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Neh-Buh-Loh (aka the Nebula Man, aka Qwewq) (7 Soldiers) (DC Comics)

Neh-Buh-Loh aka Nebula Man aka Qwewq


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

“There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds.”


Context

The Nebula Man was a cosmic monster introduced in 1972, in a story about semi-obscure Golden Age  super-heroes the Seven Soldiers of Victory. It didn’t appear much until Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers meta-series, in 2006.

At this point the Nebula Man (as “Neh-Buh-Loh”) is retconned  into the mythology created by Morrison for this series. Since that’s a lot of material, you might want to read several of our Seven Soldiers character profiles to piece together the greater narrative (though our profiles are far less cryptic than the series was).

However, this and other Seven Soldiers profiles do come with S P O I L E R S for an incredible story.

This character has three names, because it went through three stages. As a baby universe it was called “Qwewq”. As a young, stunted, mini-universe it was the Nebula Man. As an older, but still crippled and diminutive universe, it was called Neh-Buh-Loh.


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Background

  • Group Affiliation: Servant of the Queen of Terror.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: Variable Weight: Unrevealed.
  • Eyes: N.A. Hair: N.A.


Powers and Abilities

Nebula Man is a small, man-shaped and almost man-sized, universe. As discussed in our game stats, his power level varied in a wide and unclear fashion.


History

This creature doesn’t seem to experience time in, a linear fashion, making a biography challenging. It apparently comes from the very far future, at the end of times. But its earliest known stage was an infant universe code-named Qwewq. Qwewq was kept in the Museum District of Omnitropolis, on Wonderworld.


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Wonderworld was a giant planet at the edge of the universe. It is where a host of super-champions had assembled to protect all reality from what laid beyond. By human standards, those colourful super-champions were titanic – easily as tall as a mountain.

The champions of Wonderworld were caring for the baby universe and feeding it. They hoped to help Qwewq grow to its full potential. Alas, this would never come to pass.

A short time after Earth adventurers discovered Wonderworld, Mageddon broke its chains from beyond reality and entered the universe. While Wonderworld stood ready, it fell within minutes to the evil power of Mageddon.

Qwewq was tainted and damage at this point. This may have been due to Mageddon’s presence, and/or because the Petri dish that supported the baby universe was wrecked as Wonderworld fell.

As Mageddon was racing toward the Earth, Metron briefly took JLA members Big Barda and Wonder Woman to Wonderworld. There they found the last of the champions, the Mote, as he was dying. It is likely the Mote asked the two JLA women to take Qwewq with them. He seemed to be attached to the infant universe and its promise for good.

Metron, Barda and Diana went back to Earth so the JLA could prepare against Mageddon.

Non-linear

Qwewq was apparently stored somewhere in Metropolis. A villain named Black Death later defeated JLA security so he could enter the baby universe. It is likely that Black Death had been actually sent in by the ’adult‘ form of Qwewq, called Neh-Buh-Loh. More on this later.

Neh-Buh-Loh eating a dead winged horse

Most of the JLA went into Qwewq to arrest Black Death. Tests showed that inside Qwewq was at least one planet that was a replica of *our*, real-world, Earth. As such it had never had any super-hero. Thus, the JLA feared that Black Death would trigger untold carnage, since people there could not suspect the existence of real super powers.

Black Death’s assault likely was a diversion intended to get the JLA out of Neh-Buh-Loh’s way. Though the JLA could defeat Black Death without major trouble, they had to do so subtly and carefully so as not to create chaos on the Earth within Qwewq. This meant that they were gone for days, leaving a window of opportunity for Neh-Buh-Loh.

Black Death was also apparently tasked with “injecting” something within Qwewq. Neh-Buh-Loh later said that “the seed of evil” was planted within Qwewq by Black Death, and bore fruit by making Qwewq grow up into becoming Neh-Buh-Loh.

The simplest explanation (and the most coherent with what happened next) would be that the future Neh-Buh-Loh gave Black Death, who could apparently generate all sorts of toxins and disease from his body, the formula of an “universal disease” that could worsen the damage already done to Qwewq to make this entire universe ill and evil.

Curing an universe

The JLA stopped Black Death, but realised that it was too late and the baby universe would grow corrupt. They recruited the International Ultramarine Corps and sent them into Qwewq via Boom Tube. Since the Ultramarines had just been involved in a complete disaster, this also worked as a penance of sort.

The Ultramarines were to become this universe’s first super-heroes. They would try to stem the disease of evil and heal the infant universe. The details from this long-term mission (which, incidentally, would make for a cool campaign) are undocumented. But despite having at least two competent heroes (Squire and Vixen), the Ultramarines failed.

Seeing they could not stem the wave of evil and corruption, they introduced a new universal toxin (perhaps obtained from Black Death). It crippled Qwewq’s ability to growth to the size of a “normal” universe, and would eventually make it possible to kill it.

The Ultramarine Corps then came back via Boom Tube before documenting their campaign within Qwewq for JLA records. Those records were later obtained by governmental (and I do mean “mental”) agency S.H.A.D.E..

Nebula Man

Though he would never become a full-size universe, Qwewq ’grew up‘ into a very powerful creature called the Nebula Man. While tiny worlds and solar systems and the like still existed within him, he was at best 3 metres tall and humanoid within our own, much greater universe.

Apparently, this growth took one billion years. It is exceedingly difficult to tell given the Nebula Man’s ability to travel effortlessly through time.

At Summer’s End, he allied himself with the throne of the Sheeda and became the Celestial Huntsman of the Queen of Terror, and the master of the Wild Ride. This was apparently the Sheeda version of the Wild Hunt, and possibly the source of the myth.

This is the Hand, the Hand that takes

In 1948, a criminal called the Hand (or sometimes the Iron Hand) used a bugle-like item to summon the Nebula Man. The creature was at that point looking for the ruins of the Arthurian city of Glorias, in the Himalayas, to hunt and kill the descendants of Pegazeus.

The Hand discovered that the creature was also looking for ’seven soldiers’ to kill. The criminal was only too happy to point the Nebula Man in the direction of the super-heroes who were his main opponents – the Seven Soldiers.

In hindsight, it is likely that this was all a machination. There was a traitor within the Seven Soldiers, an archer called the Spider. He handed a weapon over to the other Soldiers that could destroy the Nebula Man, but discreetly kept a key circuit as he sent them to their death. It is certainly possible that the Spider had ties to the Sheeda, and that he played a role in getting the “bugle” into the Hand’s… hands.

However, one of the Seven Soldiers — Wing, the sidekick of the Crimson Avenger — had been left behind. He thus realised what the Spider was doing, beat him, and rushed to join the Seven Soldiers with the missing circuit. Grabbing the weapon, he slotted the circuit in and threw himself at the Nebula Man to save the world.

The resulting explosion killed Wing and the Nebula Man, and scattered the Seven Soldiers throughout the time stream.

Star-Spangled

Wing was buried where he had died – in Tibet, near a lamasery. But the corpse had been irradiated by the Nebula Man’s dying energy. The Nebula Man slowly recomposed itself within the body, like a post-mortem cancer. After more than 50 years, a reborn Nebula Man burst out of the tomb.

However, it was still terribly weakened and needed a lot of cosmic energy to have his revenge. The Nebula Man thus flew to Blue Valley, Nebraska. That was where the last survivor of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, Pat Dugan, lived. Dugan still had the weapon that had destroyed the Nebula Man in his garage, as well as several other pieces of tech the Nebula Man could feed on.

The Nebula Man was unexpectedly destroyed again by the Star-Spangled Kid (Courtney Whitmore). Seeing how her Cosmic Converter Belt seemed linked to the energies within the Nebula Man, she tied it to an electrical cable and threw it through her opponent. This somehow “grounded” the Nebula Man, destroying it again.

Apparently this further crippled the sick universe, since in its further appearances he never again displayed the power he had as the Nebula Man when he fought the Seven Soldiers of Victory. In this weakened form, the tainted small universe was renamed Neh-Buh-Loh, perhaps by the Queen of the Sheeda.

(Of course, this is assuming that the events took place in the same order from Neh-Buh-Loh’s point of view, which isn’t quite likely… but look, this is complicated enough as is.)

Celestial Huntsman

At Summer’s End, the Queen of Terror betrayed her King to take the throne for herself. She then ordered the Huntsman to take the Princess Rhiannon deep into the past and kill her then. However, Neh-Buh-Loh was struck by the “grace and symmetry” that Rhiannon represented and did not kill her.

He left the young princess stranded around the year 2000. Neh-Buh-Loh then passed the brain of a telepathic savant he killed in the XXXIst century as Rhiannon’s. This act of mercy on Neh-Buh-Loh’s part was possibly a delayed result of the efforts of the Ultramarines to make it less evil.

Sheeda-7-Soldiers-DC-Comics-Buffalo-Spider-h

As the Celestial Huntsman, Neh-Buh-Loh was also the point being of the Sheeda’s Harrowings. For instance, during the Harrowing of the Camelot of 8,000 BC, he was the one who killed Lancelot the Long-Armed, among others. The Celestial Huntsman also led many of the smaller raids designed to prepare for a Harrowing.

He further conducted actions designed to kill groups of seven powerful heroes, who might be the “Seven Soldiers” prophetized to kill the Queen of Terror. His assault against the Seven Soldiers of Victory had been but one example of such.

Another example took place in 2005, when the aged Vigilante (Greg Sanders) assembled a posse to hunt what seemed to be a time-travelling giant spider. A young nephew of the Iron Hand, who claimed to be the new Boy Blue, infiltrated this posse with the “bugle” the Hand had once used to summon the Nebula Man. Neh-Buh-Loh and his troops killed off the entire posse.

The magnificent seven

Neh-Buh-Loh also worked to destroy two other early XXIst century team who could conceivably be the prophesied “seven soldiers”. He allied with Gorilla Grodd, then manipulated the JLA into leaving Earth for days as they followed Black Death into Neh-Buh-Loh’s own past form, the baby universe Qwewq.

Grodd and and Neh-Buh-Loh then led the Ultramarine Corps into a trap, masterfully manipulating them in talking their flying super-city offline and becoming mounts for Sheeda spineriders. This catastrophic failure is what would later lead the JLA into sending the Ultramarine Corps into Qwewq in a further attempt to cure it.

Victorious over the Ultramarine Corps, Grodd and Neh-Buh-Loh attempted to take on the JLA but even with their new assets, the League was too powerful and competent for them. Grodd was captured and Neh-Buh-Loh had to flee into the timestream.

The undry cauldron

Neh-Buh-Loh then led a strike to recover a key artefact of the Sheeda Empire, the Cauldron of Rebirth. It had been time-lost due to the action of Ystina, the Shining Knight but was later located by another Huntsman of the Queen — I, Spyder.

The raid succeeded despite ferocious resistance from the Undying Don and his men. But while Neh-Buh-Loh started carrying the Cauldron away, Princess Rhiannon (now known as Misty Kilgore) and her mentor Zatanna stumbled upon him.

Lamenting his previous weakness that led him not to kill the Princess, he told her to run or be slaughtered. Both women managed to flee together.

Super-horses and super-corpses

As the Cauldron was being carried via helicopter to Miracle Mesa in order to return Sheeda-side, Neh-Buh-Loh decided to complete the mission he had started in 1948. He resumed hunting for the descendants of Pegazeus in the Everest. He then somehow tracking the flying super-horses to the ruins of Glorias.

As he started killing those horses he could find, S.H.A.D.E. surveillance spotted him. They sent the monster they had just recruited to kill him.

The killer was none other than Frankenstein. S.H.A.D.E gave him a pair of slugs for his pistols. These were a catalyst for the universe-wide toxin that the Ultramarine Corps had introduced in Qwewq… either a few months before or one billion years before, depending on perspective.

Although he lost an arm to his extremely powerful target, the monster once proved that there is little that can face the immortal wrath of Frankenstein and live. Neh-Buh-Loh started disintegrating from the catalysed toxin within him, and Frankenstein finished Neh-Buh-Loh off with his own trident.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

Neh-Buh-Loh is a merciless hunter and devastator, taking pride in spreading death and destruction for the Queen of Terror. He’s not human, but seems to have some sort of sense of pride.

He’s also very confident, given his power and his time-traveling abilities.


Quotes

“A great Harrowing is coming. My original country is in the cold regions of the Vampire Sun. I was born of the eternal fogs, there in Last Country. Neh-Buh-Loh the Huntsman am I, the master of the Wild Ride. I prepare the way for the Queen of Terror, who will come soon. I will spread at her feet a carpet of skulls. I am of the other world. I herald the end of this one. Now let us make weapons of these super-men.”

“Behold your captain. Warmaker ! Broken.”

“I come to strike down the seven ; bred to hunt and kill the super-men. I can smell them !”

“When next my people come, it will be as whispers of death, unseen…”

(Confronting the Princess Rhiannon) “Why did you come here ? You should have hidden ! Run, I say ! Run or I will kill you with my gaze !

“Given the chance to end life or preserve it. I was moved by beauty. There is a flaw in me ! I can feel it… white hot ! And sharp. Can you feel it too, when you think of her ? It pierces like the first deadly ray of a newborn sun. Confused galaxies collide within me. There was harmony, symmetry and beauty in her. I cannot forget. Like an insect writhing on a pin in the glare of the sun. I cannot forget her !”

Neh-Buh-Loh: “I can taste your radio transmissions. Nothing that exists can hide from Neh-Buh-Loh’s cosmic senses. What malformed thing have they sent to judge me in my exile ? Come closer. You will hear my confession as I tear you apart.”
Frankenstein (flatly and whilst drawing his guns): “Not if I kill you first.”
Neh-Buh-Loh: “Kill a universe ? Hunger drives the Sheeda to seek out hot fields, areas of time rich in infrared emissions… betraying the presence of a healthy culture. A ripe crop. I have lived 3 billion years. I might have grown huge enough to replace this entire universe. But there is a flaw in me that keeps me small.”
Frankenstein (coldly): “Let this be your epitaph, then.” (BOOM)


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Nebula Man / Neh-Buh-Loh the Celestial Huntsman

Dex: 12 Str: 18 Bod: 13 Motivation: Psycho
Int: 06 Wil: 10 Min: 15 Occupation: Universe, Celestial Huntsman
Inf: 10 Aur: 10 Spi: 15 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 028 HP: 050

Powers:
Accuity: 15, Damage capacity: 07, Energy blast: 16, Regeneration: 06, Time travel: 60

Skills:
Animal handling (Sheeda mounts): 04, Weaponry*: 12

Advantages:
Expertise (chronal navigation in Earth timespace), Iron Nerves, Life support (Full).

Connections:
Sheeda Throne (Low).

Drawbacks:
Altered Anatomy, MPI (the ’good‘ the Ultramarine Corps managed to introduce in him), CIA toward being unable to kill Rhiannon, Strange Appearance, Misc.: with the proper catalysts, the ’flaw‘ left by the Ultramarine Corps will destroy him within two Phases.

Equipment:

  • Trident [BODY 20, EV 04 (19 w/STR, 08 when thrown)].
  • If he’s part of a Sheeda war party he can grab an Energy Projector [BODY 04, Energy blast: 09, Sharpness (Energy blast): 06, Limitation: Sharpness works against Dispersal and Fluid Form… but *only* works against Dispersal and Fluid Form].
  • As a part of a Sheeda war party he’s likely to ride a buffalo spider.

Design Notes

We know that he’s tough enough to slaughter the original Seven Soldiers of Victory, but not as powerful as Superman during the Magnificent Seven JLA era. Which is a rather… vast space to be in. The confrontation with Frankenstein helped narrow things done a bit, but our numbers are still highly speculative.


1948 capabilities

As the Nebula Man that appeared in 1948, he seemed… different – he seemed to have about 8 APs of Growth, Always On, which resulted in DEX 04 STR 26 and BODY 15, roughly.

He did not demonstrated Energy blast or any other special power during that stage – he was just a giant whose touch, according to the Spider, was the equivalent of 20 atomic bomb (but lacked the speed and accuracy to actually touch the Soldiers).


2000 capabilities

When he was dispersed by the Star-Spangled Kid II he seemed to have DEX 06 STR 12 BOD 10, Flame Project (No Range): 14 and Flight: 10 — AFTER absorbing the Nebula Rod’s energies. He could also detect ’cosmic‘ energy with a planetary range.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: DC Universe.

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