Aliases: The Ennead of Heliopolis/Varies
Hair Color: Varies
Eye Color: Varies
Power Source: Infernal, Ancient Egyptian Relics
Group Affiliation: The Ennead of Heliopolis, The Nine
First Appearance: Ra: God of the Sun #289
When Dr. Blake Washington, Jr. led his expedition into the Sahara that resulted in him gaining the Staff of Ra and becoming the avatar of the sun god, he left the bulk of his findings out of his published archaeological reports. However, the sudden appearance of this new hero, Ra, caused many to wonder as to his origins, and others to see opportunity.
Roderick Ward had long led a team of what he called “archaeological entrepreneurs”. He and his twelve comrades had seen more of the ruins of the ancient world than the top archaeologists and museum curators combined, and they had sold all their discoveries to the highest bidders. Ward paid little heed to those who admonished him and his team for their grave robbing and artifact peddling - the giant bags of cash he received paid for a lavish lifestyle which more than quieted whatever stirrings of a conscience he may have felt.
When Ward’s team heard about Dr. Washington’s successful discovery of a previously unknown pyramid, it sparked two ideas. First, that there had to be more to this story, and second, that there could be more treasure to be found. More importantly, there could be more treasure to be sold! Roderick Ward and his team of adventuring rogues spent years scouring the Sarahan wastes for other undiscovered ruins before finally stumbling upon a well-hidden structure, forgotten by time and buried beneath the sweeping sands. Not unfamiliar with hieroglyphics, Ward determined this to be the Temple of the Ennead, but what did that mean? Venturing cautiously through the temple’s traps and trials, they searched for valuable treasures.
Instead, they were the ones discovered! Ancient guardian mummies ambushed the group, and Ward had to make a hasty decision. Leaving four of his team to be slaughtered by the enraged undead protectors, the remaining would-be grave robbers barricaded themselves in a sealed chamber, ringed with ornate sarcophagi. Each of the nine sarcophagi depicted a powerful Egyptian deity, holding a great artifact of power. Ward and his eight remaining companions quickly forgot the impending peril, entranced by the aura of power in the room. Each took a relic from the outstretched, golden hands before them, and the team was instantly transformed into the fabled Ennead of Heliopolis. In these new forms, they had vast power and knowledge, but they also harbored ancient memories and hatred.
They had defeated Ra millennia ago, taking his place as gods of all the civilized world. However, after only a few hundred years, a new deity appeared, calling itself Horus. It fought the Ennead to a standstill before ultimately revealing itself to be Ra reborn and imprisoning the Ennead in this temple beneath the surface of the Sahara, doomed to be forgotten.
The Ennead have returned, with Roderick Ward as their leader, Atum. They have little need for the riches of this world - now, they have power! They yearn for revenge and will have it! Ra’s days are numbered once again...