Classification: Extraterrestrial race
Location/Base of Operations: None (home planet,
Archeopia, destroyed, bulk of survivors slain; believed to be extinct);
formerly a starship;
Known Members: Illoll, Ree, Tyrill
Affiliations: Thor Odinson, Recorder#211;
Enemies: Ego, Galactus, unidentified marauding race
First Appearance: (Wanderers) Thor I#160 (January, 1969);
(Archeopians identified) Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#4: Galactus entry (April, 1983)
Powers/Abilities: Archeopians appear to be descended
from an avian species. Ree possessed a beak and wings, though the Wanderers and
those seen close to the time of Archeopia's demise had more humanoid noses and
lacked wings. They did have talon-like digits, with apparently three finger-or
toe-like digits, plus a thumb on their hands. Their feet weren't seen clearly
enough to tell if they had a caudal (towards the back/tail), backwards facing
first phalanx (big toe) like terrestrial birds. They appeared to have hair-like
beards, though this could have been fine feathers.
Even billions of years ago (see comments), the Archeopians possessed interstellar ships and advanced scanning equipment. Their ships had large Vacu-Cylinders to suck in objects from space; pneumatic tubes for rapid transport within the ship; therapeutic Vita-Fluid able to resuscitate organic being (including non-Archeopians) and even androids; and a Translato-Ray, which allowed them to learn another's language while that being slept.
Traits: The Archeopians were a peaceful society,
possessing advanced technology, but maintaining a verdant planet. Following
their world's destruction, the survivors sought vengeance on Galactus and were
willing to sacrifice their lives gain it.
The Archeopians are believed to be extinct, though it is unrevealed if any Archeopians survive anywhere.
(Super-Villain Classics#1 (fb)) <Billions of years ago - see comments> - A group of Archeopians, including Tyrill and Illoll, discovered the incubator-cube of Galactus after it fell into orbit around their planet, Archeopia. Launching an exploratory craft, they suspected the incubator to be a cage or cell of some sort, and they decided not to tamper with it, lest they release the unknown. They returned to warn their brethren.
The incubator-cube ominously orbited Archeopia undisturbed for years.
(Thor I#162 (fb - see comments) / Super-Villain Classics#1 (fb)) - Interstellar war spread into Archeopia's sector, and invading armadas skirmished, leaving behind a wake of destruction. As the marauding ships neared Archeopia, they discovered the incubator-cube and, suspecting it to be a weapon of some sort, decided to destroy it. The entire fleet trained its firepower upon the cube, which merely opened to reveal the now fully matured Galactus. Devastating the entire fleet and consuming its energy, Galactus nonetheless remained ravenous and fed upon Archeopia, little caring who or what existed on that world.
(Thor I#160 (fb) - BTS) - Archeopia was the first planet consumed by Galactus.
(Super-Villain Classics#1 (fb)) - As Galactus stripped Archeopia bare of its life-sustaining energies, a small fleet of ships carrying fore-sighted Archeopians launched into space, escaping death.
(Super-Villain Classics#1 (fb)) - When he had sated himself, Galactus traveled to the devastated Archeopia, and he was moved by the carnage he had wrought. Seeing similarities to his own devastated world, Taa, Galactus vowed not to be a force purely for destruction. As a testament to his power, Galactus vowed to not merely restore the world to its grandeur, but to surpass it. Though it took millennia to complete (as Galactus was frequently required to cease work to prowl the star-lanes in search of sustenance), Galactus eventually created Taa II, an immense world-ship engulfing the Archeopian system; so huge was Taa II, that planets orbited it as if it were a sun.
(Thor I#160 (fb) - BTS) - The survivors wandered space, seeking revenge; for their purpose, they were nicknamed the Wanderers, a name they claimed for themselves, as well.
(Thor I#160) - The Wanderers noticed the Rigellian ship (which
carried both Thor and Recorder#211 in pursuit of Galactus) showing a purpose and
destination, as opposed to all the other ships, which were simply fleeing. One
Wanderer proposed a vote to follow the ship and let fate be their guide, and the
others voted in agreement.
As Tana Nile's ship approached Galactus, Galactus confronted Ego, who blasted him. Tana Nile's ship was destroyed by the unleashed force, and Thor and the Recorder were cast adrift in space.
(Thor I#161) - The Wanderers' ship swiftly found Thor and the Recorder floating in space and pulled them into the pressurized bowels of their ship via a gigantic Vacu-Cylinder, transported them to the core via a high velocity pneumatic tube and resuscitated them via therapeutic Vita-Fluid.
(Thor I#161 (fb) - BTS) - As Thor and the Recorder recovered, the Wanderers studied Thor's language via their Translato-Ray.
(Thor I#161) - As Ego continued to battle Galactus, Thor and
the Recorder awakened in the Wanderers' Medi-Chamber, and one of the Wanderers
introduced his people to them; another Wanderer informed Thor that "even in the
most remote corner of the cosmos, the name of Thor is spoke in whispers." The
Recorder cautioned them against seeking vengeance against Galactus, as he was
too powerful for them. The Wanderers brought Thor and the Recorder to the
Chamber of Decision, where the Wanderers chose to aid Thor in his quest against
Galactus; Thor also cautioned them that they were no threat to Galactus and
should leave the battle to him. Suddenly, another Wanderer announced they had
located Galactus and ordered everyone to battle stations. The Wanderers ship was
struck by flying planetoids, "ablaze with the fury of battle," and Thor ordered
the Wanderers to reverse their course to escape destruction while he confronted
Galactus and Ego. With Galactus having gained the advantage, Thor attacked
Galactus, paining him before being physically hurled by Galactus at Ego with
Having brought the Wanderers and their ship to its surface, Ego safely guided Thor to its surface. From the Wanderers' crippled ship, Thor and the Wanderers erected a stand to house Mjolnir, and Thor channeled his godly life force through Mjolnir at Galactus. Seemingly fearing for his life from the blast's power, Galactus fled.
The Wanderers were satisfied, at least for the moment, with Galactus having been defeated, but wondered at their fate, as their ship had been destroyed. In response, Ego, grateful for their having helped save his life, transformed a portion of its surface into a lush and verdant haven for the Wanderers, welcoming them to make him their home until the end of time.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition#4: Ego / All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#4: Ego) - Soon after Thor left, however, Rigellian colonizer Tana Nile took a sample of Ego and bonded it to the planet later known as Blackworld to aid in its terraforming.
(Fantastic Four I#235 (fb) / All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#4: Ego) - Driven insane by the removal of Tana Nile's sample, Ego consumed all of the Wanderers living on his surface. The Archeopians' separate identities vanished into Ego's own.
(Quasar#2 (fb) / Quasar#26 (fb) - BTS) - Ree "of the long extinct Archeopians" was one of Eon's Protectors of the Universe, wearing the Quantum Bands (sometimes in the form of a single necklace) to insure that conditions in the cosmos remained amenable to life.
(Quasar#26 - BTS / Quasar#27 - BTS) - Thanos created a duplicate of Ree and three other former Quantum Band wearers from Eon's corpse and sent them to attack Quasar (Wendell Vaughn). Quasar forced the Ree duplicate to overload its Quantum Bands, destroying the duplicate.
(Quasar#42-43 (fb) - BTS) - As one of the Protectors of the
Universe, Ree's residual life energy within the Quantum Bands was presumably
manifested in a duplicate of his original body within the White Room.
If so, he would have been present there when Quasar briefly arrived there and battled the Blue Marvel.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Vince Colletta.
Thanks to Donald Campbell, Richard Jackson,
and Omar Karindu for pointing out the Fantastic Four I#235 appearance.
Thor #226-8 seem to have given a lot of info about Ego since tacitly established as non-continuity, such as Ego's alleged origin as a humanoid named Egros. Thor's ability to smack around Ego's surprisingly tiny brain is also implicitly retconned in Byrne's FF story, which shows Ben Grimm encountering a similar-looking "decoy brain" generated by Ego to fool attackers before he finds the real, planetary-scale version.
- Omar Karindu
Ree was pictured as an avian humanoid that had been one of Eon's Protectors of the Universe over the many years of his existence. In that image, Ree wore the bands in the form of a single, large necklace.
In Thor#161, the Wanderers pull Thor and the Recorder out of the vacuum of space via their "vacu-cylinder." Interesting.
I don't recall ever seeing Galactus so weak that Thor could really do him any serious harm. I vote that the Wanderers' stand accessed their ship's full power, including the doomsday weapon they had intended to use against Galactus-- something they had developed over billions of years. AND that Galactus was massively depleted in power after battling Ego (having come to Ego in a hungry state already).
From Angele Knight:
Well Jeff, I have been researching the early chronological history of the MU, and have not come up with any EXACT dating for Galactus awakening from stasis. For that one may need to extrapolate from other related sources.
Galactus awoke after the Watchers were active, as the Watcher Ecce witnessed his awakening in Thor I#168/Super Villain Classics#1. However, as the Watchers have been around a very long time, described as "the oldest known living race in the universe" in Marvel Encyclopedia #6: Fantastic Four.
The Watchers would be older than any of the current surviving races (such as the Quists, who are implied to be over 5 billion years old in X-Men v1 #21), but not necessarily as old of any of the extinct races (such as the Chaos Mites, who became extinct 8 billion years ago, according to Marvel Comics Presents #172). And I have determined numerous other dates for ancient races as well.
Uatu is also older than the Milky Way Galaxy, stated by Uatu in Beyond #6. The galaxy is estimated to be between 10.1 to 6.5 billion years old.
The Protector of the Universe known as Ree was one of the Archeopian race, as per Quasar #26-27. He would have been active sometime after Stygian Starbender, the first Protector of the Universe, who himself would be active sometime after Eon came into existence 8 billion years ago. Thus, Ree was active sometime after 8 billion years ago. However, I am uncertain if he lived on Archeopia before Galactus destroyed it, or was one of the Wanderers who survived its destruction, thereby making placement more difficult.
I am not certain where there reference in Ree's Appendix listing to Galactus destroying Archeopia "6 billion years ago" originally came from.
I bet I extrapolated the 6 billion years ago from the Unofficial Chronology of the Marvel Universe ( http://www.reocities.com/jjnevins/wicks1.html ), as it is in a group of information listed after 8 billion years ago but before 5.5 billion years ago.
This note about Eon makes it seem like the first sentient lifeforms came into existence no more than 8 billion years ago, but I thought I remembered Ronald Byrd or someone noting something about a race being 10 billion years old...
From Ronald Byrd
In Silver Surfer #6 (1987), it was stated that, at least in the Elders of the Universe's parts of the universe, life first developed ten billion years ago. It adds that the Elders themselves were born circa 5.5 billion years ago; at that time, the Obliterator's homeworld had a civilization level pretty much identical to contemporary Earth -- meaning it took his homeworld 4.5 billion years to get from primordial ooze to kicking it 21st century-style -- but other races could have reached higher (or lower) levels by that time, of course.
If we stick to the letter of the statement there, planets whose inhabitants/civilizations died out completely, leaving not even an Elder behind, could conceivably have developed life even longer ago than 10 billion years ago, I guess.
The SS #6 info comes to us from the Obliterator, and although there's no particular reason to doubt what he says -- the fact that's he not that bright doesn't preclude him from knowing things -- he might only be speaking of "organic life" (in fact, since his raison d'etre is killing, that would sort of make sense). Per Skeletron's claims, "biomechanical life" used to be as common in the universe as organic life. Maybe the biomechanicals developed even further back?
Thor Girl's backstory reveals that the sorcerer X'Hoss was active "back when life was little more than a notion to most of the universe," which probably means that X'Hoss's era is the furthest back that the universe was inhabited. Of course, since we don't know when that was, that doesn't help at all, but...
Anyway, 5.5 billion years ago for the Elders. Where that leaves the Watchers -- who, when you think about it, are themselves metaphorically "an Elder," with at least a few Elders being on roughly the identical power levels as the Watchers -- I'm not sure. It seems reasonable to date them back at least as far as the Elders' births (unless some tidbit of dialogue somewhere reveals that a Watcher observed the births of the Elders, that would push things back quite a bit). Per FF #400, the Watchers were already Watching when the Skrulls were still reptilian primates (?), but that doesn't help either.
I can't right off think of anything else that places anything definitively further back. The problem is that most comic book writers seem reluctant to date any ancient outer-space events back further than "countless millennia." Some stories have placed the Big Bang itself as "countless millennia" ago. Yeah, you'd think.
I remember seeing somewhere (possibly a real-world source) that the universe is 15 billion years old, so the Elders of the Universe are a little over one-third as old as the universe itself. Which, yeah, that's old, all right, but possibly not as old as one might have presumed they were.
Supposedly, again per SS #6, life first developed in the Milky Way Galaxy four billion years ago, but obviously that doesn't mean there was life on Earth during that timeframe. It's not all about us. :-) I don't know which if any race has been established to be the oldest in the MWG; possibly the Rigellians, whose empire reportedly stretches across multiple galaxies. IIRC the MWG's Kirgarian Empire (from Black Goliath #5), which died out millions of "cycles" ago, revered Sharra and/or K'ythri, implying that part of their culture (and remember, an Empire, by definition, usually consists of multiple races) made it as far as the Shi'ar Galaxy, where they perhaps influenced the development of proto-Shi'ar culture. Of course, the oldest recorded history in the Shi'ar Galaxy appears to date back only 13,000 years ago (from the Emperor Vulcan miniseries), which is less than useless compared to the sort of timeframes we're talking about here. Even 13,000,000
years would be near-infinitesimal compared to a single billion.
Apropos of nothing, were the Archeopian survivors of recent years supposed to be the descendants of the Archeopians who escaped Galactus's consumption of their homeworld, or the actual escapees themselves, rendered immortal by, you know, whatever? IIRC the Archeopians whom Galactus destroyed didn't have beaks like Ree, and their wings weren't quite as developed, so presumably a fair amount of evolution separates Ree's generation and their own.
Then again, per T'kyll Alabar's backstory, the Shi'ar still had wings as of 1200 years ago -- to put this in perspective, that's a shorter timespan than that which separates King Arthur's era from our own -- yet the Shi'ar of today consider wings a "throwback" trait, so evolution can work pretty darned fast now and then, I guess.
ANGELE KNIGHT: If life first appeared in the Marvel Universe at least 10 billion years ago, as per Silver Surfer v3 #6, then Galactus would have first awoke sometime after that. If Ree was a Protector of the Universe by no earlier than 8 billion years ago, then the minimum range for his awakening is at least 8-10 billion years ago, but could easily be eons more or less. Note the universe is, by current scientific theory, 13.7 billion years old.
From Donald Campbell
The early history of the Marvel Universe will have to be significantly rearranged to accommodate the introduction of the Proemial Gods. According to their origin (in ANNIHILATION: HERALDS OF GALACTUS #2), these "gods" were brought forth by the Living Universe to perform certain functions aimed at bringing a measure of order to the previously-chaotic universe. As they accomplished their task and life thrived on countless worlds, the gods became less necessary as caretakers and they began to diminish from existence. One of the gods who refused to be erased gathered others who shared his ambitions and they fought a "War of the Gods" in an effort to remake the Universe in their image. They were only defeated when they involved Galactus in their war. Galactus destroyed most of the Proemial Gods and imprisoned the few survivors because he served the Cosmic Consonance. This account seems to indicate that the Proemial Gods existed and were active before any of lesser/mortal sentient lifeforms existed. If so, then the fact that Galactus was around to defeat them then would imply that the world-devourer was active even BEFORE the Watchers existed. Also, one of the Proemial Gods, Antiphon the Overseer, looks a lot like a Watcher. If he (perhaps) was the prototype for the Watchers, then Galactus must definitely have been active well before he (supposedly) first awoke and emerged from his incubator-cube while it was orbiting Archeopia.
Snood: I have a hard time casting away 40+ years of established universal history based on what is hinted or alleged to in a recent story. By my understanding, all that is clearly stated is:
1) The Proemial Gods were around until life thrived on countless worlds, meaning the Watchers and Archeopians could have easily reached their advanced states.
2) Galactus helped polish off the Proemial Gods, meaning it happened sometime after Galactus’ awakening.
Even IF Antiphon served as a role model for the Watchers, that doesn’t mean they only patterned themselves after Antiphon after Galactus defeated them.
Donald: I totally agree that it would be INFINITELY preferable to NOT throw away all that history and I'm not suggesting that that is what this new information about the history of the MU actually does. I merely think that this story, by virtue of the fact that no "mortal" race is named or shown, seems to be implying that there WEREN'T any such races doing anything significant (like roaming the stars) at the time when the Proemial Gods warred against each other. Personally, I would be delighted if some future story revealed that it was the fact that some mortal races (like the Watchers) had created advanced civilizations that caused the Proemial Gods to begin to fade from existence. Still, I think that this godwar must be placed as early as possible.
As for Antiphon, you're right that the Watchers do not HAVE to exist only after he was imprisoned by Galactus. I guess that I was just thinking of an online profile that implies/speculates that Brio of Life and Antiphon the Overseer were, respectively, the first Celestial and Watcher.
Also, there's the new history from SECRET AVENGERS #1-4 to consider as well. You know, the robotic Archons who were built "billions of years ago when the stars went out and came again" by the Watchers to guard against the time of nullification and the arising of the Darkest Child's nameless father, "The Abyss" who has been lying in slumber "since long before the Celestials and the Devourers of Worlds arrived." I wonder how that is going to fit in with the established history. Of course, that's assuming that the current Powers That Be at Marvel actiually care about maintaining a consistent history.
That "DevourerS of Worlds" line is interesting, though.
Profile by Snood.
The Archeopians have no known connections to:
ARCHAEOPTERYX - an alias of the Inhuman Tonaja--Inhumans III#2
images: (without ads)
Thor I#160, pg. 18, panel 3 (Wanderers)
Thor I#161, pg. 3, panel 1 (Wanderers ship)
pg. 4, panel 1 and 3 (vacu-cylinder & vita-liquid)
Thor I#162, pg. 15 - devastated Archeopia
Super-Villain Classics#1, pg. 17, panel 4 - Tyrill & Illoll
Thor I#160-162 (January-March, 1969) - Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker)
Fantastic Four I#235 (October, 1981) - John Byrne (writer/artist), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#4 (April, 1983): Galactus entry, written by Mark Gruenwald, presumably assisted by Peter Sanderson and Mark Lerer.
Super-Villain Classics#1 (May, 1983) - Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), with supplemental material by Mark Gruenwald, Ron Wilson, John Byrne, and Jack Abel.
Quasar#2 (November, 1989) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (penciler), Danny Bulanadi (inker), Howard Mackie (editor)
Quasar#26 (September, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Dave Hoover (penciler), Fred Fredricks (inker), Kelly Corvese (editor)
Quasar#27 (Ocotber, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capullo (penciler), Keith Williams (inker), Kelly Corvese (editor)
Quasar#42-43 (January-February, 1993) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Andy Smith (artist), Ralph Cabrera (inker), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#4: Ego (April, 2006) - Michael Hoskin (writer), Jeff Christiansen (head writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
Last updated: 10/20/10
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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