Vance Astrovik was obsessed with space, so much that he legally changed his last name to Astro. After becoming a major in the U.S. Air Force, Astro volunteered to be an astronaut for the first long-term interstellar space mission. He was put into suspended animation and sent to the nearest star system, Alpha Centauri. On arrival, he found that humanity had beaten him there and that humans had settled the planet centuries ago. He also found that his metabolism had been damaged by a thousand years in stasis, and he could no longer remove his life-support suit.
Dazed by the shock of these discoveries, he insisted on carrying out his now-useless mission, wandering into the wilderness to catalog Centaurian life. When the alien Badoon attacked this world, they wiped out both the human colonists and all but one of the native Centaurians, Yondu. At this time, Astro discovered that he could release "brain-blasts" of destructive telekinetic power. Astro and Yondu would become members of the freedom fighters known as the Guardians of the Galaxy. Eventually, they led a rebellion that drove the Badoon from both the Solar and Centauri systems.
Vance Astro was created by writer Arnold Drake and artist Gene Colan and first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes #18 (1969). Vance Astro started calling himself Major Victory in Guardians of the Galaxy vol 1 #20 (1992) written and drawn by Jim Valentino.
Major Story Arcs
Quest for the Shield
Vance had long sought the weapon of his hero, Captain America. He and the Guardians used the Book of Antag, which contained clues to it's location. During their search, they got in a battle with The Stark. During the fight, Vance's suit was compromised, causing his body to begin aging the 1,000 years it actually was. Martinex was able to freeze the breach and with the help of Charlie 27, they formed a movable adamantium cast to contain the wound and make his right arm work.
They soon learned the location of the shield and were pitted against the evil Force by the sentient computer Main Frame. Vance was forced to battle their leader, Interface, who had the power to transmute elements. He easily removed Vance's protective cast, leaving him helpless on the ground and taking the shield for himself, believing he had finally obtained the ultimate weapon. But to his surprise, it gave him no power and he considered it useless. Vance managed to crawl to the shield and once in his hands it showed it's true power. Able to stand tall with it in his grasp, Vance told Interface that the power of the shield was that is was a symbol of truth and justice, something he could never understand. Having completed the test of his soul, Vance proved himself worthy of the shield and Captain America's legacy.
A new all adamantium suit was created with the same tech used to make the cast, thus giving Vance an extremely flexible and durable costume to protect him from further exposure.
Major Victory and Captain America's Shield
Having the shield changed Vance in a good way, although when he was asked by Martinex to lead the team once again, he declined. He said Martinex was a great leader and there was no reason for him to take charge. Martinex was also able to create quarters for Vance resembling his old room from Earth with an atmosphere that allowed Vance to remove his suit without the aging side effects. During this time he developed a deep love for Aleta, and she to him. But as soon as their relationship became official, Starhawk absorbed her back into himself. This made Vance furious as well as the other members of the Guardians. They all voted to kick Starhawk off the team.
The Guardians then went back to Earth, where Vance and the others reunited with Tarin and the Commandeers. They all opted to stay on Earth and help to bring peace back to it. All except Martinex who chose to go and try to recruit more members so there would be thousands to help protect the galaxy. After Martinex left, command was returned to Vance after Martinex's two years of leadership.
As he leads the teams out to the surface, Vance is struck down by the sniper shot of one of the Punishers. The Dragonite bullet was able to pierce Vance's adamantium suit. He was rushed by Hollywood to a stasis tank to prevent him from touching the air and decaying. His life was saved by the current Sorcerer Supreme Krugarr. With his magical powers and the ionic blood of Hollywood, he was able to cast a preservation spell and free him from his containment suit. He also used his powers to transmute the suit into a new costume to reflect his new persona - Major Victory. Though very enthusiastic, Vance sometimes made rash decisions. A valiant leader who wants nothing else put peace, he does not always see eye to eye with his fellow Guardians. Vance is very hard on himself, and still suffers lingering psychological damage from his time in suspended animation.
When Starhawk returned in his new "dark" form, Aleta was present. Vance could not seem to accept that she had returned, but in a man's body - one that Stakar could control at any time. Starhawk would cause Vance more anguish when he convinced the other Guardians that going back in time and destroying the Badoon was a good idea. Naturally, Vance did not see this as even an option. He believed committing genocide on the Badoon just puts them at the Badoon's level.
Back in time, they arrived during the Infinity War and had to face their evil doppelgangers. As soon as they were done, the fight over control of the Guardians resumed. Charlie-27 took command of the Guardians and left with the team for the Badoon home world Moord. The Major nearly warned the Badoon that they were in danger, but changed his mind at the last section. He doubted his leadership and his choices. But the advice he needed and hoped for was nearby - his idol Captain America.
Not only did Captain America give him some training with his shield, he gave him important advice about being a good leader. He told the Major to always stand by his teammates, regardless of how they conflicted or disagreed. He also gave him opposite advice regarding the shield - it's the man who commands respect, not the shield. But Vance still had his doubts in his decisions and in his leadership. He still lead the team and displayed more use of his psycho-kinesis powers. After returning to Earth to stop Doctor Doom and Rancor from reinstating Realitee-Vee, Vance turned the shield over to Tarin when she was appointed President so it would be the symbol the people of the United States needed.
Back In The Suit
Vance would have an encounter with the incredibly powerful being known as the Beyonder. The Beyonder told him that he had great power inside of himself and gave him a slightly different costume. The time would eventually come where the Beyonder needed Vance and the Guardians, having been disposed from his reality by Protege. Once the Beyonder transported them there, Mephisto attacked Vance, removing the spell Krugarr had cast that enabled Vance to be exposed to the environment.
As he began to age, the suit the Beyonder gave him encased his body and he unleashed his true power, even surprising Mephisto and Malevolence. Soon he and the others would be whisked away to witness the epic cosmic battle of the Hawk-God, Eternity and the Living Tribunal versus Protege. Protege was defeated and they were sent back to their universe. Also at this time, Aleta was rid of the Starhawk entity and chose to stay with Vance, the one she loved, only to now be reunited with him when he was once again entrapped in his protective prison.
Talon grew more and more insubordinate and questioned Vance's leadership and argued with Vance at every turn. Over time, he hinted more and more at taking Vance's position as leader of the team. Things went downhill when Vance ordered the team to ignore the quarantine on Mars to search for the serial killer Ripjak. Once they found him, he claimed to be after Bubonicus and only killed those infected with the plague that killed his people to stop the spreading of the disease. When Vance allied himself with Ripjak and left to face Bubonicus alone (his suit would protect him from the disease, but not the others), the others agreed to take some time off from the team. Once they returned, they would take a vote on who the leader of the team should be. During this time, Aleta and Vance attempted to rekindle their love and investigate the strange suit that Vance was now wearing, which was coming between them.
When the Guardians travel back in time to retrieve Speedball actually a time anomaly, they end up fighting the New Warriors, before their fight could conclude Speedball rebooted time and the New Warriors fought Omni-Sphinx (the combination of the male and female Sphinx) however it seems like Vance was lost in time and recently appear in the 616 timeline in an ice block and free by our time's Guardians of the Galaxy.
Earth- 616 and the new Guardians of the Galaxy
Vance found that he had no memory of his past nor how he came to be in the block of Ice. The Guardians escorted him back to their base where they then had Mantis begin working with him to help him regain his memory. During one of these sessions, a new threat arrived in the form of Starhawk. The two were drawn into battle, though Vance didn't understand why he was after him.
The team was soon drawn into the Skrull's Secret Invasion. The team suffered divided loyalties because of the Skrull infiltration of the Knowhere base. Though in the end they were present with Cosmo's blessing. When it came to light that Starlord had used Mantis to make the team more compatible, the team broke apart. When Rocket Raccoon puts the team back together, Major Victory was among them.
Currently, in the Thanos Imperative story arc, Vance has been captured by the Revengers. He is imprisoned in the Cancerverse, where the newly returned Mar-Vell has told him that he is an anomaly in the multiverse. When Black Bolt detonated a weapon known as the Terrigen Bomb during the War of Kings, it created a massive fissure in reality that was spreading rapidly. Adam Warlock was able to stop the expansion of the Fault, but to do so he overlapped time with an unused future, the future in which he became the Magus.
Although the universe had been saved, the Guardians faced a new threat in the Magus. While battling with Adam's evil side, Major Victory's containment suit was breached when the Magus threw his own shield at him. Major Victory was one of many casualties to the Magus, including Mantis, Cosmo, Gamora and Phyla. But this was just a trick of the Magus' and they were all taken captive and tortured in order to recruit them to the Church's faith.
During their escape, it was Major Victory who defeated the Matriarch, a leader in the Church of Truth. The team was also able to capture the newly resurrected Thanos. But an even bigger threat came through from the other side of the Fault - an evil, corrupted version of Captain Mar-Vell was planning to come into the universe and kill Death, infesting and corrupting every reality in his path.
Lord Mar-Vell quickly began searching for anomalies in the time stream in order the located the Avatar of Death, his key to destroying Death herself. Being an anomaly himself, Major was captured to be studied. He was later rescued when Nova along with a group of the greatest warriors in the universe arrived to battle Mar-Vell.
More recently, Major Victory and his team where forced to investigate a time-flux that had started to appear in the galaxy, causing many things to 'happen again', though with different outcomes. This caused the team to fight some battles that they already fought as well as not remembering certain events.
Powers & Abilities
Vance is a seasoned and inspiring leader. Following the ideology of his idol Captain America, he gains great confidence and inspires the best out of those around him. Vance is also a skilled combatant and expert pilot.
Vance has the ability to project psychokinetic blasts of force or Psyke-Pusher. Originally, this was a simple blast emanating from his forehead with destructive purposes, but over time he honed the skill for more gentle purposes, such as breaking someones fall or moving light objects (similar to telekinesis). His skills would enhance further by creating shields and barriers as well as platforms and discs to levitate and lift with. Vance can also use the blasts to launch himself greater distances, like a limited flight ability.
As Major Victory, he possesses the legendary shield of Captain America. Although not as natural with the shield as it's original owner, Vance is very capable at using the shield offensively and defensively. While he lacks the skill to make the shield return to him as Cap did, he makes up for it in using the shield in unison with his psychokinetic blasts to move and propel the shield.
Vance and the entire Guardians of the Galaxy travel back in time to obtained the Plague X (the mutagenic Terrigen Mists) in order to mutate humanity in their time line to prevent the Badoon from taking over the world, however they were swiftly defeated by Karnak who has undergone a further mutation.
Earth-Avengers: Galactic Battalion
During Avengers Forever Immortus the agent of the Time-Keepers, transported the Avengers to the Avengers to Earth-Avengers: Galactic Battalion reality and cast an illusion making them appear to be the Guardians of the Galaxy. The Galactic Battalion had already nearly destroy Alpha Centauri B IV, these would be the precursors of the race to which Yondu Udonta belongs from the Guardians of the Galaxy.
In Other Media
- Vance Astro was featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Vance Astro was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Universe line as part of a two-pack with Captain America (Sam Wilson).
- Vance Astro was featured in the Marvel Legends line from Hasbro as part of the Titus Build-a-Figure wave.