rainbow_serpent-abgod-main-editedRAINBOW SERPENT

Real NameUnrevealed

Identity/ClassExtradimensional (Alchera/Dreamtime/Aboriginal gods) god;
    active at least from the pre-Cataclysmic era to the modern era

: Creator and fertility god(dess) (see comments)

Group MembershipAboriginal gods (Altjira (Dreamtime god), Baiame (creator god), Daramulum (sky & weather god), Gnowee (sun goddess), Mamaragan (lightning god), Marmoo (god of evil), Narahdarn (death god); see comments);

Affiliations: Aboriginal tribes of Australia;
    some association with the bunyip, a water-dwelling creature of Aboriginal mythology;
    indirectly the God Squad (
Ajak, Atum/Demogorge, Hercules/Heracles, Amatsu-Mikaboshi, Snowbird/Narya);
   possibly the Snakes of Many Colors/Rainbow Snakes (Jandlinatjari, Yarralamundu) of the Hyborian era

Enemies: Unrevealed;
    indirectly Kly'bn and Sl'gur't;

Known Relatives: Unrevealed;
    possibly the Snakes of Many Colors/Rainbow Snakes of the Hyborian era (the resided in the Unknown Land, which was the region later known as Australia; they were specifically the children of Echidna, grandchildren of Phorcys, and great-grandchildren of Set; but if Echidna was their mother, the Rainbow Serpent could be their father...or other mother...mythological beings often don't conform to conventional relationships)

Aliases: The Rainbow Serpent is known by different names by the many different Aboriginal cultures (see comments for further discussion), including Andrénjinyi, Bolung, Cunmurra, Dhakkan, Galeru, Goorialla, the Great Father, Julunggul, Julunggur, Jurlungur, Kajura, Kanmare, Kooremah, Kunmanggur, Langal, Lightning Snake, Moitt, Muit, Muitj, Myndie, Ngalyod, Numereji, Taipan, Takkan, Tulloun, Ungur, Wagyl, Wanamangura, Wanampi, Witij, Wititj, Wollunqua, Wonambi, Wonungar, Worombi, Yero, Yingarna, Yurlunggur, Yurlungur, Yulunggu

Base of Operations: Presumably Alchera, the Dreamtime (extradimensional realm)

First Appearance(Real world) Unrevealed;
    (Marvel Comics, mentioned)
 All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#3 (March, 2006);
    (pictured) Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica (2009)

Powers/AbilitiesLike other Aboriginal gods, the Rainbow Serpent ceased aging upon adulthood and cannot die by conventional means. 

    The Rainbow Serpent is resistant to conventional diseases and injury, heals at superhuman rates and has superhuman endurance. Only dispersal of a major portion of its bodily molecules will cause death, and even then, a god of greater or equal power, or several gods acting together, may revive the Rainbow Serpent. 

    Aboriginal god flesh and bone are at least twice as durable as human tissue, and average gods can lift about 20 tons. As a serpent, such physical strength does not readily translate, but perhaps that indicates the Rainbow Serpent is at least 400 times stronger than a normal terrestrial constrictor serpent.

    Like other Aboriginal gods, the Rainbow Serpent can navigate the Dreamtime with ease. 

    The Rainbow Serpent is a metamorph, able adopt limbs, a dual body/tail, and/or the heads or forms of various animals (such as a bat/flying fox, bird, crocodile, dingo, or lizard); however, there is not evidence that the Rainbow Serpent can adopt human form.

    See comments

Height: Unrevealed (variable, but generally immense)
Weight: Unrevealed (variable)
Eyes: Unrevealed (likely variable)
Hair: None (variable; some sources show a mane and/or a beard, or neither)

Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica: The Aboriginal Gods) - The Aboriginal gods’ precise origin, like that of all Earth’s pantheons, is shrouded in legend. Most Aboriginal gods dwell in Alchera, a realm bordering the “Dream Dimension” of the demon Nightmare within the Dreamtime, the collective unconsciousness of all sentient beings in the universe. Alchera appears to be one of countless planetary objects existing within the Dreamtime and cannot be comprehended through reason.

    According to ancient myths, the god Altjira could not depart the Dreamtime without losing his powers. However, he directed the other Aboriginal gods to temporarily leave the Dreamtime and descend to the Australian continent within the Earth realm eons ago when the land was barren and featureless. The gods then shaped the landscape according to Altjira’s plan.

    The Rainbow Serpent, dug deep into subterranean waterholes and began to carve out gullies that became rivers.

(Incredible Hercules#117 (fb) - BTS) - The Rainbow Serpent shed its skin, and -- within the Dreamtime -- Altjira stretched that skin over a frame of night and sealed it with the kiss of sleep to form a ship.

    The gods of Alchera have been worshipped by the Australian Aboriginal peoples from approximately 18,000 BC into modern times. Unlike many of their counterparts in other Earth-based pantheons, the Aboriginal gods are still actively invoked and worshipped on Earth by a handful of remote Aboriginal tribal groups.

(Incredible Hercules#117 - BTS) - As Athena prepared a force of gods led by Hercules to confront the Skrullian gods, Altjira contributed to the mission the vessel made from and composed of the skin worn by the Rainbow Serpent.
    Aboard this vessel (subsequently nicknamed the "Godmobile"), Hercules' forces were able to travel within the Dreamtime to where the Skrullian gods dwelled.

CommentsCreated by unknown/unidentified Aboriginal people;
    adapted into the Marvel Universe by
Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (reference only);
    depicted/further fleshed out by
Anthony Flamini and Ben Oliver.

    The Rainbow Serpent in the Marvel Multiverse is something of a composite of the various similar beings in Aboriginal religion/mythology, and which continues to be celebrated by various groups to this day. Only the minimal information revealed in the Marvel stories, handbooks, and in-house files has been covered in the main portion, in addition to the various aliases, which received the blessing of Encyclopedia Mythologica author Anthony Flamini.
    My assumption would be that -- in Reality-616, at least -- there is either one Rainbow Serpent, with many interpretations, or that there are many "Rainbow Serpent" variants, with a parent or possibly gestalt Rainbow Serpent, covered in the Encyclopedia Mythologica and the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Aboriginal Gods entries. 
    It is unrevealed whether the Rainbow Serpent is the offspring, sibling, or other relationship to 
Altjira, the god of Alchera/Dreamtime.

    Most of the information in the comments below comes from Wikipedia, so I have only included basic/common ideas I have encountered. 

    The Rainbow Serpent is a common deity/archetype, often seen as a creator and/or fertility god(dess) and known by many names among the different Australians Aboriginal people. The serpent is viewed as a giver of life through its association with water, but can be a destructive force if angry. The Rainbow Serpent is one of the most common and well-known Aboriginal stories and is of great importance to Aboriginal society. Not all of the myths of the ancestral being link a rainbow with the snake and not all describe the being as a snake, but there is usually a link with water or rain. 

    The earliest known rock drawings of Rainbow Serpents in the real world date back to more than 6000 years ago.
    Though the concept of the Rainbow Serpent has existed for a very long time in Aboriginal Australian cultures, it was introduced to the wider world through the work of anthropologists. In fact, the name Rainbow Serpent or Rainbow Snake appears to have been coined in English by Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, an anthropologist who noticed the same concept going under different names among various Aboriginal Australian cultures, and called it "the rainbow-serpent myth of Australia." It has been suggested that this name implies that there is only one Rainbow Serpent, when the concept actually varies quite a bit from one Aboriginal culture to another, and should be properly called the Rainbow Serpent myths of Australia.

    It has also been suggested that the Serpent's position as the most prominent creator God in the Australian tradition has largely been the creation of non-Aboriginal anthropologists. Another error of the same kind is the way in which Western-educated people, with a cultural stereotype of Greco-Roman or Norse myths, tell the Aboriginal stories in the past tense. For the indigenous people of Australia, the stories are everywhen – past, present and future.

    Some sources associate the Rainbow Serpent not just with rainbows, but also with other things that generate spectral colors by diffracting light, such as rainbow quartz crystals and seashells. 

    A fertility god, in some cultures, the Rainbow Serpent is a male, while in others a female, a hermaphrodite, or ambiguous gender. Some sources associate the Rainbow Serpent with male or female genitalia and/or reproductive systems/processes.


The Rainbow Serpent is known by different names by the many different Aboriginal cultures.

Yurlunggur is the name of the "rainbow serpent" according to the Murngin (Yolngu) in north-eastern Arnhemland, also styled YurlungurYulunggurJurlungur, Julunggur or Julunggul. The Yurlunggur was considered "the great father.".

The serpent is called Witij/Wititj by the Galpu clan of the Dhangu people, one of Yolngu peoples.

Kanmare is the name of the great water serpent in Queensland among the Pitapita people of the Boulia District; it is apparently a giant carpet snake, and recorded under the name Cunmurra further south. The same snake is called Tulloun among the Mitakoodi (Maithakari). Two mythical Kooremah of the Mycoolon (Maikulan) tribe of Queensland, are cosmic carpet snakes 40 miles long, residing in watery realm of the dead, or on the pathway leading to it; this is probably equivalent to the rainbow snake also.

Other names include:

·        Bolung in the Northern Territory, by the Dangbon/Dalabon/Buan and Rembarrnga

·        muitj (var. Moitt, Muit ) in Central Arnhemland by the Rembarrnga, etc.

·        Ngalyod by the Kunwinjku

o   Yingarna, the original (female) Rainbow Serpent, whose son is Ngalyod, though these names may be used interchangeably

·        Dhakkan (or Takkan) by the Gubbi Gubbi (Kabi)

·        Andrénjinyi by the natives of Pennefather River, North Queensland

·        Kajura by the Ingarda

·        Goorialla by the Lardil people

·        Wanampi by the Aṉangu

·        Kunmanggur by the Murinbata

·        Numereji by the Kakadu (Gaagudju)

·        Taipan by the Wikmunkan

·        Wagyl by the Noongar

·        Wanamangura by the Thalanyji (Talainji)

·        Galeru

·        Langal

·        Myndie

·        Ungur

·        Wollunqua by the Warumungu

·        Wonambi

·        Wonungar

·        Worombi

·        Yero

    The "Godmobile" -- seen from Incredible Hercules#117-120 and derived from the shed skip of the Rainbow Serpent was destroyed in the battle against the Skrull gods, but it may receive its own profile at some point.

    In Aboriginal creation myth, the Earth always existed and the Aboriginal gods (primarily the Rainbow Serpent) used their powers to give form to the featureless, barren planet. So there is some interaction with Gaea, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a familial relationship.
    Yes, those Serpents of Many Colors from Conan are definitely inspired by the Aboriginal Rainbow Serpent. The names are clearly inspired by Aboriginal languages.
    --Anthony Flamini

    Here's a question that occurred to me over time. If the gods of Asgard are the Asgardians, the gods of Olympus the Olympians, and the gods of Heliopolis are the Heliopolitans, than why aren't the Aboriginal gods, who dwell in Alchera, the Alcherans?

    While most races of gods are descended from Gaea or have her involved early in their ancestry: 

It may be that it wasn't until Altjira sent the Aboriginal Gods to Earth that they met Gaea's various Aboriginal personas and worked with her to create the features of the physical world. In that sense, the Rainbow Serpent would be more of a contemporary/partner of Gaea. 
--paraphrased from Baiame comments from Anthony Flamini

    Some Australian/Aboriginal information, courtesy of the Marmoo profile by Grendel Prime:

    In the real world, Aboriginal Australians have a rich history spanning at least 50,000 years. At the time of British colonization and seizure of land (ca. 1788), there were about 400 different nations across the continent (and currently about 5000 different groups) with about 7000 different languages (and accordingly different names to various gods). Indigenous Australians are not currently confined to remote tribal groups.

    The Australian continent is roughly the size of the USA. Suggesting Indigenous Australian culture is homogeneous and has one language is as inappropriate as applying the same concepts to Native Americans.

Profile by Snood.

The Rainbow Serpent (Julunggul) is very likely associated with: 

images: (without ads)
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica: Aboriginal Gods - with the images of Narahdarn, Marmoo, Mamaragan, and Altjira grayed out and faded to accentuate the Rainbow Serpent by Loki.


All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#3 (March, 2006) - Jeff Christiansen (head writer/coordinator), Sean McQuaid, Mark O'English, Ronald Byrd, Michael Hoskin, Eric J. Moreels, Stuart Vandal, Bill Lentz,  Richard Green, Anthony Flamini, Barry Reese, Madison Carter, Mike Fichera & Chris Biggs (writers), Michael Short (assistant editor), Jeff Youngquist & Jennifer Grunwald (editors)

Incredible Hercules#117 (July, 2008) - Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (writers), Rafa Sandoval (penciler), Roger Bonet (inker), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica (2009), Anthony Flamini (head writer, coordinator), Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Paul Cornell (consulting writers), Ben Oliver (Aboriginal gods entry art), Jeff Youngquist (editor)

Official Hand
book of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover#14 (June, 2010) - Jeff Christiansen & Mike Fichera (head writers/coordinators), Markus Raymond & Mike O'Sullivan (coordination assistants), Stuart Vandal, Sean McQuaid, Michael Hoskin, Ronald Byrd, Markus Raymond, Mike O'Sullivan, Madison Carter, Kevin Garcia, Gabriel Shechter, Jacob Rougemont, Rob London, Rich Green, Chris Biggs, David Wiltfong, Jeph York, Mark O'English, & Mike Gagnon (writers), John Denning (associate editor), Alex Starbuck (assistant editor), Theodore Kutt (copy editor), Mark D. Beazley (editor, special projects), Jeff Youngquist & Jennifer Grunwald (editor)

First posted: 12/09/2022
Last updated: 12/09/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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