main image

(from Reality-691)

Membership: Kwaal (executed), Hans Tommer;
   (allegedly/possibly) Isaac Harkov

Population: (Techno-Barons) Unrevealed;
   (minions) Unrevealed;
   (serfs) Unrevealed

Purpose: To control and expand their various territories on Earth-691

Affiliations: Serfs;
   Techno-Barons may (or may not) have sometimes formed alliances amongst themselves

Enemies: Other Techno-Barons; rebellious serfs

Bases of Operations/Territories: Various (unidentified) city-states on Earth-691 from the late 21st century to the early 26th century (2525 A.D.)

First Appearance: (Kwaal) Defenders I#26 (August, 1975);
   (Harkov first mentioned) Marvel Two-In-One I#5 (September, 1974)

Cultural traits: Presumably varied by location.

    However, given the barbaric nature of the period, Techno-Barons must have had the will and the skills to not only take possession of their city-states, but to also defend them against their rivals. Accordingly, anyone who attained those positions of authority must have had a certain willingness to do whatever was needed to accomplish their goals.

Type of government: Feudal city-states ruled by Techno-Barons. Whether rulership was determined by force of arms or inheritance or both has not been revealed. Additionally, how much freedom the Techno-Barons allowed their serfs to exercise may have varied, at least somewhat, but was presumably always very limited, with authoritarian, totalitarian and repressive dictatorships being the norm.

Capital Cities: Each city-state had their own capital

Languages: Presumably varied, with no universal language, but English probably continued to be widely known and spoken around the world

Monetary Units: Presumably varied between city-states, but trading in precious metals (like gold and silver) or gemstones may have functioned as some form of universal currency

International Relations: Presumably always wary, if not overtly hostile

Places of Interest: The Saltex Project, a massive refinery located in the Bronx

Level of technology: Science and technology were highly centralized in the city-states so anyone living outside would have been forced to rely on primitive, manual technologies.

   Due to their militaristic nature, the Techno-Barons presumably maintained a healthy interest in developing armaments, such as directed-energy weapons, but no specific weaponry has ever been mentioned in-story. Otherwise, the Techno-Barons (or the scientists who served them) are only known to have made three significant advancements:

  1. The physicist known as Harkov made a theoretical breakthrough that would make faster-than-light travel possible. His theory, known as Harkovian physics, would eventually replace Einsteinian physics, but it went unrealized during his lifetime. Since there was no immediate practical application for it, Harkov's theory was ignored for centuries before being lost for even more centuries.
  2. Genetic engineering techniques that were capable of creating human sub-species were developed. However, no information as to how the Techno-Barons used these techniques has ever been revealed.
  3. Spacecraft capable of reaching the Moon and engaging in space battles were developed sometime before the final years of the reign of the Techno-Barons.

   Human-built spacecraft capable of faster-than-light interstellar travel were not known to have existed during this time. Teleportation technology had presumably also not been created (or at least was not widespread) in this time.

(Amazing Adventures II#18 (fb)) <1901 A.D.> - The Martian Masters (believed to be an alien race who had colonized Mars) first attacked Earth, with their initial invasion force landing in a quiet field outside London, England. Using their army of hundreds of tripod war machines, each equipped with advanced directed-energy weapons, the Martian invaders swiftly marched across England, with no human-built weapons being capable of stopping them. However, the invasion came to a sudden end when all of the Martians died, one by one, when they fell victim to the germs and bacteria of Earth to which they, unlike humans, had never evolved an immunity.

(Marvel Super-Heroes II#18 (fb) / Astonishing Tales#29 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#12: Vance Astro entry) <1988 A.D.> - Major Vance Astro volunteered for the first manned interstellar mission ever conducted by the United States. After he was accepted into Project Starjump, Astro's body was prepared so that he could survive being in a state of suspended animation for a thousand years, something that was required if he was to travel to the nearest star system, Alpha Centauri. His spaceship, Odysseus I, was launched from the Houston Spaceport in the fall of 1988.

(Amazing Adventures II#18 (fb) / Defenders I#26 (fb) / Marvel Presents#4: AOCIWH text / Marvel Graphic Novel No. 7: Killraven, Warrior of the Worlds (fb) - BTS / Guardians of the Galaxy I#2 (fb) - BTS) <June 29, 2001 A.D.> - The "Martian Masters" launched a surprise attack on Earth. In what was later known as the One Night War, the Martians were able to remotely cause every nuclear weapon on the planet to overload and melt into slag. Mankind then tried to use biological warfare against the invaders but they, having learned from their previous defeat, had developed an all-purpose immunity that protected them, something that humanity had not done. Although the humans occasionally managed to destroy a tripod, there were always more to replace them, and the Martians quickly conquered all of Earth. Even Earth's many super-beings were unable to stop the Martian conquest.

(Defenders I#26 (fb) / Marvel Presents#4: AOCIWH text) - As a result of the Martian conquest, the cities of Earth crumbled, Terran science died, and human civilization collapsed. The human population was all but wiped out, as the Martians bred men and women for consumption as foodstuff.

(Defenders I#26 (fb)/Marvel Presents#4: AOCIWH text) - By 2075 A.D., the Martians had abandoned Earth, leaving human civilization in ruins. This power vacuum was filled by human warlords who used what technology remained to establish feudal city-states which they ruled as the so-called Techno-Barons. With all scientific knowledge kept highly centralized in those city-states, most of the next five hundred years was a barbaric period where most of humanity lived as serfs who were under the domination of human masters.

(Marvel Super-Heroes II#18 (fb) - BTS / Marvel Two-In-One I#5 (fb) - BTS / Marvel Presents#4: AOCIWH text / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005: Guardians of the Galaxy profile) <late 22nd century> - About two hundred years after Major Astro left Earth, a physicist named Isaac Harkov made a theoretical breakthrough that could make faster-than-light interstellar travel a reality. However, at the time there was no way to practically apply Harkov's theory.

(Defenders I#26 (fb) - BTS) - During the reign of the Techno-Barons, genetic engineering techniques were developed that could be used to breed sub-species of humans.

(Guardians of the Galaxy I#19 (fb) - BTS) - During the last great Techno-Baron Era, a huge refinery called the Saltex Project was designed by Hans Tommer and built in the area of New York City known as the Bronx.


(Defenders I#26 (fb) / Marvel Presents#4: AOCIWH text) <c. 2525 A.D.> - The Techno-Barons eventually decided to go to war with each other for possession of the Moon. However, their attempt to conscript the unwilling serfs into fighting their war triggered a widespread rebellion that led to every Techno-Baron being overthrown. With the execution of the tyrant Kwaal in 2525 A.D., the reign of the Techno-Barons ended. It was during this serf revolt that the papers on which Harkov's theory had been recorded were lost.


(Defenders I#26 (fb)  /Marvel Presents#4: AOCIWH text) - Following their successful revolution, the serfs took control and restored communications between the city-states. By 2530 A.D., a second World Federation had been established as humanity began to reach for the stars.



(Defenders I#26 (fb) / Marvel Presents#4: AOCIWH text) - Mankind began to explore their solar system. Eventually, they began to colonize it, using the genetic engineering developed under the Techno-Barons to breed three different sub-species of humanity: the Mercurians, the Jovians and the Pluvians.

(Marvel Presents#4: AOCIWH text) <c. 2850 A.D.> - Harkov's papers were uncovered in an archeological dig and the secret that had eluded mankind for centuries had at last been found. However, there was still no means for its practical application.

(Marvel Presents#3: letters page/Marvel Presents#4: AOCIWH text) <c. 2900 A.D.> - Fifty years after Harkov's papers had been found, the fuel required to make the Harkovian hyperdrive work was found in sufficient quantities in the core of the planet Mercury.

(Marvel Presents#4: AOCIWH text) <2908 A.D.> - The first Terran starship to be equipped with a Harkovian hyperdrive, Andromeda, was constructed, but perished on its maiden voyage, upon entering the Proxima Centauri anti-matter star-system.

(Guardians of the Galaxy I#19 (fb) - BTS) <by 2918 A.D.> - The Saltex Project refinery was no longer operational, and the facility was left abandoned and largely forgotten.

(Marvel Super-Heroes II#18 (fb) - BTS / Defenders I#26 (fb) / Marvel Presents#3) <3007 A.D. to 3015 A.D.> - Earth was invaded and conquered by the aliens known as the Brotherhood of Badoon. After eight years of occupation, during which their populatinon had been reduced to 50 million, the people of Earth rose up and defeated their reptilian masters who were then removed from the planet by their hated enemies, the Sisterhood of Badoon.

(Guardians of the Galaxy I#17 (fb) - BTS / Guardians of the Galaxy I#32 (fb) - BTS) <3016 A.D.> - Doctor Doom created a very effective method of mass manipulation that used a highly-addictive oderless gas that could be transmitted along with audio and visual signals. Choosing the Saltex Project as a suitable site for the generating facility, Doom hired some Badoon to adapt the complex to his specifications and provide security.

(Guardians of the Galaxy I#17 (fb) - BTS / Guardians of the Galaxy I#32 (fb) - BTS) <3016 A.D.> - Doctor Doom tested his technology by introducing it to the people of Earth as a fully interactive form of holo-vid entertainment called "Realitee-Vee." Humanity embraced this new diversion and many quickly became completely addicted to watching Realitee-Vee. Soon, the older generation of watchers died of starvation after having become so addicted that they couldn't even stop watching long enough to eat or sleep, leaving the younger generation to take to the streets and begin fighting a worldwide Turf War. With most cities on Earth reduced to ruins by the fighting, human civilization collapsed again. Doctor Doom considered the test to be an unqualified success.

(Guardians of the Galaxy I#17-19) <3018 A.D.> - When the Guardians of the Galaxy returned to Earth, they encountered the Commandeers in the ruins of Manhattan and learned about Realitee-Vee and the Turf War. The combined groups then met Talon, who led them to the Bronx and revealed that the Saltex Project was the source of the Realitee-Vee drugs that had addicted the whole world.

Comments: Created by Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema & V. Colletta.

   In Defenders I#26, the history lesson provided by Major Astro covered a period of 1,040 years in less than seven full pages. Out of those pages, only two panels were allotted to the "500 years" dominated by the Techno-Barons. Only one Techno-Baron (Kwaal) was named and depicted in-story, and the fact that genetic engineering had been developed under their rule was mentioned in another panel but without any context. The "An Outline Course in World History 1975-3015 A.D." text page in Marvel Presents#4 provided a little more information, confirming that it was during their reign that the physicist known as Harkov had made the theoretical breakthrough that would make faster-than-light travel a reality and revealing that Harkov's theory had been lost during the revolt by the serfs and would remain lost for over 300 years. However, beyond those facts, nothing else about the Techno-Barons and their reign was revealed, and they weren't even mentioned anywhere until over fifteen years later, when Guardians of the Galaxy I#19 introduced a giant refinery in the Bronx and revealed that it was the Saltex Project that had been designed by Hans Tommer during the last great Techno-Baron Era. Doctor Doom confirmed that Tommer was a Techno-Baron in Guardians of the Galaxy I#32.

   One thing that I've noticed about Major Astro's history lesson is that there is an odd predominance of light-skinned male characters. Out of the dozens of people who are depicted, only five of them are female: a woman shown receiving a bionic left arm, Carmilla Frost, a Pluvian, a Centaurian and Sharon Carter. Everyone else is male, including the doctors, the cyborgs, every political leader, the serfs, the Mercurians, the Jovians, the colonists on Centauri-IV, and the prisoners of the Badoon. Similarly, aside from the grey-skinned Mercurians, the crystalline-skinned Pluvians, and the blue-skinned Centaurians, almost every other character is light-skinned. The only three exceptions are the representative of the U.S.S.R. who signed the Treaty of Peking, and M'Shulla and Grok from Killraven's Freemen.

Population data
   The people of Earth-691 experienced multiple events between 1982 A.D. and 3019 A.D. that significantly reduced their population, including the Ozone Catastrophe that caused the first skin cancer epidemic in 1982 and a global near-famine; the Bionics Wars of the 1990s; the fission power plant explosion in 1995 that rendered the western half of Canada uninhabitable; the Martian invasion and conquest in 2001 and the subsequent decades of occupation; the centuries-long reign of the Techno-Barons; the Badoon invasion and conquest in 3007 and the subsequent eight years of occupation; the Realitee-Vee crisis of 3016 and the Turf War waged from 3016 to 3018. However, surprisingly little information about how many people actually died during these events has ever been revealed. Let's review:

   With these figures in mind, it's pretty much impossible to say how many humans were living on Earth-691 during the reign of the Techno-Barons. If the Martians had drastically reduced the total human population, then it might have taken quite some time for their numbers to grow appreciably, especially given the feudal nature of the civilization ruled by the Techno-Barons. Similarly, we have no information about how much and how quickly the human population grew after the serfs overthrew the Techno-Barons and began to colonize the solar system. Who knows, perhaps they used some sort of advanced technology to cause their numbers to rapidly increase?

   For contrast, the real world population was just over 4 billion in 1975, well over 5 billion in 1990, over 6 billion in 2001 (when the Martians didn't invade), over 7 billion in 2011, and is over 8 billion in 2024. The human population of Earth-616 is presumed to have similar numbers, but widespread negative events (like the War of the Realms) may have impeded its growth somewhat.

   Fun facts. According to information that I found online at the Worldometer website, the last time that the total human population of planet Earth was as low as 50 million was in 1000 B.C. It took 500 years to double it to 100 million, another 1,100 years to double that to 200 million, and another 1,204 years to reach 1 billion in 1804 A.D.

Harkov's place in history
   The physicist known as Harkov occupies a prominent place in the minds of the Terrans from 31st century Earth-691 because he came up with a new theory of physics that replaced that of Albert Einstein and made faster-than-light travel a reality. Although there is only one in-story mention of this accomplishment, Harkov's name appears more frequently. The terms "Harkovian physics" and "Harkovian hyperdrive" are derived from his name, but his name most often appears as part of exclamations like "Holy Harkov" or "In Harkov's name" or "Harkov's bones." Given that Harkov is the only named Terran character from Earth-691 who is known to have had a significant effect on that timeline, it's not surprising that several writers of stories dealing with characters from that timeline have defaulted to incorporating his name into exclamations in an attempt to tie those characters more closely to that alternate future continuity. However, there are several reasons why the esteem in which Harkov is held seems exaggerated and unwarranted.

   The first reason is that Harkov is merely the Terran scientist who made a theoretical breakthrough about the laws of physics that existed throughout the universe. Therefore, unless Harkovian physics are somehow fundamentally different from what is in effect in the rest of the universe, the fact that many non-Terran races have hyperdrives that enable them to travel at faster-than-light speeds implies that that theoretical breakthrough must have been made many times, by physicists on many alien worlds who lived in many different times. Since Harkov was therefore almost certainly not the first being to discover "Harkovian" physics, seemingly giving him all the credit seems an incredibly Earth-centric thing to do. Of course, given how humans in the MU tend to regard themselves as being superior to all other forms of life, such arrogance is perhaps only to be expected. However, I would really like to read a story in which a Terran pilot congratulates an alien pilot on the effectiveness of his Harkovian hyperdrive only to be corrected by the alien who states that it was a Blorbian hyperdrive that his people had been using for tens of thousands of years, ever since it had been made possible by the theories that an alien physicist named Blorb had developed.

   The second reason is that even the idea that Harkov was the first human to make the breakthrough that led to faster-than-light travel seems unlikely. The problem stems from Reed Richards, the supposed smartest man on Earth. That first GOTG story was published several years after Fantastic Four I#37 (April, 1965), the comic in which it was established that Reed Richards had already invented a prototype space ship equipped with his new thrust-drive mechanism (power thrust-drive) that enabled the ship to travel to the Skrull homeworld in the Andromeda Galaxy by utilizing a space time warp. The FF were able to quickly cross the intergalactic distance because they traveled through "the endless abyss of sub-space" instead of through normal space. Subsequent stories have established that this "sub-space" was just another name for hyperspace, as is "warp-space."

   Since the fact that Reed Richards had already created a starship capable of interstellar travel by 1965 made the idea that the US space program would, in 1988, send anyone on a thousand-year voyage to Alpha Centauri ridiculous, an attempt was made to explain away the problem. The profile on Vance Astro that appeared in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#12 (December, 1983) included the following sentence in Astro's Origin: "(In this alternate future, Reed Richards never released his own experimental faster-than-light ship to the government, and they were unaware that he even had such a capacity.)" This explanation is itself problematic since it ignored the fact that that FF story specifically mentioned that Reed had been able to get N.A.S.A. to go along with his plan because he had done them a few favors in the past and they were anxious to test his new power thrust-drive anyway, something that would make it highly improbable that the government could have remained unaware of Reed's FTL ship. However, this idea was omitted from later handbooks, presumably in part due to later stories in which many of Marvel's heroes had been shown traveling to places in outer space making it even less plausible that the US government could have not known about their travels.
    I'm not sure that Reed Richards' creating an interstellar starship in 1965 necessarily fits with Reality-616's timeline. I believe we know that Magneto led the mutants off Earth in 1995, but not much about the superhuman population prior to that. I think the 1995 date fits with the characters as they existed on Earth-616 during the Marvel Comics published in 1995.
    If we compare Marvel Time and Real Time, in 1995, with the "Modern Age" (starting with the rocket launch that empowered the Fantastic Four) taking place in 1961 (and considering much of Peter Parker's high school years took place in real time (perhaps 3 years), that would leave 30 years (1965-1995) in real time, equating to 6 years in Marvel Time (as we are locked into Peter Parker, who was 15 when he gained his powers, never getting more than 30 years-old, for example; that means that 12 years Marvel Time has occurred since the comics that came out in 1965).
    That would mean Reed's faster-than-light starship would have occured in 1989 in Reality-691, assuming that things proceeded as they did in -616.
    So, it's certainly doable that Vance left Earth before Reed developed the technology, and then any tech development was wiped out by the Martian Masters a few years later.
    But, regardless, I see and agree with your point, as you clearly state in the next paragraph. I don't think Marvel's age of heroes was considered significantly in the origins of Vance Astro.


    I agree that, considering how Marvel Time usually interacts with Real Time, Reed Richards' creation of an interstellar starship moves forward as Real World Times passes so that he always invented it in Marvel Modern Age Year 1 which (given that 2024 is part of Marvel Modern Age Year 16) is currently 15 years in the past. However, you also have to consider the fact that young Vance Astrovik was 13 years old in Defenders I#26 which, as per the Sliding Timescale, took place in Marvel Modern Age Year 4, and that means that Reed had already invented that technology more than thirteen years before Vance Astro would became an astronaut.
    The problem arises from trying to determine which dates are "fixed" and which can slide forward. The chronologies of the mainstream timeline and the Guardians/Killraven timeline were first synched by the stories of their first interactions via time travel (Marvel Two-In-One I#4-5 and Giant-Size Defenders#5/Defenders I#26) that were published in 1974/75. For the sake of argument, let's call that year "Modern Age Year 4." Taking that as a reference point, Vance Astrovik was 13 years old (and thus had been born 9 Marvel Years before the Modern Age), the FF made their first public appearance three years earlier (in MAY 1) and the Martian Invasion of 2001 A.D. was going to take place twenty-six years ahead in a possible future (in MAY 30). If the Martian invasion is part of the Sliding Timescale, then it would be scheduled to occur 14 Mavel Years in the future of the present-day MU (in which it is currently MAY 16).
    Jim Valentino, the first writer of the original Guardians of the Galaxy series, based his stories on the idea that Earth-691 was just as affected by the Sliding Timescale as Earth-616. That's why Major Astro remembered (in GOTG I#26) that his starship launched from Earth-691 "early in the twenty-first century" (instead of in 1988) and why the Silver Surfer's memories of the War of the Worlds (from GOTG I#24) showed him fighting alongside Doctor Doom, an adult Franklin Richards, and Captain America. As Mr. Valentino envisioned it, relative to then-present-day (1992/MAY 8) stories, the War of the Worlds was going to happen when Franklin was 22 Marvel Years older than he was in 1992/MAY 8. In this paradigm, events in stories published in the early 1990s were occurring only seven Marvel Years after the FF began the Modern Age. With that in mind, it's a bit difficult to determine when Magneto's leading of a mutant exodus away from Earth took place. I mean, if definitely took place before the Martian invasion (that was still 22 years in the future) but the fact that the characters were drawn as their mainstream counterparts were suggests that, as you said, the mutant exodus took place in the eighth year after the Fantastic Four launched the Modern Age.
    Unfortunately, the second GOTG writer, Michael Gallagher, had his own ideas. He regarded the Martian invasion of 2001 A.D. as a fixed date that was less than eight years in the future (relative to 1993) and he wrote stories in which characters who were active in the present-day mainstream Marvel Universe were still alive (and only slightly older) when the Martian invasion took place. These differing views about how time flows in Reality-691 made a real mess of that timeline's chronolog
    Hmm. I'm pretty sure that I was trying to make some point with these comments but I'm not sure what that point was. Ah, well, at least I had fun writing out my reasoning.


   It's worth noting that writer Jim Valentino, in his revised origin of the Guardians of the Galaxy that appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy I#26, did have Vance Astro specifically state that he "was to be the first normal man to travel to another star!" While that choice of words was presumably meant to account for how other, non-normal men (and women) had already traveled to other stars before him, I find that it doesn't do anything to reduce how totally pointless Vance Astro's mission was once the GOTG timeline had been incorporated into a reality where many heroes had already made interstellar voyages of their own.

Here's a chronological list of significant Harkov-related "first" references:

Profile by Donald Campbell.

The Techno-Barons have no known connections to:

The physicist known as Harkov has no confirmed connections to:

Hans Tommer has no known connections to:

Isaac Harkov

   A male scientist who lived during the reign of the Techno-Barons. About 200 years after Major Vance Astro left Earth, Harkov made a theoretical breakthrough that would prove Albert Einstein wrong and eventually make interstellar faster-than-light travel possible. However, since there was no way to practically apply them at that time, Harkov's theories could not be realized during his lifetime.

   Despite its inapplicability, a general knowledge of Harkov's theory seems to have become sufficiently well-known among physicists that Harkovian physics were later considered to have been "discovered" and to have replaced Einsteinian physics when Harkov made his breakthrough. Alternatively, Harkov's theory may have remained obscure and its discovery was retroactively dated to when he made his breakthrough only after his papers were found centuries after his death.

   Harkov's theory was lost in 2525 A.D. during the successful revolt by the serfs against the Techno-Barons but exactly how this happened in unclear. It's possible that few people at that time knew of his breakthrough and multiple copies of it were not preserved in separate archives. Alternatively, his theory may have been well-known by scientists and multiple copies may have existed but, during the revolt, all of those scientists were killed and all but one of the copies of his theory were destroyed. However it happened, the theory only survived on Harkov's papers which were lost during the revolt, and those papers were only uncovered in an archeological dig conducted c. 2850 A.D.
    Who conducted that dig and what they were seeking has not been revealed.

   Aside from his gender and the fact that he made his breakthrough in the late 22nd century, little is known about Harkov. He could have been a Techno-Baron or he might have been a scientist serving a Techno-Baron whose name has not been preserved. Where he made his breakthrough and how old he was at that time have not been revealed. Although Harkov was almost certainly born sometime after the Martians left Earth, he may have been born as early as the late 21st century. Similarly, if he was born in the 22nd century, then he may have survived until well into the 23rd century. More data is required.

--mentioned in Marvel Two-In-One I#5, in the AN OUTLINE COURSE IN WORLD HISTORY 1975-3015 A.D. text page in Marvel Presents#4, and in the profile of the Guardians of the Galaxy that appeared in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005


   One of only two confirmed Techno-Barons whose names have been revealed, Kwaal has the dubious distinction of being the last of the Techno-Barons to be removed from power by the rebelling serfs. His execution by a serf firing squad in 2525 A.D. brought the reign of the Techno-Barons to an end.

   Aside from the fact that he was known as a tyrant, little has been revealed about Kwaal's life, including where the city-state that he ruled was located, the name of that city-state, and how long he had ruled it before being executed. While it seems likely that Kwaal was among those Techno-Barons whose attempts to conscript the serfs to fight a war for possession of the Moon triggered the rebellion by the serfs who didn't want to fight their war, this has never been confirmed.

   The only known image of Kwaal, recorded at the time of his execution, shows him quivering with fear as he stood, with his hands bound behind him, facing a firing squad made up of the five serfs who were about to execute him.





--Defenders#26 (fb); mentioned in AN OUTLINE COURSE IN WORLD HISTORY 1975-3015 A.D. text page in Marvel Presents#4 and in the profile of the Guardians of the Galaxy that appeared in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes 2005


Hans Tommer

   One of the only two confirmed Techno-Barons whose names have been revealed, Hans Tommer is best remembered for having designed and constructed the Saltex Project, a massive refinery located in the Bronx area of New York City, during the last great Techno-Baron era. No images of him are known to have survived and little else is known of his life.

   The fact that the Saltex Project was designed during the last great Techno-Baron era suggests that that era was preceded by one or more earlier great Techno-Baron eras. This would in turn imply that Tommer did not live during the early part of the reign of the Techno-Barons.

   Similarly, since great eras are typically followed by less-great eras, the Saltex Project was presumably constructed sometime prior to the waning days of the Techno-Barons. This would seemingly indicate that Hans Tommer probably lived and ruled sometime in the 25th century, and the fact that the Saltex Project was built in the Bronx suggests that New York City was part of the (unidentified) city-state that Tommer ruled. However, lacking any evidence, these ideas are only speculation.

   As of 3018 A.D., the Saltex Project was believed to have not been operational for over a century, suggesting that it probably continued to function until the late 29th century. This would mean that it remained functional for at least 400 years after being built. The fact that much of Saltex withstood a nuclear blast in 3018 A.D. and that the complex could be used once the residual radiation had been eliminated caused Doctor Doom to regard Tommer as having been "an ingenious Techno-Baron."

--mentioned in Guardians of the Galaxy I#19 & 32

images: (without ads)
Defenders I#26, page 12, panel 2 (spaceships battling for possession of the Moon)
      page 12, panel 3 (Kwaal facing a firing squad)
      page 12, panel 4 (victorious serfs celebrating)
      page 12, panel 3 (close-up of Kwaal)

Marvel Two-In-One I#5 (September, 1974) - Steve Gerber (writer), Roy Thomas (editor)
Defenders I#26 (August, 1975) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema & V. Colletta (artists), Len Wein (editor)
Marvel Presents#4 (April, 1976) - "AN OUTLINE COURSE IN WORLD HISTORY 1975-3015 A.D." by Steve Gerber (writer), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Guardians of the Galaxy I#19 (December, 1991) - Jim Valentino (writer/artist), Craig Anderson (editor)
Guardians of the Galaxy I#32 (January, 1993) - Michael Gallagher (language), Craig Anderson (hatchet)

First Posted: 03/01/2024
Last updated: 03/02/2024

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Special Thanks to for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Groups