The Brood are a parasitic race within Marvel Comics.
The Brood were a race of insectoid parasites that used other species as hosts to breed more of their kind. It was said that the origins of the Brood was largely unknown. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #166) One account said that the insectoid race spawned in a dark galaxy and became the universe's first natural predators. (History of the Marvel Universe v2 #1) They were said to be an ancient highly adaptive aggressive species that were found spawning in the dark matter flow of a collapsed universe thus making them an extrauniversal race with evidence that the alpha hive was manufactured. (X-Men v5 #9) Within the galactic ecosystem, it was claimed that the Brood had developed to become natural predators for far worse species to inhabit the cosmos. (Astonishing X-Men v3 #40) Long ago, the Brood were said to had come to the Milky Way Galaxy when they had fled some great cosmic catastrophe or war they had lost. Upon arriving in that new region of space, they encountered the Acanti and found the space bearing organisms natural ability to travel the speed of light to be a great tool for them. Thus, they conducted their first great hunt of the great beasts and claimed the Prophet-Singer which they used to enslave more of their kind. This led to the Brood began to use the Acanti as living starships whose minds were destroyed in the process. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #166) In 2620 BC, the Brood arrived on Earth during the reign of Pharaoh Khasekhemwy Khasekhemui where they infected him and threatened to spread across Egypt. This was until Imhotep assembled an army that included Apocalypse to challenge the alien invaders thus defeating them. (S.H.I.E.L.D. v1 #1)
The Kree came to encounter the Brood and studied them for use as a potential bio-weapon for use against other civilisations. Thus, they genetically seeded the hive with a biological control mechanism that was known as the King's Egg. (X-Men v5 #9) Many years ago, the Brood came to spread into the Absolom Sector with them raiding the shipping lanes of the Shi'ar. Around this time, the Kree dispatched a vessel under Grand Admiral Devros with setting up a military beachhead for an invasion of the region of space. Upon arriving, they were ambushed by a Brood-controlled Acanti vessel where both ships crashed on the surface of an uninhabited world. The Brood came to infect the surviving Kree with Devros forming an alliance with the Queen-Mother with the intention of infecting the rest of his kind as he came to believe a union of their races could bring about an evolutionary superior race. Another Kree ship led by Zen-Pram and holding Captain Mar-Vell had come to find the fate of Devros who turned on them and captured them to be used as hosts. He intended to use their craft as a means of escaping the planet in order to infect the rest of the Kree empire. (Untold Legend of Captain Marvel v1 #2)
At some unknown point, the Hellfire Club managed to acquire the body of a Brood combat drone. The specimen was later donated to the UK-based covert agency Black Air under the Information Exchange Treaty. (Excalibur v1 #90)
The Brood Imperiatrix later formed an alliance with the Badoon where the pair disguised themselves as interstellar beings called the Coterie that took Earth’s various heroes for an intergalactic contest. In reality, the purposes of the fights was to infect them with Badoon nanites and for the Brood to take control over them. The goal was to cull the population and determine those worthy of implantation of Imperial eggs whilst dividing the meat among the lesser princesses. (Contest of Champions II v1 #3)
At some point, a vessel belonging to Tyrus Krill came upon a nest of Brood in space who infected him and his family. He managed to slow his infection but his family were transformed where they began to prey on others across space. Krill then became a Brood bounty hunter as he sought to eliminate his family so that they could find peace. He eventually tracked them to Earth where he enlisted the aid of Wolverine to kill the nest. After the nest was killed, Krill succumbed to his transformation where he fought Wolverine and was killed allowing him along with his family to finally die in peace. (Wolverine v2 #2000) A scouting force of Brood were dispatched to determine the invasion of Earth where they infiltrated NASA space station Simulacra. (X-Men/Fantastic Four v1 #2) This led to Acanti arriving to bring the Brood’s invasion forces but they later fled when they perceived Galactus and the Phoenix coming to the planet though in reality this was an illusion generated by Emma Frost through Cerebra. (X-Men/Fantastic Four v1 #5)
Various Brood nests came under attack from the entity known as Cru who sought the extermination of the species. One such group hatched on a plan to destroy their pursuer and took an Acanti to Earth where they claimed that the world contained Cavourite crystals which could be used to create a weapon. Cru reasoned that the crystals could be used to destroy its prey. Unknown to it, the Brood had intended Cru to use the crystals which would overload thus destroy their enemy along with half the Earth. The Brood nest crashed on Earth where they were killed by Ms. Marvel after their plans were revealed. (Ms. Marvel v2 #2) However, one of the escape pods survived and landed on Monster Island where the Queen began building a nest and infecting Moloids as host organisms. (Ms. Marvel v2 #22) The nest along with the Queen were all destroyed by Ms. Marvel along with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Cru’s aid. (Ms. Marvel v2 #24)
A surviving Brood Queen accompanied the Green Scar's forces in their invasion of Earth. She formed a nest with the intention of using the chaos to implant her young among human hosts. (Heroes for Hire v2 #12)
During the Annihilation War, the Brood homeworld was noted to had been destroyed leaving the species on the brink of extinction with them being desperate to reproduce to replace their lost numbers. Around this time, S.W.O.R.D. had acquired a number of Brood and were performing experiments at their orbital Pandora's Box facility to use experimental equipment to help remove Brood larva from infected hosts. However, the Brood Queen managed to escape where they took over the facility and intended to infect the crew whereupon they would use the equipment to remove the larva after which they would re-infect the host again constantly. Through this means, they wanted to increase their numbers and help avert their possible extinction. Abigail Brand attempted to purge the facility but came to be infected by the Brood with the X-Men arriving to save her. (Astonishing X-Men v3 #38) However, she decided to save the race after learning that they were natural predators for worse species and that the interstellar ecosystem had become destabilised after the Brood losing their homeworld. (Astonishing X-Men v3 #40)
Fu Manchu experimented with the Brood in one of his hidden laboratories that remained after his apparent death. His daughter Zheng Bao Yu resurrected this forgotten experiment and attempted to breed the alien predators when their operation was interrupted by the Fearless Defenders. The Brood No Name had entered the battle to destroy the renegade Brood who she claimed were bred from tainted DNA and she would depart the scene seeking to hunt down those responsible for this experiment. (Fearless Defenders v1 #8)
The Brood Queen on the Galactic Council commented to her comrades that she had birthed many new drones that were ready to assist the depleted allied forces against the Builders. (Avengers v5 #20) A number of Brood came to the Peak in orbit around Earth seemingly peacefully but had in fact brought an infection of Symbiotes that took control over the station's occupants. Some of the Brood themselves were devoured by the brain-hungry Symbiotes whilst others were used as hosts that used a teleportation gateway to invade the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning on Earth. (Spider-Man and the X-Men v1 #5)
During the Builder Crisis, the Brood allied themselves with the united races of the Galactic Council in order to fight this common threat. Thus, they added their rapidly growing living armada among the allied forces. (Avengers v5 #18)
During Civil War II, a Brood nest came to Earth and attempted to infect humans but were defeated by the X-Men alongside Captain Marvel. (Civil War II: X-Men v1 #2)
A group of Brood came to land on the Moon of Rhittle that was the site of a medical research facility. They attacked the research dome where they abducted people along with the animal test subjects in order to use them to grow their spawn. A geneticist attempted to combat the Brood by introducing a virus but this simply put them in a rage and made them more aggressive as well as made them carriers for the infection that could infect other humanoids. This resulted in the scientists in the facility sending out a call for help that was responded to by the Guardians of the Galaxy alongside Wolverine and her allies. During this time, Honey Badger was captured by the Brood who infected her with a queen embryo where she killed the ruler of the nest on the moon. (All-New Wolverine v1 #23) As the new queen, she took over the nest and threatened to expand these Brood to new worlds until her healing factor purged the embryo from her body where she was recovered by her friends. After evacuating the research facility, the Guardians detonated a bomb that destroyed the moon which eliminated the threat from this nest of Brood. (All-New Wolverine v1 #24)
The decimation of the Brood race led to some of them looking to bring about the rise of a new Empress to lead their kind. This saw a Queen looking to breed more of her kind where she sought non-Mutant hosts from Earth. Her attempts at targeting astronauts were thwarted by the interference of Frank Castle and J. Jonah Jameson. (Punisher Annual v5 #1) In deep space, a clan of Brood were hunting a colony of Acanti and looking to capture the young for use as living ships. Their efforts were thwarted by the intervention of Kofi Whitemane but this led to the Brood directing their efforts at capturing and infecting the Kymellian. He fled to Earth to seek the aid of the Power Pack with the Brood clan in pursuit with them looking to add more super-powered beings into their ranks as hosts. (Power Pack: Grow Up! v1 #1) After millennia, the Kree Black Judges looked to enact an older strategy from the Supreme Intelligence that involved the manifestation of a Kings Egg that was mistakenly taken to Earth by the New Mutants. This caused the entirety of the Brood travelling to the planet in order to eliminate it as the Queen's were threatened by it as it challenged their absolute rule over their hives. The X-Men later took it away from Earth to distract the parasitic aliens but they failed in stopping Broo from consuming it thus making him the new ruler of the Brood race. (X-Men v5 #9)
Brood hides were capable of withstanding energy attacks from Unibeams. (Legend of Captain Marvel v1 #2) Though their biology did not allow their systems to tolerate powerful doses of depressants. In addition, there were certain frequencies that only the Brood could hear with devices set in this range emitting a sound that they found unbearable. (Wolverine v2 #2000) Young Brood did not possess wings and it was several years before they began to develop them. (Wolverine and the X-Men v1 #5) They were highly specialized and designed to reproduce in order to consume all available resources. (Legendary Star-Lord v1 #10) Each Brood were chemically bounded to their Queen and sisters. (World War Hulk: Aftermash - Warbound v1 #4) When low in numbers, Brood were biologically capable of adapting leading to soldiers becoming Queens to help produce more young. (Astonishing X-Men v3 #40) As a species, they were noted to be weak projecting telepaths though certain clans had stronger psionic abilities. (Power Pack: Grow Up! v1 #1) M’zara blood flies were noted parasites that injected themselves into the bodies of the Brood where they devoured the insides in a matter of seconds thus causing their hosts to explode. (Wolverine v2 #2000) When killed, it was noted that the bodies of the Brood disintegrated. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #155)
Brood embryos possessed a degree of awareness even whilst gestating in a body allowing them to take steps to ensure the host's survival such as curing them of wounds. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #164) It was said that adrenaline and strong emotions hastened the metamorphosis into a Brood. (Untold Legend of Captain Marvel v1 #3) A specific band of radiation such as those from an Omni-Wave Projector was fatal to Brood eggs. (Untold Legend of Captain Marvel v1 #3) It was noted that every once in a while a member of their kind was born that were born who exhibited traits such as kindness. These traits were an anathema to the Brood race and it was this reason they typically killed such offspring. (Astonishing X-Men v3 #40)
Numerous breeds of the species were created that included:
- Infestoids : a newly evolved strain that were small but contained many eggs and sought to burrow into the skulls of large sum of helpless victims who were infected in large numbers to create a population explosion of Brood. (Legendary Star-Lord v1 #10)
- Firstborn : large armoured green-skinned six-armed members of the race who were elite Brood that only served the Empress and dispatched on missions to eliminate errant members of their race with them dispatched in organic pods that disintegrated upon arrival leaving no way back as the Firstborn were expected to finish their assignment then they died upon completion. Unlike other Brood, the Firstborn were unable to shift form which meant that they could not infiltrate worlds and instead they killed anyone that discovered them. (X-Men vs Brood v1 #1)
As predators, the Brood were said to believe in manifest destiny on a cosmic scale with them believing all creation belonged to them. Most other life forms were considered meat to them with only those of noted genetic potential being injected with an egg. (Contest of Champions II v1 #3) Due to their nature, they always sought out breeders that could be used by their race. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #155) The race were noted as parasitic vicious killers who subsist by preying on the weak. (Wolverine and the X-Men v2 #10) A ruthless species who acted more akin to a virus rather than an animal (Legendary Star-Lord v1 #10) Their instincts taught them to kill, conquer and consume. Denying these instincts that taught them to slay other sentients was to reject their own biological urges. These same traits led them to try and breed offspring that could even include hybrids who were born as mindless savage creatures driven only by hunger. Such offspring were considered perfect by the parent with it taking great force of will to reject these instincts. If their immediate hive was slain, a lone Brood was sometimes severed from their species hive mind. (World War Hulk: Aftermash - Warbound v1 #4)
Brood had numerous ranks within their society that included:
- Empress :
- Queens :
- Huntmasters : (Uncanny X-Men v1 #164)
- Clanmasters : senior leading Brood that commanded their kin. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #156)
- Slavemaster :
Similar to many rapidly reproducing hive societies, the Brood were noted to had operated under a matriarchal society. This caste based society began with the Empress and continued to the Firstborn, Queen, Dwarf Queen and the Drones. The Empress controlled the hive through a combination of pheromones and telepathic dominance. If the Empress was killed then nest wars erupted whereby rival queens battled one another to assume control of the hive in a conflict that lasted several decades. (X-Men v5 #9) A Queen sometimes surrounded themselves with Brood bodyguards that had abilities making them stronger and more able to protect her from dangers. (Wolverine v2 #2000) Commando forces consisted of the finest Warrior-Primes. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #166)
The Brood were known to routinely send out false distress signals in the hope of ensnaring unsuspecting vessels that came to investigate the call. (Wolverine v2 #2000) Brood were capable of allying with others but were stated to back winners. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #155) Ultimately, other species were seen as a means to cultivate their eggs and propagate themselves. Beyond that, they were either food or workers but otherwise held no importance to their race. The only purpose they had was to protect and extend their own people with individuality no mattering to them as only the Brood living on mattered to them. To survive, their only hope was to breed as they reasoned that as they extended their grasp to other worlds that no matter how many of their kind were killed that the Brood would always survive. The Brood held that all life hated and feared them which was why they always faced extermination at the hands of other species. (X-Men vs Brood v1 #1) Among their kind, the Mutant known as Wolverine was regarded as a monster with tales of him told to frighten their young. (Wolverine v2 #2000)
They had a sense of unity brought together by their hive-mind with individuality not holding a place for their kind. The Brood believed their hive-mind afforded a sense of unity and a sense of purpose greater than an individual whereas other species only had chaos. Thoughts of freedom of self and choice of the individual was an anathema to their race with those members of their kind expressing such views facing destruction. Their civilization had spread across the universe with hundreds of nests spread across numerous planets. Each one contained a Queen though each was subservient to the Empress. (X-Men vs Brood v1 #1)
Brood could implant neural scramblers into their limbs allowing them to paralyse prey through contact alone. (Power Pack: Grow Up! v1 #1) Among their weaponry included the Psi-Scream that targeted the minds of enemies causing them to experience their most primal fears and hatreds to manifest from their subconscious causing foes to turn against one another. They had a rifle that fired tangle-web designed to wrap around an enemy to incapacitate them. Brood also made use of projectiles that fired shells filled with acid to burn foes. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #155)
These gargantuan beasts were thus turning into living spaceships for the Brood who outfitted mechanical sections for habitation and weaponry whilst higher-brain functions were deliberately destroyed making it subservient to its crew. Thus, without any awareness, the sentient beings followed its Brood masters commands and was large enough to swallow other ships. Cloaking devices were outfitted on them to prevent detection of these giant space going organisms. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #156) The Slaver Virus was used to infect Acanti that destroyed the higher reasoning centres of the creature thus eliminating its conscious mind and self-awareness. It was said that the effects of the virus were irreversible. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #166)
For power needs, they were known to create geo-thermal pits that drilled down to the planetary core that was used to warm surface crusts. This process was used as part of a partial terraforming measures with them able to make dead worlds create a breathable atmosphere. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #166)
- Skur'kll : Warrior-Prime of the Brood who accompanied Deathbird as part of their alliance with her to take over the Shi'ar empire where he targeted the X-Men where despite his skill he was killed by Wolverine. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #155)
- Extraterrestrial Biological Entity 7.0 : a combat drone recovered by the Hellfire Club and donated to Black Air for study. (Excalibur v1 #90)
- No-Name : a warrior prime who landed with her kind on Sakaar but her comrades were killed in the gladiatorial pits leading to her being free from the hive mind where she joined the Warbound. (World War Hulk: Aftermash - Warbound v1 #4)
- Broo : a member of the race considered a mutation for he was one of the rare few born with traits such as kindness with them typically killed but he was left alive as the Brood faced extinction so could not afford killing more of their kind. He was rescued from stasis by the X-Men where the young teenage Brood sided with them against his kind. (Astonishing X-Men v3 #40)
- T'crilee : (Uncanny X-Men v1 #164)
- Skür’kll : a warrior with the ability to produce a psi-scream. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #155)
- Haeg’rill : a Brood Captain. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #156)
- Tyrus Krill :
- Hannah Connover :
- Zeta 987-349 : a Broodling of Sleazeworld captured by the Shi'ar and sentenced to life imprisonment at the Ravenstarr maximum-security prison galaxy. Following a disturbance in the galaxy, the Shi'ar went to investigate and discovered the Brood who was attempting to escape. He ate the faces of three guards until he was captured where Gladiator sentenced him to death. (Avengers v8 #27)
- The rood were created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum where they made their first appearance in Uncanny X-Men v1 #155 (March, 1982).
- During the JLA/Avengers Crossover, the supervillain Krona created a cosmic disaster that forced the two universes to collide with one another leading to a number of Brood attacking the warlord Mongul.
- They received a brief entry in Annihilation: The Nova Corps Files v1 #1 (2006) that stated that their homeworld was the destroyed Broodworld located in the Brood Galaxy.
X-Men vs Brood v1 #2 (1996), it was said by Bishop that there were a benign group of Brood that resided in his future in the alternate reality timeline of Earth-1191.
- In WildC.A.T.s/X-Men #The Silver Age v1 #1 (1997), the Brood appeared appeared in the alternate reality setting during a crossover arc between Marvel and Wildstorm Comics. Brood War-Bearers arrived on Earth as part of forward scouting unit where they discovered that the Daemonites were also intending to claim the planet. Rather than the two races fighting, they formed an unholy alliance with one another in order to take over the world.
- In Fantastic Four v3 #16 (1999), the Brood appeared in an alternate world setting that was designated as Earth-99315. In this universe, a great cataclysm affected the cosmos upon its conclusion saw the Kree coming and ruling Earth. During their occupation of Earth, an Acanti managed to crash onto the surface where it disgorged a horde of Brood on the surface where they targeted both the Kree and the native human survivors. Any individual found with superhuman ability were captured with their genetic material added into a hive by the Queen who added these abilities within new offspring.
In other media
- In X-Men, a race known as the Family appeared in the 1990s animated television series in the episode "Love is Vain" with these aliens being based on the Brood. This parasitic species were green-skinned humanoids with reptilian characteristics and use four cybernetic tentacles as additional limbs. These aliens arrive on Earth onboard an Acanti and infect various humans who slowly transform into a member of the race. They were defeated when the Acanti itself was discovered to be a living sentient being who was freed from the aliens control whereupon its song caused great pain to the Family who relented in abandoning their attempted takeover of Earth.
- In X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, a Brood Queen appeared as an antagonist boss in the 1990s video game.
- In X-Men 2: Clone Wars, a Brood Queen appeared as a boss level antagonist in the video game with soundtrack played being "The Brood Queen & Her Claws".
- In X-Men Legends II, the Brood did not appear but instead an insectoid creature called Cerci replaced them. These mutated insects were sent to infest Genosha during Apocalypses assault on the island nation. The Cerci consisted of Queens and Drones with them breeding at a fast rate whilst they built hives underground. A number of Cerci were designated as Brood types during the game.
- In Marvel Heroes, the Brood appeared as antagonists in the MMORPG game. During the story mode, a number of them took over a S.H.I.E.L.D. science station in the Savage Land and began turning into mindless offspring where they intended to harvest the indigenous people of the area.
- In Marvel: War of Heroes, the Brood appeared as a playable card in the video game.
- Uncanny X-Men v1:
- Fantastic Four v3:
- Untold of Captain Marvel v1:
- Wolverine v2:
- X-Men vs Brood v1:
- S.H.I.E.L.D. v1 #1: (2010)
- Excalibur v1 #90:
- Heroes for Hire v2:
- Astonishing X-Men v3:
- All-New Wolverine v1:
- History of the Marvel Universe v2:
- Power Pack: Grow Up! v1:
- Punisher Annual v5:
- Avengers v8:
- X-Men v5: (2020)