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Samurai are ancient Japanese Warriors, known for their extremely intense senses of duty and honor.

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Secret Identity

Super Heroes often choose to have a secret identity (as do Super Villains who often adopt aliases) when becoming a hero to protect themselves, their friends, and their loved ones. The consequences of an enemy finding out their real-life identity can be dire, often leading to the destruction of the hero's alter ego and/or the villain using a hero's loved one as bait.

[top] [Edit Secret Identity]

Second Host

The Second Host[1] or Second Horde[2] Two of four tests of a given race that has been altered by the enigmatic Celestials. This second host is marked by "wrath and discipline".[1]

In the case of planet Earth, during the Second Host who occured circa 18.500 B.C., the Celestials observed how the Eternals had ignored baseline humanity while the Deviants enslaved it.[2]

The Celestials destroyed most of the Deviants, and their stronghold of Lemuria, causing it to sink below the ocean.[3] This event has been referred to as the Great Fall[4] or Great Cataclysm which also caused the sinking of Atlantis and Lemuria.

(See Also: First Host, Third Host, Fourth Host)
  1. 1.0 1.1 Eternals #7
  2. 2.0 2.1 Eternals Vol 3 #1
  3. Eternals #8
  4. Fantastic Four #576

[top] [Edit Second Host]


Having intelligence near or above the human level. The definition of intelligence is slippery but often includes self-awareness, problem solving, and tool use.

[top] [Edit Sentient]

Sentinels of Liberty

The Sentinels of Liberty were a youth group formed by Captain America during the 1940's. It was to promote support for the United States during World War II amongst the youth of America. It promoted national pride, and vigilance against lawlessness and spies that would threaten the United States. The most famous youths that were members of the Sentinels of Liberty were the wartime Young Allies.
(See Also: Young Allies)
[top] [Edit Sentinels of Liberty]


In Comic Books, the term sidekick most commonly refers to assistants of Superheroes, usually in a crimefighting capacity. The sidekick has the literary function of playing against the hero, often contrasting in skill, asking the questions the reader would ask, or performing functions not suited to the hero.

See Also

[top] [Edit Sidekick]


A point in space where the normal rules of physics do not apply. Normally found only in a black hole, a concentration of matter so dense that even light cannot escape its gravity well.

[top] [Edit Singularity]



The lead deity of a particular pantheon or religion. The term refers to the tendency for worshipers to associate supreme power with the sun, the sky, and/or "heaven." Also known as Council of Godheads

[top] [Edit Skyfather]

Sliding Timescale

First officially referenced in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #2, the term "Sliding Timescale" is an attempt to quantify the passage of time in the Earth-616 universe and other similar universes as a means of compressing time so that characters do not prematurely age. While not considered when Marvel Comics first began publishing, it became apparent that something needed to be done to logically explain the time. This practice began in the late 1970s and early 1980s. A full definition and explanation was made in 2007 in the aforementioned Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #2. The Sliding Timescale is used to keep track of the time that has passed during a period that is now coined as the Modern Age which covers events from Fantastic Four #1 to current publications.


During Marvel publications in the 1960s and 1970s the passage of time in the Earth-616 universe was described in the narrative as passing in semi-real time. Characters frequently made reference to what year it was, and often identified previous stories as having taken place in the span of months between publications. Mister Fantastic and the Thing were depicted as fighting in World War II, [1] while Professor X of the X-Men was depicted as fighting in the Korean War. [2] The Fantastic Four attempted to fly into space was to beat the Soviet Union in the space race. [3] By the late 1970s, Marvel had to start altering certain facts as their characters were being prematurely aged. Suddenly, the Thing was now a test pilot instead of fighting during World War II. [4] How the Fantastic Four were altered by cosmic rays was upgraded to including solar flares and radiation Van Allen Belts. Also references to the space race were excised. [5] By the 1980s, the passage of time was being marked in a slower progressing, including the first time the passage of time between the birth of the Fantastic Four and a story published at that time was actually spoken. [6] In the 1990s, rehashing events that age the characters was often ignored. In the 2000s certain concepts were either generalized, often when described in the most recent runs of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and later depicted.


In 2008, Marvel had officially stated [7] that for every four to five years of real time publications, one year of Marvel time had passed on Earth-616. Based on a 4:1 radio model, the Modern Age of Heroes has been on going for about fourteen years based on the following model:

Year 01: Nov 1961-Oct 1965
Year 02: Nov 1965-Oct 1969
Year 03: Nov 1969-Oct 1973
Year 04: Nov 1973-Oct 1977
Year 05: Nov 1977-Oct 1981
Year 06: Nov 1981-Oct 1985
Year 07: Nov 1985-Oct 1989
Year 08: Nov 1989-Oct 1993
Year 09: Nov 1994-Oct 1998
Year 10: Nov 1998-Oct 2002
Year 11: Nov 2002-Oct 2006
Year 12: Nov 2006-Oct 2010
Year 13: Nov 2010-Oct 2014
Year 14: Nov 2014-Oct 2018


The sliding timescale is not an exact science and is a matter of interpretation, and there are parts of the scale that just don't work when applied to the most minuscule detail. Items such as a characters actual age, how many years it took Peter Parker to graduate high school, and other such topics should be applied to the time scale with a grain of salt.

Topical References

Certain facts, events, people of historical significant, pop-culture references, lists of dates, and sometimes even physical constructs appear in comic books published years ago that cannot be considered factual in terms of the Sliding Timescale. The most common example is who is depicted as the President of the United States. These elements should be considered topical references. Topical References are facts that were true relative to the date that a given comic was published, and should be generalized when mentioned later. For example, Strange Tales #130 features a story where the Human Torch and the Thing met the rock group known as the Beatles. While this was possible when the story was first published in 1965, this would be considered a topical reference now. Another example is the depiction of Jimmy Carter being elected President of the United States in Howard the Duck #8 which was published in 1977. This and all other depictions of Jimmy Carter as president should be considered topical.

In some cases, the same event has been depicted as happening both in a specific year in the past, and in the Modern Age. The best example is the Apollo 11 moon landing. Fantastic Four #98, published in 1969, depicts the Fantastic Four stopping the Kree from disrupting this mission. This story is considered as happening in the modern age. Whereas Marvel: The Lost Generation #6, published in 2000, depicts the First Line preventing the Skrulls from interfering. This story frame as taking place in the year 1969. Because the Fantastic Four story takes place in the Modern Age, the Apollo 11 landing in that story should be considered a topical reference and is generalized whenever it is mention in future publications. Instead of being referred to as the Apollo 11 landing, it's referred to simply as a "manned flight to the moon". Whereas the story featured in Marvel: The Lost Generation is considered as having actually taken place in the year 1969.

Computing Marvel Time

Remembering that the measurement of Marvel time is a matter of interpretation, one should always refer to said passages as "roughly" and various calculations could differentiate between years depending on how the calculation is depicted. Some readers will apply a strict four or five year passage of time to events, while others will consider other methods of time passing. The most prevalent being that the first year or two of Marvel publications between November 1961 and October 1963 actually occurred in "real time" and all other publications adhere to either a 4:1 or 5:1 ratio. For the sake of providing a clear example, this computation is using a strict 4:1 ratio timescale.

In order to calculate time, one must consider the current publications as happening this year. For example, comic books released on October 21, 2015 -- on the day they are published -- are considered as happening in the year 2015. The year 2015 falls in "year fourteen" of the modern age, which is slated to last until roughly October 2018. As each year elapses the story in October 2015 is taking place in 2016 when its the year 2016, and happening in 2017 when that year elapses. The "year" that story occurred in would slide forward until October 2018. Once 2018 elapses and "year fifteen" begins in November 2018, then the story published in October 2015 begins to slide backward in time. As it is characterized as "year fourteen" it slides backwards as Marvel time moves forward.

Example #1: How many years passed since Captain America was revived in the modern age?

In Avengers #4 it was identified that Captain America was placed in suspended animation in April 1945 and revived in the modern age. That story was published in 1964 and states that Cap was in suspended animation for around 20 years. That reference of time is considered a topical reference. As the Sliding Timescale moves the amount of time between the fixed year of 1945 and the year Captain America is revived in will constantly be increasing.


If the present of Modern Age is 2015, and it is considered year fourteen of the Marvel Sliding Timescale, the time passing would be computed as so:

Avengers #4 was published in 1964. This falls under "year one" of the 4:1 timescale ratio. Today is 2015, the year 2015 falls in "year fourteen" of the 4:1 timescale ratio.

From today's perspective, Avengers #4 took place roughly fourteen years ago. So roughly the year 2001.

Cap going into suspended animation happened in 1945. So 2001 - 1945 = 56 years had passed between 1945 and Avengers #4. Based on today's publications Captain America was put in suspended animation about 70 years ago.

When "year fifteen" begins in November 2018, the time scale will move forward. The "present" will be considered 2018. Cap's freedom from suspended animation will slide forward roughly about a year. 2018 - 15 years = the events of Avengers #4 happen in the year 2003. His time in suspended animation would now have lasted 58 years, and the time between 1945 and the present would then be 73 years.

Example #2: Determining a Topical Reference:

With the passage of time certain events, people, and places become topical references. One of the most prolific of these events was the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, which saw the destruction of the original twin towers (originally constructed in 1973) collapse. a new tower was constructed in its place in 2013.

It's a unique example of how the topical references are determined in the Marvel Universe. Because it was not constructed until 1973, it's obviously absent from all "Modern Age" stories from 1961 until it began construction. It was first depicted being constructed in Daredevil #82 published December 1971 and first depicted fully constructed in Astonishing Tales #18 published June 1973. Since that story it has regularly appeared as a staple of the New York City skyline in many Marvel publications. The terrorist attack was later depicted as happening in the Marvel Universe in Amazing Spider-Man Vol 2 #36 published in December 2001. The new tower constructed at One World Trade Center was completed in July 2013.

Because of the Sliding Timescale, all events published in "year one" of the Modern Age now happened about fourteen years in the past. The farthest back the Sliding timescale goes now is 2001. As such all references and depictions of the Twin Towers in the present tense should be considered topical references.

Example #3: Determining the passage of time pre-Modern Age

The Sliding timescale pushes forward the past lives of characters prior to the modern age forward in time as well. The best example of this is references to Mister Fantastic fighting in World War II as seen in Fantastic Four #11, yet Amazing Spider-Man #535 depict Reed as a child during the McCarthy Era of the 1950s. Both depictions should be considered topical references. Using this logic, determining the passage of time between Peter becoming an orphan and becoming Spider-Man can be easily determined:

When Peter gained his powers in Amazing Fantasy #15 he was fifteen years old. Peter was still an newborn when his parents were killed, as depicted in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5. One can assume roughly 15 years had passed.

If "today" is 2015, Amazing Fantasy #15 (published in 1962) happened during "year one" of the modern age, or about fourteen years ago.

So by today's date, Peter gained his powers in the year 2001, and he was born sometime around 1986 or 1987.

When "year fifteen" rolls over in November 2018, the timescale will slide forward. Peter will have gotten his powers in 2003 and he would have been born around 1988 or 1989.


  1. Fantastic Four #11
  2. X-Men #12
  3. Fantastic Four #1
  4. Fantastic Four #193
  5. Fantastic Four #197
  6. Fantastic Four Annual #17
  7. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #2

(See Also: Topical Reference, Glossary:Modern Age)
[top] [Edit Sliding Timescale]

Sorcerer Supreme

A practitioner of the mystic or magic arts who has greater skills than all others or commands a greater portion of the ambient magical energies than any other organism on a given world or dimension. Thus, there can be only one sorcerer supreme per world at a time.

[top] [Edit Sorcerer Supreme]


A living or once-living being's life essence, consciousness, or spirit.

[top] [Edit Soul]

Space Warp

A natural or artificially created nexus leading from one point in space through hyperspace into another point in space. Also called a stargate.
(See Also: Hyperspace and Nexus)
[top] [Edit Space Warp]


Poles, (wooden or otherwise), sharpened to a point or with sharp rocks on the ends.

[top] [Edit Spears]


A spoiler is any piece of information that reveals plot elements which some people may wish to remain unrevealed so that they may enjoy the source material to its fullest extent, without having any previous knowledge of the outcome. Some examples of spoilers would be the death of a major character or an unexpected plot twist.

For information on how spoilers are treated on the Marvel Universe, see Marvel Universe:Spoilers.

[top] [Edit Spoiler]

Star Comics

Star Comics

Star Comics was an imprint of Marvel Comics that was active from 1984-1989. Star Comics published titles geared towards young children, and mainly featured licensed properties, although original Marvel properties were also published. After being closed down, some of Star Comics titles were continued under the Marvel Comics banner.


Unpublished Titles

  • Christy
  • Little Wizards
  • Young Astronauts

[top] [Edit Star Comics]

Story Arc

A Story Arc is typically one or more consecutive comic book issues which define a story with a beginning, middle and end. One or more Story Arcs may or may not make up a Storyline.
(See Also: Storyline)
[top] [Edit Story Arc]


A Storyline is typically several comic book issues that cover a long story. They are typically made up of one or more Story Arcs, and often cover the prelude to an event, the event itself, and the post-event epilogue.
(See Also: Story Arc, Event)
[top] [Edit Storyline]


Reed Richards (Earth-616) 0002a

The ability to stretch your body far above the length you normally could. The user is or can become extremely malleable and elastic, allowing them to stretch, flatten, deform, expand, and contract their whole body, including limbs, torso, neck, etc. They can control how elastic/flexible they or parts of them are, allowing user to change their bodies into various tools or other constructs. They are extremely hard to wound or hurt due to their body reflexively absorbing damage by stretching with attacks, but may still feel pain. People with this super power: Mister Fantastic Flatman Super Skrull

[top] [Edit Stretching]

Skrull Infiltration Ritual

Skrull Infiltrator ritual 0001

The Skrull Infiltration Ritual was a mixture of science and magic that imbued the Skrull with the powers and memories of the selected subject.

This allowed the Skrull subject to go undetected in human form by Iron Man's technological scans, Charles Xavier's mental scans, Spider-Man's Spider-Sense, Wolverine's animal senses, or any other conceivable forms of detection. So subtle and powerful is this form of concealment neither Doctor Strange can detect the Skrull with the Spell of Tartashi, nor could the Elder God-powered Scarlet Witch using Xavier's psychic powers delve past the memory blocks.[1]

It also trapped H'rpra in Mephisto's Realm believing herself to be Mockingbird.[2]

  1. New Avengers #45
  2. Mighty Avengers #15

[top] [Edit Skrull Infiltration Ritual]


Hyperspace. Originally a term mistakenly applied to the Negative Zone.
(See Also: Hyperspace, Negative Zone)
[top] [Edit Sub-Space]


Any of the various sub-species of humanity who dwell beneath the Earth's surface.

[top] [Edit Subterranean]


A female demonic creature who feeds upon the life essences of living beings.
(See Also: Succubus and Incubus.)
[top] [Edit Succubus]


Marvel NOW! by Ed McGuinness

A superhero is a character who is noted for feats of courage and nobility and who usually has a colorful name and costume which serve to conceal their true identity, and abilities beyond those of normal human beings. A female superhero is sometimes called a superheroine, although this term has fallen out of favor in the modern era.

The word superhero originated with Superman, who debuted in 1938, and the stories of superheroes - ranging from episodic adventures to decades-long sagas - have become an entire genre of fiction that has dominated American comic books and crossed over into several other media.

See Also

[top] [Edit Superhero]


Steven Rogers (Earth-1610) from Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 2 15

Supersoldier is a term often used to describe a soldier that operates beyond normal physical and mental limits of humanity. Super soldiers are common in comic books.

Super soldiers are usually heavily augmented, either through genetic engineering, cybernetic implants, drugs, brainwashing, an extreme training regimen (usually with high casualty rates, and starting from birth), or other scientific means or a combination of any of those. Occasionally, some instances also use paranormal methods, such as black magic. The creators of such programs are viewed often as mad scientists or stern military men, depending on the emphasis, as their programs will typically go past ethical boundaries in the pursuit of science/ military might.

[top] [Edit Supersoldier]


In Marvel Comics the term superhuman is part of a "power classification system" and applies to aptitude (usually physical) far beyond the range attainable by normal human beings. An athlete is a normal human in extraordinary physical condition, such as a weight lifter or boxer. Peak human is applied to physical abilities that are nearly, but not quite, beyond the limits of the best of humans. Enhanced human refers to superhuman abilities some distance beyond the limits of humans, such as being able to lift a small car but not a tank, and is a kind of term for "light" superhuman abilities. Then comes the term superhuman. Characters with a superhuman attribute are far beyond normal human abilities. There is also a range beyond superhuman and this is metahuman. As the enhanced human level is really just a term for a low superhuman ability, metahuman is a term for a high superhuman ability.
(See Also: Superhuman Strength, Metahuman, Mutant, Power Grid, Supersoldier, Superhero, Supervillain)
[top] [Edit Superhuman]

Marvel A-Z OHOTMU Stat reference sheet distinguishes between the different categories of superhuman attributes and powers: OHOTMU Stat Reference 1992


Referring to a skill, ability, or power that is outside the parameters of achievement by ordinary humanoid beings. It is also a term used for any humanoid being who possessing such a skill, ability, or power.

[top] [Edit Superhumanoid]


Secret Avengers Vol 1 31 Textless

A supervillain is a variant of the villain character type, commonly found in comic books. Supervillains concoct complex and ambitious schemes to accumulate power and suppress adversaries. They often have colorful names and costumes and/or other eccentricities. Female supervillains are sometimes known as supervillainesses.

Supervillains are often used as foils to superheroes and other fictional heroes. Their extraordinary brainpower and/or superhuman abilities make them viable antagonists for the most gifted heroes.

See Also

[top] [Edit Supervillain]

Suspended animation

Steven Rogers (Earth-929)

Suspended animation or "Cryostasis" is the slowing of life processes by external means without termination. Breathing, heartbeat, and other involuntary functions may still occur, but they can only be detected by artificial means. Extreme cold is used to precipitate the slowing of an individual's functions

  • Captain America fell into the Arctic Ocean at the end of World War II and was miraculously preserved until the present day. His survival was attributed to the Super-Soldier Serum coursing through his veins.[1]
  • Winter Soldier, he also fell into the Arctic Ocean and was recovered by the Soviet Union. While he was clinically dead when they recovered him, because the freezing water preserved his body at or near death, they succeeded in resuscitating him. They subsequently brainwashed him into being their assassin, the Winter Soldier, and started freezing him between missions in the 1950's, both to keep him under control and to preserve his youth and strength for future missions.[2]
James Buchanan Barnes (Earth-616) from Captain America Vol 5 2 0004
  • William Burnside and Jack Monroe, the Cap and Bucky of the 50's. Jack later went on to become the hero Nomad after being unfrozen, and was even the real Captain America's partner for a little while.[3] Nomad was placed back into suspended animation years later.[4]
  • Vance Astro spent 1,000 years in suspended animation for a slower-than-light trip to Alpha Centauri. Only to find Earth had invented hyperdrive and beaten him there by several centuries. The long time he spent in the tube had preserved his body, he needed a full-body suit to prevent his body from being exposed to the elements and aging 1000 years.[5]
  • Iron Man after suffering massive neurological damage, Tony faked his death and preserved his body via cryogenics.[6]
  • Omega Red, who was cryogenically frozen after his superiors decided he was too dangerous to control.[7]
  • Frankenstein Monster was twice found encased in ice, first in 1898 and then 1970s which leads to his introduction to the modern times.[8]
  1. Avengers #4
  2. Captain America Vol 5 #11
  3. Captain America #155
  4. Nomad Vol 2 #25
  5. Marvel Super-Heroes #18
  6. Iron Man #284-288
  7. X-Men Vol 2 #4
  8. Frankenstein #1

[top] [Edit Suspended animation]

Supreme Power

Supreme Power

Called the Supreme Power by Hyperstorm, that ability is the power to manipulate the four fundamental forces of the universe (gravitation, electromagnetic, strong, and weak forces) that come from hyperspace.[1]

This power allows its wielder to perform a variety of feats including vast energy and matter manipulation.[1]

(See Also: Glossary:Hyperspace)
  1. 1.0 1.1 Fantastic Four #408

[top] [Edit Supreme Power]


Vision Vol 3 1 Textless

A Synthezoid is special type of android, also known as a "synthetic humanoid" robot. They are empowered by synthesizing solar energy and are replicas of the human body, containing analogues to virtually all human organs, blood, and tissue, composed of a synthetic organic-like substance. This substance mimics all the functions of human tissue, but is several times as strong, durable and resilient.

  • The Vision was later fabricated out of the Human Torch's body but modified by Ultron so they no longer reacted to oxygen.[2]
  • Vision later created a synthezoid family in his process to humanize himself. He first created his wife Virginia and then using his and her brainwaves, Vision later created their children, the twins Viv and Vin.[3]
  • Tara was an "Eve-series synthetic humanoid" her technology was derived from the original Human Torch, Jim Hammond. She was placed on the newly-formed team of New Invaders, accompanying them on their first field mission. At that time, she did not have full control of her incendiary powers, and was placed in a special containment chamber when not in combat.[4]
  • Adam II was an android created by Phineas Horton after the Human Torch. He turned against his creator and attempted to build an army of androids to destroy humanity. Adam II was responsible for the death of the second Captain America, William Nasland.[5]
  • Doctor Nemesis, co-created the original Human Torch. Bradley, however, did not get any credit so he built his own called named Volton. After some time, however, Volton went bad, eventually fighting against the Invaders as a member of the Battle-Axis.[6]
  • Eve was a Synthezoid created by the Hebert Wyndham in Counter-Earth, modeled after the Vision.[7]
(See Also: List of Synthezoids)
  1. Marvel Comics #1
  2. Avengers #57
  3. Vision Vol 3 #1
  4. Avengers Vol 3 #83
  5. What If? #4
  6. Invaders Vol 2 #1
  7. Uncanny Avengers Vol 2 #1

[top] [Edit Synthezoid]

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