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Quote1 Once, long ago, I led this group. The great men of this place believed in the future -- in the infinite human experience. Now, I have been warned that the council -- these new men of the Shield -- believe in something different: a logical end. I have come to shatter this notion. And on that rubble, reconstruct a better way. I am a builder of great things, Leonid...and these men have stood on my shoulders for far too long. Quote2
Leonardo da Vinci[src]

The Brotherhood of the Shield was an ancient secret society created to keep Earth safe and the predecessor of the modern-day S.H.I.E.L.D.[4] Over the course of millennia, they recruited the best minds throughout history. They were based at the Immortal City.[1]

The Brotherhood originally operated with the motto "This is not how the world ends." After Leonardo da Vinci had travelled across space and time to retrieve a Celestial in the Sun, his successor, Galileo Galilei, defeated Galactus with the "Greater Science." Galileo's protégé, Sir Isaac Newton, discovered the "Hidden Arts," the "Secret Alchemy," the "Quiet Math," and the "Silent Truth." Newton then killed Galileo, took over the Brotherhood, and committed it into advancing the "final fate" of man: its end. Newton bought the Brotherhood's loyalty with the Elixir of Life, granting conditional immortality to its esteemed members.[5]

Following Leonardo da Vinci's return in 1956,[5] his presence incited a schism in the Brotherhood between him and Newton, which escalated into war four years later.[6] Newton travelled to the year 2060 to witness the world's end; his ideology corrupted the Star Child, causing the Celestial to go berserk and travel to the future as well.[7] The Brotherhood, with the Human Machine, followed them and Newton was defeated by his Deviant-born son, Leonid.[8]


Brotherhood of the Shield (Earth-616) from S.H.I.E.L.D

Imhotep against the Brood


Imhotep founded the brotherhood by assembling an army (including the immortal mutant Apocalypse, the First Horsemen, and the Moon Knight) against a Brood invasion in Egypt, 2620 BC.[1][2][9] At some point after this, Imhotep's Shield went west with the Brotherhood of the Shield, and Imhotep's Spear went east with the Brotherhood of the Spear.[1][10][11]

Ancient Greece[]

In 226 BC, the Greek inventor Archimedes piloted the Colossus of Rhodes to defend Rhodes against a Kree Sentry.[12]

1st Century[]

Celestial Madonna (Multiverse) from S.H.I.E.L.D

Celestial Madonna

In 114 AD, an ally of the Brotherhood, Zhang Heng, convinced the Celestial Madonna into using the Sun to give birth to her child instead of destroying the Earth or the Moon to acquire the necessary energy for the process to be carried on.[1]

8th Century[]

In 750 AD, Baghdad, Jabir ibn Hayyan, then-leader of the Brotherhood, conceived of a way to keep the world from ever ending. He built a machine that would take the sum total of the hopes, dreams, inspirations and desires of a thousand men a give it to a single man. This man could then recreate the world whenever it was threatened. The machine, however, drained the men of their lifeforces and the machine failed. Without a thousand of the Brotherhood of the Shield around to shape the world, mankind fell into an age of darkness.[13]

15th Century[]

Michelangelo was born in 1475 in Caprese near Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy. He grew up to become one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance. Best known for his scultpures and frescos, he was brilliant and talented in many ways: he could paint, sculpt, design buildings, and write poetry. However, two years after becoming a man, "infinity washed over him" and he began to simultaneously exist at all times. Michelangelo stopped existing as a linear being and was illuminated as the Forever Man.[14]

16th Century[]

Galan (Earth-616) and Herald of Galactus (1582 AD) (Earth-616) from S.H.I.E.L.D


Leonardo da Vinci, the Patriarch of the Shield, discovered that there was something growing in the Sun. He built an ornithopter capable of both space and time travel to go retrieve it and replaced himself with a robotic dublicate.[1][10][15] Galileo Galilei then became the master of the Shield and later battled the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus. The price of defeating him was two thirds of the Brotherhood, but it gave rise to the "Greater Science."[1][13]

17th Century[]


Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton was recruited into the Brotherhood and was mentored by Galileo. Isaac traveled to Ashomia, the Deviant city, in 1625. There he was captured. The Deviant ruler found his DNA interesting and had him mate with a Deviant woman named Morda. He lived among the Deviants until he could steal the secret knowledge contained in their holy book, claiming it for the Brotherhood. He called this knowledge the "Hidden Arts," saying it was not science, but "something sideways...something bent...refracted. Something alien and devout." This knowledge became permanently written in his skin. He burned the city down and escaped.[13] Newton later discovered the "Secret Alchemy," the Elixir of Life, which allowed him to live forever. He captured Nostradamus in 1652, and made him immortal as well, using him as a seer and forcing him to reveal visions of the future. Immortality also gave Isaac clarity of thought, and he discovered the "Quiet Math," which was the "divine structure for ultimate deduction." Using this, he determined that the world would end in 2060. He called this knowledge the "Silent Truth"; with it, he knew the old ways of the Brotherhood had to change, so he murdered Galileo and took control of the Brotherhood with the help of the Elixir of Life. He tortured Nostradamus so the latter would give him the prophecy he sought.[16]

18th Century[]

Nostradamus predicted the American Revolutionary War. Benjamin Franklin was a Shield agent.[10]

19th Century[]

Nostradamus predicted the battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution and the Brotherhood of the Shield sent an agent to help in the cause.[10]

20th Century[]

Nostradamus predicted World War II and the Brotherhood of the Shield became heavily involved in the battle against the latest version of the Brotherhood of the Spear.[10]


Agents Howard Stark and Nathaniel Richards

In 1953, two prominent Shield agents, billionaire industrialist Howard Stark and scientist Dr. Nathaniel Richards, recruited a mysterious young man named Leonid, who possessed amazing superhuman powers. They took the powerful young man to the Brotherhood of the Shield High Council in the Immortal City under Rome. The High Council revealed they were aware of the "The Final Fate of Man," and they had appointed themselves the task of protecting the Earth until that event. They revealed to Leonid that he has a destiny to help in their endeavor.[1]

Leonid spends three years living with the group before being visited by his adopted father Nikola Tesla, the Night Machine, who had tried to protect Leonid from Shield in the past but was killed by agents Stark and Richards. Returning as a cyborg thanks to Michelangelo, he gave his son the key to the Iter, a door that cannot be opened, saying his destiny cannot be dictated by others.[1][17]

Leonardo da Vinci (Earth-616) from S.H.I.E.L.D

Leonardo da Vinci's return

Though the Iter, Leonid met Leonardo da Vinci, who had travelled through time with the Human Machine to save the world. Leonardo da Vinci's return was met with resistance from Sir Isaac Newton who saw it as a threat to his reign as leader of the organization. This eventually led to the organization splitting into two factions: one led by Newton and one led by Leonardo. The child of a Celestial, the Star Child, was picked up by Leonardo from the Sun and was raised by the Brotherhood.[18]

Stark, Richards, and Tesla returned to the Immortal City, found themselves in the battle, and stopped the two battling factions by putting the decision of leadership in to Leonid's hand on whom is right. Leonid chose Leonardo and Newton escaped to the future year 2060, the end of the world according to his Quiet Math.[15]

Human Machine from S.H.I.E.L.D

The Human Machine

After Isaac Newton escaped, his Quiet Math drove the Star Child insane, who then proceeded to ravage the Immortal City before travelling to the future to meet Newton. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Leonid, Nathaniel Richards, Howard Stark, Nostradamus, and Nikola Tesla awakened the Last Caliphate, and together, they used the Human Machine to travel to 2060 AD.[19] They fought against Newton and the Star Child, and Leonid, after being ascended by the Human Machine, resolved the conflict by allowing Newton and the Star Child to live out their desire of the world's end in another Earth. They returned to modern-day Italy and were greeted by Leonardo da Vinci.[20]

Newton's Five-Fold Understanding[]

High Council of the Shield (Earth-616) from S.H.I.E.L.D

The High Council reciting the Five-Fold Understanding

After Sir Isaac Newton murdered Galileo Galilei, he supplanted his old master as the Patriarch and changed the purpose of the Brotherhood of the Shield. Instead of the defiance and hope of "This is not how the world ends," he believed that the world is destined to end in 2060.[13][15] From then on, the Brotherhood's role was "assisting the orderly demise of the world."[21]

The Five-Fold Understanding is how Newton deduced the "final fate" of man,[1] and it is the methodology of the Brotherhood for managing reality after Newton took control of it.[13] It consists of the Greater Science, the Hidden Arts, the Secret Alchemy, the Quiet Math, and the Silent Truth.

Galan (Earth-616) from S.H.I.E.L.D

Galileo repelling Galactus with the Greater Science

The first of Newton's Five-Fold Understanding is the Greater Science. Unlike the other four, which were discovered by Newton himself, the Greater Science predates Newton's recruitment into the Brotherhood. In Baghdad of the year 750, Abu Mūsā Jābir ibn Hayyān al-Azdi attempted to focus the power of the Brotherhood into a single man using a device so that he could create a new Earth should the need arises and thus the world would never end. However, it was an utter failure. With the loss of a thousand of the world's greatest men, mankind fell into the darkest of ages. Centuries later, in 1582, the Devourer of Worlds Galactus attacked Rome. Galileo Galilei, with collaboration with Michelangelo, rebuilt the machine with improvements and fended off Galactus at the cost of two-thirds of the Brotherhood. The success was a renaissance, the true beginning of the age of reason, and the birth of the Greater Science.[13]

Isaac Newton (Earth-616) and Ashomia from S.H.I.E.L.D

Newton stealing the Hidden Arts from Ashomia

The second of Newton's Five-Fold Understanding is the Hidden Arts. After Newton was recruited, he was struggling to "Solve for Everything,"[15] and Galileo suggested he explore the world to seek wisdom and knowledge. Arriving at Ashomia in 1625, he was captured by the Deviants there and was forced to mate with a Deviant woman named Morda, who would later give birth to Leonid. He endured the humiliation of living with them as he wanted their most sacred knowledge, kept hidden in their temple. Newton describes it as "Not science, but something sideways...something bent...refracted. Something alien and devout." Their holy book had been safeguarded for millennia, never shared or copied, until 1630 when Newton stole its words and acquired the Hidden Arts for the Brotherhood.[13]

Isaac Newton (Earth-616) and Michel de Nostredame (Earth-616) from S.H.I.E.L.D

Newton bribing Nostradamus with the Secret Alchemy, the Elixir of Life, to give him his desired prophecy

The third of Newton's Five-Fold Understanding is the Secret Alchemy. Newton found the hidden Elixir of Life some time in the 17th century.[13] The Elixir grants immortality, or what Newton calls "long enough." Newton distributed the Elixir to the Brotherhood; by rewarding with longevity and punishing with mortality, he selectively gained their undying loyalty.[10]

The Elixir can be diluted into different levels of potency, each with its own name. For example, the Forever Compound grants longevity but the mind and body decays. Desiring a specific prophecy from Nostradamus, Newton had the latter chained up with the Elixir in front on him, injected him with the lesser Forever Compound over the course of over 300 years, and Nostradamus slowly withered in torment.[10]

The Elixir seems to require regular intake, but the specifics are unknown. Newton eventually ran out of Elixir in 1960 and thus death awaited his followers like any other man.[15]

Star Child (Multiverse) from S.H.I.E.L.D

The Star Child reading Newton's Quiet Math

The fourth of Newton's Five-Fold Understanding is the Quiet Math. With the immortality from the Secret Alchemy came clarity of thought, understanding, and deduction;[13] Newton was finally able to "Solve for Everything" mathematically.[15] However, he calculated that the world will end in 2060.[13]

When the Star Child found Newton's Quiet Math and read it, he came to the same conclusion and was driven mad.[15]

There appears to be other dates, including 2025, 2100, and 3026, but their meanings are unknown.[15] The Quiet Math leads to the Silent Truth.[13]

Immortal City from S.H.I.E.L.D

Newton's doomsday clock for his Silent Truth: the world will inevitably end in 2060

Quote1 The world ends! The world ends! It's inescapable and must be served! Quote2
Isaac Newton[src]
Quote1 When you know the end result of something, it is not madness to embrace is madness to run away from it. Quote2
Isaac Newton[src]

The last of Newton's Five-Fold Understanding is the Silent Truth. It is the knowledge that the world is preordained to end in 2060, as per the Quiet Math. The Silent Truth changed everything and validated what Newton had suspected. There was no future for the old ways of the Brotherhood, as he knew exactly when the world will end, so Newton murdered Galileo and usurped him as the Brotherhood's leader.[13] Newton found enlightenment in embracing fate and he even built the Century Machine, a doomsday clock, in the Immortal City to count down the last 100 years until 2060.[6]

Newton was challenged with the return of the Brotherhood's former Patriarch, a time-travelling Leonardo da Vinci, in 1956. He reintroduced the Brotherhood's old ways of thinking: hope, preservation, free will, and a rejection of Newton's notion of fate and the end of the world. Enough of the Brotherhood joined Leonardo that a civil war erupted four years later in 1960.[6] When Nikola Tesla returned, having gone to the far future with Nathaniel Richards and Howard Stark, he objected Newton's Silent Truth. Newton then travelled to 2060 with Leonardo's time machine.[22] The Brotherhood followed with the Human Machine and it ascended Leonid, who resolved the conflict with Newton by giving him an alternate Earth to live out his desired preordained end.[8]

Historical Figures[]

Many historical figures were affiliated with the Brotherhood of the Shield:

This list excludes characters such as Nathaniel Richards and Howard Stark, who may be considered historical figures within the Marvel Universe, but not in real life.




See Also

Links and References