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FONABI race

Classification: Extraterrestrial semi-humanoids

Location/Base of Operations: An unspecified planet in an unspecified star system within the Milky Way Galaxy

Habitat: Unrevealed

Known Members: Auction bidder (depicted below, name unrevealed)
Estimated population: Unrevealed

Affiliations: Unrevealed

Enemies: Unrevealed

First Appearance: The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#15 (March, 1987)
   (actual Fonabi) Avengers Spotlight#25/2 (December, 1989)

Powers/Abilities: Unrevealed

Cultural Traits: Unrevealed

Type: Semi-humanoid
Eyes: Two
Fingers: Four (plus opposable thumb)
Toes: Five
Skin color: Light yellow
Hair: None
Average height: 16' 5" (see comments)

Type of government: Unrevealed

Level of technology: (Allegedly) Superior to Earth, with faster than light travel. The Fonabi may (or may not) also actually possess advanced weaponry.

History:

 

(Avengers Spotlight#25/2) - A Fonabi was present at an intergalactic auction that was held to purchase the rights to an autobiography by Rick Jones. Many alien races were interested in the manuscript because they believed that it contained information about how Jones had once been able to defeat the Kree and Skrull armadas. However, when the salient chapter was presented for viewing, the assembled bidders discovered that Jones had ended the Kree-Skrull War through a fluke and that he had no real knowledge as to how he had accomplished it so his memoirs were judged to be worthless.

 

(FF I#20 - BTS) - Aboard the Future Foundation's space station, Reed Richards taught a class about various alien races, beginning with the Type II civilizations that they knew existed within the Milky Way galaxy and then expanding outward. Richards chose to start with the Badoon but one of the thirteen other holographic images of planets that were projected upon the star field was labeled "Fonabi." The class soon ended prematurely when the light from the stars was blocked by the newly-arrived Attilan.

 

 (Avengers: Celestial Quest#2) - A pair of Grunds were passengers on a ship piloted by Foster and Straker; other passengers included a Fonabi, a Herm, pair of Kodabaks, a Kymellian, a Megan, a Sm'ggani, a Yrd, a pair of long-faced aliens (who are they?), and Priest of Pama (presumably Kree), who cloaked himself in the form of a human-sized Pegasusian. fonabirace-avcelq2

The ship was targeted by a trio of pirate ships piloted by Raptra, Reptyl, and Syn. Knowing the pilot ships lacked the shields to follow them, Foster and Straker dove the ship into a Class 3 Nebula; as they predicted, the pirates abandoned pursuit and sought other targets. The passengers were elated, and one Grund noted, "Straker always..." (only a bit of the dialogue was shown, but presumably he meant that Straker always found a way to save them) and the other said, "Blake would've..." (see comments).

(Avengers: Celestial Quest#8 (fb) - BTS) - The Grunds and, at least, the Herm apparently were consumed by the Rot (see comments).

(Avengers: Celestial Quest#8) - After Death and Thanos destroyed the Rot (created by a brief non-romantic physical/energy union between Death and Thanos, it was a spatial anomaly that destroyed anything that touched it) all those consumed by the Rot were destroyed. The pair of Grunds as well as the Herm and presumably others from the ship were seen floating in space.

Comments: Created by the writers of the second volume of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and Kyle Baker.
   Based on the design of the Terminus character (later retconned into being Jorro) that had been created by Roger Stern, John Buscema and Tom Palmer.

   The giant alien being named Terminus first appeared in Fantastic Four I#269-270 (August-September, 1984). Created by John Byrne, the character was introduced as a scavenger of worlds whose power rivalled that of Galactus himself.

   Terminus next appeared in Avengers I#256-257 (June-July, 1985) where Roger Stern, John Buscema and Tom Palmer revealed that Terminus was actually a much smaller alien being piloting what was essentially a giant robot. This "Terminus" died after Hercules ripped open his space armor and left him exposed to the freezing Antarctic environment.

   Following on these stories, the writers of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#15 (March, 1987) decided to add to the backstory of Terminus by creating the alien race known as the Fonabi and establishing that Terminus was a member of that race. Artist Kyle Baker drew an image of a typical Fonabi, basing it on how the "real Terminus" had been depicted in his final appearance.

   So far, everything had been going well but then, in 1988, Chris Claremont, Art Adams and Bob Wiacek had Terminus appear in Uncanny X-Men Annual I#12. This Terminus was ultimately revealed to be a brainwashed Garokk the Petrified Man wearing another suit of Terminus armor. Less than two years later, in Quasar#7 (February, 1990), Mark Gruenwald, Mike Manley and Danny Bulanadi brought back the real Terminus and revealed that the Terminus who had died had actually been a Terran Deviant named Jorro the Weapons Maker who had been a stand-in for the real Terminus. And later that year, during The Terminus Factor storyline, Roy and Dann Thomas wrote a story for Thor Annual #15 that provided the real (retconned) origin of Terminus which revealed that he was ABSOLUTELY NOT a member of ANY semi-humanoid race.

   When the story in Avengers Spotlight#25/2 was written, the "Terminus" later identified as Jorro was still believed to be an alien so adding a "Fonabi" to the crowd scene of alien bidders made sense. However, only two months later, the revelation of Jorro's true identity in Quasar#7 seemingly cast doubt on the accuracy of the data contained in the Official Handbooks. The odd common factor in both stories is Mark Gruenwald who edited the Avengers Spotlight story but wrote the Quasar story.

   So, since Terminus was later revealed to be one of the artificially-created Termini race, that means that the Fonabi effectively received a profile in the Official Handbook before any actual members of their race appeared in any printed story.

   The idea that the Fonabi race possessed advanced weaponry came from the fact that Terminus, who was then believed to be one of them, definitely did have such weaponry. However, since Terminus is not (and never was) a Fonabi, there is no longer any evidence that the real Fonabi ever had such weaponry so stating that they did would be an assumption on my part.

   Aside from the icons for the Badoon and the Fonabi, the other twelve icons projected during that Future Foundation class were labeled with these names: Cotati, Druffs, Elan, Grunds, Herms, Kobadaks, Nanda, Ovoids, Sm'ggani, Wobbs, Xantha and Zundamites. It should be noted that some of these races are NOT native to the Milky Way and some (like the Druffs) have NO technology...so why were their icons displayed?

   When Reed Richards told his Future Foundation students that that day's class would be spent covering the "Type II civilizations" that they knew existed within their Milky Way galaxy, that was presumably a reference to the Kardashev scale, a hypothetical method of measuring a civilization's level of technological advancement that is based on the amounts of energy that each civilization is able to use. According to this scale, a Type I (or planetary) civilization can use and store all the energy which reaches its planet from the neighboring star, a Type II (or stellar) civilization can harness the total energy of its planet's parent star (via something like a Dyson swarm) and a Type III (or galactic) civilization can control energy on the scale of its entire host galaxy.

Profile by Donald Campbell.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Fonabi race has no known connections to


images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#15, page 41, panel 3 (main image)
Avengers Spotlight#25, page 21, panel 4 (auction bidders)
FF I#20, page 10, panel 4 (Reed Richards teaching)
Avengers Celestial Quest#2, pg. 9, panel 1 (seated in starship);


Appearances:
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#15 (March, 1987) - Mark Gruenwald (writer/producer), Peter Sanderson (writer/researcher), Kyle Baker (artist for the Alien Races Appendix)
Avengers Spotlight#25/2 (December, 1989) - Glenn Herdling & Dwight Jon Zimmerman (writers), Rodney Ramos (pencils), Don Hudson (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers: Celestial Quest#2 (December, 2001) - Steve Englehart (writer), Jorge Santamaria (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Marc Sumerak (assistant editor), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers: Celestial Quest#8 (June, 2002) - Steve Englehart (writer), Jorge Santamaria & El Valiente (pencilers), Scott Hanna (inker), Marc Sumerak (assistant editor), Tom Brevoort (editor)
FF I#20 (September, 2012) - Jonathan Hickman (writer), Nick Dragotta (artist), VC's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers: Celestial Quest#2 (December, 2001) - Steve Englehart (writer), Jorge Santamaria (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Marc Sumerak (assistant editor), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers: Celestial Quest#8 (June, 2002) - Steve Englehart (writer), Jorge Santamaria & El Valiente (pencilers), Scott Hanna (inker), Marc Sumerak (assistant editor), Tom Brevoort (editor)


First Posted: 07/16/2019
Last updated: 07/26/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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