What the D'ast? Quantum
(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 CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
By Byron Brewer
I know that when Cosmic Book News’ esteemed publisher hears the word “quantum,” he thinks of power bands, his favorite bud Wendell Vaughn and the great cosmic adventures we all have shared with Quasar.
But as an avid reader of West Coast Avengers, I recall a different being entirely.
The Quantum I recall was an alien soldier from the planet Dakkam, one of the platoon of super-powered Dakkamite troops known as The Elect. The scientists of his race noted that exposure to Earth’s sun had given one Dakkamite renegade super-powers. They sought to exploit this by placing a platoon of soldiers inside specially-designed “incubator capsules,” which were then located close to the sun. Quantum awoke at the end of this treatment to discover that his powers had manifested, but that the rest of The Elect had already gone.
Searching for his comrades, he was summoned to Earth, becoming part of a super-villain team assembled by Graviton to resemble the United Field Theory. Halflife represented the weak force, Quantum represented the strong force and Zzzax represented electromagnetism. Graviton himself represented gravity, and promised Quantum that he would help to locate the missing soldiers. Graviton and his allies were defeated by the West Coast Avengers. Quantum, no longer believing Graviton's promises, fell from Graviton's high-altitude headquarters during a disagreement with Halflife and Graviton; Quantum abandoned the team and went his own way.
Although he didn't locate other members of the Elect, Quantum did find one other super-powered Dakkamite on Earth — the Aquarian, the now-pacifist whose powers had originally inspired the plan to enhance Dakkamite soldiers. Quantum considered the Aquarian, the son of a renegade, to be a traitor to the fatherworld, so Quantum attempted to kill him. However, Quasar intervened, saving the Aquarian, and used his abilities to distort Quantum's powers, trapping him as a trio of intangible duplicates. The whereabouts of his fellow members of the Elect, imprisoned on the Stranger’s Lab World (who wasn’t? lol), were later revealed.
Quantum reappears as one of the beings who have been subtly drawn to the planet Godthab Omega by the manipulations of Glorian, former acolyte of the Shaper of Worlds, during the Annihilation War. This is only a cameo appearance; Quantum does not speak and does not play a major role in the story, although he no longer appears to be trapped in an intangible form. The planet is later assaulted by Annihilus’ Annihilation Wave, killing many of the inhabitants.
It is unclear whether or not Quantum survived the attack on Godthab Omega. What is clear is that Quantum possessed enhanced strength and was highly resistant to harm, once saying that he had flown through the sun itself without injury. At some cosmic bar somewhere – perhaps on Knowhere – Quantum may be waiting for his next adventure in the Marvel U.