Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #1
Kallark / Gladiator (father), Xenith (second cousin)
Prince of the Shi'ar Empire, student
X-Men students, formerly the Shi'ar Imperial Guard Training Academy
• Strontian possessing tremendous power psionically enriched by his faith and confidence, including nigh-unlimited strength, sublight flight speed, superhuman endurance and reaction time, telescopic, microscopic, x-ray, and heat vision, enhanced hearing, the ability to survive in a vacuum, invulnerability, and superhuman lung capacity for high-velocity or freezing breath
Kubark, known as Kid Gladiator, is the only known offspring of Gladiator, Kallark the First, Majestor of the Shi'ar Empire and former Praetor of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. His birthmother is currently unknown but since the Strontian species to which Gladiator belongs is virtually extinct, it’s possible that Kubark is a mix of two different species. Kubark lived a pampered life and enjoyed privileges such as a royal guard and enrollment in the prestigious Imperial Guard Training Academy, where he would train to become his father’s successor. The only one of his kind, Kubark was an outsider in a society built around conformity and tradition. He developed a pompous attitude and was known for his rash and violent outbursts. When his father ascended to the Shi'ar throne, Kubark became a prince and this presumably only bolstered his unwavering confidence and feelings of self-importance. He eventually destroyed half of the royal city of Chandilar for fun and his father had no choice but to banish him.
Accompanied by his bodyguard, Warbird, Kid Gladiator was sent to Earth and enrolled at the newly opened Jean Grey School, which Gladiator was providing with advanced Shi'ar technology. In Kubark’s eyes, Earth was a backwater planet filled with barbarians but he quickly grew a fondness for the school when it was attacked shortly after his arrival. Loving nothing more than a good fight, Kid Gladiator leapt into battle to defend his new home from a full-blown attack by the Hellfire Club. Fighting gleefully against their army of Frankenstein monsters, Kubark hoped such attacks would be a regular occurrence and suspected that he might enjoy his stay on Earth after all. [Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #1-3]
It didn’t take long for Kubark to realize that his new classmates, and even teachers, were not going to treat him with the respect he felt he deserved as Shi'ar Royalty. In fact, the faculty of the Jean Grey School made multiple requests that the Shi'ar Empire take their young prince back, all of which were denied. Nonetheless, Kid Gladiator constantly boasted and never missed an opportunity to fight or show off. After performing less than admirably against some anti-bodies during a field trip inside the mutant body, Kid Gladiator took it upon himself to shrink down yet again and venture inside the body of Headmistress Kitty Pryde to redeem himself. Little did he know that Kitty Pryde was currently infested with miniature Brood, a deadly alien race that was trying to impregnate her. Considering himself lucky to have stumbled onto another fight, Kubark battled fiercely with little regard to Kitty’s body. Warbird and the X-Men eventually went in to retrieve him but were too late as Kid Gladiator was overtaken and transformed into a Brood himself. The X-Men eventually defeated the alien menace and returned safely from Kitty’s body and handed Kubark over to S.W.O.R.D. Despite Kubark’s pleas that he be allowed to remain a fearsome and “awesome looking” Brood, S.W.O.R.D. managed to revert him normal. [Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #4-7]
As unimpressed as he was with his fellow classmates, Kubark spent his freetime with a group of them that included Quentin Quire, Idie Ikana, Broo, and newcomer Genesis. On one occasion, Quentin led the group to a space casino known as to retrieve a device to cure Wolverine's paralysis. With the promise of a fight, Kid Gladiator eagerly went along and witnessed many of his new "friends" holding their own as they battled their way through the casino security. Kid Gladiator was particularly impressed with Genesis who proved to be far more than the frail young boy that Kubark mistook him for. [Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #8]
When the Shi'ar learned that the Phoenix Force had returned to full strength and was headed straight to Earth, Gladiator wasted no time in ordering Warbird to evacuate his son from the planet immediately. Knowing that Kubark would not come quietly, Warbird drugged him, put him on a spaceship, and took off. Regaining consciousness in Earth’s orbit, Kid Gladiator wasn’t ready to say goodbye to his new school or willing to miss out on the war that had began between the X-Men and the Avengers. He took off in an escape pod and returned to Earth. Not even fully understanding why the X-Men and Avengers were fighting over the Phoenix Force didn’t stop Kubark from arriving in Wundagore Mountain and assisting his professors in taking down Avengers. To prove his superiority, Kid Gladiator began by going after none other than the strongest there was, the Hulk.
The Phoenix did eventually show up and inhabited five of the X-Men, who became known as the Phoenix Five. The Phoenix Five wanted to use their new powers to remake the world into a paradise and they were using Utopia, the X-Men’s former island home, as their base of operations. Many of the X-Men flocked to Utopia to assist them and Kubark tagged along, abandoning the Jean Grey School. Kubark continued to assist the X-Men in hunting down Avengers across the globe and was present at a pivotal battle at Chapranga Beach. Kubark fearlessly traded blows with the likes of Captain America and Thor and at one point, attempted to lift Thor’s hammer himself. It wasn’t until he came face to face with his headmaster, Wolverine, that Kubark was taken out of the fight. Wolverine, who was fighting on the side of the Avengers, warned Kubark that he shouldn’t enjoy fighting so much, punched him in the gut, and told him to go back to school.
When Gladiator arrived on Earth, he headed to Utopia to retrieve his son and take down the Phoenix Five, whom he felt could not be trusted. Even with the full might of the Shi'ar Empire at his back, Gladiator proved no match for the Phoenix Five. As Kubark watched the Phoenix Force mercilessly beat his father, he realized how corrupt and heartless they truly were. Kid Gladiator tried desperately to help his father but Warbird physically held him back and he was forced to watch as his father was beat to within an inch of his life. Kubark followed Warbird and the Shi'ar when they took Gladiator to the Jean Grey School to heal.
Kid Gladiator stayed by his father’s side in the school’s medical bay day and night. When Gladiator was back on his feet, he ordered his son to leave Earth with him and would not tolerate any disobedience this time. Kubark was visibly upset and Warbird accused him of liking the Jean Grey School and its students. Kubark denied such a ridiculous accusation but when the time came to say goodbye, he couldn’t bring himself to do anything but watch sadly from afar. [Avengers Vs. X-Men crossover, Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #11-15]
Once back at the Shi'ar Imperial Guard Training Academy, Kubark was unable to hide his true feelings towards Earth and the Jean Grey School. Where the X-Men celebrated each other’s differences, the Shi'ar was dedicated to conformity and order. Being the last of his kind and the only possible candidate to take the helm of Gladiator, Kubark was ostracized by the other Subguardians who preferred the company of their own training groups. Lonely and rejected, Kubark finally admitted to himself that he did miss his old school.
When the Builders, an ancient race who claimed to be responsible for creating the universe, began a path of destruction through the cosmos, wiping out civilizations, all the sub guardians at the Training Academy were called to active duty. Thrilled at the prospect of leaving the academy and fighting in a war, Kid Gladiator was furious at his father when he was told he had to stay behind. Refusing to sit on the sidelines, Kubark fought the Warbirds assigned to guard him, disguised himself as a Smasher, and snuck aboard their ship. When they arrived at their first battle, Kubark revealed his true identity and revelled in fighting alongside the Shi'ar and Avengers against what seemed like an unstoppable army. Other Subguardians weren’t as brave however and Kid Gladiator found himself taking charge and inspiring the group of Smashers he was with.
When Gladiator came across his son in battle, he was impressed with Kubark’s warrior spirit and agreed to allow Kid Gladiator to stay and fight for the remainder of the war. Kubark had another favor to ask and told his father that he didn’t belong at the Imperial Training Academy because he was unique. Although Gladiator was able to relate to such feelings, he told his boy that loneliness was the price a Gladiator had to pay and that Kubark was destined to be an even greater Gladiator than he was but it wasn’t until the Smashers began respecting him and thanking him for his leadership that Kid Gladiator was convinced of his father’s words.
The combined might of the Avengers and various galactic empires proved to be enough to end the Builder’s onslaught on the cosmos. However the army had little time to rejoice as Thanos had taken advantage of an Earth with no Avengers and laid siege to the planet. Gladiator told Kubark that after they liberated it, he would be allowed to return to Earth, saying that his son was too unique to be confined to the Shi'ar Empire.
Once enrolled back in the Jean Grey School, Kid Gladiator embellished his adventures and even took credit for delivering the final blow to Thanos. He claimed to love his time at the Shi'ar Training Academy and insisted that his return to Earth was another punishment. [Wolverine and the X-Men Annual #1]
Despite living on Earth again, Kubark couldn’t resist the chance to punch a god in the face and eagerly assisted his father when the Shi’ar invaded Asgard. Goaded by Loki, the Shi’ar’s own gods, Sharra and K’ythri, wanted to prove themselves by defeating Thor in a sacred Challenge of the Gods. Gladiator brought the entire might of the Shi’ar Empire to Asgard to retrieve Thor, a mantle currently held by Jane Foster. As usual, Kubark went against his father’s wishes for him to stay behind and fought on the front lines, taking on Cul, the God of Fear. After a fierce battle, the Shi’ar managed to contain Thor and transported her to the M’Kraan Palace where Sharra and K’ythri awaited her. When Sharra and K'ythri threatened to destroy Earth if Thor refused to participate in the challenge, Gladiator made the mistake of apologizing to the new goddess of thunder and Kid Gladiator was forced to watch as the cruel Shi’ar gods assaulted and berated his father for showing Thor compassion.
As the Challenge of the Gods commenced, Kid Gladiator assisted his father in defending the empire against the Asgardian army who raced across the galaxy to rescue their own. Thor eventually won the competition and the Asgardian army made it’s way to the M’Kraan Palace. Angered at their defeat and outnumbered, Shaara and K’ythri called upon the Phoenix Force, which caused even Gladiator and Kubark to turn on them. Unable to stop their petty gods, the full power of the Phoenix Force was unleashed, ready to burn away all of existence. Knowing that even the combined forces of Shi’ar and Asgard were no match for the Phoenix, Kubark suggested calling upon his former classmate, Quentin Quire, who he knew had a special connection to the cosmic bird. Together with Thor and Warbird, Kubark returned to Earth and convinced Quentin to help. Quentin and Thor managed to turn the Phoenix away and for their reckless actions, Sharra and K’ythri were taken away to face the judgement of the Parliament of Pantheons. After Shi’ar Empire and Asgard celebrated their new friendship with a great feast and plenty of drinking, Kubark returned to Earth. [Mighty Thor (2nd series) #15-19]
Kid Gladiator is now a student at the new Xavier Institute for Mutant Education and Outreach in Central Park and while he may not have a fixed place on an X-Men squad, he is sure to be seen helping out whenever there's fighting to be done.Whether it be undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents or interdimensional aliens, Kid Gladiator is usually among the first to respond to attacks and consistently defends the school and his friends, making it all the more obvious that he cares about his life with the X-Men much more than he lets on.
In a possible future predicted by Deathlok in Wolverine and the X-Men (1st series) #4 and visited in the Battle of the Atom crossover, Kid Gladiator went on to become a dedicated member of the X-Men. Now called simply Gladiator, Kubark was vocal about stopping their former teammate Genesis after he had succumbed to Apocalypse’s influence.