THE GIBBORIM



Membership: Three unidentified members

Purpose: To return Earth to its original, paradisiacal state (at least as the Gibborim interpret "paradise")

Affiliations: Pride (Frank Dean, Leslie Dean, Alice Hayes, Robert Minoru, Tina Minoru, Janet Stein, Victor Stein, Catherine Wilder, Geoffrey Wilder, Dale Yorkes, Stacey Yorkes), Witchfire (Ananym)

Enemies: Darkchylde (Illyana Rasputin), Illuminati (Black Bolt, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Mr. Fantastic, Namor, Professor X, Dr. Stephen Strange), Runaways (Karolina Dean, Molly Hayes, Nico Minoru, Old Lace, Chase Stein, Alex Wilder, Gertrude Yorkes), X-Men (Colossus/Piotr Rasputin, Mercury/Cessily Kincaid, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Pixie/Megan Gwynn, Rockslide/Santo Vaccarro, Wolverine/James Howlett), all the women sacrificed to them

Base of Operations: The otherdimensional "realm of slumber"
Formerly, an ancient lair located 2,500 leagues under the Pacific, off the shore of Santa Monica, California

First Appearance: Runaways I#13 (May, 2004)

History:

(Iron Man Legacy#10 (fb) ) - According to the Gibborim they ruled Earth before the Great Cataclysm, which is a total lie as far as we know.

(Runaways I#13 (fb) ) - Twenty-five years ago, the Gibborim summoned six couples to their undersea lair. These couples - the Wilders ("the Thieves"), the Yorkes ("the Travelers"), the Deans ("the Colonizers"), the Minorus ("the Magicians"), the Steins ("the Wise Men"), and the Hayes ("the Outcasts") - represented pair bonds the Gibborim needed to complete their great work, which was the "restoration of the earth to the glorious paradise it once was." This apparently involved the obliteration of Earth's current dominant species - humankind (and probably mutantkind, deviantkind, etc. as well). In exchange for offering them human souls via sacrifice and the "Rite of Thunder," the Gibborim would grant the six couples success in criminal endeavors, and when the time came to "restore the earth," six of the twelve would be given eternal life in the New World. These six couples became Los Angeles' pre-eminent supervillain cartel-the Pride.

(Iron Man Legacy#9 - BTS) - Geoffrey Wilder told Tamara Robinson that she would be sacrificed to the Gibborim.

(Iron Man Legacy#10 - BTS) - When the Illuminati arrived to battle the Pride Dr. Strange adressed the Pride as the Gibborim's slaves.

(Iron Man Legacy#11 - BTS) - Dr. Strange told the Pride that the Gibborim were liars, but the Pride didn't believe his claim.

(Runaways I#1 - BTS) - The Pride killed a teenaged prostitute in sacrifice to the Gibborim.

(Runaways I#11 - BTS) - The Pride discussed what would happen should the Gibborim discover the current situation.

(Runaways I#15-16 - BTS) - Becoming aware that the final Rite of Thunder was about to begin - the final "charging up" of the Gibborim with human life force, which would ultimately lead to the End of the World - the Runaways decided to face down their parents within the giants' lair. The Runaways scuffled with a robotic (?) sentry, and later their parents. Though they fought their parents to a near stalemate, the Runaways' leader, Alex Wilder, turned the tide of the battle by revealing himself to be on the side of the Pride. His entire acting leadership of the Runaways was nothing more than a cunning plan to ferret out Pride members who were plotting to take his mother and father's place in the coming paradise ("Rule number one of gaming: a good dungeon master always lets his players feel like they're in control, when they're really not.").

(Runaways I#17) - With the teammates he betrayed rendered helpless by the mystical Staff of One, Alex tried to interest Nico Minoru in coming into the New World with him. She forcefully declined, and seconds thereafter Alex lost the Staff of One to Gertie Hayes' fast-moving pet dinosaur. When the Gibborim appeared, they demanded to know where there sacrifice was and why the situation before them was going on. Alex took responsibility and this act cost him his life, as one of the ancient creatures incinerated him. The Runaways escaped from the Gibborim's lair while the giants apparently slaughtered their supervillain parents.

(Runaways I#17 - BTS) - After doling out their punishment to the Pride, the Gibborim apparently left their undersea lair for another dimension entirely, a place that they referred to as their "realm of slumber."

(Runaways II#16) - Following a set of circumstances that led to the founding of a new Pride, one of the members of the original Pride - criminal mastermind Geoffery Wilder - was displaced in time from twenty-odd years in the past to the present day. Leading his new Pride against his enemies the Runaways, Wilder and associates kidnapped the young mutant Molly Hayes. Geoffrey Wilder used a magic ring formerly possessed by the Minorus to access the Gibborim's dimension of exile. The Gibborim chided Wilder for being a failure, but Wilder logically pointed out that it wasn't he who had been the failure--it was his older self, who had "gone soft" while the twentysomething Wilder was still in his prime. Wilder requested that the Gibborim resurrect his wife and son Alex, but the Gibborim demanded a show of trust from the younger Wilder--the sacrifice of an innocent human soul. Once again, this particular sacrifice would finish the Rite of Thunder, allowing the Gibborim to re-create the world.

(Runaways II#17-18 - BTS) - Although it appeared for a time that the "innocent soul" Wilder intended to sacrifice was Molly - Wilder's intended target was always Nico Minoru, whom Molly's kidnapping was designed to draw to the site appropriate for the sacrifice. Ultimately, though, Wilder's plan fell through, although his activities did manage to kill Runaways founding member Gertrude Yorkes. Although murderously incensed at Wilder, the Runaways nevertheless returned him to the past to prevent damaging the timestream, and once again the Gibborim were left without their sacrifice.

(Runaways II#20-21 - BTS/22) - As always, the lure of a power capable of resurrection was too strong for some to resist--and the next human to invade the Gibborim's Realm of Slumber was Runaways member Chase Stein, who wanted the Gibborim to resurrect his late girlfriend Gertrude. Although Chase was disgusted with the "strings attached" to the deal, he was nevertheless tempted, and after the Gibborim explained they had no more than twelve hours worth of energy to remain even in their slumber dimension, Chase went after a young homeless girl. Fortunately, he found himself unable to kill her.

(Runaways II#23 - BTS) - After his failure with the homeless girl, Chase returned to the Runaways HQ beneath the La Brea tar pits. Using magical items formerly in possession of the Pride, Chase bound Nico Minoru in enchanted chains. Telling Nico of his plan to resurrect Gertrude, Chase then pointed out some flaws that could be exploited in Runaways member Victor Mancha's programming, reasoning that there was no point in bringing Gert back to have her killed by the cyborg in the future. Taking Nico's magical Staff of One into his possession, Chase left Runaways HQ to return to the Gibborim with the innocent soul he planned to sacrifice - himself!

In the meantime, although no one but Nico and Victor Mancha had seen Chase enter or leave the building (and both Nico and Victor were incapacitated), Molly was informed by a mysterious disembodied voice that she should look for Chase. Molly was riling up the others when the effects of Nico's magical chains wore off, allowing Nico to provide the rest of the Runaways with the details of Chase's suicide gambit.

(Runaways II#24) - Although supposedly a mindless, obedient animal, the velociraptor Old Lace - formerly the property of Gert Yorkes, now the pet and familiar of Chase Stein - left a urine trail for the Runaways to follow. This led them to a site from which the Gibborim's dimension could be accessed - and rather easily, since Chase had left the "back door" open, in the form of a dimensional gateway. Xavin, Nico, and Carolina Dean entered the portal to plead with Chase not to end his life. The Runaways quickly came to blows with the Gibborim and were easily overpowered. Although Chase was still offering himself as a sacrifice to the Gibborim, the giants told him that the sacrifice had to be an unwilling participant, and as such, they wanted Nico.

In the meantime, Molly Hayes was being directed by the disembodied voice on how to get Victor Mancha back online. Once Victor came to, he and Molly acted as the cavalry, charging into the Gibborim's dimension in the hopes of rescuing their comrades. Molly and Victor found the Gibborim about to physically devour Nico in order to complete the Rite of Thunder, but Victor snatched Nico out of the giant's hands after he and Molly did a re-inactment of the X-Men's famous "fastball special." Their time now up, the Gibborim apparently died, literally sinking out of reality itself.

The Gibborim then found themselves in the Afterlife, which took the form of a featureless white limbo. The three Gibborim were not alone in this realm of nothingness, and were addressed by another inhabitant who'd been sent there for the same offenses as the Gibborim--evil done while "trying to make their old man proud." This lost soul was Alex Wilder, who was also the source of the mysterious voice who'd led Molly to the rescue. Wilder had hoped his posthumous attempt to do good might allow him to escape from his prison, but to no avail. When the Gibborim wondered if the souls of the other Pride members were present, Alex told them that they must have been sent somewhere else, and that the four of them were the only ones present. He noted that Pat Benatar got it right when she sang "Hell is For Children."

(X-Infernus#4) - The Gibborim were among the so-called "Elder Gods" freed from their exile by Belasco's daughter Witchfire. They entered Limbo and battled a few X-Men before Illyana Rasputin and Pixie destroyed the portal, sending the Elder Gods back to their exile, by splitting the bloodstones and amulet apart that Witchfire had used to open the portal.

Comments: Created by Brian K. Vaughan, Adrian Alphona and Craig Young.

The power range and levels of the Gibborim are not known, although they were shown to have the ability to cancel out the Minoru's spells, create illusions or holograms, and grant the Pride success in criminal endeavors. Exactly how the latter was accomplished is not known-the Gibborim may have used probability manipulation, enhanced the Prides' IQs, or maybe just killed off the competition. The Gibborim can also fire energy blasts that incinerate people, including accomplished supervillains. Owing to their enormous size (several stories tall), they're likely immensely strong, and at full levels of "life force" they are presumably powerful enough to physically transform the world.

The word "Gibborim" is Hebrew in origin, and in the Book of Genesis refers to the "mighty men, men of renown" who were engendered by matings between human females and fallen angels (the Nephilim). Extra-biblical Hebrew sources stated that adult Gibborim had femurs thirty-six feet long, which would put them in the neighborhood of 100 feet tall.

The Gibborim implied that they ruled the earth prior to humankind's evolution, but the Biblical versions dwelt in the antediluvian world after Adam & Eve's creation. If the Marvel Gibborim are the same as the Hebrew Gibborim, then they are descendants of the gods of the Canaanite/Mesopotamian Pantheons. The fact that the old gods of this pantheon seem to have degenerated into demons in the Marvel Universe puts an interesting spin on Yahweh's opposition to "having other gods before me"--he might have been warning humans against worshipping his deteriorated divine relatives, rather than opposing polytheism per se.

Of course, the Gibborim may not necessarily have any relationship to the old gods of the Levant--they could just as easily be related to some older group of gods (such as the Elder Gods or the Hyborian deities) or even be sorcery-using extraterrestrials, rather like Urthona.

Exactly when their reign on Earth was, and how it affected other races claiming to have ruled it at one time or another, is unknown.

The Gibborim could be children of Tiamat. In Sumerian myth, Tiamat gavebirth to several unamed creatures who fought with the Sumerian Gods for control of earth. They could be wanting to return earth to a time they recalled to before gods guided the destinies of mortals. -- Will U

Profile by Reddie

Clarifications:

No known connection to


THE "REALM OF SLUMBER"

The Gibborim's "Realm of Slumber" was apparently an abyss from which the Gibborim emerged when summoned, a great pit surrounded by rocky cliffs or bluffs. Along these bluffs a town physically very much like a Depression-Era shanty or Brazilian favela had been built, and its inhabitants were strange, spectral beings somewhat reminescent of characters from Victorian or early 20th-century children's literature. Some were humanoid, while others were bird, bear, or other sorts of animal-people. Despite the curious nature of these beings (in both senses of the word!) they were ignored by both the Gibborim and the Runaways.

--Runaways II#16 (22-24

The spectral and theriomorphic nature of the Realm's villagers reminds me of the otherdimensional realms of Metapatagonia and the Blazing World--both featured in Alan Moore's excellent League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.


"BABOON-BIRDS"

Some of the Realm's inhabitants were less easy to ignore--both Geoffery Wilder and Chase Stein were attacked by aggressive winged "baboon-birds," but these squawking predators were not particularly difficult to deal with. Physically they were feathered avian beings with mammalian features somewhere in between those of a dog and a baboon.

--Runaways II#16 (22-24


images:
Runaways I#13, page 11, panel 1


Appearances:
Runaways I#13 (May, 2004) - Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Adrian Alphona (pencils), Craig Yeung (inks), C.B. Cebulski (editor)
Runaways I#17 (October, 2004) - Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Adrian Alphona (pencils), Craig Yeung (inks), C.B. Cebulski (editor)
Runaways II#16 (July, 2007) - Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Adrian Alphona (pencils), Craig Yeung (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
Runaways II#22 (January, 2007) - Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Adrian Alphona (pencils), Craig Yeung (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
Runaways II#24 (March, 2007) - Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Adrian Alphona (pencils), Craig Yeung (inks), Nick Lowe (editor)
X-Infernus#4 (May, 2009) - C.B. Cebulski (writer), Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Jesse Delperdang (inks)
Iron Man Legacy#9 (February, 2011) - Fred Van Lente (writer), Steve Kurth (pencils), Allen Martinez (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Iron Man Legacy#10-11 (March-April, 2011) - Fred Van Lente (writer), Philippe Briones (pencils), Jeff Huet (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)


Last updated: 01/31/15.

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