TENEBROUS OF THE DARKNESS BETWEEN
Real Name: Tenebrous
Identity/Class: Cosmic Being (Proemial God), (Distant Past to present)
Occupation: Maintaining the Black (the living matter that binds the universe and makes it whole)
Group Membership: Proemial Gods, followers of Diableri
Affiliations: "Cosmic/High Abstracts" (including
Aegis, Galactus, various
Celestials), Nova (Richard Rider), Quasar (Wendell Vaughn), Silver Surfer (Norrin Radd), crews
of the warships from a hundred different interstellar cultures who were allied against the
Cancerverse invasion force;
formerly Diableri (deceased), Fallen One, Thanos, Annihilus
Enemies: Forces from the Cancerverse (especially the Galactus Engine);
formerly Galactus (aka the Devourer), Silver Surfer
Known Relatives: Proemial Gods (siblings?)
Aliases: Tenebrous of the Darkness, Tenebrous of the Much Deepest Darkness
Base of Operations: The universe (Reality-616);
imprisoned for countless millennia within The Kyln
First Appearance: Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3 (August, 2006)
Powers/Abilities: Tenebrous is one of the Proemial Gods, a group of Cosmic Beings created directly by the "living universe" with forms fitted to their functions. Tenebrous was among the most powerful of these entities, said to be "on a plane comparable to that of Galactus" and whose abilities "may rival those of Galactus." However, while many of the abilities possessed by Galactus have been observed, only a few of the ways in which Tenebrous could use his power have been seen.
As a Proemial God, Tenebrous was not born of another being and always existed in the same physical form. Tenebrous seemed to be unaging and immune to any form of natural death, making him immortal unless killed. His life was apparently sustained by the same energies from the Crunch as had birthed him so he didn't require other forms of nourishment. Although Tenebrous might have been able to feel pain (or, at least, discomfort) when attacked by less powerful entities, his body was extremely durable and could only actually be damaged by beings of equal or greater power (like his fellow Proemial Gods or Galactus) or by direct exposure to the energies of the Crunch.
Since the Proemial Gods were not biological lifeforms, Tenebrous's body was presumably not organic in nature. It's possible that his physical form was just solid matter animated by his life-force and reshaped by his consciousness. It appears that Tenebrous could greatly increase his size and mass since, although he was originally about 30 feet tall, after being resurrected to oppose the Cancerverse invasion he was the same size as a normal Celestial, about 2,000 feet tall.
Tenebrous did not need to breathe and could exist comfortably in any planetary atmosphere or in the vacuum of space. He was apparently also unaffected by extremes of temperature and probably could have withstood intense gravitational fields to a far greater degree than most organic beings.
Tenebrous had certain extra-normal senses which enabled him to "feel" when certain beings were in close proximity to him. Those senses could also let him identify if those beings were connected to certain Cosmic Beings. He was able to feel the presence of the Fallen One and sensed that he "reeked" of Galactus. He was also able to sense when Thanos arrived without having to see him, and may have been able to determine that he was not "of Galactus" but served a harsher mistress (i.e., Mistress Death).
Tenebrous could communicate with other beings even when they were both in the vacuum of space. How he could understand or be understood by these other beings is a mystery since he predated any known civilization and thus should not have known any modern language. It may be that, like so many alien beings in the Marvel Universe, Tenebrous was simply omnilingual.
Tenebrous possessed superhuman strength, the limits of which were never revealed. However, it is known that Tenebrous was strong enough to physically battle Galactus and hold his own.
Tenebrous was able to fire bluish-white bolts of (cosmic?) energy which could strike their targets with incredible concussive force. He could project such blasts from either his hands or his "mouth" area but it is not revealed whether he could project energy from any other points on his body. Bolts that Tenebrous fired at the Silver Surfer were able to damage both the herald and his nearly indestructible surfboard.
Tenebrous could also move objects in close proximity to him without physically touching them. By generating a circuit of energy which flowed between his hands and then directing that loop of energy outwards until it engulfed a nearby object, Tenebrous could then move that object by manipulating where that energy flowed. As the energy moved, so too did the object embedded within it. Apparently the energy that Tenebrous used to move objects in this manner did not have to be visible. It has not been revealed how close these objects had to be in order for Tenebrous to move them or how much mass he could move with this method.
When Tenebrous and Galactus engaged in physical combat, both of their bodies were at times surrounded by auras. While the one around Galactus was bright and golden, the one around Tenebrous was dark and shadowy. These auras may have been functioning as shields meant to protect the Cosmic Beings who were generating them.
Tenebrous could extrude tentacles from his fingers which he could use to entrap other beings. These captives could then apparently be absorbed into Tenebrous's body and drained of energy. Tenebrous could also drain them of any knowledge that they possessed. Beings who had been thus absorbed could be released later if Tenebrous willed it.
Tenebrous could defy gravity at will and usually hovered in the air above the surface of any planet he happened to be visiting. When in space, Tenebrous could float in place or move freely in any direction he wished without making any apparent effort, seemingly requiring only an act of will to propel him. It is unclear if he had to perform any sort of "walking" motion in order to actually move while in space or when within a planetary atmosphere. It may be that Tenebrous was, effectively, constantly flying wherever he was, even if he was staying in one location. The maximum speed he could attain when moving in this manner has not been revealed.
Tenebrous could transport himself across immense, interstellar distances in a split second. It has not been revealed if this was some form of teleportation or space-warping, or what limits (if any) there were to the distance that he could travel as a single act. Some online sources have described this as the ability to "make instant hyper-jumps throughout the universe."
Although the Xandarian Worldmind believed that Tenebrous, like Galactus, possessed the Power Cosmic which enabled him to gather, channel and manipulate large quantities of cosmic energy, the Silver Surfer believed that Tenebrous actually drew his power from the energies of the Crunch, the essence of the Creation Event. This belief was confirmed when the Surfer, who could channel the Power Cosmic, was nearly killed when he channelled the energies of the Crunch and would have died had Galactus not restored him. Galactus has admitted that even he could not channel those energies without being consumed by them.
Limitations: Despite the fact that the energies of the Crunch were his very essence, Tenebrous was vulnerable to those same energies being used against him and could be (and was) "consigned to Oblivion" when forced into direct contact with those energies from a source external to his body.
After being defeated by Galactus, Tenebrous and Aegis were imprisoned within the Kyln because the vast power of the Crunch from which those massive power generators drew their energy was needed in order to contain them.
Height: Variable, up to 2000' [but normally 30' (estimated)]
Weight: Unrevealed (and variable)
Eyes: Unrevealed (possibly inapplicable)
Skin: Black (with white markings) (specifically, shiny black skin with bright white markings)
Hair: None (or inapplicable)
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb)) - Long ago, "when the living universe was young," it was of chaos but cosmic consonance demanded that there be order to balance chaos. Eventually, a number of unique "caretakers" were brought into being whose purpose was to maintain cosmic consonance. These beings were initially without will or identity or awareness of anything but their respective tasks. One of these caretakers was tasked with the Black, the living matter that binds the universe and makes it whole.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#4 (fb) - BTS) - The "firstborn of the Creation Event" were "Alpha life forms" known as Chaos Mites or Chaos Sprites.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb)) - The caretakers shepherded the young universe, maintaining the delicate balance between order and chaos, and the living universe expanded and flourished. However, with the passage of time these caretakers also changed as they evolved to awareness. As these Proemial Gods became sentient, they chose names for themselves, with the one whose purpose was to handle the Black calling himself Tenebrous of the Darkness Between.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb)) - As more time passed and the life that thrived on countless worlds began to serve cosmic consonance as well, the Proemial Gods became much diminished and their age ended. One of them, Diableri of Chaos, was unwilling to see himself diminished and sought to avoid that fate by remaking the universe in his image. Using trickery and lies, Diableri corrupted the purpose of the Proemial Gods so that many of them came to agree with his plans, with Tenebrous of the Darkness Between and Aegis of All Sorrows becoming Diableri's two foremost supporters. However, not all of the Proemial Gods agreed with Diableri's plans and that led to a war being fought during which most of the Proemial Gods died. Tenebrous and Aegis were among the four known survivors.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3 (fb) - BTS/Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files#1: Aegis & Tenebrous entry/Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb)) - Since all of the Proemial Gods who had actively opposed them had been killed in the conflict, Diableri's faction might have won the war except Diableri chose to bring the war to Galactus as well. Galactus regarded Diableri and his followers as corrupted beings who were defying cosmic consonance and who planned to defy The Creator and remake his works in their images. Galactus killed Diableri and then (somehow) defeated both Tenebrous and Aegis. For reasons which have never been revealed, Galactus chose to imprison the two Proemial Gods instead of obliterating them. To accomplish this task, Galactus brought them to the first Kyln, massive power generators of unknown origin, and modified the Kyln so that the power of the Crunch Energy Cascade which they tapped would be used to bind the captives for all time.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - At some later point, Antiphon the Overseer, the only Proemial God who had remained neutral despite rejecting Diableri's plans, was also imprisoned within the Kyln.
(Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files#1: Aegis & Tenebrous entry) - Tenebrous and Aegis (and Antiphon) remained locked away for "countless centuries" (Actually, it was probably closer to FOUR BILLION YEARS).
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3 (fb) - BTS/Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files#1: Aegis & Tenebrous entry) - With the passage of time, knowledge of the existence of Tenebrous and the other Proemial Gods was slowly forgotten. Eventually, Tenebrous was mostly known only as a mythical being but even that myth and the rumor that he and Aegis were deep within the Kyln were not widely known. However, even though he predated its own existence, the Xandarian Worldmind was fully aware of the fact that Tenebrous was a very real threat to the universe who had been imprisoned within the Kyln by Galactus.
(Annihilation: Prologue#1 - BTS/Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files: Omega Core entry/Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3 (fb) - BTS) <Annihilation Day> - The forces of the Annihilation Wave punched through the Crunch Energy Cascade into the positive matter universe from the Negative Zone and immediately attacked the primary Kyln array, tearing the Moons from their gravitational moorings and causing them to collide with one another, resulting in massive casualties among both inmates and Omega Core officers. The destruction of the Kyln creches in which they had been contained for so long freed both Tenebrous and Aegis.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3) <Annihilation Day, plus 20> - Tenebrous
and Aegis investigated the debris of the Kyln Moons. Tenebrous considered the corpses of the
dead to be "fascinating" but Aegis replied that she found being held helpless for whatever
time had passed by these "wretches" to be appalling. Tenebrous responded that her anger was
misplaced because they has not been imprisoned by such as these dead and suggested that she
save her wrath for the Devourer of Worlds. When Tenebrous then asked if she felt it, Aegis
confirmed that she did feel "an extension of Galactus' essence."
Soon afterwards and nearby, Tenebrous punched one of his hands through some of the drifting debris and grabbed both the Fallen One and the dead body of the Beyonder (who the Fallen One had been sent to find). As they inspected their catch, Tenebrous stated that "it" reeked of "him" and Aegis observed that Galactus still took of himself to empower others. When Tenebrous declared that his catch served Galactus, the captive claimed to serve Thanos of Titan. Aegis replied that the "insignificant faineant" was lying to them because it reeked of "his" touch but denied servitude, and Tenebrous added that they knew of no Thanos of Titan. When Aegis repeated her assertion that the captive was of the one called Galactus and that he served him, the captive replied that he served Thanos of Titan and that he had not served as herald to Galactus for centuries, ever since Galactus had cast him out and he had become the Fallen One. As the Beyonder's body was discarded, their prisoner's use of the word "centuries" caught the attention of Tenebrous who demanded to know when this was and how long had it been since the Creation Event. The Fallen One's revelation that the Creation Event had been "countless millennia" ago shocked the two Proemial Gods into a brief silence, then, as he extended tentacles from his hand that wrapped around the captive, Tenebrous declared that they (he and Aegis) would know all that the Fallen One knew and then he would serve them.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3 - BTS) <Annihilation Day, plus 21> - Galactus told the Silver Surfer about the war fought when the universe had been young and of Tenebrous and Aegis and the danger they posed to the universe. In return for the Surfer agreeing to serve as his herald again, Galactus restored his will to do what had to be done.
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#4 (fb) - BTS) - Tenebrous and Aegis used the Fallen One's link to his master to summon "Thanos of the Titans."
(Annihilation: Silver Surfer#4) <Annihilation Day, plus 40> - Tenebrous
and Aegis examined the life on Harborage Minor, an unaffiliated colony world. While hovering
in the air above some buildings on the planet's surface, Aegis found what was there to be
fascinating but Tenebrous stated that it was disturbing because the chaotic abundance and
the unfettered evolutionary development had no overriding purpose beyond proliferation. Aegis
said that was what made it so fascinating, then asked if he supposed there were other worlds
similar to that one, and Tenebrous replied that such was his concern. Aegis insisted that there
must be because common source presupposed common development and all things had been birthed
from the Creation Event, but Tenebrous countered that these had been birthed and left to chaos
and that there was no common purpose!
At that moment, Tenebrous and Aegis both sensed the arrival of the being they had summoned, and Tenebrous caused the ground upon which Thanos was standing to rise up and float in the air before them. As they confronted him, "Thanos of the Titans" claimed not to know of them, a statement which caused his small companion to speak up, revealing herself to be the last surviving Chaos Mite, Skreet, who then asked "what of The Aegis and The Tenebrous" because the Proemial Elders were "long time gone" and "dead and dead again!" When Thanos defined proemial as meaning "serving to make ready for that which follows" and stated that such "built-in obsolescence" meant that the universe was not without a sense of humor, Tenebrous observed that "this one" lacked respect. Thanos replied that respect was earned and when he asked about something that belonged to him which they had, Tenebrous replied that they had what was left of it. As Aegis appreciated their guest's bravado and stated that she liked him, Tenebrous released what was left of the Fallen One, stating that there was no need for it beyond its link to Thanos and the fact that it bore "his" taint. Thanos correctly surmised that Tenebrous was referring to Galactus, causing Aegis to consider him to be "so clever." When Thanos asked why they had summoned him, Tenebrous replied that the being called Fallen One was of Galactus but called Thanos "master" and they would know why. Aegis asked if Thanos was of Galactus but then sensed that the Titan had a harsher Mistress, indicating that she knew of his link to Mistress Death. When Thanos again asked why he had been summoned, Tenebrous answered "Galactus" but Thanos answered that he did not serve Galactus. Aegis revealed that they sought Galactus because there were "things...unfinished...between them." Thanos then stated that they shared a common goal because he also sought Galactus and suggested that they might come to an understanding that would further both of their agendas.
(Annihilation#1 (fb) - BTS)) - Thanos arranged an alliance between the two Proemial Gods and Annihilus whereby they all would coordinate their attacks against their respective enemies.
(Annihilation#1 (fb)/Annihilation#2 (fb) - BTS)) <Annihilation Day, plus 204> - Acting as a distraction to keep the United Front forces from interfering, the Annihilation Wave launched an attack on the United Front base on Daedalus 5, a planet on the Kree system periphery. At the same time, Tenebrous and Aegis attacked Galactus and the Silver Surfer on a different planet (whose name has not yet been revealed). As the natives fled the area and Aegis blasted the Silver Surfer off his surfboard, Tenebrous exchanged blows and energy blasts with Galactus. While Tenebrous kept Galactus busy, Aegis defeated the Silver Surfer, then aided Tenebrous by attacking Galactus from behind and sending a powerful burst of energy through his head that knocked him out as well. Tenebrous and Aegis then stood over their fallen foes as Thanos and Skreet looked over the scene and the ships of the Annihilation Wave loomed in the sky above.
(Annihilation#1 - BTS) - Soon afterwards, Firelord attacked the Annihilation Wave flagship orbiting Daedalus Prime and captured Extirpia, one of Annihilus' three queens. With her no longer commanding them telepathically, the attacking AW forces collapsed into disarray, enabling the UF forces to hold them back.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - As required by their pact with Annihilus, Tenebrous and Aegis did not kill Galactus and the Silver Surfer but instead delivered them both alive to the Annihilation Wave for Thanos to study.
(Annihilation#1 - BTS) <Annihilation Day, plus 206> - While being interrogated by Nova (Richard Rider) and Peter Quill, Extirpia told them that they had lost the war while winning the battle on Daedalus 5. Knowing what her sisters had known before Firelord had captured her, Extirpia projected moving images of what she had seen in her mind's eye: Galactus and the Silver Surfer being defeated on another planet by Tenebrous and Aegis, allies of Annihilus. Extirpia then announced that, now that Galactus had fallen, the war was ended!
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 - BTS) - Weeks later and somewhere in uncharted deep space, the now-freed Galactus recounted a more complete history of the Proemial Gods to the Silver Surfer and asserted that, given time, they would strike against the very universe itself. Galactus commanded his herald to find them so that he could see this ended. The Surfer agreed and departed on his quest.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2) <Annihilation Day, plus 281> - Elsewhere, Aegis and Tenebrous were observing the universe. Aegis stated that it was much changed and Tenebrous replied that it had matured. Aegis corrected him, saying that the universe had become feral, having forsaken structure and left too much to random event. Tenebrous felt that the universe lacked discipline and that cosmic consonance could not be left to random events, then wondered where the caretakers were. Aegis suggested that they may have been forsaken (as they had been) but Tenebrous thought it was more likely that they were blinded by their own petty concerns, assuming that such caretakers even existed. When Aegis asked if the two of them were the only Proemial Gods who remained to finish what was once begun, Tenebrous pointed out that the Devourer had imprisoned them rather than expunging them from existence. Aegis took this to mean that there was still hope that others of their brethren might still exist and Tenebrous said that there was always hope.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 - BTS) <Annihilation Day, plus 281> - While seeking the two Proemial Gods, the Silver Surfer was surprised when their energy signatures suddenly vanished only to reappear in the blink of an eye at a point that was an immense distance away from where they had been. The Surfer resumed his pursuit.
(Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2) - Concerned that they might be the last of the Proemial Gods, Tenebrous and Aegis traveled to the Crunch to examine the Kyln rubble to see if Galactus had imprisoned any more of their brethren. Their search found only the body of Antiphon the Overseer; and Tenebrous, after confirming his death, spoke of how Antiphon had been the weakest of them, tasked with seeing all but forbidden to act, and how his was the most vulnerable form. When Aegis wondered why Galactus would have imprisoned one who had rejected Diableri's ambitions, Tenebrous suggested that the Overseer may have eventually come to embrace the ambition of Diableri. The duo then discussed what they should do if they were the only two left to finish what was once begun, and Tenebrous stated that theirs must be the guiding hand that would do what must be done to restore discipline to the living universe. Aegis stated that there was so much to undo and to make right, Tenebrous asked if that meant a purging but Aegis corrected him, saying it was a restoration and that if it fell to they two alone, then so be it.
Having overheard their plans and believing it to be madness to try to impose one's will on cosmic consonance, the Silver Surfer sent a signal to summon Galactus and then attacked them in order to hold them there until Galactus could arrive and render judgment. The Surfer managed to strike both of them with pieces of debris and then with power bolts, then evaded Tenebrous' hand and a power bolt fired from it. The Surfer struck Tenebrous in the face with an energy bolt, then exchanged fire with Aegis until a blast from Tenebrous knocked him off his board. The Surfer managed to get back on his board and evade Aegis again but when he struck Tenebrous with another bolt the Proemial God retaliated with an energy blast that left him drifting and an easy target for an energy bolt from Aegis that sent hurtling into a nearby moonlet with enough force to leave an impact crater. Tenebrous then struck the Surfer with a two-handed blow that was powerful enough to shatter the moonlet beneath him. Tenebrous ended the mismatched battle, stating that the herald would die from the wounds he had sustained and when Aegis asked what would happen if the Devourer were to follow, Tenebrous declared that he too would die. After the duo turned away from their dying foe, the desperate Surfer realized that the energies from the Crunch that empowered them were the same energies that had birthed them and he decided to try to channel the very essence of the Creation Event to his will. Surfing on the Crunch itself, the Surfer began to be consumed by the energies but still managed to create a wave that engulfed both Tenebrous and Aegis, consigning them to Oblivion as they were consumed by the energies that were their very essence.
When Galactus arrived seconds later, he was amazed that his herald had accomplished the inconceivable by destroying beings who were so much more powerful than himself. In recognition of his service, Galactus restored the dying Silver Surfer to life and health, and informed him that Tenebrous and Aegis had been reclaimed by the living universe.
(The Thanos Imperative#1 (fb) - BTS) - "Two years" after the Annihilation War, powerful creatures and armed starships from the Cancerverse (Reality-10011) began to travel through the large tear in space/time known as the Fault in order to invade and conquer Reality-616 for their masters, the Many-Angled Ones. These forces attacked and and began to overwhelm an expeditionary force of allied warships which had been assembled in the Fault Zone to guard against any such invasion.
(The Thanos Imperative#2) - As the fighting continued and the warships from a hundred different interstellar cultures were barely able to hold the invaders back, the Silver Surfer arrived. Seconds later, a giant-sized Galactus appeared in the middle of the fleet accompanied by two just-as-large figures who looked like Tenebrous and Aegis. This trio was soon joined by a number of Celestials and all of them began blasting at the Cancerverse forces. Quasar (Vaughn) stated that the fact that the "Cosmic Abstracts" of their universe had joined the fight meant that there was no longer any doubt as to the magnitude of the war. However, the enemy responded to the arrival of the Abstracts by deploying one of their weapons, the massive Galactus Engine, which forced its way through the Fault.
(The Thanos Imperative#3) - Confronted by the weaponized version of Galactus from the Cancerverse, the "super-giant Abstracts" seemed to engage in nothing more than a stand-off even as they kept blasting the smaller Cancerverse forces but the Silver Surfer assured his companions that they were actually battling furiously "on the abstract scale." Seconds later, Aegis died, killed by Cancerverse creatures.
Following the death of Aegis, the Galactus Engine began to tear through the allied forces and even the Abstracts seemed to be in retreat.
(The Thanos Imperative#5) - As Cancerverse forces streamed out of the Fault in unimaginable quantities into an engagement zone that stretched across two parsecs, Tenebrous stood alongside Galactus and the other remaining "High Abstracts" as they were barely able to hold back the monstrous Galactus Engine.
(The Thanos Imperative#6) - When Death killed Lord Mar-Vell at the site of the Necropsy ritual in the Cancerverse, that action triggered a massively-powerful explosion of exotic energy that caused the invading forces to either be disintegrated or pulled back into the Fault which began to collapse in on itself. In a matter of minutes the Fault was sealed forever and it was believed that the Cancerverse had been annihilated following the killing of its Avatar of Life.
Comments: Created by Keith Giffen, and Scott Kolins with Ariel Olivetti.
Tenebrous and Aegis each had a mini-profile (in the form of an entry from the Nova Corps Xandarian Worldmind Database) in Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3. He and Aegis had a larger joint entry from that same database in the pages of the Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files#1.
"Tenebrous" is an adjective that means 1) dark or murky or 2) obscure or 3) causing gloom. A perfect name for an entity tasked with handling the Black (which I assume to be dark matter/dark energy?). So, how coincidental is it that his name just happens to match so well to his purpose?
More details about how exactly Tenebrous came into being will be provided in the profile for the Proemial Gods.
Annihilation Saga#1 states that the Silver Surfer was able to destroy Tenebrous and Aegis "by channeling the energies of the Crunch to absorb them into its mass." This is not inconsistent with Galactus's claim that the living universe had "reclaimed" them, and it does leave open the possibility that they could be resurrected if there was a need for them.
There are three odd things about Tenebrous's appearance in The Thanos Imperative miniseries. First, there's the fact that he had previously been "consigned to Oblivion" during his second encounter with the Silver Surfer. Okay, maybe the "living universe" resurrected him (and Aegis) so that they could help defend it? That's a reasonable assumption but it would have been nice if it had been explicitly stated, especially since the Silver Surfer was fighting alongside him and didn't seem the least bit surprised at his presence.
The second oddity is his size. During their Annihilation appearances, Tenebrous and Aegis were depicted as being the same size as Galactus who is usually about 30 feet tall. However, during the battle against the Cancerverse forces, all three of them were shown to be the same size as the 2,000-foot-tall Celestials who were also involved in the battle. Given their powers, it's not implausible that they could have greatly increased their size and mass like that but, again, it would have been nice if this fact had been mentioned.
The third oddity is that Tenebrous, Aegis, Galactus, and the Celestials who fought alongside them are referred to as "Cosmic Abstracts" or "High Abstracts" when, as far as I can tell, NONE of them actually are abstract beings. Sure, in the first issue of the miniseries, Peter Quill described the Abstracts as being "the great cosmic embodiments. The universal constants. Eternity, Death, Oblivion." However, of those three, only Death appeared in this miniseries and only in the last issue. Instead, the only so-called "Abstracts" who showed up for the battle at the Fault were very powerful Cosmic Beings who were not embodiments of anything. I can only assume that the writers' plans changed (or were changed) between the first and second issues.
Considering these differences and the fact that the Abstract version of "Tenebrous" didn't identify himself by that name, it's at least possible that the giant Tenebrous and Aegis were not really who they appeared to be. Maybe they actually were some Cosmic Abstracts who, for some as-yet-undisclosed reason, were unable to appear in their true forms and thus "borrowed" the shapes that Tenebrous and Aegis had worn before their deaths? Just speculation.
According to the Nova Corps Files on them, Tenebrous and Aegis were known and feared in myth but time had erased nearly all memory of their evil. I find myself wondering exactly what the "evil" for which they were feared was. How much did those early lifeforms know about the Proemial Gods and their activities? Were they feared like Galactus? How could handling the Black be a threat to any life-forms? There are so many questions and none of them have ever been answered.
Of the twelve Proemial Gods who have been depicted so far, at least six clearly wore some form of clothing which they were (apparently) "born" wearing. Tenebrous was one of those six and what he wore looked like pieces of armor made of dull black metal. The parts of his body that were not protected by this armor (i.e., his feet and legs, his hands and upper arms, and his torso) seemed to be covered by a shiny and flexible black "skin" which was presumably FAR more durable than the skins of organic beings. Although his lack of toes could mean that he was wearing boots that were part of a form-fitting bodysuit, it seems more likely that he (and the other Proemial Gods) may have simply been brought into being without toes.
This metallic-looking armor covered four specific parts of his body:
1. His hips were covered by a knee-length non-bifurcated skirt-type garment that looked like a kilt made of metal.
2. His forearms were protected by tubular forearm guards and a large shield seemed to be attached to the back of his left forearm guard.
3. His shoulders and neck were covered. Additionally, there was an extra piece of armor on his left shoulder that looked like it was much heavier than the rest.
4. His head was completely enclosed by a cylindrical helmet that somewhat resembled a great helm except for the fact that, although the faceplate was vertical, the rest of the helmet extended upwards and back at an angle of about 30 degrees from vertical. The only opening on the faceplate was a rectangular gap at the bottom that might have served as a mouth (and out of which a beam of energy could be projected). Above this "mouth" there were no obvious "eyes" but only a varying number of glowing white markings: an oval on the forehead and five (or ten) short vertical lines arranged in a horizontal row between the oval and the mouth. While the oval and/or the vertical markings could have been visor slits, indicating that Tenebrous may have had one eye or multiple eyes, the existence of ANY eyes cannot as yet be confirmed. The helmet also had four long thin pieces attached to both its left and right sides, two of which extended forward and curved upwards at their ends so that they somewhat resembled tusks.
The Power Cosmic vs. the Energies of the Crunch vs. The Power
In its Nova Corps Files, the Xandarian Worldmind stated that Tenebrous and Aegis were "believed to possess the Power Cosmic, enabling them to gather, channel and manipulate large quantities of cosmic energy." This belief was proven wrong when the Silver Surfer confronted the pair amidst the rubble of the Kyln and realized that they drew their power from the energies of the Crunch which was both the energy surge generated by the expanding universe and the energies which had birthed them. The fact that it was the Power Cosmic which enabled both the Surfer and Galactus to channel the "cosmic energy that is the universe's bounty" but neither of them could channel the energies of the Crunch for long without being consumed by them pretty decisively proves that what Tenebrous and Aegis possessed was not the Power Cosmic.
So, what about the Power Primordial, the type of energy associated with the various Elders of the Universe? Some Official Handbook entries have identified the Power Primordial as simply being "an outward projection of the cosmic life force that makes all Elders virtually immortal" but other, more recent storylines have implied that the Power Primordial is an external energy source into which the Elders can tap to provide themselves with cosmic power. The most recent Contest of Champions was fought for control of a fresh supply of the Power Primordial, crystals of pure creative force that were the energy of creation concentrated into its most potent form. This sounds a lot like how the energies of the Crunch were the very essence of the Creation Event. A further similarity is that the Proemial Gods were also known as "Proemial Elders." Were the Proemial Gods and the Elders of the Universe both powered by the same type of energy? It's certainly a possibility but so far nothing has been confirmed. Maybe some future story will clarify things.
When was Tenebrous imprisoned by Galactus?
Although Galactus claimed that the war fought by the Proemial Gods took place "when the universe was young," that's rather inaccurate. The truth is that the fact that Galactus was involved severely limits the time frame within which the war could have occurred. While it's true that Galactus was older than the then-current universe, he spent most of his existence since the Big Bang in an inactive state within his re-created starship. By the time he first awoke as Galactus, the race now known as the Watchers had already evolved to intelligence, developed a treatment that made them immortal, and adopted their policy of total non-interference. Furthermore, the Watchers are younger than (most of) the members of the group known as the Elders of the Universe, most of whom were born about 5.5 billion years ago. Since the Big Bang (13.8 billion years ago) predates the Elders (5.5 billion years ago) who are older than the Watchers who gained their immortality before Galactus awoke, that means that Tenebrous and Aegis were imprisoned less than 5.5 billion years ago, when the universe was at least 60% of its present age. So, clearly the universe wasn't as "young" as Galactus implied it was when the era of the Proemial Gods ended.
One thing that has never been revealed was exactly HOW Galactus was able to defeat and imprison both Tenebrous and Aegis. The only thing that is known is that it required "the power of the Crunch" to contain them within the Kyln. The fact that Tenebrous and Aegis were unaware of "whatever time (had) passed" while they were imprisoned does suggest that Galactus used technology that froze (or at least greatly slowed down) the passage of time for them. Such technology would seem to be very similar to the Creches which the various parties who maintained the Kyln as a prison used to confine "Alpha threats" in stasis. However, the fact that these Creches were described as "state of the art stasis confinement" suggests that they were only recently developed. Of course, that doesn't mean that Galactus couldn't have created this stasis technology first and secretly used it in the Kyln LONG before any lesser civilizations came up with similar technology on their own. In any event, Tenebrous and Aegis were certainly locked away within different Kylns than the one whose Creche held the Fallen One, the Maker and Skreet.
Profile by Donald Campbell.
Tenebrous has no known connections to
images: (without ads)
Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3, page 25 (Xandar Worldmind Nova Corps Database image)
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2, page 28, panel 2 (moving Antiphon's corpse)
page 28, panel 3 (head shot)
Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3, page 25 (ensnaring the Fallen One)
Annihilation#1, page 26, panel 1 (battling Galactus)
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2, page 33, panels 4-5 (exchanging blasts with the Silver Surfer)
page 37 (melting in a wave of Crunch energy)
The Thanos Imperative#2, page 19 (batting Cancerverse forces)
Annihilation: Prologue#1 (May, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Scott Kolins with Ariel Olivetti (art), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Annihilation: Silver Surfer#3-4 (August-September, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Renato Arlem (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Annihilation#1 (October, 2006) - Keith Giffen (writer), Andrea Di Vito [as Andrea Devito] (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus#2/2 (May, 2007) - Keith Giffen (writer), Andrea Di Vito [as Andrea Divito] (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
The Thanos Imperative#2-3 (September-October, 2010) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Miguel Angel Sepulveda (artist), Bill Rosemann (editor)
The Thanos Imperative#5 (December, 2010) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Miguel Angel Sepulveda (artist), Bill Rosemann (editor)
First Posted: 05/24/2018
Last updated: 05/24/2018
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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