Quasar (Phyla-Vell) is a fictional character, a comic book superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. She is the second superhero to take up the Quasar mantle, and fourth to bear the name Captain Marvel, her brother Genis-Vell being the third. She was created by Peter David and Paul Azaceta in Captain Marvel (4th Marvel series) #16 (December 2003).
Her name is derived from the Scientific classification phylum, one of the levels of organization (taxons) for classifying life. This is a reference to the fact that her brother Genis-Vell's name comes from Genus, one of the other classifications for life forms.
Fictional character biography
, then known as Captain Marvel, previously destroyed and recreated the universe, the "new" version was subtly altered with Phyla-Vell's existence being one of the changes. It is revealed that she is the second artificially created offspring of Captain Mar-Vell who was created by her mother Elysius
in the "new" universe because her first attempt (Genis-Vell) had been so successful. Initially her origin conflicted with previously established storylines, but this is resolved in Captain Marvel
(vol. 4) #18 (February, 2004).
She fights her brother Genis-Vell, who was insane at the time, in the process helping to restore his sanity. She then tries to lay claim to the "Captain Marvel" title, though her brother refuses to give it up. Phyla is next seen at the trial of Starfox.
Phyla later appeared during Annihilation
where she had been visiting her father's grave with Moondragon when the pair were attacked by Thanos
who ripped off Moondragon's ear and gave it to Phyla, telling her to go to Drax the Destroyer
and how his actions would determine Moondragon's fate shortly before teleporting away with Moondragon. Drax has indicated he will not be stopping his pursuit of Thanos.
Phyla then goes with Nova and Star-Lord to lead a final battle against Annihilus, being saved at the last second by a massive energy wave caused by the just freed Galactus, which left only the three heroes and Annihilus as survivors. Ultimately in the battle, Phyla manages to steal away the quantum bands that Annihilus took from Quasar, weakening him and allowing Nova to finally bring an end to the Annihilation Wave. She is then seen re-united with Moondragon, and deciding it's up to her to become the new Quasar.
The Captain Marvel (vol. 4) series heavily hinted that Phyla-Vell is a lesbian, and in #25 (September, 2004) the character admits that she is attracted to Moondragon and invites her on a tour of the "spiral nebula near Renault VII". Before Moondragon can accept the two wander through a portal.
Annihilation Conquest: Quasar
Phyla had her own miniseries as the new Quasar, stating July through October 2007, called:Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar
. The series was written by Christos Gage
(who wrote Union Jack
), penciled by Mike Lilly
. Phyla is finding it hard to follow the footsteps of the former Quasar and also to follow in the Mar-Vell family’s footsteps. The story is a lot about her trying to handle this power, and seeing if she can contain it. She’s on a quest, and the object of the quest has real importance, not only to her, but to the entire storyline. Phylla and her lover Moondragon follow a voice to find the saviour for the Kree
race who is attacked by the Phalanx
. In the end it turns out 'the voice' is the Supreme Intelligence
of the Kree; thanks to the Supreme Intelligence they find a cocoon, in which Adam Warlock
is restoring. The cocoon breaks open and Phyla and Moondragon ask Warlock to help them fight against the Phalanx. This story was continued in the mini-series Annihilation: Conquest
Following Annihilation, she joins the new Guardians of the Galaxy.
Powers and abilities
Phyla has superhuman strength. She can fire energy blasts and fly. She also acts like an "energy sponge," absorbing any energy attacks directed at her and returning them as energy blasts. She has cosmic awareness and is a proficient fighter.
She is now in possession of the Quantum-Bands formerly owned by Wendell Vaughn.
The Bands grant vast energy manipulation powers, such as absorbing and transforming energy on a stellar level, forming solid energy constructs and forcefields, allowing for space travel and providing protection from telepathic attacks, but gaining the Bands has caused her to lose her cosmic awareness.
Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar has been collected into trade paperbacks:
- Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar (collects mini-series, softcover, 96 pages, January 2008, ISBN 0785127186)
- Annihilation: Conquest Volume One (includes mini-series, hardcover, 272 pages, Marvel Comics, January 2008, ISBN 0785127828)