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February 26, 2010

Touring the Cosmos: Missing in Action

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Written by: mike
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Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have the Midas touch when it comes to cosmic comics. They have breathed a breath of fresh air into many lifeless cosmic characters, and only continue to impress. They started with Annihilation, creating Ravenous and making Nova be more than just a New Warrior. From there they have worked their way toward the current Realm of Kings, molding characters such as Ronan, Gladiator, Black Bolt, and the Guardians of the Galaxy along the way.

Here is a look at some of the cosmic characters that have been missing lately, and those that could use a real overhaul via the talents of Abnett and Lanning.

Jack of Hearts: Jack Hart had a troubled crime-fighting career. Gaining his powers by accident, there were times when he was found fighting Iron Man or Quasar, or other times fighting alongside Silver Surfer or as part of The Avengers. Jack was the son of a human scientist and a woman who was part of the Contraxion race. Jack’s father, Philip, had developed an energy source dubbed the “zero fluid,” which Jack accidentally fell into. This combined with part alien genetic makeup, made his DNA undergo a major change. Jack’s cells were able to generate a powerful energy, similar to the intentions of the “zero fluid.” Jack of Hearts eventually found his calling in The Avengers, training as a hero and finding a way to release the excess energy that would build up in his cells. Sadly, Jack could not stand being in a chamber for 14 hours a day to release this energy, and sacrificed his life to save Cassie Lang from a child murderer. Jack of Hearts was last seen in Hades, playing a slot-machine to win back his life, which he ultimately did win.

Jack is an easy fit into the cosmic universe. He has encountered many cosmic entities in his career, and has traversed the star systems. A possible fit for him would be with the Guardians of the Galaxy. He would add some extra power to the team, and also act as somewhat of a misfit. Jack would also be well-suited to a solo career, with enough power to fight his own battles. He is also easily influenced, and could fall prey to working for a tyrant such as Blaastar.

Genis-vell: One of the predecessors of the Captain Marvel mantle, Genis-vell has always struggled to realize who he was and where his place was in the universe. Born in a test-tube, his father was the original Captain Mar-vell and his mother the Titan Elysius. He was implanted with false memories, and his age was artificially advanced. After the death of his father, Genis continuously struggled with finding his place in the universe. He inherited his father’s powers with a few upgrades, and became very powerful. Unable to control his cosmic awareness, Genis had bouts of insanity, identity crises, and daddy issues. He eventually found his way to Earth where he joined The Thunderbolts under the reign of Baron Zemo. Zemo deemed Genis too powerful and uncontrollable, and dispersed his body parts with the Darkforce Dimension.

Genis-vell has spent a lot of time in the Darkforce Dimension, and it is time for his return. I know that the universe currently has Phyla-vell, Genis’s sister, and Noh-varr as the current Captain Marvel, but the cosmos are still lacking the original cosmically over-powered psychotic hero. Genis could also be a reason to bring back the spotlight onto the beings of Titan, where a colony of Eternals live. Genis could be brought back in two ways; either as a crazy hero with his own secret plans and plots to take whatever he likes, or as a hero in his father’s image, saving the universe from countless cosmic threats.

Pip the Troll: Believe it or not, Pip the Troll actually used to be a prince. Hailing from the planet Laxidazia, Pip was an alcoholic. Having had one too many drinks, some mutagenic hallucinogenic ale transformed him into the stunted creature he is today. Despite his rank stench and life of hedonism, Pip has found himself in the company of some of the universe’s most powerful characters. He was part of the Infinity Watch, which had members such as Adam Warlock, Moondragon, Thanos, and Drax. He also found himself in the company of the Silver Surfer for a period of time. As part of the Infinity Watch, Pip was tasked with keeping watch over the Space Gem, which over time allowed him to be granted powers of teleportation.

At first glance, you might think that Pip would be a good fit with the Guardians of the Galaxy. With a talking raccoon and telepathic dog, this might cause some trouble for the stunted Laxidazian. Perhaps as an ally in times of need his teleportation powers would come in handy, but his morals wouldn’t allow him to be a particularly good team player. Pip is usually fun when in the role of “sidekick,” so maybe he could latch on to someone he might share a common goal with. I wouldn’t mind seeing Pip and Thanos working together again as well.

Mephisto: You might be saying to yourself that Mephisto doesn’t have a place on this list, but if you know a little more about this demon, he has every right to be here. He first debuted in Silver Surfer, acting as a demonic foe to the cosmic hero. He has also allied himself with Thanos, trying to steal the Infinity Gauntlet from him. Mephisto’s origin can be recalled in two ways. Some say he was the first Deviant to ever be created by The Celestials, and others claim him to be one of the most powerful Hell-Lords, who rule over the underworld. Regardless of what you may believe, it is undeniable that Mephisto is one strong entity. He rules over his own realm, which is considered Hell for some, and enjoys bargaining with humans, granting power for their souls.

Mephisto makes a great character to act as a motivating force for a villain. Whether it is through granting them power, or pushing them toward a goal that ultimately benefits himself, Mephisto could do wonders on the cosmic stage. Not many heroes would expect him, and even fewer have the power to stop him. The Lord of Lies could possibly be instrumental in a big play for power in the universe, using dangerous pawns as his minions. It would be intriguing to see Mephisto be the motivator for the return of a character like Thanos, or granting power to a lesser known villain.

Tyrant: A creation of Galactus, Tyrant has the potential to be one of the most severe threats the universe may face. Galactus created Tyrant in the form of a living machine, with almost as much power as Galactus himself. Tyrant, having its own sentience, wanted to rule the galaxy rather than live in pursuit of survival like his creator. Tyrant and Galactus fought in a great battle, and destroyed many universes along the way. When Tyrant returned, he was only a shell of his former self, but still very powerful. He captured Silver Surfer, Jack of Hearts, Terrax, Morg, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, and Ganymede in a bid to harness their power for their own gains. Ultimately he failed, and Galactus was only able to defeat Tyrant by unleashing the power of the Ultimate Nullifier.

Although Tyrant is assumed dead, a being with this magnitude of power should never be counted out. Plus, Galactus was also in the blast of the Ultimate Nullifier and found a way to live. Tyrant is a living machine, and this gives him the ability for survival in many different ways. He could have transferred his sentient mind to another machine, spending these years rebuilding himself. His mind could still be searching for a suitable host. Tyrant has the potential to come back as a blood-thirsty threat, forcing heroes and villains alike to unite against him.

Who would you like to see reappear on the cosmic stage?

Mike Parente



  1. billy

    I wish Mephisto and Pip would return soon. The others, meh. Good chance of seeing Pip again with Thanos coming back in April. 🙂

  2. Eli

    I can do without all of these guys, except for Pip. I would love to see him back in action. And I always liked the interaction between him and Thanos, just funny stuff. Thanos could use a beer drinkin lacky.

  3. I actually liked Tyrant back in the day but the only guy i’m looking forward to seeing is Thanos!

  4. I know jack squat about any of these guys, but I would like to know the whereabouts of the rest of the Starjammers!! I mean, wtf!?

  5. I think Genis could be used in a big way. I mean he has powers on par with Thor, when written properly. Peter David did an amazing 25 issue “Captain Marvel” run with Genis as the star, and it was really good.

  6. […] wants to be the heroic Mar-Vell) enters the local Church of Hala in search of Carol Danvers. …Touring the Cosmos: Missing in ActionGenis-vell: One of the predecessors of the Captain Marvel mantle, Genis-vell has always … […]

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