Pax Dei (DC)
The Pax Dei are a group that features in DC Comics.
The Pax Dei was an army of angelic beings that were native to a higher order of reality when compared to Earth. Its greater nature meant that the lights of heaven burnt out the cornea's of mortals and its music would puncture eardrums as well as lead to those that heard it insane. Even the air of heaven itself would burst lungs and boil the blood which was why only spirits could survive its touch. (JLA v1 #6) At the beginning of creation, there was the Presence a powerful almighty being that was also known as God and ruled the kingdom of heaven. To serve the Presence was the angels of the Pax Dei who lived in the ethereal realm of Paradise where not only angelic beings resided by many souls of different hosts. During the earliest point of existence, the greatest of the angels was Lucifer Morningstar who ultimately fell from grace when he staged a rebellion against Paradise. His forces were in the end defeated by the loyal ranks of the army of Heaven namely the Pax Dei. These fallen angels were later stripped of their magnificence and cast out into Hell as punishment for their crimes.
Around 40 years ago, an angel fell in love with a human and requested to become mortal. This request as granted though the angel in question where he became ancient and alone where he became miserable in his mortality. (JLA: Paradise Lost v1 #1)
The King-Angel Asmodel was secretly conspiring with the demon Neron to replace the Presence. His plan was discovered by a guardian angel called Zauriel who had fallen in love with his female charge. Thus, he decided to leave the ranks of the Pax Dei and requested mortality. This saw bull angels pursuing him to Earth where they intended to eliminate him to stop him from revealing Asmodel's plans. However, they faced opposition from the Justice League of America which saw Asmodel descend onto Earth to personally eliminate the threat. (JLA v1 #6) In order to distract the Presence, Asmodel arranged for a seemingly impossible event to occur on the fringes of creation in order to allow his Bull Host to erase Zauriel and those that stood with him. The Bull Host were only stopped when the Flash generated a supersonic vibration that cancelled out the angels forms within the Earthly plane. (JLA v1 #7) Despite this setback, Asmodel continued with his rebellion where his Bull Host allied with Neron's demons to storm paradise. They were opposed by the loyal members of the Pax Dei who were aided briefly by the Martian Manhunter and Zauriel. As Asmodel approached the throne, he discovered that there was no physical body for the Presence as He lived in everything. Thus, the second war in heaven failed and Asmodel was stripped of his power and sent into hell where he was tortured by Neron. (JLA: Paradise Lost v1 #3) During the 5th Dimension War, the angelic hosts of the Pax Dei witnessed the Spectre entombed in the walls of the material universe. Unaware of the case, they tasked Zauriel with finding the source of the danger to existence. (JLA v1 #28)
During the Mageddon crisis, the angelic hosts gathered before the Presence in order to plan the architecture of a new universe should the current one fall before the Old God weapon. (JLA v1 #36) Zauriel later went before the Courts of Light to enlist their aid but was rebuffed by them. This saw him plead for his comrades to join him by taking mortality and helping Earth which he was happy to see that many of his fellow angels agreed whereupon they helped stabilize the planet from the Mageddon's maddening effects. (JLA v1 #41) In the aftermath, the Bull host of the Pax Dei sought to redeem themselves after the actions of Asmodel. Following that point, Cronus of the Titans of Myth managed to attain great power where he and his children succeeded in defeating Olympus. After defeating the Hindu pantheon, he turned his attention to heaven and stormed its gates where he battled as well as overwhelmed the angels of the Pax Dei. They were almost defeated whilst Cronus sought to ascend the celestial staircase in order to control he Presence itself. However, the arrival of Wonder Woman with the Greek and Hindu gods managed to turn the tide leading to Cronus's defeat. (Wonder Woman v2 #150)
The angel Malachy was once dispatched to assign a mission on behalf of the Presence to Zauriel, namely to travel to the planet Alstair where the tyrant Queen Hyathis faced a rebellion from Okoentis and her fungoids. Okoentis at thsi time was in possession of the mystical artifact known as the Helmet of Nabu. Its power meant that the Presence commanded that Hyathis remain in power and was one of the few times that heaven intervened directly in mortal affairs even though it sought to ensure that democracies arose in the cosmos. Managing to attack Okoentis herself, Zauriel succeeded in removing the Helmet from her and throwing it back into an interdimensional rift where it would continue its journey across dimensions. This left Queen Hyathis still in power and Okoentis herself was seemingly destroyed by Zauriel's fiery blade. (Helmet of Fate: Zauriel)
During the Final Crisis, the army of God consisting of the vengeful angels of the Pax Dei arrived alongside other armies of superheroes of the Multiverse in order to defeat the vampiric Dark Monitor Mandrakk. (Final Crisis v1 #7)
The purpose of the Pax Dei was to maintain the peace of God and consist entirely of angels. There were four orders within the ranks of the Pax Dei which were: Eagle, Bull, Lion and Man. The command over these fell to the Lord of Hosts and special permission was required for an angel to leave their ranks. Ultimate rule over the Pax Dei was to the Presence itsel who was known as Him Who Is or as the Most High. (Helmet of Fate: Zauriel) High ranking angels were referred to as lords with the leaders of the different hosts being called King Angels. (Wonder Woman v2 #150) The generals of heaven consisted of four such King-Angels who commanded the Pax Dei. (JLA: Paradise Lost v1 #1) The order of the angels consisted of thrones, powers and dominions. Their armies consisted of various hosts that included the Bull and Eagle Hosts. (JLA v1 #6) One rank within the armies of the Pax Dei included the one of guardian angel. (JLA v1 #6) These angels were charged with protecting some of the most pivotal characters in history from demonic possession. (JLA: Paradise Lost v1 #1) Their work was entirely done on a psychic level and they were forbidden from intervening physically unless they abandoned their immortal forms. (JLA: Paradise Lost v1 #2)
They referred to the world as the "Book" and threatened to erase their enemies from it. In the mortal realm, they attuned their bodies to the vibrational level of the plane of the Book. By tuning to a higher key momentarily, they were able to repair any damage done to their substance thus returning unhurt. A trick used by the Eagle host allowed them to release a sonic cry from their mouths that disrupted the frequency of angelic vibrations though the art took years to restabilise. (JLA v1 #6) Angelic beings experienced time in a completely different sense compared to mortal beings as large periods of time were mere moments to members of the Pax Dei whereas years may have passed in the mortal world. (Helmet of Fate: Zauriel) Angels were ultimately immortal beings who had witnessed the Presence create mankind and lived for eternity. (JLA: Paradise Lost v1 #1) They were able to quit service to the Presence and request mortality. (JLA v1 #6) Alternatively, a more mortal form could be achieved by wearing a flesh-suit. (JLA v1 #7) The "form of boy" flesh-suit was known as the most feared battle-shape in all of paradise. (JLA: Paradise Lost v1 #2)
Among the higher bodies within the angelic hosts were the Courts of Light. (JLA v1 #41) Within the hosts of heaven resided the voiceless choirs. (JLA v1 #6) The Pax Dei who were the army of heaven were divided into four angelic hosts that included the eagle, lion, bull and man. Among these, the bull host were the most militant of the soldiers of heaven. (JLA: Paradise Lost v1 #1) Their armies included the alpha battalions of the Man and Bull hosts. (Wonder Woman v2 #150) In heaven resided the Burning Meadows and mortality was capable of being bestowed on an angel by the Death-Angel of the Third Heaven. (JLA v1 #7)
The world of the angels had more of everything when compared to the mortal realm and included large vessels known as Chariots. (JLA v1 #6) Their construction meant that the simple touch of mortal flesh burnt when in contact with the material of these ships. Their were several models of these craft one of which included the Cherubim Chariot. (JLA v1 #7) Another type of these advanced magical technological flying constructs were the Ezekial EL-777 that was a trans-continuum chariot that were intelligent and able to speak to their angel operators by way of telepathic interface. Such constructs allowed angels to travel to distant mortal worlds and dimensions with their vessels being able to brief them on their objectives. (Helmet of Fate: Zauriel) A critical component for their functioning was the navigation gel. Chariots were capable of generating angelic shields over a localized area to prevent intruders from reach a certain site. (JLA v1 #7)
Ordinarily, the members of the Pax Dei were content to ensure that democracies prospered within the lands of flesh though this was not the case in heaven itself. (Helmet of Fate: Zauriel) They believed themselves to be quite adept at atoning for their sins. (Wonder Woman v2 #150)
- Amphodel : a male angel who answered Zauriel's call to help Earth during the Mageddon crisis. (JLA v1 #41)
- Asmodel : a male King-Angel of the Cherubim Alpha Battalion who conspired to replace the Presence. (JLA v1 #6)
- Baumiel : a male bull angel who answered Zauriel's call to help Earth during the Mageddon crisis. (JLA v1 #41)
- Echielias : a male angel recruit who was dispatched to kill Cronus only to be killed by the Titan at the gates of heaven. (Wonder Woman v2 #150)
- Gargonel : a male lion angel who was preparing the architecture of the new universe in case Earth was destroyed by the Mageddon and refused to aid mortals when implored by Zauriel. (JLA v1 #41)
- Heraphon : a male lord who was present during Cronus's ascent into heaven. (Wonder Woman v2 #150)
- Michael : a male guardian angel who was one of the best assigned to protect a movie star though was unable to save her psychically and so became mortal only to see her die whereupon he requested the Presence to return to heaven but was denied. (JLA: Paradise Lost v1 #2)
- Rrall : a male lion lord who was present during Cronus's ascent into heaven. (Wonder Woman v2 #150)
- Traumiel : a male bull angel who was a lieutenant of Asmodel and pursued Zauriel to Earth. (JLA v1 #6)
- Zauriel : a male guardian angel of the eagle host that learnt of Asmodel's rebellion and went to Earth to meet the Justice League. (JLA v1 #6)
- The Pax Dei were created by Grant Morrison where they made their first appearance in JLA v1 #6 (June 1997).
- The term Pax Dei means Peace and Truce of God when translated from Latin and in reality is the name attributed to a medieval European movement of the Catholic Church.
In other media
- Though not named as such, DC Universe Online has a heavenly faction referred to as the Kingdom of Heaven consisting of angelic characters with both the Spectre and Eclipso amongst its ranks.
- JLA v1 #6: "Fire in the Sky" (1997)
- JLA Paradise Lost v1 #1:
- Helmet of Fate: Zauriel v1 #1:
- Wonder Woman v2 #150:
- Final Crisis v1 #1: