In the final stage of preparation for the coming Fourth Celestial Host, in which the enhanced humans called Young Gods would be crucial, Asgardian All-Father Odin Borson selected a primitive planet, which he dubbed "Blackworld," in the Milky Way galaxy's eastern outskirts for a complex scheme. Presumably by telepathic manipulation, Odin guided the Rigellian Empire's Grand Commissioner to assign his fiancee Tana Nile, ally to Thor Odinson, to acquire a specimen of mutual foe Ego the Living Planet for use in terraforming inhospitable planets. On Blackworld, Tana activated the specimen's innate power, which rendered the planet's environment Earthlike and evolved its Neanderthal-like inhabitants into primitive humans. To the initially jubilant Tana's shock, however, the Ego segment evolved, becoming the sentient being Ego-Prime, and apparently rapidly accelerated the development of Blackworld's inhabitants, who grew more civilized and constructed medieval villages within hours; Ego-Prime absorbed "life-essence" from the Blackworlders, increasing his power. Several died during the acceleration, including any who encountered Ego-Prime directly, and the survivors lived in terror of Ego-Prime, whom they knew only as the unseen entity "He."

Meanwhile, with Asgard besieged by composite entity Mangog, Odin teleported harvest goddess Sif, with bodyguard Hildegarde, to Blackworld, supposedly for Sif's safety, although her presence was part of Odin's plan; for his own reasons, Odin deliberately concealed Blackworld's ongoing developments. The two goddesses arrived near a village whose inhabitants had barricaded themselves within their homes to hide from "He." Unable to persuade any villager to admit them or respond to inquiries, Sif and Hildegarde wandered far from the village in search of shelter and answers, and when four knights, led by Sir Glayn, attempted to abduct Sif, ostensibly to protect her from "He," the two goddesses easily drove them off. After battling a monstrous Moorwight, presumably a specimen of another Blackworld native species, the two met Silas Grant, a Blackworlder from a region that, also terrorized by Ego-Prime, had developed to 19th century level technology. Unlike other Blackworlders, Silas, a steamboat captain, retained memories of his pre-transformation life and subsequent "evolved" incarnations, during one of which he had instead captained a sailboat; he thus had some vague comprehension of how Ego-Prime had changed his world. Aboard his steamboat, Silas sailed with Sif and Hildegarde back to their arrival point, where the village had become a duplicate of Earth's 1920's Manhattan, whose inhabitants fled, panic-stricken, from "He." The three found Tana Nile attempting to contain Ego-Prime, who had taken a gigantic crystalline form. With her weapons depowered, Tana fled alongside the goddesses and Silas, to whom she explained Ego-Prime's origins and nature.

Virtually before the four's eyes, Blackworld's "Manhattan" accelerated decades, Ego-Prime wreaking havoc all the while. Planetary evolution culminated in nuclear war and a devastating explosion that slew many. The explosion's power, combined with Ego-Prime's, teleported Grant, Tana, Sif and Hildegarde to Earth's Manhattan, the process perhaps subconsciously aided by Sif's godly power and knowledge of Earth, further explaining Odin's actions. Arriving minutes after Sif's lover Thor, light god Balder and the Warriors Three reached Earth for a respite after battling Olympian death god Pluto, Sif and company were pursued by Ego-Prime, who took a new form resembling the humanoid proxies occasionally used by its source, Ego. Intending to conquer and hyper-evolve Earth into aliving planet like Ego as the first step in a deluded galaxy-wide plan, Ego-Prime transformed Manhattan citizens into demon-like creatures, who attacked Thor, Sif and their allies; during the battle Silas protected Tana from attackers, claiming to bear her no grudge for Blackworld's fate. Ego-Prime initiated Earth's transformation, but Odin intervened to redirect Ego-Prime's power to instead empower three humans (Israel's Carter Dyam, the USA's Jason Kimball, Japan's Chi Lo) into Young Gods (Brightsword, Genii, Harvest, respectively), the purpose for which he had manipulated Ego-Prime, Tana and the rest from the start; seemingly destroyed, Ego-Prime was instead transported to the cosmic Stranger's laboratory world. After Odin removed Manhattanites' memories of Ego-Prime, Hildegarde returned to Asgard, while Silas and Tana accompanied Thor and other Asgardians in adventures on Earth, in Asgard and outer space. Following the group's encounter with the gargantuan Rhunians, Silas accompanied Tana to Rigellian space, but his subsequent fate is unrevealed. Whether any survivors remain on Blackworld, and what form they might be in, remains similarly unrevealed.


Sir Blaev, Sir Glayn, Silas Grant, Sir Mraoj, Sir Traub; Moorwights


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