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FERON

Real Name: Feron

Identity/Class: Magic-user;
   
presumably 
extradimensional (Alternate Earth; see comments)

Occupation: Sentinel awaiting the rise of the Anti-Phoenix
   former Host of the Phoenix, student of Necrom

Group Membership: Students of Necrom

Affiliations: Merlyn, Phoenix Force;
   formerly Necrom

Enemies: Necrom (deceased)

Known Relatives: Multiple descendants (a thousand generations, possibly all named Feron, all deceased), Feron (the last descendant)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: An area (now known as County Sligo) on the northwest part of the island now known as Ireland, Earth-616;
   formerly an area (now near the city of Liverpool) on the west coast of the island now known as Great Britain, Earth-616;
   originally an unspecified Alternate Earth

First Appearance: (First mentioned) Excalibur I#48 (March, 1992);
    (Full appearance) Excalibur I#50 (May, 1992)

Powers/Abilities: Feron possessed the ability to manipulate mystical energy for a number of effects. The fact that he was a student of the Sorcerer Supreme Necrom alongside Merlyn suggests that he might have possessed considerable power, perhaps on a par with Merlyn, one of the most powerful sorcerers in history. However, it's also possible that Necrom chose Feron as a student not for his mystical potential but because he had an ability that Necrom wished to exploit.

   After decades of meditation and pious asceticism, Feron had the ability to project his mind out across the universe, make mental contact with the Celestial Elemental now known as the Phoenix Force, and communicate with that entity. Feron might have made similar long-range mental contacts with other beings but no other instances of him doing so have been documented.

   Feron was able to join in communion with the Phoenix Force and his dream of bird-imagery (like his totem) caused him to shape the avatar of the Elemental into the form of a firebird. As a result of their joining, some of the Phoenix Force's essence was bonded to Feron until Necrom later ripped it out of him. However, although Feron had had some influence on these actions, both the bonding and the shaping were performed by the Phoenix itself.

   Feron possessed some ability to resist mental domination by others but not enough to resist Necrom without the support of the Phoenix.

   Feron possessed some ability to project mystical energy bolts and form defensive shields but even with the Phoenix's support he would not have been able to prevent Necrom from killing him if the elder sorcerer had truly desired his death. It's unclear if Feron's vulnerability was due to a lack of power or to inexperience with using his powers to fight or to a lack of fighting spirit (or all three).

   Feron was able to levitate himself, apparently without the aid of any mystical artifacts, and often did so while in a seated position.

   As his final act, Feron was able to place his mystical power into the earth where it would remain, intact, until the bare feet of a blood-descendant touched the ground. Once that happened, the descendant would inherit the original Feron's full powers, thereby increasing his/her own mystical abilities. Presumably Feron used a specific spell that was designed to divest him of his powers in this way and store them so that they would remain intact for centuries.

   If Feron was a member of the same race as Necrom and Merlyn, then he would have been as "immortal" as they were and that would mean that he could not die from "old age" or natural causes like disease. However, Feron's race has not yet been confirmed.

Height: 6' (estimated)
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Grey
Hair: Black

History:

(Excalibur I#50 (fb)) - A long time ago, Feron and Merlyn were both students of Necrom, the Sorcerer Supreme of their race. A gentle soul, Feron lived a life of pious asceticism and practiced meditation for decades.

(Excalibur I#50 (fb)) - At some point, Feron chose a bird image as his totem which he wore on his chest. This totem may have been a representation of the legendary bird known as the phoenix.

(Excalibur I#50 (fb)) - Necrom revealed to Feron and Merlyn that energy was created by the exchange of exotic particles at every dimensional interface between worlds and that an energy matrix of awesome power was created whenever a series of interfaces across the multiverse were aligned and their localized energy fields merged. However, since these alignments were too brief and infrequent to be harnessed, Necrom convinced his students to help him create a permanent energy matrix whose power he could use.

(Excalibur I#50 (fb)) - Knowing that an alignment was imminent on the Prime Earth, Necrom, Merlyn and Feron traveled to Earth-616 and arrived at the interface site which was marked with a tower that had been "erected to an elder god by a race that was ancient when Atlantis was young."

(Excalibur I#50 (fb)/Excalibur I#52 (fb)/Excalibur I#64 (fb) - BTS) - Feron's mystical ability and his outlook on life enabled him to communicate with a Celestial Elemental who existed alone, without feeling or desire or awareness of anything. By making contact with this entity, Feron's mind caused the entity to focus its awareness and awaken to reality for the first time. Its curiosity about this other intelligence caused the avatar to travel to Earth-616 where it joined with Feron and, in joyous communion, was shaped by Feron's dream into the being later known as the Phoenix.

(Excalibur I#50 (fb)) - At the moment when a series of dimensional interfaces across the multiverse were aligned and an awesomely powerful energy matrix had been created, Feron called on the Phoenix avatar to project the essence of the ancient tower through the multiverse so that it would exist on every plane of reality simultaneously. As a result, the presence of the tower prevented the alignment from ending and the energy matrix formed by the merger of the localized energy fields from the aligned dimensional interfaces was kept from dissipating.

(Excalibur I#50 (fb)/Excalibur I#52 (fb)) - Following the successful creation of this multiversal tower, Necrom proceeded with the secret second phase of his plan. Necrom attempted to take over Feron's mind so that he could control the Phoenix which he planned to then use to compress the alternate Earths into a singularity and endow himself with the power of a god from the energy released by the destruction. However, being sustained by the Phoenix enabled Feron to resist Necrom's will, at least long enough for Merlyn to leap into the energy matrix in his own attempt to control its power.

(Excalibur I#50 (fb)/Excalibur I#52 (fb)) - With his original plan thwarted, Necrom swiftly devised another gambit. Although he could have easily killed Feron, Necrom instead chose to use his powers to tear out the portion of Phoenix Force that bonded Feron to the avatar. This act punished those who had defied Necrom by ensuring that both Feron and the Phoenix would experience great suffering, and the Phoenix reacted to this violation of its essence by fleeing to the stars in agonized rage and confusion. Necrom then bound the Phoenix Force that he had stolen with a portion of his own life essence and placed it within a corpse which he left to incubate and eventually become the Anti-Phoenix. After placing the corpse within a deep underground chamber near Ben Bulben Mountain on the island later known as Ireland, Necrom then traveled into the multiverse and disappeared.

(Excalibur I#50 (fb)) - Feron blamed himself for the pain that (he felt) he had caused the Phoenix, and he spent the rest of his life waiting for the Anti-Phoenix to rise in the hope that by defeating it he could atone for his actions (presumably by reuniting the Phoenix with that part of itself which Necrom had stolen).

(Excalibur I#50 (fb) - BTS) - In order to keep watch over the Anti-Phoenix, Feron crossed the Irish Sea and took up residence on the island of Ireland in an area that would later be known as County Sligo.

(Excalibur I#48 (fb) - BTS/Excalibur I#50 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Feron sired an heir, the first in a line of hybrid "spawn of Feron" who were raised to be sentinels awaiting the rise of the Anti-Phoenix.

(Excalibur I#48 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Feron "survived the Great Deluge." Exactly what this disastrous event was has never been definitively identified, nor has it been revealed if Feron survived it before or after he began living on Earth-616.

(Excalibur I#48 (fb) - BTS) - Feron may have initiated a relationship with the monks of a small monastery in the area (or it may have been one of his descendants). For generations, these monks would act to preserve the purity of each of Feron's descendants by keeping them in isolation within the monastery and keeping their feet bound in the skin of the mythic black boar.

(Excalibur I#48 (fb) - BTS/Excalibur I#50 (fb) - BTS) - As Feron died, his final act was to place his mystical power in the earth so that one day his heir could claim his full powers, use them to summon the Phoenix and then serve as its host and destroy the Anti-Phoenix before it could join with Necrom and become unstoppable.

Centuries (or millennia) passed.

(Excalibur I#48) - The "last of a thousand generations of Feron" was still a young man when the time of the Anti-Phoenix's rising at last arrived. As had been ordained long ago, the last Feron's naked feet were finally allowed to touch the earth and he inherited the full powers of the first Feron. However, this Feron's attempt to summon the Cosmic Phoenix and become its host failed because the Phoenix had already chosen the mutant Rachel Summers as its host.

Comments: Created by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer.

   In Excalibur I#48, Brother Francis states that the current Feron was been "waiting -- as all the generations of Feron have waited -- for the rise of the Anti-Phoenix." I could be wrong but this sounds to me like ALL of the original Feron's descendants were named Feron and not just the last one. However, I'm not aware of any story which has either confirmed or refuted this idea.
It is confirmed in that all members of the line were named Feron in the most recent Feron's Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe entry.
--Snood.

   In Excalibur I#64, the Phoenix communicates with Rachel Summers and states that its previous manifestations as "the flaming bird of legend (were) inspired by the original Feron's vision." However, this does not necessarily mean that Feron was the source of the legend of the phoenix on Earth-616. After all, the image of the phoenix was known as early as the Hyborian era of Conan where it was associated with the god Mitra. Then again, who knows?
--
I don't know anything about Feron and Earth's legend of the phoenix, but, as you note in your discussion below, Feron was likely active perhaps 20,000 - 25,000 years ago, which is millennia before the Hyborian era.
--Snood.

   I don't know about anyone else but I find that image of Feron sitting there hunched over to be rather sad. What makes it worse is knowing that he waited for all the rest of his life for the Anti-Phoenix to rise so that he could atone for the pain that he had caused the Phoenix...and he never got the chance to do so. In the end, all that he could do was, as a final act, place his power in the earth so that some future descendant of his could use it to stop the Anti-Phoenix. Truly a tragic character.

   I absolutely love this whole Feron/Merlyn/Necrom/Phoenix storyline but it's not quite perfect. Its main weakness is that some of the information that it provides is vague and lacking in detail. As a result, some of the source data on characters like Feron is ambiguous enough that, depending on the way in which it is interpreted, it can lead to several different and non-definitive histories for a single character.

1. Feron's race: The fact that both Feron and Merlyn were students of Necrom suggests that all three were members of the same race. However, Merlyn's statement that Necrom was "the Sorcerer Supreme of my race" could be taken as an implication that Feron was not of the same race as Merlyn and Necrom. Furthermore, Merlyn and Necrom were both "immortal" (in the sense that they would not die of old age) but Feron died long before Necrom was finally killed. This leaves three possible explanations: Either Feron was not of the same "immortal" race as Merlyn and Necrom; or all three were members of the same race whose claims of immortality were somewhat (or greatly) exaggerated; or Feron was just as "immortal" as Merlyn and Necrom but his death was premature, the result of an accident or violence or even suicide.

2. Feron's homeworld: Merlyn's statement that he, Feron and Necrom "traveled to Earth-616" strongly suggests that they were not natives of that planet, and many readers believe that this means that they originated on one of the many alternate Earths in the Marvel Multiverse. However, Merlyn's choice of words does not exclude the possibility that they actually came from another planet within Reality-616. So, while it is probable that Feron was born on an as-yet-unspecified alternate Earth, the lack of detail means that it's not impossible that he could have been born on an alien planet, either within Reality-616 or in some other reality.
   On a related subject, it should be noted that online claims that Feron originated on Ee'rath (Earth-148) are completely inaccurate.

3. Feron's era of birth: This subject is perhaps the vaguest of the three and also the one which has the most effect on the history of the Marvel Multiverse since Feron's life is closely linked to both the first awakening of the Phoenix Force in Reality-616 and Merlyn's creation of the (Captain Britain) Corps to patrol the multiverse. There are only these three clues as to when Feron lived:
   a) In Excalibur I#46, the Omniscient Narrative states that "no one has set foot in (the Tower That Crosses Time) for twenty thousand years." Given that Feron was later revealed to have played a crucial role in the creation of this multiversal tower, this would seem to imply that Feron must have been born more than 20,000 years ago! However, since time in Reality-148 flows about twenty times more quickly than in Reality-616, this actually means that Feron's interaction with the original tower must have occurred at least 1,000 years ago in Earth-616 time.
   b) In Excalibur I#48, Brother Francis states that the modern-day Feron is "a prisoner to (his) destiny...last of a thousand generations charged as sentinels to await the rise of the Anti-Phoenix." Given that "a generation" is usually assumed to be between 20 and 25 years (from the birth of a parent to the birth of a child), a thousand generations would seem to indicate that the first of the original Feron's heirs was born between 20,000 and 25,000 years ago. However, since Feron may have been of an "immortal" race, that could mean that the lifespans of even his "hybrid" offspring were somewhat longer than those of normal humans, and that might push Feron's lifetime back even further into the past.
   c) Also in Excalibur I#48, the last Feron refers to his ancestor as "the first Feron -- he who survived the Great Deluge." This disaster is generally assumed to be the Great Cataclysm during which the continents of Atlantis and Lemuria sank beneath their respective oceans 20,000 years ago. However, as mentioned above, this "Great Deluge" has never been definitively identified and thus it could easily be some other major flood, one that occurred much more recently than the Great Cataclysm.

   In conclusion, if the first awakening of the Cosmic Phoenix Force is tied to Feron, then his life must have been lived as far in the past as possible in order for the Phoenix to have been aware as long as it has apparently been. However, there are accounts which describe the Phoenix as being active one billion years ago (Uncanny X-Men II#13) and one million years ago (Marvel Legacy#1), and both of these events occurred too far in the past for Feron to have been alive in those time periods. So, how can these accounts be reconciled with the Phoenix Force's own memories? Here are three ways:
   1) Before its encounter with Feron, the Phoenix Force was active but on a purely instinctual level without any actual awareness. Others could tap into its power and use it for their own ends but the Phoenix Force itself somehow remained oblivious to the reality within which it existed. Possible but not very plausible.
   2) Feron, Necrom, Merlyn and the (Captain Britain) Corps all actually originated far, FAR earlier than anyone has ever suggested. This seems highly unlikely.
   3) The Phoenix Force was both active and aware long before Feron was born but for some reason those memories had been suppressed or erased and the Phoenix had been returned to its initial oblivious state by the time that Feron first contacted it in the comparatively recent past. Although it depends on "facts" that have never been presented, this seems like the most plausible explanation since it best accommodates the conflicting data.
--Recent ret-cons do make it tough, but I don't see any reason why option #2 can't be likely. Given Merlyn and Necrom (at least)'s immortality and Feron's likely longevity and thousand generations of offspring, I see nothing to oppose that option.

   In addition, there is also the matter of Feron's mate. Given that Merlyn referred to the last Feron as a "hybrid upstart" who bore the original Feron's name, it seems very likely that this unidentified mate was a human woman from Earth-616, and that all of the successive "generations of Feron" also procreated with human women (or, presumably, with human men in the case of female Feron-spawn) in order to ensure that a member of their family would be present when the Anti-Phoenix finally arose. Since the idea of creating offspring solely in order to fulfill a family duty seems rather impersonal, one can only hope that Feron and his descendants felt at least some affection for their mates. If not, then the lives of the Ferons must have been pretty grim and cheerless.

   The fact that Feron and his descendants resided in Ireland for centuries (if not millennia) was not mentioned in the Marvel Atlas.
--Agreed. Good catch...will add it to the list...

   Regarding the "ancient" race that built the tower, could there be a connection between them and the builders of the now-submerged ancient city of Kalumesh? After all, the tower and Kalumesh were both located on the west coast of Britain. Of course, Kalumesh is sunken beneath the Celtic Sea off the northwest coast of the county of Cornwall which places it about 230 miles south-southwest from the tower which is on the coast of the Irish Sea just above Liverpool, with Saint George's Channel and all of Wales separating them...so maybe they aren't connected after all.

Profile by Donald Campbell.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Aside from his descendants, Feron has no known connections to


tower
Note: This subprofile only deals with Feron's interactions with the tower that later became the Excalibur lighthouse.

   The tower whose essence Feron had the Phoenix avatar project through the multiverse originally existed on Earth-616 which was considered to be "the Prime Earth" by Merlyn. After the Phoenix had performed its task, the spatial configuration of that tower existed on every plane of the multiverse simultaneously, and all of these towers were both separate and yet the same.

   The tower was about five "floors" tall, or about 50 feet in height. The only opening on the ground floor was the single doorway and the only openings in the top four floors were rectangular windows, one on each floor. The tower's shape was that of a truncated cone that was widest at its base and narrowed slightly but steadily as it rose. Although the interior volume of the tower has never been established, some visitors have commented that the lighthouse "is bigger than it looks" but it is unclear if this was objectively accurate. The exterior wall was extremely durable but any internal structures (like floors, staircases or internal walls) were no more durable than the materials from which they were built. The reason for the exterior wall's durability has not been revealed but the most likely explanation is that it was built out of an unknown substance that was chosen for its durability.

   Little has been revealed about the builders of the tower. According to Merlyn, they were "a race that was ancient when Atlantis was young." These builders used the tower to mark the location of a dimensional interface but they also erected it to an "elder god" whose identity has not been revealed. Judging by the shape of the only doorway into the tower, these builders were probably the same size and shape as human beings and may well have been human but, without knowing when the tower was built, it is impossible to even speculate as to their identity.

   At the time when Necrom, Merlyn and Feron first arrived in the area, the tower was not an isolated structure but only one of a number of buildings that included a domed building and other towers. However, while all of these other structures had fallen into partial ruin and decay, the tower that marked the interface was completely intact. While this could mean that the tower had been built somewhat later than the rest of the buildings, it's also possible that the tower had been built to be significantly more resistant to damage than its neighboring structures and so could have been as old or older than even the more dilapidated ruins. In any event, although it seems likely that the builders of the tower also constructed these other buildings, this has not been confirmed.

   The tower was located in an area of Earth's surface where an unusually large number of dimensional interfaces existed in close proximity to one another. In the modern era on Earth-616, these interfaces existed in the British Isles, a group of islands off the north-western coast of continental Europe, with the tower being located on the west coast of the island of Britain. However, during the Pre-Cataclysmic Era, the land where the interfaces are located was part of Valusia, the westernmost of the kingdoms on the continent of Thuria. After the Great Cataclysm of 20,000 years ago, that same territory was part of Cimmeria. It was during the Hyborian Cataclysm of c. 9500 B.C. that great strips of the western coast of the Hyborian continent were submerged and the upper slopes of the mountains of western Cimmeria remained above the new sea level as islands. The fact that the era in which the tower was built has never been revealed means that it could conceivably have been erected in any of those three lands: Valusia, Cimmeria or Britain.

   Some of the versions of this tower which existed on other Earths were known by specific names (like "The Tower That Crosses Time" on Earth-148) but this original tower on Earth-616 is not known to have ever had its own name.

Note: Although some online resources claim that the Excalibur lighthouse was located in the county of Cornwall in southwest England, the only significant in-story data (from Excalibur I#4 & 49) indicates that it was actually located slightly north of Liverpool. I know this because I carefully read through every story in which the lighthouse ever appeared looking for clues beyond "on the west coast of Britain/England." However, as revealed in Excalibur I#61-63, the "Braddock summer cottage" is located on England's south coast/most southerly coast/Cornish coast.

--Excalibur I#50 (fb)


images: (without ads)
Excalibur I#50, page 15, panel 4 (main image)
      page 14, panel 4 (head shot)
      page 15, panel 2 (with the Phoenix avatar)
      page 15, panel 5 (resisting Necrom)
      page 16, panel 1 (beaten by Necrom)
      page 16, panel 4 (waiting to atone)
      page 15, panel 1 (original tower)
      page 15, panel 3 (tower's essence being projected across the multiverse)


Appearances:
Excalibur I#50 (May, 1992) - Alan Davis (writer/penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Excalibur I#52 (July, 1992) - Alan Davis (writer), Will Simpson (breakdowns), Jimmy Palmiotti & Dave Hoover (finishes), Terry Kavanagh (editor)


First Posted: 06/21/2018
Last updated: 06/21/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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