Real Name: Kala
Identity/Class: Netherworlder (subspecies of humanity,
or, at least a long-diverged
honorary citizen of Mole Man's domain in Subterranea
Occupation: Queen of Mole Man's domain in Subterranea;
former queen of the Netherworld;
former ruler of Tyrannus' domain in Subterranea (or a portion of it);
former would-be conqueror
Aliases: The Bringer of Disaster, the Divine Presence, Queen of the Netherworld
Affiliations: Avengers (Black Widow/Natasha
Romanoff, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Hawkeye/Clint Barton,
Hercules/Heracles, Living Lightning/Miguel Santos, Quasar/Wendell Vaughn,
Rage/Elvin Haliday, Sandman/William Baker, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff,
Sersi, She-Hulk/Jen Walters, Spider-Woman/Julia Carpenter, USAgent/John
Walker, Vision/"Victor Shade," Wonder Man/Simon Williams), Iron Man (Tony
Stark), Kraawls, Mole Man (Harvey Rupert Elder),
formerly the Lava Men, Netherworlders;
indirectly allied with Grotesk (and his Lava Men) and Tyrannus (and his Tyrannoids) against Brutus and his Deviant and Mutate armies, but this was presumably only an alliance of convenience;
coerced or mesmerized pawns: Athletes (Maria Karsov, Robby Kyle, Claude LeBron, Brad Rossi), Hulk (Bruce Banner);
she was present during a meeting between the Mole Man and the Galadorian Spaceknight Rom, though she did not really interact with Rom
and his Deviant/Mutate armies, Fantastic Four (Mr.
Fantastic/Reed Richards, Invisible Girl/Susan Storm (later Invisible
Woman/Susan Richards), Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Thing/Ben Grimm), Hulk
(Bruce Banner), the Reverend Josiah Mandiz, Netherworlders, Heather Ryan, Spider-Man (Peter
Parker), Tyrannus (Romulus Augustilus);
formerly Iron Man (Tony Stark), Mole Man, Outcasts (Boulder, Digger, Landslide, Water Witch), humanity (especially those present at the Winter Olympics in the Olympic Village in Lake Placid, New York
Known Relatives: Baxu (husband,
Harvey Elder (Mole Man, (former?) fiancé/consort)
Aliases: Queen of the Netherworld, "Bringer of Disaster," the Mistress (used by Lava Men)
Base of Operations: Mole Man's domain in Subterranea;
Tyrannus' domain in Subterranea;
First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#43 (July 1963)
Kala is centuries old. Via the atmosphere of the Netherworld (which
contained some of the same chemicals (or whatever) as the "Fountain of
Youth" from Tyrannus realm of Subterranea), Kala remained physically
youthful. Upon traveling to the surface, she aged rapidly into a geriatric
state, but was restored almost instantly upon returning to the Netherworld.
Outside of the Netherworld, but still in Subterranea, Kala maintained her youth for an extended period by unspecified means initially. She used a special domed atmosphere helmet to retain her youth. Once the dome shattered, she aged to her geriatric state and remained in that state even upon returning to Subterranea until the Mole Man's Rejuvenator restored her to middle age.
After a lifetime spent underground and in dark places, her eyesight is far superior, at least in dim light.
Kala is a charismatic ruler, a cunning military strategist, and an efficient administrator. In the past, she was ruthless, arrogant, vain, and apparently even willing to commit genocide to achieve her own ends. After aging, she became much more peaceful, content with the idea of simply spending her remaining years with the man she loved.
Kala formerly commanded the armies of
the Netherworld and thus had access to the advanced technology of the
Netherworld, whose people were descended from the ancient Atlanteans that
had reached the height of technology and culture prior to the
Cataclysm. Amongst these weapons were disintegrator rays (that could
allegedly vaporize Iron Man in his Model 01 armor); an Imper-Sonic
flame-thrower (allegedly able to melt Iron Man's Model 01 armor);
"magnetically-directed machine gun that fired atomic bullets," and other
From the Netherworld, she could apparently teleport at least a couple people from Earth's surface to the Netherworld (the people vanished into "thin air").
A group of Netherworlders apparently departed with Kala when she was exiled, and presumably among them were the engineers who designed the "death shafts," multiple drills shafts intended to access Earth's core and project the molten lava to the surface to exterminate humanity. These shafts were built by the Moloid Subterraneans. The engineers also designed an electro-webbing net (also able to alter the electrical aura of a captive so that anyone observing that person would see him or her as the most loathsome of monsters -- possibly a modification by the Mole Man) to capture and contain the Thing (or perhaps others).
The Mole Man used Netherian technology to design a large and strong android he hoped might destroy the Fantastic Four. These Netherworlders may have abandoned Kala following her failed alliance with Tyrannus and her betrayal of the Mole Man.
Even after departing the Netherworld and apparently losing contact with her formerly loyal group of Netherworlders, Kala still used advanced technology and weaponry derived from her people's scientists, though she often required others to construct these devices. Her "Diamonds of Doom" could surround a target and then apparently cause both target and container to become immaterial as both were transported through the ground down to Subterranea; the Hulk proved able to shatter one of these "Diamonds" from within. She utilized a hand-held aging ray, able to age a target into a geriatric state; the specifics of this weapon are unrevealed. On Earth's surface, Kala wore a domed atmosphere helmet (presumably filled with Subterranean air and protecting her from the surface air that so rapidly aged her) that allowed her to maintain her youth, but she rapidly aged if the dome was shattered. She supplied the weaponry briefly used by the Athletes (Maria Karsov, Robby Kyle, Claude LeBron, Brad Rossi).
Kala's voice can control the immense, wormlike Kraawls, which were also used as her "sacred mounts."
Height: 5'8" (perhaps slightly shorter as an aged
Weight: 135 lbs. (in her prime); (as aged woman) perhaps 115 lbs.
Hair: (In youth) black; (as aged woman) Grey-white
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe '89 update #3, p19: Kala profile - BTS) - <Circa 18,000 BC> - The priests and intellectuals of the city of Netheria in the southern part of the Atlantean continent foresaw that Atlantis would be attacked by the Deviant Empire based in Lemuria. Therefore, the people of Netheria enclosed their city in a dome of an unidentified plastic-like substance and excavated and fortified their city's foundations.
(Tales of Suspense I#43 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe '89 update #3, p19: Kala profile) <Circa 18,000 BC> - During the Great Cataclysm, when Atlantis sank, in part due to the massive tidal floods generated by the Deviants' nuclear war against the second Celestial Host, Netheria remained intact, and its people survived, having discovered a means of recycling their air supply. Netheria sank more deeply over the years until it finally came to rest in a huge sub-sea cavern, part of what would become known as Subterranean, a worldwide complex of subterranean tunnels and caverns largely constructed previously by the Deviants. The Netherians renamed their realm the Netherworld, and themselves as the Netherworlders.
(Tales of Suspense I#43 (fb) - BTS) - The Netherworlders stayed informed about the world above and mastered all Earthly languages via their "electronic TV probes" (ahh, the 60s).
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition#35 (fb) - BTS) - Kala is centuries old.
(Tales of Suspense I#43 (fb) - BTS) - Queen of the Netherworld in the modern era, Kala felt the time was right to reclaim the surface world. The Netherworld's armies, led by general Baxu, possessed sufficient firepower, but lacked the means to bring their weaponry to the surface. The Netherworlders' probes located and identified industrialist/weapons expert Tony Stark as "America's greatest inventive genius," capable of transporting their weapons to the surface; Kala elected to force Stark to do so.
(Tales of Suspense I#43 - BTS) - Following a machinery malfunction, Kala's forces apparently teleported Stark Industries guard Jim and then scientist Evans to the Netherworld in a flash of light, and then surrounded Stark himself with a "Diamond of Doom" (as they were later called) and pulled him down into the Netherworld.
(Tales of Suspense I#43) - Kala introduced herself to
Stark, revealed the Netherworld's origins, exhibited their war machines, discussed
her goal of conquering the surface world, and demanded Stark devise a means
to bring the weapons to the surface or Jim and Evans would be slain. Stark
initially countered that Earth was not defenseless and that Iron Man alone
could defeat their forces, but Kala further threatened to activate a machine
that could reverse the Earth's axis, causing upheaval to the surface world
and destroying all life there while leaving the deeply subterranean
Much to the surprise of the others, Stark feigned self-preservation as a goal and agreed to work for Kala as long as he received a laboratory, specific equipment and total privacy. Kala approved and Baxu equipped Stark's lab, but overnight Stark actually built an Iron Man armor from scratch, which he used to defeat Kala's war machines; to protect his secret identity, Iron Man claimed that Stark had escaped to the surface and sent him (Iron Man) down to foil their plot. Informed by an aid how Iron Man had overpowered Baxu, Kala ordered her troops to use their disintegrator cannon to vaporize him, but he neutralized its blast (and destroyed the cannon) with an electronic reverse-energy beam he had conveniently built along with the armor. Kala next ordered the use of their Imper-Sonic flame-thrower to melt his armor, but Iron Man countered with a pellet of concentrated chemicals that turned the flame into a block of ice that shattered against his armor. The Netherworlders then used their "magnetically-directed machine gun that fired atomic bullets," but Iron Man simply hurled a few of his tiny "transistor-powered" (see comments) magnets into the air, altering the atomic bullets course upward and causing them to pierce the Netherworld's dome's upper surface and explode harmlessly above. Distributing a series of tiny mirrors, Iron Man then projected multiple images of himself; Kala could not tell, which was the real Iron Man until he grabbed her and -- via the speed generated by his attachments and a pair of "transistor-powered" (referred to as nuclear-powered in the second reference) hand-held clippers" (ahh, the 60s) -- flew upwards, easily cutting through the dome and Earth's crust and carving a shaft to the surface.
There, Kala was shocked to learn that the surface world's atmosphere rapidly aged her, turning from a young woman into a withered, old crone within seconds (just as Stark had theorized based on unrevealed evidence). Kala begged to be taken back to Netherworld, where she regained her youthful beauty, released Jim and Evans, and gave up her dreams of conquest. She asked for Iron Man to stay and rule by her side, but the golden Avenger politely declined, suggesting general Baxu might be a more suitable king instead. Iron Man advised Baxu to marry Kala and rule wisely.
Iron Man returned Jim and Evans to the surface world.
(Iron Man Annual#12 (fb)) - Baxu died shortly after their wedding, and the people of the Netherworld, still bitter over the defeat they suffered at the hands of Iron Man, deposed Kala. She was banned from Netheria.
(Iron Man Annual#12 (fb) - BTS) - Kala exile included the penalty of death should she ever return. She was fabled as the "Bringer of Disaster," to be executed on sight.
(Iron Man Annual#12 (fb) - BTS) - As she slowly began to age in Subterranea, she learned of Tyrannus and his Fountain of Youth.
(Fantastic Four I#127 (fb) - BTS) - Kala apparently retained a group of loyal Netherworlders as her aides.
(Fantastic Four I#127 (fb) - BTS / Fantastic Four I#128 (fb) - BTS) - In order to get close to the physically attractive Tyrannus (then a mindless slave of his rival the Mole Man) and gain access to the Fountain of Youth, Kala feigned interest in the Mole Man (whom she found grotesque) and even became his fiancé.
(Fantastic Four I#128 (fb) - BTS) - The Mole Man and/or Kala (I'd guess the former, via his Moloids) arranged the capture of the Reverend Josiah Mandiz to preside at their wedding.
(Fantastic Four I#127 (fb) - BTS) - The Mole Man and Kala plotted to destroy the surface world. Kala's engineers designed multiple drill shafts intended to access the Earth's core and project the molten lava to the surface and exterminate humanity. The Moloid Subterraneans labored to build the shafts; neither Kala nor the Mole Man cared of the thousands of Moloids who perished in the effort.
(Fantastic Four I#128 (fb) - BTS) - The Mole Man used Netherian technology to design a powerful android he hoped might destroy the Fantastic Four and/or other enemies.
(Fantastic Four I#127 (fb) - BTS) - Presumably detecting the approach of the Thing (Ben Grimm) who was searching Subterranea for the Mole Man (convinced the myopic mad man could help treat Alicia Masters' blindness), Kala and the Mole Man likely arranged to capture him and use him against the Fantastic Four.
(Fantastic Four I#127 (fb) - BTS) - Kala's Netherians engineered an electro-webbing net (also able to alter the electrical aura of a captive so that anyone observing that person would see him or her as the most loathsome of monsters -- possibly a modification by the Mole Man) to capture and contain the Thing (or perhaps others).
(Fantastic Four I#128 - BTS) - The Mole Man designed a magma-car for Kala, but, not trusting even her, he rigged it to explode with devices only he could dismantle, in case she or anyone tried to take it and depart.
(Fantastic Four I#127 (fb) - BTS) - Alongside her Netherworlders, Kala sang to control one of the Kraawls.
(Fantastic Four I#127) - The Thing came across Kala, her
entourage, and the Kraawl. Mistakenly assuming the Kraawl was attacking a
victim, the Thing battled and slew it. Silencing an aid who reminded her the
Thing had slain one of her "sacred mounts," Kala feigned ignorance of his
identity as well as admiration for his valor. She introduced herself and
announced she was on her way to see her fiancé, the Mole Man, who might
reward the Thing for "rescuing" her. As four Netherian soldiers carried her
on a sedan chair, she told Ben she might be able to mediate a truce
between him and her husband to be. En route, she flattered Ben by
questioning his birth name and wondering if he might have some title, some
heritage of noble birth.
By the time they reached Mole Man's realm, she showed her true colors and betrayed Ben by allowing him to walk into a trap. Mole Man revealed Tyrannus to be his servant and the pair explained their plan to exterminate all life on the surface world via covering it with magma. Kala didn't seem to mind the estimated 3 billion deaths and scoffed at being compared to Hitler, calling him "a mere amateur responsible for a paltry 20 million dead." When the Thing broke free, Kala exhorted the Mole Man to stop him. When she feared his escape, the Mole Man explained how the electro-webbing would make Thing appear as a hideous monster to his approaching allies. As expected, the Human Torch attacked the Thing as he rushed to them.
(Fantastic Four I#128) - Kala and the Mole Man observed via a viewscreen as the rest of the Fantastic Four realized their mistake in time to save the Thing, though not before all were incapacitated in the struggle. The Mole Man proposed a toast and surprised Kala by summoning Tyrannus as their waiter, and she feigned amusement as the Mole Man tripped Tyrannus with his staff. She then had the Mole Man command Tyrannus to help her prepare for their fast-approaching wedding feast, while the Mole Man raged as the Fantastic Four revived and escaped his detection despite the Moloids' efforts.
(Fantastic Four I#128 - BTS) - Kala freed Tyrannus from the Mole Man's control, revealed her physical attraction to him (as he matched her own perfection), and asked him to help defeat the Mole Man that they might rule Subterranea together.
(Fantastic Four I#128) - After Kala convinced the Mole Man not to punish the Moloids so they could continue their work on their world-destroying shafts, he showed her his planned wedding gift, a magma-cruiser with which they could survey the surface world's destruction. The Fantastic Four freed Reverend Mandiz, who inadvertently broke a vase and drew the Moloids' attention. The Mole Man and Moloids subdued the Fantastic Four, but Tyrannus then trapped the Mole Man in energy rings. After Kala revealed her true feelings and plots, including her goal of gaining command of the Moloids, she urged Tyrannus to slay the "dismal dwarf" and the Fantastic Four, after which they would activate the death-shafts. Instead, Tyrannus turned on and trapped Kala in energy rings as well, claiming no one was good, brilliant or beautiful enough to rule by his side. The Mole Man released the captured Fantastic Four, who attacked Tyrannus, causing him to flee in the magma-cruiser. The booby-trapped ship exploded, seemingly killing Tyrannus, while Kala had ran off during the confusion, leaving a crushed and heartbroken Mole Man all alone. The FF departed, as well, after dismantling the death shafts.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk (fb) - BTS) - Kala took control of Tyrannus' old subterranean kingdom and also came to rule the Lava Men (or at least a group of them).
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk (fb) - BTS) - Still angry at Kala for her betrayal, Mole Man refused to allow her access to the Fountain of Youth, which was now located in her former fiancé's domain.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk (fb) - BTS) - Kala sent the Lava Men to attack the Mole Man's domain, battling the Moloids and Outcasts, to force him to give her access to the Fountain of Youth.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk (fb) - BTS) - Kala and the Mole Man eventually agreed to have a sporting event of sorts, to decide who got to use the fountain.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk (fb) - BTS) - To improve her chances, Kala began abducting athletes preparing to compete in the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York (see comments).
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk (fb) - BTS) - Presumably via her Diamonds of Doom, Kala abducted French bobsledder Claude LeBron.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk (fb) - BTS) - Presumably via her Diamonds of Doom, Kala abducted Canadian hockey champ Robby Kyle.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk - BTS) - The Mole Man sent his (Super)-Outcasts to try to claim or protect Kala's target, Russian figure skater Maria Karsov. Assuming the Outcasts were out to abduct or harm Maria, Spider-Man tried to stop them and delayed them until Kala could entrap Maria in a Diamond of Doom and pull Maria into her domain.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk - BTS) - Kala entrapped the Hulk in a Diamond of Doom as he unwittingly neared the mountains around Lake Placid, but the Hulk broke free and overpowered the Lava Men who attempted to capture him as well. He pursued some fleeing Lava Men into a cave.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk) - As the Hulk became lost deep within subterranean caverns, Kala approached and introduced herself, posing as an innocent helpless woman who needed his strength to become the queen of all Subterranea; she further claimed he would be her king.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk - BTS) - Kala brought the Hulk into her domain and fed him drugged food that would bring him under her control.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk) - Via Subterranean science (Netherian or adapted from Tyrannus' realm?), Kala designed weapons for each of her abducted athletes to use for her cause.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the
Hulk - BTS) - Via another Diamond of Doom, Kala abducted American ski jumper
Brad Rossi during a competition. When Spider-Man tried to foil or follow
her, the Outcasts captured Spider-Man and brought him to the Mole Man's
realm, where the Mole Man discussed his war with Kala. Via threatening to
use his Earth-Mover to destroy the Olympic village, the Mole Man forced
Spider-Man to aid him against Kala (though Spider-Man planned to eventually
Meanwhile, Kala's Lava Men again invaded the Mole Man's realm.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk - BTS) - Via another Diamond of Doom, Kala captured Rossi's fiancée, Heather Ryan, to force Rossi' compliance.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the
Hulk) - As the battle stalemated, a Lava Man returned to inform Kala, and
asked her to to send the Hulk to aid them. As the drugged food had not yet
had a chance to fully take effect, she refused, but one of the Lava Men
advised her to use the captured athletes. Though they initially refused,
Kala used her aging ray on Heather Ryan, and Rossi and the others agreed to
serve Kala to save Heather. After revealing that only the Fountain of Youth
could restore Heather's youth (further forcing the athletes' compliance),
she then outfitted Karsov, Kyle, LeBron, and Rossi with razor-sharp
super-skates; a super-stick that fired power pucks; the flame-cannoned
Bombsled; and rocket skis and power poles, respectively. The "Athletes," as
they would be dubbed, agreed to aid her, but only until Heather was
restored, at which point they planned to use their new weapons against her.
Kala vowed to keep Heather by her side so they could both drink of the
Fountain at the same time, or not at all.
His forces having captured Kala's communication station, the Mole Man contacted Kala to spare both of their realms further destruction via a "Contest of Champions" on the surface: the Mole Man's Outcasts against Kala's athletes. Kala agreed to this "Underworld Olympics," though she prepared to use the now servile, drugged Hulk to tip the struggle in her favor.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk - BTS) - Kala donned an atmosphere helmet to prevent her from further aging upon traveling to the surface.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the
Hulk) - The Mole Man then used his massive Earth-Lifter to elevate the
entire Olympic village high into the sky, after which Kala and the Mole Man
arrived in a flash of light, followed by their agents. The Mole Man drove
off the judges, and he and Kala took their place in the judges' stand; Kala
was impressed with the Mole Man's flattery, though she continued to argue
that she would rather die of old age than wed such a hideous being as he.
She taunted him with her secret agent, the Hulk, but the Mole Man countered
by revealing Spider-Man. She accused him of having planned to cheat the
whole time, but he stated he had only done so after she had begun abducting
the athletes to unbalance their Subterranean agents' battle.
The contest then began, and Kala, who could feel herself aging despite her helmet, urged the Hulk to strike to kill Spider-Man to speed the struggle. As Kyle began to fatigue at deflecting Boulder's thrown stones hurled at the goal he defended, Kala's Lava Men fired another fiery weapon that melted the ice around Boulder's feet and causing him to misaim; disturbed by the cheating, Kyle deflected the next rock into the Lava Men's weapon, preventing further such interference. Meanwhile, Karsov destroyed another of the Lava Men's weapons when they similarly interfered with her struggle against the Weather Witch.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk - BTS) - Also, at the same time, Heather leapt off a rocky bridge to prevent her continued use of forcing Rossi to aid Kala.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk (fb) - BTS) - Heather fell into a pool of the Fountain of Youths waters, restoring her youth, after which the waters broke through the barrier containing them and drained into the Earth.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk) - When the Hulk smashed the ice in an effort to strike Spider-Man, the shockwave threw the other combatants off balance, allowing Karsov to overcome Water Witch, but also preventing Kyle from stopping Boulder from scoring. The Lava Men interfered with the struggle between LeBron and Digger, allowing the former's victory; but when the Mole Man challenged this, Kala threatened to resume a Subterranean war that might level both of their kingdoms. Heather Ryan then used the Mole Man's transporter to appear on the raised village in hopes of ending the Athletes' forced service for Kala, who threatened to regain her hostage with another blast of her aging ray. Spurred to save Heather, Rossi sped forward and won the race against Landslide (despite no longer caring about the contest), while the Hulk tumbled down a mountainside, causing a snowslide. The Mole Man saw this but, knowing she would do the same if their positions were reversed, leapt to safety without telling her, and she was thrown from the judges stand, losing her aging ray weapon in the process.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the Hulk - BTS) - Kala was hurled into and then covered by the snow, shattering her helmet and causing her to age rapidly. Her aging also released the Hulk from her control.
(Marvel Treasury Edition#25: featuring Spider-Man and the
Hulk) - The Lava Men rushed to Kala's side and pulled her from the snow that
had covered her, but she was devastated to learn she had again aged
severely. She begged the Mole Man for pity, to grant her access to the
Fountain, and he consented, not wishing to see her wither and die, but
Heather then revealed how the Fountain's waters had been lost. Collapsing to
her knees in despair at having to be withered and old for her remaining
days, Kala was stunned when the Mole Man revealed he still loved her
(further noting there were many ugly people in Subterranea and that it was
dark there, anyway). Arm-in-arm with the Mole Man, Kala departed in the
The Hulk was released from her control, and the Hulk pounded on the ground, the force and vibrations somehow "hammering" the Earth-Lifter pylons back into the ground and return the village to the surface (perhaps the vibrations activated the machinery, and/or the Mole Man just let it down at the same time?).
(Iron Man Annual#12 (fb) - BTS) - Mole Man's act of
kindness to Kala caused her to fall in love with him.
(Incredible Hulk II#263 (fb)) - The still-aged Kala was at Mole Man's side when he accepted Outcast member Landslide's offer to investigate what was causing the massive tremors that threatened to cast part of Subterranea into the sea. As it turned out, Brotherhood of Evil Mutants' member Avalanche was trying to blackmail the state of California by threatening to trigger the San Andreas fault, and the Hulk helped Landslide defeat Avalanche.
(ROM#28) - Kala was present when Mole Man fought the Space Knight Rom after he mistakenly attacked him in the aftermath of a Dire Wraith scheme the Mole Man had actually foiled. The Mole Man expressed his desire to live out his years in peace with his "aged queen Kala" by his side.
(Iron Man Annual#12 (fb) - BTS) - For a time, the Mole Man treated Kala well, at least from a distance, but he soon relegated her to her own chambers, guarded by the Outcasts.
(Avengers Annual#20 - BTS) - Mole Man, Tyrannus, Grotesk of the Gor-Tokians allied themselves against the Deviant armies led by general Brutus.
(Iron Man Annual#12 (fb)) - Kala escaped and headed to the surface in search of aid from the only surface man she had really grown to know, Tony Stark; she hoped he would order his "servant" Iron Man, to aid the Mole Man.
(Avengers Annual#20 - BTS) - After contingents of Moloids, Tyrannoids and Lava Men burst out of the ground in New York's theater district while fleeing Brutus' armies, the Avengers investigated Subterranea. The Avengers eventually sent Captain America and the Black Widow back to the surface to inform the West Coast Avengers and the other superhero teams of this new, global threat; meanwhile the East Coast Avengers contingent was captured by Brutus.
(Avengers Annual#20) - Kala watched Cap and the Black Widow depart
Subterranea and then made her way up as well.
She hailed a cab and demanded to be taken to Los Angeles. The driver
offered her a ride to the airport, provided she had any money. Handing
over a jeweled necklace, Kala managed to pay her fare to JFK airport (the
cab driver apparently either assumed it was fake or decided to take
advantage of someone he assumed wouldn't know any better).
(Iron Man Annual#12) - Kala meanwhile made it to LA and barged into Stark International, forcing a meeting with Tony Stark. She filled him in on her involvement in the war effort: she truly loved Mole Man, even after he'd put her in guarded seclusion, and she wanted to enlist Iron Man's aid in the fight against Brutus. Before Tony could respond, the Outcasts, caught up with her. Tony quickly changed into his Iron Man armor and took out Boulder and the Weather Witch. In the meantime, Landslide and Digger kidnapped Kala and dragged her back to Subterranea.
On the way back, Kala revealed how she'd been banished from the Netherworld, which reminded her that the Netherworld's unique atmosphere would rejuvenate her again; Digger and Landslide hoped they might gain eternal youth in the Netherworld, as well, though Kala admitted no one born on the surface ever dwelled in the Netherworld for long. Nonetheless, this gave her an idea: if she'd return with powerful new allies like Digger and Landslide, the people might accept her as their ruler again. Then, she could really help aid Mole Man by using the Netherworld's armies. She managed to convince Digger and Landslide, who escorted her to the Netherworld. However, upon her return the Netherian army captured and prepared to execute Kala (and her new allies, either intentionally for aiding her or because they didn't care if her allies got in the way), but Iron Man protected them from the Netherians' blasters. Digger shattered one Netherworlder's armor and incapacitated him, but the two Outcasts were again targeted by other soldiers. When Landslide tried to defend her with his earth moving powers, he inadvertently caused a seismic upheaval great enough to destroy the entire realm. Iron Man managed to stop the quake by creating a duplicate seismic wave in the opposite direction, but not before at least some of the Netherian troops had apparently perished.
Apparently assuming Kala had brought Iron Man and fearing how he could be used to take revenge on them, the remaining Netherworlders hailed Kala as their Queen, though Digger and Landslide took advantage of the distraction to flee. Despite having gained the throne, Kala decided that the Netherworldwas no longer her home, and that she wanted Iron Man to take her back to the Mole Man immediately, even though she realized she would age again as soon as she left the Netherworld...which she did. Still, Iron Man intended to aid the Avengers against Brutus, which would presumably aid the Mole Man, as Kala had originally sought.
(Avengers West Coast Annual#6) - Rather than returning
directly to the Mole Man's domain, Iron Man brought Kala to
the West Coast Avengers' headquarters in Palos Verdes. She was a little
shocked to learn that Black Widow and Captain America hadn't contacted
and informed the team about the Subterranean conflict. She implored the
team to help and joined them in their Stark designed Groundhawk tank,
impatiently providing directions and cursing the Groundhawk's lack of
the way, they found and freed a bound and captured Cap and Widow, but
their stopping disoriented Kala, causing her to provide a wrong direction
that sent them off a cliff and and headlong into Mole Man and Grotesk's last stand against Brutus and his
armies. Mole Man casually noted their recovery of "poor, decrepit Kala,"
and later ordered her away when she tried to help him up following an
altercation with USAgent.
When Mole Man showed the Avengers the delirious Tyrannus, Kala tried to soothe the agitated Tyrannus. During the subsequent battle against Brutus' forces, Kala referenced Sersi as a prisoner of Brutus, giving the Scarlet Witch the idea to mentally seek out the empathic Eternal Sersi. Connecting with Sersi, the Witch was able to find and free the East Coast Avengers which allowed her to find and free the captured Avengers. With both teams busy fighting Brutus' hordes, no one but Kala noticed a Deviant soldier was about to stab Mole Man in the back. She took the hit for him, which convinced the Mole that she did truly love him and wanted what was best for him.
Vowing to bend all of his efforts to restoring Kala, his once and future queen, the Mole Man was also moved by her sacrifice sufficiently to share the antidote with Tyrannus that he had possessed all along.
(Fantastic Four Unlimited#4 (fb) - BTS) - The Mole Man kept Kala preserved in his Rejuvenator stasis tank.
(Fantastic Four Unlimited#4 - BTS) - While the Thing and Hulk fought in an exhibition match, the Mole Man siphoned off their kinetic energy and used it to restore Kala's form from being physically in her eighties to being physically in her fifties.
(Fantastic Four Unlimited#4 - BTS) - The Mole Man manipulated the Hulk and Thing, along with the Human Torch and Invisible Woman, into coming to Subterranea to rescue Atalanta of the Pantheon; there a giant snake exhaled a gas that rendered them all unconscious.
(Fantastic Four Unlimited#4) - With deadly weapons aimed
at the manacled Atalanta, the Torch, and Invisible Woman, the Mole Man
ordered the Hulk and Thing to battle to the death to fully restore, despite
Kala weakly voicing her objections, as she would rather perish than cause
others' death. The Hulk and Thing fought, ultimately deliberately smashing
into with such force that the Mole Man's energy absorbing rod exploded from
the sudden overload; the Rejuvenator was also badly damaged by the force,
though the Mole Man didn't even notice that. The Mole Man then sent his
immense Megataur to slay the two combatants and their freed allies as
punishment, but the partially rejuvenated and now fully conscious Kala
convinced the Mole Man to stop the conflict and just love her as she was.
The damaged Rejuvenator released the collected energies of the recent
combat, threatening all present, and when Kala refused to re-enter the
Rejuvenator to absorb the energies, the Mole Man proposed marriage, and Kala
The Rejuvenator then exploded, and the heroes returned to the surface.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Don Heck.
Kala's fate after the Rejuvenator's explosion is unrevealed, though the Mole Man has consistently been shown to be whole and hearty since then.
When Kala first captured Tony Stark, she claimed to need his "transistor-powered" machines to transport to blast a path to Earth's surface so they could conquer it. Early Iron Man stories, particularly the 1960s, but even well into the 1970s, were rife with references to "transistor-powered" Stark technology. It was eventually clarified, especially in the Marvel No-Prize book, that transistors don't actually power anything.
Kala also initially claimed that the Netherworld was at Earth's very core. I don't think that proved to be true, but they were deep in Subterranean and probably miles below the surface, anyway.
In Iron Man Annual#12, Kala noted
that whatever gave Tyrannus' Fountain of Youth its youth-giving qualities
was present in the atmosphere of the Netherworld, as well.
One major continuity problem that never got addressed was the fact that Kala didn't age so severely when she was deposed and forced out of Netherworld into Subterranea. A possible explanation might be that the air in Subterranea contains minute traces of moisture from the Fountain of Youth. Not enough to fully rejuvenate someone, but probably sufficient to slow down the aging process considerably. This would also explain Mole Man's remarkable longevity even without access to the fountain.
Impressed with the Thing's power, Kala exclaimed "Shades of the Substrata!"
When she met the Hulk, she noted that "...the Prime Mover has sent your great strength to aid me against my enemies." Presumably this indicates that the Netherians worshipped or revered a being (potential deity) they knew as the Prime Mover.
Another interesting, if minor sidenote: apart from her initial appearance, all her appearances have been (co-) written by Bill Mantlo & Roy Thomas
The inside back cover of Marvel Treasury Edition#25 previews a sequel, associated with the 1980 Summer Olympics. While this never happened, the grouping looks almost exactly like the grouping seen in the first Marvel Super-Heroes: Contest of Champions, which was seen a short time later.
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe '89 update#4: Kala profile notes that after failed alliance with Tyrannus in Fantastic Four#127, that Kala returned to the Netherworld. However, subsequent stories instead showed her going on to takeover Tyrannus' then-unoccupied kingdom, and it was eventually revealed that she hadn't been able to return to the Netherworld since her exile following Baxu's death.
Profile by Norvo and Snood!
Character name has no known connections to
The Netherworld, formerly known as Netheria, has no known connections to:
(Tales of Suspense I#43 ) - Baxu served as general of the Netherworld army. He revealed to the captured Tony Stark that he loved queen Kala, in spite of her arrogant personality and foolhardy plan to conquer the surface world. Baxu wasn't sure his armies could overcome Earth's defenses. Furthermore, he hated taking orders from a woman. Baxu personally equipped Stark's laboratory as instructed.
When Stark built a new set of Iron Man armor, Baxu confronted Iron Man with a ray pistol, but Iron Man crushed the weapon in his hand and hurled Baxu against a wall. Baxu expected to be slain, but Iron Man instead told Baxu he should be the Netherworld's ruler and then convinced Baxu to stand aside as he demonstrated his power, defeating Kala's weaponry.
After showing Kala that the Netherworlders could not come to the surface or risk rapidly aging, Kala asked Iron Man's hand in marriage, but the golden Avenger politely declined, suggesting general Baxu might be a more suitable husband instead. Iron Man told Baxu that Kala could tell him why any thought of Earth invasion would be sheer folly, but Baxu revealed he had thought that to be the case long ago. He thanked Iron Man for teaching their ruler a much needed lesson and assured Iron Man he would always be welcome in the Netherworld.
(Iron Man Annual#12 (fb) / Fantastic Four#127) - Baxu died shortly after their wedding and the people of Netherworld, still bitter over the defeat they suffered at the hands of Iron Man, deposed Kala.
Note: Despite Baxu's obvious non-feminist views, Kala called him a good consort in Iron Man Annual#12. In Fantastic Four I#127, Kala referred to him as "Baxi," and the Official Marvel Index to the Fantastic Four#8 entry to FF#127 speculates that this is not an error, but probably a nickname.
--Tales of Suspense I#43
images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe '89 update#4, p19: Kala profile (main image)
Fantastic Four I#127, pg. 12, panel 3 (Kala on carrier)
Iron Man Annual#12, p8, pan4 (old)
Marvel Treasury Edition#25, story pg. 20, panel 4 (in costume appearance)
Tales of Suspense I#43, p7, pan4 (Baxu)
Fantastic Four Unlimited#4, story pg. 31, panel 1 (in Rejuvenator);
pg. 48, panel 2 (released from Rejuvenator)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition#35 (Kala)
Tales of Suspense I#43 (July, 1963) - Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein (writers), Jack Kirby (pencils), Don Heck (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Fantastic Four I#127 (October, 1972) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Fantastic Four I#128 (November, 1972) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Treasury Edition#25 (1980) - Bill Mantlo, Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant (writers), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Bruce Patterson (inks), Mark Gruenwald, Jim Salicrup (editors)
Incredible Hulk II#263 (September, 1981) - Bil Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils and inks), Jim Shooter (editor)
ROM#28 (March, 1982) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe '89 update#4: Kala profile - Peter Sanderson (writer/researcher), Marc Siry (penciler), Josef Rubinstein (inker), Gregory Wright (editor)
Iron Man Annual#12 (June, 1991) - Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas (writers), Tom Morgan(pencils and inks), Nelson Yomtov (editor)
Avengers: West Coast Annual#6 (June, 1991) - Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas (writers), George Freeman (pencils), Danny Bulanadi, Bob Wiacek, Andrew Pepoy(inkters), Nelson Yomtov (editor)
Avengers Annual#20 (June, 1991) - Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas (writers), Kevin West (pencils), Fred Redericks (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Fantastic Four Unlimited#4 (December, 1993) - Roy Thomas (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Steve Montano (inks), Mike Rockwitz, Joe Andreani (editors)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition#35: Kala entry - Glenn Herdling, Peter Sanderson, and/or Murray Ward (writers), Keith Pollard (penciler), Tom Brevoort (editor), Mark Gruenwald (senior executive editor)
First Posted: 09/13/2013
Last updated: 09/12/2013
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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