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OSIRIS

Real Name: Osiris

Occupation: Ruler of the Egyptian Gods, god of the dead and fertility, Patron god of Abydos and Busiris, former Pharaoh of Egypt

Legal Status: Citizen of Celestial Heliopolis

Identity: The general populace of earth is unaware of Osiris except as a mythological character. He was well known during the days of Ancient Egypt.

Other Aliases: Ousir, Ausir ("Many Eyed"), Usire, Wennofer (“Eternally Good”),

Place of Birth: possibly Busiris, Egypt

Marital Status: Married

Known Relatives: Geb  (father), Nut  (mother), Isis (sister/wife), Horus I (alias Heru-Ur), Seth (brothers), Nephthys (sister), Khnemu, Hapi I (half-brothers), Hathor (half-sister), Horus, Anhur, Neper, Min, Anubis, Bata (sons), Bast, Sesmu (daughters), Duamutef, Hapi II, Ihy, Imsety, Qebhshuf, Upuaut, Mihos (grandsons), Kebehut, Sakhmet (granddaughters), Qadesh, Hatmehyt, (daughters in law), Sebek (alias Suchos), Babi (nephews), Edjo, Nekhbet (nieces),

Group Membership: The Council of God Kings, The Ennead (Gods of Egypt),

Base of Operations:  Celestial Heliopolis, formerly Tuat, formerly Heliopolis (“City of the Sun”), Egypt

First Appearance: Thor I #239

History: Osiris is the son of Geb and Nut, members of an other-dimensional race of beings who were worshipped as gods by the Ancient Egyptians, and who served as pharaohs (rulers) for several generations following the end of the Hyborian Age. Geb had succeeded to rule of Egypt after his father, Shu, left earth to ascend into heaven, and when Geb retired as Ruler and Pharaoh of Egypt, he chose Osiris to succeed him. Osiris took his sister Isis to be his queen and taught mortals how to make bread and wine and foresaw the building of the first temples and statues of the gods. He introduced civilization among the ancient Egyptians and outlined what is known today as the Valley of the Kings. Osiris even carried his ideas into other countries such as Phoenicia to teach what he had shown the Egyptians. Osiris established friendly relationships with the other gods of the region, such as the Olympians, whose Greek worshippers controlled parts of Egypt, and with the Anunnaki to the East, whose existence was almost as old as that of the Egyptian gods. Osiris also had an amicable trust with Nyambe of the Orishas worshipped by the tribes of Africa, and possibly with the Coatli, worshipped by the Ancient Mayans, who also built and created pyramids.

Osiris was unconditionally loved and adored by his subjects, but his brother Seth hated him for several reasons. He hated him for being passed over as ruler, the attention given him and the size of his worship. Seth became jealous of the adoration given him, and eventually conspired to rid of Osiris by creating the first known sarcophagus fit exactly to Osiris’ size. He then produced it in his brother’s court and said that whoever fit it exactly could have it. Osiris became fascinated by the sarcophagus and fit himself into it as Seth immediately nailed his brother up inside it and pushed it into the Nile. In Osiris’ absence, Seth seized the throne of Egypt and Isis fled in search of Osiris.

Several years later, Osiris was discovered by Isis still trapped in the coffin. Seth then appeared in the shape of a bull and then a crocodile and chopped him up into pieces that he flung to the winds. As Isis regathered the pieces, Osiris’ spirit found its way to an unknown spirit realm called Duat where he learned the secrets of life after death. His son, Anubis, however, working in tandem with Isis, Nephthys, Thoth and Horus I (Heru-Ur) restored him to life on Earth. Upon reviving, Osiris revealed his dissatisfaction with his brother and returned to the afterlife to rule it as a god with Isis by his side. In his absence, Osiris’ son, Horus, meanwhile ousted Seth from the throne and returned Egypt to the prosperity it had endured under his father.

During this time, Osiris and Isis were elevated to the position of gods. They reportedly appeared in a vision to the youth En Sabah Nur, a slave of later Pharaoh Rama-Tut. Osiris warned the boy not to become drawn to the Princess Nephri as he could never have her, but Nur did not fully understand the warning and did not heed it. As a result, Nur set into motion a string of events that would transform him into the mutant terrorist known as Apocalypse, a prophecy Osiris had hoped to prevent from occurring.

After each of the Egyptian gods had retired from earthly rule, they had traveled to the other-dimensional realm of Celestial Heliopolis to live out their existence. Ammon-Ra, Shu’s predecessor, had retired here millennia before, and at some point, he stepped down from his position as Ruler of the Egyptian Gods and chose Osiris, who had been only a pharaoh and god of the dead before, to succeed him. Seth eventually overthrew Osiris as ruler then imprisoned Osiris, Isis, Horus and the rest of the Egyptian Gods in a pyramid for all millennia. In his absence, Thoth, Ammon-Ra’s son who had been vizier to Osiris, became head of the Egyptian pantheon. During Thoth’s rule, each of the Egyptian gods moved to the other-dimensional realm of Celestial Heliopolis to traffic earth no more, but at the Third Host of the Celestials, Ammon-Ra came out of retirement to meet with the other godheads of Earth to discuss the threat of the Celestials to Earth.

In recent years, the pyramid appeared in the United States, and from within it, Osiris, Isis and Horus cast a spell over the Asgardian god Odin, causing him to believe he was the reincarnation of Atum-Re, their divine ancestor. (Whether or not there is actually any connection between Odin and Atum-Re is unknown.) Odin’s son, Thor, tried in vain to force Osiris and the others to release Odin from his spell, and accompanied Odin, Isis and Horus to the other-dimensional realm of Heliopolis where they fought Seth’s armies of animated skeletons. Thor then realized that, unless stopped, Seth would menace earth and Asgard next. Therefore, Thor himself entered into battle with Seth, but it was Odin who won the battle against Seth by creating a bolt of energy that obliterated Seth’s right hand. Horus then cast Seth from the Golden Bridge of the Gods, and Seth fell from power once more, and Osiris resumed his rightful place as ruler of Heliopolis. Osiris and the released Egyptian Gods then made Odin the reincarnation of their ancestor, Atum-Ra.

Seth, however, would return several times to attempt to overthrow Osiris. From Abydos, he imprisoned Osiris and attempted to sacrifice Horus to an entity known as the Devourer, but the creature became a bit more than he could control and Horus, Thor and the Thing helped to defeat it and free Osiris once more. Odin later discovered Seth while working in tangent with other gods of the dead had released Demogorge. Odin, the Ruler of the Norse gods, requested that he dispatch a warrior to defeat the entity. Osiris sent Horus, the sun god, to combat the beast and defeat it. As part of a pact with Odin for confronting the Celestials, Osiris donated life energies to Thor to revive the Asgardians affected by the destruction of the Destroyer.

In order to lead an attack into Asgard, Seth absorbed the life forces of Osiris and the Ennead in order to have the power he required to invade Asgard, home of the Asgardian gods. He also imprisoned Bes, the Egyptian god of luck, in order to steer his powers over probability into his favor, but Thor released Bes and Seth lost the absorbed life forces of the Ennead. Osiris led the rest of the Ennead to rally with the Asgardians against Seth, who was defeated by Odin once again.

Osiris has since replaced Ammon-Ra as representative of the Egyptian gods in the Council of God Kings, which had been founded shortly before the Third Host of the Celestials. The Council soon met to discuss the threat posed by Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet and later powered with cosmic power stolen from the Pharaoh Akhenaton who had returned from outer space after living among extra-terrestrial races. As part of the council, Osiris much like the other godheads of earth keeps a very vested interest in earth and the destinies of the descendants of his ancient worshippers. Proud of the interest that mortal archaeologists have in Egyptian history, he has oft times appeared in earth in mortal guise posing as a wealthy Egyptologist to covertly lead archaeologists to discover accurate depictions of the past rather than have them create further inaccuracies.  

Height: 6’3”

Weight: Unrevealed

Eyes: Brown

Hair: Bald, formerly Brown

Strength Level: Osiris possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) around 85 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: Osiris possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Egyptian gods. Like all of the Ennead, he is extremely long-lived, but he is not immortal like the Olympian gods. He has not aged since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. He is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If he were somehow wounded, his godly life force would enable him to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of his bodily molecules to cause him a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of significant power, such as Ammon-Ra or for a number of Egyptian gods of equal power working together to revive him. Osiris also possesses superhuman strength and his Ennead metabolism provides him with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (The flesh and bone of the Egyptian gods is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to Ennead superhuman strength and weight.)

Osiris also has extra-ordinary powers above the majority of the Egyptian Gods to tap into and manipulate mystical energy except possibly Seth, who just may be his equal. Elemental in nature, he can control and influence the weather to create storms and control the wind. He can travel dimensionally, such as from Earth to Celestial Heliopolis and back again, send his voice and image across space and manipulate energy. He has some power over supernatural energies and can see ghosts, sense when a person is about to die and sense the astral energies connected to the underworld. He can also change form to become animals or just to attain an immaterial form seemingly created from astral matter. It is not known just how powerful Osiris is, but he just may be equal to such gods as Odin in Zeus in power.

Abilities: Osiris been described in myth as a very charismatic and beneficent deity.

Pets: In ancient times, Osiris was connected to the ostrich, and often appeared with the head of one to his worshippers.

Base of Operations: In Egyptian Myth, Tuat was the afterlife, a realm of everlasting peace like Elysium of the Greeks. Abydos, the city of the dead was the underworld where the dead wandered aimlessly looking for peace. Anubis took the dead below to wait by the river Duat for Mahaf, god of death (equal to Thanatos or Charon of the Olympians), to ferry them across. Ammit, a foul beast with the head of a crocodile, body of a lion and hindquarters on a hippo, guarded the entrance to Abydos and devoured anyone who tried to escape. Seth stabbed at Apophis the serpent that swam in the Duat. The dead were judged by Amaunet (Mut), wife of Ammon-Ra who measured the hearts of the dead against an ostrich feather to see if they were good or evil in life. The good passed on to Tuat guarded by Aken, god of night and father of Mahaf. Anyone else entered Abydos where they wandered under Ammit’s watchful eye. Anyone ruled a sinner was watched over by Edjo, the cobra-goddess, and Nekhbet, the vulture goddess, before being ripped apart by Babi, the baboon god and fed to Sebek, the crocodile-god.

Comments: In Egyptian Myth, Ammon Ra is the King of The Egyptian Gods, particularly during Greek occupation of Egypt. During that time, Ammon Ra took on many attributes of Zeus including the affinity of seducing lesser goddesses and fathering children. Since Osiris was never more than a god of the dead, some adjustments have to be made to adjust the actual myth with Osiris as Ruler of The Gods in the Marvel Universe. Furthermore, Ammon-Ra was undoubtedly still ruler of the Egyptian Gods during the Third Host of the Celestials since Seth would still have imprisoned Osiris at that time.

Osiris’ brother, Horus, known alternately as Harpocrates and Heru-Ur, has not been seen in the comics, but there may be an argument for him posing as the Horus seen in Marvel: The End since that Horus bares no resemblance to the Horus previously seen in previous accounts.

The time period for Osiris and the Egyptian Gods’ rule of Egypt would have to predate the start of Pre-Dynasty Egypt (c. 3100 BC). In the Marvel Universe, it could be almost immediately after the end of the disasters that ended the Hyborian Age as Atum-Ra, Ammon-Ra, and the others through Horus gathered the ancient Stygians and brought them into what would be modern Egypt. The reign of Rama-Tut would have to precede them several years later but before the established list of kings of Egypt.

Per Degaton of the Marvel Appendix adds: “If you read the Hyborian age essay, it would seem the ancient Stygians simply remained in their land and the name was changed to Egypt after the Vanir adventurers came to power. On the other hand, perhaps they migrated away from it for a time and then were brought back by the Gods of Heliopolis. I suppose the rule of the gods on earth would have been after the conquest of the Vanir adventurers. Maybe those Vanir-descended first pharaohs came to power after the gods so that the gods ruled an interregnum between the Vanir conquest and the first human pharaohs. So, rough timeline:

“9500-8000: Vanir adventurers conquer Stygia, renaming it Egypt for the first time.

“8500-3100: The proto-Egyptians possibly migrate from Egypt, but are later brought back to it by the Gods of Heliopolis who knew of Ancient Stygia. The gods rule over Egypt at some point before the Pre-Dynastic Period.

“3100-on: The Pre-Dynasty period. The first human pharaohs, descendants of Vanir adventurers, come to power.”

Sidebar, the modern Sphinx might exist back to a real-life “Hyborian Age” since recent discoveries indicate the original lion-headed Sphinx was constructed back when Egypt was still a lush tropical jungle. This theoretical dating is based on a previous Discovery Channel episode revealing that the Sphinx shows it was being eroded by water and storm long before eroding started by sandstorms. The fact that the Sphinx once had a head of a lion is compounded by the sheer out of scale proportion the modern head has to the body. (This claim has since been challenged by new discoveries.)

It is also worth mentioning that the name “Egypt” is supposed to be derived from the Greek ruler, Aegyptus, a grandson of Poseidon, who possibly ruled parts of modern Egypt and Libya around late 1500 BC. The truth is that the name is based on much older references that got mixed together wrong and then came out to be “Egypt.” The ancients though called it Kemet (kmt), which also slightly works its way into the name. The Greeks were the ones to name most of the towns of Egypt (Thebes, Heliopolis, Karnak, et al.) and were middle and late contemporaries to the Egyptians. (Even Cleopatra who has been typically depicted as Egyptian was actually of Greek descent.) The Histories of Herodatus even give a first hand look of Ancient Egypt through his travels.

CLARIFICATIONS: Osiris should not be confused with:

·         Osirians, nearly extinct extra-terrestrial race, Epic Illustrated #1: Metamorphosis Odyssey

 UPDATED: 05/09/2006

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