Classification: Extraterrestrial technology

Creator: Presumably the Watchers

User/Possessors: Authority, Dr. Doom, Hulk (Bruce Banner), Humanoids, Leader, Uatu the Watcher, Xecu the Watcher

Aliases: Globe of Infinite Knowledge, The Ultimate Machine

Base of Operations: Watcherworld;
    formerly the Leader's base in Rome, Italy

First Appearance: Tales to Astonish I#73  (November, 1965)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Globe of Ultimate Knowledge acted as a conduit to the Ultimate Machine, which housed the accumulated knowledge of the Watchers, which encompassed almost everything in the universe, as well as alternate dimensions, etc. Uatu described it as the "most powerful, most dangerous device of all." Though the Globe had no holes, it could be placed over one's head, vastly increasing their knowledge in the process; even superhuman minds like that of the Leader were unable to withstand the massive influx of data that poured into its wearer's head. The Authority proved capable of withstanding this data influx via his protective armor.
    The Globe also has the power to protect itself, allowing its wearer to project blasts of force or to transmit thought waves preventing others from assaulting it.

(Tales to Astonish I#73/2 (fb) - BTS) - The Leader sent a probe into the Blue Area of the Moon, from which he learned of the Watcher. The probe followed the Watcher from planet to planet, ultimately arriving on his home planet, at the farthest end of the known universe and containing the greatest scientific wonders of all time. He plotted to obtain some of these scientific treasures for himself.

(Incredible Hulk II#472 (fb) - BTS) - Qnax of Xantares was sent on a mission for the glory of his home planet to retrieve the greatest treasure in the universe.

(Tales to Astonish I#73/2 // Incredible Hulk II#472 (fb) - BTS) - The Leader saved the Hulk's life via a laser that dissolved a bullet lodged in his brain. In exchange, the Leader asked him to raid the Watcher's world for him. When the Hulk agreed, the Leader used his micromolecular transporter, which "transformed the Hulk into a thought wave and transported him there at the speed of thought." The Leader's mind remained with the Hulk, guiding him through the Watcher's belongings until he arrived at the "Ultimate Machine" (the Globe of Ultimate Knowledge). However, as the Hulk reached for it, Qnax arrived to claim the Ultimate Machine as well, and he attacked the Hulk.

(Tales to Astonish I#74/2) - The Hulk defeated Qnax and claimed the Globe for the Leader, who transferred both the Hulk and the Globe back to Earth. The Leader promptly claimed the Globe and placed it over his head. The sudden influx of knowledge incapacitated the Leader, and the Hulk pronounced him dead.

(Tales to Astonish I#75/2) - The Hulk took the Globe and left the Leader's base. Eventually figuring that his thicker skin might protect him from the Globe's power, the Hulk put the Globe on his head. He immediately felt extreme agony as the knowledge began to pour into his head. As he took the Globe off, he heard the voice of Rick Jones, telling him that only the President of the United States could help him. Leaving the Globe behind in the mountains, the Hulk headed off to help Rick. Uatu the Watcher--who had enabled the Hulk to receive the message from Rick--then transported the Globe back to the Watcher's world, as it would be millennia before mankind would be ready for the "Ultimate Machine."

(Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Comics Magazine#6) - Dr. Doom confronted Uatu, demanding that he give him the Ultimate Machine. The Fantastic Four tried to stop Doom, but he used the power of the Cosmic Cube to stall them. Uatu was forced to break his vow and take the Cosmic Cube from Doom to prevent him from claiming the Ultimate Machine, but Doom was prepared for him, and used the Cosmic Cube to banish Uatu to another dimension. With the Ultimate Machine in his grasp, Doom was able to continue his search for devices of great power which would aid him in conquering the Earth.




(Marvel Team-Up II#5 (fb) - BTS) - The Globe somehow returned to Earth, within the Leader's Italian base, where it was donned by one of the Leader's artificial Humanoids.

(Marvel Team-Up II#5 (fb) - BTS) - The Authority learned of the Globe of Ultimate Knowledge and resolved to claim it for himself.

(Marvel Team-Up II#5) - The Authority sent Spider-Man to retrieve the Globe for him. He gave Spider-Man a device that would allegedly vaporize the Globe, eliminating its threat, and then teleported him into the Leader's former base. Spider-Man fought the Humanoids to little avail, until he encountered the Humanoid wearing the Globe. Spidey took the Globe via a web-line, but the Humanoids--their intelligence still slightly enhanced by the Globe--hoisted each other up to reach Spider-Man on the ceiling. As soon as he held the Globe, Spider-Man gained the knowledge of the Leader's failsafe device against the Humanoids, and he exposed them to the Leader's dissolving gas. Spider-Man was briefly tempted to use the Globe to help him fight crime, but he ultimately decided to resist the temptation. When Spider-Man attempted to vaporize the Globe, he instead found that the Authority's device was actually a homing signal that allowed both the Globe and Spider-Man to be teleported back to the Authority's base.
    Placing the Globe over his own head, with his armor protecting from being overwhelmed, the Authority began to accumulate massive quantities of information. Information also flooded to those nearby the Authority, namely Spider-Man and the Specialists, showing them an alternate Earth ("
Earth-98151") in which the Authority accumulated every greater knowledge until he controlled the entire universe. Unwilling to allow this to occur, Spider-Man leapt forward and tore the Globe from the Authority's head.
    Uatu the Watcher then appeared, revealing he had to wait until the Globe was in the hands of someone who would surrender it to him willingly, and he then claimed the Globe. The Authority then begged Uatu to take him with him, to make him like him. Uatu told the Authority that he knew too much already and that the Globe was not meant for mortal minds, and he erased the knowledge of its existence from the Authority, the Specialists, and Spider-Man. Uatu took the Globe with him as he departed.

(Incredible Hulk II#472 (fb) - BTS) - Watcherworld materialized near the planet of the Bidoceros, and psionic feedback from Xecu's lamentations drove the Bidiceros to the brink of insanity.

(Incredible Hulk II#472 (fb) - BTS) - With Xantares in dire straits, Qnax resolved to make another attempt to claim the "Ultimate Machine" to save his people.

(Incredible Hulk II#471 - BTS) - Qnax came to Earth, seeking the Hulk's aid in obtaining the Globe.

(Incredible Hulk II#472 - BTS) - Qnax explained his goal to Bruce Banner as they traveled to the Leader's base in Rome, Italy. They worked together to repair the Leader's micromolecular transporter, then Qnax and the Hulk used it to travel to Watcherworld, but they were instead deflected to the nearby world of the Bidoceros. The natives eventually gave them a ship with which they penetrated the barrier surrounding Watcherworld.

(Incredible Hulk II#473) - Qnax and the Hulk traveled to Watcherworld, where they encountered a Watcher (Xecu) who told them how his wife had been slain by the radiation released as they observed the birth of a newborn galaxy. After hearing the pleas of his visitors (Qnax wanting the Ultimate Machine to save his people and Banner wishing an answer to who had seemingly killed Betty), Xecu revealed to them the Ultimate Machine, just as the Bidoceros--unable to stand the maddening psionic feedback any further--launched an attack on Watcherworld.

(Incredible Hulk II#474) - Xecu took the Globe and entered a warp portal, and Qnax and the Hulk followed him, arriving at the core of Watcherworld. Xecu summoned the Globe, only to will it out of existence and reveal the true Ultimate Machine, allowing the Hulk and Qnax to access it.

Comments: Created by Stan "The Man" Lee, Jack "King" Kirby, and Bob Powell.

    Though the Ultimate Machine is the name used both in the first appearance and the most recent one, Hulk#475 revealed the Globe to merely be a conduit to the true Ultimate Machine, so I refer to the Globe as the Globe of Ultimate Knowledge.

    I don't recall seeing any note of the Leader's base being in Italy in the original stories; actually, he left that base and just started leaping towards Washington, D.C., so I'd have thought it was in the American Southwest...

Profile by Snood and Prime Eternal.

The Globe of Ultimate Knowledge, a.k.a. the Ultimate Machine, has no known connection to:

Ultimate Machine


    More than merely the accumulated knowledge of the universe, it is the house of truth. It grants as much to those who enter it as they are willing to bring to it.

    Qnax entered the Ultimate Machine and learned that the Grand Council of Xantares had not wished the Ultimate Machine to bring order to their world, but merely to gain power. He vowed to be a pawn no longer, but to act as a true champion to his people.

    Bruce Banner entered the Ultimate Machine, wishing to not only learn who had seemingly killed Betty, but also to learn why he had been the center of so much activity. Within the Machine, he accepted responsibility for his actions--driving out onto the Gamma Bomb test site, playing cat and mouse with Gen. Ross for years, and ultimately for the gamma exposure to Betty (even though the Abomination had actively poisoned her). He returned to Earth, attempting to bring an end to his conflicts with Ross, the Abomination, etc.



--(behind the scenes) Tales to Astonish I#73, (true form seen) Incredible Hulk II#474 (Tales to Astonish I#73/2-75/2, Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Comics Magazine#6, Marvel Team-Up II#5(fb), 5, Incredible Hulk II#472-473] - all BTS, 474

Tales to Astonish I#74/2, p10 (worn by Leader)
Marvel Team-Up II#5, p18, panel 3 (worn by Authority, blasting Spider-Man)
        p21, panel 1 (Globe)
Incredible Hulk II#474, p8, panel 3 (Ultimate Machine)

Tales to Astonish I#74  (December, 1965)
Tales to Astonish I#75  (January, 1966) - by Stan Lee (writer) and Jack Kirby (artist)
Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Comics Magazine#6 (July, 2001)
Marvel Team-Up II#5 (January, 1998) - by Tom Peyer (writer), Tom Grindberg (pencils), and Dick Giordiano (inker)
Incredible Hulk II#472-474 (January-March, 1999) - by Joe Casey (writer), Javier Pulido (penciler), Sean Parsons (inker)

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 11/12/05

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