Galaxy's Mightiest Heroes: Quasar
Can’t kill the Quantum Kid!
(Editor’s note: With the recently released promoimage for Thanos Imperative #3 featuring an assemblage of cosmic heroes, Cosmic Book News’ own Captain Cosmic, Managing Editor Byron Brewer, takes a look at each of the Galaxy's Mightiest Heroes!)
By Byron Brewer
It seems the Quantum Bands of Quasar have been passed around more these days than credit for the BP oil spill. Be that as it may, let there be no doubt that here at Cosmic Book News, we consider the one and only Quasar to be Wendell Vaughn of Earth. (Publisher Matt McGloin, the Cosmic Avenger’s primo fan, has it written into our contracts!)
Everyone cheered the ectoplasmic return of Vaughn to the pages of Nova a few months ago after his untimely death in Annihilation, and there was another small cheer let out around our CBN offices when Wendell somehow swiped Fault-Vaughn’s physical form and rad costume in a one-shot.
Now Quasar – the true Quasar -- takes his rightful place alongside other powerhouse cosmic champions in a war against the Cancerverse. His story continues to expand next month in The Thanos Imperative #3.
After a few appearances here and there (some as “Marvel Man,” no less), Wendell Vaughn came into his own with his first title in 1989, and what a great book it was as penned by the much-admired and much-missed late Mark Gruenwald with beautiful Paul Ryan art.
Unlike earlier-created cosmic heroes such as the Silver Surfer, Adam Warlock and Mar-Vell, Quasar began as an “everyman.” Also appearing as a member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in Avengers, Wendell served Mar-Vell’s old role as Protector of the Universe and fought many foes, including the Magus, Oblivion, Her (Kismit) and Maelstrom.
Gruenwald had some great storylines as the young Vaughn was tutored by the cosmic entity Eon, it which bestowed the “Protector of the Universe” title to Captain Marvel during his battle with the mad Titan Thanos. After Mar-Vell's death, Eon appointed Quasar as its champion, and sent one of its pseudopods to Earth with Quasar.
Eon made a doorway to its pocket dimension in Quasar's business office and befriended Quasar's father, Gilbert Vaughn. When Eon discovered Gilbert Vaughn's death, it determined to keep knowledge of it from Quasar. Eon reanimated Gilbert Vaughn, but had a falling out with Quasar when Quasar discovered the deception regarding his father's death.
It was soon revealed that Quasar was chosen specifically to combat an unknown threat to Eon's self and the universe, who ended up being Maelstrom assuming the aspect of Anomaly. Eon was attacked by Maelstrom and bade Quasar to kill him so that Maelstrom would not wrest the secret of cosmic awareness from it. Instead, Eon was killed by Quasar when Quasar blasted a hole in the most vital part of its brain.
Quasar over the following years became more and more involved in adventures of a cosmic scope, becoming perhaps the Earth man most familiar with ins, outs and beings of the Marvel Universe away from Earth-616, including the multiplicity of dimensions, alternates, etc.
In combatting the Annihilation Wave, Quasar apparently perished at the hands of Annihilus, who drains the energy from the Quantum Bands. During the Secret Invasion crossover, it was revealed that scientists had found some “exotic radiation” in the Negative Zone and extracted it. Bringing it to Project Pegasus, they “awakened” it with Nova’s help. It exploded from the “Quantum Flask” which held it and began speaking to Nova, calling him Richard. Nova mistook the voice for the Xandarian Worldmind at first, but then the voice was revealed as belonging to a resurrected Wendell Vaughn in a quantum energy form.
One quick trip to the Fault later, our hero is back in physical form, all powers seemingly intact, and is now among those ready to take on the worshippers of the Many-Angled Ones. It’s great to see this beloved hero back in action again!
The Thanos Imperative #3 hits stores August 11!