced to only fifty million by the time the Brotherhood were removed in 3015 A.D. but there have always been unanswered questions. For example, how many people actually lived on Earth prior to the Badoon invasion? Did most of those humans killed by the Badoon die during the invasion? Or were they exterminated later, after the conquest? Did the Badoon begin forcing the surviving humans to wear Psyke-Disks after the population had been reduced? Or were there mass killings that happened later?

  • The second bit of useful data would have been the reason why the Badoon stopped using the Psyke-Disks sometime between 3007 and 3014 A.D. I mean, sure, the real world reason is obvious: If someone wants to write stories about how a ragtag group of heroes could inspire an enslaved population to rise up against their alien overlords, then it would be helpful if there weren't some technology present that was actively preventing the populace from rebelling. However, in such a situation, it would have been nice to have been given some in-universe reason why such a seemingly-useful method of enslavement was discontinued. The best theory that I could devise was that the Psyke-Disks somehow became increasingly ineffective the longer that they were worn. Perhaps the brains of the humans wearing them slowly developed an immunity to their influence? Or maybe a critical component was made of a very rare material and the Badoon eventually ran out of it? Or maybe some Terran scientist developed technology that broadcast an energy field that disrupted the effects of the Psyke-Disks? Any one of these theories could be correct, or none of them. It's a mystery for the ages.

   Although the Brotherhood of Badoon occupied and controlled Earth-691 for eight years, from 3007 to 3015 A.D., we readers were shown very little of what life was like for their human slaves. Aside from the last two images in this profile, the only other image from that time period that I know of appears in Defenders I#26. The single panel shows some humans in a Badoon prison camp, standing behind a tall wire fence with armed Badoon guards stationed outside. Being told that the Badoon committed atrocities while not being shown the humans suffering much hardship presents an oddly antiseptic view of the Badoon occupation. Sure, they killed a LOT of people but only in flashbacks and those who died were characters we had never had the chance to know so their deaths seemed less "real" and thus less significant.

Profile by Donald Campbell.

The Psyke-Disks (or slave disks) used by the Badoon have no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Guardians of the Galaxy I#26, page 12, panel 5 (main image)
Marvel Super-Heroes II#18, page 16, panel 5 (human slaves erecting a statue of a Badoon)
Guardians of the Galaxy I#26, page 12, panel 5 (human slaves wearing slave discs)

Marvel Super-Heroes II#18 (January, 1969) - Arnold Drake (writer), Gene Colan (penciller), Mike Esposito (as Mickey Demeo, inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Guardians of the Galaxy I#26 (July, 1992) - Jim Valentino (writer/penciler), Steve Montano (inker), Craig Anderson (editor)

First Posted: 07/17/2023
Last updated: 07/17/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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