aka: Cosmic Entities
What madness do you mouth? You are but a single being, and I a world entire!
The words you speak are true! In all of space I stand alone... but I have no need for an ally, for I am Galactus! The be-all and the end all am I!
A cosmic entity is any being who possesses powers so great he, she or it can affect entire worlds (or in some cases, entire universes
.) If there is more than one such entity in a setting, there will usually be different levels of power between them, and often specific responsibilities as well, forming a kind of Fantasy Pantheon
Cosmic Beings tend to not care much about "lesser beings" (anybody who isn't 'cosmic') and any harm (or good) they cause is often unintentional. Because of their level of power, when they cause trouble the heroes are often forced to try to reason with them
, use a Cosmic Keystone
, or ask another Cosmic Entity for help
A Cosmic Entity could be any of the following:
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- Marvel Comics may be the "king" of this trope, as it has introduced dozens of entities over the years, with highly shifting or conflicting definitions and relationships to each other. The only constants are that The One Above All and the Living Tribunal are at the top of the hierarchy (and not surprisingly, they do the least). This has recurrently lead to fanon dedication, selective favorism, and speculation. Many of these beings are Anthropomorphic Personifications of natural forces, or granted Omniscient Morality License for narrative purposes. These include, but are definitely not limited to:
- "The One Above All", very scarcely vaguely circumventionally referenced or implied to exist, but mostly a catchy memetic Fan Wank, particularly the supposed title.
- The Living Tribunal, who in theory is supposed to act as the entity's Guardian of the Multiverse enforcer and highest judge of law, but generally stands by even in times of multiversal genocide, according to She-Hulk is gladly willing to wipe out entire universes in favour of ones that it simply likes better, and enforces the nightmarish Disproportionate Retribution Easy Road to Hell afterlife system. Of course, this is likely partially to avoid Deus ex Machina narration, but still ends up as an Unfortunate Implications God Is Evil Crap Sack World Cosmic Horror Story.
- The Infinites, which are higher-dimensional entities far beyond Eternity, who don't really notice anything that goes on in the lower multiverse except through accident, but aren't malevolent as such.
- Eternity and his female counterpart Infinity; and their opposites, Death and Oblivion.
- Master Order and Lord Chaos, who, in an unusual variation of the trope, usually work together. It's their balancing agent The In-Betweener, who tends to rebel or cause trouble.
- The Friendless: Entropy, Eulogy, Epiphany, Empathy, Enmity, Expediency, and Eon, as well as Origin, Anomaly, and Unbeing, and Love and Hate
- The Fountainhead (Dreams/Creativity), Nightmare, King Coma, Madness, D'Spayre, and the Dweller-In-Darkness.
- Abraxas, refered to as embodiments of destruction and an antithesis of Eternity; and Mikaboshi, as chaos, void, and nothingness, and also an antithesis of Eternity. Although technically those positions were already taken by Death, Entropy, Chaos, and Oblivion.
- The Celestials, a whole race of trans-universal scale entities who guide evolution as a means to produce more Celestials, serve the Fulcrum to balance the universe, or something else. One of the Celestials calls itself the one of above all, but it has no relation to the entity described further up the page.
- The Cosmic Cubes (The Beyonder/Kosmos/The Maker, Kubik, The Shaper Of Worlds) who are created by entities outside the normal universe (The Beyonders) as a way to understand our reality.
- The Phoenix Force, Depending on the Writer alternately the embodiment of life and rebirth, the potential psionic energy of all living beings, or both.
- Galactus, the balancing function between Eternity and Death, which somehow involves a regular high-proteine diet of sentient civilisations, and who only occasionally considers that non-sentient stars and cosmic power sources have a much higher energy content.
- Depending on the Writer Galactus can or cannot feed off of stars or other energy sources. Some stories he can, others he cannot, others those sources work temporarily and sooner or later he needs to feed on a planet.
- The Stranger, a former aspect of the Tribunal, which it removed to be able to interact with existence, and who has acted as an outsider and cosmic schemer ever since.
- The higher forms of extradimensional divinities, such as Shuma-Gorath, Dormammu, or the Vishanti.
- The Watchers, a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who can manipulate cosmic energies on a level with Galactus but have sworn never to interfere.
- Numerous pantheons of largely Jerk Ass Gods. Most of whom are "only" natural parts of other "dimensions" or "planes" who got a kick out interfering with the development of life. They got kicked out by the Celestials, who felt only they should do that.
- Quasar once met Anthropomorpho, the living incarnation of the idea of having living incarnations of abstract concepts. Seriously.
- The Elder Gods, who are not the same as the pantheons. They grew from seeds planted by the sentient part of Earth's biosphere to protect the emerging life. Most of them became corrupt and were destroyed by the Demogorge, the only one who remains near Earth, sleeping the in sun. The other known survivors, Set, Gaea, Oshtur, and Chthon, hide away in their own personal dimensions.
- Demon lords from a wide variety of origins, though only a select few are actually powerful enough to qualify for this trope. A few angels, of whom little is known as they usually only show up when absolutely necessary.
- The Elders Of The Universe, life forms from the start of universe who can manipulate energies from the Big Bang and live until they lose the will to. They eventually let anyone join their club if they managed to outlive the rest of their species and their native galaxy, so not every member is this trope: The Grand Master, Runner, Champion and Collector are. Ego The Living Planet was allowed in, claiming to be a Single Specimen Species and then blowing out every star in his galaxy himself.
- Korvac is one.
- Nate Grey acts on this level after his Shaman retool and on his return.
- DC Comics also have their share:
- The Presence, and The Source, which may be another manifestation.
- The higher-dimensional imps, such as Mr. Mxyzptlk, Qwsp, or Bat-Mite; and Mandrakk, the Ultimate Monitor.
- The Archangels, including Michael, and The Wrath of God, currently better known as The Spectre.
- The Endless: Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair and Delirium; The White Light Entity, embodiment of Life; Necrom, embodiment of the unliving void and absence of sentience; and the Time-Trapper, either the embodiment of entropy, or a sentient unlikely timeline attempting to assert its own existence.
- Krona, the Anti-Monitor, and Imperiex.
- Kismet, the sentience of the universe, or "simply" a Lord of Order.
- The Light Entities embodying emotions/motivations and their associated colors, gradually introduced in Green Lantern beginning with Rebirth and through Blackest Night: The Butcher (Red Rage), Ophidian (Orange Greed), Parallax (Yellow Fear), Ion (Green Will), Adara (Blue Hope), Proselyte (Indigo Compassion), the Predator (Violet Love), Black Hand (Black Death), and simply "the Entity" (White Life).
- The Phantom Stranger, or "The Gray Walker", former near-Archangel, and exile of Heaven and Hell alike. Maybe.
- The Lords of Order and Chaos, including Doctor Fate, Mordru and the wizard Shazam.
- Some of the "Outer Gods" from H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos qualify. Most notably Azathoth, the Blind Idiot God, who is mindless but said to rule over all time and space.
- The Xeelee, the rulers of the Baryonic universe in the Xeelee Sequence. They have existed since seconds after the Big Bang, and used time travel to retroactively speed their own development. They are capable of using entire galaxies as construction material.
- The Ellimist and Crayak from Animorphs.
- The Old High Ones of the Discworld universe, so far above the gods they consider the gods about the same as mortals. They seem to be in charge of the whole universe, and once intervened on the Discworld to alter the way the world worked to stop the reality-tearing Mage Wars. There are eight, but the only one known by name is Azrael, the Death of Universes, who keeps a clock that time follows rather than the other way around.
Live Action TV
- The universe of Doctor Who has a few. In no particular order:
- The Time Lords themselves, who have an inherent mastery of the Time Vortex.
- The Eternals, who would count as full-blown gods were it not for their Creative Sterility, and are to Time Lords what Time Lords are to Puny Humans.
- The White and Black Guardians, transcendental beings who appear to be Anthropomorphic Personifications of Order and Chaos respectively. There are some indications that they are to Eternals what the Eternals are to Time Lords.
- The Beast and Abaddon, and any other members of... whatever the Hell they are - the Beast claims to be the Devil-figure from every religion at once, and they were at least dangerous enough to require imprisonment since before the universe began.
- The Disciples of the Light, who imprisoned the Beast and (presumably) Abaddon before time began... and don't appear to have ever done anything else, so far as we know.
- Fenric (who may or may not be Hastur) and its unnamed opposite, implied to be effectively a God of Evil and God of Good who have existed since the dawn of time.
- The Gods of Ragnarok who, despite their impressive name, actually seem to be one of the least powerful things on this list.
- The Celestial Toymaker, who steals people away from the space-time continuum to his own realm so he can play games with them.
- The Pantheon of Discord, a group of Reality-Warping entities from which The Trickster comes.
- The Great Intelligence (who may or may not be Yog-Sothoth), an extradimensional Eldritch Abomination with mind-control and limited reality-warping powers.
- The Chronovores, implied to be beings of the Time Vortex, one of whom (Kronos) is at least powerful enough to use a TARDIS as a plaything.
- The Bad Wolf entity, formed when Rose Tyler sort-of-kinda merged with the TARDIS and/or the Time Vortex, which could eliminate an entire race from the universe with a thought.
- The Ancient Lights, more beings from before the beginning of the universe, for whom magic and astrology worked like science does to everyone else.
- The Blessing, a benevolent Eldritch Abomination within the Earth with seeming absolute power over life and death within the Planet's atmosphere.
- Various Sufficiently Advanced Aliens such as Sutekh may also count.
- In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe it is claimed there are Six Guardians including the Black and White Guardians, the Celestial Toymaker is the Crystal Guardian of Dream and Fantasy, there is a Red Guardian of Justice and Truth, Azure Guardian of Equilibrium and Balance, and Gold Guardian of Life and Death.
- Transformers most famously has Primus, who has a body in every Transformers continuity and while he does not serve the same purpose in every story(he's been everything from the last of the light gods to the sentient will of the universe), these bodies all exist at the same time. Then there is Unicron, who almost always is out to destroy whatever continuity he is in and automatically incarnates in a new one every time he is defeated. Unsurprisingly, this background for them came from Marvel Comics.
- Chakravartin from Asura's Wrath is a cosmic being that can manipulate the forces of the universe and destroy and recreate worlds over and over.
- Final Fantasy has more than enough of these.
- Cosmos and Chaos, gods of harmony and discord.
- Dark Emperor of Pandaemonium.
- Cloud of Darkness, the Anthropomorphic Personification of darkness and void.
- The Creator, some kind of a weird thing that controls evolution.
- The Warring Triad and Kefka, the gods of magic.
- Jenova, An alien virus that has existed for a long time spreading across the universe.
- Minerva, the Anthropomorphic Personification of The Lifestream that sends the Weapons to protect the Planet.
- Ultimecia, the Time Mage.
- Necron, Darkness of Eternity and he who comes the very final minute of the game and refuses to tell what exactly is he.
- Don't forget the Summons, especially Bahamut-ZERO, Eden and Ark.