Arishem the Judge

Arishem the JudgeArishem

The towering giant and extraterrestrial Arishem the Judge decides whether a race is worthy or unworthy of existence.


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As the leader of the Celestials “Host” form, Arishem the Judge travels to Earth over the course of four visits to judge whether they are worthy of existence.


Cosmic Being

Arishem the Judge is a Celestial, an extraterrestrial giant who manifests their energy inside of a physical shell that appears as an immense suit of armor, standing 2,000 feet high.

The origins and true purposes of the Celestials can only be guessed at. They are known to have a special bond to Eternity, the embodiment of time, and have performed actions based upon Eternity’s will, but the scope of this relationship is unrevealed. Arishem’s purpose is to judge races worthy or unworthy of existence.

The Celestials form an exploratory body called “the Host,” which Arishem leads to Earth over four visits. The First Host arrives one million years prior to modern times, releasing a swarm of Gatherer robots to collect DNA samples. The demonic Elder God Set senses the purpose of the Celestials, knowing they would experiment upon primitive hominids. Set sends some of his semi-humanoid offspring, the Serpent Men, to curry favor with the hominids in the hopes that they would convince the Celestials to include them in their experiments, but the hominids see through the Serpent Men and drive them off. When the Serpent Men attempt to appeal to the Host themselves, the Host destroys them.

Taking the hominids into their vessel, the Host alter their evolutionary process so that three species spring from the hominids rather than one. One species becomes known as the Eternals, endowed with cells charged with cosmic energy, which they learn to tap into over the ensuing centuries; another species is the Deviants, cursed with an unstable genetic code which causes them to mutate unpredictably with each generation; the final species is humanity itself, gifted with the potential for genetic mutation, a gift which would not become fully apparent until modern times with the rise of mutants.

During the Second Host, Arishem culls the Deviants, and causes a devastating flood known as the Great Cataclysm.

Upon the Third Host, Arishem directs his fellow Celestials to their appointed tasks, which involves cultivation and inspection. Arishem mounts the ceremonial pylons to monitor and observe Earth and its inhabitants. But the envoys of the Gods appear in the sky—the Hindu Goddess Vishnu, the Asgardian All-Father Odin Borson, AKA Odin, and the God of Olympus Zeus—to thwart the Celestials should they pose a threat. The Celestials use their envoy, Ajak of the Eternals to speak for them. Ajak advises them against interference, but the Gods combine their powers to strike Arishem with a powerful bolt that has no effect on the 2,000-foot giant. As a response, Arishem releases his immeasurably more potent energy through a dimensional rift, which opens a gateway to their homes in each of the Gods’ mind’s eye, as a threat to destroy the passages between Earth and their homes. The Gods pledge that none of their kind will impede the Celestials progress for a millennium. Arishem agrees and then deems that Earth will live.


Vast Cosmic Powers

As a Celestial, Arishem possesses vast cosmic powers of unknown limits. He can destroy entire planets, and possibly stars as well. Outfitted with powers based on his role, Arishem the Judge possesses the ability to judge races worthy or unworthy of existence.

Celestials seldom communicate verbally, instead preferring avatars, sometimes creating Replicoids of mortals they have encountered and employing these Replicoids to speak on their behalf. Their power is such that few beings can engage them in combat, but they have created warriors of their own, such as the Godstalker, to deal with their enemies.

The Celestials have a keen interest in the evolutionary forces of other races, and have experimented on countless species, usually visiting worlds in a series of four visits, forming an exploratory body called “the Host.” The Host are the best known of the Celestials, guided from their mothership by the One Above All, and their purpose is determined by the one who leads the Host on the planet: when Gammenon leads a Host, the Celestials’ interest is in exploration. Should Arishem the Judge lead a Host, their mission is to judge the entire planet in question.

Although the Celestials appear physically to be armor-clad giants, they exist beyond the conventional understanding of space and time, permitting them to exist in more than one place at a time. In their armor form, they also access various tools and vessels to assist them in their duties.


Off-World and Earthly Enemies

The Trickster God Loki Laufeyson, AKA Loki, frees an infected Celestial, Zgreb the Aspirant, and uses Zgreb to kill Arishem and the other Celestials or convert them into the Dark Celestials. The Avengers defeat the Dark Celestials and help revive Arishem and the others.

Other enemies that stand in Arishem’s way of conducting his and the Celestial’s purposes on Earth include all those who protect the planet—whether they be Gods, humans, superhumans, or mutants. King Odin of Asgard creates the Destroyer to oppose the Celestials while others like the X-Men stand up to the cosmic beings and remind them that Earth is protected.


Celestial Allies

Arishem the Judge allies with their fellow Celestials to explore worlds and watch, judge, or participate in shaping the evolutionary paths of other races. Leading the Celestials, Arishem experiments on countless species and travel to worlds at least four times in their “Host” form.


A Host Leader’s History

As leader of the Fourth Host to visit Earth, Arishem intended to spend 50 Earth years watching Earth and passing judgement on the last day of the fiftieth year. The Deviants, still humbled by the effects of the second Host, feared what judgment might bring, and attempted to manipulate humanity into assaulting the Host. The Eternals were able to cooperate with humanity and convince them to let the Celestials do their work.

As Eson the Searcher inspected the new incarnation of Deviant home of Lemuria, it wound up unintentionally destroying the city, forcing the Deviants to relocate yet again. When the Deviants attempted to assault the Celestial mothership, the Eternal known as the Forgotten One came to their rescue, dismantling the Deviants’ bomb. The One Above All was so impressed that the Forgotten One was brought aboard the mothership and rechristened “Hero.” As Hero, he was sent to warn the Eternals from interfering with the Celestials, but the Eternals’ ally Thor Odinson, AKA Thor, bested him in combat.

Odin finally convinced the Eternals to side with him against Arishem and the Celestials, and Odin absorbed the souls of all the Asgardians into the magical Destroyer construct, expanding its size to match the Celestials and armed with the mystical Odinsword. Aided by the Eternals joined together as the psychic entity the Uni-Mind, they were nevertheless destroyed by the Host. Although Thor later recovered all of the slain Asgardians with the aid of the other Earthly gods, Zuras was slain by psychic feedback from the Uni-Mind’s destruction. Gaea finally faced Arishem and the Celestials herself and presented to them twelve young men and women she and her allies had gathered, and this offering to judge in Earth’s favor swayed Arishem. The Host departed Earth with the twelve Young Gods, whom they placed in the care of Juniper and Katos, two extraterrestrials serving aboard their mothership.

Soon afterward, the Deviant priestlord Ghaur acquired the energies of the Dreaming Celestial and attempted to claim its power for himself, but the Dreaming Celestial sought only to awaken from its slumber. The Celestial was prevented from awakening by the Eternals and Avengers, who recaptured its energies.

Although humanity had been spared by Arishem’s Celestial judgment, the Space Gods went on to judge other worlds. Thor found a fourth Host which had judged against the world Pangoria, and attempted to drive off Exitar the Executioner before it could carry out the planet’s sentence. Although Thor fought valiantly, he was no match for the Celestials, and ultimately learned that the Celestials did not seek to destroy the planet, but rather purge it of its most unsavory elements; Exitar transformed Pangoria into a virtual paradise.

As Arishem and the Celestials engaged in their fifth Host visit to a world where widespread mutation had produced factions known as the Chosen (those with a human-like appearance) and the Rejects (those with a non-human appearance), the Celestials summoned the Ship they had left on Earth during the second Host so they could study what it had recorded during the centuries.

Abandoned by En Sabah Nur, AKA Apocalypse, Ship had become the headquarters of the mutant heroes X-Factor, and they were drawn into the events on the world of the Rejects and Chosen. X-Factor finally drew the Rejects and Chosen together by allying them against the Celestials to defy their judgment. When Arishem attempted to judge against the world, the mutant Jean Grey, AKA Phoenix, unleashed the Phoenix Force to destroy its hand, making judgment impossible. They left behind a vessel identical to Ship to record that world’s progress for a later visit.

Arishem joined their fellow Celestials in visiting Earth again after the Dreaming Celestial’s energies are used by Emma Frost of the X-Men. Though they came into contact with Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops, who informed them that the Dreaming Celestial was under Earth’s protection. The Dreaming Celestial awoke and in pointing to the sky, Arishem and the Celestials departed Earth.

Later, rabid Dark Celestials created by the God of Mischief Loki attacked and killed Arishem and other Celestials, which kicked off the Final Host. They infected what remained of Arishem’s body with the Horde and threw it and other dead Celestials at Earth to announce their impending arrival. Arishem’s body landed in London while the others landed all over the globe. The Horde reanimated the fallen Celestials. The Avengers faced and battled the Dark Celestials and by combining their energy into the Uni-Mind, they rendered the Horde dormant. The Celestials returned and with help from the superhumans of Earth, they defeated the Dark Celestials.



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