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The Starjammers are a team of space pirates that appear in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The team was created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum in 1977 and first appeared in X-Men #107.
The Starjammers have regularly allied themselves with the X-Men. They were formerly led by Christopher Summers, alias Corsair, and then by his son Havok.
The Starjammers provide examples of:
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: A human, a Mephitisoid, a Saurian, a Cyborg and Chr'yllite who fought against the tyranny of D'Ken, and even after his defeat they continue to work and travel together.
- Space Pirate: That's what they are but they're also Lovable Rogues.
- True Companions: They care about each other almost like family, even before Havok and Lorna joined the crew.
Major Christopher Summers / Corsair
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men #104 (1977)
The father of Cyclops, Havok and Vulcan, he was long believed to be dead but in fact was in space living the life of a heroic Space Pirate and leading the Starjammers.
- Ace Pilot: A major in the United States Air Force and commercial pilot in his spare time. Looking at Cyclops it's clear this runs in the family.
- Action Dad: Father of three sons and while not a mutant, he has years of combat experience under his belt.
- Back from the Dead: After almost forty years since The Reveal, it's hard to consider this a spoiler-worthy trope anymore.
- Death Is Cheap: His 2014 resurrection in All New X-Men, on the other hand, is definitely still spoiler-worthy.
- Badass Normal: A mild example, as he can hold his own in brawls but is no match in a one-on-one fight with a mutant sufficiently motivated to kill him. He finds this out the hard way courtesy of Vulcan.
- Badasses Wear Bandanas: He's a pirate and has been drawn wearing either a blue or red bandana.
- Bag of Holding: In some stories he wears a gauntlet with "gems" that are actually miniature pocket dimensions that allow him to store his weapons and various other items.
- Bumbling Dad: The superhero version of one. He's not a bad guy, and his absence from his children's lives wasn't initially his fault, but even after being reunited with them he can't bring himself to be the father they need because he's having too much fun in space - which Cyclops at one point harshly calls him on. He effectively abdicates his parental duties to Professor X and becomes an intermittent presence in the lives of his children, which works out more-or-less okay with Cyclops and Havok but comes back to bite him when a third, much more unstable son, enters the picture.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Cyclops harshly calls him out on his abandonment of him and Havok, pointing out that he could easily have got home if he wasn't having so much fun being a space pirate, and outright states that part of the reason he and Jean haven't had any children conventionally is a fear of turning out like his dad - which is not helped by what happened with Cable. The fates of the others - especially Rachel, and Nate - probably didn't help either.
- Disappeared Dad: For years Cyclops and Havok believed he was dead.
- Distressed Dude: Most of his encounters with the X-Men begin with him being chased to Earth by the villains of the day and crash landing, with the X-Men then having to pull his fat out of the fire.
- Interspecies Romance: With his fellow Starjammer, the alien Hepzibah. She is a Mephitisoid, a race of humanoid aliens that evolved from skunks, similarly to how the Shi'ar evolved from birds—although she is often depicted as looking more like a Cat Girl.
- It Runs in the Family: Superpowerful Genetics, flying planes, and being The Leader.
- It's Personal: With Majestor D'Ken, who murdered his wife in front of him.
- Just Like Robin Hood: Corsair and his Starjammers steal from The Empire to give to the poor (usually themselves, but sometimes others).
- La Résistance: The Starjammers oscillate between heroic outlaw group and this, depending on how evil the Shi'ar Empire is that day. The Empire has undergone several changes in leadership and direction over the years, requiring the Starjammers to adapt accordingly.
- Made a Slave: By D'Ken, after being captured by the Shi'ar Empire. While in slavery he met the four aliens who would join him in his escape and become the founding members of the Starjammers.
- Meaningful Name: 'Corsair', of course, is a mid-16th century term for a pirate, making it quite the appropriate Nom de Guerre for a spacefaring outlaw like him.
- Noodle Incident: According to Rocket Racoon, he and Corsair once did some freebooting several years ago ("of course, the boots were freer in those days...")
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Hits three of four categories after his 2014 resurrection, as it made him into a "techno-organic cyborg who must regularly ingest nano-machine pills to stay alive".
- Papa Wolf: His outlaw lifestyle downplays it, but he is loyal unto death to his sons, even Black Sheep Vulcan.
- Primary-Color Champion: His Corsair outfit is red, blue with some yellow, and he's a pretty cool guy.
- Rebel Leader: Field leader of the Starjammers, though he usually defers to Lilandra's authority when she's around.
- Recessive Super Genes: Neither Corsair nor his wife were mutants, but all three of his sons are.
- Space Pirate: Heroic flavor.
- Sword and Gun: His two main weapons in battle. To his credit, the gun at least is an advanced Shi'ar weapon, but more often than not the sword is an ordinary Earth cutlass.
- Tangled Family Tree: The Summers family, which is so much this that at one point it was the Trope Namer.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- The only reason he was separated from his children was because the plane he was flying them in was made out of wood, which of course burst instantly ablaze when fired upon by the Shi'ar. Even to this day wood is used as a building material for hobbyist planes, but you would think a family man would have more sense than to pile his wife and children into one.
- He is also rather foolish in the way he goes about attempting to pacify his power-mad son, literally coming at him with a sword and demanding he stand down. Not surprisingly, Vulcan flash-fries him just as easily as he did D'Ken just moments earlier.
Nationality: Shi'ar Empire
First Appearance: X-Men #107 (October, 1977)A female Mephitisoid, originally from the planet Tryl'sart, one of their few permitted space colonies. She was imprisoned on the Shi'ar prison planet of Alsibar for an unknown crime, which is where she met the first members of the Starjammers; Corsair, Raza Longknife, and Ch'od. They broke out of the prison and escaped, taking to space piracy. Over time, she and Corsair became lovers.
- Anti-Hero: Probably type III-IV
- Animal Stereotypes: Downplayed. She's an alien skunk-girl, but she lacks the iconic stink powers. Instead, her power-set — Wolverine Claws, Super Reflexes and Super Senses — are more associable with cats.
- Art Evolution: She started out as very obviously skunk-like, with the iconic black-and-white color scheme and an unmistakable skunk tail. Over the years her color changed to solidly white, and her appearance became more feline, passing through a "furry Cat Girl with a large fluffy tail" to her more modern iteration, which is basically a white catgirl. Along the way, she picked up a fondness first for belly-baring tops and then for bandanas, both of which fit her Space Pirate Girl motif. Additionally, she went from skunk ears atop her head in the Little Bit Beastly style to having elongated, elf-like ears on the sides of her head, and from having a body covered in fur to being clean-shaven.
- Cat Girl: Officially, she's actually a skunk girl. However, due to a combination of Art Evolution and her precise power set, she's become increasingly confused with a Cat Girl over the years even amongst the artists.
- Interspecies Romance: She's a Mephitisoid who is in love with a human.
- Most Common Superpower: Her cleavage gets more panel time than the rest of the supporting cast!
- Pirate Girl: Not just any Pirate Girl, but a Space Pirate Skunk/Catgirl!
- Put on a Bus: Left the X-Men and Earth to rejoin Corsair on the Starjammers after he returned to life, returning to her previous status as a recurring character.
- Second Love: Can be seen as Chris Summers' second love after the death of his wife.
- Shout-Out: She's named after Miz Mam'selle Hepzibah, the seductive female skunk castmember from Pogo.
- Smelly Skunk: Zigzagged. Mephitisoids don't have the traditional noxious musk of skunks, but instead have powerful Mind Control pheromones, which the ancient Mephitisoids used to war with the ancient Shi'ar to the point they were almost the ones who became the galaxy's great power. Further complicating matters, female Mephitisoids can only access the Mind Control pheromones during their mating season, which is why they're allowed to travel between planets and males aren't. Combined with the cat-like abilities that Hepzibah actually does display, and this is why she's so often mistaken for a Cat Girl.
- The Smurfette Principle: While there have been other females members on the Starjammers, Hepzibah is the only permanent one.
- Space Pirate: All of the Starjammers are space pirates, of course, but Hepzibah dresses the most like an old-timey pirate who just happens to be in space.
- Spell My Name with an S: The name of her species is "Mephitisoid", a blending of "Mephitis" (the Latin name for skunks) and "humanoid". It's also been spelled as Mephisitoid and Mephitistoid.
- Super Reflexes: Hepzibah is officially described as possessing reflexes and agility "equal to or beyond the natural limits of the finest human athletes." It's unclear if this is a racial trait or a result of Hepzibah applying herself to developing racial potential.
- Super Senses: Like all Mephitisoids, Hepzibah has an incredibly acute sense of smell, which allows her to understand the pheromone-based language of her species, as well as heightened hearing and the ability to see clearly in lower levels of light than humans can.
- Strange-Syntax Speaker: Hepzibah has a very distinctive manner of speech that combines terse sentences with a structure that places the identifier before the quantifiable, whilst also downplaying multiples. Presumably, it's an attempt to convey in vocal structure the natural "dialect" of her pheromone-based native language.Chris, Shi'ar, they were! Shi'ar not friends anymore... If ever were! Turned, Lilandra has! Forget you how we met? ...In slave pits of Chandilar! Abducted you from Earth, wife by Lilandra's brother, Majestor D'Ken, killed... me, for 'terrorism' in there. Raza, his race exterminated. Ch'od's, too. The whole reason we rescuing Kree is because been there we. Suffered that.Lucky? Lucky? You born dim, Chris, or do you have to work at it? We got no main weapons, no faster than light drive, no shields. Firefight would have lit up whole nebula like lantern. We just hung out big notice to Shi'ar strike force saying 'Hey, birdies — here we are.'
- Token Non-Human: She's one of the few known aliens that have been members of the X-Men.
- The Unpronounceable: Her real name literally can't be spoken by anyone other than a Mephitisoid, as it's a complex pheromone signature. Corsair invented the "Hepzibah" moniker; she didn't like it at first but came to tolerate it.
- Wolverine Claws: She possesses semi-retractile talons in her fingers, like all members of her species, which she can use in melee.
Nationality: Shi'ar Empire
First Appearance: X-Men #104 (April, 1977)
- Amphibian at Large: Ch'od is a large amphibian-like alien. His physiology allows him to survive both on land and in water and makes him a very fast swimmer.
- An Arm and a Leg: Lost one of his hands fighting the Imperial Guard, but Sikosrky managed to graft him a new hand.
- The Big Guy: The biggest member of the Starjammers.
- Cross-Cultural Kerfluffle: Ch'od is a normal space name. But it's pronounced like "Chode," which is Earth slang for a penis.
- Fish People: Can be seen as a combination of this and a Frog Men.
- Gentle Giant: Though he can be a fierce combatant, he is usually genial and friendly in social interactions.
- Monster Modesty: Usually seen wearing just a pair of pants.
- Non-Human Sidekick: He's usually accompanied by his small, furry pet Cr'reee.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: Ch'od is fully amphibious and is capable of surviving both on land and in the water with equal ease due to the fact that he possesses lungs that allow him to breathe on land and gills that enable him to breathe underwater.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He's none too pleased having to work with the Imperial Guard while investigating a fault into space.
Nationality: Shi'ar Empire
Species: Alien Cyborg
First Appearance: X-Men #107 (October, 1977)
- And I Must Scream: He could only watch as his body was used by the symbiote Zzzxx.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Raza can switch his robotic hand into a blade at will.
- Cyborg: At least half his body is completely mechanical.
- Demonic Possession: He was forcefully bonded to the symbiote Zzzxx, who made him commit many atrocities in Vulcan's name. Nova managed to safely separate him from the symbiote.
- Pointy Ears: His ears are sharp and pointy.
- Ye Olde Butchered English: Raza speaks in an archaic form of old English, which can be both an annoyance and a source of amusement to his allies.