Quasar #34

Issue Date: 
May 1992
Story Title: 
Operation Galactic Storm part 17, The Scorched Sun

Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rurik Tyler (penciler), Keith Williams (inker), Paul Betcon (colorist), Janice Chiang (letterer), Kelly Corvese (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Her witnesses a large ship head into a stargate that leads to the Kree galaxy. As Quasar asked Her to prevent any and all star craft from crossing over, she attacks the ship, and blocks the stargate. This results in the Super Skrull attacking Her, and pushes Her through the stargate. Quasar arrives on scene and traps the Super Skrull. Seeing that the Skrull vessel has the nega-bomb, he attempts to disconnect it from the Skrull ship, despite warnings from a Shi’ar officer. Quasar tries to explain that Empress Lilandra has recalled the bomb, but the Skrull isn’t interested in listening. Quasar is soon distracted by sunspots that multiply around the stargates. His Quantum Bands inform him that the sunspots are a result of the energy from the nega-bomb. Quasar is forced to let the Skrulls take the nega-bomb into Kree space, through the stargate, leaving him to worry about the sunspots around Earth’s sun. Quasar contacts his cosmic ward, Epoch, for assistance with the sun’s problems, and is surprised when Epoch takes an usual form, and appears “in person”. Quasar is soon alerted to someone at the nearby stargate, and he quantum jumps there, to find Her battling Binary. He manages to stop the two women from fighting, and Binary explains that she was attempting to retrieve the nega-bomb. Quasar and Her return to the sun, and Binary is shocked to learn that it is in danger, leaving her to decide whether to go after the bomb for Lilandra, or help save her planet’s sun. Quasar thinks hard about a plan to stop the sun from exploding. They do come up with an idea, although it is risky for Quasar, and he leaves, to carry the plan out. Binary arrives at the sun, and seeing that Quasar is doing something, she knows it won’t be enough, as she has the power of a star within her, so only she can save the run. She creates a white hole in the heart of the sun so she can suck up all of the contamination, the sunspots, and collapse it into nothingness. Quasar realizes something else is going on, while Binary starts to succumb to the immense pressure of her task. Quasar sees that the anti-matter has all vanished and starts to fly away from, the sun, before deciding that he should assist whoever was helping him. He reaches into the nothingness, and pulls from it Binary, who appears catatonic. He takes her to Avengers Headquarters and puts her in the care of Dr Kincaid, and learns that Binary was the Avenger called Ms Marvel. Quasar then heads back out into space, intending to catch that nega-bomb! Elsewhere on Earth, Kayla Ballantine has an unwelcome encounter with the mysterious Angler who has been stalking her. This adds to the strange things that have been happening to her, and she knocks him through a wall, unsure of her newfound apparent powers. Her brother rushes in and they realize that the Angler seems to be dead.

Full Summary: 

‘What -?’ the enigmatic cosmic being called Her wonders as a large vessel suddenly materializes through the stargate that is positioned near Earth’s sun. She sees the ship heading towards a second stargate, the one that Quasar said leads to the Kree galaxy. Quasar entrusted Her with the task of preventing any and all star craft from crossing over. Although it remains Her goal to convince Quasar that she is his ideal companion, she decides that this is not a task she shall shirk. She is unsure of how to break the craft’s momentum, so instead she focuses her energies at the stargate instead, which weave a chaotic latticework of highly energetic particles. If Her was the captain of the passing craft, she would avoid passing through an unknown energy barrier so close to an interstellar warp for fear of engine destruction.

Her turns to see how foolhardy the crew will be, but as she does, she is immediately attacked by a flaming being whom she assumes has emerged from the craft. The being projects fire towards Her, and she figures he must have wanted to strike while her back was turned. Her casually casts an energy beam at the flame, telling herself that it is foolhardy to think that any inferno short of the sun itself would pose a threat to one possessing her level of power. She wonders who the fire-maker is and assumes he to be another of the innumerable Shi’ar Imperial Guard. ‘Now, while she is still engulfed in a barrage of flame’ Her’s attacker thinks to himself as he flies forward, and his arm suddenly changes form, becoming rocky, he is of course Super Skrull, and he punches Her with his formidable strength, so hard that Her falls backwards into the stargate.

Super Skrull decides that he should follow her and make certain that the passage way is safe, when suddenly, he notices a blinding light approaching further in the cosmos. It is none other than Wendell “Quasar” Vaughn of the Avengers, who is relieved that he made it back to his solar system. He wonders if he beat the bomb here, and sees it, silhouetted against the sun. Wendell knows that he just has to figure out a way to dispose of it with accidentally detonating it. Super Skrull realizes that whomever approaches him has not noticed him against the blinding brilliance of the star behind him, so he attempts to deal with him as he did with Her, and casts forth bursts of flame but as Quasar approaches, he sees his attacker and traps Super Skrull in a quantum-bubble. ‘Not another fire-tosser! How many is it I’ve gone up against during this war already? Three?’ Wendell thinks to himself, before recognizing his latest foe as Super Skrull, and recalls that he has hassled the Fantastic Four a number of times, or this is someone just like him, at least.

‘Sorry to deal with you so repetitively, fella - but I’ve got bigger irons in the fire, so to speak’ Wendell calls out. ‘Like this ship of yours towing the bomb to end all bombs!’ Quasar exclaims as he turns from the Super Skrull and flies towards the Skrull vessel, that has been recently towing the Shi’ar nega-bomb. Quasar decides that it must have taken some fancy maneuvering to line up the bulky bomb so it will fit through the stargate portal without scraping, when suddenly, he sees the impulse engines firing, so he realizes the ship is about to take-off. He knows he has to disconnect its payload, and creates large quantum-scissors, which he then proceeds to use, snapping the bonds that attack the Shi’ar vessel to the nega-bomb.

Suddenly, a Skrull officer appears before Quasar and tells him to cease what he is doing at once. ‘You don’t fool me. You’re just a hologram with a radio-wave sound transmitter. Make me!’ Quasar replies, so the hologram of the Skrull officer announces ‘You will leave the bomb as is and let us pass through the star-warp undisturbed - or I will detonate it right here!’ ‘Right. I’m supposed to believe you’d sacrifice yourself and your whole crew if you don’t get your way’ Quasar replies, but the Skrull declares that his race are warriors, that they do not fear death. Quasar then asks the Skrull what it is he is doing with the bomb anyway, as it doesn’t belong to them. The Skrull claims that they are aiding the Shi’ar in their effort to neutralize the Kree, who are their ancient enemy. ‘The universe will be safer without them’ the Skrull adds.

Quasar tells the Skrull that he has a newsflash for him, and announces that the Empress of the Shi’ar has recalled the bomb, that she doesn’t want it dropped anymore. ‘The matter is our of her hands’ the Skrull replies. ‘And in yours, hmm?’ Quasar mutters, before remarking that he has the choice then, of letting the Skrull blow up his solar system, or some other one. ‘Is that it?’ Quasar asks. ‘Yes! Choose quickly, or -’ the Skrull officer begins, while Quasar suddenly realizes that it looks like the sun has grown dimmer. He sees sunspots on the sun, like he has never seen them before. They are bubbling up and multiplying like crazy. He wonders if the bomb could have had anything to do with this, as he thought it was just the stargates causing this increased solar activity.

According to Quasar’s Quantum Bands, the dark spots give off the same sort of reading as whatever is inside the bomb. He knows he has to get the bomb out of the vicinity of the sun as quickly as possible, but he can’t quantum-jump with anything that massive - which only leaves the stargate as an option. Quasar tells the Skrull that he will let him take the bomb away, but not to expect to be let back through the stargate. ‘You detonate that bomb and you’ve got nowhere to escape to. You’re gonna feel its lethal payload, same as the Kree’ Quasar warns the Skrull, whose hologram vanishes as he tells Quasar that his remarks will be taken under advisement.

Quasar watches as the massive ship starts to move through the stargate, and decides that as soon as he sees the sun’s activity settle down, he is going after it, as he is not about to let a bomb go off in the Kree Empire. ‘A whole crew of my fellow Avengers are there, if for no other reason’ Quasar reminds himself, before turning back to the sun, and sees that it is worse than ever. Wendell wonders if he messed up, whether letting the bomb go through the stargate did the sun more harm than letting it hang around here. There is no telling, what is done is done, so Quasar contemplates whether he should plug up the stargate and see if that would help - only it would leave the Avengers stranded. Flares rise up from the sun, and the sunspots increase. Wendell decides that it is getting worse, and wonders what will happen if the sun becomes one big sunspot. ‘Is this dark matter - whatever it is - going to engulf it - extinguish it - or make it go nova?’ Quasar asks himself, knowing that the sun’s light is vital to life on Earth. ‘Is Earth already being affected? Oh, mama - what am I gonna do?’

Meanwhile, on Quasar’s homeworld, Earth, the side currently facing away from the sun, where Quasar’s girlfriend, Kayla Ballantine, ponders the same question: ‘What ami gonna do?’ she asks herself as she is in the bathroom, and approaches the shower. She tells herself that she called in sick and stayed in bed for almost twenty-four hours. ‘I’m gonna go stir crazy if I don’t do something’ she knows, before wondering if perhaps she just imagined that she floated up to the ceiling in her sleep. ‘Maybe I’m just…I don’t know - coming down with something. The flu maybe’ Kayla thinks. She steps into the shower, and decides that the idea that Wendell contaminated her with his Quasar energies is too weird. ‘I mean - he’d know if he was leaking, wouldn’t he?’ she wonders, hoping to feel better after a long, hot shower.

Suddenly, a strange purple and green being enters Kayla’s bedroom by phasing through a wall. ‘Aha! At last she’s…’ he thinks to himself. In the shower, Kayla wonders if her friend Bonnie is busy tonight, while the strange intruder enters the bathroom, as Kayla decides that perhaps club-hopping all night is all she needs to feel like herself again. But, as the intruder tears back the shower curtain, Kayla turns to him and screams - and an instant later, the intruder is somehow knocked backwards through a wall. Kayla gets out of the shower and wrapping a towel around herself wonders what just happened. As she goes over to the motionless intruder Kayla realizes that she has seen him before, that he jumped her in Four Freedoms Plaza on the day Wendell offered her a job. Kayla recalls that his name is the Angler.

Kayla is curious as to what the Angler wants of her, not to mention what sent him flying when he was about to “Norman Bates” her. Pulling back his mask, Kayla sees that he is still alive, and learns that his face is partly angular, also. Suddenly, ‘Kalya!’ a voice calls out, and Kayla looks up, seeing her brother, Devon, standing over her. ‘What the %&%$ is going on here?’ Devon asks her. ‘Oh, thank God - you’ve got to help me!’ Kayla tells him. Devon tells her to answer his question first though, and asks ‘Who is this creep? What happened to him?’ to which Kayla points out that he is a super villain and that he attacked her while she was taking a shower. ‘With a bomb?’ Devon asks. ‘No, with his fork-hand’ Kayla points out. Devon asks his sister what she did to him, but Kayla tells him that she didn’t do anything, explaining that Angler just suddenly went flying back right through the wall. Devon remarks that Angler looks dead, and tells Kayla that she is going to have some explaining to do. Kayla gets up and collapses into her brother’s arms as she replies ‘I know! Help me, Dev!’

Back at the sun, ‘Help me, Epoch! I’ve got to do something to save the sun! It’s being devoured by spots!’ Quasar calls out to the cosmic being called Epoch. He adds that those sports are erupting, when suddenly, Epoch materializes before Quasar, who is surprised, ‘I didn’t know you could do that!’ he exclaims, while the strange being replies ‘I’m omnipotent. I can do anything once I figure out how to do it’ as she releases beams of energy at the spots, Quasar tells her that he is going to need some omnipotence here, before asking her what she is doing. ‘Mmm. Anti-matter’ Epoch replies.

Quasar figured as much, and knows that his Quantum Bands have no control over anti-matter, so he asks Epoch what they can do. Epoch replies that she will ponder the situation, before informing him that there is someone at the stargate. ‘Huh? You’re right’ Quasar realizes, but decides he can’t worry about that now. However, Wendell decides that it might be more bad news hastening the sun’s demise, so he tells Epoch that he will be right back, and speeds away to the stargate. ‘I’ll be okay. I’m omnipotent’ Epoch calls out.

As he reaches the stargate, Quasar sees that Her is fighting with Binary. ‘I was wondering where Her went’ Quasar tells himself, while deciding that Her has a lot of power, so she might be able to save the sun. He then creates a quantum-block between the two of them so they can no longer fight. ‘Quasar!’ Her calls out. Quasar sends a radio-wave transmission towards them so they can hear him and asks Binary what is going on. ‘Tell me the truth or I’ll bubble you up again!’ Quasar warns her. Binary reports that she was going after the nega-bomb, as Empress Lilandra sent her to retrieve it. ‘Then this orange bimbo tackled me as I was about to enter the Shi’ar stargate’ Carol Danvers adds. ‘Who are you calling a “bimbo”?’ Her asks angrily, lunging for Binary, but Quasar tells her to chill out, before informing Binary that the bomb isn’t here anymore, as it went through the other stargate. ‘And you didn’t stop it?’ Carol asks him.

Quasar explains that he had something more important to worry about, and informs Carol that the Earth’s sun3is in its death throes. ‘What?’ Carol asks, shocked. He tells her to go on, to be his guest and prevent the Skrulls from detonating the nega-bomb. ‘If - I mean when - I solve the problem here, I’ll join you’ Wendell tells Carol, while telling Her to come along with him. Her follows Quasar and tells him that she is sorry she left her post. ‘There was this Skrull warrior who -’ she begins, but Wendell tells her that it doesn’t matter. ‘All that matters is that we save the sun!’ he exclaims, and tells Her to prepare for quantum-jump. There is a blinding flash as they vanish, while Binary hesitates, and thinks to herself that Quasar doesn’t realize this is her sun too, as she was born on Earth and still has family there. ‘What if the sun dies as Quasar fears while I’m running an errand for an alien empress?’ Carol asks herself.

Quasar and Her remateralize over the sun, and Quasar asks Epoch how she is doing. ‘If you mean the state of my well-being, I am fine. If you mean have I gleaned the answer to the solar problem, I have one so’ Epoch states matter-of-factly. ‘You have?’ Quasar exclaims, surprised. Epoch reports that what must be done is the anti-matter has to be contained and removed from the sphere of the sun before they can consume any more of the sun’s energy and grow larger. ‘I could figure out that much! I need to know how that can be done!’ Wendell decides that even assuming he could get up enough quantum-energy to bubble up all the anti-matter deposits, he wouldn’t be able to move them, and they would eat through his quantum-energy same as the sun’s.

Her tells Quasar that she has never tried to affect anti-matter with her cosmic energies and suggests that perhaps it would have some effect. Quasar puts his hand to his forehead and replies that he doesn’t want to sound negative, but points out that since Her’s cosmic energy isn’t part of the electromagnetic spectrum his bands can tap, he doesn’t think that her energy would fare any better than his. ‘Think! Think! There must be something to be done!’ Quasar tells himself, before remarking that if he could get in touch with Infinity, the personification of space, he might be able to convince her to intervene, but decides that this is just one tiny star out of the billions and billions that make up Infinity’s form, so why should she care?
Quasar asks Epoch if she knows any supreme being who he might be able to cut a deal with, and Epoch states that she has met such entities, but that it was they who contacted her. ‘I am unsure at this juncture how to -’ Epoch begins, before Quasar exclaims ‘Wait a minute! Wait one doggone minute!’ and suggests that he could open up a hole into the Quantum Zone by quantum jumping, then leaving it open, he could fly around the sun, shunting the anti-matter through it. ‘What would happen?’ he asks Epoch. ‘To you, the Quantum Zone, or the anti-matter?’ Epoch enquires. ‘ALL THREE!’ Quasar replies. Epoch explains that the anti-matter would be harmless within an infinite expanse of the Quantum Zone, but she tells Quasar that even if he were able to create the largest aperture he can, it would take days if not weeks to finish the task. ‘This does not take into consideration how long you are capable of surviving within the sun’s interior’ Epoch points out.

Quasar points out that he plunged into a black hole once and survived the experience, to which Epoch reminds him that at the time, he was non-corporeal. Quasar states that he has no choice, that he has to try, as Earth depends on him. Quasar asks Her to fly to Earth and contact Doctor Strange, suggesting that there might be something he can do with magic, and asks Epoch to keep trying to contact any “big cosmic muck mucks”. Her reaches out for Quasar, ‘Please -’ she begins, but Quasar replies that he has no time for long goodbyes, and turns to fly towards the sun, ‘If I can save the sun, I’ll see you again’ he calls back, as Her and Epoch watch him vanish into the brilliance of the sun.

‘What is the likelihood he’ll -’ Her begins, hanging her head, but Epoch interrupts and states ‘Not good’. Her decides that she should go to Earth like Quasar wanted, and she turns to fly towards Earth, when suddenly, Binary appears in front of her, asking where Quasar is, however Her can’t hear Binary. ‘The sun’ Epoch calls out. Binary then flies down towards the sun. ‘Epoch? Where’s she -’ Her begins, to which Epoch once against states’ The sun’. Binary passes through space, telling herself that she cannot let the sun die, she can’t let the Earth die. ‘Lilandra…the Shi’ar…the billions of potential victims of the nega-bomb…nothing is as important to me as my home!’ Carol thinks to herself, knowing that she could never live with herself if the human race died while she was out trying to protect an alien race.

Carol sees a singular energy vortex up ahead and realizes that it is Quasar’s doing. She knows that what Quasar is doing, however admirable, is nowhere near enough. Energy starts to pulse around Carol, who tells herself that to save a star, someone with the power of a star is needed for that - and that someone is her. Carol reminds herself that since her transformation into Binary she has been able to tap into the power of a white hole. By temporarily causing a white hole in the heart of the sun, Carol can vacuum up all of the contaminating anti-matter and cause it to collapse into nothingness. Suddenly, something else happens, which Carol can’t account for. Another anti-matter gobbling vortex appears that is far more powerful than Carol’s own.

Carol is unable to spare any energy to examine it, but she is not one to look a gift vortex in the mouth. The strain is incredible - she has never tried a trick on such a grand scale before. She hopes that she doesn’t burn out before she finishes, and the pain starts to increase as she is under incredible strain - but Carol tells herself that she must endure. White energy continues to spill out and around the sun, while Quasar sees that the rampant proliferation of anti-matter has stopped - that it has been reversed. The dark matter feels as if it were receding at a phenomenal rate. ‘Whoever - whatever - my ally is, the power he’s channeling is staggering’ Quasar thinks to himself, and decides that Epoch must have found someone “omnipotent” to pitch in. Wendell decides that the anti-matter is gone, and although in his current state he cannot detect it directly, it leaves a wake though his quantum-aperture like a boat leaves a wake in the water, and he doesn’t feel that wake anymore.

‘The sun is saved!’ Wendell thinks to himself excitedly, as he flies outwards away from the sun, when suddenly, he wonders about the being who was helping him - who actually did most of the work, Quasar admits. He can detect his ally’s presence behind him, unmoving. As much as Wendell wants to get out of this inferno, he knows he should investigate, as there may still be some kind of trouble. He flies closer to his ally, and tries to send a message via radio waves. ‘Are you -’ is all that gets through, but Quasar finds Binary, who explains that there is too much white hole and she doesn’t have strength to close it. ‘Leave me - soon as I burn up - hole will close’ Binary explains. ‘No way, lady. Help you to close that -’ Quasar replies over the radio waves, while realizing that this is Binary, thanks to the energy signature.

Carol passes out, and starts to burn up, so Wendell covers her with a protective quantum-aura, and flies away from the sun, noting that the cortex Carol created, whatever it was, stopped once Binary lost consciousness. ‘You’re a hero, lady - and I’m gonna see to it you don’t become a martyr’ Wendell thinks to himself, and, and instant later they emerge from the sun. Quasar knows that they have got to get to Earth and get Binary medical treatment, as there is no way to determine the state of her health out here. He realizes that chasing after the nega-bomb is going to have to wait, while admitting that he never would have suspected Binary was capable of doing what she just did - after all, she couldn’t break out of one of his quantum-bubbles.

Quasar supposes that his quantum-energy prevented Binary from creating a vortex-hole like she just made in the sun. He hopes that his quantum-energy can sustain Binary until they get home. ‘Please hang in there, lady’ Wendell thinks to himself, before quantum-jumping from near the sun, and soon after re-appearing above Earth, where he speeds to Avengers Headquarters, and into a med-lab, where Drt Kincaid is waiting. Carol is laid out on a bed, the red parts of her costume gone, and now bald. ‘How is she, doctor?’ Quasar enquires. Dr Kincaid explains thast it is too soon to tell, and turns to Edwin Jarvis, asking him to pull up Binary’s medical file. Jarvis confirms that he has the data, but reveals that it pertains to when Carol was the Avenger known as Ms Marvel, not her current transformed state.

‘Binary was Ms Marvel? I didn’t know that. No wonder she opted to save the Earth. This is home to her! And I’m not about to let her hard work go to waste!’ Quasar declares, before turning to leave the med-lab. Jarvis asks Quasar where he is going, and Wendell explains that he has to get to the Kree galaxy to prevent a bomb from exploding - assuming he isn’t already too late. Jarvis informs Quasar that he has prepared a lunch box for him, and that it is by the back door. ‘Thanks!’ Wendell replies.

And soon, Quasar is in orbit once again, sandwich in hand, he contacts Epoch, announcing that he has emerged from Earth’s atmosphere and is about to quantum-jump to the Kree galaxy. He asks Epoch if she will be okay until he gets back, and Epoch confirms that she will. Quasar asks Epoch to see what she can do about plugging up those stargates, adding that he would do it himself - but he has a bomb to catch!

Characters Involved: 



Kayla Ballantine
Devon Ballantine

Dr Kincaid
Edwin Jarvis

Super Skrull
Skrull officer


Story Notes: 

This issue follows Avengers West Coast #82 and continues in Wonder Man #9.

Kayla Ballantine previously encountered the Angler in Quasar #3.

Quasar and Binary met last issue, and during their encounter Quasar trapped her in a quantum-bubble.

Carol became Binary in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #164-166.

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