Comics
Published November 8, 2023

Meet the In-Betweener, the Avatar of Lord Chaos & Master Order

Who is the In-Betweener? Meet the mad avatar of Lord Chaos and Master Order, who is up to no good in 'G.O.D.S' #2.

Jonathan Hickman and Valerio Schiti's new hit series G.O.D.S. offers a fresh look at the hidden forces that have secretly steered the course of the Marvel Universe. These forces include the Powers-That-Be and the Natural-Order-of-Things, who act only through their mortal avatars. However, the fragile peace between these two entities has recently been complicated by the sudden arrival of another omnipotent figure: the In-Betweener.

A cosmic being with raw power on par with Galactus, the In-Betweener is one of the most formidable figures in the Marvel Universe and one that alternates between friend and foe. Here's everything you need to know about the In-Betweener, including his powers, his past appearances, and how his return could rock the foundation of the Marvel Universe in G.O.D.S.

WHO IS THE IN-BETWEENER?

The In-Betweener was created by Lord Chaos and Master Order as their living avatar in the universe, whose goal is to maintain the balance between the elemental forces they personify. With this mission, the In-Betweener became obsessed with achieving balance at any cost between numerous concepts of duality, be it life and death, good and evil, or reality and illusion. Whenever the In-Betweener feels the natural balance in the universe is threatened, he often intervenes with a particularly single-minded focus, no matter who stands in his way.

To underscore his themes of duality, the In-Betweener is divided between black and white right down to his physical appearance, including a split face that displays this dichotomy. The In-Betweener sees Galactus as something like his opposite number, given Galactus' own cosmic mission to maintain order by consuming planets as part of his eternal hunger. This places them in direct conflict, with the two entities evenly matched given their respective backgrounds.

POWERS AND ABILITIES

The In-Betweener has powers comparable to Galactus. He is able to significantly change his size at will, sometimes even growing to the size of celestial bodies. Drawing from his cosmic powers, the In-Betweener can manipulate matter to his will and fire energy blasts from his hands; he also possesses an immense reservoir of superhuman strength and invulnerability. Existing for eons, the In-Betweener is vastly intelligent and boasts a cosmic awareness of different goings-on throughout the Marvel Universe.

Whenever the In-Betweener moves into the physical plane from his home pocket dimension, he is often seen wearing a black-and-white Hunting Mask. This mask heightens his cosmic awareness to detect perceived imbalances, specifically targeting the sources of the imbalances themselves. While wearing this mask, the In-Betweener is often invisible, but can be seen by whoever he is actively hunting.

THE IN-BETWEENER'S FIRST APPEARANCE

Created by Jim Starlin, the In-Betweener debuted in WARLOCK (1972) #9, where he viewed Thanos as a figure disrupting the natural order. Considering Thanos the champion of Death, the In-Betweener tried to grant the universe a champion of life, identifying Adam Warlock as a prime candidate. Kidnapping the cosmic being, the In-Betweener put Warlock through his experiments, creating Warlock's villainous split personality Magus.

Soon after, the In-Betweener resurfaced in a bid to create widespread insanity to balance with the natural sanity present in the universe. Stephen Strange moved to stop him in DOCTOR STRANGE (1974) #28, using his mastery of magic to summon Master Order and Lord Chaos when he realized these cosmic figures were the source of the In-Betweener's power. This tactic proved successful, leaving the In-Betweener defeated and his plot foiled by the Sorcerer Supreme.

THE IN-BETWEENER'S GROWING ROLE IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE

When the Elders of the Universe found themselves at odds with Galactus, they approached the In-Betweener to help them take on the Devourer of Worlds in SILVER SURFER (1987) #16, which also drew the Fantastic Four into the celestial showdown. Obtaining the Soul Stone, the In-Betweener tried to summon Galactus' opposite, only to realize he himself was actually Galactus' opposite incarnate. As the battle grew out of control, the Silver Surfer called upon Lord Chaos and Master Order to imprison the In-Betweener. Thanos later claimed the Soul Stone from the In-Betweener while he was vulnerable.

Just as Adam Warlock has found himself divided between his multiple personalities, the In-Betweener has been split between the entities of chaos and order within him. In AVENGERS (1996) #57, Scorpio used the powerful Zodiac Key to split the two halves of the In-Betweener in order to exploit the chaos side of the cosmic being. Though the two personalities were reluctant to reform into a single composite being, the Scarlet Witch used her mastery of chaos magic to join the two together.

In LONGSHOT SAVES THE MARVEL UNIVERSE (2013), the In-Betweener sensed an overabundance of luck in the Marvel Universe and began to murder people he deemed too lucky. Using the Cosmic Cube, the probability-altering mutant Longshot split the In-Betweener into his chaos and order halves once again. As the chaos half caused havoc around the universe, Longshot used the Cosmic Cube to restore the In-Betweener as well as the damage he caused, while the In-Betweener himself retreated after identifying the Cube itself as the source of the imbalance.

G.O.D.S. AND THE IN-BETWEENER

In the midst of the uneasy truce between the Powers-That-Be and the Natural-Order-Of-Things, Doctor Strange faced off against a formidable enemy known as Cubisk Core. Wielding the staff of the Living Tribunal, Cubisk Core tried to free an elder god, only to be defeated by Strange, Wyn, the Centrum, and a small continent of powerful sorcerers. Forcing Cubisk Core to reveal his true form, the magicians were surprised when the groveling figure before them resembled the In-Betweener, right down to his black and white appearance.

When Strange and Wyn took Cubisk Core back to his extra-dimensional home, the villain sought refuge inside the Skinner Box in which he had been mentally programmed. Adding to the intrigue, Strange deduced that the Skinner Box belonged to the In-Betweener, implicating the cosmic entity in a conspiracy that could unravel all of reality. 

The In-Betweener has always been determined to maintain and restore balance, but as the magical forces hiding the shadows settle into a precarious peace, this cosmic force could be the one to tip the scales right into all-out war.

See what the In-Betweener is up to in G.O.D.S. #2, now on sale!

Grab these comics and more at your local comic book shop! Or redeem then read your digital copy on the Marvel Unlimited app by using the code found in your print comic. Find and support your local comic book shop at ComicShopLocator.com.

To read your Marvel comics digitally, download the Marvel Unlimited app for iOS and Android devices. Gain an expansive catalog of 30,000+ comics spanning Marvel Comics history, plus access your entire digital library including comics redeemed from print.

Related

EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE (2024) #1 cover by Chad Hardin

Comics

February 21's New Marvel Comics: The Full List

Return to the Spider-Verse, join the X-Men at the end of the Krakoan Era, swing across the Ultimate Universe with Spider-Man, and more in this week's comics!

RESURRECTION OF MAGNETO (2024) #1 cover by Stefano Caselli

Comics

January 24's New Marvel Comics: The Full List

Join Storm's search for Magneto, behold the battle for Beast's soul, see Spider-Woman strike back in 'Gang War,' and more in this week's comics!

G.O.D.S: Oblivion character design by Valerio Schiti

Comics

Meet Oblivion, the Cosmic Entity Obsessed with Destroying Reality

Who is Oblivion? Meet the cosmic entity whose ultimate goal is the end of all life and matter in the Multiverse.

ORIGINAL X-MEN (2023) #1 cover by Ryan Stegman

Comics

December 20's New Marvel Comics: The Full List

Join the Original X-Men's new Multiversal adventure, behold the future of Marvel's STAR WARS line, and more in this week's comics!