|First appearance||Justice League of America #100 (August, 1972)|
Originally a villain responsible for the disappearance of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, he has since reappeared as Neh-Buh-Loh, a primary antagonist in the 2005–2006 mega-series Seven Soldiers by Grant Morrison. Before this reappearance Morrison built up the character's backstory, starting in 1997 with more extensive appearances in JLA: Classified (2005).
Fictional character biography
The Neh-Buh-Loh is in fact the adult version of a sentient universe called Qwewq. He first appeared as the Nebula Man in Justice League of America #100, described as a cosmic being "whose touch has the power of 20 atomic bombs." He was supposedly created by a villain known as The Hand to defeat the original Seven Soldiers of Victory (a later retcon would give him his current origin, with The Hand's involvement being more incidental). He battled the Soldiers in Tibet. His actions scattered the Soldiers through time, a fate from which they were later saved by the Justice League and Justice Society. The Nebula Man was defeated when the sidekick of the Crimson Avenger, Wing, sacrificed himself to deliver the final blow with a cosmic device, he was buried in Tibet by Monks who witnessed his death.
During the JLA storyline "Rock of Ages", the Flash, Aquaman, and Green Lantern are sent by Metron through time and space and they land on Wonderworld. During a brief tour of Wonderworld's Omnitropolis and its museum district by that world's Atom analogue Mote, a few peculiar items are mentioned. Amongst them are an evil 5 dimensional imp trapped in a 6 dimensional bottle, a speedster Glimmer's treadmill, and a larval universe they call Qwewq. They say that they are feeding it and hope to allow it to grow to its full potential.
The Nebula Man appeared once more in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., before reappearing in JLA: Classified #1–3, working with Gorilla Grodd and announcing the end of the world. At the same time, the Justice League were in the Infant Universe of Qwewq, unaware that this was Neh-Buh-Loh's larval form.
In the Seven Soldiers series, Neh-Buh-Loh was revealed to be allied with (or perhaps created by) the Sheeda, time travelling predators from the end of time. He served as the personal huntsman of the Sheeda Queen Gloriana Tenebrae. In the past, Neh-Buh-Loh had been sent to slay the queen's innocent stepdaughter Rhiannon (a.k.a. Misty Kilgore). However, moved by her beauty and symmetry, he could not bear to do it and allowed the girl to escape. This was Neh-Buh-Loh's secret shame for many years.
It was further explained that in the 1940s, Neh-Buh-Loh had been summoned (rather than created) by The Hand using a sonic horn. The creature was seeking "seven soldiers" who were prophesied to one day defeat his mistress, Gloriana. The Hand was all too eager to point him in the right direction, thus leading to the original Seven Soldiers becoming lost in time.
This same sonic horn was used by The Hand's nephew Boy Blue to once again summon Neh-Buh-Loh and the Sheeda in the present, leading to the destruction of an ad hoc Seven Soldiers team created by the original Vigilante. This set the stage for the Harrowing of Earth which the heroes of the Seven Soldiers series attempted to prevent.
The use of Neh-Buh-Loh in Seven Soldiers is influenced by several characters in myth and legend. His failed mission to kill his queen's lovely stepdaughter is a direct parallel with the fairy tale of Snow White.
In addition, his role as the horned Huntsman of the Sheeda has elements of characters from Celtic mythology such as the horned god Cernunnos and later legends such as the King of the Wild Hunt and Herne the Hunter.
- In All-Star Superman #10, Superman uses the infant universe of Qwewq to create an Earth without a Superman that he dubs Earth Q.
- Wein, Len (w), Dillin, Dick (p), Giella, Joe (i). "The Unknown Soldier of Victory!" Justice League of America 100 (August 1972), New York, NY: DC Comics
- Morrison, Grant (w), Porter, Howard (p), Dell, John (i). "Rock Of Ages – Part Three: Wonderworld" JLA 12 (November 1997) Collected in Rock of Ages. New York, NY: DC Comics. 1998. ISBN 1-56389-416-5.
- Johns, Geoff (w), Moder, Lee (p), Davis, Dan (i). "Crisis in Blue Valley" Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. 8 (March 2000), New York, NY: DC Comics
- Morrison, Grant (w), McGuinness, Ed (p), Vines, Dexter (i). JLA: Classified 1–3 (January–March 2005), New York, NY: DC Comics Collected in JLA: Ultramarine Corps. New York, NY: DC Comics. October 2007. ISBN 1-4012-1564-5.
- Morrison, Grant (w), Mahnke, Doug (a). Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein 5 (May 2006), New York, NY: DC Comics
- Morrison, Grant (w), Sook, Ryan (p), Gray, Mick (i). Seven Soldiers: Zatanna 3 (September 2005), New York, NY: DC Comics