In 1997, comics fan Robert Wicks began compiling his “Unofficial Chronology to the Marvel Universe” for his Usenet community. Originally intending to create an FAQ on important events occurring before the Fantastic Four gained their powers, his project grew into an all-encompassing history of the Marvel Universe since the Big Bang. He drew primarily from the various editions of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, supplementing that information with tidbits provided by his own readings, other posters on his Usenet groups, and personal correspondence. I have found the resulting document to be a terrific resource, although it suffers, in my eyes, from two major drawbacks. First, his adherence to the concept of “Marvel Time” and the “Sliding Time Scale” causes his straightforward chronology to break down into a confusing muddle as it approaches the twentieth century. Second, he struggles to include the incoherent and ill-conceived storylines from Marvel’s post-1991 output.
For my own purposes, I revised and edited his text to represent only the Original Marvel Universe, as I understand its scope and contours. In the process, I added additional content that Mr. Wicks had omitted for one reason or another, drawing from resources not available at the time of the drafting of the original document, such as Jeff Christiansen’s excellent Appendix website. I also added numerous citations to indicate where much of the information was originally presented, and did a fair amount of copy-editing. As I have often referred to this version when crafting my OMU and OMW chronologies, I have decided to post it here.
Note: The following timeline depicts the Original Marvel Universe (anchored to November 1961 as the first appearance of the Fantastic Four and proceeding backward from there. See previous posts for a detailed explanation of my rationale.) Some information presented on the timeline is speculative and some is based on historical accounts or scientific theory, and is noted as such in the text.
From time immemorial, witness now… The True History of the Original Marvel Universe!
Part One: In the Beginning…
13.8 Billion Years Ago
The Marvel Universe is created in a massive explosion, the Big Bang. Matter and energy condense to form the cosmos, under the stewardship of a benevolent multiversal entity known as the One-Above-All and its assistant, the Living Tribunal. [Date based on scientific theory.]
Eternity, Death, Lord Chaos, Master Order, and others—abstract entities that are the ethereal embodiments of the new universe—are born.
The Celestial Axis, a pattern of sentient energy, threads itself through the still-forming universe.
A being from a previous collapsed universe, formerly known as Galen of the planet Taa, emerges into the newborn universe inside a protective shell. Galen has merged with the sentience of his dead universe and is undergoing a metamorphosis that will take billions of years. [Thor #169]
8 Billion Years Ago
Eternity, the embodiment of everything in the universe, weaves from the Celestial Axis a sentient quasi-physical entity called Eon. Created to become the cosmic custodian of the universe and to monitor beings of incredible power that might pose a threat to the universe’s existence, Eon also eventually becomes responsible for nurturing the evolution of sentient life forms throughout the universe. [Quasar #2]
7 Billion Years Ago
Life begins to evolve in the universe on many planets. Each planet capable of sustaining life is granted a consciousness by the One-Above-All, derived from the Celestial Axis. On most worlds, this consciousness produces from itself beings known as gods. Many of these planets also give rise to sentient mortal beings, some of whom achieve a level of intelligence allowing the creation of civilizations.
One of the first intelligent races to evolve will eventually become known to the rest of the universe as the Watchers. Their evolution causes them to develop tremendous mental abilities and energy-manipulating powers. As civilizations arise on other worlds, the High Tribunal of the Watchers debates whether or not to share their knowledge and technology with less-advanced cultures. The Watcher known as Uatu persuades the Tribunal to share their knowledge, and so a delegation of four Watchers travels to the planet Prosilicus. The Watchers offer the Prosilicans the knowledge of atomic energy, which will advance their level of technology considerably. The Watchers tutor the Prosilicans in the uses of atomic energy for several months, then depart. The Prosilicans use their new knowledge to develop nuclear weapons, and war and conflict break out across their planet. They next engage in war with an alien race, which proves to be more technologically advanced than them. These aliens all but destroy the remaining Prosilicans. Returning to evaluate the progress of their experiment, the Watchers are horrified to discover what the Prosilicans have done with their knowledge. During the next meeting of the High Tribunal, the Watchers decide that they will never again interfere in the affairs of another race. The Watchers instead develop a policy of non-interference and passive observation of alien cultures. [Tales of Suspense #53]
Soon after the meeting of the High Tribunal, the Watchers abandon their home planet and relocate throughout the universe, each Watcher choosing a different solar system to monitor and observe.
As other civilized alien races begin facing extinction, a number of last survivors, all of whom had driven themselves in pursuit of a particular discipline, discover that they have become immortal. These immortals eventually become known as the Elders of the Universe. They include the Collector, the Grandmaster, and the Contemplator. Their immortality allows them to survive not only the deaths of their races, but eventually also the destruction of their galaxies. In pursuit of their particular disciplines, the Elders spread out across the universe.
Galen’s spaceship is observed by a Watcher named Ecce. The Watcher studies the ship as it travels through space and learns that the being within has vast power, which is growing. Realizing that Galen will one day have to consume entire planets to sustain himself, the Watcher contemplates killing the creature within. In the end, Ecce decides to abide by his race’s policy of non-interference and lets the ship travel on its way, although he continues to observe it. Developing within the spaceship, Galen renames himself Galactus and begins learning how to master his vast power. Galactus transforms his spaceship into a huge incubation chamber to further aid his development. [Thor #169]
Eventually, the incubation chamber drifts into the orbit of the planet Archeopia. Years later, Galactus emerges from the chamber and destroys the planet, absorbing its energies into himself. Only a handful of Archeopians manage to flee the destruction of their planet. [Thor #162]
Over the next few millennia, Galactus constructs an enormous starbase, Taa II, which engulfs the entire Archeopian solar system. With the construction of his starbase complete, Galactus begins wandering the universe in search of planets to sate his hunger.
5.5 Billion Years Ago
The alien beings who will one day be known as the Astronomer and the Runner, both Elders of the Universe, are born.
4.6 Billion Years Ago
The star Sol begins to condense out of nebular gases, eventually forming a solar system. [Scientific theory.]
Eon, foreseeing threats to the conditions of life in the universe, creates the quantum bands, a pair of weapons that allows the wearer to manipulate energy at will. Over the millennia as new threats arise in the cosmos, Eon will appoint new champions, giving each of them the quantum bands to aid in their duties. The first such champion is a being named Glakandra. [Quasar #2-3]
4.4 Billion Years Ago
The crust around the third planet from the star Sol solidifies and hardens. This planet will eventually be known as Earth. [Scientific theory.]
3.8 Billion Years Ago
The first single-celled organisms are formed on Earth. [Scientific theory.]
3.5 Billion Years Ago
The Demiurge achieves consciousness after being coalesced from Earth’s biosphere. As conditions on Earth become more supportive of life, and sensing the need for diversity, the Demiurge splits up into countless fragments, each of which forms into a new being, such as Belathauzer, Chthon, Gaea, Set, and many others. These entities, known as the Elder Gods, roam the landmasses, and may have had something to do with the shaping of Earth’s continents. [Thor Annual #10] [Date based on scientific theory.]
3 Billion Years Ago
Gaea assigns herself as protector of the emerging life in Earth’s seas. Chthon begins devoting himself to the study and manipulation of mystical energies, becoming Earth’s first sorcerer, a master of black magic. Set spawns a number of offspring, among them Sligguth and Damballah. [Silver Surfer Annual #2]
Set, realizing he can increase his own power by consuming the energy of his fellows, becomes the first being on Earth to commit murder. Thus, he starts down the path of degeneracy into a demon. Other Elder Gods quickly follow Set’s example, becoming corrupt, then evil as they feed off each other while engaged in never-ending warfare.
2 Billion Years Ago
After many millions of years of existence, all the Elder Gods except Gaea have degenerated. Gaea fears that the Elder Gods’ wars will destroy the evolving life on the planet. Thus, Gaea mates with a reincarnation of the Demiurge and gives birth to Atum, who dedicates himself to eradicating the evil of the Elder Gods.
Foreseeing the threat Atum poses to his very existence, Chthon inscribes all the mystical knowledge he has amassed onto a magical parchment, which is to serve as his touchstone with the earth after he escapes into another dimension. Atum indeed becomes a threat to the Elder Gods, as he begins destroying them, absorbing their malefic energies into himself. These energies cause him to undergo a metamorphosis into the form of Demogorge the God-Eater, and vast numbers of Elder Gods fall to him. Chthon, sensing the end is near, casts a spell which allows him to escape into another dimension before Demogorge can slay him. Before fleeing the earth, Chthon hides the parchment containing his mystical knowledge and leaves it behind.
Set, witnessing what Chthon has done, replicates Chthon’s spell and he and his offspring escape also. A few other Elder Gods manage to escape as well. In the end, Gaea is the only Elder God permitted to exist on the planet, and she infuses her uncorrupted essence into the earth and into all living things. Demogorge then releases all the energies he had absorbed, reverting to Atum once more. He then takes up residence deep within the sun. [Thor Annual #10]
Over the next billion years, the evil energies that Demogorge released when he changed back to Atum gradually form into a number of lesser demonic beings, such as Mephisto, Satannish, Thog, Marduk Kurios, and others. Most are banished from the earth by Gaea and take up residence in various pocket dimensions, known collectively as the Infernal Realms or Hell. [Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #8]
250 Million Years Ago
A race of immortal extradimensional demons, known as the Undying Ones, journeys to Earth through a rift in time and space. They nearly wipe out all life on earth before Gaea can stop them. However, due to their own innate mystic powers, the Undying Ones survive Gaea’s attack and remain to prey upon Earth’s lifeforms for eons, although their numbers and powers gradually wane as time goes on. [Sub-Mariner #22][Date based on scientific theory]
225 Million Years Ago
The Leader travels back from the 20th century A.D. with two hypnotized hostages, the Wasp and Captain Marvel. He intends to use Captain Marvel’s energy-manipulation powers to bombard the landscape with gamma rays to alter the evolution of mammals. However, Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, and She-Hulk follow the villain into the past to stop him. The Leader appears to perish in a volcano but is actually pulled back to the future by his intelligent space station, Omnivac. [Hulk #284][Date based on scientific theory]
200 Million Years Ago
The Beyonders, a race of almost omnipotent extradimensional beings, hire an alien race called the Nuwali to build wildlife preserves on a number of different planets. These facilities allow the Beyonders to observe the process of evolution under relatively controlled conditions. One of the planets chosen as a site for a preserve is Earth. The Nuwali arrive on Earth during the Triassic period and begin construction of the preserve on the continent of Antarctica. They choose a spot with active volcanoes and set up advanced technological devices deep within caverns under the valley to help maintain a tropical climate. When the preserve is completed, the Nuwali begin stocking it with all manner of earthly animal life. Over the next several millennia, the Nuwali return to restock the preserve. In this way, many species that fall to extinction outside the preserve manage to survive within it. This wildlife preserve will one day be known as the Savage Land.
65 Million Years Ago
From his pocket dimension, Set enjoys a mystic link with the dinosaurs through which he can feed off their life energies. Over many millions of years, he has amassed tremendous power in this way. However, Gaea realizes the dinosaurs represent an evolutionary dead end and shifts the balance of evolution on Earth in favor of mammalian life. Enraged, Set directs the dinosaurs to kill off the mammals. Realizing her brother is behind the carnage, Gaea challenges Set to face her. Thus, Set returns to Earth in the form of gigantic serpent. Finding herself overmatched, Gaea summons her son Atum to once again battle the demon. As before, Atum assumes the form of the Demogorge, and his battle with Set rages for millions of years. The devastation unleashed by their fighting drives the dinosaurs to extinction, but Gaea shelters the mammals so they might survive. Finally, the Demogorge triumphs and Set is forced back to his pocket dimension, too drained of energy to ever return to Earth on his own. The Demogorge changes back into Atum and bids farewell to Gaea, heading back to his dwelling place in the sun. Set vows to one day have his revenge. [Iron Man Annual #10]
20 Million Years Ago
The Celestials, enormous humanoid aliens who possess vast cosmic power, visit the planet Skrullos in the Drox system of the Andromeda Galaxy, the homeworld of the Skrulls. There they perform genetic tests upon the inhabitants, resulting in three separate branches of Skrullkind. After completing their experiments, the Celestials leave. One of the branches, the Skrull Deviants, is given the ability to physically alter their appearance at will. Over time, the Deviant Skrulls wage war on the other two Skrull branches, driving them to extinction.
A subset of Deviant Skrulls evolves along slightly different lines and masters the arts of sorcery. Regarded as a threat by the main branch of Deviant Skrulls, this subset is banished to an area of space called the Dark Nebula, where they will continue to evolve and mutate into the Dire Wraiths.
The Skrulls eventually become a space-faring race and establish an empire spanning the Andromeda Galaxy.
Skrull scientists spend thousands of years looking for a means to convert thought into reality. Finally, the scientists discover a method whereby they open a portal to the dimension of the Beyonders and capture the resulting energy discharge within a cubical force field, thus creating a device which can alter reality. By holding this Cosmic Cube in one’s hand, one can do anything one wants. The Cube is immediately confiscated by the Skrull emperor, who uses its power to proclaim himself a god. After years in the possession of the power-mad emperor, the Cosmic Cube begins developing a consciousness and personality of its own, patterned after that of its holder. The Cube, acting independently of the emperor, then begins altering reality to shape its own wishes, drastically altering or even destroying entire solar systems. The destruction it causes wipes out two-thirds of the Skrull empire, and causes the Skrulls to revert to the level of barbarism.
The Skrull Cosmic Cube eventually matures and evolves further, abandoning much of its insane ruthlessness. Because it had been created by the Skrulls, it creates a Skrull-like humanoid appearance for itself, with features modeled on the emperor who had used it for so long. The Cosmic Cube remains driven by the urge to transform worlds, but because of the inherent lack of imagination in Skrulls, the Cube is also cursed with the same handicap. Thus, the Shaper of Worlds, as the evolved Cosmic Cube now calls itself, wanders the universe, seeking out imaginative beings who will aid him by providing images on which to base his transformations.
The Skrulls eventually reestablish their civilization and again develop a galaxy-wide empire.
10 Million Years Ago
The Skrulls, while attempting to build a trans-galactic empire based on free trade, land an expeditionary force on the planet Hala in the galaxy known as the Large Magellanic Cloud. They intend to educate the barbaric natives to the point where they can join the empire. However, Hala proves to have two equally intelligent races, the humanoid Kree and the plant-like Cotati. The Skrulls propose a test to determine the worthier species. Taking representative members of both species to a distant planetoid in a nearby “neutral” galaxy—Earth’s moon, in fact—the Skrulls create an area with a life-sustaining atmosphere, later known as the Blue Area of the Moon, and then bid the two groups to use what resources they have to create something of worth. The Skrulls then depart. The Kree construct a magnificent city, while the Cotati create a beautiful garden. A year later, the Skrulls return to judge the two races and deem the Cotati’s accomplishment the more worthy. Enraged, the Kree murder both the Skrulls and the Cotati and seize the Skrulls’ starship. They use the ship to return to their native planet, then set about deciphering how the technology of the starship works. [Avengers #133]
After the abandonment of the Blue Area of the Moon, the Watcher Uatu sets up his home there.
Within a hundred years of acquiring interstellar technology from the Skrulls, the new Kree Empire begins to spread throughout their galaxy. The Kree then launch an attack upon the Skrull Empire, forcing the peaceful Skrulls to become warlike to defend themselves. The first Kree-Skrull War will continue for hundreds of thousands of years.
The Cotati on Hala are driven nearly to extinction as the Kree wage a campaign of genocide against them. However, a handful of Kree pacifists hide a group of Cotati in their temple. Eventually, these Kree begin worshiping the Cotati that they have kept sheltered, and come to be known as the Priests of Pama. To further ensure their survival, the priests relocate the surviving Cotati to planets throughout the universe. [Avengers #134]
5 Million Years Ago
On Earth, the N’Garai, a race of extradimensional demons, emerge to wreak havoc on the world and its inhabitants. They soon start a war with the demonic Undying Ones, which eventually reaches a stalemate and settles into a long-standing enmity.
3 Million Years Ago
Gaea gives birth to the race of Primal Gods over the course of several millennia, producing non-corporeal beings such as Anu, Búri, Nuadhu, Ouranus, and Thoth, whose descendants will eventually found a number of different pantheons of new gods.
Hominid species on the landmass that will eventually be called Africa begin to use stone tools. They live in large social groups in semi-permanent camps. [Scientific theory]
1.8 Million Years Ago
Tribes of Homo erectus begin to migrate beyond their home continent. From his pocket dimension, Set mystically influences a handful of Homo erectus and turns them into serpent-like humanoids. Set also gives these Serpent Men the ability to shape-change into hominid form.
1.5 Million Years Ago
The Primal Gods intervene in the lives of the hominid species for the first time when they drive the demonic N’Garai back to their native dimension. Seeing that the demons’ hominid slaves have been utterly corrupted by evil, the gods choose one woman and transform her into a mystical avatar called the Firebird. Embodying all that is decent, kind, and noble, the Firebird leads the hominids on the path to redemption. Having become immortal, she learns to assume humanoid form and eventually comes to be known as Jade. [Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu #22]
The extradimensional demon Shuma-Gorath travels to Earth, where he torments and devours many of the Homo erectus tribes. Eventually, a time-traveling sorcerer called Sise-Neg appears and banishes Shuma-Gorath from Earth’s dimension. [Marvel Premiere #14]
1.3 Million Years Ago
The migrating Homo erectus tribes reach the continent that will one day be called Asia. [Scientific theory]
1 Million Years Ago
The Homo erectus tribes master the art of making fire.
Set, foreseeing the arrival on Earth of the First Host of the Celestials, urges his Serpent Men to kill the nearby Homo erectus tribe so that they and not the hominids will be the ones to be empowered by the Celestials. The Serpent Men enter the valley near where the Celestials will land and urge two hominids to betray their own tribe. However, the hominids reject the Serpent Men and drive them from the valley. [Uncanny X-Men Annual #13]
The First Host of the Celestials arrives on Earth to explore the planet and to perform genetic experiments on the dominant humanoid species. They are greeted by Gaea, who escorts them to the valley where the tribe of Homo erectus lives. The Serpent Men approach the Celestials but are driven away by Arishem the Judge. Meanwhile, Gammenon the Gatherer brings a handful of hominids to the Celestials’ ship. Ziran the Tester analyzes the hominids, then begins his experiments. He creates the Deviants, a sub-species that is genetically unstable, so that the Celestials can determine humankind’s adaptability. Nezzar the Calculator then experiments and creates the Eternals, a sub-species that is evolutionarily accelerated, given vastly extended life spans, and endowed with the ability to channel and manipulate limited quantities of cosmic energy. The Eternals are created to test mankind’s durability and longevity. To further test the versatility of hominid genes, Oneg the Prober implants a dormant DNA complex in other specimens of the main species, which will one day result in radical benevolent mutations. Then, having completed their experiments, the Celestials release their test subjects and leave Earth. [What If? #23, Uncanny X-Men Annual #13]
An alien spaceship crash-lands on a mountain on an extradimensional world. The energy released by the destruction of the ship’s warp drive causes a permanent fluctuating rift to be opened into Earth’s dimension. The rift is located in the Himalayan Mountains in what is today Tibet. The aliens use the remains of their ship to build a city which they name K’un-Lun. The activities of the new colony prove harmful to the native plant-based life-forms, which are sentient and call themselves the H’ylthri. The H’ylthri attempt to communicate with the humanoid settlers, but to no avail. [Iron Fist #2]
The H’ylthri create a humanoid form out of vegetable matter and send it to spy on the alien settlement. However, as there are only about a hundred colonists, the spy is quickly discovered. In the ensuing fight, the spy is beheaded, and its body collapses into a mass of plant tissue. The warriors of K’un-Lun are shocked and realize they must guard against such infiltration by the H’ylthri. The two races settle into a long-standing enmity. [Namor #22]
In a parallel timeline, a six-fingered wizard named Somon the Artificer succeeds in creating a race of Great Beasts that enables him to conquer the world. Among them are Tundra, Tanaraq, Kolomaq, Ranaq, Kariooq, and Tolamaq. However, the monsters soon turn on each other, and their constant warfare lays waste to the entire planet. Over time, billions of people perish in the unending conflict and their souls are imprisoned in the Pit of Ultimate Sadness to be used by the Great Beasts as a food source. The world inhabited by the Great Beasts thus becomes one of the Twisted Realms. When all the souls have been consumed and the planet has died, the Great Beasts begin looking for new worlds to conquer. They will eventually make repeated attempts to break through the interdimensional barrier to Earth. [Alpha Flight #24]
993,000 Years Ago
The Kree Science Council, aware that their enemies the Skrulls had once created a Cosmic Cube, designs an enormous cybernetic/organic computer to help them create a Cube of their own. When the computer becomes functional, it determines that a Cosmic Cube would be too dangerous to construct and refuses the Science Council’s request. Over time, the computer achieves more and more political power until it is finally elected as absolute ruler of the Kree. The computer is thenceforth known as the Supreme Intelligence. Eventually, the Supreme Intelligence even becomes an object of worship and an entire organized religion grows up around it.
800,000 Years Ago
On Earth, the migrating tribes of Homo erectus first reach the continent that will one day be called Europe. [Scientific theory]
500,000 Years Ago
Through unknown, possibly sorcerous means, a number of Homo erectus tribes rapidly evolve into the mysterious Elder Races, who hold dominion over the earth for several millennia before all but disappearing. A few powerful wizards, such as Thulsa Doom, the Dark Rider, Tuzun Thune, and the Demonolater, survive the destruction of their race.
Part Two: Ages Undreamed Of
Homo sapiens evolve on Earth. Humankind eventually becomes strong enough and smart enough to fight back against the Serpent Men’s constant attacks. Eventually, the humans migrate around the world. As they encounter various groups of gods, the mortals and immortals profoundly influence each other. [Date based on scientific theory]
Humans learn to navigate in boats over open water and become a sea-faring people. [Scientific theory]
The seat of the Skrull Empire is moved to the planet Tarnax IV, which is more centrally located in the empire. This planet is thenceforth called the Imperial Throneworld.
A Kree scientist named Bronek develops the first Sentry prototype, a humanoid robot designed to safeguard and patrol Kree interstellar outposts and weapons depots.
As the Kree-Skrull War rages on, the Kree set up a supply outpost in Earth’s solar system on the planet Uranus, hoping to maintain a weapons base close to the natural space-warp that exists in the Sol system. They leave Kree Sentry 213 behind to guard it.
The Plodex, an alien race that has exhausted all natural resources within its own solar system, develops an ingenious means to colonize other worlds. An automated ship lands on a hospitable planet and sends out a hypnotic summons to attract the most intelligent species of that world. The ship then combines Plodex DNA in unhatched eggs with that of the dominant species. The ship then disperses millions of eggs all across the planet. One of these colony ships is launched towards Earth. [Alpha Flight #4]
The Plodex colony spaceship crash-lands in the region that will become northern Asia. The damaged starship hypnotically summons all mobile life to come to the ship, but fires off its supply of Plodex eggs before they can be genetically altered to survive on Earth’s surface. All but two of the eggs eventually die. One of the eggs that lands in the ocean manages to adapt itself to the aquatic environment and survive. As a result, the undeveloped Plodex inside the egg becomes amphibious. The egg will drift across the ocean for many millennia before hatching. [Alpha Flight #4]
Attracted by the hypnotic summons, a human being makes his way to the Plodex ship. Captured by the ship’s automated devices, the human’s body is dissected, analyzed, and destroyed. However, his brain is kept alive and conscious, and he experiences tremendous pain that drives him insane. Over the next several thousand years, the human brain gradually establishes control over the spaceship. [Alpha Flight #3]
The demon Shuma-Gorath returns to Earth from his native dimension and establishes himself on a mountain on the continent that will one day be known as Europe. He resumes feasting upon the local human populations, eventually driving Neanderthal Man to extinction. He rules his domain for a few thousand years, until he is finally defeated and imprisoned within the mountain by a young god named Crom, a descendant of the original Elder Gods of Earth. [Conan the Barbarian #260]
The dawn of the Pre-Cataclysmic Age of man. Barbarian nomads of mainstream humanity begin wandering the island continents of Atlantis, Lemuria, and Mu, and eventually establish a thriving civilization on the Eurasian landmass, which at this time is known as the Thurian Continent. Many of these humans come to worship the god Valka, while others worship the goddess Syndra. Numerous other gods, all descendants of Gaea and/or the Primal Gods, seek worshipers among the humans as well.
As the first cities are established in Lemuria, they are attacked by the Serpent Men, beginning the conflict later known as the Thousand Year War.
The Thousand Year War comes to an end when the god Gorm provides the human king, Thungarth of Nemedis, with an enchanted sword forged from a meteorite. Though Thungarth is killed in the final battle, the Serpent Men are routed, allowing human settlements to finally thrive in Lemuria. [Creatures on the Loose #26]
The Nuwali, the alien race contracted by the Beyonders to construct and stock animal preserves throughout the galaxy, makes one of their last trips to Earth during its Pleistocene epoch to restock the Antarctica preserve. The Beyonders eventually lose interest in the habitats, and the Nuwali stop introducing new breeds into the preserves they have established. Without routine maintenance, all the preserves except Earth’s eventually collapse.
Civil war breaks out between two factions of the earth’s Eternals. Uranos wants to wage war against the humans, while his brother Chronos proposes the way of peaceful coexistence. The two sides clash over their ideologies in a violent confrontation that kills almost nine-tenths of their population and destroys the Eternals’ capital city of Titanos. Finally, Chronos’s forces prevail and he rules that Uranos and his surviving band of followers be banished from Earth into outer space. Chronos uses his powers to transform Uranos and his followers into living energy, which he then flings into space. With the rebels gone, Chronos forsakes violence and decides to devote himself to the pursuit of science and knowledge. [Captain Marvel #29, What If? #24]
Zuras and his brother Alars are born to Chronos and Daina of the Eternals.
Uranos and the banished Eternals fly through space, approaching the edge of the solar system. Concentrating their mental abilities, they manage to slightly change their course and are caught by the gravity of the planet Uranus. Eventually discovering the Kree weapons depot on the planet, they manage to change their course to pass through the dome which surrounds the enclosure. The dome’s force field absorbs inertia from the energy stream’s electrons, transforming the rebel Eternals back into their physical forms. The rebel Eternals then battle and destroy Kree Sentry 213, which had been placed there on guard, but not before the Sentry activates a trans-galactic alarm. The rebel Eternals then cannibalize the Kree technology to build a spaceship to transport them back to Earth. Once the ship is completed, the rebel Eternals set a course for their home planet. However, four of the rebels remain behind, and they eventually build a thriving colony within the depot enclosure. [What If? #26]
A Kree armada investigates the Uranus signal, believing the Skrulls to be responsible for Sentry 213’s destruction. They discover the rebel Eternals in their crude spaceship on its journey back to Earth. The Kree capture one of the rebel Eternals for examination and then destroy the ship. Unfamiliar with their test subject, the Kree bring him back to the planet Kree-Lar, their new throneworld, where they vivisect and examine him.
About half of the rebel Eternals aboard the spaceship survive the Kree attack. Linking together, they conserve their oxygen long enough to make their way to Titan, a moon of Saturn. There, using their energy manipulation powers, they begin to convert the interior of the moon into a highly technological society. Within a few hundred years they are a fully-functioning civilization.
The Kree discover that the Eternal they had examined was a result of the Celestials’ experiments on earthlings. Kree scientists then petition their rulers to perform their own experiments on human subjects. The Supreme Intelligence grants them permission, hoping that the experiment will result in a race of super-warriors for the Kree. Journeying to Earth, the Kree begin genetically engineering a small tribe of humans into more advanced beings. For the next twenty-five years, the Kree conduct their experiments, eventually creating a race of artificially-advanced humans. For unknown reasons, the Kree abandon their experiments, and the tribe is set free. The Kree leave Sentry 459 behind on a small South Pacific island to monitor for Skrull activity and to observe the progress of the human test subjects, whose tribe will one day be known as the Inhumans.
The Eternal colony on the planet Uranus, now free of the destructive tendencies of its former leader, begins devoting itself to peaceful scientific and philosophical pursuits. They decide to devote themselves to the mysteries of the universe, and set about trying to discover a grand unified theory of everything. [Quasar #2]
The Eternal colony on Titan, meanwhile, ruled by the warlike Uranos, eventually degenerates and falls into a civil war so terrible that it wipes out the entire population, except for one woman named Sui-San. [Captain Marvel #29]
Chronos, in his laboratory in the rebuilt city of Titanos, continues his research into the Eternals’ abilities to manipulate cosmic energy. Finally he is successful in isolating cosmic power, but the container in which it is held explodes, disintegrating Chronos, destroying Titanos, and bombarding the Eternals in the city with cosmic particles. Although Chronos’s atoms are scattered throughout the city, the energy he had released augments his mental and astral form to a considerable degree, to the point where his powers are on a cosmic scale. [Captain Marvel #29]
Chronos’s astral form then appears before his sons, Zuras and Alars, informing them of what has happened. The cosmic particles have unlocked the Eternals’ genetic potential, making them virtually immortal and invulnerable, and allowing them to pass this legacy down to their descendants.
After the accident which has laid waste to the city, Alars and Zuras initiate the first Uni-Mind, collectively melding the Eternals into one mind and body. While in this form, the Eternals decide to make Zuras their new leader. When the Eternals disengage from the Uni-Mind, Alars, having been raised in the aftermath of the Eternals’ civil war, does not contest the decision and voluntarily exiles himself into outer space. He decides to search the area of the solar system to which his uncle Uranos had been banished.
The cosmic particles from the explosion in Titanos spread throughout the solar system. The Eternals on Uranus are eventually bombarded by the cosmic energy, and although they are not granted immortality like their brethren on Earth, their life spans and durability are greatly enhanced. [Quasar #7]
Alars, making his way through space, discovers Sui-San among the ruins of the colony on Titan. They fall in love and begin working together to rebuild and re-populate her world. Because Sui-San was not present at the explosion which granted Alars his immortality, their descendants have much longer lives than Eternals before the explosion, though not as great as Alars himself. [Captain Marvel #29]
Zuras decides not to rebuild the city of Titanos again, and leads his people to what is today known as Mount Olympus in Greece, and there establishes a new city, Olympia. Eventually, two other Eternal cities are also founded, Polaria in Siberia and Oceana in the Pacific. Olympia, from which Zuras rules the Eternals, remains their capital city.
Three extradimensional sorcerers, Necrom and his students Feron and Merlyn, materialize in the ruins of Titanos seeking to take advantage of a cosmic alignment to create a stable energy matrix of tremendous power. Feron fulfills a lifetime of training by summoning the celestial avatar known as the Phoenix, and uses its power to project a manifestation of the tower at the heart of the alignment through the multiverse, thereby linking together all planes of reality. However, Necrom betrays his students, hoping to gain the power of the energy matrix for himself. Feron, sustained by the Phoenix force, battles Necrom, giving Merlyn the chance to leap into the matrix. Absorbing its energies, Merlyn is swept away across the infinite dimensions. The defeated Necrom steals the part of the Phoenix force that had bonded itself to Feron and combines it with a portion of his own life-essence to create the Anti-Phoenix, which he leaves buried deep underground before escaping into another dimension. [Excalibur #50]
Left behind on Earth, Feron maintains a constant vigil should the Anti-Phoenix rise again, and eventually passes this duty on to his descendants. Before dying, Feron places his power into the earth itself, to be used someday by his heir to fight the Anti-Phoenix. [Excalibur #50]
Merlyn eventually masters the energy matrix and, finding he has become immortal, creates the extradimensional realm of Otherworld. [Excalibur #50]
The small tribe of Inhumans wanders the Eurasian landmass for centuries.
Continually subjected to attacks by prejudiced humans, the Inhumans create a refuge on the island of Attilan in the North Atlantic Ocean. There they make great advancements in civilization and scientific discovery, especially in genetics. The Inhumans eventually found a government based on genocracy, or rule by the most genetically fit. [Thor #146]
The Eternals’ leader Zuras marries Cybele.
The Eternal later called Ikaris is born to Virarko and his wife, two second-generation Polar Eternals.
Azura, later known as Thena, is born to Zuras and Cybele.
Azura meets Kro, a Deviant with Eternal-like capabilities. Kro has extremely long life, is almost invulnerable, and has the ability to alter his physical appearance. Azura and Kro fall in love despite the hostility that exists between their two races, but their relationship eventually ends badly. Azura maintains her love for Kro, but not knowing of his virtual immortality, assumes that the Deviant has eventually died of old age. Fearing that if other Deviants knew of his special powers they would experiment on him, Kro changes his appearance and takes up a new identity. Over the following millennia, he will take on a number of different shapes and guises.
Kull, an Atlantean barbarian, becomes king of Valusia, a nation on the Thurian Continent. One of his greatest foes is the Serpent Men. Using their ability to alter their appearance to resemble human beings, the Serpent Men infiltrate human civilizations with the intent to conquer them. King Kull manages to uncover many of the Serpent Men’s plots and sheds much of their blood.
Kull also battles the ancient sorcerer Thulsa Doom, killing him several times. Eventually, Thulsa Doom becomes imprisoned by a race of gods, where he will remain for several thousand years.
Atlantean sorcerers discover the Darkhold, the ancient mystical scroll penned by the Elder God Chthon. Founding the Cult of the Darkholders, they begin experimenting with the spells contained on the parchment, looking for a method to cause their enemies to return from the dead as a slave army. Varnæ, a Darkholder dying of wounds inflicted by Kull, volunteers to be the first test subject. After his death, Varnæ is successfully returned to a semblance of life, becoming the first vampire on Earth. The Darkholders intend to use the vampires against King Kull, their greatest enemy. However, the vampires are more powerful than the sorcerers, and the undead turn against their creators, killing most of them. The vampires then flee to the Thurian Continent. Varnæ assumes the title Lord of the Vampires, and retains this role for many millennia. [Conan the Barbarian #245]
The few surviving members of the Cult of the Darkholders pursue their undead creations to the Thurian Continent, taking the Darkhold with them. Over the next several millennia, the parchment passes through countless hands.
Advancing civilization and technological innovations greatly improve the lives of most Atlanteans. They achieve wonders of science and technology that have yet to be paralleled by modern humans. Over the following centuries, Atlantis develops into a sophisticated empire.
The Deviants conquer the island continent of Lemuria in the Pacific Ocean and enslave the human population. The slaves are then forced to invade other human nations to expand the Deviants’ empire. In this way, the Deviants soon come to dominate the entire Thurian Continent. Only Atlantis manages to remain free, quickly driving back the Deviants’ continual invasion attempts.
Several small tribes of nomadic Atlanteans sail to Antarctica. Discovering the Nuwali technology used to sustain the Savage Land, they make considerable improvements to the machinery and extend the area which it controls. Using other Nuwali technology they find, the Atlanteans also create wonderful devices used for entertainment. The Atlanteans name the new territory Pangea. Word of the new land spreads back to Atlantis and Valusia, and Pangea quickly becomes a recreational area for both cultures. The new settlers also import to Pangea many of the different breeds of animals in both Atlantis and the adjoining Savage Land.
A number of human Lemurians, fleeing Deviant persecution, also settle in Pangea. Some dinosaur species are taken back to Lemuria and introduced to the jungles of Chush.
Pangean scientists perform genetic experiments on the ape-men of the Savage Land in order to create laborers to run the amusement parks in Pangea. The scientists are successful in creating a number of different offshoots of humanity, such as the Aerians, Tree-People, Tubanti, and other animal-like races, all with human intelligence. Eventually, the Animal Peoples of Pangea become increasingly fed up with being treated like slaves. To solve this, the Pangeans relocate the Animal Peoples to a distant corner of Pangea and build fully-mechanical automatons to run the Pangean parks. Nevertheless, the Animal Peoples rise in rebellion and eventually defeat their Atlantean masters. They demand equal rights from the Atlanteans, so the scientists once again extend the climate controls surrounding Pangea and the Savage Land. Satisfied, the Animal Peoples relocate peacefully.
Thongor, a young barbarian from northern Lemuria, makes his way to the cities in the southern part of the continent when his clan is wiped out by intertribal warfare. He supports himself as a thief, assassin, and pirate. While working as a mercenary in the militia of Thurdis, he kills his commanding officer in a bar fight and becomes a fugitive. Thongor steals an airship built with Deviant technology and crashes it in the dinosaur-infested jungles of Chush. He is rescued by the wizard Sharajsha of Zaar, who recruits him to help stop a group of Serpent Men from opening an interdimensional portal to bring Set back to Earth. Having reforged the enchanted sword used by Thungarth of Nemedis, Thongor destroys the Serpent Men before the portal can be opened. [Creatures on the Loose #22–29]
The Eternals Valkin and Phastos construct the Pyramid of the Winds in the Arctic Circle. The Pyramid and its storehouses are designed to hold the Eternals’ most dangerous weapons. The symbol of the Pyramid is imprinted on the brow of Valkin’s nephew, Virarko’s son, with the keys to the Pyramid designed into his clothing. [Eternals #19]
The Atlantean sorceress Zhered-Na prophesies the sinking of Atlantis. Furious, the Atlantean king Kamuu orders Zhered-Na to cease making this prophecy. When she refuses to do so, she is banished from Atlantis. Zhered-Na washes up on the shore of the Thurian Continent and there starts a new cult of disciples. One of her followers is Dakimh the Enchanter, whom Zhered-Na makes virtually immortal through magical means. [Adventure into Fear #15]
Atlantis is suffering from both civil war and a number of invasions from Lemuria and Mu. Foreseeing that the Deviants will soon conquer the capital city of Atlantis and the major city of Netheria, King Kamuu orders huge transparent domes erected over the cities and has their foundations fortified as well. Finally, when Lemurian invaders murder his wife, Queen Zartra, Kamuu opens the magma pits which are the city’s main means of heating. The Lemurian force is destroyed, but the magma release triggers a seismological catastrophe that causes a series of devastating earthquakes throughout the continent. Kamuu is killed when his palace crumbles into the sea. [Sub-Mariner #62-63]
Lemurian alchemists, with the aid of the Serpent Men, create the Serpent Crown, an object of great mystical power. From his pocket dimension, Set links his consciousness to the crown when the alchemists’ leader, Atra, sacrifices his daughter Antilia. The crown then becomes a receptacle for Set’s power. Atra places the Serpent Crown on his head and sets out to overthrow the Deviants and conquer the world. [Marvel Team-Up Annual #5, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #23]
The Second Host of the Celestials arrives on Earth to inspect the progress of their experiments, the Deviants and Eternals. The main religion of the Deviants is worship of the Celestials, whom they consider “space gods.” However, they also hate the Celestials for making them genetically unstable and physically repulsive. Phraug, Emperor of the Deviants, gives the order to launch an attack upon the Second Host. However, Atra confronts Phraug and tries to destroy him with the Serpent Crown, only to discover that Set has promised the crown to Phraug. The two rival Set-worshipers then begin fighting for possession of the Serpent Crown. [Amazing Spider-Man Annual #23]
The Celestials, finding the direction of Deviant technology counterproductive, retaliate against the Deviants’ attack by causing a massive nuclear explosion that destroys the continent of Lemuria and triggers the collapse of the unstable Atlantean continent as well. The effects of this event cause tremendous changes around the world and will become known as the Great Cataclysm. [Eternals #2]
Atra and Emperor Phraug are directly under the main explosion and are killed instantly, but the Celestials preserve their skeletal remains, still clutching the Serpent Crown, as a warning to others. The Great Cataclysm causes the continents of Atlantis, Lemuria, and Mu to crumble into the ocean, and the populations of these lands are almost entirely wiped out. [Amazing Spider-Man Annual #23]
A handful of Atlanteans load a number of animals aboard a large ark and escape the destruction of their homeland. The Eternal who will be known as Ikaris leads the Atlantean ship to the relative safety of the Thurian Continent. Because he doesn’t come into direct contact with the humans aboard the ark, the Eternal is mistaken for a bird. [Eternals #2]
The Atlantean city of Netheria, under its protective dome, sinks to the bottom of the sea intact. Their scientists quickly find a way to recycle the air supply and the people in the sunken city survive. Over time, the city shifts on its base until it finally comes to rest in a huge undersea cavern. The citizens rename their isolated home the Netherworld. [Tales of Suspense #43]
Although Lemuria is destroyed, some Deviants manage to escape annihilation by fleeing to a number of subterranean settlements that had previously been established. Eventually, the Deviants establish a new capital, the City of Toads, underneath the Pacific Ocean floor.
The human survivors from Lemuria take refuge on the eastern shores of the Thurian Continent, only to be enslaved again by a mysterious ancient race that dwells there. Even the far north is rocked by the upheavals, but the humans there are protected by the god Búri. The mortals begin to refer to their tribe as Hyborians in honor of their savior. Their population is increased by refugees from the greater devastations to the south, forcing them to take over territory occupied by a vicious species of “abominable snowmen.” The creatures are driven into the Arctic wastes. [Savage Sword of Conan #8]
During the Great Cataclysm, an extradimensional necromancer called Llan the Sorcerer comes to Earth and creates a doomsday religion around himself in order to draw psychic power from his followers. He is opposed by a woman called Talisman, who wears a mystical golden headband. She is able to defeat Llan by taking advantage of his arrogance and banishes him from the earth. Knowing that her foe will return in 10,000 years, Talisman imbues one of Llan's idols with a powerful binding spell and leaves it for her successor. [Alpha Flight #83]
As a result of the Great Cataclysm, Pangea and the Savage Land sink below sea level, but are saved from flooding by the high mountains which surround them. However, aftershocks and earthquakes caused by the Cataclysm wipe out three-fourths of the population of Pangea. The rest of the inhabitants quickly degenerate into barbarism, with constant warfare further depleting their numbers. Eventually, peace returns to Pangea and the Savage Land, and primitive tribes develop along racial lines. [Ka-Zar: Lord of the Hidden Jungle #1]
The Inhumans on the island of Attilan manage to protect themselves from the drastic changes brought about by the Great Cataclysm via their superior technology.
The vampire lord Varnæ survives the Great Cataclysm by placing himself in suspended animation within his blood-filled sarcophagus. Most of the other vampires are wiped out. [Conan the Barbarian #245]
Wrongly blaming Zhered-Na for the Great Cataclysm, the Thurians attack her and her cultists. Zhered-Na is killed, but her pupil Dakimh and a number of other disciples escape, taking with them scrolls containing Zhered-Na’s mystical knowledge. [Adventure into Fear #15]
The Second Host of the Celestials accuses one of their own of crimes “against life itself.” The renegade resists capture and the Celestials are forced to fight him. Overcoming the renegade Celestial, they remove his life essence and imprison his body beneath a mountain range in what will become California. The Celestials store the renegade’s life essence and the weapon used to defeat him in the Pyramid of the Winds in the Arctic Circle. This Celestial’s name is wiped from mortal knowledge. In times to come, he will be known as the Great Renegade and as the Dreaming Celestial. [Eternals #18]
The Second Host of the Celestials concludes its experiments and observations and leaves Earth.
After the Great Cataclysm, the focus of Deviant worship changes. The Deviants develop an intense hatred towards the Celestials and become obsessed with seeking a means for their destruction. The priesthood comes to dominate much of Deviant life, although they are technically still ruled by a monarchy.
In the aftermath of the Great Cataclysm, the mainstream humans begin a slow process of re-discovering and re-developing their civilizations. The history of the preceding age passes into legend.
After five hundred years of constant warfare with the primitive Picts, the Atlanteans have been reduced to stone-age cavemen. [Savage Sword of Conan #8]
In the far north, the Hyborian tribes thrive despite their harsh environment. Eventually, a group of warriors sets off into the icy wastes of the Arctic to investigate sightings of the “abominable snowmen.” None of the warriors ever return. In time, other groups of Hyborians wander south in search of a more hospitable environment. [Savage Sword of Conan #8]
A small group of vampires from the south establishes a base near the Hyborian settlement and begins to prey upon the humans. The gods help the mortals fight back, however, and finally entomb the vampires beneath an icy mountain. [Savage Sword of Conan #141]
The first civilization to rise from the ashes of the Great Cataclysm is the Acheron Empire. It is eventually corrupted by necromancers in the service of the Elder God Set.
The Acheron Empire is conquered and destroyed by barbarians from the north. A few survivors take refuge in the mountains, but most of the population is wiped out. [Giant-Size Conan #1]
Randac, an Inhuman scientist, isolates a chemical catalyst for human mutation which he names Terrigen. Randac exposes himself to the Terrigen Mists and emerges with powerful mental-manipulative abilities. Elected as leader because of his genetic superiority, Randac begins a program by which all Inhumans, if they so desire, are subjected to the Mists. Learning that the Inhumans are using Terrigen, Sentry 459 activates itself and contacts the Inhumans. Sending a report to its Kree masters, the Sentry then returns to its island. [Thor #146-147]
Gral, ruler of Attilan, exposes all of the Inhumans to the Terrigen Mists without their consent, causing fully one-third of the population to mutate into bizarre creatures. For many years after, the Inhumans are segregated according to similar morphologies and forced to live in “Mutation Camps.” Finally, Gral is deposed by the visionary leader Auran, who teaches his people to accept their genetic diversity and strange powers. Elected the new king of the Inhumans, Auran initiates an era of peace and harmony that will last for the next twelve millennia.
An event known as the Lesser Cataclysm further devastates the world and causes massive disruptions to humanity’s primitive societies. [Savage Sword of Conan #8]
The Lemurian slaves finally revolt, destroying their masters’ civilization. Refugees from the ruling class move west and establish a new kingdom, called Stygia. The former slaves gradually develop their own society and eventually come to be known as the Hyrkanians. [Savage Sword of Conan #8]
The dawn of the Hyborian Age of man. In the land of Cimmeria, a region now part of northern Europe, the god Crom gains many worshipers among the descendants of the Atlanteans. Meanwhile, Set establishes a seat of human worship in the land of Stygia, which is today part of North Africa. Another god, named Ymir, is worshiped in the northern lands of Nordheim, present-day Scandinavia. Mitra becomes one of mankind’s foremost deities, although he restricts his interaction with mortals to a great degree. The goddess Ishtar is also widely worshiped.
One of the foremost sorcerers of the age is Kulan Gath, of the land of Stygia. Gath and his wife, the witch Vammatar, leave Stygia and travel to Cimmeria in an attempt to free Shuma-Gorath from imprisonment. Gath and Vammatar betray each other before they are defeated by Crom, who unleashes the fury of the elements on them without facing them directly. Gath returns to Stygia alone, to find his place has been usurped by the Set worshiper Thoth-Amon. To avoid being destroyed by Thoth-Amon, Kulan Gath grudgingly submits to being his apprentice. [Conan the Barbarian #258]
Kulan Gath is discovered performing sorcery which the Set worshipers find offensive, and is forced to flee Stygia to prevent his own execution. Gath wanders the world, amassing mystical power and knowledge. Sometime during Kulan Gath’s life, he encounters the Homo superior Selene, a sorceress with mutant abilities, who uses her powers to drain the life energies of her victims in order to sustain her own. The two become bitter enemies. [Uncanny X-Men #191]
Conan, a barbarian mercenary from Cimmeria, has numerous adventures involving swords and sorcery.
Conan meets Red Sonja, a warrior woman from the Hyrkanian Steppes. Their paths cross a number of times, usually as allies.
Thoth-Amon discovers the Cobra Crown, an inferior replica of the Serpent Crown, and attempts to use it to take over the kingdom of Zingara. However, his ally, Duke Villagro, seizes the Cobra Crown for himself when he discovers the wizard has betrayed him. Thoth-Amon and Villagro battle each other while Conan attempts to restore the rightful king to the throne. Finally, Thoth-Amon overcomes the inexperienced Villagro and kills him, only to find that the Cobra Crown has been drained of its mystical energies. Frustrated, Thoth-Amon escapes and returns to Stygia. [Punisher Annual #2]
Conan battles the ancient sorcerer Thulsa Doom, released from his millennia-long imprisonment. Eventually, Conan teams up with Thoth-Amon to finally destroy Thulsa Doom.
Conan and Red Sonja encounter the vampire lord Varnæ soon after he is reawakened and freed from his sarcophagus. They escape before Varnæ can kill them, with the help of a magic spell. Varnæ then begins creating new vampires to serve him. [Conan the Barbarian #245]
Kulan Gath becomes High Priest of the demonic N’Garai. He and Vammatar reunite and finally succeed in releasing Shuma-Gorath from his prison within Mount Crom. The demon slays both sorcerers, but Conan manages to summon Crom, who banishes Shuma-Gorath to his home dimension once more. Kulan Gath is later resurrected by another of his wives. [Conan the Barbarian #260]
Conan becomes king of the land of Aquilonia, in the area now known as France. After a few years, he takes a wife, Zenobia.
Red Sonja encounters Kulan Gath. The two fight and Sonja kills the sorcerer, but Gath transfers his soul into a nearby amulet he has ensorcelled, to wait for the time when it is brought to a spot where the right mystical forces converge. However, Kulan Gath’s soul will remain trapped in the amulet for many millennia. [Marvel Team-Up #79]
Allied with the Serpent Men, Thoth-Amon makes his last stand against his greatest enemy, King Conan. With the aid of his son Conn, Conan slays Thoth-Amon and the last of the original race of Serpent Men. With the death of Thoth-Amon, the cult of Set in Stygia begins declining in power and influence. [King Conan #4, Marvel Team-Up Annual #5]
The genetic legacy of the Serpent Men survives by lying dormant in a hybrid race that co-exists with mainstream humanity in isolated enclaves. [Marvel Premiere #4]
At the time of her death, Red Sonja’s life essence is magically infused into her sword. [Marvel Team-Up #79]
A priest of Mitra named Arus undertakes missionary work among the Pictish barbarians, where he encounters an ambitious chief called Gorm. Inspired by the priest’s tales of the wealthy Hyborian kingdoms, Gorm leads his warriors out of the wilderness, setting off a series of devastating wars that will cause the near total collapse of civilization in less than a century. For the next millennium, the remaining barbarian tribes engage in bloody skirmishes that further decimate the human population. [Savage Sword of Conan #15–17]
A young nomad from northern Vanaheim, the area that will one day be known as Scandinavia, meets Ulluxy’l Kwan Tae Syn, an extradimensional being who stands guard over the Hellfire Helix, a non-organic life form from outer space. In order to survive on Earth, the Hellfire Helix, which has tremendous mystical power, has encased itself within a protective crystal called the Bloodgem. The Helix intends to conquer Earth but needs a native life form as its agent. Ulluxy’l lures the young nomad back to its lair and offers him a portion of the Bloodgem’s power. The youth agrees, and is granted superhuman strength. When he leads the rest of his tribe back to the lair, the Helix kills them. Enraged, the youth launches himself at the gem, causing a tremendous explosion which shatters it and scatters its hundreds of pieces around the world. One of the pieces becomes lodged in the nomad’s chest. The power of the gem grants the nomad immortality and eternal youth. The young nomad spends the rest of his existence seeking revenge on the beings who had slaughtered his tribe. Eventually he takes the name Ulysses Bloodstone. [Marvel Presents #2]
One of the pieces of the Bloodgem is found by a savage. Upon possessing the gem, the savage’s latent mutant psychic powers are activated. The gem also grants this savage immortality and eternal youth. Through the millennia, the savage will go through a number of aliases, among them Warlock, Merlin, and Maha Yogi. [Hulk #210]
On the continent later known as North America, a team of superpowered adventurers protects the people from all manner of monsters, aliens, and mystical menaces. They are known as the Tribe of the Moon, and their members include Bear Brother, Firehand, Talks-to-Spirits, and Willow-Dancer. During one of their battles, they meet a 17-year-old girl called Nahita of the Elk Tribe. Talks-to-Spirits realizes Nahita is fated to become the second Talisman, and instructs her to reach into his sacred medicine pouch. She produces the mystical golden headband, and thus imbued with magical power, the new Talisman joins the team.
Learning that Llan the Sorcerer has returned and massacred her home village, Talisman leads the Tribe of the Moon to an impact crater in the far north known as the Eye of the World to stop him from opening a dimensional nexus leading to the Twisted Realms. Leaving her teammates to battle the sorcerer’s demons, Talisman goes to face Llan alone. Playing on her foe’s vanity, Talisman is able to use her predecessor’s enchanted idol to trap Llan in a harmless form for the next 10,000 years. [Alpha Flight #83]
The Hyborian Age ends when a War of the Gods causes another major cataclysm that erases all trace of civilization. The Hyborian-era gods are attacked and finally defeated by a younger generation of godly races, including the Titans, the Ogdoad, the Fomore, and others. Ymir is banished to an icy pocket dimension. Five other Hyborian-era gods survive, though exiled to a dark realm, and are thenceforth known as They Who Sit Above in Shadow. [Speculation]
Humanity is blasted back to the Stone Age until the civilization of Egypt begins developing in what was formerly Stygia. All knowledge of the Hyborian Age is lost.
Next Issue: In Ancient Times…