Ex Nihilo is an alien from another world who has come to Mars to terraform it into a new world. He believes himself to be God of the world he has created. Ex Nihilo is member of The Garden, whose next target for terraformation is Earth. Ex Nihilo was released from a seed carried by Aleph, along with his sister, Abyss, when Aleph had found a planet suitable for evolution. Since Aleph can only raze worlds, Ex Nihilo and Abyss were necessary to help evolution take place as it should.
Ex Nihilo was created by writer Johnathan Hickman and artist Jerome Opena. He is the first major villain in the relaunched Avengers series written by Hickman. Ex Nihilo first appeared in "Avengers World" in December 2012.
Ex Nihilo has terraformed Mars into a lush Jungle environment and is beginning to grow his own race to live there, designing them in the shape of perfected versions of humans. Becoming aware of the damage The Garden is causing on Earth, The Avengers Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye and Black Widow attack Ex Nihilo and his group on Mars. Abyss manipulates The Hulk into attacking Thor and eventually Nihilo captures The Avengers. However, he sends Captain America back to Earth as an example in a burning Quinjet. Ex Nihilo after explaining his version of the story of creation to the Avengers starts to bombard Earth with pods that bring new life to Earth as well as releasing new life to Earth it begins evolving Humans into insectoid lifeforms.The Avengers return soon after Ex Nihilo's Adam is created but something goes wrong with Adam and he uses Builder language soon after he is born and Ex Nihilo is impressed and puts Adam away, the Avengers then attack. After a heated fight where the Avengers destroy Aleph Ex Nihilo surrenders and agrees to stay on Mars and behave and the Avengers take Adam away.
When Adam becomes Nightmask due to the White event he brings along Kevin Conner, the new host of the Star Brand, along with him to Mars where they meet Ex Nihilo and Abyss. Nightmask asks for Ex Nihilo's help about what has transpired. Abyss tries to understand what has happened by investigating the body of the new host of the Star Brand, who attacks her out of fear and anger. In the end it is revealed that Ex Nihilo had a plan and that the origin sites that he created on Earth (where he transformed parts of the planet) actually are made to make the Earth sentient and one comes online which is the Earth's brain but Starbrand and Nightmask end up destroying it by accident.
Captain Universe tells Manifold that the Avengers has to be bigger. This leads to the team recruiting Ex Nihilo and his sister Abyss. The two siblings soon came across the rest of the Builders, their creators at the edge of space where another Gardner destroyed a world in a retaliation against the Galactic Council when they were able to destroy a portion of their fleet. It was revealed that when the Garners of the Builders destroy a world, it is a mark that the Builders have gone against who they were.
Ex Nihilo as a result completely turned against his people as a result for he was created to create not destroy.
Powers and Abilities
The full limit of Ex Nihilo's powers are unknown but he possesses the power and technology to transform the environments of entire planets and create new species. Ex Nihilo is also able to shoot out energy blasts over a wide area.