BIOGRAPHY - page 1
The man that would become known as Quasar was born Wendell Vaughn in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Though he grew up with two loving parents, his scientist father was often distant, leaving him feeling unfulfilled. Despite his scholarly upbringing, Wendell opted to join the armed services, then later enlisted into the SHIELD academy. While being top of his class, his instructors still evaluated that he would make a poor field agent, given his lack of a killer instinct. Instead, Wendell was assigned to security detail at a Stark International research facility, where his father was working.
Wendell’s father was studying the Quantum Bands, powerful energy manipulating gauntlets taken recently from the late Crusader by the Fantastic Four. When SHIELD was ready to test the Quantum Bands, Wendell was witness as a test pilot wore the bands and activated them, only to reach a critical energy output and burn himself up, much like the Crusader had previously. Despite the agent’s horrible death, when the facility was soon after attacked by a massive force of AIM robots, Wendell had no choice but to don the Quantum Bands.
Surprisingly he took to them quickly. Though he easily took down the attacking forces with his newfound power, Wendell suffered the same energy build up he had seen in the test pilot. Not wanting to risk anyone’s lives, Wendell flew into the atmosphere and decided to accept his fate. As soon as he relaxed, however, the energy build up dissipated, causing him to realize he had to have a flexible will and go with the flow of energy to wield the bands. Returning to the facility, he was surprised to discover his father frightened, not for the near loss of his experiment, but for his son’s well being. Before they could connect further, though, they were interrupted by Nick Fury, who wished to recruit Wendell for a new super human program. [Quasar #1]
Wendell’s surprise success with the gauntlets landed him a position with SHIELD’s new super agent program. After SHIELD dressed him in the Crusader’s costume, he chose the name Marvel Boy. Partnered with Blue Streak, Texas Twister and the Vamp, Wendell and the group were quickly tested by a surprise fight with Captain America. Nicky Fury wanted the Avenger on his team and refused to take no for an answer, prompting a short, sharp battle in which Wendell and his teammates were sorely beaten. Cap appointed the Falcon as the group’s new leader, to form them into a real team. [Captain America (1st series) #217-218]
Soon after, Wendell changed his name to Marvel Man. Developing a taste for the superhero life, Wendell, along with a dozen or so other heroes, joined the Defenders. Nonetheless, he lasted only a day before he quit, having spent the day briefly clashing with the Hulk, chasing juvenile delinquents and taking a dislike to the Defender Nighthawk. [Defenders (1st series) #62-64]
It wasn’t long before Wendell had his rematch with Cap. The Falcon had gone missing, the work of a clandestine group known as the Corporation, and Cap suspected one of the super agent program was a traitor. Once again, Wendell fared well but was easily taken down by the much more experienced hero. With Blue Streak revealed as the traitor and the Texas Twister leaving in disgust, Marvel Man and the Vamp agreed to help Cap take on the Corporation and save his friend.
The trio promptly infiltrated the Corporation’s hidden base on Alcatraz Island. Eager but inexperienced, Wendell rushed in and blasted his way into the base, alerting everyone to their presence. Things escalated quickly when Wendell learned his teammate the Vamp was yet another traitor, and then again after he impulsively freed Bruce Banner, whom the villains had also captured. When Banner transformed into the Hulk, Wendell mistakenly thought he could fight alongside him, but the Green Goliath recalled their last tussle with the Defenders and instead punched him out and went on a rampage through the facility.
By the time Marvel Man recovered, not only had Hulk and Captain America taken down the Corporation’s leadership but the Falcon had been rescued. As an agent of SHIELD, Wendell pursued the Hulk, who had chased one of the Corporation’s fleeing leaders. Growing cocky in his burgeoning powers, Wendell made the mistake of trying to capture the Hulk, who punched him a city block away. To make matters worse, when he woke up, a young boy made fun of his name, a psychological blow greater than that of the Hulk’s physical one. With the Hulk escaping, Wendell reported to his superiors for his next assignment and announced his new codename: Quasar! [Captain America (1st series) #228-231, Incredible Hulk (2nd series) #232-234]
As it turns out, the newly christened Quasar’s new posting was as security chief for Project PEGASUS, an advanced energy research facility. When Ben Grimm, aka the Thing of the Fantastic Four, joined the project’s team, he mistook Quasar for the Crusader and attacked. Fortunately, Wendell was promptly able to subdue the Thing with an energy cage and clear things up. Soon after, his role as head of security brought him in to conflict with Deathlok, Nuklo and the Grapplers, all of whom were after the same device: the Nth synthesizer. Whilst battling Titania and Screaming Mimi of the Grapplers, Quasar was almost overwhelmed by Mimi’s scream. Nevertheless, he managed to find a moment of intense focus, stronger than ever before, and defeated the women in one burst of energy.
Events escalated at Project Pegasus when the criminals Solarr and Klaw escaped confinement and tried to flee the facility. As chief of security, Quasar pursued the pair, only to be temporarily blinded. With the aid of the Thing and Bill Foster, the Giant-Man, he managed to recapture the two felons, though Klaw knocked him unconscious with a sonic boom. When the instigator behind the recent attacks, Dr. Lightner, activated the Nth synthesizer, he became the Nth Man, a living black hole that threatened the lives of everyone present. Despite his injuries, Wendell fought the villain, trying to use his energies to overwhelm the Nth Man. However, it was too much for Wendell alone. In the end, the villain was defeated through the combined efforts of Quasar, Giant-Man and some of the other PEGASUS resident superhumans. [Marvel Two-in-One #53-58]
When the base of the Nth Command, the organization responsible for Dr. Lightner, was discovered, Quasar and the Thing investigated. While doing so, the pair were ambushed by forces of the Nth Command and blasted into a parallel world using an Nth protector. The pair found themselves in a primitive world that had been enslaved by Roxxon Oil, the real power behind the Nth Command and who were extracting crude oil. The duo were promptly attacked, with the Thing captured and Quasar left for dead. Fortunately, some of the planet’s natives found Quasar and nursed him back to health. With the help of the natives, he was able to lead a rebellion that successfully drove Roxxon off the planet and then rescue the Thing. [Marvel Two-in-One #73]
When the mutant musician Dazzler was brought to Project PEGASUS to study her light powers, Quasar was excited to meet her, both for having read about her singing career in Rolling Stone and meeting someone with abilities similar to his own. The musician also found the man quite handsome, which helped ease her own anxiety about being there. However, any chance of romance was dashed due to Quasar’s responsibilities as security chief. After a week of tests, Dazzler declared she had had enough, only for the PEGASUS officials to inform her that she was obligated to stay at the facility until all tests were done. Unfortunately, responsibility for preventing her from leaving fell to Wendell, who fought the singer-superhero when she tried to escape. The two fought briefly, but Quasar’s bands neutralized anything Dazzler threw at him and she soon gave up.
Dazzler’s resulting distrust of SHIELD caused her to fall for the manipulation of Klaw, who convinced her into not only believing he was being tortured but that the same fate would befall her. When Dazzler’s intervention allowed him to escape, Quasar attempted to re-apprehend Klaw but the master of sound’s sonic-based power overwhelmed his light-based powers. Fortunately for him, though, Dazzler stopped Klaw by unwittingly absorbing Klaw’s entire body, which was made of solid sound. Feeling herself to be a killer and blaming Project PEGUSUS, she blasted her way out and fled. Weeks later, Dazzler was arrested for Klaw’s murder and Quasar was called as a witness. When asked if, given the chance, Dazzler would have killed him, Quasar defended Allison’s character and her judgement during the fight with Klaw. [Dazzler #9-10, 13]
While transporting the subdued supervillain Nitro to Project PEGASUS in an ambulance, Quasar detected a usual energy signature at Empire State University. He traced the signature to a secret lab beneath the university being operated by the supervillain Lightmaster, who promptly took control of Quasar’s Quantum Bands. Spider-Man, who in his civilian identity was taking a class upstairs, detected the threat via his spider-sense and investigated, resulting in a fight with Lightmaster and the mind-controlled Quasar. Though Lightmaster escaped with him in tow, Quasar continued to fight for control, albeit unsuccessfully. Currently a being of “living light,” Lightmaster was trying to recreate his human body and, after stealing some components for his machine, he returned to the lab. It was just as Spider-Man returned as well that Quasar finally managed to break free of Lightmaster’s control. Using the lab equipment, Spider-Man and Quasar managed to return Lightmaster to his human form, at which point Spider-Man punched the man unconscious, thinking he was going to attack them. Seeing Spidey attack a now defenseless man angered Wendell and the pair parted on bad terms. [Marvel Team-Up (1st series) #113]
Soon after, Quasar feel victim to the insidious power of the Serpent Crown, which had been provided to Project PEGASUS for safekeeping. Under the Crown’s influence, Quasar and the staff of Project Pegasus worked to bring alternate reality Serpent Crowns into their reality, in order to merge them into a powerful, giant crown and unleash the dark god Set on the Earth. However, through the intervention of several superheroes including the Thing and the Scarlet Witch, Quasar and his colleagues were freed from the Crown’s control. [Marvel Team-Up (1st series) Annual #5]
Feeling it was negligence on his part that caused the Serpent Crown affair, a despondent Wendell tendered his resignation at Project PEGASUS. He put his costume away and stayed at his mother’s house, avoiding life and growing depressed. Worried for her son, Wendell’s mother called her ex-husband, Wendell’s father, for help. Dr. Vaughn suggested an extreme approach to break his son out of his depression: travel into deep space to Uranus to investigate the origins of his Quantum Bands. Dr. Vaughn developed a special life support apparatus to help sustain his son in the depths of space during the long journey.
After four years in space, Quasar finally reached Uranus and awoke from his apparatus-sustained slumber. Investigating the planet, he discovered an empty Uranian colony full of frozen corpses. Despairing at not finding any answers, Quasar was approached by a mysterious shadow-man who introduced himself as Deathurge. Claiming to be an agent of Oblivion, Deathurge explained he was the living embodiment of self-destruction. He went on to tell Wendell a story about the fate of the Uranians: the extremely intelligent people discovered the secrets of the universe, only to grow bored and suicidal since there was nothing left to challenge them. Being immortal, they used a human scientist as their template to remove their immortality and kill themselves, but only after sending the scientist’s son, Bob Grayson, back to Earth with the Quantum Bands.
Deathurge sensed in Wendell that he wished to die and planned to help him, whether Wendell really wanted him to or not. Quasar fought back against the entity’s attack but was powerless against him. Engulfed in Deathurge’s shadow, Quasar suddenly vanished, only to reappear in a pocket of subspace where he was greeted by a bizarre entity. The entity was Eon, the child of Eternity, who explained he had chosen Wendell as his latest champion. Wendell was to be the Protector of the Universe, following in the footsteps of the likes of the legendary Captain Marvel. Agreeing to the role, Quasar was transformed by Eon, bestowed a new costume and mastery over the Quantum Bands. With these new abilities, Quasar was able to defeat Deathurge easily, as well as “Quantum Jumped” himself and Eon back to Earth instantaneously. [Quasar #2]
Quasar returned to his father’s home with Eon and filled him in on everything that had happened on Uranus. He also decided to remain on Earth and fulfil his duties from there, partly because Eon advised the greatest threat to the universe would be coming there soon. Deciding to set up a security consulting firm to earn some money, he inspected some potential office space within Four Freedoms Plaza, the Fantastic Four’s new high rise that had replaced the Baxter Building. On the way out, Quasar detected a villain called the Angler infiltrating the Fantastic Four’s facilities and made to intercept him. After a brief misunderstanding with the Human Torch resulting in a fight, the pair managed to capture the burglar before he escaped with his prize: the Nth Projector. [Quasar #3]
While Quasar was settling into his new office, the gigantic Garthen Sal, Supernova of the Nova Corps, arrived in Chicago demanding the Avengers, who he believed were harboring the intergalactic criminal Nebula. Suspecting this might be the threat of which Eon had warned him, Wendell tried to intervene but was soundly beaten in a one-on-one confrontation by the powerful alien. Teaming up with the Avengers, Firelord and the Fantastic Four put Quasar on more even ground. Ultimately, Wendell played a crucial role by transporting Mr. Fantastic to retrieve his time machine, through which Supernova was sent into the timestream and away from Earth. [Avengers (1st series) #301-303]