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Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Category :

Comic Books

Subcategory :

Marvel universe

Type :

Villain

Game System :

DC Heroes (Blood of Heroes S.E.)

Notes :

Brood

The Brood v1.1

By Sébastien Alexandre Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (chiefly X-Men books)

Helper(s): Darci, Chris Cottingham

Reasons (1): Sleazoids are classic Marvel villains and a boon for most GMs. For those who care about such things, I think the timeline is Aliens -> Brood -> Genestealers -> Zergs.

Reasons (2): There are several ongoing stories featuring Brood as this writeup gets closed, though - bloody typical. As of this writing Astonishing X-Men 33+ and Cable 21+ still have to be published. A bit from 2010’s S.H.I.E.L.D. v1 was added during rework though, since it’s rather important.

Reasons (3): The Brood clans are never named, which is rather inconvenient. We have resorted to calling the first clan that was encountered Clan-1982 (since that’s the year of publication of its first appearance) in this entry. Likewise, the guys who first appear in Uncanny X-Men #232 will get called Clan-1988 - I bet you’ll never guess why - and so on. This is just something we made up for clarity’s sake.

Reasons (4): A common assumption - even among Marvel writers such as H. Mackie - is that Clan-1982 was somehow the whole, or nearly the whole, of the Brood. This seems impossible given a thorough reading of the material. In fact, our reading leads to the opposite understanding - that the Brood encountered usually belong to different Clans, explaining their different MOs and appearances. In this article we’ll work with the understanding that sleazoids belong to different Clans and that significant differences exist between Clans. However, please note that while it is coherent - perhaps even supported - by the material, it is never outright stated that this is the case.

“They *talk*, too ? They didn’t talk in the movies !”
-Benjamin Jacob Grimm upon first contact with the Brood

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens
Writeups.org & Amazon.com recommend Uncanny X-Men Masterworks vol. 7 and Ms. Marvel: Monster Smash plus Brood action figures

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

This section covers ordinary Brood, Warrior-Primes, Slaymasters and snipers.

Click here to hide or display the game stats

Typical Brood
Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Serve the Queen
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Sleazoid
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 008 HP: 000

Powers: Claws: 04, Energy absorption: 02, Extra limbs (x4): 02, Flight (Winged): 05, Poison touch: 08, Sharpness (Claws): 01, Skin armour: 01, Telepathy: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Energy Absorption is solely for protection against focused energy attacks, such as blasters and lasers
  • Poison Touch has no inherent AV and must rely on the corresponding Accuracy Skill
  • Telepathy - see the notes in the Powers & Abilities section

Skills: Accuracy (Poison touch): 02, Acrobatics (Climbing): 05, Military science (Camouflage, Tracking): 05, Weaponry (Firearms): 03

Advantages: Life Support (can go several years without food or water)

Connections: N.A.

Drawbacks: CIA toward Obeying their Queen

Equipment: Occasionally armed with a Brood Blaster [BODY 04, Energy blast: 07, Range: 04, R#03, Limitation: Energy blast has No Range, use the listed Range instead]. Though much of the Brood tech is incomprehensible, those blasters can easily be picked up and used by anybody with one or more prehensile appendage. The APs above are an averaged score - Brood blasters with EV everywhere between 05 and 09 have been depicted.

 

Warrior-Prime Brood and Slay-Masters

The first Brood encountered on Earth belonged to what Clan-1982 called the Warrior-Prime caste. Other Clans have a type of Brood which they call Slay-Masters, which seems to be the same thing. Both appear to be tougher than most Brood, with the following stats:

Dex: 04 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Serve the Queen
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 04 Occupation: Evil alien horde member
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 008 HP: 003

Powers: Claws: 05, Energy absorption: 02, Extra limbs (x4): 02, Flight (Winged): 05, Poison touch: 08, Sharpness (Claws): 01, Skin armour: 01, Telepathy: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Energy Absorption is solely for protection against focused energy attacks, such as blasters and lasers
  • Poison Touch has no inherent AV and must rely on the corresponding Accuracy Skill
  • Telepathy - see the notes in the Powers & Abilities section

Skills: Accuracy (Poison touch): 02, Acrobatics (Climbing): 05, Military science (Camouflage, Tracking): 05, Weaponry (Firearms): 03

Advantages: Life Support (can go several years without food or water)

Connections: N.A.

Drawbacks: CIA toward Obeying their Queen

Equipment: Occasionally armed with a Brood Blaster [BODY 04, Energy blast: 07, Range: 04, R#03, Limitation: Energy blast has No Range, use the listed Range instead]. Though much of the Brood tech is incomprehensible, those blasters can easily be picked up and used by anybody with one or more prehensile appendage. The APs above are an averaged score - Brood blasters with EV everywhere between 05 and 09 have been depicted.

Note: The three Hero Points are optional ; my recommendation is to have each Warrior-Prime use them all on one action early in the fight so there is no book-keeping involved. This pattern of HP use also matches very well the Brood emphasis on ambushes, sudden attacks, coming from unexpected angles, not being deterred by the first non-lethal hit due to ferocity and momentum, etc.

One source states that most Warrior-Primes are females, and are often dispatched as shock troops to deal with intruders within Brood space. Apparently they are the highest caste below the Queens and Firstborns.

 

Warrior-Prime snipers of Clan-1982

The first modern encounter with Warrior-Prime Brood involved specialised troops working as snipers.

Add Weaponry (Firearms): 05 to their Skills and allot them a total of 005 Hero Points (normally entirely spent on the AV of their opening shot, so again there’s no bookkeeping involved).

The snipers would disintegrate into a fine powder when killed - which doesn’t seem to be the case of other Warrior-Primes. The Warrior-Prime snipers had tactics geared toward inflicting great damage to selected targets, without angling for their own survival. Thus, they took position in an elevated shooting spot (which no trained Earth sniper will normally do), and had slow-loading, high-impact weapons, reserving their shot until they were sure of it. They also tried to identify enemy leaders, but did not seem to have a security element watching their back, or spotters.

The snipers were all armed with speciality weapons ; the following were observed:

  • Psi-Scream [BODY 03, Mind blast (Area of effect 0 APs): 08, Illusion: 08, Telescopic vision: 02, Ammo: 01 (Very Long Reload), Bonus: Subjects with Irrational Hatreds and Irrational Fears receive penalties to their OV/RV against the Illusion : -2CS for Minor, -4 for Serious, -6 for Catastrophic]. This long-ranged weapon shoots a psionic blast that rips images of the most primal fears and hatreds from the mind of the persons caught in the blast, twists them to become even more hideous, and inflicts them on the subjects as hallucinations. Most will be incapacitated right away by the Mind Blast, but those that do withstand it will be beset by the Illusions.
  • Tangle-Web [BODY 03, Sensory Block (All senses): 09, Snare: 09, Ammo: 01 (Very Long Reload), Bonus: Snare and Sensory Block can be Combined]. This weapon fires a canister that explodes into streams of pale green ribbons, enveloping and constricting the target. If sufficient RAPs are gained, Snare may attempt to choke the target as per BOH:SE rules.
  • Acid Bomb Gun [BODY 03, Acid: 10, Sharpness (Acid, special): 04, Ammo: 01 (Very Long Reload), Note: Sharpness is applied to the Acid attack, but is also applied to the next impaling attack on the target. This has to be done within a number of Phases equal to the RAPs gained by the Acid, and the Sharpness available is capped by the RAPs gained by the Acid (up to 04)]

 

Mutant Brood

Those guys — Brood embryos implanted within Earth mutants, resulting in super-powered Brood — now have their own entry on writeups.org. Yay !

 

Powers and Abilities

The Brood are fast and strong, and most are as agile on the ground as in the air - though they need free space to beat their insect-like wings. Their skin is armoured in such a way that make it difficult to achieve a good, square hit with energy beams. Their teeth are razor-sharp, and their tail stingers are loaded with venom that can deliver Bashing or Killing damage as needed. They have endlessly perfected the art of killing, and the ambush.

Like most faceless opponents in comics, the Brood do not usually Team Attack - with the usual exception, that of Wrestling an opponent to the ground. With numbers and their Extra Limbs, they can threaten even subjects with massive superhuman strength using this tactic - though in practice it’s seldom employed.

Somehow, every single Brood is always able to address anything it encounters in its native language, with perfect fluency, whether it’s English, Kree, Galactic Trade, Low Shi’ar, etc. They even seem to speak with each other in the local language when operating among aliens. My hypothesis is that they actually communicate via a sort of ’loud‘ and ’leaky‘ telepathy, which most persons interpret as words spoken in their native language, and which can be ’overheard‘ and understood by practically any sentient. The Brood do evidence telepathy on multiple occasions - for instance the Queens can routinely teep with each other or their progeny over vast distances, and Brood who are part of the same pod apparently have shared memories (though that may be a voluntary process of sharing).

It is *possible* that the Brood are unusually resilient toward radiation and toxins, and have a few APs of Regeneration, since their embryo bestow those abilities to the subjects they’re implanted within. This is too tentative to be added to the stats block, though - the larval stage may very well have very different abilities than the adult stage. On the other hand, insectoid-looking evil aliens usually have a few APs of Systemic Antidote, so individual GMs may wish to add those anyway.

Brood, or at least the more insectile-looking Clans, can “chem” — that is, emit messages using clouds of chemicals that can be read by specialised sensory organs — like many Earth insects.

A random sample of six Warrior-Primes of Clan-1982 was able to survive for years without any sustenance, though they were greatly weakened by the ordeal. We have assumed all Brood could do that.

Though Brood, particularly Clan-1982, were very interested in super-powered individuals for their embryo, a battle against the Brood seldom features various individual Brood with special powers derived from powered victims. All Brood warriors of a given caste seem pretty much identical.

One story states that the Brood are afraid of volcanoes and fire. No such thing was ever mentioned before, so presumably it was a feature of a specific Clan.

Welcome to the fold

The many wonders of Brood reproduction

Brood reproduction is apparently possible with all living beings - but it’s a ghastly process.

Interspecies children seem to be the preferred mode of reproduction of the Brood and a key part of their overall genetic strategy for dominance. It is not even certain whether they can reproduce between themselves, or if they entirely rely on other living beings. At least one specimen could be inseminated by any species and go through a viable pregnancy, though this Brood - called “No-Name” - likely was an unusual or even unique case (see her writeups.org entry).

The normal situation is that the Brood is not the one getting pregnant. Brood embryos are carefully implanted within captive subjects, of any gender or race. Over the course of the ’pregnancy‘ the embryo will gestate for a few days, then start rewriting the DNA of the carrier to make it mostly Brood, whilst conserving the most useful traits of the host.

One of the earliest changes is mental - the Brood consciousness of the embryo take over the birth host before major physical transformations become apparent. In many cases the mentality of the birth host is almost entirely destroyed - though those subjects with a very strong willpower will feel like they have been converted to a new faith, keeping their memories and rationalising their new beliefs, rather than being consumed by their new Brood self.

The pregnancy process seems to last about a week to ten days in most cases, but multi-months pregnancies have been documenting during the original clash between the X-Men and the Brood. The simplest hypothesis is that the X-Men had been implanted by queen embryos and that these take much longer to mature, but there might other factors at play.

The pregnancy is slow at first, but when it erupts into its active phase the host will be visibly mutating by the hour. The first affected area is usually the eyes and brow, which always become Brood-like.

Ancillary considerations

From a medical examination conducted by Nightcrawler on Ms. Pryde, it would seem that whilst the embryo is developing, it has very strong reparative effects on its host. In game terms this is roughly Regeneration: 04 and Systemic Antidote: 06, both working against radiation damage and cancer in addition to the usual, plus the embryo performing the equivalent of Medicine (First Aid, Medical Care, Surgery): 11 care with beyond-Earth-level medical tech. Those benefits were later confirmed by the “faith healings” performed by Mrs. Connover, which cured at least one case of terminal, metastasised cancer (see Hannah Connover’s writeups.org entry).

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Though the Brood’s interest in high-value targets for embryo implantation is presented as a matter of genetics, it doesn’t seem to have hereditary benefit. There are no documented examples of entire Clans having clear super-powers - say, implanting a Queen embryo into somebody who can shoot lightning and having all the Queen’s spawn be able to shoot lightning. Given the Brood’s interest in persons with superhuman powers, one assumes that one such clan would have been encountered by now.

An hypothesis is that hosts with exceptional genetics and powers are chiefly a matter of status between Queens, establishing a peerage of sorts — but also plays a minor hereditary role, explaining the differences between the Brood Clans. While it’s nothing as direct as inheriting powers, it may reinforce certain existing Brood traits and give them a small advantage.

Counter-measures

Few ways exist to resist Brood conversion. A very aggressive healing factor such as Wolverine’s may be able to kill the embryo in time, though it will be a very long and very, very painful process that might kill both the host and embryo. Some subjects with a total control over their molecules, able to generate considerable energies within themselves, etc. may be able to destroy the embryo before it is too late. Very powerful telepathic abilities have also been used to delay the conversion process by days, but could not stop it outright.

Very advanced medical care from a high-tech culture may be able to abort a pregnancy if its done very soon after implantation - before the embryo deeply merges with the nervous system of the host. One alien scientist, Tyrus Krill, designed specific medical treatments which, combined with his considerable willpower, staved off the results of Brood implantation for several years.

Medic Una of the Kree once managed to design equipment that destroyed a Brood embryo within her and her future lover, Captain Mar-Vell. Whether this amazing feat can be duplicated or was a freak occurrence is unknown. Una used a modified omni-wave projector, a signature “plot device” Kree technology, and operated within hours of implantation.

Even blatantly supernatural creatures such as the Ghost Rider (Ketch) have been used for Brood reproduction.

Strategic implications

While this means of reproduction can be a formidable way to ’recruit‘ powerful specimen and make them Brood, it is so important to the Brood that it can hamper their effectiveness.

When facing powerful and/or intriguing opponents, the Boord will usually attempt to take them alive to study their genome and implant the more interesting specimens with a high-ranking Brood embryo. This forces them to fight in less than optimal fashion as they strive to capture rather than kill — for instance by sending in warriors with weapons set to stun rather than just blowing everything up with WMDs.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

They are also highly reluctant to kill subjects that are ’pregnant‘ with high-ranking Brood embryo - since the process is nearly impossible to stop, they consider the subjects to already be high-ranking Brood youths.

Homo sapiens superior, one of the masterworks of the Celestials, have eminently desirable genetics, and Brood go crazy when they get to analyse such desirable DNA. Those genetics are so fine, that they are desirable even for the most respected Brood Queen, the Mother Of Us All. Such superior specimens will usually be implanted with a Queen embryo.

Variation among Clans

The embryos of the landing party sent by Clan-1988 to Colorado followed slightly different rules - see the “Infiltrator Brood” section and the Brood Mutants entry.

They also followed a different strategy - human mutants were taken over by elite warrior embryos rather than high-ranking ones such as Queens. Perhaps the Clan was less secure than Clan-1982 and needed a strong advantage now rather than angle for the long-term gain of super-powered Queens. They were establishing a covert heachead on a hostile planet, not operating from firm Brood turf where even the Shi’ar and Kree feared to tread.

Though the reproductive strategies of Clan-1982 are the best-documented ones, as presented in this section, it is quite possible that they are not the Brood norm. Most Clans that appeared in the Marvel Universe were closer to the “infiltrator” type than to the Clan-1982’s genetic procurement strategies.

Reproduction being a core function, it seems unlikely that reproduction varies from Brood Clan to Brood Clan. The differences likely stem from different strategies between minor, mobile Clans and a very powerful, entrenched Clan with lots of assets. On the other hand, Brood reproduction seems very adaptable, so different approaches to reproduction from one Clan to the next might simply not matter in practice. The Brood might even be a set of different species - it wouldn’t change much for them.

Hail to the Queen, baby

Brood Queens (or “Great Mothers”) seem larger than the standard Brood specimen - but their capabilities are unknown, and even their size is not clearly established. Perhaps they have some APs of Growth which are not always on, or perhaps Queens can be of very diverse sizes (maybe they never stop growing, or vary in size along some life cycle, or something along those lines).

Queens have telepathic powers, and are thus able to communicate with each other within the same star system - and possibly further. The Empress (or Queen of Queens, or Mother Of Us All, or Mother Of All Mothers) apparently has universal two-ways teeping range. Queens can teep before they are even fully born - as soon as the Brood consciousness emerges, and thus before the more noticeable physical mutations start in the host.

The Queen of Clan-1982 could also spread metaphysical corruption with but a touch ; this worked even against the purity of the Acanti racial soul. What it means in practical terms is unknown, but it hints at high INF/AUR/SPI in Queens, or at least this specific one. Furthermore, the Clan-1982 Queen embryo implanted within Storm bollixed her connection to natural patterns, which also seems to be a corruption effect. The Mother Of Us All has been called the most evil and corrupt being in the universe, further hammering on that theme, and some Queen seemed able to reject death itself.

Here is a picture of the Queen of Clan-1992 :

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

The later trait was noticeable in the Queen encountered in New Orleans in the 1990s - she was able to continue operating even after her flesh had been destroyed, as an animated skeleton. Likewise, the Great Mother of Clan-1982 somehow continued to operate after having been turned to suposedly inert crystal, emerging stronger from the ordeal. Not all Queens can ignore death thus, however. Several Queens (such as the Clan-2000 one) were apparently killed without using extraordinary means.

The stats for Hannah Connover can be used as a rough ballpark for a generic Brood Queen - but there are wide variations in power level. This seems in part tied to age - several of the Queens encountered were very young and inexperienced. Another factor is that the hosts for the Queens are those chosen with the greatest care and effort, and preferably have exotic abilities.

Here is a picture of the Queen of Clan-2005 :

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

One specific Queen is called the Imperiatrix. There are two versions as to what the Imperiatrix is - either she is the Mother Of Us All and this title is just a variant of “Empress”, or she is an elite Queen chosen by the Empress to be her lieutenant in the universe outside of the Brood sphere of influence.

Though the first version comes from a caption written by Claremont (who created the Brood), the second (which seems to be a retcon by Greg Pak) does make a bit more sense. Neither interpretation can be confirmed from the events (Contest of Champions II) in which the Imperiatrix took a hand. Furthermore, there is some confusion in several stories between the Queen of Clan-1982 and the Imperiatrix - but if we follow explanation #2, then assuming that the Queen of Clan-1982 was Imperiatrix at that point, and was succeeded by another when she was seemingly destroyed, sounds reasonable.

Here is a picture of the Mother Of Us All :

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

During the peer review of this entry it was suggested that the Mother Of Us All was a corrupt Elder God of the Brood’s original world (their equivalent of Chthon and Gaea), making the Brood themselves the equivalent of werewolves or Serpent Men, and explaining their vaguely supernatural, “against the natural order” aspect. This is purely hypothetical, though.

“Infiltrator Brood” - Clan-1988 and Clan-1992

The Brood seen in Denver seemed different from those of Clan-1982. Once a Clan-1982 embryo came to maturity, its mentality took over and the host got physically converted into a young Brood specimen over the next few days, appropriating the more desirable genetic traits of the host.

Those in Denver followed a different pattern - they had a Secret Identity. Though the Brood mentality and form was dominant, they could revert as needed to the host’s form and even mentality and memories, though their Brood self was always present and aware under the surface. It was thus possible for such Brood specimens to let their host live its life for as long as needed, whilst monitoring the situation.

Interestingly one Clan-1988 Brood, hosted within paramedic Josey Thomas, was surprised by the notion that there were Brood who are not ’shapeshifters’ in the way of Clan-1988. Thomas’s reaction would hint that the Brood Clans have genuine genetic differences and modes of reproduction, and what are the rules for the species (if any) is uncertain at best. Further confusing the issue, the embryos implanted by Clan-1982 in the X-Men were Queens, whereas the embryos used in Denver were warriors (presumably Clan-1988’s equivalent of Warrior-Primes).

Another difference is that it seemed that Clan-1982 breeders knew exactly what embryos belonged to which caste, whereas in Clan-1988 there was apparently a small chance that any embryo might ’go Queen’. This is not entirely clear from the dialogue, though.

Clan-1992

The Brood of Clan-1992, first encountered in New Orleans, were broadly similar to those of Clan-1988. Their infiltration strategies were different, though — they were quite reminiscent from the Daemonites in the Wildstorm Universe. Clan-1992 Brood selected a host, killed it then implant themselves - rather than an embryo - within the body. Once within a human body they could morph between human and Brood form at will, and seemed to have full access to the memories of the dead person. They would occasionally keep spare hosts in reserve, to be killed and occupied later.

One hypothesis is that Clan-1992 had a special caste of infiltrators, like other Clans have Warrior-Primes or Slay-Masters. Perhaps the Clan managed to capture a large number of specimen from an alien race with this ability and implant them with their embryos, creating a force of infiltrators.

Here is a pair of Clan-1992 Broods in their basic form:

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

In game terms Clan-1992 infiltrators have Chameleon: 03 (only works on subjects they have killed and implanted themselves in), Mind Probe: 05 (only works on the memories of the corpse they are occupying), and Artist (Actor): 05 (only to impersonate the person they are occupying). What becomes of the Brood’s body after it implants itself into a victim is unknown, but they referred to the process as ’merging‘ so they presumably pour themselves into the corpse entirely and make some room in there. The process might be paranormal.

Clan-1992 infiltrators often prey on cops, given the obvious advantages those present as hosts. Here are two infiltrators letting their Brood features emerge from their victim’s form since there is no need for secrecy.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Infiltrator Brood from either Clan-1988 and Clan-1992 do not seem to have wings or be able to fly.

Larger, tougher types of Brood

Firstborn Brood

The Firstborn are a unique warrior caste birthed by the Mother Of Us All. Those are presumably her personal equivalent of Warrior-Primes or Slay-Masters. The Empress sent them to kill and die without a way to return home, so presumably she can produce as many as she wants in the long run, but one pod at a time and with some delay between pods of Firstborns.

Firstborns are employed as kill teams for matters of personal concern to the Mother Of Us All, such as a renegade Queen whose existence threatens the sacred oneness of the Brood.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Firstborns are much larger and stronger than common Brood (about the volume of a compact car and more than two metres tall), and they look more dinosaurian than insectile. They have plainly visible bone-like plating over more vulnerable areas, are very difficult to harm, and are even more difficult to kill. Though they are large, Firstborns are also extremely fast and fight very well. This tends to make them overconfident, though — they assume that a pod of Firstborns can just kill whatever they come across without having to bother in the least about subtlety, stealth and the rest.

Firstborns don’t seem to have wings.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Apparently, a pod of Firstborns is made up of five specimens.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Stats for a Firstborn specimen are:

Click here to hide or display the game stats

Brood Firstborn
Dex: 06 Str: 09 Bod: 12 Motivation: Serve the Empress
Int: 04 Wil: 02 Min: 04 Occupation: Hunter-killer, cleaner
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 016 HP: 025

Powers: Claws: 10, Cold immunity: 02, Damage capacity: 06, Extra limbs (x4): 07, Growth: 04, Poison touch: 09, Skin armour: 01, Telepathy: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Damage capacity is Contingent on BODY
  • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In
  • Poison Touch has no inherent AV and must rely on the corresponding Accuracy Skill
  • Telepathy - see the notes in the Powers & Abilities section

Skills: Accuracy (Poison touch): 03, Acrobatics (Climbing): 04, Military science (Camouflage, Tracking): 05

Advantages: Life Support (can go several years without food or water), Lightning Reflexes, Misc.: Like some Warrior-Prime, the Firstborns turn to dust when killed

Connections: N.A.

Drawbacks: CIA toward Obeying the Mother Of Us All

Equipment: Firstborns don’t need no stinkin’ equipment. 


Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens
Brood Bodyguards

These Brood, tougher than a Warrior-Prime caste but much less powerful than a Firstborn, where the two protectors of the Queen of Clan-2000. Presumably, they had been bred within hosts with considerable strength and regenerative abilities, selected to have their genetic traits turned to the service of the Queen.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

The bodyguards were not seen much, and the stats below are thus approximative. They seemed to use their HPs for a balanced offence and defence, surprising Wolverine who was not expecting Brood with HPs.

Click here to hide or display the game stats

Brood Bodyguards
Dex: 05 Str: 07 Bod: 07 Motivation: Serve the Queen
Int: 04 Wil: 02 Min: 04 Occupation: Evil alien horde member
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 014 HP: 015

Powers: Claws: 08, Energy absorption: 01, Extra limbs (x4): 05, Poison touch: 09, Regeneration: 05, Sharpness (Claws): 01, Skin armour: 01, Telepathy: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Energy Absorption is solely for protection against focused energy attacks, such as blasters and lasers
  • Poison Touch has no inherent AV and must rely on the corresponding Accuracy Skill
  • Telepathy - see the notes in the Powers & Abilities section

Skills: Accuracy (Poison touch): 02, Acrobatics (Climbing): 04, Military science (Camouflage, Tracking): 04

Advantages: Lightning Reflexes, Life Support (can go several years without food or water)

Connections: N.A.

Drawbacks: CIA toward Obeying their Queen

Equipment: None


Other, poorly-documented types

Clan-2005 “crustaceans”

The Brood of Clan-2005 seemed to have some sort of special shock troops, likely their equivalent of Warrior-Primes. These warriors were bigger than Clan-1982 Warrior-Primes, with much heavier wings and a vaguely crustacean aspect.

These shocktroopers were not seen in action long enough to estimate stats.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens
Weaponised Brood

Several Brood warriors have been captured in unrevealed circumstaces by Earth forces, with the apparent intent of weaponising them for use against superhuman opponents.

The earliest sighting of such a project occured at the Dream Nails secret research base of the British Black Air organisation. These particular specimens seemed to be infected with a strain of the techno-organic virus, possibly by Black Air researchers. They seemed operational since they were used as guards.

The second sighting occured just as this entry was completed - giant cloned Brood, and giant clones employing Brood DNA. See our Kaga writeup for more.

The Acanti and other starships

The Acanti, sometimes called “space whales” by Terrans, are a species of colossal sentients living in the vacuum of space. They can draw nourishment from dust, solar energy and the like and “swim‘ in the void at any speed - they can even go FTL. Acanti have their own cultures and languages, mostly expressed via telepathy.

An adult Acanti dwarfs most spaceships, and this sheer size makes them very hard to damage even with naval energy cannons - one unexceptional specimen could have gobbled up a ship about four times the size of the Starjammer, which weighs 1.2 billion tons and is more than 200,000 feet long. The corpse of an ancient Acanti has been estimated as having a spine more than a thousand miles long, and ribs rising hundreds of miles into the atmosphere and past it.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

The Brood found ways to colonise the Acanti and turn them into enormous, living spaceships. They inject a ’slaver virus’, then burrow into the brain and implant technology there to steer their victim. The next step is to erect pustule-like transparent domes over the Acanti’s skin, where they built their installations, weapons platforms, cloaking systems, tractor beams, barracks, power generators and the like. The larger domes hold entire Brood cities.

The flesh of the Acanti provide them with endless nourishment, and an entire clan of Brood can easily live off it for centuries after they enslave an Acanti. Hunting and enslaving Acanti is a major job among the Brood, directed by Hunt-Masters.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

When an Acanti is near death, the usual policy is to crash it on a desirable planet and have the entire Brood population swarm out and conquer the place. Apparently, the Brood ’colonisers’ who have gone through this are still interested in capturing further Acanti, perhaps to leave the conquered planet after they have exhausted its resources or are starting to run out of room.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Even after they have been enslaved, Acanti can still manipulate their internal physiology. They can be taught to perform starship-like function, such as erecting organic docking facilities within their throat or extruding articulated, pressurised tunnels compatible with standard airlocks. The Brood routinely burrow tunnels within the Acanti flesh to link their domes and other installations with each other, and use their technology to keep those tunnels from healing over.

Many other space-faring or atmospheric Brood crafts follow the same general principle - a large spaceworthy creature, often looking like a gigantic abyssal fish, is enslaved and surgically modified. Domes are then grafted over its surface to house pilots, weapons, etc. One atmospheric patrol craft thus looked like a deformed manta ray with one dome/cockpit housing a lightning projector. A common type of landing barge looks much like a gigantic Earth shark (larger specimens able to perform intersystem flight are sometimes called “Star Sharks”, presumably by the same guys who called the Acanti ’space whales’).

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Some ’fishes’ are apparently floaters rather than flyers. The Brood modify those by grafting normal starhsip engines at the rear to allow for sub-relativistic space travel. This type of “ship” is primarily used as an intra-system fleet for those Clans owning several planets within a single system.

A Brood fleet will also likely include ordinary small space crafts (presumably bought, hijacked and/or salvaged) and some unusual techno-organic melds.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Though it was Clan-1982 that held the Acanti Prophet-Singer, other Brood clans in the Milky Way (such as Clan-2005) still have access to their own enslaved Acanti.

Overview

There seems to be several scattered main Brood population centres. One is (or perhaps was) near the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy, one lies somewhere between the Kree Empire and the Shi’ar Imperium, and there seems to be another one bordering the Shi’ar Imperium in the Shi’ar Galaxy. The Brood reportedly exist on hundreds of different planets throughout the universe. Since Acanti seem quite capable of transgalactic travel, Brood settlements can credibly exist wherever you want them to.

Officially, the Shi’ar do not know about the Brood’s existence. There are occasional Brood raids within Shi’ar territory, and Shi’ar counter-raids conducted by specially-vetted forces. There seems to be a rough equilibrium in this situation, with neither party being able to commit to a telling attack on the other. Even during the recent (2008) campaign of military adventurism by Emperor Vulcan, the Brood were apparently left alone despite attacks launched against strong and feared space militaries, such as the Z‘Nox.

Likewise, the Kree treat the Brood as a closely-guarded military secret. The space sector somewhere between Kree and Shi’ar turf is called “Sector Absolom” by the Kree. Absolom is one of the very few sectors rated as 5 out of 5 as to hazardous conditions, with even the heart of the Skrull Empire being mostly a 4. The reason why Absolom is a 5 is classified, mostly because the Kree populace knows about the Brood and consider them to be certain death. The Supreme Intelligence would rather have this fear of the Brood remain nebulous, rather than have the public know exactly where they are. From context, Absolom likely is on the fringe of the Greater Magellanic Cloud, facing the Shi’ar Galaxy.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

A Skrull military commander once mentioned fighting off “entire hives” of the Brood, so there were presumably clashes between the Skrulls and the Brood within the last few decades. Nothing else is known about this, such as the provenance of the Brood clan(s) that clashed with the Skrulls prior to their downfall. No contact has been mentioned between the Annihilation Wave and the Brood clans, though it would be surprising if the Brood didn’t try to exploit the devastation after the Annihilation War and the Conquest to expand.

Some small, weak Clans do not have any turf and are completely mobile, working as space pirates and luring in victims with faked distress signals. This doesn’t appear to be common - the sole Clan seen engaging in this, Clan-2000, was a very small one and considered to be deviants and renegades by the Brood.

Society

The Brood seem to be organised as a series of clan-like political structures, each under the rule of a Queen who is the actual mother of the entire clan. This structure seems to be loosely comparable to that of some Earth social insects. The relationships between the various clans, and the cultural and genetic differences between the various clans, are far from clear - it would seem that even the average Brood doesn’t understand them. Some Brood clans might thus be quite different from what has been encountered so far. There exists a “super-Queen”, called the Empress or the Mother Of Us All, which as her name indicates is thought to be the prime progenitor of the Brood.

There are other subdivisions and social units beyond Clans, but those are even less documented. Under a Queen exists a type of Brood called the Clan-Masters, but what their authority consists of is unknown.

One Brood has referred to belonging to a ’pod‘, apparently a much smaller social unit than a clan, perhaps made up of Brood born in the same ’batch‘ and continuing to operate together in adulthood. From context, a pod of ordinary Brood warriors seems fairly large - perhaps the equivalent of a military company. The members of a pod also appear to have some level of telepathically shared memories, perhaps a bit like shared documents within a workgroup on a LAN.

The Brood had set roles to perform in society. Given the parallels with Earth insects, it seems possible that they are born optimised for a certain role, which they will fulfil for their entire life. The Queen of Clan-1982 once referred to “the warriors and the breeders” among her Clan. From context it would seem that a Brood ’breeder‘ is actually a sort of geneticist - scientists and technicians managing the complex reproduction process of the Brood.

One secondary source stated that the shock troops (especially the Warrior-Primes) are generally females and that the males are generally expendable footsoldiers and low-ranking labourers. There is no way to confirm that from primary sources, though the Warrior-Prime known as “No-Name” always identified as female. It is entirely possible that “male” and “female” are just grammatical artefacts from the translation, and No-Name was altered and insane by Brood standards.

History

The earliest recorded contact with the Brood is difficult to place - it took place “far away and long ago” but there is no way to place it in time and/or space. All we know is that the mysterious Eidolon Host were back then the greatest and most feared warrior race, thanks in large part to their “warwear” intelligent bodysheats. They fought against the Brood, and from context it would seem that they clearly won.

It is also known that the Brood of Clan-1982 came to the Milky Way “ages ago”. It has been theorised that they were fleeing some sort of catastrophe or war - perhaps the aforementioned Eidolon Host. It is not clear how many Clans came to the Milky Way, and whether they were allied. Shortly after their arrival they stumbled upon the Acanti, which soon became a major boon to them as they developed ways to enslave the “space whales”. Clan-1982 got lucky and one of their victims was the Prophet-Singer, carrier of the Acanti racial soul, which forced the vast majority of Acanti to submit to the Brood - instantly giving them vast space-faring capabilities and resources. Using their terraforming technologies, they soon reestablished themselves as a power to be reckoned with.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

The first known encounter between Earth humans and Brood took place in Egypt during the reign of Khasekhemwy - somewhere between 2620 BC and 2690 BC, since the chronology of Second Dynasty pharaohs still includes large uncertainties. A Brood craft crashed in what may have been Abydos, and the warriors grabbed the pharaoh and swiftly implanted him with an embryo. Thus died a God-King who remains noted as the unifier of the Lower and Upper Kingdoms of Egypt and the patron of some of the oldest monuments known to man.

Though the situation might have resulted in the Earth being ravaged by the Brood, the invading forces were met by forces led by Imhotep - an ancient genius and polymath reputed for great achievements in medicine, architecture and engineering. Imhotep’s army included several warriors who may have had superhuman powers - one large fighter was probably En-Sabah Nur (the future Apocalypse), a masked man bore the regalia of Konshu, a spearman had symbols evoking the Scarlet Scarab, and there was another masked man with a khopesh.

Many men and Brood were killed that day, but the Queen and her Clan were all taken down. This epic battle spurred Imhotep and his allies to found the Shield, a conspiracy that protected mankind from the end of the world ever since.

At an unknown point (“fifteen years ago” in the sliding time scale, so perhaps the 1950s ; let’s call them Clan-1952) a Brood commando team managed to strike in the heart of the Shi’ar empire, raiding no less than the Chandilar Academy. Their goal was apparently to kidnap some Shi’ar young nobles to implant them with eggs, perhaps in the erroneous belief that Shi’ar nobles had some sort of special abilities making them rulers. The commando stumbled upon the future Empress, Lilandra Neramani, thought they didn’t recognise her.

The raiders had the upper hand until the nerdish Lilandra, who spent most of her time reading and studying, recognised Clan-1952 and remembered they were pyrophobic. Using Shi’ar “danger room” technology at the academy to suddenly replicate volcanoes spewing magma, she tricked the panicked Brood and locked them all within the danger room, saving numerous lives. The invaders were presumably slaughtered by the Shi’ar military.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Knowing about the Brood - presumably from confidential geostrategic data made available to the Aerie - the Shi’ar renegade Cal’syee Neramani, the future Deathbird, started covert contacts in the 1960s. The negotiations took years, though she eventually managed to convince the Brood to back her future attempt at taking control of the Imperium. From the material, it would seem she first took contacts with the Clan(s) in what the Kree refer to as the Absolom sector, but later shifted to Clan-1982, perhaps as negotiations failed with the previously contacted Clans.

Concurrently, the Supreme Intelligence sent a small military expedition into Brood territory in Absolom. Its secret goal was apparently to produce and study Brood/Kree hybrids. The objective of this might have been to find a way to restart the stagnant Kree evolutionary process.

In a way, it succeeded, as the ship’s leader, Admiral Devros, was made into a Brood leader, sometimes called the Brood King. A distress signal was sent, and a ship crewed by undesirables (including famous war hero Captain Mar-Vell) was sent to investigate. This mission would have been a disaster without the heroism of Captain Mar-Vell and Medic Una, who terminated the infected Krees, cured themselves of the earliest stages of Brood embryo implantation, killed a Queen and the Brood King, and left the rest of her clan stranded on an obscure planet without access to space flight.

The modern age

The next known encounter with the Brood took place on Earth, where Deathbird was marooned (see her entries on writeups.org). Deathbird received the backing of a small team of Warrior-Prime caste snipers, sent by the Queen of Clan-1982. The snipers proved redoubtable, and initially mauled Deathbird’s enemies the X-Men, the Starjammers and Tigra.

However, the snipers’s lack of regard for their self-preservation led to their death at the hands of Wolverine. The Terrans and the Starjammers could thus rally in time to repulse a second contingent of Brood warriors as they were being teleported into New York City.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Still, the battle allowed Deathbird to capture Professor Charles Xavier and Lilandra, and nearly killed Colossus. However, when the Brood vessel carrying Deathbird and her prisoners captured the pursuing HMSS Starjammer, things went wrong as it was actually the X-Men and Starjammers who successfully boarded the gigantic Brood craft, inflicting considerable casualties and freeing Xavier and Lilandra.

During the boarding action, young X-Man Kitty Pryde nicknamed the Brood “sleazoids”. The name stuck, and it became a common way for the X-Men and their allies to refer to the Brood.

The Clan-1982/Deathbird alliance nearly disintegrated over this fiasco, but a demonstration of strength by Deathbird and showing the Brood the genetics of the X-Men allowed them to patch their differences. The Brood had also scored one tentative victory - Xavier had been implanted with a Queen embryo, and though he was mentally fighting it the implantation was too far underway to be cured.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Clan-1982 and Deathbird later struck a decisive blow, taking Lilandra and the X-Men prisoner in a surprise attack. As Deathbird concentrated on her coup, the Brood greedily took the X-Men back to their turf, and kept them sedated and hallucinating that the situation was normal and that they were still at a Shi’ar party.

All X-Men were implanted with Queen embryos. However, Wolverine’s powerful healing factor allowed him to overcome sedation and flee the breeding centre. Hallucinating and disoriented, he nevertheless managed to kill off Brood hunters and some of the local fauna, and his immune system eventually, painfully killed the embryo and restored him to his full capabilities. Wolverine then freed his fellow X-Men.

(Meanwhile Xavier, still telepathically struggling to fend the Brood within him, assembled the New Mutants since he though the X-Men were dead.)

Other subjects had been given away by Deathbird as part of her deal with the Brood. At least one Imperial Guardsman, the then-current Fang, was successfully implanted and turned into a Brood, which was later killed by Wolverine. Another subject, X-Men ally Carol Danvers, had her genome extensively researched and manipulated as the Brood breeders were fascinated by her unique meld of perfect human and Kree genetics. Within hours of being freed, Danvers started manifesting enormous stellar energy-manipulating powers, unwittingly bestowed by Brood biological experiments.

The emergence of Danvers as the walking star Binary, and the bonding of X-Man Storm with free Acanti, led to the apparent destruction of Clan-1982. Binary single-handedly razed their world Madrizar (one of the two inhabited planets in the Clan-1982’s solar system), and later engaged and destroyed the majority of their space assets. In the meanwhile Storm, bonded with the new Prophet-Singer of the Acanti, had the X-Men perform a commando strike which freed the entire Acanti population enslaved by Clan-1982. The Brood nearly foiled that mission, in part because Cyclops of the X-Men had become a Brood. Still, the X-Men managed to free the Acanti racial soul to give them back their freedom.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

The Queen of Clan-1982 then intervened, her presence being capable of corrupting the Acanti’s soul and turn them all as evil as the Brood. Thankfully, Binary’s energies enabled the Acanti racial soul to purge all X-Men of Brood presence (even Cyclops), seemingly turned the Queen and other ’impure‘ creatures nearby into pure, immobile crystal, and shattered the planet the fight took place on (“Broodworld” or “Sleazeworld” - the other inhabited planet in the Clan-1982 solar system). A half-dozen Warrior-Primes of Clan-1982 survived due to a freak stroke of luck — see the writeups.org entry for No-Name.

Storm was restored to a human body, and the X-Men returned to Earth, where despite all his resistance Charles Xavier had covertly become Brood. His X-Men took him down, and the Starjammers cloned a new human body where they transferred his consciousness. The Queen implanted into Xavier was destroyed.

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The X-Men/Brood war apparently was major news throughout the Shi’ar Galaxy and the Milky Way galaxy. Given the fear the Brood near-universally evoked, having a small fighting force wreck a powerful Brood Clan was an historic moment.

From mile-high to below zero

Several years after the brutal war between the X-Men and Clan-1982, a party of Brood, apparently from another clan (which we’ll call Clan-1988) crash-landed on Earth. They had no means of return and were not interested in such - their job was to establish a power base on Earth.

Since they knew exactly what they were after (Earth mutants to implant embryos into in a stealthy manner), it is likely that they had access to the same information Clan-1982 had. Perhaps Clan-1988 absorbed survivors or databases from Clan-1982, or perhaps Deathbird gave them information to gain some form of revenge.

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The landing party had one stroke of bad luck, though - the man they infected, paramedic Harry Palmer, ran into X-Men Polaris and Havok shortly after implantation, which led to the X-Men investigating the crash site and tracking the Brood down. See the “Brood Mutants” entry on writeups.org for more about that. In the end Palmer and all of his known Brood were killed - but, unknown to the X-Men, a reserve agent impregnated one Hannah Connover with a Queen embryo.

In the early 90s, another invasion party was discovered in New Orleans - apparently from yet another clan, which we’ll call Clan-1992. They took over a local mutant kinship, the Assassins’s Guild, in one fell swoop. Alerted via their ties with Assassins’s Guild member Belladonna Boudreaux, the X-Men intervened. However, they ran into the Ghost Rider (Daniel Ketch), who had been investigating the murders committed by the Brood but was captured, implanted with an embryo and ’converted‘ into a Brood. During the battle, the X-Men discovered that the younger members of both mutant clans in the Big Easy - the Assassins’s Guild and the Thieves’s Guild - had been kidnapped and kept in a sort of larder by the Brood for the next stage of their plan.

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The X-Men destroyed the Brood within the Ghost Rider thanks to the apparent sacrifice of Belladonna Boudreaux. They and the Rider then rescued the survivors and eradicated the Brood. They also encountered and killed what seemed to be a Queen - it is possible that the Brood forces in New Orleans were a nascent spin-off of Clan-1992 that a young Queen has recently started.

As it turned out, the rest of the Clan-1992’s Brood cell was in New York City, though they laid low to avoid detection. Via Blood telepathy, they knew what had happened in NOLA, and relayed this intelligence off-world, to their Queen (presumably the mother of the Queen in New Orleans).

The Queen had her Brood on Earth lay low and do nothing for a few years, then sent reinforcements to capture Gambit and Ghost Rider, who had led the charge in New Orleans. She concurrently moved in with a cadre of warriors and established herself deep within the lower vaults of the Federal Reserve Bank.

The initial attacks on Gambit and Ghost Rider failed, and both allied and received the help of Wolverine, who tracked the Brood to the Fed. Gambit took them in without raising alarms, but a S.H.I.E.L.D. force led by Stacy Dolan nevertheless spotted them, went after them and got captured by the Brood. Thanks to the rapport between Dolan and the Ghost Rider, they turned the tables on the Queen and seemingly destroyed her using a gun originally built to kill the Ghost Rider.

Late 1990s

Meanwhile, the embryo within Hannah Connover turned her into a Brood Queen - albeit on with both a fully human state and a Brood state, as had been the case with Palmer. Things went wrong, however - Connover’s Brood mentality didn’t gain the upper hand. Though she was a Brood Queen, she was first and foremost a human woman.

The Mother Of Us All sensed this and decided to eliminate Connover as she kept refusing to toe the line. A cadre of Firstborn Brood was sent in - but X-Man Jean Grey had psionically ’overheard‘ the exchanges between the Empress and Connover. A contingent of X-Men left for Colorado to investigate ; see Hannah Connover’s writeups.org entry for more.

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Several years after the Connover case, the Brood Imperiatrix decided to have payback against Earth’s heroes, and in particular the X-Men, for the destruction of several of her daughters. She paid the Brotherhood of Badoon to set a huge scam up — to pass themselves for interstellar organisers and broadcasters of competitive events, the Coterie. Under the Coterie cover, the Badoon manipulated many US-based heroes into participating to a sort of tournament, employing influencer nanites, staggering promised rewards and holograms to gain their cooperation. The nanites couldn’t quite get a hold on the X-Man Shadowcat and the Avenger Iron Man, though, and both heroes discovered the truth as the tournament raged on.

The Imperiatrix’s plan had several advantages — the tournament, in addition to keeping everybody busy and under Badoon influence, allowed the Brood to research which subjects were the most promising and should host the highest royal embryos. As to the Badoon, in addition to being kept in line by their fear of the Brood, they hoped that the elimination of Earth’s champions would facilitate their operations.

The Brood also captured Carol Danvers again under cover of the Coterie event, eager to determine how previous experiments had made her into Binary, and how to tap this power for the Brood’s purpose.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

As one last bonus, the losers of each contest, who had been promised by the Coterie that they would be sent home, were actually dumped into a Brood jungle with their powers Neutralised, and hunted down by young Brood nobles and minor princesses from what we’ll call Clan-1999. However, Iron Man rallied and repowered the defeated heroes. Thus, the defeated participants ended up forming a capable anti-Brood force rather than scattered game. The Badoon had also overlooked Hawkeye, who came in to investigate and soon determined what was going on. Finally, a freak reaction to the Scarlet Witch’s probability control powers brought in, from another dimension, the heroes Lockdown and Rosetta Stone.

Meanwhile, the next-to-last step of the Imperiatrix’s plan succeeded - she had Rogue touch her, then took over her mentality. As Rogue, the Imperiatrix quickly absorbed and combined the abilities of the tournament’s winners. However, by that point, the resistance had considerably built up and routed the Badoon shock troops. Furthermore, a ploy by Shadowcat, Rosetta Stone, Psylocke and Danvers brought the Imperiatrix down and force her to flee Rogue’s body.

The Brood Imperiatrix took her revenge on the Badoon who had fled from the battle, but had been soundly defeated and considerable Brood assets were lost or destroyed.

Early 2000s

In the wake of the Maximum Security events, another clan of Brood took an interest in Earth. Those Brood were considered villains even among the rest of the Brood, as they massacred purely for sport. This degenerate Clan (which we’ll call Clan-2000) had presumably stopped obeying the Mother Of Us All, and may have targeted Earth to further humiliate the Empress by taking over a planet that had recently repulsed her Imperiatrix.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

However a hunter of Brood, Tyrus Krill, came to Earth shortly after Clan-2000 had. The alien Krill had himself been infected years before, though he managed to keep the embryo in check so far.

At that point, the Brood had barely had time to establish a base within a large building, the Ripley Hotel. The Brood of Clan-2000 could take over the body of passerbys, and had already killed off most of the staff and guests at the Ripley to take their place. Krill recruited Wolverine, known through space as a great killer of Brood, to storm the hotel. Wolverine killed dozens of sleazoids, with Krill mopping up behind, until they encountered the Queen.

In the end, Krill couldn’t withhold his Brood transformation any longer. He had Wolverine kill him and revealed that several of the Brood of Clan-2000 were his wife and two children, who has been turned into Brood in the same attack that had infected him. The Krill family shared a final moment together as death returned them to their pre-Brood state for a few seconds.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Some years later, a party of Brood led by a Queen hijacked space station Simulacra in Earth orbit. They accomplished this by boarding the Mars lander that had just come back from a mission to the red planet. The Brood implanted eggs within the crew, but a mishap attracted the attention of Reed Richards.

Dr. Richards contacted the X-Men, wanting to use their Cerebra scanner to determine what was going on on Simulacra. Based on the results, a mixed party of X-Men and Fantastic Four was sent aboard to investigate. Susan Richards killed the huge Queen when the alien made the mistake of threatening her family, but forbade anybody to kill off the infected crew. The FF and X-Men retreated from the station to let a radiation storm pass, intending to come back for the crew.

However, during this delay the crew turned completely Brood. These new members of Clan-2005 apparently intended to avenge their dead Queen, and broadcast a signal to the rest of their Clan before aiming a space shuttle straight at Manhattan.

The FF and X-Men stopped the shuttle, but then found themselves staring at the entirety of Clan-2005 aboard several Acanti, who had jumped Earthward at FTL speeds. The heroes engaged the Brood beachhead in Manhattan (the island having already been evacuated by S.H.I.E.L.D. in case the shuttle situation had gone wrong), but were overwhelmed. Dr. Richards made some modifications to Cerebra, and used it to have the White Queen project illusions of an approaching Galactus and Phoenix Force into the Brood’s minds. Thinking that the two cosmic forces were about to have a showdown on Earth, Clan-2005 fled.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Several months after those events the Hulk, accidentally marooned on planet Sakaar, assembled a band of warriors called the Warbound. Among those was a Brood, who due to her lack of conventional identification was called “the brood” or “no-name”. No-Name was a very unusual specimen, and definitely not representative of the species as a whole - see her writeups.org entry.

During the Hulk-led invasion of the US by the Warbound, No-Name attempted to found a Brood Clan below Manhattan, but this project was wrecked by the collective consciousness of Earth insects, which fought to prevent the establishment of a Brood presence on Earth by any means.

Killer Queen - return of Clan-1982

Though the elimination of Clan-1982 by Binary, the Acanti Prophet-Singer and the X-Men was the stuff of legend, it became evident by the mid-2000s that the legend overlooked one detail - the Queen of Clan-1982 had not been actually destroyed.

Back in the 1980s, and way too many paragraphs ago, the Queen had started corrupting the Acanti racial soul — until Binary arrived and, working in coordination with Storm and the new Prophet-Singer, pumped enough energy into the soul for it to achieve its apotheosis. The corruption was reversed and the Acanti soul made the Brood Queen pure, turning it into a crystal sculpture of itself. She was presumed dead, but slowly degraded the purity of the crystal until she was alive and mobile again. This presumably took about twenty years.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Not only was the Brood Queen back in action, but she was now mineral-like and basically indestructible. She set out to reconstruct her Clan, presumably infecting scores of aliens to turn them into Brood. While it presumably took years, Clan-1982 was eventually restored. The next objective was simple - get Danvers.

However, one complication arose during the rebuilding of Clan-1982, however. A Brood raid devastated an alien world, and the locals decided to retaliate so no other species would have to suffer the tragedy they had just endured. A volunteer named Cru was turned into a super-powerful cyborg and flew off to hunt down the Brood. Cru ravaged the ranks of Clan-1982, undoing all their work. Eventually, the Clan was reduced to but the Queen and two pods.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Having received intelligence that Cru needed to recharge her energy reserves, the Brood Queen duped the alien cyborg into thinking that a cavourite crystal would be perfect for that purpose. The trick was that attempting to absorb the power of such a crystal would inevitably destroy Cru and a good part of whichever solar system she was in - and the nearest such crystal was on Earth. The Queen also manipulated Cru into believing that Earth was a hostile, evil world.

The warriors of Clan-1982 hit Earth in two starships, and Cru went after the one that landed in the US - near a small Georgian town that they immediately attacked. The first responder was, by a juicy coincidence, Ms. Marvel, who fought the Brood until they nearly overwhelmed her.

Cru, low on energy, arrived and slew the rest - then made a beeline for the cavourite crystal. Thanks to a stroke of luck, her attempt at absorbing the energy ’merely‘ destroyed the entire military base the crystal was stored in, as well as a nearby town. Though weakened, Ms. Marvel defeated Cru, leaving her to regenerate as she was reduced to a puddle of goo.

Meanwhile, the other pod of Clan-1982, the one accompanying the Queen, landed on Monster Island. The Queen established her base there, knowing that her enemies were too weakened to harm her. Cru and Danvers nevertheless showed up, but both women were but a shadow of themselves and were taken down by Clan-1982. The Queen gleefully left her two great nemeses for dead, then attacked the mini-helicarrier commanded by Danvers in order to start her conquest of the planet.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

However, Cru briefly restored Danvers’s powers to their old Binary levels. Thus boosted, Ms. Marvel exterminated the Brood, but ran out of juice before she could test the limits of the Queen’s invulnerability. The Queen killed Cru at last, but Ms. Marvel jammed a nuclear bomb into the Queen’s jaws and threw her in high orbit. Whether the blast killed the Queen is unknown, but in either case it sent her careening into outer space.

No time like the present

As of this writing, the Brood just reappeared in Astonishing X-Men #31, when a S.W.O.R.D. counter-intrusion team discovered some in Earth orbit. The rest of the story has yet to be published.

The future ?

The time-tossed X-Man Lucas Bishop mentioned that in his native future there existed multiple factions of Brood, and implied that they weren’t on friendly terms with each other. Bishop also stated that some such Brood factions were considered to be benign. Presumably, the Mother Of Us All had failed to preserve the sacred oneness of the Brood somewhere along the line.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

Years later actions of Lucas Bishop to destroy the mutant Hope and her guardian Cable led an alternate future in which the Brood existed. In this possible future, the Brood of the Milky Way were nomads living abord a fleet of Acanti. Why they had no planets to rule was unrevealed, but is is possible some grand alliance formed a crusade against the Brood. The Brood were specifically looking for powerful superhumans to implant embryos in, presumably to strike back against their enemies.

Description

Ordinary Brood have black markings, usually symmetrical, on their ’brow‘, which can be used by non-Brood to tell them apart. The meaning of those marks for the Brood, if any, is unknown.

A typical Brood warrior is 8‘ from nose to stingertips, and weighs circa 250 lbs.

Personality

The Brood are really mean and evil and disgusting, and seem to aim for universal domination by converting everyone into Brood. They are underhanded, fanatical, cruel killers — and every last one will fight to the death. They are not drones, though - they mostly have free will and are fully sapient. They do not mind dying for the cause, but can still be intimidated, interrogated, demoralised, etc. given dire enough circumstances.

There are indications that the Brood are profoundly corrupt and are not part of the “natural” order of things. It is thus possible that they have some sort of demonic ancestry, or a connection to their Elder Gods (such as, for Earth, Chthon, Set, etc.). That a Brood embryo could take over the Ghost Rider is a further hint.

Apparently, the Brood see their situation as being essentially defensive - all other civilisations fear and hate them and their reproductive strategy, and will wage war against them until either they or the Brood have been eliminated. The Brood seem to be driven by the necessity of survival against everybody else, and to consider that all that is not Brood is chaos, void and loneliness. One source states that the Brood are terrified of the possibility of extinction, which meshes well with their observed behaviour in primary sources.

Brood - Sleazoids - Marvel Comics - X-Men enemies - Aliens

The Brood speak as if they have two Earth-standard genders, but that may be an artefact of ’translation’. Some seemed to consistently identity as female, though.

Brood unity seems to be main purpose of the Empress - the Brood (and in particular Queens) do have individuality and agency, and the Mother Of Us All considers that if rifts and disunion appear between the Clans, this will result in weakness and the very real possibility of the extermination of the Brood by outsiders. Thus she always work to suppress dissent and potential schisms, lest the Brood fall separately after a failure to stand together.

Due to the importance of oneness among the Brood, they often describe themselves as being “part of the Brood” or words to that effect, as if it were a hive mind - though that’s not quite the case. Still, the Brood are in constant telepathic contact, have shared memories, routinely chem so the air is full of communication between them, ’talk‘ to each other (likely through telepathy) and may have even more means to stay in constant contact each other. This constant, multi-channels communication with their kin seems critical to their psychological well-being.

The Brood seem to have a very strong hunting instinct, and though they can when necessary kill targets outright with a big bomb they’d rather personally hunt them down. Though this is not an Irrational Attraction - they only do so under reasonable circumstances - some over-ambitious and overconfident Brood might attempt to hunt down prey that is more powerful and/or competent than they are. Such a mistake is usually the product of inexperience - older hunters know better than to pointlessly engage superior opposition in the name of sport, though of course they will still unhesitatingly die to defend the Brood.

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