The creature who would call himself Maelstrom was the son of the Inhuman scientist, Phaeder, who was a scientific rival of then Inhumans king Agon, father of Black Bolt. Phaeder was something of a radical by Inhuman standards, he suggested cloning as a possible means to extend the lifespan of the Inhuman race, and the ruling council, led by Agon, voted to exile Phaeder. Phaeder sensing which way the wind was blowing, secretly cloned himself in order to fake his own death and vanished.
Major Story Arcs
Phaeder traveled to a small island in the south Pacific to continue his research in secret. There he discovered a fellow exile, Morga, but this lovely woman was a Deviant. Shunned for her (by Deviant standards) disgusting appearance, she was considered a rare beauty by Phaeder’s Inhuman eyes. Morga shared more in common with Phaeder then either of them knew, a geneticist as well, she added her knowledge to Phaeder’s work. The two eventually fell in love and their union produced a son, Maelstrom. Discovered by the Deviants, who not only hated Morga’s appearance, but feared a mixing of the races, quickly captured her and the infant, Maelstrom. Phaeder alone escaped. Morga was summarily put to death. Maelstrom was put in the slave pits. Eventually rescued by his father, they returned to a secret laboratory in the ruins of Attilan, where he and Maelstrom swore their revenge on the Deviants and the Inhumans. Upon Maelstrom reaching the age of adulthood, Phaeder exposed him to the Terrigen Mists, giving Maelstrom psionic mastery of kinetic energy. His power rivaled that of Black Bolt himself.
Against Earth's Superheroes
Decades passed, and Maelstrom soon surpassed his father in the area of genetics. In order to learn more, they traded advanced cloning technology to various super-villains, in return they would receive hard data of how their technology fared in the field. Phaeder and Maelstrom are thus indirectly responsible for many of the later actions of the Red Skull, High Evolutionary, and Magneto. Soon, Maelstrom took on the acolytes Phobius, Helio, and Gronk, from the ranks of the Inhumans and Deviants and calling them Maelstrom's Minions (or sometimes The Terrible Titans). But later, Phaeder grew too old and decrepit to likely survive the cloning transfer to a younger body, Maelstrom dutifully tended to him as he continued their research.
One of Maelstorm and Phaeder's associates, Dr. Hydro, used Terrigen Mists to transform humans into amphibians, against their wishes. The Inhumans sought to cure the humans, they were shocked to find that Terrigen Mists were involved. Finding this, the Inhumans the help of Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. Richards creates anti-terrigen particles to cure people who have been transformed into Inhumans, but this is observed from a distance by Maelstrom, who planed to get the anti-terrigen particles so he can take over Inhumans. So Maelstrom sent his minions in order to retrieve the anti-terrigen mist but the Minions are defeated by the Thing and Stingray and are captured. The canister however falls into the ocean which Maelstrom sought to retrieve.
The Might of Maelstrom
Falon, one of Maelstrom's minions, delivered the canister of anti-terrigen particles to Maelstrom. Maelstrom orders Deathurge to kill the captive Minions to prevent Inhumans from interrogating them and cloned them elsewhere. Regardless, this action puts Thing, Gorgon and Karnak on his trail, who manage to find their way into Maelstrom's lab but are defeated by hypersonic rays and they are held in place in a prison. Karnak manages to break free as Black Bolt arrives. Maelstrom holds his own against Blackbolt, but Phaeder dies in his sleep while the two are battling. Blackbolt leaves to stop the anti-terrigen missile as the Thing fights Maelstrom, but is completely outmatched. Thing defeats Maelstrom by throwing anti-terrigen mist on him which takes away his ability to absorb and manipulate Kinetic energy leaving him powerless. Maelstrom then order Deathurge to kill his current body so that he could escape the conflict into a new body. He also destroyed his laboratory, in order to prevent the Inhumans from studying his plans and findings.
The Ties That Bind
Maelstorm , somehow, stole a new body from Olympia, city of Eternals, is watching the Eternals explain the phenomenon of the Uni-mind, whose energies Maelstorm planned to siphon. The Eternals merge themselves into the uni-mind, while Maelstorm attacks and defeats Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) and Wasp (Janet van Dyne). Avengers then come to stop him, Vision tries to phase into Maelstrom but is stunned by the backlash of power. Vision uses solar blast against Maelstrom. Eros attacks Maelstrom which only makes him stronger. Maelstrom binds entire plethora of Eternals. Scarlet Witch hex and Captain Marvel (Monica) energy attack weakens Maelstrom then he asks Deathurge to kill him. It is revealed that Maelstrom has a new body in his lab where he will soon awaken again.
The epilogue of the story shows Maelstorm coming back to life in his new body, where he has figured out a more powerful source of Kinetic Energy for him to steal, the rotation of Earth.
Maelstrom, plans to steal Earth kinetic energy to turn himself into god so that he can avenge his father's death. He constructs a device, which would allow him to steal Earth kinetic energies into himself, gradually slowing Earth's rotation which would eventually tear the planet apart. He also resurrects his Minions to help him.
Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), who mistakenly ends up in Maelstrom lab, manage to hear his minions talk about Maelstrom plan, who warns the Avengers. Avengers fight and defeat Maelstrom's minion with minor difficulty but they are faced with a giant Maelstrom, having absorbed some of the kinetic energies of Earth rotation. Avengers try to fight him physically but quickly realize they are absolutely outmatched.
Vision manages to figure out that the rotating earth is far too great a source of kinetic energy for Maelstorm to tap unaided and hence a giant device on Maelstrom's lab, protected by force field, must be the equipment which is somehow controlling the amount of energy Maelstrom receives, feeding it slowly so that he can convert enough of it to extra mass to contain the rest. Vision gets Wanda to use a hex to super-charge the machine instead. This forces Maelstrom absorb more energy that he could safely contain, his body is hyper-enlarged, and soon his molecules are spread across the universe. The Avengers believe Maelstrom dead.
Cosmos in Collision
While Maelstrom was enlarged to the point where his body's mass was spread across the solar system, his consciousness was too powerful to destroy. He continued to enlarge, but still aware. Maelstrom, disembodied as he may be, begins to begins to draw his body back together. Eventually, Maelstrom meets Kronos (who is similarly enlarged), titan god merged with the very fabric of universe, who tells him about abstract entities, and Infinity in particular (which is understandable given Kronos was obsessed with Infinity). This gives Maelstrom a new purpose, to try and get power from being beyond his ken, the Abstracts entities, and eventually become a god recreating the universe and everyone else as his sub-ordinates.
Maelstrom sought out the abstract entity called the Anomaly and slays it stealing it's power. It is later revealed this was his biggest step because the power of Anomaly is what was going to prevent himself from being killed once he creates a gigantic black hole to turn the universe into a anomalous point, which would allow only the current, biggest, anomaly to survive and become a god.
Maelstrom converses with Oblivion, one of the prime Abstract entities in the universe and the very embodiment of nothingness and destruction, to form an alliance, where Oblivion would give him small bit of his power and knowledge and in return he would offer Oblivion the destruction of the universe. Oblivion agrees, and suggests Maelstrom to seek out a minor abstract entity Eon, so he could slay him and obtain the cosmic awareness from him.
Eon, however, foresaw it's approaching death, by the hands of a cosmic assassin and hence it appointed a new Protector of the Universe, Quasar (Wendell Vaughn) and charged him with preventing it. Maelstrom however had his own plan, and went to find and create an alliance with another servant of Oblivion, named the Unbeing, to temporarily unmake Quasar's heroic identity which allowed Maelstrom to arrive on earth undetected. The cosmic being and Oblivion's servant, Unbeing, however had a counterpart who served Infinity, called Origin who restored Quasar's identity however Maelstrom had already arrived on Earth.
While Quasar was aware that a cosmic assassin was to come for Eon, and that his duty was to stop the said assassin he had very little knowledge who the assassin was. This allowed Maelstrom to manipulate events, tricking Quasar into thinking the assassin he was preparing for was the Russian villain called The Presence. Having defeated the Presence, and believing him to be the cosmic assassin due to his attack on Eon caused Quasar to drop his guard.
Maelstrom also further weakened Quasar's relationship to Eon, by killing his father, Gilbert Vaughn, and knew that Eon would keep it secret to prevent Quasar from being distracted. When the truth finally came out Quasar felt betrayed and refused to serve Eon.
In the meanwhile Maelstrom having found allies in the form of his former love, The Weird Sisters. Maelstrom killed a business man named Malcolm Stromberg and stole his identity, which he used to pose as a client to Quasar's security firm. Maelstrom tricked Quasar into entering his house with his friends effectively turning them into hostages to use against Quasar. "Malcolm Stromberg" tells the gathering made of his own minions and Quasar's friends of his incredible origins. The fact that he is the only known Deviant/Inhuman hybrid is not lost on the Eternal Makkari.
Moondragon immediately senses something is wrong but she is held in check by Phobius. Moondragon finally throws a knife at Maelstrom who stops it mid-air, stops Makkari's heart, and cuts off Quasar arms, since the Quantum-Bands cant be removed while Quasar is still alive, stealing the Quantum-Bands, which Maelstrom needed to enter the Eonverse.
Maelstorm, with the help of Weird Sisters, unlocks the secrets of Quantum bands and then orders Phobus it kill Quasar. He then travels to Eonverse.
An energy construct with Quasar's conscience enters Eonverse, together with his personal death avatar called Kid Reaper. Eon asks Quasar to kill him to prevent Maelstrom from stealing the secret of his cosmic awareness, hesitantly, Quasar destroys Eon's brain however its too late and Maelstrom has already obtained the cosmic awareness he was looking for. Maelstrom then reveals his plans, he first wants to stop the rotation of the earth, then halt the expansion of the universe, and finally created a giant black hole to destroy everything.
Maelstrom uses his mastery of kinetic energy to halt the Earth’s rotation, which would hypothetically wipe out all life on the planet within minutes. He then offers Quasar a choice. He will free Earth if Quasar gives him the secrets of cosmic awareness. Quasar realizes that Maelstrom would only wreak even more devastation across the universe. Unable to make the decision to sacrifice the Earth for the greater good of the universe, Quasar retreats into the Quantum-zone. Maelstrom summons Deathurge after dispatching Kid Reaper and explains that he had already stolen cosmic awareness from Eon when Quasar killed him; he just wanted Quasar to give his up. Maelstrom then notes that they are being watched by Earth’s Watcher, Uatu. The Watcher pleads with them to stop their reign of destruction. Maelstrom directs Deathurge to cut out the Watcher’s eyes, but the Watcher vanishes.
Doctor Strange and a cadre of other mystics manage to keep the side-effects of rotation being stopped from doing much damage.
Quasar flying through the Quantum-Zone to regroup discovers his true benefactor allowing him to continue to exist beyond death. Infinity. She makes Quasar her Avatar and explains that Maelstrom has created a large black hole that will continue to grow until it completely encompasses the entire universe, leaving him as its single anomalous ruler.
Quasar returns to normal space and attempts to replace the matter and energy with the power Infinity has lent him as it is taken by the black hole. Maelstrom senses this and attacks him; Quasar maneuvers them into the event horizon of the black hole, destroying Maelstrom. Quasar then realizes his previous attempt would not be enough and throws himself into the maw of the black hole and attempts to release all the power at his disposal which could start a reaction that might reverse the flow of the black hole. However he is shunted to Oblivion’s realm, he is greeted by Oblivion and his new Avatar, Maelstrom.
Maelstrom is quickly augmented by Oblivion, and Maelstrom declares that they will thrash the Infinity-force out of him. 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 one to stop the black hole. Finally after several minutes Quasar realizes that his retroactively changed costume makes him more of an anomaly than Maelstrom, this minor fact throws off Maelstrom’s concentration and he is destroyed by the Quantum-bands, causing a chain reaction which causes the black hole to reverse itself.
GLA and Death
Later, Maelstrom returned to normal size after a brief stint in the microverse. He attempted once again to engineer the destruction of the universe, killing many of the Great Lakes Initiative in the process, but was tricked into suicide by Mr. Immortal. His soul was last seen being carried by Doorman (Deathurge’s replacement) into Oblivion’s realm, kicking and screaming all the way.
Maelstrom encountered Phyla-Vell and Drax in the realm of Oblivion. Taking advantage of Phyla's death to claim the Quantum Bands again. He was defeated by a recently resurrected Quasar and Drax. It seems Maelstrom is trapped within the realm of Oblivion until his master deems it necessary to release him.
He later appeared as a "spirit guide" for Phyla-Vell (which only she could see) and manipulated her into freeing Thanos from his regenerative cocoon and Thanos promptly killed her after Maelstrom "fired" her from Oblivion's service as it had found it's preferred avatar of Death.
Maelstrom can absorb, channel, and otherwise manipulate vast amounts of kinetic energy; this includes kinetic attacks made against his person. He could hypothetically absorb a full strength punch from Thor and redirect the energy transferred into an energy blast or simply use the blow to strengthen his own power without any ill effects. He can also use this power to shrink or grow to unknown limits. His stored kinetic energy is often visible as a glowing plume of energy about his body.
He has a certain measure of superhuman strength, but rarely exerts himself physically; he has learned to use his control of kinetic energy to augment his physical power. If he had a perpetual source of kinetic energy, his strength would know no limits, he has in the past used the energy created from the Earths rotation to power him, or simply stopped the rotation itself. Obviously, conventional attacks are useless against him.
At the time he was absorbing the Earth's energy, he was able to absorb Iron Man's repulsor blasts. When the Vision attempted to move through Maelstrom in a partially materialized state, which normally causes great pain to the target, it didn't affect Maelstrom at all, and instead seemed to cause feedback in the Vision. He created an energy field around Firefox, Hercules, and Wonder Man, which they were unable to penetrate physically, and which deflected Captain Marvel's energy form.
On two separate occasions Maelstrom has used the Quantum Bands to augment his already considerable power. On one of those occasions, Maelstrom completely ignored a full strength blast from the Infinity Gauntlet; though the fact that Maelstrom had taken on the powers of the cosmic-entity Anomaly may have had something to do with it as well.
Maelstrom is a genius in a multitude of areas of science, particularly genetics and biology, his level of comprehension and study is centuries ahead of current sapient knowledge.
Taken from various Marvel Handbook (Official Handbook of Marvel Universe 1983, Official Handbook of Marvel Universe 1986 and All New Official Handbook of Marvel Universe A-Z 2006)
Real name: Un-revealed
Aliases: Anomaly, Malcolm Stormberg, The Cosmic Assassin
Occupation: Geneticist, would be- conqueror
Known Relatives: Phaedar (father, deceased), Morga (mother, deceased), Ransak the Reject (son)
Maelstrom's creator: Mark Gruenwald has said that Maelstrom was created to be the arch-nemesis for Quasar back in 1981. The two would not come into contact until Quasar #21, which was not printed until 1991, ten years later.