"Initially the Deviants started with a mere one hundred. But now their capital was a vermin nest. Every one of them a possible Deviant. Any one of them a distraction for us. I could not understand how my brothers rejected my clarity. I should not make these weapons? The sweet fools"-- Uranos.
Around a million years ago, the Celestials of the First Host arrived on Earth to perform experiments on humankind. The Celestials altered the genetic code in a group of prehistoric humans that resulted in the first generation of Deviants. The result was an unstable genetic code that radically changed the physical characteristics of Deviants with each generation. Thus a Deviant child will greatly differ in appearance from either of his or her parents.
The Celestials' also performed different experiments on other prehistoric humans that resulted in the first generation of Eternals. The Celestials' other experiments produced the potential for mutation in humankind. The unstable genetic code of Deviants gives them power and abilities superior to humans but inferior to the Eternals' god-like powers. The non-human appearance of Deviants is also the result of their unstable genetic code.
Jack Kirby, the King of Comics, created the Deviants. Kirby wrote and illustrated their first appearance in the Eternals vol 1 #1 (7/1976). John Verpoorten was the inker for this issue.
At first, the Deviants kept themselves hidden underground founding the vast empire of Subterranea but the Deviants and the Eternals would have conflicts with each other. The Deviants developed a civilization and a technology more advanced than humanity. Around 18,500 B.C., the Deviants came to be the dominant race and enslaved humans while certain Eternals such as Ikaris and Gilgamesh opposed the Deviants. The conflicts continued as the Deviants relied on science and technology for advantages against the Eternals' superior powers and strength. The Deviants also lacked immortality and experimented to increase their life-spans.
The Deviants founded a city known as the City of Toads in the country of Lemuria on the Mu continent. By 18,000 B.C., the Deviants established a powerful empire and the only significant human opposition came from Atlantis. During the arrival of the Second Host of Celestials, the Mu continent suffered a devastating catastrophe that sank the landmass along with Lemuria and Atlantis. The Deviant Emperor Phraug had ordered the conquest of Atlantis.
Atra, a human priest in Lemuria who worshiped Set, opposed the Deviants and had plans to conquer Lemuria with his allies, the Serpent Men, the children of Set. Atra crafted the Serpent Crown as a conduit for Set's power to achieve this goal. Phraug, a worshiper of Set as well, also coveted the Serpent Crown from Atra.
Kamuu, ruler of Atlantis, used magma pits near the city, normally used for heating Atlantis, to destroy invading fleets from Lemuria. The release of the pits' destructive power caused volcanic eruptions across the region that sank Atlantis.
Atra had begun his attack on Lemuria as the first being to wear the Serpent Crown but Set did not allow his power to be used on his Deviant worshipers. The Deviants in Lemuria also spotted the Celestials' ship and fired upon them. The Celestials responded by firing upon Lemuria with destructive force that sank Lemuria as well. Phraug and Atra both died in the destruction of Lemuria and the Serpent Crown was lost for centuries.
The combination of explosions and eruptions caused the whole continent of Mu to sink into the ocean. The Deviant survivors of what came to be known as the Great Cataclysm moved underground. The southern half of Lemuria had sank underground and the sea had been shut out from this area. Lemuria and the capital, the City of Toads, was re-established as the Deviants' subterranean kingdom.
A Deviant survivor known as Warlord Kro appeared to have the unique trait of immortality produced by the Deviants' unstable DNA. Kro kept this knowledge a secret from his Deviant brethren. Kro feared his own dissection as research into immortality and pretended to be his own descendants.
The Deviants replaced the loss of their human slaves by creating cloned slaves but these clones either rebelled against or proved unable to serve the Deviants. These clones branched off into different subterranean factions and later became known as the Gortokians (the first Subterraneans), the Lava Men (mutated branch of Gortokians), the Moloids (servants of Mole Man) and the Tyrannoids (servants of Tyrannus).
The Deviants developed an entire religion focused on worshiping a rogue Celestial known as the Dreaming Celestial who was punished for an unknown crime. The Celestials have erased the Dreaming Celestial's true name from their records and keep his body inert in an underground vault.
The Deviants somehow believed that the Dreaming Celestial was punished for their creation. The Deviant priesthood also believed in visions of the Deviants' revenge on the Celestials. The Deviant priests prepared for this event by gathering their most monstrous Deviants as an army and placed them in suspended animation.
The Deviants and the Eternals continued to have conflicts with each other until the arrival of the Third Host of Celestials around the 10th Century. The Council of Godheads of Earth met with the Third Host of Celestials with the Eternal Ajak speaking for the Celestials. A pact of non-interference with humanity was agreed upon by the Celestials, Earth's Godheads, the Eternals and the Deviants until the arrival of the Fourth Host. The Eternals and the Deviants formed a truce until the Celestials' return.
In the late 20th Century, the Fourth Host of Celestials arrived on Earth and the Deviants renewed hostilities against the Eternals. The Deviants attempted to sabotage the arrival of the Fourth Host which was prevented by the Eternals. Two Deviants, Karkas and Ransak the Reject, became allies of the Eternals and left Lemuria to become residents of Olympia. , the Deviants' ruler at the time, ordered construction of New Lemuria beneath New York and restoration of Lemuria after being damaged by the Celestial, Eson. Thor stopped the construction and New Lemuria was destroyed as a result. The Fourth Host finally passed judgment and judged in favor of Earth. The Celestials left Earth while Brother Tode ordered the invasion of the Eternals' city of Olympia and imprisoned all the Eternals using brain-mines.
The Eternals are able to escape and defeat their captors with the timely aid of James Rhodes as Iron Man. Kro managed to escape while the rest of the defeated Deviants, which included Brother Tode and most of the ruling class, were transformed and fused into a giant block of stone by the Eternals. The stone cube remained in Olympia for several months.
When the Uni-Mind left Earth on a journey through the universe, the Uni-Mind brought the giant cube with it. Later, the restoration of Lemuria was finished by the remaining Deviants. Ranar, Brother Tode's son, demanded his right to succeed his father as ruler. A high ranking lord in the Deviant priesthood, Ghaur, refused Ranar and killed him.
Warlord Kro was put into place as the Deviant ruler of Lemuria while Ghaur and the priesthood were the real power in the empire and used Kro as a puppet leader. Ghaur had plans for world domination and to gain significant power which was usually opposed by Earth's heroes, the Eternals and rogue Deviants such as Kro, Karkas and Ransak the Reject.
The Deviant empire in Lemuria went through different terms of rulers when Ghaur was eventually defeated and apparently slain in battle. Later, Kro stepped down as ruler leaving another Deviant, Visara, to take his place. Visara was later killed in a rebellion against his rule.
Ghaur was resurrected and returned to assume control of Lemuria. Some time later, Apocalypse launched an attack on Lemuria that caused mutations in the Deviant populace. Afterwards, Kro and Ghaur formed an uneasy alliance where both were forced to share power as rulers of Lemuria.