The Watchers are an alien species in Marvel Comics.
The World of the Watchers was a ancient planet where all life was peaceful and it was inhabited by animals such as the Rackcat. (Captain Marvel v1 #39)
For eons untold, this ancient incredibly powerful extraterrestrial race undertook the task of passively observing phenomena of the universe. (Thor v1 #419) A group of them came to serve as scribes for the Living Tribunal where they were custodians to the Journal of Life from which he based his judgements. (FF v2 #16)
Billions of years ago, Those Who Watch created the Archons who were constructs tasked with awaiting the time of nullification and preventing the rise of the Abyss. A millennia ago, these constructs came to Mars where its native inhabitants fell under the sway of the Abyss and crafted the three crowns. In the battle, the Archons stopped the channeling of the crown's power that stopped the destruction of the planet but the act had already devastated Mars surface. As such, the planet was abandoned until a single Archon remained that went into hibernation to guard the site of the crown and prevent its power from being used again. (Secret Avengers v1 #3)
After striking Mar-Vell, Uatu believed himself unworthy of his position and called forth his comrades to judge him on the World of the Watchers. Mar-Vell and Rick Jones forcibly joined alongside him to speak in his defence as he was being judged by the rest of his kind at the Temple of Justice. (Captain Marvel v1 #39)
At Calishee, a Watcher was present who observed the rapid evolution of a race of sentient microbes that had developed civilization only to destroy itself. (Thor v1 #419)
For the first time in millennium a new Watcher by the name of Talmadge was born. At some point, a group of Kree on Earth managed to capture a newborn Watcher called Talmadge and intended to present the offspring to the Supreme Intelligence where their empire would plunder it for knowledge. This newborn used his powers to influence Benjamin Grimm to free him from being captured with the reason for his choice was because he liked the Thing. Afterwards, Paibok the Power Skrull along with his compatriots fought against the Kree for control over the newborn Watcher with the battle only ending when the Thing forced the two sides to withdraw. The new Watcher managed to interfere in these events by aiding Benjamin Grimm by jamming the Kree's transmissions to make them believe the superhero had brought in allies. With Talmadge safe, the other Watchers arrived to take their young brother away and to properly instruct him on their beliefs in non-interference and observation. This was because they believed that the newborn had spent too much time on Earth and had developed a habit in interfering in the events of the universe instead of observing them. (The Thing Vol 1 #4)
A dozen Watchers were present when Eternity was wracked in pain as he sent the Contrasepsis to remove the infection to his body caused by the Oditopians. (Fantastic Four v1 #550)
The Watchers came to Earth's Moon where they stood in judgement over Nick Fury for his crime of murdering Uatu and they punished him by turning him into the Unseen. Thus, he was transformed into a cosmic being chained to forever watch over events on the Earth in the role formerly held by the planet's Watcher. (Original Sin v1 #8)
A number of them came to observe the Quarry of Creation as Requiem attempted to alter the universe. (Infinity Wars v1 #5)
- It was revealed in History of the Marvel Universe v2 #4 (2019) that at the end of time in this universe that Galactus consumed the Watchers and gained all their knowledge of the history of the cosmos whereupon he waited to pass away so that the next cosmos could be born.
They had found perfection in life with them being a race of immortals. (Captain Marvel v1 #39) Watchers had the ability to delve into the mindspace of another of their kind but never did so due to their vows of privacy with this only being circumvented by a senior authority figure of their race. (Hulk v2 #28) To halt enemies, they were able to engulf them in a shroud of stasis to keep them frozen in place. (Captain Marvel v1 #39)
Newborn Watchers needed to observe itself in order to learn its gender. In this state, they had an omnithalamus that needed to grow fully with the father providing the crucial anti-matter pulses for this organ to develop. (Mighty Avengers v2 #10) The eyes of their kind acted as a type of living storage device that recorded everything it had seen and unleashing this knowledge even if the Watcher was dead. (Original Sin v1 #3)
They processed terminal events quite differently when compared to humans. This was because the saw a body without a life-force as simply a shell inhabiting the universe. Such objects were meant only to be watched and any funeral ceremony conducted for a deceased Watcher would count as interference. (Mighty Avengers v2 #10)
They monitored the rise and fall of vast alien civilizations along with the birth and passing of gods and even beings beyond them. (Thor v1 #419) Their sacred law prevented them from interfering and forbid them from bringing harm to another. Individual Watchers if they believed they were unworthy of their position could call forth their kind in order to judge them for their transgressions. (Captain Marvel v1 #39) A group of them served as scribes to the Living Tribunal where they looked after the Journal of Life. (FF v2 #16) A ranking position among their kind was that of the High Observer. (Hulk v2 #28)
One aspect of their society was the Cyclopedia Universum that stored the combined knowledge of every Watcher. (Fantastic Four v1 #544)
The Watchers were able to create constructs such as the Archons that had superhuman abilities and tasked with battle with them being assigned to guard duties to fight against powerful threats. (Secret Avengers v1 #3)
It was said that no one not of their race was allowed on their homeworld. (Captain Marvel v1 #39) Their race maintained a space station where their kind congregated with this being known as Panorama. (Hulk v2 #28)
- Uatu :
- Ulana : a female Watcher who became involved with Uatu where she became pregnant with his child. (FF v2 #13)
- Ikor : a Watcher who early in their existence advocated that they should share their knowledge with less fortunate races and led to a mission to the Prosilicans who destroyed themselves with their new technology. (Tales of Suspense v1 #53)
- Ecce : a Watcher who encountered the gestating Galactus but vowed to abide by his peoples code of not interfering. (Thor v1 #168)
- Egma : a female Watcher whose sector of space included the site where Maelstrom as an agent of Oblivion created a black hole that was so massive that it threatened to swallow the entire cosmos. (Quasar v1 #25)
- Engo : (Captain Marvel v1 #38)
- Uatu :
- Acba : observed the apparent death of Maelstrom and Quasar
- Edda : observed the apparent death of Maelstrom and Quasar
- Yruku : a male Watcher who held the position of High Observer. (Hulk v2 #28)
- Uravo : a young female Watcher who was first dispatched to Earth to uncover Uatu after he seemingly abandoned his psot. (Hulk v2 #28) She later accompanied him and discovered the dangeruos threat of Omegex who was travelling to Earth. (Hulk v2 #32)
- 'Enaku ': a male Watcher who found Uravo pleasing and wanted to engage in sexual congress with her but she refused as her mind was focused on her assignment. (Hulk v2 #28)
- Talmadge : newborn Watcher that the Kree and Skrulls attempted to capture for their respective empires on Earth but the child indirectly summoned Benjamin Grimm to save him from the two alien races whereupon it was taken back by the Watchers. (The Thing v1 #4)
- Ute : a male Watcher from an alternate reality where he witnessed that respective Earth being destroyed at the hands of a mad Sersi but fell victim to the destruction though his body lived whereupon he was retrieved by Josin Proctor. (Avengers v1 #363)
- Zoma : a male Watcher who monitored the outer rim territories and was the cousin of Q'Yre. (She-Hulk v1 #10)
- Ingu :
- Emnu :
- Vartu :
- Ute :
- Eta : the white haired female Watcher who was stationed on Weirdworld. (Weirdworld v2 #3)
- Acitua : a female Watcher who accompanied a number of her kind to pass sentence of annihilation on the Unseen for interfering during the Time-Eater crisis. (Exiles v3 #2)
- He-Who-Summons : a higher ranking Watcher that summoned Uatu to take part in a great matter of cosmic import elsewhere in the universe. (Fantastic Four v1 #398)
- The Watchers were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby where they made their first appearance in Fantastic Four v1 #13 (April 1963).
- In Earth-691, the Watchers were massacred by the Hawk God.
- In Earth X v1 (1999), the Watchers appeared in the alternate world setting of universe Earth-9997. They were shown as being an advanced interstellar species who like their prime universe counterparts had a policy of non-interference. Millions of years ago, one of their number encountered Galactus who was waiting to be born and rather than eliminate this threat they stuck by their oath. Sometime afterwards, the Celestials came and enslaved the Watchers as punishment for not killing the only predator of their kind. Their sentence was turning all Watchers as their servants and tasked them with operating as midwives to watch over the Celestial embryos gestating on worlds impregnated by their kind. As a result, a Watcher was often stationed in the Moon above where they watched as the seed developed until it birthed a Celestial. They were shown to make use of monolith-shaped transportation gateways to allow movement between two locations rapidly with these doorways appearing at a moments notice.
- In Spider-Gwen v2 #23 (2017), it was shown that the Watchers inhabited the alternate reality universe designated as Earth-65.
In other media
- In the Silver Surfer animated series, Uatu the Watcher makes a frequent appearance and comments on various moments. Its revealed that his people created the Universal Library as a storehouse of knowledge but a disease led to anyone being devolved into amoeboid creatures.
- In Avengers Assemble, though not identified as such a group of Watchers were present on Mojo's starship when they observed the gladiatorial match between Hulk as well as Hawkeyes fight with Torgo in "Mojo's World". The episode "Thanos Rising" showed Uatu on Earth's Moon where he gave reports to his fellow Watchers. Thor would refer to Uatu as being a member of a noble race that had sworn to not interfere in affairs of the cosmos and simply observe.
- In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, though unnamed the Watchers make an appearance in the live-action set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Three of their kind were shown on a unnamed planetoid where they were listening to astronaut Stan Lee who were stranded on the world. They later left where he pleaded for them to stay behind as they were his way to leave the planet.
- In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, the Watchers were referenced in the video game by Uatu where he brings the history of his kind and them introducing technology to the residents of Prosilicus.
- Fantastic Four v1:
- Tales of Suspense v1: #53
- Thor v1: #168
- Avengers v1: #363
- The Thing v1: #4
- Hulk v2: #32
- She-Hulk v1:
- Secret Invasion v1: #7
- FF v2:
- Original Sin v1:
- Weirdworld v2:
- Exiles v3:
- Infinity Wars v1: