|First appearance||Warrior Summer Special #4 (1982)|
|Created by||Alan Moore and Garry Leach|
Warpsmiths were created by Alan Moore when he was a teenager for a small publication by an arts lab in his native Northampton, England. He and artist Garry Leach expanded on the characters for the UK magazine Warrior, including them into a fictional timeline and universe developed by Alan Moore and Steve Moore (no relation). The Warpsmiths first appeared in a Marvelman story in an issue of Warrior, set in the then-future, and subsequently appeared in a single two-part solo story before the magazine closed.
As Moore continued his Marvelman story as Miracleman, the Warpsmiths became a major part of the story, with artist John Totleben illustrating the characters based on Leach's designs. In 1989, Leach began a new anthology title, A1, the first issue of which included a new Warpsmiths short story written by Alan Moore.
Warpsmiths are thought to be one of the two most powerful species in their universe, due to their ability to teleport themselves or others instantaneously anywhere in the universe. The only other entity able to 'warp' is Winter, Miracleman's daughter.
They are humanoid creatures with pale skin, three digits per hand, and four nostrils. They usually wear metallic armor. Warpsmiths are believed to be immortal; they have lived for millennia without any apparent aging. However, at some point in the past their entire species became infertile.
Warpsmith culture has a rigid caste system, with each member's role in life defined by his or her color:
- Black: the first four Warpsmiths
- Blue: artists
- Grey: diplomats
- Red: workers
- White: warriors
The Black Warpsmiths arose several thousand years ago. They developed the 'derma-circuitry' that allows Warpsmiths to teleport, and created (or birthed) all of the other Warpsmiths. Their interstellar government is called the Confederacy of the Gulf Worlds.
Known Warpsmiths include Aza Chorn (deceased), Phon Mooda, Kana Blur, and Lorna Krill.
Differences in the comics
The Warpsmiths in their solo stories (where they are the protagonists) act as a type of benign cosmic police protecting less technologically and evolutionary advanced species. Their main opponents are the Qys, a species whose members each own a wide variety of powerful bodies which are stored in 'sub-space'; the Qys can change into these bodies at need, choosing whichever body meets the circumstances.
The Warpsmiths in Miracleman (where they are supporting characters) are depicted as quiet and aloof. They and the Qys have been stalemated in a Cold War for centuries. Finally, Miraclewoman brokered a détente between them, so that negotiators from each side would meet on Earth's moon.
The solution suggested by Miraclewoman was that a meeting between any two alien cultures will always either tend towards the thanotic (death), or the erotic, and that the Warpsmiths and the Qys should recognise this and embrace the erotic. Initially, both sides were enraged by the suggestion. However, it soon became clear that there had been a translation error, and that Miraclewoman had not really intended the sentiment to be expressed as "go fuck yourselves".
Big Finish appearances
The Warpsmiths, referred to as the "Warpsmiths of Phaidon" also appear as a supporting race in three Big Finish Doctor Who spin-off Gallifrey (audio series) produced in 2005 and 2006. In these stories they are one of the major temporal powers of the universe who participate in political negotiations over the use of time technology. It is uncertain whether this was intended to be the same Warpsmiths as those created by Moore and Leach.