Imperial Guard (Marvel Comics)

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Imperial Guard
Imperial Guard 1.jpg
The cover of Imperial Guard #1 (Jan. 1997). Artwork by Chuck Wojtkiewicz and Ray Snyder.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceX-Men #107 (October 1977)
Created byChris Claremont and Dave Cockrum
In-story information
Base(s)Chandilar (Shi'ar throneworld)
Member(s)Gladiator
Oracle
Starbolt
Neutron
Smasher
Flashfire
Warstar
Electron
Manta
Mentor
Titan
Pulsar
Hussar
Nightside
Fang
Roster
See: Full roster

The Imperial Guard (the so-called Superguardians) is a fictional superhero team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The Imperial Guard are a multi-ethnic group of alien beings who act as enforcers of the laws of the Shi'ar Empire; the Superguardians are the personal guard of the leader of the Empire.

Created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Dave Cockrum, the original Imperial Guard characters were pastiches of prominent members of rival publisher DC Comics' superhero team the Legion of Super-Heroes.[1][2][3][4] Many other characters were later added to the roster, not all of whom are based on Legionnaires.

The Imperial Guard first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977). Since then, they have been featured periodically in the X-Men titles; crossed paths with the Starjammers, the Kree, the Skrulls, Nova Corps, the Inhumans, and the Guardians of the Galaxy; and been featured in a number of limited series, including Imperial Guard (1997), the War of Kings crossover series (2009), and Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard (2010).[2]

More than 50 Imperial Guard Superguardians have appeared in Marvel Comics' titles; the core members number about 20, with the most notable being Gladiator, Oracle, Starbolt, Neutron, Smasher, Flashfire, Warstar, Electron, Manta, Mentor, Titan, Pulsar,[a] Hussar, Nightside, and Fang.

Structure and organization[edit]

The Imperial Guard numbers about 300 members, and is made up of the most powerful and elite soldiers from throughout the Empire, with some of them being Shi'ar and most being from other alien races in the Shi'ar's jurisdiction.[5] The Imperial Guard is led by a praetor.

The Superguardians (who comprise the vast majority of the named characters) are the super-powered personal guard of the Shi'ar leader.[4][6][7][8] Those closest to the leader are known as the Royal Elite.

The Guard academy trains replacements — called Subguardians — for Superguardians who may be killed or incapacitated.[9] Over time, at least twenty Superguardians have been killed in the pages of Marvel's comics, with many of them being replaced by new versions from the ranks of the Subguardians.

Imperial Guard oath of allegiance[edit]

The is the Imperial Guard's oath of allegians to the Shi'ar Empire:

I will not falter, and I will not swerve. From the rising of the suns to the setting of the stars. With Sharra and K'ythri to guide me, I will serve out the term of my duty with courage and conviction, for it is the greatest honor any being of any species can know to be allowed to guard the Imperium of the Shi'ar and stand, each of us, as a light in the darkness. So I make my oath of allegiance.[10]

Concept and creation[edit]

As X-Men creators Claremont and Cockrum were devising a team to battle the X-Men in the first part of the Phoenix Saga, Cockrum suggested modeling their powers and costumes after characters from DC's Legion of Super-Heroes.[11] (Cockrum had had a two-year run as artist on the Legion of Super-Heroes backup feature in the Superboy comic book.)[12]

In a 2002 interview, Cockrum said that he showed the character designs to Paul Levitz, then-current Legion of Super-Heroes writer at DC. Asked if he thought there might be trouble between the companies, Cockrum said, "Not really... I showed the designs to Paul Levitz, and he didn't say, 'You can't do that.' If anything, he said, 'Geez, these costumes are better than the ones the Legionnaires are wearing.' No, I don't think we ever once thought that we were going to get in trouble over it."[13]

The first Guardsmen introduced (with their Legion of Super-Heroes analog in parentheses) were Gladiator (Superboy),[14][3][1] Astra (Phantom Girl), Electron (Cosmic Boy), Fang (Timber Wolf),[15][3][11][1] Hobgoblin[b] (Chameleon Boy), Impulse (Wildfire), Magic (Princess Projectra), Mentor[c] (Brainiac 5),[1] Midget (Shrinking Violet), Nightshade (Shadow Lass), Oracle (Saturn Girl),[1][3] Quasar[d] (Star Boy), Smasher (Ultra Boy), Starbolt (Sun Boy),[1] Tempest (Lightning Lad), and Titan (Colossal Boy).[1]

Over time, for various reasons, some of the members' code-names were changed: Nightshade to Nightside,[16] Magic to Magique,[17] Midget to Scintilla,[17] Quasar to Neutron,[17] Tempest to Flashfire,[18] and Impulse to Pulsar.[9]

Reception and characterization[edit]

Nick Hemming of Looper.com described the Imperial Guard as perhaps "the most interesting facet of the Shi'ar," describing them as "an elite team of super soldiers who enforce the law within the empire. The Guard has played both friend and foe to Earth's favorite heroes over time, boasting a diverse roster of various species."[7]

Fictional team history[edit]

Many centuries ago, the Phoenix Force entity ends up in Shi'ar space, where it bonds with a citizen of the Empire named Rook'shir. In conjunction with his blade, Rook'shir learns to control the Phoenix Force, but is ultimately overwhelmed by its power, becoming the first known host to succumb to and go insane from its destructive impulses. Becoming the first being known as the Dark Phoenix, Rook'shir goes on a rampage throughout the Empire, destroying many planets in the process.

T'korr, Majestor of the Shi'ar Empire, creates the Imperial Guard for the purpose of stopping Rook'shir;[19] some of the first members are Gladiator, Magic, Mentor, and Quasar.[20] Defeating Rook'shir, the Guard becomes the first line of defense of the Shi'ar Empire.[21]

In X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977),[22] the Shi'ar empire comes into conflict with the X-Men regarding the Phoenix entity, with the Guard battling them at the command of Emperor D'Ken and his sister, the Grand Admiral, Princess Lilandra Neramani.[23][24]

Some time later during "The Dark Phoenix Saga", the Guardsmen again come into conflict with the X-Men regarding Dark Phoenix, this time at the behest of Emperor D'Ken's successor, Empress Lilandra.[25][23][26]

The Borderers division is introduced — a group of Guardsman stationed on one of the Shi'ar's conquered worlds to help its governor enforce Shi'ar law. A renegade faction of the Imperial Guard — mainly made up of Borderers, but also including Fang, Hussar, Quasar, and Warstar — become traitors, deciding to serve Lord Samédàr, Deathbird, and the Brood in a conspiracy to overthrow Shi'ar Princess-Majestrix Lilandra. The renegades battle the Guardsman who remain loyal to Lilandra and the X-Men. After defeating the Brood and the renegades, Lilandra resumes her position as the head of the Shi'ar Empire. Despite many of the Imperial Guard having joined with Deathbird against Lilandra, most team members are pardoned for their actions,[27] although Quasar, Warstar, Hussar, and Webwing are later banished.[28][29]

Some time later, Deathbird stages a successful coup and becomes the new Shi'ar Empress.[30] She sends the Imperial Guard to Earth to battle the combined forces of the Starjammers and the superhero team Excalibur, so that she can claim the power of the Phoenix Force for herself. The Guard are forced to retreat when Deathbird realizes the Starjammers are led by Lilandra.[31]

Later, War Skrulls impersonating Charles Xavier and the Starjammers depose Deathbird and restore Lilandra to the throne. Deathbird cedes the empire back to Lilandra as she has grown bored of the bureaucracy.[32]

When the Shi'ar and the Kree wage an intergalactic war, the Imperial Guard are commissioned to lead the fight. The Guard steals the original Captain Marvel's Nega-Bands from the dead hero's tomb.[33] Using Kree artifacts, including the Bands, the Sh'iar create a massive superweapon, the "Nega-Bomb." Ultimately, the Nega-Bomb device is successfully detonated, devastating the Kree Empire, with billions dying instantaneously (98% of the Kree population).[34] The Shi'ar annex the remnants of the Kree Empire, with Deathbird becoming viceroy of the Kree territories.[35]

Some time later, the Imperial Guard are informed about a hijacked Shi'ar craft, and join Quasar in a battle against a group of interplanetary marauders known as the Starblasters, who attempt to push the moon away from Earth’s orbit. [36]

When many of Earth's heroes vanish (sent to the pocket universe[37] after defeating Onslaught),[e] Lilandra orders the Imperial Guard to help protect Earth.[38]

Ronan the Accuser leads the Kree in a surprise attack against the Shi'ar, using the Inhumans as an army to disrupt the Shi'ar control of the Kree. Ronan seizes control in a surprise attack. Threatening to destroy the Inhumans' home of Attilan, he orders the Inhumans and their king, Black Bolt, to obey. Ronan compels Karnak, Gorgon, and Triton to covertly join the Imperial Guard, while Black Bolt and Medusa attempt the assassination of the Shi'ar ruler Lilandra at a ceremony ratifying an alliance between the Shi'ar and the Spartoi. Black Bolt manages to defeat Ronan in personal combat;[39] the attempt on Lilandra's life fails because the Imperial Guardsman Hobgoblin dies in her place.[40]

Cassandra Nova, in Charles Xavier's body, contacts Majestrix Lilandra, Xavier's lover. Cassandra drives Lilandra insane and uses her to make the Shi'ar fleet destroy the empire. Cassandra forces Lilandra to send the Shi'ar Superguardians to sterilize the entirety of mutantkind, starting with the X-Men.[41] After a battle with the X-Men, the Imperial Guard come to realize Cassandra's treachery and the danger she poses. Jean Grey, using Xavier's consciousness, and with the help of the Imperial Guard, is able to force Cassandra out of Xavier's body and imprison her.[42]

he Imperial Guard's loyalties are tested when Vulcan, a powerful mutant intent on conquering the Shi'ar Empire, comes on the scene at the start of the "Emperor Vulcan" storyline. He fights the Guard, killing and wounding a number of them, before he is defeated by Gladiator, who puts out his left eye.[43][44]

Ultimately, however, Vulcan returns and assumes the Shi'ar throne, and the Imperial Guard are honor-bound to do his bidding.[45][46] Emperor Vulcan and his fleet battle the Scy'ar Tal, who have devoted their culture and society to the destruction of the Shi'ar Empire. After many battles, including Vulcan fighting his brother Havok and the Starjammers, the Shi'ar prevail. Vulcan declares that he will return the Shi'ar Empire to its former glory.[47]

Emperor Majestor Vulcan begins to expand the empire,[46] leading to a war with the Kree.[48] Things start off well for the Imperial Guard when they slaughter a cadre of new recruits to the Nova Corps.[49][50] The Guard follows this by attacking and hospitalizing Ronan the Accuser on his wedding day.[51] The Kree's retaliation, however, leads to the deaths of a number of Guardsmen.[52][53] Two new Smashers, recruited from the ranks of the Subguardians, die,[51][54] as does Warstar.[55]

When ordered to kill former Shi'ar Empress Lilandra Neramani, Gladiator abandons his post to protect her.[56] Nonetheless, during an attempt to return her to the throne, Lilandra is assassinated.[57][58]

Vulcan is seemingly killed during a battle with the leader of the Kree, Black Bolt.[59] With no one in line to inherit the throne, civil war threatens the Shi'ar empire. To avoid further conflict, the Imperial Guard's praetor, Gladiator, accepts the offer to become Emperor; Mentor becomes praetor in his place.[60]

During the "Realm of Kings" storyline, the Shi'ar team up with the Starjammers to investigate "The Fault," a space-time anomaly that not only threatens Shi'ar space but all of reality. This crisis leads to another spate of Imperial Guard deaths: Starbolt is killed by a group of horrifically mutated creatures from the Cancerverse,[27] and Black Light, Neutron, and Titan are killed in a later battle.[10] The storyline ends with the Guardsmen Mentor and Plutonia choosing to bond with Raptor amulets; Mentor is taken over by Strel and Plutonia becomes the Raptor Kyte; both vanish.[10]

During the "Infinity" storyline, a fourth Smasher is recruited by the Imperial Guard: a human member of the Avengers named Izzy Kane.[7][61][9] Receiving an all-points distress signal on Earth, she comes with the Avengers to assist the Shi'ar in fighting off a new threat: the Builders. The Builders threaten all the galactic civilizations, leading the Shi'ar to join forces with the Kree, Skrulls, Spartoi, Brood, and Annihilus' Annihilation Wave to resist them.[62]

After many battles and losses — including the death of Earthquake[63] — the Avengers and Imperial Guard earn a convincing victory against the main Builders' fleet. Mentor helps take command of a Builder World Killer and turn it against the Builders. The Imperial Guard and the Avengers proceed to free the occupied worlds — including Earth, which has fallen to Thanos in their absence. The Imperial Guard helps retake the Peak, the S.W.O.R.D. space station headquarters.[64]

Soon afterward, Gladiator kidnaps the time-displaced incarnation of Jean Grey, placing her on trial for the destruction done by the Phoenix Force years earlier. The All-New X-Men team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to rescue Jean from the Shi'ar homeworld, but Jean ends up awakening a new power, enabling her to absorb massive amounts of psionic energy from others and combine her telepathy and telekinesis, which she uses to defeat Gladiator and the Imperial Guard.[65][66]

When the Shi'ar find out that the reason for the "decay of the universe" is on Earth, they decide to destroy the planet.[67] The Guardians of the Galaxy, Sunspot, A.I.M., and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Avengers fight back, planning to use a Planetkiller against the Shi'ar. The Planetkiller, however, overheats and explodes, destroyed by Annihilus' Annihilation Wave. The Avengers are ready to meet their end, but the Illuminati intervenes, using the controller disk of a rogue planet that shares the same space with Earth, while Iron Man uses Sol's Hammer to destroy the Shi'ar fleet, including the Imperial Guards.[68]

The Guard are resurrected, along with the rest of the universe, as part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel relaunch.[citation needed]

Membership[edit]

Core members[edit]

Code Name (Original name) Legion of Super-Heroes analog Powers and abilities Species First appearance Notes
Astra Phantom Girl Phasing Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Founding member of the Imperial Guard
Earthquake Geokinesis (psionically create tremors and small quakes on the surface of a planet)[6] Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men #137 (Sept. 1980) Killed in Avengers vol. 5, #21 (Dec. 2013)
Earthquake II Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 5, #1 (Dec. 2012)
Electron Cosmic Boy Magnetism manipulation, projection of bolts of electrical energy Shi'ar X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977)
Fang Timber Wolf Superhuman senses, strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes; claws and fangs; teleportation; flight; energy projection/matter manipulation Lupak X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Member of the Royal Elite; transformed into one of the Brood and then killed by Wolverine in Uncanny X-Men #162 (Oct. 1982)
Fang II Starjammers #4 (Jan. 1996) Alter-ego is Nev-Darr
Flashfire (Tempest) Lightning Lad[1] Generate and fire bursts of light and electricity Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) At one point engaged to marry fellow Guardsman Oracle[69] (an analog of Saturn Girl, to whom Lightning Lad was also romantically linked); alter-ego is Grannz[70] (Lightning Lad's alter-ego is Garth Ranzz); renamed Flashfire because of the DC Comics character Joshua Clay (Tempest)
Gladiator Superboy (or Mon-El) Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and durability; psionic abilities; flight[6] Strontian X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Commander (praetor) of the Imperial Guard; alter-ego is Kallark
Hobgoblin Chameleon Boy[1] Shapeshifting Chameloid X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Killed posing as Lilandra Neramani in Inhumans vol. 3, #4 (Oct. 2000)
Hussar Channeling of bioelectricity into other living beings to shock and paralyze Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men #137 (Sept. 1980)
Magique (Magic) Princess Projectra Ability to create realistic illusions Shi'ar X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Killed in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, #15 (June 2009)
Magique II Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 5, #1 (Dec. 2012) Replaced the original Magique, who died in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, #15
Manta Infrared and ultraviolet vision, photokinesis Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men #137 (Sept. 1980)
Mentor Brainiac 5 Instantaneous processing of vast amounts of information Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Becomes praetor in War of Kings: Who Will Rule one-shot;[60] taken over by Strel and vanishes at the end of Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard
Neutron (Quasar) Star Boy Superhuman strength, stamina, and durability; capable of increasing the mass, density or gravity of an object[6] Stygian X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Killed in battle in Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 (May 2010)
Nightside (Nightshade) Shadow Lass Ability to tap into the Darkforce dimension, giving her the ability to conjure absolute darkness within a radius around her or her enemies; displace projectile attacks against her person by opening small apertures into the Darkforce[6] Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Killed in War of Kings #1 (May 2009)
Nightside II Avengers vol. 5, #35 (Sept. 2014) Recruited from the Subguardians to replace the original Nightside, who was killed in War of Kings #1
Oracle Saturn Girl Telepathy, mind control, projection of stun bolts, psychoscopic awareness ("Mind-Sight": the ability to expand her over-consciousness to read the impressions left by events in the fabric of time and matter)[6] Shi'ar X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Long-time member; part of the Royal Elite;[citation needed] alter-ego is Lady Sybil; originally romantically linked with Starbolt;[22] later engaged to marry Tempest/Flashfire[69]
Plutonia Phasing Unidentified extraterrestrial race New X-Men #124 (May 2002) Alter-ego is N'zyr; romantically linked with fellow Guardsman Smasher, then romantically linked with fellow Guardsman Mentor; chose to bond with Raptor amulet at cost of her free will, becoming the Raptor Kyte;[10] current whereabouts unknown
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 (May 2010) Added to Imperial Guard after N'zyr became the Raptor Kyte and vanished
Pulsar (Impulse) Wildfire Energy being: flight, projection of energy blasts Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Seemingly killed by Vulcan in The Uncanny X-Men #480 (Jan. 2007), but reappears later
Scintilla (Midget ) Shrinking Violet Shrinking from normal size to five percent of her normal size (and any size in between) Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977)
Smasher Ultra Boy Superhuman strength via cosmic radiation absorption, ability to download additional powers (one at a time) via "Exospex," flight via anti-gravity "flight patches"[6] Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Romantically linked with fellow Guardsman Plutonia; alter-ego is Vril Rokk; killed by Vulcan in The Uncanny X-Men #480 (Jan. 2007)
War of Kings #1 (Mar. 2009) Alter-ego is Salac Tuur; killed by Karnak in War of Kings #1 (May 2009)
War of Kings #3 (July 2009) Killed by Gladiator in War of Kings #3 (July 2009)
Human Avengers vol. 5, #1 (Feb. 2013) Alter-ego is Izzy Kane; left the Imperial Guard to return to the Avengers
Unidentified extraterrestrial race All-New X-Men #23 (Apr. 2014) Replaced Izzy Kane in the Imperial Guard
Starbolt Sun Boy or Wildfire Projection of energy bolts from hands[6] Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Originally romantically linked with Oracle;[22] killed in Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4 (Apr. 2010)
Titan Colossal Boy Expand his body to giant size, superhuman strength and mass Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men #107 (Oct. 1977) Killed by a swarm of mutated bugs in Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 (May 2010)
Titan II TK (sometime during the "Infinity" storyline) Replaced the first Titan, who was killed in Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5
Warstar B'nee: electricity generation; C’cil: gigantic, superhuman strength and durability[6] Two symbiotically linked sentient mechanoids[6] X-Men #137 (Sept. 1980) Alter-egos are B'nee and C'cil; their names are an homage to the 1960s animated television program Beany and Cecil; killed (along with the entire Shi'ar fleet) by Iron Man using Sol's Hammer in Avengers vol. 5, #44 (June 2015), resurrected (along with the rest of the universe) in The Ultimates vol. 2, #3 (Mar. 2017)

Other members[edit]

Code Name Legion of Super-Heroes analog Powers and abilities Species First appearance Notes
Arc Bio-electrokinesis Unidentified extraterrestrial race New X-Men #123 (Apr. 2002)
Binder Binding objects Unidentified extraterrestrial race Rom Annual #4 (Dec. 1985) Killed by disintegration in Rom Annual #4 (Dec. 1985)
Black Light Dark energy blasts Shi'ar (mutated) X-Men: Spotlight on... Starjammers #2 (June 1990) Twin brother of White Noise;[31] killed in Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5 (May 2010)
Blackthorn Botanopathy (Communication with and command of plant life like himself) Extraterrestrial sentient humanoid plant Uncanny X-Men #157 (May 1982) Member of the Borderers division
Blimp Bouncing Boy Bio-helium body contained within a specially constructed space suit Unidentified extraterrestrial race New X-Men #124 (May 2002)
Chakar Flight, superhuman strength and durability Shi'ar Rom Annual #4 (Dec. 1985) Praetor of the Imperial Guard; killed in Rom Annual #4 (Dec. 1985)
Commando Nega-Radiation that gives him superhuman strength, durability, and intellect Kree Imperial Guard #1 (Jan. 1997) Alter-ego is M'Nell[18]
Cosmo Flight, superhuman strength and durability Stygian New X-Men #123 (Apr. 2002) Killed by Vulcan in Uncanny X-Men #480 (Jan. 2007)
Delphos Precognition Unidentified extraterrestrial race Inhumans vol. 3, #3 (Aug. 2000)
Fader Invisibility Unidentified extraterrestrial race New X-Men #124 (May 2002)
Glom Matter-Eater Lad Giant jaws with the ability to bite through and consume all forms of matter Unidentified extraterrestrial race Quasar #33 (Apr. 1992)
God-Killer Telepathy, claws, quills, superhuman strength and durability The Uncreated X-Men: Kingbreaker #2 (Mar. 2009) Recruited by Vulcan to his Praetorians faction of the Imperial Guard;[71] later imprisoned by the Nova Corps for war crimes, and finally transferred to Zan Philo's Corps starship Resolute Duty
G-Type Project body's intense energy through wrist-mounted flamethrowers Hodinn New X-Men #124 (May 2002)
Hardball Bouncing Boy Rubbery body which gives him superhuman durability and leaping power Unidentified extraterrestrial race Thor #446 (Apr. 1992)
Kwill Projection of stun rays Unidentified extraterrestrial race Rom Annual #4 (Dec. 1985) Killed by Tyreseus in Rom Annual #4 (Dec. 1985)
Mammoth Superhuman strength and durability Unidentified extraterrestrial race New X-Men #117 (Oct. 2001) Killed in battle with Cassandra Nova in New X-Men #122 (March 2002)
Monstra Superhuman strength and durability Unidentified extraterrestrial race New X-Men #123 (Apr. 2002)
Moondancer Dawnstar Flight, long-range tracking Unidentified extraterrestrial race Quasar #33 (Apr. 1992) Alter-ego is Myla; forced to resign from the Imperial Guard in Quasar #57 (Apr. 1994)
Neosaurus Projection of consciousness from one exo-body form to another Unidentified extraterrestrial race New X-Men #124 (May 2002)
N'rill'irēē Superhuman strength and durability; claws and teeth Unidentified extraterrestrial race Uncanny X-Men #155 (Mar. 1982) Member of the Borderers division
Onslaught Karate Kid Skilled martial artist, superhuman strength[6] Unidentified extraterrestrial race Quasar #33 (Apr. 1992)
Schism Duo Damsel Ability to divide into two bodies Unidentified extraterrestrial race New X-Men #124 (May 2002)
Sea Spine Pheromones contained in her upper epidermis that can stun, poison, or incapacitate her opponents Unidentified extraterrestrial race Uncanny X-Men #157 (May 1982) Member of the Borderers division
Solar Wind Projection of energy blast from chest Unidentified extraterrestrial race Quasar #33 (Apr. 1992) Forced to resign from the Imperial Guard in Quasar #57 (Apr. 1994)
Sp'yxx Large creature with three heads; superhuman strength Unidentified extraterrestrial race Uncanny X-Men #157 (May 1982) Member of the Borderers division
Squorm Flying, floating Hive of thousands of vastly intelligent tiny worm-like creatures New X-Men #123 (Apr. 2002)
Stuff Shapeshifting Extraterrestrial bio-computer New X-Men #123 (Apr. 2002)
Trypthe Enormous tripod creature with superhuman strength Unidentified extraterrestrial race Uncanny X-Men #157 (May 1982) Member of the Borderers division
Voltar Razor-sharp blades (possibly replacing hands) with the ability to electrify Unidentified extraterrestrial race Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 (Nov. 2009) Killed while retaking the Imperial shipyards after the war with the Kree in Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 (Nov. 2009)
Voltor Projection of electrical blasts from hands Unidentified extraterrestrial race Rom Annual #4 (Dec. 1985) Killed by Tyreseus in Rom Annual #4 (Dec. 1985)
Voyager Teleportation Unidentified extraterrestrial race Quasar #33 (Apr. 1992) Alter-ego is Divad; forced to resign from the Imperial Guard in Quasar #57 (Apr. 1994)
Webwing Tentacles with sedative excretion, can capture others in body, flight Unidentified extraterrestrial race Uncanny X-Men #157 (May 1982) Member of the Borderers division
White Noise Sound wave projection and manipulation Shi'ar X-Men: Spotlight on... Starjammers #2 (June 1990) Twin sister of Black Light[31]
Zenith Capability to access and utilize the maximum potential of an energy-wielder's power[6] Unidentified extraterrestrial race X-Men: Spotlight on... Starjammers #2 (June 1990) Brother of Raza Longknife from the Starjammers; killed in X-Men: Spotlight on... Starjammers #2 (June 1990)

Other versions[edit]

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

In this reality Lilandra was the Admiral of the Shi'ar Grand Fleet and leader of the Imperial Guard. She was killed by her brother D'ken before she could try to stop him from taking control of the M'Kraan Crystal.[72]

MC2[edit]

An alternate, older version of the original Lilandra was revealed in MC2's miniseries, Last Planet Standing. There, the Shi'ar Empire is attacked by the planet devourer Galactus and the Imperial Guard help her and her servants escape right before Galactus consumes the entire empire.

In other media[edit]

The Imperial Guard appear in the season 5 five-part X-Men animated series "The Phoenix Saga" storyline, in the episodes "The Phoenix Saga, Part III: The Cry of the Banshee" and "The Phoenix Saga, Part V: Child of Light." Present in the series are Gladiator, Starbolt, Flashfire, Oracle, Smasher, Titan, Hobgoblin, Warstar, Earthquake, Hussar, Astra, and Manta. In the "Dark Phoenix" saga episodes, the Imperial Guard faces off against the X-Men in a trial of combat on the Blue Area of the Moon to determine the fate of Jean Grey. They are defeated by the powers of the Phoenix Force.

The Imperial Guard appear in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance.[73] The featured members are Gladiator (voiced by Dave Wittenberg), Neutron (voiced by James Sie), Hussar (voiced by April Stewart), Starbolt (voiced by Beau Weaver), and Warstar (voiced by John Cygan). Apparently, some of the guards assisted Deathbird in taking the throne from her sister Lilandra. It was mentioned by Hussar that an Imperial Guard member named Guardian is loyal to the throne rather than the person who sits in it while the rest of the Imperial Guard didn't take sides with Deathbird. At the same time, the player's team comes to obtain a shard of the M'Kraan Crystal and defeat the traitorous guards, Shi'ar soldiers, and Deathbird.

The Imperial Guard are featured in the 2006 Christopher L. Bennett novel, X-Men: Watchers on the Walls.[74] The members featured are Smasher, Manta, Flashfire, Astra, Nightside, Magique, Blackthorn, N'rill'iree, and a brief appearance of Empress Lilandra.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Not to be confused with the rogue Space Knight Pulsar, introduced in Rom Annual #4 (Dec. 1985).
  2. ^ Not to be confused with several fictional supervillains also with the alias of Hobgoblin, commonly depicted as enemies of Spider-Man.
  3. ^ Not to be confused with Mentor, the member of the Eternals, father of Thanos and Starfox
  4. ^ Not to be confused with the Marvel character Quasar (Wendell Vaughn), who was introduced shortly thereafter.
  5. ^ Not the member of the Imperial Guard with the same name, who was introduced some years earlier.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cronin, Brian. "Comic Legends: Why New Imperial Guard Members in Dark Phoenix Saga?", CBR (APR 09, 2018).
  2. ^ a b Fuller, Kevin. "Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #1 Review: Marvel's cosmos deal with the effects of its war," IGN (12 Nov 2009).
  3. ^ a b c d Cronin, Brian. "Wolverine: Every Costume Marvel's Latest Resurrected Mutant Has Worn, Ever," CBR (AUG. 25, 2018).
  4. ^ a b Blumberg, Arnold T. "Lilandra Explained: Who Is the X-Men: Dark Phoenix Character?," IGN (5 Jul 2017).
  5. ^ Brevoort, Tom; DeFalco, Tom; Manning, Matthew K.; Sanderson, Peter; Wiacek, Win (2017). Marvel Year By Year: A Visual History. DK Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 978-1465455505.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Austin, Michael. "X-Men: The 10 Most Dangerous Members of The Shi’ar Imperial Guard: The X-Men Comics are filled with powerful and dangerous people. But few are as dangerous as the members of the Shi-ar Imperial Guard," CBR (AUG. 18, 2019).
  7. ^ a b c Hemming, Nick (7 October 2020). "Alien races we want to see in the MCU". Looper.com. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  8. ^ Arrant, Chris. "Marvel Hints at 'Very Cool' (and Space-y) Future for Starjammers & Imperial Guard," Space.com (August 29, 2019).
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  15. ^ Johnson, Jim. "Legion of Super-Heroes' New Timber Wolf Influenced by a Specific Wolverine: Wolverine isn't a surprising inspiration for the Legion of Super-Heroes' Timber Wolf, but there's a classic irony behind it," CBR (AUG. 29, 2019).
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  17. ^ a b c Quasar #33 (April 1992).
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  30. ^ Rom Annual #4 (Dec. 1985).
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  34. ^ Wonder Man #9 (May 1992).
  35. ^ The Avengers #347 (May 1992).
  36. ^ Starblast #1–4 (Jan.- Apr. 1994).
  37. ^ Heroes Reborn: The Return #4 (Dec. 1997).
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  39. ^ The Inhumans vol. 3, #1–4 (June–Oct. 2000).
  40. ^ Inhumans vol. 3, #4 (Oct. 2000).
  41. ^ New X-Men #123 (Apr. 2002).
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