Atum is the son of Gaea ("Mother Earth"), one of the Elder Gods who materialized on Earth before any life developed there. Except for Gaea, the Elder Gods degenerated into demons, preying on each other. Seeking to save the world she loved, Gaea called upon the Demiurge, the sentient life force of Earth's biosphere, and gave birth to Atum, first of the next generation of gods, his power that of the blazing sun. Atum slew hordes of demon gods, absorbing their forms and energies until he transformed into the monstrous Demogorge. Only Chthon and Set escaped destruction, and only Gaea was allowed to remain. His task complete, Demogorge took to the skies and cast the forms and energy from his body, seeding the heavens with godstuff until he became Atum again and merged with the sun. Millions of years ago, Gaea realized that dinosaurs had reached an evolutionary dead end, and she shifted her favor to mammals. Set, who derived power from the dinosaurs, directed them to slaughter the mammals. Gaea confronted Set and, realizing the threat, summoned Atum for protection. Atum and Set fought savagely for untold millennia until Atum became Demogorge and drove him off; in the course of their battle, Earth's dinosaurs were rendered nearly extinct, with only a few remaining in isolated regions such as the Savage Land.
Gaea, along with Demiurge and/or Atum, later produced the succeeding generations of gods. Atum eventually took the aspect of Ra, the primordial sun god worshipped in Ancient Egypt. As Ammon Ra, he ruled the Ogdoad, the first incarnation of Egyptian gods. While myth states that the Ogdoad spawned Ra, it is suspected that they were in fact spawned by Ra. As his first creations, they may have been imperfect and aged more rapidly than the virtually immortal Ra, their senior appearance causing this misconception. The Ogdoad eventually perished, and Ra started anew, siring the first of the Ennead, the next generation of Egyptian gods, including Shu and Tefnut. Ammon Ra was eventually succeeded as ruler of the Ennead by Shu, though he sometimes still represented them at meetings of the Council of Godheads, such as when they met to discuss the Celestials circa 1000 AD.
In recent years, a union of Death Gods sought to merge their realms and powers, and the union of this dark power summoned Demogorge anew. Demogorge consumed them all and prepared to devour the rest of the Earth's gods. A union of heroic gods from various pantheons convinced Demogorge that it was not time for the current pantheons to die, and he restored the fallen gods and returned to the sun as Atum. Demogorge was summoned to Olympus when Cronus and the Giants broke free from Tartarus and threatened to destroy Olympus and thus shift the cosmic axis. When Set again menaced Earth, the Asgardian thunder god, Thor, forced the reluctant Atum to become Demogorge. Though consumed, Thor somehow asserted dominance over Demogorge to defeat Set, after which Atum disgorged the noble Thor.
At some point, Chthon somehow bound some of Demogorge's power into a Darkhold page, which was read in recent years by the vampire-hunter Blade in a misguided effort to destroy all things magic. The Darkhold Redeemers' Louise Hastings sacrificed part of her own soul to Chthon to reverse the spell and restore Blade. Demogorge was later summoned by Horus to the Council of Godheads and joined the God Squad in preparation to battle the Skrull Gods.
Millennia ago, Atum sent Sekhmet against the Egyptians, but drugged her, turning her into Hathor, to prevent her from destroying mankind. As part of Hercules (Heracles)'s God Squad, Demogorge ventured through the demon Nightmare's Dreamscape to slay the alien Skrull deities to stop the Skrull's Earth invasion. Demogorge exposed teammate Amadeus Cho's coyote pup, Kirby, as a Skrull and killed him. Arriving at the Skrull gods' palace, Demogorge devoured Sl'gur't but could not contain her ever-shifting form, and exploded. Recovering, Demogorge was among the Council Elite when Olympian war god Ares' son, Phobos (Alexander Aaron), was judged worthy of godhood. Demogorge subsequently attended the Devil's Advocacy to discuss the Serpent (Cul), then returned to duty to devour forgotten gods, awaiting a new batch including Thor Odinson.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Atum possesses powers at least comparable to other godheads, such as Odin, Zeus and Vishnu, including vastly superhuman strength, stamina, durability and the ability to fly and manipulate massive amounts of solar energy (usually as heat or light); he can survive the heat and pressure within a star. Atum can also absorb the forms and energies of gods and demons, sufficient amounts of which transform him into Demogorge, a massive, misshapen, virtually unstoppable hulk who grows in size and power as he feeds.
- 11 Appearances of Atum (Earth-616)
- 2 Images featuring Atum (Earth-616)
- Quotations by or about Atum (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Atum (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Atum (Earth-616)