Classification: Extraterrestrial race

Location/Base of Operations: The World Farm

Known Members: No individuals identified (classes identified included Destroyer, Experimenter, Exterminator, Harvester, Ordinator and Overlord)

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Forey, Guardians (Gamora, Groot, Moondragon/Heather Douglas, Nova/Richard Rider, Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord/Peter Quill), Inhumans (Crystal/Crystalia Amaquelin, Flint/Jason, Gorgon/Gorgon Petragon, Maximus the Mad/Maximus Boltagon, Frank McGee, Medusa/Medusalith Amaquelin, Panacea/Ash Minnick, Reader, Swain/Jovana), Kree-Skrull Alliance, Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr)

First Appearance: (Skyspears) Uncanny Inhumans#1 (December, 2015); (Progenitors) Royals#8 (November, 2017)

Powers/Abilities: The Progenitors are giant cosmic beings with computer-like minds that are programmed for individual functions that seem to have no will of their own. The Progenitors seem to stay connected as part of a hive-mind that connects them all, as part of the wider functions of the overall race. Harvester-Class Progenitors are responsible for growing and monitoring the Prima Materia. Ordinator-Class Progenitors monitor the wider systems of the World Farm to make sure things are efficient. Exterminator-Class and Destroyer-Class Progenitors handle direct threats to the World Farm. The Progenitors have genetically experimented on the Kree in the past. Capable of traveling across space for vast distances the Progenitors can also hurl Skyspears across space to a precise location on other planets (including Earth and Centauri-IV). The Skyspears have words in ancient Kree that flash across them, and they act as computers that track genetic data in Inhuman races and then transmit them back to the Progenitors across space. The Skyspears act as a direct conduit to the Prima Materia, which enhances the powers of Inhuman subjects who directly touch the spears. In some cases, the Skyspears have taken mental control over Inhumans, manipulating their powers. The Skyspears also seem to be specifically programmed for particular races of Inhumans, though other races who touch them, or even other Kree who touch them, can still be impacted. When Marvel Boy and Flint touched the Skyspears, they found themselves mentally connected to the Progenitors across space. The World Farm itself is a massive structure that involves a central world surrounded by machinery that processes entire planets in its works. The Prima Materia itself powers the World Farm.

Traits: The Progenitors are giant cosmic beings whose heads are not always attached to their corporeal forms. They are programmed for specific functions, such as farming or defending, and they operate as part of a wider hive-mind that connects the entire race. They have been known to manipulate the genetic potential of other races, most notably the Kree, who have gone on to manipulate other races, creating Inhuman sub-species in many separate individual races.

Type: Extraterrestrial cosmic entities
Eyes: Variable
Fingers: Three
Toes: Unrevealed
Skin color: Variable
Average height: Unrevealed

History: (Royals#9 (fb) - BTS) - Several thousand years ago, the Progenitors, a class of extraterrestrial cosmic beings with computer-like minds, experimented on the prehistoric Kree, saturating them in the Prima Materia, the primal substance the Progenitors used as a cosmic battery.

(Royals#12 (fb) - BTS) - The Progenitors used the Prima Materia primarily as battery sources.

(Royals#10 (fb) - BTS) - The Progenitors, at some point, established the World Farm, a massive computer system that held several planets in its orbit. Different stations had different classes of Progenitors working on various tasks. Harvester-Class grew and harvested the Prima Materia, Ordinator-Class monitored efficiency, and Exterminator and Destroyer-Class handled direct threats to the World Farm.

(Fantastic Four I#577 (fb) - BTS) - Thousands of years ago, the Kree experimented on many aliens in an attempt to create superior and super-powered genetic sub-species in each of them, and their experiments were successful in five different races on five different planets, with the Supreme Intelligence using long-term plans to reignite the Kree race in the future as needed. In humans, they created the Inhumans by activating latent genes with Terrigenesis. With the Centaurians, they used a process called Isogenesis, caused by injecting the extract of the Isogen Orbs. With the Badoon they used Amphogenesis, caused by administering one drop of the diluted water from dormant Amphogen. With the White Room, they used Antigenesis, caused by consuming the nectar of Antigen tree nightblooms. With the Dire Wraiths, they used Exogenesis, caused by inhaling Exogen spice. The Progenitors were unaware of these experiments for many years.

(Royals#11 (fb) - BTS) - Over time, the mythology of the Progenitors was forgotten, and the various races of Inhumans began experimenting with their own versions of the Prima Materia, finding complicated scientific methods of extracting it.

(Royals#12 (fb) - BTS) - Many years later, the Progenitors became aware of the Kree experiments under unknown circumstances. They developed Skyspears to throw across the universe to begin gathering data on these various races of Inhumans.

(Royals#8 (fb) - BTS) - The Progenitors hurled Skyspears across the galaxy, one destined for Centauri-IV and several for Earth. Each spear was designed as a "solid-state quantum computer," a diagnostic tool meant to control minds and read them, then boost Inhuman powers to fully explore them and send data back to the Progenitors.

(Uncanny Inhumans#1 - BTS) - One Skyspear landed in Central Park, in New York City.

(All-New Inhumans#1 - BTS) - One Skyspear landed in Uluru, Australia. When the Inhumans investigated it, they discovered an ancient Inhuman rune on it that meant "genocide."

(Uncanny Inhumans#5 - BTS) - Skyspears landed in Nigeria, Brazil, Ukraine, and China. Humans spent months researching them, wondering about their origins, purpose, and capabilities. At the Chinese spear, Spider-Man, Philip Chang, Dr. Wu, and Grid of the Inhumans studied the Skyspear. The scientists began realizing the Skyspear was taking readings of them. When the People's Defense Force arrived, Collective Man tried moving the Skyspear, but it fought back with an energy attack.

(All-New Inhumans#6 - BTS) - A fight broke out between the Inhumans and the People's Defense Force. During the battle, the Skyspear briefly took over the mind of Spirit Animal, who then controlled Crystal and Collective Man briefly. Collective Man ranted about genocide before they severed the connection.

(Royals#8 (fb) - BTS) - One of the Skyspears landed on the planet of Centauri-IV, home of the Universal Inhumans.

(Royals#8 (fb) - BTS) - The Universal Inhumans began translating runes that randomly appeared on the Obelisk, discovering a Wraith-Mark that meant "look to find" and a word in Old Kymellian that meant "seed" or "fruit."

(Royals#7 - BTS) - Maximus forced Marvel Boy, an enhanced Kree from an alternate reality, to touch the Obelisk.

(Harvester-Class) (Ordinator-Class) (Destroyer-Class) (Exterminator-Class)

(Royals#8) - Marvel Boy interfaced with the Progenitors, seeing the massive being who was building the Skyspears across the universe. Later, Flint touched the Obelisk, interfacing with the Progenitors, and his powers were boosted far beyond their normal levels.

(Royals#9) - Flint could feel the Progenitors calling to him from across space. The Inhumans and Marvel Boy soon arrived at the World Farm, where a Harvester-Class Progenitor, working on farming Prima Materia a Garden-World, sensed them and grabbed their ship, the Astarion, destroying it.

(Royals#10) - After the Inhumans and Marvel Boy survived, they crashed into one of the quantum computers, and an Ordinator-class Progenitor came to collect them. Crystal collapsed a ceiling on the Ordinator and confused it by wrapping moisture around its head, even as it injured her. Maximus and Swain worked together to overload the Ordinator's mind, shutting it down, which sent distress signals to the rest of the Progenitors. The Overlord-Class Progenitor reported the disruption to the Destroyer-Class and Exterminator-Class Progenitors.

(Royals#11) - As the mortals discovered the pure Prima Materia, the Extermintor- and Destroyer-Class Progenitors closed in and attacked, but Swain touched the Prima Materia then used her enhanced powers to make the two Progenitors hate each other and fight. Realizing they were surrounded by dozens more Progenitors, the mortals quickly gathered samples of the Prima Materia and fled, as Gorgon stayed behind to hold the Progenitors off after touching the Prima Materia himself.

(Inhumans: Judgment Day#1) - The Progenitors followed the Inhumans back to New Arctilan on the Blue Area of the Moon, and an Experimenter, Harvester, and Overlord confronted Marvel Boy, Medusa, Swain, Panacea, Maximus, Reader (with Forey), Crystal, and Frank McGee. When the Progenitors tried absorbing the mind of Medusa, who had entered the Astral Plane, they realized too late that the Prima Materia had just started working on her and they swallowed the substance, which went off like a bomb in their systems, killing the three Progenitors. Back at the World Farm, the Progenitors determined to no longer go after the Inhumans, but Gorgon continued to fight them.

(Guardians of the Galaxy VI#13) - The Progenitors (including Experimenter, Ordinator, Destroyer, and Exterminator Class) attacked the Kree-Skrull Alliance on Throneworld II, experimenting and evolving some of the civilians. Wiccan and Hulkling attacked the Progenitors, who evolved the Kree part of Hulkling as he cried out in pain. A team of the Guardians of the Galaxy (Star-Lord, Groot, Nova, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Moondragon) soon attacked, destroying some of the Progeintors before kicking them off their planet, telling them to stop treating mortals as experiments as they sent them back to the World-Farm.

Comments: Created by Al Ewing, Kevin Libranda, Javier Rodriguez, and Alvaro Lopez.

In the dystopian future of Earth-17169, the Progenitors destroyed the planet Earth and fought the Last Inhuman, the Accuser, and the Moon King. A new type of Progenitor was created for this encounter, the Commander-Class, based on Black Bolt and Medusa.

The Progenitors are a rather computerized race, and may likely be the creations of the Celestials or some other godlike race. The history shared here is that they helped create the Kree, who went on to create the Inhumans. They occupy a complicated corner of Marvel alien/cosmic beings lore, but have remained relatively self-contained to a short run in one series.

At the end of Inhumans: Judgment Day#1, Gorgon was seen on the World Farm fighting the Progenitors. Gorgon has since returned to Earth, and what happened in his World Farm adventure, or how he survived, remains unrevealed.

Donald Campbell thoughts:

  1. According to an interview with Al Ewing, he created the Progenitors to be a race that was more powerful than most advanced spacefaring races (like the Kree or Shi'ar) but not as godlike as the Celestials. Personally, I don't think that they quite work. Their speech patterns make them look like nothing more than a race of giant robots and they look, well, silly, at least to me. Plus, the fact that they could be killed by beings as puny as the Inhumans doesn't say much about how powerful they supposedly were.
  2. I saw the scene in which Medusa single-handedly killed three Progenitors slightly differently than you did. As written, you state that they accidentally swallowed the Prima Materia within Medusa's mind and the substance went off like a bomb in their systems and killed them. My interpretation is that, while on the Astral Plane, the Progenitors were trying to absorb Medusa into their collective consciousness when the Prima Materia finally stated working on her and it was her suddenly-enhanced mind that was the bomb that they swallowed. The difference is slight but I just don't think that it was just the Prima Materia itself than harmed them. Also, the idea that it was Medusa's willpower, even enhanced, that was able to kill three of them makes them look not that powerful.
  3. Although it's true that the Universal Inhumans told the Fantastic Four that the Kree genetic experimentation worked on five alien races, later stories revealed that the Kree had actually experimented on over a hundred races and that they had achieved success with ALL of them. However, after the Supreme Intelligence foresaw that his metagenesis program would create a being who would eventually kill him, he ordered the research to end and the deaths of the researchers. Accuser Huran killed the two scientists but not before one of them, in a desperate attempt to save some of his life's work, managed to shatter the data crystal when only 94% of the data had been uploaded. Using that data, the Supremor had his Accusers burn all the worlds on which Inhumans had been created but the incompleteness of the data meant that five planets were spared. The number of worlds burned by the Accuser Corps is inconsistently stated to be either "hundreds" or "over a hundred" so the Kree experiments succeeded on (at least) 106 alien races. Of course, only we readers were told about those other races but I believe there is at least one story that revealed that the Universal Inhumans actually knew about all the other successes. Sadly, I can't remember what issue had that scene.
  4. The timing of the Kree genetic experiments is contradictory. For decades it was "official" that the Kree came to Earth and created the Inhumans about 25,000 years ago. However, Hickman's story stated that the Universal Inhumans were created "hundreds of thousands of years ago" but this was later clarified as being "three hundred thousand years ago." No explanation of this discrepancy has been provided.
  5. As far as I know, none of the "Inhuman" races created by the Kree actually knew of the Prima Materia until Noh-Varr, a Kree from an alternate timeline, told the Inhuman Royal Family about it. Each of the five races had simply used the same specific, race-based catalysts that the Kree had created to mutate them in the first place.
  6. Although the Royals series established that the ancient Kree race had been mutated in some way when the Progenitors experimented on them using the Prima Materia, Al Ewing never revealed what the results were. However, in History of the Marvel Universe II#1, Galactus stated that the Progenitors' experiments had created blue-skinned "purebred" Kree and a larger tribe of pale-skinned savages. Galactus further claimed that the Skrulls had offered their technology only to the pale Kree. I found this retcon to be REALLY aggravating since it seemed designed to explain away a coloring error made in the original story about the origin of the Kree/Skrull War in Avengers I#133-134. Fortunately, the recap of the war's origin in Road to Empyre: The Kree/Skrull War#1 undid some of the damage by revealing that there were both blue-skinned and pink-skinned Kree among the 17 who were taken to Earth's Moon by the Skrulls.
  7. If this retcon about the Progenitors having created the pink-skinned Kree remains canon, then they must have visited Hala before the Skrulls and therefore before the Kree-Skrull War began. Unfortunately, exactly when that was remains mired in uncertainty. The Official Handbook has provided at least five different dates for that event, ranging from "ten million years ago" to "several million years ago" to "over a million years ago" to dates that would be almost a million years ago or under 100,000 years ago. To make matters worse, all of these dates ignore the in-story evidence from Avengers I#134 which showed how two of the pacifist Kree left Hala sometime between the Kree Years 600 and 900 to travel to Earth where the landing of their starship in what is now Vietnam scared members of the native race of modern humans who were wearing woven clothing. Although human civilization began on Earth-616 somewhat earlier than it did in the real world, that story indicates that the Kree/Skrull War actually began only several tens of thousands of years ago.

Profile by Chadman.

The Progenitors have no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
Inhumans: Judgment Day#1, p14, pan1 (main, Harvester-Class, Overlord-Class, Experimenter-Class)
Royals#9, p13, pan1 (original experiments on the Kree)
Royals#9, p16-17 (World Farm)
Royals#9, p18, pan2 (Harvester-Class)
Royals#10, p11, pan1 (Ordinator-Class)
Royals#10, p22, pan1 (Destroyer-Class)
Royals#10, p22, pan1 (Exterminator-Class)
Royals#11, p8, pan1 (giant tuning fork)
All-New Inhumans#5, p3, pan3 (Skyspear)

Royals#7 (November, 2017) - Al Ewing (writer), Kevin Libranda (artist), Wil Moss (editor)
Royals#8 (November, 2017) - Al Ewing (writer), Kevin Libranda, Javier Rodriguez (pencilers), Alvaro Lopez (inker), Wil Moss (editor)
Royals#9-10 (December, 2017-January, 2018) - Al Ewing (writer), Javier Rodriguez (penciler), Alvaro Lopez (inker), Wil Moss (editor)
Royals#11 (January, 2018) - Al Ewing (writer), Javier Rodriguez, Kevin Libranda (pencilers), Alvaro Lopez (inker), Wil Moss (editor)
Inhumans: Judgment Day#1 (March, 2018) - Al Ewing (writer), Kevin Libranda, Michael Del Mundo (pencilers), Marc Deering (inker), Wil Moss (editor)

issues referenced, or appearances of Skyspears:
Fantastic Four I#577 (May, 2010) - Jonathan Hickman (writer), Dale Eaglesham (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Uncanny Inhumans#1 (December, 2015) - Charles Soule (writer), Steve McNiven (penciler), Jay Leisten (inker), Nick Lowe (editor)
All-New Inhumans#1 (February, 2016) - James Asmus, Charles Soule (writers), Stefano Caselli, Nico Leon (artists), Nick Lowe (editor)
Uncanny Inhumans#5 (April, 2016) - Charles Soule (writer), Brandon Peterson (artist), Nick Lowe (editor)
All-New Inhumans#6 (June, 2016) - James Asmus (writer), Andre Lima Araujo (artist), Nick Lowe (editor)

Guardians of the Galaxy VI#13 (June, 2021) - Al Ewing (writer), Juan Frigeri (artist), Darren Shan (editor)

First Posted: 03/08/2021
Last updated: 10/14/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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