A Cosmic Entity: The Living Tribunal

The Living Tribunal is a powerful being that had existed since the multiverse came into existence. This fictional cosmic entity was created by Stan Lee together with Marie Severin, and Herb Trimple published under Marvel Comics.

The Living Tribunal debuted in the storyline of ‘The Sands of Death’ in Strange Tales issue #157 to issue #163 that runs from June to December 1967. In this comic series, The Living Tribunal was seen giving Doctor Strange a limited time in order to prove that the planet Earth is worth saving. In addition, in Marvel Universe, this cosmic entity was established as the supreme power. He made appearances in several series, including What If issue #32 in 1982, Rom the Space Knight issue #41 in 1983, and in Secret Wars II issue #6 in 1985.

Additionally, The Living Tribunal reveals his purpose and his nature in the comic series of Silver Surfer volume 3, issue #31 released in December 1989.Also, The Living Tribunal had brief appearances in the series such as Guardians of the Galaxy #16, Quasar #26 in September 1991, and DC vs. Marvel issue #1 to #4 in 1996. Aside from that, the Living Tribunal also had an appearance in Infinity Gauntlet series #1 to #6 that runs from July to December 1991, Warlock and the Infinity Watch #1 in February 1992, and She-Hulk volume 2, issue #12 released in November 2006.In the 2003 Marvel: The End Story, the Living Tribunal was also featured.

Who is The Living Tribunal?

The Living Tribunal is a giant golden humanoid that interacts with other conceptual beings as their judge and arbiter.Cosmic beings, including Infinity, Eternity, Death, and Oblivion, are also subjected to the authority of the Living Tribunal. In comparison to other conceptual beings, the Living Tribunal has no counterpart to other realities.All the dimensions, and dark underworlds, which have existed in either time or in space, as matter or as unfathomable void, were given over to the immortal observance of the Living Tribunal. He is not guided by any personal desire or tendency but was utterly impartial. He is acting only in what is considered to be the significant interest of the universe. The Living Tribunal is more than ready to sacrifice millions of lives just for the sake of billions more, or even billions of lives for the sake of trillions more. He would not feel obliged to respond to the needs of lesser beings without first having established the importance of the plaintiff.

Aside from that, therole of The Living Tribunal is to protect the infinite universes. He protects the multiverse against mystical imbalance. Nevertheless, even he’s powerful enough to safeguard all multiverse, The Living Tribunal is still subjected under the power of a Supreme Being called the “One-Over-All.”The Living Tribunal has faces which represent Vengeance, Necessity, and Equity. His half-cloaked face is vengeance, his cloaked face is necessity, and his full face is equity. These faces represent the trinity that is present everywhere. He sees the world and judges with all three faces. Also, he may have a fourth face that doesn’t reflect something.

The character was first encountered by Doctor Strange, who revealed his intention of destroying the planet because of its evil nature. However, after Dr. Strange had gone to a series of trials, he was able to convince The Living Tribunal that the goodness in Earth still existed. He subsequently re-appeared to the space knight Rom, as well as to Silver Surfer to whom he reveals his three faces. In the DC vs. Marvel comic series, The Living Tribunal was seen as he joined forces with the Spectre. The two then battles against the cosmic brothers who attempted to destroy one of the two multiverses. In other series, after Galactus evolved into Lifebringer, Lord Chaos and Master Order throw the infinite hierarchy out of balance, the Living Tribunal was then asked to render judgment. The Living Tribunal favored a new balance for a new cosmos and was eventually killed by Order and Chaos. Consequently, he was later resurrected and was seen taking Master Order and Lord Chaos intojudgment.

Superpowers and Abilities

The Living Tribunal is considered as the second most powerful entity in the Marvel Universe. He has infinite power that can erase entire realities. He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. However, he is bound to the wishes of ‘The One Above All,’ and has no free-will on his own.