With Gaea’s unique connection to Earth, she feels and knows everything that happens to it. As an Elder God, she births the first of the new gods and the following generation of the gods of Earth. She is beautiful, kind, and sometimes cruel.
When the Earth first forms, the atmosphere crackles with energy, eventually achieving sentience as the Demiurge, the embodiment of the planet’s potential life forces. Once Earth aligns with the cosmic axis, the Demiurge seeds the world with sparks of its own life force, engendering the first forms of ethereal life that sprang fully from the primeval mud. At this time, billions of years ago, the Elder God Gaea and her brother Chthon inhabit Earth’s land masses, affecting geological patterns. Except for Gaea, the Elder Gods degenerate into demons, preying upon each other. Gaea, who cares for the new life forms teeming in Earth’s oceans, summons and mates with the Demiurge, birthing the first of the new gods, Atum, who becomes Demogorge and slaughters the other Elder Gods—though some, like Chthon and Set, escape extra-dimensionally. Gaea, the sole Elder God allowed to remain on Earth, infuses her life essence into all living beings on Earth. At some point Gaea creates the Ebon Rose, which—along with Chthon’s Darkhold, Set’s Serpent Crown, and Oshtur’s Sword of Bone—becomes one of the powerful mystic talismans known as the Cornerstones of Creation.
During the late Cretaceous period, Gaea realizes that the dinosaurs had reached an evolutionary dead end and that they were preventing mammals from evolving to their full potential, so she shifts her attention to them, intending to permit the extinction of dinosaurs in favor of mammals. Set, who was deriving power from the dinosaurs’ violent killings, orders the dinosaurs to destroy all mammals. Gaea challenges Set to face her, but when he does, taking form as a giant serpent created by fusing the bodies of three dinosaurs, she realizes she had underestimated Set’s power. Gaea calls upon her son Atum, who battles Set for an unspecified lengthy period, during which nearly all of Earth’s dinosaurs are destroyed—by numerous causes, some of which are the direct result of the battle—except for an isolated few in areas such as the Savage Land. With Set thus weakened, Atum (who had transformed into Demogorge) breaks Set’s influence over the Earth and banishes him such that he could not return to Earth unaided.
Circa one million BC, as the First Host of Celestials approach Earth, Gaea meets their ship and gives off star-like light to beckon a wandering tribe to come forward to accept the gifts the Space Gods were bringing them. The Celestials dispel some of Set’s Serpent Men descendants and begin their experiments on true humans, creating the Eternals and Deviants, as well as generating the potential for superhuman mutation within mainstream humanity.
Gaea, along with Demiurge and/or Atum, produces the first generation of Earth’s new gods. Amongst her earliest spawn are the spider god Omm, father of the Spider People, ancestors of the more human Spider Clan, as well as longtime enemies of the Serpent Men. Gaea is also believed to be the mother of Valka. Gaea becomes the mother god to virtually all of the pantheons of later gods in humanity, receiving many different names. In some cases, she also mothered the father god (sky father), and she mates with otherwise unrelated gods.
The embodiment of the spirit of life, growth, harvest, and renewal on Earth, Gaea possesses great mystical powers of an undefined nature. She can draw on the spiritual energy of all of Earth’s living beings since they share part of her life essence. She can also command the forces of nature on Earth, such as storms and volcanic activity.
Gaea has great power to heal injured living beings and to cause living beings to grow, as well as considerable telekinetic power. Though incalculably strong and durable, Gaea rarely uses her physical abilities. She is virtually immortal, immune to age and conventional disease. Her magical powers allow her to disrupt enchantments, such as those in Thor Odinson, AKA Thor’s hammer, which she can thus lift. She can bestow mystical or other power upon those who call upon her. She is worshiped by many people, including the mutant weather-manipulator Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm, and the faerie sorceress Morgan le Fay.
Although Gaea’s powers may seem similar to many of those of the living planet, Ego, Gaea and Ego are actually two very different kinds of beings—Ego is a planet that has acquired sentience, whereas Gaea is a goddess who has infused her life essence into the living beings of her planet.
Gaea can also appear in humanoid form with varying characteristics, generally with ethnicity matching those who see her. She can alter her size, mass, and appearance at will.
Though her brother, Chthon, helps create zombies, Gaea does her duty to Earth and works against him. She also actively opposes her brother Set and her son Atum, who becomes Demogorge. He slaughters the other Elder Gods, and tries a few times to destroy the planet.
The Dark Dimension’s leader Dormammu imprisons Gaea though she escapes with the help of his sorcerous niece Clea. When Yandroth attacks Earth, the Defenders defeat him but he vengefully curses them using Gaea’s own power and pits them against her.
When the Celestials come to judge humanity, Gaea does what she can to protect her Earth each time from their violent judgment. One time, she gathers goddesses of numerous pantheons to present the best examples of humanity, and another she presents representatives of humanity, 12 gods known as the Young Gods, staying their judgment.
As Ki (or Ninhursag), Gaea and Anu parented the Annunaki (Mesopotamian gods): sons Dagon, AKA Enlil, Ea, AKA Enki, Ba’al-Hadad, Martu, Nin-agal and Tammuz, and daughters Ereshkigal and Inanna, AKA Ishtar. She also mates with Ea, the Mesopotamian sea god, and gives birth to Ninsar, the plant goddess. Ea seduces their daughter when she reaches adulthood, and she gives birth to the motherhood goddess Ninkurra. He seduces Ninhurra as she reaches adulthood and she gives birth to Uttu, goddess of weaving. Gaea curses Ea with eight different diseases for his behavior and he becomes a living corpse as a result, unable to die due to his godhood. The Annunaki asks Gaea to remove her curse, but she refuses unless he surrenders their daughters unto her. Ea recants his earlier deeds, and his daughters use their knowledge of plants to cure him and then departs his presence under Gaea’s protection.
As Danu, Gaea mates with Iarbonel and conceives the sons Nuada, Dagda and Leir, and daughters Badb, Macha and Morrigan. These Tuatha da Danaan (Children of Danu) would serve as eternal enemies to the Fomorians, a dark race she had mothered with Conand, including sons Balor, Dulb, Elathan, Indech and Tethra, and daughter Cethlann. The Tuatha da Danaan and Fomorians both live within the other-dimensional Otherworld, albeit in different locations (the Tuatha da Danaan hailing from Tír na nÓg in the land of Avalon and the Fomorians residing in the “Dark Realm”), and become bitter rivals and enemies.
As Nokomis, Gaea and Manitou spawn the Anasazi (Native American, AKA Manidoog) gods, including Calumet, Haokah, Hotamintanio, Tawa and Tomazooma. As Neith, she again mates with the Demiurge to parent a son, Thoth. Gaea’s first son, Atum (in his guise as Ammon Ra), spawns most of the Ennead (Egyptian gods). As Akka, she and Ukko generate the Jumala (Finnish gods, AKA Kalevans), including sons Ahti and Tapio. As Umai (or Ot), she and Tengri parent the Tenger (gods of Mongolia, Siberia and Turkey), including sons Erlik and Ulgan. As Nana, she and Buluku parent the Vodū, including the son Lusa and daughter Mahu. As Akna, she and Hodiak spawn the Inua (Northern gods), including the son Turoq (the Shaper) and daughter Nelvanna.
As Erce, she and Rod produce the Dievas (Slavic gods), including son Praamzius and daughter Sweigsdunka, a divine couple whose union results in several subsequent generations of Slavic deities, including the thunder god Perun.
As Papa, she and Rangi parent the Akua (Oceanic/Polynesian gods), including sons Kanaloa, Kāne, Kū, Lono and Whiro, and daughters Haumea and Hina. According to legend, Kāne separates Papa and Rangi from their eternal embrace at the dawn of time, allowing Rangi to ascend into the heavens and Papa to reassume her guardianship of the Earth.
As Izanami, she mates with Izanagi to bear the Amatsu-Kami (Shinto gods of Japan), including sons Susanoo, Tsuki-Yomi and Kagutsuchi, and daughter Ameratsu. Upon giving birth to the fire god Kagutsuchi, Gaea briefly descends to the Shinto underworld of Yomi (much to Izanagi’s displeasure) where she remains until she reassumes her duties as Earth Mother.
As Jord, Gaea receives a visit by the Asgardian god Odin Borson, AKA Odin, and he approaches her to conceive with him a worthy heir. They produce Thor, who was raised thinking Frigga, Odin’s wife, was his mother. As Aditi, Gaea also mothers Indra of the Daevas (Hindu gods).
A History of Birthing Gods
With the sky god Ouranus, Gaea gave birth to the Cyclopes, Centimanes, and Titans. Ouranus, however, was displeased with the Cyclopes and the Centimanes and imprisoned them in Tartarus—a dark realm named for the primeval fire god. Distraught at her children’s fates, Gaea petitioned the Titans to oppose Ouranus and free their siblings from the underworld. Cronus, the youngest of the Titans, slew Ouranus with a scythe, overthrowing him as ruler of Olympus. Chronus, however, refused to free the Cyclopes and Centimanes, and Gaea warned him that he would have a child that would overthrow him. To avoid this, Chronus cast his children into Tartarus as they were born; later myths claimed he swallowed them. Gaea helped conceal the birth of Cronus’ son Zeus from him and had Zeus secretly raised by other goddesses. As an adult, Zeus stormed Tartarus and freed his siblings, and the Cyclopes and Centimanes. They helped him to overthrow Cronus and the Titans, and Zeus imprisoned the Titans in Tartarus.
Several generations later, however, Gaea realized she was not happy with the Titans being imprisoned and mated with the fire god Tartarus to conceive Typhon to oust Zeus from Olympus. After Zeus defeated Typhon, Gaea conceived the Giants to overthrow Zeus, but he and the gods, with the help of Hercules, slew the Giants to stop them from invading Olympus. Gaea also mated with Poseidon to produce the voracious monster Charybdis.
Taking different names, Gaea mated with others to birth the next generation of gods, many of the Earthly pantheons across the globe: Mesopotamian gods, the Tuatha da Danaan, Native American, Slavic gods, the Oceanic/Polynesian gods, Shinto gods of Japan, the Hindu gods, Northern gods, the Finish gods, and the gods of Mongolia.
Gaea herself was worshipped as an Earth goddess by humanity at least as far back as 20,000 BC. In the Hyborian era (circa 10,000 BC), she was particularly worshipped by the Sisterhood of Danu, long before the existence of the Celts. Her worship was also active amongst the Druids, as early as 300 AD. Circa 900 AD, she allowed the peaceful, Earth-loving Neuri to establish a link to her to access her power through the Alshra spirit realm.
A thousand years ago, Gaea learned of the Celestials’ intention to return the next millennium and judge humanity’s worthiness for continued survival. She then visited Odin, who was preparing to sacrifice himself upon the world tree Yggdrasil to atone for all he had put Thor through to avoid Ragnarok, but Gaea informed him of the coming of the Celestials, and Odin resolved to intervene. While Odin and the patriarchs of the pantheons prepared the means to fight the Celestials, Gaea took the time to organize goddesses of numerous pantheons to gather the best examples of humanity.
Gaea continued to support humanity, granting her power to those in need. In the 17th century, after Chthon, working in conjunction with the Vodū god Sagbata, had established a mystic power storehouse for the creation of zombies, it is believed that Gaea guided the Vodū god Legba to the spell that transformed Laurent and Alexandre into the Lord of the Loa, the first Brother Voodoo, in order to oppose the zombies of the sorcerer Schango.
In recent years, Gaea began to feel pain from the harm humanity was doing to the Earth by exploiting its resources. This was detected by the mutant Humus Sapien, whose experimentation at the hands of Factor Three enhanced his bond to the Earth, and his power threatened to eradicate humanity before he was placed in stasis. The Dark Dimension’s sorcerer Dormammu caused himself to be reborn on Earth, and he mystically imprisoned Gaea. The Earth Mother summoned aid from Clea, the sorcerous niece of Dormammu and lover of Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Stephen Strange, AKA Doctor Strange, who empowered Clea to free Gaea, and she harnessed the power of every living being on Earth to banish Dormammu back to his realm.
When the Celestials returned to judge mankind’s fate, Odin drew the collective life force of the Asgardians into himself and joined with Zuras, who did the same with his own race, the Eternals, and they assaulted the space gods. Knowing such direct force was futile against the immensely powerful Celestials, Gaea wisely contacted the other pantheons, telling them to stay out of the battle. Odin and Zuras were slain in battle, but as the Celestial Arishem prepared to slay the late-arriving Thor, Gaea appeared and presented the twelve representatives of humanity gathered by the goddesses to the Celestials, resulting in their judging in Earth’s favor; these twelve were later known as the Young Gods. After healing Thor, Gaea revealed herself to be his mother and the mother-goddess of all the pantheons of Earth, and then Gaea sent Thor to visit the godheads of Earth’s pantheons for the life energies to restore the fallen Asgardians to life; the Eternals recovered, but Zuras perished. Continuing to lament her children trapped in Tartarus, Gaea transported the Hulk from the Crossroads to Olympus in hopes that he would wreak havoc, but he returned to the Crossroads after the deaths of the last surviving Giants, who had befriended him.
Gaea later empowered Mark Diering, a park ranger mortally wounded trying to protect the forest from developers, turning him into nature’s guardian warrior, Brother Nature. When Dr. Strange was trapped in the body of a rat by Dormammu, he called on Gaea for aid, and she sent the empath Topaz to help him. Gaea further granted power to the Celtic mystic Dark Mairi of the Shore, enabling her to help drive off Scotland’s Hellfire Club branch, as well as the Titan Prometheus, who sought to heal a gravely injured Hercules. When Thor sought Gaea’s aid against Set, Gaea was unable to help him directly but instead directed him to Atum, whose power drove off the Elder God again. Gaea again alerted Dr. Strange when the Deviant-Inhuman hybrid Maelstrom threatened Earth with a black hole, and Strange united the planet’s mystics to protect the world from its effects; Maelstrom and the black hole were later eliminated by the Protector of the Universe, Wendell Vaughn, AKA Quasar.
Gaea was subsequently captured by the extradimensional scientist supreme, Yandroth, who used her power to summon the Ravagers of Creation to assault Earth. The Defenders destroyed Yandroth and ended that threat, but Yandroth used Gaea’s power to vengefully curse the Defenders—Dr. Strange, Bruce Banner, AKA the Hulk, Namor McKenzi, AKA Namor the Sub-Mariner and Norrin Radd, AKA Silver Surfer—to be drawn together to face further threats to the planet. When Humus Sapien was unwittingly revived by P. Norbert Ebersol, AKA Fixer, he again sensed Gaea’s anguish from mankind’s treatment of the planet, and he nearly took the lives of everyone on Earth. Realizing the wrongness of what he was doing, Humus Sapien allowed himself to be imprisoned in another dimension to eliminate his threat.
Meanwhile, the Defenders, frustrated by the constant interruptions to their lives, realized that Gaea’s energies were what summoned them, and they confronted her. Enjoying the protection they offered the world, Gaea refused to remove the curse. The Defenders attacked but were unable to harm the powerful Elder Goddess, who teleported them away, dismissing them. Neither Gaea nor the Defenders realized, however, that Yandroth had tied the curse to his home planet Yann, pushing the Defenders to increasing arrogance and violence, and feeding the energies released from the Defenders’ violence directly into Yann’s molten core. The violence-released energy granted Yandroth progressive cohesiveness until he would achieve a massively powerful energy form with Yann’s destruction. In a failed effort to stop the power-mad Defenders, who had then taken the name the Order, Clea invoked Gaea and other goddesses to create Ardina as a feminine counterpart to the Silver Surfer. Ultimately, however, the Order discovered Yandroth’s plan and refused to fight any further, and Yandroth lost his accumulated power, after which Gaea lifted the curse from the Defenders. Afterward, Gaea secretly contacted another Defender, Kyle Richmond, AKA Nighthawk, informing him that if the Defenders were ever needed again, he would have the power to summon them together. Gaea was later amongst those who sensed when the Tome of Zhered-Na released the powerful Hellphyr who threatened to eradicate Earth’s mystical beings before being destroyed by the Witches (Jennifer Jennifer Kale, Satana Hellstrom, AKA Satana, Topaz).
When Mikaboshi became the Chaos King, desiring the brutal destruction of all things, the pantheons protected Gaea. Some gods sided with heroes while others spread dread and despair, such as the Olympian goddess of war Athena Parthenos, AKA Athena. Hercules’ God Squad faced off with the Chaos King but failed and retreated. Gaea knew when the end was nearing, however, and imbued her powers into Hercules so that he could defeat her and so he did.
Gaea then ruled over Asgardia alongside Freyja and Idunn as one-third of the All-Mother. Loki served this Trinity as their agent. When Gaea was struck by a mysterious malady impacting both her and her mystical garden, loyal warrior goddess Sif took the care of Gaea upon herself. She transported Gaea and her garden to a deep space monitoring station on an asteroid for quarantine. Suddenly, two spaceships crashed into it and one of them contained Korbinite Beta Ray Bill. The unknown ship was an ark containing specimens of life all across the galaxy. The ship’s properties seemingly healed Gaea but she transformed into something monstrous and seeking more life sought Earth until Sif convinced it otherwise.
When the home of Asgardia in Broxton, Oklahoma was destroyed, the All-Mother was disbanded, and she returned to being Mother Earth. During the War of the Realms, Gaea watched over Odin and Freyja’s infant Laussa Odinsdottir until Balder arrived and kept her safe from the Malekith’s Dark Council. After the war, she attended the new All-Father’s coronation, that of her son Thor.