Eon was responsible for the creation of the Quantum Bands billions of years ago. As it is Eon's duty is nurturing the evolution of sentient life of the universe and to maintain conditions favorable to life in the universe, he foresaw a need that the universe would need a defender of life, a protector.
Eon chose Glakandar of Stygia as its first Protector. Not much is known about Glakandar the Stygian Starbender other than he was the first Protector of the Universe to be appointed by Eon. He lived at least four billion years ago, (but possibly more in the area of 7-8 billion years ago given Eon's age) since another Protector was Ree of the Archeopians who’s home planet was the among the first consumed by Galactus 4-5 billion years ago.
Not much is known about Ree’s history, his origins or his death. What is known is that he lived more than 4 -5 billion years ago and was worthy enough to be appointed by Eon to be the Protector of the Universe. Ree’s vocabulary seems quite limited, he speaks of himself mostly in the third person using simple nearly monosyllabic words, such as: “One against three cannot win.” Or “Ree exerts.” While a proper timeline has not been written, and the story has not been told, it is possible that Ree died defending his home planet from Galactus.
The third member was Trantra of the Trill. Little is known of Trantra's life or its people. We're not even sure about its gender or even if it has one. He is primarily known as the first non-humanoid Protector of the Universe, so he must have been worthy of the Quantum Bands in Eon’s estimation. It is not known how long ago Trantra lived or how it died.
During the Uranian Eternals' destruction, they rushed to completion a duplicate of Marvel Boy. The duplicate arose too late to be of any help, however - it was born an unstable creature with false and fractured memories and was given the then lost Quantum Bands by the Uranians. He travelled to earth calling himself the Crusader and battled the Fantastic Four. It's possible that this is the 'Marvel Boy' that Thanos ressurected to battle Quasar at Eon's funeral. Crusader differs from the other three in that he was never a Protector of the Universe.
Just on the heels of Cosmos in Collision and just before the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos interupted Eon’s funeral and fought Quasar, Thanos soon grew bored with the exchange and created four previous bearers of the Quantum Bands to destroy Eon’s champion. They were: The Stygian Starbender, Ree, Trantra of the Trill, and Robert Grayson also known as Marvel Boy.
After an exchange of energy blasts, Quasar merely put up an energy shield and then burst forth with foot long blunt end stakes and managed to down Marvel Boy. Then they assaulted Quasar with extremely sharp Quantum-weapons and he only just managed to escape their attack by defending himself with nunchucks, but realizes he’s far too outnumbered. Quasar flies off to put some distance between himself and the other Quantum-banders, which the three remaining consider quite cowardly.
Quasar attempts a “total energy drain” but is caught by surprise when they slam a pair of Quantum-slabs the size (and probably the mass) of semi-trucks in an attempt to crush him. They briefly discuss which of them will win the honor of being the last Protector. 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. Quasar Quantum-Jumps to 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 on 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 get disintegrated and Quasar returns to the Eonverse.
Once there, Quasar becomes distracted by mental contact by the nacient Epoch, ‘Marvel Boy’ sneaks up on Quasar and hits him with a Quantum Baseball bat. Quasar responded by literally swatting him away declaring that he was never one of Eon’s chosen. "Marvel Boy" survives in the Eonverse for months consuming bits of Eon's decaying matter.
Months later, Quasar is nullified during the Infinity War conflict and ends up in the White Room. It appeared to be some sort of purgatory, holding within its curtained walls all the beings who had ever worn the Quantum-Bands. There he spoke with Glakandar who appeared to remember their earlier conflict, which casts some doubt over if the Quantum-Banders that Thanos created were indeed duplicates and not the originals. With Quasar dead, Thanos restarts his attempt to put his own Universal Protector in place. He commands Marvel Boy to take Quasar's place. But when Thanos senses that there are powers at work to return Quasar to the living, he commands Crusader to go to the White Room and ensure that Quasar remains dead. But marvel Boy inadvertanly ends up ressurecting him because Quasar possessed a fraction of the Starbrand. They fought again and Quasar trapped the Crusader in the White Room in his place.
Abilities of the Quantum Bands
- Energy Manipulation: 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. Wendell Vaughn, the previous wearer, once absorbed and released the entire energy output of a star, funneling the radiation, and nuclear fusion, passing entirely through the bands. So great is the bands ability to absorb and control energy that most other energy manipulators (Presence, Jack Of Hearts, Living Laser… etc.) cannot come close to overwhelming the bands, only truly powerful energy manipulators (Silver Surfer, Thanos, or Galactus… etc.) are capable of such a feat. The energy output of the bands is generally appears to be yellow in color, but since the bands have mastery of the entire EM spectrum, presumably a wielder could change the color of the energy at will (since visible light is only a small fraction of the greater EM spectrum). It is believed that the energy defaults to yellow because the energy of the Quantum-Zone seems to be yellow in color.
- 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. The more care the bearer takes in the creation of a construct, the stronger and more durable it is. A practiced bearer can alter the mass of the constructs so that they have the consistency of molasses or to be lighter than air. These constructs last indefinitely or until the bearer reabsorbs the construct into the Q-bands.
- 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 travelling 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 papier 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 the Silver 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.