Classification: Extraterrestrial humanoids
Location/Base of Operations: Sirus X, tenth planet from
the sun in the Al Ma'an star system of the Milky Way Galaxy;
known as "Homeworld" in the pre-timequake timeline (Reality-7528)
Habitat: Unrevealed but probably similar to that of Earth
Gravity: Unrevealed but apparently similar to that of Earth
Atmosphere: Unrevealed but apparently similar to that of Earth
Known Members: A woman who never became the
Matriarch (name unrevealed); possibly Zania Orbal (see comments)
Estimated population: 45 billion
Affiliations: A religion whose name has not been revealed;
(pre-timequake/Reality-7528) The Universal Church of Truth and the deity they worshipped, the Magus
(pre-timequake/Reality-7528) All Non-Believers; Adam Warlock
First Appearance: Strange Tales I#178 (February, 1975)
(race identified) The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#5: Humanoid Aliens entry (May, 1983)
Cultural Traits: Some Sirusites are intensely religious
Fingers: Four (plus opposable thumb)
Skin color: Pinkish-white
Average height: 5' 11"
Type of government: Theocracy (unconfirmed);
Level of technology: Allegedly equivalent to that of Earth but can construct starships capable of interstellar travel. Known to have been scientifically advanced about five thousand years ago.(see comments)
(The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#5: Humanoid Aliens entry) - The Sirusites are a humanoid race who apparently evolved on the planet Sirus X in the Al Ma'an star system within the Milky Way Galaxy.
(The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I1#15: Sirusites entry) - The Sirusites are a humanoid race who apparently evolved on Sirus X, the tenth planet from the sun in the Al'Ma'an star system within the Milky Way Galaxy.
(Warlock I#13 (fb) - BTS) - The Sirusite homeworld may exist within the Hercules star cluster which is located about 420 light-years from Earth.(see comments)
(Warlock I#9 (fb)) <"Five thousand years" before Earth's late 20th century> - At this time, the Sirusites were a scientifically-advanced people but they were also superstitious and believed in the existence of demons.
(Warlock I#9 (fb)) <c. 3000 B.C.> - In Reality-7528, a group of Sirusites were present at the location where the being later known as the Magus appeared on Sirus X. Although they were, even then, scientifically advanced, they remained superstitious and, upon making contact with the stranger, they assumed he was a demon of some type and immediately attacked. The Magus reacted by showing them how a demon would protect himself, using powers that he had gained during his years of incubation within his chrysalis.
Those Sirusites who survived his attack immediately prostrated themselves before the Magus and began worshipping him as some sort of deity who had been sent to lead them. With the aid of these followers, the Magus set out to conquer the planet and, with each new territory he conquered, more and more Sirusites began to follow him. Within a year, the Magus had become both the planet's unquestioned ruler and was worshipped as its only "true god."
The Magus then established the Universal Church of Truth in order to keep its practitioners in line with threats of damnation. Once that was done, the Magus initiated holy wars against the heathens who infested their neighboring planets.
Over the next five thousand years, the Magus used the military forces of the UCT to conquer over one thousand inhabited worlds, converting billions of people into followers who believed that he was God, right or wrong. During this period, the Magus adopted his "Wizard of Oz" disguise for its shock value. He also established the Black Knights, Palace Inquisitors, and any other group that he remembered his past self (Warlock) had met.
Four years before he remembered his past self having met him, the Magus began his final preparations to close the time loop of his existence. Guided by Warlock's memories, the Magus sought out the Sirusite woman to whom (Warlock remembered) he had relinquished physical control over his holy empire. He found this woman in a certain sinful establishment in one of the lowest levels of the same city in which his holy palace was located. Already known as an infamous woman of easy morals, with an iron will and a mind like a razor, this woman became the Matriarch and took control of the UCT as if she had been born to do so.
(Warlock I#11) - Ultimately, interference by Thanos, the powerful Champion of Death for whom the Magus had been created to battle, enabled Adam Warlock to prevent himself from becoming the Magus by cleansing and destroying the metaphysical life path that led to him becoming the Magus and choosing another fate. Doing so shattered the time loop, and triggered an "explosive reshuffling of time."
(Warlock I#11 / Warlock I#12 (fb) - BTS) - After Adam Warlock broke the time loop, retroactively altering the past 5,000 years of history, the resulting "explosive reshuffling of time" supposedly destroyed "the Marvel Universe" so that it could be reborn again as a timeline in which neither the Magus nor his Universal Church of Truth had ever existed (in actuality, the two realities were merely diverged). Being at the eye of this timequake kept Adam Warlock, Pip the Troll, Thanos and Gamora from being affected by it, allowing them to retain their memories of the pre-existing reality. Thanos and Gamora found themselves aboard the wrecked Sanctuary I in space near the planet that had been Homeworld while Warlock and Pip, who had been in Warlock's metaphysical Kismet Trail, appeared on the planet itself which had now always been known as Sirus X.
(Warlock I#11) - After they appeared on the planet's surface, Adam Warlock told Pip that they were in a universe that had never known a Magus or a Universal Church of Truth. Warlock then stated that, as he had suspected, it would appear that if a false god that men worshipped were to be destroyed, it would not be long before they would find another to bow to, and he directed Pip's attention to a nearby building with an odd symbol atop its roof that was (presumably) a church. Although slightly disheartened, Pip then invited Warlock to accompany him to Mama Alpha's where he would buy Adam a mug of Ambrosian wine and treat himself to a Stinger and a reversed bowl of grud. Warlock did not immediately answer, having been briefly distracted when he spotted a woman who resembled the UCT Matriarch walking down the street, but when Pip asked him if the person who had distracted him was someone he knew, Warlock replied, "no, no one really. Just a memory!" Warlock then went with Pip to have that drink, saying that he could use it!
(Warlock I#12 (fb) - BTS) - Pip and Adam spent four days on Sirus X, engaging in various acts of debauchery, before Adam decided that he had to leave for the stars to find the tranquility he needed to solve the myriad riddles of his life. Within a minute of Adam's departure, Pip had an awkward conversation with Mama Alpha that he managed to cut short by instigating an hour-long barroom brawl. Upon leaving the tavern, Pip encountered Heater Delight who duped him into fighting her captor, Pro-Boscis the Procurer. Despite being very outmatched, Pip managed to survive by toppling a column of precariously-balanced boulders onto his foe but was disappointed to learn that the reward that Heater had promised him for freeing her was the pleasure cruiser to which she had been bound. However, after Heater had left with her lover Eros, Pip saw that Pro-Boscis was digging his way free from the rocks and quickly decided to accept Heater's generosity and use the pleasure cruiser to disappear into the void of space.
(Planet Hulk: Gladiator Guidebook#1: Imperial Technology: Pleasure Cruiser text) - The planet Sirus X was known as a haven for gambling and debauchery. There was also some starshipbuilding industry on the planet that could construct Pleasure Cruisers capable of interstellar travel.
(Planet Hulk: Gladiator Guidebook#1: Imperial Technology: Pleasure Cruiser text) <Sakaar calendar year 558 Post> - Seven Pleasure Cruisers that had been built for Pro-Boscis the Procurer left Sirus X on course for the nearby planet of Kotzwinkle. However, while en route they were enveloped by the random wormhole known as the Great Portal which transported them to the planet Sakaar in the Tayo star system of the Fornax Dwarf Galaxy.
(Guardians of the Galaxy II#17) - Years later, in order to stop the time-space fissure known as the Fault from expanding until it swallowed the entire universe, Adam Warlock cast a massive enchantment that grafted the inert/quiescent/detached/redundant Magus timeline onto that of Reality-616.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#5: Universal Church of Truth entry) - In order to make the bond between the two timelines strong enough to hold, Warlock had to overlap the timelines. This overlap caused elements from Reality-7528 to manifest in Reality-616 a very long time before Warlock cast that spell, effectively retroactively changing history again.(see comments)
(Guardians of the Galaxy II#1-2) - In this timeline, a version of the Universal Church of Truth had been brought back into existence by Warlock's spell. However, unlike the original incarnation, this reborn UCT had only been founded decades ago instead of millennia, and it had had a succession of planets as its "homeworld" over the course of its existence, none of which are known to have been Sirus X.
It has not been revealed if any Sirusites have had any involvement with the reborn Universal Church of Truth.
Comments: The Matriarch of the Universal Church of Truth and the planet Homeworld/Sirus
X created by Jim Starlin.
Sirusite race created/identified by the staff of the first volume of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (led by Head Writer Mark Gruenwald).
Out of the 128 quarter-page entries in the Alien Races appendix that appeared in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#15, only the Nanda and Sirusite races were represented by images of characters who were noticeably female (i.e., by being drawn with black bras covering parts of their chests). Of course, this doesn't mean that all of the other 126 images were of male members of their respective races. Some of them could have been of races who did not need two genders to reproduce (like the Kronans) or from races who did have two genders but no sexual dimorphism (so their females and males had identical external appearances).
I was not happy when I saw that the writers of the original Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe had chosen to establish that the Matriarch had been a member of the humanoid race that was native to the planet Sirus X. Although I've been a fan of science fiction for most of my life, I find it really irritating when aliens happen to look (almost) exactly like pale-skinned humans from Earth. And yes, I know that there are good reasons for making them look so human. For one thing, humans watching a TV show about aliens will empathize with them more if they look like us. For another, since no aliens have ever been willing to become actors on Earth and using full-body costumes or CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) to create non-humanoid aliens is expensive, it's easier and cheaper for TV shows and movies to feature very humanoid aliens who can be portrayed by human actors wearing just enough makeup and/or limited prosthetic appliances (like pointed ears) to make them look slightly different from humans. The comic book equivalent of this latter reason is that artists who are very familiar with drawing human bodies can do a quicker and better job when drawing aliens who look very human as opposed to non-humanoids.
However, despite accepting those reasons as valid, I was still disappointed that Marvel had decided to create yet another alien race in the Marvel Universe that was outwardly identical to pale-skinned humans from Earth. After all, by the time the Magus Saga was published, Marvel Comics had already introduced (at least) six alien races who were outwardly-identical to pale-skinned Earthlings, including the Quists, the Zenn-Lavians, the Sirians, the Pink Kree, the Dakkamites, and the (non-mutated) Arcturans. Given that the UCT was a multi-species organization, the Matriarch could have been made a member of any of those races. Plus, there was the fact that the natives of Sirus X who confronted the Magus when he first appeared on their planet were depicted in that flashback with skin that was not pinkish-white in color.
The first Sirusite ever seen was the scheming woman known as the Matriarch, the temporal leader of the Universal Church of Truth, a tyrannical and genocidal interstellar religious empire who worshipped the Magus. However, when Adam Warlock was able to change his destiny and prevent his future self from traveling five thousand years back in time and becoming the Magus, he retroactively altered history. The resulting timequake seemingly destroyed the UCT timeline which was reborn as another timeline in which the Magus had never existed. As a result, the Magus did not suddenly appear on the planet Sirus X circa 3000 B.C. and thus the Universal Church of Truth was not founded on that planet. Without the UCT, Sirus X never became known as the UCT's Homeworld, the billions of beings who would otherwise have joined the UCT did something else with their lives, and the billions of people who would have been killed by the UCT lived different lives that were not cut short by the UCT. One of the people who did not die because her interaction with the Magus and the UCT was prevented was apparently the woman had been made the Matriarch in the original timeline.
The profile on the Universal Church of Truth that was published in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update#5 (February, 2011) established that the Matriarch who first appeared as the leader of the reborn UCT in Guardians of the Galaxy II#1 (July, 2008) was not the same woman as the Matriarch from the original Magus Saga. However, this has not yet been confirmed in-story and it has also not been established if this new Matriarch was a member of the Sirusite race or not.
In any event, as far as I can determine, the Matriarch of the original UCT is the only character in the Marvel Multiverse who has ever been identified as being a member of the Sirusite race. Of course, it's probably safe to assume that the woman who Adam Warlock saw walking in the street on Sirus X at the end of Warlock I#11 was a counterpart of the UCT Matriarch and would thereby also be a Sirusite herself but this has not been confirmed in any story.
As for Sirus X, this planet (the one that was never in a time loop) has only appeared in Warlock I#11-12 and the only significant reference to it (as opposed to the UCT Homeworld) was in an entry in the Imperial Technology section of Planet Hulk: Gladiator Guidebook#1 that revealed that seven Pleasure Cruisers had been constructed on Sirus X. As a result, pretty much everything that is known about Sirus X comes from the Official Handbook's entry on the Sirusite race, and that's not much.
Complicating things further is the fact that the history of the Sirusite race and their planet for the last 5,000 years was tremendously influenced by the Magus who ruled the planet as part of the time loop. However, once the time loop was broken and that history was retroactively altered, the few facts that had been revealed about Homeworld were no longer accurate/relevant, and that history was reduced to a blank slate that contains only a few scraps of conflicting information.
One of those conflicts concerns the technological level of the Sirusite race. According to the Magus, they were already scientifically advanced when he arrived on Sirus X c. 3000 BC and, once he'd conquered the planet and formed the UCT, he was soon able to send his forces off into space on holy wars against the heathens who infested their neighboring planets. Although this suggests that the Sirusites of that time may have already possessed the technology needed for interstellar travel, it's also possible that the Magus was the one who gave them that technology in the first place.
The OHotMU entry on the Sirusites seemingly presented data about that
race as it existed after the breaking of the time loop, and that entry stated that their level of technology was
"equivalent to Earth." This suggested that the modern-day Sirusites did not possess their own means of star travel,
and thus probably should not have had much interaction with aliens. However, this was contradicted by the fact that
Warlock I#11-12 depicted Warlock and Pip interacting with a fair number of non-Sirusites on the planet, including
Mama Alpha and many of the patrons of her cabaret. The revelation that the seven Pleasure Cruisers that crashed
on the planet Sakaar that world's year 558 Post had been constructed on Sirus X further supported the idea that the
Sirusites did actually possess the technology required for the construction of interstellar starships, something that
should have classified their technological level as being "superior to Earth."
Perhaps the real Earth doesn't have space travel, but Earth-616 sure does, so the presence of spaceships doesn't make it superior to Earth-
Where is Homeworld/Sirus X located?
1. According to the Omniscient Narrative in Strange Tales I#178, Adam Warlock was on "an uncharted satellite in the Star Cluster Hercules" when he first learned about the existence of the genocidal Universal Church of Truth and met some of its murderous agents. However, the unidentified girl who had sought him out claimed to have "crossed a dozen galaxies" to find him, implying that Homeworld and the UCT were very far away from Star Cluster Hercules. Despite this, the three Grand Inquisitors were able to use their belt teleporters to transport themselves back to Inquisition Central.
2. In Strange Tales I#179, the starship "Great Divide" was described as being "universes away" from Homeworld when it reported the capture of the infidel, Warlock.
3. In Strange Tales I#180, the Omniscient Narrative described Homeworld as being "located light-years from Earth in the constellation Hercules."
4. In Warlock I#9, the Omniscient Narrative described Homeworld as being "located light-years from Earth."
5. The Omniscient Narrative in Warlock I#13 stated that Warlock was "420 light-years from Earth (and) deep within the Hercules star cluster" when he noticed that stars were vanishing (due to the actions of the being he later called the Star-Thief).
Based on these references, one would assume that some idea of where Homeworld was located could be determined. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. For one thing, describing some location as being "in" a constellation is actually not that helpful. The problem is that a constellation is just "an area on the celestial sphere in which a group of visible stars forms a perceived pattern or outline." According to Wikipedia, "The celestial sphere is a conceptual tool used in spherical astronomy to specify the position of an object in the sky without consideration of its linear distance from the observer." So, while it gives one a rough direction in which an object is located relative to Earth, it leaves the distance from Earth wide open. For example, Alpha Centauri and Centaurus A are both visible within the constellation of Centaurus, but Alpha Centauri is a star system less than 5 light-years away while Centaurus A is a galaxy that is 11 million light-years away.
Examples of constellations being portrayed as actual divisions of or locations in space instead of being arbitrary patterns visible from a planet can be found on the Constellations as Locations page of the TV Tropes website. It's one of the tropes listed in the Artistic License – Space sub-category.
Since that constellation reference is unhelpful, what about the
references to the Star Cluster Hercules (or the Hercules star cluster)? An internet search for "Hercules star
cluster" generated two significant results related to objects within Hercules. One of them is the
Hercules Cluster, a cluster of 200 galaxies
that is about 500 million light-years away. However, occupying such a large volume of space and being so
far away makes this galaxy cluster unlikely to be the referenced "star" cluster.
The other result is Messier 13, also known as the Hercules Globular Cluster, a spheroidal conglomeration of hundreds of thousands of stars that are bound by gravity into a cluster that is about 145 light-years in diameter. Containing at least 300,000 stars and existing within the Milky Way, this globular cluster would be a good candidate for where Sirus X was located except for the fact it is 22,200–25,000 light-years away from Earth, making it much more distant than the star cluster that was described as being 420 light-years from Earth.
Since neither of these possibilities from the real world are suitable, it seems that Sirus X must be located within an entirely fictional star cluster that exists only in the Marvel Universe. In that respect, it may be like the Shi'ar Galaxy which has existed for over forty years but has yet to be associated, either officially or in-story, with any real-life galaxy.
There are a couple of final references that make things weirder. In Warlock I#14, after traveling through a black hole (i.e., hyper-space), Warlock emerged through an exit hole that left him "mere light-years away" from Earth and he declared himself to be "back in the Milky Way." This suggests that Warlock had been (or thought he had been) outside of the Milky Way when he entered the black hole. Also, the Star Thief stated that Warlock had been "thousands of light years from Earth." Based on these references, it seems that even writer Jim Starlin himself had no clear idea where Homeworld was located.
How did breaking the time loop affect the Marvel Universe?
The Magus Saga ended with Adam Warlock preventing the creation of his future Magus self, an event that caused Warlock's origin universe to diverge (seemingly end and be reborn) as one in which neither the Magus or his Universal Church of Truth had ever existed. As a result, Adam Warlock, Pip the Troll, Thanos and Gamora were the only four (mortal) beings who remembered what reality had been like. Additionally, the four of them, the clothes they were wearing, the wrecked Sanctuary I and Warlock's Soul Gem (and the billions of souls within it) were the only physical objects from that timeline that continued to exist in the reborn universe.
However, aside from those four individuals and a brief glimpse of what Sirus X was now like, we readers were shown nothing about how the Marvel Universe had been altered by the changes made to its history. This is a significant oversight, especially since the UCT had conquered a thousand worlds, meaning that it was the equivalent in size to either the Kree or Skrull Empires. What happened to all the races whose lives had been altered (or ended) by the UCT? Considering that close to a thousand races had joined the UCT and hundreds more had been "purified" by them, that's a MASSIVE amount of people whose lives were affected by Warlock's breaking of the time loop and it seems odd that the aftermath has been completely ignored in the almost fifty years that have passed since that storyline ended.
Another aspect of this breaking of the time loop that has bothered me is the question of what actually happened to Warlock, Pip and Thanos. Remember, when time was reshuffled, the three of them and Gamora were protected by being at the eye of that reshuffling, but one would think that there must have been versions of Warlock, Pip and Thanos who been born into that reborn universe and still existed there when the time loop broke. So, what happened to those versions of those three characters? Were their places in the reborn universe just assumed by the trio from the time loop universe? Was the mere presence of their counterparts from the previous time looped universe enough to displace them out of their home universe and into some sort of comic book limbo?
It's worth noting that there wouldn't have been an alternate Gamora in this non-UCT universe since the only reason she had existed in the present of the UCT timeline had been because Thanos had transported her there from her future in order to use her as a weapon against the Magus. With no Magus in the non-UCT timeline, Thanos would have had no reason to travel into the future to find Gamora and bring her back in time so he could train her to become a weapon to be used against the Magus.
On the other hand, there is the Soul Gem and its contents. Like Warlock, Pip and Thanos, there should have been a version of it that existed within the non-UCT universe. Since it seems likely that the Magus would have made sure that none of the Soul Gem's hosts in the UCT universe prior to Warlock had interacted with the UCT, then the souls held within the non-UCT version could have been the same as those held within the UCT version, with the notable exception of those Universalites whose souls had been taken by the Soul Gem while Warlock wore it (i.e., Captain Autolycus, Judge Kray-Tor and a roomful of Black Knights). However, that doesn't necessarily mean that the non-UCT version couldn't have contained some souls that the UCT version had never stolen. If that was the case, then what would have happened to those souls if the non-UCT Soul Gem was displaced by the UCT version?
How did breaking the time loop affect the Marvel Multiverse?
Since breaking a time loop is a form of time manipulation, one could reasonably presume that knowing how time travel works in the Marvel Multiverse would be helpful in understanding exactly what took place. Sadly, this is not the case since different writers have had very different ideas about time travel which they used in their own stories. Even the rules for Marvel Universe time travel that were established in 1992 by Mark Gruenwald have not remained intact since its primary rule was that it was impossible for anyone to actually travel into the past of their own timeline and that any attempt to do so would just shunt the time traveler to a divergent timeline instead. A lot of information about how time travel works in the MU can be found at this page and I don't plan on just repeating it here. Instead, I would like to comment on how the creators involved seemed to regard how reality had been altered by the erasure of the UCT from history and its subsequent restoration. Since it has not been established that Sirusites are in any way involved with the restored UCT, it would probably be more appropriate to include these comments in an updated profile of the UCT but that's not this profile so I'm just going to include the change that restored the UCT here anyway, even if it isn't strictly relevant.
There seem to be three different ways in which The Powers That Be have viewed the Magus time loop:
The first of those would obviously belong to Jim Starlin, the writer who created the time loop storyline. Based on what he wrote, Mr. Starlin seems to have believed that the Marvel Universe in which all Marvel stories had been set since Fantastic Four#1 had always contained within it a time loop that stretched back almost five thousand years, and the fact that nobody knew about the time loop until he revealed its existence didn't mean it hadn't always been there. In this paradigm, all events existed within a single timeline, from the arrival of the Magus on Sirus X circa 3000 B.C. to the kidnapping of Adam Warlock by the In-Betweener that was supposed to close the time loop in the then-present (1975) to the time "some years in the future" where Thanos saved Gamora from the genocide of the Zen Whoberis carried out by the holy forces of the UCT. These events would have been part of a closed time loop but the intervention by Thanos enabled Adam Warlock to transport himself to his own personal Kismet Trail where he could and did choose another destiny for himself. When Warlock then traveled some months into the future and absorbed his dying future self's soul into the Soul Gem, the creation of the Magus was irrevocably blocked and made the time loop impossible. This caused the Marvel Universe as it had existed to end and then be reborn again without the Magus or the UCT.
My interpretation of what happened is, if the history of the Milky Way Galaxy and everyone in it was like a tapestry made up of billions of interwoven threads, then what Warlock did caused a (vast) number of those threads to be unwoven back to five thousand years earlier and then rewoven together again in a new pattern. I believe that such an occurrence would be called a timequake but I may be wrong. It also doesn't conform to the rule that Mr. Gruenwald would later codify.
This brings us to the second way in which the time loop was viewed, that of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. With Mark Gruenwald as its Editor and Head Writer, the entries on Thanos and Adam Warlock contained the first mentions of the idea that their actions had diverged an alternate path of reality in which the creation of the Magus was thwarted. Later volumes of the Official Handbook established that the timeline in which the Magus existed (and continued to exit?) was Reality-7528 and the mainstream Marvel Universe was Reality-616. The following paragraphs explain how my understanding of what occurred when the time loop was broken was changed by this new information.
In the beginning, the mainstream Marvel Universe was a "virgin" timeline
that had not been altered by time travel. In this reality, the struggle between Life and Death was ongoing, as it
always had been and always should be. However, in the late 20th century (21st century via the sliding timescale), a newly-arrived and powerful advocate
of Death (Thanos) was detected against whom Life would need a champion to defend its cause. In order to create
that champion, Lord Chaos and Master Order created the In-Betweener to maintain the universal balance between
Life and Death and, specifically, to transform Adam Warlock into the Magus and send him five thousand years back
in time as part of a stable time loop. This action caused a divergence in the past which resulted in a new timeline,
one in which the Magus founded the Universal Church of Truth and became powerful enough to defeat Thanos and
halt his mad scheme of total stellar genocide.
This "Magus timeline" should have been stable but Thanos, who sought to covertly obtain certain energies from the Soul Gem that Warlock wore, used his time probe to investigate Warlock's future and learned that the Magus was his future self. Deciding to eliminate the Magus, who had been created to oppose him, Thanos set up certain factors in the timestream (including rescuing Gamora from the future and allying himself with Warlock) that he hoped would disrupt the time-looped reality of the Magus. Thanks to these changes, Thanos and Warlock were able to diverge an alternate path of reality, a timeline in which the Magus had never existed and one in which Warlock, Thanos, Pip and Gamora all ended up after the time loop was broken.
That's how I saw how divergences now figured into the Magus Saga. Let's distill it down a bit more. After reading those Handbook entries back then, I came to view the situation as two divergences which split a single timeline into three different timelines. It began with the original "virgin" timeline where the Cosmic Powers determined that a new champion of Life was needed. To create this champion, their agent decided to do so by causing a divergence that would create a table time loop. However, since both Warlock and Thanos were special beings who were outside the loop of destiny, the attempt to diverge a single new timeline actually resulted in the divergence of two new timelines: One in which the time loop was created and remained stable, and one in which the time loop was created but was destined to be broken.
For me, the main takeaway from these claims that Thanos and Warlock had prevented the creation of the Magus by diverging an alternate reality was the implication that the time looped reality must still have existed, it just wasn't the mainstream MU anymore.
To summarize, here are the three timelines that were (I thought) involved:
1. The "virgin" timeline that has never actually been seen. Let's call it Timeline-Zero.
2. The Magus timeline (Earth-7528) where the stable time loop that created the Magus was not broken.
3. The "mainstream" Marvel Universe (Earth-616) where the time loop had once been created but was later broken, retroactively altering local galactic history from about 3000 B.C., a timeline which now contains four temporal anomalies from Earth-7528.
The preceding explanation was how I tried to accommodate what the Official Handbooks were stating had happened. I don't know if it's what Mr. Gruenwald intended but it's a view that I've held for about thirty years. However, I've long been aware that my theory was not without flaws. Specifically, the whole idea that the Magus would remember how his past self (Warlock) had met him just before the time loop began did not fit with my theory that the Magus was derived from a Warlock who came from Timeline-Zero in which there was no time loop and thus no Magus. So, where did those memories originate? Could they be false memories that had been implanted by the In-Betweener into the Magus so that he would know what to do to initiate/continue the time loop? That didn't seem like a good answer.
In preparation for writing these comments, I recently reviewed some ideas about stable time loops. In doing so, I was reminded that such time loops are, by definition, continuous. For example, the sequence "Event A causes Event B causes Event C causes Event A" has no clear starting point or endpoint, so how exactly would anyone be able to initiate it? If Warlock was transformed into the Magus after living through a certain sequence of events and the Magus set those events up based on what he remembered his past self had experienced, where does the knowledge of those events come from? The Magus learned them from Warlock who learned them from the Magus. This is an example of the Chicken-and-Egg Paradox, a closed cycle of elements that lead in series to one another, with no clear starting point or endpoint. How could such a cycle be initiated?
The third and most recent way in which what happened with the Magus
time loop was reinterpreted comes from several issues of the second Guardians of the Galaxy series. Those
issues were all written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (a.k.a. DnA) who introduced their own new and different
spin on what had happened to the Magus timeline.
First, in GOTG II#I, the team who would become the new Guardians of the Galaxy met and battled the forces of a somewhat different Universal Church of Truth. During the battle, Gamora seemed to recall that the U.C.T. used to worship Adam Warlock but he reminded her that he had gone to great lengths to rewrite that particular timeline so that it never happened. This prompted Rocket Raccoon to wonder if this was going to be one of those complicated alternate reality things.
Next, in GOTG II#17, in order to keep the huge rift in space and time known as the Fault from expanding until it swallowed the entire universe, Adam Warlock cast a massive and complex enchantment that locked the Fault. Warlock did this by grafting the 616 timeline onto an inert timestream, also described as a stable, quiescent and unused future. However, when Warlock transformed into the Magus, Gamora realized that that future was the one that he had "aborted " in order to prevent himself from becoming the Magus.
Finally, in GOTG II#19, Kang the Conqueror revealed that Warlock had used the timeline where he becomes the Magus as a graft to bind time-space together and save the universe from the Fault. Kang referred to that Magus future as a timeline that was "long since detached and redundant." Adam/Magus later revealed that he had actually overlapped the two timestreams in order make sure that the bond was strong and would hold.
So, what effect did these new revelations have on my understanding of
what had happened to the Magus time loop. Well, there were two effects. First, it established that the Magus
future/timeline had become inert and detached after it was diverged from Reality-616. I took this to mean that,
although it hadn't been destroyed by Warlock's actions, it had been left in an inactive state. I viewed that reality
as being like a simulation program that was installed on a computer that had been depowered. Although the
simulation was essentially dead, it still existed in the computer's memory and could be restored.
Second, that reference to timestreams having been grafted onto each other in order to bind time-space together reminded me of the idea that all of existence was a tapestry being woven on the loom of the Fates. It really evoked the image of two threads from a tapestry being tied together to repair a hole.
As confirmed by the profile on the Universal Church of Truth that was published in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#5, the result of this "grafting" was that elements from the Magus future, like the U.C.T., had been retroactively incorporated into Reality-616 long before Warlock cast the spell. The profile also claimed that the Universal Church came back into existence only months after Warlock's battle with the Magus, presumably referring to when the time loop had been broken.
Although I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of timelines being grafted together, I guess that I can accept it as a permanent alteration of reality in which two realities were irrevocably merged. However, having said that, there are things about this merged reality that have never been explained. Specifically, given that the reborn UCT has a history stretching back well over five decades, has the church actually existed within the altered timeline for that long? Or have false memories of the UCT having existed in Reality-616 for decades (or centuries) merely been implanted into the inhabitants of Reality-616 by the reality alteration? I would really like to know what supposedly happened when these timelines merged but, since the U.C.T hasn't appeared in any Marvel story in over ten years, there hasn't been any opportunity for it to be explained in-story.
And with that statement, I have finally come to the reason why I have spent these past paragraphs talking about how the Magus time loop affected the multiverse. The only writers to use the reborn UCT, Abnett and Lanning, didn't provide much information about the history of the church. Due to this lack of information, I am unable to state whether or not any Sirusites were involved with the reborn UCT. And, if Sirusites were involved, I don't know if it was because the past of the merged realities was altered or because memories had been altered to support a false history that didn't actually happen. I don't know about anybody else but I, for one, would really like to know the true history of this fictional race.
Possible Sirusites in Reality-691
An alternate version of the Universal Church of Truth exists in the War of the Worlds/Guardians of the Galaxy timeline and that genocidal religious empire was based on a planet known as its Homeworld. Although it was clearly meant to be a counterpart to the UCT from the Magus Saga, writer Jim Valentino stated that it had been founded "many thousands of years ago" and that, after centuries of searching for their god without success and "over a thousand generations" before the year 3017 A.D., the church had decided to instead create their god in their own image. This creative choice means that the 691 UCT would have been founded c. 22,000 B.C., about 20,000 years earlier than the original UCT had been founded. For this reason, I have chosen to not assume that the members of that UCT who looked as much like pale-skinned humans from Earth as the original Matriarch did must have been memebrs of that timeline's Sirusite race. I mean, Mr. Valentino probably meant them to be Sirusites but they were never identified as such, so I'm not going to be the one who asserts that they were.
One final note: Over the past fifty-five years, there have been well over 100 prose novels published whose stories have been set within the Marvel Universe. While some (or maybe only one) have been explicitly stated to be "in continuity" for Earth-616, none of the rest have been described as being "canon" and I am unwilling to assume that they must be canon unless they are specifically stated to not be so. On the other hand, I am also someone who likes to write profiles that are as complete as possible. For that reason, I am now going to provide information about a Sirusite that was presented in a prose novel. I am only including it here in the comments section because I definitely do not consider it to be part of Earth-616's continuity.
See here for a discussion of that novel's issues.
(Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket Raccoon & Groot — Steal the Galaxy! Chapter Seventeen: Meanwhile, Meanwhile (fb) - BTS) - On the planet Carnassia, over a year before the aged Interdite who was the last member of the Order of the Divine Oracolites was murdered by Gamora, a Sirusite nobleman visited the old hermit to discover whether his wealthy bride-to-be would remain faithful to him. The answer the nobleman received caused him to leave fairly quickly with a disgruntled look on his face, and little of the Zundamite leaf tea that the hermit had had waiting for him had been drunk.
(Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket Raccoon & Groot - Steal the Galaxy!) - A Sirusite woman named Zania Orbal joined the Universal Church of Truth. At some point, Orbal was trained to be a deep cover agent for the UCT and was assigned to infiltrate the Timely Inc. megacorporation which she did by disguising herself as a Shi'ar noblewoman named "Allandra Meramati." After successfully maintaining her cover identity for an unspecified number of years, "Meramati" eventually became the head of the Executive Executization Department. Based in the Timely Inc. Corporate Headquarters on the ultra-tech planet Alpha Centauri, "Meramati" was one of only seven Timely executives who were aware of Project 616, the megacorporation's clandestine attempt to gain all knowledge in the universe and thus gain total control over the galaxy.
When multiple heavily-armed warriors from the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, the Xandarian Nova Corps, and the Kree Stellar Empire transmatted into the corporate headquarters in pursuit of (among others) Rigellian Recorder 127, the vital last component needed to complete Project 616, "Meramati" maintained her cover. However, when forces from the Badoon War Brotherhood also arrived, Meramati revealed herself to be a disguised Sirusite and claimed Project 616 and the Recorder unit for the Universal Church of Truth just seconds before forty of the UCT's immense Templeships arrived at Alpha Centauri and began hovering over the city and the thirteen massive alien warships that had arrived earlier.
During the resulting melee, Meramati, Cardinal Navroth and eight Black Knights all descended to subbasement 86, eighteen klicks beneath the planet's surface, where Project 616's Datacore was located and a chaotic ensued. When Groot attempted to pull Recorder 127 up out of the Datacore, Meramati leapt at him, plunged a power dagger into his ribs and began to saw. Seconds later, Rocket Raccoon put her down with four booming shots from both his pistols.
When Groot gained the Power Cosmic, one of the things he did before relinquishing it was to return all of the dead to life and send most of them far, far away. Orbal was among those revived and she and the other Universal Church faithful were sent to the Templeships which were relocated to the event horizon of a black hole in Ultra Mega Sixty-Eight. During the forty years it took them to escape from that gravity well, the Church members aboard went through eight different Matriarchs, one of whom was Zania Orbal.
Zania will get a full profile in the not so distant future
Profile by Donald Campbell.
The Sirusites have no known connections to
(the planet that has never been the UCT Homeworld)
Sirus X is a planet located somewhere within the Milky Way Galaxy. It is the tenth planet from the sun in the star system known as either "Al Ma'an" or "Al'Ma'an." This planetary system is probably located within the Hercules star cluster.(see comments)
Environmental conditions on Sirus X appear to be extremely close to those of Earth, and the dominant intelligent species is the Sirusite race who, like a number of other alien races, are externally identical to pale-skinned humans from the planet Earth.
Sirus X has (at least) one large moon whose surface seems to be white and is marked by some craters that are large enough to be visible from the planet's surface.
Little has been revealed about how the Sirusite population was distributed around the planet. So far, only one city on the planet has ever been seen. Its name has never been revealed but the fact that it was referred to as "the main city" indicates that there were others. Before the timequake, this city was where the Sacred Palace of the Magus was located, as well as Mama Alpha's Cabaret and the (unidentified) sinful establishment where the Magus found the woman who would become the Matriarch. After the timequake, Mama Alpha's was still there.
Although facilities capable of building starships are known to exist on the planet, they have never been depicted.
--Warlock I#11-12 (referenced in Planet Hulk: Gladiator Guidebook#1)
Notes: There are no confirmed images of Sirus X available. Page 17 of Warlock I#11 contains two panels showing six planets exploding and then being reborn and one of them could be Sirus X. However, since none of those planets were specifically identified as being Sirus X, I have chosen to not assume that any of them were it.
The fact that this planet is known as "Sirus X" and is the tenth planet from its sun suggests that the "X" in its name is a symbol that represents the number 10. If this is true, then the planet's name should be spoken as "Sirus Ten" and not as "Sirus X." This would be consistent with an unofficial nomenclature seen in certain science fiction continuities (like Star Trek) which use Roman numerals in the order of planets' positions from the star. For example, in such a naming system, Sol III is pronounced Sol Three. However, since the planet's name has never been spoken aloud in any story, only appearing in texts, there is no evidence as to how its name should be pronounced.
the religion that was not the Universal Church of Truth
A religion that existed on the present-day/post-timequake planet Sirus X. The only things about this religion that have been revealed are that the symbol it uses (seen in the image to the right) is distinctly different from the cross-like shape used by the Universal Church of Truth, and that at least one of its places of worship (which may or may not be called churches) is located in the main city of Sirus X, not too far from Mama Alpha's Cabaret. Everything else about this religion, including its origin and its name, remains unrevealed.
Although Adam Warlock somewhat cynically compared this religion to the UCT by implying that the followers of both religions worshipped false gods, there is no indication that this religion was as expansive, intolerant and genocidal as the UCT. Given that the UCT only became a tyrannical galactic empire because it was founded and led by the Magus, a being who possessed god-like powers and a drive to conquer worlds, any religion founded without such an influence would probably be more modest, more tolerant and less likely to commit genocide against non-believers. Then again, one never knows.
Although the only church associated with this religion was the small one that Warlock and Pip saw on Sirus X, that does not necessarily mean that the religion was founded by Sirusites or even founded on Sirus X. Due to the complete lack of information provided about its origin, this religion could easily have been founded on some other planet by that planet's native race and then spread across the stars, with the church on Sirus X just being a local outpost established by missionaries.
Notes: Although the profile on the Magus-led Universal Church of Truth implies that this new religion was essentially just a replacement for the UCT, I feel the need to emphasize that there is no evidence that this new religion was as malevolent as its predecessor. In fact, it might even have been benevolent.
I also think that it would have been nice if this religion had made any appearance after the first and only panel on the last page of Warlock I#11. That would have given some writer a chance to reveal the name, origin, history and nature of this religion.
Judging by its cross-like symbol, the temple for the Universal Church of Truth that Mar-Vell and Rick Jones saw on Hala in Captain Marvel I#41 was part of the time loop, and therefore did not belong to this religion.
the woman who was not the Matriarch
An adult female humanoid with brown hair and pinkish-white skin who was once seen wearing a red dress trimmed with white fur. Nothing else about this woman has been revealed except for the fact that she happened to be walking down a street in the main city of Sirus X less than a minute after Adam Warlock and Pip the Troll appeared in that same street, and that she looked exactly like the Matriarch of the Universal Church of Truth that Warlock had just retroactively erased from history.
No other information about this woman, including her name and profession, has ever been revealed. It is presumed that Jim Starlin meant her to be the counterpart of the Sirusite woman known as the Matriarch who had lived on Sirus X when it was part of the time loop but even this has not been confirmed in-story.
Similarly, while that earlier version of her was known as an infamous woman of easy morals, with an iron will and a mind like a razor, who was employed in a certain sinful establishment in one of the main city's lowest levels, there is no evidence that this woman, even if she was a counterpart of the Matriarch and not just a lookalike, lived a similar life and had experiences that caused her to become a similar person.
Aside from the fact that she happened to be walking down a street on which that church to the religion profiled above was located, there's no evidence that she was associated with that religion or that she was its Matriarch.
Finally, there's never been any indication that this unidentified woman was actually a member of the Sirusite race. Given how many alien races have external appearances that are identical to Sirusites, she could have been a member of any one of them, and just happened to be visiting Sirus X in time to be seen by Adam Warlock in that street.
images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#15, page 44, panel 4 (main image)
Warlock I#9, page 8, panel 2 (ancient Sirusites vs. the Magus)
Warlock I#11, page 18, panels 2-3 (Warlock and the church on Sirus X)
page 18, panel 4 (Warlock sees the shadow of someone familiar)
page 18, panel 5 (the woman who couldn't be possible)
Strange Tales I#178 (February, 1975) - Jim Starlin (writer, artist, colorist), Len Wein (editor)
Strange Tales I#179 (April, 1975) - Len Wein (editor), Jim Starlin (finisher)
Strange Tales I#180 (June, 1975) - Sam Jiltrin (story), Jim Starlin (art), J.L. Minirats (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Strange Tales I#181 (August, 1975) - Len Wein (editing), Al Milgrom (inking), Jim Starlin (insanity)
Warlock I#9 (October, 1975) - Len Wein (fussing), Steve Leialoha (blotting), Jim Starlin (everything elsing)
Warlock I#10 (December, 1975) - Jim Starlin (writer and artist), Steve Leialoha (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Warlock I#11 (February, 1976) - Jim Starlin ( story - layout), Steve leialoha (finished art), Marv Wolfman (editing)
Warlock I#12 (April, 1976) - Jim Starlin (layouts and story), Steve Leialoha (finished art & coloring), Marv Wolfman (editing)
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#5 (May, 1983) - Mark Gruenwald (editor/head writer/designer), Paty (artist for the Alien Races Appendix)
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II (Deluxe Edition) #15 (March, 1987) - Mark Gruenwald (writer/producer), Peter Sanderson (writer/researcher), Kyle Baker (artist for the Alien Races Appendix), Josef Rubinstein (inker/embellisher)
Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket Raccoon & Groot -- Steal the Galaxy prose novel (2017) - by Dan Abnett
First Posted: 07/08/2023
Last updated: 09/15/2023
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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