Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Marvel Universe - Part 3: Terrestrial Races

Now that we've covered the cosmos with alien races and cosmic beings, let's go back to your home planet, Earth.

Aside from the obviously predominant human race, the Earth has been home to many offshoot races. Some of them are ancient and others new. Many still reside on the planet while others have colonized distant worlds. These are the terrestrial races.



The dominant race on Earth, humans vastly outnumbers all other sentient life forms, yet they do not possess the unique abilities of their offshoot races. Due to ancient genetic tampering by the Celestials, many humans possess latent abilities that may become activated by radiation.

Humans have a reputation for being chaotic and unpredictable. Numerous attempts have been made to control or eliminate the human race for the sake of universal stability, but all such attempts have ended in disaster.

Notable Humans: Tony Stark, Nick Fury, J. Jonah Jameson, Maria Hill, Punisher
First Appearance: Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939)
Chance of Appearing in GotG:  Duh


On Earth, the once generic term "mutant" has been applied to a specific spontaneous generation of humans born with superior abilities and thus scientifically designated as homo sapiens superior. Usually these traits manifest during puberty, often during strenuous or anxious situations. Due to the dangerous nature of their abilities, mutants are frequently distrusted and the two races are constantly in conflict. Many experts on the mutant phenomenon believe this to be the beginning of the next stage in human evolution.

Notable Mutants: Charles Xavier, Magneto, Apocalypse, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm
First Appearance: X-Men #1 (Sept. 1963)
Chance of Appearing in GotG: Zero (Fox retains the rights to Marvel's mutants)

Mutates  (Savage Land)

In an attempt to create his own army, the mutant supremecist Magneto crafted a citadel in the middle of the hidden prehistoric jungle called the Savage Land. There he conducted genetic experiments on a tribe called the Swamp Men resulting in artificial mutants referred to as "mutates." Although they rejected Magneto as their leader, they became a major power in the Savage Land, held in check mainly by the land's jungle protector, Ka-Zar.

The word "mutate" is also used to refer to a servant class of mutant in the apartheid state of Genosha, but these mutates were mutants who were genetically altered for subservience by a mutant called the Genegineer. Therefore, they are not a distinct race.

Notable Mutates: Brainchild, Sauron, Lorelei, Gaza, Amphibius, Lupo
First Appearance: X-Men #62 (Nov. 1969)
Chance of Appearing in GotG: Zero (see above)


Homo mermanus is a submarine race of water-breathing humanoids. As yet, their historical origins are unknown, but were believed to have derived their name and culture from settling the ruins of the sunken continent of Atlantis following the Great Cataclysm. They have blue skin and gills on their neck that require a breathing apparatus when above water for an extended period. Although their numbers are not fully known, there are believed to be only a few thousand, mostly populated in the city of Atlantis.

Although technologically superior to the human majority, their culture is still based in monarchy with various houses often engaging in a coup d'etat for the throne. Their government has been made (relatively) stable by the long (but not unbroken) reign of Namor, their half-human king.

The Atlanteans also have an off-shoot race/culture known as the Lemurians. Nearly identical to Atlanteans, the only difference is their prominent scales and slightly greener hue.

Notable Atlanteans: Princess Fen, Lady Dorma
First Appearance: Marvel Comics #1 (Oct. 1939)
Chance of Appearing in GotG: 1/100

Ancient Atlanteans (Uhari/Chordai/Mala)

Only recently discovered in the depths of the ocean floor in caves developed by coral reef, they were hidden from the rest of the world for thousands of years. They were only spoken of in legend by the new Atlanteans and then as hostile invaders who used peace talks as a cover for invasion. This belief seems to be bigoted as all behavior shows them as no more or less hostile than any other terrestrial race.

The Ancient Atlanteans actually consist of three separate race: the Uhari (fish-like [left]), the Chordai (eel-like), and the Mala (crab-like). However, these three races are fully integrated in a single culture that identifies themselves as the Ancient Atlanteans. This calls into question how the current Atlanteans got their name and what the connection may be to the sunken continent.

Notable Ancient Atlanteans: Ul-Uhar, Vii, Wuu
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #576 (Feb. 2010)
Chance of Appearing in GotG: 1/200


During the First Host of the Celestials (see Part 2: Cosmic Beings), these cosmic gods experimented on proto-humans to create three distinctly different races: the constantly mutated and monstrous Deviants, the god-like Eternals, and, between them, the human race. While the Deviants made their home in the subterranean caverns developing powerful weapons, the Eternals made their home in the mountain, probing the universe with their minds, and developing fantastic powers.

Early in the development of their society, the Eternals were ideologically divided by two brothers: Kronos and Uranos. Kronos advocated living peacefully separate from the strife of humanity and the Deviants while Kronos suggested that they should master the Earth and subjugate the other races. This inevitably resulted in a civil war in which the followers of Kronos were victorious, leading to an era of peace and prosperity. Meanwhile, Uranos and his followers were banished into from the Earth itself, finding a Kree (see Part 1: Alien Races) outpost on Uranus where they were attacked by the Kree and experimented upon... leading directly to the Kree experiments that resulted in the Inhumans (see below). The surviving Eternals escaped to Titan, a moon of Saturn, where they founded an independent colony. This offshoot of the Eternals referred to themselves as Titans and produced some of the most powerful beings in the known universe, most notably the worshiper of death called Thanos.

Notable Eternals: Thanos, Zuras, Makarri, Sersi, Ikaris, Ajak, Thena, Eros
First Appearance: Eternals #1 (July 1976)
Chance of Appearing in GotG: Confirmed (Thanos)


While humanity fought desperately with the beasts of the Earth for survival, the Deviants were able to dominate their race and build a vast capital on the island of Lemuria. When the Celestials returned for the Second Host, the Deviants brazenly attacked their creators and, in return, the entire Earth was rocked by "the Great Cataclysm," a seismic event that sunk both Lemuria and the far off nation of Atlantis.

Since then, the Deviants have remained in hiding, seeking to undermine the efforts of both humanity and the Eternals in order to seek the favor of the Celestials. However, as always, the Deviants will not hesitate to steal the Celestials power, if given the opportunity.

Notable Deviants: Brother Tode, Ghaur, Kro
First Appearance: Eternals #1 (July 1976)
Chance of Appearing in GotG: 1/10


Following the Kree encounter with the Eternals, the Kree began a series of tests on the human population to unlock their potential. This created the Inhuman race. Their abilities (and often, a new appearance) emerge when they are exposed to the Terrigen Mists.

While they lived for thousands of years hidden in the Himalayas, the Inhumans eventually moved their entire city to the moon and, later still, back to the Kree homeworld as their conquers, though briefly. Recent events have caused the destruction of their city and released the Terrigen Mist into the world, transforming latent Inhumans and forcing the race to redefine themselves.

Notable Inhumans: Black Bolt, Medusa, Crystal, Maximus the Mad, Gorgon, Triton, Karnak
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #44 (Nov. 1965)
Chance of Appearing in GotG: 1/15

Alpha Primitives

The Inhumans employ an artificial race of identical beings as a slave race to perform menial tasks. Since they were expressly created for this purpose, they possess limited intelligence and imagination, making them very docile. However, they have been known to be agitated, resulting in class warfare.

Notable Alpha Primitives: None
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #47 (Feb. 1966)
Chance of Appearing in GotG: 1/100

Moloids (Molemen)

The moloids are the "mole men" of myth and legend which live in the deepest, darkest tunnels beneath the Earth. They were genetically engineered by the Deviants as a servant race following their loss of human slaves after the Great Cataclysm. Eventually, the population of moloids grew out of control to the point where the Deviants no longer attempted to control them. They even produced a minor offshoot race called the Tyrannoids and a precursor race called the Gortokians (but they quickly went extinct).

In recent years, the moloids were discovered by an explorer named Harvey Elder while investigating the caves of Monster Island. By this point, the moloids had become weak, subservient, and docile due to generations of in-breeding. They quickly accepted Elder as their leader and he rechristened himself as the Mole Man.

Even more recently, some moloids have evolved to demonstrate signs of complex intelligence. Four such moloids have joined the Fantastic Four's youth think tank known as the Future Foundation.

Notable Moloids: Mik, Korr, Turg, Tong
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #22 (Jan. 1964)
Chance of Appearing in GotG: Confirmed (Thanos)


Native to the unnatural prehistoric jungle reserve known as "the Savage Land," the Man-Apes (or Ape-Men), refer to a range of proto-humanoids that have been preserved in this environment. Due to the unique nature of the preserve, there has been significant crossbreeding and some of the species of humanoids simply have no historical counterparts.

Notable Man-Apes: Maa-Gor, Grog
First Appearance: X-Men #10 (March 1965)
Chance of Appearing in GotG: 1/50

New Men

Created by a superpowered geneticist called the High Evolutionary, the New Men were evolved from a wide variety of animals to endow them with the intelligence, size, and stature of a human being. These were both experiments and a servant race who would help the High Evolutionary achieve his goal of creating the perfect being. However, the High Evolutionary is a gentle master and has allowed the New Men to form their own society with their own roles.

The society of the New Men is located on Mount Wundagore in the Transian mountain range in Eastern Europe. The mountain is protected by New Men warriors known simply as the Knights of Wundagore.

Notable New Men: Bova, Man-Beast
First Appearance: Thor #134 (Nov. 1966)
Chance of Appearing in GotG: 1/100


And that brings us to the end of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Marvel Universe! We've covered aliens, cosmic beings, and the races of Earth, but let us know what you'd like to learn about next in the comments below!

Do you want a guide to the DC universe? A guide to Marvel cosmology or multiple dimensions? Let me know!

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