Wendell Elvis Vaughn was born in Fon du Lac, but raised in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He had served in the army with distinction, eventually being promoted to Lieutenant. Wendell had applied at SHIELD with the intent to be a field agent. Vaughn graduated will full honors, but his records showed that he lacked a certain ‘killer instinct’ required to be a good field agent; instead was placed on security detail for Stark International.
He was posted at the main door to the lab and while there, watched as test pilot William Wesley was shown a pair of bracelets apparently made of a highly durable metal named as the Power-Bands; Unfortunately Wesley was unable to remove the bands and was killed by an energy emission. A.I.M attacked at that moment and Wendell’s first thought was to protect the by-standing scientists, one of whom was his father. They both ducked down behind the console that held the bands in clamps and Dr. Vaughn was horrified as he watched his son put the bands on his own wrists to protect them.
Wendell saw an atmospheric dome covered city; and felt an ancient alien intelligence before single-handedly defeating the AIM attack force. But over the course of the battle his control of the Bands was faltering just as it had with Wesley earlier. In order to protect the scientists and his fellow agents, Wendell flew as high as he could to minimize the damage caused by his probable explosion. He calmed down and went with the flow of the energy currents. He was astonished when the energy build-up dissipated as he calmed himself. His lack of ‘killer instinct’ had actually saved him. Nick Fury offered Wendell a new job and he became a founding member of the SHIELD Super-Agents.
Wendell Vaughn made his appearance in Captain America volume 1, #217 in 1978. He was created by Roy Thomas, Don Glut, and John Buscema for use in Marvel Comics.
Essentially, everything about the character other than his first appearance (such as his origin, personality, his pacifism, his middle name, and his appointment as Protector of the Universe) was created by Mark Grunewald, who not-coincidentally penned the vast majority of Wendell Vaughn's appearances. With Quasar, Mark was quoted as saying: "[he] was finally able to write his 'own kind of hero".
Major Story Arcs
Agent of SHIELD
After joining the Super-Agents of SHIELD, Wendell was named Marvel Man and began training with the Falcon along side of the Texas Twister, Vamp, and Blue Streak. However when Vamp and Blue Streak turned out to be double agents and the Texas Twister quit, which left Marvel Man to assist Captain America in rescuing the Falcon from the Corporation which was responsible for Vamp and Blue Streak. It was during this mission that Wendell showed Cap that he had great potential. He changed his name to Quasar when a group of children laughed at his Marvel Man code-name. Quasar became chief of security at Project: P.E.G.A.S.U.S. with Captain America's recommendation.
During this time, Wendell assisted Spider-Man in capturing the Lightmaster who had possessed the "Power-Bands" (and therefore Quasar) to reconstitute his body. He later teamed-up with Aquarian, Bill Foster, Thundra, and the Thing (forming a lasting friendship with the latter) as they battled to protect the project from the Nth Man and evil associates of Roxxon Oil. (see: The Saga of Project PEGASUS) He also assisted the Mutant Dazzler in coming to terms with her powers. The two even shared a mutual if brief attraction. Quasar eventually fell victim to the Serpent Crown only months later which had already corrupted the rest of the Project. Only the interference of the Thing, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and Scarlet Witch averted certain disaster. Quasar, blaming himself, tendered his resignation. Putting his costume away, he spent several weeks at his mother’s house in Wisconsin.
His father soon came up with a dangerous plan. Wendell would fly to the planet Uranus without any sort of spacecraft, where the power-bands were apparently constructed according to Robert Grayson, Marvel Boy of the 1950’s. The drug cocktail Wendell had been injected with slowed his bodily functions to a crawl and induced a coma-like suspended animation. Four years and nearly 1.8 billion kilometers later, Quasar found himself awakening as he neared the seventh planet.
He quickly identified something reflective on the surface of the planet which was the domed city he had seen all those years ago, finding the city largely decimated ans it's population flash frozen. It was then that Deathurge made his presence known intending to “help” Quasar succumb to his depression by killing him. After a brief chase in which it became clear that Deathurge could not be harmed by someone who was considering death as an alternative whether consciously or unconsciously, Quasar was seemingly killed after Deathurge shot him several times with ebony arrows.
Protector of the Universe
Quasar found himself no longer on Uranus, where a what appeared to be a tree with a face and a giant eye spoke to him. Calling itself Eon, it claimed to be over eight billion years old, and to be the offspring on Eternity. It went on to say that it was responsible to make sure that life continued to thrive in the universe and to that end it was to appoint a universal protector. The most recent in a long line of Protectors died from the ravages of what the humans call Cancer. His name was Mar-Vell. Eon also said that the ‘Power-bands’ upon Wendell’s wrists are known as the Quantum Bands; they are not only powerful tools, but are traditionally the symbols of the station of Eon’s chosen Protector. It explained that Wendell had the necessary attributes of Intelligence, Courage, and Resourcefulness to be a worthy successor to Captain Mar-Vell as Protector of the Universe. Eon accompanied Quasar back to Earth. Quasar now fully aware of the capabilities of the bands, quantum-jumped back, reducing a four year journey to fifteen seconds.
Wendell Vaughn quickly set up shop in Four Freedoms Plaza as a security consultant both for income and to cover his cosmic duties.
Shortly after his showing of power against the menace of Super-Nova in Chicago, which not only had the East and Avengers West Coast responded to, but the Fantastic Four as well, Captain America showed an interest in a young Quasar and after several tests that included a flight speed test where Quasar flew to the moon and back in under 10 minutes (This means he would have to maintain an average a speed of 2.8 million miles per hour without teleporting! He also during the fight with Super-Nova flew from New York to Chicago in 15 minutes- which means he would have had an average maximum speed of 2,850 mph within an atmosphere) and a combat test where he held his own against Firelord, former Herald of Galactus. Because of this, Captain America personally asked him to join the Avengers.
Journey into Mystery
Quasar welcomed the Ex- Squadron Supreme to Earth-616 after the Nth man had very nearly absorbed their entire universe. They were stranded with no way back. Their arrival however restored the amnesiac Overmind, who promptly took over their minds and took them to the Stranger’s world. They were rescued by Quasar, who had previously protected his mind from mental takeover with the Quantum-bands after his battle with MODAM. During the chaos the specimens on the Lab world were freed en-mass. Finally Quasar and the Stranger were able to defeat Overmind. Quasar solved the Oblivion Plague which has struck the Watcher population, thus saving them from self-imposed genocide. The Squadron were restored and returned to Earth with Quasar. During this time, Wendell's father, Gilbert Vaughn suffered a stroke and died. This was caused by the Cosmic Assassin. In an effort to protect Wendell, Eon animated Gilbert's corpse to create the illusion that Gilbert was still alive.
Shortly thereafter Quasar encountered the Unbeing and Origin. Two entities that was responsible for all the meta-beings in the universe. Unbeing on the other hand, was the instrument of how many of these same people had been forgotten over the years. Quasar managed to protect Origin from the Unbeing by destroying the Unbeing's current physical form retroactively replaced his old one altered by Eon when he became the Protector of the Universe. Around this time he assisted the Avengers against the Tertrarchs of Entropy and the Collector. Later he, along with the Avengers assisted Alpha Flight during an alien invasion of Canada, where he met Her for the first time.
Cosmos in Collision
Quasar checking on a energy reading heading toward Earth found Jack Of Hearts leading a rag-tag group of tethered spaceship hulls. He confronted Jack, who responded with naked aggression having taxed his powers and patience to the limit on his trip from the Stranger’s lab world. After a brief struggle Jack found himself betrayed by two other members of the entourage the Presence and Starlight (formerly Red Guardian II). The Presence attempted to kill Quasar outright, but when Jack refused to take part in murder he blasted him instead. Then with a close-range blast to the temples he thought Quasar dead. However Quasar quantum-jumped at the last possible second. Finding that the Presence was heading Earthward in one direction and badly damaged Jack in another, while the tethered refugee ships headed into the atmosphere in another threatening to burn up. He caught up with the ships as they entered Russian airspace and he rendered them invisible to radar and planted them down in Siberia. He questioned the occupants of the ships and found that despite their very alien appearances in some cases they were all very human. He then found that Eon was under direct attack and was forced to leave them there.
He radioed ahead to the Fantastic Four, telling them that a couple of cosmic level menaces were breaking into a lower level of their building. The FF was able to capture Starlight, and Quasar was able to arrive in time to protect Eon by trapping the Presence in the trackless Quantum-Zone. Feeling that he had saved his mentor from the “Cosmic Assassin”, Quasar decided it was time to celebrate. He instead found Kayla, who he was just starting a relationship, with in the arms of his best friend, Makkari. He left the scene without a word to either of them. He traveled to his father's house and found him dead on the kitchen floor. He learned to his shock that his father had been dead since before Quasar visited the Stranger’s Lab world. Quasar felt betrayed. Eon chose to animate him because he was certain that the Cosmic Assassin had killed him to throw off Quasar’s mental stability, and Eon was not convinced that the Presence had been the threat that Quasar had been appointed to combat. Quasar quit as Protector and told Eon to stay out of his life.
Malcolm Stromberg, a wealthy philanthropist wanted to gain the services of Vaughn Securities and that he knew Wendell Vaughn’s identity as Quasar, saying in no uncertain terms that he would have Quasar’s Quantum-Bands or he would kill Quasar's friends. Not knowing what else to do Quasar attacked only to find his beams bending around Stromberg. Malcolm Stromberg then revealed himself to be none other than Maelstrom, the Cosmic Assassin. Shortly thereafter, an energy manifestation of Mar-Vell appears to Quasar and speaks for Eon, saying that despite that he was facing death now, he was a worthy successor and that he surpassed all of Eon's expectations. He then departs saying only "Goodbye, brother." Later, an energy manifestation of Gilbert Vaughn appeared and explained his aloofness to his son saying:
“Wendell, you know that I was never any good at expressing how I felt. But I’m telling you now that I was proud of you, son. Maybe a little jealous, too. Each generation wants their progeny to do a little better than they did—but what you achieved was just so much better than I could have hoped to have accomplished… it was hard to accept…”
“… I’m very proud of you, son. I’m sorry you had to wait until I was dead to hear it… …I love you.”
And with that Dr. Gilbert Vaughn vanished.
Quasar was greatly strengthened by these visits and was now ready to face his death. It was then that Phobus appeared with an energy whip. Saying he was going to whip Quasar a mere 39 times and needed Quasar to keep count for him. Phobus proceeded to whip him, but Quasar refused to keep count, only repeating "One". Phobus enraged by this, could not keep count and whipped Quasar innumerable times. Exhausted, Phobus left satisfied, and Quasar was left dying.
It was then that Wendell Vaughn's own personified version of Death manifests before him: Kid Reaper.
Kid Reaper ended that last little ember of lifeforce that Wendell was still defiantly clinging to with a sudden stab to Wendell's heart with his scythe.
Much later, an energy wraith manifestation bearing Quasar's appearance and seeming to be in some sort of trance simply floated out in the outer void. Kid Reaper suddenly appeared nearby and openly questioned the energy manifestation as though it was truly Quasar. Awakened from his stupor, Quasar asked Kid Reaper what this place was and why he wasn't dead. Kid Reaper pled ignorance saying that "Nothing like this had ever happened to him before". In a flash, Quasar realizes that Eon is still in danger and that it is his duty (even in death) to protect him. Quasar asks Reaper to hold open his cape. He says he finally knows what it is for." and he travels into it- using it as a portal.
Quasar along with Kid Reaper quickly arrived at the base of Eon’s brain, which is about the size of a planetoid, where Maelstrom reclines in a (Quantum-created) chair and has created various probes into the gray matter. Maelstrom hears Eon explain where Quasar should fire a blast that would result in immediate death for Eon. Maelstrom howls in rage at the sudden re-appearance of his adversary and attempts to blast him into nothingness (with the recently acquired Quantum-Bands), but since the energy-wraith Quasar is made from the same energy type that the Quantum-Bands produce the beam passes harmlessly through him. Quasar believing that it was Eon who was animating his form asked Kid Reaper to alert the Avengers to Maelstrom's threat and Kid Reaper agrees. Quasar responds by heeding his mentor’s wishes and firing a devastating bolt of energy right into Eon’s Brain stem.
When the dust clears, there is a gaping crater where Eon's brainstem used to be. Maelstrom howls in rage at apparently denied the secret of Cosmic Awareness. Quasar to his surprise still existed and found that his awareness is expanding as stars start to form on his face. Maelstrom understood that Eon had in his last act given the secret of Cosmic Awareness to his protector and quickly demanded that Quasar give it to Maelstrom. Knowing that Maelstrom could not threaten him anymore, Quasar refused. Changing tactics Maelstrom quantum-jumped out of the Eonverse to orbit of Earth where Quasar and Kid Reaper followed him.
Maelstrom halted the rotation of the Earth using his own power, the power of the anomaly and augmented that power with the Quantum-Bands, saying he'd only free the planet from imminent destruction only if Quasar would release Cosmic Awareness to him. Unable to gamble with his own home planet, Quasar retreated to the Quantum-Zone, leaving Kid Reaper behind.
It was then that Maelstrom revealed that he already had Cosmic Awareness and simply wanted Quasar to give his up. Maelstrom then sent Kid Reaper back to the realm of Oblivion.
Maelstrom uses his mastery of Kinetic energy backed by the limitless power of the Quantum-Zone to create a super-black hole at a point he arbitrarily decides is the center of the universe. The black hole quickly grows to dwarf most average sized galaxies. And with Quasar in hiding, and his plan proceeding apace, Maelstrom takes the time to taunt Galactus, Thanos (who was at the time wielding the Infinity Gauntlet), and Arishem the Judge of the Celestials.
Watchers (probably mostly those displaced by the black hole) have come to the site of the Black Hole to watch what is likely the very end of the universe, Galactus and his herald, Nova have also appeared near the event horizon, several different species have sent emissaries to see first hand the devastation; finally the Prime Celestial Host arrive, all powerless to do anything, they have all come simply to watch. It is then that Infinity makes her presence known she augments Quasar so that he and Maelstrom are on even terms; Oblivion tells her that it is time that a new deal is struck between the forces of life and death. Infinity regretfully agrees. The battle is met and they find that they are indeed too evenly matched, which means that there is no way to stop the black hole.
Quasar and Maelstrom stand deadlocked firing blasts of unimaginable amounts of energy at each other even as Infinity and Oblivion mirror their battle on much higher planes of existence. Maelstrom explains that the longer they battle the more of the universe the black hole will consume so than even if Maelstrom cannot win their battle, he will win his war against all life. Quasar focuses his Cosmic Awareness on the conundrum and realizes that he might have one advantage over Maelstrom.
Quasar tells Maelstrom that he has something to show him and Quasar’s costume changes briefly. Under the onslaught of energy Maelstrom barely notices so Quasar shows him again. Quasar costume changes to his previous costume that the cosmic entity Origin had retroactively removed from reality when Quasar had protected her against the Unbeing. What would otherwise be a simple costume change was actually a physical paradox that sent ripples of temporal anomalies down the time stream. This simple fact made Quasar a more powerful anomaly than Maelstrom. Maelstrom shocked by this fact loosed his concentration upon the Quantum Bands for only a moment, but that was all it took before the Quantum Bands consumed him. Quasar then reclaimed the Quantum-bands.
With Maelstrom destroyed, all the energy and power he had accumulated was released back through the Black Hole which reversed its flow. The universe was safe and Infinity, Eternity, Oblivion and Death negotiated a new balance between their powers as they represented the four cosmological points of creation. Quasar took the opportunity to use Infinity’s power to restore Earth’s rotation, resurrect himself, and create a new costume.
Fresh off his defeat of the Cosmic Assassin, Quasar returns to Four Freedoms Plaza to check in with his friends. Quasar returns one last time to the Eonverse to pay his last respects to his fallen mentor. He says a few words of regret for its passing, but is interrupted when he detects energy readings within the Eonverse, noting he’s not alone, he goes to investigate.
Finding a starship that more resembles a cathedral spire than a space ship, he is greeted by what appears to be an alien cadre of priests known as the Mourners. They claim they have arrived to mourn the cosmic loss of Eon. Quasar can detect no weapons aboard the ship and they seem to be forthright so as the closest thing Eon has for kin, Quasar allows them to carry out their ritual. Quasar is directed to sit and during the eulogy he finds that he is more moved by the Mourner, Fath’s words about Eon than he was over the priest’s words at his father’s funeral.
It is then that Thanos appears and disrupts the proceedings. Quasar tells him to leave, and it devolves into a fight. Despite that Thanos possesses the Infinity Gauntlet he has no interest in killing Quasar (not yet, anyway), so, Quasar holds his own and directs 100 megaton blast right between Thanos’ ears. As a parting gift Thanos reanimates four former wielders of the Quantum-bands: Galakandar, Ree, Tantra, and Marvel Boy- collectively known as the “Quantum-Banders”. He instills in each of them a hatred for Quasar and the knowledge that if they kill him, the one that survives will be Thanos’ Protector of the Universe for all time.
Unbeknownst to Quasar, Thanos has opened all the portals from the Eonverse to the universe and turned Eon’s immense body inside-out. This has caused Eon’s body to come pouring out of each of the portals, including the portal in Four Freedoms Plaza.
Back in the Eonverse, Quasar attempts a “total energy drain” on the Quantum-Banders but is caught by surprise when they slam a pair of Quantum-slabs the size of trucks in an attempt to crush him. They briefly discuss which of them will win the honor of being the last Protector, since they are cooperating in killing Quasar they agree that they will fight it out until the last one is alive will be Thanos' Protector of the Universe'. Trapped, Quasar briefly considers giving up, but he overcomes it and manages to escape after hearing a call for help that sounds a great deal like Eon. He Quantum-Jumps into the Quantum-Zone and waits for them. He figures that if the ‘background noise” of the Q-Zone can cover what he is attempting then he stands a chance. He begins concentrating on his connection with all fourteen gems of the bands and opens them to their fullest. The three remaining Banders come and he surprises them by overloading their Quantum-Bands with too much power. They are disintegrated and Quasar returns to the Eonverse. There, Quasar begins to notice how sparse the Eonverse is of Eon’s body and again hears the call for help. He is however attacked from behind by a recovered Marvel Boy. Quasar quickly makes clear that Marvel Boy is not in the same league with a Protector of the Universe by swatting Marvel Boy away.
He later took part in what became a massacre on Thanos' stronghold in space (wearing the older costume that Origin gave him), where Thanos willed the Quantum-bands to explode, then to put Quasar out of his misery, Thanos disintegrated him. Quasar was later resurrected along with the rest of Earth's heroes when Nebula restored everything to how it was twenty-four hours earlier.
Her (later known as Kismet) makes her presence known as she seeks the ideal mate among the various male super-heroes of Earth (Having recently met Adam Warlock and realizing they were a poor match as they are genetically nearly identical). She rules out Mutants as their DNA is too unstable. She goes about planting cocoons of her genetic material upon the back of the neck of any super-powered male that impresses her genetically, she chooses Hercules, Wonder Man, Hyperion, Ikaris, Doc Samson, and Gilgamesh to this end. Quasar attempts to intervene since he's had more experience with her than most and he is the only Avenger capable of matching her flight speed and catching her. She at first disregards Quasar as he has no power of his own, it emanates from his "wrist-weapons". She only decides that he is a worthy potential mate when he displays impressive control of his power and resourcefulness in catching Her, also a great deal of honor when he defends her against a jealous Moondragon and a mind-controlled Jack of Hearts.
The Star Brand
Quasar found himself in a New Universe, discovering that he no longer had a direct connection to the Quantum-Zone or to Epoch, he only had the power that was in the Bands when he crossed-over. He flew to the Moon and found no Watcher (nor Watcher's portal to get home) there. He interacted with various inhabitants and found that there was a power source that was the most powerful in that world called the Starbrand, which could have the power to return him home. After finding the Starbrand on a retired Air Force pilot named Jim Hanrahan who had vowed never to use it, Quasar explained his situation and asked for the Brand. Jim not fully trusting a stranger wanted proof of Quasar’s sincerity, so they sat and exchanged stories for most of the evening. Finally, exhausted, Jim offered Wendell the Starbrand. It indeed gave Quasar the boost he needed to return home. When he arrived back at his office he embraced his then girlfriend, Kayla, he accidentally transferred the Starbrand to her, thinking it burnt out in transit, Quasar didn’t give it a second thought. Unbeknonst to Quasar, he kept a small fraction of the power.
Operation Galactic Storm
Soon the Kree/ Shi'ar war erupted. Quasar was able to send envoys of Avengers to both sides in an attempt to have them end the war, while Quasar himself protected Earth’s solar system from reprisals. Quasar failed to catch a Kree starship leaving the Sol system through a stargate and a large solar flare obliterated the ship's trail. He inquired about the massive flare activity with the scientists of the Starcore solar observatory just outside the orbit of Mercury. They informed him that the sun was indeed acting highly unusual. He received as distress call on the Avenger’s frequency from Starfox that alarms at Mar-Vell’s tomb had been tripped. Quasar quantum-jumped to Titan in orbit of Saturn, leaving Her at the stargate. He met up with Starfox and they discovered Dr. Minerva and Captain Atlas attempting to plunder the Nega-Bands from Mar-Vell’s body.
No sooner had they found the Kree agents did the entire Imperial Guard attack. Realizing that Minerva and Atlas would be brutally cut down if he didn’t protect them, Quasar created shields for Starfox and Dr. Minerva, but Captain Atlas had vanished. Quasar created a pair if nunchakus and charged the biggest Guardsmen which turned out to be Titan and Gladiator. Quasar was however shocked when he simply phased right through them as though they weren’t there at all. As he was distracted he was blinded by Manta. Out of instinct he armored up and interfaced mentally with the Quantum-bands he found that the bands could not detect the vast majority of the Guardsmen, they were simply false images created the Guardsman Magic who was quickly disposed of by Dr. Minerva. Quasar found himself under attack by Impulse, but Quasar accidentally breached his armor and Impulse discorporated. Manta fell victim to Starfox’s charms.
Quasar manages to jump to the location of the starship, leaving Her to defend the stargate. He drills into the ship’s hull and demands the return of Captain Atlas and the Nega-Bands. When Shi’ar question why they should give up either when they greatly outnumber him, Quasar points out that he is more than capable of doing more damage to the ship’s hull. The Shi’ar fearing the destruction of their ship (since the vast majority of them cannot breathe in a vacuum) releases Atlas, but had transmitted the Nega-Bands to a Shi’ar world already. On the way out Quasar damages the ship’s star-drive. Back at the Sol system star gate, Her is standing guard as the immense Nega-Bomb comes through the gate from the Shi’ar end. Thinking fast she creates a chaotic latticework covering the star gate, hoping it’ll give the Captain of the Skrull starship leading the Nega-Bomb through some pause.
Finally, with all the anti-matter and sun-spots gone, Quasar moves to leave, but then realizes that the entity is still there and making no attempt to escape. He moves to it and recognizes the energy signature of Binary. Too weak to escape she is consigned to burn up within the sun. Quasar wraps her within his cape and flies out of the corona as fast as he can. He immediately Q-jumps back to earth and brings her to the hospital at Avengers headquarters. There he finds out that Binary was once known as Ms. Marvel and was an Avenger. Quasar then sets out to the Kree Empire to stop the Nega-Bomb, but he would be too late. He would be hit by the Nega-Bomb's shock-wave, but his quantum-aura protected him.
On course through Kree space Quasar finds the dead envoy of Avengers sent to Kree space and he continues on with their bodies safely ensconced in a Q-bubble. The Shi'ar envoy of Avengers finds Quasar and Starfox is able to revive the Kree envoy through his matter manipulation. On the near-dead throneworld of Hala, the Avengers reunite and attempt to come to terms with the destruction wrought by the Nega-Bomb. When it becomes clear that the Supreme Intelligence manipulated them all for this outcome a group of Avengers led by Iron-Man agree that Supremor is sentient machine construct that should be destroyed. Cap disagrees and the Avengers are divided on the issue. Iron-Man and his group depart to deal with Supremor. Quasar somewhat bluntly asks Captain America if he wants him to stop them. Cap tells him to let them go. When Iron-Man and his group return from their mission, Cap declares that nothing will ever be the same again. Feeling that he could have done more to stop the Nega-Bomb, Quasar quit Avengers active roster and set out into space to assess the devastation to the Kree Empire and more suitably protect the universe. There he along with Her and Makkari find that the souls of the fallen Kree have been absorbed by the Soul-Eater. Quasar manages to convince them to free themselves causing the seeming destruction of the Soul-Eater.
The Infinity War soon followed. After discovering Eternity catatonic, Quasar was asked by Captain America to temporarily return to active duty and was hand-picked by a temporarily reformed Thanos to fire the Ultimate Nullifier at their enemy, the Magus. Magus using a partly re-integrated Infinity Gauntlet wished the power of the Nullifier be turned on the bearer. Quasar found himself in the realm of Oblivion once again, Kid Reaper betrayed him and Quasar was sent to the White Room, a place were former Protectors go when they die.
It is during this time that the Marvel Boy duplicate created by Thanos reappeared on Earth claiming to be Quasar's replacement as Protector of the Universe. Calling himself the Blue Marvel and going to so far as to assume that he automatically deserved Quasar's spot on the Avengers roster. When Thanos sensed that there were forces at work attempting to resurrect Quasar, he sent the Blue Marvel destroy Quasar. Blasted with a quantum-construct cannon, Quasar was able to re-form through the power of the Starbrand. Quasar and the Blue Marvel fought for several minutes, and Quasar won through trickery and the fact that he was effectively immortal as long as he had the Starbrand. Quasar returned the Marvel to the White Room and left him there and then returned to Earth to ask the Avenger Thunderstrike to assist him in finding the Quantum-bands. They traveled to the moon and asked the Watcher for assistance, but Uatu would not interfere. He did however leave an image of the a nacient cosmic entity with the Quantum Bands within its fetal form. Quasar recognized it as the creature he had protected from the Soul-Eater days earlier. He eventually reclaimed the bands just as the power of the Starbrand residue burned out.
Eventually, the Presence returned, wanting revenge against Quasar for past misdeeds, blaming him for the death of Presence’s son Vanguard. He and his daughter ambushed Quasar and forced him to fake his death even as he had been planning to leave Earth. Exiled to space, he tried several times unsuccessfully to form groups, first with the Star Masters, where it was revealed that he was 'chosen' to wear the Quantum-bands because he had a very strong will, stronger even than the Silver Surfer or Beta Ray Bill. Quasar briefly returned to Earth to take a pivotal role in the Avengers' defeat of Morgan Le Fay, when he was the first to lend his considerable willpower to the Scarlet Witch as she challenged Morgan's power, and defeated her. Afterward he returned to space.
Along side Thor, Photon, Starfox and others formed Avengers Infinity; together they persuaded the Infinites not to end all life in the Milky Way galaxy in their quest to make a more perfect universe. During the Maximum Security crisis, Quasar saved Earth by absorbing Ego the living planet into his Quantum-bands. Shortly afterwards, he assisted the Fantastic Four along with Genis-Vell, Moondragon, and the Silver Surfer fought minions of Abraxas on earth's moon. Later, He was contacted by Reed Richards to help the FF retrieve Johnny Storm (who had traded powers with his sister) was acting as Herald of Galactus. During this encounter Quasar managed to stalemate Galactus long enough for Reed and Johnny. to come up with a plan to stop Galactus and turn him back to his original mortal form for a time.
Later, Quasar while stationed on the Avengers deep space monitoring station within the asteroid belt, picked up reports of incidents of extra-dimensional incursions. One where a powerful alien had appeared suddenly within Shi'ar space and the Imperial Guard was having trouble keeping him contained. Also, there were reports of invasion fleets of previously unknown species appearing out of nowhere and invading civilized worlds. He was able to scan the bio-readings of different groups of aliens and found they were all from the same universe. It turned out that walls between the 616 universe and another were being deliberately weakened. Later, Quasar returned to the Avengers to team with Photon to find an item of power on an extra-dimensional hunt against an other-dimensional League of heroes, mostly directly confronting one who shared Quasar's powers but in green, and an Amazon. Only the timely arrival of Iron Man through a boom tube saved Quasar and Photon from defeat.
Quasar saved Nova, Drax and a young human girl Cammi from crashing on Nycos Aristedes’ surface. It seems he is heading the evacuation of Nycos Aristedes from the forces of the Annihilation Wave. He is able to convince Nova to assist in the evacuation; it however turns into a desperate battle when Annihilus himself arrives. Realizing that the evacuees need at least ten minutes to safely retreat through a spatial gateway, Quasar and Nova attempt to hold off the Annihilation Wave at first, but then realize their only hope to stop the Wave is a ‘head-shot’ on Annihilus. ‘Kill the head, the body dies.’ As Drax put it. Quasar and Nova fly in and are immediately put on the defensive by Annihilus, Nova is knocked senseless, and Annihilus seems to feed off the energy Quasar puts up to protect himself. Quasar is seemingly disintegrated. Nova is able to recover and turn part of the Annihilation Wave against itself, forcing Annihilus to retreat, but not before claiming the Quantum-bands for himself. Suffering it's first defeat, the Annihilation Wave retreats from Nycos Aristedes, although it was a Pyrrhic Victory for the survivors.
Annihilus uses the Quantum-bands to augment his personal power in his quest for the Power Cosmic, but Nova challenges him one final time. Phyla, Captain Mar-Vell’s daughter is able to claim the Quantum-bands during the struggle turning the tide in Nova’s favor.
During Annihilation: Conquest, as Phyla learned to use the bands in a trial by fire against the Super Adaptoid she found that they had been corrupted by Annihilus' influence. She attempted to purge the Annihilus' corruption herself and would have lost if not for the timely arrival of what appeared to be the spirit of Wendell Vaughn, who fully vanquished Annihilus' influence from the Quantum-Bands.
(If Wendell exiled the corruptive influence to the Negative Zone it would partly explain what what would happen later at Project: P.E.G.A.S.U.S. during Secret Invasion)
The hero Nova later experienced a possible alternate future in which Wendell was seen in an Quantum-energy form advising the Nova Corps, including Gamora and Phyla-Vell who had given up the Quantum-Bands (a decision that Rider had apparently helped her come to) as they began the siege of the last Phalanx controlled planet: Earth.
During Secret Invasion, as Nova fought to protect Project: P.E.G.A.S.U.S., Dr. Gruenwald and Dr. Necker, along with Nova's younger brother Robert, sought to use the Xandarian Worldmind to open the Quantum Flask and awaken the exotic energy that had recently been extracted from the Negative Zone within it. Just as the Skrulls were about to overwhelm the defenses of the Project, the flask opened and the energy shot forth and spoke to Richard Rider, revealing itself as the Quantum-energy manifestation of Wendell Vaughn... reborn. In this form it seems Wendell will have powers similar to those of the Quantum Bands themselves, not unlike when he was reanimated by Infinity.
Quasar was later called to the realm of Oblivion by the Quantum-Bands with the death of their bearer, Phyla-Vell. There, he found Maelstrom wielding the Quantum Bands and preparing to feed Drax to the Dragon of the Moon. Quasar fought Maelstrom as they reminisced over their past interactions. Maelstrom pointed out that with Wendell Vaughn returned in the form of "quantum-light" and Maelstrom wielding the bands meant that Quasar stood next to no chance against him, Quasar did however distract Maelstrom long enough for Drax to cut off his hands. The Quantum Bands immediately returned to Quasar, but the Dragon was waking up. Quasar attempted to use a quantum-lance against it to no avail. It was then that Phyla-Vell freed herself along with Moondragon from the Dragon's gullet in spectacular fashion killing the Dragon. Wendell Vaughn attempted to return the Quantum Bands to Phyla-Vell who instead declared that he was 'Quasar' and he was the Protector of the Universe, she was just holding onto the Quantum Bands for his eventual return. Quasar then returned to earth to offer the Quantum Bands to Richard Rider in time to save his life.
Richard now wearing the Quantum-Bands is able to communicate with Quasar who has seemingly bonded with the Bands. Wendell assisted Richard as he assaulted Nu-Xandar and the Xandarian Worldmind. They succeeded in getting past Ego's defenses, but were surprised when they found it was Ego was seemingly in control, not the Worldmind- as Ego blasted Richard. Richard is able to fend off with help of Quasar's knowledge and mastery of the bands. He creates a quantum-sanctuary (in the form of the bedroom he grew up in) and learns from the part of the Worldmind that's still protected from Ego (in the form of images Ko-Rel and Rhomann Dey as they are the strongest personalities within the Worldmind's memory core) that not only is the Worldmind insane (partly because of the Phalanx virus' takeover of Richard but also because of Richard's disastrous encounter with Galactus, which nearly wiped all of the Worldmind's AI) because in its delusions it reached out for help and Ego answered. The Rhomann Dey image mentions to Wendell that he hopes that its not too troubling to learn that he and Ko-Rel are dead, Wendell quips that 'We've all died once or twice in the line of duty." Ego manages finally to break through the sanctuary and Richard takes off to re-claim the Nova-Force from Ego. After a long running battle with the Nova Corps which Richard only barely manages get through to the Worldmind to stop it from attacking him before reaching the Nova-Force. Richard (now Nova-Prime) tosses the Quantum-Bands to Wendell and blasts Ego with a gravimetric pulse that knocks it into a comatose state. After the defeat of the Shi'ar Praetorian Guard and a cease of hostilities of the Kree/Shi'ar war. Nova disbanded the vast majority of the Nova Corps and asked Wendell Vaughn to stay with the Nova Corps as tutor/combat trainer. Wendell declined, saying that he needed to find out what he had become in his rebirth. Nova reiterated that Wendell Vaughn is the Protector of the Universe. Richard Rider and Wendell Vaughn parted as friends and agreed that if either needed help that the other only need call. Quasar then presumably returned to Earth. It is odd that Quasar never mentioned his previous teammate Strontian formally known as Xenith on the Star Masters. Quasar investigated the Fault on behalf of Project: Pegasus, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Nova Corps and discovered the corrupted world at the far end. He arrived in that world's New York and was attacked by a large grotesque tentacled creature that attempted to consume Quasar. In a berzerker rage fueled by the power given them my darkness of their universe Thor defeated the creature which turned out to be Dr. Bruce Banner. As final sanction for all the destruction that he had wrought, Iron Man clawed out Dr. Banner's heart, to which Quasar reacted with disgust.
Days later, onboard the Starjammer, as the Imperial Guard explored the universe at the far end of the Fault, after narrowly escaping a dead bioship. The ship's sensors detected a highly energetic object moving at high velocities on an intercept course. Warstar and Neutron would in the exterior sensor array when the object collided with the Starjammer. It turned out to be Quasar, having survived his encounter with the Corrupted Avengers and escaped the horrors of that Earth, but he'd been on the run for days, and had been followed...
Eventually, Quasar and the Imperial Guard got free of the Cancerverse with the help of Gladiator and returned with proof of its threat.
Magus then sacrificed several planets that exploded to make the Fault even bigger. The Cancerverse was than ready to invade. Quasar joined Nova to help fight against the creatures of Cancerverse. Silver Surfer, Galactus, and other cosmic abstracts joined the fight to help against them. Just when things were looking up, the Cancerverse pulled out their own version of the Galactus Engine.
During this time Richard Rider (planning a possible one-way trip to the Cancerverse to permanently entrap Thanos) offered the majority of the Nova-Force and the ever-precious Worldmind to the only person he could trust with them: Wendell Vaughn. Thus making Wendell Vaughn the Nova-Prime and the Protector of the Universe (essentially putting his raw power-level roughly on par with the Silver Surfer or perhaps higher). Citing their friendship and the fact that Wendell had previously loaned the Quantum-Bands to Rider when he was needed them, he then returned that trust by making sure Nova-Prime’s power wasn’t missed in the upcoming battle.Using the combined might of the Nova-Force and the Quantum-Bands, Quasar successfully led the assault against the forces of life from the Cancerverse.
Then things got even worse in the Cancerverse when Thanos betrays the Guardians and allied himself with Lord Mar-vell. Thanos was then killed by Mar-vell which was Thanos' plan all along but before the ritual could begin, Death herself then entered and destroyed Mar-vell and rejected Thanos once again. This angered Thanos so Nova and Star-lord decided to stay behind to hold Thanos off long enough that he will be destroyed along with the Cancerverse. Nova would recall the power of Nova-Prime, but leaving the all-important Worldmind with Quasar. When the portal to the Cancerverse collapsed the link to the Nova-Force was lost and the Worldmind (presumably still within Quasar) went dormant. Nova sacrificed his life in a vain attempt to protect the universe from Thanos.
Quasar is a part The Annihilators, along with The Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, Gladiator, and Ronan. Quasar was the first recruited by Cosmo to fulfill Peter Quill's vision of a universe defended by cosmic heavy-hitters who were just as powerful and dangerous as the threats they faced. He is notable as the only human on the team. Their first act was defeating and forcibly removing Blastaar and his Negative-Zone forces from Attilan after they invaded it in a surprise attack just after the war with the Cancerverse. Shortly thereafter, Cosmo brought them to Knowhere to use as their base of operations They were in the midst of deciding how best to proceed (and what to call themselves) when Ikon suddenly appeared and demanded to know where the team was that she was going to lead.
Ikon explained that Quill had invited the Galadorian Circle to provide a Spaceknight to the team and as she was the greatest living Spaceknight, she was selected. She then immediately challenged each of them. She humbled Ronan, Gladiator, and Beta Ray Bill in quick succession. Quasar restrained her with Quantum-manacles, but she distracted him by telling him that the greatest warrior of the Spaceknights revered Earth and its native heroes. Quasar lowered his guard thinking she was willing to talk and she kneed him in the groin. After a bit of melee the Silver Surfer put an end to the hostilities. Ikon pointed out that they were all restraining themselves out of fear for damaging or even destroying Knowhere and that is how she humbled them. She did a moment however to make what was the first of many passes at Quasar.
Quasar pointed out how much damage the Annihilators could do if they continued to be attacked. Immortus scoffed at Quasar's word, but agreed to suspend his assault on the Annihilators but only because he had time to analyze Quasar. Immortus had compared Wendell Vaughn to future iterations revealed by the timestream. Immortus decreed that Wendell Vaughn must live if only for now and that the future would need him very soon. (we would later see that Immortus' word would have a profound impact on Quasar) With that, the Army of Ages and Immortus vanished. Wasting no time, Quasar, Surfer, and Bill combined their powers to bring Wraithworld out of Limbo and into the Galadorian system. As they arrived to the surface the freed Doctor Dredd (now revealed as a Skrull) wove a spell to bind and then remake them into a new race of Skrulls. Which was Dredd's plan all along. Using Volx as the heart of his spell he prepared to sacrifice her. Distracting the Annihilators with various summoned demons, but it wasn't enough. Dredd soon had to divert some of his attention from the spell to trap the team. This distraction allowed Volx to get close enough to strike him with her tongue spike which broke his entire concentration. Dredd and Volx were both seemingly destroyed as the spell explosively turned in on itself.
Surfer, Quasar, and Ronan wasted little time and flew to where the Galadorian sun was fighting a losing battle for supremacy against the Black Sun. Surfer explained that if they combined their power (Cosmic, Quantum, and Universal) they could merge the two suns into one. With this feat accomplished they moved Wraithworld to the opposite orbit of Galador. With the Black Sun crisis passed and Quasar's confidence in himself restored they returned to Knowhere.
The Annihilators following the lost of the Silver Surfer on Earth discovered a fleet of ships left over from Universal Church. Cosmo discovered that the Universal Church of Truth had established themselves on Earth and had found a way to resurrect the Magus. The Annihilators arrived on Earth and soon came into conflict with the Avengers after the church made it look like they were innocent victims that the Annihilators were attacking. Quasar and Spider-man soon revealed the Chruch's true identity to the public, but soon discovered the Magus was reborn into a small child and had found a way to spread his mind into several other small children before having his fleet broadcast his mind into almost 30% of the Earth's population. In a desperate effort, Ronan ordered hundreds of Kree Sentries to attack Earth and if they couldn't find a way to reverse what the Magus had done. Ronan would scorch the Earth to stop the Magus for good. Finally, Gladiator served as bait to the Magus' consciousness, figuring that his near-invincible form would serve better than thousands of humans. The combined effort of Ikon, Quasar, and Ronan rendered Gladiator unconscious while Tony Stark captured the Magus' consciousness within a modified Sentry and leave it in an expanse of space near Knowhere.
During Baron Zemo's assault on Pleasant Hill, it was revealed that Wendell Vaughn had begun to lose control apparently due to over-exposure to the Quantum-Bands and had contacted Maria Hill at SHIELD to keep the power of the bands out of the wrong hands, including his own. The bands were hidden in Pleasant Hill secretly under Vaughn's own watchful eye. Vaughn had his appearance by Kobik and his memories altered like the prisoners of Pleasant Hill. The main difference was Vaughn still had SHIELD clearance to access the Quantum-Bands should he feel it necessary. He only revealed himself to Avril Kincaid when she came in search for a weapon against Zemo's siege. Wendell Vaughn described the power of the Quantum-Bands as able to "cause the universe to tremble" and offered the Bands to Kincaid- choosing her to be his successor to the mantle of Quasar. With the Quantum-Bands, Kincaid turned the tide of battle by destroying Graviton's forcefield with a single blast. In the time following the battle, Vaughn trains Kincaid in the creation of quantum-constructs and openly calls her "Quasar".
What this development means for the station of Protector of the Universe or for Epoch remains to be seen.
Powers and Abilities
Quasar's Quantum Bands allow him to control all forms of energy and generate constructs of any shape including force fields, giant weapons and a suit of protective armor. The bands allow him to fly, create teleportation portals into the Quantum Zone and protect him from mental attacks/telepathy.
Primarily, the bands are tools for manipulating forms of energy. A bearer of the quantum-bands can affect, alter, absorb, and channel any form of energy found in the Electromagnetic spectrum, from Gamma Rays to Radio Waves, and this also includes visible light.
- Energy Constructs: The bands can construct anything the wearer can imagine from "Quantum energy", This energy is derived from the Quantum-Zone, although the bands can absorb energy from all known sources.
- Flight: The bands allow the bearer to fly in atmosphere or in space (surrounding the wearer in an energy aura to protect from air-friction or the vacuum of space), and can achieve incredible speeds (Wendell Vaughn once flew from New York Harbor to the Sea of Tranquility in under 5 minutes). Quasar was often clocked at near light-speed. Starhawk was estimated at traveling at "thrice light-speed" by Era, Eon's child in an alternate future.
- Teleportation: they also enable the bearer to quantum jump or create apertures between the fabric of space/time of various sizes. Allowing the wearer access to the realm of potential energy which the bands interface with known as the Quantum-Zone. A wearer can then travel through this trackless, featureless zone and emerge at a different point in our physical space light years away from his starting point only seconds later. His Quantum-bands would enable him to keep his bearings while in the zone and thus emerge where he wants to. He can cross countless light years in a single jump (Quasar regularly traveled from our star system to systems in other galaxies) if he so desires. Important note, however, she cannot quantum-jump within an atmosphere without ripping a hole in its ozone layer.
- Communications: The bands can detect, emit, and receive radio waves; thereby the bearer can communicate with other radio receivers. The bands can also create a “Quantum-link” which appears as a glowing golden sphere about 2 inches in diameter, which travels to the point of contact at warp speeds and connects with any communication device present allowing the bearer to carry on near-instantaneous communications even over extra-galactic distances.
- Altered metabolism: One previous bearer of the Quantum bands ( Marvel Boy) has been known to be able to augment his strength and stamina to unknown limits with the Quantum-bands. William Wesley was shown to be able to lift an automobile when he was field testing the "Power-bands". Quasar himself rarely exhibited this ability and only when it was needed. He once physically restrained She-Hulk by himself, whether this was a statement of his augmented physical strength or her own restraint is unknown, though she seemed to struggle against him.
- Mental protection: Despite the fact that the Quantum-Bands have no control over the mind or Psionics, at least one previous bearer (Quasar) had "programed" the Bands to protect his mind for mental attacks and takeover. So powerful is this protection that powerful psychics, such as Moondragon or the Overmind could not overcome it.
- Mental/Physical bond: The Quantum Bands bond with their bearer upon contact interfacing the bearer's mind with the Bands allowing for mental control. Permanently affixing themselves generally to the bearer's wrists, the flesh and bone within rendered indestructible so long as the bond with the bands persists. The bond can only be broken upon the bearer's death, at which point the bands could be removed easily.
- Worthiness: Similar to the hammer of Thor ( Mjolnir), a bearer of the Quantum-Bands must to be worthy. As the Quantum-Bands are tied to the station of the Protector of the Universe, the bands seem to require a calm mind lacking ‘killer instinct’ to learn to use them to their fullest potential. A bearer with the intent to commit acts of depravity and destruction will quickly find himself losing control of the energy output of the bands until they disintegrate him.
- Magic: The Bands cannot absorb it or resist it. However, an enchanted physical object will only be as strong as the object itself would otherwise be. Therefore, Thor's hammer (Mjolnir) will simply not shatter Quasar's forcefield like glass. Fortunately, magicians have no control over the energies he manipulates so, it evens out.
- Extradimensional energy: Quasar is susceptible to all persons using Darkforce. The Q-bands cannot create constructs to hold or resist darkforce energy. The Darkforce penetrates his energy like it wasn't even there. Also entities from the Negative-Zone (such as Annihilus) can corrupt the bands if wearing them.
- Kinetic energy: The Quantum Bands have no defense against someone manipulating it psionically. (Which is why Maelstrom overwhelmed Quasar so easily to begin with), but a bearer can resist a kinetically imbued object (such as a knife or a deck of cards) If a bearer of the Quantum Bands senses the attack they can throw up a shield to defend themselves with.
- Psionic energy: A psionic blast will cut through any quantum constructs like paper mache'. Fortunately, most psionic manipulators are susceptible to the energies of the Quantum-Bands, so it evens out.
- Matter manipulation: Foes who manipulate matter, psionically or otherwise, the Quantum Bands cannot effect their powers. They deal with energy, not matter. The Molecule Man, Sersi, Phoenix, Her, and theSilver Surfer, among others, affect matter in a way that a bearer of the Q-bands cannot. However, Her, Sersi, and the Silver Surfer use cosmic energy to power their matter manipulation abilities and therefore a practiced bearer could affect the energy source, but not the ability itself.
Real Name: Wendell Elvis Vaughn
Weight: 180 lbs
Apparent Age: Late 20's Early 30's
Wendell Vaughn of Earth-398 was known as Star-Knight and was a member of the Queen's Vengeance.
Wendell Vaughn of Earth-691 defended the Earth from the Martians when they invaded and conceived a child with Kismet. The child later became the 31st century hero Starhawk. Quasar had to leave Earth to tend to Kismet and their unborn child. He accidentally traveled to the Abrogate to return to Earth and was consumed by it's energy. He passed to the White Room forever guilty for his actions and leaving the Earth to its fate.
Wendell Vaughn of Earth-915 was chosen as the recipient of the power of Captain Universe to defeat the serpent-god Set. Combining the Uni-Power of Captain Universe and the formidable power of the Quantum Bands, Quasar grew fully as large as the Serpentine Elder God himself and was able to meet Set on even terms.
In the Ultimate universe Wendell Vaughn is a SHIELD agent and head of security for Project Pegasus.
In the Marvel Zombies earth, Quasar is a zombie and shown to be part of Sentry's team of Undead Avengers. It is mentioned that Quasar held Kitty Pryde underwater with a construct until she turned tangible and then Namor consumed her.
In this alternate reality, Quasar was (presumed) killed by Maestro in his rise to power. In his memory his distinctive starry cape was put on display for everyone to see by Rick Jones. What became of the Quantum Bands in this reality is unknown.
Wendell Vaughn was shown in the House of M reality as a SHIELD agent. It appeared as he didn't have any powers.
Wendell Vaughn of the 616 universe explored the far end of the Fault and found a parallel earth that had been completely taken over by what appeared to be the great elder gods of mythology. Moondragon later said that in this universe: "Life had won, and Death had lost."
The Quasar of this universe was simply known as "Vaughn" and was a lieutenant to Lord Mar-Vell as well as his liaison within the Revengers. Vaughn switched places with Quasar as they both investigated "The Fault". He later masqueraded as Quasar at Project PEGASUS and oversaw the construction of the horrorscope. He was trapped within Cancerverse when Lord Mar-Vell was killed.