Deviants
Thor & Hercules, Encyclopædia Mythological ,1, Deviants.jpeg
The Deviants in Thor & Hercules: Encyclopædia Mythologica #1 (Sept. 2009). Art by Kevin Sharpe.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Eternals #1 (1976) (July 1976)
Created byJack Kirby
Characteristics
Place of originEarth, Lemuria
Notable membersSee: Citizens

The Changing People, dubbed the Deviants by the Eternals, are a fictional race of humanoids appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

In the Marvel Universe, the Deviants are the end product of a series of DNA tests known as Homo descendus, created by the enigmatic alien Celestials. Their race is largely insensitive and they view all other species as a threat. They even distrust each other and often get in their own way.

Publication history

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The Deviants first appeared in The Eternals #1 (July 1976).

Fictional history

They are an offshoot of the evolutionary process that created sentient life on Earth instigated by the alien Celestials, and wage war against their counterparts, the Eternals.

While the Eternals possess godlike power and are generally physically beautiful, the Deviants (who sometimes refer to themselves as 'the changing people') are for the most part hideous, with each member of their race possessing some random physical and/or cosmetic mutation that is by Celestial design never repeated within the sub-species. Extremely mutated or deformed Deviants are referred to as "mutates" and some of the monsters of myth and legend have in fact been identified as Deviant mutates. Some of these mutations can provide superhuman abilities, but their powers are usually not as great as those of the Eternals.

According to the account of one Deviant in the 2006 comic book mini-series,[1] the Deviants were created as a delicacy to be consumed en masse by Celestials at periodic intervals once they multiplied sufficiently. The veracity of this has been revealed untrue as the Deviants and the Eternals were actually created because the Celestials saw the human population as a useful pathogen to act as antibodies against the Horde, so the Deviants and the Eternals were to defend the process under the false impression that they were actually protecting the human race.

The Deviants are religious, revering the Dreaming Celestial ("He Who Sleeps in Darkness"). They credit him with their creation and claim that he granted them dominion over the Earth, an agreement they believe was later broken by the treachery of the other Celestials. They have one or more holy books—the only one named thus far being the Book of Krask.

The Deviants had already developed advanced technology such as genetic engineering when humans were still living in caves.

At some point in prehistoric times, some Deviants chased after Vnn and his lover Brrkk. When Brrkk died, Vnn found the corpse of a Tyrannosaurus that previously possessed the Star Brand. Vnn absorbed the Star Brand powers and used them to defeat the Deviants.[2]

In the advent of the heroic age, Brother Tode was leading the Deviants, with his capital in the city of the Toads in the sunken continent of Lemuria.[3] When the Fourth Celestial Host arrived on Earth, Deviants soldiers led by Warlord Kro attacked New York City in an attempt to provoke fear in the humans and trick them into attacking the Celestials.[4] When this attempt failed, the Deviants sent an attack team to the Celestial spaceship, which failed too.[5]

Later, the Deviants' aristocracy, led by Brother Tode, attacked Olympia and kidnapped the Eternals with the intent to disintegrate them. However, the hero Iron Man (James Rhodes) rescued the Eternals and helped them in the defeat of the Deviants. The Eternals transformed the Deviants' aristocracy into a synthetic cube, killing them.[6] Only Warlord Kro escaped with the help of his old lover Thena of the Eternals.

Without the aristocracy, the Deviants' priests seized power, led by Priestlord Ghaur, who killed the son of Tode, Ranar. Kro returned to Lemuria and was crowned as a figurehead monarch, with the real power in the hands of Ghaur.[7] With their new leader, the Deviants battled the Eternals again. Ghaur absorbed the power of the Dreaming Celestial and tried to ascend to godhood, but was defeated by the Eternals and the Avengers and was disintegrated. Kro was left as king of the Deviants.[8]

Ghaur returned to corporeal form and tried to obtain the Serpent Crown with help of the Atlantean Lemurians, led by Llyra, in an attempt to invoke the Old God Set.[9] The Avengers and Fantastic Four put an end to their mad plan and Ghaur was disintegrated once more.[10] Without Ghaur, and with the abdication of Kro, the Deviants' society fall into anarchy and revolution. First, a warlord called Brutus tried to conquer the different races of the subterrain, but was killed when the Deviants discovered his mutate origin. Later Brother Visara led the Deviants in killing all the leaders and their followers. He was ultimately killed as well.[11]

Later, Kro led a group of heroic Deviants, the Delta Network to rescue the Avengers from a resurrected Ghaur, who used his powers to control the Deviants once more.[12] Ghaur (in a form of a giant statue) and the Deviants fought the Eternals and the Heroes for Hire, when the mad priest created an Anti-Mind in his plan to rule the world.[13]

Kro and Ghaur formed bickering factions and kept the struggle for power for Deviant Lemuria. The external world did not know who was in charge. Ghaur risked a war with Wakanda after he discovered that his rejected (human-like) daughter was alive in that country. The Wakandan forces sieged Lemuria and the tension grew. Finally, the daughter was declared officially dead and Ghaur saved face.[14][15]

Much later, the Deviant males were rendered sterile by a plague, the anarchy reigned, and a power contest between Ereshkigal and Ghaur happened. Ghaur won when he promised the Deviants the return of the fertility with the help of the kidnapped Eternal Phastos and the Eternal's resurrection machine. The Asgardian god Thor rescued Phastos and battled Ghaur. When the Unbiding Stone (a doomsday artifact stolen by Erishkigal) was destroyed, Ghaur and Erishkigal disappeared and Kro was left leading the Deviants.[16]

Membership

Deviants

A Deviant is a modified human with unstable genetics, that provokes different forms and abilities.

Deviant Mutates

The Deviant Mutates are the creations of the Deviants. Among the known Deviant Mutates are:

Deviants of the planet Lyonesse

Delta Network

The Delta Network, also referred to as the Delta Force (no relation to the real life Delta Force), was the name of a group of Deviants. The Delta Network was a group of Deviant warriors who were organized by Warlord Kro. When the Avengers were captured by the Deviant priesthood, Kro called the members into action to rescue them. Delta Network members included: Ransak the Reject, Karkas, Enigmo, and Donald and Deborah Ritter (the twin children of Thena and Kro). The Delta Network appeared only in Avengers #370–371. The group was created out of pre-existing characters by Glenn Herdling and Geof Isherwood.[84][85]

Skrulls

Main article: Skrull

The Skrulls are nearly all Deviants who eliminated the other offshoots of their species, leaving only one of the original race (Prime Skrull) and a Skrull Eternal (Kly'bn).

In other media

The Deviants made their film debut in Eternals, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kro appears in the film as well, serving as the Deviants' leader.[86] They are a monstrous race of near-immortal beings genetically engineered by the Celestials and are the historical enemies of the Eternals, their racial cousins. They were engineered to progress and ensure the development of life in the universe by wiping out apex predators on various planets, until they evolved to hunt down and wipe out all life, leading to the creation of the Eternals to stop them.

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