As an Elder of the Universe, the Collector has spent millennia acquiring the greatest prizes across the universe and is obsessed with his ever-growing collection. But he has a higher purpose: preserving the future from ultimate destruction.
Nothing can deter him from his goal, and no one—not even the mighty Avengers—can stop the Collector from seizing his coveted artifacts.
Elder of the Universe
Taneleer Tivan, also known as the Collector, is one of the Elders of the Universe—a group of ancient and powerful extraterrestrials that arose following the formation of all things. The Elders have lived longer than almost anyone else in the universe; their life forces sustained mainly by their monomaniacal obsessions with select pursuits. The Collector is obsessed with collecting items ranging from mystical artifacts and technological devices to animals and even entire civilizations.
Though little is known of his early life or his long-dead native race, the Collector did have a family—a wife and daughter, Matani and Carina. He also had a clear motivation in life: to collect artifacts and specimens of every race to preserve the future. This motivation stemmed from his gift of prophecy, which foresaw coming threats to all life in the universe, including the Mad Titan Thanos who sought to destroy the universe.
Fascinated by other races, cultures, and technologies, the Collector acquired and stored samples of these things in order to preserve them from the disasters he foresaw. He pursued this mission for countless years, until it became an obsession—his original motivation all but forgotten. Lacking her husband’s obsessive drive, Matani gradually lost the will to live once she had finished raising their daughter; she finally died of apathy roughly three billion years ago. Mourning her, the Collector sank deeper into his obsession and continued to expand his collection.