The Diviners are items constructed by the Kree thousands of years ago as a containment device for Terrigen Crystals. A number of Diviners were left on Earth several millennia ago, buried until World War II, when one of them was procured by HYDRA who dubbed it the Obelisk. In 1945, the Obelisk was confiscated by the Strategic Scientific Reserve where it became the first 0-8-4. The Diviners regained prominence in 2014, when the "Obelisk" became central in a conflict between HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D. (the Strategic Scientific Reserve's modern successor). Eventually that Diviner was activated, leading to the emergence of two new Inhumans, Raina, and Skye.
- "One vicious faction among the Kree genetically modified other creatures' DNA. These modifications can be activated with Terrigen Crystals."
"We know these torturous experiments failed."
"Not on Earth. Here, we had to shut them down. This faction had built a city. They brought with them the Diviners, which hold the crystals."
- ―Vin-Tak and Sif[src]
Diviners were designed by the Kree as containment devices for Terrigen Crystals, the source of the mist which activates the genetic mutation known as Terrigenesis, awakening unique abilities in the subjects of the Kree's extensive experiments on Earth.
The Diviners could only be activated at a city beneath what is now Puerto Rico. Once joined with the city's temple, the Diviners would open to reveal the crystals and, subsequently, the mist, triggering the necessary mutation in nearby Inhumans, and causing painful death to any unaltered humans.
The residents of a Chinese village in Hunan Province were searching for the Diviner during World War II. They found it in Chaves, Portugal in 1945. Unfortunately for them, that location was also a dig site of a HYDRA General Werner Reinhardt, whose team captured the villagers and the Diviner, which they named the Obelisk. Reinhardt's superior officer, Red Skull, believed it to be a unique artifact that held the answer to death itself.
Once the Diviner was securely in HYDRA's possession, it was transported to Reinhardt's fortress in Austria, where Reinhardt studied its effects on his prisoners. Among Reinhardt's prisoners was Jiaying, a resident of the village who carried the Inhuman genetics and thus survived direct contact with the Diviner. Before they had a chance to investigate this strange circumstance, they were forced to relocate following the supposed death of Red Skull by Captain America. Eventually, the Diviner, along with the rest of the objects in the cache, was recovered by the Strategic Scientific Reserve, and kept in storage by S.H.I.E.L.D. for the following decades. The Diviner came to be known as the first 0-8-4.
Melted by Afterlife Inhumans
- "Fear drives us to do things we would otherwise never do. That's why I first started experimenting with Terrigen Crystals. We only had five Diviners in our possession. I knew if they were destroyed, we'd lose our ability to transform... an entire race gone forever. So we decided to make our own. As some have said, discovery requires experimentation. Eventually, we melted a Diviner down and grew new crystals from it. Unfortunately, we could never quite separate the Diviner metal out. It's now laced within them."
- ―Jiaying to Robert Gonzales[src]
Desperate to maintain the ability to undergo Terrigenesis, the Inhumans living in Afterlife began experimenting with the five Diviners they had access to. They melted a Diviner down and make Terrigen Crystals out of it, but were unable to separate the metal from it, causing the crystals to be deadly to humans who touched them or the Terrigen Mist they emitted.
Retrieving the Artifact
After the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Diviner was stored by the United States Government in a facility supervised by Glenn Talbot. Daniel Whitehall, the HYDRA member who originally discovered the Diviner in 1945, hired Carl Creel to retrieve it for him. However, a small group of former S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives discovered it first, resulting in a scuffle with Creel. During the altercation, Agent Isabelle Hartley grabbed the Diviner and succumbed to its effects, forcing Agent Lance Hunter to amputate her hand to keep it from killing her. She died anyway, though, when Creel attacked their SUV and then made off with the Diviner.
In an attempt to protect himself from the Diviner's power, Creel then turned his skin into rubber, but this did not deter the Diviner's effects, and a piece of it became melded into his body. The Diviner was soon stolen from Creel by Raina, who delivered it to Calvin Zabo, Jiaying's vengeful and unstable husband who had some knowledge of the Diviner and the Kree. The man ordered Raina to hold the Diviner, and she was able to grasp it without triggering its potent effects. Instead, the Diviner glowed a bright orange, confirming Raina's Inhuman potential.
Fearing for her life, Raina begged Zabo to let her borrow the Diviner, but he refused. Eventually, Zabo brought the Diviner to Daniel Whitehall at the HYDRA Laboratories. After revealing its true name in its native language, he told Whitehall that not only would he teach him how to use its power, but how to survive it. The doctor then offered Whitehall an alliance against their common enemy, Phil Coulson.
Daniel Whitehall sought to turn the Diviner into a weapon prior to the arrival of Calvin Zabo; he had one of his top scientists, Lingenfelter, work on the project, but she could not duplicate its power using only the skin cell samples of a waitress who was petrified. Sunil Bakshi was the contact person for a group of HYDRA agents who acted as the wait staff at a wedding where they put a chemical in the champagne hoping to duplicate the power. Only a few died from the incident.
Whitehall had a meeting with all of his scientists, including Jemma Simmons (working undercover for S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Kenneth Turgeon. Simmons told Whitehall that the Diviner could be weaponized, but only with a sample, since extraterrestrial metals react differently than expected on a cellular level.
The Splinter Bombs were created and used by HYDRA after the alliance with Zabo was made. Using designs from Vincent Beckers, Toshiro Mori modernized a weapon that could deliver a chemical that petrified, then disintegrated its victim on contact.
Search for the Kree City
Unable to sleep, Skye confided in Phil Coulson that she was upset because everything that was happening seemed to be connected. She mentioned the Diviner's connection to her father, HYDRA, the carved symbols, GH.325, and Grant Ward.
Daniel Whitehall was angered when his top scientists told him things he had already known about the Diviner since 1945. Calvin Zabo was brought in and told him that he could edit whatever Whitehall thought he knew about the artifact. The doctor chided Whitehall for assuming the Diviner was simply a weapon and revealed that the Diviner was a key to an ancient city and that he wanted a team to find it.
In Laura Creek, Australia, Zabo had an encounter with Phil Coulson and told him that the Diviner was specifically the key to something within the city's temple. Coulson wondered if this secret was similar to the Tesseract, but the doctor was unable to confirm or deny this, having never heard of the Tesseract.
Daniel Whitehall and Calvin Zabo eventually found the city in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Skye, the daughter of Zabo and Jiaying had been captured by HYDRA and brought to San Juan on Zabo's orders, something that Whitehall did not authorize. He held Skye at gunpoint, ordering her to touch the Diviner to determine if she could survive its effects, as her mother did years ago. When she grabbed it, it glowed with symbols, confirming her potential. Skye used the artifact to kill a HYDRA operative, but his fellow guards quickly surrounded and detained her.
When Phil Coulson led a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to rescue Skye, Raina used the distraction to steal the Diviner and enter the Kree City. Inside, she encountered Alphonso Mackenzie, under the control of the city; when he saw her carrying the artifact, he led her to the temple.
Skye pursued Raina into the temple. As Raina was telling Skye that it was their destiny to be together at that moment in that place, the Diviner left Raina's hand and floated to a nearby pedestal in the center of the room. Antoine Triplett entered the temple in hopes of rescuing Skye, but the temple doors closed shut. Suddenly, the Diviner opened to reveal the Terrigen Crystals, which filled the room with Terrigen Mist. Skye and Raina began to undergo Terrigenesis, and Triplett, believing that the Diviner was killing the women, kicked the pedestal, causing the Diviner to shatter. A fragment of the Diviner then impaled itself into Triplett's abdomen, petrifying him, while Skye and Raina completed their transformations.
The transformation of Skye and Raina triggered a response in the other Diviners scattered across the world. One of them was in the care of an Inhuman named Gordon, who set out to deal with the newcomers.
The Remaining Four
Vin-Tak arrived on Earth seeking the Diviners when Kree Empire learned that one had been activated. In a grotto in Chaves, Portugal, he uncovered the box in which the ancient Kree hid the artifacts; before he could open it, he was apprehended by S.H.I.E.L.D. When the box was opened, it was empty. A quest was started as to the location of the remaining five.
When Robert Gonzales came to establish a peace treaty between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Afterlife Inhumans, Jiaying told him that she had the five other Diviners. She further explained that one of the Diviners was melted down to mass create Terrigen Crystals so that, if the Diviners were to be lost or destroyed, the Inhuman race would not go extinct.
Yo-Yo Rodriguez's Test
In an alternate 1983, Yo-Yo Rodriguez and Melinda May went to Afterlife, hoping Jiaying could restore the Inhuman powers Rodriguez formerly had. Initially distrusting of her, Jiaying's assistant Li had Rodriguez touch Jiaying's Diviner to prove she was Inhuman. Rodriguez did so, but due to her prosthetic arms she could not cause it to glow. After informing Jiaying and Li that her arms were prosthetics, she held it up to her head and it glowed orange, proving her as an Inhuman.
- Only three humans have survived physical contact with the metal that comprises the Diviner: Isabelle Hartley, Carl Creel, and Phil Coulson, though Creel caused Hartley to die anyway. Hartley and Coulson both required the affected limb to be amputated, but Creel's powers, despite failing to prevent its effects, enabled him to survive without losing a limb.
|Appearances for Diviner|
In chronological order:
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.01: Shadows
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.09: ...Ye Who Enter Here
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.08: The Things We Bury
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.12: Who You Really Are
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.20: Scars
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.02: Heavy is the Head
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.04: Face My Enemy
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.05: A Hen in the Wolf House
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.06: A Fractured House
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.07: The Writing on the Wall
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.10: What They Become
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 7.08: After, Before