Type: Higher plane of reality

Environment: Essentially Earth-like (more evolved/pure);
    It is described as "A singularity. Perfection on the head of a pin. A timeless home to a perfect race of unfathomable power. Nothing ever changes in the Brilliant City."

Usual means of access: Vibrational attunement






Dominant Life Form: Cosmically-powerful humanoid beings.
    They have vast energy powers. Qabiri's were sufficient to cause the destruction of entire worlds, though he was also powerful enough to defeat a group of the Brilliant City's inhabitants.
    They can withstand powerful physical or energy assaults and can fly at great speeds, survive in space, and travel interdimensionally

Significant Inhabitants: Idris, Melchior, Qabiri

First Appearance: X-Man#67 (September, 2000)







(X-Man#74 (fb) - BTS) - Idris was a resident of the Brilliant City, a higher plane of existence where the residents believed themselves to be the top of the spiral of realities, the most elevated forms of life. One day, Idris happened to glance upward, and she saw that there were spectrums of existence far beyond her own, beings so great that the people of the Brilliant City were less to them than the lowliest creature in the spiral was to the people of the Brilliant City. She realized that the Brilliant City was no less of a broken world than any other. Unable to bear this knowledge, Idris splintered herself into numerous forms, including Nicola Zeitgeist of Earth-253, Sister Perpetua of Earth-616, and Hassan.

(X-Man#67 (fb) - BTS) - Fearing that the lower worlds had learned of their existence and would try to interact with them and thus corrupt the Brilliant City, Qabiri resolved to destroy these worlds to prevent this.

(X-Man#67) - Melchior and others told Qabiri that the lesser worlds were not of their concern and that contact with the lower worlds was forbidden as it would corrupt them. Qabiri responded that they placed little faith in their own purity, and he asked them if they should wait until the lesser beings overran them and danced in the stained rubble of the Brilliant City. Qabiri acknowledged that while the people of the Brilliant City were infinitely more powerful, that the undercreatures vastly outnumbered them, and if they learned that the City was more than just a dream then they would be unable to stop the undercreatures. Qabiri further noted that as some of the undercreatures had learned to travel the spiral and access other planes that they were indeed a threat to the Brilliant City. Melchior warned Qabiri that his actions would bring disaster, but Qabiri told Melchior he would do what he must to save the Brilliant City, then leapt off its edge and began traveling down the spiral.
    Melchior stated that Qabiri now belonged to the darkness.

(X-Man#72 (fb) - BTS) - Qabiri devastated four parallel Earths in succession.

(X-Man#71 (fb), 71-72) -Qabiri destroyed Earth-253. During this time, Nate Grey of Earth-295 (a hero on Earth-616) brought Earth-616's Sister Perpetua to Earth-253 where she encountered Nicola Zeitgeist.

(X-Man#73) - Zeitgeist and Sister Perpetua's powers interfaced, enabling them to escape Earth-253 with Nate Grey, where they encountered Hassan. Bringing all three women to Earth-616, Nate merged them, restoring Idris (or a fragment of her) to existence. Nate took Idris and left Earth-616, telling Qabiri that if he stayed to destroy Earth, he would waste time that would allow Nate to act on Qabiri's greatest fear, the corruption of the Brilliant City.







(X-Man#74) - Nate brought Idris to the Brilliant City where he tried to help her regain her memory of what trauma had caused her to flee the Brilliant City so long ago. The other members of the Brilliant City then appeared, commanding Nate to leave or be extinguished, and denouncing Qabiri as no longer being one of them or any of their concern. Nate departed, telling them to ask Idris why he had brought her there.
    As Qabiri prepared to destroy Earth-616, Nate projected himself into Qabiri's mind, warning Qabiri that he must find Nate before the Brilliant City was destroyed, and told him that as the City was stagnant and bereft of emotions that it might actually be a lower world. Nate thus led Qabiri back to the Brilliant City, arriving in time to save Idris as Melchior and the others judged her as corrupted and moved to exterminate her. Qabiri arrived soon after, but Melchior and the others told him he had been corrupted by his interactions with the lower worlds and was no longer welcome either. Melchior and the others struck at Qabiri, and Qabiri fought back. Nate used the time and distraction to heal Idris' mind (which was still spread out across countless fragments on countless worlds).
    Qabiri overpowered Melchior and the others, shattering the Brilliant City in the process, then confronted Nate and Idris anew. Nate, having viewed Idris' restored memories, told Qabiri that the Brilliant City was nowhere near perfection. He then told Qabiri and the others to do what Idris had done: look up. Looking up, they saw that there was a spectrum beyond the top of the spiral they could see. They viewed beings so great that the people of the Brilliant City were less to them than the lowliest creature in the spiral was to the people of the Brilliant City. They realized that the Brilliant City was no less of a broken world than any other.
    Qabiri collapsed, weeping and having nothing left to fight for, and Nate took Idris away as per her request. Nate noted that the Brilliant City would survive, as all that had happened was that reality had caught up to them and they had thus lost their arrogance. Idris no longer wished to be Idris anymore, and Nate gave her the choice of who she would be. He enabled her to return to existence as Sister Perpetua, no longer plagued by visions and having no memory of her other existences.




Comments: Created by Steven Grant and Ariel Olivetti.

    The story is told as if the Brilliant City is an alternate Earth, though it seems more of a higher plane of reality.
    A big part of the final (and best) arcs of X-Man involved the idea of a spiral pathway to the omniverse (or cosmos?) with some realities being  higher and more evolved (upspiral) and others being lower and more primitive (downspiral). They specifically discuss Earth-616 as a median world, with the Brilliant City

    Qabiri named Earth-616 as Earth-612 after he had destroyed four Earths below it, and then after he destroyed Earth-253, he called Earth-616 "Earth-611." Regardless of whether the other Earths are destroyed, however, realities' designations aren't changed. The rest of the universe still exists after all.

    Regardless of the downspiral descriptions, I don't think the Core Continuum Designations refer to each world's advancement status. We've seen harsher worlds with higher numbers and more advanced worlds with lower numbers. I think the downspiral world in X-Man#73 could be identified as Earth-16137. I'm not going to designate the Brilliant City, b/c it didn't see anything like an Earth dimension, just a higher plane of existence in the cosmos.

    I think the higher race is somewhat reminiscent of the Infinites.

Profile by Snood.

No known connection to



    A resident of the Brilliant City, he sought to convince Qabiri not to leave the Brilliant City and enter the lower realities. Melchior felt that the Brilliant City could fight off invasion and corruption from others trying to invade it, but that by entering those worlds, one of the Brilliant City's residents would become inherently corrupted. Melchior led the city's inhabitants to try to drive off Nate Grey when he approached, as well as to try to destroy both Idris and Qabiri, whom he saw as having been corrupted by their time in the lower realms. Even backed by his allies he was no match for Qabiri's power, but he survived and learned humility with the others upon learning of the higher race so far above them.

--X-Man#67 (74








higher beings



    Virtually nothing is known about these beings except that they exist in a spectrum beyond the top of the spiral of realitie. They were so great that the people of the Brilliant City were less to them than the lowliest creature in the spiral was to the people of the Brilliant City.










images: (without ads)
X-Man#67, p1, panels 1-2
        p5, panel 2 (Melchior full body)
        p6, panel 1 (Melchior face) 
    #74, p1, panel 2 (Brilliant City)
        p (residents)
        p19-20 (higher plane)
        p21, panel devastated Brilliant City

X-Man#67 (September, 2000) - Warren Ellis (basic plot), Steven Grant (writer), Ariel Olivetti (artist), Jason Liebig (editor)
X-Man#71-73 (January-March, 2001) - Steven Grant (writer), Ariel Olivetti (artist), Lysa Hawkins (assistant editor), Jason Liebig (editor)
X-Man#74 (April, 2001) - Steven Grant (writer), Quique Alcatena (artist), Lysa Hawkins (assistant editor), Jason Liebig (editor)

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 04/09/08

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