ORB of NECROMANCY
Classification: Extradimensional (Otherworld) magic item
First Appearance: Secret Avengers#25 (June, 2012)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Orb of Necromancy can grant life to artificial beings and restore life to the dead or undead. Destruction of the Orb would terminate the life it had granted to others.
The Orb could also cause death and undeath (death-like forms of existence as seen in vampires, zombies, etc.)
The Undead Celestial of Reality-666 sought to use it to spread undeath to the ends of reality
The Orb appears to be
approximately 16" in diameter (although it may change in size based on
its energy content) and it glows with energy.
History:(Secret Avengers#25 (fb)) - In the Cold War following World War II (see comments), the Weapon Plus UK developed Operation: Descendant, tasked with creating an army of powerful, controllable androids patterned after the Human Torch (Jim Hammond).
The man known only as Father, joined two other scientists (Brother (James Braddock, Sr., father of Brian Braddock, later Captain Britain) and Mother (real name unrevealed)) --and they succeeded in nearly every way, but they failed to replicate the most important feature in Phineas Horton (the Human Torch's creator)'s designs: True life.
Familiar with the science of magic, Brother obtained the Otherworldly relic the Orb of Necromancy, with which the scientists finally succeeded: They created twenty Descendants, the High-Breeds, living, breathing Homo synthezoideus, which they saw as the final stage of life on Earth. Father wanted to construct thousands more.
(Secret Avengers#34 (fb)) - As Father pushed his partners to force contagious robotic evolution, Brother threatened to return to Otherworld and to tell the Corps of this mad scheme, but Father asked if he would also tell them that he had stolen the Orb of Necromancy to satisfy his scientific curiosity
(Secret Avengers#25 (fb) - BTS) - Refusing to risk creating a new species to compete with humanity, Brother disappeared, taking the Orb of Necromancy with him.
While Brother and Father argued, Mother, having concluded that the new species deserved the same opportunities as all life including natural selection, released the High-Breeds into the world.
- Without Brother's Orb, Father was unable to create more High-Breeds.
He developed many other species of Descendants, including the Deathloks
and the Adaptoids, but they each had certain flaws. Father's Adaptoids
sought out and returned an unidentified number of the High-Breeds to keep them safe as they bred
(Secret Avengers#22) - The discovery of Parvez, the firstborn Descendant, led to an acceleration of Father's plans.
(Secret Avengers#35 (fb) - BTS) - Captain Britain went through his father's files and found information clearly meant for him, including James Sr.'s involvement with the Descendants and the nature and site to which he had placed the Orb of Necromancy (the destruction of which would remove the "true life" from the Descendants). James' notes also detailed how the arrival of the first naturally born Descendant would be the signal to start "the Event" (contagious robotic evolution).
(Secret Avengers#33 (fb) - BTS) - Captain Britain hid the Orb of Necromancy with the Avengers of Earth-666; as everyone on the world was already undead, he reasoned that no one there would need it.
(Secret Avengers#33 (fb) - BTS) - Earth-666's Brother Voodoo hid the Orb within Shuma-Gorath's Ego Maze with the Undead Celestial, who intended to use it to spread undeath to the ends of reality; to recover it, one had to journey into the Center Tower, where a living man could die of introspection.
Avengers#33) - Seeking to use the Orb to stop Father's use of
nanotechnology to transform all life in the universe into Descendants,
Captain Britain and Hawkeye-616 traveled to Earth-666 and met with its
Voodoo led Captain Britain and Hawkeye-616 to the threshold and opened a portal to the Undead Celestial, where they were also confronted by the rest of the Avengers of the Undead.
(Secret Avengers#34) - Despite the efforts of the Undead Celestial and the Avengers of the Undead, Hawkeye-616 nonetheless snagged the Orb with one of his arrows, and Captain Britain flew away with Hawkeye and the Orb.
When Captain Britain opened a portal to Otherworld, Brother Voodoo, as masters of the doors of that realm, closed the portal
Captain America, the Punisher, and Wolverine then confronted the Earth-616 heroes, and Wolverine advised they return the Orb.
(Secret Avengers#35) - Captain Britain, Hawkeye, and the Beast escaped with the Orb of Necromancy, after which they discussed its significance.
(Secret Avengers#36) - In the Avengers' meeting hall, Beast, Captain Britain, and Hawkeye-616 entered with the Orb and offered it up in return for safe return home.
However, as Voodoo touched the Orb, Britain energized it, transforming Brother Voodoo back to living/mortal form, after which Hawkeye encased Voodoo in a force field.
With Voodoo's magic negated, Captain Britain reclaimed the Orb and opened a portal back home, though which the heroes departed.
(Secret Avengers#36 - BTS) - Beast, Captain Britain, and Hawkeye returned to Reality-616 (specifically the Core) with the Orb of Necromancy.
- Wasplock stole the Orb from Beast and delivered it to Father. Giant-Man warned
them that if they destroyed the Orb, it would kill the Descendants and
the virus, but if they waited until the process was complete, after man
and machine were merged, they would kill everyone on the planet.
(Secret Avengers#37 (fb) - BTS) - Hawkeye stole back the Orb of Necromancy from Father and from within the Sentinel, but the nano-mist began to affect even the Avengers, and Father mentally advised his new children to join in the universal conversation.
Hawkeye struggled on whether to destroy the Orb, he was progressively
converted by the nanomist that led to robotic evolution; ultimately the Torch destroyed the Orb, unwilling to
erase humanity to write the artificial lifeforms' future.
Following a burst of energy, all of the Descendants apparently died (including Wasplock).
Parvez was spared, and he remained in the care of the Black Widow.
Comments: Created by Rick Remender and Gabriel Hardman.
The Cold War pretty much extends from the end of World War II to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 (or perhaps the collapse of the USSR in 1991). Presumably, it was meant that the desire to re-create the Human Torch took place shortly after World War II, as the 2013 Secret Avengers story had him noting 70 years of planning, which would have been even a bit before the end of WWII in 1945. Of course, 2013 would be topical, and even 5 years later in 2018, that would put the planning as having started in around 1948. I think the 70s years notation is topical, and that Father's plans started in the mid-to-late 1940s (or perhaps after the seeming death of the Human Torch in the 1950s).
Father and the other Adaptoids
beyond Sister Augmentoid later returned to existence, but there is
neither evidence for or against the Orb of Necromancy being involved in
Profile by Snood.
The Orb of Necromancy should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads):
Secret Avengers I#25, story pg. 3, panel 3 (Father and Brother using Orb to give true life to Descendants);
#36, story pg. 2, panel 1 & 3 (Captain Britain standing with Orb in front of him; front and side views);
panel 5 (Orb restoring Brother Voodoo-666 to true life);
#37, pg. 14, panel 4 (Hawkeye aiming arrow at Orb);
pg. 16, panel 2 (Human Torch destroying Orb)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
First posted: 2/10/2020
Last updated: 2/10/2020
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