Lords of Chaos and Order

The Lords of Chaos and Lords of Order are complementary groups of supernatural entities with godlike powers that appear in DC Comics. They have also been retconned into the histories of Amethyst, Doctor Fate, Kid Eternity, the Phantom Stranger, Shazam and Hawk and Dove. The first Lord of Order to appear in comics was Nabu in More Fun Comics #67 (May 1941) (whose first appearance was later retconned to be in More Fun Comics #55, as he was inside the helmet, though that was not stated in the story), created by Gardner Fox and Howard Sherman, however, the concept of the Lords of Chaos and Order was introduced years later. The term never appears in the Golden Age stories.

The war between Order and Chaos

Chaos and Order have been fighting a cyclical battle for eons. First Order is dominant, then Chaos, then destruction and renewal and then it starts over again. Originally, the struggle was depicted as one between Good (Order) and Evil (Chaos); it is currently depicted as a balance between stagnation and anarchy.

The two opposing forces are bundles of mystical energy who usually depend on servants to accomplish their goals. They can take physical form by possessing a living being, as in the case of Nabu or Mordru, or empower humans to act as their agents, as in the case of Terataya and T'Charr (a Lord of Order and a Lord of Chaos respectively), who empowered Hawk and Dove to act in their stead.

Both sides have otherwise maintained a tenuous balance of power concerning their involvement in outside conflicts. For instance, when the Spectre appealed to the Lords of Order to allow their followers on Earth to join the defense of Earth from a massive invasion orchestrated by the Dominators, he was turned down. They argued that intervening in this conflict would mean that the Lords of Chaos would retaliate by aiding the invaders, thus escalating the battle to a monumentally disastrous scale that would devastate all concerned.

A Lord of Order and a Lord of Chaos were also sent to the Dreaming as representatives of their realms in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Season of Mists. Kilderkin of Order manifested as a lidless box with a servant djinn holding it, and Shivering Jemmy of the Shallow Brigade of Chaos as a young blonde girl with a balloon.

Lords of Order and Chaos

Lords of Order

The most prominent Lord of Order is Nabu, who empowered and occasionally possessed various humans through the Helm of Nabu and acted as Doctor Fate. Originally, Doctor Fate was depicted as an agent for Order (the forces of good). When the standings of the sides were revised, Fate's role was changed so that he was now a balancing force between Order and Chaos. The god Tynan from Darkworld was also an agent of balance. Nabu is named after a god from Babylonian mythology and in the DC Universe was perhaps meant the same god.

Lords of Order:

Agents of Order:

  • Arion
  • Djinn
  • Doctor Fate (Kent/Inza Nelson and later Eric/Linda Strauss, still later Hector Hall)
  • Dove (Don Hall and later Dawn Granger)
  • Gray Man

Lords of Chaos

The most prominent Lord of Chaos is Mordru who has plagued the Legion of Super-Heroes, Dr. Fate, the Justice Society of America and various other heroes for years. He has attained near or complete omnipotence more than once, but has always been defeated by Dr. Fate and/or Nabu in the present and the Legion of Super-Heroes in the future.

Lords of Chaos:

  • Chaon (of Darkworld)
  • The Child
  • Flaw
  • Mr. Keeper
  • Shivering Jemmy of the Shallow Brigade
  • T'Charr
  • Typhon

Agents of Chaos:

  • Anti-Fate (Dr. Benjamin Stoner)
  • Garn Daanuth (Arion's brother)
  • Hawk (Hank Hall and later Holly Granger)
  • Kestrel
  • Kid Eternity
  • Weaver (ancient Atlantis)

Infinite Crisis

During the events of Day of Vengeance, Eclipso seduced the Spectre into slaughtering most of Earth's magic users after she claimed that magic was the source of all of Earth's evil. The Spectre's rampage on magic users resulted in the death of the wizard Shazam, the destruction of the Rock of Eternity and the release of the forces contained within it.

In the Day of Vengeance Special, Nabu called together a team of magical beings to stop the Spectre and seal the Seven Deadly Sins. Nabu confronted the Spectre, whose anger grew so great that the Presence took notice and sent the Spectre to his new host. In the process Nabu died and with him the Ninth Age of Magic. Before his death, he gave the helmet of Doctor Fate to Detective Chimp to give to the new Doctor Fate. Although Nabu and his spirit would no longer be a part of the helmet, it would still have significant powers. After a failed attempt by Detective Chimp to put the helmet on, he asked Captain Marvel to throw the helmet down to Earth and let it land where it will, allowing fate to pick the next Doctor Fate.

The deaths of the Lords of Order and Chaos caused magic to break down into its basic raw state, triggering the end of the Ninth Age of Magic and the beginning of the Tenth. Amethyst and Mordru are the only known Lords to have survived into the Tenth Age.


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