Real Name: Somon
Identity/Class: Extradimensional entity
Occupation: Leader of the Great Beasts
Group Membership: Great Beasts (Kariooq, Kolomaq, Ranaq, Tanaraq, Tolomaq, Tundra)
Affiliations: Mauvais (Jean-Pierre Beaubier), Pestilence (F.R. Crozier), Wendigo
Enemies: Alpha Flight
(Aurora/Jeanne-Marie, Box/Roger Bochs, Guardian/James MacDonald Hudson,
Madison Jeffries, Manikin/Whitman Knapp, Marrina, Northstar/Jean-Paul
Beaubier, Puck/Eugene Judd, Purple Girl/Kara Killgrave, Sasquatch/Walter
Langkowski, Shaman/Michael Twoyoungmen,
Snowbird/Narya,Talisman/Elisabeth Twoyoungmen, Vindicator/Heather
Hudson), the Inua (Hodiak, Nelvanna, others), X-Man (Nate Grey), 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 artificer"
Base of Operations: Unrevealed,
formerly Canada's Northwest Territories
formerly The Shattered Lands
First Appearance: Alpha Flight I#24 (July, 1985)
Powers/Abilities: As the leader of the Great Beasts, Somon has the power to control their minds and actions. He can summon them at a whim, but once he loses control over them they return to their eternal infighting. Somon has the ability to reshape the Shattered Lands, the Beasts' native dimension, in whatever form he sees fit. Somon can drain the lifeforce of mortals. Somon's control over the Great Beasts and those touched by their power exerts across dimensional voids. Treacherous by nature, Somon hides his inherent ruthlessness behind a veneer of sophistication. Somon is the oldest among the Great Beasts and the most frail, using a staff to walk. He can recover from seemingly fatal physical injury given sufficient time.
(Alpha Flight I#24 (fb) - BTS) - Born over a million years ago, before the other Great Beasts "on a planet in a universe outside our own", Somon ultimately used his power to gain control over the other Great Beasts. He led them as they pillaged and corrupted the land, taking it as their own. Over time, Somon had the Great Beasts prepare 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 Inua, the ancient Gods of the North who beat them back and sealed the beasts behind a mystical barrier.
(Alpha Flight I#1 & 24 (fb) - BTS) - Tundra and his fellow Great Beast Kolomaq had planned for this eventuality. They created a magical vortex that spun the energies of the barrier back on its creators. As a result, Nelvana, Hodiak and the other arctic deities were imprisoned in a realm beyond human ken as well.
(Alpha Flight I#24) - After discovering their teammate Sasquatch was actually the Great Beast known as Tanaraq, Alpha Flight traveled to the Shattered Lands to rescue the soul of Walter Langkowksi. There, they faced Somon the Artificer who greeted the heroes by sending the mind controlled Tundra, Kariooq and Tolamaq to fight them. Somon smugly watched the heroes run for their lives, though he was impressed by the wisdom they showed in slowing the Beasts down. He was faced by Snowbird, whose ancient fires he recognized. The daughter of Nelvana shifted into her polar bear form and attacked, only for Somon to exert his control over the Shattered Lands and trapping Snowbird in a makeshift cage. This didn't stop Narya who broke free and overpowered Somon. Begging for his life, the Beast offered his aid in freeing Langkowski's soul. He led them to the well of sorrows, claiming that freeing Langkowski would need the sacrifice of one who loves him, one who hates him and one who wields great power. Shaman sent his daughter Talisman, Northstar and Aurora down the well. There, they encountered Somon's spirit form who instantly drained their lifeforce. In response, Snowbird ripped Somon's physical form apart. With the Artificer seemingly dead, Shaman used his magics to restore his teammates and retrieve Walter's soul using the glow-globe of the Phistash-Hasrak that floated above the Shattered Lands. Alpha Flight then left the Shattered Lands.
(Alpha Flight I#38) - The spirits of Somon and the other Great Beasts were briefly summoned to Earth by Pestilence (F.R. Crozier) to battle Alpha Flight on his behalf. Tundra was seen engaging Box and Vindicator (Heather Hudson) before Michael Twoyoungmen donned his daughter's mystical talisman and forced the Beasts' spirit forms back to their native realm.
(Alpha Flight I#55) - Hoping to convince the new Sasquatch (Wanda Langkowski) to join their cause, Somon the Artificer subconsciously influenced Langkowski to sculpt an occult formation in the Canadian wilderness the Great Beasts could use as a nexus to return to Earth. Appearing near Alpha Flight, they began to directly influence Wanda. When she rejected them outright, Somon ordered Tundra and the others to attack and kill Wanda and Alpha Flight. In the fight, Somon was attacked by Manikin and Purple Girl. Unimpressed, Somon reached out and dealt psychic death to all of Manikin's forms. Enraged, Sasquatch jumped on Somon and snapped the Great Beast's neck. Soon, only Tundra was the last Beast standing. Desperate, Madison Jeffries used his technopathy to increase the size of the Box armor so he rivaled Tundra in size. Joining Jeffries inside Box were Heather and Goblyn. Together, they came up with a way to defeat Tundra: absorb all the nearby metal, convert it to energy and have Box unleash it as a massive heat blast that would melt the villain away. Even though this move brought great risk for Box, Alpha Flight and Canada itself, the heroes pushed through. When the smoke cleared, only a smouldering crater remained (Tundra and the others were seemingly destroyed while Alpha Flight survived inside the Box armor that had launched itself into space).
(Alpha Flight I#64) - Somon and the other Great Beasts once again used their mystical connection to Sasquatch to gain a foothold on Earth. This time, they manifested through Wanda Langkowski just as she was in an Ottawa probate court trying to get the Langkowski family fortune back from Walter's wife Ronnie. During the fight, Tundra tried to sway Sasquatch to rejoin the Great Beasts so they could conquer Earth. In the end, Langkowski firmly chose to back Snowbird, Alpha Flight and the ancient gods of the north. To prove his point, he shoved Tundra and the others back into the dimensional gate, even as the stunned judge returned to a demolished courtroom to deliver the verdict.
(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.
(X-Man I#39) - Somon, Kolomaq and Tundra were able to slip back to Earth when the immensely powerful mutant X-Man (Nate Grey) unleashed sufficient psionic energies to briefly weaken the barriers between dimensions. Somon and Kolomaq immediately headed for the nearest outposts of civilization while Tundra engaged X-Man and his companion Madelyne Pryor.
(X-Man I#40) - After dealing with Tundra by scattering his rocky form, Nate was informed by Madelyne that Somon and Kolomaq were still a threat as well. The two Great Beasts were attracted to a recently unearthed artifact of unknown power, tearing through outposts to reach it. X-Man decided not to engage them directly. Instead, he telekinetically interrupted the planet's gravitational pull on the Beasts, causing them to be catapulted to outerspace.
(Wolverine I#172) - When the Arctic Gods banished the malevolent Mauvais to the Shattered Lands, Somon joined Kariooq, Tolomaq and Tundra in welcoming the stunned villain.
(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, causing thousands of consumers to commit cannibalism, triggering the Wendigo curse). Tanaraq used this power to conquer the Spirit Realm, openly warring against Somon and the other Great Beasts (see comments).
(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 tried to aid the Great Beasts after Snowbird convinced the heroes the world would be better off with all seven Beasts warring against one another. The mortal heroes 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. The Great Beasts begged the mutants to free them as well so they could deal with Tanaraq. Storm refused, 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, Somon and the remaining Great Beasts were freed.
Comments: Created by John Byrne (writer, pencils) Bob Wiacek (inks)
It's conveniently left unexplained why Somon wasn't able to stop Tanaraq before he waged war against the Shattered Lands in Amazing X-Men II. Maybe the legions of Wendigo added to his power, allowing him to resist Somon's innate control over the Great Beasts. Or maybe Somon's ability to control the Great Beasts has been somewhat overstated... After all, the Artificer is a bit of a trickster.
Unlike most of the other Great Beasts, Somon does not need to inhabit another (mortal) form to enter our plane of existence. He is said to be the most vulnerable of the Beasts, but not needing a host body and recovering from evisceration, a snapped neck, the godslaying Amatsu-Mikaboshi and burning up in the atmosphere makes a body pretty tough in my book.
Somon appeared as part of the Great Beasts entry in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update '89#3
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.
Somon should not be confused with
images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe III#3, p3, pan1 (main image)
Alpha Flight I#24, p13, pan4 (closeup)
Alpha Flight I#55, p17, pan3 (killing Manikin)
Amazing X-Men II#12, p12, pan1 (chained up)
Alpha Flight I#24 (July, 1985) - John Byrne (writer, pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Alpha Flight I#38 (September, 1986) - Bill Mantlo (writer), David Ross (pencils), Gerry Talaoc (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#55 (February, 1988) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Jim Lee (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#64 (November, 1988) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Jim Lee (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#71 (June, 1989) - James D. Hudnall (writer), John Calimee (pencils), Mike Manley (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
X-Man I#39 (June, 1998) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Mark Pajarillo (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Glenn Greenberg (editor)
X-Man I#40 (July, 1988) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Richard Pace (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Glenn Greenberg (editor)
Wolverine I#172 (March, 2002) - Frank Tieri (writer), Sean Chen (pencils), Norm Rapmund (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
Chaos War: Alpha Flight I#1 (January, 2011) - Jim McCann (writer), Reilly Brown (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks), Joe Quesada (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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