Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at that pawn of the Builders: Ex Nihilo
Appearances in Heroclix: Avengers Assemble
First Appearance: Avengers vol. 5, #1
Team Affiliations: Avengers
Created By: Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opeña
Ex Nihilo is one of the Gardeners created by the Builders. Along his sister Abyss, Ex Nihilo was carried and taught by an Aleph, a robotic creation of the Builders, to tranform any species they encounter into perfect creatures. Upon their arrival on Mars, the trio terraformed the planet so that it contained a breathable atmosphere and vegetation. With this new vegetation, Ex Nihilo fires an Origin Bomb at Earth which accelerates the evolution of mankind as well as giving the earth an actual consciousness and immune system. This catches the attention of the Avengers that scramble a rapid response team which is defeated and captured by Ex Nihilo. Ex Nihilo sends Captain America back to Earth as a message.
After waking back up, Captain America activates the emergency plan he and Tony Stark had designed. Captain America and his team return to Mars and fight Ex Nihilo, Abyss and the Aleph. Until the latest Captain Universe arrives and brings an end to the skirmish. Ex Nihilo and Abyss recognize her as a univeral power and stop fighting. The Aleph resists but is swiftly destroyed by Captain Universe. With their friends free, the Avengers agree to leave in peace as long as Ex Nihilo no longer interferes with the progression of Earth.
Ex Nihilo’s “perfect” human creation Adam, who has taken the name Nightmask, goes to Earth with the Avengers and helps the new Star Brand learn how to deal with his powers. The pair later return to Mars to speak with Ex Nihilo.
Ex Nihilo, alongside Abyss, Nightmask and Star Brand join the Avengers and help in the war against the Builders. They encounter other Gardeners that still obey the Builders. When they see Ex Nihilo’s sister, Abyss, they inform the pair that Abyss is the last of their kind. All of her kind that were paired with the other Gardeners had been destroyed. As a result, the other Gardeners agree to join Ex Nihilo and the Avengers’ in their rebellion and remember their true purpose: to bring life, not death.
Ex Nihilo and the Gardeners spend many months trying to fix the decay of the universe, a result of the contracting multiverse. They eventually return to Earth and discover that the Earth has been heavily scarred. Sunspot and his Avengers team offer the Gardeners a chance to fix the universe once and for all at its source. They make multiple jumps and finally arrive at a fissure in time and space. Two Beyonders emerge from the fissure and demand the heroes return home and let their experiment run its course. Ex Nihilo, Abyss and all of the Gardeners sacrifice themselves while trying to reprogram one of the Beyonders.