Posted by:
Byron Brewer

What The D'ast? Stronian


(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with Marvel Cosmic and its many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of He welcomes both raves and opposing views.) By Byron Brewer [[wysiwyg_imageupload:69:]]Strontian, the young girl named Xenith, is not the first character of either Marvel or DC to be modeled after Kara Zor-El, Supergirl, but she certainly is the most … well, extreme! I have known her cousin Gladiator since he first popped from Dave Cockrum’s Legion-influenced mind onto the printed X-Men page. Like Superman, it was always thought Kallark (yeah, I get it) was the lone survivor of his home planet (Strontia). But, at least for me, it was a shock during a reading of the mini-series X-Men: Kingbreaker when I met this super-woman, with Kallark’s powers but a savagery I have never known any Imperial Guardsman to possess (not even the Fangs) – at least, not before Vulcan put an uber-unit together and made her leader. What a wildcat! On that team’s two missions to kill the Starjammers, Xenith (called Strontian after her race by Vulcan) battled and defeated both Korvus and Polaris, although both survived her ferocious attacks. It took the man called Nova, with a little help from brother Rob, to tame her. But we are getting ahead of ourselves … Xenith honed her combat skills by training with Gladiator before he joined the Guard, thus making her a very formidable opponent. After joining the galactic peace-keeping force known as the Charter, her first mission was as a member of the Cosmic Commandos (the group’s defense force) to apprehend the Cosmic Avenger Quasar, then wanted for murder. The Commandos were led to believe that Quasar confessed to murdering the crew of the Hub. Quasar easily escaped the Commandos, but Captain Morfex was able to trace his energy signal. They tracked Quasar to the Milky Way Galaxy, but he was no longer alone, having gained allies Beta Ray Bill and the Silver Surfer. In battle, Xenith and the Commandos were defeated and Captain Morfex was blown out of an airlock into space. Xenith discovered the Commandos had been deceived and so joined Captain Morfex (revealed to be a Skrull), Beta Ray Bill, Quasar and the Silver Surfer as the short-lived Star Masters. Together they searched for the true culprit of the crime. The Star Masters traveled to the Hub, where they continued their exploration for the truth. They eventually discovered the true murderer was Lord Votan. Xenith and the Star Masters set off in pursuit but were stripped by Votan of their will to fight back and imprisoned. The prisoners devised a plan to free Quasar, by using Tana Nile (who had joined the adventure) as a conduit to channel their combined willpower. Once Quasar was freed, he kept Votan occupied while the others freed themselves. Xenith surprised Beta Ray Bill by lifting the enchanted Stormbreaker hammer and throwing it to him. This was a feat that can only be done by very few people in the universe. Votan was defeated and turned over to the Charter for punishment. Recently, Xenith was discovered to be a prisoner again, this time of the Shi’ar on the planet of Kr’kn. She was released after agreeing to join Vulcan’s New Imperial Guard. The Shi’ar ruler, brother of terran X-Men Cyclops and Havok, sought to create an Imperial Guard of killers that were loyal to him only. Xenith (now Strontian), a once heroic warrior, now sought to bring vengeance down upon the head of her cousin Kallark. Vulcan exploited her anger to influence her into killing his brother Havok and the Starjammers. Despite two failed attempts, Strontian continued to lead this branch of the Imperial Guard into War of Kings, during which they murdered hundreds of Nova Corps recruits. She was finally captured by Nova and his brother Robbie, now a Corpsman. I usually look for the good in these aliens, and obviously that is how this super-woman started out. But it seems her dark side has taken over, and if and when she escapes the Nova Corps brig -- look out, Marvel Cosmos!