Classification: Extraterrestrial radioactive stones; previously extraterrestrial technology powered by the same stones
Creator: None; the technology was built by unidentified extraterrestrials and repurposed by unidentified Wakandans
User/Possessors: Death Regiments, Emperor N'Jadaka (with symbiote), Erik Killmonger (N'Jadaka), Everett K. Ross, Sombre, Tetu, Zenzi, unidentified extraterrestrial criminals, unidentified Wakandans
Location: Serpent Valley, Wakanda (previously Land of the Chilling Mist, Wakanda; see comments)
First Appearance: Jungle Action II#12 (November, 1974)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Resurrection Altar was built on top of a cavern, which housed the remains of a burnt-out star. These stones emitted quasar-like rays, which bathed whoever laid on the altar in strange energies. Though these rays were deadly to most, it caused a variety of mutations in others and could even bring the dead back to life.
The energies of the Resurrection Altar even work without the extraterrestrial technology built on top of the cavern. It is unknown how the energies can be coerced to do the bidding of those seeking to resurrect someone (probably ritualistic magic).
The extraterrestrial "altar" was originally built as a portal to another planet, but for some unknown reason it had not worked properly for a very long time.
(Jungle Action II#12 (fb) - BTS) - At some point in the past a piece of a burnt-out star crashed to Earth in Wakanda. The Resurrection Altar was built above it.
(Black Panther III#25 (fb) - BTS) - Apparently millions of years ago extraterrestrial explorers built a massive temple as a gateway to a distant planet on top of the star piece (a Stargate?).
(Jungle Action II#12 (fb) - BTS) - Erik Killmonger led a revolution and offered many the chance to gain superhuman abilities by being exposed to the energies of the Resurrection Altar. Many took a shot at it because they were not content with who they were.
(Jungle Action II#15 (fb) - BTS) - Many were killed by the Resurrection Altar's radioactive rays.
(Black Panther III#21 (fb) - BTS) - While others received powers beyond their dreams.
(Jungle Action II#12 (fb) - BTS) - Sombre was mutated by the energies of the Resurrection Altar and became the altar's oracle. He had been exposed to the rays so long that his body had become wraith-like.
(Jungle Action II#8 (fb) - BTS) - Malice was apparently mutated by the energies of the Resurrection Altar.
(Jungle Action II#9 (fb) - BTS) - Baron Macabre was apparently mutated by the energies of the Resurrection Altar.
(Jungle Action II#10 (fb) BTS) - King Cadaver was mutated by the energies of the Resurrection Altar.
(Jungle Action II#12 (fb) BTS) - The first time King Cadaver was strapped to the altar he was still a normal man and screamed while the radioactive energy turned his human features to hot liquid before resolidifying it into new shapes within and without. He died that day and was resurrected as a monstrous looking mutate with psychic abilities.
(Jungle Action II#15 (fb) - BTS) - Salamander K'ruel was mutated by the energies of the Resurrection Altar. He only became aware that many had died during the process after he had been strapped to the altar.
(Jungle Action II#12) - Kazibe and Tayete led Black Panther through the Land of the Chilling Mist to the Resurrection Altar.
Meanwhile Killmonger arrived at the Resurrection Altar with King Cadaver, Preyy and many of his soldiers. They were welcomed at the entry by Sombre, who soon started the ritual inside on King Cadaver once again. Bound to the Resurrection Altar King Cadaver didn't scream this time around because he wasn't human anymore and didn't care how much further his physical appearance would be mutated. Black Panther arrived and a battle erupted between him and Killmonger. Black Panther was nearly thrown into the pit below the Resurrection Altar, but he managed to jump off the wall and back to the top, landing on the Resurrection Altar, which still had King Cadaver on it. Sombre touched Black Panther's shoulder with his acid touch to knock him out.
(Jungle Action II#13 - BTS) - Black Panther returned to the Resurrection Altar and attacked Jakak and Wenzori, who guarded the entrance and had been with Killmonger when he had left the Black Panther in the frozen wastes to be eaten by wolves. Black Panther beat them up, but didn't learn from them why Killmonger had not exposed more people to the Resurrection Altar's rays. Black Panther followed a trek through the snow that led away from the Resurrection Altar and he wondered if it was created by someone else Killmonger had exposed to the powers of the Resurrection Altar (it was actually White Gorillas).
(Black Panther III#25 (fb) - BTS) - For years Black Panther had scientists study the Resurrection Altar's properties to find a benevolent use for its energies. During that time Black Panther stayed reluctant to destroy it.
(Black Panther III#21 (fb)) - Members of the Death Regiments brought the remains of Erik Killmonger to the Resurrection Altar. There one of them was laid on the Resurrection Altar and was poisoned. A priest sprinkled the ashes of Killmonger on the corpse while the others drank poison to sacrifice their life to the gods of the altar. Their plan worked and Killmonger's spirit entered the corpse on the altar, which was revived on the altar. Outside the temple Killmonger took a horse and rode away.
(Black Panther III#19 (fb) - BTS) - Killmonger subjected dozens of men to the energies of the Resurrection Altar to create an army of mutated soldiers.
(Black Panther III#18 - BTS) - Black Panther (T'Challa) sent Brother Voodoo to the Resurrection Altar with Zuri as his guide because he was sure it was there that N'Jadaka had been brought back to life and Brother Voodoo feared that more would follow because the altar had apparently opened portals between the realms of the living and the dead.
Brother Voodoo started to meditate inside the temple of the Resurrection Altar.
(Black Panther III#25 (fb) - BTS) - Brother Voodoo sealed the mystic portals between the world of the living and the dead.
(Black Panther III#18) - Black Panther arrived at the Resurrection Altar in the jungle surrounding the temple. Zuri told him that Brother Voodoo was meditating inside and that he considered this little journey a fool's errand. Moments later Killmonger and his undead army arrived with Monica Lynne as hostage. Zuri was shot by Killmonger with an energy blast from a wrist blaster.
(Black Panther III#19) - Black Panther battled the Death Regiments and Killmonger inside the temple. During the battle Brother Voodoo sent the spirit of his dead brother Daniel Drumm out to possess Killmonger. Under Daniel's control Killmonger shot all Death Regiments members on floating platforms. While they regrouped in the temple, Black Panther decided to move their fight with Killmonger to Warrior Falls where they first faced off in battle.
Meanwhile Everett Ross, Queen Divine Justice and Okoye were attacked by Death Regiments members in the United States and discovered that they were zombies with worms in their heads.
(Black Panther III#21 - BTS) - Black Panther (T'Challa) ended up in a coma after he took a beating from Killmonger. Everett Ross suggested taking him to the Resurrection Altar after Brother Voodoo explained to Ross how Killmonger had returned from the dead. Brother Voodoo made it clear to Ross that this was not an option because the Resurrection Altar was a place of great evil according to him.
(Black Panther III#25 (fb) - BTS) - Black Panther finally decided to have the Resurrection Altar destroyed.
Alien criminals sent to Earth during the Maximum Security events secretly restored the original purpose of the Resurrection Altar as a portal to a distant planet.
(Black Panther III#25) - Black Panther and Queen Divine Justice waited at the Resurrection Altar for the arrival of Everett Ross, who planned to use the altar to resurrect his girlfriend/boss Nikki Adams (she had been killed by Malice/Nakia). The Black Panther told him that it wouldn't work, but Ross didn't want to listen and carried her up the stairs. Okoye arrived in a fighter jet to blow up the temple, but was shot down by aliens (this was during Maximum Security). Black Panther and Queen Divine Justice fought the aliens while Ross brought Nikki inside the temple and laid her down on the altar. The altar was raised and Nikki was resurrected, but with superhuman abilities (shooting energy blasts from her eyes). The portal to a distant planet opened and extraterrestrial police immediately attacked the alien criminals. Ross, Nikki and Black Panther were stuck in the middle of all of it and made it outside the counterpart to Wakanda's Resurrection Altar temple on the distant planet. Authorities on the distant planet destroyed the counterpart of Wakanda's temple and nearly blew Black Panther and Ross into outer space. Nikki landed back on the altar, which was the only piece standing in the end. The altar was destroyed as well when Black Panther tossed Ross against it.
(Black Panther III#25 - BTS) - After the destruction of the Resurrection Altar Ross and Black Panther were taken back to Earth by the extraterrestrial cops.
(Black Panther III#26) - While Wakandans cleaned up the remains of the temple the alien criminals were rounded up and arrested by Barney Fiddler of the Commission on Superhuman Activities and his forces.
SECRET WARS III HAPPENED
(Black Panther VII#17 (fb) - BTS) - A group of guardians were assigned to the Resurrection Altar.
(Black Panther VII#17) - Tetu opened a portal to the Serpent Valley. He passed through the portal accompanied by Zenzi, Changamire, who was possessed by the symbiote that had previously controlled the Intergalactic Wakandan Empire's Emperor N'Jadaka, and four soldiers, who carried the coffin of Erik Killmonger. "Changamire" asked the Guardians of the Resurrection Altar to bow before him, but the guardians had actually been replaced by Black Panther (T'Challa), Captain M'Baku of the Maroons, Okoye and Shuri. They quickly defeated the soldiers, Zenzi and "Changamire," but then Tetu opened a large portal for an army of Askari to come through.
(Black Panther VII#19) - Even with the help of the Dora Milaje's Midnight Angels, Black Panther and his allies failed to stop the resurrection of Erik Killmonger. His coffin was placed on the altar, the symbiote-controlled Changamire laid down next to it, the symbiote slithered inside the coffin and then Zenzi and the soldiers raised their hands while standing next to the altar. They watched as a light engulfed the altar and moments later Erik Killmonger broke out of the coffin with the symbiote of Emperor N'Jadaka merged with him.
Comments: Created by Don McGregor, Billy Graham & Klaus Janson.
M'Baku's resurrection possibly had something to do with the Resurrection Altar as well. Though it is possible that it was just Baron Macabre, who has apparently gained the ability to resurrect people for real at some point. Check out Man-Ape (M'Baku)'s own profile!
I looked up what kind of energy a quasar emits and it is interesting. Apparently the radiation released by quasars span the whole electromagnetic spectrum. Radio waves, microwaves, ultraviolet, X-Rays and even gamma rays. It is not too surprising that people are mutated, killed or resurrected by these in the Marvel Universe. I even believe Brother Voodoo that these rays caused a tear between the realm of the dead and the living.
Climate change be damned! In the Resurrection Altar's original appearance in Jungle Action II#12 only a small entrance to the altar was seen. Apparently the temple was submerged in snow and ice at the time because it was located in the Chasm (or Land) of the Chilling Mist.
In Black Panther III#18-19, 21 and 25 the massive temple that housed the actual Resurrection Altar was seen. In #18-19 it seemed to be the middle of a lush jungle. In #21 this was explained in the artwork in a flashback that showed that only in the temple close vicinity plant life existed and the whole area was still surrounded by snow and ice. In #25 the green was gone and we were back to ice and snow, but the temple was still there.
The next time we see the Resurrection Altar it was only the center piece -- the pit with the unseen star piece inside. It was now located in the Serpent Valley, which looked like a desert.
The Black Panther probably went through with the destruction of the temple after III#25 and the only thing that could not be destroyed was the power source and the actual reason behind the mutations and resurrections. The Guardians of the Resurrection Altar became a thing because it was needed to guard the damn pit. In #17 smoke was seen emanating from the open pit and in #19 it was completely closed. It seems like the Wakandans put a lid on the pit.
But why was the Resurrection Altar now in Serpent Valley? It was adjacent to the Chasm of the Chilling Mist (see map on the right), but it was not the original location. Maybe climate change caused the Chasm of the Chilling Mist to not be so chilling anymore and because it had become a desert the Wakandans decided to drop the name and just add it to the Serpent Valley. It is possible that the exposed altar could have even been the reason for the massive climate change. First signs could be seen when the ice and snow that had originally surrounded the temple was gone and a jungle started growing outside.
Though is possible that the temple was just dug out from the ice and snow after Jungle Action II#12 by Killmonger's remaining Death Regiment soldiers. This still doesn't explain the jungle in close proximity to the temple. I still blame the restorative abilities of the altar for that.
I have also a quick note on the map on the right. It shows Wakanda next to the Atlantic Ocean (probably somewhere around Cameroon or Nigeria in the real world), which would place it on the West Coast of Africa. This is not the case anymore! These days Wakanda is located on the left of Lake Victoria near the East Coast. In the real world it would now be part of Tanzania or Uganda. There are also a bunch of other fictional Marvel nations around Wakanda like Canaan and Azania, who would be were the Atlantic Ocean was shown on this old map from Jungle Action.
Wakanda at the Atlantic Ocean was still believed to be the case around Reginald Hudlin's run on Black Panther as far as I know because I doubt America could get an aircraft carrier to Lake Victoria and the Deathloks the American dropped into the ocean reached Wakanda directly from the ocean. This storyline was also the one that was not really meant to be part of regular continuity and caused massive problems in that regard.
Thanks to David Zuckerman for the image of Wheeler's jacket in Daredevil I#245 (August, 1987), which I believe marks the first time the land was shown near the East Coast.
Profile by Markus Raymond.
The Resurrection Altar has no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Jungle Action II#12, p8, pan1 (King Cadaver on altar)
Jungle Aciton II#12, p5, pan5 (entrance on top of the "mountain")
Black Panther III#21, p8, pan1 (whole temple)
Black Panther III#19, p4 (altar)
Black Panther III#25, p7, pan2 (entrance)
Black Panther VII#17, p14, pan3 (modern Resurrection Altar, open)
Black Panther VII#19, p16, pan1 (modern Resurrection Altar, closed)
Jungle Action II#6, p14, pan1 (Wakandan map from Jungle Action)
Daredevil I#245, p1 (Wakanda on map on jacket)
Marvel Atlas#2, Wakanda entry (map, Wakanda location)
Black Panther VII#4, p21 (Wakanda map, bordering countries)
Wakanda Atlas, p12 (part of Wakanda map with Serpent Valley location)
Jungle Action I#12 (November, 1974) - Don McGregor (writer), Billy Graham (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Jungle Action I#13 (January, 1975) - Don McGregor (writer), Billy Graham (pencils), Craig Russell (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Jungle Action I#15 (May, 1975) - Don McGregor (writer), Billy Graham (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Black Panther III#19-21 (June-August, 2000) - Christopher Priest (writer), Sal Velluto (pencils), Bob Almond (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Black Panther III#25 (December, 2000) - Christopher Priest (writer), Sal Velluto (pencils), Bob Almond (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Black Panther III#26 (January, 2001) - Christopher Priest (writer), Sal Velluto (pencils), Bob Almond (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Black Panther VII#17 (December, 2019) - Ta-Nehisi Coates (writer), Daniel Acuña (artist), Wil Moss (editor)
Black Panther VII#19 (February, 2020) - Ta-Nehisi Coates (writer), Ryan Bodenheim (artist), Wil Moss (editor)
First Posted: 10/25/2022
Last updated: 04/27/2023
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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