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Karnak (Earth-616)

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Quote1 It is my discipline to be able to sense the weakest spot in any object -- And my power to shatter it. Quote2
-- Karnak src
See Also: Expanded History

Karnak is the second son of an Inhuman priest/philosopher named Mander and an ocean biologist named Azur. They sent their first son, Triton, into the Terrigen Mist when he was an infant, rendering him incapable of functioning outside an aquatic environment. Thus, they pleaded to raise Karnak without Terrigen mutation. Karnak was enrolled in his father's religious seminary in the Tower of Wisdom, where he trained in various physical and mental disciplines until he was eighteen years old. Azur died in a mysterious undersea mishap. Mander was a teacher at the seminary.[citation needed]
Karnak (Earth-616) 002

Karnak's side-strike

Karnak was with the Inhuman royal family when Crystal brought the Human Torch to their hidden headquarters, from where they searched for their queen, Medusa. When he met the youth he introduced himself by throwing him over his shoulder in a display of Inhuman skill. When Johnny awoke, Gorgon had returned with Medusa, and it was revealed that the Torch was not an Inhuman as Crystal had thought. After Gorgon and Triton fought with him, Johnny burned his way out of the hideout to alert the other members of the Fantastic Four.[4]

Along with the rest of the House of Agon, led by Black Bolt, Karnak fought with the Fantastic Four - initiating the first attack by chopping off a piece of wall and throwing it at the Thing - until Crystal appeared and announced that Triton had been taken by the Seeker. Karnak and his fellow Inhumans soon surrounded Lockjaw, who teleported them back to Attilan:[5] there, Black Bolt faced off against his traitorous brother, Maximus. Black Bolt quickly took his crown back by force and reclaimed leadership of the Inhumans.

But the Fantastic Four appeared moments later, having followed the Seeker back to the refuge. While Johnny Storm and Crystal ran to each other, and Black Bolt and Mister Fantastic argued, Maximus fired his atmo-gun, intending to destroy all of humanity.[6] Though when his weapon didn’t work, Medusa deduced that it proved Inhumans and humans were of the same race, which infuriated Maximus. He went out of control and reversed his machine, creating a Negative Barrier around Attilan that trapped Karnak and the rest of the Inhumans in, while the Fantastic Four narrowly escaped.[7]

While they remained trapped, Karnak became obsessed with breaking the barrier using his skills, but he only succeeded in injuring his hand.[8] Eventually, Black Bolt revealed his secret: that the use of his voice was lethally destructive, and he soon used its power to destroy the barrier that imprisoned them. The Inhumans' Council of Elders soon decreed that the royal family would disperse and go into human society to learn more of it, while the rest of the Inhumans rebuilt Attilan. Black Bolt agreed, and led them out.[9]

Karnak (Earth-616) 003

Following the destruction of Attilan,[10] and the spread of the Terrigen Mists upon the entire face of Earth, Karnak was left mentally scarred by said events and begun tearing up the Upper West Side of Manhattan, babbling and sobbing uncontrollably. He had to be put in custody by the Avengers, and in the Stark Tower he explained them what happened and what meant for the Inhumans.

When he was questioning himself for the reason for Black Bolt to spread the Terrigen Mists, and what would happen next, Karnak had an epiphany in which he finally saw "the fault in all things." He told Medusa, who was present during his interrogation, she needed to forget everything she thought she knew, ignore the instincts and forget the past; otherwise, all would be lost.

Following this revelation, in which he stated it was too late for him to unlearn a lifetime of error, Karnak shattered the window from his containment cell and jumped out of the Stark Tower, falling to his death and killing himself.[11]


However, Karnak was a distant relative of the NuHuman Lineage, whose body contained the consciousnesses of the deceased from his line. Karnak found himself inside Lineage's body, which he thought was Hell.[12] There he tried to convince some dead Inhumans to help him escape,[13] but failed.[14]

Meanwhile, Lineage became Medusa's adviser when she made the kingdom of New Attilan from the ruins of Attilan, though he planned to betray her. Karnak decided to break out of Hell on his own, but found an ally in the Capo of Ennilux, who was consumed by Lineage to learn how to use the Inhuman Codex. Karnak learned from him how Lineage had been able to defeat both Medusa and Gorgon.[14]

Karnak and the Capo then battled the guards of the exit from "Hell". Karnak managed to defeat one of the two guards and broke the door's mechanism will the Capo held the other. Karnak emerged from Lineage's chest just as he had defeated Medusa, apparently killing him. Karnak apologized to Medusa for leaving them in such a critical time and told her that she saved the Inhumans in the time of crisis.[12]

Magister Karnak

Eight months later, Karnak left New Attilan and took the title of Magister of a monastery known as the Tower of Wisdom. He led the monks there and passed his philosophical teachings. In order to sustain the monastery, he often gave his services to S.H.I.E.L.D. by rescuing newly activated Nuhumans and guiding them through the change for a million dollars each. He was latter contacted and taken to the Arctic by S.H.I.E.L.D., who explained they needed him to rescue Nuhuman Adam Roderick from I.D.I.C. and rehabilitate him. Magister Karnak deduced an agent in the base was a mole. After he subdued him, Karnak ruptured his liver and destroyed is knee until he revealed the IDIC was in Berlin. After Agent Coulson stopped Karnak from killing the mole, he agreed to recover and rehabilitate Adam. Karnak latter attacked IDIC's Berlin cell.[15]


Inhuman Metabolism: Besides strength, Karnak possesses certain physical skills superior to those of human athletes. His Inhuman metabolism affords him slightly greater reaction time, endurance, and speed than the human race's most perfect physical specimen, Captain America:

  • Enhanced Reflexes
  • Enhanced Endurance
  • Enhanced Speed
  • Enhanced Strength
  • Autonomic Function Control: Karnak has physically conditioned his body and mind to their peak levels of efficiency. He has voluntary control over most of his body's autonomic functions: breathing, heartbeat, bleeding, reaction to pain, rate of healing, etc.
  • Enhanced Durability: He has toughened all the striking surfaces of his body in general and his hands in particular, so that they are covered with dense callus. Karnak is capable of shattering wood, cinderblock, and even mild steel.
  • Stress Point Detection: Through mental discipline, Karnak has gained the extrasensory ability to perceive the stress points, fracture planes, or weaknesses, physical or psychological, in all objects or persons around him. By striking and applying pressure at these points, he can split or shatter objects made of seemingly invincible substances or render insensate beings of far greater strength than he. This mental discipline is virtually effortless, and Karnak can attain this state of awareness for extended periods of time.
    • Precognition: At his very end, Karnak was able to see fragments of the future, by bending the definition of his powers.[11]


Contortionist: He is extremely lithe and flexible, able to expand and contract his muscles and contort his body into seemingly painful positions.

Strength level

Karnak possesses a degree of superhuman strength, derived from his eugenically superior Inhuman heritage and his intensive regimen of regular exercise. Karnak can lift (press) about 1 ton.

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