Real Name: Wayeb' (see comments)
Identity/Class: Mayan God
Occupation: Mayan God of Mischief
Group Membership: Ahau (aka Ajaw; Mayan gods); one of an unspecified number of mischief gods also called Wayeb
Enemies: Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Vern, Mary, Carlie Cooper, modern-day Mayan warriors
Known Relatives: Unspecified relationship to other Mayan gods
Aliases: Deity, "He Who Walks the Black Road," "the Absence of Warmth," "the Winter Solstice," "the Darkest Night," "the Absence of Light"
Base of Operations: The Black Road in the underworld of Xibalba (the Mesoamerican Underworld)
First Appearance: (BTS) Amazing Spider-Man I#555 (June, 2008); (seen) Amazing Spider-Man I#556 (June, 2008)
Powers/Abilities: Wayeb possesses the conventional powers of the Mesoamerican gods, which include superhuman strength (class 50 or higher) and durability, rendering him immune to fire and most other injuries. He flies and can travel between dimensions, although he requires a blood sacrifice at auspicious times to appear on Earth at full power. Allegedly, Wayeb can "escape time." Presumably, Wayeb can shapeshift as most other Ahau can, but traditionally appears as an 18-foot-tall creature with large leathery wings.
Wayeb is repelled by ungroomed humans, particularly those with messy hair and beards.
Wayeb carries a large spear-like staff of unrevealed properties.
History: (Mesoamerican mythology/Amazing Spider-Man I#556-557 (fb) - BTS) Wayeb gods, an unspecified number of luck-focused Underworld gods, are associated with the five Uayeb days at the end of the Mayan solar calendar year. These "nameless days" are considered a time of ill-omen, when the barrier between worlds is weakest and Wayeb gods can affect mankind. During Uayeb, ancient Mayans left their faces ungroomed to repel mischievous gods.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#555 (fb) - BTS) - 300 years ago (see comments) Mayan thinkers intuited algorithms enabling communion with the Wayeb gods.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#555-557 (fb) - BTS) - Following theoretical research, mathematician Dr. Benjamin Rabin, along with other engineers and abstract mathematicians, began studying the Mayan algorithms, which Rabin recreated using Mayan glyphs, allowing him to commune with an individual Wayeb god so he could become a "Kuhul Ajaw" (god-king). The theorists, unaware of Rabin's intentions, published their work in professional journals, after which modern day Mayan warriors began sending threatening messages, quoting from the Popul Voh and demanding the research be halted. During Uayeb, Rabin sacrificed a fellow-researcher named Dave, but the Mayan warriors prevented him from sacrificing a second researcher named Mary, on whose head he'd drawn the Mayan glyph "Ajaw."
(Amazing Spider-Man I#555 - BTS) - Rabin's communion with Wayeb brought blizzard-like conditions to Manhattan. Dr. Stephen Strange detected Wayeb's influence, but was incapacitated by the mystic backlash. Heeding Strange's warning, Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and Wolverine (Logan/James Howlett) investigated, eventually finding Rabin fleeing from the Mayan warriors. The heroes capture the warriors, mistakenly believing Rabin to be an innocent victim.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#556) - Following Rabin's claims, Spider-Man sought out the other researchers, encountering an indigent man apparently named Vern. The pair encountered Wayeb, now physically manifested in Manhattan. Wayeb easily fended off Spider-Man's attacks while Vern escaped, but Wayeb relented when Spider-Man falsely claimed to be a Mayan priest. Wayeb watched as Spider-Man found Dave's body and Mary, alive but bound and gagged.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#557) - Wayeb attempted to accept Mary as his next sacrifice, but hesitated when Spider-Man erased the glyph from her head. Meanwhile, Rabin sacrificed one of the Mayan warriors, drawing glyphs on his body with permanent marker. The remaining two took their own lives to prevent feeding Wayeb's power. Invigorated by Rabin's act, Wayeb abandoned Spider-Man and Mary, seeking out Rabin, whom he'd empowered with the strength of 10 men. Rabin, shaving his own head (to not offend Wayeb) and realizing only an hour remained before the end of Uayeb, kidnapped NYPD pathologist Carlie Cooper, crudely drawing the "Ajaw" symbol on her head so she could serve as a new sacrifice. This attempt was thwarted when Vern returned with other transients, who unnerved Wayeb with their unshaven appearance. The transients hurled flaming bottles at Wayeb, and Spider-Man used the fire to ignite his spare web-cartridges, temporarily encasing Wayeb in a webbing cocoon. As Spider-Man prevented Rabin from completing the sacrifice before the end of the Uayeb cycle, Wayeb freed himself and returned to his own realm, promising to return if Rabin would be more successful during the next Uayeb cycle.
(Journey Into Mystery I#627) Wayeb had plans for the end of the Mayan cycle (see comments), and bragged about them to the demon Mephisto as the Hell-Lord was sizing up reactions various pantheons had to the return of Odin's brother, Cul the Serpent.
Comments: Created by Zeb Wells (writer), Chris Bachalo (penciler), Tim Townsend (inker).
Spelling for transliterated words is always a problem, especially when it has to go through multiple languages. The Mayan language family actually consists of several related languages, so pronunciation tends to vary. Fortunately, Mayans had a very detailed written language, but even that varied from region to region and glyphs could change meaning depending on context. Although called "Wayep" when introduced in Amazing Spider-Man and shown in Journey Into Mystery, writer Zeb Wells confirmed for the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Vol. 13 Premiere HC that it was intended to have the more accurate phonetic pronunciation - a "b" sound instead of a "p" sound. To be even more accurate, it would be a "b" ending with a glottal stop, expressed with an apostrophe: Wayeb' (think of it like the apostrophe in Homer Simpson's, "D'oh!"). For the Mayans, b' and b were two very distinct sounds.
Mayan words are often transliterated into
Spanish, so words like lord/king are written as "Ajaw," but when transliterated
into English, this becomes "Ahau," leading to a lot of confusing spellings. Wayeb, for
example, has been spelled Wayob and Uayeb, but in the Marvel Universe, Uayeb
is the preferred spelling for the ill-omen days, and Wayeb
is the preferred spelling for the god. Strictly speaking, "Kuhul
Ajaw" should either be "K'ujul
Ajaw" or "Kuhul Ahau."
Whew, that was a mouthful.
According to Rabin, the Mayans intuited the algorithm needed to contact Wayeb 300 years ago, or roughly 1700 AD. This would be during the Spanish Colonial era, long after the decline of the Maya and a very long time after the height of the Mayan empire, over 1,000 years ago. Either Rabin was wrong about the dating, or post-conquest Maya were finding new ways to contact their gods.
Rabin also claimed that the algorithm was "useless" when using binary numbers and that he was "forced" to use abstract shapes (Mayan glyphs). It's unclear why mathematicians would use binary for these kinds of calculations in the first place, but Rabin later made it clear he used the glyphs to increase his mystical connection to Wayeb.
Most of the glyphs on the Mayan warriors, and later drawn on Rabin and his victims were Mayan day names.
The Popul Voh, considered the Mayan bible, has numerous translations and tells the story of the Mayan creation myth, teaching many lessons important to Mayan culture in the process.
Nemontemi ("worthless") is the Aztec equivalent to Uayeb.
Wayeb and the "2012 Apocalypse"
Wayeb made several references to the end of the Mayan cycle. Mayans (like other Mesoamerican cultures) had multiple calendars with different purposes and functions. Wayeb is associated with the end of the solar calendar cycle, Ja'ab' or Haab' (depending on the transliteration), a 365-day calendar that cycled through every 52 years. The more famous Mayan calendar, the Long Count calendar, is a 360-day calendar that cycles through every 400 years in a period called a B'aktun or Piji, which also goes through 13 cycles. The previous B'aktun ended on Dec. 21, 2012, to the bemusement of modern Maya.
Profile by Kevin Garcia.
Wayeb has no known connections to
Not much else, really.
A mathematician who developed a way to use Mayan numerology and modern computers to commune with Wayeb, Rabin is a middle-aged balding man, but as his connection to Wayeb increased, his hair and musculature grew (he shaved his hair before interacting with Wayeb directly). Presumably he was handed over to authorities after his defeat.
At full strength, he displayed gray skin and glowing red eyes and was 10 times stronger and more durable than a normal human. He used a permanent marker to cover his body in Mayan glyphs.
-- Amazing Spider-Man I#555 (#556-557
Comments: Benjamin Rabin received his first name in Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica: Ahau entry
Referred to as "Mayan extremists" by Rabin and "Mayan ninjas" by Spider-Man, these three unidentified warriors were zealous followers of the Mayan faith, believers in the Popul Vuh and apparently read various mathematics and scientific journals. One was killed by Rabin, the others committed suicide to prevent adding their deaths to Wayeb's power.
The warriors were skilled enough to give Spider-Man and Wolverine runs for their money, and used bows, obsidian-tipped arrows and spears. The warriors' eyes glowed red and their bodies were covered in glyph tattoos, primarily the Mayan day signs (such as Ahau/Ajaw, on the forehead of the center warrior in the right image).
--Amazing Spider-Man I#555
images: (without ads)
Amazing Spider-Man I#556, p17, pan1 (Wayeb, main)
Amazing Spider-Man I#557, p4, pan1 (Wayeb, invigorated)
Amazing Spider-Man I#555, p12, pan1 (Mayan warriors in snow armor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#556, p6, pan5 (Mayan warriors in prison)
Amazing Spider-Man I#555, p21, pan1 (Rabin, pre-transformation)
Amazing Spider-Man I#557, p15, pan1 (Rabin, transformed)
Amazing Spider-Man I#555-556 (June, 2008) - Zeb Wells (writer), Chris Bachalo (pencils), Tim Townsend (inks), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#557 (June, 2008) - Zeb Wells (writer), Chris Bachalo (pencils), Tim Townsend, Mark Irwin, Wayne Faucher, Jaime Mendoza & Al Vey (inks), Stephen Wacker (editor)
Journey into Mystery I#627 (November, 2011) - Kieron Gillen (writer), Richard Elson (artist), John Denning (editor)
Last updated: 12/21/12.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Back to Characters