Celestial (comics)

Celestial (comics)

The Celestial Fourth Host (left to right):
Hargen, Tefral, Nezzar, Gammenon, Arishem, Jemiah, Eson, Oneg, and Ziran.
Scene from Thor #300 (Oct. 1980).
Art by Keith Pollard.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Eternals #2 (Aug. 1976)
Created by Jack Kirby
Place of origin Unknown
Notable members List of Celestials members
Inherent abilities Capable of virtually any effect

The Celestials are a group of fictional characters that appear in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The characters first appear in Eternals #1 (July 1976) and were created by writer-artist Jack Kirby.

Debuting in the Bronze Age of Comic Books, the Celestials have appeared in four decades of Marvel continuity and other associated merchandise such as trading cards.


Publication history

The Celestials debuted in Eternals #1 (July 1976) and reappeared as regular guest stars in three subsequent limited series sequels: Eternals vol. 2, #1 - 12 (Oct. 1985 - Sep. 1986); Eternals vol. 3, #1 - 7 (Aug. 2006 - Feb. 2007), and Eternals vol. 4, #1 - 9 (Aug. 2008 - May 2009).

The Celestials reappeared in the "Celestial Saga" storyline in Thor Annual #7 (1978) and Thor #283 – 300 (May 1979 - Oct. 1980), and once again in Thor #387 – 389 (Jan. – March 1988). The characters reappeared in Quasar #24 (July 1991) and Fantastic Four #400 (May 1995).

The Celestials also appear in X-Factor vol. 1 issues 43-46 and 48-50, in a story line called "Judgement War."

Also, appearing in FF #3 (2011) with a one panel appearance.


Referred to as "space gods" by the Eternals and the Deviants, the Celestials appear as silent, armored humanoids with an average height of 2,000 feet (610 m).[1] Visiting Earth every thousand years in groups called "Hosts," the group are revealed to have been responsible for the creation of both the Eternals and the Deviants over a million years ago, and the genetic manipulation is ultimately responsible for the existence of superpowers in mutants.[2]

Resenting the presence of the Celestials and their monitoring of Earth's progress, the Skyfather figures of Earth (e.g., Odin, Zeus, and Vishnu) attempted to stop the Third Host, but are quickly outmatched. The Skyfathers then develop a convoluted plan to stop the Fourth Host via the use of the Odinsword and Destroyer armour, but once again the Celestials—although also opposed by Odin's son Thor—prevent the offensive and melt the Destroyer armour into slag, scattering the Asgardians' life-forces. Thor throws the Odinsword through Arishem's chest, but he removes it, analyzes it, and vaporizes it. The Earthmothers (such as Frigga and Hera) of Earth, however, make an offering of twelve perfect humans, which is accepted and the planet is spared judgment.[3]

The judgment process is eventually witnessed by Thor, observing Celestial Arishem the Judge sending an execution code to Exitar the Exterminator, a 20,000-foot (6,100 m) tall Celestial who carries out Arishem's "sentence". Exitar terraforms the planet in question into a garden paradise, with only the "evil" inhabitants having been destroyed.[4] On one occasion the hero Quasar observes a race completely fail the genetic test, with every living creature being destroyed with their planet.[5] The Celestials' actions conflict with the policy of "non-interference" practiced by fellow cosmic entities the Watchers, with the two races having become enemies.[6] The Celestials and their "opposites", a group of entities known as the Horde, are established as instruments of an entity referred to as the Fulcrum, their purpose to be "instruments of the planting/creation/teeming of the universe".[7]

The team of space adventurers the Guardians of the Galaxy find and use as a base the severed head of a Celestial floating in an area of space known as "The Rip." Dubbing the structure "Knowhere," it also acts as a common port of call (complete with a market and bar) for travelers from all points in the space-time continuum. The base is administered by its chief of security, Cosmo, a telepathic and telekinetic Soviet space dog originally lost in Earth orbit in the 1960s. Courtesy of the deceased Celestial's "Continuum Cortex", travelers with special "passport" bracelets can teleport to any point in the universe instantaneously.[8][9]


Powers and abilities

Kosmos and Kubik – beings who wield vast but undefined energy, matter, and reality manipulation powers in their own right – stated that a single Celestial possesses "power many orders of magnitude beyond our own".[10] The Celestials were capable of reducing the Asgardian construct known as the Destroyer to slag even when the Destroyer was imbued with the life force of all the Asgardian gods (with the exception of Thor);[11] move planets at will;[12] and contain, create, and seal off entire universes.[13]

Reed Richards theorized that the Celestials' source of power is Hyperspace itself – the source of all energy in the Marvel Universe – a suggestion seemingly confirmed by the Invisible Woman's ability to destroy Exitar's physical form with her hyperspace-sourced force fields.[14] The Celestials have only been shown to be physically damaged in a handful of instances, most notably by the Invisible Woman,[15] and the Odinsword-wielding Destroyer. Jean Grey recalling an echo of the power of the Phoenix Force within her also managed to destroy the hand of Arishem and Thanos, while in possession of the Heart of the Universe, managed to completely destroy a Celestial. [16] The Celestials, however, are capable of instant regeneration from most injuries. According to the Dreaming Celestial itself, Celestials are possessed of such durability that they cannot truly be destroyed, even by other Celestials (which is why, as he explains, he was imprisoned instead of destroyed).[17] It's also revealed in the same graphic novel that the Celestials employ magic as their technology.

Other versions

In the alternate universe limited series Earth X, the Celestials are beings of energy encased in armor composed of vibranium, a metal with properties that prevent their dissipation. They reproduce by planting a fragment of their essence in a planet, which matures into a new Celestial over the course of eons. The cosmic entity Galactus is an enemy of the Celestials, as the character devours planets that incubate Celestial "eggs" to prevent the Celestials from overpopulating the universe.[18]

The Celestials appear in an issue of the second volume of the title What If, returning to Earth in a distant future and deeming humanity unfit due to the genetic tampering of the High Evolutionary.[19] The characters are also featured in two What If? one-shot publications: In the first, the superhero Iron Man attempts to use Celestial armor powered by the Negative Zone to stop the supervillain Thanos,[20] while the second depicts a 407-year war between supervillain Doctor Doom (possessing the powers of the Infinity Gauntlet and the Beyonder) and the entire Celestial race.[21]


  1. ^ Eternals #1 (July 1976)
  2. ^ Eternals #1 – 12 (July 1976 – June 1977)
  3. ^ Thor Annual #7 (1978), Thor #283 – 300 (May 1979 - Oct. 1980)
  4. ^ Thor #387 – 389 (Jan. – March 1988)
  5. ^ Quasar #24 (July 1991)
  6. ^ Fantastic Four #400 (May 1995)
  7. ^ Eternals vol.4, #2 (Sep. 2008)
  8. ^ Inside Look: Guardians of the Galaxy #1 by DnA, Broken Frontier, May 21, 2008
  9. ^ Nova vol. 4, #8 (Jan. 2008)
  10. ^ A single Celestial having more power than a cosmic cube is either ignored or retconed for an issue of Guardians of the Galaxy in which a faction of the team travels to a distant future in which a rift is destroying the universe. The Badoon have used a cosmic cube to imprison all the celestials around a sun in order to use their power to keep the rift at bay for this one system sized area. Fantastic Four Annual #23 (1990)
  11. ^ Thor #300 (Oct. 1980)
  12. ^ Infinity Gauntlet #5 (1991)
  13. ^ Heroes Reborn: The Return #1–4 (1997)
  14. ^ Fantastic Four #400 (May 1985)
  15. ^ Thor #387 (Feb. 1988)
  16. ^ Thor #300 (Oct. 1980)
  17. ^ Eternals vol. 4, #3 (Aug. 2006)
  18. ^ Earth X #0 (March 1999); #0.5 (Jan. 2000); #1-10 (April 1999 - Jan. 2000); #11-12 (March-April 2000); #13 (June 2000)
  19. ^ What If vol. 2, #1 (July 1989)
  20. ^ What If? Newer Fantastic Four #1 (Feb. 2009)
  21. ^ What If: Secret Wars #1 (Jan. 2009)

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