people-race-8116-groupThe PEOPLE

Classification: Humanoid extraterrestrial race 

Location/Base of Operations: Oedi, the sole survivor, is mobile;
    the rest of the People apparently perished near their village on Caldor, unrevealed star system, Empirical Galaxy
, Reality-8116;
    extratemporal (approximately 1 million A.D.)

Known Members: Oedi;
   
Lectra, Minde', Oedi the elder, approximately 315 others (all deceased)

Affiliations: Created by Instrumentality scientists, Delilah D-50, Pyrax 8-13, Vanth (later Dreadstar); loose affiliation with Syzygy Darklock

Enemies: The Monarchy (notably King Nellor and the First Nova Squadron, including Lt. Sandorz)

Aliases: The Caldorians (see comments)

First Appearance: (Shadows, unidentified) "The Price," Eclipse Graphic Album Series#5 (1981)
    (fully seen and identified) Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (1982)

Powers/Abilities: The People had superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, nocturnal vision (likely in part due to a tapetum lucidum to reflect maximal light on their retinae), and auditory and olfactory senses. 

    They were covered in fur and had enlarged, sharp canine teeth and retractable claws. They do not have tails.

    They had human-level intelligence and manual dexterity, and they can speak. 

    They were highly-skilled farmers, especially forest wheat.

Traits: The People were passive beings, preferring to avoid conflict. They were generally curious.

Type: Bilaterally symmetric humanoid-feline bipeds
Eyes
: Two (on head; green color seen)
Fingers
: Four (plus opposing thumb)
Toes
: Five
Skin color: Presumably pale/pink, but covered in fur of various colors
Average height: Approximately 6'

people-race-8116-creationHistory:
(Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi) <Perhaps 150-170 years before the main story in Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar> - War broke out between two imperial powers within the Empirical galaxy, the Monarchy and the theocratic Instrumentality. Early in the course of the war, the Church of the Instrumentality established scientific research centers on planet throughout its empire whose purpose was to discover or devise a means of assuring the Instrumentality's victory. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) <Decades before the main story> - In hopes of creating a race of super-warriors to use against the Monarchy, Instrumentality scientists established Research Center Delta 219 for a top secret research project on the planet Caldor, which was "pretty far from any regular space corridors." 

(Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi) - Caldor had no native humanoid population.

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) / Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi) - There they cross-bred (almost certainly via genetic engineering) cats and humans in hopes of producing super-warriors with feline reflexes, instincts, and ferocity coupled with man's intelligence and manual dexterity. people-race-8116-faces

    However, while the resulting cat people did have human intelligence and body conformation, their natural temperaments were so peaceful and gentle that all attempts to use them as soldiers failed miserably. With the first generation being herbivores, they proved to have a real talent for farming. They were dubbed the People.

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - Nonetheless, as wars needed soldiers, soldiers needed food, and Caldor was a very fertile planet, the People, were allowed to survive as long as they kept producing high-quality forest wheat and other crops for the government...at prices set by the government. 

(Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi) - Over the succeeding decades, the People's population grew to 320, while the research center retained no Instrumentality personnel on base). For unrevealed reasons, the Instrumentality did not attempt to convert the People to the repressive state religion. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - The People perpetuated the name Mist Valley, established by the earliest Instrumentality settlers, considering it part of the "out there" (space), because its cliffs and rocky terrain made it unfarmable; as a result, few ventured out there. 

    Once a year, a huge Instrumentality ship came from space to collect the forest wheat harvest and to deliver used agricultural equipment, rations (always in insufficient quantities), approved literature (mostly almanacs), and an occasional visitor (usually some type of scientist).

    The People called Research Center Delta 219 home or "the village."

(Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi) - Over several generations, the People developed into omnivores. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) <Twelve cycles before the main story> - Pyrax 8-13 and his wife, Delilah D-50, arrived one of the annual Instrumentality ships, intending to study the People on a university grant. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) <Six cycles before the main story>  - Pyrax was killed by a Monarchy scout ship, and he was buried. Delilah stayed on to finish Pyrax's anthropological work. She became an accepted member of the community despite being "human."

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar - BTS) - Delilah was nearly finished with her work when Vanth arrived, having traveled 1 million years into the future after participating in a "mercy killing" of the Milky Way galaxy, having taken a radium laser to the leg, divested himself of his Sword of Power, and collapsed on the ground.

(Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi) - Still a child at the time, Oedi, had been watching his father, also named Oedi, and his father's friends at work. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar) - The People (including both Oedis) found Vanth and decided to bring him to Delilah, as he was one of her kind. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb)) - Oedi and his friends carried Vanth into Delilah's place, and she figured he would be dead by morning from the radium laser.

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar) - A couple (few?) weeks later, Oedi encountered and asked Delilah about her patient, and she told Oedi of Vanth's physical and mental recovery. She further told him how he had been helping Lady Lectra out in her crops and how he could repair just about anything and seemed to have the strength and endurance of ten men. When Oedi asked about his plans, and she noted that he was happy doing what he was doing, Oedi was concerned about how little they knew about him, but Delilah shared that she was really beginning to like the man he was becoming.

    Vanth and Delilah subsequently entered a romance and fell in love. 

    Over the years, the People came to accept and even like the tall, brooding "human," and the Monarchy-Instrumentality war seemed to forget about Caldor.people-race-8116-minde

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar) <Thirty years later> - An alien spacecraft, the Lightcutter II, arrived on Caldor and landed in Mist Valley.

("The Price" (fb) - BTS / Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS / Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi) - The now-adult younger Oedi and Minde' observed the ship's arrival -- initially thinking it to be a falling meteor -- and followed his lights to Mist Valley. They noted how for three days the pilot had just sat there, as if he were waiting for someone. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - As the alien visitor, the cyborg mystic Syzygy Darklock, looked somewhat human, Oedi and Minde' decided to show him to Vanth to see what he thought. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar) - Oedi showed Vanth the visitor, and he resolved to visit him and find out what he was up to. Oedi told him to be careful, noting that if anything happened to him, Delilah would skin them alive. people-race-8116-minde4shore

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar) - After meeting the visitor, Vanth told Oedi and Minde' that his name was Syzygy Darklock and that he was no threat to the People as long as he was left alone. 

    Minde' asked what he wanted, and Vanth told her that he thought -- in his own strange way -- that Darklock wanted a friend. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - Vanth and Syzygy's met twice monthly for years.

(Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi) - At some point, Syzygy also met and spoke with the younger Oedi, telling him of the Monarchy and Instrumentality war and noting that Vanth was destined to force an end to the war.

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - The Monarchy's intelligence forces received decades-old information about the Instrumentality's "cat warriors,"  and they resolved that they should destroy them before they were put into action as well as to terminate any scientists they found on the site. 

    Four months later, while Vanth was visiting Syzygy, the Monarchy's First Nova Squadron assaulted the village with orders to terminate all cat people and scientists they encountered. 

    First Nova Squadron slaughtered all of the cat people...people-race-8116-village-destroyed

(Epic Illustrated#15) - ...(excepting the younger Oedi, who survived)...

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - ...and they slew Delilah as well..

 (Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar  - BTS) - Returning to the village and observing the slaughter, Vanth encountered a crashed pilot of the First Nova Squadron, Lt. Sandorz, who clarified their mission before Vanth slew him. 

(Epic Illustrated#15 / (Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi)) - Oedi joined Vanth and Syzygy in their mission, and Syzygy trained him in armed and unarmed combat, starship navigation, etc. Eventually Oedi overcame his naturally placid temperament, becoming the very super-warrior the Instrumentality had sought to create. 

Comments: Created by Jim Starlin.

Dreadstar / Reality-8116 primer

    I had thought I had seen something that noted the People had been created like 50 years before Vanth's arrival, but I can't find that reference. Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar has the narrative note that "now" (after Vanth's arrival) was "decades" after Research Center Delta 219 was a top-secret Instrumentality outstation.
    At the time of the People's slaughter, Vanth considered that reports of their creation were like seventy or eighty years out of date. Vanth had been on Caldor for thirty years before Syzygy's arrival, and at least a couple if not several years before First Nova Squadron's arrival.
    Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi's profile indicates that they had been created 200 years before Vanth's arrival. Delilah does note that the People were created "back in the days when they (the Instrumentality) were trying to win." At some point, the two forces had settled into a stalemate, with economies built to thrive during wartime.  

    There are definitely some contradictions between the that file and the story in the Dreadstar Graphic Novel (such as having Vanth recover from the radium laser overnight when it took a week; or having Vanth share his origins to the People rather than Delilah; noting that Delilah was an Instrumentality-assigned anthropologist, rather than having obtained a university research grant to study them), but I included new information that did not contradict things. There being two Oedis (father and son) was new to the file, as was Lectra being the younger Oedi's mother. 

    Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi called the People "Caldorians." As they were the residents of the planet Caldor, that is not wrong, but I don't recall seeing Oedi's people ever called that. As they called themselves (and Vanth and Delilah called them) "the People," that's what I went with.  

    BTW, Oedi's name is pronounced like "Eddie."

    I don't think the Oedi profile in the Dreadstar Guidebook had anything new. There may or may not be more information revealed about the People in Oedi's extensive appearances in the Dreadstar series.  If I encounter anything further, I'll come back and add it.

    I always wondered if there might be SOME possible connection between the People and the cat-demon Bialgesuard, but I think they were just both cat-"people" drawn by the same artist (Starlin)

   Coincidence or inspiratiion?

From the article SFE: Smith, Cordwainer (sf-encyclopedia.com)

The Instrumentality of Mankind covers several millennia of humanity's uncertain progress into a Far-Future plenitude. Before the period of "Scanners Live in Vain" a shattered Earth is dubiously revitalized by the family of a Nazi scientist who awake from Suspended Animation to found the Instrumentality, a hereditary caste of rulers, under whose hegemony space is explored by scanners, then by ships which sail by photonic winds, then via planoforming, which is more or less instantaneous. Genetically engineered (see Genetic Engineering) animals are Uplifted to human-like form and bred as slaves known as Underpeople (see Slavery). On the Australian colony planet of Norstrilia, an Immortality (

One of Smith's major creations was the cat girl C'mell and I just thought it might be interesting to acknowledge a possible literary inspiration that might have played a part in influencing these creations. Smith is such a bizarre figure he could have stepped out of a Marvel comic himself: A one-eyed Colonel in military intelligence who was also the godson of Sun Yat-Sen and a professor at John Hopkins University.
--Marcus Murcho

   The presence of genetically-engineeed animal-people doesn't impress me as anything significant, as that sort of thing dates back to at least "The Island of Doctor Moreau" by HG Wells from the 19th century. However, the use of the term "Instrumentality" in conjunction to genetically engineered animal men in the future does make it more significant. However, I have no idea whether Jim Starlin ever heard of and/or read this story.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The People should be distinguished from:




people-race-8116-oedi-elderpeople-race-8116-oedi-elder-full-orangeOEDI (the elder)

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar - BTS) - Vanth -- having traveled 1 million years into the future after participating in a "mercy killing" of the Milky Way galaxy, having taken a radium laser to the leg, divested himself of his Sword of Power -- collapsed on the ground.

(Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi (fb) - BTS) - Alongside his child, also named Oedi, Oedi, had been working alongside friends when Vanth arrived.

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar) - The People (including both Oedis) found Vanth and decided to bring him to Delilah, as he was one of her kind. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb)) - Oedi and his friends carried Vanth into Delilah's place, and she figured he would be dead by morning from the radium laser.

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar) - A couple (few?) weeks later, the senior Oedi encountered and asked Delilah about her patient, and she told him of Vanth's physical and mental recovery as well as skills and abilities.

     When Oedi asked about Vanth's plans and she noted that he was happy doing what he was doing, Oedi was concerned about how little they knew about him, but Delilah shared that she was really beginning to like the man he was becoming.

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar) -Vanth and Delilah subsequently entered a romance and fell in love. 

    Over the years, the People came to accept and even like the tall, brooding Vanth.

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) <Over 30 years later) - The Monarchy's intelligence forces received decades-old information about the Instrumentality's "cat warriors,"  and they resolved that they should destroy them before they were put into action as well as to terminate any scientists they found on the site. 

    Four months later, while Vanth was visiting Syzygy, the Monarchy's First Nova Squadron assaulted the village with orders to terminate all cat people and scientists they encountered. 

    First Nova Squadron slaughtered all of the cat people.
people-race-8116-oedi-elder-upper-gray
(Epic Illustrated#15) - ...excepting the younger Oedi, who survived.

--Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar

Note: Oedi was not identified when they first found Vanth, but the facial patterns match those of the other two images, both of which were confirmed to be Oedi.

     I am not sure why the full body image has him as an orange pattern base color when the others have him as gray. The full body image is clearly orange. The image following it is dark er, but still looks like he is orange. After Delilah discussed Vanth's progression, Oedi was repeatedly shown with gray fur as his primary color.

     In the original story, all of the People were slain First Nova Squadron. Then, in Epic Illustrated#15, Oedi joined Vanth and Syzygy's team. I'm not sure if it was explained before, but Oedi's profile in Dreadstar and Company#5 clarified that that Oedi was the son of the Oedi who discussed Vanth with Delilah.
     "Oedi the elder" is not a term that was used in the stories...I am just calling him that to clarify him from the younger Oedi.

     Presumably, like his son, his name is pronounced like "Eddie."

     Perhaps someday I will expand this sub-profile into a full one...but not today...
    




Lectra

(Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi) - With Oedi (the elder), Lectra mothered the younger Oedi and several other children.

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - After recovering on Caldor, Vanth helped Lady Lectra with her crops. Delilah subsequently shared this information with Oedi (the elder).

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) <Over 30 years later) - The Monarchy's intelligence forces received decades-old information about the Instrumentality's "cat warriors,"  and they resolved that they should destroy them before they were put into action as well as to terminate any scientists they found on the site. 

    Four months later, while Vanth was visiting Syzygy, the Monarchy's First Nova Squadron assaulted the village with orders to terminate all cat people and scientists they encountered. 

    First Nova Squadron slaughtered all of the cat people.

(Epic Illustrated#15) - ...excepting the younger Oedi, who survived.

--Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar

Note: As far as I know, Lectra was mentioned, but not pictured.

     I've read the Dreadstar graphic novel multiple times, although, prior to this profile, I had only read the Dreadstar and Company file on Oedi once (the series reprinted the first six issues of the Dreadstar ongoing series, so I didn't pull the reprints any time I read through the whole series).
     When I reviewed it all for this profile and I saw that Lectra was listed as Oedi's mother, I thought it was cool that they used a previously named character from the proper time period to be the younger Oedi's mother.
     And then, reviewing it further, it occurred to me as a little odd that Delilah was having to tell Oedi (the elder) that Vanth had been helping Lady Lectra with her crops. If Oedi (the elder) and Lectra were the parents of the younger Oedi, than Oedi (the elder) should have known if Vanth was working on his property...unless he was doing it only when Oedi (the elder) was away, which may have been even more suspect...
    And then, several months later, when I was adding the sub-profiles to the People profile, it occurred to me that Lectra and Oedi (the elder) may not have lived together. Maybe they were never married (maybe that was not a thing among the feline People) or maybe they were separated or divorced.
    ...and that's all I have to say about that...




Minde'

people-race-8116-minde-fullpeople-race-8116-minde-face

("The Price" (fb) - BTS / Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS / Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi) - The now-adult younger Oedi and Minde' observed the ship's arrival -- initially thinking it to be a falling meteor -- and followed his lights to Mist Valley. They noted how for three days the pilot had just sat there, as if he were waiting for someone. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS) - As the alien visitor, the cyborg mystic Syzygy Darklock, looked somewhat human, Oedi and Minde' decided to show him to Vanth to see what he thought. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar) - Oedi showed Vanth the visitor, and he resolved to visit him and find out what he was up to. Oedi told him to be careful, noting that if anything happened to him, Delilah would skin them alive. 

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar) - After meeting the visitor, Vanth told Oedi and Minde' that his name was Syzygy Darklock and that he was no threat to the People as long as he was left alone. 

    Minde' asked what he wanted, and Vanth told her that he thought -- in his own strange way -- that Darklock wanted a friend.

(Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (fb) - BTS)  <A few(?) years later> - The Monarchy's intelligence forces received decades-old information about the Instrumentality's "cat warriors,"  and they resolved that they should destroy them before they were put into action as well as to terminate any scientists they found on the site. 

    Four months later, while Vanth was visiting Syzygy, the Monarchy's First Nova Squadron assaulted the village with orders to terminate all cat people and scientists they encountered. 

    First Nova Squadron slaughtered all of the cat people.

(Epic Illustrated#15) - ...excepting the younger Oedi, who survived.

--Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar

Note: The appearances of Minde' took place some 30 years after Vanth arrived on Caldor.

     Minde' may have been Oedi's girlfriend, his sister, or just a friend/associate....


Mist Valley




--Price - identified?
Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar




The Village

people-race-8116-village-destroyedpeople-race-8116-village-fullResearch Center Delta 219

--Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar

Note: The interior portion of the village is shown best in the main image.




images: (without ads)
Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar, pg. 3, panel 5 (Oedi the elder and others finding Vanth);
       pg. 4, panel 1 (The Village);
          panel 2 (Oedi the elder; full; orange);
       pg. 7, panel 2 (Oedi the elder; upper; gray);
       pg. 9, panel 2 (symbolic creation of the People);
       pg. 13, panel 3-5 (Vanth with the junior Oedi and Minde', with both together);
       pg. 15, panel 4 (Vanth returning to Minde' and Oedi jr.);
          panel 5 (Minde' profile);
       pg. 25, panel 1 (Village burning);
          panel 2 (dead People amongst the Village);


Appearances:
"The Price," Eclipse Graphic Album Series#5 (1981) - Jim Starlin (writer/artist); I don't know who edited it; reprinted in Epic's Dreadstar Annual#1 (1983) it credited Jo Duffy (associate editor) and Archie Goodwin (editor)
Marvel Graphic Novel#3: The Metamorphosis Odyssey Book Three: Dreadstar (1982) - Jim Starlin (writer/artist), Archie Goodwin & Jo Duffy (editor)
Dreadstar and Company#5: The Dreadstar and Company Files: Oedi (November, 1985) - Jim Starlin (writer/artist), Archie Goodwin (editor), Jim Shooter (consulting editor)


First posted: 09/14/2023
Last updated: 09/23/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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