Real Name: Ahmet Abdol
mutant, further mutated;
Egyptian citizen, with a criminal record
identity publicly known
Education: Ph.D. in archeology
Occupation: Pawn of Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur), power battery
former dormant planetary body, would-be world conqueror, terrorist, cult leader, seeming messiah, archeologist, Egyptologist, junior professor
Group Membership: Twelve (Lucas Bishop, Cable/Nathan Dayspring Askani'son, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Iceman/Bobby Drake, Magneto/Max Eisenhardt, Phoenix/Jean Grey, Polaris/Lorna Dane, Professor X/Charles Xavier, Mikhail Rasputin, Storm/Ororo Munroe, Sunfire/Shiro Yoshido)
Affiliations: Cult of the Living Pharaoh/Children of
the Sun (Abdullah, Achmed, Ahmed, Arani, Baresh, Jamil, Kassim, Malek, Mustapha, Plasma/Leila O'Toole, Rashid, Salome
Abdol/aka Faya Sahid, Trackers, unidentified high priest);
Akasha Martinez (formerly aka Living Pharaoh), Senor Suerte (Jaime Garcia)
pawn of Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur) and experimental subject of Mr. Sinister (Nathaniel Essex); Deathbird (Cal'syee Neramini) and Skrulls aided Apocalypse in restoring the Monolith to his previous status quo and facilitate his manipulation in "the Twelve," but did little to interact with Abdol directly;
apparently worshipped the Ennead/Heliopolitan/"Egyptian" gods;
briefly aided by Captain America (Steve Rogers), Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Iron Man (Tony Stark), Starfox (Eros), Thor Odinson, and Wonder Man (Simon Williams) in departing Earth willingly.
associates in that they were all captives of the Sentinels at the same time: Blob (Fred J. Dukes), Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde), Mesmero, Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff), Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff), Toad (Mortimer Toynbee) Unus (Angelo Unuscione), Vanisher (aka Telford Porter); as well as the X-Men, who defeated the Sentinels and thus facilitated his freedom -- Angel (Warren Worthington), Beast (Hank McCoy), Cyclops (Scott Summers), Iceman (Bobby Drake), Marvel Girl (Jean Grey);
formerly/feigned alliances with Professor Bradford, Professor Llewelyn, Professor Merridew, Heroes for Hire (Iron Fist/Daniel Rand, Luke Cage/Power Man)
Enemies: Asp (Richard Harper),
Apocalypse, Professor Bradford, Luke Cage/Power Man, Captain America, Robert C.
Harrison Chalmers, Deathbird,
Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Woman/Sue Richards, Mr.
Fantastic/Reed Richards, She-Hulk/Jen Walters), Havok (Alex Summers), Iron Fist
(Daniel Rand), Mercedes "Misty" Knight, Living Mummy (N'Kantu),
Professor Llewelyn, Massad Maximum Security Prison guards, Professor Merridew,
crew of the tugboat "Molly D," Polaris (Lorna Dane), Jennie Royce, Sentinels
(Mark II), Skrulls, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Thor Odinson, Larry Trask, US
Army (or whoever fought him in Revenge of the Living Monolith),
Mary Jane Watson-Parker (see comments), Colleen Wing, X-Men
(Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Storm/Ororo
Hassan and friends; Salome Abdol (in that he killed her to prevent her from revealing his plans)
he has threatened the population of Manhattan, New York on multiple occasions...including Cissy and Harley
Known Relatives: Filene Abdol (wife, deceased), Salome
Abdol (aka Faya Sahid, daughter, deceased)
unidentified sister, Leila O'Toole (Plasma, niece -- sister's daughter); various nieces and nephews, including the Trackers (?)
Abdol claims to be heir to the ancient Pharaohs, such as Ramses, (as well as Ennead gods, such as Osiris and Horus), but I am not aware of any proof of such a relationship (Abdol specifically claimed to have found evidence of the relationship of his family to the Pharaohs)
Aliases: Living Monolith, the Pharaoh, Living Planet, Son of Osiris
"Crazy Abdol" (derisive nickname as a youth), "Tin-Top" (nickname from Spider-Man)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly Apocalypse's subterranean Egyptian base;
an unidentified distant solar system (see comments);
Massad Maximum Security Prison, Central Egypt;
the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and an unidentified apartment in New York City (in Manhattan?);
a base in the Halwani consulate (see comments);
briefly the Sentinels New York mountain base (aka Station Alpha);
various Egyptian pyramid bases in the Nile Valley, Egypt (including a pair of virtually identical temples)--"first" (large archeological excavation site) - near the Great Pyramids "a tomb that was old when the rest of the world was a savage jungle"--X-Men I#55-56, Supernatural Thrillers#9;
"second" - an ancient Egyptian temple "the place of the sleeping sun"- X-Men I#56 (largely destroyed);
"third" - possibly an expansion of a previous base or another base altogether--Marvel Graphic Novel: Revenge of the Living Monolith;
formerly a base speculated to be within Manhattan/New York City's Egyptian Embassy (circa X-Men I#54-55 - also in Marvel Team-Up I#69?));
formerly the American University at Cairo;
born in Cairo, Egypt (grew up and active as a youth in Al Jizah, a suburb of Cairo)
First Appearance: (Living Pharaoh) X-Men I#54 (March, 1969); (Living Monolith) X-Men I#56 (May, 1969); (surname revealed) X-Men I#57 (June, 1969); (first name revealed) Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#5: Living Monolith entry (1983); (Living Planet) Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (1985)
Abdol could absorb ambient cosmic energy into his body's cells, where it was
transformed into more destructive forms of energy, which he could manipulate and
project at will. Unidentified factors enabled Abdol to project energy in his
human/Living Pharaoh form at some times but not at others.
As the Living Pharaoh, Abdol could sometimes emit an unidentified but destructive energy from his body, with a maximum force of 40 pounds of TNT. The Pharaoh often used an ankh-shaped weapon to help focus these energy bolts, which could take the form of concussive force or of incinerating heat. The Pharaoh could also project a solid-seeming wall of sonic vibrations.
The Living Pharaoh sometimes used his ankh to focus/utilize his powers. Abdol also briefly used the Ruby Scarab to restore his ability to manipulate energies, though it was insufficient to allow him to transform into the Monolith; in this instance, Abdol progressively lost all power as the Scarab was stolen and departed his presence.
At least with Havok incapacitated by having his own powers turned against him, Abdol was durable enough to tolerate a punch from the Class 10 strength Spider-Man, though Spider-Man is known for subconsciously holding back significantly against foes he might assume to not have superhuman strength/durability.
In addition, Abdol's genetic link to Alex Summers (aka Havok) caused Havok's absorption to interfere with Abdol's absorption, limiting the power Abdol could attain. By somehow negating or otherwise overcoming Havok's interference, Abdol could almost instantly attain much greater power, transforming to the immense and powerful Living Monolith. He sometimes achieved this by blocking off cosmic radiation from Havok's body. When Havok's body was charged by Larry Trask to repel cosmic energy, Abdol began to transform into the Monolilth; this was thwarted by prepared Sentinels that coated Abdol with an adhesive blocking out cosmic rays, which reverted him to a powerless state. He also once overrode the interference by having energy from Havok's body transmitted into his own. On another occasion, Havok was off Earth, preventing the interference (though Apocalypse for some reason credited a Havok-like headdress as the means by which Abdol maintained his Monolith form).
Abdol has also sought alternate
means of amplifying his own power, bypassing Havok altogether. He once
used the Cheops Crystal to form an energy configuration with three
human hosts (facilitated by containment of each host within one of
Tutankhamen's sarcophagi -- each of which had been buried for millennia
within the Valley of the Kings, absorbing the ambient ancient power --
and placement of each sarcophagus within a triangular energy field
focused around the crystal); and another time by using cosmic energy
from the bodies of three members of the cosmic ray-empowered Fantastic
After initially transforming into the Monolith, if the medium facilitating his transformation was counter-acted, he would rapidly revert back to his human form, exhausted and generally helpless; for example, he became the Monolith by containing/blocking Havok, he would revert back to Abdol as soon as Havok was released; in most such cases, Abdol was weak and no significant threat upon such reversion. However, after accumulating sufficient power and having achieved sufficient size (far over 60' tall, on the one occasion he demonstrated this), Abdol could naturally override the interference himself and retain his power without the medium.
Initially unable to recall his connections to Alex Summers, Abdol once related that the powers he possessed began to wane as Alex's powers awakened.
As the Monolith, Abdol rapidly grew in
height, mass, strength, durability, and ability to store and project energy
(usually from his eyes), becoming gigantic and grey-skinned. He continued to
absorb energy and grow in size, power, and durability as long as the medium
blocking Havok's interference with his absorption was not disrupted. It is
speculated that the mass he gained was from extradimensional sources. At 33'
tall, he possessed Class 100 strength; his strength increased with increasing
size, but as he grew, he was also forced to use increasing levels of his own
strength simply to support his own mass. His more rapidly increasing mass
eventually would limit his strength; at some point, he could barely rise from
lying on the ground. His larger sizes initially allowed him to cover ground more
quickly than a normal person, but he eventually became too massive to
demonstrate any appreciable speed. As long as he was receiving sufficient power,
his endurance/stamina was virtually unlimited.
On at least one occasion, early after transforming into the Monolith, he could levitate into the air.
Abdol was of gifted intellect, with expert
knowledge of archeology and Egyptology, as well as being an advanced student of
genealogy, human mutation, and the effects of cosmic radiation. However, he
eventually became more mentally limited by madness. Further, after returning
from his "Living Planet" status, and especially after being used as a
battery/transformer by Apocalypse, he was virtually mindless, either inert or
He did not have any real fighting skills, but relied largely on his superhuman powers in combat. By some means he could assume a death-like state sufficient to deceive museum guards (and Cyclops/Scott Summers) into believing him truly dead (possibly he was just staying very still and breathing very shallowly so that it appeared he was not breathing).
As the Living Pharaoh, he sometimes utilized hovercraft for transport. He also sometimes wielded the Pharaoh's Eyes, various ankhs (including an ankh necklace), a smoke bomb amulet, a hood that held shut Cyclops' visor, and various chambers (as well as the Cheops Crystal) to prevent Havoks' interference with Abdol's energy absorption.
As the Living Pharaoh, Abdol sometimes wielded the Pharaoh's Eyes - a pair of mounted scarlet gems whose hypnotic powers were activated by the Pharaoh; Abdol used them to incapacitate both Alex and Scott Summers. The Living Pharaoh later used the Pharaoh's Eyes against the Living Mummy (N'Kantu), causing him to collapse; however, N'Kantu retained the strength to hurl the nearby Ruby Scarab against the Pharaoh's Eyes, knocking both to the ground; the Ruby was subsequently stolen by Asp/Richard Harper, and Abdol's powers faded.--X-Men I#54 (Supernatural Thrillers#9
As the Living Pharaoh, Abdol used a mini-smoke bomb (worn as an amulet); Abdol claimed it was a magical amulet, but it only produced smoke to serve as a distraction; whether it actually was magical is unrevealed--X-Men I#54
As the Living Pharaoh, Abdol sometimes used
an Ankh, which served as a focus for his energy bolts,
emitting waves of energy, as well as serving as a blunt weapon; when the energy
bolts he channeled through it proved insufficient to take out Cyclops, Abdol
struck Cyclops in the back of the head with the ankh, knocking him out; later,
when the X-Men pursued his private jet, he fired a blast through the ankh that
forced the X-Men's aircraft to the ground. Within his "first" Egyptian
temple/base, he later fired another blast through the ankh to activate a cat's
mouth fountain that might drown both Summers. After they escaped, Abdol
attempted to slay them both with a blast from the ankh, but Alex instinctively
unleashed a blast that shattered the Ankh--X-Men I#55
Another ankh was seen in Supernatural Thrillers#9
Yet another ankh was seen in Marvel Graphic Novel: Revenge of the Living Monolith. It had oscillation circuits, which were programmed with a counter-wavelength that nullified the Fantastic Four's energies, rendering them unconscious.
His agents once used an ankh necklace they placed around Havok's neck, turning his own power back against him, rendering him "helpless and barely alive."
The Living Pharaoh used a skin-tight facial hood that adhered to Cyclops' visor, preventing it from opening, and thus preventing Cyclops from using his power; Abdol further noted that the hood could not be simply removed (at least by the person wearing it). With the hood protecting his head, Cyclops smashed his head repeatedly against the sarcophagus holding Alex -- which was loose, old, and ready to splinter -- breaking it open. Alex then removed the hood from Cyclops...and Cyclops asked from some Excedrin...
Abdol used a cosmic ray-absorbing chamber to imprison Alex Summer and prevent his interference with Abdol's absorption of cosmic power, allowing Abdol to transform into the Living Monolith. This chamber was apparently airtight and might have suffocated Summers; using his energy reserves from before his imprisonment, Alex broke free from this chamber--X-Men I#56
Abdol later used another chamber, which caused Alex Summers/Havok's cosmic energy absorption to operate at peak power and even amplify it, but then broadcast it to Abdol. The chamber was also designed to maintain Havok at peak health. It was further boobytrapped to kill Havok if damaged, but Spider-Man subsequently used his spider-sense to determine a safe means to deactivate the chamber. Marvel Team-Up I#69 (70
Abdol also had an ancient sarcophagus he used to imprison Alex Summers, as well as another box used to contain an incapacitated Cyclops/Scott Summers, both of which he was able to transport through airport security into his chartered jet due to his established civilian identity--X-Men I#55
His Egyptian bases included death-traps,
such as chambers that could be flooded at will (one of these was activated via a
cat's mouth fountain).
His largest base was beneath pharaohs' faces carved into the mountains. The base was lined with endless conduits, all funneling enough atomically-generated energy to power a city of several million people; hallways linked air shafts cut miles deep into the solid bedrock beneath the dunes; and numerous banks of sophisticated computers were continuously updated by bits of audiovisual data sent by thousands of agents worldwide. The base housed enough armored high-tech vehicles to threaten half the world's nations, and its control center rivaled anything the USA or other leading powers could manufacture. Its electronic hum was joined by the equally soft and insistent chant of "master...master..."
This base housed more advanced equipment including crystalline sarcophagi used to imprison and drain the cosmic energy from the Fantastic Four and focus it on Abdol, allowing him to override the natural interference that had prevented him from absorbing such energies in the past; the powerful juggernaut tank, etc. This base's nuclear reactors were allegedly tied to the crystalline sarcophagi such that destroying the equipment or even deactivating it would reduce the entire complex, and Cairo above it, to powder and irradiate the area for decades (see comments).
(Abdol/Living Pharaoh) 5'8"; (Living Monolith) - varies - different initial
manifestations include 41', 33', and 26'; (Living Planet) unrevealed - as he was
defined as being "several cities in size," he may have grown up to 50 to 100
that may have only been a fragment of the Monolith (see comments))
Weight: (Abdol/Living Pharaoh) 175 lbs.; (Living Monolith) - varies - different initial manifestations include 37 tons (at 26' tall), 68.2 tons (at 33' tall), and 122.5 tons (at 41' tall); his height/weight ratios indicate his form was perhaps over 4 times more dense than normal human, perhaps even rock-like (as "Monolith" might imply), as a human body at 33' tall would weigh more like 16.6 tons); (Living Planet) unrevealed - as he was defined as being "several cities in size," he may have grown up to 50 to 100 miles (8.5 trillion tons on the low end of that at human size, so perhaps 34 trillion tons based on his increased density (though that may have only been a fragment of the Monolith (see comments))
Eyes: Brown (sometimes shown as blue); (Living Monolith) iridescent
Hair: Black (often shaved bald); sometimes has black goatee; (Living Monolith) none
Skin: (Abdol/Living Pharaoh) varies in appearance (he is a native Egyptian and is sometimes appropriately displayed with a darker, African complexion; other times, he is shown as Caucasian, which seems inaccurate, particularly since he considered himself to be descended from the ancient pharaohs); (Living Monolith) gray
(X-Men II#97 (fb) - BTS) - The virtually immortal Egyptian mutant Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur) stole technology from the cosmic Celestials, a device that could grant him vast-reality altering power. It apparently required twelve beings to focus its power, but additionally needed a vastly powerful being to replicate the Celestials' energy source. Eleven beings of power would be positioned properly to funnel their energies into a twelfth, a being able to process and channel any energy; these energies would reach a critical mass of power levels infinitely greater than the sum of its individual parts.
Realizing his own form might not contain such power, Apocalypse monitored for a being of sufficient power to do so, whose form he might usurp for his own.
(Uncanny X-Men I#377 (fb) - BTS) - Apocalypse gathered together
the Children of the Sun, a cult seeking a modern incarnation of the ancient
Pharaohs, with Apocalypse's ultimate goal being the preparation of
mutate that could process any energy in order to channel the energies of "the
Twelve" (the mutate, plus eleven other beings whose energies would be channeled
through the mutate to grant Apocalypse vast power).
Apocalypse's plans for the Twelve involved "tens of centuries of patiently plotting and manipulating, guiding hundreds of generations of unknowing pawns to a specific place and time."
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#18 (fb) - BTS) - Born in Cairo, Egypt, Ahmet Abdol grew up in Al Jizah, one of that city's suburbs. As a young boy, Abdol fantasized about becoming a modern-day pharaoh (ruler of Egypt).
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb)) <35 years before the main story; see comments> - As a youth, perhaps 8-10 years old, in Al Jizah, Ahmet Abdol again dressed up as royalty, proclaiming himself to be the son of the Ennead/Heliopolitan/Egyptian gods Horus and Osiris, and the ruler of all Egypt. He assured his "loyal followers" (including Filene) that as they were his subjects, he would treat them fairly and well, but Hassan and his friends ridiculed Ahmet, calling him mad as a jackal. Filene tried to calm things, noting they were all just playing, but Hassan, mocking Ahmet as a would-be king of the Earth, pelted Ahmet with mudballs, and Hassan's friends followed suit. Wiping the tears from his eyes, Ahmet assured a concerned Filene that they did not hurt him.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb)) - Ahmet spent years in higher education, where his only friends were books and the silently admiring, ever-supportive Filene. Romance eventually blossomed.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb)) - As his research progressed, Ahmet was excited to finally find apparent evidence that his own family line was linked to that of Egypt's ancient pharaohs. Upon announcing this in the classroom, he received hoots and catcalls from the other students, and a three day suspension from faculty for disturbing class activities.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb)) - Filene understood Ahmet, and their romance turned to love and eventually to marriage.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb)) - The newly married Ahmet and Filene moved to the American University at Cairo, where Ahmet earned a junior professorship. There Ahmet culminated his genealogical research, and Filene became pregnant and gave birth to their daughter, Salome.
(Uncanny X-Men I#377 (fb) - BTS) - Ahmet Abdol's activities drew the attention of Apocalypse, who, in conjunction with Sinister (Nathaniel Essex), arranged to make Abdol into the mutate needed for the Twelve.
(X-Men I#54 (fb) - BTS) - Abdol posited that the pharaohs of ancient Egypt were mutants.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb)) - Ahmet revealed his findings to the gathered scientific and religious communities of Cairo, announcing that the ancient pharaohs were actually mutants who could tap cosmic energies to wield their mysterious powers. The crowd responded fiercely, denouncing Abdol as a heretic who threatened to corrupt their people and to blaspheme their true god, Allah. As the crowd rushed him, Ahmet led Filene and the infant Salome to their car, where he sped away. Despite quickly putting distance between the others who were on foot, Ahmet continued to speed away, worrying over what desperate, small minds could do, and recalling the abuse he received as a youth. Rounding a turn and finding children playing in their path, Ahmet swerved to miss them, crashing and flipping the car. Ahmet and Salome were thrown to safety, but Ahmet found the burning car's doors crushed/fused shut. He begged the mob who had finally caught up to him to help him save his wife, but they stood by in silence while Filene perished in flames.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb) / Uncanny X-Men I#376 (fb)) - Enraged over losing the only person who had ever understood him, Abdol lashed out at the protestors, subconsciously unleashing a plasma bolt that injured and scattered the mob. Puzzled, Abdol wondered if he had gone mad, but a man in a fez (secretly Apocalypse) approached him, telling him he was much more than he thought he was. The man in the fez called Abdol master and asked him to come with him so he could show him his destiny (see comments).
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb)) - Ahmet and Salome were taken to a temple hidden deep in the Egyptian desert, a sanctuary tended by the Cult of the Living Pharaoh (either another name for or a sect of the Children of the Sun), a centuries-old cult that worshipped the pharaohs and awaited their return. Ahmet was told that his writings had drawn their attention, and the manifestation of his mutant power at the automobile wreck had shown them that he was, indeed, the living god for whom they had bided the ages (see comments).
(Uncanny X-Men I#376 (fb)) - Apocalypse -- having acquired a sample of the DNA of Alex Summers (an as-yet unmanifested mutant who was part of the Summers line of which Sinister had particular interest) and insuring that its coding had been modified for his particular purposes -- had it grafted onto Abdol to produce the Living Monolith, a mutate that could process any energy. Sinister performed the grafting. The experiment was only partially successful, however, resulting in an unexpected - and quite unusual - symbiotic relationship wherein the power was split between the two, instead of shared (see comments).
(X-Men I#54 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#6 (fb) - BTS) - Abdol realized he was a latent mutant and was keenly interested in the realization of his abilities.
(X-Men I#57 (fb) - BTS) - Ahmet Abdol unearthed a temple as old as any in all of Egypt.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb)) - Taking the identity of the Living Pharaoh, Abdol sought to absorb even more cosmic energy, enough to allow him to gain the full, immortal power of the gods. Appreciating the danger of his quest, he sent Salome away to a school in Malta. The only remnant of the peace and happiness that was now gone to him, she was even more precious than the omnipotence he coveted.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#6 (fb) - BTS) - In a drug-induced trance (and presumably unaware of the nature of his manipulation by Apocalypse and Sinister), Abdol discovered a strange link between an American college student he had never met, Alex Summers. He determined that both he and Summers, a latent mutant, had the ability to absorb and transform cosmic radiation through the cells of their bodies, and that Summers' body somehow blocked the cosmic rays from reaching Abdol's body.
(X-Men I#57 (fb) - BTS) - Ahmet Abdol came to be considered by some to be Egypt's leading archeologist, at least by some local police.
(X-Men I#54 (fb) - BTS) - Abdol sent his agents Baresh and Malek of the Cult of the Living Pharaoh to capture Summers.
(X-Men I#54 (fb)) - Shortly after Alex Summers graduated from
Landon College, Baresh and Malek ambushed and gassed Alex. They brought him
before the Living Pharaoh who praised his servants as he informed them Alex was
the only living man who could challenge his power. As Abdol prepared to slay
Alex with a blade, the X-Men (Angel/Warren Worthington, Beast/Hank McCoy,
Cyclops/Scott Summers (Alex's older brother), Iceman/Bobby Drake, Marvel Girl/Jean
Grey) arrived, and Cyclops blasted the knife from his hands. As his agents
hurled spears at the X-Men, Abdol fired energy blasts at the heroes. Surprised and
impressed by the heroes' power, Abdol dropped a "magic amulet" (mini-smoke
bomb), then used the distraction to press a concealed button (on a cat statue)
that released at least two more of his warriors/cultists. As the other X-Men
defeated the warriors, Abdol challenged Cyclops with his powers. As Abdol's
threatened to overwhelm Cyclops', Marvel Girl assaulted Abdol, but Abdol
unleashed a wall of sound that incapacitated her. The sound wall held off the
X-Men while Abdol and his cultists fled.
After the other X-Men departed so Cyclops could discuss his dual nature/identity with Alex, however, Abdol struck anew, using the Pharaoh's Eyes hypnotic gems to incapacitate the brothers.
(X-Men I#54 - BTS) - The Living Pharaoh had Alex taken away by his men, then somehow made himself appear dead aside the collapsed Cyclops.
(X-Men I#54) - Arriving museum guards assumed the Pharaoh to be dead and Cyclops to be his killer. Reviving and escaping, Cyclops assumed Alex to have slain the Pharaoh before fleeing. As Cyclops investigated the tunnels beneath the Pharaoh's headquarters, Abdol confronted him anew, claiming to have 10,000 lives like the pharaohs of whom he was allegedly a direct descendent, and warning Cyclops he had only one life, and it was about to end.
(X-Men I#55) - Revealing that he had decided that Cyclops must serve him in his march to world conquest, the Pharaoh assaulted Cyclops, starting with a blast from his ankh. After a mixed struggle, the Pharaoh decided his energy blasts weren't effective enough against Cyclops, and so he knocked Cyclops out with blunt trauma of the ankh to the back of his head. Jean was unable to track the unconscious Cyclops, and the Pharaoh had his men carry Cyclops and the sarcophagus containing Alex to his limousines. He further had a mask that adhered to Cyclops' visor (preventing its opening) placed on Cyclops' head, then Cyclops himself was placed within a large box. In his civilian identity, Abdol brought the Summers brothers in their containers through airline security into his chartered jet. After takeoff, Abdol dumped Cyclops out of the box and onto the floor. As Cyclops recovered, Jean sensed his presence, and the X-Men pursued in their own aircraft until Abdol struck them down with another blast from his ankh; working together, the other X-Men landed safely.
(X-Men I#55 - BTS) - Abdol brought Cyclops and Alex to a tomb within a pyramid, which "was old when the rest of the world was a savage jungle" so they could die deaths befitting a mutant born.
(X-Men I#55) - When Cyclops mocked Abdol's threat, Abdol activated (with a blast from his ankh) a cat's mouth fountain that threatened to drown both Summers. Battering (and protected by) his mask against the aged sarcophagus, Cyclops freed Alex, who then removed Cyclops' mask; the pair fought off the Pharaoh's men as they rushed in. Interrupted by the guards' alert as he prepared himself for his moment of glory, an enraged Abdol ordered his men to strike the unbelievers down without mercy. As Abdol prepared to join the fight, however, the other X-Men arrived, and Angel cast Abdol roughly against the pyramid's top. The X-Men helped take out the Pharoah's remaining men, and when Abdol prepared to slay both Summers brothers with his ankh, Alex instinctively unleashed a destructive blast that shattered the ankh and knocked Abdol off of his pyramid. Angel caught Abdol, who ordered his servants to flee until he would summon them once again, and they fled to "the place of the sleeping sun." The X-Men were shocked to realize Alex was a mutant.
(X-Men I#56 - BTS) - The X-Men took Alex and the Living Pharaoh in their airship.
(X-Men I#56) - The X-Men stopped off at an archeological excavation site in hopes of finding some authorities to whom they could turn over the Living Pharaoh. Abdol admonished them that only the desert winds held court in that place, and further taunted them that he alone knew the secret of the abilities both Alex and Cyclops possessed...though he would tell them right before they died. The Cult of the Living Pharaoh then ambushed the X-Men with an energy blast from their concussion guns that they felt "only the great Pharaoh himself could survive." Abdol swiftly corrected his Cult ("Fools!"), warning them that the mutants were but stunned, and that Cyclops was already raising his head. However, as Cyclops threatened to take the Pharaoh out, one of the cultists on a rocket cycle of some sort swooped down and smashed Cyclops in the head from behind. Beast cast that pilot to the ground and though the Pharaoh urged the cultists that his only concern was Alex Summers, another cultist dropped the Beast with his concussion gun. The cultists loaded Alex onto their aeroship, and the Pharaoh dispelled the recovering Iceman's notion that his power was contained in his ankh, shattering Iceman's battering ram with an energy blast. Angel pursued the fleeing aeroship, but the cultists fired concussi-missiles that sent him into a tailspin.
(X-Men I#56 - BTS) - Angel pulled out of his dive and continued to follow the cultists low to ground level to escape their detection.
(X-Men I#56) - Marvel Girl established a mental rapport with Angel, who informed them of his whereabouts as the cultists entered a temple identical to the previous site, though miles apart. After the cultists entered through a hidden entrance, Angel broke contact to focus his concentration.
(X-Men I#56 - BTS) - The cultists bound Alex in a chamber within a technological complex within the temple.
(X-Men I#56) - The Living Pharaoh taunted Alex by revealing that both of them were powered by cosmic rays, with Alex's powers' awakening having caused the Pharaoh's powers to wane. Acknowledging Alex as the sole threat to his supremacy, the Pharaoh shut the chamber, blocking the cosmic rays from reaching Alex so the Pharaoh was their sole recipient (Abdol actually said the chamber absorbed the rays, but wouldn't do Alex any good unless the chamber then transmitted the absorbed rays to Abdol). As soon as that was done, Abdol began to glow with power and morphed into the immense Living Monolith, bursting forth from the temple seconds after the Angel escaped, and as the other X-Men arrived. Renaming himself the Living Monolith, Abdol snatched Angel from the sky as he vowed to restore the glory that was. Cyclops surprised Abdol with an optic blast to the face, causing him to release Angel, but the Monolith swiftly recovered and released an energy blast, and then prepared to stomp on the Beast who had fell dodging the blast. Marvel Girl strained herself to telekinetically bar Abdol, but Beast then kicked out Abdol's feet, unwittingly knocking the Monolith to land within arm's reach of Marvel Girl.
(X-Men I#56 - BTS) - The Living Monolith snagged Marvel Girl.
(X-Men I#56 / X-Men I#57 (fb)) - Realizing he would suffocate in the chamber, Alex drew on his energy reserves from before his imprisonment, and he broke free.
(X-Men I#56) - As the Monolith ranted about restoring the dynasties, he began to rapidly shrink, lost power, and collapsed. The temple shattered over Alex, but he emerged unscathed from the wreckage, fearing his powers were out of control.
(X-Men I#57) - When Iceman returned with the local police, they were surprised to find Abdol to be the alleged menace of which Iceman had spoken, and Abdol instead accused Alex Summers, for having destroyed the temple Abdol had unearthed. Having pre-existing knowledge of Abdol, the guards were inclined to trust him, but ordered that all involved parties be taken into custody. Alex lashed out with a force blast, which led to the X-Men fighting the authorities before escaping.
(X-Men I#58) - Abdol spoke to Egyptian authorities, claiming the X-Men to be dangerous criminals who had tried to destroy him only hours before. At the same time, Larry Trask, who commanded the Mark Two Sentinels, used a device to charge the captured Alex Summers to repel cosmic rays. As a result, Abdol began once again to absorb a greater concentration of cosmic rays and to transform into the Living Monolith; however, Trask and/or the Sentinels had anticipated this, and a pair of Sentinels ambushed Abdol and coated Abdol with an adhesive that blocked out all cosmic rays. Abdol shrunk back to normal, collapsed, and was captured by the Sentinels.
(X-Men I#59) - Abdol was among the many mutants held in stasis tubes at the Sentinels' mountain base (aka Station Alpha) in New York (see comments).
(X-Men I#60) - A confused and disillusioned Abdol was among the mutants released from Sentinel stasis. Beast posited that it would be awhile before any of these mutants showed their faces again.
(Avengers I#103 (fb) - BTS) - Some of the other released criminal mutants prepared to gang up on Quicksilver and the powerless Scarlet Witch, but Toad and Judge Chalmers convinced to depart peacefully.
(Supernatural Thrillers#9 (fb) - BTS) - Abdol located the Ruby Scarab, which restored a measure of the power he thought lost forever to Havok. From a pyramid base, Abdol studied the Scarab, planning to rule the world once he had unlocked its secrets.
(Supernatural Thrillers#8 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to prevent the Ruby Scarab that had defeated them in the ancient past from being used against them again, the Elementals dispatched the Living Mummy to obtain the Scarab from Abdol.
(Supernatural Thrillers#9 (fb) - BTS) - The Elementals sent N'Kantu (aka the Living Mummy) to a specific pyramid to obtain the Ruby Scarab gem.
(Supernatural Thrillers#9) -
Alerted by his alarms, the Living Pharaoh observed the approaching Living Mummy
and dispatched a group of guards (members of the Cult of the Living
Pharaoh). The cultists suddenly emerged from a series of
sarcophagi and ambushed N'Kantu
and announced "in the name of the Living Pharaoh -- the infidel must die."
Surviving attacks by spear, gun, and sword, N'Kantu whittled down his attackers
until a pair fled back through one of the sarcophagi to a tunnel to Abdol so he
could crush the intruder.
As N'Kantu prepared to enter the tunnel, Abdol activated a trap door sending N'Kantu into a chamber that Abdol then flooded. Breaking free, N'Kantu confronted Abdol and demanded the Scarab; recognizing N'Kantu's language of that of his ancestors, Abdol nonetheless refused to yield the Scarab and instead unleashed a hypnotic blast from the Pharaoh's Eyes. As the glowing jewels "burned into his soul and clouded his thoughts," N'Kantu collapsed into the control/monitor panel on which the Scarab rested. Desperate to escape the assault, N'Kantu hurled the Scarab against the Pharaoh's Eyes, knocking both to the ground. Unseen by both, the hand of the thief known as the Asp (Richard Harper) reached out and grabbed the Scarab. With his own mutant power, Abdol created a wall of sound intended to hold N'Kantu at bay and then destroy him by turning the "echo of his own brainwaves against him," but the sonic shield suddenly faded, apparently due to Asp now holding the Scarab. Baffled, Abdol grabbed his ankh and unleashed an energy blast intended to reduce the mummy to ashes. Weathering the assault, N'Kantu pointed out someone stealing the Scarab, and Abdol fired a pair of blasts at the thief, missing and hitting the exit wall instead. N'Kantu stopped Abdol from firing again, and Abdol unleashed his most powerful blast against the mummy while the Scarab was still near...but the weakened assault was futile. Despondent without his power, Abdol collapsed to the ground and wept about being merely human.
Unable to understand the desire to be different, N'Kantu wandered off and left Abdol there.
(Supernatural Thrillers#11 (fb) - BTS) - The newspapers reported that the police picked up Abdol in a stark raving mad state.
(Marvel Team-Up I#69 - BTS) - On Scotland's Muir Island,
members of the Cult of the Living Pharaoh ambushed Havok and Polaris (Lorna
Dane). Their first blast (from a hand weapon) struck the ground between the
pair, and Havok struck back at the three men on the rocks above with a force
blast. When another pair of cultists fired their airship's blaster from above, Lorna
incapacitated their craft with her magnetic powers. Another two cultists
(including Mustapha) struck
from the cliffside below, knocking Lorna off the cliff and stunning her so that
she couldn't simply levitate to safety. As Lorna plunged to the frigid waters
below, another airship struck Alex with a bolo-like snare that neutralized his
powers. Alex agreed to surrender if they would help Lorna, but they refused to
risk further danger, took him aboard their airship, and fled. As the Cultists
noted, while departing, that Lorna was unimportant and expendable, she emerged
from the water to pull herself to safety on rocks by the cliff.
Meanwhile (2 AM EST), another pair of cultists (including Jamil) received the report on Havok's successful capture as they broke into Professor Craig's office in the Empire State University's science building via an aircraft accessing an external window. They stole the Living Pharaoh's "mystic" ankh and replaced it with a replica. A studying Peter Parker overheard them and tried to stop them, but caught himself up in his own web and attached a spider-tracer to their craft before they could escape.
Tracking the signal, Spider-Man subsequently discovered the cultists (who had apparently joined up with Mustapha's group?; one of the guys was named Achmed, and another Abdullah) driving an ambulance approaching the Halwani consulate (see comments). He watched as they unloaded Havok (whose stasis tapes were close to being saturated). Recognizing Havok, Spider-Man knocked back the cultists and freed Havok, who helped Spider-Man quickly subdue all cultists present (it seemed that more ran out of the consulate).
(Marvel Team-Up I#69) - The Living Pharaoh ambushed Havok and
Spider-Man, knocking the latter through a wall in the embassy via a wide-beam
blast, and holding his own against the latter until another cultist, Kassim,
could throw around Havok's neck an ankh that turned his own power back against
him, rendering him helpless and barely alive. Abdol ordered Kassim to take Havok
to his laboratory while he prepared himself for the transformation.
As they placed Havok within a chamber, the cultists noted that this one was designed to make Havok's cosmic energy absorption operate at peak power, then amplify and broadcast it to Abdol; its systems would also keep Havok in perfect health. Spider-Man held the chamber open via webline and knocked the cultists out, but before he could remove the ankh necklace, Abdol, now dressed in his Monolith garb, confronted him anew. Abdol had to focus his blasts carefully to avoid destroying his own equipment, allowing Spider-Man to punch Abdol across the room. Unfortunately for the heroes, Abdol's body struck Havok's chamber, and his added weight broke the portion of the ceiling anchoring Spider-Man's webbing, allowing the chamber to shut. Now receiving Havok's channeled power, Abdol transformed once again into the Living Monolith, who grabbed Spider-Man and threatened that he would be the first of humanity to fall before him.
(Marvel Team-Up I#70) - As he smashed out of the consulate (or
whatever building he had been based out of),
the Living Monolith called to the gods of ancient Egypt to rejoice, and
he threatened the people to flee or be crushed beneath his heels. He
had apparently forgotten about Spider-Man, until the webslinger shot
webbing over his eyes, after which Abdol tore the webbing off and
hurled Spider-Man across the city. Thor caught/saved Spider-Man, who
explained the predicament and noted the Monolith seemed to be still
before he would have crushed a car containing Cissy and Harley, the
Monolith apparently realized he could levitate and rose into the air;
as he did so, Thor struck him in the face, but the Monolith swatted
Thor away. When Thor returned, the Monolith fired an energy blast,
which Thor deflected by spinning his hammer, Mjolnir, though the
Monolith continued to increase his power output, threatening to
overcome the defense. Spider-Man encouraged Thor to free Havok to
neutralize the Monolith's power, but after Thor threw Mjolnir, the
Monolith announced that the casing holding Havok was booby trapped.
Spider-Man forced Mjolnirto arc off path with a webline, after which
the Monolith turned his back and headed out over the New York harbor.
Thor struck the Monolith from behind, knocking him into the harbor,
after which the Monolith surfaced and picked up the tugboat "Molly D,"
though not before the crew all escaped overboard. Thor shattered the
ship then struck the Monolith was a devastating torrential storm
(Spider-Man described it as a half-mile wide hurricane). Meanwhile,
Spider-Man returned to Abdol's base, took out a pair of his cultists,
and used his Spider-Sense to identify a safe means to free Havok.
Initially pressed by Thor's assault, the Monolith recovered, taxing
Thor to his limits and then summoning cosmic power in preparation to
strike Thor down. As Spider-Man freed Havok, however, the Monolith
staggered while his power faded rapidly. Thor prepared to strike the
Monolith with a blow intended to finish him off, but the Monolith
Thor quelled the hurricane, watched the coast guard rescue the Molly D's crew, but failed to locate the Monolith despite scouring the harbor.
(Power Man#57 (fb) - BTS) - Professor Bradford (specializing in the tribes of Western Europe, on staff at the Metropolitan Museum) was boning up on the Pharaohs, and he unearthed a pyramidal crystal while digging in Egypt's Valley of the Kings.
(Power Man#57 (fb) - BTS) - When the Tutankhamen exhibit was to be sent to the Metropolitan Museum, curator Professor Merridew (specializing in Central American Indians) and his staff, Bradford and Llewelyn (specializing in Mediterranean cultures) realized they need an Egyptian expert.
(Power Man#57 (fb)) - Professor Abdol contacted the Metropolitan Museum's curator in search of a position, and they welcomed him. Bradford turned over the pyramidal crystal to Abdol, who dubbed it the Cheops Crystal and claimed that with it he could prove the ancient theories of pyramid energy once and for all.
(Power Man#57 (fb) - BTS) - Abdol, allegedly acting as liaison from the Egyptian government, looted the Tutankhamen artifacts from the Metropolitan Museum, replacing them with replicas. He then convinced museum curator Professor Merridew (unaware of the theft) to employ Heroes for Hire (Power Man and Iron Fist) to watch over the artifacts while the museum doors were closed.
(Power Man#56) - Via arrangement with their executive secretary, Jennie Royce, Dr. Abdol and Professor Merridew met with Power Man and Iron Fist, seeking to hire them to watch over the Tutankhamen artifacts while the museum doors were closed.
(Power Man#57 (fb) - BTS) - Abdol hired Senor Suerte (Jaime Garcia) to steal the counterfeit artifacts, knowing the heroes would stop Suerte and his agents, but wishing to insure that Merridew would discover the theft at a time when the heroes would standing handily by to take the blame.
(Power Man#56 - BTS) - The first night of the heroes' watch, a group led by Senor Suerte broke into the museum. The Heroes for Hire defeated and captured the group, though Suerte escaped; however, Merridew found all of the artifacts had been replaced with forgeries, and the heroes' business was held financially responsible for the loss. Realizing they had been duped, the heroes investigated and learned Abdol was the Living Pharaoh/Monolith.
(Power Man#57 (fb) - BTS) - Abdol trapped Merridew, Bradford, and Llewelyn with Tutankhamen's sarcophagi, which had been buried for millennia beneath the Valley of the Kings, absorbing the ancient power. Abdol then set the three sarcophagi (each apparently within an armored truck driven by a cultist) in a triangular energy field focused around the crystal, which served to channel cosmic power to Abdol sufficiently to transform him into the Living Monolith without having to block the rays from Havok.
(Power Man#56) - Power Man and Iron Fist rushed to Abdol's apartment and kicked the door down, only to find the immense Living Monolith waiting for them.
(Power Man#57) - After confessing his duplicity and taunting them with having
somehow transformed without interfering with any X-Men, the Monolith threatened
to destroy the heroes so no one could connect him to the stolen exhibits.
Casually swatting them aside, the Monolith burst through the apartment's roof,
causing the building to collapse on the heroes. His emergence was observed by
visiting X-Men Cyclops, Nightcrawler, and Storm, and their friends Misty Knight
and Colleen Wing. Cyclops instructed Storm to follow the Monolith while the rest
rushed to the building to rescue Power Man and Iron Fist (Jennie Royce had given
the address to Misty and Colleen and they were on their way to visit their
friends), though the heroes soon emerged unscathed (Cage had held up the roof
until Iron Fist could shatter it).
While Misty and Colleen went to protect Jennie Royce, Cyclops and Nightcrawler went after the Monolith, and Cage and Iron Fist investigated the Halwani consulate (of which Fist had learned from Havok during their stint as Defenders for a Day). When a Cult of the Living Pharaoh member ordered the infidels away, Cage kicked down the door. The heroes made short work of the Cultists and found the Tutankhamen artifacts (though the sarcophagi in which Tut himself was to be resting was missing); they observed the glowing Cheops crystal along with a compass aligned to magnetic north; and they took the crystal and headed in that direction. As the X-Men futilely battled the Monolith, he sensed someone touching the crystal; reasoning only Royce was alive and knew where it might be, the Monolith headed to capture her, but Storm flew Royce to safety just as the Monolith reached for her.
(Power Man#57 - BTS) - In their northward trek, Cage and Iron Fist observed a Cultist driving an armored truck; subduing the driver, they broke into the truck and found Merridew trapped within one of sarcophagi. The Monolith felt his power supply diminish as they freed Merridew, who revealed the nature of the Monolith's power source.
(Power Man#57 - BTS) - Iron Fist phoned the police to inform them of the locations of the sarcophagi holding Bradford and Llewelyn, after which Cage and Iron Fist headed to the theater district to join the fight against the Monolith.
(Power Man#57) - Just as the Monolith snatched Storm and Royce out of the air, Cage picked Abdol's ankle, toppling him to the ground. Before the enraged Monolith could strike back, the power left him, and he reverted to Abdol, apparently lacking any power to defend himself and cowering before the heroes. With Merridew's blessing, Iron Fist shattered the Cheops Crystal, which wasn't of any known archeological value.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb)
- BTS) - Abdol was incarcerated in Massad maximum security prison in Central
Egypt, where his hands were contained in electronic shackles preventing him from
unleashing his power. In what Abdol considered most ironic (as most people fail
to understand the definition of irony), Hassan was one of the guards overseeing
him. The shackles, however, did not prevent Abdol from focusing his power to
slowly erode the metal of the shackles.
Abdol somehow instructed the Cult of the Living Pharaoh Abdol to hover in their vehicles just beyond the horizon, behind clouds, waiting for a sign that his bid for freedom had begun.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb) - BTS) - Abdol at some point made plans to capture the Fantastic Four to transfer their cosmic ray-energies into him to allow him to become the Monolith again.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb) - BTS) - Learning of her father's plans and wishing to prove she was not a china doll to be protected but rather that her rightful place was by her father's side, Salome Abdol secretly returned from Malta and insisted to his cultists on being part of his project; with her being of her father's "royal" blood, the cultists felt obligated to obey her. With her true identity unknown to most cultists and to Abdol herself, she took the identity of Fayah Sahid.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith) - Abdol awakened from a dream of his origins in prison, noting to Hassan the gods must be angry to allow Hassan to serve as his jailor. Hassan taunted Abdol as a dreamer and noted the power of authority, but then Abdol revealed he had been slowly weakening the shackles. Tearing free of the shackles and thus freed from their restricting his power, Abdol smashed Hashan through a set of bars and into a wall with an energy blast. He then blasted through the ceiling, and his cultists (including Arani) dropped down through, garbed him in a cape, and prepared to help his escape. When guards rushed in, Abdol ordered the cultists to destroy them; as they did so, Abdol further ordered that Hassan be brought with them. Turning his back on the gunfight, Abdol strode out of the cell and complimented Arani upon seeing the skimmers had been summoned. After Abdol was aboard a departing ship, another cultist noted that two cultists had been left behind; appreciating the risk in retuning for them, as well as the risk of their being questioned by infidel inquisitors and revealing his grand plan, Abdol activated the two cultists' electrocution bands, killing them.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb) - BTS) - The cultists brought Abdol to one of his Egyptian bases beneath pharaohs' faces carved into the mountains. The base was lined with endless conduits, all funneling enough atomically-generated energy to power a city of several million people; its hallways linked air shafts cut miles deep into the solid bedrock beneath the dunes; its numerous banks of sophisticated computers were continuously updated by bits of audiovisual data sent by thousands of agents worldwide; it housed enough armored hightech vehicles to threaten half the world's nations; and its control center rivaled anything the USA or other leading powers could manufacture. Its electronic hum was joined by the equally soft and insistent chant of "master...master..."
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith - BTS) - As "Fayah" approached the Baxter Building, she was confronted by numerous cultists who denounced her as a traitor who must pay. However, the conflict was seen by the Human Torch (Johnny Storm), who defeated and drove off the cultists, after which Fayah requested an audience with the Fantastic Four to stop a threat that might destroy the world. After the rest of the FF had been gathered, Fayah told them she had been a former follower of Ahmet Abdol until realizing he was a madman. She continued on, claiming to have accidentally discovered Abdol's development of a machine to alter brainwaves able to make the whole would bow down to him; allegedly objecting to subjugation, she claimed to have stolen a key component from the machine and fled to the USA to enlist the FF to stop Abdol. As Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) headed off to analyze the component, Fayah requested She-Hulk (Jen Walters) watch over her.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith) - Within his subterranean base, Abdol accepted his raiment and confronted Hassan (still stuck within the wall, which had been cut free from the prison), preparing to teach him a lesson. Though Abdol taunted Hassan with his powers and resources, Hassan denounced him as a wimp just playing a larger game. Abdol assured Hassan that when he was done with him, his body would be spread with manure and staked in the desert to be eaten by beetles, causing an involuntary shiver from a cultist.
The cultist multitude was assembled, and the Living Pharaoh appeared before them, announcing the completion of phase 1 and the progression of phase 2; soon the destiny for which they had strived, his destiny, would be fulfilled.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith - BTS) - Meanwhile, as Reed concluded that the "key part" allegedly stolen by Fayah was a random assortment of electronic circuits for no purpose, an alarm sounded as a number of the Living Pharaoh's airships approached and surrounded the Baxter Building. Before She-Hulk could head to join her teammates in battle stations, Fayah activated a device that allowed beams from the aircrafts to strike her briefcase (or whatever type of bag it was) and connect to each other, forming an immense inverted pyramid that cut into and surrounded the Human Torch, and Reed and Sue Richards, transporting them to another, upright, pyramid, within Abdol's base.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith) - With the imbedded Hassan as his witness, the Living Pharaoh introduced himself to his captive FF members and ordered his followers to kill them.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith - BTS) - She-Hulk activated Reed's external energy blocker to interrupt the ships' energies, though Fayah revealed she was too late, and her teammates were already gone. Fayah attempted to shatter a window to escape aboard a ladder dropped from a waiting ship, but was instead captured by the She-Hulk when the Lexan window resisted the impact. The Pharaoh's cultists considered activating her electrocution band, but another agent apparently recognized Fayah as Salome, and ordered that the Pharaoh himself must make that decision.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith) - As the Fantastic Four members fought the Pharaoh's cultists, Abdol instructed one of his aides to continue the analysis of the FF's energies until they found the correct frequency. To push the heroes to their limits, Abdol ordered the cultists to deploy the juggernaut tank, which stunned Reed and Sue before being fried by the Torch. This energy output completed the needed readings, and a servant announced the proper adjustments had been made and handed Abdol his ankh. Abdol then ordered his men to cease the attack, and he informed the FF that he would use their cosmic ray-derived powers to gain his destiny. Via a counter-wavelength now programmed into oscillation circuits of his ankh projector, Abdol nullified the heroes' consciousness.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith - BTS) - Abdol had Reed, Sue, and Johnny placed within crystalline sarcophagi that drew off the cosmic energies from their bodies and focuses it into him, which would allow him to override the natural interference preventing him from absorbing such energies in the past; this would facilitate his transformation into the Monolith.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith) -
As Abdol ranted about his plans to the inert heroes, a servant interrupted him
to reveal Fayah's capture; Abdol was furious that his captured agent had not
already been executed, until realizing it was actually Salome. At first he raged
that his servants had allowed her to put herself at risk, but they countered
that she was of his royal blood and could thus command them. Consumed with his
desire for power, Abdol agonized over the life of his only daughter vs. the
chance that she could be made to talk and destroy his best, and perhaps last,
chance to gain everything he had sought since childhood. As Abdol continued to
go back and forth in a cold sweat, Hassan taunted him for still being a wimp,
which goaded Abdol to push the button and incinerate Salome (note: She-Hulk had
activated Reed's circuitry that woul instantly block all outside
transmission of energy, but she may have shut off the device, or it
might have only acted briefly; it seems less likely that Abdol's
technology could overcome Richards' when it had previously proven
sufficient to block Doom's transmissions).
Choking back tears, Abdol attempted to put the past behind him, though his servants realized he was going mad. Accusing "the infidels" of taking everything but his destiny from him, Abdol engaged his equipment, which fed him with the FF's energies and transformed him into the Living Monolith, who vowed revenge. The cultists noted their master being more enraged than they had ever seen and speculated that his different appearance might relate to the artificial nature of his transformation. Blaming the FF's ilk for his daughter's death, the Monolith restrained himself from killing them because he needed their power, so he instead decided to destroy their home, New York.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith - BTS) - The Monolith boarded a Concorde his cultists piloted to LaGuardia (see comments).
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith - BTS) - She-Hulk sought aid from Captain America, who, with the Avengers on the West Coast, recruited Spider-Man to investigate the energy pyramid. Via Reed's equipment, Spider-Man replicated the technology used to transport away the FF, and Cap decided She-Hulk should be the one to go.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (fb) - BTS) - Despite lacking a flight plan or radio signal, the Monolith's Concorde landed in LaGuardia, where it was surrounded by security.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith) - The Monolith (who the security forces and other reports estimated to be 30' tall) burst free from the Concorde, swiftly overpowered the security, and marched off into the city.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith - BTS) - Before Spider-Man could activate the transporter, the Baxter Building received an alert of the Monolith heading for Manhattan. Uncertain of the FF's status but knowing they were the only ones available to stop the Monolith, they headed towards the East side docks in a Fantasticar.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith) -
The Monolith (now more like 60' by Spider-Man's estimation) shattered buildings
as Cap, Spider-Man, and She-Hulk arrived. Cap drew the Monolith's attention with a shield
to his head, then dodged his retaliative punch, while Spider-Man's webs and
punch in the nose both proved useless. Continuing to crush buildings, the
Monolith ranted to the fleeing people, noting their kind to having been
responsible for his wife and daughter's deaths, but the She-Hulk stopped and
then toppled him with a hurled Subaru and Cadillac, respectively. Realizing his
power wouldn't make a difference, Spider-Man headed back to the Baxter Building
and transported himself to Abdol's base, while Abdol smashed She-Hulk through a
building, which collapsed on her. The cultists rushed to attack Spider-Man, but
he knocked them aside and webbed up a group of them before rushing towards the
equipment associated with the FF's sarcophagi. However, one of the cultists
warned him that destroying with the equipment would not only kill the FF, but
also cause the nuclear reactors associated with the base to reduce the entire
complex, and Cairo above it, to powder and irradiate the area for decades (see
The Monolith paused in his rampage briefly upon encountering a school, much like the one where he had met Filene, and Captain America took advantage of the calm to reason with the Monolith, explaining to him that for every bad person in the world, there were dozens of decent, caring people, and that he couldn't punish the innocents, too. The Monolith acknowledged as Cap explained how the Monolith was threatening the families of those he attacked and fought; but a corporal heedlessly fired a mortar at the Monolith, causing him to believe Cap's words had been a ruse. As the Monolith reached for Cap, She-Hulk toppled him to the ground with an ankle pick, after which an airstrike rained bombs and missiles on him. They believed him destroyed, but the Monolith rose anew, crushing a jet with his hand.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith - BTS) - Realizing turning off the equipment would activate the nuclear reactors' meltdown (or whatever), Spider-Man instead turned them up fully, causing them to overload and shut themselves down safely. While the cultists were puzzling over this, Spider-Man freed the FF and used the transport pyramid to return to Manhattan.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith) -
Cap and She-Hulk appreciated that as the Monolith grew larger and faster, he was becoming
more ponderous due to his increased mass. Cap arranged for Consolidated Edison
to shut down power to an exposed main power line, allowing She-Hulk to smash the
cable against the Monolith, at which point the power was restored, electrocuting
the Monolith with Manhattan's entire power supply, and dropping him to the
ground, face-first into Central Park.
As Cap pondered a decision that had seemingly killed the Monolith, Spider-Man arrived with the FF, revealing how he had freed them and deactivated the equipment. However, when a building was knocked over by the Monolith's arm, which hadn't changed in position, the heroes realized the Monolith was alive, watching them, and still growing, having reached a size where he was able to override the interference naturally, and thus absorb cosmic rays on an unlimited basis. Hovering overhead, cultists pondered saving their master, but realized they would need help.
Cap arranged the summoning of other local heroes to help deal with the tragedy, and an Avengers quinjet brought Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Iron Man (Tony Stark), Starfox (Eros), Thor Odinson, and Wonder Man (Simon Williams). As per Cap's instruction, they wrapped Adamantium cables around the prone Monolith, and Thor hurled and threw his mystic hammer, Mjolnir, but it failed to budge his massive form. A fleet of the Monolith's cultists (estimated at hundred or even thousands) then arrived in the Manhattan sky and converged on the city, but as the heroes opposed them, the Monolith was stunned to see the powerless citizens join the fight against their attackers. Observing another man sacrifice his life for a child he didn't even know, the Monolith wondered why, and he accepted as Cap reiterated all of the good in people, who would have helped and sympathized with Abdol's losses given the chance. A tear came to Abdol's eye, and he realized he had sought to assuage his own pain by inflicting it on others, and that his only daughter had died because of his obsession. The Monolith ordered his cultists to stop, then instructed Thor to throw his hammer again, and this time, with supreme effort, the Monolith forced himself to rise to his feet and leap at the same time Mjolnir was thrown; the combination of effort broke the inertia holding him, and Mjolnir's continued flight carried the Monolith to the edge of Earth's atmosphere before it turned and returned to Thor after snapping its leathern thong; the cultists pursued the Monolith initially, but it unclear whether they flew until they suffocated and/or froze in the upper atmosphere, whether their ships crashed, or whether they returned to their base to reconsider their options.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#18 (fb) - BTS) - In the process, Thor created a space warp with Mjolnir that transported the Monolith into another solar system.
(Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith) - The peaceful Monolith continued to sail through space, growing as he absorbed ever-more cosmic radiation until reaching a maximum mass weeks, or maybe months later. He was eventually drawn into the pull of a distant star (see comments), around which he established orbit. Over time, rays from the sun baked his organic form, mingling with and nurturing the altered substance of his body until his skin began to sprout vegetation, which eventually spread over his entire surface. At last he smiled, as good had finally been born of evil, and death had begat life; he was now, the Living Planet (see comments).
(Sensational Spider-Man I#18 (fb) - BTS) - The Living Monolith (or, more likely a fragment of the Monolith that did not pass through the space warp; see comments) drifted listlessly and aimlessly about Earth's solar system for years, constantly monitored by agencies such as NASA and SHIELD.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#31 (fb) - BTS) - The Cult of the Living Pharaoh conceived of a plot to encase Havok in a substance that would allow him to live but would forever shield him from the cosmic rays that fueled his powers; they hoped this would allow a new leader to arise from one of Abdol's descendants, one similarly linked antagonistically to Havok as the Living Pharaoh had been
(Marvel Comics Presents I#24/4 (fb) - BTS) - During an annual ceremony, the Cult of the Living Pharaoh prepared a human sacrifice to ensure their god's return; newly indoctrinated cultist, archeologist Leila O'Toole (actually Abdol's sister's daughter), screamed and fled, disrupting the ceremony to some degree.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#31 (fb) - BTS) - Leila O'Toole realized her connection to Havok and sought to claim her uncle's legacy for herself.
(Sensational Spider-Man I#18) - The Living Monolith (fragment?; see comments), now the size of several cities, skirted the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere; a piece apparently broke off from the toes on the Monolith's left foot and was pulled by Earth's gravity into its atmosphere (see comments).
Spider-Man I#19 - BTS) - Akasha Martinez observed the Monolith fragment as it
crashed to Earth like a meteorite in the canyon lands of southern Utah. Reaching
for the smoldering fragments, she was affected by an energy release that gave her the Living Pharaoh's memories.
Later, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Akasha was drawn to grasp the Staff of Horus, which transformed her physically and left her mentally possessed/influenced by Abdol (or a remnant of his consciousness). As the Living Pharaoh, she remembered Spider-Man as an antagonist and attacked him. Spider-Man trapped her in a vault, assuming she was powered by the same cosmic energies as Abdol and believing this would cut her off from her power and influence, but she blew the vault's door off.
(Sensational Spider-Man I#20 - BTS) - Influenced by the Living Pharaoh's memories, Akasha attacked Spider-Man and vowed to return Egypt to its ancient glory, but Mary Jane Watson-Parker (see comments) reminded Akasha she was still just a young woman, and she threw off the Pharaoh's influence and teleported away. When Akasha used her powers for her own enjoyment, she was plagued by a vision of Abdol as the Living Pharaoh, reminding her of her destiny. She continued to be influenced by the Pharaoh's memories until Spider-Man snapped in two the Staff of Horus. Retaining her new power, but free of Abdol's influence, Akasha flew off to find herself.
(X-Men II#97 (fb) - BTS) - Apocalypse determined that Nate Grey/X-Men of Reality-295 (aka the "Age of Apocalypse") had the power needed to power the Celestials' equipment.
(Uncanny X-Men I#377 (fb) - BTS) - With their throneworld destroyed by Galactus, a group of Skrulls allied with Apocalypse as a means to regaining the power they once held. In exchange, they would help Apocalypse achieve his gathering and utilization of the Twelve as a means to gain vast power.
(Uncanny X-Men I#376 (fb)) - Skrulls discovered the immense/inert form of the Living Monolith/Planet. They appreciated its power and, in the service of the cult's new lord and master (Apocalypse), the Skrulls arranged to help return the Pharaoh to his people, the Children of the Sun.
(X-Men II#92 (fb) - BTS) - Via the Skrulls, Deathbird was offered something (presumably power) from Apocalypse in exchange for aiding them in capturing Bishop (needed for Apocalypse's Twelve) and apparently in delivering the Monolith back to Apocalypse's Egyptian base.
(Uncanny X-Men I#372) - As Deathbird flew Lucas Bishop towards Earth (from the Shi'ar galaxy), her instruments -- set to recognize rare trace elements, characteristics of human civilization -- detected what appeared to be an entire planet full of billions of beings, all dead/fossilized and possessing terrestrial Homo superior DNA. As they approached, however, they found the entire planet to be a fossilized humanoid. Curious, Deathbird piloted their ship towards the planet.
(X-Men II#92) - On the Monolith/planetary body, Deathbird led Bishop to her rendezvous with the Skrulls, then blasted him unconscious, noting she had received a better offer.
(Uncanny X-Men I#376 (fb) - BTS) - With the Skrulls, Deathbird arranged the transport of the Monolith back to the Children of the Sun on Earth.
(Uncanny X-Men I#373 - BTS) - A leader in the Children of the Sun announced that, after maintaining their hidden sanctuary for generations, their time had come: the Pharaoh's return. He held his hands upward, showing a warp in space, through which burst a beam of light, and along that passed Deathbird along with a large sarcophagus (which contained the Monolith, restored to organic form and only slightly giant-sized). Deathbird announced an alliance which both returned their king from exile and would grant her a power enabling her to claim the Shi'ar Empire once and for all. She further announced that Earth would soon know the Pharaoh's wrath, that they would march forth and destroy all who defied him, and that the age of the Monolith was upon them.
(Uncanny X-Men I#374 - BTS) - Before the Monolith's sarcophagus, Deathbird met with the Skrulls,
stating how she had fulfilled her part of the prophecy, apparently returning the
Monolith to the Children of the Sun, and she demanded the price they had agreed
on. The Skrulls (or Apocalypse?) instead struck her down and ordered her sent for conversion.
Deathbird was subsequently converted by Apocalypse into his Horseman Death.
(X-Men II#95 - BTS) - Skrulls delivered an immense sarcophagus to the Children of the Sun, who were pleased at the filling of a prophecy, noting the artifact was the catalyst that would bring the ritual of resurrection to fruition, when what laid within the sarcophagus would be reborn. This would lead to a new age, and, with the turning of the year, a new epoch to be written in blood and fire, first across the face of the world and then across the very stars.
(Uncanny X-Men I#376 (fb) - BTS) - The Monolith was outfitted with a version of Havok's old headdress (presumably modified to enlarge with him), which allowed him to continue to access his and Havok's joint energies despite Havok being gone (he was on Earth-1298/"Mutant X"; though past stories would seem to indicate that Havok's absence would actually eliminate Havok's interference from Abdol absorbing cosmic energy in greater fashion).
(Uncanny X-Men I#376) -
Before the immense sarcophagus, a cultist in the Children of the Sun announced
"as promised by our forefathers, and their forefathers before them...from death
shall come rebirth! From rebirth shall come redemption...and revenge!" Reviewing
the Monolith's fall and discovery, he then announced that the Monolith would
live again, to fulfill his divine destiny at the dawn of "this new -- and last
Bursting forth, the Monolith instructed the Children of the Sun to kneel and give thanks. Bearing the energies of the sun itself, he claimed to truly be a god like no other before him, but Apocalypse (again in the form of the man in the fez who had first recruited Abdol) came forth and reminded the Monolith of his origins.
Apocalypse/the man in the fez then taunted the Monolith that despite his power and improvement by his interstellar exile, that the Monolith was still his (Apocalypse's) pawn. Enraged, the Monolith noted that despite drifting through the cold, dark void of space, he still remembered every detail as if it were yesterday, and that the man in the fez was just one of many sacrifices to be made in his name. The Monolith tried to strike the man in the fez down, but the man immobilized him with a simple blast from from his staff. The man then reiterated that the Monolith was his pawn to be played as he pleased, and that the pieces were at long last in place, exactly where he wanted them.
(Uncanny X-Men I#377 (fb) - BTS) - The captured members of the Twelve were held within Null-Orbs (creations of the Celestials) to neutralize their powers, and those globes transferred Xavier and Magneto's power directly into the Monolith.
(X-Men II#96 - BTS) - Within the chamber housing the captured members of the Twelve, a Skrull announced that the X-Men had realized the Skrulls involvement, and Apocalypse advised that they could lead the rest of the Twelve there in hopes of rescuing their captured members.
(Uncanny X-Men I#377) - The Children of the Sun listened with their
Skrull allies as Apocalypse reviewed his successful and ongoing plans to finish
gathering the Twelve. Other members of the Children of the Sun joined other
Skrulls in battling the X-Men who had come to rescue the captured members of the
Twelve, with the goal of capturing the remaining six members. Having apparently
tagged him for temporal recovery either when Deathbird subdued him or shortly
thereafter, Apocalypse summoned Bishop from Reality-9910's future (to which he
had been transported shortly after returning to Earth) and captured
Once the other five members of the Twelve were captured, Apocalypse announced to the captive Twelve that they would grant him power beyond Dark Phoenix, Onslaught, or even the Celestials; they were destined to change the world forever, not save it. The Monolith was at the core of it all, as the primal earth for which the foundation of all that was to be Apocalypse's; Magneto and Polaris were opposing magnetic poles, serving to control the flow of energies at play; energies under constant pressure from the forces of nature...the elemental extremes of Iceman, Storm, and Sunfire, stimulated by the unrestrained energies of man and the Heavens, free of any grounding or gravity; father, mother, and son -- Cyclops, Phoenix, and Cable -- far, far stronger than the sum of their parts...linked to the powers of time and space wielded by Bishop and Rasputin, respectively; the power of pure thought that is Xavier; "and as you die, one by one, I shall rise as the sun. At the heart of this universe. All your power will flow into me and through me...the new Ra, the be-all and end-all to come."
Apocalypse then confronted the Null-Orb captive Nate Grey-295, who, with unequaled forces at his command, would play the most crucial role of all in his final design.
(Cable II#76) - The Living Monolith remained inert in his chamber while Cable and Cyclops met with Madelyne Pryor/Jean Grey/Red Queen of Reality-998 and Reality-9575 (go read the profile!) on the astral plane.
(X-Men II#97) -
Apocalypse explained to Nate Grey how he would usurp Nate's form so he could
house the channeled and magnified power of the Twelve. However, the power flow
was disrupted when Magneto, whose powers had recently been weakened
significantly, exhausted his power stores. Nonetheless, Apocalypse prepared to
make due with eleven, even if he had to do so much faster to ensure the process
was completed before it killed them all.
Abdol was pained by the sudden influx of energies, and Xavier encouraged Abdol to resist. Announcing that Apocalypse had long ago destroyed the man he was and remade him in his own twisted image for pure, raw power, Abdol broke free from his chamber, and his rampage freed the rest of the Twelve, as well. Xavier tried futilely to make the now-virtually mindless Monolith realize Apocalypse was not there to receive his fury, after which Sunfire, Storm, and Iceman mounted a combined offensive against the Monolith. Though Abdol didn't seem to even notice this, Cyclops noted he was still processing any and all energies and shunting them through the damaged Twelve circuit. Xavier led the others to trace these energies back to Apocalypse, though Mikhail Rasputin was lost in transporting himself and the three remaining Horsemen of Apocalypse (War/Deathbird, Pestilence/Caliban, and Famine/Ahab/Rory Campbell) to another dimension to prevent their blocking the heroes' progress.
Cable and the others could not breach the energies surrounding Apocalypse and Nate Grey; and Magneto -- even while tapping into Polaris' energies -- could not even stagger the Monolith. Bishop then launched himself into the Monolith, absorbing his energies. Overloaded with energies, Bishop inadvertently opened a temporal portal that pulled him back to Reality-9910's future. When Apocalypse drained Cyclops, Phoenix was able to (via her rapport with Cyclops) assault Apocalypse, tearing open is exoskeleton to reveal his fragile, aging form. Apocalypse struck Phoenix down, but the temporarily powerless Cyclops sacrificed himself, leaping through Apocalypse's conduit, freeing and replacing Nate Grey. Apocalypse merged with Cyclops and harnessed the energies of the Twelve.
(Uncanny X-Men I#378 (fb) - BTS) - Thusly merged and empowered, Apocalypse and Cyclops sent reality-altering waves across the Earth.
(Uncanny X-Men I#378 - BTS) - Phoenix and the rest of the X-Men battled the merged Cyclops as their reality was overlapped with Reality-23378's. The struggle disrupted the reality overlapping, largely restoring Reality-616 to its status quo and leaving the rest of the X-Men back in Apocalypse's empty chamber. Xavier could sense no trace of the Living Monolith, the Children of the Sun, Apocalypse, Cyclops, or the Skrull warriors.
(X-Men II#98) - When Reality-32098's 2099 AD Apocalypse, still using the orb-contained Living Monolith to channel all power, usurped the aged X-Men's power and began reversing time, he drained his enemies' entire life potentials in reverse. He thusly prepared to merge with his Reality-616 self at the point of divergence, brimming over with nearly a century's worth of extra bio-engineering. Apocalypse planned to re-launch his plans for galactic domination from a world without X-Men. As this occurred, Phoenix probed the merged Cyclops'/Apocalypse's mind, sensing, or at-least believing, that it was Cyclops still fighting Apocalypse, somehow sabotaging his power circuits from within and looping the stolen energies back into the X-Men, even though the combined being apparently did not realize it. Running on what was left of the the stolen power of the Twelve after two reality shifts and burning out fast, the combined being collapsed in Reality-616's modern Egypt. The combined being blamed the Monolith as being too weak to process so much sheer power, but he nonetheless summoned the Monolith to his side, using what little power they still shared to eject their escape portal. Cable attempted to destroy the weakened Apocalypse, but Phoenix stopped him to prevent Cyclops from being killed as well.
(Uncanny X-Men I#378 - BTS) - Xavier speculated that Apocalypse had miscalculated and that Cyclops' energies had been unable to contain the Twelve's energies, while Phoenix argued that it had been Cyclops' willful resistance that had overcome Apocalypse. Xavier felt Cyclops had been destroyed, while Phoenix insisted to the contrary.
(X-Men II#98 - BTS) - Phoenix continued to argue for Cyclops' continued existence, but when both Cable and Xavier noted they had not been able to sense any trace of Cyclops, and that whatever she thought she had sensed must have been a trick of Apocalypse's, she collapsed, seemingly accepting Cyclops' loss.
(X-Men: The 198 Files) - Though his subsequent activities remained unrevealed, the Living Monolith was identified by the Office of National Emergency's mutant database as being one of the relatively few ("198" was an initial, underestimation) mutants to retain powers following "M-Day," on which the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) eliminated the mutant nature of most of the world's mutants.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Arnold Drake, Don Heck, and Vince Colletta.
Mutant and/or mutate...
In Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith, his origin was related as if he were a mutant and his powers surfaced spontaneously. In Uncanny X-Men I#376, it is related that he was a non-mutant variant further mutated by an agent of Apocalypse. Further stories may retcon things yet again, but as is, I'd prefer to think that anything not directly contradicted in UXM I#376 is valid. Any details from the RoLM origin that prove false could be considered as either what Abdol remembered or how he wished things to be (and possibly what he made himself believe).
OK, ignoring that Alex has also been said to absorb cosmic energy, rather than solar...
- Did Abdol have any powers before Sinister and Apocalypse worked with him? I had previously thought (after reading the comics when they first came out) the retcon was saying Abdol was a normal man before they spliced him with Havok's DNA, but the man in the fez describes Abdol when he found him as "simply Ahmet Abdol, a non-mutant variant" (variant? what does that mean? mutate? latent mutant?...and then why "simply" Abdol if he was a variant?). The man further describes Abdol at that time as "power without form." If he was a normal human, then what was his power?
- If Abdol was indeed supposed to have been a normal human, then what was the deal with the Trackers from the Marvel Comics Presents issues, as well as Plasma, who are all supposed to have been Abdol's relatives and could also metabolize Havok's cosmic energy to some degree.
- The Official Index to the Marvel Universe: X-Men entry for X-Men I#56 notes that the flashback in #376 explains "Mr. Sinister grafted some of Alex Summers' DNA to the Pharaoh's to fully activate his powers." I ASSume "his" refers to Abdol, but the fact that his powers had to be "FULLY" activated seems to indicate that he already had powers.
- The 198 Files, written in-universe by the Official of National Emergency (O*N*E*), note Abdol to be one of the relatively few mutants retaining their powers after M-Day.
- Is this information covered anywhere else?
- Donald Campbell notes:
As I recall, the term "non-mutant variant " was first used in regards to Kurt Lykos (aka Sauron). After having been attacked by (mutant) pterodactyls as a youth, Lykos was somehow changed so that he subsequently needed to absorb life-energy from other living beings in order to survive. If this meaning of that term is applicable, then that would simply that something had happened to Abdol after he was born that had changed him. On the other hand, maybe Abdol was actually a latent mutant (like Polaris) and Apocalypse is just a bigot who considers such beings to be "non-mutant variants" (i.e. less than a "real" mutant)?
--Certainly noteworthy. Abdol was considered a mutant by the Sentinels in the original X-Men stories, though perhaps it was the addition of Havok's DNA into his system? The most recent evaluation, bu the Office of National Emergency, considered Abdol a mutant even after the events of the Twelve, but maybe they didn't have all the information or made faulty conclusions. We know what Apocalypse revealed to Abdol, but do we know what the X-Men or anyone else beyond Abdol and the Children of the Sun would know?
A Distant Star...
Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith had the Monolith eventually achieving orbit around a distant star.
--Damnit Jim, I'm a veterinarian, not an astronomer...
But, anyway, per Wikipedia, which is probably good enough for this sort of info:
To leave planet Earth, an escape velocity of 11.2 km/second (approx. 40,320 km/h, or 25,000 mph) is required;
however, a speed of 42.1 km/s (151, 200 miles per hour) is required to escape the Sun's gravity (and exit the Solar System) from the same position. The latter speed is .014% of the speed of light, or .00014 times light speed...and Proxima Centauri (the nearest star) is 4.2 light years away (or about 30,000 years away if traveling at the latter speed)...and the story states that he comes to orbit a distant star.
So, we know he went at least 11.2 km/second (it took all of Thor's power just to get him moving at all), but we don't know if he went a lot faster than that...maybe Mjolnir applied some magical "umph" after he left the atmosphere, though there wasn't evidence of that in the original story.
At any rate, per the events of the original story, it would seem that even if the Monolith would have left Earth's solar system, it would have been not been a matter of a few years for him to achieve orbit around another star and to thus become the Living Planet seen in the epilogue of Revenge of the Living Monolith. It could be thought to be a potential future...
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition confirms his location (shortly after the time he left Earth) as "a distant solar system," and the history adds in that Thor created a space warp in the process of sending the Monolith off Earth.
I'd have to guess that someone looked at the original story, made the same conclusion of it being pretty much impossible, and established the space warp as a way to fix this problem.
...but then, Sensational Spider-Man I#18 has the Monolith floating around Earth's solar system and eventually returning to the upper edges of Earth's atmosphere.
That would seem to indicate that they were ret-conning away the ending of Revenge of the Living Monolith and the OHotMU explanation...
...but then, just prior to "The Twelve," the Skrulls, Deathbird, and Bishop arrive on the "Living Planet" en route to Earth from the Shi'ar galaxy...and Bishop commented that stopping their wouldn't help them find Earth any sooner, implying they were still searching for Earth, and not in its solar system.
So now we have the problem of the Living Planet having never left Earth's solar system, and then being shown to have made it to a distant star...
It is the Sensational Spider-Man story that has the outlying information, so I would consider that what would most likely need a fix. However, there does need to be a piece of the Monolith/Planet breaking off and re-entering Earth's atmosphere.
Options I can see would include:
- A portion of the Monolith broke off before entering the space warp, that grew into a larger fragment and took on the Monolith's form/shape...and it was this piece from which the other fragment broke off.
Makes good sense, but then creates a second Monolith, which is still on the edge of Earth's atmosphere, though no one else has noticed or worried about this in years.
However, we could probably get around this by reasoning that though a fragment was seen breaking off the orbiting Monolith/planet in Sensational Spider-Man #18, the entire orbiting Monolith fragmented into pieces and was pulled into Earth's atmosphere. Most of the fragments burned up in re-entry, and (apparently) only the one piece found by Akasha Martinez made it to the surface (other fragments may still exist and could be used in a future story, of course, but it's easier than still having an entire Monolith floating around in orbit).
We could add some support to this by the fact that the "Monolith" shown in Sensational Spider-Man was a perfect replication of the Monolith, while the one shown at the end of Revenge of the Living Monolith was much more irregular on its surface, and the one seen in Uncanny X-Men#372 and X-Men II#92 was only humanoid in shape, bearing no other resemblance to the Living Monolith in appearance...no costume or other features seen.
- The warp never fully closed, and maybe it even floated around the solar system somewhat, which led to the monitoring through the portal, and allowed a fragment of the Monolith to return to Earth's solar system and then to Earth itself.
Also reasonable, and does not complicate the status quo significantly, but it is a stretch of what was stated in Sensational Spider-Man, which was clearly stating the Monolith was floating through Earth's solar system.
- Donald Campbell suggests another option, which is less convoluted and doesn't require insertion of any new information...just a bit of re-ordering of already established events:
Thor's initial effort was NOT enough to send the Monolith out of Earth's solar system and that left him drifting about the solar system. I would further speculate that it was only AFTER the
Monolith's near-miss with Earth (as shown in Sensational Spider-Man #18) that the Powers That Be on Earth-616 finally realized how dangerous it would be to just leave him drifting as he was so they then called upon Thor (or Mister Fantastic or Iron Man) to do something about the problem and that it was only THEN that a space warp was created which transported the Monolith to the star system in which the Skrulls eventually encountered him. It seems to me that this explanation resolves any contradictions about the Monolith's location without having to introduce ideas like a portion of the Monolith broke off and grew into a duplicate of its "parent" self or that the warp never fully closed and that SHIELD was monitoring the Monolith through the portal and that the Monolith later passed through back into Earth's solar system and then went through a third time to end up in the star system where the Skrulls found it. All those problems go away if one just moves the date when Thor (or whoever) sent the Monolith through a space warp forward in time, to some point after Sensational Spider-Man #18. It's an easy fix.
- Other thoughts?
Living Planet = Topographical Man?
Eric Engelhard told me that David Michilinie stated in an interview that the Topographical Man (Reality-691, encountered by the Guardians of the Galaxy) developed from the Living Monolith, after it became a giant, inert figure in space as a result of the Revenge of the Living Monolith Graphic Novel. That would work. Since the Guardians occur in an alternate future (regardless of whether a current storyline claims it to be the "true future"), there's no reason that the Living Monolith couldn't have just stayed in space in that reality, rather than being brought back to Earth to participate in Apocalypse's gathering of the Twelve.
Actually, given the Monolith/Planet's appearance just prior to the "The Twelve" arc, the sprouting vegetation and becoming truly planet-sized may have been an alternate/potential future, after which he could have progressed into what would become known as the Topographical Man.
While I find the idea that the Living Planet might have eventually grown into the Topographical Man seen in Marvel Presents #6 to be intriguing, upon reflection I totally REJECT it. For one thing, the GN
epilogue states that Abdol had achieved his "maximum mass" as the Living Planet, a "fact" which would be contradicted if he were to later actually grow to the size of the Topographical Man. However, a more important objection is the fact the very concept of the Topographical Man is simply impossible in the first place. If the Topographical Man was so large that its wrists were (at least ) two light-years apart, then the mass of its body would have to be impossibly great. I don't know for sure but I would guess that a solid shape of its supposed size would contain more mass than all the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy put together!!! Furthermore, such a large mass would have generated a gravity field strong enough to SQUASH any humanoid beings living on its surface into paste! Given these facts, I can only assume that the truth about the Topographical Man's nature has not yet been fully revealed and that some as-yet-unpresented explanation which bypasses the laws of physics will be required. in the meantime, the Topographical Man and the Living Planet are ABSOLUTELY NOT the same being...in my opinion.--Donald Campbell
Two separate points then: (1) Could the Topographical Man exist (in a fictional universe); (2) Could the Monolith have become the Topographical Man?
- The character did indeed exist, so some sort of explanation had to exist, whether unseen cosmic forces facilitated his existence and prevented the damage he would cause (perhaps his mass was shunted extradimensionally to some degree, etc., etc., etc.); or whether the size was exaggerated or illusory; or something else altogether. If he had his full mass, then perhaps some energy field or mystic spell prevented his mass from destroying the universe around him.
- The fact that the Monolith had stopped at a certain size at the point of the epilogue doesn't mean he couldn't have grown further. Maybe the Living Tribunal himself made the Monolith grow to a certain size to plug some interdimensional rent that might have caused a successive collapse of alternative realities...or any other plot device. For now, though, it is just an unofficial idea by a writer...the "real" origin of the Topographical Man has yet to see print.
Could a Concorde fly the Living Monolith from Egypt to LaGuardia? Of course, they could use anti-gravitons, or perhaps the Monolith could amplify the ship's power, or some other sci-fi solution since they were using advanced technology to begin with...but I wondered if a regular Concorde could perform the feat:
Presuming the tech specs on www.concordesst.com are accurate, a Concorde's maximum payload weight is 14.75 tons. So, if that's accurate, no. I'm presuming that the Monolith would have to fly in one of the plane's two baggage holds, the larger of which, according to that site is 20.5 ft. long and can hold 227 cubic feet of volume. So not only is the Monolith too heavy, he'd be a VERY tight fit if he even could fit to begin with.
I'm sure they could customize it so the entire interior is connected, but all noteworthy, thanks!
Power Man#57 revealed the Halwani consulate to be where Abdol had held Havok in their most recent encounter.
World politics is not my area of expertise, but per every site I reviewed on the subject: Embassies are permanent diplomatic missions generally located in a county's capital. Consulates are located only in bigger cities and not in the capital city.
Read more: http://www.differencebetween.net/business/difference-between-embassy-and-consulate/#ixzz2hTLzMXBp
The flashbacks in Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith had real time years in them, but the dates are topical and in reference actually to how long before the main story they took place. With a publication date of 1985, a flashback dated 1950 simply means it took place 35 years before the main story. He looks like he's maybe eight years old in that flashback, which would mean he would be around 43 years old in the main story.
Havok in Reality-1298 (Mutant X-verse):
Per the MCP, Havok's seeming death/Quantum Leap into his Earth-1298 occurred between Uncanny X-Men I#357 and 358, and wasn't seen back on Earth-616 until sometime prior to Uncanny X-Men I#411, where he was catatonic and being seen to by Annie Ghazikhanian. So yes, he spent the time period encapsulating The Twelve in the Mutant X-verse.
Ignoring ludicrous claims of it being Namor...who is Earth's first mutant?
Apocalypse is the logical choice, being a good 5000 years old, but maybe the Forever Man is even older?
Selene is from around the Hyborian era, which would trump Apocalypse by 5000-7000 years.--Loki
Any other contenders (or clear victors)?
Meltdown vs. nuclear explosion. A commonly seen plot device/error...I'm not an engineer and certainly not a nuclear physicist (but I could see Three Mile Island from my class window in high school), but as of my most recent understanding, nuclear bombs explode, disintegrate things, and irradiate the area. Nuclear reactors instead meltdowns, which primarily cause a release of radiation into the environment and radiation poisoning (potentially fatal, the speed of which depends on the degree of exposure). In both events, the region could be irradiated for years, decades, or even longer, but there is no explosion or vaporization/disintegration involved in a meltdown.
Avengers I#103 shows Quicksilver arriving at the Sentinels' former base (specifically noted to be the one from X-Men I#59-60), after racing along the New York State Thruway. Larry Trask subsequently confirmed the base to have been in New York.
I'm not sure what happened to the Living Monolith at the end of Marvel Team-Up I#70. Perhaps his cultists teleported him away, or perhaps he sank beneath the waves to emerge somewhere else unseen?
Mary Jane Watson-Parker helped Akasha Martinez throw off Abdol (or just a remnant of his consciousness/memories)'s influence; oh yeah, I guess she wasn't Watson-Parker in the current altered reality since Brand New Day...but that is indeed a reality diverged by time travel. Maybe some day, some one will make this right. At any rate, prior to the reality alteration, it was MJ Watson-Parker in the story...
Official Index to the
Marvel Universe: X-Men entry for Uncanny X-Men#373 notes "How the Monolith went
from large enough to land a ship on in X #92 , '99, to small enough to fit in an
oversized sarcophagus this issue, is not explained."
True, but I'd imagine it was the Skrulls, either using their own technology and/or that granted them by Apocalypse, who had in depth knowledge of the Monolith's nature and could easily control him.
One that same note, Donald Campbell comments:
Despite what Bishop said in Uncanny X-Men #372 and X-Men #92, the Monolith (as he appears in those issues) does not appear to truly be "planetary" in size. Immense, yes, and much larger than a human being, but with a size that seems to be best measured in "miles" as opposed to "thousands of miles" he is still FAR smaller than a true planet (like Earth). Perhaps he was closer in size to a small asteroid that was only a few miles in diameter?
Agreed...I went with the notes in the Sensational Spider-Man issues, that described him as the size of several cities...I estimated "several cities" to be perhaps 50-100 miles. Depends on the size and number of the cities, obviously...
Some costume notes
B/t panels in X-Men I#54, the Living Pharaoh shifts back and forth b/t wearing full boots and sandals. The first images of his feet are in boots.
While cooler looking than the Master Edition image, the original handbook's Living Monolith image doesn't match any of his forms shown that I recall...and the Deluxe Edition image mirrors the original handbook's image. Most notably, the headgear is different, and he is lacking the armbands that run up to and connect on his back.
In most appearances, Abdol assumed the Monolith's garb upon transforming into the Living Monolith, then was left in a pair of briefs or something upon reverting back to Abdol. However, in Marvel Team-Up I#69, he changed outfits, taking off his Pharaoh costume and putting on a Monolith one, before making the transformation.
...sometimes you start a profile and try to be complete...and then you can never finish it because you're obsessive-compulsive and don't know when to stop...I am OCD, though I eventually chose to stop here...lots of things can and should become sub-profiles (but I kind of half-assed that in order to keep everything together in power/abilities; some of the extended history information is meant to cover details on the Cult and the bases, which could have their own profiles eventually), and lots of characters and groups deserve their own profiles...but I've had enough of the Pharaoh/Monolith for now and need a break!
Thanks to MarvellousLuke for scanning a couple images for me.
Profile by Snood.
No KNOWN connections to:
images: (without ads)
X-Men I#54, pg. 7, panel 2 ("magic" amulet);
pg. 8, panel 1 (Cult of Living Pharaoh? agents) - save for Cult profile
pg. 10, panel 4 ("Wall of Sound");
pg. 13, panel 3 (costumed face close-up);
panel 4 (original costume, with Pharaoh's Eyes - partially seen);
pg. 15, panel 4 (full body, original? costume)
#55, pg. 1, panel 1 (ankh)
pg. 6, panel 2 (uncostumed, in fez);
pg. 11, panel 1 (minions battle X-Men);
#56 cover (Monolith grabbing "X-Men" letter);
pg. 5, panel 2 (hovercraft - note, this was re-colored and used in the OHotMU Deluxe Edition entry, and it is that image I'm using, as the original was most mono-colored - and the word balloons were removed);
pg. 9, panel 1 (Pharaoh, with Alex Summers in power-blocking chamber);
Supernatural Thrillers#9, pg. 12, panel 2 (face, with Pharaoh's Eyes);
pg. 13, panel 1 (full body, slight variant costume)
Marvel Team-Up I#69, pg. 12, panel 2 (stalemate against Havok);
#70, pg. 6, panel 2 (Monolith, smiling face; image taken from Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition, 4th page, 1st image, which has the word balloons removed)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#6 main image (minor variant, never seen costumed);
Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith, cover (Living Monolith variant)
story pg. 1 (Ahmet as youth);
pg. 8, panel 5 (Cultist (later revealed to be Apocalypse) recruits Ahmet);
pg. 35, panel 2 (Pharaoh costume variant, face);
pg. 37, panel 3 (Pharaoh costume variant, full);
pg. 44 (Living Monolith variant);
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition main image;
Sensational Spider-Man II#18, pg. 23 (aka 2nd page of the prologue), panel 2-5 (fragment of Living Monolith in Earth's solar system breaking loose);
X-Men II#92, pg. 11, panel 1 (Living Monolith/Planet in a distant solar system)
Uncanny X-Men#373, pg. 13, panel 1 (Deathbird with sarcophagus)
#376, pg. 5 (larger, color sarcophagus)
pg. 17, panel 1 (Living Monolith restored)
pg. 18, panel 2 (Sinister works on Living Monolith and Havok)
#377, pg. 20-21 (Twelve in Null-Orbs)
X-Men I#54 (March, 1969) - Stan Lee (plot?/editor), Arnold Drake (writer), Don Heck (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker)
X-Men I#55 (April, 1969) - Roy Thomas (writer), Don Heck (layouts), Werner Roth (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
X-Men I#56-60 (May-September, 1969) - Roy Thomas (writer), Neal Adams (penciler), Tom Palmer (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Avengers I#103 (September, 1972) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Rich Buckler (penciler), Joe Sinnott (inker)
Supernatural Thrillers#9 (October, 1974) - Tony Isabella (writer), Val Mayerik (penciler), Dan Adkins (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Supernatural Thrillers#11 (February, 1975) - Tony Isabella (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils), Val Mayerik (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Marvel Team-Up I#69 (May, 1978) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (penciler), R. Villamonte (inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Marvel Team-Up I#70 (June, 1978) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (penciler), Tony DeZuniga (inker), Jim Shooter (editor)
Power Man#56-57 (April-June (bi-monthly), 1979) - Mary Jo Duffy (writer), Trevor von Eeden (penciler), Frank Springer (inker), Allen Milgrom (editor)
note: Despite the cover label of Power Man and Iron Fist, it was still just Power Man in the indicia.
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#6 (June, 1983): Living Monolith entry - Peter Sanderson and/or Mark Lerer, Dan Fingeroth, and Lou Mougin (writers), Mike Grell (penciler), Josef Rubinstein (inker), Michael Carlin (associate editor/designer), Mark Grunewald (editor/head writer/designer)
Marvel Graphic Novel No. 17: Revenge of the Living Monolith (1985) - David Michelinie (writer), Marc Silvestri (penciler), Geof Isherwood (inker), Kenneth Williams (assistant editor), James Owlsley (editor); Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio, Mike Carlin, Danny Fingeroth, Ann Nocenti (consulting editors)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#18 (October, 1987) - Peter Sanderson (writer/researcher), Gregory Wright (assistant editor), Mike Harris (penciler), Josef Rubinstein (inker), David Wohl, Marc Siry, Michael Yee, & Rich Williams (editorial assistants), Mark Gruenwald (editor/designer)
note: The Deluxe Edition is what is listed on the cover and what the series is commonly known as, though the indicia actually says Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol. 2
Marvel Comics Presents I#24/4 "Pharaoh's Legacy" (Late July, 1989) - Howard Mackie (writer), Rich Buckler (breakdowns), Joe Rubinstein (finisher), Michael Rockwitz (assistant editor), Terry Kavanaugh (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#31 (Early November, 1989) - Howard Mackie (writer), Rich Buckler (breakdowns), Bruce Patterson (finishes), Kelly Corvese (assistant editor), Terry Kavanaugh (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition (1993) - Peter Sanderson, Glenn Herdling, Murray Ward (writers), Keith Pollard (penciler), Josef Rubinstein (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor), Mark Gruenwald (senior executive editor)
Sensational Spider-Man I#18 (August, 1997) - Todd Dezago (writer), Jason Armstrong (penciler), Ron Boyd (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Sensational Spider-Man I#19-20 (September-October, 1997) - Rich Case (story, pencils, inks), Todd Dezago (script), Ralph Macchio (editor)
X-Men II#92 (September, 1999) - Alan Davis (plot), Terry Kavanaugh (script), Jeff Johnson (penciler), Cam Smith (inker), Mark Powers (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#372 (September, 1999) - Alan Davis (story), Adam Kubert (penciler), Terry Kavanaugh (script), Batt (inker), Mark Powers (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#373 (October, 1999) - Alan Davis (story), Adam Kubert (penciler), Terry Kavanaugh (script), Rob Jensen (inker), Mark Powers (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#374 (November, 1999) - Alan Davis (story), Tom Raney (penciler), Jay Faerber (dialogue), Scott Hanna (inker), Mark Powers (editor)
X-Men II#95 (December, 1999) - Alan Davis (story), Tom Raney (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Mark Powers (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#376 (January, 2000) - Alan Davis (plot), Roger Cruz (penciler), Batt/Owens/Jimmy Palmiotti (inkers), Terry Kavanaugh (script), Mark Powers (editor)
X-Men II#96 (January, 2000) - Alan Davis (story, penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Mark Powers (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#377 (February, 2000) - Alan Davis (plot), Tom Raney (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Terry Kavanaugh (script), Mark Powers (editor)
Cable II#76 (February, 2000) - Joe Pruett (writer), Bernard Chang (penciler), Jon Holdridge (inker), Mark Powers (editor)
X-Men II#97 (February, 2000) - Alan Davis (story, penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Terry Kavanaugh (script), Mark Powers (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#378 (March, 2000) - Alan Davis (plot), Adam Kubert & Graham Nolan (pencilers), Townsend & Jimmy Palmiotti (inkers), Terry Kavanaugh (script), Mark Powers (editor)
X-Men II#98 (March, 2000) - Alan Davis (story, penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Terry Kavanaugh (script), Mark Powers (editor)
X-Men: The 198 Files (2006) - Eric J. Moreels, Marc-Olivier Frisch, & Brian E. Wilkinson (writers), Michael Short (assistant editor), Jeff Youngquist (editor), Mike Marts (consulting editor)
Last updated: 10/14/2013
Last updated: 04/20/2014
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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