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Deborah and Donald Ritter are the children of the Eternal Thena and the Deviant Kro. Thena discovered her pregnancy very soon after spending a night with Kro and, realizing that the offspring of an Eternal and a Deviant would not be welcome in either Olympia or Lemuria, she decided it would be best if they were raised as humans. To carry out her plan, Thena travelled to California where she discretely observed a doctor's office until she witnessed a young woman named Mrs. Ritter being told that tests had confirmed her suspicions that it was highly unlikely that she would ever have children. After leaving the doctor's office, Mrs. Ritter was secretly ambushed and abducted by Thena who transported her to a laboratory in Olympia. Once there, Thena used Eternal technology to teleport the two embryos out of her body and into the human woman's womb. After Thena returned her to where she had been abducted, Mrs. Ritter revived and believed that she had merely fainted. Soon afterwards, she learned that she was pregnant and, in due time, gave birth to twins that she and her husband named Deborah and Donald.[1]

Deborah & Donald Ritter (Earth-616) from Eternals The Herod Factor Vol 1 1 001

The twins lived normal human lives in Los Angeles for almost eighteen years, with Thena secretly observing them from time to time. This changed on the day before their eighteenth birthday when Thena learned of a creature that had murdered two sets of twins across the country while apparently searching for the "Ordained Ones," a supposedly-prophesied pair of twin Eternal-Deviant hybrids. Knowing that her children were the only such hybrids, Thena approached the twins and brought them to Olympia for their safety. Despite this precaution, the creature pursued them to Olympia, captured the twins, and brought them to Dr. Daniel Damian in the City of the Space Gods in Peru. Once the threat posed by Damian had been neutralized, Thena told the twins their true origins. Before returning them to their human parents, Thena brought her children to meet their biological father, Kro.[1]

At some point, the twins discovered that they could merge themselves, body and soul, and become a single being who called itself Tzabaoth. In this form, the twins were recruited by their father to be members of his team, Delta Force.[2]

At some later point, the twins began their studies at the University of San Diego. One day, while Debbie was in the library, she was threatened by a knife-wielding student who tried to force himself on her. Don sensed a violent emotion from his sister and came running to help her but the thug slashed him with the knife. With Don seriously wounded, the twins merged into their Tzabaoth form to save his life. Before Tzabaoth could deal with the now-terrified would-be rapist, Kro arrived and asked them to join a Delta Force mission to rescue some Avengers who were being held captive in Lemuria. However, in doing so, they were actually doing what the recently-resurrected Lord Ghaur had planned for them to do. Kro and Tzabaoth were both absorbed into the helmet-like Uni-Mind that Ghaur had created for his own use but were soon freed when that Uni-Mind was slashed open and fell apart.[5]

Later, the twins transferred to a university in San Jose and, while driving there to attend classes, they were intercepted by Kro who had learned that the few Deviants who lived above ground had been kidnapped and feared that his children might be next. Kro brought them to the Pyramid of the Winds where Thena, several Eternals and the Fantastic Four joined them but all were soon attacked by the combined force of the kidnappers, Maelstrom's Minions and the Weird Sisters, who had followed Thena and her allies there. Although two of the villains were caught, the others managed to abduct the twins and escape with them to the base where they were trying to bring Maelstrom back into reality by using energy drained from Deviants. This energy drain caused the twins and the three Deviant captives to rapidly age but all were restored to their proper ages once the energy drain was reversed. The twins then decided to spend the brief time left before their classes were to begin to get to know their biological parents.[3]

Sometime later, the twins were kidnapped and brought to Lemuria to be used as hostages to force Thena to participate in Ghaur's plan to create a new type of Uni-Mind, the Anti-Mind.[6] Sersi had also been brought to Lemuria for that purpose but had escaped with help from Karkas and the rest of "Kro's Kommandos." Sersi and a Heroes for Hire team returned to Lemuria to stop Ghaur's plan but most ended up captured. Now able to coerce Sersi to cooperate by threatening the life of the Black Knight, Ghaur forced the two Eternals to work together. With Thena`s psionic ability melded with Sersi`s transmutational ability, the two Eternals reached into every Deviant`s brain to make the physical change that would permit Ghaur to form the Anti-Mind. Being half-Deviant, the twins were also affected and both of them began radiating energy, with Deborah radiating light and Donald radiating darkness. While in this state, the twins united into a new and different gestalt form, that of the Dark Angel, who claimed that they had realized their true potential. Learning that her children were free prompted Thena to disperse the Anti-Mind into its component beings and the twins returned to their separate human forms at the same time.[7] After Ghaur ordered the outsiders to leave Lemuria, Thena decided to find a place of refuge for the children so they could never be used as a weapon against either parent. When the White Tiger suggested that Wundagore might serve and that her creator, the High Evolutionary, might be able to help the twins master their transformation, Thena agreed and Sersi teleported the twins, Thena and the White Tiger away.[8]

However, after Wundagore turned out to be under the control of Exodus,[9] the White Tiger brought Thena and the twins to the Heroes for Hire headquarters at Oracle, Inc.[10]



The Ritter twins are Eternal/Deviant hybrids whose ancestry gives them different powers in each of their various forms.

Debbie and Don[]

Dormant Mind Link: In their human forms, the Ritter twins are connected by a psychic link that is apparently dormant most of the time. This link is only activated when one of the twins feels threatened. The only recorded instance of this link being activated occurred when Deborah was accosted by a man who intended to force himself on her. The fear she felt caused the mind-body connections of the twins to switch so that Don's body forcefully pushed his girlfriend Shannon away (as Deb's mind wanted her body to do to her attacker) while Deb's body kissed the attacker (like Don's mind wanted his body to do to his girlfriend). This cross-connection only lasted for a few seconds and left Don with a memory of feeling a violent emotion that caused him to realize that his sister was in danger.

Lifeform Fusion: The Ritter twins are able to merge their separate human bodies into a single entity. They have so far merged to form two different entities, the four-armed Tzabaoth and the winged Dark Angel, each of which possessed different powers.


  • Optic Blasts: This gestalt form can project green beams of energy, possibly force beams, from its four eyes and direct them at a single target. These beams may be composed of cosmic energy, like those that Eternals can project from their eyes, and seem to have a concussive effect on whatever they hit.
  • Multiple Arms: This form has four arms.
  • Superhuman Strength: Tzabaoth was able to easily lift a large, well-muscled man off the floor. The exact limits of its strength have not been revealed.

The Dark Angel[]

  • Winged Flight: This gestalt form has large shiny yellow wings extending from their back that enable them to fly. Their exact flight capabilities have not been revealed.
  • Energy Projection: This gestalt form can generate an unidentified form of pink energy around their hands. What the Dark Angel can do with this energy has not been revealed but it may have enabled them to enter Ghaur's Anti-Mind.


  • Their Tzabaoth gestalt form was vulnerable to Ghaur's ability to mentally control Deviants whose genetic codes he knew. This is odd because their father Kro is the only Deviant known to be immune to Ghaur's power.


Deborah & Donald Ritter (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 1 370 0001
  • The first gestalt form of the twins, Tzabaoth, was created by Glenn Herdling and Geof Isherwood. Tzabaoth was somewhat monstrous in appearance, with two pairs of arms and an elongated face that had two pairs of eyes (one above the other), a single nose, and two mouths (one below the other). Tzabaoth referred to itself using first person singular pronouns (like "I").
  • The second gestalt form of the twins, the Dark Angel, was created by John Ostrander and Pasqual Ferry. The Dark Angel was a winged humanoid with large yellow wings growing out of their back. Their face was covered by a mask that only revealed two red eyes and they referred to themself using first person plural pronouns (like "we").
  • Since John Ostrander was apparently unaware of Glenn Herdling's Avengers story when he wrote his Heroes for Hire story, the fact that the twins ended up being able to assume two different gestalt form was presumably not planned and has not been officially explained. However, since the twins appeared in their Dark Angel form and claimed that they had realized their true potential immediately after Thena and Sersi had physically changed the brains of all the Deviants in the area, it seems likely that whatever changes were made to their part-Deviant brains may have been responsible for the alteration of their gestalt form.

See Also

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