According to the visions of Kyle Richmond, and the Watchers equipment, the Celestials came from the same universe as the Elders of the Universe. These beings advanced their natural evolution to such a state in which they would begin to lose all definition. In an attempt to maintain what little identity they had left, the Celestials would create giant suits of armor out of Vibranium to cohabitate. The Celestials also lost the means to reproduce, but they found a very devastating way around this: By "impregnating" a planet with a portion of their essence, it would become an "embryo" that would gestate and grow into a new member of their race. The planet in question would also be "injected" with Vibranium to form into a new shell for the newly born Celestial. As a means to protect the growing Celestial, it's "parents" would manipulate the DNA of a planets dominant life form to gain super-abilities and unkowingly act as antibodies, protecting the planet until the Celestial is born.
Each race they manipulated would have three tiers of mutation, the first would be for each individual to manifest their own powers. These powers usually would manifest when triggered by a catalyst (radiation for example), and the powers would vary depending on a number of factors, usually a combination of the outside catalyst and the subjects subconcious image of themselves. The second teir would be to have every member of their race exhibit the same ability, and the third would be a total loss of identity, those at this stage would be defined by what others around believed them to be. This was installed as a failsafe, should the Celestials ever have to quell a rebellion, it would be a matter of willing their wayward anti-bodes dead.
The Celestials would soon over populate their home universe causing it's collapse and the event that would lead to it's own creation. This event would lead to the birth of Galactus, who unknown to most but the most cosmically aware, was actually an equalizer to insure that the Celestials would never overpopulate the universe again by feeding on some of the planets they impregnate.
In the early days of the new universe, the Watchers would be forced to maintain their pact of non-involvement by the Celestials after not acting to prevent the birth of Galactus, and then later interfering with an alien race which would then create atomic weapons that would destroy their world. The Celestials would then place a Watcher on a moon of each of the worlds they impregnated. Forced to watch these worlds, the Watchers eventually would work to maintain the Celestials propagation roles and, at least in the case of Uatu, Earth's Watcher, interfere with events on the planet when they threatened the Celestial's plans.
Over the centuries, the Celestials would be responsible for manipulating the Kree, the Skrulls, the Asgardians and many more. The Earth became subject to one of the Celestial's propagations during the time of the dinosaurs. Removing a portion of the Earth to create the moon, the Celestials were responsible for the dinosaurs extinction. They would place Uatu on Earth's moon.
Next the Celestials would manipulate the DNA of mankind, however some tribes of humans would escape the Celestials manipulations, such as the Moon tribe. The Celestials would create the Deviants and the Eternals to keep the human race in check, until they themselves began mutating with special powers due to their own natural evolution. The Celestials involvement in the universe since is presumably the same as that of Earth-616.
In recent times, Reed Richards had succeeded in converting Galactus into a star, thus throwing off the universal balance, and being forced to work with the High Evolutionary and the Silver Surfer to advance his son Franklin's mutation to the third teir and convince him that he is Galactus in order to restore that balance.
When the entire human race was mutated by the release of the Terrigen Mists in Earth's atmosphere, it sped up the natural process of the planets evolution. The Celestials would come to Earth in order to terminate the project, however they would get oppsoition by the new Galactus, who would fight them off until they retreated. Galactus would then kill the Celestial growing in Earth's core, but sparing the planet. It would cause the mass of the planet to change and throw it's axis off, but this too in time would be corrected.
Since then, the Celestials have had no contact with Earth, nor are their current activities known. However, X-51 had gathered a group of Heralds from other realities for the purpose of informing the Earth's of each reality of the potential danger of the Celestials.
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