Ego the Living Planet


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Ego the Living Planet

(pop culture)
Larger-than-life characters were a specialty of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby during their construction of Marvel Comics' “House of Ideas,” and Ego the Living Planet was certainly one of their largest. The Thunder God discovers this sentient celestial body while on a space sojourn in Thor vol. 1 #132 (1966). In a nod to the book of Genesis' creation of woman from man's rib, Ego is producing humanoid drones from its own matter and dispatching them on missions of intergalactic conquest when Thor, with Recorder, his alien companion from Rigel, foils the Living Planet by creating storms on his surface. Ego resembles Earth's cratered moon, forming an ominous “man in the moon” visage with glowing yellow eyes, a nose, and a mouth (with plantlike “facial hair”) when he wishes to communicate with extraterrestrial travelers. He can alter his exterior to appear lush and inviting or bleak and foreboding, and can project rocky tentacles as appendages. Ego can be quite unpredictable— he once allowed refugees from a Galactus-ravaged world to colonize him, then consumed them (life forces provide sustenance for Ego, and his hunger has put him into conflict with numerous heroes including the Silver Surfer and the Fantastic Four). Purportedly born of the Big Bang, Ego hails from the Black Galaxy and has colluded with the cosmic Elders of the Universe, with whom he has warred against Galactus, another of his enemies. The Living Planet has enjoyed a two significant moments in the sun: a guest appearance on the television cartoon Fantastic Four (1994–1996) and a dominant role in the superhero-packed 2000 miniseries Maximum Security by Kurt Busiek and Jerry Ordway, which included two accompanying one-shots, Dangerous Planet and a Thor vs. Ego reprint edition. Ego continues his world-sized threats in the Marvel Universe of the 2000s, including a 2004 attempt to transform the Earth into his “son.”