Location/Base of Operations: Rhun, in the Vulliger star
system - its galaxy of origin is unrevealed, as its current location;
last seen within Milky Way galaxy;
formerly mobile throughout other galaxies (such as that of the Ry-Leph)
Known Members: Dracus, Kragonn (High-Lord)
Affiliations: Caretakers (Avalon), Exterminators, Protector, Protectors (experimental type)
formerly Caretakers (Avalon), Balder, Bolaa, Gerr, Silas Grant, Jukka, Sif, Thor, Tryx
Aliases: Masters of the Black Stars, Masters of the Black Star, Gods of Rhun
First Appearance: (Behind-the scenes) Thor I#217
(seen) Thor I#219 (February, 1974)
Powers/Abilities: Rhunians are immense humanoid beings, at least 300' tall, and they constantly generate anti-gravitons to resist the tremendous pull of gravity upon their bodies. Their immense size grants them vast strength and durability; the mightiest blow of Thor's hammer is like an insect bite to a Rhunian, and a casual flick of the finger can send Thor hurtling and unconscious.
Rhun has a temperate climate, 76% covered with water. Its atmosphere is 60% nitrogen, 30% oxygen. They allegedly number 2.6 billion
The Black Stars were five planets, each three times the size of Jupiter, set in a billion-mile-wide equilateral pentagon and revolving around an immense, blazing star. The collection was essentially a traveling solar system, able to span intergalactic distances via immense space warps. Upon approaching a solar system, they shattered the planets with powerful energy blasts, then used tractor beam devices (involving vibration patterns erecting a potent wavefront of negative energy) to pull the debris into enormous space-scoops, within which the debris was converted into pure energy to power the Black Stars' space drive and weaponry.
It's unclear whether the Black Stars could absorbs the power of stars, but it would seem a tremendous waste if they missed out on all that energy after destroying and consuming all of the stars' planets.
The Rhunians also developed a number of sophisticated and powerful robots, such as the Caretakers, Protectors, and Exterminators, all of which are virtually microscopic relative to them.
Traits: The Rhunians are ruled by an oligarchy, and leadership shifted every Klarn (roughly ten Earth years) amongst the upper class. They are generally egocentric, shunning contact with other races (they did not deign to visit any of their brother planets despite not having contact for 20, 000 years). Despite their advanced technology, they were unaware that life existed in other planets beyond the Black Stars.
Rhun dominated all five of the Black Stars, though they burdened themselves with acquiring energy to support their entire star system, including the power to transport it across intergalactic distances.
(Thor I#220 (fb) - BTS) - Under unexplained circumstances, the Rhunians joined with the other four inhabited planets in their solar system, and developed technology including space warps to transport their entire solar system, plus the means to shatter whole planets (which the Rhunians, who thought they and their brother races to be the only living beings in the universe, incorrectly assumed to be uninhabited) and convert them to energy to supply the five planets, which became known as the Black Stars.
(Thor I#218 (fb) - BTS) - The Rhunians allegedly destroyed multiple entire galaxies, using machinery to convert the remains to energy to power the Black Stars' machines.
(Thor I#220 (fb) - BTS) - The Rhunians had not communicated with the other worlds of the Black Stars in 20,000 years, though they continued to send them power from the planetoids they consumed for fuel.
(Thor I#219 (fb) - BTS / Thor I#220 (fb) - BTS) - Many klarns (each of which was equal to 10 Earth years) Dracus helped create the race of Caretakers to tend to and repair the huge roving scoops that funneled space debris back to Rhun to be used as fuel. Avalon was a knight of these people and sent to test the approaching strangers for their strength and potential to aid them.
(Thor I#218 (fb)) - The Black Stars (the traveling world vessels of the Rhunians) arrived at Ry-Leph, passing from the void between the galactic spirals and destroying the star-spanning culture of the Ry-Leph in a single day and night. Using galactic matter scoops, the inhabitants of the Black Stars swept up the remains of Ry-Leph.
(Thor I#219 (fb) - BTS) <According to Avalon> - In nearly 10,000 years, no organic beings survived the Black Stars' attack and/or entered the space-scoop alive.
(Thor I#218 (fb) - BTS) - The Rigellians received and translated a recording from a capsule sent from the Ry-Leph, detailing their fate. From this, they learned of the Black Stars.
(Thor I#217 - BTS) - The Rigellians detected the approach of the Black Stars from the depths of intergalactic space. Choosing survival of his race over honor, the Grand Commissioner ordered Rigel-3's evacuation. For six days he watched the multitudes board the giant vessels of their fleet. When an aide noted the Black Stars would reach them within a fortnight, the Grand Commissioner, already knowing what must be done, ordered him away.
(Thor I#217 - BTS) - On Rigel-3, with the Black Stars
approaching, the Grand Commissioner oversaw the planet's evacuation.
Odin announced an approaching menace from deep space, a menace that would first destroy Rigel-3, world of the Colonizers of Rigel and then...all the worlds of men.
(Thor I#218 - BTS) - As Thor, joined by Sif, Balder, Tana
Nile, and Silas Grant of Blackworld departed Asgard for Rigel-3 aboard the
Starjammer/Voyager longship, the Rigellians abandoned their homeworld aboard
many starships. The Rigellians realized they had no hope against the Black
Stars, but also felt they were delaying the inevitable, as the Rigellians would
eventually destroy the whole galaxy as well as the Rigellians, no matter where
The Starjammer reached Rigel-3, and the crew found it abandoned, save for four Rigellian mutants -- Bolaa, Jukka, Tryx, and one unidentified -- who attacked them. After Thor broke up the fight, the mutants noted how they had been left there to die, and Thor had them join him aboard the Starjammer as they sought out the other Rigellians. The Starjammer had only departed 5 hours before the Black Stars arrived and shattered Rigel-3 into fragments, the most cities remained intact atop large stone shards. Immense tendrils stretched forth from the Black Stars enabling space-scoops to use tractor fields, vibration patterns erecting a potent wavefront of negative energy, and Rigel-3's cities were pulled into the maw of giant waste disposal units where they were broken down into pure energy and used to power the machines of an incredibly superior race.
The Starjammer crew located and joined the Rigellian fleet (despite the Rigellians initially attacking), who told them of the Black Stars, and of the fate of Ry-Leph.
(Thor I#219) - Aboard one of the planet (Rhun)'s space-scoops, Avalon of the Caretakers first encountered the Starjammers' crew, battling them before welcoming them as friends. Introducing Thor and his allies to the Caretakers, Avalon told them of his people's plight. Avalon and Thor road atop one of the space-scoops as it began to rewind on its incredible umbilical cord. Apparently sensing their approach, a Protector was dispatched from Rhuna. After Thor destroyed the Protector, the Rhunians reeled in the space-scoop all the way into Rhun's atmosphere, and Avalon and Thor were startled to glimpse the surface of Rhun and the Rhunians' great size.
(Thor I#220) - The stunned by their size, Thor nonetheless
flew to the attack, flying onto the hand of the Rhunian leader, Kragonn, and
striking with Mjolnir. Annoyed by the sting, Kragonn swatted at his wrist,
stunning Thor an knocking him back towards the space-scoop; Avalon saved Thor's
unconscious form from smashing into the scoop. Amused but also annoyed that
their Caretaker servants had decided to rebel, Kragonn ordered a technician to
return the scoop to its berth while they studied the matter. The magne-winch was
activated swiftly (as the technicians feared for their lives at Kragonn's
hands), and the scoop and its cable were redrawn into its holding capsule, after
which Kragonn delivered the capsule to Dracus, creator of the Caretakers, to
learn the cause of the rebellion or forfeit his own life. Plotting to enslave
the upper class rulers, Dracus sent a group of Exterminators (virtually
microscopic to him) to study the capsule. Thor revived just as the Exterminators
arrived to destroy the rebels and their allies, but Thor and his allies
destroyed the Exterminators (who were only about 25% larger than Thor) after Sif
discovered the Exerminators' eyes were their weak point.
Meanwhile, having observed the struggle via his equipment, Dracus informed Kragonn that other beings had somehow allied with the Caretakers; they believed these beings had to have come from one of their brother planets, as they thought the five planets of the Black Stars to be the only inhabited bodies in the universe. As Kragonn wondered whether the people of their brother planets were truly friend or foe, the Rigellian mutants listened in on them from atop the open space-scoop. Observing the Caretakers' allies via Dracus' equipment, Kragonn and Dracus resolved that they must be vanguards of some planned invasion from one other their brother planets. Dracus encouraged Kragonn that these visitors must be destroyed, though he secretly planned to blame Kragonn when the visitors' masters came seeking revenge. Kragonn ordered Dracus to bombard the space-scoop of concern with deadly radiation, but Thor flew his allies to the attack, and the Caretakers followed. Soon they swarmed about Kragonn, blinding and unnerving him, and he ordered Dracus to do something. In response, Dracus unreleased a batch of experimental Protectors (who had proven too reckless for normal use in guarding Rhun) to attack the Caretakers and their allies. Many Caretakers and Protectors fell in battle (though more of the latter), but Dracus, standing overtop the battle, planned to stomp on and finish all of them off; however, the Rigellian mutants, having scaled Dracus' form, reached his neck and pressed on a nerve that caused him to fall unconscious. One of the Rigellian mutants (Jukka?) then spoke to Kragonn via Dracus' equipment, noting his belief (a guess, based on the length of time without contact) that there were no longer living beings on any of the planets of the Black Stars. Reviving, Dracus decided to test the theory, and soon Dracus piloted a ship to one of the neighbor worlds, carrying with him Kragonn, as well as a smaller ship carrying Thor, Sif, the mutant Rigellians, and Avalon. Upon arriving, they found the planet dead and barren, its people long gone. Admitting he had merely guessed at that possibility, the Rigellian mutant further noted that Rhun had survived due to its scientific pursuits, such as the space-scoop, while the other worlds had died without a growing science. Dracus attempted to blame the visitors and urged Kragonn to kill them, but Kragonn stopped him, saying there had been enough destruction, and let the visitors go. As they left, Kragonn asked that they remember the Rhunians not as they were, in darkness, but as they now are, in light.
No longer needing to obtain energy for the Black Stars or to even stay coupled with them, the Rhunians planned to pursue a new destiny suitable to both them and the Caretakers.
Comments: Created by Gerry Conway, John Buscema, and Mike Esposito.
Even the 300' height given for the Rhunians in the OHotMU seems way tinier than what we saw in the comics. Their space-scoops were large enough to suck up entire cities, and they looked not much bigger than dental floss to Kragonn, though that could have just been perspective. However, when the 6'6" Thor flew onto Kragonn's hand, he was shorter than the hairs growing there -- and Kragonn wasn't abnormally hirsute or anything. The Rhunians in that issue seemed more like the Celestials (2000)' in height to me.
Gerr was identified as one of the Rigellian mutants in the Rhunian profile in Thor: Asgard's Avenger (2011).
Profile by Snood.
The Rhunians have no known connections to:
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Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#8: Appendix to Alien Races: Rhunians
Thor I#217 (November, 1973) - Gerry Conway (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Sal Buscema (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Thor I#218 (December, 1973) - Gerry Conway (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Thor I#219-220 (January-February, 1974) - Gerry Conway (writer), John Buscema (penciler), Mike Esposito (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Last updated: 04/28/13
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