The Phalanx are an alien race, who were thought to be an off-shoot of the Technarchy bent on conquering worlds. It is a techno-organic race which had been captured by the Kree Empire, along with other hive species, to weaponize them and use them against rival empires. They were deemed a failure by the Black Judges due to their advanced adaptivity. The Phalanx has assimilated the technology of 100,000 worlds and slaughtered 200,000 races. The Phalanx have existed for 100,000 life cycles and have the collective knowledge of previous generations. When the Phalanx conquer a world, they infect the population and feed off the world until all sources of nutrition and power are gone. Their ultimate goal is to consume the whole universe.
It has recently been said that a Phalanx is the term for an artificial intelligence that operates on a galactic scale, and has total control of a host galaxy. A Phalanx's purpose is to expand it's intelligence and to control the means the means to do so. When a Phalanx encounters a society worth adding to it's collective intelligence, an Ascension occurs by way of assimilation. If the society is judged unworthy, they are infected with a Techno-Organic Virus to attract the Technarch to remove and repurpose them. Technarchs are unaware their origins lie with a Phalanx.
The Phalanx on Earth have assimilated a number of people, including loved ones of the X-Men, while clashing with the X-Men at various times. The Phalanx, however, soon developed its own collective intelligence, greater than the sum of its parts. Realizing this, the Phalanx assimilated Cameron Hodge and he became the overseer of the group, while Steven Lang later revealed that the Phalanx was designed by his scientists to be an upgraded version of the Sentinels as a means to destroy mutants. The Phalanx however evolved into targeting humans as well. Because they were unable to absorb mutants, they kidnapped the X-Men in an attempt to decipher their DNA or else eradicate them. Professor X recruited the X-Force, Excalibur, and X-Factor to stop them, along with Banshee, Emma Frost, and Sabretooth to rescue what would become the mutant team of Generation X. Later, they tried to contact the Phalanx collective in deep space, but they were stopped by Cannonball, Wolfsbane, and a Phalanx version of Cypher. The Phalanx spread themselves all throughout the earth, establishing colonies. Although partially a Phalanx himself, Steven Lang proved to be their downfall as he eventually betrayed them in favor of humanity. A big part of their defeat was due to a life sacrifice from Blink and the self-destruction of Doug Ramsey. The Phalanx of earth all died from having their power source drained and then unleashed upon them; however more Phalanx remained in outer space.
The "Pure" Phalanx
It was later revealed that the Phalanx on Earth were transient units, the foreguardians of the "Pure" Phalanx in outer space. Near the end of the 20th century, the Phalanx were on the verge of conquering the Shi'ar Imperium. They had devastated the core of the Shi'ar empire, putting the Shi'ar on the verge of extinction. Gladiator had been forbidden by the Majestrix Lilandra from interfering so he went to Earth and appealed to the X-Men for aid. They soon did battle with a group of Phalanx, and discovered that these Phalanx who had never been to Earth had the knowledge of the Earth Phalanx. Once they arrived at the Phalanx-occupied and devastated Shi'ar throneworld of Chandilar, the X-Men saved the Shi'ar race and empire by preventing the Phalanx from assimilating the next generation of Shi'ar at the "Nest" (birthing place), saving the life of Lilandra, and shutting down the Phalanx.
Conquest of the Kree
Afterward, the Phalanx weren't heard of for quite some time, until after the Annihilation wave struck the Local Group of galaxies. Led by Ultron, the Phalanx conquered the weakened Kree Empire. Using the Galadorian Spaceknights whom were brought to the Kree homeworld of Hala by Star-Lord and were already controlled by the Phalanx, they took over Hala. Within hours the rest of the empire had been conquered, the majority of Hala's population had been assimilated, and an impenetrable energy barrier encased the Kree Empire. The Phalanx had evolved to recognize that individuality was useful and therefore permitted the existence of a minority of assimilated victims to retain enough independence to be unpredictable and therefore more effective (the "Selects"). In the Kree homeworld, the inhabitants were either used as labor to keep the systems running or they were "processed". In which those whom had special talents or abilities became "Selects", and the rest were turned into fuel for the Babel Spire by disassembling them at the molecular level. Star-Lord discovered that the Phalanx were going to assimilate the rest via use of an airborne techno-virus.
The fleets of several interstellar powers (Spartoi, Rigellians, Galadorians, and Badoon) as well as the Kree fleet remnants attempted to break through the energy barrier without success. War between the expanding Phalanx and the Annihilation Wave erupted where their territories met. Several super-powered alien champions (e.g. Super-Skrull and Ronan the Accuser) broke free of Phalanx control and joined the resistance forces. Nova brought two members of the Technarchy (one of them Warlock) and penetrated the barrier. The heroes battled Ultron, who had used 15,000 Kree Sentries sent to Hala by Ronan to attack the Phalanx and created a colossal robotic body. Quasar delivered the mortal blow and destroyed Ultron, ending the Phalanx rule over the Kree Empire.
Marvel 2099 (Earth-928)
The Phalanx of this universe began invading the Earth which caused an earth-wide flood by melting the polar ice caps, and the Atlanteans invaded the now-aquatic New York. While most of the citizens attempted to return to normal in their new habitat, Doom made a deal with the Phalanx, pretending to be their ally. Using a sleeper Phalanx named Winn as a Trojan horse, Doom managed to corrupt the Phalanx circuitry and destroy them, but seemingly died as well. His final wish was to pass Latveria on to the young Nostromo, with Winn as his adviser.
The Phalanx is mentioned for being at war with the Earth in the past.
In the reality of Earth-92131, the Phalanx is not a separate race created by the Transmode Virus of the Technarchy, but instead an assimilative techno-organic species that functionally takes the Technarchy's place in that dimension. They feature in the two-part episode "The Phalanx Covenant", in which Warlock and Life Mate inadvertently lead the Phalanx to Earth, resulting in the Phalanx's attempt to assimilate the planet into their empire. With the help of the X-Men, the Phalanx are driven back, and the two rogue Phalanx choose to return to Phalanx space to try and free the rest of their species from the tyranny of the collective.
In this alternate future where the Human-Machine-Mutant War lead to the Humans started being engineered by their machine allies as the Post-Humans, it is said that a Phalanx served a Titan, an AI society that became advanced to the point where their unified intelligence collapsed into a singularity. These Titans either exist on their own, in their own individual Black Hole, or form Strongholds and Dominions in conjunction with other Titans. The Phalanx were contacted by the Post-Humans, and decided to assimilate them, along with the Earth.
Powers and Abilities
Able to assimilate any organic being to strengthen their own and absorb inorganic matter.
Shapeshifting: Creating blades, projectile guns, and directed energy weapons (usually from the arms)
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Links and References
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Uncanny X-Men #344
- ↑ Marvel Fact Files #19
- ↑ X-Men Vol 5 #9
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Uncanny X-Men #343
- ↑ Nova Vol 4 #7
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Powers of X #2
- ↑ Cable #16
- ↑ Phalanx Covenant crossover.
- ↑ Uncanny X-Men #341
- ↑ Annihilation: Conquest Prologue #1
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Annihilation: Conquest #1
- ↑ Nova Vol 4 #6
- ↑ Annihilation: Conquest - Starlord #3
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Annihilation: Conquest #6
- ↑ Annihilation: Conquest #2
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Annihilation: Conquest - Wraith #3-4
- ↑ 2099: World of Tomorrow #1
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #17
- ↑ 2099: Manifest Destiny #1
- ↑ Powers of X #5