|“||Your travel ends there, humans! For I am the end of everything, I am Destiny!||„|
|~ Anathos (confronting the Legendaries to reincarnate himself)|
|“||Hell? I created it myself!||„|
|~ Anathos (mocking the idea of being sent to Hell).|
Anathos is a major villain of the French comic book series Les Légendaires (The Legendaries). He is the God of Evil of the world of Alysia and the primary antagonist of the eponymous Anathos Cycle, during which he makes his return and nearly devastates the entire world. Anathos is the most awful villain of the entire series and his Cycle is both the Darkest Hour and the turning point of the narration. His name is derived from the Greek death god Thanatos.
Beginning of the Universe
In the beginning of time, the deities of the universe used the six Mystical Stones holding power over all things to create the universe and shape the world of Alysia. However, one of them, Anathos, was not interested the slightest in creation and stole the Mystical Stones to shape a staff that would grant him absolute power, in order to become the Master God of the universe and dominate his peers. Before this, Anathos created Hell and fathered the demonic god Eternity, who served under him and was eventually sealed away, likely after Anathos' downfall.Using the power of the Stones, the fallen god obliterated the newly created Alysia and battled against the other deities. However, he ended up victim of his own greed when his staff became so unstable that it exploded in his hands, destroying his physical body (and half of the universe with it). The other gods then imprisoned Anathos' essence inside a living prison called the Bearer, before recreating the universe and Alysia.
They left the Mystical Stones under the care of a divine being they created called the Guardian and left the world. (It can be guessed that the other deities' bodies were also destroyed in the blast, since the other two gods seen in the series, Dawn and Dusk, appear like spirits that must possess mortals to interact with Alysia; which could explain why they left their world. However, nothing in the story is said to confirm or infirm it.)
Inside the BearerThe Bearer roamed the world of Alysia for millennia keeping Anathos dormant, but as centuries went by, the God of Evil awoke and started to influence his prison, until he gained complete control of it. The Bearer still hindered much of his powers, but he was now able to send his spirit around the world. (It was later revealed that the events leading to his return were orchestrated by Kalandre.)
At some point in the past, when the new Elementary Elf (the Guardian of the Elven Dimension able to control the elements by fusing with them) was anointed by the Elven Spirits, Anathos dispersed the Spirits and passed as one; talking her into accepting his mark, which he branded on her forehead and would enable him to reincarnate himself in her when the time would come. (Origins reveal that it was Kalandre who inspired him to choose her.)
Knowing that someone might try to thwart his return, he also branded his mark on the Elementary Elf's magic locket, which can open a way between Alysia and the Even Dimension, so that he would be also able to possess anyone who would bear it if needed.
What Anathos looked like back when he was a physical being is not known at first, as the flashbacks mentioning Alysia's history only depict the gods as shadowy figures. He is distinctly represented with a demonic appearance and a skull-like face sporting glowing yellow eyes with hellish pupils, a glowing mark on the forehead and four horns. (A later illustration reveals that Anathos’ original body looked exactly what that of his unfortunate host would become when possessed.) His essence is depicted as a dark smoke-like energy. Even his speech bubbles are depicted as fire-looking to figure a demonic voice.
After his reincarnation, Anathos retains his host's child body and overall appearance, including the blonde hair and the shape of his face, but he becomes much taller and gets pointed nails, blade-like horns on his shoulders and horns on his head. His eyes become black with shinning yellow pupils; his ears become pointed; his skin becomes red (with white on the torso and around the face), with his mark (red and blue downwards arcs with a black upwards point behind) on the chest, white scales on the forearms and white spikes all over his body. He wears an elaborate black robe with a grey and white pattern and goes shirtless. Finally, he wields a long, silvery sword with a demonic hilt and a red stone on the blade, which he created from his host's own blade.
As expected from the God of Evil, Anathos is naught but pure evil. He surpasses in malevolence every other villain in the series (who are all pretty awful in their own right) and contrary to them he has no redeeming trait or funny element whatsoever. Although his expressions of astonishment and anger are drawn in a comical way during the final battle, it does not make him any less threatening.
In chilling contrast with his noble and selfless host, Anathos is cruel, merciless, violent, vicious, sadistic, selfish and hateful. He never bothers to fight fairly, and greatly enjoys how much the Legendaries hate him for possessing their friend. He also revels in his victim's suffering; as evidenced by the vicious grins and taunts he displays when tormenting people, instead of the harsh indifference he harbours in any other situation.
Anathos cares only about his own interest. He despises the other gods and strives to get back at them for preventing him to rule the universe. Also, he loathes their creation which he regards as a waste of space, to the point that he destroyed the first Alysia merely to test the extent of his power after seizing the Stones. To him feelings are just tools which he can use, including those his followers harbours for him; going as far as telling his right-hand-woman that he reciprocates her affection before killing her in cold blood, because she is too injured to be of any use. He cannot bear to get bested and if that happens, he quickly loses his composure to become a mass of seething fury (although unlike many other villains, it does not cloud his judgment).
Anathos is extremely confident in his abilities. He knows that no one can surpass him in battle and that, should he even find his match, only another god can kill him. Yet, he enjoys a good challenge, as seen when he accepted the Legendaries' promise to give him the best battle he could get while he could have reincarnated without disturbance. Finally, Anathos is highly intelligent and observant. He is very skilled in predicting different outcomes of a given situation, preparing back-up plans, and deducing right conclusions from very few clues. Also he has a great understanding of the way mortals think, being able impersonate his host in a very convincing way.
Powers and Abilites
Being a god, Anathos is far and away the most powerful villain of the entire series. He is able to fly; to make things levitate; to see and hear through the marks he brands or through a bewitched object; to compel people and influence their actions; to control the weather; to cast divine magic; to create, manipulate and transform matter; to animate objects no matter the size; to use people's DNA to create perfect doubles of them; to create monsters from mere corpses; to cause all sorts of disasters; among many other things. He demonstrates his power shortly after his return when he creates his fortress, his generals and his armies.
Anathos is able to conjure and control the elements to an undefined extent. It seems that he was the one who granted the Elementary Elf her powers, but he might have hijacked the process started by the Elven Spirits. What is sure is that he was seen conjuring powerful fire blasts more than once. However, he mostly attacks with energy blasts ranging from a "mere" energy ball to the "Devil's Breath": an incredibly destructive beam that he fires from his mouth. When he uses all his power, he can create an island-sized Sphere of Destruction potent enough to destroy the entire world.
Moreover, Anathos is an unfathomably powerful warrior with incredible strength (enough to shatter someone's bones with one finger poke), speed (so much that the fastest member of the Legendaries could barely see him move), and skills with weapons. He uses a sword which he can make fly and control remotely and which can send slashing waves of fiery energy when he swipes it. Since his host's Golden Sword was forged from the host's blood (and by extension his own) it is the only weapon able to kill him, should it be wielded by someone able to match his level.
The Anathos Cycle
Anathos is first mentioned shortly after the Legendaries defeat Skroa, by the twin deities Dawn and Dusk. His name is not mentioned and Dusk only states cryptically that one of the Legendaries will bring about the end of the world.
As the Legendaries (the knight Danaël, the mage princess Jadina, the beast-man Gryf, the barbarian Razzia and the Elementary Elf Shimy) are relaxing in a lake, they are found by Ténébris (Darkhell's daughter) who tells them everything about the God Anathos, including the fact that he is about to reincarnate within one of them. Things turn to the worse when Elysio shows up with his "Evil Twin" Darkhell, revealing that they were recruited and empowered by the Guardian to prevent Anathos' return.
Having been created by the gods, the Guardian cannot personally stand against one, so he enlisted their help. They searched for the Bearer for two years but in vain, and now that the God of Evil is about to reincarnate they have no choice left than to kill his future host. And since they do not know who Anathos' target is, they have to kill all the Legendaries.
Fortunately, the sorcerers are betrayed by Ténébris, who wants to save Razzia (who was her lover back when he was Darkhell's right-hand man), and manage to escape. Anathos, who knows full well that the Guardian is trying to stop him, cast a spell to prevent anyone from tracing him or his targets; as such Darkhell decides to trace Ténébris instead.Danaël then resolves to go to Larbos, the kingdom where he was born, and steal the Alystory (the magical tome in which all history is recorded) from the royal treasure, to know how to prevent Anathos' return without killing anyone. By doing so, they are branded as traitors and thieves and pursued by the elite knights of the Silver Falcons, led by Danaël's older brother Ikaël. Worse, the Alystory offers no better solution than killing the future host, who is revealed to be Shimy.
Danaël then destroys the Alystory and resolves to write history himself, but not too long after, they are attacked by the Bearer and its demonic host. It is then revealed that Anathos can spy them through the mark he branded on Shimy's forehead. As Anathos is about to reincarnate, Danaël convinces him to give them twenty four hours spare in exchange of "the best battle he could ever ask for".
One day later, Anathos catches up with Danaël and Gryf who start attacking him, while Jadina, Razzia and Ténébris are tasked to keep Shimy away from the God of Evil (and kill her should they get defeated). But when they learn that Shimy has heard Danaël's plan (and agrees with it) they understand that Anathos heard it as well; and that since he let them go despite knowing their intention he must have a safeguard of some sort.
Anathos initially proves too strong for the two Legendaries, who cannot even scratch his jail, but Danaël manages to bypass his defence by having his magical golden sword return to him, and with Gryf’s help he beheads the Bearer from behind. Right after, Danaël’s other friends rush towards him and frantically tell him to throw away the locket that Shimy gave him to open a way to the Elven Dimension, as it bears Anathos' mark. But it is too late and Anathos reincarnates himself within Danaël.
Defeating the Legendaries
|“||Now everyone, follow Jadina's example and bow before Anathos.||„|
|~ Anathos (after stabbing Jadina and causing her to fall to her knees)|
Jadina rushes towards her lover, but the reincarnated Anathos pierces her with his sword. The remaining Legendaries attack the God of Evil, but only to get horribly slaughtered in mere seconds. Anathos slashes Gryf, destroys Shimy's eyes and cuts off Razzia's arm, leaving them barely alive. He then approaches Ténébris and offers to spare her if she becomes his right-hand woman, but she refuses and readies herself for a hopeless last stand.At the last second, Elysio and Darkhell appear to rescue their daughter. The two sorcerers open a wormhole to send Ténébris and the Legendaries away, before fusing back into one person, becoming so powerful that they overcome the effect of the Jovenia Incident (which turned everyone in Alysia back to children after Darkhell's defeat), and engaging a fight against the God of Evil.
Seeing that Darkhell-Elysio matches his own might, Anathos unleashes his "Devil's Breath", only for his foe to retaliate with a beam divine energy of equal power. Alas, Anathos sends his flying sword to pierce his foe from behind, causing him to get struck and killed by both spells. Immediately after Anathos obliterates the Guardian and his flying castle with another "Devil's Breath" attack. Meanwhile, a traumatized Ténébris appears before the bewildered Silver Falcons, surrounded with the bleeding Legendaries and screaming for help.
Knowing that the Legendaries would one day come to fight him again, Anathos uses their blood to create Evil Twins of them whom he calls the Hellions. He creates the Castlewar, a demonic mobile fortress able to fire tremendous magical blasts, as his base of operation. And since Danael’s golden sword is the only weapon able to harm him, he always keeps it next to him, sealed in his throne room. He then proceeds to nuke a nearby town and sets out to extinguish all life on Alysia.
Reign of TerrorAnathos spends the following two years roaming the world with the Castlewar, destroying every settlement he comes across with his fortress and sending his army of Vulturs (powerful demonic beings he created from the corpses of his first victims) led by the Hellions to wipe out what remains.
As if it was not enough, he spreads an incurable plague on his wake to take care of the villages too small to bother his armies (condemning their population to a much direr fate than a quick death under the fire of the Castlewar or the hand of his minions).
By the time the Legendaries reunite after two years of intense training, a victim of the plague reveals that each major city has been reduced to dust and that the casualties can be counted in millions. Shimy is now blind but able to perceive auras, Razzia has a prosthetic arm and Jadina no longer seems human, but they are now able to get back at Anathos. It appears that the Hellions have recently abducted Ténébris, whom they resolve to save.
Anathos is fully aware that she let herself be captured on purpose and prepares to send his army of Vulturs to deal with the Legendaries without exposing himself. However, Kalandre appears and advises him to deal with them himself, and Anathos follows her prophecy-like advice. When the Legendaries storm the Castlewar, they realize that Anathos was waiting for them. He attacks them by moving the horn-like rocks atop the Castlewar and forces them to split, before sending the Hellions and ordering Dark Jadina to bring the real Jadina before him.
The Final BattleAs Gryf, Razzia and Shimy are facing their respective Evil Twin, who far outclasses them due to the huge increase in power they got from their lord; Jadina attacks Anathos in a rage but he casually intercepts her blow with one finger, breaking every bone of her arm. He then asks her about the Legendaries' assault on the Castlewar and deduces from her expression that this is merely a diversion as part of a bigger plan.
He orders Dark Jadina to torture her to learn about her objective, but the real princess, as Anathos quickly notices, is indeed no longer human and able to regenerate. With her newfound power she makes quick work of Dark Jadina, who is finished off by Anathos himself as he feigns to forgive her but blasts Jadina through her.
As Anathos is overpowering Jadina, Dark Shimy arrives claiming that she killed her original counterpart. But instead of killing Jadina, she attacks Anathos who saw her coming and shrugs off her attack. It is revealed that Shimy defeated her clone and shape-shifted as her for diversion. Gryf and Razzia then barge in, having defeated their own demonic counterparts with their newfound powers.
It is then revealed that Jadina lured the Castlewar in a canyon, so that the Silver Falcons led by Ikael and other allies of the Legendaries could collapse all the ways out with explosives, trapping the mobile fortress here. Then the fleet of the Elf Kingdom appears from gateways linked to their world's sea, flooding the canyon and neutralizing the Castlewar's weaponry, with which Anathos (who expected some kind of trap) was about to blast his way out and obliterate the alliance.
Furious, Anathos unleashes his Vulturs to destroy the allied forces from the above but the airborne squadrons of the piranhis (another race from the Elven Dimension) and the flying armada of the human kingdom of Sabledoray (a pun on "sable doré", French for "golden sand") reveal themselves and manage to contain Anathos' army… all according to Jadina’s plan.Furious for being outwitted by a human, Anathos engages a fight against the Legendaries who manage to hold their own through careful teamwork, providing Jadina with an opening which she uses to grab the God of Evil, before putting all her power in a tremendous explosion that would kill them both. Razzia uses his prosthetic arm (in fact a shape-shifting demon called Amy) to protect the others from the blast.
All of Anathos’ Vulturs die and it first seems that Jadina's attempt succeeded. Jadina even resurrects before their very eyes. Unfortunately, Anathos survived, since only a god can kill another one. Now absolutely livid, he prepares to destroy the entire planet. As everything seems lost, Kalandre appears and grabs Anathos' arm, dispelling his evil power and restoring Danaël's body to normal. She unseals Danaël's golden sword and tells the Legendaries that they must use it to kill Anathos, whom she cannot hold for long.
As Jadina prepares to stab Anathos, the God of Evil skillfully pretends to be Danaël, begging Jadina not to believe Kalandre. This proves to be his undoing however, as Jadina knows full well that the real Danaël would have asked to die. Grief-struck, she stabs Anathos through the heart and kills him... alongside his unfortunate host.The protagonists hold a funeral for Danaël, Darkhell and Elysio (Anathos' first victims) on the island where they fell, and resolve to rebuild Alysia. However, Kalandre appears after the ceremony and resurrects Danaël, making him a member of the Dynaméïs. But Danaël is no longer a normal human and cannot be part of the Legendaries anymore.