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The DESIGNATE's race

Classification: Extraterrestrial humanoids

Location/Base of Operations: A hidden planet whose name and location have never been revealed

Known Members: Tarene
Estimated population: 1 (population prior to Mangog's slaughter unrevealed)

Affiliations: Thor Odinson;
    on some level, X'Hoss

Enemies: Mangog, "Thanos" (actually one of the Thanosi, deceased)

First Appearance: Thor II#23 (May, 2000)

Powers/Abilities: None known. 

    Only the Designate was definitely known to possess any powers.

Cultural Traits: Peaceful and tranquil guardians of hope and forgers of dreams

Type: Humanoid
Eyes: Two
Fingers: Four (plus opposable thumb)
Toes: Five
Skin color: Pink
Hair: White, blond or brown
Average height: 6' (estimated)

Type of government: Unrevealed

Level of technology: Unrevealed

(Thor II#23 (fb) - BTS) - A very long time ago, when the universe was much younger, the alien wizard X'Hoss used his ability to foresee the future to learn of the eventual existence of a female humanoid named Tarene who, as "The Designate," was destined to gather all that was diverse into one single, unified force. Knowing that Tarene's followers-to-be would need some means by which to find her, X'Hoss brought forth from the Fires of Creation three items that could accomplish that task: a map that could locate Tarene's position within the universe, a stone that could identify Tarene when close enough, and a drinking glass with a foot and stem whose original purpose has never been revealed.

   Unfortunately, soon after creating these items, X'Hoss was attacked by a group of his enemies who attempted to seize the items. Unable to repel them, X'Hoss managed to mystically disperse his talismans throughout the universe but not before his enemies were able to corrupt them with the taint of darkness that would mutate the Designate's power for evil and enable someone to control "the final death."

(Thor II#23 (fb) - BTS) - The coming of the Designate which X'Hoss had foreseen was remembered as a prophecy, but the way in which his enemies had planned for the corrupted items to be used was also remembered.

(Thor II#23 (fb) - BTS) - Over time, the three items came to be known as the Illumination Stone, the Map of All-Ending, and the Chalice of Ruins. The negative aspects of these names may have been inspired by knowledge of the fact that they could be used to cause death on a massive (and possibly universal) scale.

(Thor II#20 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually, the evil way in which the three items could be used came to be known through this prophecy: "Drink from the Chalice of Ruins but a single tear of the Designate and the power of all-prevailing death is yours forevermore!"

(Thor II#22 (fb) - BTS) - Another version of that legend stated: "Drink from the Chalice of Ruins a single tear of the Designate's and you will have the power to loosen wave after wave of unimaginable death that shall sweep the cosmos, planet by planet, until not a shred of life remains!"

(Conjecture) - At some point, some members of an extraterrestrial humanoid species whose race-name has never been revealed discovered (or were told) that the prophesied Designate would in the distant future be born from their race. After learning of this destiny, the members of this race, apparently unanimously, decided to dedicate themselves and their descendants to ensuring that the prophecy of the Designate ("The One") would come true. To that end, these humanoids used magic and science to hide their world (or they secretly relocated to a new planet which they then used magic and science to hide).

(Thor II#23 (fb) - BTS) - On their hidden world, which was the nucleus of hope where dreams were forged, generations of this race lived out their lives in peace and tranquility without ever being discovered by beings who had not been born there.

(Thor II#23 (fb) - BTS) - Finally, in the last few decades, a baby girl named Tarene was born. As she grew up, like the rest of her race, Tarene dedicated herself to the service of the Designate. Neither she nor any member of her race were aware of the fact that Tarene herself was the Designate.

(Thor II#23 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually, when Tarene was still a young woman, Thanos the Mad Titan managed to collect the three items created by X'Hoss and used them to locate the hidden world of the Designate.

(Thor II#23) - One day, the unthinkable occurred when two aliens, Thanos and Mangog, arrived on the world of the Designate. The people were terrified by the destruction that the aliens brought with them. Addressing the gathered populace, Thanos stated that the Designate was near and demanded that she be given to him or he would cause them to exist as nothing more than memories. Despite the fact that Mangog expressed his desire to tear them all limb from limb, the people were uncooperative. One male stated that compliance was impossible while another male added that the Designate was never to be identified. A female then stated, "Even we do not know who among us is 'The One!'"

   Unimpresssed by these words, Thanos spoke aloud of his regret that he did not have the time for large scale violence, and he then bent the power of the Illumination Stone to his will, commanding it to scour the entire planet until it found the Designate. The Illumination Stone accomplished its task, and Thanos soon knew that Tarene was the Designate.

(Thor II#23 (fb) - BTS) - Having identified Tarene as the Designate, Thanos abducted her, and then he and Mangog (or just Mangog) proceeded to kill every other living being on the planet. Thanos and Mangog then took the captive Tarene with them when they left her planet.

(Thor II#23) - Soon afterwards, Thor Odinson, Firelord and a Rigellian Recorder arrived in the star system, having followed a microtrack unit which the Recorder had previously attached to Mangog. They were initially puzzled that there was no planet at the location to which the Recorder's tracking sensors had led them. Thor suspected that Thanos had used trickery to bedevil them, but Firelord pointed out that the world of the Designate was a special place that beings who were not born there were never meant to see. Firelord then used his cosmic senses to reveal the hidden planet to himself and his two companions. Sadly, upon descending to the surface to confront Thanos, the trio discovered that they were too late. After spotting multiple bodies scattered amidst demolished buildings, the Recorder found the tracker that Mangog had shed, and Firelord used his senses to determine that not only had Thanos already left, but every living being on the planet breathed no more.

(Thor II#24) - Standing amidst the bodies of all the other members of the Designate's race, the Recorder stated that "Thanos and his rampaging cohort, Mangog, (had) exterminated every life on (that) planet." The Recorder went on to state that Thanos and Mangog had also achieved something even worse because, with the Designate in their possession, Thanos could unleash a wave of death that would extinguish life throughout the cosmos. Determined to prevent this from happening, Firelord used his Power Cosmic to scan for the essence of the Illumination Stone and by doing so he found Thanos. The trio then set off to confront the Mad Titan, leaving the now-lifeless world of the Designate behind.

Comments: Created by Dan Jurgens, John Romita Jr. and Dick Giordano.

   Due to the urgency of the threat posed by Thanos, Thor, Firelord and the Recorder left the planet soon after discovering the genocide, leaving all of the bodies behind as they lay. It has not been revealed if they later returned to bury or cremate the multitude of corpses. It has also not been revealed if Tarene has ever returned to her birthworld.

   How undetectable was the world of the Designate? Could it have been seen by Watchers? And what about the natives? If any of them had ever left the surface and traveled into space, would they have been able to look back and see their homeworld?

   Subsequent stories (written by Jim Starlin) revealed that the "Thanos" who had gathered the three items was actually a replicant created by the real Thanos as a unique blend of android, clone and mystical doppelganger, and that he had sent this one to ally himself with Mangog in order to study to a being who drew his power from billions of souls (like the extragalactic death god whom he knew he would soon face, Walker). Later still, Thanos admitted to Gamora that his "children" suffered from an intellectual deficiency that caused them to always opt for the most destructive answer to any problem. I suspect that this was meant as a criticism of how Dan Jurgens and other writers had (mis)used Thanos in their own stories. If only Mr. Starlin had known that later writers would do even more damage to Thanos as a character, reducing him to little more than a sadistic mass murderer.

   Yes, the Designate's race is YET ANOTHER alien race of humanoids whose external appearance is IDENTICAL to that of pale-skinned humans from the planet Earth. Please take my usual objections about this astronomically-unlikely resemblance as having been said.

Unanswered questions
   The story of the Designate and the Finality is an interesting one, but it's weakened somewhat by a certain lack of detail in the background information. As a result, I found it a bit difficult to become invested in the fate of people about whom so little was ever revealed. So, here are some questions which I would have liked the story to have answered:

1. By what name did Tarene's people call themselves? Was it the same name by which they were known to outsiders?

2. What was the name of the planet on which Tarene was born? Where was Tarene's birthworld located? Was it the original homeworld of her race?

3. How did Tarene's ancestors discover that the Designate was destined to be born from amongst them? Did someone tell them? If so, then who?

4. Did those who knew the most about the Designate (like the Millennium Monarch) know that she would be born from a certain species or that she would be born on a certain planet?

5. Did all of the members of Tarene's race agree that it was their duty to do whatever they could to support the Designate? If not, what happened to those who were unwilling to devote themselves as the others did? Were they, for the greater good, coerced into shutting themselves off from the rest of the universe?

6. Could members of the Designate's race leave their homeworld at will? Or were they all required/compelled to stay on the planet?

Profile by Donald Campbell.

The Designate's as-yet-unnamed race has no known connections to

World of the Designate

   The world of the Designate was said to be located "across the greatest gulf of space" and "beyond the farthest of stars" but the fact that it was "hidden amid a cluster of worlds and nebulas" indicates that it was not part of some isolated star system. 

    More precise information has not been provided and even the galaxy within which it was located has never been identified.

   One of the things that made this planet a special place was the fact that beings not born there were never meant to see it. Casual observers who passed through the star system in which it was located would see nothing but empty space where the planet was. Although it is known that (unspecified) magic and science were used to hide this planet, the identities of those magicians and/or scientists have never been revealed. Presumably these beings hid the planet in order to protect the Designate but whether or not they were members of the Designate's race has not been established. 

    It has similarly not been established if the Designate's race was native to that world or if they evolved on another planet and later moved to the hidden world to try to keep the future Designate safe from those who would abuse her powers in order to bring about The Finality.

   This planet has an Earth-like environment and previously supported an unspecified population of sentient humanoid beings. These humanoids lived in one (at least) city and seemed to use wind-powered sailing vessels instead of motorized vehicles, suggesting that these people limited the technologies they used to those that were not (or less) harmful to the biosphere.

   Throughout the time that the planet was hidden, its inhabitants lived a peaceful and tranquil life without fear of being discovered by the greater universe that existed beyond their world. 

    However, their isolation finally ended when five outsiders visited the planet:

    The first two, Thanos and Mangog, found the planet by using the Fire Jewel to cause the true path to reaching the Designate to appear on the Map of All-Ending. 

    The other three visitors (Thor, Firelord and a Rigellian Recorder) came there following a microtrack unit that the Recorder had attached to Mangog which led them to a seemingly empty area of space. 

    Once there, Firelord used his cosmic senses to overcome the magic and technology that hid the planet, and he then (somehow) made it possible for his allies to also see it.

   It has not been established how long-lasting an effect Firelord had on the forces that were keeping the planet hidden. 

    If Firelord only disrupted them enough to enable himself and his two companions to see the planet, then that world may still be hidden even though the need for it to be so has passed. 

    On the other hand, if Firelord's actions permanently disrupted those forces, then the planet has been visible and unprotected since Thor and his friends left.

--Thor II#23-24

images: (without ads)
Thor II#23, page 17, panel 2 (main image)
Thor II#24, page 1, panel 1 (corpses)
Thor II#23, page 16, panel 1 (world)
      page 16, panel 2 (city)
      page 21, panel 4 (devastation)

Thor I#23-24 (May-June, 2000) - Dan Jurgens (writer), John Romita Jr. (penciler), Dick Giordano (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)

First Posted: 02/28/2023
Last updated: 02/28/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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