Classification: Humanoid extraterrestrial race
Location/Base of Operations: Mars (circa 1 billion years ago)
Known Members: Chea, Hath, Heru, Lu-Pov,
many others (names unrevealed)
Jones (loose), Technics
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
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
Eyes: Two (on head)
Fingers: Five (with opposing thumb)
Skin color: Golden (some head hair)
Average height: 5'5" to 5'9" (by approximation)
(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
(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
(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
(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
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
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.
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)
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.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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