Classification: Extradimensional (Reality-791) extraterrestrial (planet Windhölme) intelligent aquatic non-humanoid
Location/Base of Operations: The oceans of the planet Windhölme, located in an unspecified star system within an unspecified galaxy (probably the Milky Way galaxy)
Known Members: None named (possibly inapplicable)
Estimated population: Unrevealed
Enemies: The Scania
First Appearance: Marvel Preview#11 (Summer, 1977)
Powers/Abilities: Little has been revealed about the capabilities of the Kraken species. The large King Kraken once spotted by Kip Hölm had a body composed of "twenty tons of bone and muscle" and was able to propel itself through water at a speed greater than 40 knots (nautical miles per hour). When ramming a ship, it could use its snout to punch a hole through the wooden hull without seeming to suffer any damage.
The Scania consider the Kraken to be intelligent but it has not been specified exactly how intelligent they might be so it remains unclear if they should be classified as intelligent animals or truly sentient beings. It is not known if Kraken possess any form of culture or civilization. It's also unknown if they have any sort of language (either basic or complex) or any form of self-identification, either as a species or as distinct social groups or as individuals.
Although the Kraken are clearly aquatic creatures, it has not been revealed is they are capable of extracting oxygen from seawater (like fish) or if they breathe air (like marine mammals and marine reptiles). As such, they may (or may not) have gills but, if they exist, such gills are not visible to casual observers.
Nothing has been revealed about the Kraken lifecycle, including whether they lay eggs or give birth to live young, or what their maximum lifespan might be.
Traits: The Kraken are the apex predators of the oceans on their homeworld. As such, they had no natural enemies until the Scania arrived.
Claims that the Kraken and the Scania hunt each other while enjoying every minute of the hunts have not been verified. However, King Kraken have been known to sometimes forego attacking Scania ships even when they could have killed all of their crews.
Type: Bilaterally symmetric aquatic non-humanoids
Tentacles: Six (three on each side)
Skin color: Green
Maximum length: 30' (a VERY rough estimation)
Type of government: Unknown, probably inapplicable
Level of technology: None known
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb) - BTS) - On a watery planet later known as Windhölme, an aquatic lifeform later known as the Kraken evolved to intelligence. As apex predators, the Kraken had no natural enemies and they became the rulers of their world's oceans.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb) - BTS) <300 years ago> - Members of a humanoid race known as the Scania were forced to leave their homeworld Jaeger IV as refugees. They came to the Krakens' planet because it was a frontier world located "just inside the Rim" and "about a thousand parsecs out from Imperial Center." The Scania named the planet "Windhölme" and proceeded to chart and settle it. It was presumably also the Scania who gave the name "Kraken" to the dominant native lifeform.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb) - BTS) - Over time, a balance was established between the Kraken and the sea-faring Scania. The Scania would hunt the Kraken, the Kraken would hunt the Scania, and both sides would come out about even. Allegedly, both sides enjoyed the hunting.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb) - BTS) <sometime after the Earth year 1990 AD> - A Scania ship, the Sea Fang, was hunting Kraken with two of its boats about a mile out from it. Suddenly, a King Kraken broke surface under one of the skiffs and crushed it in its jaws, killing the three men aboard before they could even scream, and then attacked the second boat. The King Kraken could have then attacked the Sea Fang and killed all the Scania aboard but it chose not to so so. Instead, it left them alone.
(Marvel Preview#11 (fb)) - One month after that King Kraken's encounter with the Sea Fang, Windhölme was attacked by Imperial star-fighters. In less than a day, the attackers (who were actually slavers) had wiped out most of the 8 million Scania, burning down everyone over the age of seventeen and everyone who resisted. Only a few thousand children were left alive to be herded aboard the slavers' starship.
(Marvel Preview#11 - BTS) - Although the Kraken were almost certainly not specifically targeted by the slavers, they would have been affected by whatever damage the slavers inflicted upon the planet's ecosphere which caused Windhölme to be "hurt" by their attack.
(Marvel Preview#11 - BTS) - A few days after the attack on Windhölme, Kip Hölm, who had been on the Sea Fang, and two companions (Sandy and Starlord) experienced a virtual reality simulation of that encounter in which the Kraken behaved very differently than the one upon which it was based. They all survived the experience.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin.
Although these sea-creatures are called "Kraken" by the Scania, the term "King Kraken" is also used, presumably to refer to those Kraken that are larger (and older and smarter) than most of their species. It has not been revealed if, as among some animal species on Earth, these larger Kraken hold any sort of leadership position among their kind.
The encounter with the King Kraken is depicted on five consecutive pages of Marvel Preview#11 (reprinted in Starlord, the Special Edition#1). One of the most notable things about this battle is that it is doubly false. Not only is the setting for the "battle" an artificial virtual reality created by the Telempathic Crystal, almost all of the events recreated never actually happened since, in the real world, the King Kraken chose to not attack the Sea Fang. As a result, of all the images of the King Kraken that appear in this profile, only the main image is an accurate representation of a real event that occurred on Windhölme. However, although all the other images are of events that never happened, the data about the Kraken's appearance and the way it behaves were drawn from real sources (like Kip Hölm's mind and his memories), and so these false images do accurately show what a real Kraken does look like.
Unfortunately, there is not even one single image which depicts the entire Kraken as a whole. Instead, there are only images which (separately) show four or five significant parts of its body. Rather than group them all together here in the comments section, I have chosen to display them as part of the sub-profile on the virtual King Kraken, and provide a written description here.
As an alien lifeform, the Kraken do not resemble any single Terran species but seem to have features typical of several different types of animal. Their jaws and snout look like those of a crocodile but they have tentacles like a squid, and their bodies and fluked tails resemble those of a whale.
The King Kraken of this profile was (at a VERY rough guess) about 30 feet in length. Its head and snout accounted for about 12 feet (40%) of its total length with its torso and tail making up the other 18 feet (60%). Its head was connected to its body by a short neck which may have been inflexible (if its neck vertebrae were fused). It propelled itself through the water by moving its tail fin up and down, and could attain a surface speed of 40 knots (about 46 miles per hour).
The Kraken's head was pointed with a long snout. Its jaws were about two-thirds as long as its head and were composed of durable bone that could withstand high speed impacts. The upper jaw was fused to the braincase while the lower jaw was hinged so that the mouth could open widely. Both upper and lower jaws were lined with a single row of pointed teeth of varying sizes, some of which exceeded a foot in length while others were much shorter. Despite their size, none of the teeth were visible when the jaws were closed. Large Kraken could have about 40 teeth on each side of their upper jaws and a similar numbers on their lower jaws.
One of the most notables features of the Kraken were their
two eyes, which in large Kraken could be as much as three feet across. They resembled human
eyes in that they had round pupils and irises surrounded by a white (or pale yellow) sclera but the pupils were
relatively large, being half as wide as the eye itself. These eyes were positioned on the
upper part of the skull, above the lower edge of the upper jaw and slightly behind the mouth.
Despite being located on the sides of a Kraken's head, these eyes could somehow look straight
ahead. The large size of these eyes suggests that they were advantageous when Kraken swam
through deeper waters where little light from the surface penetrated. The eyes were also the
most vulnerable part of the Kraken's body since they enabled attackers to have direct access
to the brain.
Pupil's change in size in response to the intensity of the ambient light (or lack thereof), so yes, the Kraken's large pupils would help them see in the dim light of the deep undersea...presumably the King Kraken was only on the surface for relatively brief periods, too short for the pupils to constict in response to the sunlight.--Snood.
The neck, which was either very short or non-existent and may have been inflexible, connected the rear of the head to the front of the torso. Just behind the neck were three pairs of boneless tentacles (muscular hydrostats) which could be used to manipulate items. The bases of each pair of tentacles were located in a diagonal row on either side of the Kraken's body, with the upper pair extending from a point behind and below the eye, the middle pair extending from a point slightly behind and below the upper pair, and the lowest pair extending from a point slightly behind and below the middle pair. The upper pair of tentacles were the longest, about as long as the whole body, and they ended with broadened, spade-shaped pads. In contrast, the two lower pairs of tentacles tapered to points without any such pads. The middle pair were also shorter than the upper pair and the lowest pair were the shortest of all, being only about 8 feet long on a 30 foot Kraken. When swimming at speed on the surface, Kraken would hold their upper pair of tentacles completely out of the water, presumably either to make their bodies more streamlined or to make them ready to attack prey.
The upper part of a Kraken's body also appeared to have a thickening of its hide that began as ridges over the eyes and extended down the back where it protruded slightly from the body, like the shell of a turtle. This "shell" quickly narrowed to a low ridge that extended along the tail to its end. The tail was massive (in large Kraken) and ended with two horizontal flukes (instead of vertical fins). It was by moving their tails up and down that Kraken propelled themselves through water.
Profile by Donald Campbell.
The (King) Kraken of the planet Windhölme have no known connections to
virtual King Kraken
A few days after the attack on Windhölme, after sneaking aboard Kyras Shakati's anti-gravity palace on the planet Cinnibar, Kip Hölm, Sandy and Starlord (Peter Jason Quill) fell through a trap-door that seemingly deposited them on Kip's parents' ship, the Sea Fang, back on Windhölme during that encounter with the King Kraken that had taken place a month earlier. However, this time the King Kraken charged the ship instead of choosing to leave after attacking the Sea Fang's boats.
Swimming at more than 40 knots, the King Kraken rammed its twenty tons of bone and muscle into the Sea Fang so hard that its snout smashed through the ship's hull. The force of the impact threw Starlord off-balance, causing him to fall overboard into the sea beside the Kraken.
Finding himself facing the Kraken's left side, Starlord judged it to be "a not-unimpressive beastie" which he wished he'd never met, and he had a feeling that the Kraken was looking for him, too. Starlord quickly grabbed a harpoon and tried to swim in close to the Kraken to use it but he was too slow. The Kraken spotted him, grabbed him with one of its smaller tentacles and began to crush the life out of him. Refusing to die easily, Starlord stabbed the harpoon deep into the Kraken's left eye and through it into its brain.
Although the Kraken had been fatally injured, the wound was not immediately lethal and the Kraken began to thrash about in its death-agonies. Only seconds later, the Kraken arched its full length out of the water, twisted in mid-air and fell across the Sea Fang with its massive tail "descending like some monstrous, unstoppable hammer" that crushed Kip's parents, Gunnar and Marie Hölm, to death even as it smashed the ship into floating debris.
Kip and Sandy survived and found themselves floating in the sea beside the Kraken which was briefly motionless. They were soon joined by Starlord who had finally made it back to the surface. As Kip praised Starlord for his magnificent feat of harpooning the Kraken from underwater, he and Sandy noticed that Starlord's eyes had seemed to have been replaced by white rectangular lenses (like those of glasses). For his part, Starlord found himself viewing images of two different realities which blended and changed before his eyes, one in which he, Kip and Sandy were adrift on a Windhölme sea and another in which the three of them were standing alone in a chamber beneath a gleaming, multifaceted crystal as Kyras Shakati watched from above.
As Starlord hesitated, unable to tell which image was reality and which was an illusion, the Kraken revived and attacked again, spreading wide its jaws to swallow Sandy. Although part of him still felt that he was holding empty air, Starlord decided to ignore the sensory input that was telling him that the sea-beast was real and he instead chose to fire his Element Gun at the crystal. Fortunately for the three of them, Starlord had guessed correctly and, as his weapon's fire blasted Shakati's Telempathic Crystal and caused it to explode, the illusory world in which it had entrapped he, Kip and Sandy faded away, and the Kraken went with it. The trio found themselves "back" in Shakati's palace which, as Starlord explained, they had never left.
Starlord then flew himself, Kip and Sandy up to the viewing gallery to confront Kyras Shakati and his aide Arak. Within seconds, both of them had been killed by Sandy - Arak when he tried to kill her with his blade and Shakati when he was about to use his hidden organic finger blaster implant against Starlord.
Note: Although Starlord's encounter with the King Kraken was purely illusional in Reality-791, in an infinite multiverse, there is a reality for every scenario glimpsed. The events in this issue parallel those of Reality-77611.
images: (without ads)
Starlord, The Special Edition#1, page 23, panels 2-3 (main image)
page 23, panel 4 (charging Kraken)
page 24, panel 1 (charging Kraken - side view)
page 24, panel 5 (underwater view)
page 25, panel 2 (Starlord caught by tentacle)
page 25, panel 4 (tail out of water)
page 27, panels 1-3 (real or illusion?)
page 27, panel 4 (Starlord firing)
page 27, panel 5 (illusion fading)
Marvel Preview#11 (Summer/June, 1977) - Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (penciler), Terry Austin (inker), John Warner (editor)
reprinted in Starlord, The Special Edition#1 (February, 1982)
First Posted: 12/11/2016
Last updated: 12/11/2016
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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