Classification: Extraterrestrial humanoids (Distant Past)
Location/Base of Operations: A planet whose original name and location have never been revealed and which was (allegedly) transformed long ago into Ego the Living Planet
Habitat: Earth-like (now responds to Ego's will)
Gravity: Probably Earth-like (now responds to Ego's will)
Atmosphere: Probably Earth-like (now responds to Ego's will)
Known Members: Egros (now Ego the Living Planet),
Estimated population: One (population prior to the nova was two billion)
Enemies: The Stranger and the Collector (Taneleer Tivan)
First Appearance: (Ego) Thor I#132 (September, 1966);
(Egros) Thor I#228 (October, 1974)
Powers/Abilities: None known
Cultural Traits: Not willing to die easily
Fingers: Four (plus opposable thumb)
Skin color: Orange
Average height: 6' (estimated)
Type of government: Unrevealed
Level of technology: This race made some early efforts to develop star travel but ultimately chose to stop pursuing that technology.
After discovering that their sun was going to go nova in the near future, the members of this race devoted themselves to completing Project Worldcore in order to save themselves.
(Ultimates2#8 (fb) - BTS) - The humanoid "Egosian" race lived on one (or both) of the twin planets that orbited a particular star.
(Thor I#228 (fb) - BTS) - At some point early in their development of advanced technology the "Egosians" made some efforts to achieve the capability to travel between stars but they ultimately chose to stop pursuing that technology.
(Thor I#228 (fb) - BTS) - Much later, a male named Egros was born. When he grew up, Egros was recognized worldwide as a genius.
(Astonishing Thor#3 (fb) - BTS) - Motivated by intellectual curiosity, the alien experimental scientist (and cosmic being) known only as the Stranger decided to try to create a "living planet." However, since even his vast powers and resources were not enough for him to accomplish this undertaking by himself, the Stranger was forced to ask the Elder of the Universe known as the Collector to allow him to use certain instruments and formulae that only the Elder possessed. The Collector agreed to help but only if the Stranger would create two of the living planets and give one of them to him to be kept in one of his museums. The Stranger, envisioning a possible future experiment that could be carried out if two living planets existed, agreed to those terms.
(Ultimates2#8 (fb) - BTS) - "Eons" ago, the Stranger came to that star system to conduct an experiment. As part of that experiment, he caused the star to (begin to) go nova.
(Thor I#228 (fb) - BTS) - On their planet, the "Egosians" discovered that their star was going to go nova in the near future. Egros, their greatest scientific genius, computed exactly when the star would go nova and he came up with the only viable plan which could enable his people to survive: building a vault at the center of the planet where the population would sleep in suspended animation cells until the sun had cooled and the surface was fit for life once again.
(Thor I#228 (fb) - BTS/Ultimates2#8 (fb) - BTS) - For "twenty months" Egros devoted his life to working on Project Worldcore. His guidance, encouragement and faith kept the project from failing before it had even begun.
(Ultimates2#8 (fb)) - Although his people praised him for his selfless efforts to save them all, Egros was primarily motivated by his own desire to live.
(Thor I#228 (fb) - BTS/Ultimates2#8 (fb) - BTS) - "In the span of a single solar revolution," Project Worldcore cleared a path to the center of the planet. Once there, they began to construct a vault that was large enough to contain environmental chambers with cells for all two billion men and women. Egros himself designed the cells where his people would sleep in a state of suspension, safe from the imminent planet-wide catastrophe.
(Thor I#228 (fb) - BTS) - With less than an hour left before the computed time of the nova, 95% of the "Egosian" race had already been placed in a state of suspension within their subterranean cells. Egros and his compatriot Chimu were among the last 5% of the population who had yet to descend.
(Thor I#228 (fb)) - With time running out, Egros and Chimu reached Project Worldcore where only a handful of people remained on the surface to complete the suspending process for the rest. After entering the building, Egros asked how long before the disaster was to occur and Chimu revealed that there were only 2,476 seconds left before the sun went nova and consumed the crust of their only home. As the last 5% of their race descended to the vault, Egros and Chimu chose to stay on the surface until the last possible instant to ensure success.
Soon enough, the last man began descending and Egros and Chimu began their final tasks. However, before they could finish, Chimu was horrified to discover that the sub-solar reaction had started 50 seconds ahead of schedule, that within 10 seconds the hydrogen fusion chain would build to critical mass and their star would explode TOO SOON! Egros was equally horrified because their calculations had been so exact that there wasn't room for that much error. Desperate, Chimu dashed for the tube leading to the vault, stating his hope that they could still survive if they could manually operate the sealing controls in time. Egros told him to not be a fool because everything had been "planned to the mili-second" and there wouldn't be time to seal the chambers before the solar shock wave hit the planet but, still clutching record tapes in his arms, Egros nevertheless also jumped into the descent tube.
Unfortunately, Egros was correct and he had not even fallen a third of the distance to the safety of the underground vault when the sun went NOVA!
(Thor I#228 (fb)) - Egros was still outside the safety of the vault when the radiation from the nova struck both him and his world. The massive radiation burst caused Egros and his planet to join as one and feed on the lives of the other two billion members of his race. As his race died, the being who had been Egros now existed as a race of one.
(Ultimates2#8 (fb)) - As had apparently been planned by the Stranger, Egros died and his people died and Egros became them and every living thing and everything that was part of the world. Egros was the seed of Ego, the god he then became.
(Astonishing Thor#3 (fb) - BTS) - Out of this destruction, the Stranger created both Ego and his brother, Alter Ego, and then, as per his agreement, the Stranger gave Alter Ego to the Collector.
(Astonishing Thor#3 (fb) - BTS) - For unspecified reasons of his own, the Stranger allegedly fostered some of the "many origin stories" that were told about how Ego came to exist.
(Thor I#228 (fb) - BTS) - Ego held his guilt in check "for almost a million years."
(Thor I#132-133) - On a mission for the Colonizers of Rigel, the Asgardian Thor and a Recorder entered the dreaded Black Galaxy. Arriving at its center, they disembarked from their Rigellian spaceship and the Recorder's sensitizers detected the presence of Ego, a being whom he classified as "multiple virus living matter" with a "planetary range" size who existed "not in physical universe but in fluid bio-verse."
(Thor I#201 (fb)) - The Rigellian Colonizer Tana Nile came to Ego and blasted free a section of the planet, a living slab of stone and earth which she then transported to another alien planet, Blackworld, where it soon became Ego Prime.
(Thor I#228 (fb) - BTS) - By removing a portion of Ego's planetary surface, Tana Nile had disturbed the Living Planet's mental balance, causing him to finally go mad from his long-suppressed guilt.
(Thor I#226-228) - After having experienced Ego's madness, Galactus came to Earth to seek Thor's help against the threat that Ego now posed to the universe. The Asgardian and his Olympian demi-god companion Hercules agreed to accompany Galactus back to Ego where, after witnessing Ego's madness, they agreed to fight alongside Galactus and the Firelord. Thor decided that their only chance to defeat Ego was to find his mind and destroy it, and so he, Hercules and Firelord followed a tunnel leading deep into the planet. After passing through the crust and into the mantle, the trio came to a giant brain suspended in the center of an enormous cavern. After penetrating a protective force field, Thor threw Mjolnir at the brain while commanding Ego to "Awake!" Ego reacted by drawing Thor's consciousness into his own mind where Thor was compelled to experience Ego's memories of the last hour of the life of Egros and the tragic circumstances of his transformation into Ego. Once those memories had ended and he was free to act again, Thor used Mjolnir to stun Ego's brain and then the trio returned to the surface. Meanwhile, Galactus had taken advantage of the fact that Ego's attention had been drawn to his core to attach a sidereal propulsion unit to Ego that, once activated, exiled the Living Planet out into distant space.
In the aftermath, Galactus admitted to being saddened because, like Ego, he had once been a man and he felt that, if Ego had not been mad, the two of them could have been comrades in a way Thor could never understand.
(Fantastic Four I#234-235) - After months in exile, a dying Ego traveled to Earth seeking vengeance. The Fantastic Four opposed him, discovered the propulsion unit and removed one of its powerpacks, planning to detonate it in Ego's brain to stun him. Voyaging into the depths of the Living Planet, the foursome came across a huge brain, presumably the same one encountered by Thor. Although Mr. Fantastic sensed some kind of psychic stimulation, the fact that the pressure in that cavern was not nearly enough for Ego's core led him to believe that it was actually a "pseudo-brain" created by Ego to mislead them and he had the Human Torch blast it to pieces, causing Ego to react with anger that they had discovered his ruse. As the foursome continued on, the increasing heat and pressure eventually forced three of them to turn back until, two hundred miles beneath the surface, only the Thing managed to reach the true brain of Ego, an object as "big as the Moon." Being so close caused the Thing to experience some of Ego's memories, including how he had coalesced out of gas and dust, exactly like all other planets except for the fact that it was sentient and aware. The Thing attempted to use the powerpack to stun Ego's brain but that plan failed when he missed. However, when an enraged Ego activated the propulsion unit, the missing powerpack caused him to be unable to control his course and Ego was soon so close to the Sun that its gravity pulled his weakened body apart, destroying him (but only temporarily).
(Thor I#448/2-450/2) - Some time after reconstituting himself, Ego was visited by a mentally-unbalanced High Evolutionary, the former Recorder known as the Analyzer and the Blue Celestial who had been created out of the Black Galaxy. The High Evolutionary stated that the Blue Celestial's presence wasn't a problem because he was only bait. The High Evolutionary went on to speak of the widespread belief that Ego was a unique oddity and his recent discovery that Ego was only a small manifestation of a much larger and grotesque creature, a "cancerous growth pf galactic proportions." The High Evolutionary then claimed that, based on the many diverse origins he had heard, there seemed to be quite a few Egos in existence and he speculated that they must all have come from the larger mass which he called "Super Ego." Soon afterwards, the Super Ego "claimed its own" by seemingly destroying Ego "in a ritual which predates and defies comprehension." Seconds later, an army of Celestials warped in and began attacking the Super Ego but the High Evolutionary wondered if they might actually be aiding it, possibly as the start of another evolutionary cycle.
(Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet#1 (fb)) - Ego was actually drawn into the Super Ego (when he was seemingly crushed by its tentacles) and somehow ended up in another realm from which he eventually escaped but in an insane state.
(Astonishing Thor#3) - When confronted by Thor, the Stranger claimed that he had created Ego as part of an intellectual experiment and that he had also created Ego's brother Alter Ego because he had needed the Collector's aid in creating a living planet and the Elder had demanded that one be created so it could be placed in his museum. The Stranger also claimed that he had fostered some of the many other origin stories for Ego.
THE SIXTH MULTIVERSE WAS DESTROYED BY THE BEYONDERS, THEN (RE)CREATED AS THE SEVENTH MULTIVERSE BY FRANKLIN RICHARDS
(Ultimates2#8) - Seeking allies for the upcoming war against the First Firmament, the consciousness of the first iteration of reality who had shackled the Multiversal Eternity who personified the seventh multiverse, Galactus the Lifebringer emerged from the pocket reality he called Taa III and found himself on a planetary surface with a moon looking down at him. However, the planet was Ego (and the moon was Alter Ego) and Galactus was soon attacked by the Living Planet who remembered their past conflicts and feared him. Galactus descended to Ego's core and found his brain. Then, in a gesture of trust, Galactus briefly shed his overself, transforming into his mortal form who introduced himself to Ego as Galan of Taa, a being who had lived and died during the sixth iteration of everything. Ego responded by creating a temporary physical manifestation of the part of him that was once the scientist named Egros. This being described himself as "the ghost of a memory" given a fleeting moment of life by the god he had become. Egros revealed how eons ago a Stranger had conducted an experiment that caused the sun of Egros's solar system to go nova and how he had died and become the world. As they talked, Galan and Egros both acknowledged that they had been driven by a desperate need to survive in the face of the end of everything. When Egros said that they, the planet-eater and the living planet, were the most natural of enemies, Galan corrected him, stating that they were the same and were brothers, both to each other and to Eternity, who needed them to be better. Galan then reclaimed his overself and became Galactus again, then channeled the wellspring of life through himself into Egros and thus into Ego, causing the Living Planet to grow an immense humanoid body. This new "Ego-Prime" was then invited into Taa III to join the other members of the Eternity Watch: The Infinaut, the Shaper's Ghost and the Psi-Hawk.
Comments: Ego created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Vince Colletta.
Egros created by Gerry Conway, Rich Buckler and Joe Sinnott.
Egros and his race were created in 1974 but John Byrne retconned them out of existence a mere 7 years later. They remained "non-canon" for 36 years until 2017, when Al Ewing retconned them back into continuity. And during those 36 years the Living Planet was given another two origins. Here's a list:
THE ORIGINS OF EGO THE LIVING PLANET
Since being created in 1966 by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, Ego the Living Planet has had a number of different origins:
Origin #1a: Thor I#132-133 (September-October, 1966) - Ego was a sentient planet which existed at the center of the Black Galaxy, described as being a fluid bio-verse.
Origin #2: Thor I#228 (October, 1974) - Ego was originally Egros, a member of a sentient humanoid race. When it was discovered that their sun would be going nova at a very precise time in the future, Egros led the efforts to save everybody. Sadly, the time when they calculated their sun would go nova was a bit (less then one minute) off and Egros was caught by the radiation from the nova while outside the shielded chamber which had not been sealed yet because he was still outside. As a result, the nova's radiation fused the mind of Egros and the lifeforce of the rest of his race with the matter of the entire planet to create Ego the Living Planet.
Origin #1b: Fantastic Four I#235 (October, 1981) - Ego was a unique but naturally occurring lifeform. The whole Egros origin was a fiction contained within a small false brain which Ego used to deceive enemies into being more sympathetic to him. Ego's real brain was much larger (the size of Earth's Moon) and located at the center of his mass.
Origin #3: Thor I#450/2 (August, 1992) - Ego was possibly a component of a massive creature known as Super-Ego that was opposed by the Celestials. Also, the Black Galaxy was either created by the Celestials or taken over by them so that a new Celestial could be born there out of its bio-matter.
Origin #4: Astonishing Thor#1-3 (January-April, 2011) - Ego was created by the alien Stranger as an intellectual experiment, using certain instruments and formulae that were only possessed by the Collector. However, in exchange for the use of his property, the Collector demanded that the Stranger create two Living Planets and give him one to be displayed in his museum. The Stranger agreed to these terms and he then created both Ego and his brother, Alter Ego, who was given to the Collector who kept him in isolation within a pocket universe inside a tesseract device aboard his mobile museum.
Origin #1c: Deadpool IV#34 (May, 2011) - The origin of Id the Selfish Moon included how Ego the Living Planet came into being in the Black Galaxy by "coalescing from the dusts and gases of deep space."
Origin #5: Ultimates2#8 (August, 2017) - Ego was once Egros until a Stranger caused his world's sun to go nova and consume its twin planets, possibly in order to create something like Ego. Egros and his race died but that which had been Egros served as the seed of the god that he became, Ego.
Update (2019/08/18); Thanks to the Silver Surfer: Black miniseries written by Donny Cates, there is now yet another version of Ego's origin out there...and it's one that seemingly contradicts both the Egros and Stranger origins. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!
Origin #1d: Silver Surfer: Black#1-5 (August-December, 2019) - After using his Power Cosmic to escape from a black hole by tearing apart time and space, the Silver Surfer found himself billions of years in the past, at the dawn of time. The Surfer soon discovered that Knull, the god of the dark, was destroying stars and would have enslaved him forever if he had not been aided by a young planet named Ego. After learning that Ego was dying because a meteorite that had crashed into him had started to grow within his core, the Surfer decided to save him by finding and removing the tumor. However, while doing so, the Surfer discovered that the "meteorite" was actually Lifebringer One, the cosmic incubator within which Galan of Taa was slowly transforming into Galactus. Initially planning on killing Galan to prevent the countless deaths that Galactus was going to cause (and to gain the energy he needed to heal himself so that he could battle Knull), the Surfer was dissuaded by conversations with Uatu the Watcher (who told him that killing Galactus would not undo the Surfer's past crimes and would only create an alternate timeline) and with Galan (who convinced him that he could not defeat the dark with darkness). Instead, the Surfer had Ego reach out across the celestial plains, connect with all the life in the universe that was living in fear of the growing dark and convince them to send their life across space and into the Surfer. Unable to kill Knull, the Surfer settled for temporarily defeating him and then initiated a plan to balance Knull's darkness with light. Using the infant life of the universe that had been forged into Galactic Seeds within his body, the Surfer began by planting those seeds on a nameless, barren planet. As life began on that planet that would become Zenn-La, the Surfer's body dispersed across the universe with each atom bringing life to the planets upon which they fell.
At first glance the new information from the Silver Surfer: Black miniseries would seem to invalidate the whole "the Stranger created Ego" origin. After all, since the Collector is known to be only about five billion years old, everything that he could ever have created must be younger than he and therefore could only exist within those last five billion years. How, then, could Ego the Living Planet exist at the Dawn of Time if he was not created until at least eight billion years later? After giving it some thought, I have come up with three possible ways to explain away this problem:
Theory #1: Time Travel. Suppose that, at some point after being created by the Stranger within the last five billion years, Ego was somehow sent back in time to near the beginning of the universe where he encountered both Knull and the time-lost Silver Surfer? I consider this explanation to be possible but not ideal. Although time travel can sometimes be the only way to reconcile conflicting storylines, I think of it as a solution of last resort and something that should be avoided if there are any other plausible options. However, thanks to Donny Cates, the Prime Marvel Universe is now an example of a causal loop: If the Silver Surfer had not traveled back to the Dawn of Time where he defeated Knull, then the universe would have been prevented from existing by Knull and the Surfer (and everything else) would never have come into being. Under these circumstances, having Ego time travel as well seems somewhat more acceptable.
Theory #2: The Ego the Living Planet who the Silver Surfer met at the Dawn of Time
Theory #3: The Ego the Living Planet who the Silver Surfer met at the Dawn of Time and the Ego who was created by the Stranger are not exactly the same being but neither are they two entirely different beings. Suppose that Dawn of Time Ego was actually the first Living Planet to ever exist within the Marvel Universe but then, at some point after helping the Surfer against Knull, something happened to this first Ego and he died. Maybe the remains of such a unique entity would be of interest to someone whose hobby was collecting interesting artifacts and life forms? And maybe those remains would eventually prove to be an essential ingredient that some stranger needed in order to create another Living Planet? In other words, maybe the first Ego was born at the Dawn of Time, helped the Silver Surfer against Knull and eventually died, then his remains were obtained by the Collector who later gave (some of) them to the Stranger so that he could create both Ego and Alter-Ego? This explanation could provide a reason as to why two living, sentient planets might turn out to be so similar and it avoids using time travel to solve the problem.
Of these three possible ways by which the problem of Ego existing at the Dawn of Time could be resolved, I prefer the third option but all three theories are just speculation on my part. It remains to be seen how (or even if) the Powers That Be at Marvel will decide how to handle this discontinuity that Mr. Cates has introduced into the History of the Marvel Universe.
If the "Egosian" race actually existed and Egros (as Ego) is its last surviving member, then Ego could qualify to be an Elder of the Universe after all.
More about the combined Egros/Stranger origin:
Although I really like what Al Ewing did to make Nextwave "canon" in Reality-616 and how he explained the origin/history of the multiverses, I don't think his revision of Ego's origin was as well done. The problem is, I'm not sure why. Maybe it just feels a bit off to me. Or maybe the fact that it was assembled from elements of three different stories that don't naturally fit together is something that shines through the cracks. In retrospect, I sort of wish that Jack Kirby's idea that Ego had always been a unique lifeform had been respected. However, Al Ewing's retcon, which undid John Byrne's retcon and incorporated elements from Robert Rodi's retcon, is now canon and so Egros is again part of Ego's origin.
I agree with both the preference that Ego had remained a unique being, as well as your take on what is the "true" origin.--Snood
Having said that, there are a several things about the
Egros origin that are problematic. For one thing, there's this scene where Chimu tells Egros
that 95% of their race has already been placed in suspension and the remaining 5% will join
them within the next 39 minutes. Taken by themselves, there's nothing overtly wrong with
those figures so it seems plausible. However, the later revelation that the population was
made up of two billion men and women means that ONE HUNDRED MILLION people
would have to have descended to the planet's core in only 39 minutes. This is a concept
that really strains credibility.
I think "artistic license" (or perhaps, creative/artsy types don't excel at math) allows an out on that easily enough.--Snood
Second, in order to save themselves from an imminent nova,
the "Egosians" created a path to the center of their planet where they built a massive vault.
This is a problem because terrestrial planets have active hot iron and nickel or metallic
cores whose motion generates planetary magnetic fields that protect their surfaces from solar
and cosmic radiation, without which their atmospheres would be stripped away and any life on
those surfaces would be exposed to harmful/lethal radiation from space. So, if the core of
the "Egosian" planet had been solid and non-molten, then it would have lacked a magnetic
field and the surface would have been unsuitable for life.
Perhaps it was just really deep, and being in the core was just an exaggeration.--Snood
Third, the idea that anyone would be able to plan such a massive operation down "to the mili-second" is incredible...as in, "too extraordinary and improbable to be believed" and not as just as "hard to believe." And even if someone could plan things to such an exact timetable, why would any sane person create a plan which called for them to WAIT TO THE LAST POSSIBLE MINUTE before enacting the final measures needed to save their race? Not leaving oneself ANY margin for error is such an arrogant and/or stupid choice that it strains this reader's suspension of disbelief.
Finally, there's the whole concept of a world whose surface is about to become uninhabitable due to its star going nova. When I first read this story, what I knew about novas mostly came from watching certain episodes of the original Star Trek series (like "The Empath" and "All Out Yesterdays"). As a result, I believed (as Mr. Conway apparently did) that novas were simply stars that (somehow) exploded. However, since then I have gained some small knowledge about such astronomical events and now know enough to realize that, in the real world, that is not how novas actually occur.
A nova is a "transient astronomical event" in which a star's brightness suddenly increases greatly and then slowly fades over time. The term originated with Tycho Brahe, a sixteenth century Danish astronomer who observed the sudden appearance of a very bright star where none had been seen before and, believing it to be a new star, wrote a small book about this "nova stella" (Latin for new star). As it turns out, there are about a half-dozen types of "nova" events but, for the purposes of this profile, the only two that will be considered are the "classical nova" and the "supernova."
A "classical nova" can only occur in a close binary star system in which one of the two stars has aged/evolved through its red giant phase and left behind a white dwarf core as a remnant. As time passes, the distance between the white dwarf and its companion star decreases until the gravitational pull from the white dwarf is strong enough to begin drawing hydrogen away from its companion's outer atmosphere. This captured gas is pulled to the surface of the white dwarf where it forms a dense but shallow atmosphere. Over time, the hot white dwarf heats this stolen atmosphere until a critical temperature is reached and the hydrogen begins to fuse as if it was the core of a star. This fusion causes a release of energy that blows most of the non-fused gases away from the surface and creates an envelope that is seen as visible light, resulting in an extremely bright outburst of light. Additionally, the shockwaves caused by the explosion on the surface pass through the accumulated gas and when they collide they cause the material through which they are passing to heat up and emit light as well, with the latter process generating most of the extra light. The end result is that the brightness of the white dwarf greatly increases for a short time and then declines once the accreted hydrogen has been either fused or ejected.
A "supernova" can occur in one of two ways. A Type IA supernova occurs when a white dwarf star has accumulated enough mass from a companion that the increase in pressure and density raises the temperature in the core enough to cause carbon to fuse into heavier elements. Since most of a white dwarf is composed of carbon, this results in a runaway fusion reaction that releases so much energy in a massive explosion that blows the entire star apart.
In contrast, Type II supernovae are exploding stars that explode in a completely different way. They occur only in stars that are between 8 and 25 times as massive as the Sun. Being more massive, these stars have cores where the temperatures and pressures can exceed those needed to fuse elements higher than helium. As the supplies of each element in the cores run out and fusion stops, the cores contract which raises their temperatures enough to allow fusion of the next heavier elements. Eventually, once the stars have fused through their hydrogen, helium, carbon, neon, oxygen and silicon, they are left with nickel-iron cores which cannot fuse to release energy as photons whose light pressure pushes outwards against the force of gravity that is trying to pull the stars in on themselves. Once they're no longer supported by the light pressure, the outer parts of the cores of the stars collapse down on the inner parts in a fraction of a second at speeds of almost one-quarter the speed of light. As the matter of the stars collapses towards the compressed cores, the shockwaves from the collapses move outward and slows down the incoming material. At the same time, vast numbers of neutrinos are generated that carry away massive amounts of energy, enough to cause the infalling material to reverse course and blast outwards, causing the stars to explode.
Not being a scientist, I can only hope that my attempt at summarizing what I read online about how novae and supernovae occur is (mostly) accurate. You can check the Wikipedia articles entitled Nova and Supernova for more detailed information. One thing that is clear, however, is that any science fiction stories which feature alien races living peacefully on their homeworlds until their stars suddenly explode are pretty much nonsense, for the following reasons:
First, there's the fact that only a star that is at least 8 times as massive as the Sun can become a Type II supernova. Despite having more fuel to burn, massive stars burn their fuel FAR more rapidly than less massive stars. Therefore, while a star with the same initial mass as the Sun can fuse its hydrogen into helium for over ten billion years, a star that is just twice as massive will run out of hydrogen in less than one billion years and stars that are 8 times as massive will run out in only a hundred million years or so. Since it takes quite a long time for planets to evolve habitable biospheres and even longer for intelligent life to evolve, there's just not enough time for intelligent species to evolve on any planet orbiting any star that is massive enough to one day become a supernova.
Second, there's the fact that classical novae and Type IA supernovae only occur in close binary star systems where one of the stars is a white dwarf. However, in order for a star to become a white dwarf, it must first age/evolve into its red giant phase during which time it expands greatly until its radius is much greater than it was during its main-sequence life. For example, according to Wikipedia, it is believed that the Sun, "once its core hydrogen is exhausted in about 5.4 billion years...will expand into a subgiant phase and slowly double in size over about half a billion years." After that, the Sun "will then expand more rapidly over about half a billion years until it is over two hundred times larger than it is today" and will have grown "so large that it will engulf Mercury, Venus, and probably Earth." However, the Sun's energy output has been increasing since it first began to fuse hydrogen in its core and it is believed that within 600 million years it will be so luminous that temperatures on Earth will have been raised enough to render it uninhabitable. In other words, any planet that is part of a planetary system in orbit around a binary star system would almost certainly be seared into inhabitability long before one of the stars it orbited could become that white dwarf that would be needed for a classical nova or a Type II supernova to occur.
So, now that we have demonstrated, in a fairly comprehensive manner, that inhabited planets cannot exist in orbit around stars that are about to become novae or supernovae, how does this understanding affect the story of the "Egosian" race? Does it mean that Egros and his people were never anything more than a fictitious narrative created by Ego to mislead intruders, as Reed Richards once speculated? That would seem to be the case...but there is a loophole!
When Al Ewing merged the Egros and Stranger origins for Ego, he
also introduced the idea that it was the Stranger who "caused (the Egosian) sun to go nova." In other words,
unlike all the novae and supernovae that occur in the real world, the nova that transformed Egros into Ego
was ARTIFICIAL in origin, and that means that it doesn't have to obey those physical laws of nature
that determine which stars in the real world can become novae or supernovae. In fact, there have been a
number of stars in the Marvel Universe that have been caused to become supernovae even though their
masses were not high enough for them to ever have gone supernova on their own.
1. D'Bari was a Sun-like star that became a supernova after Dark Phoenix consumed its core in X-Men I#135.
2. The being known as "Ship" of Reality-791 was the consciousness of a Sun-like star that was forced to go super-nova by an unspecified alien weapon in Marvel Preview#15.
3. The star of the Kral system in the Andromeda Galaxy was "detonated" by a weapon that had been deployed by hard-line Skrulls in Guardians of the Galaxy Annual II#1.
With these examples in mind, it seems that the star orbited by the planet that became Ego could have gone nova after all since it was actually caused by a Cosmic Being. However, given that it only took seconds for those other artificial supernovae listed above to be caused to occur, it does seem a bit odd that Egros and his people had as much time (at least "twenty months") to prepare for the upcoming "nova" as they did. I can only suppose that the Stranger had some reason for wanting it to take that long.
"Relatives" of Ego the Living Planet
Beginning in 2011, various stories have introduced three other "sentient celestial body" characters who are "related" to Ego the Living Planet. Here's the list:
1. Astonishing Thor #2 (March, 2011) introduced Alter Ego, a "living planet" that the Stranger had created at the same time as he created Ego. Originally an apparent duplicate (in size and mass) to Ego, Alter Ego lost much of his mass after he was shattered by Ego whom he had been manipulated into attacking. However, Alter Ego survived and reformed as a moon and, once the "brothers" had reconciled, Alter Ego began orbiting Ego.
2. Deadpool IV#33 (April, 2011) introduced Id the Selfish Moon. According to his origin story, Id came into existence as a "living moon" in the Black Galaxy at the same time as Ego formed there. However, as a being who wanted to party, Id became bored and left to search the universe for someone with whom he could have fun.
3. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur#19 (July, 2017) introduced Illa the Living Moon (a.k.a. Girl Moon). Split off from Ego when a comet (Illa's "mommy") struck him, Illa and Ego were together briefly but then she "lost" her father when her face turned away from him and the way she orbited him kept him always behind her, with Illa rotating once for every one of her revolutions around Ego. Eventually, Moon Girl (Lunella Lafayette) tricked Ego into altering Illa's orbital orientation so that they would now be face-to-face.
No connection has ever been established between this "family" and the once-living planet from Original Sin#3 (August, 2014) that was murdered (by being shot by multiple special bullets) years ago in deep space by Nick Fury.
Credit where credit is due
In the "Appearances" section below, I have listed only the credits for those issues in which Egros and his people actually appeared. However, since this profile contains data about other possible origins for Ego that appear without any mention of Egros or his race, it would seem unfair to not list the people who created those issues as well.
Thor I#132 (September, 1966) - Stan Lee (astonishing script), Jack Kirby (awesome artwork), Vince Colletta (artful delineation)
Thor I#133 (October, 1966) - Stan Lee (star-studded script), Jack Kirby (planet-pounding pencilling), Vince Colletta (real Rigellian rendering)
Fantastic Four I#235 (October, 1981) - John Byrne (words and pictures), Jim Salicrup (editor)
The Mighty Thor I#449/2 (July, 1992) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Patrick Olliffe (penciler), Ariane (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
The Mighty Thor I#450/2 (August, 1992) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Patrick Olliffe (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Astonishing Thor#3 (April, 2011) - Robert Rodi (writer), Michael Choi (artist)
Profile by Donald Campbell.
This (unidentified) humanoid race has no known connections to
Chimu was an adult male member of the same race as Egros. He worked closely with Egros on Project Worldcore and often called him "compatriot." The fact that they were the two "Egosians" who remained on the surface as long as possible to ensure success indicates that they held positions of great responsibility.
Less than an hour before the calculated time of the nova, Chimu was walking with Egros when the latter collapsed. Chimu asked his compatriot if he was well and expressed his fear that the way Egros had collapsed meant that the strain had finally broken him. Egros reassured him that it had just been a momentary dizziness and that he was now all right, so Chimu suggested that they should move on because the project awaited them. As they traveled, first on foot and then aboard flying sleds, Chimu reported that the work was going smoothly, that ninety-five percent of their race had already been placed in a state of suspension, that the remaining five percent would join the others in the subterranean cells within the next thirty-nine minutes, and that once the project was completed they would all be safe. As they neared their final destination, Chimu reminded Egros that it was his genius that was going to save their race from extinction, that and Project Worldcore which had, in the span of a single solar revolution, cleared a path to the center of their planet where their people would be protected from the disaster which was about to befall them! When Egros stated that he knew the project well because it had been his life these twenty months, Chimu told Egros that his selfless sacrifice would be rewarded by the gratitude of an entire race, that without his guidance, encouragement and faith the project would have failed before it was even begun, and that all "Egosians" owed him their lives.
Once within the project, Chimu showed Egros that their work was almost done and that only a handful of project personnel remained on the surface to complete the suspending process for the rest. When Egros asked how much time was left before the disaster was to occur, Chimu replied that the time was extremely near and that only two thousand four hundred seventy-six seconds remained until the end of all they had known and then, gazing at a huge viewer (or window) that showed the sun, stated that it was forty minutes until their sun went nova and consumed the crust of their only home! When Egros then expressed his belief that their race might have escaped this fate if they had pursued their early efforts at star travel, Chimu gently reminded his compatriot that they had been through all that, that what was done was done, and that they could not look behind if they were to retain their sanity. Chimu then expressed his hope that when they exited their underground vault a millennium in the future they would be somehow wiser for the experience.
Eventually, Chimu told Egros that there wasn't much time left, that the chambers had to be quarantined immediately, and that he and Egros should remain on the surface until the last possible instant to ensure success. When Egros asked if all the others were below, Chimu replied that the last man was now descending. A moment later, when they began their final tasks, Chimu spoke to Egros, saying, "I've never said this to you, but it's been an honor serving at your side. If anything should happen, I--" but Egros told him to say no more because the system could not fail, and that someday, when the sun had cooled and the surface was again fit for life, the two of them would work together to rebuild their lost world.
At that moment, as Egros spoke of how Project Worldcore would succeed because they had planned so well, Chimu noticed something unexpected on the device monitoring their sun and he called out to Egros, telling him that the sub-solar reaction had started fifty seconds ahead of schedule, that the hydrogen fusion chain would build to critical mass within ten seconds, and that their star was going to EXPLODE TOO SOON! As Egros protested that it was impossible because their calculations had been so exact that there wasn't room for that much error, Chimu grabbed some tapes and headed for the descent shaft, telling Egros that they had to flee to the vault and that they might still survive if they could operate the sealing controls manually. Egros pointed out that everything had been planned to the "mili-second" so there wouldn't be time to seal the chambers before the solar shock wave hit them but he followed Chimu into the shaft anyway. Unfortunately, Egros was right and he and Chimu had not fallen even a third of the distance to the safety of the underground vault when the star went NOVA!
Although Chimu was (presumably) also still outside the vault when the massive radiation burst struck the planet, he and Egros did not suffer the same fate. Instead, when Egros and the planet joined as one, Chimu was presumably among the two billion men and women of the "Egosian" race whose lives were consumed by the new-born Ego the Living Planet.
"Almost a million years" later, the Asgardian Thor Odinson attacked Ego's brain. Ego retaliated by drawing Thor into his mind and forcing him to relive his memories of the final hours of the "Egosian" race. It was through these memories that Thor learned of the long-dead Chimu.
--Thor I#228 (fb)
Note: This sub-profile is about the individual named Egros whose memories survive within the consciousness of Ego the Living Planet
Egros was an adult male member of his race who chose to become a scientist. At some point his intellect was recognized as being that of a genius. Egros was primarily responsible for the near-success of Project Worldcore. He and Chimu worked closely together on that attempt to save the "Egosian" race from extinction.
At some point, an alien stranger came to the "Egosian" home star to conduct an experiment. This stranger caused the sun to (begin to) go nova so that it would reach out and consume the twin planets orbiting it. "Egosian" scientists realized what was going to happen and determined when their star would go nova. Egros was presumably one of those scientists but this has not been confirmed.
Since the "Egosian" race had not pursued its early efforts at star travel and they were unable to leave their solar system, their only hope for survival was to build bunkers that could protect them from the effects of the nova. Project Worldcore was initiated to drill a path to the center of the planet where a vault was to be created that would be large enough to hold the suspended animation cells for the entire population. Egros designed the cells in which his people would rest in a state of suspension until the surface of their planet was once more fit for life. Egros provided the guidance, encouragement and faith that got Project Worldcore started and kept it from failing.
For twenty months the project was Egros's life and, as the time of the nova drew near, it seemed like they had succeeded. With less than an hour left, Egros briefly collapsed, causing Chimu, with whom he had been walking, to express his fear that the strain had finally broken him but Egros reassured Chimu that it had just been a momentary dizziness and that he was now all right. At Chimu's suggestion, they continued on to the immense complex where Project Worldcore had cleared a path to the center of their planet. During this final journey, Chimu reported to Egros that the work was going smoothly, with ninety-five percent of their race already placed in a state of suspension, and that the last five percent would be joining the others in the subterranean cells within the next thirty-nine minutes. Chimu also praised Egros and his genius for saving their race from extinction and assured him that his selfless sacrifice would be rewarded by the gratitude of their entire race.
Once within the project, Egros allowed Chimu to show him that their work was almost done and that only a handful of project personnel remained on the surface to complete the suspending process for the rest. When Egros asked how much time was left before the disaster was to occur, Chimu replied that the time was extremely near and that it was only forty minutes until their sun went nova and consumed the crust of their only home! While looking at an image of their sun on a large monitor, Egros wondered if their race might have escaped this fate if they had pursued their early efforts at star travel and had not let the future slip by because they were too short-sighted and too foolish. As Egros lamented that now all they could do was hide like animals in a hole and pray to the gods for their survival, Chimu gently reminded his compatriot that they had been through all that, that what was done was done, and that they could not look behind if they were to retain their sanity. Chimu then expressed his hope that when they exited their underground vault a millennium in the future they would be somehow wiser for the experience.
Eventually, there wasn't much time left and Chimu told Egros that the chambers had to be quarantined immediately and that he and Egros should remain on the surface until the last possible instant to ensure success. Egros asked if all the others were below, Chimu replied that the last man was now descending and Egros said that they would begin once he had gone. As they began their final tasks, Chimu spoke to Egros and told him that it had been an honor serving at his side but when he began to speak of something happening, Egros told him to say no more because the system could not fail. Egros then told Chimu that, someday, when the sun had cooled and the surface was fit for life once more, the two of them would work together to rebuild their lost world. Egros then spoke of how Project Worldcore would succeed because they had planned so...but he was interrupted by Chimu who had just seen on the monitor device that the sub-solar reaction had started fifty seconds ahead of schedule, that the hydrogen fusion chain would build to critical mass within ten seconds, and that their star was going to EXPLODE TOO SOON! Egros responded by protesting that that was impossible because their calculations had been so exact that there wasn't room for that much error but Chimu grabbed some tapes and headed for the descent shaft, telling Egros that they had to flee to the vault and that they might still survive if they could operate the sealing controls manually. Egros pointed out that everything had been planned to the "mili-second" so there wouldn't be time to seal the chambers before the solar shock wave hit them but he followed Chimu into the shaft anyway. Unfortunately, Egros was right and he and Chimu had not fallen even a third of the distance to the safety of the underground vault when the star went NOVA!
Egros was still outside the vault when the massive radiation burst struck the planet. After experiencing a moment of searing agony, Egros felt an instant of stark terror as he realized that his life was not yet over, and then Egros and his homeworld began to join as one. As this new entity, Ego, fed on the lives of the two billion men and women of the "Egosian" race, Egros died and his people died and then Ego became them and every living thing and everything that made up the world. As the seed from which Ego grew, Egros remained within the god Ego became.
"Almost a million years" later, the Asgardian Thor Odinson attacked Ego's brain. Ego retaliated by drawing Thor into his mind and forcing him to relive his memories of the final hours of the "Egosian" race. While trapped within Ego's memories, Thor was like a puppet in a virtual reality setting who saw what Egros had seen, heard what Egros had heard, and spoke what Egros had spoken. It was only after Thor had relived the moment when Egros and his planet had joined to become one that Ego's memories retreated and Thor was released from Ego's mind and returned to reality.
Years later, after the Sixth Multiverse had been destroyed by the Beyonders and had then been (re)created as the Seventh Multiverse by Franklin Richards, Ego was resting peacefully with Alter Ego orbiting him as his moon. However, when Galactus the Lifebringer emerged from the pocket reality he called Taa III and found himself on Ego, the Living Planet recalled their past conflicts and attacked. Needing allies to aid him in the upcoming war against the First Firmament, the consciousness of the first iteration of reality who had bound the Multiversal Eternity who personified the seventh multiverse, Galactus descended to Ego's core, found his brain and then, in a gesture of trust, Galactus temporarily gave up his power and transformed into his mortal form who introduced himself to Ego as Galan of Taa, a being who had lived and died during the sixth iteration of everything. Ego responded by releasing the part of him that had been the scientist Egros. Given a fleeting moment of life, this ghost of a memory spoke with Galan and told him that it was good to meet someone who was like him. Egros then revealed how he had become Ego as a result of an experiment that an alien stranger had conducted on his home star "eons ago." As he spoke of how he had set up Project Worldcore to try to save all his people, Egros admitted that he hadn't been selfless or noble, he had only wanted to live. As they talked, Egros and Galan both acknowledged that they had been driven by a desperate need to survive in the face of the end of everything. With their differences reconciled, Galan reclaimed his power and stated that he and Ego were brothers to each other and to Eternity who needed them to be better. Galactus then channeled the wellspring of life through himself into Egros/Ego, causing the Living Planet to grow an immense humanoid body.
Note: One interesting thing about Egros is that his true appearance has never been depicted. When Thor relived Ego's memories of being Egros, the Asgardian still saw himself in his true form even though everybody else in the virtual recreation (i.e., Chimu) apparently saw him as Egros. And later, when Galactus transformed himself into Galan of Taa to speak with the Living Planet in its core, the ghost of a memory of Egros who appeared looked as much like a Caucasian human as Galan did, even though a one-panel flashback of some other "Egosians" showed that they had skin that was golden instead of pinkish-white. Also, the facial features of the Egros ghost were completely human even though those of real "Egosians" were not.
--Thor I#228 (BTS in fb), Ultimates2#8
The massive attempt to save themselves from the effects of their sun going nova that the "Egosian" race worked together to achieve.
After discovering that their sun would go nova at a certain time in the near future, the "Egosians" devoted themselves to finding a way for their race to avoid extinction. Since they had never developed star travel, the "Egosians" realized that they would only survive if they could shield themselves from the nova's radiation. The plan that the "Egosians" ultimately adopted was Project Worldcore which involved clearing a path down to the center of their planet where they would create a vast vault in which their entire population could sleep through the disaster and beyond. The scientist Egros, with his guidance, his encouragement and his faith, was instrumental to the project and kept it from failing before it had begun, and he would make the project his life for the twenty months before the nova.
In the span of a single solar revolution, "Egosian" engineers were able to clear a path down to the center of their planet. Once there, they began to construct a vault large enough to provide protection for all two billion "Egosians." This vault was made up of many environmental chambers, each of which contained dozens of cells, designed by Egros, that would keep their occupants asleep in a state of suspension that could, it was believed, last until the sun had cooled and the planet's surface was once more fit for life. However, in order to provide protection from the radiation, each environmental chamber had to be isolated and sealed, and the vault itself had to be sealed as well, or all would be for naught.
Using extremely exact calculations, every element of Project Worldcore was planned to the "mili-second." After the environmental chambers were completed, the "Egosians" began to enter the shaft that allowed them to "fall" down to the vault with mechanisms in the shaft's walls preventing them from being injured as they descended. Once at the vault, each "Egosian" would go to their own cell and undergo the suspending process that would allow them to sleep in safety for a millennium.
By the time there was less than an hour before the nova was predicted to occur, ninety-five percent of the "Egosians" had descended to the vault and been placed in a state of suspension, and the remaining five percent were expected to join the others within the next thirty-nine minutes. Then, with little more than forty minutes before the nova, only a handful of project personnel (including Egros and Chimu) were still on the surface, waiting to complete the suspending process for the rest. Finally, the third-to-last "Egosian" began to descend, leaving Egros and Chimu on the surface to perform some final tasks. Unfortunately, before they could finish, Chimu noticed that the device monitoring the sun had detected that the sub-solar reaction had started fifty seconds ahead of schedule and realized that the hydrogen fusion chain would build to critical mass within ten seconds, causing the star to explode too soon! Although they both knew that there wasn't time to descend to the vault and operate the sealing controls manually before the solar shock wave hit the planet, Chimu and Egros still made the attempt anyway.
Sadly, this last desperate effort was doomed to failure as the star went nova before Egros had fallen even a third of the distance to the safety of the vault. As a result, the chambers were still not sealed by the time the radiation from the nova struck the planet. Exposure to that deadly radiation somehow caused both the mind of Egros and the matter of his planet to join as one and to feed on the lives of the two billion "Egosian" men and women who were sleeping inside the unsealed chambers that had been meant to protect them.
In the end, it was a miscalculation of less than a minute that caused Project Worldcore to fail and allow Ego the Living Planet to be born. It's possible (or likely) that the alien stranger deliberately caused this failure so that his experiment would succeed in creating something like the Living Planet.
--Thor I#228 (fb)
images: (without ads)
Thor I#228, page 7, panel 3 (main image)
Ultimates2#8, page 15, panel 1 (the Stranger conducting his experiment)
Thor I#228, pages 10+11 (NOVA!)
page 9, panel 2 (Chimu head shot)
page 4, panel 1 (Chimu full body)
Ultimates2#8, page 14, panel 4 (Egros as recreated by Ego)
page 16, panel 2 (Galan and Egros)
Thor I#228, page 5 (Project Worldcore exterior)
page 8, panel 1 (Environmental Chamber 3-C)
Appearances: (Egros only)
Thor I#228 (October, 1974) - Gerry Conway (author), Rich Buckler (artist), Joe Sinnott (embellisher), Roy Thomas (editor)
Ultimates2#8 (August, 2017) - Al Ewing (writer), Aud Koch (artist), Alanna Smith (editor)
First Posted: 04/29/2020
Last updated: 04/29/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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