Classification: Mechanical humanoids extraterrestrial race
Location/Base of Operations: Planet Mekka (originally Maarin), Milky Way Galaxy
Affiliations: Maarin race, Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards), Thing (Ben Grimm)
First Appearance: (Torgo fully seen/planet Maarin mentioned): Fantastic Four I#91 (October, 1969); (Mekkan race as a whole): Fantastic Four I#173 (August, 1976)
Powers/Abilities: Each Mekkan had a superhumanly strong and durable body. They were also able to instantly become fluent in any language upon hearing only a syllable of it due to the superhuman processing power of their CPUs. Presumably, they could repair and reactivate their bodies if seriously injured, provided that the central processing unit (located within their head) was not destroyed.
Traits: Mekkans existed as living, mechanical-based beings. They were covered in silvery, metallic outer shells that resembled mechanical technology.
symmetrical mechanical bipeds
Eyes: Two (although Mekkans did not possess eyes so much as optical sensors)
Fingers: Five on each hand
Toes: The Mekkans did not appear to be constructed with toes.
Skin Color: Most of the Mekkans' outer shells were a silvery blue color, excepting Torgo's, which was an iron-like dark blue color.
Average Height: 6' (by approximation)
(Fantastic Four I#174 (fb)) - The Mekkan race was created by the inhabitants of the planet Maarin, whose technology had advanced to the point where they had created advanced mechanical servants. The first of these Mekkans was Torgo, the largest and most powerful of the Mekkans. After Torgo's construction, all future generations of Mekka were made somewhat smaller. Following the success of the Mekkans, the Maarin began mechanizing their entire planet, even creating artificial plants and allowing the planet's natural plant life to die off.
(Fantastic Four I#174 (fb) - BTS) - As part of the planet's mechanization, the Maarin created the Tower of Life, an immense tower that powered all of their mechanical creations, including Mekkans.
(Fantastic Four I#174 (fb)) - Unfortunately, the artificial plants oxidized a drifting space virus that eradicated all organic life on the planet. The Mekkan Torgo buried the last remaining Maarin on the planet.
(Fantastic Four I#92 (fb) - BTS) - Centuries later, the Mekkan Torgo was captured by the Skrulls of Kral and forced to fight in their arenas under threat of destruction of Torgo's planet, Maarin.
(Fantastic Four I#91 - BTS) - As part of the Skrulls of Kral's group of arena fighters, Torgo represented the planet Maarin. While there, Torgo met the Fantastic Four's Thing from Earth.
(Fantastic Four I#92 - BTS) - Torgo continued to fight in the Kral arenas in order to keep Maarin from being destroyed by the Skrulls' Sonic Disruptor weapon. Despite the Thing's attempts to talk Torgo into turning against his captors, Torgo remained convinced that any attempt at escape would mean destruction of his home planet.
(Fantastic Four I#93 - BTS) - Still convinced that he was doing what had to be done to ensure the Mekkans' safety, Torgo sadly fought the Thing as ordered until the rest of the Fantastic Four arrived to rescue the Thing. During the ensuing scuffle against the Skrulls, Torgo freed the other arena slaves and then joined in the fight against their captors. Torgo continued fighting as the Fantastic Four made their escape back to Earth.
(Fantastic Four I#173 (fb) - BTS) - Torgo and the arena slaves won the battle against the Skrulls of Kral. Returning home to the planet Maarin, Torgo was made its "First Among Equals," or ruler. His word became law, provided that it did not oppose the Mekkans' prime directives.
(Fantastic Four I#174 (fb) - BTS) - Torgo renamed the planet Mekka. Over time, Mekka's atmosphere cleansed itself of the space virus that had killed the Maarin. The Mekkans lived on the planet, never birthing new beings nor ever dying, thanks to the Tower of Life that had long outlasted its creators.
(Fantastic Four I#173) - When the planet-devouring Galactus threatened to consume the Counter-Earth created by the High Evolutionary, the High Evolutionary located three other planets within the Milky Way Galaxy that could serve as alternative food sources for Galactus. The planet Maarin was one of those planets. Splitting into teams to investigate each of the planets found by the High Evolutionary, the Fantastic Four (and High Evolutionary's evolved Gorr the Golden Gorilla) visited the planets in hopes of convincing them to sacrifice their planet for Counter-Earth. The Thing and Mr. Fantastic transported to the mechanical-looking planet they had seen on the High Evolutionary's screens. Welcomed by the Mekkans, the Thing and Mr. Fantastic soon met with their ruler, Torgo. After explaining to Torgo that Galactus would agree to spare Counter-Earth in exchange for the Fantastic Four picking a suitable world to sacrifice instead, the Thing and Mr. Fantastic were captured by Torgo, who was fearful that if the heroes left, they would reveal Maarin's location to Galactus. Eventually succeeding in capturing Mr. Fantastic and the Thing, Torgo and the other Mekkans placed the heroes in their Elektro-Clamps, which attracted any non-metallic object such as the organic Earthlings.
(Fantastic Four I#174) - As the Mekkans prepared Mr. Fantastic and the Thing for the "Ultimate Resolution," Torgo explained to the heroes how the Mekkans came to populate their planet. After finishing the story, Torgo announced that the "Ultimate Resolution" would transform the two heroes into robotic forms of life and then left to attend to other matters, leaving the heroes unguarded. Knowing that Torgo had underestimated them, the Thing and Mr. Fantastic quickly escaped but were discovered by a group of Mekkans, who attacked despite their desire not to hurt the heroes. The two heroes made their way to the Tower of Life, where Torgo was waiting for them, having used the Tower to override his prime directives against killing in order to stop the Thing and Mr. Fantastic. While the Thing battled Torgo, Mr. Fantastic continued into the Tower of Life, where he battled two more Mekkans before turning off the Tower, leaving all of the Mekkans inert. Despite their victory, the Thing and Mr. Fantastic realized that the Mekkans were as much alive as any human and decided to restore power to the Tower of Life. As Torgo regained consciousness, he admitted his shame in attacking his former friend, the Thing, and agreed to allow the two heroes to leave in peace. Expecting to be transported back to the High Evolutionary's ship, the Thing and Mr. Fantastic found it odd that they were not returning, prompting the Thing to question whether they were stuck on Mekka forever.
(Marvel Two-in-One I#45 (fb) - BTS) - Having escaped Torgo's earlier battle against his Skrull captors on Kral, the Skrull Boss Barker located Torgo and decapitated him.
(Marvel Two-in-One I#45) - During a battle against Boss Barker, the Thing and the Kree Captain Mar-Vell, Torgo's severed head used its last bit of energy to defeat Boss Barker. With Barker defeated, Captain Mar-Vell explained to Thing that he could program Boss Barker's Skrull starship to return Torgo to the planet Mekka, where he could be repaired and reactivated.
(Hostess Fruit Pies advertisement: "The Ultimate Weapon" - (fb) - BTS) - After being repaired and reactivated on Mekka, Torgo was apparently captured by two cloaked aliens who had captured the Thing.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.
I chose to list Fantastic Four I#91-93 as BTS appearances of the Mekkan race. While Torgo was a Mekkan, the entire race did not appear until Fantastic Four I#173. It was shown that Torgo was fighting to protect the planet Maarin from destruction in Fantastic Four I#91-93 so the planet's inhabitants would be BTS in those appearances, as they were being protected by Torgo even though we didn't see any of them besides Torgo himself.
Torgo was seen in several appearances prior to and after the appearance of the other Mekkans in Fantastic Four I#173-174. One could imagine the other Mekkans were behind-the-scenes in some of Torgo's appearances such as in Fantastic Four I#91-93, where Torgo was mentioned as representing the planet Maarin (which was the home planet of the Mekkans and later renamed to Mekka), and Marvel Two-in-One I#45, where it was specifically stated by Captain Mar-Vell that Torgo would be sent back to Mekka (where, presumably, other Mekkans repaired and reactivated Torgo). Since Torgo was next seen in perfect shape in the Hostess Fruit Pies ad, one could only assume that prior to the Hostess ad, Torgo was indeed repaired and reactivated before being captured by the aliens seen in the advertisement.
In 2016 there was a prose story for Transformers that was set in a universe based off of it's Marvel comic (the main difference being Humans never evolved on Earth), which I know wasn't connected to the main Marvel universe, but it did have some references. In this story there was an alternative version of the Mekkans called Teklaans, who had tricked Bluestreak (an Autobot) into trying to allow them to rebuild Cybertron and its inhabitants (which is destroyed in this story) but also introducing a virus that would kill the new Cybertronians and allow them to take over. It name drops Maarin in it as well. Additionally the Author said this: https://www.allspark.com/forums/topic/140167-ama-bish-jesse-jim/page-2#entry3512108
Cergo and the Teklaans...Cergo was actually meant as a successor to Torgo. I speculated that since there were no humans, there were no Fantastic Four, and thus no one to save Torgo from the Skrulls' gladiator pits. Without Torgo's return to Mekka to ensure that its state of social stagnation continued, groups such as the Teklaans were allowed to rise and follow their own interpretation of their programming - IE terraform other worlds rather than simply maintain their own. So they too got to become something new and different.
Profile by Proto-Man.
The Mekkan race has no known connections to
"Cuddles" was one of the Mekkans who discovered the Thing and Mr. Fantastic escaping from their Elektro-Clamps and attempted to stop them. He was quickly imprinted into a wall by the Thing's strength.
"Cuddles" was only identified as an insulting nickname given to him by the Thing.
--Fantastic Four I#174
images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four I#173, p12, pan4 (The Mekkan society, main image)
Fantastic Four I#173, p14, pan2 (The Mekkans attacking)
Fantastic Four I#174, p7, pan6 ("Cuddles")
Fantastic Four I#91 (October, 1969) - Stan Lee (writer, editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Fantastic Four I#92 (November, 1969) - Stan Lee (writer, editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Joe Sinnott (embellishes)
Fantastic Four I#93 (December, 1969) - Stan Lee (writer, editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Frank Giacoia (inks)
Fantastic Four I#173 (August, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer, editor), John Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (embellishes)
Fantastic Four I#174 (September, 1976) - Roy Thomas (writer, editor), John Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (embellishes)
Marvel Two-in-One I#45 (November, 1978) - Peter Gillis (writer), Alan Kupperberg, Mike Esposito (art), Roger Stern (editor)
Hostess Fruit Pies advertisement: "The Ultimate Weapon" (July, 1979) - unidentified credits
Last updated: 09/16/17
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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