Quantum Queen's full origin story has never been revealed, and even her real name and homeworld are still unknown. Before the Crisis on Infinite Earths, she was a member of the Wanderers, a futuristic team of adventurers that existed during the time of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 30th century. Quantum Queen possessed formidable powers: she could control and project quantum energy, even to the extent that she could transform her body into any form of quantum energy.
Quantum Queen was created in 1967 by writer Jim Shooter and artist Curt Swan, and was the first member of the Wanderers team to appear in comics (her teammates did not appear until 1968). In her first appearance she was depicted not as a Wanderer, but as a future (and deceased) member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. In 1988, Quantum Queen received a significant revamp by writer Doug Moench and artist Dave Hoover.
Major Story Arcs
Alliance and Conflict with the Legion
The Wanderers became renowned for their exploits and inevitably they crossed paths with the Legion of Super-Heroes. The two teams immediately became friends, and even went so far as to erect a monument to honor their alliance. But shortly afterwards, the Wanderers were exposed to psychotropic radiation from the Nefar Nebula while returning to their sector of space, altering their minds and temporarily turning them from heroes to villains. They went on a crime spree, stealing seven valuable stone artifacts in the process, and the Legion was called upon to stop them.
The two teams battled each other in contests of strength. Quantum Queen squared off against a Legionnaire with similar powers, Sun Boy, but lost the contest. The Wanderers eventually surrendered to the Legion and their minds were restored, and the two teams parted as friends once again. The Wanderers showed up as guests for the wedding of Duo Damsel and Bouncing Boy, and later fought alongside the Legion against Darkseid’s Daxamite army in the Great Darkness Saga.
Fallen Hero of the Legion?
In Adventure Comics 354 (Quantum Queen's first official appearance in comics, even before she appeared as a member of the Wanderers), the adult Superman traveled further into the Legion's future and encountered the adult version of the Legion of Super-Heroes. He visited a memorial honoring great Legion heroes who had fallen in battle, where a lifelike Quantum Queen statue and plaque was prominently displayed. This indicated that Quantum Queen left the Wanderers to join the Legion at some point in the future, where she eventually died a hero's death. She was depicted in her original costume and not the cloned version's costume, which implies that this future is a different continuity than the one that resulted in the revamped Quantum Queen. The story of how Quantum Queen became a Legionnaire (or how she died heroically) has never been revealed.
The revamped Wanderers
After a long absence from comics, the entire Wanderers team was revamped and re-introduced in their own title for their 20th anniversary in 1988. The team went on a mission to investigate enigmatic and deadly beings that were posing a threat to the civilized galaxy. It proved to be the original Wanderers’ final mission, as their starship was overwhelmed and the entire team murdered by the mysterious enemy.
A rogue Controller named Clonus located the ship drifting through space. Clonus was inadvertently responsible for the creation of the creatures that had murdered the Wanderers, and burdened with guilt over their deaths, he decided to bring them back to life via cloning. He also saw in them an opportunity to redeem his earlier mistakes, so he augmented their powers during the cloning process, so that the new team might successfully defeat the beings that had destroyed them earlier.
The result was that the new Quantum Queen was considerably more powerful than the original (see Powers below). She also turned out to have one of the most confident and stable personalities of the group, providing a steadying presence for a team still coping with their new identities. Though most of her teammates changed their code names, she decided to keep her original code name of Quantum Queen. Her enhanced command over all forms of energy made wearing clothing for warmth or protection unnecessary, so she was happy to abandon her old costume for a flashier and far more revealing new one that Clonus designed for her.
Quantum Queen quickly proved to be the most powerful member of the new Wanderers, her abilities bailing them out of tight situations on many occasions. After undergoing a particularly difficult mission that resulted in their teammate Psyche losing her parents, the team decided to take a break from adventuring. By this time Quantum Queen was extremely confident in herself and her powers, and she decided to go off on her own to seek personal fame and fortune. She signed with a galactic talent agency located on Hypeworld, a highly commercialized planet specializing in galaxy-wide entertainment and merchandising. Dazzled by her awesome display of light powers, Hypeworld promoted her as their new star, and sales of the products that she endorsed soared. As her fame and popularity grew, she even entered into a romance with a handsome young agent who had grown intensely attracted to her.
Unfortunately, the head of Hypeworld turned out to be a sinister con-man with a hidden agenda – unknown to Quantum Queen, he was using clandestine technology to slowly siphon away her vast array of powers as she performed, with the ultimate goal of harnessing it for himself, killing her in the process. By the time Quantum Queen discovered his murderous plot, she was in a precariously weakened state and barely escaped with her life. She recovered her strength with the help of the young Hypeworld agent who had fallen in love with her. Hiding her in his own apartment, he nursed her back to full health. But the head of Hypeworld soon discovered his subordinate's betrayal and murdered him in retribution. Enraged, Quantum Queen used her powers to bring the criminal and his henchmen to justice and avenge her lover's death. After ordering the remaining employees of Hypeworld's agency to evacuate their base, she completely destroyed it with a nova blast. She then returned to the Wanderers, vowing never to leave them again.
The cloned Wanderers eventually became agents of the United Planets and successfully completed several more missions, including solving the murder of their original selves. The deadly creatures that had killed the Wanderers’ prime bodies were found breeding on a planetoid, which Quantum Queen completely eradicated by going nova. On their last recorded mission the Wanderers met and felt compelled to follow mysterious aliens into another dimension. Their current whereabouts are unknown. DC's 30th-century universe has been rebooted three times since, and Quantum Queen has yet to make an appearance in the current continuity.
Powers and Abilities
The original Quantum Queen had considerable control over quantum energy, making her a formidable member of the Wanderers team. She could blast her adversaries with powerful bursts of that energy, and when she was in her quantum energy state she was impervious to most forms of attack. Being in this state also enabled her to move at super-speed. Quantum Queen's inexperience showed, however, in her battle with Sun Boy, a contest she had expected to win easily. The veteran Legionnaire was able to outmaneuver the Wanderer in combat despite her greater powers. It is possible that the original Quantum Queen never really understood the full range of her own abilities up until her untimely death.
The cloned version of Quantum Queen, thanks to Clonus's genetic enhancements, was even more powerful than the original, and had full command over an infinite range of light and heat radiation along the electromagnetic spectrum. In battle, she could blind her enemies with intense bursts of solar radiation and blast them with anything from precise lasers to waves of extreme heat. She quickly learned how to manipulate energy in order to fly and still remain in solid physical form, and by converting her body entirely into quantum energy she could now travel at faster-than-light speeds. While experimenting with different energy states, Quantum Queen discovered that she could become invisible by transforming her body into invisible wavelengths of light, and by fluctuating her energy frequencies she could phase straight through any type of solid material. She learned to manipulate light energy to create a limitless array of holographic projections, and soon discovered that she could even create ultra-violet “ghost” duplicates of herself in order to send her consciousness many places at once. These energy-based duplicates could be of any size: At one point she broke up into tiny versions of herself in order to avoid attack, and then quickly re-formed into one body. She later created a giant energy version of herself in order to warn the residents of a space colony to evacuate before she destroyed it.
Quantum Queen deadliest attack was "going nova": A devastating release of all of her energies at once, which was shown to be powerful enough to vaporize entire planetoids and possibly more. The full extent of Quantum Queen's abilities was never determined, but it became apparent that she was by far the most powerful member of the Wanderers, and likely one of the most powerful heroes of the 30th century.