Real Name: D'ken Neramani
Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Shi'ar)
Occupation: Former Shi'ar Emperor (Majestor)
Group Membership: Shi'ar Empire
Guard, the Secret Order (Araki,
T'cahr, and other Shi'ar opposing
Lilandra's peaceful ways), the Shi'ar Empire;
formerly Eric the Red (Davan Shakari), Imperial Fleet, Vulcan;
Enemies: Major-General Ka'ardum and his rebel forces, Korvus, Lilandra, Starjammers (Ch'od, Corsair, Hepzibah, Raza), Katherine Summers, Vulcan (Gabriel Summers), X-Men (Banshee, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Storm, Wolverine)
Known Relatives: Adam-X (X-Treme, son), Cal'syee Neramani (Deathbird, sister), Lilandra Neramani (sister), unidentified parents (deceased), unidentified sister (deceased)
Base of Operations: Currently unrevealed;
formerly the Shi'ar Imperial Throneworld, Shi'ar Galaxy;
formerly the planet Aerie, Shi'ar Galaxy
First Appearance: (Behind-The-Scenes) X-Men
I#97 (February 1976)
(face seen on viewscreen, identified only as "my liege" by Davan Sharkari) X-Men I#103 (February 1977);
(fully seen, identified) X-Men I#107 (October, 1977)
Powers/Abilities: As one of the Shi'ar, D'ken
has both mammalian and avian characteristics, including feathers in
place of hair, including vestigial feathers along his elbows. He has
enhanced human strength, lifting approximately 1 ton, and has
twenty-times human endurance/stamina, though his physical condition has
almost certainly atrophied since he entered a catatonic state.
D'ken possessed an insane hunger for power, and he was willing to sacrifice his family and even his entire Empire to accomplish his goals.
Either he or his advisors possess the knowledge and capacity to summon demonic beings such as the Soul-Drinker
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#7: Lilandra / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#11: Shi'ar) - D'ken is the younger brother of Cal'syee and the older brother of Lilandra Neramani. Though Cal'syee was the eldest heir to the Shi'ar Throne, she was denied her birthright after she murdered her mother and an unidentified older sister; and D'ken became Emperor instead. For crimes against the state, Cal'syee (aka Deathbird) was exiled into space. Lilandra served as grand admiral to the Imperial Guard, the paranormal enforcers of Shi'ar law throughout the Empire; as well as the Imperial Fleet of the Shi'ar military.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#3: Corsair / Classic X-Men#15/2 (fb)) - D'ken (or one of his military leaders) sent a Shi'ar starship to Earth on an exploratory mission to collect zoological specimens for D'ken's collection.
(Classic X-Men#15/2 (fb) / Uncanny X-Men I#156 (fb) - BTS) - The Shi'ar ship was detected in Anchorage, Alaska, and was reported to the nearby plane piloted by Major Christopher Summers. The ship was on top of the plane in seconds and fired upon it.
(Uncanny X-Men I#154 (fb) - BTS / Uncanny X-Men I#156 (fb) - BTS) - A near miss from the Shi'ar ship ignited Summers' ship's fuselage.
(X-Men I#114 (fb) - BTS / Uncanny X-Men I#144 (fb) - BTS / Uncanny X-Men I#154 (fb) - BTS / Uncanny X-Men I#156 (fb) - BTS / Classic X-Men#15/2 (fb)) - Christopher instructed his wife, Katherine Ann Summers, to put their two sons, Alex & Scott, in a single parachute and push them out of the escape hatch. Katherine returned to her husband's side, as an explosion occurred on their plane, and flaming debris set the parachute afire.
(Uncanny X-Men I#156 (fb) - BTS) - A teleport beam from the Shi'ar ship captured Summers and his wife, Katherine Anne Summers.
(Classic X-Men#15/2 (fb) - BTS) - Katherine & Christopher arrived aboard the Shi'ar ship and were placed in manacles.
(Classic X-Men#15/2 (fb)) - D'ken met the Summers, allowing them to watch their children's burning parachute.
(Classic X-Men#15/2 (fb)) - The Summers were considered zoological specimens, representing the highest orders of life on Earth. D'ken took a fancy to Katherine; he had Christopher blasted into submission, and the Summers were separated.
(Captain Marvel III#3 (fb)-BTS) - An unidentified non-Shi'ar woman gave birth to D'ken's child, who would grow up to become Adam-X the X-Treme. (see comments)
(Uncanny X-Men I#156 (fb) - BTS) - On the Imperial Throneworld, Christopher Summers escaped the slave pens and set out to find his wife.
(Uncanny X-Men I#156 (fb)) - Christopher Summers found Katherine as D'ken was forcing himself on her. Enraged, Christopher attempted to kill D'ken with his bare hands, but Shi'ar guards came to his rescue.
(Uncanny X-Men I#156 (fb) - BTS) - Asking Christopher if he would die for his wife, D'ken chose to make him suffer, and he stabbed Katherine in front of his eyes, forcing him to remember that moment for the rest of his days.
(Uncanny X-Men I#154 (fb)) - D'ken stood over Katherine's fallen body, observing the expression on Christopher's face.
(X-Men: Deadly Genesis#6 (fb)) - D'ken cut Katherine open, tearing her nearly term fetus from her womb before Christopher's weeping eyes.
(X-Men: Deadly Genesis#6 (fb)) - D'ken had the nearly dead Summers infant placed into an incubation accelerator where he grew to suitable slave age in weeks. The youth was sent to serve under Davan Shakari in his base on Earth.
(X-Men I#108 (fb)) - D'ken turned his back, still holding the bloody knife as Christopher Summers was restrained by guards and forced to look on at the body of his murdered wife.
(Classic X-Men#15/2 (fb) - BTS) - D'ken had Christopher sent to the mining world Alsibar.
(Classic X-Men#14/2 (fb) - BTS) - Lilandra discovered the existence and location of the M'kraan Crystal.
(X-Men I#107 (fb)) - D'ken saw the Crystal as the deadliest weapon in history; and he wanted it for himself.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#7: Lilandra) - D'ken was blind to the danger the Crystal represented and believed he could harness its unleashed power for his own ends.
(X-Men I#107 (fb)) - Lilandra opposed D'ken's plan in the Shi'ar High Council, and D'ken had her arrested.
(X-Men I#107 (fb) - BTS) - Word was leaked that Lilandra had tried to kill D'ken and usurp the throne.
(X-Men I#107 (fb) - BTS) - The Imperial Fleet split down the middle, and a civil war broke out, with the final battle being fought above "the World," the planet that was home to the M'kraan Crystal.
(X-Men I#107 (fb) - BTS) - D'ken had Lilandra held captive aboard the Imperial Flagship, the "Pride of Tjun," en route to her ceremonial execution, wishing her last sight to be his triumph.
(Classic X-Men#14/2) - Via holographic image, D'ken
held Lilandra's trial, offering to spare her life if she confessed her
guilt, pledged her loyalty, and begged for mercy; her punishment would
instead be exile. Lilandra refused, noting that she should have done
something about his insanity long ago and warning him that he
threatened all creation. D'ken told her that it was his right as
Emperor to destroy the Shi'ar if he so wished, but told her he would
use the power to become master of the universe.
As D'ken prepared to have Lilandra executed, the last of Lilandra's elite exploratory fleet, the Pathfinders, came to her rescue, assaulting the Flagship with a warhead. With the Flagship's main drive, weapons, and shields disabled, the Pathfinders demanded Lilandra's release. One of D'ken's commanders ordered Lilandra's death, but she grabbed a blaster and fought her way to safety. Lilandra blasted the Tri-D transmission from Imperial Center, disrupting D'ken's hologram, wishing it were he she was slaying and condemning him as a coward for not facing her directly.
(X-Men I#107 (fb) - BTS / Classic X-Men#14/2) - Lilandra escaped, stole a scoutbug ship.
(X-Men I#65 (fb) - BTS / X-Men I#107 (fb)) - As Lilandra fled through the binary system, trying to shake off her pursuit, she sensed Professor Charles Xavier's marshalling of the collective will of humankind to fight off the Z'nox. This forged a strong rapport that drew Lilandra to Earth where she would seek the aid of Xavier and the other superhumans of that world. However, the psychic energy had also alerted D'ken's telepathic spies, who sensed the psychic rapport and knew that Lilandra would have no other choice but to travel to Earth. As
(Classic X-Men#14/2 - BTS) - While Lilandra was stunned by the psychic connection, Peri, commander of the Pathfinders, sacrificed the entire fleet to destroy the Imperial fighters to give her a chance to escape.
(X-Men I#107 (fb)) - D'ken contacted Davan Shakari, the Shi'ar agent on Earth, and ordered him to kill Xavier or, failing that, prevent Lilandra from contacting Xavier, whatever the cost.
(X-Men I#107 (fb) - BTS) - Shakari somehow learned of Lorna Dane, and through her learned of the X-Men. Shakari saw the first logical step to be the elimination of the X-Men.
(X-Men I#97 - BTS) - Professor Xavier sensed the approach of Lilandra and her flight from pursuing Imperial fighters. Shakari ambushed Lorna Dane and Alex Summers, enslaving them both and sending them to battle the X-Men and slay Xavier. Ultimately, Shakari was forced to flee by the X-Men, and he took Havok & Polaris with him.
(X-Men I#98 - BTS / Marvel Team-Up Annual#1 - BTS) - Xavier continued to sense Lilandra's approach.
(X-Men I#103 (fb) - BTS) - Shakari formed an alliance with Black Tom Cassidy and the Juggernaut to take down the X-Men.
(X-Men I#102 - BTS) - Cassidy and the Juggernaut
ambushed the X-Men.
Xavier continued to sense Lilandra's approach.
(X-Men I#103 - BTS) - Shakari reported the X-Men's victory over Cassidy and the Juggernaut. D'ken told him that he would brook no further failures and that Lilandra must not reach the X-Men.
(X-Men I#104 (fb) - BTS) - Shakari invaded Muir Island's Research Centre and restored Magneto to adulthood.
(X-Men I#104 - BTS) - Magneto attacked the X-Men in
Muir Isle, and the X-Men were forced to flee; both Dragonfly and
Proteus were released in the struggle.
An Imperial cruiser caught up to and began firing photon torpedoes upon Lilandra just as she reached Earth's orbit.
Shakari, Havok, & Polaris prepared an assault on the X-Men.
(X-Men I#105 (fb) - BTS) - Shakari tricked the Firelord into becoming his ally against the X-Men by pretending that they were the attackers.
(X-Men I#105 - BTS) - Shakari confronted the X-Men,
who attacked him, convincing Firelord of their guilt and leading him to
Lilandra escaped to Earth when the crew of the Imperial cruiser learned that Earth had several times driven off Galactus, causing them to withdraw to further scan the planet.
Lilandra reached Xavier, but then Shakari abducted her, passing through and then deactivating a personal Stargate to escape them. Phoenix reactivated the Stargate and the X-Men (Banshee, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine) passed through it.
(X-Men I#107 (fb) - BTS) - D'Ken and the Shi'ar Imperial Guard arrived on the World just outside the M'kraan Crystal.
(X-Men I#107) - The X-Men arrived on the World, where
D'Ken stood at the base of the M'kraan Crystal. Around the Crystal
stood the Imperial Guard, who served D'Ken, and they battled the X-Men
in an effort to drive them off. Lilandra begged D'ken to stop the
madness before it was too late, but he instead summoned the
Soul-Drinker to claim her soul. Nightcrawler teleported Lilandra to
safety, and the Soul-Drinker consumed one of D'ken's warriors instead
(perhaps one of the Borderers).
The Starjammers (Ch'od, Corsair, Hepzibah, Raza) arrived to assist the X-Men in defeating the Imperial Guard, but D'ken announced they were all too late: As the nine Death-Stars entered into alignment, they shot a blinding blue-white light that poured into the M'kraan Crystal, causing it to pulse as its power began to build geometrically and it began to glow like a star. Its energies erupted outward, causing all of reality to briefly blink from existence.
(X-Men I#108) - With supreme effort
the X-Men neutralized Jahf -- the first guardian of the M'kraan
Crystal, only to be confronted by Modt, the second guardian, while
reality blinked out a second time. Raza attempted to stop D'ken by
hurling him against the Crystal, but his body passed through it, and
D'ken, the X-Men, and the Starjammers were all transported within the
Crystal. Phoenix sensed a glowing Sphere which was the heart of the
Crystal, containing life, pain, and beauty. As she touched the Sphere
her hand began to fade from existence and the Sphere lashed out,
blasting everyone present and causing them to live out their greatest
nightmares. Phoenix proved immune to these nightmares, but the
mortified Cyclops lashed out with his optic blasts, one of which struck
the Sphere, causing it to begin to crack apart.
Phoenix sent her energy form into the Sphere, canceling the nightmare effect, and she sensed the threat of the neutron galaxy it contained. Phoenix used her power to heal the lattice containing the neutron galaxy, to knit it back together, but she lacked the power. In addition, the neutron galaxy threatened to absorb her energy form as it had pulled her so far from the human plane of reality that she no longer existed within it. Drawing further energy--and anchoring herself to humanity and reality--via the life-forces of Storm and Corsair, Phoenix re-entered the sphere, merging with and restoring the lattice with additional aid as the rest of the X-Men gave her their life-energy as well.
(X-Men I#108 - BTS / X-Men I#109 (fb)) - D'Ken was
driven incurably insane by his experiences within the M'kraan Crystal
and rendered virtually catatonic. As he had no wife or children,
Lilandra would normally have succeeded him, but as she had led a
rebellion against the Empire she was still considered a traitor. The
Shi'ar High Council recognized that Lilandra had been justified in her
actions, and she was exiled to Earth until such time as they could
resolve how best to handle the situation.
D'ken was taken away in a stasis chamber.
(Starjammers I#4) - Lilandra referred to D'ken as her "thankfully dead brother."
(Starjammers#1-4 - BTS) - D'ken's old friend T'cahr, minister of peace to Lilandra, sought to destroy the Uncreated, heedless of who else perished in the battle, intending to earn support for himself and depose Lilandra. When the Starjammers ended the Uncreated threat without harm to others, Lilandra had T'cahr arrested for slandering her.
(Starjammers#4 - BTS) - In a dark place in the high boughs of Chandilar's royal Aerie, D'ken loyalists gathered. Though T'cahr was lost to them, the values he stood for remained, and they resolved that someone must keep the strong claw of the Imperium buried in the throat of the galaxy. If Majestrix Lilandra will not be that person, then they would see what must be done.
(Uncanny X-Men I#483 (fb) - BTS) - The Secret Order, a group of D'ken loyalists, sought to restore D'ken. They chose the best telepaths in the Shi'ar Empire , who spent years, knitting together D'ken's mind, though exposure to his thoughts drove most of the telepaths insane. Ultimately, they did cure him, but the "three divisions of his mind" could not communicate, and so he remained unconscious/comatose.
(Captain Marvel III#3 - BTS) - Eric the Red (Shakari) revealed to Adam-X that D'ken was his father.
(Uncanny X-Men I#477) - Vulcan, the now-adult human that D'ken had torn from Katherine Summers' womb, traveled towards the Shi'ar Throneworld, seeking vengeance on D'ken. Upon coercing information from a defeated Shi'ar, Vulcan was told that D'ken had "lain in the sleep of the near-dead for many cycles." Vulcan decided then to punish the new Shi'ar ruler, Lilandra, and the entire Shi'ar race as well.
(Uncanny X-Men I#483 (fb)) - Araki brought Deathbird and --
under Deathbird's insistence -- Vulcan to see D'ken; Deathbird convinced Vulcan
to put aside his plans of vengeance so they could focus on larger things,
explaining that she didn't want to rule and needed D'ken for that. Vulcan,
despite Araki's objections, restored the electrical connections, reigniting dead
neural pathways and returning D'ken to the waking world, noting that there would
be no honor in killing D'ken in his unconscious state as D'ken would never know
the difference. Vulcan told Deathbird that he would eventually kill D'ken, but
she told him she would tame him of such urges.
As Araki greeted D'ken, one of Araki's aides reported a battalion of ships that had located and were advancing on their position. Araki's Secret Order, aided by Deathbird & Vulcan, fought off the Shi'ar soldiers until D'ken and his allies could escape in a ship.
(Uncanny X-Men I#482) - Araki announced the reawakening of D'ken, rightful ruler of the Shi'ar, to a group of supporters.
(Uncanny X-Men I#483) - D'ken greeted his supporters.
(Uncanny X-Men I#485) - Araki informed D'ken of Major-General
Ka'ardum's message, recruiting support against D'ken. Though annoyed that the
message could not be ended, D'ken wasn't too worried because they still
outnumbered the rebellion 2-to-1, had the Imperial Guard beside them, and were
choosing their own battleground: the World, under the M'kraan Crystal. They then
departed to plan the royal wedding of Deathbird & Vulcan, intending to cast
Xavier into the Crystal during the ceremony.
As D'ken completed the ceremony, Araki announced the approach of the Starjammers, X-Men, and Shi'ar rebel forces. After Vulcan cast Xavier into the M'kraan Crystal, D'ken ordered the Imperial Guard to bring Lilandra to him, and Gladiator did so. D'ken prepared to execute her, but Vulcan surprised everyone by slaying D'ken, burning his flesh away until only bone remained, and announcing himself ruler of the Shi'ar Empire.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, and Sam Grainger.
AFAIK, the OHotMU is the first time most of the Shi'ar stuff saw print in normal text (i.e. not in all capitals as was the norm for most comic books). In that book, none of the "post-apostrophe" letters were capitalized: Not in "D'ken," "Z'nox," "M'kraan," and certainly not in "Shi'ar."
The OHotMU#7 lists the Aerie as planet on which the
Shi'ar originated, and also states that the Shi'ar Empire is ruled from
an artificial planet called the Imperial Throneworld.
I believe the Throneworld is Chandilar, but I'm not 100% certain and would be willing to be the issue has been confused over the years.
I had planned to do this profile awhile ago...if more
D'ken stuff comes up during the Uncanny X-Men: Rise and Fall of the
Shi'ar Empire, I'll add it at the end of the arc.
And I haven't indexed X-Men: Deadly Genesis yet...it's near the top of my list.
I don't see anything remotely connected to Lilandra or D'ken in X-Men I#99 or 101; Xavier's there, so I guess it's his rapport to Lilandra...seems too weak to count.
D'ken has been referred to as actually having died
in Starjammers#4 (1996). (Lilandra refers to him as her 'thankfully
dead brother D'ken'). Possibly the Uncanny reference can be explained
as a bunch of people in the Imperium not believing he's actually dead
yet, similar to how some conspiracy theorists say Elvis Presley, Jimmy
Hoffa, and/or President Kennedy is still alive someplace in hiding.
--Elf with a Gun
Or that Lilandra considers him dead to her, or maybe she was duped into believing him dead
The placement of Adam-X's birth.
Originally, writer Fabian Nicieza planned to reveal Adam-X as the third Summers brother. As such, assuming Marvel ever does get around to revealing this (and they mentioned it as an alleged relationship via the Official Handbooks), then he must have been born before D'ken killed Katherine. I'm not sure how long Corsair spent in the camps, but it very well could have been long enough for Katherine to give birth to one child, and have another near-term. Or maybe Adam-X and Vulcan are twins, Adam-X was born first and as is sometimes the case with twins, the second child didn't immediately follow. - Madison Carter
In both X-Men I#108 and 109, D'ken was specifically stated to not have any heirs. Perhaps the half-breed Adam-X was not considered a legitimate heir. Since it was only hinted that Adam-X was the son of Katherine Summers, and since Katherine has since been stated in-story to have been pregnant with Gabriel (Vulcan) at the time of their capture, I think there would have to be some in-story revelation to confirm it at this point.
New main and black & white image provided by Loki.
Profile by Snood.
No KNOWN connections to:
images: (without ads)
Gus Vasquez art for our handbooks (main)
X-Men I#107, p8, panel 1 (upper body only image)
Classic X-Men#14/2, p2, panel (holographic full body image (colors off))
Dave Cockrum's D'Ken art (full body, b&w)
Uncanny X-Men I#477, p5, panel 2 (face close-up)
Uncanny X-Men I#483, p20, panel 1 (full body/main image)
X-Men I#97-98 (February, April 1976) - by Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (penciler), Sam Grainger (inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
X-Men I#99 (June, 1976) - by Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (penciler), Frank Chiaramonte (inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
X-Men I#101 (October, 1976) - by Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (penciler), Frank Chiaramonte (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
X-Men I#102 (December, 1976) - by Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (penciler), Sam Grainger (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
X-Men I#103-104 (February, April 1977) - by Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (penciler), Sam Grainger (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
X-Men I#105 (June 1977) - by Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (penciler), Bob Layton (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
X-Men I#106 (August 1977) - by Chris Claremont (writer), Bob Brown/Dave Cockrum (penciler), Tom Sutton (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
X-Men I#107 (October 1977) - by Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
X-Men I#108 (December 1977) - by Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (penciler), Terry Austin (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
X-Men I#109 (February 1978) - by Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (penciler), Terry Austin (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#154 (February 1982) -by Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (penciler), Bob Wiacek & Dan Green (inkers), Louise Jones (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#156 (April 1982) -by Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker), Louise Jones (editor)
Classic X-Men#14/2 (November 1987) - by Chris Claremont (writer), John Bolton (artist), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Classic X-Men#15/2 (November 1987) - by Chris Claremont (writer), John Bolton (artist), Ann Nocenti (editor)
Starjammers I#1-4 (October, 1995 - February, 1996) - by Warren Ellis (writer), Carlos Pacheco (penciler), Cam Smith (inker), Suzanna Gaffney (editor)
Captain Marvel III#3 (February, 1996) - by Fabian Nicieza (writer), Ed Benes (penciler), Mike Sellers (inker), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
X-Men: Deadly Genesis#6 (July, 2006) - Ed Brubaker (writer), Clayton Henry (penciler), Mark Morales (inker), Mike Marts (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#482 (March 2007) - by Ed Brubaker (writer), Billy Tan (penciler), Danny Miki w/ Allen Martinez (inker), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#483 (April 2007) - by Ed Brubaker (writer), Clayton Henry (penciler), Mark Morales (inker), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#485 (June 2007) - by Ed Brubaker (writer), Billy Tan (penciler), Danny Miki w/ Allen Martinez (inker), Sean Ryan (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor)
First Posted: 11/26/2006
Last updated: 10/14/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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