Instigator: Immortus, Time-Twisters
(Immortus) Control over all time;
(Time-Twisters) Ensuring their prominence at the end of time in hopes of gain control in reshaping the subsequent reality
Allies: Initially Dr. Doom of Earth-772; Irondroid (Willie March) of Earth-90110; Thor of Earth-9260; Wolverine of Earth-9250;
Opposition: Dr. Doom of Earth-772; Fantastic Four of Earth-7712; Irondroid (Willie March) of Earth-90110; Reed Richards Rocket Group of Earth-8212; Thor of Earth-9260; Time Variance Authority, Uatu the Watcher of Reality-616, Wolverine of Earth-9250;
Location: Limbo, various realities
First Appearance: What If II#35 (March, 1992)
(Avengers West Coast#62 / What If? II#39 (fb) - BTS) - Having gained ascendance over the Time-Keepers in their eternal struggle for dominance at the end of time, the Time-Twisters posed as the Keepers in manipulated Immortus to eliminate realities that posed a threat to their prominence. They further manipulated Immortus into becoming an inert power receptacle (housing the accumulated energy of the nexus beings he had destroyed in each reality) that could be used to manipulate reality, and they stored him within Limbo.
What If? II#38 (fb) - BTS) - Due to his ability to control Limbo, Immortus managed to use his accumulated nexus power to project his astral self across the dimensions.
(What If? II#35) - Still posing as
the Twisters determined that there were four major nexus beings
(keystones of the multiverse, upon which the survival of a single
reality hinges; they are usually beings able to affect probability and
thus the future),
one each in four different alternate realities, that might
prevent their existence. They plotted to destroy these
beings (which in turn would theoretically lead to the destruction
of those realities) to insure that they would maintain dominance
over the true Time-Keepers.
The first of these nexus beings was Franklin Richards in the reality of Earth-772, where Spider-Man became part of the Fantastic Five. The Twisters enlisted that reality's Dr. Doom to prevent the Fantastic Four from gaining the Cosmic Control Rod's energy to save Sue and Franklin Richards during the latter's birth. However, Immortus, in the form of the mysterious Whisperer, secretly convinced Doom to give the Rod to Reed Richards (via a glimpse of a potential future ("Earth-92335," in which both Sue and Franklin perished, and the maddened Reed caused a nuclear war that destroyed Earth), saving Franklin Richards and foiling the Twisters' plot.
His existence unknown to the Time-Twisters (but not to Uatu the Watcher who kept his existence a secret to stop the Twisters' plan to destroy other realities), the Whisperer further plucked Dr. Doom of Earth-772 out of time for further use, saving him from death upon hitting the Negative Zone's matter/anti-matter interface.
If? II#36) - The
Twisters plotted to destroy the second nexus being, the Ultra-Vision
Posing as the Keepers, the Twisters re-directed that reality's 31st
Century's Korvac to travel to the year 2130 with the goal of conquering
reality by taking over Ultra-Vision (as opposed to traveling to the
modern era). This Korvac briefly returned to his own time and made
pawns of his reality's founding four Guardians of the
Galaxy. Returning to 2130, Korvac sent the Guardians against the
Ultra-Vision's allies the
Cosmic Avengers, who Korvac captured and
mesmerized. Korvac then had the Cosmic Avengers lead him to Mars' moon
Deimos, where they and the Guardians assaulted the Ultra-Vision's
base as a distraction to allow Korvac to confront the Ultra-Vision
directly. The mind-controlled Cosmic Avengers were opposed by the Space
and in mid-battle the Whisperer plucked the astral self of Commandos
leader John Fury out of the timestream, giving him a glimpse of
the violence that would sweep the universe should the Ultra-Vision
fall. Following the Whisperer's subliminal instructions, Fury
used ultrasonics to free the Avengers from their mind control.
However, despite the Whisperer's efforts, the Ultra-Vision was
Still unseen by the Twisters, the Whisperer plucked the Irondroid out of time for future use.
If? II#37) - The
Twisters plotted to destroy the third nexus being, Jean Grey of
an alternate Earth where Wolverine became lord of the
vampires and was not slain by the Punisher (as had his
counterpart seen in What If? II#24). In that reality, as Inferno
occurred, Dormammu joined with S'ym, Nastir'h, and the Goblin
Queen to conquer Earth, merge it with Otherplace, etc.
The Whisperer guided the vampire Jean Grey to reassume the mantle of Phoenix in order to destroy Dormammu and the Goblin Queen, after which she willingly accepted exile to the Dark Dimension (a deal made with Sinister in exchange for his augmenting the X-Men's power via the Darkhold). Mister Sinister then cloned a human Jean Grey, effectively foiling the Twisters' plot. As a result of the risks to their existence, one of the three Twisters faded from reality.
The Whisperer claimed Wolverine of Earth-9250, plucking him out of time for future use.
If? II#38) - As
the remaining Twisters plotted the death of the fourth nexus
being, Odin of Earth-9260
an alternate reality in which Seth
conquered Asgard (relating to events paralleling Thor I#400), a
second Twister vanished from reality.
The Whisperer utilized Dr. Doom from Earth-772, the Irondroid of Earth-90110, and Wolverine of Earth-9250 reality, freeing Thor. Observing the Whisperer at last, but still unaware of his true identity, the remaining Twister dispatched the Protectoid from the Citadel at the End of Time to stop the Whisperer's agents, but it was destroyed. Thor and his new allies saved Odin, and, as a result, the last Twister faded from existence, which caused Immortus to be completely free from their control. The Whisperer then appeared before his pawns, revealed himself to be Immortus, and used his accumulated power to become a temporal wave, intending to re-write all reality (the multiverse) as he saw fit.
The Time Variance Authority registered the seeming disappearance of the Time-Keepers; however, as the Time Zone manager was on vacation, and none of the deputy secretaries or other agents had any original ideas on how to handle things...and so they waited, knowing that Immortus might well conquer all timelines and consolidate his gains beyond hope of later redemption.
(What If? II#39) - Immortus'
as a temporal wave affecting the whole multiverse eliminated the TVA's
usual infinity of opportunities to deal with a problem, placing them on
the same "chronological treadmill" as the rest of creation.
A Time Variance Authority Deputy Secretary (a clone of Mobius M. Mobius) summoned Uatu the Watcher of Earth-616 to discuss the risks of Immortus--who had become a quantum temporal wave--reordering the entire multiverse to make himself master of all time. The Deputy Secretary noted that while this particular section of the continuum was being retrofitted, all cosmic oaths (including the Watchers' oath not to interfere in the affairs of any world) had been temporarily suspended.
Assistant Deputy Secretary #1 came up with several ineffective strategies to halt Immortus, such as the spreading of anti-Immortus slogans and leaflets. Assistant Deputy Secretary #2 proposed that they alter Immortus' origins so that he would no longer be a threat to the cosmos, and he sent the same agents Immortus Whisperer had utilized (primarily because he couldn't think of anything else)--Dr. Doom of Earth-772, Irondroid of Earth-90110, Thor of Earth-9260, Wolverine of Earth-9250--to try to alter Immortus' origins via assaulting Immortus' base in Limbo. There they faced Immortus' agents: Tempus, Rama-Tut's robots, Space Phantoms, and Dire Wraiths. However, at the conclusion of each battle, the Immortus wave warped events back to status quo, restoring all of Immortus' warriors. However, as each of the TVA's agents fell, they were lost to the battle, and it soon became apparent that they could not win the battle.
Uatu recommended that they target the 31st Century Nathaniel Richards of Other-Earth before he ever became Rama-Tut or any of his temporal counterparts. Assistant Deputy Secretary #3 recommended the use of the Saturnyne Symbiont--a chronosynclastic nucleus designed by the scientists of omniversal majestrix Saturnyne, whose function was to weaken an organism's natural resistance to time energy. Implanted within Richards, this would make it impossible for him to store the nexus power and thus prevent him from becoming a temporal quantum wave. Uatu suggested sending the Reed Richards Rocket Group--Earth-8212 Fantastic Four counterparts who had never gained powers--to facilitate Richards' exposure to the Symbiont. However, the Deputy Secretary instead decided to send the more powerful Fantastic Four of Earth-7712 (Big Brain, Dragonfly, Mandroid, Ultra-Woman). This group failed, as their imposing nature made Richards' distrust them, and Richards' used advanced weaponry to slay them all. The Deputy Secretary then agreed to Uatu's original proposal, and the Rocket Group succeeded, as they appeared to be less threatening, and Richards' agreed to willingly take the Symbiont, erasing Immortus' accumulated temporal energy and resolving the threat.
With Immortus' defeat, the Twisters reformed, but then the true Time-Keepers appeared and exposed the Twisters falsehood. The Twisters melted back into pods and the Keepers regained ascendance, taking the pods back to the Citadel at the End of Time and continuing to watch over the timelines.
Comments: Created by Roy Thomas, Jean-Marc Lofficier, Mark Gruenwald, Joe Phillips, and Sam Delarosa.
Bonus info from our pal, Jean-Marc Lofficier, who wrote the classic Time Quake:
I don't need to recap the ending of TIME-QUAKE which, in spite of its copy-intensive nature (we only had 2 pages left to reshape it) is, I believe, fairly straightforward. (If not, feel free to ask). What did NOT make it, beyond a few comments made by the TVA director to the Watcher that the Time-Keepers are the creation of He Who Remains, the last surviving director of the TVA at the End of Time, to pass on knowledge etc. to the Next Universe (a very noble goal, rather uncharacteristic of the TVA as you may have noted) is WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE Time-Keepers. I mean, why are they so powerful, and is their raison d'être only what "Gruenwald" <note: The Time Variance Authority middle management agents are clearly patterned after Mark Gruenwald, one of Marvel's great continuity masters--Snood> told the Watcher?
The answer is (well, was) a resounding NO!
The story, as it was initially pitched and written, stated that the Time-Keepers were, in effect, the living embodiment of the TVA's Pension Plan. Throughout its eternity of existence, the TVA stored away a certain % of Time Energy which was then accumulated and compounded in the form of the Time-Keepers - you could compare them to the Guardians of Oa's concept of being living batteries of power, except that in the Time-Keepers' case, it's time energy.
A LOT of Time Energy.
The way it works is as follows: when an employee of the TVA eventually retires, he can go anywhere in the universe and live a near-immortal life (barring accidents etc) by drawing on the time energy accumulated (and growing) stored in the Time-Keepers. (So for example, that old guy in Miami Beach who's been there "forever" may be a former employee of the TVA drawing on time energy.)
Needless to say, when Immortus (aka the Whisperer) threatened to erase the Time-Keepers and steal their time energy to remake himself into a reality-altering quantum wave, the TVA was. not. amused. Would you if your pension plan was being looted? (This rather anticipated the Enron-type scandals by a few years, I'm proud to say.)
There is the true, unrevealed secret origin of the Tine Keepers, but while untold, it hasn't been contradicted, as far as I know.
Originally, the plot was merely Immortus vs the (real) Time Keepers. Period. As retrofitted after Mark (Gruenwald)'s tinkering, it became the Ultimate What If (my idea), i.e.: the very last alternate timeline at the end of time, or whoever of the TK or the TT is dominant (yin-yang) at the very moment when our universal cycle ends, will imprint its pattern (check the actual copy in #39) onto the next universe. So in other words, the TT's plan is to change the past realities in order for THEM to be the dominant What If reality at the end of time, NOT the TK.
Profile by Snood.
Timequake has no known connections to
WhatIf? II#39, cover (Watcher)
WhatIf? II#35, cover (Fantastic 5)
WhatIf? II#36, cover (Avengers vs. Guardians)
WhatIf? II#37, cover (Wolverine)
WhatIf? II#38, cover (Thor/Seth)
What If? II#35 (March, 1992) - by Roy Thomas and Jean-Marc Lofficier (writers), Joe Phillips (penciler), Sam Delarosa (inker), Craig Anderson (editor)
What If? II#36 (April, 1992) - by Roy Thomas and Jean-Marc Lofficier (writers), Dave Hoover (penciler), Ian Akin w/ Michael Barr (inker), Craig Anderson (editor)
What If? II#37 (May, 1992) - by Roy Thomas and Jean-Marc Lofficier (writers), Marc Pacella (penciler), Panosian & S. Montano (inker), Craig Anderson (editor)
What If? II#38 (June, 1992) - by Roy Thomas and Jean-Marc Lofficier (writers), Marshall Rogers & W.C. Wyman (penciler), Sam Delarosa w/ Rod Ramos (inker), Craig Anderson (editor)
What If? II#39 (July, 1992) - by Roy Thomas and Jean-Marc Lofficier (writers), Gavin Curtis (penciler), Ian Akin w. Don Hudson (inker), Craig Anderson (editor)
Last updated: 07/11/10.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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