(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with cosmic comics and their 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’ll admit it. The first time I set eyes on the Starjammers in the pages of X-Men (their first appearance), the big dinosaur guy (Ch’od) was not the first thing I stared at in wonder; it was Hepzibah’s skunk tail! But then --!
Ch’od is one of the founding members of the Starjammers. Though he can be a fierce combatant, he is usually genial and friendly in social interactions (though his sheer size and lizard-like appearance can be intimidating to those unfamiliar with him or his species). Ch’od is often accompanied by his small, furry intelligent alien pet Cr’reee from the planet Lupus.
The big guy was born in the planet Timor(Varanus IV), in the Shi'ar Empire. Ch'od was once a slave on the planet Alsibar, where he met the other original three beings who would become the ”˜Jammers. When Corsair leads a rebellion, the group ends up operating out of a powerful starship and gains the membership of Sikorsky, an insectoid doctor.
Ch'od has been with the Starjammers through all their adventures, such as combating the alien Brood, helping Professor X gain an entirely new body, and being on the run from the Shi'ar Empire when they harbored its longtime ruler, Lilandra. The ”˜Jammers not only have the trust of the X-Men, but the Earth's other major super-team, the Avengers.
Ch'od and his fellow ”˜Jammer Hepzibah once sought the "map-rod" holding information on the location of the "Phalkon" power source, which was actually the Phoenix. (Falcon, get it?) The Starjammers went to Earth and met Excalibur, and later aided a rebellion against Deathbird on a Shi'ar border world.
For a time, he and his fellow Starjammers were imprisoned and replaced by the War Skrulls, who were attempting to conquer the Shi’ar Empire. The War Skrulls impersonated the Starjammers and key members of the Imperial Guard, until the X-Men helped rescue them.
Ch'od battled Wonder Man and the Vision while escorting a Shi'ar nega-bomb. Later, Ch'od and the Starjammers assisted when the Hulk needed help infiltrating the Troyjan Empire. Its leader, a warlord, was threatening the lives of the Hulk's friends.
The big guy suffered the death of his loyal friend Corsair (Chris Summers, dad to Cyclops and Havok) during the initial bout with Vulcan (brother of those same X-Men), who becomes majestor of the Shi’ar. He also endured Hepzibah's voluntary stay on Earth, although several X-Men remained with the Starjammers.
Ch'od experienced the loss of his right hand after trying to prevent the abduction of Lilandra by the Imperial Guard. He blames himself for failing to prevent the abduction. During a mission to rescue their empress, Ch'od and the Starjammers end up rescuing a team from the Guardians of the Galaxy led by Rocket Raccoon, who turns out to be an old friend of Ch'od and Corsair. (Who’da thunk it?)
Ch’od and Raza, along with the Imperial Guard, were among the first beings to explore inside the area of the Fault, a split in space/time.
I know that the Starjammers have gone through some membership changes and tough times, but I hope Ch’od and his free-booting explorer friends will be appearing in a cosmic saga soon.