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Real Name: Ranaq

Identity/Class: Extradimensional entity

Occupation: Possessor

Group Membership: Great Beasts (Kariooq, Kolomaq, Somon, Tanaraq, Tolomaq, Tundra)

Affiliations: Zebediah Chase, Pestilence (F.R. Crozier), Lucas Stang, Emily Stang

Enemies: Alpha Flight (Aurora/Jeanne-Marie, Box/Roger Bochs, Guardian/James MacDonald Hudson, Northstar/Jean-Paul Beaubier, Puck/Eugene Judd, Sasquatch/Walter Langkowski, Shaman/Michael Twoyoungmen, Snowbird/Narya,Talisman/Elisabeth Twoyoungmen, Vindicator/Heather Hudson), the Inua, X-Men (Colossus/Peter Rasputin, Firestar/Angelica Jones, Iceman/Bobby Drake, Marvel Girl/Rachel Grey, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Rockslide/Santo Vaccaro, Storm/Ororo Munroe, Wolverine/James Howlett)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Great Devourer

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
                                  formerly The Shattered Lands,
                                  formerly Calgary, Alberta, Canada

First Appearance: Alpha Flight I#6 (January, 1984)

Powers/Abilities: As one of the Great Beasts, Ranaq can control and channel considerable magical energies, using it for both offensive and constructive purposes. He can fire powerful bolts of magic from his eyes as well as use it to restructure reality, making people's wishes come true. Ranaq can be summoned by sufficiently skilled adepts, but he can only exist on Earth by taking possession of a human body. In his human form, he is as vulnerable to injury and can be killed through conventional means like a gunshot. When Ranaq takes possession of someone, he can choose to kill the host's mind permanently. Ranaq is sly, cunning and vengeful.

Height: Unrevealed
Weight: Unrevealed
Eyes: Red
Hair: None


Alpha Flight I#24 (fb) - BTS) - A million years ago Ranaq and his fellow Great Beasts rose "on a planet in a universe outside our own". They pillaged and corrupted the land, taking it as their own even as they fought amongst themselves.  Over time, the Great Beasts would set aside their hatred and join forces to conquer other realms.

(Alpha Flight I#24 (fb) - BTS) - Discovering Earth was the nearest realm in the mystic continuum, the Great Beasts staged three unsuccessful invasion attempts. During the final confrontation, they were opposed by the Ancient Gods of the North who beat them back and sealed the beasts behind a mystical barrier.

(Alpha Flight I#19 (fb) - BTS) - In 1864, the greedy cowboy Zebediah Chase and his young ward Lucas Stang learned of the existence of the powerful Great Beasts from the local natives. Intrigued by the promise of their power, Chase managed to get his hands on two magic negating amulets. Figuring these would render him and Stang immune to the Beasts' influence, Chase forced an elderly shaman to summon the Great Beasts.

(Alpha Flight I#19) - The mystic managed to reach the realm of the Great Beasts and Ranaq was the one to answer the call. Initially afraid of the disembodied, monstrous head of Ranaq, Stang shot several rounds at him without doing any damage. Ranaq retaliated with a magical blast, but the amulet protected Lucas. Convinced the Beast couldn't harm them, Chase quickly came to the point and forced Ranaq to fulfill the poor privateer's wishes of great wealth and beautiful women. The sly Ranaq generated a massive gold treasure and a beautiful willing woman but Chase was frustrated when he realized his amulet prevented him from actually touching his new, magical acquisitions. Chase fell for Ranaq's ploy and took off the amulet to hug his newly created woman who instantly turned into a monster and bit him, thereby letting Ranaq take over Zebediah's body. Moments later, Ranaq was confronted by a time traveling Alpha Flight. Ranaq quickly dispelled Snowbird, but was having a hard time fighting Talisman who simply directed his magical blasts against him. It was Shaman who convinced Lucas Stang to kill Chase by shooting him in the head with a bullet containing a piece of the magic negating necklace. His host form killed, Ranaq returned to his home dimension. Chase's body was buried just outside Fort Calgary, with Alpha Flight returning to the present.

(Alpha Flight I#14) - Working on a dig near the original Fort Calgary, Elizabeth Twoyoungmen unearthed the skull of Zebediah Chase, thereby letting Ranaq's spirit loose.

(Alpha Flight I#14 - BTS) - Concerned about the encounter, Elizabeth decided to seek out the help of her estranged father Michael Twoyoungmen, better known as Shaman.

(Alpha Flight I#18) - Ranaq sought out Lucas Stang, eager to have his revenge on the man who killed his human form. Ranaq discovered Stang was still alive, well over a 100, and living with his great-granddaughter Emily. Ranaq began to haunt the house by possessing some eggs Emily was cooking for lunch. Using the eggs as a conduit to the spirit plane, Ranaq siphoned energies from the plane and transformed it to ectoplasmic matter, causing the pan of scrambled eggs to become a monstrous entity. Shaman teleported himself and Elizabeth to the Stang estate in time to fight the lunch creature. Shaman broke Ranaq's control over the eggs when he linked the rift to the interface within his medicine bag. The eggs exploded, but the threat hadn't ended: Ranaq managed to possess Emily who tried to assault and slaughter Lucas Stang, Shaman and Elizabeth, who to her surprise learned she could counter the mystical blasts Emily fired at her. While Elizabeth held the Ranaq possessed woman at bay, Shaman reached into his pouch and took out a handful of mystical baubles that exorcised Ranaq. However, this encounter led Shaman and Elizabeth to conclude they needed to visit the past to find out how or why Ranaq was raised in the first place.

(Alpha Flight I#38) - The spirit of Ranaq and the other Great Beasts were briefly summoned to Earth by Pestilence (F.R. Crozier) to battle Alpha Flight on his behalf. Ranaq was attacked by Vindicator, who hit him with her electromagnetic blasts. Ultimately,  Michael Twoyoungmen donned his daughter's mystical talisman and forced the Beasts' spirit forms back to their native realm.

(Alpha Flight I#71 (fb) - BTS) - On the eve of the return of the immensely powerful sorceror Llan, Heather Hudson had a talk with Alpha Flight's resident mystic Talisman. She was concerned about the team's recent string of encounters with mystical and otherworldly menaces like the Great Beasts, Pestilence, and the Dream Queen. Talisman concluded that these events were a warning of a greater threat: the world was about to enter a phase of darkness during which evil gains the upper hand.

(Chaos War: Alpha Flight I#1) - Fearing the rise of the Chaos King (Amatsu-Mikaboshi) the Great Beasts summoned Sasquatch to their realm to request his aid in combating this threat. They even used their powers to resurrect his slain teammates from Alpha Flight (Guardian, Marrina, Shaman & Vindicator). The Beasts and Alpha returned to Earth to fight the Chaos King and his demon armies, but ultimately the Beasts were killed by the deity slayer.

(Amazing X-Men II#11 (fb) - BTS) - Tanaraq grew increasingly more powerful after an incident in Canada led to the creation of hordes of Wendigo (a murderer had ditched the corpse of his victim in a meat processing plant, leading thousands of unwitting consumers to commit cannibalism, triggering the Wendigo curse). Tanaraq used this power to conquer the Spirit Realm, openly warring against Ranaq and the other Great Beasts.

(Amazing X-Men II#12) - Members of the X-Men and Alpha Flight traveled to the Spirit Realm in an attempt to reverse the effects of the curse. They learned of Tanaraq's conquest of the realm and witnessed how Ranaq and the other Great Beasts tried to fight off the ever increasing Wendigo army. The mortal heroes joined the fray, but were unable to hold their own against Tanaraq and his forces. They wound up chained next to the Great Beasts, but were soon freed by the arriving Iceman who led the revived Shiloh to aid them. The Great Beasts begged the mutants to free them as well so they could deal with Tanaraq. Storm refused their offer, instead striking a deal that led to the Great Beasts empowering Storm, Iceman, Firestar and Rockslide. They fought off Tanaraq's Wendigo while a furious Guardian wound up killing Tanaraq. Without his power holding them back, Ranaq and the remaining Great Beasts were freed and returned to their native realm without a fight.

Comments: Created by John Byrne (writer, pencils, inks)

One wonders why Ranaq is called "the great devourer" when his fellow Great Beasts take and consume human hosts as well, with the possible exception of Somon and Tolomaq the Fire Beast (though fire consumes things to burn too, so).

appeared as part of the Great Beasts entry in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#3

In the Wolverine Index it was mentioned that an unidentified Great Beast possessed a bear in Wolverine II#110. However, it vaguely resembled Ranaq the Great Devourer, so it might have been him in this issue.

   It is worth noting that since the Wolverine Index came out we've had other confirmed Great Beasts, so there are definitely more than seven. Alpha Flight I#6 mentioned "there were seven Great Beasts involved in Last Battle", which could be interpreted to mean either that there were only seven Great Beasts OR that there were more, but only seven were involved in that final fight. In Alpha Flight I#23, one of the Inua says Tanaraq is "one of the Last Seven, of the Great Beasts" - if not for that comma, that would be a clear statement that there were more than seven, and that the ones we've always counted were simply the last to fall, but even with the comma the comment could be interpreted that way. Apparently Wolverine II#172 and Over the Edge#2 also contain comments or info supporting this. In Incredible Hercules#119, Snowbird took the "forbidden form of the deadliest of the Great Beasts of the North, Neooqtoq the Ravager," and in Marvel Heartbreakers we meet another two Great Beasts, Tiamaq and Herateq. And Kimara the Cloudstalker was identified as a Great Beast; there were only two reasons to argue against this claim afaik, the first being there were only seven GB (now disproved) and the second that since he appeared in a gaming module that he wasn't canon (countered by his being confirmed in 616 via handbook entries).

Profile by Norvo.

Ranaq should not be confused with

images: (without ads)
Alpha Flight I#19, p12, pan1 (main image)
Alpha Flight I#14, p22, pan3 (freed by Elizabeth Twoyoungmen)
Alpha Flight I#19, p16, pan5 (takes over Zebediah Chase)
Amazing X-Men II#12, p3, pan1 (trapped by Tanaraq)

Alpha Flight I#14 (September, 1984) - John Byrne (writer, pencils, inks), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Alpha Flight I#18 (January, 1985) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Alpha Flight I#38 (September, 1986) - Bill Mantlo (writer), David Ross (pencils), Gerry Talaoc (inks), Carl Potts (editor)

Alpha Flight I#71 (June, 1989) - James D. Hudnall (writer), John Calimee (pencils), Mike Manley (inks), Carl Potts (editor)

Amazing X-Men II#11 (November, 2014) - Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost (writers), Carlos Barberi & Iban Coello (pencils & inks) Mike Marts (editor)
Amazing X-Men II#12 (December, 2014) - Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost (writers), Carlos Barberi & Iban Coello (pencils & inks) Mike Marts (editor)

First Posted: 10/30/2018
Last Updated: 01/06/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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