Hey everybody, welcome to another exciting character spotlight, right here in Marvel Snapshot! This week, I’ll be starting a cosmic theme, so get ready for some great, but possibly little known characters from Marvel’s fantastic cosmic scene. First up is the Stranger! This enigmatic space traveler has beleaguered everyone from the Avengers to the X-Men, and he’ll stop at nothing to prove that what he’s trying to accomplish is worth any sacrifice, or any collateral damage. He was created by Stan “The Man” Lee and Jack “King” Kirby in 1965 (Avengers #11).
From the far reaches of the Andromeda galaxy, the Stranger is a cosmic being from the planet Gigantus. He’s basically a being (by his own account) that is a sum of all the beings on his planet. The first experience he had with Earth was when Magneto and Toad were battling the X-Men. He abducted both of them, and then took them to his home base to study them. They eventually escaped, and the Stranger then returned to Earth. He then determined that the Earth needed to be culled, and used the Hulk to try and wipe out the populace. Next he again tried to put the Earth in peril, but when he witnessed a selfless act to stop him, he then left and went back to his base to ponder on his stance on the planet’s usefulness.
He next needed help and recruited the Hulk and Thing to aid him in a battle against the Olympian god Pluto. Another team up, this time with the Avengers, pitted them against Nebula. She tried to recreate the universe, but the Avengers and the Stranger stopped her. Next he had an adventure within the pages of Quasar that involved a virus. More action later typically involved cosmic matters, and usually the villain was Thanos. First, in Infinity Gauntlet, along with the other cosmic deities, the Stranger opposed Thanos because he acquired the Infinity Gems and was remaking the universe in his image to impress Death. Thanos easily defeated the Stranger, Galactus, and Epoch, but all was brought back to normal when the Gems were taken from Thanos.
Next, another cosmic calamity called “Marvel Universe: The End.” In this wild tale, Thanos discovers an infinite source of energy called the Heart of the Universe. It basically has more power than the Infinity Gems, the Cosmic Cube, and every other cosmic artifact combined! Dr. Doom then tries to wrest control of this power from an ancient pharaoh named Akhenaten. He is defeated by the pharaoh, though, and then it’s up to Thanos and the rest of the Marvel Universe to stop him. They do, but then Thanos jumps into the Heart and absorbs the power for himself. The Stranger and the other heroes try to stop him, but they initially cannot.
The Stranger has been seen recently in Avengers Assemble and Astonishing Thor. He’s always willing to help against cosmic threats or to further his own agenda, as well! Check out my recommended reading list along with some great pics below!
Essential Uncanny X-Men – Tpb vol.1
Marvel Team-Up #55
Marvel Two-In-One Annual #5
Essential Silver Surfer -Tpb vol. 1
Infinity Gauntlet – Tpb
Marvel: The End – Tpb