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July 6, 2010

Touring the Cosmos: Quasar

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Written by: mike
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First Appearance: Incredible Hulk #234
Created By: Don Glut, Roy Thomas, John Buscema

With the recent release of the phenomenal first issue of The Thanos Imperative, it is only fitting that we look at one of the main characters. Now, I have wanted to showcase Quasar for quite some time because he is one my favorites, but seeing as he was dead for a long while, it really wouldn’t work. Now, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have brought him front and center in the battle against the cancerverse.

Quasar was created as Marvel’s next cosmic hero. With Green Lantern having some success over at DC, Quasar could be an answer to a cosmic-power wielding hero. Wendell Vaughn started out as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent-in-training. He wasn’t meant to be in the field, lacking a killer instinct. So he was assigned to security detail, watching over the recently found Quantum Bands. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who was assigned to experimenting with the bands’ power had overloaded the power of the bands and perished, unable to control its power. S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists were frustrated and at a loss as to how to control these weapons of great power, when A.I.M. agents stole upon the facility, looking to take the powerful bands. Wendell, out of desperation, took control of the bands and used them to repel the attack. The overload of power was starting to affect Wendell as well, but his lack of “killer-instinct” allowed the power to dissipate, almost as if he was riding the flow of power. From there, the hero Quasar was born.

Wendell was somewhat thrust into the role of hero, because after he accessed the power of the bands for the first time, their relationship became symbiotic. He at first traveled with the name Marvel Man, but soon dropped that for Quasar. Before his solo series, he protected the Project Pegasus facility, but was seen rarely and only in little snippets.

During his own series, Wendell really started to come into his own as a hero. He was asked to be Protector of the Universe by Eon, a cosmic entity that is the offspring of Eternity and Infinity. He accepted, and was shown the true extent of the power he wielded, and his link with the Quantum Dimension. During his sixty issue run, Quasar actually died twice, but met MANY cosmic players along the way. Aside from his mentor Eon (later Epoch the son of Eon), he solved the Watcher’s oblivion plague problem, battled Maelstrom (a cosmic assassin), and actually held his own against Thanos. Probably his first moment of greatness within the superhero community was when he used the Ultimate Nullifier to stop the Magus (Adam Warlock’s evil counterpart), sacrificing his own life at the same time. He found his way back to life with the power of the Star Brand.

After his own series ended, Quasar joined The Avengers for a short time, but found his real home among the stars, protecting the universe from his space station. He never saw much action from here until the epic Annihilation War started. He was on the side of angels, helping Nova and his resistance against Annihilus. He found his end quickly though, when Annihilus drained the energy of his Quantum Bands, killing him in the process. Now, if we know anything, Quasar will eventually find his way back to life.

During Realm of Kings, Quasar had found a way back to life in energy form. He allied with Nova in his “spirit/energy” form, allowing Nova to wear his Quantum Bands in order to defeat Ego the Living Planet, when it was trying to take over Worldmind. Now that Wendell is in control of the Quantum Bands and Quasar name again, he jumped at the chance to explore The Fault, and was one of the first to happen upon the cancerverse.

The fact that Quasar came from humble beginnings is what draws some readers to him. He has been labeled an everyman, but has shown that the fortitude of even an average Joe can rise above the rest to wield great power. He wasn’t born on another planet, inherit lots of wealth or born a god, but  this is what makes Quasar who he is. The willpower and strength of an average Joe, combined with the power of the Quantum Bands, equals a being of extraordinary power.

Suggested Reading:
Quasar (1989) #1-60
Infinity War (1992)
Annihilation: Nova #1-4 (2006)

Mike Parente



  1. Eli

    I remember that Infinity War moment, it was awesome. I hated how he was drawn, but he was a real hero through and through. I never gave hos solo series a shot either, but maybe I should.

  2. Billy

    Good stuff MIke. While Quasar isn’t one of my favorites, he is definitely making Thanos Imperative even better!

  3. Never really liked reading about the character until a few years ago, he’s definitely come a long way.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Mulder. John Mulder said: RT @ComicAttack: Touring the Cosmos: QUASAR! #comics #marvel #scifi […]

  5. […] about the Marvel cosmic scene is that it is made up of many obscure characters. I mean, guys like Quasar, Adam Warlock, and Star-Lord are not exactly your household superhero names. But for some strange […]

  6. […] team of Nova, Gladiator, Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, Ronan the Accuser, and Quasar have invaded the Cancerverse and begun the assault on Mar-Vell, and are trying to rescue […]

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