Collector (comics)

Collector (comics)
Comic image missing.svg
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Avengers #28 (May 1966)
Created by Stan Lee and Don Heck
In-story information
Alter ego Taneleer Tivan
Team affiliations Elders of the Universe
Abilities Controls the Power Primordial to create virtually unlimited effects

The Collector is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics Universe.


Fictional character biography

Taneleer Tivan is one of the Elders of the Universe and is close to his fellow Elder En Dwi Gast (the Grandmaster). He apparently came to self-awareness billions of years ago, on the planet Cygnus X-1. He is an enormously powerful being who wielded the Power Primordial, though at first he took the appearance of an old human his true form is a powerful alien.

For millions of years, the Collector lived on an unknown world with his wife and child, spending his days in thought and contemplation. When his wife lost the will to live and relinquished her immortality, the Collector realised he would need a hobby to maintain his own sanity, and began collecting interesting artifacts and life forms from around the universe. Eventually, his obsession reached such heights he collected anything he considered rare or valuable often just for the sake of collecting. As such, he has a wide variety of rare or unique items at his disposal.

The Collector also had the power of prophecy, allowing him to foresee the rise of a being powerful enough to pose a threat to the Elders; Thanos. To protect life in the universe, the Collector created a massive museum of countless life forms to keep them safe from Thanos. For a time, he even possessed one of the six Infinity Gems, unaware of its true power, until Thanos took it.

At some point over his billions of years of life he came into contact with other beings who like him are the sole survivors of the first species in the universe. He often refers to these fellow elders as brothers though they usually only work together if they have a common goal.

In the modern era, the Collector eventually traveled to Earth. He captured the Wasp and sought to "collect" the other Avengers with help from the Beetle, but was defeated by them.[1] He later enslaved Thor, then captured the Wasp and the other Avengers. He restored Goliath's size-change powers, but was then defeated by the Avengers again.[2] He next compelled Iron Man to serve as his pawn against the warrior Val-Larr.[3] He attempted to "collect" the Avengers once more, in Rutland, Vermont.[4]

The Korvac Saga

After Thanos was defeated by Earth's superheroes, the Collector foresaw a second major threat; Korvac the Machine Man, a cyborg monstrosity from the year 3000, taking the form of a man named Michael in 20th century New York. The Avengers were also aware of a new threat but did not know his identity. In an attempt to protect them, the Collector added some of them to his collection and was probably planning to enlist their aid, when a second group of Avengers appeared and defeated him in combat.

Sensing that his end was at hand, the Collector revealed that having learned of Korvac, he had made his own daughter, Carina, into a spy and living weapon to use against the Machine Man, imbuing her with the Power Primordial. Just as he was about to tell the heroes who their enemy was, Michael learned of his duplicity and used his cosmic powers to blast the Collector into atoms, proving the prediction of the aged scholar's own end to be correct.[5]

Subsequent activities

Some time later, the Elder known as the Grandmaster played a game called the Contest of Champions with Death, which resulted in Death resurrecting his fellow Elder the Collector.[6]

The Collector captured Marrina, then battled Alpha Flight and Spider-Man.[7] He aided the Grandmaster by tricking the Avengers into entering Death's realm.[8]

The Collector also assisted his fellow elders in a plot to kill Galactus and recreate the universe, but he was thwarted by the Silver Surfer and consumed by Galactus.[9] Because the Elders cannot die, they caused Galactus to have "cosmic indigestion" and eventually they were freed. He later gave his Infinity Gem to Thanos in exchange for the Runner, who Thanos was holding captive. The Runner beat the Collector up upon his release.[10]

The Collector re-appeared when the Avengers fought Thane Ector and the Brethren, who were noted to have escaped from the Collector's collection. It was then noted later that the Collector had planned all of this, intending the Brethren to lay waste to the Earth so that he could "collect" the surviving humans. It was at this point he showed his true form to the Avengers and was noted to be very powerful; enough to subdue Thane Ector. The Collector was eventually thwarted by the Avengers, and the Brethren's Uni-Mind.[11]

The Collector next used the Collection Agency and the Silver Surfer as pawns to capture a virus that caused insanity.[12]

The Collector has become involved with Galactus once again when the latter entity wished to devour one of the worlds that held many of the entities the Collector had taken. Among them were the Starjammers and Wolverine.[13]

The Collector later makes a bet with the Grandmaster who sets his team of Defenders (Hulk, Doctor Strange, Namor, and the Silver Surfer) against the Collector's team of Offenders (which comprises the Red Hulk, Baron Mordo, Tiger Shark, and Terrax).[14]

Powers and abilities

The Collector possesses the ability to manipulate cosmic energy for a variety of effects, including projecting concussive force beams, and the increasing of his size and mass (and hence physical strength) at will. He also possesses limited shape-changing abilities. His precognitive abilities give him brief visions of alternate future, although he must meditate for long periods to identify the individuals he sees in the vision and its apparent point in time. He has telepathic abilities that enable him to make limited contact with the minds of other Elders. Due to a vow by Death, Collector and all the Elders cannot die and are effectively immortal.

The Collector has a vast knowledge and comprehension of, and a large collection of the advanced science and technology of numerous alien worlds. His armored battle-suit is made of the alien metal etherion that amplifies the wearer's strength to superhuman levels and has jets permitting flight. He uses various weapons from many time periods and different worlds. Among his arsenal from Earth's past are catapults, Tibetan crystal balls that emit mystical rays, and magic beans that can conjure up warrior giants. He possesses a magic lamp that can summon a four-headed djinn with mystical powers. His Vegan "Boxes" are rectangular "interdimensional traps" that can weaken a victim's strength or sanity. Other weapons include gigantic robot guards, a stun beam, and stasis beams. The Collector also has zoos of alien beasts which he can release to attack his adversaries. Among this is Snake-Eyes, an enormous alien serpent with hypnotic powers. Other items in his collection include: the Obedience Potion, with which the Collector can compel a human victim to do his bidding; the Cosmic Viewer, with which he can monitor events on various worlds; a Kymellian translation/control device resembling a flute, with which he can communicate with other living beings; and a time probe enabling him to find and procure artifacts from other time periods. He uses starships holding museums of his collections, a Temporal Assimilator that allows time travel, Persian "flying carpets" and a "flying cape" that allowed flight. He formerly possessed the Infinity Gem that could control reality, but he did not understand its power.

In other media


  • The Collector appears in The Avengers: United They Stand #6-7. He chooses to preserve a good population of Earth as he feels the planet is on the verge of ending. Although the Avengers escape, some citizens on Earth prefer to stay with The Collector.



  1. ^ Avengers #28
  2. ^ Avengers #51
  3. ^ Iron Man #26
  4. ^ Avengers #119
  5. ^ Avengers #172-174
  6. ^ Contest of Champions #3
  7. ^ Marvel Team-Up Annual #7
  8. ^ West Coast Avengers Annual #2
  9. ^ Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #3-4, 7, 9, 10, 17-19
  10. ^ Thanos Quest #2
  11. ^ Avengers #334-339
  12. ^ Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #58-61, 64
  13. ^ Wolverine #135
  14. ^ Hulk 10-12 (2009)
  15. ^ Marvel Super Hero Squad #4

External links

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