Quasar is a Marvel Comics
superhero created by Don Glut, Roy Thomas and John Buscema. Making his debut in Captain America #217
(January, 1978), Wendell Elvis Vaughn wields the Quantum Bands: powerful wristbands that tap into the unlimited power of the Quantum Zone
. Originally naming himself Marvel Boy after the Silver Age
hero who owned a similar pair of wristbands, Quasar gradually carves out his own identity as one of Marvel's most powerful cosmic heroes.
Declared unfit for field work after graduating from S.H.I.E.L.D.
Academy, Vaughn was offered a job at a Stark International
research facility where his father, Dr. Gilbert Vaughn, was experimenting with the Quantum Bands, two alien wristbands of great power left behind after the death of Crusader, the original Marvel Boy's evil duplicate. After an attack by A.I.M. forces Vaughn to use the Bands in self defense, the second Marvel Boy is born. Now a charter member of the newly-created S.H.I.E.L.D. Super-Agents, Vaughn later changes his name to Quasar after his father speculates that the Quantum Bands get their power from actual quasars: Quasi-Stellar objects.
As Quasar, Vaughn learned the true origins of the Quantum Bands from the Cosmic Entity
Eon. The Bands were to be used by the Eon's champion, the Protector of the Universe, a title once held by Captain Mar-Vell
. The Protector's role was to keep Eon alive, as assassins would attempt to kill him to attain Cosmic Awareness. Accepting the title, Vaughn leaves Earth for a time until a rift develops between himself and Eon. Discovering that his father has been dead for some time, Quasar quits his job as Protector after learning that Eon had been impersonating Dr. Vaughn out of self-preservation. Eon believed that a Cosmic Assassin killed the doctor to weaken Vaughn's mental stability enough to make a move. The assassin, Maelstrom, reveals himself to Vaughn on Earth. Vaughn's powers could not touch Maelstrom, so the assassin cut off Quasar's forearms and took the Quantum Bands for himself. Dying, Vaughn encounters the spirits of Captain Mar-Vell and his father, who convince Quasar not to give up. Vaughn dies, stabbed through the heart by his own personal death avatar, Kid Reaper. Reappearing as an energy being in the Eonverse, Quasar kills Eon to prevent Maelstrom from acquiring the Cosmic Awareness, and in a cosmic battle for the fate of the universe, is able to trick Maelstrom, causing his death.
Quasar joins the The Avengers
after helping them in battle against Super-Nova
When Galactic Conqueror
Annihilus threatens the galaxy in the Annihilation
miniseries, Quasar is among the heroes assembled to stop him. Overpowering the heroes, Annihilus kills Quasar, taking the Quantum Bands and Vaughn's energy for himself. Later, Phyla-Vell would join the fight against Annihilus, leading to his defeat by forcing the Quantum Bands to abandon the villain at a key moment.
Vaughn would later be resurrected as a quantum energy being for a brief period of time within the pages of Nova
before he was restored to flesh and blood on a journey to another universe. After the events of The Thanos Imperative
, he would go on to join a short-lived group of other cosmic heroes call 'Annihilators'.Phyla-Vell
Phyla-Vell first appeared in Captain Marvel
vol. 6 #16 (December, 2003), created by Peter David and Paul Azaceta. She is a daughter of Captain Mar-Vell
and Elysius. She acquired the Quantum Bands at the ender of Annihilation
, and became the new Quasar Annihilation: Conquest Prologue
#1 (August, 2007).
Now in possession of the Quantum Bands, Phyla-Vell uses her new powers to help the people who survived the 'Annihilation Wave'. Later, Phyla hones her skill with the Quantum Bands during Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar
series, eventually defeating the evil android Super-Adaptoid
and taking up Quasar's mantle for the first time. After Conquest
, Quasar joins the new Guardians of the Galaxy
Phyla-Vell's time as Quasar is short lived, coming to an end after losing the Quantum Bands to the resurrected Maelstrom. Forced to make a deal to save Moondragon, her lover, Phyla agrees to become the new avatar of Oblivion
, one of the two aspects of Death; meanwhile, Wendell came back from the dead and reclaimed the Bands from Maelstrom, by cutting them off his
hands in a very familiar manner. Phyla was later killed during the resurrection of Thanos
Phyla also was among the cast Guardians of the Galaxy
to appear in a episode of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
and while under her Quasar title along with the Quantum Bands.ComicsStorylines
Tropes seen in these series include:
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Quasar is Marvel's version of DC's Green Lantern (though this was a retcon- the original Marvel Boy was based on the Silver Age Superboy and Wendell had the same powers at first.)
- This is made even more obvious in the 2000's cosmic storylines where he becomes a very close ally of the Nova Corps, Marvel's other major Green Lantern equivalent.
- Arch-Enemy / Big Bad: Maelstrom
- Back from the Dead: Depending on how exactly you define "death," Wendell has returned from it either two or three times. Phyla also returned from the dead as Martyr as part of her deal to save Moondragon.
- Bald Women: Moondragon, Phyla's lover. Moondragon also showed interest in Vaughn while he was Protector of the Universe.
- Barrier Warrior: At his most powerful moments, Quasar can create "Q-Fields" strong enough to withstand the combined strength of the Hulk, Hercules, Thor, She-Hulk, the Fantastic Four, and half a dozen X-Men.
- Bigger Bad: Oblivion is Maelstrom's backer and, one way or another, is involved with most of the major villains the Quasars have found themselves fighting; but Wendell has only fought him once, briefly, and Phyla never.
- Chest Insignia
- Clingy MacGuffin: The Quantum Bands.
- Empathic Weapon: The Quantum Bands. The Bands willingly choose Phyla over Annihilus during Annihilation. Later, the Bands would return to Wendell after Maelstrom is defeated.
- Energy Absorption: Like his predecessor, Marvel Boy, Quasar could only absorb light, and, later, the entire electromagnetic spectrum. After his encounter with Eon, Quasar learned that the Quantum Bands could absorb almost all forms of energy, including the Silver Surfer's Power Cosmic. Only magic and Darkforce energy cannot be manipulated by the Quantum Bands.
- Flight: His peak speed is somewhere around the speed-of-light. That's not even taking into account the fact that he can effectively teleport across astronomical distances.
- Green Lantern Ring: Quasar uses the Quantum Bands in a similar manner as the Trope Namer, though some Green Lantern abilities are beyond their reach.
- Hand Blast: Quasar can project energy beams from the Quantum Bands with incredible power. In Quasar #26, Quasar blasted Thanos with the equivalent of 100 megatons.
- Hard Light
- Hyper Awareness: The Cosmic Awareness
- Hyperspace: Quasar uses Quantum Jumps to travel interstellar distances.
- Kryptonite Factor: The Quantum Bands are ineffective against magic.
- Of course, most magic users are helpless against the Quantum-Bands as shown when Phoenix teamed-up with Modred against Quasar and Excalibur in Quasar #11. So it evens out.
- Legacy Character: Wendell started his career as the second Marvel Boy. Phyla takes up Quasar's mantle after the events of Annihilation. In the past, Phyla was the fourth Captain Mar-Vell. Richard Rider also briefly served as the third Quasar after being stripped of the Nova Force.
- Nigh Invulnerable
- Shaping Your Attacks: Both Quasars can create quantum constructs of yellow energy. Vaughn prefers nunchaku for close encounters, while Phyla is rarely seen without her Quantum Sword.
- Superheroes Wear Capes
- Superheroes Wear Tights
Quasar I (Wendell Vaughn):
Quasar II (Phyla-Vell):