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Marvel Universe 

Phalanx (species)

 

Universe
Marvel Universe

First Appearance
(prototypes) Uncanny X-Men #305 (1993); (Earth's Phalanx) Uncanny X-Men #306 (1993); ("pure") Starjammers #4 (1996)

Home World
Former "womb" on slopes of Mt. Everest, Babel Spire in Italian Alps, abandoned military vessel in San Diego Bay, myriad others

Technology Level
None

Government
Collective intelligence

Physical Description
An offshoot of the alien Technarchy, a sentient form of "techno-organic" life resembling machinery/circuitry


The Technarchy is an extraterrestrial, sentient form of "techno-organic" life, resembling machinery in various ways. Because of their ability to absorb energy and mass from living beings, a process which also converts the victims into techno-organic material, the Technarchy have a special safeguard in encoded in the techno-organic virus that they can transmit. If too much techno-organic material remains alive or otherwise becomes corrupted, it forms a collective intelligence and physical mass known as the Phalanx. In fact, the Phalanx' primary objective is to culminate in the creation of a Babel Spire that can send a signal to the Technarchy homeworld, telling the Technarchy that the techno-organic virus has unsafely overrun the planet and must be destroyed before it risks contaminating other sources of "food."

American scientists once inadvertently unleashed the Phalanx on Earth. They experimented upon the remains of the Technarchy's Warlock, who was killed when Cameron Hodge tried to steal his abilities, by injecting the transmode virus into Steven Lang, a human who had been briefly bonded with the Sentinel's Master Mold thus seemed an ideal candidate to link with the virus. Earth's first Phalanx, Lang began creating new Phalanx to help him eliminate Earth's mutants and thus reaffirm humanity's position as Earth's preeminent race. Inherently unstable, Lang's first Phalanx prototypes were easily defeated when he sent them after the X-Men as a test.

Lang created further Phalanx from the brain engrams of deceased X-Men associates, including Cypher and Candy Southern, but his real success came when he recruited human volunteers who were willing to submit to the Phalanx and give up their own humanity in order to see mutantkind restricted. Chief among these volunteers were Cameron Hodge and a Missouri businessman named Mauro (who would, as Harvest, lead studies into absorbing mutants). Hodge used the Candy Southern Phalanx to attack the X-Men in Colorado, but was driven away when Southern rebelled and destroyed herself. An attempt to capture the X-Men's associate Yukio led to the Phalanx's first serious confrontation with the X-Men, ending in a draw when the X-Men fled.

The Phalanx based on Doug Ramsey's corpse ("Douglock") and engrams was covertly contacted by Zero, Stryfe's techno-organic cyborg creation, and lured away from the Phalanx nest. Zero woke Ramsey's human conscience, and Douglock fled the Phalanx to join Excalibur. Meanwhile, the Phalanx had discovered their inability to absorb mutants, and Lang sent a team of Phalanx into the X-Men's mansion in hopes of discovering why. The Phalanx absorbed much of the X-Men's computer-stored knowledge, including the location of a number of new mutants that Cerebro had located, before Banshee drove them away; several of the Phalanx fled to Muir Island, where they drove the X-Men there off the island and began absorbing those computers. Eventually the X-Men would activate Muir Island's self-destruct, destroying those Phalanx.

Harvest arranged the kidnapping and study of several new mutants (who would later become Generation X). Escaping from their San Diego prison, these four met a team of X-Men who had come to their rescue. Clarice Fergusson defeated Harvest by fragmentarily teleporting both herself and Harvest out of this dimension, sacrificing herself.

Douglock led several mutants to the Italian Alps where the Phalanx' genetic imperative had activated, leading to the creation of a Babel Spire to summon the Technarchs. While other X-Men assaulted the town below, Douglock, Cannonball and Wolfsbane demolished the Spire; their genetic imperative thwarted, the Phalanx viruses in the area dissipated, freeing those infected there. With the Babel Spire destroyed, the X-Men assaulted the Phalanx' primary womb on the slopes of Mt. Everest; however, Steven Lang had learned that the Phalanx's ultimate goal would destroy all human life in favor of itself, and he set about sabotaging this. Using the X-Men and Cameron Hodge as pawns, he manipulated Hodge into withdrawing all transmode energy back into the Himalayas, thus eliminating all the world's Phalanx save those on Mt. Everest. This done, Lang arranged the womb's collapse, hoping to kill both the X-Men and his fellow Phalanx, but the X-Men escaped and Lang died with all his fellow Phalanx in the collapse. Earth's only remaining Phalanx was Douglock, his own Phalanx tendencies apparently expunged, though elements of the original virus remain in the hands of a few scientists.

On another planet, a set of Phalanx absorbed their base race and set out into their galaxy after a Technarch failed to respond to their Babel Spire in time. They infiltrated the Shi'ar Empire as the "Pure", killing tens of thousands before the X-Men fought them on the Shi'ar throneworld and separated the transmode virus from its hosts, killing most of those Phalanx.

Douglock later became Warlock and regained his memories, existing as a human/Phalanx/Technarch hybrid. The cyborg Mainspring briefly created the techno-mechanical Template, who built a Babel Spire and summoned Warlock's father, Magus (who had just destroyed the last of the "Pure"), before Warlock and Hope destroyed Template and drove Magus away.

Recently the Phalanx have entered Kree space and have taken control of Hala the Kree homeworld. From there they surrounded Kree's space sector with an indestructable force field, allowing no one to either enter or escape. The Phalanx infiltrated the Kree using the Spaceknights whom were under their control. From there they have infected numerous beings of immense power such as the Super-Adaptoid, Gamora, Drax, Shatterax, Xemnu the Titan, and many more.

Most recently after a failed attempt to capture Adam Warlock, the "leader" of the Phalanx was shown to be Ultron, whom upon hearing the news killed Korath the Pursuer and took his physical form of Ultron to deal with the Adam Warlock situation.


Contributors: Nightmare_baby and Acotilletta2