Lords of Chaos and Order
Avatars of the Lords of Order and Chaos from DC.jpg
Representatives of the Lords of Chaos and Order
art by Anthony Williams
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearance1st Issue Special #9 (December, 1975)
Characteristics
Place of originVarious: Sphere of the Gods, Darkworld, Cilia, Realm of Order, Realm of Chaos
Notable membersLords:
Nabu, Arion, Mordru, Shazam (The Wizard), Amethyst, Garn Daanuth
Agents:
Doctor Fate, Hawk and Dove, Phantom Stranger, Doctor Chaos, Anti-Fate, Eclipso
Inherent abilities
  • Immense magical powers and cosmic influence
  • Representives/embodiments of the concept of order and chaos.

The Lords of Chaos and Order are a complementary group of fictional supernatural entities appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. While alluded to since 1st Issue Special #9 (December, 1975),[1] the group would make their first physical appearance in DC Special Series #10 (1978). While the group is commonly associate with Doctor Fate titles, they also appear prominently in other comic titles. Depicted as powerful beings of magic representing concepts of order and chaos, both groups eternally struggle for supremacy. The Lords of Chaos are plotting to invoke kali yuga (a period where chaos dominates existence) while the Lords of Order work to prevent it.[2] Both groups are also sometimes depicted as being balanced by entities known the Balancers (also referred to as the Lords of Eternal Balance), disallowing both sides from destroying each other. All sides can empower agents to act on their behest.

The group has been adapted in media, having made appearances in the Young Justice animated series, featuring a roster of members consisting of different and pre-existing characters in the DC Universe serving as members or affiliates. The group is also mentioned heavily in the Injustice 2.

Publication history

The Lords of Chaos and Order would first be alluded to in 1st Issue Special #9 (December, 1975).[1] Later, the group would make a physical appearance in DC Special Series #10 (1978).

Fictional group history

Creation

Both elemental forces were born during the creation of the universe; those who affiliated with serving "order" are known as the Lord of Order and Light (or simply the Lords of Order) and those who affiliated with serving "chaos" being known as the Lords of Chaos and Darkness (or simply Lords of Chaos). Some respective early agents and lords originate from a myriad of places, including Darkworld and Cilia, the former being home to those whom would later identify with the pantheon of ancient Atlantean deities.[3][4][5] According to Hindu philosophy, the age of the universe and mankind is divided into four different cycles of ages in which the first age marks order ruling with perfection. In the second age, chaos begins to spread its subtle influence so that in the third age, chaos n go to war with order. In the final era, chaos triumphs and ushers in an age known as the "Kali Yuga". After this age, the cycle restarts when the age ends and the universe itself also ends, resulting in a rebirth of a new universe in which Order rules once more.[4][5]

Pre-history

In 500,000 BC, long after the agents and Lords of Chaos and Order from Darkworld established themselves as a pantheon existing within Atlantis, demigods Arion and Garn Daanuth were born to Calculha and Dark Majistra, agents of order and chaos respectively. The pair would later create the Zodiac Crystals, powerful objects patterened after the zodiac signs in which directed and amplified the magic on Earth. With the pair suffering martial problems due to their conflicting divine natures and their children prophesied to eternally battle for the fate of Atlantis and end the Ice Age (caused by their family feud). Arion and Garn would eventually fulfill the prophecy thousands of years later around 45,000BC with Arion recognized as Atlantis's savior when he ended the Ice Age with his sorcerous powers. Despite this, Arion was unable to ultimately save his iteration of Atlantis as its king in his later years, his city eventually suffering a decline due to a combination of events: the waning magic on Earth, Garn's alliance with the immortal Vandal Savage creating the proto-Illuminati, and its actual destruction by the Lord of Chaos and God of Evil, Chaon. Although the homo magi kingdom in which Arion ruled was destroyed, contrary to his belief, other remnants of Atlantis survived.[6][7][8]

Later, dimension known as Gemworld was once among the domains controlled and owned by the Lords of Chaos until a deal was struck with sorceress Citrina when magic began to drop on the planet Earth due to an alignment of the stars that was caused by one of them going nova thousands of years ago. Intending to find and populate a land where homo magi, faeirie, and other magical creatures alike can live and thrive in a magical rich environment, the deal was made and the arrangement was kept secret from the history of Gemworld.[9]

Modern age

In the 2005 Day of Vengeance crossover, Eclipso seduces the Spectre into slaughtering most of Earth's magic users after she claimed that magic was the source of all of Earth's evil. Nabu organizes a team of magical beings to stop the Spectre and seal the Seven Deadly Sins. Nabu confronts the Spectre, and the Presence (a Lord of Chaos) uses Spectre as a new host. Although Nabu dies, his helmet is left with its significant powers. The deaths of the Lords of Order and Chaos caused magic to break down into its basic raw state, which marks the end of the Ninth Age of Magic within the DC Universe, and the beginning of the Tenth. Amethyst and Mordru are the only known Lords to have survived into the Tenth Age.[10]

DC Rebirth

In DC Rebirth, the Lords of Chaos and Order are presented with a new origin; being among the first mages on Earth, the group of mages plot and were successful in stealing magical power from the Greek Goddess of Magic, Hecate[disambiguation needed]. Unlike the classical Greek mythology stories, Hecate was a primordial spirit of magic and predates most, if not, all other godly pantheons and once settled to be affiliated with the Greek pantheon. As their power rose, they ascended to a higher plane of existence and became the Lords of Chaos and Order and began controlling the magic in the known universe.[11] However, conflicting origins have risen within DC's canonical universe; while some stories utilize the newly revised origin, other stories utilize an origin similar to the previous one. In this origin, the Lords of Chaos and Order was created from the Source as one of the first cosmic forces in the universe before the likes of both Old Gods (gods of both fantasy and real-world inspired pantheons) and New Gods.[12] The Darkworld also exists in this revised universe, the entity and its body that makes up the dimension having been explained to be a piece of the Great Darkness, the true embodiment and source of evil and darkness in the universe.[13][14]

Severan Lords of Order appear in the "Hard Choices" Blue Beetle storyline, insane Arion battled Nabu thousands of years ago, having sought Khaji-Da to save Atlantis after receiving a vision from the future where he learns of the eventual destruction of Atlantis and the scarab falsely promised him the ability to save it. Nabu succeeds in sealing away Arion and sets him in a tomb located in a dimension parallel to what would be El Paso, Texas. Arion later frees himself through his lackey, Mordecai Cull, and he is initially successful in defeating Doctor Fate and overpowering Khaji-Da's will, Jaime Reyes narrowly defeats Arion by using his connection to the scarab against him, draining him of most of his magical power before Doctor Fate arrives and seals him away.[15] Although the initial story claimed that Arion was driven insane by exposure to Khaji-Da centuries ago, a later story clarified Arion was driven mad from being exposed to his Tear of Extinction and the Death Force as a side effect of using it against alien sea gods on Poseidon's behest.[16]

Both the Lords of Order and Chaos would make an appearance in the "Trials of Harley Quinn" storyline, seeking a new agent to act as a galactic angel of retribution, a title bestowed to a being to act as one of the balancing agents between order and chaos and tasked Mirand'r (the spirit of a dead Tamaranean from seventy years ago) to fill the position. She recommends the former supervillain, Harley Quinn, as she possesses traits associated with both order and chaos. While Harley eventually passes through all the trials, she betrays the Lords of Chaos andOrder moments after receiving their power after mistakenly concluding her mother's death was among the trials they orchestrated. The Lord of Order and Chaos representatives explain that their trials are woven into events naturally occurring and thus her mother was destined to die. While Harley ultimate rejects the position, she appeals to the Lords of Chaos and Order by recommending Mirand'r, who understood the role. The Lords of Chaos and Order accepted her proposition and revived Mirand'r, making her an agent of balance.[17]

In the "Lords of Order" Justice League Dark storyline, when the Source Wall at the edge of the universe cracked, the law and forces surrounding magic began to change, Nabu sensed the risks it would bring: a race of magical beings known the Otherkind would be unleashed from this catastrophic event. Nabu alongside the other Lords of Order plot to destroy the Sphere of the Gods, the source of magic. While this act would kill all magical beings, this radical plan would ensure the Multiverse's continual survival with many Lords of Order content with this plan. In doing so, they forced upon mystical objects to notable wizards and sorceresses including Madame Xanadu, Mark Merlin and Prince Ra-Man, and Extraño. Controlling Kent Nelson himself, Nabu would imprison both Kent's apprentice and nephew, Khalid Nassour, and later the Phantom Stranger. Coming into conflict with the Justice League Dark, the team sought out Mordru, who revealed more of their origin and his role as the one who tortured Hecate personally. Using an artifact known as the Ruby of Life, he would temporarily turn the members of Justice League Dark into Lords of Chaos to enable them to battle the Lords of Order. Eventually, both Nabu and the other Lords of Order are defeated and the team reverts to their original form.[18]

Members

Aquaman-related titles

The fictional godly Atlantean pantheon (different from the sect of Atlantean gods appearing in the Aquaman: The Atlantic Chronicles) featured prominently in both Arion, Lord of Atlantis and Arion the Immortal comic series as villains and supporting characters. With the first series originally set within its own world connected to the Warlord comic title, the Crisis on Infinite Earths merged the history of Arion, Lord of Atlantis with the mainstream DC Comics history onward.[19] Originally, despite similarities in concept and titles, it was explained in 1991 by editor James Owsley that many of the gods present in both series weren't considered the same as those that would be featured prominently in the Doctor Fate and Sandman in a proposal for what would be the Arion the Immortal series.[20] However, more recent reference books and storylines (such as the "Princes of Darkness" JSA storyline & Encyclopedia: All-New Edition) outright references Lords and Agents of Order and Chaos originating from the series.

Name Description
Lords of Order
Ahri'ahn/Arion One of the few Lords of Order with a physical body; The child of the godly Calculha and Majistra, agents of order and chaos respectively, he is an ancient Atlantean demigod who is considered Atlantis's greatest hero in their respective history and the cultural progenitor of the homo magi. He is also the ancestor of Aquaman, Ocean Master, and Zatanna dependent on continuty. He is arguably among the most powerful Lords, having only been matched by Garn Daanuth, Mordru, and Nabu.
Gemimn A godly entity originating from Darkworld, Gemimn is a sibling to both brothers, Tynan and Chaon and the Atlantean Goddess of Order.[2] Although she initially appears as a woman throughout her tenure as a Lord of Order, Gemimn's mortal guise is that of an elderly African American male.[21]
Lords of Eternal Balance
Tynan Referred to as the "Cosmic Balancer", Tynan is a sibling of Lords of Order and Chaos, Gemimn and Chaon respectively, originating from Darkworld and keeping the two in check from destroying the universe via physical contact. A powerful god in the Atlantean pantheon, he once came into conflict with Arion as part of the latter's test.
Lords of Chaos
Chaon One of the godly entities originating from Darkworld and the sibling of both Tynan and Gemimn, he was the chief Lord of Chaos during his time.[2] He was among Arion's most dangerous enemies. Despite their past, he eventually becomes a reluctant confidante of Arion.[22]
Garn Daanuth The twin elder brother of Arion, he also possesses a natural physical body and is considered a demigod. Raised by his mother, Garn Daanuth directly opposed his twin brother as he attempted to conquer Atlantis. While originally stated to be raised as an agent among the Lords of Chaos,[2] later stories mention him to be among the Lords of Chaos.[23] He is among the more powerful Lords, typically equally matched with Arion.
The Weaver One of the Lords of Chaos alongside Chaon and from the dimension Darkworld, the Weaver is known as a trickster god and a god of madness. He is an enemy of both Arion and Powergirl.[24]
Agents of Order and Chaos
Dark Majistra Agent of Chaos; Majistra is the wife of Calculha, her cosmic equal and opposite in the Atlantean pantheon. Being the only deities in the pantheon not originating from Darkworld in the ancient sect of gods, she raised Garn as a Lord (originally agent prior to retcons) of Chaos and sought tousurp control of Atlantis and the magical energies on Earth from Arion and Calculha. She is eventually killed by Arion, furthering Garn's hatred for Arion.
Calculha Agent of Order; The father of both Arion and Garn Daanuth as well as the husband of Dark Majistra, his cosmic opposite and equal in the Atlantean pantheon. Despite his designation, he is much older than most Lords of Order and Chaos introduced (predating creation), serving as the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, chief deity of his pantheon, and is more powerful than all those in his pantheon. He teaches and guided Arion in his path as a Lord (originally agent prior to retcons) of Order. He is killed by Garn in his elderly age.

Amethyst-related titles

Name Description
Lords of Order
Princess Amethyst A Lord of Order born from a union between a human host possessed by a Lord of Order (Pantagones) and a human being, she inherited the powers and potential associated with it and is one of the few to have a physical body. She is a protector of Gemworld.[25][26]
Pantagones The Lord of Order who was originally the protector of the realm of Gemworld. Having been recently created, Pantagones was sent to be its protector despite being the weakest of the Lords of Order. He fell in love with Lord Amethyst's wife, Lady Amethst and consummated with her while in his host's body, resulting in Amethyst inheriting his power.
Lords of Chaos
Child A ruthless magic wielder, Child's appearance as a young boy hides his sadistic and malevolent nature. He is an enemy of Amythest, sent to claim Gemworld in the aftermath of Dark Opal's failure to secure control for the Lords of Chaos. He is served by Flaw.
Vandaemon The Lord of Chaos who watched over the realm years before Child and Amethyst would take over the respective duties. He was responsible for killing Pantagones, depriving the realm of its chief protector for years. He later appears as an enemy of both Amethyst and Doctor Fate.
Agents of Order & Chaos
Lord Amethyst An agent for the Lords of Order; He is the agent who allows Pantagones to possess to protect the realm and battle the forces of evil. While suspicious of his wife's eagerness to spend time with Pantagones, the Lord's influence makes him unaware of him using his body to consummate with Lady Amethyst.
Dark Opal An agent for the Lords of Chaos; Years ago, Dark Opal's ascension to the throne was helped being affiliated with the Lords of Chaos through Vandaemon. When he later fails to secure the realm from Amethyst, he is swiftly punished by Child.
Flaw The servant for the Lord of Chaos, Child.

Doctor Fate-related titles

Name Description
Lords of Order
Nabu Chief among the Lords of Order; a cosmic entity from Cilia who acts as the patron of the Doctor Fate sorcerous line. Manifests through a magical artifact, the Helm of Fate. He is also considered a Mesopotamian deity (sometimes errornously referred to as an Egyptian sorcerer/deity). He is arguably the most powerful of the Lords, only having been matched by Mordru and Arion.
Shat-Ru A Lord of Order who once attempted to exact revenge on Doctor Fate, only to be trapped in Kent Nelson's old body. Eventually, Shat-Ru becomes a reluctant ally of Doctor Fate and is later reborn. He is also one of the few Lords of Order to have an intimate relationship with a human.
Ynar A renegade Lord of Order who betrays the Lords of Order, having grown tired of the struggle between both factions.
Lords of Chaos
Malferrazae A fictional depiction based upon Xipe Totec, the Aztez god of ritual flaying and agriculture, lord of seasons, regeneration and crafts. "Totec" is the name given to Malferrazae by the Aztecs whom were unaware of his true name and affiliation, making him their God of War. After losing his power derived from the Aztec's worship upon their decemation at the hands of the Conquistadors, he existed as a statue witihn his shrine, using his limited powers to compel others to sacrifice in his name until he gained enough power to free himself. Malferrazae would come into conflict with the Kent Nelson incarnation of Doctor Fate.
Xanadoth Similar to Mordru, Xanadoth is considered among the most powerful of the Lords of Chaos and a being that inhabits physical hosts, once being a ruler among them until her hunger for power and direction were held in disagreement with both the Lords of Chaos and Order, both groups fearing her and combining their might to seal her away.[27]
Chaos The Lord of Chaos who acted as Inza Nelson's patron during her tenure as Doctor Fate. Despite his designation, Chaos believed that even the Lords of Chaos suffer from misinterpreation to being evil and believes certain approaches from evil hinders can hinder the Lords of Chaos from their goals.
Agents of Order
Kent Nelson The first mortal bearer of Doctor Fate, Nelson has acted as agent representing the Lords of Order through Nabu and later Shat-Ru briefly. He is considered among the most powerful of Doctor Fates and one of the best sorcerers of the modern age. Despite his prowess, Nelson is often controlled by Nabu and as a result, is reluctant in his role as Doctor Fate.
Eric Strauss The second chosen bearer of Doctor Fate, Eric was aware of the Lords of Order and his destiny at a very young age. After being aged up magically, he acts as Doctor Fate alongside Linda Strauss, his step-mother. His tenure is brief, as he killed but is reincarnated into a new body.
Linda Strauss Linda acted as Doctor Fate alongside Eric, the two merging themselves to act as Doctor Fate. After Eric is killed, she temporarily acts as the sole Doctor Fate until she dies. Like Eric, she is reincarnated into a new body.
Khalid Nassour The second chosen bearer of Doctor Fate after the New 52 reboot; Khalid was chosen by the Egyptian deities to act as Doctor Fate, Khalid eventually becoming affiliated with the Lords of Order as their agent. For a time, both Khalid and Kent acted as Doctor Fate concurrently until he later officially succeeded his mentor.
Agents of Balance
Jared Stevens / Fate The fifth person to bear the mantle of Doctor Fate, Jared's approach was radically different from other Doctor Fates. Dropping the "Doctor" title, he primarily acted as a demon hunter mystically empowered by the magics of Chaos and Order while adopting new weapons made from reforged metals of the Helm of Fate. His role ends abruptly when he is killed by Mordru.
Hector Hall Agent of Balance; The sixth person and final Doctor Fate to be affiliated with the Lords of Order and Chaos prior to the New 52 reboot.
Agents of Chaos
Inza Nelson The third chosen (fourth person) to act as Doctor Fate. Unlike other versions, Inza's power primarily were of chaos magic unbeknownst to her and Kent for the majority of her time. Despite this, she acted as a heroic figure in place of her husband, focused on developing a small community in New York City. Overtime, Kent and Inza would both act in tandem as Doctor Fate. While Kent is often credited as among the most skilled sorcerers, he admitted that Inza was a more talented.
Doctor Chaos An evil counterpart of the Doctor Fate sorcerous line. The original version of Doctor Chaos came into conflict with Superboy (Clark Kent). In the current continuity, Doctor Chaos's role was re-vamped, being considered one of the protectors of the Chaos Realm, the base of operations for the Lords of Chaos.

Hawk and Dove-related titles

Name Description
Terataya Lord of Order; A cosmic entity that takes the form of a medallion when procuring for hosts. Unusual among her brethren, both Tertaya and T'Charr come to form a truce with one another, having fallen in love. In order to prove chaos and order can co-exist with one another, the pair secretly created Hawk and Dove, Terataya empowering Dove.[28]
T'Charr Lord of Chaos; A cosmic entity that often takes the form of a dragon, He eventually came to have a truce with Terataya and eventually fell in love with her. The pair would work secretly to prove that order and chaos are able to peacefully co-exist and created the Hawk and Dove pair, empowering Hawk, and use as an experiment to eventually appeal to the Lords of Chaos and Order.[28]

Justice League Dark titles

In the Justice League Dark (volume 2), several new Lord Of Order characters debut with a new origin for the group, casting them as among the first mages to have appeared on Earth who ascended to their positions through callous acts of torture towards Hecate, the primordial spirit of magic. In retaliation, she granted them the power they sought through the Dark Multiverse, a source of darkness and evil. Due to the magic's corrosive nature, the Lords abandoned their bodies into enchanted objects similar to the Helmet of Fate.[29] This group (along with Nabu) were notably the main antagonist in the 2016 Justice League Dark: Lords of Order storyline as they and Nabu attempted to destroy the Sphere of the Gods, a source of magic, and sacrifice the human community in order to starve off the fictional race known as the Otherkind, supernatural creatures who prey upon other creatures and beings carrying magic by draining them of it for nourishment.[29]

Name Description
Cyra Manifested through the arcane object of lore called the "Cloak of Cyra", those whom act as her host become "Sister Symmetry". Cyra took Madame Xanadu as her host by force.[18]
Myrath Manifesting through the arcane object known as the "Gauntlets of Myrath", those who act as his host become "Brother Pattern". He forcibly once took Prince Ra-Man/Mark Merlin as his host.[18]
Hoku Manifested through the arcane object of lore called the "Cloak of Cyra", those whom act as her host become "Sister Symmetry". Cyra took Madame Xanadu as her host by force.[18]
Dalphi Manifested through the arcane object "Boots of Dalphi", he took to using Extrano as his host by force.[18]

Sandman-related titles

Name Description
Kilderkin A manifestation of order, Kilderkin was dispatched in order to negotiate with Dream and secure Hell after Lucifer's unexpected abdicating of the throne. Kilderkin's manifestation in the mortal plane is in the form of a cardboard box and speaks through printed messages. He also has a servant that acts as his means of mobility.[30]
Shivering Jemmy A childlike Lord of Chaos, she instead prefers to be called a "Princess of Chaos" and was "sent" to secure Hell for the Lords of Chaos and is willing to threaten the Dream to achieve this. However, this was revealed to be a ruse with her intent to ensure the Lords of Order did not secure Hell.[30]

Other related members

Name Description
Lords of Order
Kismet A cosmic entity, Kismet protects the known galaxy from evil. Originally known as Ahti, she was once a peer and love interest for the eventual renegade Lord of Order, Tuoni (also known as Dominus) before ascending to the role of Kismet, an act that angered a jealous Dominus.[26]
Dominus A priest from a planet and Lord of Order, he was once the lover of Ahti when he was known as Tuoni. He became fiercely jealous when Ahti was chosen for the role of Kismet, spurring him to eventually become Dominus and a renegade among the ranks of the Lord of Order.
Klarion the Witch Boy A talentent and mischevous interdimensoinal warlock orignating from Limbo Town who acts as both a hero and villain. During the Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths event, it is revealed that Klarion became a Lord of Chaos.

In other media

Film

Television

Video games

References

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