A'Lars, like every Eternal, was created by the Celestials one million years ago. He became a scientist like his father, Kronos, and was regarded as a man who had learned great wisdom over his long life.
Despite being more unified than ever before, the Eternals still disagreed on the core goals of their society. The majority of the Eternals, led by Zuras, believed that they shouldn't tinker with their cosmic potential and no new Eternal should be created. A'Lars and a small fraction of their numbers believed they should keep expanding The Machine and create new Eternals, via biological and technological methods.
The Eternals went to war, but eventually an agreement was reached: one solitary Llarsite was allowed to found a colony as an experiment. A'Lars was chosen and adopted the name "Mentor", before settling on the lost colony of Titan.
Eternals of Titan
On Titan, he found Sui-San, the sole survivor of the exiled followers of Uranos. There, they began to repopulate the Titan colony, using genetic engineering and cloning, and it grew into a paradise. They created I.S.A.A.C., an immense computer system that could monitor and maintain all of the life support functions of the inner world.
Finally, Mentor and Sui-San managed to have two biological sons with the help of the Quantum Bands: Thanos and Eros. Eros grew up to be a fun-loving, carefree womanizer. Thanos was born with purple, hide-like skin and a massive body due to being born with the Deviant Syndrome. When she first laid eyes upon Thanos, Sui-San was driven mad and tried to kill him, claiming to have sensed death in his eyes. For a long time, A'Lars raised Thanos and Eros alone, since Sui-San was institutionalized. Despite his appearance, Thanos was liked by his peers. He became an intellectual introvert with the desire to follow in his father's footsteps to become a scientist. Even though A'Lars neglected his sons due to his work, he still loved them. Many years later, after Thanos had killed Sui-San and left Titan, A'Lars was the only Titanian unwilling to believe Thanos had killed her. He even denied his son had become a pillager and a pirate, much to Kronos's disgruntlement.
When Thanos used his pirate fleet to bombard Titan, Mentor was the sole survivor of the attack. Angered at himself for denying the truth for so long, he tried to kill Thanos but couldn't bring himself to do it. He managed to make Thanos doubt whether he was actually being accompanied by the embodiment of Death whom he could only sense or he was simply demented. Because of this, Thanos decided to spare A'Lars, solely so he could witness his son defile the cosmos and prove him wrong. Following Thanos' attack, A'Lars re-built the planet.
Thanos later returned and conquered Titan. He declared himself its ruler. Mentor implored his father to aid Titan against Thanos, causing Chronos to create Drax the Destroyer. Moondragon, the daughter of Drax, was raised on Titan with the monks of Shao-Lom, after a brief time with Mentor and her consort Kazantra. Mentor blocked all of Drax's memories of his old life, instilling in him monomaniacal hate for Thanos. For years, Drax served as Thanos's nemesis, thwarting certain of the Titanian's plans, but never crushing Thanos himself. Drax brought Iron Man into the conflict. Mentor aided Iron Man in destroying Thanos' Earth-base.
Thanos decided to acquire more power. To this end, he learned of a power-object called the Cosmic Cube and sought to control that reality-altering device to give himself control over the universe. Mentor met Rick Jones and Kree hero Captain Mar-Vell and enlisted his aid against Thanos. When Thanos finally secured the cosmic cube he commanded it to give him control over the universe. He brought Mentor, Mar-Vell, Moondragon, and Iron Man, Drax, and Eros to Titan. Transformed into a godlike wraith by the Cosmic Cube, Thanos battled the Avengers and Captain Marvel. When Thanos carelessly discarded the Cube, believing falsely that he had drained it of all power, Mar-Vell struck the Cube, willing it to restore the universe to what it had been. Robbed of his power, Thanos reverted to mortal form.
Not long afterwards, Mentor attempted to cure Captain Mar-Vell of his cancer. Mar-Vell spent his last days on Titan, and was buried by their people.
When Thanos discovered he was dying, he sought his father to help him find a cure, blackmailing A'Lars into helping him by menacing the lives of the inhabitants of Gilgrath. A'Lars told Thanos that he only had weeks to live while making the cure would take years due to Thanos' complex biology. A'Lars admitted that he took responsibility for each murder Thanos committed and was glad that he was dying, wishing that Thanos had died when he was born, prompting a furious Thanos to kill him.
After his death, A'Lars was resurrected back on Earth, in the Exclusion, where he was informed that Sui-San, who had also been resurrected didn't want anything to do with him. If that wasn't enough, he was excluded and put in a cell with walls made up of a screen with infinite resolution, where, for every life that Thanos extinguished, a single pixel would light up. A'Lars was blind from the light within a week.
Mentor possesses the conventional attributes of an Earth-born Eternal:
- Invulnerability: Like all Eternals, Mentor's life force is augmented by cosmic energy, making him virtually immortal, immune to disease and the debilitating effects of aging and able to regenerate injured or missing organic tissue. Only an injury that disperses a significant portion of his bodily molecules could cause him to die. Cosmic energy bolsters his metabolism so that Mentor does not tire from any physical exertion.
- Flight: Like all Eternals, Mentor can levitate by mentally manipulating gravitons (subatomic particles that carry the force of gravitational attraction) around him. He can fly at approximately 500 miles per hour, a rate of speed slightly below average for his kind.
- Cosmic Energy Manipulation: Like many Eternals, Mentor can project his body's natural cosmic energies as waves of concussive force. These waves, which he usually directs from his hands, have a maximum concussive force equivalent to 50 tons of TNT, sufficient to level a 12-story steel-frame building.
Super-Genius Intelligence
Mentor possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) approximately 1 ton under optimal conditions. This is slightly subnormal for an Eternal of his age, height, and build who engages in minimal regular exercise beyond his procreative responsibilities.
- A'Lars and the rest of the Titanians were initially shown being purple-skinned like Thanos in Iron Man #55. The idea of Thanos being different-looking from the rest of his people wasn't established until later on. The aforementioned issue was modified in reprints so only Thanos was purple.
- 68 appearance(s) of A'Lars (Earth-616)
- 9 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of A'Lars (Earth-616)
- 16 minor appearance(s) of A'Lars (Earth-616)
- 22 mention(s) of A'Lars (Earth-616)
- 2 mention(s) in handbook(s) of A'Lars (Earth-616)
- 30 image(s) of A'Lars (Earth-616)
- 3 quotation(s) by or about A'Lars (Earth-616)