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Council Of Godheads
MEMBERS: Zeus, Odin, Tezcatlipoca, Vishnu, Yu Huang, Itzamna, Buluku, Ulgen, Ukko, Manitou, Nuadhu, Tame, Viracocha, Izanagi, Okonorote (non¬member guest), Tomazooma (non-member guest), Anu, Ammon Ra, Buddha, Svarog, Osiris, Atar, Horus, Ndriananahary, Thor, Shou-Hsing, Hunab Ku, Ba'al, Baiame, Brahma, Crom, Dagon, Hodiak, Marduk, Mitra, Quetzacoatl Valka, Yahweh
BASE OF OPERATIONS: An interdimensional realm
FIRST APPEARANCE: Thor #300 (1980)

HISTORY: The Council of Godheads, also known as the Council Elite, represents a union of the leaders (or their delegates) of the various pantheons of gods on Earth. There are over twenty separate tribes or races (pantheons) of superhuman beings associated with Earth claiming to be gods. The vast majority of these pantheons trace their origins back to Gaea, one of the Elder Gods (such as Chthon and Set) who materialized on Earth before any other life had appeared there. The other Elder Gods degenerated into demons, preying upon each other. Gaea called upon the Demiurge, the sentient life force of Earth's biosphere, and gave birth to Atum, who became Demogorge and either slaughtered or banished the other Elder Gods. Gaea then infused her life essence into all living beings on Earth. It is unclear whether Gaea mated with the Demiurge to create a newer, more perfect race of gods, or if Atum simply split his essence to spawn the new gods. The timing of this is unclear, as it predates recorded history. Further confusing matters is the existence of many races (some demonic) whose supernatural members have also been worshipped as gods on Earth. In addition, some demons have usurped the names of gods, while some gods have also usurped the names and worshippers of older beings. Further, some of the current pantheons of the gods have lived through various cycles of death and rebirth, interacting with humanity at various points in the past.

Gaea, along with Demiurge or Atum, is the progenitor of most of current gods, and is known by different names to each pantheon. Valka- about whom little is known - was one of the first new gods worshipped on Earth, achieving prominence around 30,000 B.C. which lasted at least 12,000 years. Towards the end of that period, some of the other gods (or beings bearing their names) began to be worshipped on Earth as well. The Aboriginal Gods were worshipped by the Aborigines of Austalia over 20,000 years ago, continuing into the modern era. Their leader and creator god Baiame rules from the Dreamtime realm Alchera. The former X-Man Longshot once encountered Altjira, the god of the Dreamtime. Other prominent gods of this pantheon include Daramulum, Narahdarn, and Marmoo, the gods of the sky, death and evil, respectively, as well as Julunggul, the rainbow serpent and goddess of fertility.

The African Gods are known by numerous names to many tribes. Buluku is their sky-father, dwelling in Ala and arbitrating between the two divisions: the Orishas, gods of sky and heaven; and the Loa, gods of earth and the underworld, worshipped in Voodoo. Nyambe (Orisha Great Spirit) and Lusa (Loa sun god) have prominence amongst the African gods, and Ndriananahary - lord of the underworld Iku - has also served as their representative. Their worship dates as far back as 2900 B.C. and continues today in some parts of the world, though the Loa have taken precedence over the Orishas. Voodoo worship remains strong in Central and South America, Haiti, and the Southeast United States. Other African Gods include Anansi, a trickster god of wisdom & culture, possibly connected to Spider-Man's origins; sea goddess Avlekete; Dan-Ayido-Hwedo (a.k.a. Damballah), god of the dead; mischief god Eschu; love & fertily goddess Ezili (a.k.a. Erzulie); traveler/messenger god Legba; moon goddess Mahu (wife of Lusa); iron & artisan god Ogun; death & plague god Sagbata (a.k.a. Baron Samedi); storm & thunder god Shango (a.k.a. Xevioso); and allegedly Kibuka, war god of East Africa's Bugunda tribe.

The Anasazi are worshipped by Native Americans, most known by numerous names and worshipped by many different tribes as far back as 8000 B.C. and continuing to the present day. Manitou (his Algonquin name) is their god of sky and heaven, ruling from Shipolo. Other Anasazi include combat arbitrator Calumet; storm & thunder god Haokah; war god Hotamintanio; trickster god Nanabozho (a.k.a. Coyote); hunting god Owayodata, patron to Red Wolf; sun god Tawa; and totem god Tomazooma, who once attended a godhead meeting. Red Star Oil Company once used a Tomazooma robot to trick the Keewazi tribe. The Innua appear to be a separate subdivision of the Anasazi who were worshipped by the InuiI (Eskimo) people and are led by Hodialk. Other Innua include Nelvanna, the Shaper, and Sedna, goddess of death & the sea. Alpha Flight member Snowbird is the daughter of Nelvanna. The demonic Adversary is not actually one of the Anasazi.

The Annunaki are one of the oldest known races of gods, worshipped as early as 18,000 B.C.. but reaching greater heights circa 4000 B.C., worshipped by the Sumerians, then the Babylonians, Mesopotamians, Assyrians, and Phoenicians, Anu was the god of Dilmun (heaven) and first ruler of the Annunaki, retaining a position of authority even though he has since been supplanted by Dagon/Enlil (thunder god), Marduk (god of wisdom), and Ba'al-Hadad (God of wind, rain, storm and fertility). The Annunaki's current status remains unclear, and some are believed to have degenerated into demons, as they lost most of their active worshippers around 1,500 B.C. when they were conquered by the Greeks. Other Annunaki include death goddess Ereshkigal; Inanna (a.k.a. Ishtar) love & war goddess; exiled Kiskillilla (a.k.a. Lilith), storm & underworld goddess; steppes & desert god Martu; fire & sun god Moloch; underworld god Nergal; metal & smelting god Ningal; messenger god Saja; rain & vegetation god Ullikumis; and possibly the wind god/demon Pazuzu.

The Asgardians have undergone regular cycles of destruction and rebirth, apparently manipulated by the enigmatic higher beings known as They Who Dwell Above in Shadow, with the last known rebirth occurring two thousand years ago. Buri fathered Bor, who fathered Odin, Vili and Ve, and Odin became the ruler of Aesir and later the Vanir, two tribes within their race. Though Bor, Odin, and other members have been referenced as early as 13000 B.C., the Asgardians peaked under worship of the Vikings and Germanic tribes from 1000 B.C. to 1000 AD The Asgardians are divided into the Aesir and Vanir, with the former maintaining prominence. From Asgard, Odin ruled the Asgardians, though the trickster god Loki briefly usurped his rule on occasion; when Odin was missing and believed dead he was replaced by Balder, the god of light, for a time. After Odin's true death, he was succeeded by his son Thor, god of thunder, though the Asgardians perished during Ragnorak as Thor freed them from the endless cycle of destruction and rebirth by slaying They Who Dwell Above in Shadow. Among the numerous known Asgardians are Amora the Enchantress; Brunnhilde the Valkyrie; death goddess Hela; goddess of the hunt Sif; war god Tyr; and the Warriors Three (Fandral, Hogun, & Volstagg).

The Coatli are divided into two tribes, the Aztec Gods, led by Tezcatlipoca (god of darkness and the sun) or Quetzacoatl (god of sun, wind, and wisdom); and the Mayan Gods, led by Itzamna (god of sun, maize, writing, and the arts) or his father Hunab-Ku (god of sky and the sun). Referenced as early as 10,000 B.C., they were worshipped by Central American tribes primarily from 1500 B.C. to 1532 AD, and the younger Aztecs conquered the Mayans around 800 AD, driving them from prominence. The Aztec Gods dwell in the sky-realm Teotihucan, while the Mayan Gods live in the underworld Xibalba. The Aztec and Mayan Gods have some overlap: the Aztec Quetzacoatl is also the Mayan Kukulcan. Quetzacoatl supported Itzamna over Tezcatlipoca, earning his enmity, and Quetzacoatl and Tezcatlipoca have overthrown each other's rule over the years. Tezcatlipoca and Itzamna appear to have achieved a truce. Other Coatli include death god Ahpuch and sun & war god Huitzilopochti, the latter of whom was impersonated by the immortal mutant Apocalypse.

The Daevas are worshipped by the Hindu, succeeding the worship of the Vedic Gods from 300 AD, to the present. The Daevas are ruled from Nirvana by the triumvirate of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer. Shiva was at least once impersonated by the Vedic thunder god Indra. The Daevas retain strong active worship in India. Other Daevas include Kâli, goddess of death, destruction, life, & creation; dream goddess Maya; love goddess Ratri; and death god Yama. The Vedic Gods were worshipped in the Middle East as early as 1000 B.C., though they have been largely supplanted by the Daevas in India, as well as by the Yazatas (Gods of Persia under Zoroastrianism) and the religion Buddhism. The Yazatas are ruled by the creator god Ahura Mazda. Mitra (a.k.a. Mithras, god of light) had strong worship from 11000 to 8000 B.C., and retains a strong following in believers of Zoroastrianism. Atar (a.k.a. Agni, god of fire & purification) has also served as leader or representative of the Yazatas in the Council.

The Dievas were worshipped by the Russians, Latvians, Lithuanians and other Slavic/Baltic people from 500 B.C. to 1000 AD Svarog-god of sun, fire, rain, and sky - rules the Dievas from Svarga. Other Dievas include childbirth goddess Ajyst; Baba Yaga, goddess of earth, witchcraft, & misfortune; storm & thunder god Perun; and war god Svantovit.

The Ennead (or Heliopolitans) are the gods worshipped in Egypt from 3200 B.C. to 395 AD Heliopolis is their realm. Ammon Ra ruled the Ogdoad, the race whom the Ennead succeeded, and has represented the Ennead as well, though Osiris (a god of the dead) serves as their usual representative. Seth, the serpent god of death, has usurped Osiris' rule on many occasions and Horus (sun god) has acted as proxy to Osiris. The Panther and Lion Gods worshipped in Africa are actually the Heliopolitans Bast and Sekhmet, respectively. Other Ennead include funeral & mummification god Anubis; luck god Bes; earth god Geb; fertility & domestication goddess Isis; moon god Toth; and moon & vengeance god Khonshu, patron to Moon Knight.

The Incan Gods had worshippers in Peru, Bolivia and Chile and as far east as parts of Brazil from 1000 B.C. to 1532 AD The aged Viracocha (god of sun and sky) remains their leader, ruling from El Dorado. The Kamekeri worshipped the Incan Gods until more recent years. Okonorote (god of earth, rain, and fertility) accompanied Viracocha to one meeting of the Council of Godheads. Volcano goddess Peliali is mother to the Avenger Silverclaw.

The Kahunas are the Oceanic Gods, worshipped by Hawaiians and Polynesians primarily from 2000 B.C. to 1768 AD Tame (god of weather and the sky) rules from Hawaiki. Other Kahunas include fertility & childbirth goddess Haumea; war god Ku; hula goddess Laka; sea goddess Na-Maka-O-Kaha'I; and volcano goddess Pele.

The Kalevans were worshipped in Finland from 100 to 1000 AD and are led by the sky god Ukko from Kalevala. Other Kalevans include Vammatar, goddess of evil & misfortune.

The Kami were worshipped by the Japanese from 660 B.C. to 1946 AD and are led from Ama by the sun god Izanagi, though he has been religiously supplanted by the divine couple Amaterasu (the true power) and Takamimusubi (figurehead husband). Other Kami include joy & laughter god Ho-Ti and Mikaboshi, the god of evil.

Virtually nothing is known of the gods worshipped by the Mongolians and Siberians. They are led by the sky/creator god Ulgan, the father of Erlik (who was prominent circa 10000 B.C.).

The Olympian Gods were worshipped in Greece and Rome mainly from 1600 B.C. to 476 AD Their father, Ouranos (Sky Father) was killed and succeeded by his son Chronus of the Titans (god of earth and time), who was killed and succeeded by his son Zeus (god of sky, thunder, and lightning), who rules from Mount Olympus to this day. Among the numerous known Olympians are sun god Apollo; war god Ares; wine & revelry god Dionysus; Hephaestus, god of the forge; marriage goddess Hera; strength god Hercules; speed & messenger god Mercury; sea god Neptune, patron to the Homo mermani; and death god Pluto.

The Tuatha de Danaan were worshipped prominently at least as far back as 18000 B.C. as well as more recently by the Celts, and in Britain, Ireland and Gaul from 900 B.C. to 600 AD They are led from the isle of Avalon in Otherworld by the sky god Nuadhu, though Dagda (god of magic, wisdom and heaven) often serves that role. The Fomor, relatives of the Tuatha de Danaan, are monstrous and malevolent creatures led by Elathan. Crom (god of storms, death and eternity) was especially prominent circa 10000 B.C. Other members include youth god Angus; underworld god Arawn; war goddess Badb; war god Bodb Derg (a.k.a. Red Lord), patron to the Bane; Caber, god of speed & bards; wisdom & witchcraft goddess Cerridwen; hunt, harvest, & fertility god Cernunnos; Rhiannon, goddess of enchantments, fertility, birds, & horses; storm god Taranis; and the triple war goddesses Macha, Morrigan, and Nemain. Niamh (a.k.a. Nimue & the Lady of the Lake) also has ties to the Celtic Gods. The demon Ludi claims to be the god Lud, though Lud is sometimes another name for Nuadhu.Nauda of the Silver Hand, who fought the Young Gods, is believed to be a poser who adopted Nuadhu's name and history, though he may be a dark aspect of Nuadhu that split off at some point.

The Xian were worshipped by the Chinese from 2000 B.C. to 1911 AD and are led by Yu-Huang, lord of Ta-Lo (heaven), though the immortality god Shou-Hsing has sometimes served as Yu-Huang's proxy. Connections to the warriors of the K'un-Lun dimension, who trained Iron Fist, remain speculative. In addition, Buddha and the God of the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic faiths have apparently attended gatherings of the Godheads. While multiple other races associated with Earth or its related dimensions have claimed to be gods, such as the Dark Gods of Narcisson, they are not believed to have originated from Gaea and are not considered part of the same class of gods.

Around 1000 AD the Celestials sent a Third Host to Earth, and Odin assembled the heads of the various pantheons of gods to discuss this threat. A few other gods, such as the Anasazi's Tomazooma and the Kamekeri's Okonorote, also attended alongside their leaders. Zeus, Odin and Vishnu were chosen as representatives to confront the Celestials, who threatened to sever the dimensional passages of all of the gods' realms to Earth unless they promised not to interfere with the Celestials' plans to judge humanity's worthiness. The three gods bowed to the Celestials' superior power, but Odin began planning to deal with the Fourth Host of the Celestials by creating the nigh-indestructible automaton, the Destroyer, and the Odinsword. Seeking a more peaceful solution, Gaea allied herself with the goddesses of the Earthly pantheons, and had them gather together the best examples of humanity over the next 1,000 years in hopes of swaying the Celestials' judgment in humanity's favor. When the Celestials returned in recent years, Odin imbued the Destroyer with the spirits of himself and the rest of the Asgardians, rendering it 2,000 feet tall and able to challenge the Celestials directly. However, the Celestials combined their own power and melted the Destroyer into slag, killing the Asgardians. Thor visited each of the Godheads, petitioning them to donate a portion of life force. Each Godhead eventually agreed to donate, and the Asgardian Gods were resurrected. Gaea presented the Celestials with the 12 representatives she and the other goddesses had gathered, and the Celestials ruled in humanity's favor, taking these 12 under their tutelage as the Young Gods.

Shortly thereafter, a union of Death Gods brought about the return of Demogorge, who consumed them and then prepared to devour the rest of the gods. Odin petitioned the Godheads to each send a delegate to oppose Demogorge. Buluku, Manitou, Osiris, Tezcatlipoca, Vishnu and Zeus responded to this plea, and so Thor joined Shango, Tawa, Horus, Quetzacoatl, Indra and Apollo in confronting Demogorge, eventually convincing him that it was not time for the current pantheons to die.

When the mad Titan Thanos used the Infinity Gauntlet to eliminate half the population of the universe, the Godheads met in Asgard to discuss this. Ironically, Odin was then missing and Loki had usurped his role, but apparently none present realized the deception. Another group of Godheads later met to discuss the actions of virtually omnipotent former pharaoh Akhenaten against humanity: Atar, Horus, Hunab Ku, Izanagi, Ndriananahary, Shou-Hsing, Thor, Vishnu, and Zeus. They also discussed summoning "Those of the Forgotten Realm:" Horus, who was most familiar with Akhenaten, used the Eye of Ra to spy on him, but Akhenaten detected them and attacked, destroying all present except Thor and Zeus, who managed to flee. Soon after, Thanos claimed the Heart of the Infinite (Akhenaten's power source) and used it to retroactively prevent all of Akhenaten's actions. However, to those who could understand or even remember what had happened, these actions were seen as the replacement of one threat with another, perhaps even worse. The Godheads joined together with a multitude of heroes and villains from Earth and the rest of the universe to oppose Thanos, who had gained supreme power from the Heart of the Infinite. Thanos easily wiped out every single being in the universe, but later was convinced by Adam Warlock to sacrifice himself to restore the universe to its previous state.

Following Odin's demise, Thor was called before the Council of Godheads to be tested for worthiness to join them as Odin's replacement. Thor passed the tests of awareness and insight, but failed when he supplied food to a starving population rather than teaching them to grow their own food. In addition, the Council decided that Thor had violated the oath of non-interference on Earth. Those present included Osiris, Yu-Huang, Zeus, Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu. The Council Elite met once again and discussed Thor's continuing problems, including his most recent effort to resurrect a young girl. They debated whether steps needed to be taken against Thor, but decided that mankind's current plans were sufficient for the moment. Information brought back in time from Earth-3515 ('The Reigning") convinced Thor to turn from the path of interfering with humanity.

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