Publication Date: 5th Jul 2024
Written By: Daytripper.


Some 40,000 years ago, Earth was under the grip of an endless winter. The weak perished by the millions. The strong sought out a land where winter's reign could not reach. Amongst a group of nomads, journeying across the great land that would become Canada, there was a member of the tribe called Eshu, who refused to accept what was playing out before him. He demanded more of everything – food, clothing and women. He was a strong, skilled fighter, but also a bully. The tribe grew weary of his arrogance and banished him, for they had a code against killing. Wandering the icy wastelands alone, Eshu didn't die. Instead, he journeyed southward, following the shrinking sun, until, for no known reason, he suddenly stopped and turned, heading north, further and further, driven by a madness. The remains of others who had come this way dotted the icy terrain, until the ancient man set his eyes upon something he could not have possibly comprehended – a giant spaceship, fallen from the stars and partially submerged into the icy landscape.

The primitive man moved closer to the mysterious spaceship, something calling to him. Then, when he was within meters from the vessel, tendrils appeared and pulled him within. What followed was an unending torture, as Eshu was subjected to an array of alien probing and experimentation, courtesy of the strange spaceship. The agony of the process caused him to go insane. His body was stripped of flesh, muscle and tissue. His bones were scraped and every part of his body was distilled and studied. The only thing left intact was his brain, the very humanity of the nomad. Instead, his brain was kept alive and incorporated into the vessel itself, becoming at first a tiny extension of the computer matrix. However, Eshu's will was strong and, while it took some 30,000 years to accomplish, he eventually purged himself of the madness and turned his prison into his castle. Now in control of the machines within the spaceship, he was able to command them to rebuild his mortal body, but in a perfect form this time. Eshu also used the superior technology of the ship to create a life-sustaining armor to wear which would take care of all of his needs, no longer needing to eat or exercise. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #3, 96]

While his activities over the next 10,000 or so years remain vague, at some point Eshu self-styled himself as the Master of the World. It is presumably during this time that he also became obsessed with the alien race known as the Plodex. It was, after all, the Plodex's spaceship that he had found, that had transformed him and that he now controlled. The Plodex were an alien species whose life was dedicated to conquest. Their own homeworld and its moons were long ago drained of resources, so waves of colony ships were sent into the galaxy, where they were programmed to land on worlds in early stages of development and in regions inhospitable to native fauna. The Plodex ship would grow within the soil of the planet, becoming a colonization complex. The complex would send a hypnotic call out, and any lifeforms which survived the long trek to the complex be assumed to be representative of the dominant life form. On Earth's case, this was Eshu.

The complex would then send millions of egg-pairs, which were now programmed with the genetic code of the dominant life out into the world to conquer the planet. However, the ship that landed on Earth was damaged. After being in space for 10,000 years, one its drive units exploded and the millions of eggs were sent out into the world before they were programmed with Eshu's genetic coding. During this time, Eshu also discovered that the Plodex spaceship had crashed on Earth some four hundred centuries ago. Around this time, he also had the ship create a giant, fish-shaped vessel, which operated independently from the main complex, should he ever need to escape. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #4, 16]

Through unrevealed circumstances, in 1918, Eshu  was incarcerated at the Ravencroft Institute. His claims of being 40,000 years old were disputed by Dr. Jonas Ravencroft, the head of the Institute, who decided that he was more likely to be 40 years old. How long Eshu was held within Ravencroft, and how he escaped, remain unknown. [Ruins of Ravencroft – Dracula #1]

By the late 20th Century, though, the Master of the World had made his way back to the Plodex complex in the Arctic, where he continued to set about with his plans to conquer the Earth. The complex had, by now, become a sprawling monstrosity beneath the ice of the Arctic. With the emergence of powerful super-heroes in the mid-late 20th Century, eventually the Great White North came to have its own team of super beings and among the team was a green-skinned alien resembling an Earth woman. The Master learned of this alien's existence and determined that she was a Plodex, from the only surviving pair of eggs from the vessel that crashed on Earth, and who had taken her appearance from the genetic coding of the kindly woman who opened the Plodex egg.

This being called herself Marrina and she was a member of Alpha Flight. Eshu saw Marrina as a monster and a threat to his claim of Master of the World, as she was a “brood female” whose purpose was to colonize the Earth. Unimpressed with Marrina's aquatic nature, the Master was concerned that she would one day meet her brood mate and create a new race of Plodex. Not interested in ruling a world of fish-things, he knew that he had to destroy Marrina and locate her brood mate. Using the complex's bio-systems, the Master sent a homing call to Marrina, who could not resist the urge to follow, and the Master captured her. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #4, 2-3]

Marrina's teammates followed her and explored the Master's complex, which offered various forms of defense against the heroes. It was Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Invisible Woman who actually located Marrina and the Master. The Master wasted little time in attacking the intruders, though he retreated soon thereafter, deciding that, while his plans were going accordingly, he needed to bide more time. It was Alpha Flight's leader, Guardian, who ultimately determined the true purpose of the complex and knew that it would mean the end of life on Earth. Alpha Flight seemingly destroyed the Master's complex, which (according to the Master) was part of his plans. Alpha Flight, Namor and the Invisible Woman escaped but, after an extensive search, the Master was nowhere to be seen and, bizarrely, neither was his complex. No wreckage remained, as if it dissolved in the Arctic waters. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #4]

Of course, the Master was not killed in the explosion of the Arctic complex, escaping in his fish-shaped submarine. He spent the next several weeks locating Marrina's genetic brood mate, who, having nothing upon which to imprint when it hatched, took on a shapeless, monstrous form. The Master captured the beast and set it loose in Lake Ontatio, Toronto, where a series of savage attacks and disappearances soon followed. Puck and Heather Hudson began to investigate but, after the creature attacked Heather, Puck called on the aquatic assistance of Marrina, just as the Master had planned. The Master was pleased with himself as his plotting resulted in Marrina encountering her mate. Submitting to her bestial nature, she emerged from Lake Toronto and attacked both Puck and the Sub-Mariner, with whom she was now in a relationship. The Master was pleased that the Sub-Mariner was involved in this, because he considered the need for the extinction of Homo mermanus a priority. The Master then captured Puck, Marrina and the Sub-Mariner and imprisoned them aboard his submarine.

The Master was startled when Puck suddenly died in the stasis tank in which he was being held but ultimately decided that it didn't matter, as there would be no place for Puck in his perfect tomorrow. However, Puck was in fact not dead. Skilled in the art of breathing techniques, he had slowed his breathing to make himself appear dead to the Master's technology. The Master was surprised when Puck kicked him backwards and proceeded to free the Sub-Mariner. The Master had no time to defend himself, as Puck leap at him and tore his helmet from his head, throwing it at the tank containing Marrina in an attempt to free her. Unfortunately for the Master, the helmet had been bonded to his face, as it was his control link to the submarine and everything aboard it. His deformed face revealed, the Master was also now unable to control the horrid Plodex creature, who thrashed about after escaping its tank, damaging the submarine's automatic systems. The Sub-Mariner was able to toss Marrina free from the submarine, then escape with Puck, just before the submarine exploded. When the Sub-Mariner searched the depths of the lake, he found the submarine's wreckage and the remains of what he assumed to be the Plodex monster, but no recognizable remains of the Master. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #15-16]