Xemnu first appeared on Earth when his starship crash-landed on Earth after running out of fuel. When revived by the human Joe Harper, Xemnu reveals that he was a criminal who had been exiled into space for crimes against the rest of the universe, and had escaped a prison planet and fled to Earth. Xemnu then used telepathy to dominate Harper’s mind and then the minds of every other human on Earth. He forced them to build him a new starship so that he could return home. As he departs, he releases Harper from his telepathic domination. Harper sabotages the ship’s electrical systems, shocking Xemnu into a coma-like state. As the alien flew off, his mind control faded, and his former servants forgot that he had ever existed. Xemnu used telekinesis to direct an asteroid to strike his ship so that it would be knocked onto a course back to Earth. After crashing down on Earth a second time, the weakened Xemnu was taken into a circus sideshow. As he took control of the town where the circus was located, Joe Harper followed Xemnu’s trail and confronts the alien. Xemnu attempts to disintegrate Harper, but Harper used a mirror to reflect the alien’s psychic power back at it, and Xemnu’s body was destroyed.

Xemnu then traveled through space in a non-corporeal form, and over the years learned that his home planet had been wiped out by a plague. He returned to Earth, possessing the body of an astronaut Richmond Wagner to gain a physical form. When the space shuttle arrived on Earth, Xemnu used his human host’s popularity and his own telepathy to become the host of a children’s television series. He used his mental power to place Earth’s children under his thrall, planning to abduct them to repopulate his home world, only to be detected by Doctor Strange. Strange and his ally Namor the Sub-Mariner were defeated by the alien, but Xemnu was in turn beaten by the Hulk. Xemnu then took possession of Amos Moses, mayor of small-town Plucketville in an attempt to kidnap the townspeople of Plucketville to repopulate his home planet. The newly formed Defenders (Doctor Strange, the Hulk, the Sub-Mariner and the Valkyrie) fought him, thus preventing him from using the townspeople to construct another starship. Xemnu continued his vendetta against the Hulk via a series of clones created from samples of other “classic Marvel” alien monsters, sent to attack the Hulk, and battled the Hulk himself; however, he was defeated when the dam burst. Xemnu later used Amos Moses’ body in an attempt to once again take control of the Earth via television-transmitted hypnosis. Xemnu took mental control of the Los Angeles-based hero Wonder Man using him to attack his ally, the Thing. The heroes eventually defeated Xemnu, and he fled in a starship.

Later, deep in space, Xemnu infiltrates the spacecraft-haulage craft owned by Ulysses Solomon Archer. He takes over the enclosed area of the Star Stop Diner and confronts a pregnant woman known as Mary McGrill. He plans to genetically alter her child to make it one of his own race. He is opposed by Razorback, Archer, She-Hulk and everyone else at the Diner but they are easily knocked out by his psychic powers.[7] She-Hulk awakens ahead of the others and finds that Xemnu is attempting to turn her into “She-Xemnu.” Ultimately, Xemnu is defeated and given over to a powerful humanoid alien named Big Enilwen. This childlike being believes that Xemnu is simply a teddy bear to play with.

Xemnu convinces Enilwen to free his teddy bear population to ‘the wild’. He returns to confront She-Hulk again, this time to sell her into slavery. This time he is defeated by a large monkey wrench to the head, wielded by She-Hulk’s friend Louise Mason.[volume & issue needed]

Xemnu reappeared as one of Space Phantom’s kidnapped bodies in Beyond!.[volume & issue needed] He appeared in Annihilation Conquest as one of the Phalanx select.[volume & issue needed]

Xemnu later returned to Earth and fought Red Hulk after Woodgod’s defeat. During that time, Impossible Man uses his magic to combine Hulk and Red Hulk into the Compound Hulk which fights Xemnu’s minion Kluh (a smart version of the Gray Hulk) and overpowers it.

Xemnu later appeared on Monster Isle when Shadowcat and Magik appeared to look for a mutant girl named Bo. Xemnu was among the monsters that attacked the three until Magik teleported herself, Shadowcat, and Bo to the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.

Xemnu later appears alongside Rocket Raccoon.[11]

Powers and abilities

Thanks to his alien genetic structure, Xemnu possesses great superhuman strength, almost comparable to the She-Hulk’s even at his present smaller size. Xemnu also possesses superhuman stamina and durability, and he has a gifted intellect with advanced knowledge of genetics. His main resource lies in his enormous, extraordinary psionic abilities, including telepathy, hypnosis, possession, and levitation. These abilities enable him to effortlessly control millions or even billions of minds at a time, immediately induce unconsciousness in crowds of people, or even put mental blocks in the mind of Doctor Strange, the “Sorcerer Supreme” of the Marvel Universe, although the Hulk has proved immune to Xemnu’s psionic possession. He can also project psionic concussive blasts of tremendous power, sufficient to stagger even the Hulk, animate unliving objects, including asteroids, and he can create personal “atmo-spheres”, a protective sphere of psionic energy, which he can use to fly with himself in it. If destroyed he can inhabit another living being and transform it into a smaller (11 ft) copy of his original body. He is highly adept in his native technology, and has been capable of engineering genetic monstrosities capable of challenging even the Hulk’s might, or using a machine that turns humans into members of his species, including transforming the She-Hulk into a “She-Xemnu”.

In other media


  • Xemnu appears in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode, “The Strongest One There Is”, voiced by Fred Tatasciore. This variation is much taller and stronger than the Hulk. He is interested in challenging local fighters and delivers a challenge, via hologram, to fight the Hulks – all except Rick. Seeing it as pointless, Hulk moves to reject but Rick accepts on behalf of the entire team. His colleagues lose. Feeling guilty, Rick tries one more time and manages to defeat Xemnu. Xemnu declares his journey for a skilled fight over and bonds with Rick over video games and donuts.



  • “Journey into Mystery”, Marvel Comics, (November 1960), Issue 62., Editor: Stan Lee, Reprinted: Marvel Monsters: Devil Dinosaur (2005) #1 Summary
  • Marvel Feature #3
  • Defenders #12
  • The Marvel Phile, James Lowder, Dragon Magazine, P.34.
  • Hulk Annual #5
  • Marvel Two-In-One #78
  • “Star Truck”, Sensational She Hulk, Marvel Comics, Issue 6., (October 1989)
  • “I Have No Mouth and I am Mean”, Sensational She Hulk, Marvel Comics, Issue 7., (November 1989)
  • Hulk Vol. 2 #30
  • Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3 #33
  • Rocket Raccoon Vol. 2 #2


  1. “The Strongest One There Is”. Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Season 2. Episode 9. February 1, 2015. Disney XD.

Further reading

  • Kirby, Jack; John Morrow (2006). The Collected Jack Kirby Collector: celebrating the life and career of the king!. TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 2, 37, 41, 65. ISBN 1-893905-02-0.
  • Ivy Press (2005). Heritage Comics Auctions, Dallas Signature Auction Catalog #819. Heritage Capital Corporation. p. 304. ISBN 1-59967-021-6.
  • Ivy Press (2005). Heritage Comics Auctions, Dallas Signature Auction Catalog #817. Heritage Auction Galleries. p. 560. ISBN 1-932899-85-5.

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