THE GREAT MOTHER/BROOD IMPERIATRIX

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Extra-terrestrial (Brood)

Occupation: Imperiatrix and Matriarch of the Brood

Group Membership: Brood

Affiliations: The Badoon, Brother Royal, Brood 2 of 6, Brood Empress, the Coterie, Dzilos, Fang, Haeg'Rill, the Scholar, Skur'Kil, Hunt-Master T'Crilee;
    formerly Deathbird

Enemies:  The Acanti race, Avengers,  Fang (as an Imperial Guardsman, as a Broodling Fang was loyal to the Great Mother), the Prophet Singer, the Shi'ar (including Lilandra Neramani), Slingers, X-Force, X-Men;
    virtually all of the heroes of Earth, especially Rogue and Warbird

Known Relatives: All Brood

Aliases: The Mother-Queen, Rogue

Base of Operations: Her own personal Acanti space whale/starship;
    formerly the planet "Sleazeworld"

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men#162 (October, 1982)

Powers/Abilities: The Brood Imperiatrix posses the abilities of a Brood Queen, including the ability to lay eggs in host bodies, telepathic connection with the Brood, a protective armored exoskeleton, and winged flight via powerful wings, as Imperiatrix her wings were thick and apparently armored, unlike the usual frail-looking Brood "dragonfly" wings. Due to her high rank in the Brood Hierarchy she most likely has these powers amplified to a far greater degree than a normal Brood Queen.

    In her initial appearance the Great Mother had had the normal, two, whip-like tails, ending in long stingers, in The Contest of Champions ,the Imperiatrix had one large, tentacle-like tail, with no visible stinger. In all of her appearances the Great Mother is shown as about twice the size of her fellow Brood (at least), the average Brood being 8' long (of course, it's difficult to tell, she was standing fairly upright, the others were on all sixes)....She was somehow able to survive the crystallization and destruction of her physical body on "Sleazeworld", and returned in Contest of Champions" with a new Brood body. It is unclear if she projected herself, psionically or astrally, into a new body, or is somehow part of all Brood, thus able to survive any attack short of the destruction of her race. Her words to Wolverine would seem to validate such theory:" Know that my life is not as yours...nor is my death at your hands the True Death. In the end, I shall triumph!"

Physical Description: The Brood Imperiatrix resembles an unusually large , winged Brood. In Uncanny X-Men I#163, The Great Mother appeared  (In illusory form) as a tall, elegant female resembling a Shi'ar, but possessing long, insect like wings. While meditating in Contest of Champions II#2, the Brood Imperiatrx took the form of a remarkably similar Shi'ar female.

History: (Uncanny X-Men#155 - BTS) - The Great Mother made an alliance with the deposed Shi'ar princess Deathbird, allowing her to use her Brood soldiers in a failed attempt to regain the throne and destroy the X-Men. It is unclear what Deathbird had promised her in return, but undoubtedly, she was using Deathbird to try to get access to the Shi'ar homeworld and empire for the Brood expansion.

(Uncanny X-Men#162 (fb)) - After Deathbird succeeded in capturing her sister and rival Lilandra and the X-Men, she gave them over to the Great Mother. The drugged X-Men were led into a hall , where the Great Mother, in the form of a tall Shi'ar female, called them up one by one, supposedly to honor their heroism, but actually to implant a Queen Brood Egg. Only Kitty Pryde and Logan realized that something was wrong, and her servants had to drag them before her for implantation. Wolverine later managed to escape, stopping briefly to enjoy the torment the Brood were inflicting upon their former ally, Fang, but Logan was horrified to learn the truth, as Fang turned into a fully grown Broodling before his eyes. Logan's healing factor killed the nascent Brood Queen within him, but, knowing the others were infected, Logan vowed to either cure his friends, or kill them, to spare them such agony.

(Uncanny X-Men#163) - After returning to the Brood city and freeing his friends, Wolverine encountered the Great Mother as the group attempted to escape. The Brood was enraged and horrified when she realized that he had destroyed her "child" within him, and Logan wanted to avenge his friends,  and the two fought, with each intending the other's death. Cyclops, feeling the battle was hampering their escape, tried to stop Logan, but the heroes were all teleported away to Lilandra's Yacht Z'ree Shar, by Kitty and Nightcrawler, who'd gone ahead of them. The Great Mother, however, was determined that her prey not escape, and ordered Hunt-Master T'crilee, leader of her fleet of Star Sharks, to kill Wolverine (whom she realized was able to destroy any implanted eggs, and was therefore useless), and to bring the others back alive.

(Uncanny-Men#164) - The Great Mother warned T'crilee that the "host-forms" contained her children, she warned him if he failed or if any more of her children were killed, he himself had best be found among those slain. In the ensuing battle, Storm tried to stun the great Star Sharks, seeing that they were merely innocent victim's of the Brood, but lost control of her powers (possibly due to her distance from  Earth, and/or the Brood implantation), and unintentionally killed them, allowing the Z'ree Shar to escape.

(Uncanny X-Men#166) - On "Sleazeworld," the Great Mother was informed of the sighting of a Prophet-Singer Acanti near their world, and that the X-Men had invaded Sleazeworld. She told her Brood not to attack them, because they carried fellow Brood within them. She sent her Hunt-Master to track the X-Men through the catacombs. The X-Men were defeated when Cyclops began to metamorph into a Brood, and he sided with the Great Mother in battling them. Cyclops offered to kill Wolverine, but the Great Mother wanted to eat him alive. When Cyclops lost control of his powers, Wolverine flung himself into his optic blasts to destroy the shackles they had bound him with, then he put his hand to the Great Mother's head, threatening to kill her unless the other Brood dropped their weapons. They complied.
    Kitty Pryde arrived, and led the X-Men, Lilandra and the Great Mother into the soul of the Acanti, where the Great Mother observed that her presence and that of the X-Men were corrupting it with their presence. All of the X-Men began to transform into Brood, while the Great Mother stuck Wolverine with her stinger. Wolverine cut the stingers off, but was so weak that he could barely fight off the venom. Fortunately Binary arrived, and she used her powers to release the Acanti soul, setting all of the Acanti free from the Brood. At the same time, all of the X-Men were purged of the brood taint by the Prophet-Singer's soul, and the Great Mother was transformed into crystal. Shortly afterwards, "Sleazeworld" was destroyed due to the release of the Acanti soul.

 (Contest of Champions II#1 (fb) - BTS) - The Great Mother somehow survived Sleazeworld's destruction and reverted to normal. Now using her title of Brood Imperiatrix she secretly allied herself and the Brood with the Brotherhood of the Badoon, through their leader, the Brother Royal. Posing as a group called the Coterie, they set up a “Contest of Champions”, ostensibly to determine who was the most powerful among the many super heroes of Earth. Their true goal was to infect all of the earth’s heroes with Brood eggs, creating an unstoppable army of Super Brood and leaving the Earth defenseless, so that both races could avenge themselves upon their hated enemies . They devised a form of Nanites that would control the super heroes without their knowledge, forcing them to fight against each other, to weed out the weak, and find those most worthy to bear Brood eggs. Together the Imperiatrix and the Brother Royal traveled to earth aboard the Imperiatrix’s personal Acanti craft, and set their plan into motion.

Contest of Champions II#1) - The Imperiatrix of the Brood hired the Badoon as her pawns to remove the heroes of Earth for her own plans of converting them into potential assimilation into the Brood. Using transporter technology they beamed all the heroes of Earth to their living ship within the body of a giant Acanti and then used holo-technology to create a fictional race known as the Coterie to serve as hosts to the heroes. The Coterie then lulled the heroes into a false sense of security by catering to their fantasies and indulging them in luxuries. They also used nanites to subversively control the heroes, but Iron Man's armor proved resistant to the nanites and the Imperiatrix decided to have Psylocke remove him as a potential threat. Iron Man, however, defeated her upon realizing she was a telepath, but he could not defeat X-Force in his next bout.

(Contest of Champions II#2) - The Imperiatrix soon discovered that her nanites were ineffective against Shadowcat due to her natural phased state. Meanwhile, cast out of the games, Iron Man reprogrammed several nanites to start restoring the powers of heroes who had been cast out of the games. Psylocke, her powers since rendered ineffective, felt her powers kick on and attacked him thinking they were still in a bout, but was pinned under his armor when it fell on her.

(Contest of Champions II#3) - The Imperiatrix locked Shadowcat in a stasis tube alongside that of Warbird (Carol Danvers, formerly Binary) as she boasted on her plans to use the best heroes from Earth to win the games as potential Imperial Brood hosts and the losers as fodder for her subordinates. However, in her battle with Cable, the Scarlet Witch's hex powers against his extradimensional energies resulted in the heroes Lockdown and Rosetta Stone to appear in the Acanti from their native dimension to help Iron Man, Psylocke and the other heroes.

(Contest of Champions II#4) - Still unable to control Shadowcat, the Imperiatrix had Rogue brought to her presence. Appearing to Rogue as a Coterie male, the Imperiatrix had her mind and will supplant Rogue's mind so that she could use her powers to counter Shadowcat's. She then distracted Wolverine long enough for Gambit to finish him off in their bout. The last eight heroes to make it through all their matches turned out to be Captain America, Gambit, the Hulk, Phoenix, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Thor and Hawkeye who believing Rogue to behind the contests, and never having trusting her to begin with, then aimed an arrow to take her out.

(Contest of Champions II#5) - Surviving the attempt on her life, Imperiatrix/Rogue sent Gambit after Hawkeye and the discovered Iron Man was leading the other heroes into taking over the Acanti. She then absorbed the power of the eight heroes and fought to a standstill everyone who crossed her. The heroes continued fighting her to wear her down and reduce the length of time she could hold the absorbed powers as Kitty just barely managed to reverse the beaming process that removed them all from Earth. Imperiatrix/Rogue was then knocked unconscious briefly by Psylocke wearing Rosetta Stone's armor. By now, the only heroes on the ship were Psylocke, Shadowcat, Rogue (still possessed by the Imperatrix), and Warbird who saw this as her chance to destroy both of her hated enemies. With the Badoon having already fled the ship, the Imperiatrix--weakened by all the fighting, lost control over Rogue’s body. She was overpowered by Warbird, and Rogue’s personality resurfaced.  
    Back in her own body, the Imperiatrix was able to make it to the Badoon ship where she blamed them for her failures and began using them to restore her clan. The Brood Imperiatrix devoured the Brother Royal for the plans dismal failure.

Comments: Created by:  Chris Claremont, Loise Jones,  and Dave Cockrum.

    In a way I felt sorry for her, she really did care about her Brood children, and  initially she was merely trying to reproduce the only way available to her...

    It's strange that she was so concerned about the eggs within the X-Men, and not the adult Brood they had killed, or Hunt Master T'Crilee, whom she threatened to kill herself, but I don't think it was necessarily a contradiction on her part, the Brood eggs within the X-Men were nascent Queens, whereas the others were "mere" warriors and drones, easily replaceable. Isn't it nice to feel needed?

    Darc_Light explains why the Brood Queen is the Brood Imperiatrix:

  1. Since the Brood Empress is telepathically linked with all Brood everywhere, wouldn't she be BTS on all Brood appearances?
    Since all Brood everywhere know everything all other Brood know, and have known, via their psionic web, they could be said to be immortal, in a sense, their intellects will live on as long as the Brood Hive Mind exists, like the Borg (especially their Queen) from Star Trek. It's all conjecture anyway...
  2. I also found something interesting, The Great Mother told Wolverine:
    "Know that my death is not as yours...nor is my death at your hands the TRUE DEATH. In the end, I shall triumph!" That seems to indicate she has some way of getting around death...When Kitty Pryde saw her during The Contest of Champions, She told Kitty: "You thought me dead...hardly..." I still think she most likely just downloads her essence into a waiting body when the old one is damaged or destroyed...
    Perhaps she can't die at all, maybe she's a force of nature, the Living Embodiment of Parasitism or something...but that would more likely apply to the Empress rather than the Great Mother.
  3. Finally, there's the interesting note, that both the Great Mother and The Imperiatrix appeared in the form of a tall, elegant, Shi'ar similar to Deathbird, but with insect wings...Is it possible that The Great Mother (or her alternate "spare" bodies, in my theory) had a Shi'ar host (s). Or, it could just be that she prefers to choose that form purely for personal preference. I'm fairly convinced now that the Great Mother is NOT the Empress...and that the Great Mother IS The Imperiatrix. The Imperiatrix is also called "The Mother-Queen"

 Imperiatrix/Rogue somehow absorbed Spider-Man's powers through his mask, but then, I don't recall her actually using any of them so perhaps she just knocked him out.
--Will U
 Is it possible that she used a portion of  the Scarlet Witch's chaos-magic to psychometrically tap into Spidey's (alleged) bio-mystical link with Omm/Anansi/the Gatekeeper?
---Carycomix
Actually, she pulled up his mask, just a bit, and touched his throat. Darc_Light

by Darc_Light, Prime Eternal, and Will U

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Great Mother/ Imperiatrix should not be confused with:


images:
Uncanny X-Men#166, Pg26, pan2
Contest of Champions II#3 pg16, pan4
(Shi'ar Form) Contest of Champions II#5 pg15, pn6



Uncanny X-Men#163-164 (November-December, 1982) - Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Uncanny X-Men#166 (February, 1983) - Chris Claremont (writer), Paul Smith (penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker), Louise Jones (editor)
Contest of Champions II#1-5 (September-November, 1999) - Chris Claremont (writer), Oscar Jiminez (pencils), Eduard Alpuente (inks), Ruben Dirz (editor)


Last updated: 02/26/06

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