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The Elders of the Universe's origins are lost in the early history of the universe. They are some of the oldest living beings in the universe. Each of the Elders is the last survivor of their respective species, most of which evolved right after the "Big Bang", the cataclysmic event in which the universe was created.[citation needed] Their respective species were the earliest creations of the Celestials.[4]

Egros (Earth-616) and Elders of the Universe (Earth-616) from Silver Surfer Vol 3 4 001

Meeting on Ego

Obliterator stated that he is 5.5 billion years old, and that other Elders are about the same age.[5] They are virtually immortal[6] and not only have they outlived their respective races, they have also all outlived their original galaxies. While they are not Abstract Entities, they have all attained some level of cosmic power. As the relatively few survivors of the earliest period of the universe, the Elders regard themselves figuratively as brothers. They do not often associate with each other aside from the Grandmaster's schemes.[7] Some meetings occur on member Ego the Living Planet;[8] Ego cannot attend when Elders meet elsewhere.[9]

Killing Galactus[]

The Collector then joined the other Elders in the Grandmaster's scheme to kill Galactus. Thus, the existing universe would collapse.[10] The Elders would survive the big crunch and the subsequent big bang of a new universe, becoming Galactus-like beings in the new universe.[11] The scheme failed, but the Collector had become one of the threats to the universe he had once predicted and against whom he had schemed.[12][13]

Thanos Quest[]

Following the Grandmaster's schemes, the Elders took possession of the Infinity Gems.[14] The Soul Gem went to the In-Betweener, the Power Gem went to Champion, the Time Gem went to the Gardener, the Reality Gem was taken by the Collector, the Space Gem went to the Runner and the Mind Gem went to the Grandmaster. They held them for a time until the Mad Titan, Thanos, gathered these gems into the Infinity Gauntlet.[15]

The Cosmic Cube[]

Accessing the power of a stolen Cosmic Cube, Thanos summoned a gathering of the astral versions of some cosmic heavyweights, including the Stranger, the In-Betweener and three of the Elders of the Universe. While Thanos briefly taunted them with the powerful item, the Collector coveted it, seeking to broker a trade. Tiring of the general exchange, Thanos turned the Cube on the other entities, seemingly wiping them from existence.[16] They had actually been teleported to the Cancerverse, as the artificial Cosmic Cube wasn't powerful enough to kill them. The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy joined them soon after the Mad Titan tried to kill them as well. The Elders made a deal with the heroes, using a weapon from the Collector's vault, the Avengers weakened Thanos after returning to Earth. The united forces of Earth's heroes proceeded to defeat Thanos, and as part of the deal, the Elders got to decide what to do with him.[17]

Deadpool Corps[]

The Deadpool Corps was founded by Deadpool after he was chosen by the Contemplator in stopping a cosmic entity known as the Awareness that devours the Multiverse's consciousness. In truth, the Deadpool Corps's real power to stop the entity is their unique mind that ultimately made them absolutely immune to the entity.[18] The Deadpool Corps came into conflict with the Champion, who and along with the Grandmaster did not see them as worthy heroes and decided to test them.[19] Fortunately, the Corps proved their worth by tricking the Champion into becoming two-times stranded on a planet.[20] With help from the Broken Blade, the Corps annihilated the entity who turns out to be a little alien that was the lone survivor of his species after the Big Bang.[21]

The New Contest of Champions[]

Following the temporary death of the Multiverse,[22] the Elders of the Universe discovered the reality where the Multiversal renewal began, a broken dimension where the remains of a planet named Battleworld floated as the broken shell of what once was everything that remained of the Multiverse, formerly controlled by Doctor Doom. Due to being the epicenter of a new creation, this dimension became rich in a powerful substance known as Iso-8. The Elders of the Universe resolved to fight for its concentrated and most powerful form, the ISO-Sphere, and decided to use the remains of Battleworld as an arena for the new Contest of Champions. Each Elder abducted a contestant from across the Multiverse to fight to death on their behalf. When the Contest of Champions drew to a close, only the Collector's and the Grandmaster's competitors remained, the Maestro of Earth-69413 and the Punisher of Earth-928, respectively, and the other Elders had returned back to Earth-616 with their hands empty. Maestro and Punisher conspired against their masters, and among their plans, they suggested a new Contest of Champions, where they would become summoners for their superiors, and choose their own champions to fight on their and their master's behalf. In the end, Maestro managed to acquire the entirety of the ISO-Sphere and banish the last two remaining Elders back to their reality.[23]

Powers and Abilities[]


Power Primordial: The Power Primordial is residual energy left over from the Big Bang that created the current universe. The circumstances in which the various Elders each gained some of this energy are yet to be revealed. While the energy itself is vast, it takes years of intensive training to purposely channel the energy to grant each of the Elders the various superhuman physical, mental, or energy manipulative capabilities that they possess. Each Elder has purposely channeled the Power Primordial to grant them greater abilities in some areas than in others.[citation needed]

Immortality: After the Grandmaster sacrificed himself to resurrect the Collector,[24] he tricked Death into granting all of the Elders immortality.[25] However, beings that transcend Death can still kill the Elders.[26]



Some members of the Elders of the Universe and the In-Betweener used to possess Infinity Gems:[14] the Champion possessed the red Power Gem, the Gardener possessed the orange Time Gem, the Collector possessed the yellow Reality Gem, the Runner possessed the purple Space Gem, and the Grandmaster possessed the blue Mind Gem. Thanos later stole the Gems to assemble his Infinity Gauntlet.[27]


Each member's method of transportation.


  • The Obliterator was a mutant of his species, whose biological systems were focused on his body's preservation.[28] It is unknown if other Elders have demonstrated similar powers.
  • Geometer's status as an Elder is unknown. However, he fits most of the major requirements: he is the last of his kind, several billion years old, originates in the 616 universe, and has a monomanic obsession (in his case, creating the mathematically perfect universe).[citation needed]
  • The In-Betweener's membership[29][2] is contentious given that he is an abstract entity created by Lord Chaos and Master Order.[30]
  • The Stranger is another dubious case. While he is apparently the merger of his race and thus qualifies as the last of his kind,[31] he is only included in the Elders in one story and that is with the In-Betweener.[29] Although, when that story is referenced in Thanos: The Infinity Ending #1, the In-Betweener was specifically excluded from the Elders but the Stranger was seemingly still included.
  • Ego the Living Planet is directly stated to be a member,[8] but he is not the only Living Planet.[32]
    • Note: His modern origin story and the other Living Planets came after Silver Surfer (Vol. 3) #4, the issue where Ego and other Elders identify him as an Elder. His original origin story of being a planet that somehow gained intelligence in the Black Galaxy was more compatible.[33] Although, Egros could still be considered the last survivor of his original species that existed before he merged with the planet.[34]
  • While the Elders are classified as cosmic entities,[35] they are generally of a lower stature than Galactus, Celestials, Watchers, or abstract entities.[36][19] The Grandmaster even mentioned the possibility of the Elders losing their seat at the cosmic table.[37] The Contemplator needed help to access the Dimension of Manifestations;[38] when he saw some abstracts, a Celestial, a Watcher, and the Gardener confront the Beyonder (from Secret Wars II #6), the Contemplator was puzzled to see the Gardener among what he described as a "tableau of abstract and near-omnipotent beings."[36]


  • The Collector was the first Elder to appear, and therefore introduce the team into continuity, in Avengers #28 by Stan Lee and Don Heck. However, the idea of the Elders of the Universe to which he -- and other alien figures -- belonged was not introduced until issue 174, written by Jim Shooter and Bill Mantlo.
  • According to the Watcher, the Elders of the Universe are to the beginning of time like the Time-Keepers are to the end.[39]
  • To the Elders, eight hundred thousand years is a "blink of an eye."[20]

See Also

Links and References