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Real Name: Ossem

Identity/Class: Sub-species of Humanity (Atlantean/Homo Mermani; 1st century)

Occupation: Patriarch of Atlantis

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Neptune

Enemies: Set

Known Relatives: Balaal (son, deceased), several other children, Arkus, Beemer, Bobo, Byrrah, Byrrahna, Dara, Daro, Dorma, Fen, Namita, Namor, Namora, Namorita, Thakorr, Thallo (possible descendants),
Harran, Kalen, Kamuu, Orrek, Stegor, Zartra and others (possible ancestors), many other distant relatives

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Atlantis

First Appearance: Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#9/4 (September, 1989)

Powers/Abilities: As an Atlantean, Ossem possessed all the common traits of Homo Mermani: including strength, endurance, stamina and reflexes (in and out of water) far above average human levels.

Height: 6'2" (by approximation)
Weight: 278 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Black
Hair: Black


(Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#9 (fb) - BTS) <2000 years ago> - Ossem was the Patriarch of Atlantis. Because of his position, he would regularly meet with the God of the sea, Neptune, whom the Atlanteans worshipped. Although they would freely discuss any matter, only Ossem knew of Neptune's existence.

(Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#9 (fb)) - Neptune tasked Ossem to lead the Atlanteans in battle against the barbarians of Skarka who had invaded Atlantis. During the war, many young Atlanteans lost their lives including several of Ossem's sons. Although he mourned their deaths, Ossem chose to refrain from seeking revenge because he and Neptune both agreed there was no reason for more Atlantean blood to be spilled. However, most Atlantean survivors cried out for revenge, chief among them was Ossem's son Balaal who wanted to pursue the barbarians. After a heated dispute between father and son, Balaal revealed he and the revenge-seekers now followed the elder god Set who promised to lead them in slaughtering the barbarians.

(Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#9) - Ossem sought out the advice of Neptune since he feared worship of Set could already have spread throughout much of the Atlantean population. Ossem tried to convince Neptune to reveal his existence to the Atlanteans, figuring it would make them turn against Set and his plans for war. However, Neptune refused to do so and warned that if they were indeed to turn against him they should fear his wrath. Ossem returned to Atlantis only to be taken prisoner by his former guards who now wore armor depicting the image of the seven-headed serpent. Dragged into a nightmarish scenario, Ossem bore witness to half of his population ritually chanting Set's name at an enormous altar. To enable Set's return on Earth, Balaal was about to murder Ossem when Neptune appeared, towering over the altar to strike down in his rage. With just one blow from his trident Neptune killed Balaal and all other worshippers of Set, sparing only Ossem. The rest of the people of Atlantis fled in fear of Neptune's anger who would shun the place, calling it the altar of Neptune's wrath.

(Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#9) - In the years that followed Ossem had searched throughout the seas for his scattered people, hoping to reunite them as a nation. Over many decades of his long life he succeeded.

(Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#9 - BTS) - Ossem fathered four new children.

(Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#9) - As he grew older, Ossem saw the Atlanteans begin to rebuild their city but would not see it finished. Exhausted by his years of hardship the elderly Ossem lay on his deathbed, surrounded by his grieving children, he refused to abandon his people. Just than when he was all alone the great Neptune reappeared before Ossem, revealing his dedication to the Atlanteans had moved him and he would dwell among them, caring for them as Ossem had done. With his blessing Ossem passed away peacefully.

Comments: Created by Peter Sanderson (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Bob Lewis (inks).

Ossem had a minimum of seven children: on his deathbed four of them were shown, Balaal makes five. And during Ossem and Balaal's heated discussion, he spoke of his eldest sons who had died, adding another two.

The barbarians of Skarka are led by Attuma in modern times.

The tale of Ossem has obvious parallels to that of the biblical figure Moses (the name alone is an anagram). They were considered the father of their people, in Moses' case the Israeli people. Just like Moses, Ossem was the only one who would speak to his god directly. Both Ossem and Moses saw half their population turn away from god to worship false idols: the serpent Set and the golden calf (constructed by the Israeli when Moses was away on Mount Sinai where he received the ten commandments). As a result of their people's blasphemy, Ossem and Moses led them into a decades long exile. Ultimately, both died before delivering their people to the new promised land.

Moses had his share of adventures as well in the Marvel Universe.
--Markus Raymond

Profile by MarvellousLuke

Ossem has no known connections to

images: (without ads)
Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#9, p51, pan1 (main image)
Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#9, p51, pan2 (closeup)
Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#9, p54, pan4 (on his deathbed)

Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#9/4 (September, 1989) - Peter Sanderson (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Bob Lewis (inks), Mark Greenwald, Gregory Wright (editors)

First Posted: 01/12/2016
Last updated: 01/12/2016

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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