ABORIGINAL/AUSTRALIAN GODS

Classification: Gods

Location/Base of Operations: Dreamtime (Alchera)

Known Members: Altjira (god of the Dreamtime), Baiame (god of creation), Daramulum (god of the sky & weather), Julunggul (goddess of fertility), Gnowee (goddess of the sun), Mamaragan (god of lightning), Marmoo (god of evil), Narahdarn (god of death)

Affiliations: Other races of Gods

Worshipped by many different Aborigines tribes

Aliases: None

First Appearance: (Mentioned) Thor I#301 (November, 1980); (seen) Marvel Comics Presents I#16 (April, 1989)

Powers/Abilities/Traits: The Aboriginal gods all possess certain superhuman physical attributes. They are true immortals who cease to age upon reaching adulthood, and they cannot die by conventional means. The Aboriginal gods are immune to all terrestrial diseases and are resistant to conventional injury. If an Aboriginal god is wounded, his or her godly life force will enable him or her to recover at a superhuman rate. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it incinerates an Aboriginal god or disperses a major portion of his or her bodily molecules to cause him or her to die. Even then, it may be possible for a god of greater or equal power, or several gods acting together, to revive the deceased god before the god's life essence is beyond resurrection. Aboriginal god flesh and bone are about two times denser than similar human tissue, contributing to the gods' superhuman strength and weight. An average male god can lift about 20 tons; an average goddess can lift about 10 tons. Though generally weaker than Asgardian and Olympian deities, the Aboriginal gods have the unique ability to navigate the Dreamtime with ease. The gods' metabolism gives them superhuman endurance in all physical activities. Most Aboriginal gods are skilled metamorphs and possess the ability to shift all or portions of their bodies into the forms of animals and other natural objects. Many Aboriginal gods also possess additional superhuman powers that may be magical or spiritual in nature. For instance, the lightning god Mamaragan possesses the ability to control storm clouds and emit thunder-like sonic shock waves.

History:
(Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - Most of the Aboriginal gods dwell in Alchera, a realm bordering the Dream Dimension of the demon Nightmare within the Dreamtime, the collective unconsciousness of all sentient beings in the universe. Very little is known about Alchera other than it appears to be one of countless planetary objects that exist within the Dreamtime and cannot be comprehended through reason. The Aboriginal gods are called different names by their human worshippers; for example, the god of creation Baiame is known as "Bunjil" by the Kulin, the "Minawara" by the Nambutji, "Karora" by the Gurra, and "Wuragag" by the Gunwinggu.

  The Aboriginal gods' precise origin, like that of all Earth's pantheons, is shrouded in legend. According to ancient myths, the god Altjira could not depart the Dreamtime without losing his powers. However, he directed the other Aboriginal gods to temporarily leave the Dreamtime and descend to the Australian continent within the Earth realm eons ago when the land was barren and featureless. The gods then proceeded to shape the landscape according to Altjira's plan: Julunggul, the Rainbow Serpent, dug deep into subterranean waterholes and began to carve out gullies that became rivers; while Baiame gave form to the mountains and forests. However, Marmoo, the god of evil, grew jealous of the newly created world and, believing that it was more difficult to destroy than to create, set out to prove his abilities by fashioning a tribe of insectoid warriors in his own grotesque image. When Marmoo sent his insect swarms to ravage the landscape, the Earth Mother Gaea (known to the Aboriginal gods as "Dilga" and "Nungeena," among other names) wove flowers together and transformed them into a flock of lyrebirds that attacked and defeated the insect horde.

(Force Works#10 (fb) ) - Over one hundred millennia ago, Orphan - a sentient extraterrestrial device capable of telepathic communication and transforming dreams into reality - crash-landed on Earth in the Australian outback. It was eventually located by an Aboriginal tribe, who venerated it and regarded it as their own link to the Dreamtime, reinforcing their belief in Altjira and his progeny.

(Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - Approximately 10,000 years ago, Julunggul the Rainbow Serpent shed her skin. Altjira collected this skin, stretched it over the frame of night, and sealed it with the kiss of sleep to create a great vessel capable of sailing through the Dreamtime to any realm inhabited by gods, regardless of their shape or form.

  The Aboriginal gods have been worshipped by the Australian Aboriginal peoples from approximately 8000 BC into modern times. Unlike many of their counterparts in other Earth-based pantheons, the Aboriginal gods are still actively invoked and worshipped on Earth by a handful of remote Aboriginal tribal groups.

(Marvel Comics Presents#16/3) - Altjira was encountered by X-Men member Longshot.

(Incredible Hercules#116-117) - Altjira was among the gods summoned to join the Council of Godheads by Athena. As Athena prepared a force of gods led by Hercules to confront the Skrullian gods, Altjira contributed to the mission a vessel made within the Dreamtime and composed of the skin worn by the rainbow serpent. Aboard this vessel, Hercules' forces were able to travel within the Dreamtime to where the Skrullian gods dwelled.

Comments:

In OHotMU 2006#3 Altjira was confirmed as the creature in MCP. Other members of the Aboriginal Gods were mentioned too in the Council of Godheads entry.

The main image in this profile is by Ben Oliver.


images:
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica, p3


Appearances:
Thor I#301 (November, 1980) - Mark Gruenwald & Ralph Macchio (writers), Keith Pollard (pencils), Chic Stone (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#16 (early April, 1989) - Ann Nocenti (writer), Larry Dixon (pencils), Alfredo Alcala (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Incredible Hercules#116-117 (June-July, 2008) - Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (writers), Rafa Sandoval (penciler), Roger Bonet (inker), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica (2009) - Anthony Flamini, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lante & Paul Cornell (writers), Jeff Youngquist (editor)


Last updated: 08/18/02

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