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Romulus Augustulus was the last emperor of the Roman Empire,[2] granted immortality by a mysterious Fountain of Youth.[7]


Early Life[]

Born in 463 AD, Romulus' original surname was Augustus, but it was changed to the diminutive when he took the throne in 475 AD still a child of 12. The child emperor was described as a puppet, not recognized as a legitimate ruler;[6] he ruled for only around 12 months, until 476 AD when his father was defeated by the German Goth Odoacer, marking the start of the Dark Ages in Europe.[8] Thus the Empire ended with his rule, and Italy fractured into smaller kingdoms.[2] Romulus was not killed, however, but rather banished from the kingdom, swearing to return one day.[6]

Percival of Scandia (Earth-616) and Romulus Augustulus (Earth-616) from Mystic Arcana Black Knight Vol 1 1 001

6th century[]

Taking the title of "Tyrannus", Augustus became a servant of the Olympian god Pluto, who empowered the former emperor and sent him to destroy Merlin. He was sent to Britannia to conquer the kingdom of Camelot and take the throne from King Arthur. He was stopped by Merlin's champion the Black Knight; Sir Percy of Scandia. He was no match against the young knight and fled leaving his master Pluto to continue the battle, who ultimately lost and retreated back to his realm.[9] Merlin found Romulus and banished him beneath the Earth to the realm known as Subterranea.[8]


Trapped beneath the Earth; Romulus came upon a stockpile of Deviant technology, which he used to attack the surface world. On one such attack, he discovered the Fountain of Youth which allowed him to remain young through the centuries.[8]

19th century[]

In 1862, Tyrannus led an invasion of Tyrannoids from Subterranea, bursting through the ground interrupting a battle during the American Civil War.[10]

Modern Era[]

He later attempted to conquer America by kidnapping Betty Ross and holding her hostage, thus preventing her father from resisting. The Hulk and Rick Jones followed but they too were captured by Tyrannus and he used Betty as a tool against them. They eventually freed her and the trio escaped Tyrannus and trapped him underground.[8]

Mole Man, one of Tyrannus' leading rivals regarding the rule of Subterranea, stole the "Fountain of Youth," causing him to age rapidly. He teleported the Hulk to Subterranea in hopes of recapturing the fountain. He was successful and was able to restore his youth and returned the Hulk to the surface[11]

He kidnapped and forced scientist Dr. Ralph Roberts to design a robot called the Cobalt-Robot, a giant machine used in his conflict against the Mole Man, but the mutant team the X-Men came to his rescue and stopped his plans in its tracks.[12]

Still angry at his past defeats against the Hulk he sought out revenge by using Deviant technology to drive the creature insane and send him on a destructive rampage. He brought him beneath the surface and sent him against Mole Man along with Mogul, one of his other robot slaves.[13]

On another occasion, Tyrannus became lovers with Kala.[14]


Tyrannus returned to the surface once again using the Earth-Shaker, a boring device. He was confronted by Nova, who battled Tyrannus and his Tyrannoids and destroyed his machine. He captured Tyrannus and in defeat he agreed to leave peacefully retreating beneath the Earth.[15]

They Who Wield Power[]

Having failed several times to conquer the surface world through means of force and technology, Romulus decided to try another approach. His eternal youth was failing him, so it was then that he infiltrated They Who Wield Power of El Dorado, under the identity of Des.[16] The city's Sacred Flame of Life was a potential power source of immense energy. "They" engineered a number of crises on the surface world that fed additional power into the Flame, until it was ready for use. At that point, Tyrannus threw off his disguise and merged with the Flame himself, restoring his youth and granting him incredible powers. He was nevertheless defeated by the Hulk.[17]


In his quest for immortality, Tyrannus projected his consciousness into the body of the Abomination, displacing Emil Blonsky.[5] He quickly grew to regret his hideousness, however, and battled the Avengers on several occasions.[18][19]

Atlantis Attacks[]

Later on, Tyrannus came to serve the Elder God Set, who arranged for Tyrannus to be restored to his original body.[20] In the identity of Dr. Tyrone, Tyrannus coordinated a new group of Serpent Men with the Viper. He tried to replace Set in a magical ceremony but ultimately failed.[4] He then faced off against Dr. Strange and Daredevil when he tried to bring his new master Set to the earthly realm, but was stopped by Viper, allowing him to be swallowed by Set himself.[21]

Subterranean Wars[]

During the Subterranean Wars, Tyrannus came under siege by the Deviant warlord Brutus and his army of Mutates. He was forced into an alliance with Mole Man and Grotesk.[22][23] Separated from the Fountain of Youth and greatly fearing continuing to age at a normal rate, he kidnapped Betty Banner and Rick Jones as means to force the Hulk into retrieving the waters of the Fountain for him. Instead, the Fountain was destroyed during a fight between the Hulk and the Deviants' forces, and Bruce was only able to retrieve a small sample of the water. During her captivity, Betty had encouraged Tyrannus to accept his aging with grace, but when Banner returned and cruelly poured the last of the water on the stone floor, Tyrannus abandoned his dignity and began desperately lapping up the water from the ground.[24]

On another occasion, Tyrannus took possession of the Hulk (and also attempted to take his abilities).[25]

Tyrannus was eventually overthrown by his own people, the Tyrannoids, who turned Romulus into a Tyrannoid for abusing them over the years and threw him in their jail. [26]

Pandora's Box[]

He later began a romantic relationship with the Red She-Hulk. She helped him stage a theft at The Museum of Ancient Mythology in Rome in order to steal Pandora's Box (which is actually an urn). The pair tricked the Hulk into helping allowing them to escape from the authorities. Dr. Banner and and Dr. Sofia Di Cosimo tracked them down and warned them of what would happen if they opened the urn. The Knights of Rome attacked the group in hopes of retrieving the urn.[27] He was able to defeat the squad of enforcers using their own magic to create a giant image of himself to defeat the Hulk. He then opened the urn releasing "hope" but being trapped for millennia drove it insane leading it to want to destroy the world. The Hulk was able to absorb the entity and burned it away using his rage. The Red She-Hulk escaped with Tyrannus much to the annoyance of the Hulk. [28] He took her to his kingdom beneath Las Vegas where he wanted to share the Fountain of Youth with her. They were then attacked by A.I.M. led by Monica Rappaccini who hoped to steal the fountain for herself, turning it into a "wishing well." The Red She-Hulk managed to recover from the gas attack fast and stopped her, but not in time to stop creatures from emerging from it that began to attack Las Vegas.[29]


Power Grid[30]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Experienced Fighter:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Single Type: Medium Range:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Enhanced:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Genius


  • Telepathy: He has several psychic powers which allow to control the minds of others as well as life-force absorption. He can also communicate with others telepathically.[7]


  • Genius Intellect: Tyrannus possess an advanced intellect being educated by the best minds in the Roman Empire. His natural intellect along with his long life has made him one of the leading experts in Deviant technology.[7]
  • Skilled Swordsman: Tyrannus was trained from birth by his father to be an expert swordsman. Over the centuries he has expanded his skills further.[7]



  • Deviant/Technology: Tyrannus had access to advanced technology left behind by Deviants.[7]
  • Fountain of Youth: A mysterious pool of liquid that grants him immortality as long as he has continued access to it.[7]
  • Sacred Flame of Life: Could consume the life force of others to fuel its own energies. When he temporarily had control of the Sacred Flame of Life, Tyrannus could generate a force field, form the flame into fists or limbs, cause seismic tremors and project a radioactive, flame-like blast.[7]




  • The character of Tyrannus is based on real life historical figure Romulus Augustulus, the last emperor of the Roman Empire before its fall.


A Tyrannoid Subterranean was given the appearance and memory of Tyrannus while he was involved with "They Who Wield Power." The clone was later murdered when the other Tyrannoids discovered what he really was.[citation needed]

See Also

Links and References