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Dire Wraiths from Silver Surfer Vol 3 5 001

In the distant past, possibly over a billion years ago, when the Skrulls were still in their early stages of development, the Celestials came to Skrullos and experimented on selected natives. They created Eternal, Prime, and Deviant branches. The Deviants turned on their cousin races and exterminated them.[4]

Studying black magic, some Skrulls became the Dire Wraiths. Fearing the Wraiths, the Skrulls initiated yet another genocide. Outnumbered, the Wraiths fled from Skrull space.[5] At that time, some Wraiths were captured and experimented upon by the Kree, creating the Wraith "Inhumans" who split off from their kind.[6]

Settlement on Wraithworld[]

The rest of the Wraiths fled in the much feared Dark Nebula. There, the Skrulls were unwilling to assail them on their homeworld where their sorcery was supreme. The Dire Wraith settled on "Wraithworld".[3]

War with Galador[]

The Dire Wraiths did not venture out until the male science-oriented wraiths brought a proposal before the then queen to expand their evil into the neighboring Golden Galaxy of Galador. In preparation, the science wraiths had constructed a fleet of warships and when the Galadorian Armada entered the Dark Nebula seeking to offer trade of goods, culture, and enlightenment, the wraiths seized the opportunity to strike. Though outnumbered and caught completely off guard, the Armada was able to form a defense sphere. With their advanced technology, they would have been able to retreat from the Dark Nebula as long as the sphere was maintained. Seeing their prey about to escape, the Dire Wraiths summoned forth their most terrible ally & weapon, the Deathwing. This mystical creature penetrated the Galadorian defenses and "consumed" all living flesh present destroying the Armada. The Wraiths then regrouped and mounted an invasion force that headed to Galador.[7][2]

Dire Wraiths from Avengers Vol 1 267 0001

News soon reached Galador that their fleet was destroyed and Wraithkind would soon attack in force. Being defenseless with the destruction of the Armada, the Prime Director issued a call for whoever would sacrifice their humanity to become Spaceknights as a last desperate defense of their beloved homeworld. A thousand were selected and underwent the transformation. When the Wraith invasion fleet arrived, they were met in orbit by these cyborg warriors led by Rom. A pitched battle ensued and the Spaceknights began to gain the upper hand. The Wraiths then summoned the Scourge of the Armada, the Queen Mother Deathwing. Rom faced this creature in desperate battle and managed to destroy it with his Neutralizer. Seeing their greatest weapon destroyed, the Wraiths fled in panic dispersing across the universe pursued by the surviving Spaceknights.[8][2][9][10][11]

Rom himself pursued a portion of the fleet. The presiding commander split his force sending the remainder to infiltrate other worlds while his ship headed straight for Wraithworld. Rom chose to follow this lead vessel and banished the wraith witches powering the drive systems as it approached the Wraith citadel on the planet. Rom then began banishing to Limbo every Wraith he found on the planet. In desperation the wraiths created a spell that caused Rom to see non-existent wraiths everywhere he looked. This provided the delay necessary for the survivors to evacuate Wraithworld and seek new bases to rebuild their forces. Rom was later rescued from the enchantment by another spaceknight, Unam the Unseen and the rest of the Spaceknight Squadron that the Prime Director had sent to find the long overdue Rom.[12][8]

Wraiths on Earth[]

Thousands of years before the Wraith War, a Wraith of great power landed on Earth. A Wraith-child, who took the form of a human female child and the name Kaaris'a. Using her powerful sorcery, within a year of her being brought into the Pharaoh's court he was dead. A change came over the children of Memphis and all of Egypt, and a shroud of misery descended on the land until the people rose up against Kaaris'a, bound her and buried her alive.[13]

After the Wraith War, one of the worlds that the Wraiths infiltrated was Earth. It was there almost 200 years after the defense of Galador that Rom arrived near Clairton, West Virginia seeking out his enemies. The Wraiths were led by the "Most High One" that had the machinations in motion for the rebuilding of Wraith power and the conquest of Earth and then Galador. Rom upset many of the Wraith plans despite the interference of a number of Earth's super-powered heroes who were unable to detect the Wraiths and thought Rom a "killer robot". Eventually, Rom was able to make the situation known to Power Man and Iron Fist who actually witnessed a Wraith disintegrate upon its accidental death. Soon after the Fantastic Four were convinced of the Wraith threat, as was Doctor Strange.[14] Rom departed for Galador for a brief period.[15] In the interim a powershift occurred among the Dire Wraiths. In a showdown at the United Nations building hidden from human perception, the Witch Wraiths slew their male counterparts and destroyed their scientific creations, vowing to return Wraithkind to their innate sorcery and eschewing science altogether.[7] These now-ascendant Witch Wraiths then began re-infiltrate the town of Clairton, West Virginia. The female Wraiths were not ashamed of their true forms as the Science Wraiths had been and their manner of assuming an individual's shape was far more insidious. These Wraiths used their razor-sharp barbed tongues to pierce the skull of their victim and begin to assimilate that person's knowledge and personality into themselves. The victim began to shrivel and die immediately as the Wraith assumed its identity. The greater part of the town was savagely murdered by the Witch Wraiths in this manner.[16]

Earth would eventually learn of the presence of the evil Wraiths and a state of total war existed. The United States devoted much of its resources including S.H.I.E.L.D. against the invasion, including hiring inventor Forge to build anti-Wraith equipment.[17] Using the greatest bulk of their sorcery, the Wraiths struck a black hole through Earth's Sun to the Dark Nebula, beginning a spell known as "Worldmerge". This incantation would, upon fulfillment, merge Earth and Wraithworld into a single planet and replace Earth's Sun with Wraithworld's Black Sun. As Wraithworld approached, drawing the Wraiths' ultimate victory nigh, an entranced Rom stood helpless as all the wraiths on Earth came to gloat at his humiliating defeat. At this moment the super-powered heroes of Earth, warned by Rick Jones arrived to fight one last great battle and rescue the paralyzed Spaceknight. Once freed of the Wraiths' sorcery Rom returned to space with Forge where they had constructed a "Neo-Neutralizer". This device was powered by Rom's own Neutralizer and could banish every Wraith on Earth at once. As the moment of Worldmerge was upon them, Rom and Forge turned the Neo-Neutralizer away from Earth to prevent the potential of neutralizing the super-powers of everyone on Earth and thus thwarting the plans of Agent Gyrich. Then Rom and Forge used the Neo-neutralizer to negate the evil of Wraithworld itself, which was the source of the Wraiths' mystical powers. Though Wraithworld had been neutralized, its proximity to Earth was having catastrophic effects. Rom therefore finished the process by banishing Wraithworld itself to Limbo. With Wraithworld gone, every Dire Wraiths throughout the universe lost its ability to use evil sorcery. Upon returning to the surface of Earth where its heroes had corralled the surviving Wraiths, Rom once again opened the portal to Limbo banishing every Wraith left on Earth. There are still a remnant of Dire Wraiths remaining throughout the universe.[18][19]

Recent Wraith Activities[]

A faction of Wraiths who called themselves the "Nazgoth" arose briefly and once again began hostilities with Galador. The Nazgoth created an evil form of the Spaceknights called the Wraithknights by capturing and torturing Galadorians, twisting them to their evil cause and engrafting them with Galadorian-style armor. These Wraithknights were defeated by the Third Generation Spaceknights and the Nazgoth retreated to the shadows, erasing all evidence of their existence.[20] Wraithworld would later be rescued from Limbo by the Annihilators in an attempt to stabilize the Galadorian star system after the Skrull Klobok removed the Black Sun from the Dark Nebula to the Galadorian system, where it began to consume the native sun. Klobok's plan to establish a new Skrull race from the deviant genetics of the Dire Wraiths was thwarted by Volx and the Annihilators. Both Volx and Klobok were killed in the battle.[21]

Alternate Realities[]


During the attack of insanity brought by Psiclone, the androgynous harlot Cash imagined the Dire Wraiths between the races of extraterrestrials who swarmed the streets of Transverse City.[22]


Dire Wraiths (Earth-9997) Universe X Vol 1 3

Dire Wraiths of Earth X

When Captain America and the young Captain Marvel travelled to Limbo to collect Anti-Metal, there they were confronted by the Dire Wraiths, as well as Mephisto. They were saved by Rom, whom Captain America referred to only as "the Greatest of the Spaceknights."[citation needed]


Dire Wraiths (Earth-98226) from Timeslip Collection Vol 1 1 001
On Earth-98226, the Dire Wraiths have a more insect-like appearance and instead of impersonating people, they burrow into their skulls to control their host and cannot be separated without killing the host. While they are still hunted by the Spaceknights, they are much more effective at escaping detection.[23]

Powers and Abilities


  • Sorcery
  • Shape-Shifting
  • Parasitic Conversion



Intensely cold climate; the only warmth is provided by rivers of lava from intense volcanic activity, plus there is continual acid rain


170% Earth standard


50% oxygen, heavily polluted by volcanic ash


Type of Government

Militaristic, imperialistic, Matriarchal

Level of Technology

Highly advanced with warp-driven starships, and skilled in bioengineering

Cultural Traits

Warlike and utterly merciless



The current or former language of the Wraiths is "Wraith-marks".[24]


  • It was hypothesized that the Dire Wraiths had been created along with the Deviant Skrulls, as two Deviant races, or that the Deviant race split into two races later.[25] More recent texts state that they emerged from the Deviant Skrulls.[3]
  • After Marvel Comics lost the rights of Rom to IDW, Marvel filed an opposition to Hasbro stating that the name and design of the Dire Wraiths still belonged to Marvel, but eventually gave up, although they still retained the race's appearance.[26]


  • Silas Lane discovered that the birth records for every Dire Wraith banished to Limbo by Rom up to that point had been altered to list their birthdays as November 9, 1943.[27]
  • The letter page of Rom #41 suggests that Where Monsters Dwell #24 (which reprinted Tales to Astonish #5) may have depicted an early appearance of the Dire Wraiths.

See Also

Links and References