AEGIS OF ALL SORROWS
Real Name: Aegis
Identity/Class: Cosmic Entity (Proemial God), (Distant Past to present)
Occupation/Purpose: Culling the living universe of divergences and aberrations
Group Membership: Proemial Gods, followers of Diableri
Affiliations: Diableri (deceased), Tenebrous, Fallen One, Thanos, Annihilus
Enemies: Galactus (Galan; aka the Devourer), Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd), Chaos Mites
Known Relatives: Proemial Gods (siblings?)
Aliases: Lady of All Sorrows, She of All Sorrows, The Lady Aegis of All Sorrowings
Base of Operations: The universe
imprisoned for countless millennia within The Kyln
First Appearance: Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3 (August, 2006)
Powers/Abilities: Aegis is one of the Proemial Gods, a group of Cosmic Beings created directly by the "living universe" with forms fitted to their functions. Aegis was among the most powerful of these entities, said to be "on a plane comparable to that of Galactus" and whose abilities "may rival those of Galactus." However, while many of the abilities possessed by Galactus have been observed, only a few of the ways in which Aegis could use her power have been seen.
As a Proemial God, Aegis was not born of another being and always existed in the same physical form. Aegis seemed to be unaging and immune to any form of natural death, making her immortal unless killed. Her life was apparently sustained by the same energies from the Crunch as had birthed her so she didn't require other forms of nourishment. Although Aegis might have been able to feel pain (or, at least, discomfort) when attacked by less powerful entities, her body was extremely durable and could only actually be damaged by beings of equal or greater power (like her fellow Proemial Gods or Galactus) or by direct exposure to the energies of the Crunch.
Since the Proemial Gods were not biological lifeforms, Aegis's body was presumably not organic in nature. It's possible that her physical form was just solid matter animated by her life-force and reshaped by her consciousness. It is known that Aegis could alter her form at least slightly. Her face normally possessed two eyes and a human-looking mouth but she could also appear with a smooth area on her lower face where her mouth would usually be. Also, the white markings on her body did not always remain in the same positions. Finally, although Aegis was originally about 30 feet tall, after being resurrected to oppose the Cancerverse invasion she was the same size as a normal Celestial, about 2,000 feet tall.
Aegis did not need to breathe and could exist comfortably in any planetary atmosphere or in the vacuum of space. She was apparently also unaffected by extremes of temperature and probably could have withstood intense gravitational fields to a far greater degree than most organic beings.
Aegis had certain extra-normal senses which enabled her to "feel" when certain beings were in close proximity to her. Those senses could also let her identify if those beings were connected to certain Cosmic Beings. She was able to feel the presence of the Fallen One by sensing him as an extension of Galactus's essence. She was also able to sense when Thanos arrived without having to see him, and could determine that he was not "of Galactus" but served a harsher mistress (i.e., Mistress Death). In her "super-giant abstract" form, Aegis had some degree of cosmic awareness, enough to detect the quantum bond between Nova (Richard Rider) and Namorita and use that to identify Namorita's then-current location within the universe.
Aegis could communicate with other beings even when they were both in the vacuum of space. How she could understand or be understood by these other beings is a mystery since she predated any known civilization and thus should not have known any modern language. It may be that, like so many alien beings in the Marvel Universe, Aegis was simply omnilingual. When she was mortally wounded by the Cancerverse creatures, Aegis was able to emit a pulse of psychometric energy in an attempt to communicate something to Nova with her dying thoughts.
Aegis possessed superhuman strength, the limits of which were never revealed. However, it is known that Aegis was able to render the Silver Surfer unconscious by slamming him into the ground with enough force to crack his silver "skin." Aegis may have been strong enough to physically battle Galactus.
Aegis was able to fire golden bolts of (cosmic?) energy which could strike their targets with incredible concussive force. She has only been observed projecting such blasts from her hands but may (or may not) be able to project energy from other points on her body. A bolt that Aegis fired at the Silver Surfer propelled him into a nearby moonlet with immense force and left his body steaming. When she grasped Galactus's head with both hands and let loose, the resulting discharge was so powerful that it not only knocked Galactus unconscious but it also caused him to involuntarily project some of his own energy out from his eyes and mouth (presumably because that energy had been displaced from within his body by Aegis's energy). It has not been revealed if Aegis could manipulate energy in other ways.
Aegis could defy gravity at will and usually hovered in the air above the surface of any planet she happened to be visiting. When in space, Aegis could float in place or move freely in any direction she wished without making any apparent effort, seemingly requiring only an act of will to propel her. It is unclear if she had to perform any sort of "walking" motion in order to actually move while in space or when within a planetary atmosphere. It may be that Aegis was, effectively, constantly flying wherever she was, even if she staying in one location. The maximum speed she could attain when moving in this manner has not been revealed.
Aegis could transport herself across immense, interstellar distances in a split second. It has not been revealed if this was some form of teleportation or space-warping, or what limits (if any) there were to the distance that she could travel as a single act. Some online sources have described this as the ability to "make instant hyper-jumps throughout the universe."
Although the Xandarian Worldmind believed that Aegis, like Galactus, possessed the Power Cosmic which enabled her to gather, channel and manipulate large quantities of cosmic energy, the Silver Surfer believed that Aegis actually drew her power from the energies of the Crunch, the essence of the Creation Event. This belief was confirmed when the Surfer, who could channel the Power Cosmic, was nearly killed when he channelled the energies of the Crunch and would have died had Galactus not restored him. Galactus has admitted that even he could not channel those energies without being consumed by them.
Limitations: Despite the fact that the energies of the Crunch were her very essence, Aegis was vulnerable to those same energies being used against her and could be (and was) "consigned to Oblivion" when forced into direct contact with those energies from a source external to her body.
After being defeated by Galactus, Aegis and Tenebrous were imprisoned within the Kyln because the vast power of the Crunch from which those massive power generators drew their energy was needed in order to contain them.
Height: Variable, up to 2000' [but normally 30' (estimated)]
Weight: Unrevealed (and variable)
Skin: Golden (if applicable)
Hair: White or yellow (since it seems to be composed of energy instead of matter, it's not really "hair" but I don't know what else to call it)
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb)) - Long ago, "when the living universe was young," it was of chaos, but cosmic consonance demanded that there be order to balance chaos. Eventually, a number of unique "caretakers" were brought into being whose purpose was to maintain cosmic consonance. These beings were initially without will or identity or awareness of anything but their respective tasks. One of these caretakers was tasked with culling the living universe of divergences and aberrations.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#4 (fb) - BTS) - The "firstborn of the Creation Event" were "Alpha life forms" known as Chaos Mites or Chaos Sprites.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb)) - The caretakers shepherded the young universe, maintaining the delicate balance between order and chaos, and the living universe expanded and flourished. However, with the passage of time these caretakers also changed as they evolved to awareness. As these Proemial Gods became sentient, they chose names for themselves, with the one whose purpose was to cull the living universe of divergences and aberrations calling herself Aegis of All Sorrows.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#4 (fb) - BTS/Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files#1: Skreet profile (fb) - BTS) - At some point, the Chaos Mites/Sprites were judged to be "too unstable" and Aegis was tasked with culling them. Aegis carried out the purge and seemingly destroyed all of the Chaos Mites, despite the fact that they were said to be "powerful beyond measure." However, Aegis did not realize that one of them, Skreet, had been able to "hidey-hole" in a secret location that somehow prevented Aegis from sensing the fact that Skreet was still alive.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#4 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Aegis encountered the abstract entity Death in its manifestation as "Mistress Death." No further details about this meeting have been revealed.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb)) - As more time passed and the life that thrived on countless worlds began to serve cosmic consonance as well, the Proemial Gods became much diminished and their age ended. One of them, Diableri of Chaos, was unwilling to see himself diminished and sought to avoid that fate by remaking the universe in his image. Using trickery and lies, Diableri corrupted the purpose of the Proemial Gods so that many of them came to agree with his plans, with Aegis of All Sorrows and Tenebrous of the Darkness Between becoming Diableri's two foremost supporters. However, not all of the Proemial Gods agreed with Diableri's plans and that led to a war being fought during which most of the Proemial Gods died. Aegis and Tenebrous were among the four known survivors.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3 (fb) - BTS/Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files#1: Aegis & Tenebrous entry/Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb)) - Since all of the Proemial Gods who had actively opposed them had been killed in the conflict, Diableri's faction might have won the war except Diableri chose to bring the war to Galactus as well. Galactus regarded Diableri and his followers as corrupted beings who were defying cosmic consonance and who planned to defy The Creator and remake his works in their images. Galactus killed Diableri and then (somehow) defeated both Aegis and Tenebrous. For reasons which have never been revealed, Galactus chose to imprison the two Proemial Gods instead of obliterating them. To accomplish this task, Galactus brought them to the first Kyln, massive power generators of unknown origin, and modified the Kyln so that the power of the Crunch Energy Cascade which they tapped would be used to bind the captives for all time.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - At some later point, Antiphon the Overseer, the only Proemial God who had remained neutral despite rejecting Diableri's plans, was also imprisoned within the Kyln.
(Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files#1: Aegis & Tenebrous entry) - Aegis and Tenebrous (and Antiphon) remained locked away for "countless centuries." (Actually, it was probably closer to FOUR BILLION YEARS, but who's counting? Certainly not Keith Giffen.)
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3 (fb) - BTS/Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files#1: Aegis & Tenebrous entry) - With the passage of time, knowledge of the existence of Aegis and the other Proemial Gods was slowly forgotten. Eventually, Aegis was mostly known only as a mythical being but even that myth and the rumor that she and Tenebrous were deep within the Kyln were not widely known. However, even though she predated its own existence, the Xandarian Worldmind was fully aware of the fact that Aegis was a very real threat to the universe who had been imprisoned within the Kyln by Galactus.
(Annihilation: Prologue#1 - BTS/Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files: Omega Core entry/Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3 (fb) - BTS) <:Annihilation Day> - The forces of the Annihilation Wave punched through the Crunch Energy Cascade into the positive universe from the Negative Zone and immediately attacked the primary Kyln array, tearing the Moons from their gravitational moorings and causing them to collide with one another, resulting in massive casualties among both inmates and Omega Core officers. The destruction of the Kyln creches in which they had been contained for so long freed both Aegis and Tenebrous.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3) <Annihilation Day, plus 20> - Aegis
and Tenebrous investigated the debris of the Kyln Moons. Tenebrous considered the corpses
of the dead to be "fascinating," but Aegis replied that she found being held helpless for
whatever time had passed by these "wretches" to be appalling. Tenebrous responded that her
anger was misplaced because they has not been imprisoned by such as these dead and suggested
that she save her wrath for the Devourer of Worlds. When Tenebrous then asked if she felt
it, Aegis confirmed that she did feel "an extension of Galactus' essence."
Soon afterwards and nearby, Tenebrous punched one of his hands through some of the drifting debris and grabbed both the Fallen One and the dead body of the Beyonder (whom the Fallen One had been sent to find). As they inspected their catch, Tenebrous stated that "it" reeked of "him" and Aegis observed that Galactus still took of himself to empower others. When Tenebrous declared that his catch served Galactus, the captive claimed to serve Thanos of Titan. Aegis replied that the "insignificant faineant" was lying to them because it reeked of "his" touch but denied servitude. When Aegis repeated her assertion that the captive was of the one called Galactus and that he served him, the captive replied that he served Thanos of Titan and that he had not served as herald to Galactus for centuries, ever since Galactus had cast him out and he had become the Fallen One. Their prisoner's use of the word "centuries" caught the attention of Tenebrous who demanded to know when this was and how long had it been since the Creation event. The Fallen One's revelation that the Creation Event had been "countless millennia" ago shocked the two Proemial Gods into a brief silence, then, as he extended tentacles from his hand that wrapped around the captive, Tenebrous stated that they (he and Aegis) would know all that the Fallen One knew and then he would serve them.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3 - BTS) <Annihilation Day, plus 21> - Galactus told the Silver Surfer about the war fought when the universe had been young and of Aegis and Tenebrous and the danger they posed to the universe. In return for the Surfer agreeing to serve as his herald again, Galactus restored his will to do what had to be done.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#4 (fb) - BTS) - Aegis and Tenebrous used the Fallen One's link to his master to summon "Thanos of the Titans."
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#4) <Annihilation Day, plus 40> - Aegis and
Tenebrous examined the life on Harborage Minor, an unaffiliated colony world. While hovering
in the air above some buildings on the planet's surface, Aegis found the chaotic abundance
and the unfettered evolutionary development to be fascinating while Tenebrous felt that these
same things were disturbing because there was no overriding purpose beyond proliferation.
When Aegis asked if he supposed there were other worlds similar to that one and Tenebrous
replied that such was his concern, Aegis insisted that there must be because common source
presupposed common development and all things had been birthed from the Creation Event.
Tenebrous countered that these had been birthed and left to chaos and that there was no
At that moment, Aegis and Tenebrous both sensed the arrival of the being they had summoned, Thanos. As they confronted him, "Thanos of the Titans" claimed not to know of them, a statement which caused his small companion to speak up. Her attention caught by the voice, Aegis inquired if the being was a Chaos Mite, Alpha life forms who were Firstborn of the Creation Event and deemed too unstable. When Aegis asked the "little one" how she had survived the purge, Skreet refused to answer because she might need to "hidey-hole" again. Skreet then asked "what of The Aegis and The Tenebrous" because the Proemial Elders were "long time gone" and "dead and dead again." Thanos defined proemial as meaning "serving to make ready for that which follows" and stated that such "built-in obsolescence" meant that the universe was not without a sense of humor. When Tenebrous observed that "this one" lacked respect and Thanos replied that respect was earned and asked about something that belonged to him which they had, Aegis appreciated his bravado and stated that she liked him. Tenebrous then released what was left of the Fallen One, stating that there was no need for it beyond its link to Thanos and the fact that it bore "his" taint. Thanos correctly surmised that Tenebrous was referring to Galactus, causing Aegis to consider him to be "so clever." As they discussed why Thanos had been summoned, Aegis asked if he was of Galactus but the Titan asked her to tell him. Aegis sensed that Thanos was not connected to Galactus but that he had a harsher master...or maybe she should have said Mistress, indicating that she knew of his link to Mistress Death. When Thanos again asked why he had been summoned, Aegis replied that they sought Galactus because there were "things...unfinished...between them." Thanos stated that they shared a common goal because he also sought Galactus and suggested that they might come to an understanding that would further both of their agendas.
(Annihilation#1 (fb) - BTS)) - Thanos arranged an alliance between the two Proemial Gods and Annihilus whereby they all would coordinate their attacks against their respective enemies.
(Annihilation#1 (fb)/Annihilation#2 (fb) - BTS)) <Annihilation Day, plus 204> - Acting as a distraction to keep the United Front forces from interfering, the Annihilation Wave launched an attack on the United Front base on Daedalus 5, a planet on the Kree system periphery. At the same time, Aegis and Tenebrous attacked Galactus and the Silver Surfer on a different planet (whose name has not yet been revealed). As the natives fled the area and Tenebrous battled Galactus, Aegis blasted the Silver Surfer, separating him from his surfboard and causing him to forcefully impact the ground. When Aegis then tried to grab the Surfer, he fired a power blast that struck her in the face, causing her some pain, but this only briefly delayed her from delivering a crushing blow that rendered him unconscious. With her target defeated, Aegis then aided Tenebrous by attacking Galactus from behind and sending a powerful burst of energy through his head that rendered him insensate as well. Aegis and Tenebrous then stood over their fallen foes as Thanos and Skreet looked over the scene and the ships of the Annihilation Wave loomed in the sky above.
(Annihilation#1 - BTS) - Soon afterwards, Firelord attacked the Annihilation Wave flagship orbiting Daedalus Prime and captured Extirpia, one of Annihilus' three queens. With her no longer commanding them telepathically, the attacking AW forces collapsed into disarray, enabling the UF forces to hold them back.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - As required by their pact with Annihilus, Aegis and Tenebrous did not kill Galactus and the Silver Surfer but instead delivered them both alive to the Annihilation Wave for Thanos to study.
(Annihilation#1 - BTS) <Annihilation Day, plus 206> - While being interrogated by Nova (Richard Rider) and Peter Quill, Extirpia told them that they had lost the war while winning the battle on Daedalus 5. Knowing what her sisters had known before Firelord had captured her, Extirpia projected moving images of what she had seen in her mind's eye: Galactus and the Silver Surfer being defeated on another planet by Aegis and Tenebrous, allies of Annihilus. Extirpia then announced that, now that Galactus had fallen, the war was ended!
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 - BTS) - Weeks later and somewhere in uncharted deep space, the now-freed Galactus recounted a more complete history of the Proemial Gods to the Silver Surfer and asserted that, given time, they would strike against the very universe itself. Galactus commanded his herald to find them so that he could see this ended. The Surfer agreed and departed on his quest.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2) <Annihilation Day, plus 281> - Elsewhere, Aegis and Tenebrous were observing the universe. Aegis stated that it was much changed and had become feral, having forsaken structure and left too much to random event. Tenebrous felt that the universe lacked discipline and that cosmic consonance could not be left to random events and wondered where the caretakers were. Aegis suggested that they may have been forsaken (as they had been) but Tenebrous thought it was more likely that they were blinded by their own petty concerns, assuming that such caretakers even existed. When Aegis wondered if the two of them were the only Proemial Gods who remained to finish what was once begun, Tenebrous pointed out that the Devourer had imprisoned them rather than expunging them from existence. Aegis took this to mean that there was still hope that others of their brethren might still exist and Tenebrous said that there was always hope.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 - BTS) <Annihilation Day, plus 281> - While seeking the two Proemial Gods, the Silver Surfer was surprised when their energy signatures suddenly vanished only to reappear in the blink of an eye at a point that was an immense distance away from where they had been. The Surfer resumed his pursuit.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2) - Concerned that they might be the last of the Proemial Gods, Aegis and Tenebrous traveled to the Crunch to examine the Kyln rubble to see if Galactus had imprisoned any of their brethren. Their search found only the dead body of Antiphon the Overseer, and they speculated that Galactus may have imprisoned Antiphon if he had come to embrace the ambition of Diableri. The duo discussed what they should do to restore discipline to the living universe, and Aegis stated that there was so much to undo and to set right. When Tenebrous suggested a purging, Aegis corrected him, saying it was a restoration and that if it fell to they two alone, then so be it.
Having overheard their plans and believing it to be madness to try to impose one's will on cosmic consonance, the Silver Surfer sent a signal to summon Galactus and then attacked them in order to hold them there until Galactus could arrive and render judgment. The Surfer managed to strike Aegis with two separate power bolts while evading one of hers and her attempt to grab him, but when an energy blast from Tenebrous left him drifting, he was struck by Aegis's second bolt and sent hurtling into a nearby moonlet with enough force to leave an impact crater. Tenebrous then struck the Surfer with a two-handed blow that was powerful enough to shatter the moonlet beneath him. Tenebrous ended the mismatched battle, stating that the herald would die from the wounds he had sustained, and when Aegis asked what would happen if the Devourer were to follow, Tenebrous declared that he too would die. After the duo turned away from their dying foe, the desperate Surfer realized that the energies from the Crunch that empowered them were the same energies that had birthed them and he decided to try to channel the very essence of the Creation Event to his will. Surfing on the Crunch itself, the Surfer began to be consumed by the energies but still managed to create a wave that engulfed both Aegis and Tenebrous, consigning them to Oblivion as they were consumed by the energies that were their very essence.
When Galactus arrived seconds later, he was amazed that his herald had accomplished the inconceivable by destroying beings who were so much more powerful than himself. In recognition of his service, Galactus restored the dying Silver Surfer to life and health, and informed him that Aegis and Tenebrous had been reclaimed by the living universe.
(The Thanos Imperative#1 (fb) - BTS) - "Two years" after the Annihilation War, powerful creatures and armed starships from the Cancerverse (Reality-10011) began to travel through the large tear in space/time known as the Fault in order to invade and conquer Reality-616 for their masters, the Many-Angled Ones. These forces attacked and and began to overwhelm an expeditionary force of allied warships which had been assembled in the Fault Zone to guard against any such invasion.
(The Thanos Imperative#2) - As the fighting continued and the warships from a hundred different interstellar cultures were barely able to hold the invaders back, the Silver Surfer arrived. Seconds later, a giant-sized Galactus appeared in the middle of the fleet accompanied by two just-as-large figures who looked like Aegis and Tenebrous. This trio was soon joined by a number of Celestials and all of them began blasting at the Cancerverse forces. Quasar (Vaughn) stated that the fact that the "Cosmic Abstracts" of their universe had joined the fight meant that there was no longer any doubt as to the magnitude of the war. However, the enemy responded to the arrival of the Abstracts by deploying one of their weapons, the massive Galactus Engine, which forced its way through the Fault.
(The Thanos Imperative#3) - Confronted by the weaponized version of Galactus from the Cancerverse, the "super-giant Abstracts" seemed to engage in nothing more than a stand-off even as they kept blasting the smaller Cancerverse forces, but the Silver Surfer assured his companions that they were actually battling furiously "on the abstract scale." Uncertain of what the Surfer meant, Nova flew towards the face of Aegis, apparently not noticing the cracks that were forming there. Nova was asking the Worldmind if it could detect any part of that "existential war" when Aegis's head suddenly exploded as Cancerverse creatures burst out of her face. As Aegis' body was enwrapped by invaders, she generated a shockwave of psionic energy that stunned Nova.
Following the death of Aegis, the Galactus Engine began to tear through the allied forces and even the Abstracts seemed to be in retreat. At a war council of the allied leaders, Nova revealed that the mortally-wounded abstract had sensed him and had tried to communicate something to him with its dying thoughts. The enemy had been systematically capturing particular individuals for some unknown purpose. One of those who had been captured was Namorita and in the second that Nova shared the dying abstract's cosmic awareness he was able to sense the quantum bond he shared with Namorita and use that to determine the location where she was being held. Nova then assembled and led a small strike team to go after the captives.
(The Thanos Imperative#5) - As Cancerverse forces streamed out of the Fault in unimaginable quantities into an engagement zone that stretched across two parsecs, Galactus and the other remaining "High Abstracts" were barely able to hold back the monstrous Galactus Engine.
(The Thanos Imperative#6) - When Death killed Lord Mar-Vell at the site of the Necropsy ritual in the Cancerverse, that action triggered a massively-powerful explosion of exotic energy that caused the invading forces to either be disintegrated or pulled back into the Fault which began to collapse in on itself. In a matter of minutes the Fault was sealed forever and it was believed that the Cancerverse had been annihilated following the killing of its Avatar of Life.
Comments: Created by Keith Giffen, and Scott Kolins with Ariel Olivetti.
Aegis and Tenebrous each had a mini-profile (in the form of an entry from the Nova Corps Xandarian Worldmind Database) in Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3. She and Tenebrous had a larger joint entry from that same database in the pages of the Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files#1.
"Aegis" is a noun that means either 1) the protection, backing, or support of a particular person or organization or 2) an attribute of Zeus and Athena usually represented as a goatskin shield. I assume that this Proemial God's name has that meaning because she saw herself as protecting the living universe from divergences and aberrations that occurred in the new life-forms.
More details about how exactly Aegis came into being will be provided in the profile for the Proemial Gods.
Annihilation Saga#1 states that the Silver Surfer was able to destroy Aegis and Tenebrous "by channeling the energies of the Crunch to absorb them into its mass." This is not inconsistent with Galactus's claim that the living universe had "reclaimed" them, and it does leave open the possibility that they could be resurrected if there was a need for them.
There are three odd things about Aegis's appearance in The Thanos Imperative miniseries. First, there's the fact that she had previously been "consigned to Oblivion" during her second encounter with the Silver Surfer. Okay, maybe the "living universe" resurrected her (and Tenebrous) so that they could help defend it? That's a reasonable assumption but it would have been nice if it had been explicitly stated, especially since the Silver Surfer was fighting alongside her and didn't seem the least bit surprised at her presence.
The second oddity is her size. During their Annihilation appearances, Aegis and Tenebrous were depicted as being the same size as Galactus who is usually about 30 feet tall. However, during the battle against the Cancerverse forces, all three of them were shown to be the same size as the 2,000-foot-tall Celestials who were also involved in the battle. Given their powers, it's not implausible that they could have greatly increased their size and mass like that but, again, it would have been nice if this fact had been mentioned.
The third oddity is that Aegis, Galactus, Tenebrous and the Celestials who fought alongside them are referred to as "Cosmic Abstracts" or "High Abstracts" when, as far as I can tell, NONE of them actually are abstract beings. Sure, in the first issue of the miniseries, Peter Quill described the Abstracts as being "the great cosmic embodiments. The universal constants. Eternity, Death, Oblivion." However, of those three, only Death appeared in this miniseries and only in the last issue. Instead, the only so-called "Abstracts" who showed up for the battle at the Fault were very powerful Cosmic Beings who were not embodiments of anything. I can only assume that the writers' plans changed (or were changed) between the first and second issues.
Considering these differences and the fact that the Abstract version of "Aegis" didn't identify herself by that name, it's at least possible that the giant Aegis and Tenebrous were not really who they appeared to be. Maybe they actually were some Cosmic Abstracts who, for some as-yet-undisclosed reason, were unable to appear in their true forms and thus "borrowed" the shapes that Aegis and Tenebrous had worn before their deaths? Just speculation.
According to the Nova Corps Files on them, Aegis and Tenebrous were known and feared in myth but time had erased nearly all memory of their evil. I find myself wondering exactly what the "evil" for which they were feared was. How much did those early lifeforms know about the Proemial Gods and their activities? Were they feared like Galactus? Aside from the Chaos Mites, what type of "divergences and aberrations" did Aegis cull? Had any of those species who were culled developed advanced civilizations and spread across the universe, or were they all purged when they were primitive and still limited to their homeworlds? There are so many questions and none of them have ever been answered.
Non-Mammal Mammaries alert!! The fact that Aegis was a Proemial God means that she was created directly by the "living universe" without any parents. There was also no indication that the Proemial Gods were meant to reproduce amongst themselves. Since this implies that sex did not play ANY part in their existence, why was Aegis known by the female designation of "Lady" and why did she and Brio of Life each have a pair of human-like breasts on their chests?
Naked? Or not? Of the twelve Proemial Gods who have been depicted so far, at least six clearly wore some form of clothing. Leaving aside the question of why such cosmic beings were (apparently) "born" wearing such clothes, what about the others, like Aegis? On the one hand, her lack of toes suggests that she's wearing boots which are part of a form-fitting golden bodysuit which also includes the helmet (with a tusk attached on either side) that she seems to be wearing. Also, in her first appearance, Aegis has no visible mouth, consistent with the idea that she was wearing a face mask. On the other hand, in later appearances, her mouth is present and seems to be part of the same surface as her face, suggesting that Aegis has a flexible and metallic golden "skin" that covers her entire body. Such a skin would be similar to the silvery "skin" of the Silver Surfer except for the fact that the Surfer's skin is an artificial addition to his original organic body and something which he can shed at will.
I guess only Keith Giffen knows for sure.
The Power Cosmic vs. the Energies of the Crunch vs. The Power
In its Nova Corps Files, the Xandarian Worldmind stated that Aegis and Tenebrous were "believed to possess the Power Cosmic, enabling them to gather, channel and manipulate large quantities of cosmic energy." This belief was proven wrong when the Silver Surfer confronted the pair amidst the rubble of the Kyln and realized that they drew their power from the energies of the Crunch which was both the energy surge generated by the expanding universe and the energies which had birthed them. The fact that it was the Power Cosmic which enabled both the Surfer and Galactus to channel the "cosmic energy that is the universe's bounty" but neither of them could channel the energies of the Crunch for long without being consumed by them pretty decisively proves that what Aegis and Tenebrous possessed was not the Power Cosmic.
So, what about the Power Primordial, the type of energy associated with the various Elders of the Universe? Some Official Handbook entries have identified the Power Primordial as simply being "an outward projection of the cosmic life force that makes all Elders virtually immortal" but other, more recent storylines have implied that the Power Primordial is an external energy source into which the Elders can tap to provide themselves with cosmic power. The most recent Contest of Champions was fought for control of a fresh supply of the Power Primordial, crystals of pure creative force that were the energy of creation concentrated into its most potent form. This sounds a lot like how the energies of the Crunch were the very essence of the Creation Event. A further similarity is that the Proemial Gods were also known as "Proemial Elders." Were the Proemial Gods and the Elders of the Universe both powered by the same type of energy? It's certainly a possibility but so far nothing has been confirmed. Maybe some future story will clarify things.
When was Aegis imprisoned by Galactus?
Although Galactus claimed that the war fought by the Proemial Gods took place "when the universe was young," that's rather inaccurate. The truth is that the fact that Galactus was involved severely limits the time frame within which the war could have occurred. While it's true that Galactus was older than the then-current universe, he spent most of his existence since the Big Bang in an inactive state within his re-created starship. By the time he first awoke as Galactus, the race now known as the Watchers had already evolved to intelligence, developed a treatment that made them immortal, and adopted their policy of total non-interference. Furthermore, the Watchers are younger than (most of) the members of the group known as the Elders of the Universe, most of whom were born about 5.5 billion years ago. Since the Big Bang (13.8 billion years ago) predates the Elders (5.5 billion years ago) who are older than the Watchers who gained their immortality before Galactus awoke, that means that Aegis and Tenebrous were imprisoned less than 5.5 billion years ago, when the universe was at least 60% of its present age. So, clearly the universe wasn't as "young" as Galactus implied it was when the era of the Proemial Gods ended.
One thing that has never been revealed was exactly HOW Galactus was able to defeat and imprison both Aegis and Tenebrous. The only thing that is known is that it required "the power of the Crunch" to contain them within the Kyln. The fact that Aegis and Tenebrous were unaware of "whatever time (had) passed" while they were imprisoned does suggest that Galactus used technology that froze (or at least greatly slowed down) the passage of time for them. Such technology would seem to be very similar to the Creches which the various parties who maintained the Kyln as a prison used to confine "Alpha threats" in stasis. However, the fact that these Creches were described as "state of the art stasis confinement" suggests that they were only recently developed. Of course, that doesn't mean that Galactus couldn't have created this stasis technology first and secretly used it in the Kyln LONG before any lesser civilizations came up with similar technology on their own. In any event, Aegis and Tenebrous were certainly locked away within different Kylns than the one whose Creche held the Fallen One, the Maker and Skreet.
Profile by Donald Campbell.
Aegis of All Sorrows has no known connections to
images: (without ads)
Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3, page 26 (Xandar Worldmind Nova Corps Database image)
Annihilation: Silver Surfer#4, page 23, panel 6 (headshot without a mouth)
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2, page 26, panel 3 (headshot with mouth)
Annihilation#1, page 28, panel 4 (blasting Galactus)
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2, page 32, panel 3 (firing energy bolt)
page 37 (melting in a wave of Crunch energy)
The Thanos Imperative#2, page 4, panel 2 (super-giant Abstract version at the Fault)
The Thanos Imperative#3, page 4, panel 3 (head exploded by Cancerverse monsters)
Annihilation: Prologue#1 (May, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Scott Kolins with Ariel Olivetti (art), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3-4 (August-September, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Renato Arlem (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Annihilation#1 (October, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Andrea Di Vito [as Andrea Devito] (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (May, 2007) - Keith Giffen (writer), Andrea Di Vito [as Andrea Divito] (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
The Thanos Imperative#2-3 (September-October, 2010) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Miguel Angel Sepulveda (artist), Bill Rosemann (editor)
First Posted: 09/09/2017
Last updated: 09/09/2017
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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