beyonder.gifThere is a time in any on-going space opera type science fiction drama when they bump into aliens who claim to be God. Or Gods. Or are just generally ridiculously powerful so they act like gods. Which can only usually mean another thing. They are also really stupid. Sci-Fi gods may be able to alter the molecular nature of reality AT A FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL, but they rarely understand concepts like Love or War. Unless they are gods of love and/or war and thus it is all they understand and want everyone to fall in it… You get my drift. As does io9, who have a good jumping off list of the Dumbest Space Gods In Science Fiction.

And whilst comics are covered via the reference to Jack Kirby’s New Gods, the list happily misses out my favourite Dumb Space God: from Marvel’s Secret Wars: The Beyonder.

The Beyonder belongs to the class of idiot Gods who use humans to teach him lessons about life that he never had growing up. Since the Beyonder grew up as an other-dimensional universe you can see how he may have missed out on Emotions-101. Anyway, having limitless power he foregos the “going to the library” method of research and instead creates a world where the most prominent heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe could do battle. He called it Battleworld. He was that kind of God. Now apparently he thought watching four colour toughies battering each other to bits over eleven monthly comics would be the best way to learn about desire. Or at least this is what we can define from his clarion call at the start of the series:

“I am from beyond! Slay your enemies and all that you desire shall be yours! Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to accomplish!”

This would very soon become almost laughably untrue, as later we would find that The Beyond had trouble with even basic toilet training. That said, the comic itself was the very definition of what a ten-year old would want from their superhero comics. All the big stars, battling all the big villains with none of the tedious soap opera, continuity heavy stuff. Secret Wars (for that was what the comic was) was fun, even if its main protagonist was a STOOPID GOD.

Marvel, having hit a huge success with Secret Wars, rushed a sequel into place, promisingly called Secret Wars II. And seeing how well the first one had done they decided to bring back all of the successful elements of the first one. THE BEYONDER! Indeed the fact that it starred the Beyonder was the only real comparison. In this the Beyonder makes himself a body (the terrific permed look you see here) and, after being taught how to have a poo by Spider-Man (TRUE!) goes off to cause havoc on Earth. The standard story in Secret Wars II would start with the Beyonder wondering about yet another human emotion, this them leading him to use his powers to get into a really stupid situation. For example “WHAT IS EVIL?” The only way to find out is for me to become an insanely powerful super villain. Oh no, the superheroes (including Spider-Man who taught me the meaning of poo) are beating me up. Its not much cop being evil. THE END. FOR NINE TEDIOUS ISSUES. (The issue where he become a property magnate is the very definition by contradiction of thrill-power).

I mean, what kind of omnipotent being goes around looking like THAT! Disco finished ten years earlier. Ironically it was later revealed that The Beyonder was some sort of super-evolved cosmic cube, which means nothing to even me except that The Beyond is Squarer than Square. Anyway you can get Secret Wars as a trade-paperback, but Marvel HAS NEVER COLLECTED Secret Wars II, due to embarrassment. Want to see how embarrassing. Want to see Spider-Man teach the Beyonder how to go to the toilet. Its here…