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A cosmic entity is any being who possesses powers so great he, she or it can affect entire worlds (or in some cases, entire universes.) If there is more than one such entity in a setting, there will usually be different levels of power between them, and often specific responsibilities as well, forming a kind of Fantasy Pantheon.
Cosmic Beings tend to not care much about "lesser beings" (anybody who isn't 'cosmic') and any harm (or good) they cause is often unintentional. Because of their level of power, when they cause trouble the heroes are often forced to try to reason with them, use a Cosmic Keystone, or ask another Cosmic Entity for help.
A Cosmic Entity could be any of the following:
- Anthropomorphic Personification
- Celestial Body
- Cosmic Keystone
- Dimension Lord
- Eldritch Abomination
- The Grim Reaper
- Guardian of the Multiverse
- Multiversal Conqueror
- The Omnipotent
- Planar Champion
- Reality Warper
- Sentient Cosmic Force
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien
- Marvel Comics may be the "king" of this trope, as it has introduced dozens of entities over the years, with highly shifting or conflicting definitions and relationships to each other. This has recurrently lead to Fanon dedication, selective favorism, and speculation. Many of these beings are Anthropomorphic Personifications of natural forces, or granted Omniscient Morality License for narrative purposes. These include, but are definitely not limited to:
- "The One Above All", very scarcely vaguely circumventionally referenced or implied to exist, but mostly a catchy memetic Fan Wank, particularly the supposed title.
- The Living Tribunal, who in theory is supposed to act as the entity's Guardian of the Multiverse enforcer and highest judge of law, but generally stands by even in times of multiversal genocide, according to She Hulk is gladly willing to wipe out entire universes in favour of ones that it simply likes better, and enforces the nightmarish Disproportionate Retribution Easy Road to Hell afterlife system. Of course, this is likely partially to avoid Deus Ex Machina narration, but still ends up as an Unfortunate Implications God Is Evil Crapsack World Cosmic Horror Story.
- The Infinites, which are higher-dimensional entities far beyond Eternity, who don't really notice anything that goes on in the lower multiverse except through accident, but aren't malevolent as such.
- Eternity and his female counterpart Infinity; and their opposites, Death and Oblivion.
- Master Order and Lord Chaos, who, in an unusual variation of the trope, usually work together. It's their balancing agent The In-Betweener, who tends to rebel or cause trouble.
- The Friendless: Entropy, Eulogy, Epiphany, Empathy, Enmity, Expediency, and Eon, as well as Origin, Anomaly, and Unbeing, and Love and Hate
- The Fountainhead (Dreams/Creativity), Nightmare, King Coma, Madness, D'Spayre, and the Dweller-In-Darkness.
- Abraxas, refered to as embodiments of destruction and an antithesis of Eternity; and Mikaboshi, as chaos, void, and nothingness, and also an antithesis of Eternity. Although technically those positions were already taken by Death, Entropy, Chaos, and Oblivion.
- The Celestials, a whole race of trans-universal scale entities who guide evolution as a means to produce more Celestials, serve the Fulcrum to balance the universe, or something else. One of the Celestials calls itself the one of above all, but it has no relation to the entity described further up the page.
- The Cosmic Cubes (The Beyonder/Kosmos/The Maker, Kubik, The Shaper Of Worlds) who are created by entities outside the normal universe (The Beyonders) as a way to understand our reality.
- The Phoenix Force, Depending on the Writer alternately the embodiment of life and rebirth, the potential psionic energy of all living beings, or both.
- Galactus, the balancing function between Eternity and Death, which somehow involves a regular high-proteine diet of sentient civilisations, and who only occasionally considers that non-sentient stars and cosmic power sources have a much higher energy content.
- Depending on the Writer Galactus can or cannot feed off of stars or other energy sources. Some stories he can, others he cannot, others those sources work temporarily and sooner or later he needs to feed on a planet.
- The Stranger, a former aspect of the Tribunal, which it removed to be able to interact with existence, and who has acted as an outsider and cosmic schemer ever since.
- The higher forms of extradimensional divinities, such as Shuma-Gorath, Dormammu, or the Vishanti.
- The Watchers, a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who can manipulate cosmic energies on a level with Galactus but have sworn never to interfere.
- Numerous pantheons of largely Jerkass Gods. Most of whom are "only" natural parts of other "dimensions" or "planes" who got a kick out interfering with the development of life. They got kicked out by the Celestials, who felt only they should do that.
- Quasar once met Anthropomorpho, the living incarnation of the idea of having living incarnations of abstract concepts. Seriously.
- The Elder Gods, who are not the same as the pantheons. They grew from seeds planted by the sentient part of Earth's biosphere to protect the emerging life. Most of them became corrupt and were destroyed by the Demogorge, the only one who remains near Earth, sleeping the in sun. The other known survivors, Set, Gaea, Oshtur, and Chthon, hide away in their own personal dimensions.
- The Elders Of The Universe, life forms from the start of universe who can manipulate energies from the Big Bang and live until they lose the will to. They eventually let anyone join their club if they managed to outlive the rest of their species and their native galaxy, so not every member is this trope: The Grand Master, Runner, Champion and Collector are. Ego The Living Planet was allowed in, claiming to be a Single Specimen Species and then blowing out every star in his galaxy himself.
- DC Comics also have their share:
- The Presence, and The Source, which may be another manifestation.
- The higher-dimensional imps, such as Mr. Mxyzptlk, Qwsp, or Bat-Mite; and Mandrakk, the Ultimate Monitor.
- The Archangels, including Michael, and The Wrath of God, currently better known as The Spectre.
- The Endless: Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair and Delirium; The White Light Entity, embodiment of Life; Necrom, embodiment of the unliving void and absence of sentience; and the Time-Trapper, either the embodiment of entropy, or a sentient unlikely timeline attempting to assert its own existence.
- Krona, the Anti-Monitor, and Imperiex.
- Kismet, the sentience of the universe, or "simply" a Lord of Order.
- The Light Entities embodying emotions/motivations and their associated colors, gradually introduced in Green Lantern beginning with Rebirth and through Blackest Night: The Butcher (Red Rage), Ophidian (Orange Greed), Parallax (Yellow Fear), Ion (Green Will), Adara (Blue Hope), Proselyte (Indigo Compassion), the Predator (Violet Love), Black Hand (Black Death), and simply "the Entity" (White Life).
- The Phantom Stranger, or "The Gray Walker", former near-Archangel, and exile of Heaven and Hell alike. Maybe.
- The Lords of Order and Chaos, including Doctor Fate, Mordru and the wizard Shazam.
- Some of the "Outer Gods" from H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos qualify. Most notably Azathoth, the Blind Idiot God, who is mindless but said to rule over all time and space.
- Actually he's the living center of the universe.
- The Xeelee, the rulers of the Baryonic universe in the Xeelee Sequence. They have existed since seconds after the Big Bang, and used time travel to retroactively speed their own development. They are capable of using entire galaxies as construction material.
- The Ellimist and Crayak from Animorphs
- The Primordials and older gods in Dungeons and Dragons, who literally created their Multiverse out of chaos.
- In Chaos, you play as one. At the lower levels of play, you are "merely" a fairly powerful Reality Warper. But as you start to hit your epic levels, yeah, you're this.
- Transformers most famously has Primus, who has a body in every Transformers continuity and while he does not serve the same purpose in every story(he's been everything from the last of the light gods to the sentient will of the universe), these bodies all exist at the same time. Then there is Unicron, who almost always is out to destroy whatever continuity he is in and automatically incarnates in a new one every time he is defeated. Unsurprisingly, this background for them came from Marvel Comics.
- Chakravartin from Asura's Wrath is a Cosmic Being that can manipulate the forces of the Universe and destroy and recreate worlds over and over.