HITHER PEOPLE

main image

Classification: Humanoid extraterrestrial race

Location/Base of Operations: Mars (circa 1 billion years ago)

Aliases: The Golden

Known Members: Chea, Hath, Heru, Lu-Pov, many others (names unrevealed)

Affiliations: Gullivar Jones (loose), Technics Guild (loose)

Enemies: Lizardmen (Ar-Hap, Jen-In, others)

First Appearance: Creatures on the Loose I#16/1 (March, 1972)

Powers/Abilities: Once an advanced race, the Hither People have no unusual abilities from normal humans. They quickly mature physically and keep their youthful vigor until they near death. Adult females seem to be compatible with other humanoids to bear offspring.

Traits: The Hither People have become passive and avoid conflict. Largely apathetic, they prefer a difficult situation to be handled by someone else. Denied technology, they have become superstitious, also revering the dead with elaborate funeral rites. Largely a patriarchal society, women tend to wear revealing clothing.

Type: Humanoid
Eyes:
Two (on head)
Fingers:
Five (with opposing thumb)
Toes:
Five
Skin color: Golden (some head hair)
Average height: 5'5" to 5'9" (by approximation)

History:

(Creatures on the Loose I#18/1 (fb)) - Over a billion years ago on Mars existed The Golden -- a human-like race with golden-hued skin. They were an advanced civilization with engineering feats and medical advances, and inhibited violent tendencies. They journeyed to one of the two Martian moons, but that same day, a major earthquake destroyed many cities and killed many people. It was followed by black rain, covering people and buildings with filth and instilling fear. Still more disasters struck the devastated civilization with fire, famine and plagues. This continued for decades until little was left of The Golden's civilization amidst a vastly changed landscape. Little scientific knowledge remained and superstition was rife. A small group rose, dubbing themselves the Technics Guild; they guarded scientific knowledge, morphing it into a religion where scientific knowledge was considered sacred and excluded from the remaining population.

(Monsters Unleashed I#8/5 (fb) - BTS) - Radiation permeated the cities. The Technics Guild noted its effect on the living, resulting in mutations

(Creatures on the Loose I#18/1 (fb)) - Large-scale migration occurred where many survivors wandered into a hostile world. Great distances apart, new laws and customs developed across eight new tribes that, over thousands of generations, evolved into new humanoid forms, such as the bestial Noltoi, the brutal warrior-like and tailed red-skinned Lizardmen, and the beaked and winged gray-skinned Wing-Men. Mutations within a race were also found, but were scorned.

(Creatures on the Loose I#16/1 (fb) - BTS) - Seven citadels remained. The Golden became the passive Hither People; many set up residence outside the monolithic city of Seth and a monarchy ruled. Honor was considered important. The dead were revered and sent downstream in barges on the nearby River of the Dead that took them to be frozen in the polar region.

(Creatures on the Loose I#17/1 (fb) - BTS) - The Noltoi would scavenge from funeral barges sent by the Hither People.

(Creatures on the Loose I#16/1 (fb) - BTS) - Conflicts arose between tribes. The taller Lizardmen dominated and ensuing peace relied on treaties that established regular payments. One condition was an annual tribute wife from the Hither People for the Lizardmen's ruler.

(Creatures on the Loose I#18/1 (fb)) - The Hither People lived in poverty in tents outside their cities, forbidden by the Technics Guild from entering their former homes in the cities.

(Creatures on the Loose I#18/1 (fb) - BTS) - Mutual deities were worshiped across several tribes, including the giant monster Phra.

(Monsters Unleashed I#8/5 (fb) - BTS) - Meanwhile, the Technics Guild conducted genetic experiments, manufacturing hybrid creatures in an effort to find the perfect species to survive in the deteriorating environment. Cybernetics were incorporated in their experiments' subjects.

(Creatures on the Loose I#16/1 (fb) - BTS) - Having been long-lived and concerned for his people's welfare, the wizard Lu-Pov journeyed across time and space to find a champion to help the Hither People.

(Creatures on the Loose I#16/1) - Lizardmen collected the regular tribute payments from Prince Hath while his betrothed Princess Heru observed. However, the Lizardmen's ruler Ar-Hap demanded Heru as his next tribute wife. Hath did not resist. But the Earthman Gullivar Jones, selected by Lu-Pov, was propelled back in time to Mars, and violently stopped Heru from being taken. Mutually attracted, Jones and Heru spent days together, Heru telling Jones of her people's customs and conditions. But Wing-Men serving Ar-Hap kidnapped Heru while Jones fell onto a funeral barge.

(Creatures on the Loose I#21/1 (fb) - BTS) - The payment of Heru forbade her return to Seth.

(Creatures on the Loose I#18/1) - Held captive in an old and abandoned facility accessible via underwater tunnels, Jones and new friend, the mutant Wing-Man Chak, found information from a historical recording. Soon after, the facility was inadvertently destroyed. Jones and Chak emerged amongst the frozen corpses of revered Hither People (plus others).

(Creatures on the Loose I#19/1) - Jones and Chak traveled away from the iced graveyard. Meanwhile, Heru was taken to Ar-Hap. She was left with fellow Sethian Chea, the existing wife of Ar-Hap, and expected to kill her as per the custom for new tribute wives.

(Creatures on the Loose I#20/1) - Chea chose suicide rather than risk continued marriage to the brutal warlord. Wedding festivities soon began for Heru and Ar-Hap.

(Creatures on the Loose I#21/1) - In an attempted internal coup, Lizardman Jen-In kidnapped Heru and hoped to breed new warriors with her, despite her growing defiance. She was rescued by Jones and Chak. Meanwhile, Wing-Men destroyed much of Ar-Hap's legion (bringing into question any future treaty payments by Sethian Hither People).

(Monsters Unleashed I#4/5) - Jones, Chak and Heru set off to Seth to find information on returning Jones to Earth.

(Monsters Unleashed I#8/5) - The trio arrived at the outskirts of Seth and killed a monstrous hybrid beast that was destroying part of the Hither People's settlement. Yet those saved were quiet and apathetic; Heru derided them for their passive nature. But then Heru was recognized and the Hither People called for her to be cast out and sent back to the Lizardmen. However, Heru had gained courage and challenged them as cowards and the people quickly backed down. Heru, Jones and Chak then went to the city gates, where they challenged and fought the Technics Guild.

Comments: Created by Edwin L. Arnold (writer). Adapted by Roy Thomas (writer), Gil Kane (pencils), Bill Everett (inks).

The recording of the Hither People's history asserts that the gods sent fires and disasters after the initial devastating earthquake; whether this is literal or religion-infused metaphor is debatable. While the ensuing disasters, including black rain, suggest the effects of nuclear warfare, there was no mention of explosions, so potentially damaged atomic power plants contributed to the cascading devastation.

The Hither-People's similarity to humans is evident by Jones often referring to them as humans.

The Hither People first appeared in Edwin L. Arnold's 1905 novel "Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation", which was adapted and modernized by Marvel when it was seeking more sci-fi/fantasy properties. Note that Gullivar Jones predates a similar character, John Carter (created by Edgar Rice Burroughs and published around 1912), also an Earthman stranded on Mars.

Perhaps one way Marvel could have tied Gullivar Jones with John Carter (both Earthmen soldiers stranded on Mars) is by having the Technics Guild develop the (mythical?) Tree of Life described in John Carter, which spawned Martian races. The Hither People were certainly open to genetic flux and adapted to varying environments across generations. They could produce offspring with other tribes/races; the red Lizardman Jen-In indicated that Heru would help breed new warriors - perhaps tying into the reddish-hued human-like Barsoomians encountered by John Carter.

Profile by Grendel Prime.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Hither People of ancient Mars have no known connections to


images: (without ads)
Creatures on the Loose I#19, cover (main image - Heru)
Creatures on the Loose I#16, p5, pan3 (face montage)
Creatures on the Loose I#18, p5, pan6 (The Golden)
Creatures on the Loose I#18, p6, pan6 (ancient Martian evolutionary tree (tags added))
Creatures on the Loose I#18, p7, pan1 (Seth city and outer settlement)
Creatures on the Loose I#18, p10, pan3 (iced corpses of Hither People)


Appearances:
Creatures on the Loose I#16/1 (March, 1972) - Roy Thomas (writer), Gil Kane (pencils), Bill Everett (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Creatures on the Loose I#17/1 (May, 1972) - Roy Thomas (writer), Gil Kane (pencils), Sam Grainger (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Creatures on the Loose I#18/1 (July, 1972) - George Alec Effinger & Gerry Conway (writers), Ross Andru (pencils), Sam Grainger (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Creatures on the Loose I#19/1 (September, 1972) - George Alec Effinger (writer), Wayne Boring & Gil Kane (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Creatures on the Loose I#20/1 (November, 1972) - George Alec Effinger (writer), Gray Morrow (pencils/inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Creatures on the Loose I#21/1 (January, 1973) - George Alec Effinger (writer), Gray Morrow (pencils/inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Monsters Unleashed I#4/5 (February, 1974) - Tony Isabella (writer), Dave Cockrum (pencils/inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Monsters Unleashed I#8/5 (October 1974) - Tony Isabella & Doug Moench (writers), George Perez (pencils), Duffy Vohland & Rich Buckler (inks), Tony Isabella (editor)


First posted 05/03/2018
Last updated: 05/03/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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