A group of highly advance
d and long-lived extraterrestrial
appear in the comics
published by Marvel Comics
Soon after the Big Bang, a number of galaxies and solar systems
formed on which life evolved. These races made huge gains in the
areas of technology and knowledge. The beings that became known
as the Elders of the Universe are members of these early
civilizations who have achieved for themselves a near infinite
life span in a variety of ways and the technology that allowed
them to leave their homeworld. The Elders are the last survivors
of not only their race, but also of their galaxies.
Over their vast lifespans, each of the Elders have dedicated
themselves to a particular pursuit, becoming an expert in that
field or discipline. This expertise often times becomes interchangable
with their identities, as the Elders become known by these names.
Because of the similarities in their backgrounds, the Elders have
taken to considering each other kindred, sometimes referring
to each other as "brother," though no actual blood relation exists
The Elders have become involved in the affairs of humanity and the
cosmos of recent years, both individually and collectively. One
of the Elders known as the Collector believed that the threat of
the future being Korvac would cause a cosmic disaster and began
to kidnap members of the Avengers to protect him from this threat.
Korvac ultimately killed the Collector, showing that the
Elders, though extremely old are not immortal.
Later, another Elder, the Grandmaster kidnapped all the heroes
of Earth and held a contest of champions against Death in hopes
of having the Collector returned to life. The Grandmaster won
only to discover that a life force was needed for the resurrection
and sacrificed himself.
Other members of the Elders have come into conflict with others of
Earth's heroes. The Gardener has clashed with the Incredible Hulk,
the Contemplator with Captain America, and the Champion
challenged all of the heroes with super-strength to an unarmed battle
to determine who was the greatest. He was ultimately defeated by
More recently, the Elders of the Universe have been denied death
by the incarnation of Death, which they believed to be a beneficial
situation. They then decided to destroy the world-eater Galactus
in a plot to destroy the universe and bring about a new Big Bang
so that they would be able to control all reality. They met
defeat at the hands of the Silver Surfer, with help from Galactus's
then Herald Nova and the Fantastic Four.
All of the known Elders of the Universe are: