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Deviants

The Deviants are an evolutionary offshoot of humanity that was brought into being approximately one million years ago through genetic experimentation by the extraterrestrial Celestials. The Celestials altered the structure of the DNA complexes of the proto-humans whom they genetically transformed into the first Deviants so that physical characteristics, beyond bilateral symmetry, radically changed with each generation. (DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, is the molecule through which hereditary characteristics are transmitted.) Thus a Deviant child will greatly differ in appearance from either of his or her parents. Experiments conducted by the Celestials at the same time resulted in the creation of the Eternals.

Unlike the Eternals, the Deviants are not virtually immortal or indestructible. The sole known exception is the Warlord Kro, who, despite being vulnerable to injury, has lived for untold centuries, although he has concealed this fact from his fellow Deviants. Many Deviants possess superhuman abilities. The most common superhuman power among the Deviants is superhuman strength.

The genetic instability of the Deviants is the most important factor underlying the structure of their society. Although the Deviants are ruled by a hereditary monarchy and governed by a class of nobility, a great deal of power in Deviant society is held by the priesthood. The priests attempt to weed out those Deviants who are born with the most extreme and grotesque genetic differences from the others by consigning these Deviants to death in the flame pits at "Purity Time." Through such measure, the priests hope to keep variation with the Deviant race's genetic makeup within certain limits.

Because there is no standard physical appearance for Deviants, and because their race produces such grotesqueries, Deviant culture lacks the concept of physical beauty, (However, perhaps due to envy, almost all Deviants regard humans and Eternals as physically repellent.) Since Deviant children do not resemble their parents, and indeed may look physically repellent even to them, Deviant parents take no joy in childbearing. Indeed, Deviants look upon sexual activity merely as a necessary means of propagating the race, and take no pleasure in it. The sexes are segregated from each other in most public places in Deviant cities.

The Deviants were the first natives of Earth to develop technology, and even thousands of years ago had already become highly advanced in the study of genetics. It was the Deviants who created the Subterreneans as their slaves, and it has been speculated that it was the Deviants who genetically transformed ordinary humans into the water-breathing Atlantean race.

Originally the Deviants built their cities on the Earth's surface. They used their advanced technology to conquer the nations of humans, and eventually conquered the entire known world except for the empire of Atlantis. The center of the Deviants' empire was the island continent of Lemuria in what is now the Pacific Ocean. The Deviants treated the humans they conquered as slaves, and forced many of them to serve in armies that the Deviants sent to conquer other human nations. Finally the Deviants sent a human army from the Lemurian Isles to attack Atlantis itself. To rout the invaders, Atlantis's King Kamuu opened the magma pits which were the capital city's means of heating. The Lemurian invaders were destroyed by the molten lava, but Its release triggered seismological upheavals.

Meanwhile, the Celestials' second expedition to Earth was sighted over Lemuria itself. The Deviants launched an attack on the Celestials, who retaliated by using an immensely powerful nuclear weapon on Lemuria. The weapon's shock waves combined with the disturbances beneath Atlantis to crest the Great Cataclysm that devastated much of the planet. Lemuria and Atlantis both sank, and most of the Deviant population was destroyed.

The Deviants who survived did so by escaping to the small number of underground cities they had previously established. They built more subterranean cities, but eventually abandoned most of them for their new subterranean capital city on the sunken Lemurian continent, the so-called "City of Toads."

Since the sinking of Lemuria, Earth's Deviant population has been greatly reduced from what it was. Because of the Deviants' distaste for childbearing, they have felt no need to increase their numbers by a considerable degree, and today there are only about two thousand Deviants in the world, most of whom are sequestered underground. The Deviants have had various contacts with humane over the centuries, and their grotesque appearances may hive inspired many tales of devils, demons, and monsters. Some of the monsters of legend may actually be mutates bred by the Deviants. Even today some Deviants have infiltrated human society; a number have even become professional wrestlers.

In recant years, under the leadership of the Deviant monarch Tode, the Deviants attacked New York City, but were repulsed by Eternals. Hoping to learn the secret of the Eternals' immortality, Tode led most of the Deviant ruling class and a good number of their warriors in an attack on the Eternals' principal city, Olympia. Tode and his forces captured all the Eternals who were present, who, however, broke free as a result of the intervention of the second Iron Man. The Eternals captured the invading Deviants, whose atoms the Eternals melded into a giant stone-like block and cast into space.

With Tode and most of the ruling class thus eliminated, Warlord Kro and Tode's son Ranar both attempted to claim the throne. However, it was the priest-lord Ghaur who instead became the true ruler of the Deviants, and he remains so at this writing.

First Appearance: ETERNALS Vol. 1, #1

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