Classification: Alternate Reality (Reality-691) extraterrestrial humanoids
Location/Base of Operations: Centauri IV, the fourth planet out from the "B" star in the Alpha Centauri system of the Milky Way Galaxy (see comments)
Habitat: 69% of surface covered with water, temperate climate
Gravity: 102% Earth
Atmosphere: 99% Earth density
Known Members: Yondu Udonta,
Estimated population: (Before the Badoon invasion) unrevealed (possibly 100 million)
(after the Badoon genocide) unrevealed (only one tribe of unspecified size is confirmed to have survived)
(survivors from Arima); Guardians of the Galaxy (Major Vance Astro,
Charlie-27, Nicholette "Nikki" Gold, Martinex T'Naga, Starhawk/Stakar,
Talon, Aleta Ogord);
some Centaurians worship Anthos
Enemies: The Brotherhood of Badoon
First Appearance: Marvel Super Heroes II#18 (January, 1969)
Powers/Abilities: Most Centaurians possess no superhuman physical powers but, as a species, they are natural mystics who possess an intuitive mystical sixth sense perception that permits them limited empathic relationships with other life forms. The higher the lifeform, the more limited is their empathic potential.
Some Centaurians have demonstrated unusual physical abilities, sometimes from a very young age. Unfortunately, some (or many?) Centaurian tribes are led by elders who regard such beings as aberrations who must be killed in order to appease their god, Anthos. The number of such empowered Centaurians who were routinely killed has not been revealed, and the source of these abilities also remains unknown. However, since these abilities don't seem to be mystical in nature, they are likely the result of either mutations or latent gene sequences inherited from Inhuman ancestors.
Centaurians possess an intuitive mystical rapport with nature, particularly with their homeworld, but also with any planet that still possesses natural wildlife. Centaurians can sense foreign bodies or substances or focus on specific elements within a specific area.
Centuarians are also sensitive to and able to detect the presence of mystical beings and forces.
Some Centaurians can enter a trance state that allows them to replenish their own inner strength by communing with natural forces.
Some Centaurians (including Yondu) can enter a trance state during which they can perceive the memories of another person whom they are touching. The Centaurian does this by guiding the other person's spirit to abandon the physical plane for the timeless void "above" where they can communicate. Apparently the other person must be conscious for this touching of spirits to work.
Some Centaurians (like Yondu) have demonstrated an ability to hear sounds that are too high-pitched for humans to perceive. However, nothing has been revealed about the exact range of sounds which are audible to Centaurians.
An average Centaurian has physical abilities that are about the same as an average Terran human, assuming that both individuals are the same size and mass and gender and engage in the same amount of regular exercise. A Centaurian male who is an above average physical specimen of his race would have slightly more strength and endurance than the average human male.
Some official sources claim that the native Centaurian language is a system
of grunts, clicks and whistles, and that while some Centaurians can master English it is painful for them to speak it
for too long without resting their throats. This claim has not been substantiated and may simply be due to the fact
that researchers did not take into account the natural taciturnity of their primary specimen (Yondu Udonta of
Writers wrote and/or speculated on what had been observed at the time. Future revelations and ret-cons can't be accounted for without time travel capacity, which is lacking in the real world.
Cultural Traits: Although some Centaurians worship elemental spirits, most Centaurians worship a deity known as Anthos. Those who do not worship Anthos are considered to be "Akuun" (a Centaurian word meaning "one-without-faith") and every Habaktu (warrior holy man) is taught that all Akuun must die. Some Centaurians also believe that any child who exhibits unusual abilities is a "kavkov" (demon) and that such children must be put to death to appease Anthos.
In some respects, Centaurian culture resembles that of North American Indians before European migrations.
Eyes: Two (on head)
Fingers: Four (plus opposable thumb)
Skin color: Blue
Hair: Red (dorsal crest only)
Average height: Approximately 6' (plus 1' dorsal crest)
Distinguishing Features: Large red dorsal (some patients apparently have a bony base to this crest (see comments)
Type of government: Tribal (in the 30th and 31st centuries)
Level of technology: In the 30th and 31st centuries, the
Centaurians only possessed primitive technology with their most advanced tools being bows and arrows. It has not
been revealed if their technology was always at that level or if they had once had more advanced technology but
somehow lost it.
Yondu Udonta is known to have resisted using technology even after he joined the Guardians of the Galaxy, so it's possible that their civilization had deliberately chosen to abandon whatever tech they had for reasons that have never been revealed.
(Marvel Presents#4 (fb) - BTS) <"countless eons ago"> - Ancient Centaurians (probably mystics) foresaw the coming of a cosmic threat which they named Karanada - "The emptiness that devours." Karanada was/would be an "anti-energy" creature, a moving state of non-being which would envelope all it touched and unmake it to conform to its own spiritual likeness. Karanada would be pure cold that was not merely the absence of heat, and total paralysis of both the body and the soul.
As told in the tales of the Centaurians, Karanada was to come upon the universe both slowly and suddenly, unnoticed, yet wreaking havoc. Its only purpose would be to put an end to existence, and beings who lacked its opposite, the essential element of spirit, would be doomed to be its victims.
(Fantastic Four I#577 (fb) - BTS / FF I#6 (fb) - BTS / FF I#7 (fb) - BTS - see comments) <300,000 years ago> - The Supreme Intelligence of the Kree Empire conceived of its metagenesis plan. Most Kree believed that the purpose of this program was to develop the ability to transform members of other races into sentient living weapons who would fight alongside the Kree but its true, secret purpose was to find a way to reignite the Kree race's stagnant evolution. In carrying out the Supremor's instructions, twenty-three Kree science teams visited a total of at least 106 different inhabited planets and experimented upon test subjects from the various young races living on those planets. Somewhat to their surprise, the Kree scientists were able to achieve complete success. Through their experimentation, the Kree were able to develop a specific, race-based catalyst for each and every one of these species, catalysts that could transform those exposed to them, endowing them with abilities that made them living weapons.
(Fantastic Four I#577 (fb) - BTS / FF I#7 (fb) - BTS) - The Centaurians were one of the races upon whom the Kree experimented. The Centaurian Inhumans gained their abilities through Isogenesis, a process which involved injecting the extract of the Isogen Orbs.
(FF I#6 (fb) - BTS) - Once the experiments had been completed, the Supreme Intelligence summoned the two lead scientists to Hala to report on the results of their Metagenesis research. The Supreme Intelligence then began to simultaneously upload and review the data provided by the scientists but its analysis soon detected an anomaly, one which the Supremor foresaw would lead to its eventual death at the hands of the product of one of these metagenesis experiments. Fearing for its life, the Supreme Intelligence ordered the cessation of the research and the deaths of the scientists. However, one of the condemned scientists, unwilling to accept the loss of his life's work, managed to shatter the data crystal and terminate the upload at 94% before being killed.
(FF I#6 (fb) - BTS/Fantastic Four I#600 (fb) - BTS) - The Supreme Intelligence then ordered the Accuser Corps to wipe out all traces of the Inhumans who had been created by the Kree experiments. The Accusers burned over one hundred worlds but the incompleteness of the Supremor's data enabled five tribes of Inhumans to remain hidden and thereby survive.
(Fantastic Four I#577 (fb) - BTS) - Aside from the Centaurian Inhumans, the other four Inhuman tribes who survived were those created from the Badoon, the Dire Wraiths, the Kymellians and the Terrans.
(Marvel Presents#4 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, the Centaurians began to worship a male deity they knew by the name "Anthos."
(Marvel Presents#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Centaurians used the word "anthos" to also mean "heaven" and "peace."
(Yondu#5 (fb) - BTS) - Long ago, the Centaurians named the "sacred moon of Centauri IV" after their god, Anthos.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#1 (fb) - BTS/Guardians of the Galaxy Annual I#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point in their history, the Centaurians developed an alphabetical writing system which used their own set of letters (known as "runes") to represent the basic significant sounds (phonemes) of their spoken language.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#4 (fb) - BTS) - For reasons which have not yet been revealed, the runes used by the Centaurians were very similar to those of an inscription found on a tablet kept in a temple on the planet Entem in the Donatut star system, the homeworld of the Entemen race. However, it has not been revealed if the language of that inscription was ever spoken on Entem or if it had actually been inscribed by an alien visitor.
(Marvel Presents#4 text page) - "In the year 2940...the first terran interstellar colony was founded on Centauri-IV."
(Defenders I#26 (fb)) - "By 2960, (Terrans had) reached the nearest star-system to (their) own and established (their) first friendly contact with an alien race."
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#12: Yondu entry) - While most Centaurian tribes
were intimidated by Earth's superior technology and established peaceful relationships with the settlers, the Zatoan
tribe migrated from their ancestral forests to the less accessible plains to avoid contact with the outworlders.
(Defenders I#26 (fb) / Marvel Presents#4 text page) - In the year 3000, all the nations of Earth and all of its colonies joined together as co-equal partners in the United Federation of Earth. Centauri-IV was represented by a Centaurian.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#15 (fb)) - About this time, a baby Centaurian girl was born with the ability to emit concussive energy blasts ("fire") from her eyes. The elders of her cave-dwelling tribe cursed her as a demon and sought to kill her to appease Anthos, but her father fought the would-be killers, sacrificing his life so that his mate could flee with their daughter to the Great Forest. Unfortunately, the mother soon fell ill and died, leaving her child alone to face certain death, but she was saved by the arrival of an Uloc named Interface who took her away from Centauri IV and raised her as his daughter. The girl later took the name Photon and, as a young adult, joined Interface's mercenary group, Force.
(Marvel Super Heroes II#18 (fb) / Defenders I#26 (fb) / Marvel Presents#4 text page / Guardians of the Galaxy I#26 (fb)) - In the year 3006, the starship carrying Major Vance Astro landed on Centauri-IV after a voyage which had lasted for 1,018 years (having launched from Earth in 1988). The Centaurians and the human colonists gave him a hero's welcome, but he felt that his journey had been made a farce. Major Astro chose to deal with his situation by completing his original (now-obsolete) mission of cataloguing Centauri IV's flora and fauna. While doing so, he interrupted Yondu Udonta while the native was in the midst of performing a sacred ritual of manhood. After a brief display of violence, the two of them managed to reach an understanding, and they began to travel together and slowly become friends.
(Marvel Presents#4 text page) - "In that same year, the Centauri-IV colony was attacked and destroyed" by the Brotherhood of Badoon.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#12: Yondu entry) - With the first evidence of hostilities, Astro took Yondu aboard his survey ship and set out for the nearest known planet in the Centauri trinary star system, but they were quickly captured by the Badoon.
(Marvel Two-In-One I#5 (fb) - BTS) - Yondu was believed to be the last of his "race of barbarians."
(Guardians of the Galaxy Annual I#2/3 (fb) - BTS) - Unbeknownst to outsiders, at least one Centaurian tribe secretly survived the Badoon genocide of their race because the rock surrounding the cave in which they hid was laced with the mineral known as trillite (or yaka), a substance which blocked radio waves (and Badoon scanning equipment).
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#12: Yondu entry) - In 3007, Yondu and Major Astro were taken to the recently-conquered Earth as prizes to be presented to Drang, a powerful Badoon leader.
(Marvel Super Heroes I#18/Guardians of the Galaxy I#26 (fb)) - Yondu and Astro managed to escape from Drang and his guards and soon encountered the Jovian Charlie-27 and the Pluvian Martinex. As the last (known) survivors of their respective races, the four banded together to form the Guardians of the Galaxy, a team dedicated to freeing Earth from the Brotherhood of Badoon.
(Marvel Presents#4) - In early 3016, the Guardians briefly visited Centauri-IV so that Yondu could consult the gods of his race to see if he should take part in the Guardians' urgent mission to the center of the galaxy. During a lightning storm, Yondu lit a fire (which burned with a green flame) at a spot where the skeletal remains of some of his people lay unburied on the ground. As he prayed on one knee, a bolt of lightning struck the fire, and torrential rain poured down as if the planet, like Yondu, mourned its murdered people. As Yondu knelt on his hands and knees and wondered if he was also meant to return to the dust, a small creature crawled out of the mud and onto his hand. As the storm abruptly ended, Yondu saw the creature as a sign that Life was drawn to him, and he told his fellow Guardians that it was "the word of Anthos" that he was not to abandon their quest and that it was not yet his time to join the unseen world.
Soon afterwards, the Guardians encountered the alien force which had been consuming all life on a large number of planets, and Yondu revealed that his people had foreseen the coming of "Karanada" (The emptiness that devours) countless eons ago.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#5-6) - In 3017, the Guardians first encountered the mercenary team Force, and Yondu was shocked to discover the existence of another member of his race, a young female named Photon. Yondu was dismayed to learn that Photon had completely rejected their race's religious beliefs ("The Way") and absolutely refused to help him "complete the Circle of Life" and restore their race (by mating with him).
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#8) - The knowledge that another Centaurian was alive but refused to help him mend the Sacred Circle of Life caused Yondu to experience great emotional and spiritual distress that led to outbursts of violence. When he admitted to Starhawk (Stakar) that he believed that he must end "this mockery of a life" that Anthos had inflicted on him, Starhawk asked Yondu if he was willing to risk his soul, and Yondu replied that his soul was already lost. Starhawk reminded Yondu that the Way taught that the soul was saved so long as faith remained, and pointed out that, by continuing to wear the kospah even when he had no hope of perpetuating his race, Yondu had continued to believe, and his faith had been strong. Starhawk stated that he knew that Yondu's life would hold great meaning for his people but when Yondu asked if that meant Photon would become one with the Circle of Life again, Starhawk said that she wouldn't. The two then prayed together in the ancient way of Yondu's people, and Yondu found his center again.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#15-16) - During a second encounter between Force and the Guardians, Photon sought out Yondu to battle him. However, after she had granted his request and revealed her past to him, Yondu found himself in conflict between his sworn duty to kill all those Centaurians who were without faith and his understanding that she had only rejected the Circle of Life because of her experiences as a victim of unreasoning prejudice. As Yondu hesitated, Photon attacked, and he reacted instinctively, slicing open her jugular vein. This injury caused the two teams to stop fighting, and Photon was taken to Sickbay for treatment but only after her foster father, Interface, used his transmutation powers to turn Yondu's right hand into water vapor. Yondu received a bionic hand ("Weapons Concealment Appendage") and stayed with Photon while the two teams confronted the Protégé on Homeworld.
Later, as the two teams prepared to go their separate ways, Photon asked Yondu if she could have his Yaka arrows which he could no longer use. When Yondu asked why she would want them, Photon shocked him by replying that she felt that she must discover her past because it was "Anthos's will." They then parted, feeling that they had come to an understanding.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#24 - BTS) - In 3018, the Guardians and the Keeper (formerly the Silver Surfer) were on Earth when Eon (later revealed to actually be Eon's evil son Era posing as his deceased mother) appeared to warn them that Galactus was "on to three inhabited worlds in the Centauri system."
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#25 (fb) - BTS) - After arriving in the Alpha Centauri star system, Yondu consulted with Anthos and learned that the Keeper would be transporting the Alphans from their Galactus-threatened planet of Arima to Centauri IV. Anthos also told Yondu that his people were still alive.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#25) - With help from Vance Astro, Yondu teleported down to Centauri IV but materialized deep beneath the ocean surface and only survived with help from a female Alphan. Once ashore, Yondu quickly made his way to his destination. As Yondu neared the cave, the Kikahee (cave-dwellers) came out of hiding and cautiously approached him. As they recognized that he was wearing the senkah (ceremonial outfit) of a Habaktu (warrior holy man), word of his arrival quickly spread throughout the tribe. As the children looked upon him in awe and wonder, the old men wept openly, so glad were they that a holy man was walking among them after such a long time. For his part, Yondu was overjoyed to be with others of his kind and he now knew that his life would indeed hold great meaning for his people.
(Guardians of the Galaxy Annual I#2/3) - Several hours later, the other five Guardians teleported down to catch up with Yondu but their sudden appearance caused the Centaurians to run for cover. Fortunately, Yondu arrived seconds later, and his presence calmed his people enough for him to welcome his friends to the last tribe of Anthos. As a thunderstorm approached, Yondu led the visitors into the cave which Charlie-27 realized was laced with trillite, a mineral which blocked radio waves. Yondu then guided them to a larger inner cave in which a city had been carved out of rock and where the Kikaahe had hidden when the Badoon had attacked years earlier. When Nikki suggested that there might be other tribes of survivors, Yondu admitted that that thought had occurred to him as well. Yondu then stated that, although the tribe had accepted him as their new holy man, they would not accept his bionic hand and so Starhawk used the medical technology Yondu had asked them to bring with them to restore his lost right hand. Yondu explained why he had decided to stay and revealed that his first task would be to make a treaty with their new neighbors, the Alphans. After Vance and Yondu had some final words with each other, the Guardians and Yondu said their good-byes, and then the Guardians left.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#44 (fb) - BTS) - In 3019 A.D., for reasons which have never been revealed, the planet Centauri-IV and all of its inhabitants (except for Yondu Udonta) were seemingly transformed into (or replaced by) the planet "Alpha Centauri IV" and its inhabitants from Reality-9445. As a result, Yondu suddenly found himself on a version of his planet whose history had seemingly been altered so that the Badoon had invaded and conquered his world in the 21st century. In this world's 31st century, there were relatively few "pure" Centaurians still alive and they were greatly outnumbered by a race of Badoon/Centaurian hybrids who had come into being after the invading Badoon army had killed most of the male Centaurians and carried off most of the young female Centaurians for breeding purposes.
After years of (forced) breeding, the first of these hybrid Centaurians with Badoon features had been born and proved to be very prolific. Additionally, the planet itself had suffered as the way in which the Badoon had plundered its natural resources had caused so much pollution that the water-breathing Alphans had become extinct long ago.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#44 (fb) - BTS) - In this strange new world which his home planet had become, Yondu found himself hunted by the "half-breeds" who targeted any who followed the outlawed worship of Anthos.
At some point, Yondu encountered Starhawk (Stakar) who informed him that his world's history had been rewritten because the Guardians had left his Yaka dagger on the planet Moord during their most recent trip into the past. Starhawk also revealed that the Guardians would soon approach Yondu to ask that he accompany them to the Beyonder's world because his spiritual knowledge would be crucial to their upcoming mission.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#44) - As Yondu awaited the arrival of the Guardians, he reassured Starhawk that he would rejoin the Guardians but that, because of what they had done, his participation would come at a very high price.
Soon afterwards, the Guardians arrived on the planet they believed to be Centauri IV, with only Aleta being aware of its current state. The Guardians were surprised by Yondu's cold reception so he explained how his world had been changed by their actions in the past. Although Major Victory (Vance Astro) was initially unwilling to accept what Yondu and Aleta were saying, Talon was able to use the All-Seeing Eye of Agamotto to confirm that the planet was now dominated by Badoon/Centaurian hybrids. When prompted by Aleta, Talon explained the "time jolt" theory which stated that a minor revision in the past could cause severe ramifications in the future but leave the memories of those directly responsible for the change unaltered.
As Nikki wondered aloud if that meant that they were now living in an alternate future that was different from the one they had been in before, Yondu became impatient with the fact that they were talking instead of acting and revealed Starhawk had told him that his spiritual knowledge would be crucial to their upcoming mission but that he planned to withhold his services until his homeworld's history had been rewritten as it was before. Surprised, Aleta asked how Yondu knew that she had intended to ask him to accompany them Beyond and Yondu replied that he had spoken directly to "him." The Guardians realized that Yondu, unaware that Aleta had taken the power of Starhawk from Stakar, had been referring to Stakar when he spoke of Starhawk, and at that moment Stakar presented himself, claiming to be the one, true Starhawk.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#45) - As Stakar and Aleta battled in the sky over who was the real Starhawk, the Guardians and Yondu watched from below until they were attacked by six of the hybrids who were angered by the presence of the offworlders and "the accursed Anthosian priest." When asked if he would fight against his people, Yondu stated that "these Badoon half-breeds" were not his people and so he stood with the Guardians of the Galaxy. However, the resulting battle soon ended when an explosion in the sky caused the hybrids to scatter in fear, believing that the "demon aliens" were possessed. As Charlie-27 mentioned that he had never known a Centaurian to run from a battle, Yondu reminded him (again) that they were NOT Centaurians and that their Badoon ancestry made them highly superstitious. At that point, Stakar and Aleta returned, stated that they would return to 20th century Moord to attempt to reverse the time jolt, and revealed that their hands had been fused together by the Hawk God.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#46) - After the two Starhawks left the 31st century and began travelling back in time, the Guardians and Yondu were abducted from Alpha Centauri IV by the Beyonder who transported them to his home universe.
(Guardians of the Galaxy I#47) - After returning from their mission to 20th century Moord (where they had destroyed the Yaka dagger before the Badoon could acquire it), the joined Starhawks travelled to Alpha Centauri IV to confirm that their actions in the past had undone the Time Jolt and restored the planet's history to the way it had been. They found that Yondu's race was pure once again, that the Alphans were no longer extinct, and that the planet was thriving instead of polluted, observations which seemingly proved that they had been successful. However, upon discovering that the Guardians were no longer where they had been, Aleta flew away, dragging Stakar behind her as they traveled...Beyond.
Neither the Centaurians from Reality-691 nor their planet have been seen since (see comments).
Comments: The Centaurian race was created by Arnold Drake, Gene Colan, and Michael Esposito (as "Mickey Demeo").
On the first page of Marvel Presents#4, several skeletons are seen lying unburied on the ground of Centauri-IV behind where Yondu is consulting "the gods." Of the four skulls that are visible, one has a ridge running lengthwise along the midline at the top (a sagittal crest). Online sources claim that the crest of the Centaurians, the Tahlei, "is supported by a bone crest." I have no idea if this is "official" or even accurate.
The information about the environmental conditions on Centauri-IV and its estimated population comes from the entries on the Centaurians that appeared in the first two volumes of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and the Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files one-shot. The Alien Race entries from those issues were meant to inform readers about the aliens who existed in the present-day Marvel Universe but, when dealing with races that appeared in stories set in the future, the entries tried to include significant information about those futures as Notes. However, since the available space was limited, everything else in the entries, like their estimated populations, their types of government and their levels of technology, was about the present and presumably did not accurately depict future situations. As a result, while the estimated population of 100 million may be correct for the present-day Centaurians, the number of Centaurians who existed/will exist in the year 3006 A.D. may be far different. For comparison, the human population of Earth is believed to have reached 100 million sometime in the second millennium B.C.
Centaurian spirituality was originally portrayed as being benevolent in nature but the revelation (in GOTG I#16) that their warrior holy men were taught that Centaurians without faith must die (i.e., be killed) revealed a dark underside of intolerance to their culture.
Differences from the original story
Yondu and the Guardians of the Galaxy first appeared in a new story published in Marvel Super Heroes II#18 (January, 1969) but that story had no clear connection to the Marvel Universe. Their next appearance, in Marvel Two-in-One #4-5 (July + September, 1974), established that the Guardians existed in a possible future of what was then the present-day Marvel Universe but a "future history" of their timeline wasn't revealed until Defenders I#26 (August, 1975). It was during that six year period that some of the elements from the original story were changed.
According to Marvel Super Heroes #18:
1. The United Lands of Earth was one of the "dozens of planets in the U.L.E. Federation."
2. The Jovian colonists lived on Jupiter's solid surface?!?
3. High-intensity Harkovite was mined on Jupiter.
4. When he returned to Jupiter, Charlie-27 was the last free Jovian. Other Jovians, including his father, were still alive but the Badoon had put them in labor camps where they were being forced to mine Harkovite without protection, something that would be fatal in five days.
5. Martinex was not the last Pluvian, he was just the only one left on Pluto after the others had evacuated.
6. When Major Vance Astro left Earth in 1988, Earthmen had a small colony operating on the Moon and the first landings on Mars had already taken place.
According to later stories set in the GOTG timeline:
1. The United Federation of Earth consisted of only five planets: Earth and its four colonies (Mercury, Jupiter, Pluto and Centauri IV).
2. The Jovian colonists lived in city-spheres, cities built within giant plastiglass spheres which floated in Jupiter's atmosphere.
3. The fuel for the Harkovian hyperdrive was found on Mercury (or at its core).
4. When he returned to Jupiter, Charlie-27 was the last living Jovian.
5. Martinex was the last Pluvian as all other Pluvians had been killed when their evacuation ship had been destroyed by the Badoon.
6. There is no indication that humans had a colony on the Moon by 1988 or that they ever landed on Mars.
It should also be noted that, in MTIO#4, the character of Tarin mentions that when the Brotherhood of Badoon came in 3007 A.D. they "conquered all but the furthermost colonies." This idea that Earth had multiple colonies is a remnant from the original story but when their storyline continued in Marvel Presents it was established that Earth had only ever had one interstellar colony, Centauri IV.
So, based on this information, it would be possible for one to argue that the GOTG reality depicted in Marvel Super Heroes II#18 was NOT the same reality within which all subsequent GOTG stories were set. It could even be argued that the GOTG reality depicted in MTIO#4-5 should be considered distinct from BOTH the original GOTG story and all subsequent GOTG stories. However, so far the prevailing attitude has been that they ARE all set in the same reality and that any inconsistencies are to be ignored. For example, when comparing the origin from MSH II#18 and the revised origin from GOTG I#26, facts presented in the later story are generally considered to be accurate while any contradictory data from the first story is ignored.
Primary source material
The first account of the history of Centauri-IV appears in Defenders I#26 (August, 1975) when Major Astro tells the Defenders and his own younger self about "his planet's" history. The part of his story relevant to Centauri-IV reads as follows:
"It all took hundreds of years, of course, but by the mid-2900's we'd undertaken construction of our first starship fleet. And by 2960, we'd reached the nearest star-system to our own and established our first friendly contact with an alien race."
"The year 3000 was celebrated with the joining of all the colonies as co-equal partners in a United Federation."
In response to letters from readers, an expanded version of that history was
presented in the letters page of Marvel Presents I#4 (April, 1976) as "AN OUTLINE COURSE IN WORLD HISTORY
1975-3015 A.D." by Steve Gerber. The three paragraphs that relate to Centauri-IV read as follows:
The first terran starship, "Andromeda," was constructed in 2908, but perished on its maiden voyage, upon entering the Proxima Centauri anti-matter star-system. It was in the year 2940 that the first successful interstellar voyage was made - to Alpha Centauri - and the first terran interstellar colony was founded on Centauri-IV, Yondu's native world.
By 3006, when Vance Astro's millennium-old ship landed on that same planet, the United Federation of Earth, an alliance of all the nations of earth and all her colonies, had been established, and our world had entered a "Golden Age." But in that same year, the Centauri-IV colony was attacked and destroyed by the reptilian race known as the Brotherhood of Badoon.
In less than a year, earth, too, had fallen, as well as the Mercurian, Jovian, and Pluvian colonies. By late 3007, the last survivors of the colonies had banded together as the Guardians of the Galaxy.
All of this information originated with Steve Gerber, who is described as "Marvel's expert future-historian...because he made it up!"
Later, more information about the history of the Guardians' timeline was
provided by various editions of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, some of this newer
data was not totally consistent with Gerber's history. For example, some "official" texts claim (incorrectly) that
Earthmen had beaten Vance Astro to Centauri-IV "by two hundred years"; that the planet had been colonized
by Earth "some time in the early 29th Century"; and that
Centauri-IV was located in the "BETA Centauri system."
Wrong is wrong, certainly. But, keep in mind that there were only a small number of writers who had to research everything there was in the Marvel Multiverse. And 21st century books had 20-40+ years of additional stories to research.
I'd also contend that the distinction between Alpha Centauri B and Beta Centauri would not be grasped by most people without exceptional astronomy knowledge, such as Donald. I took a basic astronomy class in college, and having read almost every Marvel Comic published since Fantastic Four I#1, I never picked up on the difference...I thought they were synomous terms...until, I think, Donald pointed it out to me. It's kind of like how most people don't know the difference between abdomen and stomach.
The current team has specific experts woth advanced degrees in medicine, engineering, and various members with extensive knowledge of various fields. But, no matter how many people proof things, there's always things that slip through the cracks...
However, while every error made makes the profilers cringe, we certainly prefer to gain the correct information...the truth is out there...
Of course, to be fair, it should be noted that the data provided by Mr. Gerber in Defenders #26 and the Marvel Presents #4 text page was not 100% identical. However, "in the year 2940" and "by 2960" are not too far apart. This discrepancy could be easily explained as the difference between the founding of the colony (in 2940) and the establishment of the first friendly contact with an alien race (by 2960).
However, none of this explains the fact that the omniscient narrative in Giant-Size Defenders #5 (July, 1975) identified Centauri-IV as "the planet of Earth's first interstellar colony, to be established in the dawning years of the 31st Century." Steve Gerber was not only one of the six writers who plotted that story, he also scripted it, so he really should have gotten it right.
Alpha Centauri A or Alpha Centauri B?
Yondu of the Guardians of the Galaxy was the first member of his race to ever be seen in a Marvel comic. However, the name of his home world, Centauri-IV, wasn't revealed until almost six years later and even now some details about its location have not been revealed. Specifically, although it is ABSOLUTELY known that Centauri-IV is part of the Alpha Centauri star system, which of the two stars the planet orbits has never been established. Even Guardians of the Galaxy I#25, which featured the most detailed look at the planet to date, did not mention whether Centauri-IV orbited the "A" star or the "B" star (but it did mention that Arima was the third planet from the "A" star - which may have been a mistake).
For quite some time I have known that the writers of the original OHotMU made a mistake when they identified the Centaurian homeworld as being in the Beta Centauri star system when it was really in the Alpha Centauri system. I have always assumed that they did so in the mistaken belief that the two primary stars of the solar system nearest to Earth were known as Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri, and that whoever wrote the Alpha Centaurians profile correctly identified their home star system as Alpha Centauri A while the writer of the Centaurians profile was wrong when he identified their home star as Beta Centauri when he meant Alpha Centauri B. An example of this belief can be found on page 11 of Guardians of the Galaxy I#26. In panel 2, Major Astro identifies his ship's destination as being "our closest interstellar neighbor -- the triple-star system, Alpha Centauri, 4.3 light-years away!" and then, in the very next panel, he states, "My tiny capsule plunged through the inter-stellar void, heading, inexorably it seemed, toward Beta Centauri." These words make it clear that writer Jim Valentino, at least, believed that Beta Centauri was one of the stars which makes up the Alpha Centauri trinary system.
However, in writing this profile I've come to realize that this assumption on my part could be just as wrong. Sure, the idea that the writer thought that "Beta Centauri" was an alternate name for "Alpha Centauri B" sounds reasonable but there's no actual proof. Further, while it seems clear that the OHotMU writers intended for the homeworlds of the Alpha Centaurians and the Centaurians to orbit different stars, in doing so they overlooked the fact that the planet Arima had a "figure-of-eight" type orbit around (and between) both Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B. So, if the writers were using inaccurate data, how can we know what information they were intending to create with regards to the Centaurian homeworld?
That being said, there is a good reason to presume that Centauri-IV must be orbiting Alpha Centauri B. Suppose that both Arima and Centauri-IV were orbiting Alpha Centauri A as its third and fourth planets, respectively. That would mean that Centauri-IV must sometimes be closer to Alpha Centauri B than Arima and if that star's gravity is enough to pull Arima into its orbit, then that gravity would be expected to have a similar effect on Centauri-IV. Since there is no evidence of such a disruption in Centauri-IV's orbit, it is reasonable to conclude that it is never further away from its star than Arima and that means that its star cannot be Centauri A. In fact, the only way that Arima's figure eight orbit can possibly work is if it is the outermost planet orbiting either star. So, assuming that Arima is the third planet out from Alpha Centauri A, that would mean that there were only three planets orbiting that star. And if Centauri-IV is the fourth planet out from Alpha Centauri B, then Arima must be (at least) the fifth planet out from that star.
Although Centaurian Inhumans have appeared in stories set within the mainstream Marvel Universe, so far they have not shown up in any GOTG story. This makes sense since the last GOTG story definitely set in Reality-691 was published in 1995, almost a full fifteen years before writer Jonathan Hickman decided to reveal that there were other "Inhuman" races who had been created long ago by Kree genetic experimentation. So, what are the chances that Centaurian Inhumans exist (or existed) in Reality-691?
The fact that Terran Inhumans (like Talon) exist makes it clear that the Kree race in Reality-691 did conduct the same metagenesis experiments as their counterparts in Reality-616. Furthermore, the fact that the Centaurian and Badoon races still existed in Reality-691 in the 30th Century is proof that they, like their 616 counterparts, were not wiped out by the Kree Accusers hundreds of thousands of years ago. Taken together, these two facts make it possible that Badoon, Centaurian, Dire Wraith and Kymellian Inhumans could exist (or have existed) in Reality-691 as well.
However, there is another possible explanation which would account for these facts. Suppose that the Kree from Reality-691 did conduct their metagenesis experiments on various young races but that the number of races whom they chose to be test subjects was smaller than the 106 (or more) races chosen by the Kree from Reality-616? If so, then that could mean that the Centaurians and/or the Badoon from Reality-691 were never part of the Kree experiments and thus Centaurian and/or Badoon Inhumans were never created in the first place. In this scenario, if there were never any Centaurian or Badoon Inhumans to pose a possible threat to the Kree Supreme Intelligence, then the fearful Supremor had no reason to order its Accusers to eliminate the threat by wiping out their races.
Of course, at this time there is no way for me (or anyone else) to determine which of these two scenarios is the correct one and so I've included the data about the Kree experiments on the assumption that the two realities diverged sometime after those experiments were carried out 300,000 years ago. Future stories could prove me wrong.
What's in a name?
I've known of the "Centaurians" for over thirty years now but it wasn't until I wrote the profile on Nova Centurion Samaya that I realized that the official name for their race is WRONG!
Consider the following: In science fiction, the names of most sentient races are derived from the names for their home planets. Thus, we have Earthlings (or Terrans) from Earth (or Terra), Martians from Mars, Vulcans from Vulcan, and Minbari, Centauri, and Narn from, respectively, Minbar, Centauri Prime, and Narn. With this in mind, it seems to make sense that the race which evolved on the planet Centauri-IV would be the Centaurians. However, this line of reasoning overlooks the crucial fact that Centauri-IV is NOT that planet's "real" name, it's the name that the Terrans gave it when they colonized it. Centauri-IV's real name is its original name, the one by which its native inhabitants knew their world before the Terrans took over. Similarly, it follows that the actual race name of the "Centaurians" should be their name for themselves and not a name derived from what the humans called their homeworld.
To be fair, this wasn't really a problem prior to Samaya's appearance since all earlier "Centaurians" came from alternate realities in which their race was no longer the master of their homeworld. In Reality-691, Centauri-IV had been colonized by Earthmen who considered the natives to be "primitive" and "barbaric." Similarly, in Reality-9812 the "people of Beta Centauri IV" (as they are known to their overlords) are brutally dominated by the forces of the first Terran Empire. Under these circumstances, it's understandable that the native race would come to be known by whatever name their conquerors chose for them. However, in Reality-616 there has so far been no significant contact between Terrans and the natives of the fourth planet from the star whose Earth designation in Alpha Centauri B. So, since there is no way that those natives could know what Earth people call their home star, why do they refer to themselves as Centaurians?
In skimming through the Alien Races listed in the Official Handbook of the
Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition, I found that only 10 of the almost 140 races which had profiles were known by
names taken from the Earth designation for their home stars. Aside from the Centaurians, the other nine races are:
1. Alpha Centaurians
7-8. Sirians and Siris
Additionally, it seems likely that the Sagittarian race was named after the constellation of Sagittarius but this has so far not been confirmed. Personally, if I were ever elevated to the position of God-Editor of the Marvel Universe, one of the things I would do is instruct my minions to come up with new, non-Terran-derived names for these alien races.
It is interesting to note that the Centaurians from Reality-616 (of which Samaya is the first ever seen) appear to differ from those of Reality-691 (like Yondu) in at least five ways.
mainstream Centaurians are far more accepting of technology than Yondu was. We can see this with Samaya (who
was a member of the Nova Corps) and with Chandra (who was a crewmember on a starship) and with the Centaurian
Inhumans (who live with the other Universal Inhumans aboard a giant city-ship which travels between the stars).
There are also the (unseen) "Centaurian scientists" whom Paibok the Power Skrull claimed had enhanced his
abilities. All in all, it seems that "our" Centaurians have a much greater knowledge and appreciation of science
and technology than Yondu and his people do.
The question is, why? Is it because they exist in different realities? Or is it the fact that they exist in different TIMES which is important? Maybe the Centaurians who exist in present-day Reality-691 are as advanced as their 616 counterparts but *something* is going to happen to their civilization in the next 900 years which will cause them to regress to a more primitive level of technology.
The second difference relates to their religion. So far all the 691 Centaurians
either worship "Anthos" or they are "Akuun" (a Centaurian word meaning "one-without-faith") and every Habaktu
(warrior holy man) is taught that all Akuun must die.
In contrast, Chandra's people (from Reality-616) believe that it was their godS who gifted them with their various mental abilities (like Chandra's empathy).
So, either the 691 Centaurians have always had a monotheistic religion while the 616 Centaurians have been polytheistic or the present-day Centaurians in both realities are currently polytheistic but something will happen in Reality-691 that will cause the Centaurian people living there to become monotheistic.
Given that some GotG stories imply that "Anthos" is actually Thanos the Mad Titan, it's not inconceivable that Thanos-691 wiped out the 691 Centaurian gods and established a new religion in which he was worshipped as Anthos.
However, it should be noted that the link between Anthos and Thanos is still only unsubstantiated speculation.
The third difference concerns how they treat members of their race who
possess unusual abilities.
In Reality-691, at least some tribes which existed in the 30th century were led by elders who regarded any children with such abilities to be aberrations that had to be killed into order to appease Anthos. The fact that some Centaurians considered these attitudes to be unreasoning prejudice may indicate that not all tribes shared these beliefs but so far only one such empowered Centaurian is known to have survived to adulthood and that was only due to her having been rescued and raised by an alien.
In contrast, Chandra, a female Centaurian from Reality-616 who died in the early 21st century, believed that those of her people who possessed certain mental abilities (like her empathy) had been gifted with such powers by their gods. It is not known how widespread this belief is among the 616 Centaurians or if this acceptance extended beyond those with mental abilities to those with physical abilities or altered physical forms. The Centaurian Inhumans from Reality-616 did not appear to discriminate against members of their group whose had unusual skin and/or crest colorations.
The fourth difference concerns their attitudes towards sex.
Yondu-691 once stated that, for his people, a sexual relationship is only for the purpose of procreation. This implies that Yondu's people either do not enjoy sex (at least, not enough to engage in it recreationally) or their society has restrictions about when it may occur.
Contrast this to Samaya's promise to mate with Richard Rider for life if he succeeded in saving them both or to the enjoyment that Els Udonta clearly experienced while kissing Peter Parker.
Based on this, it seems that the 616 Centaurians probably enjoy sex more than their 691 counterparts. Of course, it's also possible that Yondu's status as a Habaktu places certain (greater) societal restrictions upon him that would not apply to other 691 Centaurians.
The fifth difference concerns the anatomy of their adult females. As
established in the first Guardians of the Galaxy series, Centaurian females had pouches on their chests in which
they carried their young. In a footnote in GOTG #15, editor Craig Anderson stated that "The Centaurians are a race
of marsupials." For the most part, the Centaurians from Reality-691 were depicted as lacking human-like breasts.
Photon, the first female Centaurian ever shown up close, was quite clearly flat-chested and even males like Yondu
were depicted without the nipples that human males possess.
However, in Reality-616 the situation appears to be much different as, with the exception of Samaya, every adult female Centaurian has been depicted as quite obviously having human-like breasts. So, what are the implications of this significant physical difference? Does it mean that the 691 Centaurians are marsupials while the 616 Centaurians are placental mammals? If so, then that would mean that the evolutionary path taken by one reality's Centaurians must have differed from that taken by the other reality's Centaurians, and that would indicate that the two timelines must have diverged many thousands of years ago.
However, while this reasoning is sound, no in-story evidence to verify this theory has yet been presented so it remains pure speculation.
One last thing about the presence of breasts on female Centaurians. The
TV Tropes & Idioms website has a page (
devoted to the practice of drawing female non-human characters with human-like breasts so that their gender will
be immediately apparent to readers/viewers. If you scroll down the page to the "Other" section and click on the
"Comics" link, you'll find the following notation about the Centaurians:
In the Guardians of the Galaxy comics, the Alpha Centaurians initially had a marsupial-like pouch instead of breasts (though oddly, the females still cover the chest area with clothing), but when Kevin West took over he promptly gave the Centaurian ladies boobs.
Alpha Centauri in the real world/universe
Alpha Centauri is the brightest star in the southern constellation Centaurus and the third brightest star in the night sky. Originally believed to be a single star, Alpha Centauri was discovered to actually be a visual binary star (a binary star whose two components orbit each other at a distance which is great enough for them to be observed as a double star in a telescope) in 1689, almost a century after "it" was named Alpha Centauri by German astronomer Johann Bayer. As a result, the two component stars became known as Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B, and the main binary system itself was known as Alpha Centauri AB. However, within the past five years, the International Astronomical Union has officially approved the usage in everyday conversation of the proper names Rigil Kentaurus and Toliman for the A and B stars, respectively.
At a distance of 4.37 light years, Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to Earth. The "A" star, the primary of the system, is a yellow main-sequence star that is about 10% more massive and 23% wider than the Sun. The "B" star, the companion star, is a slightly oranger star that has only about 90% the mass of the Sun and is 14% smaller in width. These two stars orbit a common center of mass with an orbital period of 79.91 years and since their orbit is moderately eccentric the distance between the two stars varies between 11.2 and 35.6 astronomical units (AU). The A and B stars are, respectively, more and less luminous than the Sun, and if seen independently would be the fourth and twenty-first brightest stars in the night sky (instead of the third).
A third star, Proxima Centauri, is believed to be gravitationally bound to the other two stars and may actually be orbiting them. If this is true, then Alpha Centauri AB and Proxima Centauri (sometimes referred to as Alpha Centauri C) would be a trinary star system, Alpha Centauri AB-C, with Proxima Centauri orbiting Alpha Centauri AB at a distance of about 15,000 AU and taking between 100,000 and 500,000 years to complete one orbit. At a distance of 4.24 light-years, Proxima Centauri is the closest known star to the Sun and, as a red dwarf, is only about 12% as massive and 14% as wide as the Sun (or about 1.5 time as wide and 129 times as massive as Jupiter). This star is too faint to be seen with the naked eye from Earth and even from any planets orbiting Alpha Centauri AB it would be a very faint (fifth magnitude) star.
The stars in the Alpha Centauri trinary system are all believed to be slightly older than the Sun. Being very Sun-like, Alpha Centauri A and B will eventually (in about 5 billion years) both become red giants and then white dwarfs. In contrast, Proxima Centauri, as a red dwarf, will last for 4 trillion years before becoming first a blue dwarf and later a white dwarf.
Although astronomers have claimed to discover planets orbiting around each of the three stars, so far only two planets orbiting Proxima Centauri have been confirmed to exist. Proxima Centauri b is a rocky exoplanet orbiting the star at a distance of about 0.05 AU which makes its year only slightly over 11 Earth days long. Proxima Centauri c is a super-Earth or mini-Neptune that is believed to be about seven times as massive as Earth and orbits its star at about 1.49 AU so its year is about 1,928 Earth days long. Neither planet seems likely to be habitable.
Beta Centauri in the real world/universe
Beta Centauri is the second brightest star in the southern constellation Centaurus and the tenth brightest star in the night sky. Although Beta Centauri appears to be close to Alpha Centauri in the sky, they are only an "optical double star" since Beta Centauri is actually about 390 light-years away from Earth. Additionally, Beta Centauri is now believed to be a trinary star system in which the primary (Beta Centauri Aa and Beta Centauri Ab) is a spectroscopic binary (two stars which orbit each other so closely and quickly that they can only be detected as two through use of a spectrometer) consisting of a pair of near-identical giant blue-white stars that are each about 14 times as massive as the Sun and whose orbit around each other varies between 0.5 and 5.5 AU, and a smaller companion star (Beta Centauri B) which is a fourth magnitude star which orbits the binary pair at a distance of at least 210 AU.
As giants, the twin stars are only about 12 million years old and will "soon" expand into red supergiants before exploding as supernovae. No planets have yet been detected in this star system and, with their short lifespans, there hasn't been enough time for any planets which might be orbiting them to have evolved either habitable environments or any form of life.
So, what do these real world facts have to do with the Marvel Universe? As it turns out, not much. I just included them to provide some idea of how likely (or not) it would be for any intelligent lifeforms to evolve in the Alpha Centauri system which exists in the real world. That in turn reflects on how "realistic" it was for Marvel's writers to choose Alpha Centauri as the home of the "Centaurian" race. By these standards, Arnold Drake passes but Kurt Busiek fails. On the other hand, although Drake created Yondu it was left to Steve Gerber to establish that he was a Centaurian from the Alpha Centauri system so maybe Gerber should gets Drake's passing grade.
Alpha Centauri in the Marvel Multiverse
The following is a list of all references to the Alpha Centauri star system which exists in the Marvel Multiverse (at least, in Realities 616, 691 and 9812). These references are listed in order of publication.
1. Marvel Super Heroes II#18 (January, 1969) - The first appearance of Yondu, the last known
member of an unidentified race of blue-skinned humanoids who were native to the unidentified Earth-colonized planet
on which Vance Astro landed.
2. Sub-Mariner I#17-18 (September-October, 1969) - The first appearance of a race of aquatic semi-humanoids whose home planet orbited the twin suns of Alpha Centauri in a figure-eight orbit.
3. Marvel Two-in-One I#5 (September, 1974) - The name of Yondu's homeworld is revealed to be "Centauri-IV" and the star system in which it is located is "Earth's nearest stellar neighbor."
4. Giant-Size Defenders#5 (July, 1975) - Yondu is described as the last of the barbaric blue-skinned natives of Centauri-IV, the planet of Earth's first interstellar colony that was established in "the dawning years of the 31st century." This issue also contains the first usage of the word "Centaurian" as an adjective.
5. Defenders I#26 (August, 1972) - While giving a history lesson of "his planet" to his unwitting younger self, Major Astro revealed that Yondu's people lived on a planet in the "nearest star-system" to Earth.
6. Defenders I#28 (October, 1972) - The word "Centaurian" is first used as the name of Yondu's race.
7. Defenders I#29 (November, 1975) - Alpha Centauri is finally mentioned in connection to Centauri-IV...but only in the letters page.
8. Marvel Presents#3 (February, 1976) - This issue's text page confirms that Earth's only interstellar colony was "on the fourth planet in orbit about the nearest star, Alpha Centauri."
9. Marvel Presents#4 (April, 1976) - First visit by the Guardians to Centauri-IV. Also, "An Outline Course In World History 1975-3015 A.D." by Steve Gerber reveals that "the first terran starship, Andromeda, was constructed in 2908, but perished on its maiden voyage, upon entering the Proxima Centauri anti-matter star-system."
10. Thor I#258 (April, 1977) - While held captive aboard an alien starship, Thor meets Gormok, a yellow-skinned humanoid from "a world known as Centuri-Six."
11. Nova I#10 (June, 1977) - When Nova shows up at a battle between the Sphinx and the Condor and his allies, the bird-winged villain is surprised to see him since he "thought he was still aboard his spaceship - - circling Alpha Centauri by now."
12. Dr. Strange II#25 (October, 1977) - Dr. Strange sets a group of unconscious former stars who had been forced into humanoid form "into orbit around a large planet of the star which was once Alpha Centauri."
13. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#1 (January, 1983) - The "Alien Races" pages contain a quarter-page profile on the aliens from Sub-Mariner #17-18 who are now named as "Alpha Centaurians." Their homeworld is identified as "Arima" and is the third planet from the sun in the Alpha Centauri A star system. A notation states that the Alpha Centauri trinary star system boasts other worlds with intelligent life (i.e. the Centaurians and the Centurii).
14. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#2 (February, 1983) - The "Alien Races" pages contain a profile on the Centaurians which identifies them as being from the planet Centauri-IV in the Beta Centauri star system (which is part of "the Centauri system") and a profile on the Centurii which states that they are from the planet Centuri-Six in the Proxima Centauri star system.
15. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#4 (April, 1983) - The profile on the Guardians of the Galaxy refers to Yondu as being "of Alpha Centauri."
16. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#12 (December, 1983) - The profile on Vance Astro confirms that the planet where he landed in the early 31st century was in the Alpha Centauri system. Despite this, the profile on Yondu insists that his homeworld, Centauri IV, is in the Beta Centauri system.
17. Guardians of the Galaxy I#24 (May, 1992) - Eon states that Galactus is "on to the three inhabited worlds in the Centauri system." It would later be revealed that this "Eon" was actually Era, the evil son of the real Eon (who is deceased).
18. Guardians of the Galaxy I#25 (June, 1992) - The omniscient recap mentions the "three inhabited planets in the Alpha Centauri system." The third planet from the 'A' star is identified as Arima and its inhabitants are the water-breathing Alphans. Centauri IV is described as "the only other world with an ocean in this sector." The Keeper transports the Alphans to Centauri IV, Galactus consumes Arima, and Yondu is reunited with a tribe of cave-dwelling Centaurians who had also survived the Badoon genocide. The third inhabited planet is not seen and its name is not mentioned.
19. Silver Surfer III #-1 (July, 1997) - After having been returned to the Atlas Comics office following an abduction experience which he can no longer remember, writer Stan Lee comes up with a terrific idea for a new alien invasion story that he'll call "The Grotesque Grey Gargoyles from Alpha-Centauri" whose artwork will "be right up Jolly Jack's alley."
20. Avengers: Forever#1 (December, 1998) - In a Twenty-Sixth century future of an alternate timeline, the Centaurians are identified as being the "people of Beta Centauri IV" and their homeworld is specifically described as "the fourth-closest planet to the star Beta Centauri."
21. She-Hulk II#1 (December, 2005) - When coming to the aid of a woman who was being mugged, Jennifer Walters temporarily paralyzed one of them with a Centaurian nerve jab to the underside of his jaw, a technique that she learned during a crash course from Gamora.
22. Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files#1 (October, 2006) - The profile on the Centaurians states that Centauri IV is located in the Beta Centauri system.
23. The Immortal Iron Fist#21 (February, 2009) - In an alternate 31st century future of Reality-616, the planet Yaochi in the Alpha Centauri system is home to the last Chinese humans in the universe. These colonists suffered under the rule of the evil President Xing, with over 4.5 billion dying, until Wah Sing-Rand, the youngest Iron Fist ever, finally arrived in 3099 A.D. and destroyed the evil Xing and his regime, freeing the people to use the seeds and the modest terraforming technology he had brought from K'un-Lun to revitalize the dying, infertile planet and remake it into a new land that the people considered "close enough" to Heaven.
24. Prelude to Deadpool Corps#5 (May, 2010) - The first appearance of the (semi-humanoid) robot race of Centauri 9 who, along with the Mad Folk of the Crab Nebula, were passed over by the Contemplator in favor of the Deadpool Corps to deal with the threat of the Awareness.
25. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#3 (October, 2010) - The profile on Yondu continues to state that Centauri IV is located in the Beta Centauri system.
26. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#5 (February, 2011) - The profile on Major Victory (Vance Astro) continues to state that Centauri-IV is in the Alpha Centauri star system.
27. Annihilators#1/2 (May, 2011) - Following the death of Star-Lord and the subsequent disbanding of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket Raccoon worked for six months as the mail clerk at the Alpha Centauri offices of the Customer Services Division of Timely Inc. It should be noted that those offices were aboard an orbiting ship, that none of the aliens employed there were members of any known species and that the limited view of the planet where Rocket lived during this period seemed unlike either Centauri IV or Arima.
28. Wolverine & The X-Men I#7 (May, 2012) - After it was discovered that X-Man Kitty Pryde had been infected with a Brood virus by alien Professor Xanto Starblood, an extreme zoologist who was head of the Intergalactic Anthropology Department at the University of Rigel-3, Abigail Brand had her guys at S.W.O.R.D. pump Pryde "full of some Centaurian penicillin" they thought would kill off the rest of the microscopic Brood inside her.
29. Drax#1 (January, 2016) - According to Venom (Flash Thompson), "there's an Irish Pub on Alpha Centauri" where he hoped to get some bangers and mash.
30. Infinity Wars: Sleepwalker #1 (December, 2018) - Believing that Sleepwalker had become fixated on Rick Sheridan, the Sleepwalker Council reassigned him to the "thought plains of Alpha Centauri" because "policing a more peaceful race" would do him good.
31. Guardians of the Galaxy Annual III#1/2 (August, 2019) - While in Tharg's Bar on K'rii-3, Nova Centurion Richard Rider asked if they had a good Centaurian fermented wheat on tap and the bartender replied that they had red Tahlei in bottles.
31. Tony Stark: Iron Man#17 (December, 2019) - After being lured away from Earth by a false distress signal, three Avengers ended up on "Alpha Centauri" meeting with a group of four Centaurians, one of whom told Captain America, "Sorry, young fella, we didn't send for you." Two suns, one larger than the other, were visible in the sky above this meeting.
As can be seen from the list above, for over twenty-five years all printed editions of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe have consistently identified the Centaurian homeworld as being located in the Beta Centauri star system instead of in the Alpha Centauri star system. However, since (almost) all of the references to Centauri IV in GOTG stories make it ABSOLUTELY clear that it is located in the Alpha Centauri system, I see no need to argue the point here. As for Avengers Forever#1 and the fact that the Centaurians in that story are specifically identified as being from "the fourth-closest planet to the star Beta Centauri," I've already discussed that problem in the comments section of my profile on Reality-616's Centaurian race so there is no need to repeat my analysis of that situation in this profile. I will just mention that the best and simplest (but so far UNofficial) explanation for this discrepancy is that the planets Centauri IV and Beta Centauri IV are counterparts of each other that exist in planetary systems that are also counterparts of each other and are located in EXACTLY the same positions in their universes relative to Earth. In other words, the only difference is that, back in 1603 A.D., the German astronomer Johann Bayer who lived in Reality-9812 chose to designate the closest star system to Earth as "Beta Centauri" while his counterparts in other realities called that same system "Alpha Centauri."
Distorted reality/Altered timeline
In Guardians of the Galaxy I#27-33, the Guardians team from the early 31st century of Reality-691 made their fourth (known) visit to the late 20th century of Reality-616. While there, they became involved in the Infinity War and then tried to change their tragic pasts by wiping out the Badoon a thousand years before the Brotherhood could commit genocide on their homeworlds. Their planned genocide was thwarted by the Badoon Captain Universe and the Guardians returned to their own time, leaving Yondu's Yaka dagger behind on the Badoon planet of Moord. Once back in their own time, the Guardians had several adventures before traveling to Yondu's homeworld in Guardians of the Galaxy I#44. However, upon arriving they were confronted by a furious Yondu who revealed that their actions in the past had drastically changed the course of his world's history by causing the Badoon to invade and conquer it almost a millennium before they had in the original timeline. As a result, the planet Alpha Centauri IV was now mostly populated by Badoon/Centaurian half-breeds while the pure-blooded Centaurians were few in number. After some squabbling, Stakar and Aleta were fused together by the Hawk God and they traveled back in time to destroy the Yaka dagger on Moord before it could fall into Badoon hands. Once that was done, the Starhawks returned to their future in GOTG #47 and confirmed that the history of Centauri IV had been restored and everything was as it had been before the disruption.
Although this storyline was meant to be about how something that the Guardians had done in the past had resulted in changes to their present that they then had to reverse, there are several major flaws that make it impossible for this storyline to work as intended. It's enough to make one suspect that the writer wasn't, um, fully aware of how time travel was supposed to work in the Marvel Multiverse.
The first problem is that timelines that have diverged usually remain separate and do not affect one another. In this case, since the Guardians were in the Earth-616 timeline when they tried to attack Moord, nothing they did there should have had ANY affect on their own Earth-691 timeline.
The second problem is that it is (almost) impossible for anyone to change history in the Marvel Multiverse since most attempts to do so seem to result in the creation of a divergent timeline instead. According to the rules of time travel that were established by the late Mark Gruenwald, anyone who tried to travel into their world's past would invariably end up in a divergent timeline that had been created by their arrival in the past. Other theorists maintain that reality is somewhat flexible and that small changes are not enough to cause a divergence to occur. In such cases, time travelers from the future would not cause a divergence by their mere presence but only if their actions caused a major change. In GOTG I#44, after the changes to Yondu's world's past had been confirmed, Nikki wondered if they had actually been living in an alternate future since their return from the past but her question was never answered.
The third problem is that, even if their actions had diverged an alternate timeline, the reality in which the Guardians were existing in issues #44-47 was not as altered as it should have been. Specifically, although Centauri-IV's history would have been the most affected by being conquered by the Badoon in the 21st century, Earth's history in the 30th and 31st centuries would have also been significantly changed. Aside from the fact that a planet inhabited by Badoon/Centaurian hybrids would probably have been more forceful in resisting any Terran attempts to colonize their planet, the fact that most male Centaurians had been killed in the invasion must have erased at least some of Yondu's ancestors from history, thereby making his existence in 3006 A.D. very unlikely. And without Yondu to help him, Major Astro would never have escaped from the Badoon and joined up with Charlie-27 and Martinex to form the Guardians of the Galaxy whose actions played a crucial part in freeing Earth from the Brotherhood. And yet, when the team returned to Earth after their trip into the past, everything on the planet was as it had been before they left and everybody remembered the Guardians and their heroics.
The fourth problem was Yondu's presence on the planet that had become "Alpha Centauri IV." Although the "Time Jolt" effect prevented the Guardians who had changed the past from being affected by those changes, Yondu was not with them on that mission and so should not have been protected by that effect. However, a way to resolve this problem would be to "reveal" that all of the previous journeys in time that Yondu had experienced as a member of the Guardians had somehow imbued him with a "temporal charge" that had protected him from timeline alterations in the same way that the "Time Jolt" had protected the other Guardians. It's unofficial but it's an easy way to explain why he was not wiped from existence by the alterations.
Taking these flaws into account, it seems clear that, despite what the writer intended, what happened to Centauri-IV was not a timeline alteration. The fact that Centauri-IV was changed while Earth was not suggests that the effect was localized to that one planet. The best possible explanation that I could develop to account for what happened to Centauri-IV is that the planet and its counterpart in another timeline were somehow switched, with Centauri-IV from Reality-691 exchanging places with Alpha Centauri IV from Reality-9445 (a.k.a. the "Yaka-verse"). Another version of this theory would be that the two realities were temporarily overlapped or merged and that the point where they did so was Centauri-IV/Alpha Centauri IV. As for why Yondu wasn't affected by this inter-dimensional exchange/merger and presumably remained in Reality-691 while the planet beneath his feet changed, that could be attributed to the same reason why he was supposedly protected from what had been thought to be an alteration in the timeline.
Unfortunately, while these explanations would account for WHAT actually happened to Centauri-IV, I cannot think of a good reason WHY simply leaving a Yaka dagger on the planet Moord in Reality-616 would cause an exchange/overlapping/merger of two planets from Reality-691 and Reality-9445. I can only speculate that there must have been some powerful unseen force or entity acting behind the scenes to cause this to happen. Of course, since the writer thought that he was writing a changed timeline story instead of the altered reality story that was actually published, his story contains no clues to who this reality-warper might have been.
Having said that, the only permanent effect that this exchange/merger had
was to return Stakar to the 31st century and make him the sole bearer of the Hawk God's power. And
since the Hawk God was a Cosmic Being who had his own reasons for empowering Stakar, could he have arranged
things so that his chosen agent would be restored to full power in the time period and reality where that power
could be used to achieve the Hawk God's goals? Maybe only Uilig, the Last Watcher, knows.
That's a VERY impressive, thorough, and well thought out discussion!
Centaurian language data
Although "Anthos" had been described as being a word with several meanings in the Centaurian language, the first evidence that the Centaurians had a written language appeared in GOTG I#1 which introduced the Book of Antag that was from Yondu's world. Later issues used the term "runes" to refer to the letters that made up the alphabet used in the written form of the language. No detailed description of these runes has ever been provided.
The first Guardians of the Galaxy series provided a number of other Centaurian words and their translated meanings. The Yondu miniseries provided some more and added a few phrases in Centaurian.
The following table summarizes the few Centaurian words which are known to researchers as well as their meaning(s) and when they were first mentioned.
Word or Term
One-without-faith, a heretic
Habaktu are taught that all Akuun must die
This word is known to have multiple meanings
Name of the Centaurian god
Signs are considered to be the word of Anthos
(seen) GOTG I#50
Name of the "sacred moon of Centauri IV"
The Centaurians named that moon after their god
Ad-lib; Improvise; Take action without having a plan
"Only fools barada"
The moment when one becomes aware of an unavoidable danger
Warrior holy man
An Anthosian priest
Rite of passage
Ritual ordeal of manhood
"The emptiness that devours"
Name given to a destructive cosmic force foreseen by the Centaurians
Dagger (or ceremonial dagger)
May only refer to daggers made out of yaka
GOTG I#15 (GOTG Annual I#4)
Word as it appears in the omniscient narrative
Word as it is spoken by Yondu
GOTG Annual I#2/3; Yondu#4
The killing blow
Earrings worn by Centaurians when they come of age
Centaurians exchange an earring when they are joined
Ceremonial outfit worn by a Habaktu
A barbaric practice that was outlawed centuries before the 31st century
The crest possessed by every Centaurian, plays a role in procreation but its function
is improper to discuss.
The fin is a Centaurian's sense of balance, both physical and spiritual. It is their connection to The Way.
Composed of compressed hair follicles
also known as a "headfin" or "fin"
Star-Lord I#2, Yondu#3
Yaka (or yakka)
A sound-sensitive "living metal" that also blocks radio waves and scanning
Known to Terrans as Trillite, yaka is found only on Centauri IV
Marvel Super Heroes II#18
The following table lists three Centaurian concepts which are known only by their Terran (English) names and not by the Centaurian word for them.
The Circle of Life
The holy path of the Centaurian people
Believers are said to be "one with the Circle of Life"
The time of joining/joining ceremony
A marriage ceremony
The Centaurians involved each give one of their kospah to their partner
The teachings followed by those who are one with the Circle of Life.
Also the spiritual connection shared by all Centaurians.
The Way teaches that one's soul is saved so long as faith remains
The following table lists several sentences that were spoken in the Centaurian language in the Yondu miniseries and their translations into English
Tahka. Ki-shakun. Klala inda ifthos. Ni-ki ahvtrek ifthos.
Shameful. Reclaim yourself. See through the fire. Do not become it.
Cikankah ifthos, ni-ki kltentak abbka.
Fire is wild, but with trust it can be tamed.
Nahkta ifthom krest chakka.
The embers always rest at the hearth.
Chtak ifthos iffpum dala tannick.
Neither fire nor time can extinguish a good life.
Based on these phrases, one can easily see that "tahka" means shameful, "ifthos" means fire and "ifthom" means embers but anything beyond that becomes more speculative.
What happened to Yondu?
Fans who have read the 2019 YONDU limited series may be wondering why I've included some "facts" revealed in that storyline in this profile but none of the revelations made about Yondu's fate. This was a deliberate choice on my part, one that I made for the following reasons:
1. As far as I am concerned, none of the original Guardians of the Galaxy have been seen the final issue of their series, when sabotage by their enemy Wormhole caused them to crashland on an unidentified planet somewhere in time and space. Until such time as Marvel publishes an actual STORY that reveals what happened to them, I will consider any character who seems to be one of that original team to actually be a counterpart from a divergent timeline.
2. There were several references to how the Yondu who was supposedly from the 31st century of Reality-691 was a descendent of the criminal Yondu from the 21st century of Reality-616. However, this is something that Future Yondu, with all of his time travel experience, should have known was not true since his actual ancestor would have been the Yondu who existed in the 21st century of Reality-691. Story elements like this made it look like the writers of that limited series didn't really seem to know how the Marvel Multiverse worked.
3. Two things that Yondu said about his world were inconsistent with what had previously been established about the Earth-691 timeline. The first was when Future Yondu claimed that he left the Guardians and started a family after he found the cave-dwelling tribe still alive on Centauri IV. However, in the series, Yondu rejoined the Guardians and was lost with them at the end of their final issue. The second was when Future Yondu claimed that the Badoon had razed Centauri IV and that the Centaurians had spent centuries teetering on the brink of extinction. Unless Future Yondu was supposed to be centuries old, this could only be true if the Badoon had actually committed near-genocide against the Centaurians twice, once sometime before 29th century and again in 3006 A.D. While this is not impossible, no previous attack on Centauri IV by the Badoon has ever been mentioned, which strengthens my suspicion that the writers didn't properly research their subject before they wrote the miniseries.
4. I really didn't like the fact that the noble Yondu was killed off just to give the criminal Yondu a motive to (maybe) reform somewhat. Even if, as I firmly believe, this Yondu was NOT the one from the original Guardians, he deserved better.
It is for those reasons that I have chosen to believe that the Future Yondu from that miniseries was NOT the Yondu from Reality-691. So there.
This profile was completed 07/11/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.
Profile by Donald Campbell.
The Centaurian race from planet Centauri-IV in Reality-691 is an other-dimensional counterpart of
but has no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#2, page 32, panel 4 (main image)
Defenders I#26, page 14, panel 1 (Terrans arrive)
page 14, panel 2 (United Federation members)
Marvewl Presents I#4 (Yondu with skeletons)
Guardians of the Galaxy I#15, page 17, panel 4 (Photon as an infant)
Defenders I#26, page 14, panel 3 (Vance Astro arrives)
Guardians of the Galaxy I#25, page 17, panel 1 (Yondu finds his people)
Guardians of the Galaxy Annual I#2, page 47, panel 4 (the city in the cave)
Guardians of the Galaxy I#45, page 10, panel 3 (Badoon/Centaurian hybrids attack!)
Marvel Super Heroes II#18 (January, 1969) - Arnold Drake (writer), Gene Colan (penciler), Michael "Mickey Demeo" Esposito (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Defenders I#26 (August, 1975) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema & V. Colletta (artists), Len Wein (editor)
Guardians of the Galaxy I#15 (August, 1991) - Jim Valentino (writer/penciler), Steve Montano (inker), Craig Anderson (editor)
Guardians of the Galaxy I#25 (June, 1992) - Jim Valentino (writer/pencil artist - the toast of Ol' Marvel), Steve Montano (inker - the boast of Ol' Marvel), Craig Anderson (editor - his post is Ol' Marvel)
Guardians of the Galaxy Annual I#2/3 (1992) - Jim Valentino (script), Matthew Jorgensen (pencils), Andrew Pepov (inks), Craig Anderson (edits)
Guardians of the Galaxy I#47 (April, 1994) - Michael "Bubblegum" Gallagher (script), Kevin "Walnut" West (breakdowns), Steve "Mint" Montano (finished art), Craig "Almond" Anderson (editor)
Note: This list of appearances excludes (most) issues in which Yondu and/or Photon are the only Centaurians depicted.
First Posted: 09/04/2021
Last updated: 09/01/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
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