(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with cosmic comics 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
How can anyone ever forget Shatterstar, one of the great characters artist Ron Liefeld brought to the mutant world to revitalize New Mutants, which quickly became X-Force under the direction of Cable?
Shatterstar comes from the planet Mojoworld (about a century in the future, as opposed to the Mojoverse which co-exists with the contemporary Earth dimension, making him a time traveler as well as a dimension-hopper) which is ruled by the alien tyrant Mojo V. There, Shatterstar was created to be a slave; he claims to have had no parents, only a "gestation chamber." He was genetically engineered to have enhanced physical capabilities so he could serve as an arena gladiator.
Shatterstar learned the arts of battle as a warrior in arenas on Mojoworld, where he participated in combats staged for Mojo's television programs. It’s assumed it was here he developed his strong sense of honor and pride as a warrior, to combat the constant violence and death in his life. Eventually he escaped and joined the Cadre Alliance, the rebel group that sought to overthrow Mojo V's dictatorship. From there, he learned the Cadre's language and began taking part in missions.
On one of these missions, Arize sent him back in time to Earth to find the X-Men and get their assistance in defeating and overthrowing Mojo. He did not find the X-Men, though. Shatterstar was either teleported or traveled back in time to Earth at the point just before Cable reorganized the New Mutants into X-Force. At first, he battled Cable, Domino and the New Mutants, but after they talked with him the mutants aided him against the Imperial Protectorate. With Cable's assurance that they would help him defeat Mojo (though with the use of time travel it was not urgent that they leave anytime soon) Shatterstar became a founding member of the new team, X-Force!
With X-Force on their first mission, Shatterstar battled the Alliance of Evil and first encountered the New Warriors. He battled Night Thrasher and Silhouette. With X-Force, the New Warriors, the “Muir Island X-Men” and X-Factor, he battled Proteus.
Later, Shatterstar discovered, to his bewilderment, that he also had the memories of an Earthling named Benjamin Russell. Soon afterwards, Mojo made Cable and Shatterstar his prisoners and transformed them into digital images for one of his television programs. In the course of the show, Shatterstar was mortally wounded in combat. Mojo's sometime ally Spiral teleported Cable and Shatterstar back into reality, where they regained their true forms. Spiral brought Cable, Shatterstar, Longshot (who was Shatterstar's ally on Mojoworld), and the X-Force member Siryn to the Weisman Institute for the Criminally Insane in Rutland, Vermont. There Spiral directed them to the bedside of one of its patients, a mutant named Benjamin Russell, who had no living relatives; he had been in a coma since his powers had emerged, and, curiously, looked identical to Shatterstar.
Longshot transferred Shatterstar's "uemeur," or soul, into Benjamin Russell's body, and the two became one. Apparently Shatterstar's body merged with Russell's as well, for the resulting body bore the starburst pattern that Shatterstar had around his left eye and his hair lengthened greatly. Restored to full health and consciousness, and feeling "whole" for the first time in his life, Shatterstar resumed his work as a member of X-Force.
Shatterstar is later seen in Mandripoor, earning his money by fighting in arenas. He was sought out by Spiral, who had one of her agents make Shatterstar believe she wanted to kill him. However, Spiral had previously admitted in an emotional confession to Cable, when he demanded that she reveal all that she knew about the answers behind the mysteries of Shatterstar's origin immediately after Shatterstar and Benjamin Russell had been merged, that both young men "meant more than life itself to her" before teleporting away. With a fake quest, Spiral lured Shatterstar to an alternate universe she had conquered and ruled. On that Earth, Spiral had also killed most of that world's heroes and mutants. That Earth's Shatterstar had been killed as well. He was found by that Earth's rebel forces, including Cable and some other members he knew from X-Force. Together, they eventually defeated Spiral.
Upon returning to the mainstream Earth, Shatterstar was contacted by Cable and requested to temporarily join him on a mission to defeat the Skornn. Shatterstar agreed, but first Cable wanted him to train with monks on MountXixabangma. After those monks were killed by Skornn's worshipers, Shatterstar was reunited with his old team and they eventually killed the Skornn.
Following M-Day and the passing of the Superhuman Registration Act, Shatterstar teamed up with Domino and Caliban (all X-Force members) to break “The 198” out of the encampment set up for mutants on the grounds of the Xavier Institute. They took the escapees to a secret base provided to them by Captain Americavia Nick Fury. While fighting O*N*E, he nearly killed Micromax, claiming that while there is no such thing as murder during war, he had only meant to disable him.
Shatterstar eventually returns, attacking Strong Guy and Rictor. With his hair cut off and his eyes glowing pink, Shatterstar appears to be possessed, saying only the name "Cortex." Shatterstar is broken out of his trance-like state when Cortex's control over him is interrupted. Upon recognizing Rictor, he kisses him passionately.
Following his reunion with Rictor, Shatterstar is seen along with him and Guido trying to apologize to Father Madrox only to have him kick all three of them out. Back in Detroit, Cortex confronts Longshot and the two fight. As Cortex attempts to gain control over Longshot he is startled that Longshot, like Shatterstar, is extradimensional (limiting his degree of control) and that the two men may somehow be related.
A great character is this alien Shatterstar and I hope to see him again soon, among the dimension- or time-hoppers if not in the X-World.