Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Watchers) (Distant Past to Present)
Occupation: Sect leader, repository of the accumulated knowledge of the Watchers
Affiliations: Watchers (including He-Who-Summons and Uatu)
Enemies: Celestials (including Exitar the Exterminator), Aron (rogue Watcher)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: An unidentified planet in an unidentified galaxy
First Appearance: (Mentioned) Fantastic Four I#397 (February, 1995);
(Seen) Fantastic Force I#7 (May, 1995)
Powers/Abilities: The One is presumed to possess all of the vast mental, physical, and energy-manipulating powers of a member of the Watcher race but at higher levels than most other Watchers. He is telepathic, able to scan the mind of virtually every known form of sentient life and to project his thoughts into any brain. He is telekinetic, able to move matter or rearrange it at a molecular level. He can teleport himself across vast distances at hyper-light speeds by converting his body into an energy form. He can project his astral body across space or time or dimensions, and can make it visible and audible to others so as to communicate with them. He possesses cosmic senses that are far more acute than those of human beings and include some that humans do not possess. He can cast illusions that appear to be completely real to (most) other beings, including making himself or other objects invisible/imperceptible to others. His psionic ability to manipulate energy enables him to generate and project powerful energy blasts of unrevealed composition and create protective force fields or barriers. He can alter his appearance at will, either by psionically altering his physical form or by telepathically manipulating the perceptions of onlookers so that they see him differently. He can also manipulate the space/time continuum in various ways, as when he creates rifts through time and space to summon specific individuals at will.
Like all Watchers, the One possesses superhuman levels of intelligence, strength, speed, and durability. With his natural longevity enhanced by exposure to delta-rays at least once a century, he is virtually immortal and no longer has to eat or sleep. However, not being completely indestructible, he could still be killed by a sufficiently large force.
Additionally, the One was capable of receiving periodic downloads of all observations made by all other members of his sect and storing that data within his mind. In this way, he served as a living repository of all the knowledge his race had ever gathered and he was meant to carry this data with him beyond the Big Crunch that would end the universe.
According to the Celestials, the One's very presence was somehow slowing cosmic expansion generated by the Big Bang. The Celestials believed that the One was doing this deliberately in a subtle attempt to end the universe before its time. What reasons the One might have had for doing so were not known to the Celestials.
Limitations: Like all Watchers, the One was virtually immortal but only as long as he was regularly exposed to delta rays. Without such regular exposure, the One would (presumably) have resumed aging.
Although the One presumably possessed the standard ability of a Watcher to alter his appearance at will, his immense size may have made using this ability problematic.
Height: 100' (approximately)
Eyes: Unrevealed (but probably white)
History: Nothing is known about the personal history of the Watcher known as the One. His real name, his age and the circumstances under which he attained his unique position within Watcher society have all not been revealed.
(Fantastic Four I#400 (fb) - BTS) - Although most Watchers restricted themselves to passive observation, not all of them followed the same agenda. Within the Watchers, a certain sect formed which was devoted to downloading their observations into the One, a being whose sole purpose was to survive the next so-called Big Crunch that was expected to eventually end the current universe. These downloads occurred periodically over the course of a "millennium of millennia" and into the recent past.
<>(Fantastic Four I#400 (fb) - BTS) - At least one Watcher (Aron) is known to have scorned the One. However, Aron's reasons for doing so have never been revealed and it is unrevealed how many other Watchers shared his attitude towards the One.
(Fantastic Four I#400 (fb) - BTS) - "For countless millennia, the Watchers and the Celestials have stood in conflict--struggling incessantly on every level of existence --in manners, and for reasons, which are totally beyond human comprehension."
(Fantastic Four I#400 (fb) - BTS) - Several thousand years ago, Exitar began gathering his energies in order to prepare for the possibility that he might be called upon to eradicate the Watchers from Reality-616. If that time ever came, then the Watcher known as the One would be Exitar's first target and the other Watchers would soon follow.
(Fantastic Four I#400 (fb) - BTS) - The Celestials observed that the One had achieved a "most troubling state of cognizance" and that his very presence appeared to be slowing the cosmic expansion generated by the Big Bang. The Celestials further determined that the One was subtly attempting to cause the universe to end before its time.
(Fantastic Four I#399 (fb)) - The group of Watchers who had gathered together in order to pass judgement upon Aron the renegade for having repeatedly interfered with mankind were unexpectedly summoned to defend the One. As a result of their departure, Aron did not face judgment at that time.
(Fantastic Four I#400 (fb) - BTS) - Believing that the Celestials would inevitably win, Aron decided to save himself so he set up a base in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter within an anomaly which intruded into time as well as space. Aron then began planning to acquire a Universal Converter which he could use to transform the entire Milky Way galaxy (or just Earth's solar system) into his own private pocket universe.
(Fantastic Four I#397 - BTS) - When Aron (disguised as Uatu) confronted the Fantastic Four in Four Freedoms Plaza and was about to destroy them, the real Uatu showed up to stop him. The false Uatu asked the real one to join him so that together they could break free from the One, leave that decadent plane of reality and create a new universe. The real Uatu rejected that plan because it could only lead to madness or worse, and stated that, "If the One (did) perish...so must we!" After this rejection, "Uatu" chose to teleport away and Uatu did the same seconds later.
(Fantastic Force I#7) - After traveling through the cosmic rift left behind in Uatu's base on Earth's Moon, all eleven members of the combined Fantastic Four/Force team *somehow* ended up within the amulet affixed to the breastplate worn by the One. Assessing the situation, the group realized that they were in the middle of some cosmic war zone, with Watchers facing off against Celestials, and Exitar ("that big guy with the stripes") was getting ready to let loose with some kind of blast.
(Fantastic Four I#400 (fb) - BTS) - The beam of Celestial energy generated by Exitar swept over the One, forcing him to lose consciousness and collapse upon the wooded planet where the face off between the army of Watchers and the armada of Celestials was taking place. The beings from Earth were uninjured within the One's amulet.
(Fantastic Four I#400) - As the One lay unconscious on the alien planet, Uatu explained the situation to the gathered heroes who soon split up into two groups. Six of them (with a weapon made from components that Uatu had discretely provided to them) transported to Aron's base to stop his plans, but Aron brought villains from the FF's past forward in time to keep his enemies at bay while he completed his Universal Converter.
Meanwhile, the other five (Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Lyja, Devlor and Nathaniel Richards) managed to penetrate Exitar's shell but while traveling through Exitar's body most of this group became trapped so that only the Invisible Woman managed to reach the Celestial's "brain." Once there, she was confronted by a genetic duplicate, created by Exitar to communicate with her. The duplicoid explained the threat that the One posed to the universe.
As the Invisible Woman tried to decide what to do, Arishem the Celestial Judge decided that the Celestials could no longer suffer the Watchers to live! Arishem began the process by transferring the formula that enabled him to destroy worlds to Exitar. The Exterminator's body briefly pulsed with unknown forces and then Exitar directed a powerful beam of energy at the One. Struck by the beam, the One convulsed for a moment as his death cry echoed down every infinite corridor of existence, and then he was dead.
One of the Watchers who had observed this execution then stated, "The One is...no more! All our efforts have come to naught!" The Watcher standing beside him then told Uatu, "We shall soon join him in oblivion, Uatu!" but Uatu replied, "Perhaps, my brother...Perhaps not..."
As Exitar prepared to wipe out the rest of the Watchers, the Invisible Woman made her decision. Stating that the cosmic balance of power had to be restored now that the Celestials had eliminated the so-called threat of the One, Sue Richards used her invisible force field powers to damage Exitar's bio-mechanical nerve center. Once that nerve center was crippled, multiple bursts of energy erupted from the giant Celestial's body and then he and the duplicoid both instantly vanished, leaving the Invisible Woman falling through the air while wondering if she had killed them or merely expelled them from Earth's dimensional plane.
Uatu helped the Invisible Woman by transporting her safely to the planet's surface, then announced that she and her companions were safe...for the moment. When Sue asked what "for the moment" meant, Uatu revealed that the Celestials would eventually manifest another Exitar while his brother Watchers would regenerate the One, and that her actions have merely delayed the inevitable resolution to their conflict by a few millennia. However, Sue stated that that was exactly what Uatu had planned because mankind could use that time to evolve to a level where they could be a player in the conflict. Sue then pointed out that they needed his help again to prevent his subtle manipulations from all being wasted.
Back at the base in the asteroid belt, Aron was about to activate his Universal Converter when Ant-Man destroyed it by entering it at ant size and then growing to giant size within it. Aron bragged about how he could easily reconstitute the converter in mere instants but then Uatu arrived (with the other five) and demanded that Aron surrender. Aron refused and attacked Uatu and they began battling each other savagely across the infinite rivers of reality (although to mortal eyes they seemed to be standing still). Eventually, Uatu defeated the weakening Aron, then stated that he could easily destroy Aron and erase him from existence but that that was not his way. Instead, Uatu converted Aron into pure living energy that would now serve as the core of the One's regeneration. As that energy disappeared from Aron's base, Uatu expressed his hope that, in the millennia to come, Aron's desperate hunger for life would temper the One's subtle manipulations. Unfortunately for Uatu, the High Tribunal of the Watchers judged him guilty of taking the life of a brother Watcher and He-Who-Summons appeared to punish Uatu by banishing him from his race.
Although Exitar (or "an" Exitar) was seen to be active in Reality-616 only a few years (in Marvel Time) later, The One has not been seen again...so far.
Comments: Created by Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan, and Danny Bulanadi.
The One appears to be a living counterpart to the Cyclopedia Universum that was later seen in Fantastic Four III#544. Perhaps that extradimensional realm serves as a back-up for The One?
The framing sequence in Point One#1 revealed that Watchers enter a fugue state once every three years that lasts for exactly forty-two minutes. During these periods, Watchers are totally unaware of everything while they are (believed to be) uploading their memories to "their collective." Depending on when this story took place, Uatu was uploading his memories to either The One or the Cyclopedia Universum. On the other hand, it should be pointed out that the two intruders also had a theory that the Watchers weren't a race of beings, they were actually infinite aspects of one powerful entity and, as far as I know, that theory was completely wrong.
One flaw in the storyline featuring the One concerns the sizes of the various participants. Fantastic Force I#7 ends with a two-page spread showing the One and four Watchers facing off against Exitar the Exterminator and three normal-sized Celestials (Arishem, Tefral and Ziran). It's a dramatic scene that is undermined by the fact that the relative sizes of aliens are incorrect. "Normal" Celestials are supposed to be 2,000 feet tall, Exitar should be more than ten times that height (i.e., more than 20,000 feet tall) and Watchers usually appear to be between 25 and 30 feet tall. However, in that Fantastic Force spread, all of the "normal" Watchers and Celestials appear to be about the same size, with the smaller Watchers and Celestials being about one-third as tall as their respective bigger brothers. And while Exitar does appear to be taller than the One, it's not by much and that's due to an artistic trick (since Exitar's image is 7 ½ inches tall while The One's image is 8 ½ inches tall).
Things get worse in the two-page spread that begins the story in Fantastic Four I#400. Normal Watchers (like He-Who-Summons) are depicted as being slightly smaller (relative to the One) than they were in Fantastic Force I#7 and the smaller Celestials, although definitely taller than the Watchers, are not more than twice as tall as them. If we were to assume that Uatu and his brothers were not more than four times a normal human's height, that would mean that the Celestials in attendance were no more than eight times as tall as that normal human. For convenience, let's say no more than 50 feet tall...which is FAR smaller than they should be. However, there's nothing to say that these smaller Celestials aren't actually only present through the use of Manifestation Bodies (M-Bodies). Of course, the fact that the Invisible Woman and some of her companions actually entered the body of Exitar means that he was "really" present, at least until Sue seemingly destroyed him.
Profile by Donald Campbell.
The One has no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Fantastic Force I#7, page 21 (main image)
Fantastic Four I#400, page 3 (close-up head shot)
pages 2+3 (The One has fallen)
page 30, panels 1-2 (Exitar destroys The One)
Fantastic Force I#7 (May, 1995) - Tom Brevoort and Mike Kanterovich (writers), Dante Bastianoni (penciler), Ralph Cabrera (inker), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Fantastic Four I#400 (May, 1995) - Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan (script, plot, and pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inker), Nel Yomtov (editor)
First Posted: 05/11/2018
Last updated: 05/11/2018
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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