Fraternity of Raptors
The Fraternity of Raptors is a group that featured in Marvel Comics.
The Fraternity of Raptors were a secret society consisting of sentient Raptor armors that had ties to the Shi'ar race. It was claimed that the armors were forged eons ago before the rise of the human race. In ages past, there existed numerous Raptors that were known to had watched over the universe. They were considered a tradition that predated that of the Nova Corps. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #1) Their origins were tied to that of the Phoenix Force through its predator the Ratha'kon which was known as the Starhawk. The Raptors were created to be a synthetic version of the Starhawk in order to be an army unstoppable even by the Phoenix. For centuries, the Fraternity thus coveted the power of the Celestial Raptor but as mechanoid beings it was out their reach. (Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk v1 #2) It was said that the basis for the creation of Raptor Prime came long ago when a seed was planted by the Gardener of the Elders of the Universe who left life in various locations in the universe to see what would grow in such areas. One of these grew to be the Tree of Shadows in Null-space with primitive Shi'ar and Skrull's battling to acquire it. The Shi'ar reached it first where a seed from the Tree transformed the primitive avian humanoid into Raptor Prime who learnt the art of shapeshifting from the Skrulls and proceeded to massacre them. It was then that a tradition was created to impose their own order upon the universe with this being a mission tasked by the Raptors of the Fraternity. (Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk v1 #3)
As part of their mission, Talon led Darkhawk into the Negative Zone whilst continuing his training in the use of his armor. He told Christopher that they were on a mission to help instil order with them intruding on the domain of Catastrophus in order to recover the Cosmic Control Rod. During this time, Chris manifested a greater bond with his Raptor armour where during this moment he gained access to its memories and came to learn that the Fraternity were not heroes but rather villains who had orchestrated numerous assassinations across their history. Talon then attacked him and reset the armor to purge the human influence and restore its original personality which was the Raptor known as Razor. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #1) Talon and Razor then recover the Cosmic Control Rod from Catastrophus, stopping briefly for Talon to implant a suggestion in the gestating Annihilus. Chris's personality was not wholly destroyed yet, and a vision of his father tells him that much of what he believed about the armor was false: the prior history, even Evilhawk himself, was a lie made up by Chris's mind, and the other armor is a second configuration that took control to cover earlier anger issues. Horrified, Chris' psyche breaks free of the prison in which it was locked, only for Chris to find himself on a great tree adorned with thousands of amulets like his own, where he encounters gargoyle-like creatures that urge him to return to the one from which he has just emerged. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #2) Meanwhile, in the Negative Zone, Talon and Razor offer Blastaar the Cosmic Control Rod in exchange for his assistance influencing the outcome of the War of Kings. Talon then appears to Vulcan, telling him that the Fraternity was created in order to keep the Imperium strong. Talon also tells him, through the Datasong, that Blastaar is helping the Shi'ar, and also tells him of Lilandra's coup on Chandilar. Razor is later seen on Chandilar, disguised as a Shi'ar. Although Rachel Grey manages to see his true form, he shoots several Shi'ar before he kills Lilandra.
Under the guise of Consul Araki, Talon was responsible for helping ensure that Gladiator was crowned the new Majestrix of the Imperium as he became Kallark the First. (War of Kings: Who Will Rule? v1 #1)
A new Fraternity of Raptors formed afterwards as one of the many factions which operated in policing the galaxy. This version consisted of fanatics that claimed they were inheritors of the old order and scoured space for relics that could allow them to harness the power of the Raptors. In time, their influence began to grow and even reached the Tree of Shadows where the dormant Raptor armours rejoiced at the thought of being freed en masse. (Darkhawk v1 #51) The order continued to operate in secret even from the Shi'ar emperor as they sought to bolster their ranks and sought out the Infinity Stones. (All-New Guardians of the Galaxy v1 #11) By this point, the Fraternity did not care who sat on the throne of the Shi'ar empire. (All-New Guardians of the Galaxy v1 #8) Talonar and a number of Shi'ar Raptors attacked the Guardians of the Galaxy in order to recover their ship that had been taken by them. This was to recover a corpse hidden in a compartment on the Milano that contained the Kree high technology that were the Nega-Bands. The Raptors managed to escape with one half of the bands whilst the Guardians managed to retain the other half. (Guardians of the Galaxy v1 #6) The Fraternity also had deployed their network of spies with the goal of destroying the newly re-emerged Nova Corps. (Guardians of the Galaxy v1 #146) Among the acts their spies in the Nova Corps accomplished was freeing Thanos on the condition that he did not target the Fraternity. (Guardians of the Galaxy v1 #148)
On a Shi'ar outpost, a group of their agents had Robbie Rider use the stolen Nega-Bands to tear down the barrier to the Null Dimension thus freeing the real Fraternity of Raptors who proceeded to slaughter the fake ones. (Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk v1 #1)
Darkhawk was joined by Nova Richard Rider who had arrived to free his brother where during the battle Starhawk turned on Gyre and killed him with the cosmic being deciding to re-order the cosmos according to his designs. Before he could depart, Death's Head detonated a ship crashing into them stunning him long enough for Darkhawk to rip apart the Amulet on his body where his body vanished thus seemingly stopping the Raptor threat. (Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk v1 #4) However, the Fraternity re-formed under Talonar where they sought out information about the new Infinity Watch in order for the Raptors to find and claim the Infinity Stones once more. (Infinity Wars: Infinity v1 #1) They then appeared on Earth where via portal the abducted Hector Bautista who became the host for the Time Stone. Talonar managed to snatch the human before he could be taken to safety by Wolverine and Loki. (Wolverine: Infinity Watch v1 #2) They then proceeded with studying Bautista as they looked towards removing the Infinity Stone from his body when their ship was boarded by Wolverine and Loki. Despite their attack, they were defeated by the Raptors leading to Wolverine's capture though Loki managed to escape. (Wolverine: Infinity Watch v1 #3)
Members did not have to be Shi'ar to join the ranks of this order. (All-New Guardians of the Galaxy v1 #11) Its leader held the position of Imperator and consisted of a council of 13 Talons. The Fraternity was known to hold a network of spies that were used to gather intelligence on their enemies. (Guardians of the Galaxy v1 #146) Raptors were said to be formidable beings but the operated through insight and guile rather than muscles or claws as they looked to shaping history to their vision. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #1)
The Amulet required a host to find it whereupon it bonded with an organic sentient who operated as a form of sacrifice. This saw the specimens body being taken over by the ancient spirit in the Amulet who took an armored form whilst the organic host was sent into the Source where they remained trapped. Raptor Amulets were ancient technology but one that were not built to accommodate younger species like Humans who were anomalies for their systems. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #3) Once bonded, the Amulets were linked to the living soul of the hosts body and destroying it led to the organic specimen. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #4)
From the Null Source, a Raptor received a Datasong that provided them information. This was the flow of information that was fast and complex. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #2) The Datasong also allowed Raptors to communicate with one another over great distances. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #3) A section of the Datasong had the armor keep the memories of the host with this area being known as the Perch. (Darkhawk v1 #51) This served as a secret thoughtspace that was separate from the Datasong and allowed for the private collection of memories of the armor. (Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk v1 #2)
Raptors were also able to activate a disguise skin allowing their armored forms to take the appearance of other species. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #3) This stealth-tech could similarly be used to make themselves invisible and blend with their surroundings. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #4) The standard armor configuration was capable of being altered by the Raptor in order to take into account new enemies with the armor being summoned from the null source. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #1) One form was raw configuration that was a powerful armor much larger than the others but considered primitive and its nature being purged from the Datasong. (Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk v1 #4)
Among their configurations of their armor included:
- Fullcombat Mode : retaining the standard form but with more firepower. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #1)
- Warflight Mode : a much more powerful and aggressive armored form able to deal with multiple powerful enemies. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #1)
- Heavy Combat Mode : a stronger (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #3)
Within Null Space, resided the Tree of Shadows which was a dark place where the sacred amulets were empowered and kept with it considered as the ancient fastness of the Raptor Fraternity. (Nova v4 #34) Within the Null Source, there resided the Servants of the Source that moved to eliminate any anomalies present within it. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #2)
Raptors considered themselves catalysts of change and architects of fate. As such, they considered the likes of the Nova Corps a minor guardian of order at best. A single one was considered more precious than a Nova Centurion and were formidable warriors. However, a Raptors strength did not lie in their weapons but rather their insight and guile that allowed them to sculpt history. This included the use of such tactics as assassinations and kidnappings. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #1)
The Fraternity followed a plan that they referred to as the Great Purpose that they shaped into existence. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #2) This included the fashioning of new empires under the stars all in the name of their masters. (Nova v4 #34)
A new Fraternity formed that consisted of sentients that sought to merge with the dormant Raptor armours. This group were divided into numerous cells such as Chapter Kestrelex. (Darkhawk v1 #51)
A device used to indoctrinate people into their ranks was the Inquisitor that was a helmet which bombarded the subject with a Simulated Reality programmed into it in an effort to break the mind of the subject. (All-New Guardians of the Galaxy v1 #11) The Talons were known to make use of many types of poisons. (All-New Guardians of the Galaxy v1 #8) They were known to make use of techniques such as arcane wards that they could inscribe on objects in order for them to gain possession of it again. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #3)
- Ki'dar : male general who served as the leader of the Fraternity. (All-New Guardians of the Galaxy v1 #11)
- Talonar : a Raptor Commander. (All-New Guardians of the Galaxy v1 #6) He was actually a brainwashed Robbie Rider who joined the ranks of the Fraternity. (All-New Guardians of the Galaxy v1 #11)
- Razor : the amulet malfunctioned and bonded with Christopher Powell who became the superhero Darkhawk who only learnt of his true nature during the War of Kings (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #1)
- Talon : took possession of the dying Skrull Grand Commander H'Jke Jeeku who was left badly wounded by the Inhumans after which the Raptor attempted to resume the Fraternity's schemes. (War of Kings: Ascension v1 #1)
- Gyre : a green amulet that bonded to a Kree archaeologist on the dying world of Shard where he was abducted by the younger Sphinx for combat against his older self. (Nova v4 #34)
- Kyte : the amulet was bonded to Plutonia of the Imperial Guard and fought against the Cancerverse at the Fault. (Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard v1 #5)
- Strel : the amulet was bonded to Mentor of the Imperial Guard and fought against the Cancerverse at the Fault. (Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard v1 #5)
- Canorus : a Shi'ar recruit that sought to become a true Raptor by finding one of the amulets. (Darkhawk v1 #51)
- Aceptar : a recruit that sought to become a true Raptor by finding one of the amulets. (Darkhawk v1 #51)
- The Fraternity of Raptors were created by C.B. Cebulski, Harvey Talibao and Bong Dazo where they made their first appearance in War of Kings: Darkhawk v1 #1 (April, 2009).
- The group was apparently based on the Fraternity of Assassins from Wanted with even their mission of being the "architects of fate" being similar to the Assasins serving as the "weapons of fate".
- In Heroic Age: Villains v1 #1 (2011), they received an entry among various villainous threats in the universe where it was said that they were intergalactic spies whose existence slightly predated the emergence of humanity.
In other media
- In Marvel: War of Heroes, the Fraternity of Raptors was referenced in the playable card Raptor Brother Talon in the video game.
- War of Kings: Dark Hawk v1:
- War of Kings: Ascension v1: #1
- War of Kings: Who Will Rule? v1:
- All-New Guardians of the Galaxy v1:
- Infinity Countdown: Darkhawk v1:
- Infinity Wars: Infinity v1:
- Wolverine: Infinity Watch v1: