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MANGOG's race

Classification: Extraterrestrial humanoids

Location/Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
   formerly imprisoned within Mangog who was itself imprisoned within the Cave of Ages deep beneath Asgard;
   originally Homeworld, name and location unrevealed

Known Members: None named
Estimated population: "A billion, billion beings"

Affiliations: Mangog

Enemies: Lord Odin and the legions of Asgard

First Appearance: Thor I#157 (October, 1968)
   (BTS within Mangog) Thor I#154 (July, 1968)

Powers/Abilities: None known

Cultural Traits: Warlike conquerors

Type: Humanoid
Eyes: Two
Fingers: Unrevealed (probably four, plus opposable thumb)
Toes: Unrevealed (probably five)
Skin color: Pink
Hair: Black
Average height: Unrevealed

Type of government: Unrevealed

Level of technology: Unrevealed

History:
(Thor I#156 (fb) - BTS) - According to Thor, Mangog's brethren "had brought death to a thousand galaxies" and, if Asgard had fallen to them, then "the cosmos entire would have been no more!"

(Thor I#154 (fb) - BTS) - Long ago, a mysterious alien race whose name has never been revealed almost succeeded in destroying Asgard. Ultimately, their invasion was crushed by the legions of Asgard, led by Odin.

(Thor I#157 (fb) - BTS) - "Ages" ago, after the invasion had been thwarted, Odin placed the entire race beneath an Odinspell, one that transformed them all into energy which was then trapped within a single being (Mangog) that was Odin's spell in living form. It was Odin's plan that the race would remain in their living prison until they had done their penance.

(Thor I#155 (fb) - BTS) - As recalled by Mangog, it was at the command of Odin that this entire race was eternally destroyed for daring to invade the realm of Asgard. However, before they fell, these aliens created mighty Mangog to avenge them. As the race was dying, they found a way to take the limitless strength of all those billions whom Odin had doomed and store that matchless power within one living being whom they named - - MANGOG!

(Thor I#154 (fb) - BTS) - Over time, a legend arose as to how the last remaining member of this race had been sealed by Odin within a hidden cave known as the Cave of Ages or the Odin-Cave.

(Thor I#155 (fb) - BTS) - Another legend claimed that if the Mangog were to be reborn then "even Odin would stand helpless before his wrath!"

(Thor I#153-154) - After escaping from the deadly endless fall down the bottomless Abyss of Shadows, the troll Ulik discovered the long-lost Odin-Cave where lay buried the last remaining member of a mysterious alien race which had been so powerful that it had almost succeeded in destroying Asgard itself. Seeking an ally against Asgard, Ulik freed this last survivor, the Mangog, who soon announced his intention to destroy not just Asgard but all who lived! Although the Mangog then helped Ulik by lifting him from the pit, the troll already deeply regretted his action, thinking to himself, "Better I had perished than to set the Mangog free!"

(Thor I#154 (fb) - BTS) - The opening of the Cave of Ages caused the Eternity Alarm to sound within the city of Asgard.

(Thor I#154) - Soon after, the Eternity Alarm sounded again to warn that the Cave of Ages was empty and its captive had gone!

(Thor I#155-157) - (The) Mangog set out for Asgard where Odin had just recently begun the Odin-Sleep from which he could not be awakened. Mangog's sheer power was such that he easily defeated all who opposed him, including some Storm Giants, Asgardian warriors armed with an Odinian Force Arrow, the Warriors Three (Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg), and even Thor. Along the way, Mangog repeatedly proclaimed his intention of unsheathing the Odinsword, an act which, if performed by any other than Odin, would (allegedly) cause all the known universe and all who dwelt therein to be summarily destroyed.

   Despite all attempts to stop him, Mangog reached Asgard's inner city, broke into the palace royal and began to pull the Odinsword from its sheath. As the cosmic shock waves began to form, a desperate Thor summoned a storm so massive that it caused Odin to safely awaken from his Odinsleep.

   After using a ray of power from his power scepter to freeze Mangog's limbs, Odin revealed that, instead of killing Mangog's race, he had actually put the entire race beneath an Odinspell, one which he, by decree imperial, did now break. As a mass of energy began to rise from Mangog's body and the monster grew steadily weaker, Odin told Mangog that he had never been strong and that he was but a living prison for his entire race. As Mangog faded away, Odin showed Thor the scene as Mangog's race was restored on their alien home, stating, "A race entire hath done its penance...And so, a billion, billion beings shall live again...to dwell in peace...fore'er! Such is Odin's judgment! Such is Odin's will!" Odin then ended the threat of Ragnarok by sheathing the Odinsword, and all of Asgard paid homage to Lordly Odin.

(Thor I#195 (fb) - BTS) - In actuality, Mangog had survived even though his purpose as a living prison had ended. Odin had realized that Mangog's "most persistent evil" was one that, after so long, would continue to exist of its own will and so Odin had acted to secretly imprison Mangog by entombing his dark spirit in an endless rest within the eternal stone of a distant land that was the blackest of worlds.

(Thor I#184 - BTS) - While briefing Thor about how the World Beyond was threatening all life and the universe itself, Odin conjured forth images of three known threats: Galactus, the Mangog and Loki. While Galactus and Loki were shown in their current locations, Odin stated that "the monstrous Mangog is no more -- living only in the memory of a billion, billion beings!"

(Thor I#195 - BTS) - Odin explained to four of Asgard's elder warriors that Mangog was still alive after the need which formed him had vanished because "His (was) the most persistent evil...one that must need exist, after a time...of its own will." Odin then stated that he could but imprison Mangog, suggesting that he was somehow unable to destroy the monster, and that Loki had now set him free!

(Thor I#196 - BTS) - Two Asgardian warriors discussed Mangog and one of them stated that, "In a manner most mystic, his ethereal body still encompass that dread power -- the hating strength of a billion billion beings!

(Thor I#197 - BTS) - Kartag stated that Mangog still survived even though the "dying hatred" of that race which created him had passed because the hate that he did embody somehow remained.

(Thor I#198 - BTS) - Mangog revealed that his masters, even though they now lived, still hated Odin with undying enmity and claimed that the only thing they craved was Odin's final doom, even if it meant the end of their lives. After hearing this, Odin used the last of his strength to cut Mangog from his masters' hate. With the thread of energy that had still connected him to his masters broken, Mangog swiftly consumed what power he had left and shrank into (seeming) nothingness.

(Thor I#250 (fb)) - During an encounter with the Asgardian sorcerer Igron, Mangog revealed that hatred such as his could not be destroyed and that he was now sustained only by his all-encompassing anger and his desire to conquer Asgard.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Vincent Colletta.

   In the Thor: God of Thunder video game, which is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but not classified as canonical, Mangog is a monstrous entity that was created by Odin to wipe out the Vanir by consuming the souls of all in its path until it destroyed the entire race. Some online sources have assumed that the aliens in the Marvel Comics Universe who were imprisoned within Mangog were also the Vanir but this is WRONG! As recently as Mangog's profile in 2011's Thor: Asgard's Avenger #1, the beings from which he was created were still only described as "an unidentified race."

   As far as I know, the Mangog is the first of a number of Marvel characters who are the embodiments of their entire races. The second was the alien Over-Mind, who debuted three years later, and six years after that came the Uni-Mind of the Eternals.

   Although I found Mangog's origin story to be an interesting one, there are some aspects of it that are not so good. For one thing, if the Mangog was a living prison created by an Odinspell, then why did he "remember" that it was the alien race who had created him as a way to avenge themselves on Odin? For that matter, why would Odin allow this living prison to retain any memory of why it might hate him and desire revenge? It seems so obvious that nothing good could ever come from that situation.

   Second, Odin's choices in creating the Mangog in the first place appear to be very questionable. After defeating an alien race's attempt to conquer Asgard, Odin took the energy and strength of the entire race and concentrated it into one incredibly strong and durable physical form. Why Odin chose to incarnate an enemy in such a fearsome form instead of something less menacing (like, say, a fluffy bunny) is unknown. It's also unclear how Odin was able to create a being which he would later prove to be unable to destroy.

   The third and worst problem with Mangog's origin is the excessive use of hyperbole. In order to emphasize what a tremendous threat he was, writer Stan Lee included several quantities that were so large as to be ridiculously implausible. Here are three examples (all from page 2 of Thor I#156):
1. Thor claimed that Mangog's brethren "had themselves brought death to a thousand galaxies!" This is quite a lot of death, especially since the Local Group, the galaxy group of which the Milky Way is a member, is comprised of only a few more than 54 galaxies. This means that the Mangog's brethren would have had to have attacked almost twenty times as many galaxies as there are in the Local Group. Plus, since the diameter of the Local Group is 10 million light-years, Mangog's race must have traversed a VAST distance in order to have raided as far as they did.
2. Mangog spoke of the "thousand, thousand worlds" that were gone once Odin had annihilated Mangog's race. That's one million planets, which is an immense number. Sure, some early Marvel stories have the Kree and/or Skrulls refer to the "thousand, thousand" worlds that make up their respective empires but official numbers indicate that even at their strongest neither empire had more than 1,000 member-worlds. Plus, if this race had really occupied that many planets, then where did they all go when Odin restored them to physical form? We readers were only shown them returning to one planet.
3. Mangog and Thor and Odin and pretty much everyone else always speaks of how Mangog contained within him the power/hatred of "a billion, billion beings." Again, this is another IMMENSE number that is ten to the eighteenth power or one quintillion. If accurate, then the number of beings imprisoned within Mangog were over 135 million times Earth's current population, and over 33 million times the maximum number of Kree or Skrulls who have ever existed within their empires at one time. If Odin did release all of these beings, then where did he put them all?

Resurrected by Odin... or never dead in the first place?

   Throughout Mangog's initial storyline there are repeated references to the fact that Mangog's race/creators had all been killed by Odin and the legions of Asgard. However, in Thor I#157 Odin revealed that that entire alien race had actually been placed under an Odinspell and had been trapped as energy within the living prison that was Mangog. Sure, Odin did say that those beings "shall live again" now that the Odinspell was broken and spending ages as non-corporeal energy can't really be counted as "living" but it was clear that Mangog's race hadn't really been "dead."

   However, in the second storyline to feature Mangog there are several references to the idea that Mangog's race had been dead and that Odin had actually brought them back to life. Mangog mentioned how the race whose hatred had spawned him had "returned to the land of the living" and Kartag the Keeper also spoke of how "Odin (had) returned (that race) to life." Mangog also speaks of "the race which spawned (him) in death" and how Odin had "brought (his) masters out of death's dark exile." All of these references (and others) seem to indicate that Mangog's creators had in fact died and Odin had later resurrected them. I couldn't help but wonder if writer Gerry Conway had somehow misunderstood Stan Lee's concept of what had happened to that alien race.

   Of course, it could be that Conway believed that the aliens whose hatred empowered Mangog had been trapped in a state between life and death during their imprisonment within Mangog. Thus, one could say that, although they had never been fully dead, they had been close enough that Odin did have to "return them to life" when he restored their physical forms.

   By the way, what exactly did the Odinspell do to the billion, billion members of Mangog's race? Did the Odinspell kill all of the aliens, destroy their physical bodies and trap their life essences within Mangog's physical form? If that was what happened, then would that mean that Odin must have somehow recreated all of those bodies so that the now-released life essences had forms to which they could return? On the other hand, maybe the Odinspell transmuted the physical bodies of Mangog's race into energy that became entwined with the life essences trapped within Mangog. If that were the case, then the breaking of the Odinspell could have caused those energized masses to revert back into their original physical forms for their life essences to inhabit.

    I was certain I had done an Appendix profile on Mangog years ago...I guess I'm just remembering reviewing all of the issues during the review process for the Mangog profile in the Thor: Asgard's Avenger handbook.
--Snood

Profile by Donald Campbell.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Mangog's as-yet-unnamed race has no known connections to

Note: I was going to list the Kree, Skrull and Xandarian races because they created, respectively, the Supreme Intelligence, the Intelligencia and the Worldmind, but those three cybernetic-organic constructs do not encompass ALL of their races. Well, now that the Xandarians are gone, maybe the Worldmind does. Hmmm.

The Cave of Ages has no known connections to

The Eternity Alarm has no known connections to


Cave of Ages

   A cavern located deep within the Asgard landmass/planetoid, the Cave of Ages is beneath the land of the Norns (Nornheim). Its entrance is in the wall of the Abyss of Shadows, a bottomless chasm located on the underground border between the domain of the Trolls and that part of Nornheim that is below ground. The cave entrance forms a ledge that protrudes out from the Nornheim side of the chasm wall. Below the ledge the walls become as smooth as glass.

   The opening beyond the ledge is a deep and silent cavern filled with stones that shine with a blinding light. These "Echanti-stones" are said to be the gleaming seeds of Odin's supreme power. The far end of the cave was once sealed by an enormous stone slab. Inscribed on the face of the slab was this warning:

LET NO LIVING BEING DISTURB WHAT LIES WITHIN
By order of Imperial Odin

   Following a battle with Thor in the caverns of Nornheim, the Rock Troll Ulik was left falling forever down the bottomless chasm. However, after falling helplessly for a great distance, Ulik managed to catch hold of the aforementioned ledge. Finding himself amongst the shining Echanti-Stones, Ulik recalled the legend of the last survivor of the mysterious alien race which had almost succeeded in destroying Asgard and realized that he had found where that being had been buried. Believing that any enemy of Asgard would have to be willing to be his ally, Ulik dug the Enchanti-Stones away from the stone slab that sealed the cave and then smashed down the slab, opening the cave and freeing the Mangog. However, Ulik quickly came to regret his actions when he learned that the Mangog considered himself to be the foe of ALL who lived!

   Ulik's opening of the Cave of Ages triggered the first sounding of the Eternity Alarm in Asgard. This mystic alarm soon sounded for a second time to inform the Asgardians that the cave was empty and its captive had left.

   The Cave of Ages has not been seen since that time but it has presumably remained empty and unused since the Mangog was not reimprisoned within it.

--Thor I#154


The Eternity Alarm

   The Eternity Alarm is a godly warning system that is connected to the hidden Cave of Ages. If activated, the Eternity Alarm sounds within the city of Asgard to warn the gods that the Cave of Ages has been opened.

   The audible manifestation of the Eternity Alarm is a loud "SCREEEE" sound, one which Loki described as a "deafening shriek!" This sound is generated for an unspecified period of time before (automatically?) stopping.

   The Eternity Alarm is emitted from the open beak of a large black statue of an unfamiliar (but possibly bird-like) creature. How the sound is generated has never been revealed but magic is almost certainly involved.

   The Eternity Alarm sounded twice during the initial encounter with the Mangog. The first time it sounded was as a warning that the Cave of Ages had been opened. The alarm stopped after an unspecified (but presumably short) period but later sounded for a second time. Toag, an elder of the Council Supreme, stated that "The Eternity Alarm doth sound once more (to indicate that) The Cave (was) empty (and) it's captive gone!" Once again, the alarm stopped after an unspecified period.

   While the initial sounding of the Eternity Alarm was definitely an automatic reaction to the opening of the cave, the cause of the second sounding is less clear. Toag's words to Loki indicated that it activated because the Cave of Ages was empty but how that fact was determined wasn't stated. It's possible that the alarm could have been mystically programmed to automatically sound a second time once sensors within the cave registered the absence of the Mangog but it's also possible that warriors had been sent from Asgard to investigate the initial sounding and that it was they who manually activated the alarm in order to send a confirmation of Mangog's escape back to Asgard. Due to the lack of available information, either explanation could be true.

   What happened to the Eternity Alarm once it had fulfilled its purpose has not been revealed. However, since it was no longer needed, it was presumably dismantled.

--Thor I#154


images: (without ads)
Marvel Treasury Edition#10, page 79, panel 3 (main image)
      page 79, panel 4 (planet)
      page 79, panel 4 (planet)
      page 78, panel 4 (Odinspell broken)
      page 7, panel 1 (The Mangog)
      page 6, panel 1 (Cave of Ages)
      page 14, panel 4 (Eternity Alarm)


Thor I#157, page 19, panel 4 (Mangog's race being released)
      page 19, panel 3 (Mangog's race's planet)
      page 18, panel 4 (Odinspell broken)
Thor I#154, page 7 (The Mangog)
      , page 6, panel 1 (seal on the Cave of Ages)
      page 14, panel 4 (Eternity Alarm)


Only Appearance:
Thor I#157 (October, 1968) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (penciler), Vince Colletta (embellisher)
reprinted in Marvel Treasury Edition#10 (1976)


Last updated: 10/28/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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