Ego the Living Planet

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Ego the Living Planet
Egoplanet.PNG
Ego the Living Planet
Art by John Byrne from Fantastic Four #234 (September 1981)
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Cameo appearance: The Mighty Thor #132 (September 1966)
Full appearance: The Mighty Thor #133 (October 1966)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Species Sentient Planet
Team affiliations Nova Corps
Elders of the Universe
Abilities Exceptional intellect
Matter manipulation
Vast psionic powers

Ego the Living Planet is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in Thor #132 (September 1966) and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby.

Ego is portrayed by Kurt Russell in the film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Publication history[edit]

Ego the Living Planet was initially introduced in The Mighty Thor #132 (September 1966), and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby.

Ego was created by Kirby during a phase in which he was fascinated with the universe. Ego, the alien Kree, and The Colonizers immediately followed the creation of Galactus, thus establishing Marvel Comics' own "space age mythology".[1] As Kirby recalled in 1969, shortly after the character's debut, Ego's genesis came when:

I began to experiment ...and that's how Ego came about. ... A planet that was alive; a planet that was intelligent. That was nothing new either because there had been other stories [about] live planets but that's not acceptable. ... [Y]ou would say, 'Yeah, that's wild,' but how do you relate to it? Why is it alive? So I felt somewhere out in the universe, the universe ... becomes denser and turns liquid — and that in this liquid, there was a giant multiple virus, and if [it] remained isolated for millions and millions of years, it would ... begin to evolve by itself and it would begin to think. By the time we reached it, it might be quite superior to us — and that was Ego.[2]

Ego returned as a protagonist in Thor #160–161 (Jan.–Feb. 1969), and made a guest appearance in #201. His origin is explored in Thor #228.

Following appearances in Fantastic Four #234–235 (Sept.–Oct. 1981) and Rom #69 (Aug. 1985), Ego had a recurring role in Silver Surfer vol, 3 #4–22 (1987–1989). The character returned in the 1991 Thor annual and issues #448–450 (June–Aug 1992).

Ego played a prominent role in the company-wide crossover storyline "Maximum Security", appearing in Avengers #35 (Dec. 2000); Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet (Oct. 2000); Iron Man #34–35 (Nov.–Dec. 2000); X-Men Unlimited #29 (Dec. 2000); Gambit #23 (Dec. 2000) and Maximum Security #1–3 (Dec. 2000 – Jan. 2001).

The character returned in Nova vol 4 #20–30 and Astonishing Thor #1–5 (Nov 2010 – July 2011).

Ego the Living Planet also appeared in the Oni Press Color Special.

Fictional character biography[edit]

1960s[edit]

Ego once told Thor that his existence was the result of a scientist merging with a planet when that planet's sun went nova.[3]

Ego began absorbing space vessels and even other worlds to survive, planning interstellar conquest by producing and sending armies of his anti-bodies across the universe. This behavior attracts the attention of the Rigellian Colonizers, who fear that the nearby Ego will consume their home world. They recruit the Thunder God, Thor, to defeat Ego. Accompanied by a Rigellian Recorder, Thor encounters Ego, who vows never to leave the Black Galaxy and renounced its plans of conquest, feeling humiliated by his defeat.[4] Several months later, a weakened Galactus invades Ego's space and seeks to replenish his energy by consuming Ego. Thor aids Ego in battling Galactus and drives Galactus off. In gratitude, Ego allows its surface to become the new home of the Wanderers, a group of various alien races whose planets had been the very first to be devoured by Galactus billions of years ago.[5]

1970s[edit]

The Rigellian Tana Nile took a sample of Ego's form, in the hope that this could be used to fertilize sterile worlds being considered for habitation.[6] This act drives Ego insane, and it soon gives in to its primordial urges and absorbs the Wanderers, which causes Thor to side with a returning Galactus. Assisted by ally, Hercules and Galactus's herald, Firelord, Thor holds Ego off until Galactus attaches a massive starship engine to Ego's south pole, which drives the planet constantly through space and thereby prevents it from being a threat to other planets and populated sections of the universe.[7]

1980s[edit]

Years later, Ego gains control of the engine and tracks Galactus to Earth, seeking vengeance. Unable to locate him, Ego attacks Earth. He causes massive destruction until finally stopped by the Fantastic Four. Horrified by the devastation, an unknown, reality-altering mutant known as L.R "Skip" Collins undoes the damage caused by Ego as well as all memory of it, excluding the memories of the Fantastic Four as they were off planet at the time, fighting Ego. The superpowered quartet attempted to defeat Ego by removing the power cell from one of the attached, propulsion engines, which the Thing attempts to throw into Ego's "brain". In response, an angered Ego attempts to counter with his remaining engines but, with one engine now deactivated, the other propels the now-out-of-control planet into the Sun, its gravitational pull breaking apart Ego's substance.[8]

Ego, however, slowly reforms from a few surviving particles and repairs the propulsion unit. Ego then digests a number of Dire Wraiths to replenish its energy reserves, and battles the Spaceknight Rom.[9]

Ego later joins the Elders of the Universe in a plan to destroy Galactus. Ego is sidelined before the confrontation when he is defeated by the Silver Surfer.[10] Ego subsequently captures the Silver Surfer and attempts to consume his energies.[11]

1990s[edit]

Ego attacks a Korbinite fleet and fights the hero, Beta Ray Bill. Ego reveals to Bill that Galactus's propulsion unit is driving Ego mad, and the fleet subsequently destroys the propulsion unit.[12] A sentient bio-verse, initially described as "Super-Ego", then begins to consume Ego, but Ego eventually escapes.[13]

2000s[edit]

Driven mad by the Supreme Intelligence, Ego lashes out at other planets, destroying them while trying to 'awaken' others like itself, until it is defeated in a battle with Professor X, the Silver Surfer and Cadre K.[14] Ego is subsequently captured and sent to Earth as an "infant" in spore form.[15] As Ego grows, it begins to consume the Earth, with the Supreme Intelligence intending to allow it to grow so that the Kree can take control of Ego and use it as a weapon against the rest of the universe. Quasar absorbs it to prevent this.[16]

When Quasar dies during the Annihilation war,[17] Ego was released back into the Universe, only to be approached by the Worldmind to join the new Nova Corps.[18] Ego supplants Worldmind and brainwashes the Corps. Nova manages to defeat Ego and free Worldmind by lobotomizing the Living Planet.[19] When Ego resurfaces his personality on his body, Nova stargates Mindless Ones into Ego's brain, causing pain to the Living Planet and forcing him to stargate away.[20]

2010s[edit]

Ego learns he was one of two sentient bodies created by the Stranger for a science experiment, and that his brother Alter-Ego has been held in captivity by the Collector since birth. While Ego seeks a similar entity to itself, the Stranger has arranged for Alter-Ego to hate Ego, intending to learn through their battle if freedom or captivity breeds a stronger will. Alter-Ego is wounded and loses mass when Ego is forced to attack it in self-defense, but Thor intervenes before Ego can strike a killing blow. The remaining fragments of Alter-Ego become a moon of Ego, and the two begin to travel together as a family.[21]

When Ego is infested by large insect-like creatures he hires Rocket Raccoon to eradicate them.[22]

Galactus, changed into the Life-Bringer by the Ultimates, encounters Ego after regaining his strength after a battle with the new universal construct Lagos. Ego attacks Galactus as he journeys to his inner brain at the center of the planet, however loses control of his constructs, which realize that Galactus is not a threat. Ego then reveals that before his creation by the Stranger, his consciousness was that of a man named Egros, similar to Galactus' former self Galan. After formally meeting one another and putting aside their past animosities, Galactus uses his Life-Bringer abilities to form a body for the rest of Ego, who now calls himself Ego-Prime. Ego-Prime then joins Eternity Watch, a group Galactus has put together to deal with the First Firmament, the first iteration of all that is, who had chained Eternity.[23]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The living planet named Ego has been called a "bioverse". Every part of its substance, including the atmosphere, is alive as much as it its controlled by the consciousness of Ego. It often transforms its surface to appear as a giant face to address powerful beings and can shape its terrain to suit the circumstances. It can use its own substance to extrude tentacles that reach out into space, organic sensors, display plant-like growth, control its own weather to create heavy winds or storms, manipulate the ground for earthquakes, volcanoes, geysers, and canyons, and produce endless numbers of non-sentient, humanoid beings that it can command across interstellar distances. Ego can also shapeshift its surface into the appearance of a dead, inhospitable world, or an idyllic paradise to lure unwary space travelers to its surface. It has various internal features similar to a biological lifeform, like large tunnels that have been compared to arteries, and its consciousness resides in a giant, brain organ deep below its surface. Ego can heat up its internal temperature to burn and destroy life forms inside, has digestive organs to absorb living beings, and an immune system that lets him release powerful antibodies to attack intruders on or below its surface.[24]. It can also control its own radiation and magnetic fields.

The brain at its core provides Ego with great intelligence and psionic energies that rival a hungered Galactus at their peak. Using them, Ego can project energy blasts that can obliterate starships or destroy other worlds,[25] read minds and scan their biological structure,[26] and communicate to sentient beings using telepathy. If his energy reserves are low, Ego can restore them by subsuming planets, tapping into stars, or absorbing large numbers of living beings.

Additionally, Ego is exceptionally intelligent, although as its name suggests, it harbors an extreme superiority complex and can be emotional if thwarted. For a while, Ego was propelled through space via the engine Galactus implanted on its south pole, but eventually gained control of it through its vast mental powers, allowing it to travel through hyperspace as vast speeds. However, the device was later removed[27] and it does not need the engine anymore.

Other versions[edit]

Amalgam Comics[edit]

In the Amalgam Comics published jointly by Marvel Comics and DC Comics, Oa the Living Planet, an amalgamation version of Ego and DC's Planet Oa, was featured under the Amalgam Comics imprint in Iron Lantern #1, where he is the source of power for the Green Lantern Corps.[28] Another version of Ego in the Amalgam universe appeared in Thorion of the New Asgods as Ego-Mass, an amalgamation of Ego and the Source Wall.

Exiles[edit]

Ego appears in Exiles #53 (December 2004). Set in the universe of Earth-4162, Ego implants the Seeds of Awareness in the Earth in an attempt to create another living planet. The Fantastic Four of this universe, along with the Exiles, are able to convince the now sentient Earth to oppose Ego. Blink kills Ego by teleporting a mining drill into the Living Planet's brain.[29]

Marvel Adventures[edit]

Ego appears in Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #12 (June 2007), a series created for younger readers. In this story, Ego causes natural disasters on Earth when he arrives to woo Giant Girl.

Marvel Zombies 2[edit]

In Marvel Zombies 2, Ego is one of the last few survivors of a reality-spanning zombie rampage. However, he is found and eaten.[30]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Film[edit]

  • Ego appears in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, played by Kurt Russell.[31] Ego is portrayed as being Peter Quill's biological father. In the film, Ego is a Celestial and explains that he came into existence millions of years ago, and has learned to use his cosmic powers to manipulate matter around himself, using this ability to form an entire planet around himself, as well as many resources and a human body to interact with sentient beings. However, being bored of immortality and disappointed with a universe full of inferior life, Ego decides to remake all worlds in the universe into extensions of himself, a plan that requires planted seedlings and the power of another Celestial to activate them. To achieve this, Ego mates with various species until a suitable offspring would be conceived to help put his plan into action. The only suitable child turns out to be Peter Quill, although he rebels and eventually helps destroy Ego when Quill learns that Ego killed Quill's mother in order to eliminate the distraction she would have posed to his plan.

Video games[edit]

  • Ego the Living Planet appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, on the game's main menu screen.[32]
  • Ego the Living Planet appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2.[33] At the time when the heroes are planning to bring Knowhere to Chronopolis, Kang interferes by creating a portal for Ego to come through. While Ego plans to make Kang pay for his insolence, he also plans to make the heroes pay for their incompetence. After certain things are done, the portal that was bring Ego to Chronopolis closes as he plans to one day make Kang pay for his impertinence.

Music[edit]

American stoner metal band Monster Magnet recorded a song called "Ego, the Living Planet" on the album Dopes to Infinity.

Reception[edit]

In his 1972 book Outlaws of America, Author Roger Lewis argues that Ego the Living Planet reflected risks to civilization, humans and planet Earth that people were contemplating in the 1960s, when he was initially conceived.[34]

In 2007 "Ego the Loving Planet", the story that ran in Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #12, featured Ego, and was praised by Ray Tate of ComicsBulletin for its simultaneous inventiveness and logical sense.[35]

In August 2009, Time listed Ego as one of the "Top 10 Oddest Marvel Characters".[36]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gartland, Mike. "A Failure to Communicate: Part Two". Jack Kirby Collector (22).  Reprinted in Morrow, John, ed. (2006). The Collected Jack Kirby Collector, Volume 5. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 196. ISBN 1-893905-57-8. 
  2. ^ "'There is Something Stupid in Violence as Violence'" (30–31). (Jack Kirby interview), The Nostalgia Journal (interview conducted early 1969). November 1976.  Reprinted in Milo, George, ed. (2002). The Comics Journal Library, Volume One: Jack Kirby. Fantagraphics Books. p. 7. ISBN 1-56097-466-4. 
  3. ^ Thor #228. Marvel Comics.
  4. ^ Thor #132–133 (Sept.–Oct. 1966). Marvel Comics.
  5. ^ Thor #160–161 (Jan.–Feb. 1969). Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ Thor #201. Marvel Comics.
  7. ^ Thor #227–228 (Sept.–Oct. 1977). Marvel Comics.
  8. ^ Fantastic Four #234–235 (Sept.–Oct. 1981). Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ Rom #69 (Aug. 1985). Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ Silver Surfer vol. 3, #4 (Oct. 1987). Marvel Comics.
  11. ^ Silver Surfer vol. 3, #22 (Apr. 1989). Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ Thor Annual #16 (1991). Marvel Comics.
  13. ^ Thor #448–450 (June–Aug. 1992). Marvel Comics.
  14. ^ Maximum Security: Dangerous Planet (Oct. 2000). Marvel Comics.
  15. ^ Iron Man #34–35 (Nov.–Dec. 2000). Marvel Comics.
  16. ^ Maximum Security #1–3 (Dec. 2000 – Feb. 2001). Marvel Comics.
  17. ^ Annihilation: Nova #4 (2006). Marvel Comics.
  18. ^ Nova #20. Marvel Comics.
  19. ^ Nova #23–25. Marvel Comics.
  20. ^ Nova #29–30. Marvel Comics.
  21. ^ Astonishing Thor #1–5 (Nov. 2010 – July 2011). Marvel Comics.
  22. ^ Young, Skottie (w) Parker, Jake (a). Rocket Raccoon (Vol. 2) #6, Marvel Comics.
  23. ^ The Ultimates 2 #8
  24. ^ Flubb, J.A. "The Great Kirby Science Fiction Concepts". Jack Kirby Collector (15): 4–9.  Reprinted in Morrow, John, ed. (1999). The Collected Jack Kirby Collector, Volume 3. TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 132–133. ISBN 1-893905-02-0. 
  25. ^ Maximum Security #1. Marvel Comics.
  26. ^ Thor #133. Marvel Comics.
  27. ^ Fantastic Four #234–235 (Sept – Oct 1981). Marvel Comics.
  28. ^ Oa the Living Planet at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  29. ^ Exiles Vol 1 #53 (Dec 2004). Marvel Comics.
  30. ^ Marvel Zombies 2 #1 (December 2007). Marvel Comics.
  31. ^ Martston, George (July 23, 2016). "STAR-LORD's FATHER Revealed ... James Gunn Explains in Detail". Newsarama. Archived from the original on May 14, 2017.
  32. ^ "Lego Marvel Super Heroes preview and interview – from Iron Man to Squirrel Girl". Metro. September 11, 2013.
  33. ^ Marnell, Blair (May 27, 2017), "Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 Trailer Introduces Kang and a Crazy Lineup of Heroes," Nerdist News. Retrieved June 7, 2017
  34. ^ Roger Lewis (1972). Outlaws of America. Penguin. 
  35. ^ Tate, Ray (2007-04-21). "Marvel Adventures #12 Review". Comics Bulletin. Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  36. ^ "Top 10 Oddest Marvel Characters". Time. August 31, 2009. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kaecilius
Marvel Cinematic Universe film villain
2016
Succeeded by
Vulture