Beyonder

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The Beyonder
SecretwarsII3.png
The Beyonder from Secret Wars II #3,
Art by Al Milgrom
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Secret Wars #1,
(May 1984)
Created by Jim Shooter (writer)
Mike Zeck (artist)
In-story information
Species Cosmic entity, possibly Inhuman mutant (see below)
Notable aliases Frank, Kosmos
Abilities

Omnipotence (pre-retcon)

Reality warping (post-retcon)

The Beyonder is a fictional comic book character appearing in books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Jim Shooter[1] and artist Mike Zeck, the Beyonder first appeared in Secret Wars #1 (May 1984) as an unseen, apparently omnipotent being who kidnapped the heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe and had them do battle another planet called Battleworld. He later appeared in a more antagonistic role in the 1985 sequel Secret Wars II, in which he took human form, and threatened to destroy our universe. Although he first took on a physical, humanoid form in Secret Wars II #1, it was in Secret Wars II #3 that he took on the permanent form in which he remained for the rest of his existence, that of a Caucasian human male with curly black hair. Although the character met his demise at the end of Secret Wars II, he has subsequently appeared in stories well into the 2000s.

Publication history[edit]

Created by writer Jim Shooter,[2] and artist Mike Zeck, the Beyonder first appeared in Secret Wars #1,[3] as an unseen, apparently omnipotent being. He reappears in Secret Wars II #1 (July 1985), which was written by Jim Shooter and drawn by Al Milgrom.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Secret Wars[edit]

The Beyonder is the sum total of a parallel reality called the Beyond-Realm or simply "Beyond", hence the name "Beyonder". This dimension is accidentally accessed by lab technician Owen Reece. Part of the energy from the dimension escapes and imbues Reece with near-infinite powers, which he wields as the villainous Molecule Man - potentially one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe. The remaining energy of the pocket dimension apparently gains sentience and curiosity. The Beyonder creates a planet called "Battleworld" out of pieces of various planets (one such piece being a suburb of Denver) and abducts a number of superheroes and supervillains from Earth so that he can observe the never-ending battle between good and evil.[volume & issue needed]

Secret Wars II[edit]

Intrigued by what he has witnessed during the first Secret Wars, the Beyonder comes to Earth to walk among humans and study them and learn of human desire firsthand. He creates a human body for himself; originally, this body resembles Molecule Man. He also transforms a television writer named Steward Cadwell into Thundersword. Finally, the Beyonder creates a form for himself based on that of Captain America.[volume & issue needed]

Deadpool Team-Up[edit]

Long after the Secret Wars II crossover had ended, a Deadpool special featured the "Secret Wars II continues in this issue" corner tag that was used during that original storyline. In this issue, a younger, less-experienced Deadpool is hired by the Kingpin to kill the Beyonder. The flashback sequence ends with Deadpool chasing him into a portal with a footnote saying "to be continued in Secret Wars III."[4]

Kosmos and Maker[edit]

The tale of the Beyonder continues several years later when it is revealed that the energy which comprises the Beyonder and the energy that gives the Molecule Man his powers needs to be combined in order to create the basis for a mentally stable, mature cosmic entity to be born. The Beyonder then merges with the Molecule Man.[5] This being, called Kosmos, expels the Molecule Man from its form, and returns him to Earth. Kosmos takes on a female form and is tutored by Kubik, touring the universe with him.[6] When the Molecule Man's lover, Volcana, leaves him, Owen Reece gets angry, extracts the Beyonder from Kosmos, and proceeds to attack him until Kubik intervenes.[volume & issue needed]

At some unknown point, Kosmos goes mad and assumes a mortal form, now calling itself the Maker. After the now amnesiac Maker destroys a Shi'ar colony, the Imperial Guard manage to imprison it in the interstellar prison called the Kyln. The Maker's madness takes control of several inmates, but is finally subdued by Thanos and several of his allies among the prisoners. Thanos confronts the Maker, and, by refusing to reveal its origins at a critical juncture, manipulates it to psychically shut down its own mind. Thanos instructs the Shi'ar that the body should be kept alive but brain-dead, or the Beyonder essence would go free again.[7]

"Annihilation"[edit]

In the "Annihilation" crossover storyline, the former Herald of Galactus, the Fallen One, now under the control of Thanos,[8] is sent to investigate the aftermath of the Kyln's destruction by the Annihilation Wave and ascertain the Beyonder's fate. The Fallen One soon finds the lifeless form of Kosmos in the rubble.[9]

The Illuminati[edit]

The Beyonder in his human form. Art by Jim Cheung.

In a retcon of past events, Charles Xavier reveals to his fellow Illuminati members that in the original Secret War, he had attempted to mind-scan the Beyonder, revealing him as one of the Inhumans previously ruled over by fellow Illuminati member Black Bolt. Xavier also deduced the apparent secret behind the Beyonder's seemingly godlike abilities, which was that the Beyonder was not only an Inhuman but also a mutant, and the exposure of his mutant genes to Terrigen Mists had created an unprecedented power.[10]

This revelation leads to a confrontation with the Beyonder during the events of the second Secret War, wherein Black Bolt expresses his extreme displeasure toward the Beyonder's activities. When encountered, the Beyonder is dwelling in a simulacrum of Manhattan Island on Ceres, a dwarf planet in the asteroid belt.[11]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Beyonder was originally one of the absolute strongest and most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. In the original Secret Wars storyline, he was the be-all and end-all of the "Beyond Realm"[12] that took human form to better understand the nature of human beings.

Narration stated that he possessed power a million times greater than a multiversal scale, and it was similarly claimed that a regular 3-dimensional universe was as a drop of water in the ocean compared to the Beyond Realm.

The Beyonder proved capable of destroying the conceptual entity Mistress Death itself, although it extremely exerted and weakened him to do so.[13]

He also displayed certain limitations when being overloaded by Rachel Summers as host to the Phoenix Force, to the point that he collapsed on the ground,[14] or when exerting himself in battle against the Molecule Man,[15] and he lost all or part of his power on various occasions. He also stated that the Puma when in perfect harmony with the Universe was capable of killing him.[16]

After his creator, Jim Shooter, left Marvel, writer-editor Tom DeFalco re-tooled the Beyonder: He was no longer omnipotent, as certain other cosmic entities were retroactively vastly upgraded to transcend the scale of infinity that the character worked on. For example, the Living Tribunal went from simply being able to detonate stars during the time of Secret Wars II into being an at least 16-dimensional entity transcending multiversal scale by at least 11 degrees of infinity. [17][18][19][20]

Nonetheless, The Beyonder retained his similar high infinite psionic abilities, allowing him to control and manipulate matter and energy at a cosmic level beyond all but the strongest and most powerful of cosmic entities.

He repelled Galactus "like a bug",[21] and exceeded the collected energy of the latter's World-Ship.[22] He once destroyed a galaxy on a whim to meet his needs during the first Secret Wars,[21] and later created a universe out of his own being.[23] When the Molecule Man extracted the Beyonder from Kosmos, their battle took place in more than 3 spatial dimensions, and threatened to cause a trans-multiversal scale of destruction.[20] In Kosmos' 'Maker' incarnation, she was stated as capable of reversing The Crunch itself, essentially collapsing the entire universe.[24] The Beyonder could endow himself with a corporeal form of practically limitless strength and endurance. However, his scale of power was stated to be significantly below that of the Living Tribunal and Eternity,[23] the Celestials,[19] or the Molecule Man (when unfettered from his emotional weaknesses).[20]

Other versions[edit]

In the Earth-691 timeline seen in Guardians of the Galaxy, the Beyonder provides Guardian Vance Astro with a black undergarment resembling a Symbiote.[25]

In the alternate Earth of Mutant X, the Beyonder allies with Dracula, to wage war on Earth's forces and to confront the entity known as the 'Goblyn Queen'. Many of the Mutant X heroes are killed in this confrontation. The battle ends up threatening all realities.[volume & issue needed]

The creator John Byrne once parodied the character by letting Mister Mxyzptlk assume a form and identity that was similar in clothing and appearance to the Beyonder in his first appearance in the post-Crisis continuity. He called himself "Ben Deroy", an anagram of the name "Beyonder." When he was asked by Lois Lane where he came from, he answers by saying, "Oh...here and there. Yonder, let's say. Yes. Yonder."[26]

In the Spider-Ham universe, "The Bee-Yonder" briefly appears to give Spider-Ham a version of the black uniform, stating that the familiar red-and-blue uniform was out of style.[27]

The Behinder was another satirical version of the Beyonder, that appeared in Marvel's What The--?! humor magazine. He was stated to be omnipotent by the publication.[volume & issue needed]

In other media[edit]

The Beyonder made a single appearance in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series, voiced by Earl Boen.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rivera, Joshua (October 10, 2014). "Go big or go home: Why Marvel's new 'Secret Wars' could be too much". Entertainment Weekly. 
  2. ^ Rivera, Joshua (October 10, 2014). "Go big or go home: Why Marvel's new 'Secret Wars' could be too much". Entertainment Weekly. 
  3. ^ Truitt, Brian (October 9, 2014). "New 'Secret Wars' is Marvel Comics' major event of 2015". USA Today. 
  4. ^ Deadpool Team-up #1. Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ Fantastic Four #319, in a story called "Secret Wars 3"
  6. ^ Fantastic Four Annual #23
  7. ^ Thanos #10 (2003). Marvel Comics
  8. ^ Thanos #12 (2004)
  9. ^ Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 (April 2006). Marvel Comics
  10. ^ "New Avengers: Illuminati #3 Preview". Pop Culture Shock.[dead link]
  11. ^ New Avengers: The Illuminati #3. Marvel Comics
  12. ^ Secret Wars II #8 (1985). Marvel Comics
  13. ^ Secret Wars II #6 (1985). Marvel Comics
  14. ^ Uncanny X-Men #203. Marvel Comics
  15. ^ Secret Wars II #9 (1985). Marvel Comics
  16. ^ Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #111. Marvel Comics
  17. ^ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol.2 #7 (June 1986). Marvel Comics
  18. ^ Fantastic Four #319 (1988). Marvel Comics
  19. ^ a b Fantastic Four Annual #23 (1990)
  20. ^ a b c Fantastic Four Annual #27 (1994). Marvel Comics
  21. ^ a b Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1. Marvel Comics
  22. ^ Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10. Marvel Comics
  23. ^ a b Fantastic Four #319. Marvel Comics
  24. ^ Thanos #10-12. Marvel Comics
  25. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #38 (1993). Marvel Comics
  26. ^ Superman #28. DC Comics.
  27. ^ Spider-Ham #17. Marvel Comics

External links[edit]