|First appearance||Eternals #2 (Aug. 1976)|
|Created by||Jack Kirby|
|Place of origin||Unknown|
|Notable members||List of Celestials members|
|Inherent abilities||Capable of virtually any effect|
|Part of the collection on|
The Celestials are a group of fictional characters that appear in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The characters first appeared in Eternals #1 (July 1976) and were created by writer-artist Jack Kirby.
The Celestials debuted in the Bronze Age of Comic Books and have appeared in Marvel publications for four decades. They also appear in various forms of merchandise such as trading cards.
The Celestials debuted in Eternals #1 (July 1976) and reappeared as regular guest stars in three subsequent limited series sequels: Eternals vol. 2, #1 - 12 (Oct. 1985 - Sep. 1986), Eternals vol. 3, #1 - 7 (Aug. 2006 - Feb. 2007), and Eternals vol. 4, #1 - 9 (Aug. 2008 - May 2009).
The characters have also been featured in other titles, including the "Celestial Saga" storyline in Thor Annual #7 (1978), Thor #283 – 300 (May 1979 - Oct. 1980), Thor #387 – 389 (Jan. – March 1988), Quasar #24 (July 1991), Fantastic Four #400 (May 1995), X-Factor #43-46 (Aug. - Nov. 1989 and #48-50 (Dec. 1989 x 2 - Jan. 1990).
Celestials existed at the birth of the universe and created life and death along with the multiverse. Early on in the history of the universe, the hegemony of the Celestials was challenged by a species known only now as the 'Aspirants'; after a bitter war of attrition, during which a hyperweapon called 'Godkiller' destroyed countless Celestials, the 'Aspirants' were ultimately defeated.  New Celestials may be born from consuming the mass of an entire galaxy. Visiting Earth every few thousand years in groups called "Hosts", the group is revealed to have been responsible for the creation of the Eternals and the Deviants, and via genetic manipulation, the existence of superpowers in mutants. Resenting the presence of the Celestials and their monitoring of Earth's progress, the Skyfather figures of Earth (e.g. Odin, Zeus, and Vishnu) attempted to stop the Third Host, but were quickly outmatched. The Skyfathers then developed a convoluted plan to stop the Fourth Host via the use of the Odinsword and Destroyer armour, but once again the Celestials — although also opposed by Odin's son Thor — prevented the offensive and melted the Destroyer armour into slag, scattering the Asgardians' life forces. Thor threw the Odinsword through Arishem's chest, but he removed it, analyzed it and then vaporized it. The Earthmothers (such as Frigga and Hera) of Earth, however, made an offering of twelve perfect humans, which was accepted and the planet was spared judgment. The judgment process was eventually witnessed by Thor, who observed Celestial Arishem the Judge sending an execution code to Exitar the Exterminator, a 20,000-foot (6,100 m) tall Celestial who carried out Arishem's "sentence". Exitar terraforms the planet in question into a garden paradise, with only the "evil" inhabitants having been destroyed. On one occasion the hero, Quasar, observes a race completely fail the genetic test, with every living creature being destroyed with their planet. The Celestials' actions conflicted with the policy of "non-interference" practiced by fellow cosmic entities the Watchers, with the two races becoming enemies. The Celestials and their "opposites," a group of entities known as the Horde, are established as instruments of an entity referred to as the Fulcrum, their purpose to be "instruments of the planting/creation/teeming of the universe." The team of space adventurers the Guardians of the Galaxy find and use as a base the severed head of a Celestial floating in an area of space known as "The Rip." Dubbing the structure "Knowhere," it also acts as a common port of call (complete with a market and bar) for travelers from all points in the space-time continuum. The base is administered by its chief of security, Cosmo, a telepathic and telekinetic Soviet space dog originally lost in Earth orbit in the 1960s. Courtesy of the deceased Celestial's "Continuum Cortex", travelers with special "passport" bracelets can teleport to any point in the universe instantaneously.
- Arishem the Judge: A Celestial tasked with judging if the civilization of a planet will live or die.
- Ashema the Listener: A female Celestial tasked, along with Nezarr the Calculator, with retrieving Franklin Richards for evaluation as a new member of the Celestials.
- The Blue Celestial: The first Celestial whose birth is documented.
- The Celestial Gardener: A Celestial tasked with the maintenance of the Apocalypse entity on Earth.
- Devron the Experimenter: A young Celestial tasked with watching over Earth alongside Gamiel the Manipulator.
- The Dreaming Celestial: Originally known as Tiamut the Communicator; a renegade Celestial.
- Ea the Wise: An action figure sized Celestial Machine Man carries and treats as an "imaginary friend".
- Eson the Searcher: The Celestial tasked with "seeking".
- Exitar the Exterminator: A Celestial tasked with the destruction of life on worlds that fail the Celestials' tests.
- Gamiel the Manipulator: A young Celestial tasked with watching over Earth alongside Devron the Experimenter.
- Gammenon the Gatherer: A Celestial tasked with collecting samples of all life forms present on a planet during a Celestial Host.
- Hargen the Measurer: A Celestial tasked with measuring or quantifying the planets the Celestials survey.
- Jemiah the Analyzer: A Celestial tasked with analyzing life-form samples.
- Nezarr the Calculator: A Celestial who is a mathematician and possesses the ability to project illusions.
- The One Above All: The leader of the Celestials.
- Oneg the Prober: A Celestial tasked with experimentation and implementation.
- The Red Celestial: The Celestial tasked with helping to birth the Blue Celestial.
- The Red/Blue Judge: The Celestial tasked with judging if the civilization of a planet will live or die.
- Scathan the Approver: A Celestial from the alternate timeline/reality Earth-691, tasked with approving or disapproving situations.
- Tefral the Surveyor: A Celestial tasked with surveying and mapping the geography of planets.
- Ziran the Tester: A Celestial tasked with testing the stability of the genetic material of life forms they alter.
Powers and abilities
Referred to as "space gods" by the Eternals and the Deviants, the Celestials appear as silent, armored humanoids with an average height of 2,000 feet (610 m). They are capable of feats such as reducing the Asgardian construct known as the Destroyer to slag, moving planets at will, and creating and containing entire universes. Reed Richards theorized that the Celestials' source of power was Hyperspace itself – the source of all energy in the Marvel Universe. The characters are almost totally invulnerable, and have only been harmed in rare instances before instantly regenerating. The first assassination of a Celestial was carried out by the Apocalypse Twins, who used the axe "Jarnbjorn", divinely enchanted to pierce Celestial armor, against the Celestial Gardener. The now-lost hyperweapon Godkiller, a space-borne humanoid robot which dwarfs even the Celestials themselves, was claimed to have destroyed Celestials literally by the billions. 
- The characters also appear in the alternate universe limited series Earth X, appearing as beings of energy encased in armor composed of vibranium, a metal with properties that prevent their dissipation. They reproduce by planting a fragment of their essence in a planet, which matures into a new Celestial over the course of eons. The cosmic entity Galactus opposes them, devouring planets that incubate Celestial "eggs" to prevent the Celestials from overpopulating the universe. The Celestials also appeared in What If vol. 2, #1 (July 1989); What If? Newer Fantastic Four #1 (Feb. 2009) and What If: Secret Wars #1 (Jan. 2009).
- In the Ultimate Marvel universe, the Celestials are a race of powerful Asian metahumans lead by Shen Xorn.
- Astonishing X-Men #61 (June 2013)
- Iron Man vol. 6 #13
- Thor #424 (October 1990)
- Eternals #1 – 12 (July 1976 – June 1977)
- Thor Annual #7 (1978), Thor #283 – 300 (May 1979 - Oct. 1980)
- Thor #387 – 389 (Jan. – March 1988)
- Quasar #24 (July 1991)
- Fantastic Four #400 (May 1995)
- Eternals vol.4, #2 (Sep. 2008)
- Inside Look: Guardians of the Galaxy #1 by DnA, Broken Frontier, May 21, 2008
- Nova vol. 4, #8 (Jan. 2008)
- Uncanny Avengers #7 (2013)
- Eternals #1 (July 1976)
- Thor #300 (Oct. 1980)
- Infinity Gauntlet #5 (1991)
- Heroes Reborn: The Return #1–4 (1997)
- Fantastic Four #400 (May 1985)
- Thor #387 (Feb. 1988)
- Eternals vol. 3, #3 (Aug. 2006)
- Uncanny Avengers #7 (2013)
- Uncanny Avengers #6 (2013)
- Iron Man vol.6 #13
- Earth X #0 (March 1999); #0.5 (Jan. 2000); #1-10 (April 1999 - Jan. 2000); #11-12 (March–April 2000); #13 (June 2000)
- Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #5