Quasar is a Marvel Comics series created by Don Glut, Roy Thomas, and John Buscema. Making his debut in Captain America #217 (January, 1978).
After being declared unfit for fieldwork, for not having a "killer instinct", after graduating from S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, Wendell 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 Marvel. 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, manages to trick Maelstrom, causing his death.
Quasar later joined the The Avengers after helping them in the battle against Super-Nova.
Quasar provides examples of:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, half a dozen X-Men, and even Wonder Woman.
- 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.
- Greater-Scope Villain: 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.
- 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.
- Hyperspace: Quasar uses Quantum Jumps to travel interstellar distances.
- Imagination-Based Superpower: Quasar similarly uses the Quantum Bands as the former Trope Namer Green Lantern Ring, though some Green Lantern abilities are beyond their reach.
- 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 took up Quasar's mantle after the events of Annihilation. In the past, Phyla was the fourth Captain Marvel. Richard Rider also briefly served as the third Quasar after being stripped of the Nova Force.
- 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.
- Supernatural Fear Inducer: Phobius, one of Maelstrom's minions, also has psychic fear powers.