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
Mike Zeck
In-story information
Species Cosmic entity
Notable aliases Frank, Kosmos
Abilities Omnipotence
Omniscience
Omnipresence (Pre-Retcon)
Reality warping (Post-Retcon)

The Beyonder is a fictional cosmic entity appearing in American comic 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 on 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 the Marvel multiverse. 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, although in greatly diminished form.

Publication history[edit]

Created by writer Jim Shooter,[1] and artist Mike Zeck, the Beyonder first appeared in Secret Wars #1,[2] 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 an entire multiverse[3] called the Beyond-Realm or simply "Beyond", hence the name "Beyonder". This dimension was originally believed to be 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 gains sentience and curiosity, and becomes the Beyonder. 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 and forces them to fight each other so that he can observe the never-ending battle between good and evil. During this time, his powers were once stolen by Doctor Doom.[4]

Secret Wars II[edit]

Intrigued by what he has witnessed during the first Secret Wars, the Beyonder comes to Earth during the Secret Wars II storyline to walk among humans and study them and learn of human desire firsthand. He creates a human body for himself (this originally body resembles Molecule Man). He also transforms a television writer named Steward Cadwell into Thundersword.[5] Finally, the Beyonder creates a form for himself based on that of Captain America after witnessing him defeat Armadillo.[6]

Beyonder later met the blind superhero Daredevil and restored his ability to see. After realizing that the desire to protect his eyesight might compromise his integrity and dedication, Daredevil demanded that the Beyonder take his sight away again, which he did.[7]

In order to combat Beyonder, Mephisto sent his demon agent Bitterhorn to form the Legion Accursed by bringing 99 villains together upon shaking their hand, which mystically linked them to Mephisto's infernal machine, the Beyondersbane. While awaiting for the Legion Accursed to arrive, Mephisto tricked Thing into signing a contract that would increase his strength. When the Legion Accursed had arrived, Thing ended up defending Beyonder from them. By the time Mephisto planned to drop his contract with Thing, nearly all of the Legion Accursed were defeated. Due to Beyonder and Thing ruining his plan, Mephisto returned all the villains to where they were before he began his scheme.[8]

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."[9]

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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]

"Annihilation"[edit]

In the "Annihilation" crossover storyline, the former Herald of Galactus, the "Fallen One", now under the control of Thanos,[14] 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.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17]

Time Runs Out[edit]

During the Time Runs Out storyline, it was revealed that the Beyonders were actually the ones that created the accident that granted the Molecule Man's powers in the first place and therefore the same incident that created the Beyonder to whom they referred to as a "child unit."[18]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Beyonder was originally portrayed as the most powerful being in the Marvel Universe. In the original Secret Wars storyline, he was the be-all and end-all of the "Beyond Realm"[19] that took human form to better understand the nature of human beings.

Narration stated that he possessed power millions of times greater than a multiversal scale,[20] and it was similarly claimed that a regular universe was as a drop of water in the ocean compared to the Beyond Realm.[21]

The Beyonder proved capable of destroying, and recreating, the abstract multiversal entity Death itself, although it extremely exerted and weakened him to do so. However, even in this state, he was capable of easily sending a horde of demons back to hell with a wave of his hand.[22]

Despite his apparent omnipotence, the Beyonder showed moments of possible vulnerability. He was overwhelmed when Rachel Summers returned the enormous powers that he had bestowed upon her, to the point that he collapsed on the ground,[23] and he was slowed down in battle against the Molecule Man,[24] and he lost all or part of his power on various occasions.[20][21][25] He also stated that the Puma when in perfect harmony with the Universe was capable of killing him, but there was no proof of this.[26] However, on another occasion, after trying to be a superhero by fighting a superpowered biker gang, the Beyonder stated that he tried to limit his powers to keep them more in line with the world around him.[27]

After his creator, Jim Shooter, left Marvel, writer-editor Tom DeFalco re-tooled the Beyonder, diminishing his power greatly: 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.[12][28][29][30] This also resulted in having to ret-con numerous storylines.

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",[31] and exceeded the collected energy of the latter's World-Ship.[32] He once destroyed a galaxy on a whim to meet his needs during the first Secret Wars,[31] and later created a universe out of his own being.[33] 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.[12] In Kosmos' 'Maker' incarnation, she was stated as capable of reversing The Crunch itself, essentially collapsing the entire universe.[34] The Beyonder could endow himself with a corporeal form of limitless strength and endurance. However, his scale of power was stated to be significantly below that of the Living Tribunal and Eternity,[33] the Celestials,[30] or the Molecule Man (when unfettered from his emotional weaknesses).[12]

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.[35]

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."[36]

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.[37]

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. ^ a b Rivera, Joshua (October 10, 2014). "Go big or go home: Why Marvel's new 'Secret Wars' could be too much". Entertainment Weekly. 
  2. ^ Truitt, Brian (October 9, 2014). "New 'Secret Wars' is Marvel Comics' major event of 2015". USA Today. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Vol.1 #10 (Feb. 1985)
  5. ^ Secret Wars II #1
  6. ^ Captain America #308
  7. ^ Daredevil #223
  8. ^ Secret Wars #7
  9. ^ Deadpool Team-up #1. Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ Fantastic Four #319, in a story called "Secret Wars 3"
  11. ^ Fantastic Four Annual #23
  12. ^ a b c d Fantastic Four Annual #27 (1994). Marvel Comics
  13. ^ Thanos #10 (2003). Marvel Comics
  14. ^ Thanos #12 (2004)
  15. ^ Annihilation: Silver Surfer #1 (April 2006). Marvel Comics
  16. ^ "New Avengers: Illuminati #3 Preview". Pop Culture Shock. Archived August 30, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ New Avengers: The Illuminati #3. Marvel Comics
  18. ^ New Avengers vol. 3 #30 (April 2015)
  19. ^ Secret Wars II #8 (1985). Marvel Comics
  20. ^ a b Secret Wars II vol.1 #9 (March 1986). Marvel Comics
  21. ^ a b Secret Wars II vol.1 #4 (Oct. 1985). Marvel Comics
  22. ^ Secret Wars II #6 (1985). Marvel Comics
  23. ^ Uncanny X-Men #203. Marvel Comics
  24. ^ Secret Wars II #9 (1985). Marvel Comics
  25. ^ Secret Wars #10 (Feb. 1985)]. Marvel Comics
  26. ^ Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man #111. Marvel Comics
  27. ^ Dazzler Vol.1 #40 (Nov. 1985). Marvel Comics
  28. ^ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol.2 #7 (June 1986). Marvel Comics
  29. ^ Fantastic Four #319 (1988). Marvel Comics
  30. ^ a b Fantastic Four Annual #23 (1990)
  31. ^ a b Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1. Marvel Comics
  32. ^ Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10. Marvel Comics
  33. ^ a b Fantastic Four #319. Marvel Comics
  34. ^ Thanos #10-12. Marvel Comics
  35. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #38 (1993). Marvel Comics
  36. ^ Superman #28. DC Comics.
  37. ^ Spider-Ham #17. Marvel Comics

External links[edit]