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Collector (comics)

For the British comic strip, see The Collector (comic strip).
The Collector
The Collector (bottom center) on the cover of The Avengers #119 (January 1974). Art by John Romita, Sr.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Avengers #28 (May 1966)
Created by Stan Lee
Don Heck
In-story information
Alter ego Taneleer Tivan
Team affiliations Elders of the Universe
Abilities Controls the Power Primordial to create virtually unlimited effects
Limited shape-shifting
Effective immortality
Armored suit

The Collector (Taneleer Tivan) is a fictional comic book character, a supervillain that has appeared in books published by Marvel Comics. Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the character has been featured in nearly five decades of Marvel continuity.

The Collector appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portrayed by Benicio del Toro, in a cameo in the mid-credits scene of the 2013's Thor: The Dark World, and Del Toro reprises the role in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy.

Publication history

The Collector first appeared in Avengers #28 (May 1966), and was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck.

Fictional character biography

Taneleer Tivan is one of the Elders of the Universe and is close to his fellow Elder En Dwi Gast (the Grandmaster). He apparently came to self-awareness billions of years ago, on the planet Cygnus X-1. He is an enormously powerful being who wielded the Power Primordial and, though at first he took the appearance of an old human, his true form is a powerful alien.[volume & issue needed]

For millions of years, the Collector lived on an unknown world with his wife and child, spending his days in thought and contemplation. Over three billion years ago, when his wife, Matani Tivan, lost the will to live and relinquished her immortality, the Collector realized he would need a hobby to maintain his own sanity, and began collecting interesting artifacts and life forms from around the universe. Eventually, his obsession reached such heights he collected anything he considered rare or valuable often just for the sake of collecting. As such, he has a wide variety of rare or unique items at his disposal.[volume & issue needed]

The Collector also had the power of prophecy, allowing him to foresee the rise of a being powerful enough to pose a threat to the Elders: Thanos. To protect life in the universe, the Collector created a massive museum of countless life forms to keep them safe from Thanos. For a time, he even possessed one of the six Infinity Gems, unaware of its true power, until Thanos took it.[volume & issue needed]

At some point over his billions of years of life he came into contact with other beings who, like him, are the sole survivors of the first species in the universe. He often refers to these fellow elders as brothers though they usually only work together if they have a common goal.[volume & issue needed]

In the modern era, the Collector eventually traveled to Earth. He captured the Wasp and sought to "collect" the other Avengers with help from the Beetle, but was defeated by them.[1] He later enslaved Thor, then captured the Wasp and the other Avengers. He restored Goliath's size-change powers, but was then defeated by the Avengers again.[2] He next compelled Iron Man to serve as his pawn against the warrior Val-Larr.[3] He attempted to "collect" the Avengers once more, in Rutland, Vermont.[4]

In The Incredible Hulk issues #197 ("...And Man-Thing makes three!") and #198 ("The Shangri-La syndrome!"), the Collector uses the previously captured Man-Thing and the Glob to capture the Hulk. After capturing the Hulk, the Collector muses on capturing the rest of the original Avengers. The Hulk escapes freeing several of the Collectors exhibits. The newly free exhibits die from old age because they are no longer artificially preserved by the power of the Collector's ship. Man-Thing also escapes disappearing into the Swamp. The Glob remains aboard the ship and though it is not shown, it is suggested that the Glob kills the Collector. The lines from the comic book are "What the Glob wants here is quite simple: He wants the Collectors life! The Collector's anguished scream fades long before it can filter thru the museum-ships long corridors. For several seconds silence reigns both within the ship and without--"[5]

The Korvac Saga

After Thanos was defeated by Earth's superheroes, the Collector foresaw a second major threat; Korvac the Machine Man, a cyborg monstrosity from the 31st century of a divergent timeline, taking the form of a man named Michael in 20th century New York. The Avengers were also aware of a new threat but did not know his identity. In an attempt to protect them, the Collector added some of them to his collection and was probably planning to enlist their aid, when a second group of Avengers appeared and defeated him in combat.[6] After the defeat, the Collector remained in seclusion until a human named Peter Tran of Avondale summoned him to Earth.[volume & issue needed]

Sensing that his end was at hand, the Collector revealed that having learned of Korvac, he had made his own daughter, Carina, into a spy and living weapon to use against the Machine Man, imbuing her with the Power Primordial. Just as he was about to tell the heroes who their enemy was, Michael learned of his duplicity and used his cosmic powers to blast the Collector into atoms, proving the prediction of the aged scholar's own end to be correct.[7]

Subsequent activities

In the 1982 miniseries Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions, the Elder known as the Grandmaster plays a game called the Contest of Champions with Death, which resulted in Death resurrecting his fellow Elder the Collector.[8] The Collector captured Marrina, then battled Alpha Flight and Spider-Man.[9] He aided the Grandmaster by tricking the Avengers into entering Death's realm.[10]

The Collector also assisted his fellow elders in a plot to kill Galactus and recreate the universe, but he was thwarted by the Silver Surfer and consumed by Galactus.[11] Since Death had vowed that the Elders could no longer die, they caused Galactus to have "cosmic indigestion" until they were forced out of him by Master Order and Lord Chaos.[12] The Collector was one of the four Elders who aided the Silver Surfer and Nova in helping Galactus to defeat the In-Betweener.[13] Once the battle was over the five Elders used their Infinity Gems to instantaneously travel very far away from Galactus and his vengeance.[14] He later gave his Infinity Gem to Thanos in exchange for the Runner, who Thanos was holding captive. The Runner beat the Collector up upon his release.[15]

The Collector re-appeared when the Avengers fought Thane Ector and the Brethren, who were noted to have escaped from the Collector's collection. It was then noted later that the Collector had planned all of this, intending the Brethren to lay waste to the Earth so that he could "collect" the surviving humans. It was at this point he showed his true form to the Avengers and was noted to be very powerful; enough to subdue Thane Ector. The Collector was eventually thwarted by the Avengers, and the Brethren's Uni-Mind.[16]

The Collector next used the Collection Agency and the Silver Surfer as pawns to capture a virus that caused insanity.[17]

The Collector has become involved with Galactus once again when the latter entity wished to devour one of the worlds that held many of the entities the Collector had taken. Among them were the Starjammers and Wolverine.[18]

The Collector later makes a bet with the Grandmaster who sets his team of Defenders (Hulk, Doctor Strange, Namor, and the Silver Surfer) against the Collector's team of Offenders (which comprises the Red Hulk, Baron Mordo, Tiger Shark, and Terrax).[19] The game results in Hulk claiming victory and the Collector complies with the terms of the game, giving the Hulk the lifeless body of Jarella.[20]

Powers and abilities

The Collector possesses the ability to manipulate cosmic energy for a variety of effects, including projecting concussive force beams, and the increasing of his size and mass (and hence physical strength) at will. He also possesses limited shape-changing abilities. His precognitive abilities give him brief visions of alternate future, although he must meditate for long periods to identify the individuals he sees in the vision and its apparent point in time. He has telepathic abilities that enable him to make limited contact with the minds of other Elders. Due to a vow by Death, Collector and all the Elders cannot die and are effectively immortal.[citation needed]

The Collector has a vast knowledge and comprehension of the advanced science and technology of numerous alien worlds, as well as a collection of devices and artifacts from those worlds. His armored battle-suit is made of the alien metal etherion, which amplifies the wearer's strength to superhuman levels, and it has jets that permit flight. He uses various weapons from many time periods and different worlds. Among his arsenal from Earth's past are catapults, Tibetan crystal balls that emit mystical rays, and magic beans that can conjure up warrior giants. He possesses a magic lamp that can summon a four-headed djinn with mystical powers. His "boxes" are rectangular "interdimensional traps" that can weaken a victim's strength or sanity. Other weapons include gigantic robot guards, a stun beam, and stasis beams. The Collector also has zoos of alien beasts which he can release to attack his adversaries. Among this is Snake-Eyes, an enormous alien serpent with hypnotic powers. Other items in his collection include the Obedience Potion, with which the Collector can compel a human victim to do his bidding; the Cosmic Viewer, with which he can monitor events on various worlds; a Kymellian translation/control device resembling a flute, with which he can communicate with other living beings; and a time probe enabling him to find and procure artifacts from other time periods. He uses starships holding museums of his collections, a Temporal Assimilator that allows time travel, Persian "flying carpets" and a "flying cape" that allowed flight. He formerly possessed the Infinity Gem that could control reality, but he did not understand its power.[citation needed]

Other versions

  • The Collector appears in The Avengers: United They Stand #6-7. He chooses to preserve a good population of Earth as he feels the planet is on the verge of ending. Although the Avengers escape, some citizens on Earth prefer to stay with The Collector.

In other media


The Collector appeared in the self-titled Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "The Collector", voiced by Jeff Bennett. That episode, which premiered on August 25, 2013 as that series' fourth episode.[22] saw the Collector arrive on Earth, where he seeks to kidnap all of Earth's heroes to add to his collection, but his plans are foiled by the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and Spider-Man. In the episode "It's a Wonderful Smash" (which is a Christmas episode), Collector uses a holographic neural inducer to place the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. in a virtual reality simulation in which each of the agents lives an idealized life, but they are freed from the simulation by Rocket Raccoon. It was also revealed that he has the Orb of Truth in possession that the Guardians of the Galaxy were planning to give to the Shi'ar during their peace meeting with the Kree. Combining the holographic neural inducer and the Orb of Truth, the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and the Guardians of the Galaxy were able to defeat Collector.


  • The Collector appears in the films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe played by Benicio del Toro.
    • He makes a cameo appearance in a mid-credits scene of Thor: The Dark World.[23] In the scene, Sif and Volstagg give to the Collector the Aether to keep in his collection, explaining that with the Tesseract already in Asgard, it would be unwise to keep two Infinity Stones close together . As they leave, the Collector remarks, "One down, five to go."[24]
    • Del Toro reprises the role of the Collector in the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy.[25] In the film, he contacts Gamora to offer to purchase an Orb containing an Infinity Stone, but when it is delivered to him, the Collector's slave, Carina, touches it, causing a reaction in the stone that disintegrates her and destroys the Collector's gallery. In a post-credits scene, he and one of the items in his collection, Howard the Duck, are shown sitting in the ruins having drinks.

Video games

The Collector appears in Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes.[26]


  1. ^ The Avengers #28. Marvel Comics
  2. ^ The Avengers #51. Marvel Comics
  3. ^ Iron Man #26. Marvel Comics
  4. ^ The Avengers #119. Marvel Comics
  5. ^ The Incredible Hulk vol. 1 #197-198. Marvel Comics
  6. ^ The Avengers vol. 1 #174. Marvel Comics
  7. ^ The Avengers #172-174. Marvel Comics
  8. ^ Grant, Steven; Gruenwald, Mark; Mantlo, Bill (w), Romita, John Jr. (p), Marcos, Pablo (i), "Chapter 3: Third Contest: Siege in the City of the Dead!", Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions #3 (August 1982). Marvel Comics
  9. ^ Marvel Team-Up Annual #7. Marvel Comics
  10. ^ West Coast Avengers Annual #2. Marvel Comics
  11. ^ Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #3-4, 7, 9, 10. Marvel Comics
  12. ^ Silver Surfer Vol. 2 #17. Marvel Comics
  13. ^ Silver Surfer vol. 3, #18. Marvel Comics
  14. ^ Silver Surfer vol. 3, #19. Marvel Comics
  15. ^ Thanos Quest #2. Marvel Comics
  16. ^ The Avengers #334-339. Marvel Comics
  17. ^ Silver Surfer Vol. 3 #58-61, 64. Marvel Comics
  18. ^ Wolverine #135. Marvel Comics
  19. ^ Hulk #10 (2009). Marvel Comics
  20. ^ Hulk #12 (2009). Marvel Comics
  21. ^ Marvel Super Hero Squad #4. Marvel Comics
  22. ^ "Own Marvel's Avengers Assemble: Assembly Required Now on DVD". Marvel Comics. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  23. ^ "Alan Taylor And Kevin Feige Express Rather Different Opinions About Thor: The Dark World’s End-Credits Tease". Bleeding Cool. October 22, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  24. ^ Blackmon, Joe (November 8, 2013). "Thor: The Dark World After The Credits Detailed Explanation". Retrieved November 10, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Marvel Studios Begins Production on Guardians of the Galaxy". July 20, 2013. Archived from the original on July 20, 2013. Retrieved July 20, 2013. 
  26. ^ Dyer, Mitch (April 30, 2014). "Disney Infinity Marvel Super Heroes Announced". IGN. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 

External links