Cosmic beings as ancient as space and time, the enigmatic Celestials possess godlike abilities and foster creation on many words across the cosmos by experimenting on lifeforms. It is believed that they influence major events over the course of Earth's human history, though their intensions remain unknown. They also trigger key evolutionary events, producing genetic-offshoot races such as the Eternals and the Deviants.


Bonded to Eternity

The origins and true purposes of the Celestials can only be guessed at. Though, they are known to have a special bond to Eternity, the embodiment of time, and perform actions based upon Eternity’s will, but the scope of this relationship is unrevealed.

At least one Celestial is born from the dying galaxy known as the “Black Galaxy,” but it is not known if this is typical of Celestial reproduction. Although the Celestials appear physically to be mere armor-clad giants, they exist beyond conventional understanding of space and time, permitting them to exist in more than one place at a time. They also participate in many of the gatherings held by the abstract beings of the cosmos, often to receive rulings from the Living Tribunal. At one time they create the race known as the Brethren from mere bacteria, sending them out to destroy races deemed unworthy, but they are eventually driven from the Celestials’ service.


Cosmic Giants

The Celestials are an enigmatic assembly of extraterrestrial giants who manifest their energies inside of physical shells, appearing as immense suits of armor, most standing 2,000 feet high. In these forms, they also access various tools and vessels to assist them in their duties. Each Celestial possesses vast cosmic powers of unknown limits. Celestials can destroy entire planets, and possibly stars as well. The Celestials are each defined by their function, and are outfitted with powers to aid them in their roles, such as Exitar the Executioner’s ability to destroy or re-create, and Arishem the Judge’s ability to judge races worthy or unworthy of existence.


A Host of Celestials

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 take a keen interest in the evolutionary forces of other races, and experiment 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.


The Judged

Sometimes, when some Earth’s dwellers appeal to the Celestials or go against them, the Space Gods take swift, righteous action and destroy what they deem unworthy of existence. The Elder God Set‘s Serpent Men face their wrath, while the Celestial’s own creations such as the Deviants led by their warlord Kro, and the Exterminators, turn against them.


Deemed Worthy

The Celestials other creations, such as the race of the Eternals, are given super powers while humans are given the capacity to evolve over time. When they visit Earth, they face opposition from the Earth’s godheads such as Odin Borson, AKA Odin, and Olympian God of ancient Greece Zeus, and Hindu deity Vishnu, however, despite this opposition and with the help of goddess and Earth mother Gaea, decide that Earth may continue. Often, the Olympian Eternals act as liaisons to the Celestials and they offer them protection from those that would use their cosmic powers and technology.


Across the Ages

The young Celestials Devron the Experimenter and Gamiel the Manipulator were once responsible for monitoring the Dinosaur World, Earth-78411, but a petty argument between them escalated into pitting Bruce Banner, AKA the Hulk, and Devil Dinosaur against each other. The two Celestials were reassigned to monitor the Kree and Skrull races, and may have been involved with turning those races into mortal enemies.


The First Host


The Celestials are most notorious for the Host’s four visits to Earth. The first Host arrived one million years ago, releasing a swarm of Gatherer robots to collect DNA samples. The demonic Elder God Set sensed the purpose of the Celestials, knowing they would experiment upon primitive hominids. Set sent 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 saw through the Serpent Men and drove them off. When the Serpent Men attempted to appeal to the Host themselves, the Host destroyed them. Taking the hominids into their vessel, the Host altered their evolutionary process so that three species sprang from the hominids rather than one. One species became known as the Eternals, endowed with cells charged with cosmic energy, which they learned to tap into over the ensuing centuries; another species was the Deviants, cursed with an unstable genetic code which caused them to mutate unpredictably with each generation; the final species was humanity itself, gifted with the potential for genetic mutation, a gift which would not become fully apparent until modern times.

The Celestials are known to have made similar experiments upon the Skrulls, Kree, Eyungs, and Gigantians, and likely many more. The Skrulls’ Deviant race ultimately overwhelmed the other two races, inspired by a Deviant from Armechadon named Tantalus, who caused Deviant uprisings on several worlds. The Deviant Skrulls are now the only Skrulls in the cosmos, save for one normal Skrull who escaped to Earth. The Kree Eternals are now extinct save for the warrior Ultimus. The Eyungs and Gigantians destroyed each other in a war, but the Eyung Eternal Grom, AKA Over-Mind, still survives.


The Second Host


When the second Host returned to Earth around 18,000 BC, the Deviants had become the dominant race on Earth, subjugating most of humanity, and ruling from the land of Lemuria. The last outpost of human resistance in Atlantis had just been sunk in a volcanic eruption while attempting to drive out Lemurian invaders, and the area surrounding Atlantis was now in danger of further volcanic activity. When the Deviants beheld the Celestials’ mothership in their skies, they arrogantly opened fire on them. The Celestials responded by firing upon Lemuria, and, coupled with the preexisting instability, the entire continent of Mu sank, slaying millions of humans and Deviants. This event was known as the Great Cataclysm.

While on Earth, the Celestials were forced to turn on one of their own, a golden Celestial named Tiamut the Communicator. Unable to slay Tiamut, they used a cosmic weapon that drove the energy from its form, turning its armor black. The Celestials struck all records of Tiamut’s name from history, so that it is now known only as either “the Black Celestial” or “the Dreaming Celestial.” The Eternal Valkin witnessed this event, and the Celestials placed their weapon into his hands for safekeeping, along with the contained energy taken from the Celestial. The Dreaming Celestial’s crime remains unrevealed, although the Deviants came to believe that it was their creator, and had been punished for making them. An entire priesthood that worshipped the Dreaming Celestial came into existence over the millennia that followed.

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The Third Host


When the third Host came one thousand years ago, humanity had become the dominant species on Earth, and some of the cultures who observed the Celestials worshipped them as “Space Gods,” building temples and statues in their honor. The Incas’ City of the Space Gods, built high in the Andes, served as their main base on Earth during this Host. Other beings worshiped by humanity were distressed by the Celestials’ interference, and the gods Zeus, Odin, and Vishnu confronted the Celestials. The Eternal Ajak was sent to communicate on the Celestials’ behalf, and he was warned that if the gods attempted to interfere with their mission, the Celestials would sever the Earth’s connections to their godly realms, denying them any contact with their worshippers.

The three gods agreed not to interfere with the Celestials for a thousand years, but Odin immediately began to prepare for an all-out war with them, fashioning the mystical armor of the Destroyer to combat them one day. The goddess and Earth mother Gaea sought a peaceful solution to the threat of the Celestial judgment and, allied with goddesses of all the Earthly religions, she began to gather what they regarded as the best specimens of humanity. Tantalus of Armechadon came to Earth during this time, but the Celestials exiled him there, leaving him unable to tend to his star-spanning empire. The Eternals Ajak and Zuras assisted the Celestials in their departure from Earth, and Ajak placed himself within suspended animation at the City of the Space Gods to await the fourth Host. Zuras ordered the Eternal Ikaris to hone his powers to sense the approach of the final Host, so that he could revive Ajak in time. The Celestials left behind one of their vessels, which was later claimed by the mutant En Sabah Nur, eventually known as Apocalypse, who transformed himself using the Celestials’ technology.


The Fourth Host


In modern times, Ikaris awakened Ajak and, alongside the humans Margo and Dr. Daniel Damian and the Deviant warlord Kro, they witnessed the arrival of the fourth Host. 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, but the Eternals were able to cooperate with humanity and convince them to let the Celestials do their work. As Eson inspected the new incarnation of Deviant 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, later Gilgamesh, 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 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 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 Priest-Lord 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 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 the Celestials were 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 Apocalypse, the 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 the mutant Jean Grey 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.

The Celestials began to perform experiments in the so-called “Black Galaxy,” a galaxy in which every form of life had been consumed by the hideous Ego, the Living Planet. Their experiments drew the attention of Herbert Wyndham, AKA High Evolutionary, an advanced human who fancied himself the pinnacle of human evolution, and he determined that the Celestials were about to birth a new Celestial, but would require a mortal and an immortal for study. They also drew the attention of Stellaris, a woman whose world had been destroyed by the Celestials, and who now sought to destroy them. The Celestials chose the immortal Heracles, AKA Hercules, as part of the process, but passed over the High Evolutionary in favor of Eric Masterson, then the alter ego of Thor (later Thunderstrike). Stellaris tried to attack the new Celestial just as it came into being, but instead of slaying it, her assault provided the energy needed to bring it to life. The new Celestial joined its brethren, and Hercules and Eric Masterson were returned to their friends. Subsequently, the new Celestial confronted Ego, and both were seemingly consumed by the bio-verse from which Ego sprang. Their immediate fates are not known, but when Ego next appeared, he had gone mad, seeking to bring worlds to “life” like himself.

When Tantalus finally broke free of the Earth, the Celestials dispatched the Godstalker to deal with him, but the Godstalker mistook Tantalus’ son Blackwulf for his father. When it learned that they had a common foe, it bonded to Blackwulf’s Shadowlance, and helped Blackwulf slay Tantalus. Later, the Godstalker was assigned to the Desecration Annex, overseeing the imprisonment of beings who had tampered with other races, such as the religious leader of Carmondy IV, Veeda Leebre. Although Genis-Vell, AKA Captain Marvel (later Photon) forced the Godstalker to return Leebre, it was too late to make a difference on Carmondy IV, where all of his followers had committed mass suicide.

A member of the extraterrestrial Watchers called the One had been responsible for receiving all observations made by the Watchers over the millennia, and was designed to survive the death of this universe, so that his knowledge will be passed on to the next reality. However, the Celestials determined that the One was intentionally causing the death of the universe to speed up so that he could fulfill his role, and the Watchers and Celestials confronted each other, with Arishem judging that the Watchers should no longer exist. Exitar slew the One, but the Fantastic Four’s Susan Storm, AKA Invisible Woman, tapped into the nigh-infinite energies of hyperspace and slew Exitar. As a result, the balance between the Watchers and Celestials was maintained, and its development has been delayed for thousands of years, until a new Exitar and a new One will take their place.

The Celestials returned to judge Earth again when young Franklin Richards created a new Earth, placing several of Earth’s heroes upon it to save them from the psychic monster Onslaught. Ashema the Listener assumed mortal form to communicate with Franklin, forcing him to choose one of the Earths to be destroyed. However, Ashema’s mortal body took sympathy upon Franklin, and arranged to spare the new Earth, rendering her true form comatose. The new Earth was relocated by Victor von Doom, AKA Doctor Doom, to the opposite side of the sun from Earth-616, and took up the position of Counter-Earth. Ashema’s mortal form remained on Counter-Earth, and had to contend with the Dreaming Celestial, whose spirit had awakened during the planet’s creation and re-created itself on Counter-Earth. Ashema was forced to ally with Doom in order to oppose the Dreaming Celestial, and finally drove it back into slumber.

The Celestials were recently revealed to have been the custodians of the Monolith, a rectangular black object which has appeared on Earth during pivotal points in humanity’s evolution. Machine Man, a robot that had studied the Monolith, was ultimately brought into the Celestials’ presence and remained with them for an unknown period of time. When the Eternal Thanos from Titan obtained vast cosmic power from the Heart of the Infinite, the Celestials stood alongside the many abstract cosmic powers and heroes of several worlds against him, but their power was insufficient. Thanos ultimately destroyed the universe, only to re-create it and neutralize his own magnified powers.

The Dreaming Celestial was awakened again when Sprite of the Eternals manipulated its power, casting the Eternals into human guises with no memory of their true selves. The Dreaming Celestial communicated with Makkari, informing it that marauding creatures called the Horde would be en route to Earth, and that it must begin a new judgment of the planet. The Dreaming Celestial set itself up in San Francisco to begin judging. Under unspecified circumstances, an unidentified Celestial was decapitated near the Rip (the edge of the universe where all space/time/matter/energy runs out) and the Knowhere colony was built within its immense head.

The Dreaming Celestial though started to exhibit behavior not commensurate with its kind, taking an interest in humanity, Super Heroes like Iron Man, and the Eternals. When Mister Sinister and the High Evolutionary messed with the Celestial’s armor, it wasn’t long before the Celestial Host visited Earth. Scott Summers, AKA Cyclops, of the X-Men and his team asked the Celestials to leave, to which the Dreaming Celestials pointed to the sky and the Host flew off and upward. The Dreaming Celestial then became confused but eventually met the creator known as the Fulcrum who realized it had found an equal in the Dreaming Celestial and asked it to be its companion, to which the Dreaming Celestial agreed and left Earth.

The Celestials other creation, the Exterminators, turned against them so they were imprisoned. When they escaped, the X-Men were there to face them. One of the Exterminators drained the Dreaming Celestial while others sought out Apocalypse and the Death Seed. The Dreaming Celestial apparently perished.


The Final Host


When several Celestials fell from the sky and crash landed on Earth, apparently dead, it was the herald of the Final Host and the rise of the Dark Celestials. Prior to this event, Loki Laufeyson, AKA Loki, realized that the Celestial known as the Progenitor who had arrived and died on Earth billions of years ago had decomposed and rotted the planet, changing the course of its evolution. The Dark Celestials used the Horde to kill the Celestials and then threw them at Earth. The Avengers then stood against the Dark Celestials and formed a kind of Uni-Mind and defeated the Horde, freeing the Celestials who then helped them take down the Dark Celestials.

The Eternals
Essential Reading
The Eternals
The Eternals are a race of god-like beings locked in a millennium-old conflict with the less evolved Deviants and their originators, the Celestials. Each Eternal has watched civilizations burgeon and die from their domain of Olympia – they are immortals blessed with strange, sometimes monstrous, powers.