…Gateway’s origin?

Figure 01

Before Chris Claremont was unceremoniously fired from the X-titles by Bob Harras, we never learnt the origins of the mutant aborigine Gateway or the details behind the “geas” binding him to the land surrounding the abandoned mining town that served as the Reavers’ outback headquarters.

In the letters page of Uncanny X-Men #229 it says this about Gateway:

"And the full truth won't be known about Gateway for quite some time – which just might cost the X-Men dearly!" (letters page of Uncanny X-Men #229)

“And the full truth won’t be known about Gateway for quite some time – which just might cost the X-Men dearly!” (letters page of Uncanny X-Men #229)

Cryptic hint there in that last sentence, wouldn’t you say?  What “full truth” is going to cost the X-Men dearly?? When we meet Gateway in #229, he is providing the villainous Reavers use of his teleporting powers.  But why? Reaver leader Bonebreaker knows something about Gateway, saying on Page 9:

"Don't mind. He can look any which way he pleases... so long as he does what he's told. But mark me, Gateway-- any funny stuff, an' the Reavers'll trash your Holy Place beyond all hope o-' reconsecration-- an' then your people will NEVER know peace. They'll wander the Dreamlands, slave to OUTSIGN SPIRITS, to the end of time an' beyond!" (cf. Uncanny X-Men #229, p.9)

“Don’t mind. He can look any which way he pleases… so long as he does what he’s told. But mark me, Gateway– any funny stuff, an’ the Reavers’ll trash your Holy Place beyond all hope o’ reconsecration– an’ then your people will NEVER know peace. They’ll wander the Dreamlands, slave to OUTSIGN SPIRITS, to the end of time an’ beyond!” (cf. Uncanny X-Men #229, p.9)

Gateway stares at Bonebreaker with barely hidden contempt.  Reading the above quote, the “Holy Place” Bonebreaker mentions is obviously the land surrounding the outback town, where the spirits of Gateway’s ancestors reside.  What’s further interesting about this quote is that the Dreamlands, the usual resting place for all ancestral spirit beings in Australian Aboriginal mythology, according to Bonebreaker are threatened by “outsign spirits”.

So just what are these “outsign spirits” threatening the Dreamlands?

The next time Claremont refers to the Aboriginal Dreamtime, also known as Alchera, being under threat is when the Shadow King kidnaps Gateway in X-Treme X-Men Annual 2001 in an effort to access the totality of time-space and all of creation through it.

Figure 04

Interesting to note  in this Annual is that Donald Pierce, leader of the Reavers, is revealed to have been among the Shadow King’s many hosts.

Figure 05

So was the Shadow King one of the “outsign spirits” Bonebreaker refers to, and the Reaver’s threat to Gateway concerns the Shadow King enslaving his ancestors if he didn’t serve their villainous needs?

Other mysteries surrounding this whole Claremont plot include the origins of the Australian Outback town itself and the land surrounding it.

Figure 06

So what were the origins of the town, and for that matter the Reavers’ base?

Well first up, the saloon in the town is shown with a signpost atop it with the year 1890 inscribed…

Figure 07

…a period when there had been regular massacres of Aboriginal people by white settlers in Australia. This initially made me consider the significance of the town to be that white settlers had massacred Gateway’s people and had further desecrated the land by building their town over it.

However, if we go back to Bonebreaker’s quote in Uncanny X-Men #229, he threatens to desecrate their Holy Place (FUTURE TENSE), not that it has already been desecrated (PAST or PRESENT TENSE)!

Then there is the mystery of the technology of the Reavers’ base.  The underground computer system in particular is technologically advanced – moreso than that of the X-Mansion –

Figure 08

so advanced in fact that it teaches Madelyne how to operate it – something she found eerily convenient.

Figure 09

Among its many other advanced features it once tapped into Madelyne’s dreams and displayed them on its monitors, suggesting it had the ability to psionically scan minds and translate this into visual images.

Figure 10

However, this ability only manifested after Madelyne appeared to have made contact with Limbo and there is evidence that S’ym and N’astirh could perform this trick with other devices, during one instance while Madelyne was away from the Outback…

Figure 11

…N’astirh contacted her over a computer monitor on the island of Genosha in Uncanny X-Men #236.

Figure 12

In addition to being possibly self-aware and connected to Limbo, the computer appeared to be self-repairing as well.  It was perhaps even organic, the monitor twice repairing itself after a user damaged it; once at the hands of Madelyne in Uncanny X-Men #234…

Figure 13

..and once by Havok in Uncanny X-Men #249.

Figure 14a

Figure 14b

Then after the Reavers retook the town, they observed that the computer system seemed to be growing on its own.

Figure 15a

Figure 15b

This self-repairing ability would seem analogous to Sentinel technology (i.e. Master Mold as shown in Uncanny X-Men #246)…

Figure 16

…or the Transmode Virus, and given the demon N’astirh had during Inferno been shown to have been infected by this virus…

Figure 17

…this could suggest his seduction of Madelyne through its systems spread the virus enough that the system’s former operator, Bonebreaker, would understandably show surprise at its new programming language and note its growth being comparable to that of a living organism (see above).

But what of the computer’s advanced technology shown prior to its potential infection by the Transmode Virus, and that beyond Bonebreakers’ modifications?  Does a clue lie in Uncanny X-Men #253?  The other Reaver besides Bonebreaker that demonstrates knowledge operating the computer’s systems in this issue is Lady Deathstrike, particularly its comprehensive surveillance system, which she refers to as “Spyeye”.

Figure 18

Now where have we heard that before?  This is the term by which Psylocke’s prosthetic set of cybernetic eyeballs Spiral implanted to replace those blinded by Slaymaster – which also functioned as cameras allowing Mojo to spy on the X-Men – were referred by Mojo and Spiral.

Figure 19

Considering Lady Deathstrike was cybernetically enhanced by Spiral to become a member of the Reavers…

Figure 20

…I’d posit the technology behind their base’s computer system, with its advanced cameras, etc., could be from Mojoworld and have been purchased from Spiral by Donald Pierce.

But back to the “outsign spirits” Bonebreaker refers to, which, sadly, the explanation for has been RIGHT THERE in another tale from Marvel’s history.

This tale requires us to travel to Wakanda for a moment where after the vibranium meteor fell there, as revealed by T’Challa in Black Panther #7…

Figure 21a

…it emitted radiation causing mutations in small portions of the population, turning them into “demon spirits” who attacked their fellow tribe members.

Figure 21b

T’Challa’s ancestor, Bashenga, declared the vibranium mound too dangerous closing it to outsiders, and formed the Panther Cult to guard over it thus preventing others from being transformed by it into “demon spirits” and spreading across the kingdom.

Figure 21c

I would therefore suggest that the “outsign spirits” to whom Bonebreaker refers were Aborigines similarly transformed by a vibranium meteor that fell in the Australian Outback.

This raises another question, that being where is the vibranium meteor now?  In order to answer this, I must continue to try explaining the mystery behind the Australian Outback town.

It is worth noting that a vast, sprawling complex lies hidden beneath the town where the Reavers established their base; the buildings connected to each other by a series of underground tunnels and a sewer system, in addition to massive vaults.

Figure 22

These catacombs – obviously predating the Reavers’ arrival – are indicative of abandoned mining corridors.

Does this therefore suggest that white settlers had discovered small vibranium deposits and so decided to establish a mining town on the site (that was the land of Gateway’s ancestors)?

I’ll get to this mystery soon but will first try to answer where the vibranium meteor had fallen in the Australian Outback.

When it comes to Gateway, he spends virtually every moment we saw him - during Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men run – sitting atop a rock not unlike Uluru.

Figure 23

It is interesting to note that Uluru, a mineral rich monolith arising from the heart of Australia…

Figure 24

…used to be believed by people to be a meteorite.  So was Claremont aware of this theory and decided to reveal the similar monolith overlooking the town as a vibranium mound?

Might this further suggest Claremont intended to reveal Gateway’s power as a product of the mutagenic properties of a vibranium mound?  In addition to Gateway being somehow indebted to the Reavers, Uncanny X-Men #269 revealed that a “geas” bound him to the place to perform some task.

Figure 25

I would posit that this was equivalent to the sacred duty of the Panther Cult in Wakanda and was placed upon him by his spirit ancestors to ensure he guarded over the monolithic vibranium mound to prevent the “outsign spirits” from breaking free to control the Dreamlands.  To substantiate this theory I’d ask you to recall how during Claremont’s Outback era Gateway is shown to firstly never leave the vicinity of the rock…

Figure 26

…and secondly regularly use a bull-roarer, a sacred object known for its ability in Australian Aboriginal culture to ward off evil spirits.

Figure 27

While writers since Claremont have attempted to place the location of the town and its surrounding land in Western Australia, the town’s high-tech computer systems were to me a more reliable source of information, and they place the town somewhere in North Central Australia.

Figure 28a

Figure 28b

Readers can, I suppose, be forgiven for buying bulldust written by later writers given their lack of familiarity with Australian geography (though for goodness sake if the giant rock Gateway sat atop wasn’t a clue), but a little research about Australian indigenous religion would reveal Gateway’s use of the bull-roarer also held the answer to the location of the town in addition to the identity of his people’s tribal group.  You see, the bull-roarer, also known as a Churinga, is an object of religious significance used only by North Central Australian indigenous people of the Arrernte groups, who are the traditional custodians of the Arrernte lands which lies roughly between Alice Springs and Uluru.

Now back to the mining town, the explanation for who mined the vibranium mound has been RIGHT THERE… and perhaps answers the real reason why Donald Pierce had established the Reavers’ base in this particular Australian Outback town.  Recall that in Marvel Graphic Novel #4, introducing the New Mutants, the mine young Samuel Guthrie gained employment at after the death of his father in Cameron, Kentucky was owned by Pierce-Consolidated Mining, the company responsible for providing Donald with his vast financial resources which made him eligible for membership in the Hellfire Club.

Figure 29

Since Pierce was a pawn of the Shadow King at the time, and probably had been since becoming a member of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club given the Shadow King had been its lord imperial…

Figure 30

…I would posit he had been manipulated to establish the underground complex in the town for purpose of mining the vibranium there; and Pierce had encouraged his original Reavers using it as their base of operations for their international heists to conceal its true function.

But what did the Shadow King want with Vibranium?

Well recall throughout most of his appearances during Claremont’s run how the Shadow King had been pursuing Storm for many years?

Figure 31

Toward the end of his run, in Uncanny X-Men #265, further hints were dropped as to what was behind this bizarre obsession when the Shadow King claimed she had been promised to him long ago.

Figure 32

With it then being shown in Uncanny X-Men #253 that the Shadow King had Gateway bound for some time, could this finally explain what he was attempting all along?

Figure 33a

Figure 33bNow recall that both Ororo’s mother N’Dare’s tribe was in Kenya and Wakanda is likewise obviously meant to be in Kenya – what with its name being evocative of the Wakamba tribe of Kenya.  However, Wakanda is a patriarchy, the title of Black Panther prior to T’Challa always having gone to the nation’s king, whereas N’Dare was a princess in a matriarchal tribe.

Figure 34

This raises the question of how N’Dare’s tribe became a matriarchy.  Might it stem back to the incident in Wakanda?  That is, was N’Dare’s tribe originally a clan of the territory that was cut off when Bashenga founded the nation of Wakanda around the area of the vibranium mound to prevent the spread of “demon spirits” across the kingdom?  And was the Shadow King leader of a clan who was mutated into a “demon spirit” by radiation from the mound?  Were the males of this clan perhaps more susceptible to being transformed into “demon spirits” and did the surviving clan go on to became a matriarchy after this incident? And is this why the Shadow King was so intent on gaining possession of Ororo, so he could unseat the ancient line of sorceresses and reinstate himself as rightful heir to the tribe’s mystical power, after which he intends to return to Wakanda to release his demon brethren?  A closely guarded secret of the royal family of Wakanda is that pure vibranium can amplify magical abilities exponentially, so had whom Farouk had been back then discovered this and made his way to the mound to increase the power of some spell, which led to his becoming a being of pure psionic energy, further prompting Bashenga’s formation of the Black Panther Cult to guard the sacred mound containing it?

If this was the case why did he then need to manipulate Donald Pierce and force Gateway into his servitude?

Well recall he had been defeated at every turn in his efforts to possess Storm, so had he turned his attentions to the Sacred Mound in Australia as a backup?  That is, by firstly employing Pierce to mine the site the mound would be uncovered and the “outsign spirits” equivalent to his demon brethren would be released and enslave Gateway’s spirit ancestors, thereby shifting them off the board so he could go on to conquer the Dreamtime, perhaps providing him with a back door to Wakanda.

Whatever the case may be, the remaining question in this overall plot requiring an intellectually-satisfying answer is where did the vibranium meteor originate from?  With my fix suggesting Storm’s ancestry as Faltine, I began entertaining the idea that Vibranium had come to reside on Earth as a result of an ancient Wakandan cult summoning it from some Dark Dimension by performing some dark ritual; and that the leader of this ancient cult was a member of Bashenga’s tribe who would go on to become the Shadow King as a result of the meteor’s radiation.

But this didn’t sit quite right with me, and I recalled how the Vibranium mound was shown in Black Panther #7 to transform at least one member of Bashenga’s tribe into a great red demon with tough, leathery skin and razor-sharp claws…

Figure 35

…leading me to think of Kierrok, and whether the vibranium meteor had been summoned by the ancient Wakandan cult from the N’Garai dimension?  And were those of Bashenga’s tribe who were transformed into “demon spirits” members of this mystical cult and their leader mutated into a demon of pure psionic energy?

However, I still found myself not entirely satisfied with this explanation, and began returning my thoughts to the Arrernte people above and how their term for the Dreaming is the Alchera, a name etymologically similar to the spirit plane called the Alshra…

Figure 36a

…introduced by Claremont’s partner in Arthurian crime, Alan Davis, in the Wolverine 1990 annual, Bloodlust.

Figure 36b

Figure 36c

In this tale, a group of the Neuri tribe are draining energy from the spirit plane following their transformation into “demon spirits” after feasting on human flesh…

Figure 36d

Figure 36e

…a concept identical to that more famous Marvel spirit demon, Wendigo.  It is worth noting that the curse of the Wendigo is referred to as a “curse of the Elder Gods” in Monsters Unleashed #9.

Figure 37

As it’s written by Claremont, that would seem to tie the Wendigo to the N’Garai.

So if the N’Garai are responsible for this “demon spirit” does this suggest they are responsible for all “demon spirits” in the Marvel Universe and are exposing those they corrupt into demons with raw vibranium?  Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #22, also written by Claremont, reveals that many millennia ago, long before the Great Cataclysm which sank Atlantis, humanity was enslaved by the N’Garai, serving as their workers.

Figure 38

It has never been revealed what work it was that humans were forced to perform for the N’Garai, but I’d posit based on the above that it was mining vibranium for them.

This would seem to suggest that the N’Garai had conquered Earth for the purpose of mining its vibranium deposits, which would mean the vibranium meteor had obviously not come from their dimension.

That is, unless the N’Garai were not otherdimensional demons at all but rather our ancient ancestors, and like later “demon spirits” were similarly transformed by the vibranium deposits!

But if the N’Garai were birthed on Earth, this still leaves unresolved the question of where the vibranium meteor originates from.

While vibranium does not obviously originate from the dimension the N’Garai were banished to (by Satana’s father according to Marvel Preview #7), was there more to their interest in Limbo than just using it as a “stepping stone” back to Earth?  Now recall that Limbo was a place with an ecology composed primarily of demons, and outsiders who come to be lost/ trapped there similarly develop a demonic appearance.

Figure 39

So might this finally explain not only the mystery of the source of the massive meteor made up of the sound-absorbing mineral vibranium that crashed on Earth, but what was responsible for transforming travellers becoming trapped in Limbo?

To those who made it this far you’ve been wondering “He completely overlooked the Savage Land variant (aka. Anti-Metal)”!   To which I answer “Oh ye of little faith” and posit that Antarctica vibranium, while appearing different due to it destroying other metals by its presence as opposed to the Wakandan version which absorbs energy/ vibrations, has much more in common with it than previously believed.

Figure 40a

Figure 40b

In promoting this theory I’d draw your attention to Ka-Zar the Savage #11, which is set in Pangaea, the semi-tropical paradise hidden in the icy reaches of Antarctica built as an amusement park by the ancient Atlanteans before Atlantis fell, its virtually indestructible machinery keeping the cold at bay.

Figure 41

In this tale we learn this to be the place the N’Garai directed Belasco to for performing a ritual to summon them to Earth.  In his supposed efforts, Belasco formed vast tunnels deep into the caverns of the valley, but I’d alternatively posit he did this with the intention of mining the Anti-Metal for his N’Garai Masters who had previously enslaved humanity to mine it for them before the Great Cataclysm.  Then as is the pattern, upon exposure to pure deposits of the element, he begins developing a demonic appearance.

Figure 42

This tale also introduces the Children of Dis, an underground yellow-skinned humanoid race are identical to Moloids in appearance…

Figure 45a

…save for the power to emit bursts of energy through their eyes, are said to be descendants of Dante’s crew mutated by Belasco.

Figure 45b

But what if he instead had enslaved them to work in the mines and their mutation was from exposure to the Antartic vibranium?  Given their appearance this could further overturn the shoe-horned origin for the Moloids and Tyrannoids – that they were created through Celestial science by the Deviants – and alternatively align it more to their creator, Jack Kirby’s plot of Vibranium as a major source of mutation in the Marvel Universe (still retaining the Deviants but not as creations of the Celestials but rather vibranium mutates who formed their own race).

And here Kirby spells it out in black & pink, Vibranium abilities drawing on energy from Limbo!

And here Kirby spells it out in black & pink, Vibranium abilities drawing on energy from Limbo!

The Children of Dis (hereafter Disoids;) emitting bursts of energy through their eyes further brings to mind those denizens of the Dark Dimension, the Mindless Ones.

Figure 45c

And like the Moloids, Tyrannoids and Disoids, the Mindless Ones are a slave-race summoned to do the bidding of others.   Might this suggest they were originally a cult of wizards who sought out a sacred mound to amplify some spell which similarly transformed them into “demon spirits”!?  And might this further explain how the realm that later became the Dark Dimension got wiped out half a million years ago?  That is, upon being transformed, these mindless wizards were perhaps compelled, like Jakarra, to enter the vibranium mound in that universe; generating a shockwave so massive it shattered the dimension, creating warps into pocket universes?  I’d further posit that the Mindless Ones managed to somehow survive this cataclysm and their continued attempts at shattering the Dark Dimension’s great mystical barrier is in an effort to access the warps into pocket universes so they can seek out more stores of vibranium.  Which leads me to finally conclude that Vibranium originates from this realm and the cataclysm that destroyed it sent meteors of the stuff through the warps it created into pocket universes…

Figure 44

…which is how it ended up in Wakanda, Antarctica, the heart of Australia and various other locations.  It’s interesting to note in Marvel Preview #7 the N’Garai were revealed as being defeated and driven from the Earth by the forces of Heaven, led by the angel Lucifer (Satana’s father), prior to his fall.  Humanity subsequently gained its freedom.  Given we are now to a point that Vibranium originated from the realm that became the Dark Dimension, and the Faltine conquer this dimension in an effort to keep the Mindless Ones from setting off further cataclysms in pocket universes in their pursuit of vibranium, might Lucifer and his host have known to drive the N’Garai from Earth because they were likewise aware of how the Dark Dimension came to be?  As to how, recall in Ghost Rider, and then Son of Satan, he had very similar facial features to Dormammu, including the flaming head.  I’d therefore posit that these flames were the flames of regency and Lucifer was the first Regent of the Dark Dimension!

Now back to Ka-Zar the Savage #11 where I’d like to point out that the story in this issue, which is the foundation from which Claremont builds his “Return of the Elder Gods” subplot on (i.e. Belasco’s efforts to free the N’Garai from their dimensional imprisonment), is titled “Children of the Damned”.  This is of particular note when you recall his regular use of the term “Damned” when referring to these demons, e.g. Kierrok THE DAMNED, the Shiatra Book of THE DAMNED and don’t get me started on Prince Gaynor the Damned (from the Conan the Barbarian story introducing Kulan Gath, another sorcerer Claremont would go on to use and reveal as a High Priest of the N’Garai).  By using this term it would appear he is suggesting this whole connection between the N’Garai and demonic transformation from exposure to “pure vibranium”.

In this same issue Pangaea’s rides and attractions began attacking Ka-Zar and crew (which they blamed on Belasco).

Figure 45

But what if their exposure to vibranium was likewise causing this?  What do inanimate objects attacking and devouring people remind you of?  The answer of course is Inferno, when the whole of New York City became demonically possessed!  Pangaea’s amusement park interestingly does resemble Dante’s Inferno, even to the extent of its entranceway having the inscription… Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

Figure 43

So does this suggest the rides and attractions the park possessed by “demon spirits” too, and this was also caused by the vibranium exposure?  And if this is the case, does this finally explain why the Reavers’ computer system appeared to be growing on its own, with its former operator, Bonebreaker, comparing it to a living organism?  You’d have to agree this is a much better fix than my above suggestion of Mojoworld technology since it links it directly to the overall matter for discussion, that is, Vibranium being another source of mutation in the Marvel Universe.

And given the Atlanteans had extremely advanced technology in the lead-up to the Great Cataclysm, was the “orichalcum” they used as an energy source, including to power their vailixi, actually “vibranium” which they mined causing members of their race to mutate into “demon spirits” who were then banished by King of Atlantis, Kamuu. I’d further posit these “demon spirits” went on to conquer Lemuria and then storm the domed capital city of Atlantis under which the Vibranium mound perhaps was.

Figure 47

And the final cataclysm that sank both continents was a result of one of these “demon spirits” entering the mound, analogous to when Jakarra, T’Challa’s half-brother, was compelled to journey to the Sacred Mound after his transformation into a “demon spirit” which would unwittingly generate a cataclysmic shockwave so powerful it could destroy the earth.  Interesting to note here is that Plato’s Critias refers to orichalcum sparkling “like fire” and flashing with “red light”, which immediately brings to mind the sound constructs used by the Black Panther’s oldest foe, Klaw.  So there’s one more box ticked!

And of further note is how the young homo mermani also named Kamuu, who’d taken up the Sword of Kamuu after finding it in the sunken ruins of  Atlantis, was visited by the spirits of his air-breathing predecessors King Kamuu and Queen Zartra.

Figure 48

So had they crossed over to the spirit plane like Gateway’s ancestors, and the Lemurian “demon spirits” compelled to return to the sacred mound under Atlantis to bring about the cataclysm in an effort to access the Dreamtime/ Alchera/ Alshra and conquer and enslave the spirit world?

While on the subject of Atlantis, and post-Cataclysm King Kamuu, I need to bring up the tribe of the Unforgiven Dead, and their priest-king, Suma-Ket, first seen in Namor the Sub-Mariner #36.  Suma-Ket and his tribe came from the North as the saviour of the undersea city of Atlantis.  Ket claimed his people to be wise men who could rid Atlantis of the plague of Faceless Ones; in return, they wished merely to settle among them.  Suma-Ket freed the Atlanteans from the terror of the Faceless Ones, banishing the monstrous creatures from the city.  In awe of his mighty battle-prowess and great mystical power, the Atlanteans followed Ket, slaying their king Harran, the son of Kamuu, and proclaimed Ket as King of all Atlantis.

Figure 50a

Figure 50b

Once he was made king, the seemingly messianic Suma-Ket transformed into a demonic tyrant, bringing to Atlantis the religion of the Elder Gods and building an immense temple in the capital dedicated to these dark gods (just like Belasco).  Namor #37 reveals that Suma-Ket’s tribe “are followers of the old ways, of deities both foul and fell, dark and evil beings are they, whose cruelty offended the very gods of Olympus”…Figure 50c

…which seems similar to how Kulan Gath was driven out of Stygia for practicing sorcery forbidden even by the worshippers of Set.

Figure 50d

And with Kulan Gath later revealed as a High Priest of the N’Garai you can see where I’m going with this…

Figure 50b

Had Suma-Ket and his tribe of Unforgiven Dead been homo mermani that had settled north of the undersea city of Atlantis to mine a vibranium deposit that had sunk there after breaking off from Atlantis during the great cataclysm for their N’Garai Masters?  It’s interesting to note how Suma-Ket’s banishment of the Faceless Ones from the city of Atlantis leads to his being proclaimed its King just as Dormammu and Umar upon repelling and confining the Mindless Ones were likewise hailed heroes and proclaimed regents of the Dark Dimension.  It was also later revealed that the Faceless Ones had really been mindless servants of Ket…

Figure 50d

… which would seem to suggest, under this theory, that they had been homo mermani transformed by radiation from the vibranium mound north of Atlantis into undersea “demon spirits”; similar to perhaps how the Mindless Ones were transformed.

But I’m not stopping there in my Grand Unified Theory.

This whole plot raises in my mind a number of other mysteries introduced by Chris Claremont that could be resolved in one fell swoop, this time surrounding Xavier’s Estate in Westchester County.  Was the stone cairn carved with mystical symbols on Xavier’s Estate installed there, of all places, due to it once being the site of a Vibranium mound?

Figure 49

That is, if the N’Garai were inhabitants of Earth evolved into demons by the mineral’s energies they would be more likely to be hanging around sites with deposits of the unstable mineral!

Figure 51

The other mystery is the network of tunnels leading from Manhattan to directly beneath the hangar complex below the mansion on Xavier’s estate!

Colossus tells his teammates that the Morlock tunnel network leads from Manhattan to those directly beneath the hangar complex below Professor Xavier’s estate (Uncanny X-Men #243, p. 19).  Coincidence!?

Colossus tells his teammates that the Morlock tunnel network leads from Manhattan to those directly beneath the hangar complex below Professor Xavier’s estate (Uncanny X-Men #243, p. 19). Coincidence!?

Who originally built these tunnels to cover nearly forty miles from Manhattan to Graymalkin Lane in Westchester? (Uncanny X-Men #193, p.4)

Who originally built these tunnels to cover nearly forty miles from Manhattan to Graymalkin Lane in Westchester? (Uncanny X-Men #193, p.4)

Might the N’Garai demon that made its way into the mansion in Uncanny X-Men #143 have been compelled to do so because of one such mound lying beneath the massive underground complex, similar to the one below the Reavers’ base, which was constructed to mine vibranium which was then transported by train some forty miles to Manhattan for shipping to perhaps the San Francisco Mint which held the entire stock of the United States’ vibranium as revealed in Spider-Woman #37?  It’s interesting to note that Claremont introduced Siryn in this same issue as accomplice to her uncle Black Tom Cassidy and Juggernaut in their plan to rob the Mint of the United States’ stock of vibranium.

Figure 51

Could it be that Black Tom wasn’t just after the metal for profit?  Then why!

I believe the answer lies in Siryn’s sonic powers.

Now recall when Claremont originally introduced Black Tom his actions were primarily driven by his hate and jealousy for his cousin, Sean (Banshee).  So did Tom come to the belief that Sean’s mutant abilities were to blame for his own failures, Sean subtly using his sonic powers to manipulate the roll of the dice in the game that won him both Cassidy Keep and the family fortune in addition to winning the heart of Maeve Rourke?  Then when Sean is away on Interpol business, Tom discovers some a small deposit of vibranium in Cassidy Keep (perhaps left behind by the leprechauns) and an analysis shows its sonic properties which lead him to believe it is responsible for Sean’s mutation.  He perhaps then tried exposing himself to the sample but it wasn’t enough to impact on a fully grown adult.  Frustrated he perhaps exposes young Theresa to it without her knowledge and is surprised to discover she begins manifesting similar abilities to her father.

So yes, I’m suggesting Siryn is not necessarily your garden-variety mutant.  That is, it has always been a mystery about how Siryn came to develop the same abilities as her father, since up until her introduction while inheriting the gene responsible for mutant powers offspring did not inherit the same subset of abilities as their mutant parents.  Then in the following issue, Spider-Woman #38, Siryn is shown to be able to create illusions with her sonic powers.

Figure 52

So were her sonic powers not inherited but a result of exposure to a sample of vibranium Tom exposed her to, and her so-called “illusions” are actually inchoate sonic constructs?  And Tom’s plan to steal the United States’ vibranium was so he could expose himself to a larger concentration of the mineral and in his mind make himself a more powerful version of Banshee, thereby reclaiming his rightful status in the family as Sean’s superior (but would obviously as we know turn himself into a rampaging “demon spirit”)!

Returning to the stone cairns for a moment… there is another famous stone with mystical carvings that crops up during Claremont’s run… the tombstone that seals the portal Forge forced the Adversary through.

Figure 53

I’ve contended for years now that the Adversary was somehow connected to the N’Garai and this may have been another hint dropped by Claremont to suggest so.  During The Fall of the Mutants we are shown a scene in Vietnam where Forge uses the spirits of his fallen comrades to summon forth N’Garai demons to take revenge on the Vietcong…

Figure 54

…an action that apparently allowed the Adversary to come to Earth.

It’s also worth noting that back in his first appearance the Adversary is actually called “The Great Spirit” so might this resolve the connection and suggest Claremont intend to later reveal him as leader of all the “demon spirits”?

Figure 54

But back to Siryn… if her sonic powers were not inherited from her father, but rather a result of exposure to vibranium, we need to look to what other Marvel’s heroes this may have likewise been the case for.

And I’m not suggesting only looking for those characters with abilities similar to Klaw, the Sultan of Sound!

I’d firstly nominate another Marvel character with vibratory powers was the global terrorist, Moses Magnum. Obsessed with weapons, he became the head of a major global weapons manufacturer.  Initially dealing with chemical weapons, after a blistering defeat at the hands of Spider-Man and the Punisher, he turned his attention to mining operations.  After a confrontation with the hero known as Power Man, Magnum fell down a shaft which his laser drill had bored to the centre of the Earth.  To Magnum’s surprise, he was saved from the fall by Apocalypse (cf. Classic X-Men #25) who transformed him so that he was able to generate concussive force and seismic powers.

apocalypse22

The first use of Moses Magnum’s new abilities and technology came during his assault on the isles of Japan, where he was confronted and defeated by the X-Men (cf. Uncanny X-Men #118-119).  I’d suggest Magnum had manifested these particular powers as a result of Apocalypse exposing him to a sample of vibranium.

Next I’d nominate another character Apocalypse had his hand in transforming; Cable, one of the most powerful telepaths/ telekinetics on the planet.  Now recall when he was baby in X-Factor, Nathan was shown with a force-field power (think Unus the Untouchable), which really could be separate and have had nothing to do with his psionic abilities.

cable01

This would seem to suggest Cable’s true mutant power is to generate a force-field, and the psionic powers come from a different source.  So what is that source, you ask!  What’s really interesting here is that T’Challa is exposed to vibranium radiation and suddenly develops psionic abilities, making me believe that Cable’s enhanced psionic abilities were a result of his own exposure to vibranium radiation which I’d suggest emerged as a result of the Techno-Organic Virus Apocalypse infected him with…

Nathan infected by Apocalypse

…a virus which derived from Anti-Metal he mined from his base in the Savage Land.

jungleadventure

I’d next suggest that Killraven’s heightened perceptions, especially his ESP hallucinations…

Figure 61

… are akin to those developed by T’Challa in Black Panther #10 after he is exposed to “pure vibranium”.

Figure 50a

Figure 50b

Figure 50c

So when earlier was young Jonathan exposed to vibranium?  To determine that answer I’m proposing that he was raised in the Savage Land and that his parents were in fact Lord Kevin Plunder and Shanna O’Hara! But the son of Ka-Zar and Shanna the She-Devil was named Matthew and Jonathan Raven’s mother was named Maureen?

What I’m proposing here is that while growing up as a child in the Savage Land with his parents, Matthew was in close proximity to the vibranium deposits there, which granted him ESP which lay dormant until the stress of experimentation by Keeper Whitman caused them to finally manifest.  Knowing these abilities had the potential to defeat the Martians…

Figure 58

…Ka-Zar and Shanna separated, Ka-Zar remaining behind in the Savage Land to defend it from invasion, Shanna fleeing with young Matthew to New York City where she changed their names, adopting Maureen, after Maureen O’Hara her famous namesake, and the surname Raven since it is Middle English for Plunder!  Then consider the Panther’s vibranium in the light of Frank Herbert’s Dune, and the spice, it seems like telepathy, but then it also seems like clairvoyance, as perhaps ungovernable telepathy would.  But maybe it’s neither of those.  Maybe it’s a space-time effect!  I would posit here that T’Challa’s exposure to the pure vibranium makes him not able to necessarily “read” minds, but rather make contact, i.e. he’s touching them, he’s there… it’s a distance effect.  In this whole Vibranium plot Chris Claremont makes even more explicit reference to Dune in Uncanny X-Men #251, where he has one the Reavers specifically refer to Psylocke as a “mentat”.

Figure 65

I’d therefore extend Killraven’s psionic abilities to being an extension of T’Challa’s likewise caused from exposure to Vibranium while raised by his parents Ka-Zar and Shanna in the Savage Land, and reintroduce him as Marvel’s version of Muad’Dib!  I’d further posit M’Shulla Scott was perhaps a sleeper agent from Wakanda sent to join the Freeman (?Marvel Fremen?) to secretly mentor him in the use of these abilities!  And that the Martians were really on Earth to mine Vibranium so they could then use it to “fold space” in order to return to their original homeworld!

Then there’s, of course, Matt Murdock.  That is, was the radioactive substance inside the drum that fell from the truck and spilled directly onto his eyes some form of vibranium?

Figure 53
It is rather interesting that the Savage Land variant (i.e. Anti-Metal) is first introduced in of all series Daredevil, and the only issue illustrated by Jack Kirby to boot.

Figure 54

And isn’t it further interesting that the substance from the accident not only gave Matt heightened senses but a sonar that allowed him to “see” through sonic vibrations!?

Figure 55

And his costumed identity in effect makes him a “demon spirit” protecting those in Hell’s Kitchen!  As T’Challa states above “DEVILISH metal” indeed!

While on the subject of Anti-Metal, the unstable variant of Wakandan vibranium, might this provide a further explanation for what is behind Marvel’s famous “Unstable Molecules”?  Is it these molecules which make vibranium so unstable in the first place?  While previously considered to be an invention of Reed Richards…

Figure 67a

…recall that the Fantastic Four did not obtain their costumes that adapted to their powers until after three of the four Skrulls they fought in Fantastic Four #2 were captured (while one of the four Skrulls in this issue escaped you’ll recall Ben Grimm did not require a costume that adapted to his Thing state since it didn’t change).

Figure 67bb

In this issue Skrull clothes were shown to adapt to whatever they needed…

Figure 67c

…suggesting they are made of unstable molecules, and it is not until issue #3 that Sue appears with three unstable molecule costumes.

Figure 67d

While on the subject of the Skrulls, it is interesting that their shape-changing cousins, the Dire Wraiths, are red-scaled monstrosities like T’Challa’s cousin.

Figure 67e

Then if you recall that the Martians in H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds are revealed as not native to Mars, might this suggest these invaders in Killraven are in fact Dire Wraiths and the real reason behind their invasion is to obtain vibranium to kickstart their shape-changing abilities which they perhaps lost after the activation of the Hyper-Wave Bomb?

Figure 67f

Tales to Astonish #35, released in the exact same month as first mention of unstable molecules in Fantastic Four, reveals Hank Pym’s own Ant-Man costume was made from unstable molecules…

Figure 68a

…which leads me to further suggest the dimension of Kosmos, from which Pym draws his “growth pollen”, also contains vibranium energy which is why the Pilai were similarly monstrously scaled…

Figure 68b

…and it is this energy (i.e. unstable molecules) which is the true science behind his ability to alter his size.

While on the subject of “unstable molecules”, when Claremont wrote X-Men Forever he reintroduced Gambit as Remy Picard (no longer able to have him as a psionic projection of Scott’s boyhood friend Nathan from the orphanage)…

Figure 69a

…fans assumed this was a veiled reference to the character being a fan of Patrick Stewart’s character in Star Trek: The Next Generation.  However, what if Claremont was instead using Picard to refer to Remy’s being French as it is a surname meaning a person from a historical region and cultural area of France?  So basically Gambit is Remy from Picardy, or at least his true family as intended by Claremont.  So which other characters did Claremont write that came from this region of France?  Well none that I’ve been able to find, but Picardy was famous for being where founding members of the Knights Templars, Godfrey de Saint-Omer, hailed from.  So was Claremont intending to reveal Gambit by this stage as descended from the Knights Templar?  The Knights Templar were rumoured to be protecting a secret treasure, so what if this treasure was vibranium?  And the Guilds are modern day Knights Templars attempting to reclaim this treasure?  And what if that treasure is a bloodline?  And that bloodline is Ororo’s?  That is, throughout Storm’s history she has shown an unusual ability to manipulate and shape unstable molecules into different kinds of clothing with ease.

Figure 69b

Figure 69c

Figure 69d

So might this finally explain the Shadow King’s long obsession with her!?  He realises this ability means she effectively has the ability to shape vibranium.  And this is the reason behind Gambit’s initial pairing up with Stormie!

Figure 69e

But this isn’t the end of the theory and to get closer to that point I must return to the underlying origins of the Marvel Universe itself, in particular Thor #169, where Galactus is revealed to have been the scientist/ explorer Galan who was the only individual from the planet Taa to survive a space plague as a result of absorbing its radiation causing him to be transformed into the devourer of worlds.

Figure 60b

This was retconned somewhat by Mark Gruenwald & John Byrne in Super Villain Classics #1 (1983), where it was revealed that Taa actually existed in the pre-Big Bang universe, thus establishing in Marvel canon that a universe existed prior to the current one, and that Galan/ Galactus came from this universe.

Figure 60

While I liked some of this origin (the appearing to different races differently), making him a Cosmic Principle was a little too comfortable.

As usual, I’ll go back to Stan and Jack, which makes Galactus being from a universe in another dimension possible.  So what was that dimension?  Well we know Galan was a scientist and informed people of an impending cataclysm not only to Taa, but their system as well.

Figure 60e

Figure 60f

When inhabitants of Taa began dying of the radiation wave responsible for the cataclysm and even their advanced skills could not prevent it, Galan, believing at least one of his race to be immune to the radiation…

Figure 60h

…and determined that the glory and grandeur of their civilisation must live on…

Figure 60g

…persuaded the remaining survivors to join him on his space vessel by flying into the source of the plague, what was designated as “the largest sun in the(ir) universe”.

Figure 60i

Galan’s crewmen were said to have all died.  At this point I’d suggest that this sun was the original source of vibranium and the space plague was caused by the mineral at its core increasing entropy which began destabilising the molecules within the cells of Taa’s inhabitants leading to planet-wide death.  I’d further suggest that just before Galan would also die from the vibranium radiation, the sun generated a final shockwave so massive it shattered the dimension, creating warps into pocket dimensions.  Because Galan was so close to the sun he took the full brunt of this shockwave and was thrown into one of these warps and was sent hurtling into our universe.  Having been in the direct path of the shockwave before being thrown into the warp, Galan absorbed so much vibranium energy he came out the other end having transformed into Galactus, whose hunger for planets is perhaps explained by his needing to feed an addiction to vibranium.  I’d further suggest that Galan’s crewmen did not die before he was thrown into the dimensional warp but survived to become the Mindless Ones whose singular drive is to breach the Dark Dimension’s great mystical barrier so they can access the warps into pocket universes in an effort to seek out stores of vibranium similar to Galactus, but on a smaller scale given they were not in the direct path of their sun’s final shockwave and so did not absorb its final burst of vibranium radiation.

Figure 60j

So yes, in my Grand Unified Theory this makes the realm that later became the Dark Dimension, the universe where Galactus originated.

Now that we’ve been back to the possible origins of the Marvel Universe, we find ourselves almost back at the beginning of this article and another Kirby creation, the source of mutation in the Marvel Universe the Terrigen Mists, those rays responsible for providing the Inhumans with their powers.  Terrigen means “earth-producing” which would suggest the Kree Sentry in Thor #147 was not telling the entire story…

Figure 68a

…and the mists were produced by them from extensive heating of some mineral on Earth; perhaps vibranium!?  This would appear to be a tenuous link to vibranium until one considers king of the Inhumans, Black Bolt, whose exposure to the mists gave him a “sonic scream” capable of vibrating electrons to the extent that his merest whisper can level buildings.

Figure 68b

Then recall the metallic trim on Black Bolt’s costume looks like a V radiating from his body, which was perhaps a hint to the true source of his powers.

Figure 68c

Then consider the fork-shaped antenna that Black Bolt wore upon his brow since childhood enabled him to channel his powers in more directed, less destructive ways.  When shown here his channelled powers are mentioned as “deeply… corroding ALL metal…”

Figure 70d

…which couldn’t be anything but a blatant reference to the Antarctic variant of Vibranium, also known as Anti-Metal, and its ability to break “the molecular bondings of ALL other metals” (i.e. the ultimate corrosive), especially when revealed in another Kirby story of all places!

In addition, Black Bolt’s vow of silence due to the cataclysmic potential of his voice brings to mind Gateway’s own silence apparent during Claremont’s run.  So was Claremont attempting to suggest the ancient Aborigine had likewise taken a vow of silence due to similar capabilities of his voice caused by exposure to the vibranium mound in outback Australia?

Figure 69a

Figure 69

Might this further suggest Gateway’s bull-roarer acts in a similar fashion to Black Bolt’s tuning fork in that when he spins it he is disrupting electrons in their air, which in his case opened teletransportational wormholes in space?

Good enough for me to say ©J C. N 2013

Postscript: Now that I’ve done all the heavy lifting who wants to have a go at explaining why Roma chose this abandoned mining town, occupied by a band of sadistic, cybernetic super-criminals, to insert the X-Men after restoring them to life following their sacrifice at the conclusion of The Fall of the Mutants?  Was it a) so they could access advanced computer systems to detect problems and crises around the planet and the abilities of Gateway so they could respond accordingly, b) to help Gateway break the “geas” that bound him to Reavers, or c) to prevent the “outsign spirits” from spreading across the Dreamlands?

Post-postscript: Oh and you know what other mystery connecting Vibranium to Limbo leads me to after some brief musing?  The Singing Sword, Excalibur, and Avalon!  Which for some reason leads me to Prester John, whom after finding the fabled isle of Avalon…

Figure 61b

…and sitting in the Siege Perilous appeared to fall into a form of suspended animation, only to be found centuries later in a deep underground cavern beneath the African desert north of Wakanda by the Human Torch and Wyatt Wingfoot.

Figure 61a

So how might the mystery behind Prester John and Avalon tie into my revelations regarding Limbo and the origin of Vibranium?

Acknowledgements: Thanks go out to fnord12 of the Marvel Comics Chronology – for his continued assistance in compiling some of the more obscure comic panel scans here – Teebore of Gentlemen of Leisure, bipedal mammal of Estoreal, Richard Bensam, Rob Johnson of the Iron Man Library and Bad Man of Bad Haven for the remainder I required, in addition to comic book scholar and writer/ editor of the Unofficial Appendix to the Marvel Universe, Michael Hoskin, for compelling me to begin piecing together a worthwhile origin for Vibranium.  But my biggest thanks must go to the inimitable Jason Powell who here, moreso than any other blog post I’ve written previously, has made me begin to live up to his designation of me lo’ those many years ago as “He Who Can Explain Every Claremont Dangler Given Enough Time”.  Though I’m requesting if you’re out there in the blogosphere, Jason, that you now need to upgrade this description to “He Who Can create a Grand Unified Theory for the Marvel Universe Given Enough Time”;)

63 Responses

  1. This was a great article! I always enjoy how you find even more of the Shadow King’s comprehensive ties to the X-Men and the larger Marvel Universe.

    As the guy who wrote the X-Marks the Spot entry on the Australian Outback for UXN, I especially enjoyed that you addressed and proposed plausible theories for some of the town’s more interesting quirks. Great work—I’d never even considered that maybe N’astirh inadvertently infected the town’s computer systems with the Transmode Virus.

  2. Meticulously reasoned as always. There’s tons of stuff here I never knew about before because it falls during a period of the X-Men I’m not familiar with, but it all holds together.

    Funny thing, I only just found out about that Iron Fist story in Deadly Hands of Kung Fu thanks to the blog Diversions of the Groovy Kind reprinting it over the past week, so as I was reading the above post I was thinking “But how can he tie this in with the N’Garai?” And then you did just that. How could I have doubted it?

  3. As seen in “Black Panther” #7, one of the effects of exposure to vibranium radiation is to make a person bigger and stronger–with sufficiently intense exposure, they become a monster (you also link it to the Wendigo). In this way, it is similar to the gamma radiation that created the Hulk, the Abomination, and Doc Samson. (And gamma radiation also created the Leader, whose powers are mental in nature, similar to how vibranium radiation gave T’Challa ESP.) It’s clearly different from gamma rays, though, so we might call this radiation v-rays, or perhaps… vita-rays?!? Captain America’s shield has long been said to be made of some kind of vibranium alloy, which means the US government obviously had a sample of vibranium at the time Steve Rogers participated in Operation Rebirth. Perhaps the “vita-rays” he was exposed to were carefully controlled vibranium radiation, which caused him to mutate from a 98-lb. weakling into a muscle-bound athlete (bigger and stronger). While not quite superhuman, Cap has always been described as the pinnacle of human perfection and has amazing agility and stamina. The same can be said for Ka-Zar, who grew up in the vibranium-rich Savage Land. Perhaps he was exposed to similar levels of vibranium radiation, or “vita-rays,” and this resulted in his near-superhuman athleticism.

    • I love your thinking Tony. Don’t forget Claremont’s revelation that the United States Government’s stock of vibranium was held in the San Francisco Mint!

      I love the additional origins you attempt to connect this to, and just love the overall potential of this plot in that it means Kirby was coming up with an explanation for the whole Marvel Universe which doesn’t require resorting to the Celestials mythos.

      And recall Vibranium turns brittle upon exposure to gamma radiation… which means it’s time for some character to attempt to detonate a gamma bomb at the site of the sacred mound with the aim of stopping the “demon spirits”. Which character would take such drastic measures to stop the “demon spirits” though? Could Moses Magnum, tired of being manipulated and after discovering the truth regarding vibranium, be the one to do it?

      As for my thoughts on the realm that went on to become the Dark Dimension, I’d suggest it contained Galactus’s world.

      • I got to read the part about the Dark Dimension being what remains of Galactus’s home-space, eh? A fascinating idea. It also offers an explanation for why the Mindless Ones are basically humanoid in form. And maybe why so many of Marvel’s monsters have a humanoid form. In fact, I remember something about one of the reasons Neal Adams quit the X-Men was because Stan Lee insisted the (non-humanoid) monster Neal created in #65 be re-drawn to have a humanoid form. Marie Severin made the changes. Why was Stan so insistent that Marvel stick with humanoid monsters? And why are so many weird-looking alien races — even aquatic or avian ones — also basically humanoid in appearance? Could it somehow be traced back to humanoid denizens of Taa? I wonder. And what does this say about the non-humanoid aliens (like the Fomalhauti)? It’s worth thinking about.

        Anyway, you really packed a lot into that post. I’m very impressed by the attention to detail.

    • My thoughts on Vibranium are that it is a basic building block of why & how things work in the physics of the Marvel Universe. That is there is something within the chemical makeup of Vibranium in its different forms (metal, gaseous & liquid) that makes things work. Things such as Bruce Banner surviving the Gamma Bomb instead of dying of Gamma poisoning, the Fantastic Four getting their powers instead of over-exposure to cosmic radiation, Daredevil getting his powers (the substance he was exposed to being irradiated Vibranium) & so on.

      Perhaps Vibranium in its gaseous form is the Terrigen Mists the Inhumans rely on to manifest their powers. Vibranium can be the key to unlock all the secrets of the Marvel Universe. A third deposit in Kata Tjuta (in the Northern Territory in Australia) closely guarded by Australia’s Indigenous race, the Aborigines, would continue to unlock secrets of the Marvel Universe.

      • Well when you put it like that, vibranium could be the source of pretty much everybody’s super-powers. As I said, we know that the U.S. government had some vibranium during World War II, and they had a pretty good store of it in the “modern” era, as seen in the Spider-Woman issue you posted about. So small amounts of this material would have been available to scientific researchers with the funds to afford a sample. The spider that bit Peter Parker may have been irradiated with vibranium. Henry Pym may have incorporated vibranium in his shrinking formula (liquid and gaseous forms). Likewise, Norman Osborn, Otto Octavius, and Flint Marko may all have been exposed to vibranium radiation. Notably, the comics always say these characters are exposed to “radiation,” but they don’t usually say what KIND of radiation (unless it’s gamma rays or, less often, cosmic rays). So, really, any character who gets his or her powers from exposure to “radiation” could be added to the list. Other possibilities are the Lizard, the Scorpion, even Man-Thing. The Power Broker’s strength-augmentation process could be based on vibranium radiation. Perhaps the cobalt radiation that turned “Happy” Hogan into the Freak (a “demon-spirit” if I ever saw one) was actually a cobalt / vibranium combination? I don’t know that you mentioned it specifically, but the “sacred panther herbs” or whatever that gave T’Challa his physical prowess were undoubtedly mutated by vibranium radiation, which is why they only grow in Wakanda. So that puts him in the same column as Captain America and Ka-Zar that I mentioned in my comment on your post.

        The Mad Thinker’s Awesome Android and the Super-Adaptoid — two shape-changing androids. What is their power source? How do they change shape like that? Perhaps each one has a “heart” of vibranium. This leads me to another android — the Original Human Torch — and the explanation for the sudden surge in crazy-powered mutants that I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. What is the OHT’s power source? What is the nature of his flame — what is it that’s actually burning to produce all that fire? And how do we explain Toro suddenly bursting into flames when he met the Human Torch? Sure, he was a mutant with latent powers, and his close proximity to the Torch caused his powers to manifest. But that sounds to me like the Human Torch was emitting some kind of radiation that causes latent powers to manifest. A transfusion of the Torch’s blood gave Spitfire super-powers. Not flame powers, but super-speed. Again, sounds like latent mutant powers activated by exposure to the Torch. (After the war, her powers eventually faded. And it seems like Toro was never very active when he was separated from the Torch for long periods of time. So they may have needed continuous exposure to the Torch’s radiation to keep their power levels up. Mad Thinker may have deduced this and exposed Toro to some vibranium radiation before sending him after the Sub-Mariner.)

        Perhaps the Human Torch, too, was powered by a “heart” of vibranium, and when he was flaming, he emitted this vibranium radiation. And this radiation could either cause latent mutant abilities to manifest, or it could cause people exposed to it to produce mutant offspring with wildly unpredictable powers.

        I would take this further, which may not work as well for you as it kind of depends on my Original Marvel Universe timeline. But most of Marvel’s mutant characters of the X-Men’s generation were born in the decade following World War II, so most of their fathers probably fought in the war. Christopher Summers was a pilot about the same age as Ben Grimm, so he was most likely in the Army Air Corps during the war. William Drake was probably in the infantry, and Warren Worthington, Jr. was undoubtedly an officer. Even John Grey may have volunteered later in the war (which would explain why Jean Grey is a mutant and her older sister Sara is not). David Munro, Nikolai Rasputin, Carter Blaire, Ronald Rankin, Neal Proudstar, Saburo Yoshida all probably fought in the war. And they could all have, at some point, come into close proximity with the Human Torch. As a member of the Invaders, the Human Torch was all over the globe during the war. We know he was in England, France, and Germany. We know he went to Russia. I think I remember him and Toro being in the Pacific Theater at some point. And in every one of these places, he would have encountered American soldiers, as well as the native population. So it’s no stretch to say this handful of individuals would have encountered him at some point. We know he met Baron Strucker, and he definitely had mutant children later, Andreas & Andrea. The Human Torch doubtless could have irradiated thousands of people during World War II, and the fact that only a small number of them actually had mutant children makes it more believable to me.

        He would have irradiated more people during his return stint in the mid-1950s, mostly in the United States, so you would expect an uptick in mutant births. So who do we have being born at this time? Kitty Pryde, Rogue, Sam Guthrie, Dani Moonstar, Doug Ramsey, Rusty Collins, and Angelica Jones, as well as Roberto daCosta, Rahne Sinclair, and Meggan, etc., etc., etc. We don’t have a full and complete record of the Torch’s exploits during this period, so who knows where he went during the couple of years he was active?

        So, as I said, the man most responsible for the mutant phenomenon of the modern “Marvel” age? Phineas T. Horton!

  4. Amazing! I was dubious about vibranium. (I still don’t like the name “vibranium” … I think someone should change its name …) But your logic is infallible!

    Nice work once again. You outdid yourself!

  5. Following on from my origin for Galactus, if I ever had the clout to write Dr. Strange, one of my idle fancies would be this: due to some other catastrophe, the major powers are away from Earth when Galactus returns. We could have Spider-Man and, say, Hawkeye around for comic relief. Doc is the only one to stand against him. The most powerful magic Doc knows does not work on him – so in order to save his homeworld, Doc opens up a great big hole into the Dark Dimension and sends Galactus through. And we have a battle between Galactus and Dormammu, a battle with real bad effects for the rest of reality, where Doc must intervene.)

    It’d be fun – and sort of the Ultimate Ditko vs. Kirby conflict. I haven’t worked out all of it, and these days there seems no point, but, very loosely speaking, I’d use Moorcock’s framework, that Galactus was a Lord of Law, while any Dark Dimension is a realm of Chaos. Galactus would find all sorts of energy available in the Dark Dimension – but as he absorbs huge chunks of it – and as he fights Dormammu, he begins to get more and more distorted – and more and more like ol’ furnace-face. It would be fun – especially with somebody like Chris Warner on the art.

  6. Quite a rollercoaster, Nathan. As you said, it’s like a Grand Unified Theory of the Marvel Universe. It’s the sort of thing that if Marvel were redesigning the universe from scratch with the benefit of hindsight – an Ultimate or Heroes Reborn type of thing but, you know, good – that they might consider. I sometimes have problems with that kind of thing. I like the fact that the Marvel universe is a hodgepodge of unrelated events. But there’s no doubt your theory is in the Thomas/Englehart/Gruenwald tradition of tying seemingly unrelated things together after the fact. Very interesting.

    • Thanks so much fnord that you consider this as a worthy reboot infrastructure. If Marvel were to rewind to the early 90s it could also work. One can dream, despite how untenable.

      This doesn’t necessarily affect the hodgepodge but you have to admit when Lee & Kirby were writing the comics had a great, internal consistency that was also fun and its gone significantly downhill since writers have come in that were not raised on the Silver Age. The Ultimate titles were an acknowledgement of Marvel themselves realising this issue.

      We all know though that this would be resolved if Marvel had let their heroes grow up in real-time.

      Just look at Marvel’s core characters/ titles and they are still those created in the Silver Age.

      Think what characters created since then have been able to sustain title runs the core Silver Age characters have. Not many.

  7. I don’t think Adversary was “The Great Spirit” – I think Forge didn’t know who “Naze” (really a Dire Wraith) was summoning.

    • The Great Spirit to whom Naźe and Forge refer was certainly the Adversary.

      Recall the Dire Wraith Naźe summoned the Great Spirit after which he was possessed by the Adversary in the lead-up to The Fall of the Mutants!

      Thank you for dropping by:)

      • Yeah, but again – “The Great Spirit” is like the benevolent supreme being in that mythology. The “Adversary” is a demonic force whose name they’re afraid to even say – that’s why they only refer to him as “The Adversary”. I agree that the Dire Wraith Naze was summoning the Adversary, but he knew that – he was offering up Earth in exchange for help for “his people” (aka the Wraiths). He may have told Forge that he was calling upon The Great Spirit, but that was a lie.

  8. Wow, you sure are pulling a lot of different sources together there! Looks like a herculean effort.

  9. I read the theory, and as usual was amazed by how many bits and pieces you managed to stitch together.

    And then I noticed the Avengers Forever pieces by Plok. I’m obviously gonna have to digest *that* thoroughly, and probably the related pages on his own site.

  10. I worked my way through your Gateway post.

    You might want to consider these possibilities.

    1. What you call “pure vibranium” is actually a different isotope of the metal than the Antarctic & Wakandan varieties. Hence why the Great Mound doesn’t mutate folks wholesale… it only has a small percentage of said isotope… T’Challa managed to hit a higher concentration than average.

    2. Another variety, which lacks the vibratory abilities but happens to hold enchantments very well, is primarily found in the dimension that has been falsely called Limbo. This isotope is best known as promethium, or “soulsteel”, although some deposits have been found in other splinter realms under the name “netheranium”.

    3. The Celestial containment suits (did you ever see my theory tying them to the Beyonders) are composed of a similar alloy, as is much of their technology, including their Ship, and the nanites which compose the original T-O virus. This was all part of their experiments in evolution, specifically in how technological races might develop… they WANTED the naites to change over time, and seeded varieties on dozens of worlds, from Earth to the Technarch homeworld.

    (This would neatly explain, I think, why a magikal sword can cure the virus…)

    4. It’s also possible that there are isotopes of the metal in Mount Wundagore, long known as a nexus of magic, as well as, perhaps coincidentally, evolution research. Indeed, there may be a connection between the High Evolutionary (who also wears a suit of strange metal armor) and either the Celestials or Apocalypse.

    Just some babbling on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

  11. Reblogged this on Mars Will Send No More and commented:
    Nathan Adler of FanFix begins with the X-men character Gateway and extrapolates a grand unified theory that ties in Jack Kirby’s Black Panther and the origin of Galactus. Part mutant minutiae, part aboriginal apocalypse and nineties nostalgia, it winds through a splash of Kirby Krackle and drops in on the bronze age Black Panther. Are you ready to mine for the mysterious vein of vibranium hidden within… Gateway’s Origin?

  12. Amazing blog- as always!
    Gateway has been shown recently to have been from the same tribe and to have mentored Eden Fesi- Manifold of the current (Hickman’s) Avengers line up and Secret Warriors member. Manifold is sorta a cosmic position in each reality(as shown in Hickman’s Secret Avengers)- someone capable of manipulating space much in the way the Space Infinity Gem does- Teleportation at unlimited range being the most obvious application of the power.

    Gateway may have been the prior “Manifold” and thus took Eden Fesi as his apprentice- and Eden’s power coming to fruition may have signaled to Gateway that he did not have long to live- indeed, soon after Eden joined Nick Fury’s band of Secret Warriors, Gateway was killed (In X-Force). Eden’s power being essentially the same as gateway’s -only greater(!) – might indicate that their tribe has a connection to this Manifold ability and that they may be responsible for continuing the line.
    It may be that eden’s greater powers stem from his youth or from whatever final universe-ending cosmic event Hickman is building toward in Marvel (rumors are of a reboot, but I’ll drop every Marvel title if that’s so!).

    • Thanks Jason:)

      Show’s how much Hickman gets about Australian culture – here manifold is known most commonly as the exhaust.

      I much prefer Claremont’s iteration of Gateway and you can tell from my post above “sacred mound” of vibranium is the likely direction he’d have gone in which kicks Hickman’s own efforts into the next galaxy!

      Oh for a return to 1980s Marvel:(

  13. Goodness me, Nate. I clicked on your link concerning Gateway, Australia and the vibranium mound. You have a TON of material posted there! It will take me some time to go through it all. But you certainly have been busy thinking about these abandoned plots and other connections into the Marvel Universe. Gateway always sitting on that high site certainly makes one wonder if you are on to something. I love how your mind connects so many peoples of the puzzle.

    It seems odd to me though. Chris Claremont created the N’Garai very early in his writings. And there are many connections with them during his Marvel run. Yet he never actually brings a full-scale story/adventure about the N’Garai fighting the heroes. They are almost always in the background. If he was headed towards some big epic storyline, why wouldn’t he have told it in his seventeen year run at Marvel Comics in the 1970s and 1980s?

    • SOMETHING happened to make Claremont give up Illyana’s fate to Louise Simonson in “Inferno” and change the original intent of the N’Garai Saga that “Inferno” was originally intended to ostensibly complete. That SOMETHING was Harras co-opting the story to redeem Cyclops by destroying Madelyne Pryor.

  14. […] enjoyed it and I bet X-fans will get a kick out of it. Link here. While you’re there you could do worse than to amble through the archives, there’s lots […]

  15. Neat. I think you get a bit too far in the connections to the rest of the Marvel Universe, but the basic idea of connecting the N’Garai to the Shadow King, The Adversary, Gateway, and Limbo sounds legit. We know that Claremont was gearing up for a huge Shadow King story for UXM #300 when he was kicked out, and I could see him planning to go out with a bang connecting threads he’d been planting since the first X-Men story he plotted himself.

    • You’ve got to admit though connecting Gateway and the “outsign spirits” to the Sacred Mound of vibranium in Wakanda and its “demon spirits” in Black Panther #7 is just too obvious, and connects beautifully with his unresolved plans for Ororo:)

      And given Ororo was a Faltine like Clea its fun to connect this back to the realm that became the Dark Dimension being that of Galan of Taa. The Grand Kirby Marvel Universe Unified Theory!

  16. I think you’re onto something good here. If I was able to keep working on my comic site your comments would be gold. By demonstrating common sources you are creating the equivalent of a tree of life for comics, showing common ancestors and generally simplifying and explaining everything. Admiring your work from a distance:)

  17. This is quite an amazing estimation.

    In fact I wouldn’t bet it was too far off from what Claremont had planned seeing as the Shadow King was going to have some dominance over the Inner Circle and use Gateway to access dreamtime was actually what he had planned…its all in there along with:

    The Outbacks HQs computer having sentience

    Why Shadow King is obsessed with Storm to begin with.

    Storms mystical heritage

    The N’Garais relation to just about everything

    Gateways history

    The Reavers relation to Gateway

    You connect it all. Pretty good stuff, somebody give you a writing job:)

  18. […] were previously believed to be uranium, I’d posit they are in fact vibranium (in line with my Grand Unified Vibranium Theory and I’ll explain why further […]

  19. The gateway origin is really your biggest masterpiece. It’s just plain perfect.

    I am amazed how fluently you moved from one topic to another in a logical way.

  20. Hiya, may I interest you to talk about Cthulhu?

    Because, the X-Men have made a habit of setting their base on places on top of very Lovecraftian Elder God influence. There’s the N’Garai cairns in Westchester, and their short-lived island base in middle of the Caribbean is of course nothing else than R’lyeh, or “the sunken Cthulhu island”, albeit misplaced.

    Now, Lovecraft did this story called “A Shadow out of Time”, freely available on Wikisource, which tells the story of professor Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee, who gets his mind hijacked back in time some 250 million years and spends time in their library city.

    HEREWITH BE SOME SPOILERS!(if you want to read the not-log story by yourself):

    Afterwards to his horror he finds the ruins of the said city under (ta-dah!) the Great Sandy Desert in Australia. The city is said to have large vaults and be connected to inner earth caverns which were sealed off during his visit on the island but which he will find bursted open when visiting the ruins.

    Which brings us to the fact that Roma is a harsh mistress who will take the X-Men right to the next probable location of crisis after they have just sealed off the Adversary. Of course it’s not merely because of an abandoned mining operation why she takes them there.

    I can’t omit to also quote the letter from the mining engineer (!) that guides Peaslee to the location in the first place:

    “…make it advisable for me to tell you about certain things I have seen in the Great Sandy Desert east of our gold field here. It would seem, in view of the peculiar legends about old cities with huge stonework and strange designs and hieroglyphs which you describe, that I have come upon something very important.

    The blackfellows have always been full of talk about “great stones with marks on them,” and seem to have a terrible fear of such things. They connect them in some way with their common racial legends about Buddai, the gigantic old man who lies asleep for ages underground with his head on his arm, and who will some day awake and eat up the world.”

    Now, do we know anyone in habit of eating worlds or someone gigantic who lies asleep underground?

    Our protagonist Nathaniel btw hails from the imaginary Lovecraftian town of Arkham in Massachusetts the given real world location of which seems to have Essex Street going right through it, but that may be just an coincidence. ;)

    * * *

    Other than that, Belasco has to locations he’s connected on this world: the Antarctica and the Caribbean Island. The Caribbean island is if I remember correctly told to be in middle of Bermuda’s Triangle, just like the Monster Island of Mole Man. Monster Island is connected to underground lairs and has Moloids.

    Antarctica, again, is the place where in Loveraft’s At the Mountains of Madness a scientific expedition manages to find yet another massive ancient town that connects to the subterranean world.

    • Claremont never made the N’Garai as fully connected to the Great Old Ones as much as he obviously did with Magneto’s Island and an extreme pity we never learned more about that location.

      Do you really believe Roma relocated the X-Men there for a reason and if so exactly why (and what connection does it have to Loch Daemon)?

      Buddai makes me immediately think of the Dreaming Celestial but Claremont never made reference to the Celestials throughout his entire run so not keen to dip my toe in that water at present – but I do have a fix for the messy shoehorning of the Eternals and Deviants in the MU proper and it is part of my Grand Unified Vibranium Theory!

      By the way, Belasco did not have a connection to the Carribean Island under Claremont’s pen (that came later with Hama).

      And Monster Isle is off the coast of Japan, probably the Kural Chain near to Lord Darkwind and Moses Magnum’s respective bases!

      • Belasco did have a connection to the Caribbean Island: Illyana was lured into a temple there and taken away to Limbo by the portal discs that seemed to have a connection to that very place. I failed to mention earlier that the whole Belasco’s idea about opening a gateway to bring his Elder Gods to Earth is *the* basic Lovecraft plot. Pretty much my whole suggested case lies on this really, but it kind of gets hammered in and if he also made Belasco “the high priest of N’Garai” akin Cthulhu being the high priest of GOO… it could be only a homageous lift, but as we have no official explanation for the underground base it’s very curious for a mere coincidence.

        Monster Island seem to have been given two locations. Offshore Japan was the first one but later on they have positioned it in the middle of Bermuda triangle.

        As for Roma’s intention… it does look like they were rather after the Reavers and getting their base of it was merely a bonus, but all that unexplained advanced technology underneath the Australian desert just has to have some purpose.

        I have absolutely no idea what Claremont-written Bizarre Adventures 25 was about and can’t say if this Child of Light/Darkness thing is only a tick of Claremont’s or if he had some sort of female triumvirate not unlike the classic three witches set-up in mind.

      • On Claremont-written Marvel Fanfare 33 they put some light on the Caribbean island.

        Storm: “Horrible creatures inhabited the citadel and committed such unspeakable atrocities that the very stones radiate a primal malevolence which neither time nor effort can ever exorcise.”

        Kitty: “Those ancients were weird, all right, but they were no dummies, I’ve been examining the statues — they’re not stone. It’s some form of crystalline circuity matrix. They’re devices!”

        Storm’s comment it very appropriately Lovecraftian thing to say, whereas Kitty’s comment is curious at least. Are they supposed to be some sort of techno-organic, is the Aussie base of something similar and was it all by a coincidence that Technarch Warlock specifically rammed Magneto’s hi-tech Asteroid M when he came to Earth?

      • … aand checking up the Lady Daemon bit on marvunapp.com the Bizarre Adventures #25 story is pretty much pure Lovecraft with her sister trying to open up the gateway at Stonehenge to let “Outer Dark” into Earth. Castle Daemon apparently has a vast and ancient library with great deal of occult knowledge. “There has always been magic and dark power in the Highlands, and the Clan Daemon has always been a part of it…”

        So, when Claremont specifically refers to Loch Daemon as “haunted place” in the first issues of Excalibur… it could be a mere shout-out for his ten years old totally not-connected story, or, well, there’s Widget who portals Colin to Ee’rath which is ruled by Necrom, who is connected to the history of Phoenix-Force, that has current hostesses around the Earth, and Merlyn, who’s daughter Roma chose the Aussie base for the X-Men.

        Colin disappears from Loch Daemon in Claremont/Davis Ex #2 and then the storyline gets dropped until Davis upon his return to the title picks it up in Ex #46. Maybe lot of what Davis picked up was in the works and discussed already when Colin went but had to be dropped at that time for some reason (Claremont’s plans for Inferno falling through?).

      • Of course (I can’t believe I’d overlooked that Belasco had lured Illyana from THAT island)! Obviously a clue Hama later picked up on.

        The Technarch never had crystalline circuitry and recall the crystals, etc. in Marvel Fanfare #33 might have been brought there by the Chief Examiner from the Questprobe series.

        Don’t forget Claremont also refers to Kthara in Marvel Spotlight #24 as “She who Rules the Outer Dark” so given same writer and same name undoubtedly he’s referring to the same demons encountered by Lady Daemon!

        As for Kylun, I don’t think Claremont intended young Colin McKay to become him or be in any way connected to Necrom. A later Davis addition which I doubt emerged from any discussions he had with Chris.

      • Yes, and what’s more, to quote Kthara Marvel Spotlight #24: “…my Ravagers will be free to claim this Earth once more. Claim — and rule!”

        Do we know any demonic beings that are known to had ruled the Earth once and looking for to do it again? ;)

      • It is of course possible that all that Loch Daemon was meant to be was a Scottish pun on “Lakedaimon”, the other name used for Sparta, the Ancient Greek city-state where things were a bit gladiatorian and where the women enjoyed of status, power and respect on level that was unheard of in the rest of the classical world. So, all things right at Claremont’s alley. ;)

        The X-men part of Fall of the Mutants draws heavily from the Spartans’ last stand at Thermopylae, or, hah, “The Hot Gates”, which probably was generally a bit obscure thing in the comic book circles prior Miller’s “300″.

  21. I omitted to mention that Cthulhu by his stated role is “the High Priest of the Great Old Ones”, “a loose pantheon of ancient, powerful deities from space who once ruled the Earth and who have since fallen into a deathlike sleep”. “Space”, as Lovecraft uses it, may as well be understood as another, very dark dimension.

    The other high priest, Kulan Gath of course is intimately connected to the world of Conan the Barbarian, which, as some assessments online have it, is connected to Cthulhu mythos. And Cthultu, if we believe IMDB, was in “Oliver Twisted” with Erik Estrada who in turn was in “We Married Margo” with Kevin Bacon.

    So I’m not so sure if Vibranium, heavily abundant in place associated with the places connected to the Great Old Ones is actually material brought to the world by them when they came, possibly in the form of their vessels. Corrupting the mankind seem to be high on the agenda of the servants of them for which purpose such corruptive material would be just great. Of course the stupid humans would go make shields and stuff from it without understanding what they are playing with.

    According to Wikipedia “Cthulhu is described as being able to change the shape of its body at will, extending and retracting limbs and tentacles as it sees fit”, which barring the tentacles looks like something right out of the Marvel Universe Handbook’s page on Apocalypse, who has history of claiming that he was known in Egypt as Set. How close Apocalypse resembles another Lovecraft character Nyarlahotep, “”tall, swarthy man” who resembles an ancient Egyptian pharaoh”, I’ll leave up to others. But personally, I wouldn’t trust this En Sabah Nur one bit.

    • What do you mean by “the form of their vessels”? Ships or bodies? The GOO never seemed to require the first!

      I like the connection with Apocalypse but have you read Louise Simonson’s final origin for him in X-Factor Forever? Quite different it would seem!

      And Kulan Gath wasn’t the only High Priest of the N’Garai, Belasco was another and I posit here Suma-Ket also.

      • It was mainly a feeler thrown-in, but I was thinking about something ship-like made of vibranium. Haven’t read X-Factor Forever.

        There seems to be a line of High Priests, and Illyana maybe intended to be the last in line or something totally different.

  22. Soo… if we gather that Lovecraft got the unfitting bits of his mythos wrong, while the coincidences with Marvel Universe and the said mythos are just too numerous to be coincidences, I’d say that Dreaming Celestial is in his part massively tangled with this all: Deviants, Apocalypse’s technology of alleged Celestial origin, the high-technology underneath the Australian desert (which Lovecraft hasn’t managed to understand leading to such a deceptive description of it in the “Shadow”), the “Morlocks’” lairs branching underneath Westchester where there’s known N’Garai presence marked with hieroglyphed stonework.

    Apocalypse naturally has his connections to not only one form of techno-organic virus but also with Kang/Rama-Tut/Immortus, who I believe you were looking to somehow tie into your Grand Theory, and connects Nathaniel Richards and Cable to this… which you of course already knew, “Nathan Adler”, who seemingly picks up this tiny bits ignored by others very much like Sherlock Holmes and weaves full narratives of them, and taunts us all by using an assumed name that’s portmanteau of Nathan Summers, the alleged son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor and Irene Adler, the one person who ever managed to one-up Sherlock Holmes and also is part of Marvel Universe.

    Frankly, Nathan, it’s quite obvious that you’re Cable.

    • Just what do you propose is the technology underneath the Reavers’ base? I propose that they’re Vibranium mining locations, including the Keewazi’s Silver Rock Springs too, a theory I’ve eventually get to when I unfold my Vibranium theory fully. As for how the Vibranium got there, I’ve proposed some ideas here but am up to other suggestions being posted here:)

      And am I the Marvel Universe equivalent of Nathaniel Wingate? Ooh, Satana’s middle name. Hmmm!

      • I don’t really know but someone has been busy doing some hi-tech tunneling around all these heavily (N’Garai) magic-induced places. Magneto had some fancy tech in Cthulhu island and in Antarctica, but was it originally his?

      • The tech beneath Magneto’s Antarctic base was obviously left behind by Apocalypse who undoubtedly had been mining there for its variant of Vibranium in order to create Adamantium as shown in Wolverine: Jungle Adventure.

  23. A huge point is made of the fact that Cthulhu “sleeps dead dreaming”, not unlike the Dreaming Celestial for whom the name Tiamut is given. Could it be that “Cthulhu” is a deranged idea of him passed on by the Devians to the cultists that Lovecraft have worshipping him in “Call of Cthulhu” around statuettes a lot like the ones on the Caribbean island.

    One of the places of worship mentioned in the story is Greenland where a set of Inuits do it. Greenland is also where we find the undying Atlantean sorceress Lilith in the beginning of the Rise of the Midnight Sons, trapped inside, ha, “Leviathan Tiamat”. The original Spirits of Vengeance had some Atlantis connection too if I remember correctly.

    Now, don’t you think Namor was being unnecessarily harsh on the idolatric Inuits who revered the frozen body of Steve Rogers when he stopped that and threw the slump of ice into ocean. He certainly has his reasons to not have any of that, from the look of things. Perhaps, they weren’t worshiping the blond blue-eyed man or the colors of America after all, but the shield made of…

    • Were the Deviants of the City of Toads ancestors of Tssathogua?

      If the Dreaming Celestial is Tiamat how did Lilith burst forth from him in Greenland if he is located on the West Coast?

      • Tiamat’s/Tiamut’s name popping up was only a fancy coincidence, but scanning through the Tsathoggua article on Wikipedia words like “Atlantean high priest” and “N’kai” sort of pop out, mentioned in quote from Lovecraft’s “Whisperer of Darkness”, the one with cyborgean contrivances. That damn Atlantis everywhere.

        Of course things like cyborgs in Australian underground base being mish-mash homageous lifts and shout-outs and nothing more is always a possibility.

      • N’Garai means The Conquerors in Basque!

  24. (just noticed you have already been told some of that by Cove West on Remarkable Blog. oh well.)

    Now why do we have the X-Men so tangled into this and why does Magneto seem to hang in places like the Caribbean island or Antarctica like he was, ha, tailing Belasco until moving to Westchester conveniently to keep Illyana closely on the eye after Belasco gets dethroned? I believe it has something to do with the fact that the Celestials have been explicitly revealed to be the reason why human race ultimately developed into a species that has super-human powers, or, Homo superior.

    For someone who spent his youngdom in a concentration camp and then in after-war Ukraine Magneto has always been too well versed with highly advanced technology. I’d say he has possibly stumbled into technology not unlike the one under the Reavers’ outback base that taught him to use and understand it, but: in Avengers ‘Yesterday Quest’ arch Chthon says that he increased Wanda’s magical powers and reduced her science-oriented ones.

    So it looks like Magneto has some very technology-oriented mojo in his genes, and later on he goes to have ridiculously technological bases nearby established areas of Belascian influence and is as loud proponent of Homo superior as Apocalypse is. Has someone been giving him (or rather, both of them) access to such technology with some very curious information of the Celestial-purposed role of his race?

    Does it all come down to a massive eternal battle between not good and evil but technology and raw magic? The Celestials vs. the Elder Gods. And the human race between it like the rising ape meeting the falling… astronaut?

    All this circles around and somehow connects to Mt. Wundagore, a very technological place built on top of a massive Chthonic site, by Moloids, courtesy of Herbert Edgar Wyndham, who becomes the High Evolutionary after getting vast amount of genetic information from everyone’s favorite mutant affair schemer Mr. Sinister.

    I’m sure though that any connection to classic Lovecraft story “Herbert West – Re-Animator” are purely coincidental,

  25. To return more closely to Gateway and the Australian Base, could it be conceived that “Dreamlands” is in fact inside the mind of the Dreaming Celestial? Lots of Deviant fun seem to have been done with it and I can’t help noticing your point of the technology in the base being able to link itself into people’s minds and dreams.

    Google finds the quote “The Dreaming Celestial learned that one of his star-spawned kin, the Celestial known as Ashema, was the guardian of the pocket universe” in several places. I don’t know if this is canon wording or fan wording, but “star-spawn” is a term most often associated with Cthulhu. Linking Ashema to Alchera or Alshra may be a bit far-fetched.

    Why Donald Pierce and the cyborg Reavers are littering the place, is harder to explain, but his prowess in the field on cybernetics is said to excess the conventional science by two centuries. Somewhat linking to the bigger Cthulhu mythos is Lovecraft’s story “Whisperer in Darkness”, where there is an alien race in habit to “surgically extract a human brain and place it into a canister wherein it can live indefinitely and withstand the rigors of outer space travel”, and

    SPOILERS:

    the protagonist finds that his host’s deattached face and hands “were furnished with ingenious metallic clamps to attach them to organic developments” of one of the aliens pretending to be his host. Now, if that’s not a spot-on description of cybernetic attachments then I don’t know what is.

    Wouldn’t it be just handy for the higher-up operators to pass such advanced knowledge and technology at their disposal to a human with suitable characteristics like Donald Pierce, who infiltrates into Apocalypse-inspired mutant Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club despite hating mutants and also guide him to the whereabouts of such an important site as the Australian Base is for some reasons that yet are undisclosed to us?

  26. Completely unrelated matter, but a cool tidbit nevertheless, is that the Wolverine:Bloodlust panels about the Neuri Renegades attacking a human camp seems to offer the answer to the real-life mystery known as Dyatlov Pass incident, the mysterious deaths of nine ski hikers in the northern Ural mountains on the night of February 2, 1959. They don’t say it aloud but everything from place and timing to results match pretty much perfectly.

  27. Ou! Ou Ou! This should be about Gateway, but lots of things of interest about him has so far been ignored about him. When Madelyne is having her disturbing dream after hitting the screen, Gateway quite freely walks right into the dream. Also when Betsy is having her dreamlike premonition, it’s again Gateway who walks in to show her that Siege Perilous is the solution – and then teleports the X-Men back to the Outback from the Savage Land to necessitate the solution. At one point we see Storm meditating with him and dreamish version of Longshot lurks there collecting pieces of himself.

    And after the X-Men go through Siege Perilous, we will have crucified Logan dreaming a little fever dream about how things went down like someone was inducing it all into his head, possibly but of course not necessarily aided by this technology capable of accessing people’s dreams.

    It’s very dreamy time for the X-Men in Australian Outback, for the short while they stay there. In fact, these alternate bases seem to be used by the X-Men for only so long that a larger plot piece may be introduced, after which the place gets unceremoniously abandoned.

    They left the Caribbean island right after Illyana had been made Belasco’s disciple in UXM 160. You have the panel right there where Belasco pointedly talks about opening the “Gateway” for the dimension of his dark gods, and explicitly states Illyana will be his means to do it. The story ends into Belasco’s gloating about the five bloodstones and her glorious fate when they’re finally set. Inferno was partly supposed to be about this.

    (If one want’s to be absolutely paranoid about things, we’ll next meet Illyana when she talks with Xavier in UXM 163 or 164, who worries about her Belasco experiences and notes her mental shields and, I quote:

    “I ought to investi-
    gate– find a way to
    pierce that barrier–”

    Wouldn’t even mention it, but it’s just around these times when Pierce Consolidated is mining in Kentucky. But Chris wouldn’t… would he?)

    Anyways, other stuff happens, and then one days Roma brings the X-Men to Australia and hands them a curiously named Aboriginal teleporter and Siege Perilous, then Inferno happens taking form that may or may be quite altered from what it was supposed to be and the X-Men return to the Outback only for to throw kid Storm at the Shadow King and then leave the place in the infamous way very soon afterwards.

    So, had the Outback at this point given Claremont what he needed to further his bigger plot just like the Caribbean island before and was that something… a living gateway?

    • Shaw DOES remark in New Mutants #75 that Illyana is the most powerful among them and potentially the most likely to serve THEIR interests so just what is the true purpose behind the Hellfire Club I say!?

      And what are you suggesting about Pierce Consolidated mining in Kentucky at the same time Xavier things of piercing what “barrier”?

      • The Xavier quote was a massively contrived “I want to believe” type of thing. What barrier is really meant here are of course the mystic barriers that are preventing Xavier doing telepathy on Illyana, but I was trying to point to the typing in the blurb being divided so that there’s “gate” and “pierce” as some sort of hidden message for the reader.

        I DID warn it’s contrived, but there’s the timing of it just after the Belasco story and when Pierce surfaced alone and drifted away from the Hellfire Club. There is a massive Gateway to be opened and still just before Inferno in UXM 231 Claremont is having S’ym gloat about the Forge’s portal for Adversary being a minor one compared to the one he’s about to open.

        It may be that they just did poor job in showing the seriousness of the Demon Rain portal from Inferno, or it kind of got lost with the more pressing developments in the story regarding Maddie/Jean/Sinister, OR that Claremont was looking to blow open a much more Serious Gateway for the Elder Gods or something and was teasing for it for years beforehand, but was called off at the last minute from something that should have had linewide repercussions and it came a pesky portal to Belasco’s Limbo instead.

        As for the Hellfire Club, I always found their stated motivation for capturing the X-Men during the Dark Phoenix Saga to do some tests on them for to isolate the mutant factor and create what kind of mutants they wanted a bit Silver Agey, but with the Apocalypse retcons and whatnot the genetic manipulation angle akin to Mr. Sinister or the Celestials is very X-appropriate.

        Pierce may well be mining for Vibranium, but I’m more interest for what purpose he’s doing it. Did they need a shitload of magical metal for example to build some sort of Portal contrivances, possibly powered by portal-powered mutants like Gateway, or, hah, Illyana?

        Of course, there had already been built demon portals on Earth in linewide Surtur War cross-overette and the higher editors would probably have nixed there being yet another one of those in a similar story but at this point Claremont had already been teasing for it and to make something out of it there perhaps was a fastly conceived magical portal to Limbo as a back-up plan. Going back to read Belasco’s original plans for Illyana to open up a Gateway for the Elder Gods I find it hard to believe a crappy Limbo portal was supposed to be the culmination for the Darkchylde arc. I mean, wasn’t there already like an open connection to the Caribbean Island for the demons to use to get to Earth?

  28. And, the bit about “legends about Buddai, the gigantic old man who lies asleep for ages underground with his head on his arm, and who will some day awake and eat up the world”…

    Of course it’s the Black/Dreaming Celestial and Galactus who should be springing into one’s mind, but when mentioning that I didn’t even remember all the factuals circling around the Fantastic Four “Time Bubble story” of the Black Celestial boosting up Galactus’ hunger. It was published in 1990, contemporary to the Outback Era, as practically the first FF story by Walt Simonson, who should be supposed to have been very much in the loop with the X-office around this time.

    • In the lettercol of Thor #369 (pub. 1986) they let out that Walt and Louise Simonson were working on a Havok and Polaris limited series where they would be set against the Sleeping Celestial. Apparently it fell through and/because (?) they were sucked into the post-Mutant Massacre UXM, but the Celestial showing himself up seems to have been long in the works with the Simonsons.

      It’s hard to believe Claremont would have been working UXM towards that direction based only on obsolete reference-drop in ancient Lovecraft story, but all the Australian dream connecting machinery popping up sure dies give up tools to contrive things up. It could perhaps have been possible to retcon the Celestial sleep under Australia instead of Californian mountain.

      • Recall Havok & Polaris had previously been in the Rio Diablo Mountains in Uncanny X-Men #97 (when Eric the Red enslaved them) and return there in Uncanny X-Men #218 (when hunted by the Marauders and where the Brood starshark vessel crashes). So geological and archaeological anomalies were they both there studying that drew all the x-related events there in particular? Were the Rio Diablo Mountains an extension of the Diablo Range in California and if so was the Celestial drawing these events to where he was imprisoned?

        Can you add your email to your next comment so I can reply directly?

  29. Or rather, just after the Outback era. It’s haunting really how in 1990 Claremont visits Zaladane, Forge’s past, Shadow King and has Rogue pop in the Outback to absorb Gateway, really all the things that seem to have some connections to some massive plot, but gets derailed by Jim Lee’s eagerness to visit such classic settings like Shi’ar Imperium and Harras’ mandate to return them to the school setting where they are in their cartoon show getting popular but which he is done with. And he quits.

  30. We have of course so far ignored the little story piece that goes by the name “Dark Phoenix saga”, where Jean Grey… ish character hosting the Phoenix Force gets corrupted by Mastermind. His means for doing it is a mind tap device “provided by Emma Frost” and his own powers.

    Now if someone was inducing the fever dream into the head of crucified Logan (rather than him just imagining things he possibly could know nothing about), the process is eerily similar. Perhaps it is Donald Pierce who 1) is into torturing Logan and 2) actually was there to witness the happenstances presented in Logan’s dream.

    In any case, “Emma Frost’s” device, essentially telepathy by technology, still is pretty much the same thing as the mind tap technology in the Outback base. Both Emma Frost and Donald Pierce were members of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club so the technology can freely move but somehow I suspect that Emma Frost is not the originator it.

    Funny how this Australian mind tap technology dances with Madelyne Pryor and eventually plays a role in her corruption, considering that in DPS it’s Jean Grey… ish Child of Light and Darkness who they go after with it. Was it Storm who at some point explicitly said that Maddie is their computer wizard, suggesting that the technology there is not at all as easy for the others to use? Excluding of course demons from Limbo once controlled by N’Garai high priest Belasco, now property of Darkchylde’s.*

    Sooo… do we know any “Child of Light”? Jade from Feng-Tu?

    Anyway, soon enough after DPS, a cultist priest and a lycanthrope Friedrich von Roehm will introduce Selene, an ageless energy vampire and old acquaintance of Kulan Gath’s into the Club. It’s probably not because they think they’d fit just finely into the outfit of rich industrialist mutants who are into cosplaying 18th century.

    This happens right after she meets Rachel Summers, another Child of Light and Darkness. She’ll lose the hunt for her to Spiral though, who fools Rachel into her Body Shoppe just after getting connected to the Hellfire commandos Reese, Cole & Macon.

    And just then the Hellfire Club will pull a full 180 turn on their relation to the X-Men after meeting the mutant hunting robot Nimrod from Rachel’s Days of the Future Past future.

    (It must be noted of course that Nimrod is a stand-in for Fury from Alan Moore’s Captain Britain arch Jaspers’ Warp from where also Roma hails, and Claremont was planning to re-do Jaspers’ Warp and have Mutant Massacre tied to it, but he wasn’t allowed to use the characters)

    Nimrod is the ultimate expression of the attempts to stop the Celestial-induced evolution of the human race into superpowered Homo superior. Is his appearance in Earth-616 at this point a massive game changer for the hidden plans of the Hellfire Club or what?

    And should we return to re-evaluate the first appearance of Mystique where she radios to her mystic “lord” not so much before when she, possibly unknowingly, will try make the DoFP future come true by assassinating senator Kelly?

    * Oh yes, that Gateway fellow. When Illyana was doing a necromantic spell of most dark kind to summon Colossus, then thought to be dead by her, it was Gateway who knew of the summoning and teleported Colossus there just in time before Illyana managed to condemn herself beyond redemption. There seems to be practically no borders between Limbo and Australian Outback.

    I also can’t help thinking about the “Necrophone” that blew on Voctor von Doom’s face. Funny is should happen to the scion of a Balkanese magic user family, right after he walks in on the son of Nathaniel Richards tampering with the equipment. “Oh I’m just reading the papers!”, is the son’s excuse upon getting caught, and to cover himself for suspicions over what he knows will happen next he continues: “You seem to have made some errors in your equations, and –”

    And then later on he will go and stir up troubles on the Monster Island in Fantastic Four #1, tilting the fragile balance of things and essentially activating all the N’Garai problem of the modern times that will rapidly start to unfold.

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