The Deviants were the bad guys that rained down upon the god-like Eternals when King Kirby returned from the Fourth World at DC Comics to the House of Ideas. And this was even before the even more god-like Celestials made themselves known.
Of course, as Marvel ED is always saying these days, the world was never again the same!
Actually the Deviants, an offshoot of the evolutionary process that created sentient life on Earth instigated by the Celestials, continually wage war against the Eternals. (According to the account of one Deviant in a 2006 mini-series, the Deviants were created as a delicacy to be consumed en masse by Celestials at periodic intervals once they multiplied sufficiently; however, the veracity of this has yet to be proven.)
This November, the Deviants will be returning to the Marvel U. in a big way (with or without the Eternals is as yet unknown), battling the company’s latest movie star, the God of Thunder Thor, in the five-part mini-series Thor: The Deviants Saga by writer Rob Rodi and artist Stephen Segovia.
And from some of the solicits we have been seeing of late regarding the founding Avenger, those damn dirty Deviants just might win!
When discussing the classics of Marvel Cosmic – and some might argue the point, but we won’t go there – one of my favorite series of books was in the original Thor, written by Roy Thomas and called by the fans “The Celestials Saga.” I believe the works were later collected and called “The Eternals Saga.”
Why, within the pages of these classics, we discover (among other surprises) the long-lost identity of Thor’s mother, the true curse of the Valkyrie, the reason Odin fashioned the Young Gods, the whereabouts for centuries of the goddesses of Asgard, the true nature of the Destroyer armor, the origin of All-Father Odin himself, the idea that Ragnarok is cyclical in nature (tying in nicely with the much-later Avengers Disassembled: Thor), and a confrontation par excellance between the Destroyer, the Uni-Mind and the star-spanning Celestials! (Whew.)
With a little assistance from the young duo of Mark Gruenwald (that a familiar name, Quasar fans?) and Ralph Macchio, Roy Thomas cements his legacy as a writer of cosmic scope (as if he had not already done that with the superb “Kree-Skrull War” in Avengers) with this many-issue, multi-level saga that brought together the Asgardians, Olympians, Eternals and Celestials to essentially tie up each and every loose story thread in Thor up to that point.
THE highlight of “The Celestials Saga” was the conflict -- with a double-page spread, if memory serves – of the Gods of Olympus taking on their similarly-named Eternal doppelgangers. Zeus vs. Zuras, Mercury vs. Makkari … you get the drift. Absolute. Cosmic. Continuity. Crazy! And if computers had been what they are today and the Internet had been around as it is, I guarantee that battle would still be many fans’ wallpaper.
But I digress. Back to the Deviants, who may be strangers to today’s readers. While the golden-boy Eternals possess god-like power and are generally physically beautiful (by human standards), the Deviants, who sometimes refer to themselves as “the changing people,” were not given the handsome gene by King Kirby, if you know what I mean (AKA hideous); each member of their race possessed 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.
This is a domain and mythos just waiting for mining, and it would be nice to see it more permanently on display after the mini and the Deviants’ battle with Thor.
Looks like a storm is brewing for November, one the Thunder God just might not win!