|Created by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams|
Space Sector: 2828
Sun(s): one (unnamed)
Moon(s): Turi (moved to edge of Maltus system)
Atmosphere: Nitrogen/oxygen mix and gravity is approximately the same as Earth
Dominant Lifeform: Maltusians
Affiliations: L.E.G.I.O.N. protectorate; Starro Horde controlled
First Appearance: Green Lantern Vol. 2 #81 (December 1970): "Death Be My Destiny!"
Creators: Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams
The original home planet of the Guardians of the Universe and one of the most over-populated planets in the universe.
As one of the oldest and most powerful races in the known universe, many legends have sprung from the lives of those that called Maltus their homeworld. The veracity of the stories told can not be determined, as the races that the Maltusians would later evolve into protected the secrets of their origins from aggressors, who might strike them at a more vulnerable point in their history through time travel. What has been told is from a variety of sources. With that in mind, an observer may take from the stories what they will.
Fifteen billion years ago, the planet Maltus formed. Millions of years passed as the planet slowly cooled and life formed in the moist air of the new world. The air borne life spread across the globe while more complex forms took to land and sea.
On land, survival of the fittest led to the rapid development of various species. Unlike most life on most planets, the creatures of Maltus fought with the aid of microscopic allies. The lifeforms in the air had developed a symbiotic relationship with the larger creatures, eventually making mental contact with their land based hosts. The microscopic symbiotes attacked the enemies of their hosts, ensuring victory. The aid of the symbiotes would allow the humanlike race time to develop their minds and pass their knowledge to the next generation. - Secret Origins Vol. 2 #23
Despite the aid of the symbiotes, life on early Maltus could be quite difficult, if not deadly for the humanlike race. In a rare confirmation of Maltusian evolution, a pair of alien superspeedsters racing across time and space witnessed a small band of Maltusian primitives hunt and kill a creature resembling a tyrannosaurus on prehistoric Earth. The speedsters were part of a deadly contest arranged by two powerful beings. One of the speedsters, known as Krakkl, had visited Maltus through various points in history. - Flash Vol. 2 #137
Aside from the remarkable forms of life it boasts, the environment of Maltus is apparently quite similar to that of modern day Earth. The atmosphere is a nitrogen/oxygen mix and gravity is approximately the same as that of Earth. The Maltusian day is believed to be exactly 24 hours. - Niven's GL Bible in Playgrounds of the Mind
The Book of Oa recorded all that transpired from creation onwards. Using time travel techniques developed 6,008,781,994 years after the Big Bang, the ancient Maltusians were the first to reflect upon the universe around them. The origin of the Book of Oa and its actual purpose remains a mystery, lost to the ages. - Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #8
It was during the advancement of civilization and reasoned thought on Maltus that the legend of The Triarch was born. The myths surrounding the Triarch remain to this very day. By some accounts, they were believed to have been three wise, benevolent leaders. This history was carved on a stone tablet by others of their ancient era. Over the course of eons the Triarch would become part of Maltusian prophecy, inspiring the Maltusians to worship the Triarch.
The Triarch of myth were believed to have been three gods that had slain their father, Daalon, and in remorse left the homeworld of Maltus to wander the skies. They were known as Archor the Sustainer or Archorivvon, Quarra the Creator or Quarradachach, and Tzodar the Destroyer or Krotazodarikik. The three gods promised to return one day to lay waste to Maltus and remake the universe. - DC Universe: Trinity #1
The Book of Oa would read:
"Before the Guardians, before the Zamarons, before the Controllers, before even reason had come to our race... the myriads of Maltus bowed to the Triarch, to those three gods who had slain their father, Daalon, and in their red-tinged guilt left this vale of suffering to wander the skies... Quarra the Creator... Archor the Sustainer... Tzodar the Destroyer. One day they would return. So they promised. And on that day they would lay waste to Maltus, and the universe would be made new." - Green Lantern Vol. 3 #45, L.E.G.I.O.N. '93 #58
The blood of Daalon gave birth to demons, crying out for vengeance. They called for the death of the people of Maltus, but one demon, now known as the Predator, refused. He would not kill innocents. He fought his brothers and sisters and was cast out. - - Green Lantern Vol. 3 #42
As time went on, the population of Maltus exploded and the great tribe divided. Maltusians fought amongst themselves in violent wars. One tribe released a deadly disease engineered to paralyze the host bodies. The plague eventually turned on its creators as it spread across the planet. Millions died, unable to feed themselves without the symbiosis.
Some areas were spared from the plague, such as the polar city of Ap. The isolated male scientists discovered the virus had become dormant. The plague was only active in the presence of both sexes.
The males travelled to the Zamar area where they asked for the aid of the all female society in combating the disease. Working together, the Aps and Zamars developed children in laboratories and saved their species.
Thousands of years later, the disease was eliminated but the sexes remained apart. The Aps continued to study the sciences while the Zamars raised crops and animals to feed Maltus.
Before long, the Maltusians realized a new group was needed to raise the next generation. The best of the Aps and Zamars were chosen to be Oans, harbingers of a new race. They built on their past and turned inward to bring forth their tremendous mental powers. - Secret Origins Vol. 2 #23
Conscious control of their physical selves enabled the Maltusians to fight off diseases and correct imbalances. It is only natural that the Maltusians were able to extend their lifespans with each succeeding generation. Some would refer to their abilities as "Guardpower". - Green Lantern Bible
For a time there appeared to be progress. The Maltusian race evolved, their minds allowed them to create miracles as their lifetimes extended millions of years. Unfortunately, the power came at a price.
The children of Maltus were not as adept at controlling their power. They were assigned "guardians" to act as mentors to help them with their potentially devastating powers. The simple annoyance of an insect's bite was enough to have all such insects vanish with a thought. Species died off at the merest whim of an undisciplined mind. Attempts to control the situation proved futile. Maturity was the only answer. To stave off any further damage the Maltusians realized they had to stop breeding. - Green Lantern: Ganthet's Tale
The Oans appeared to have been largely successful at curtailing their population, even if other Maltusians had not. The population of Maltus was still too much for one world and it was nearing its breaking point. - Green Lantern Bible, Secret Origins Vol. 2 #23
Four billion years ago, an ambitious Maltusian called Krona was assigned to the upbringing of Herupa Hando Hu. Krona spent little time with the child, instead focusing on his own research, much to the chagrin of Appa Ali Apsa of the Oan Council. Supervisor Fahsir warned the Council of Krona's misdeeds. - Secret Origins Vol. 2 #23
Krona had chosen to break society's taboos and discover the origin of the universe. Attempts to stop Krona from completing his outlawed experiments were thwarted. A group of supervillains from alternate dimensions travelled back in time from the late twentieth century. They destroyed anything around them, attracting the attention of the Maltusians. The destruction of Maltus was not to be permitted, and the majority of villains were easily stopped by the more powerful Maltusians.
The small group of Maaldor, the Icicle, and the Mirror Master made it as far as Krona’s laboratory. They were about to destroy Krona’s time-viewing screen when an explosive blast ended their lives. Krona had not let down his guard so close to his project’s completion. - Crisis on Infinite Earths #10
Other forces were concerned with Krona’s experiment. At the beginning of time, the Anti-Monitor seized on the opportunity to gain power enough to destroy the universe at the moment of its creation. - Crisis on Infinite Earths #10
Krona saw a giant hand, clutching a nebula and at that moment reality shattered. Legends say this caused evil to be unleashed upon the universe and the fabric of spacetime to be torn and remade. The positive matter universe splintered, and an antimatter universe mirroring our own was created. The positive and negative universes created the Monitors; they were born on the moons of Oa and Qward. The Monitor and the Anti-Monitor would become mortal enemies. Krona’s act had other consequences, the universe was said to have lost one billion years of potential life as entropy was linked at the ends of time. The truth would not be revealed for billions of years. - Green Lantern Vol. 2 #40, Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, 10, History of the DC Universe #1, Green Lantern: Ganthet's Tale, Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #4-0
The Maltusians once more appealed to Krona to change his ways but he resolved to probe further into the origins of the universe. For his crime, Krona was reduced to a bodiless state of energy and sent to circle all the universe until the end of time. - Green Lantern Vol. 2 #40
Though Krona was removed as a threat, Maltus itself was still in dire peril. In a vain attempt to prevent the complete ecological collapse of their homeworld, the Maltusians genetically altered a local species of lizard. This project was abandoned for more pressing concerns. - Omega Men #26, History of the DC Universe #1
The Oans gathered their resources and left Maltus forever. A Zamaron, Teisho, chose the world they would migrate to, a world that was a nexus for power and the mirror opposite of the hideous antimatter universe world of Qward. - Secret Origins Vol. 2 #23
Some reports speak of a population explosion shortly after the Oans left Maltus. This cannot be proven either way. - Secret Origins Vol. 2 #23, Green Lantern Bible
Despite their efforts to the contrary, the remaining Maltusians eventually destroyed their world's eco-system. Their tremendous psionic powers eliminated most other life forms on Maltus. The Maltusians left their homeworld in a mass exodus. They spread to the farthest reaches of the universe.
Some Maltusian colonies flourished, becoming great civilizations. Apparently, many more colonies collapsed, whether from societal pressures or inhospitable environments. As the advanced Maltusians tried to adapt physically and or mentally to their new worlds, they lost their advanced technology and longevity. Without the ability to practice their Guardpower, it was lost as well. - Green Lantern: Ganthet's Tale, Green Lantern Bible
Though the Maltusians may have thought they were saving their homeworld by leaving it, they did not realize the deadly legacy they had left behind.
Over the centuries, the species of lizards gained sentience and created a society in the abandoned Maltusian cities. Their racial memories likened the Maltusian laboratories to a "holy pain place" and the lizards set upon experimenting to emulate their creators. The lizards went as far as amputating their own tails to further resemble their humanoid creators. In their own twisted way, the lizards equated pain with the study of science. They evolved into the dread Psion race and eventually abandoned Maltus as well, in pursuit of their creators. - Omega Men #26
Some of the failed Maltusian colonies eventually returned to their homeworld and suppressed their powerful mental energies. They rebuilt their world but still the overpopulation threatened their future. It is believed these Maltusians would never again stride the stars as their more successful compatriots continued to do.
Three and one half billion years ago, the departed Oans reached their legendary world of Oa. Over the next billion years they would become known as the Controllers or the Zamarons, but first and foremost they were known as the Guardians of the Universe. -Green Lantern Vol. 2 #200
I decided to divide the Guardians of the Universe profile into more than one profile, hence the first in the series, Maltusians. This will allow me to focus on the divergent colonies of Maltus in the Zamoran, Controller and Guardian profiles. Later updates for the Maltusian profile will feature the Mother Juno, post-Crisis and Trinity storylines.
This profile differs from others by my inclusion of material from outside the comic books themselves. I've weaved in some ideas from Larry Niven's "Green Lantern Bible" which was published in his collection of stories Playgrounds of the Mind. According to Niven, his GL Bible was to be referred to by future GL writers and offer a history for the GLCorps and Guardians. As a number of Niven's ideas saw the comic book light of day in "Ganthet's Tale", I felt it wouldn't be too big a jump to add a few more of his ideas as they haven't been contradicted by the comics.
The planet Maltus was named after Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) an English economist, sociologist, clergyman and pioneer in modern population study. Malthus argued that poverty and distress were unavoidable because population, when left unchecked, increased faster than the means of subsistence.