- "I present to you, Taneleer Tivan, the Collector!"
Taneleer Tivan, also known as the Collector, is the keeper of the largest collection of interstellar fauna, relics and species in the galaxy, operating from the Knowhere port installation. Through his dealings with Asgardians and the Guardians of the Galaxy, he is currently in possession of one of the Infinity Stones and was nearly able to obtain a second stone.
The Tivan Group
Building the Collection
Taneleer Tivan, along the rest of his kind, made his appearance in the Universe shortly after its beginning. Over the course of the centuries, he became the leader of an intergalactic conglomerate known as the Tivan Group. Due to his own complete obsession to collect different objects and specimens, Tivan was given the title "Collector"; he controls a massive intergalactic trove containing a vast collection of both objects and living specimens.
Collecting Infinity Stones
Meeting the Asgardians
In 2013, two Asgardians, Sif and Volstagg, arrived at Tivan's museum, bringing with them the Infinity Stone known as the Aether, which had been recovered by Thor after his battle against Malekith on Earth. They give it to him believing that it would be safe from other parties. When Tivan asked why they did not keep the Aether in their own vault on Asgard, they explained that they thought it would not be wise to keep it on Asgard since another stone, the Tesseract, was already on there; a notion that Tivan agreed with.
As Sif and Volstagg left the Aether in Tivan's care, Tivan remarked to his assistant, Carina, that they now had one of the Infinity Stones in their possession, and only needed the remaining five, hinting that Tivan was already seeking the Infinity Stones, in particular, the Orb, which contained another of the Stones. Tivan had learned the location of the Orb and had begun working out a plan to steal it for himself.
Buying the Orb
- "Beautiful, beyond compare."
- ―Taneleer Tivan talks about the Orb
In order to obtain the Orb, Tivan hired Gamora, the Zehoberei assassin and adopted daughter of Thanos. Gamora and the outlaws Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot brought the Orb to him. Tivan greeted the group warmly, kissing Gamora's hand, but he was particularly fascinated by Groot, as he had never seen a member of Groot's species before, He offered money for his corpse, although he insisted he'd wait until Groot had died first. Tivan angered Rocket when he asked if he was the group's pet.
Tivan began opening the Orb, and gave the four outlaws a history of the origin of the Infinity Stones, along with showing them video footage of the Stone that the Orb held being used to destroy all life on a planet. Once the Orb was fully opened and the Infinity Stone was revealed to the group, Tivan could not hold back his glee as his hands shook and he remarked how beautiful the stone was. Rocket Raccoon was not impressed and demanded that they get their payment.
However, as Tivan was taking out the agreed-upon payment for the Orb to give them, Carina, intending to use the Stone to free herself from his servitude, grasped it. Unable to contain its power, she was killed as the Stone released a massive pulse of energy, which caused her to explode, and destroyed most of Tivan's archive. While Tivan lay in the wreckage, the Guardians took the Orb and escaped from Knowhere.
Tivan survived the destruction with just a bad hit on the head which needed to be bandaged. Clearly frustrated with the destruction of his collection he sat in the debris and shared a drink with one of his former exhibits Howard the Duck. Cosmo also joined them and tried to comfort Tivan by licking his face, an action which was mocked by Howard the Duck.
Throughout the universe, Taneleer Tivan has amassed the largest collection of an interstellar variety, through the use of illegal dealings or other, and sometimes immoral means; the contents of such collection, whilst harmless, is also composed of dangerous, even planetary-destructive relics and unlawfully imprisoned sentient beings, who were either made a part of his collection just to fulfill a desire to have them or as a punishment.
Tivan also has a preoccupation with the Infinity Stones as evident by his expressing a desire to obtain all six of them. Whether he has expressed this desire for megalomaniacal purposes (such as controlling the universe with the combined power of the Stones, which is similar to the like of Thanos), or is simply an extension of Tivan's own desire to amass the most powerful objects in the universe for his collection remains to be seen. The way he states this desire, however, after coming into the possession of the Aether just after Sif and Volstagg leave his presence, may imply a sinister design at hand.
Towards clientele or business partners, Tivan has an affable and somewhat gentlemanly side, such as kissing Gamora's hand upon meeting with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Beyond this, he can be just as equally cruel. This is displayed by the relationship he has with his servant, Carina and her fearful demeanor around his presence. Likely viewing anyone in his servitude as an extension of his own collection, Tivan abused her to the fullest, since he had also imprisoned his previous servant and threatened to do the same to Carina over the slightest hint of disobedience. It was this that drove her to attempt to use the Infinity Stone to break out of Tivan's servitude, which resulted in the Stone killing herself and destroying his collection simultaneously.
Nevertheless, Tivan has an honourable side and will follow through on any deal, no matter the price. He seems to respect Groot's species and expressed a desire to buy his corpse but would only add him into his collection after his death, opposed to several other subjects Tivan imprisoned into his collection whilst still alive.
Powers and Abilities
- Longevity: The Collector is nearly as old as the Universe itself, due to his kind having appeared shortly after the Universe begun.
- Telepathy: The Collector has the ability to read minds.
- Tivan Group
- Sif - Guest
- Volstagg - Guest
- Broker - Supplier
- Guardians of the Galaxy - Guests
- Cosmo - Collection Piece
- Howard the Duck - Collection Piece
- In the comics, the Collector is one of the Elders of the Universe, a group which is comprised of the last survivors of extinct races from across the universe, making them the oldest individuals in the comics. He dedicated his life to collect artifacts and living beings to place them out of danger as a goal for his life, as his immortality is directly linked to his will to live. One of these artifacts was the Reality Stone, which he managed to obtain before Thanos took it.
- In the comics, Collector and Grandmaster are not brothers, they are only of the same species.