Karnak (comics)

Karnak (comics)


publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="Fantastic Four" vol. 1, #45 (Dec 1965)
creators=Stan Lee (writer)
Jack Kirby (artist)
species = Inhuman
homeworld = Attilan
alliances=Inhuman Royal Family
aliases=The Shatterer
supports =
powers=Ability to sense weak points
Enhanced physical attributes
Master martial artist
Experienced hand-to-hand combat|

Karnak is a fictional martial artist published by Marvel Comics. He first appears in "Fantastic Four" vol. 1, #45, and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Fictional character biography

Karnak is a member of the Inhuman race, one of those who form the Inhuman Royal Family, born on the island of Attilan. Cousin of Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans, Karnak has the ability to find the weak point in any person, plan or object. Thus, he is usually used as planner by the Inhumans. He also serves as a priest and philosopher to the Inhumans.

He is the brother of Triton, who endured Terrigenesis before he did. However, Triton's Terrigenesis was so extreme that his parents, Mander and Azur, begged that Karnak not have to endure the procedure. Instead, he was sent to a monastery, where he learned martial arts.

He is usually attended by his relatives, Gorgon and Triton. He has taken part in most of the Inhumans' adventures, such as the Kree-Skrull War, and the many moves of the Inhuman city of Attilan.

Karnak and the royal family encounter Maximus's creation, the Trikon, and are driven from Attilan's Great Refuge in exile. [Revealed in "Inhumans Special" #1]

Karnak first appeared as a member of the Inhumans when he attempted to retrieve his cousin and queen, Medusa from the outside world and take her back to Attilan. This led him into conflict with the Fantastic Four, the first humans he met, who were harboring Medusa after rescuing her from the villainous Frightful Four. Accordingly, Karnak is indirectly responsible for revealing the existence of Attilan to the outside world. Karnak battled Maximus alongside the Inhuman Royal Family, and became trapped in Maximus's "negative zone" barrier around the Great Refuge. ["Fantastic Four" #45-48] He was freed from the "negative zone" barrier along with the rest of the Inhumans, and left the Great Refuge with the Royal Family to visit the outside world. ["Fantastic Four" #59-61] He teamed with the Thing, Human Torch, and Black Panther against the Psycho-Man. ["Fantastic Four Annual" #5] He aided the Inhuman royal Family in defeating Maximus's next attempt to overthrow the Great Refuge. ["Fantastic Four" #82-83]

He later assisted Gorgon in freeing Maximus. ["Amazing Adventures" #5] He journeyed to America to search for the missing Black Bolt. ["Amazing Adventures" #7] Gorgon battled Magneto and his mutated minions. ["Amazing Adventures" #9-10]

Karnak later battled Blastaar and the Kree Kaptroids. ["Inhumans" #3-4] he traveled to New York City, where he battled Kree agent Shattertar. ["Inhumans" #3-4] Karnak was imprisoned by Maximus. ["Inhumans" #5] He aided in the defeated of Maximus and the Evil Inhumans. ["Inhumans" #6] Karnak then left Earth with the Inhuman Royal Family to prevent the Kree subjugation of the Inhumans, and battled various aliens. ["Inhumans" #7-8] He continued to battle Kree agents, and then returned to Earth. ["Inhumans" #10] Karnak later accompanied the Inhuman exodus when Attilan was relocated to the Blue Area of Earth's Moon. ["Fantastic Four" #240]

Karnak later battled the Avengers while under Maximus's mind control. ["Avengers Annual" #12] He then battled the High Evolutionary's forces during the Evolutionary War. ["Fantastic Four Annual" #21] He accompanied Medusa to Earth when she fled Attilan to avoid a compulsory abortion. [Inhumans Graphic Novel]

He was later sent to Earth with Gorgon in an attempt to find Black Bolt's missing son with Daredevil's help. ["Daredevil" #274] There he and his companions fought against Ultron-13 in which Karnak's power allowed him to discover the weak spot in Ultron's neck. Later they became entangled in Mephisto's plot against Daredevil, and were transported to a nether-world where they were personally attacked by the supernatural entity known as Blackheart. Karnak's animosity towards Gorgon was fanned into a rage, causing actual physical violence. Blackheart was soon defeated and the group went their intended ways. ["Daredevil" #278-282]

Karnak later aided the New Warriors against the third Star-Thief. ["New Warriors" #6] Alongside X-Factor, he then battled Apocalypse. ["X-Factor" #67-68] Alongside the Avengers, he then battled Thane Ector. ["Avengers" #334-335]

Later, during a conflict with several Earth countries, Karnak fought with a new costume, designed with the powers of one of the older Inhumans.

Karnak, along with Gorgon, has been uncovered as violating Inhuman law. After a conflict with the Black Panther, Black Bolt uncovers evidence that the two have been using 'Alpha Primitives', a long-freed slave caste as slaves again. They do not feel that Inhumans should be doing regular chores.

Karnak joins an Inhumans strike team to help take down the confused super-powered Sentry. ["New Avengers" #9]

An upcoming issue of Secret Invasion: Inhumans will have Karnak fighting a Skrull that has his powers.Fact|date=September 2008

Powers and abilities

Karnak has enhanced strength, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes as a result of his genetically superior Inhuman physiology. Unlike most Inhumans, he does not have superhuman powers as a result exposure to the mutagenic Terrigen Mist, as he was never exposed to the Mist. Instead, Karnak has the extrasensory ability (achieved through meditation and intensive training) to perceive stress points, fracture planes, or weaknesses in objects or persons. He has complete voluntary control of most of his autonomic bodily functions. All striking surfaces of his body are extremely toughened. He is capable of shattering substances up to and including mild steel and rendering superhuman opponents unconscious by striking them.

Like all Inhumans, Karnak's immune system is weaker than that of an average human.

Karnak has received his fighting skills as a result of Inhuman royal militia training. He is also a graduate of the religious seminary, at the Tower of Wisdom in Attilan.

He uses a hover-platform for transportation, designed by Inhuman technicians.

Other versions

Earth X

In the alternate future of Earth X, Karnak has undergone a further mutation. His cranium has greatly increased and his features are now more sunken. During an investigative mission to Earth, he attempts to act as a calming influence among the members of the Royal Family. He has altered his uniform in order to expose his powerful limbs.


In issues #23 and #25 of "Exiles", Karnak appears as one of the many heroes overtaken by a mutated version of the techno-organic Phalanx.

Heroes Reborn

Karnak lives with the other Inhumans, hidden on Earth. His society pays reverence to Galactus and his many heralds via statues. Karnak dresses in a more stylized version of his 616 uniform.

Marvel Zombies

Karnak is seen as one of the many zombies trying to bring down the Silver Surfer. ["Marvel Zombies" #1 - 8 (2003)]

Mutant X

Karnak joins with his fellow Inhumans and a team of Eternals to confront the murderous duo of the Beyonder and Dracula. Inhumans and Eternals alike are all killed and Dracula drains them.

Ultimate Universe

The character of Ultimate Karnak was introduced in Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual #1. Here, he is a member of the Inhuman royal family, a cousin of Crystal, Medusa and Gorgon, and presumably a brother of Triton. There are differences in the character: firstly, his features are Asian and white-haired; secondly, he has superpowers. His power is the ability to sense and control energy, for example, he sensed the stress-points in Sue Storm's invisible force-field, and attacked it with a bolt of electricity.

Other media


* Karnak alongside the other Inhumans appeared in the "Fantastic Four" episode "Medusa and the Inhumans" voiced by John Stephenson.
* Karnak appears among the other Inhumans in several episodes of the 1994 "Fantastic Four" TV series. He was voiced by Clyde Kusatsu.

Video games

* Karnak appears in as a non playable character in the video game "". When the heroes are at Castle Doom, he informs Nick Fury that the Ultimate Nullifier is somewhere in Doctor Doom's lab. He has special dialogue with each of the Fantastic Four.


* Karnak appears as one of the 12 unique Heroclix figures included in the Marvel Supernova set. His collectors number is #088. He is appropriately equipped with many clicks of exploit weakness and has powerful attack and damage numbers.


External links

* [http://marvel.com/universe/Karnak Karnak] at Marvel.com

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