(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with cosmic comics and its many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
He might not be one of the most popular or most-used characters in the Marvel firmament, but I would go to see his Comic Con presentation in a New York minute! He is the Astronomer and his concern is all things cosmic!
Like his fellow Elders of the Universe, the Astronomer is one of the Marvel U's oldest living beings. He has existed for roughly 5.5 billion Earth years and is a member of one of the first sentient races to come into being after the Big Bang that created the present universe, and he continued to live after the rest of his race became extinct. The Astronomer devotes himself monomaniacally to the study of astronomy. He spends his existence exploring and charting the universe and studying its stars, planets and other heavenly bodies. (Bet he is a CBN reader!)
The Astronomer is known for his ability to deal with concepts on a galactic scale. This talent made him the principal architect of the Elders' plan to kill the planet-destroyer Galactus, thought at the time to be the only non-mystical being in the cosmos that is older than them. The Astronomer explained to his fellow Elders that since Galactus served to maintain the balance between the cosmos' embodiment of existence and time, Eternity, and Death, the embodiment of non-existence, Galactus' demise would alter that balance, bringing about the end of the present universe. Then a new universe would arise in which the Elders could reign as its dominant powers.
To destroy Galactus, the Elders gathered five powerful gems, forcing the Silver Surfer to give them the sixth. Using the gems, the Elders caused six planets to drain energy from Galactus that he himself had previously drained from other worlds. Galactus began to dissipate, but then the Surfer intervened, reflecting back the energy-draining beam being used against Galactus. The Surfer then had Galactus's then-Herald, Nova (Frankie Raye), cause the six planets’ sun to go nova. As a result, a black hole was created, and its tremendous gravitational force pulled the Astronomer and his fellow Elders, the Possessor and the Trader, into it.
These three Elders were returned to their native universe by the In-Betweener. But later the In-Betweener apparently compelled Death to slay the three Elders, thereby violating her oath never to kill them. Whether or not the Astronomer is truly dead forever remains to be seen.
I think he would definitely make a fun appearance in any Marvel mag should he one day be resurrected. (The new Defenders perhaps?) We know his plan would be a grand one!