PRIESTS OF PAMA
Membership: Foster, L’Ai Sau, Om-Fad, Son-Dar, Straker, Teress
Purpose: To maintain and teach their pacifist ideals, to learn of the realm of the mind, to raise and teach the Celestial Madonna
Affiliations: Cotati, Kang, Libra (Gustav Brandt), Mantis, Moondragon, Quasar (Phyla-Vell)
Enemies: Kree, Fantastic Four, Monsieur Khruul and his warriors, Phalanx, Raptra, Reptyl, Silver Surfer, Star Stalker, Super-Adaptoid, Supreme Intelligence, Syn, Thanos
Base of Operations: Mobile throughout the universe,
including Titan, Earth (in the temple of Agaphaur, @ Ho Chi Min, Vietnam), and at some point Zenn-La;
First Appearance: Avengers I#123 (May, 1974)
Abilities: The Priests of Pama are masters a variety of interstellar forms of martial arts. More recent version seen have worn jet packs and used staffs which discharge an energy powerful enough to drop the Thing.
(Avengers I#134 (fb)) - After the Kree empire had become a vast, galaxy spanning militaristic empire, most Kree were warlike and full of desire for conquest. However, there were a few Kree who remained pacifists. These pacifist Kree were persecuted by the other Kree, and eventually driven underground. In order to fight off the intense persecution visited on them by the other Kree, the pacifists trained themselves in self defense, and became superb fighters. They also spent long hours in meditation, developing their minds. They remained this year for a long, but unknown amount of time until they were contacted by the Cotati, a race of sentient plants that was secretly living on Hala. The Cotati forged an alliance with the pacifists: the pacifist Kree would care for the Cotati that they immobile plant creatures could not provide for themselves, and the Cotati would teach the pacifists more about the powers of the mind. After a century of learning with the Cotati, the pacifists developed their sentiment into philosophy and became the Priests of Pama.
One night, the pacifists were attacked unprovoked by soldiers, and defended themselves with their superior fighting skill. But though they survived the battle, the Supreme Intelligence was finally given an excuse to banish the priests from the planet.
(Avengers I#124 (fb)) - The Priests were exiled from their home world of Hala and taken to a barren prison world, lacking sunlight, minerals, or vegetation.
(Avengers I#134(fb)) - The Cotati summoned the Star-Stalker to the prison planet of the pacifists, knowing that the priests would find a way to defeat it and bargain with the Supreme Intelligence for their release from the prison planet.
(Avengers I#124 (fb)) - The pacifists waited until the Stalker transformed into its ionic combustion state, then struck the ground in unison, causing an fissure through which molten lava poured. The weakened Star-Stalker fled for its life to a nearby asteroid.
(Avengers I#124 (fb)) - The pacifists begged an audience with the Supreme Intelligence, warning him of the Star-Stalker's presence.
(Avengers I#134(fb)) - Possessing the knowledge of the Star Stalker's weakness allowed the pacifists to bargain with the Supreme Intelligence.
(Avengers I#124 (fb) / 134(fb)) - The pacifists were
allowed to leave their prison planet, traveling to inhabited worlds which housed Kree
Sentries, to remain until needed to fight off the Star-Stalker. The Priests
split up into pairs, each of which brought with them one of the Cotati. One of
the planets that the pacifists settled on was Earth, with Son-Dar and Teress building their temple
in what would become Vietnam.
(Giant-Size Avengers#4 (fb)) - The pacifists were also sent to Titan, where they became known as the Priests of Shao-Lom.
(Avengers I#124 (fb)) - Over the centuries, the teams of two propagated themselves, to become small groups unobtrusively protecting their new homes from the Star-Stalker.
(Avengers I#124 (fb)) - On Earth, the pacifists became known as the Priests of Pama.
(Avengers I#123 (fb) / Giant-size Avengers#4 (fb)) - Gustav
Brandt (the future Libra), on the run from
Monsieur Khruul, fled to the temple of the Priests of Pama and left Mantis there
to be raised by them. Mantis was destined to be the Celestial Madonna, destined
to have a union with the perfect plant, and from their union would spring the
perfect child, the Celestial Messiah. The Cotati and Priests of Pama both knew
of Mantis' destiny. They raised Mantis, teaching her discipline, fighting
skills, and other necessitates for the Celestial Madonna to possess, then erased
her memories of the events and sent her out into the world to grant her a more
The Priests also trained Brandt until he eventually left the temple.
(Giant-size Avengers#4 (fb)) - Simultaneously, a
group of Priests of Pama situated on Titan trained Heather Douglas (later Moondragon) in a similar
manner and then released her into the world, as she also had the potential to
become the Celestial Madonna (SEE COMMENTS). Heather distinguished herself as a
priestess, athlete, and scientist, though her cloistered life failed to impart
complete understanding of life in the full society.
(Avengers I#123 (fb) - BTS) - Monsieur Khruul learned about the Priests of Pama who had trained and raised his niece, Mantis. Alongside his warriors, he traveled to the temple of the Priests, and slaughtered them all.
(Avengers I#124 (fb)) - BTS / 123) - The death of the Priests was sensed by the Star-Stalker, who recognized that this made him free to attack Earth.
(Fantastic Four I#325) - The High Cotati traveled within a pyramid to Earth, standing beside Kang and revealing the son of Mantis, a pod that would become the Celestial Messiah. They asked Mantis to cease her vendetta to recover her son, and when she refused they sent Kang and the Priests of Pama to assault Mantis and her allies, the Fantastic Four (Human Torch, Ms. Marvel, Thing) and the Silver Surfer. Mantis was attacked by L'ai Sau, the Priest who had directed her training, and he attacked with the Red Crane thrust, the one blow she had never learned to counter during her training. However, the time she had subsequently spent in space had allowed her to further develop her coordination, and she took L'ai Sau out with a kick and an elbow to the head. When Mantis then confronted the Cotati, they fled, and the Priests attempted to leave with them, but the Torch took them out.
(Iron Man I#320) see comments - A group of priests used machetes to clear a path through a Vietnamese jungle, returning to the former site of the Temple of Agaphaur, which was now missing. Lamentfully chanting "Kreelara," as one of them noted that it was as they had feared, and that the Priests of Pama would be forever damned.
(Avengers I#391) see comments - A Priest of Pama waited with Tuc in the woods near Stark's house in the Adirondacks and told Swordsman (Jarvert) that he should ask his fellow heroes who mourned for Agaphaur.
(Force Works#17) see comments - In the Dong Nai province of Vietnam, one of the Priests suddenly appeared, screaming and bumping into a young boy named Kim; both of them vanished, with Kim reappearing in a forest, wracked with pain. Unknown parties then appeared, with one of them scanning Kim and telling the others to "tell control we've located another positive."
(Avengers: Celestial Quest#2) - Two priests of Pama, Straker and Foster, were on their way to the side of the Celestial Messiah when they were being chased by the ships of pirates. To avoid the pirates, they fled into a nebula. However, it proves to be ultimately useless as, although they evaded the pirates, Thanos appeared aboard their ship. The priests were prepared to die before they would reveal to Thanos the location of the Celestial Messiah, but with one touch from Thanos, one of the priests was driven insane. The priest’s mental energy, honed over a lifetime of training, exploded, feeding Thanos with the power of madness.
(Annihilation: Conquest -
Prologue) - After the Annihilation War Priests of Pama went to planets
at the edge of Kree space to rebuild their temples. On Lamentis
Outworld they were threatened by a group of scaveneers, but Phyla-Vell,
the new Quasar, and Moondragon defeated them. On Phyla's request the
Priest Om-Fad then took care of the scavengers and found them a medica
and something to eat. (Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar#1 (fb) - BTS) -
Some Priests of Pama built a sanctuary with the help of a Cotati on a
Kree fringe world. (Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar#3 (fb) ) -
Moondragon sought help from the Priests of Pama on this fringe world
because the soul of the Dragon of the Moon had returned within her. One
of the priests told her that she couldn't defeat it by denying it. She
had to embrace it to become an avatar of the Dragon of the Moon. (Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar#1 (fb) - BTS) -
Quasar (Phyla-Vell) joined Moondragon on the planet. A priest and a
Cotati helped Phyla-Vell understand and control her emotions affected
by the darkness that had befallen the Quantum Bands. Hours later the
Phalanx led by Super-Adaptoid attacked the planet and killed the
Priests of Pama on it.
Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, Bob Brown, and John Buscema.
(Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar#1 (fb) - BTS) - Some Priests of Pama built a sanctuary with the help of a Cotati on a Kree fringe world.
(Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar#3 (fb) ) - Moondragon sought help from the Priests of Pama on this fringe world because the soul of the Dragon of the Moon had returned within her. One of the priests told her that she couldn't defeat it by denying it. She had to embrace it to become an avatar of the Dragon of the Moon.
(Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar#1 (fb) - BTS) - Quasar (Phyla-Vell) joined Moondragon on the planet. A priest and a Cotati helped Phyla-Vell understand and control her emotions affected by the darkness that had befallen the Quantum Bands. Hours later the Phalanx led by Super-Adaptoid attacked the planet and killed the Priests of Pama on it.
Moondragon was trained by the Priests of Shao-Lom, but according to Giant-Size Avengers#4, Moondragon's trainers could trace their history to the pacifist Kree.
In the original stories, the Priests of
Pama was just a name that the sect of Kree pacifists adopted on Earth. This sect
was allegedly slaughtered, though at least one of them escaped death. All
subsequent appearances by other sects of the Kree pacifists have been referred
to as Priests of Pama, too.
Pama is the sun of the original Kree star system.
Given that Iron Man I#320, Avengers I#391 and Force Works#17 took place around the time of the Crossing, it is likely that the ones seen here were not actually the true Priests of Pama, but rather Space Phantoms impersonating them. (very likely because at least one of them hung around with Tuc, another character that was almost certainly a Space Phantom--Markus Raymond)
Clarifications: Should not be confused with
PRIESTS of AMUN - ancient Egypt, @ 3000 BC, opposed Akhenaten’s movement of the religious focus to Aten --Marvel Universe: The End#2
Priests of the Grateful Undead - see GRATEFUL UNDEAD --Marvel Comics Presents#90/3
priests of Khonshu - three ancient Egyptian priests who gave guidance to moon knight --Moon Knight II#1
Priests of the Order of St. George- see ORDER of St. GEORGE --St. George#1
PRIESTS of SHAO-LOM - present on the moon Titan, trained Moondragon --Daredevil I#105
Any other "priests" in the Marvel universe
images: Avengers I#134, page 10 panel 2
Avengers I#134, Page 7 panel 5
Avengers I#134 (April, 1975 )Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Staton (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Giant Size Avengers#4 (1974) - Steve Englehart (writer), Don Heck (pencils), John Tartaglione (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Fantastic Four I#325 (April, 1989) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Iron Man I#320 (September, 1995) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Heitor Oliveira & Adriana Melo (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Avengers I#391 (October, 1995) - Bob Harras & Terry Kavanagh (writers), Mike Deodato (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Force Works#17 (November, 1995) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Jim Cheung (pencils), Rey Garcia (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Avengers: Celestial Quest#2 (December, 2001) - Steve Englehart (writer), Jorge Santamara (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Annihilation: Conquest - Prologue#1 (August, 2007) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Mike Perkins (artist), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar#1 (September, 2007) - Christos N. Gage (writer), Mike Lilly (pencils), Bob Almond (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar#3 (November, 2007) - Christos N. Gage (writer), Mike Lilly (pencils), Bob Almond & Scott Hanna (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
First Posted: 02/01/2005
Last updated: 10/17/2013
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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