DARKSTAR: Page 4 of 8

Last Updated: 
7th March 2013


Darkstar, Vanguard and Ursa Major remained in the States for a short-time recuperating from their injuries while Captain America made efforts to secure them political asylum. Sadly, the negotiations were unsuccessful and the three mutants were shipped back to Russia in stasis capsules. For weeks, they were held in a research facility before being liberated by a Russian group of mutants calling themselves the Exiles. Forced to go underground, Darkstar and her friends still attempted to make a difference for the people of Russia and protect the other mutants affiliated with the underground. However, enraged by the Soviet Super-Soldiers’ escape, the Soviet government engaged the assassin called Firefox to hunt them down. Firefox upped the stakes by slaughtering any mutants he encountered during his pursuit of Darkstar and her teammates, including many of their newfound allies. In the end, the Exiles were able to defeat Firefox and take away his cybernetic implants so that he no longer posed a threat. Only six of the Exiles remained alive and any hopes of using the changing political climate in Russia for their cause seemed futile. Even moreso when the more public Supreme Soviets were renamed the People’s Protectorate, successfully riding the wave of political change themselves. [Soviet Super Soldiers]

When her teammate, Blind Faith, sensed a strange phenomenon in the town of Neftelensk, Darkstar joined him in investigating. They found all the townsfolk in a mindless trance. While doing an aerial reconnaissance, Laynia was startled by the sudden appearance of her father, the Presence. Suspecting that he might be responsible for the townsfolk’s strange behavior, Laynia fell prey to a psychic attack from the true villain, a mutant named the Soul Skinner. The Soul Skinner terrorized her psyche with taunts about her convoluted feelings for the Presence. Laynia was overwhelmed by the emotional attack and unleashed the Darkforce, which seemed to consume her. Trapped in this illusion, Darkstar and Blind Faith became thralls of the Soul Skinner just as the people of Neftelensk had. Fortunately, they were soon discovered by the X-Men who had ventured to Russia to visit Colossus’ family. They unraveled the mystery of the Soul Skinner and managed to break the mental hold he had over the two mutants and the townfolk. [X-Men (2nd series) #17-19]

When the moon left its orbit and began moving towards the Earth, Darkstar and Vanguard were dispatched to investigate. Teleporting into space, they met and teamed up with Quasar and several other super-heroes to destroy the alien device responsible and prevent the moon from crashing into the Earth. Shortly thereafter, it was discovered that the situation involving Earth’s moon was part of a larger cosmic plot to abduct the Watcher and Quasar’s girlfriend, Kayla Ballantine, who possessed the Star Brand, an incredibly immense power source. Darkstar and Vanguard agreed to join an impromptu search party of Earth’s space-worthy champions, despite Perun of the People’s Protectorate being part of this coalition too.

During a brief encounter with the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, Darkstar found her match in the Guardian named Nightside, who could shape the Darkforce that Laynia wielded as she pleased. However, the cosmic quest reached its ultimate turning point when the heroes fought the Starblasters, the intergalactic raiders responsible for the kidnappings. When the Starblaster called Threkker began to siphon Vanguard’s life-force, Darkstar tried to restrain him in Darkforce bonds, only to discover that she was too late. Her brother was dead. Devastated, Darkstar lashed out and in a berserker rage, snapped Threkker’s spine with the Darkforce, killing him. Once they were safe, Laynia was no longer concerned with Quasar’s mission or taking down the Starblasters. She retrieved Vanguard’s body and teleported back to Earth, vowing to find a way to bring Vanguard back to life or die trying. [Starblast #1-3, Quasar #54-56]

Darkstar took her brother’s corpse to her father in Khystym. She assured the Presence that she killed the alien who murdered Vanguard but her grief-stricken father wasn’t satisfied. Upon learning that Quasar was involved, the Presence, who had previous dealings with him, easily convinced his distraught daughter that Quasar was ultimately responsible for her brother’s death. Together, they attacked Quasar and Darkstar vented her anger towards him. Quasar expressed his regret at Vanguard's passing but reminded Laynia that he had volunteered for the mission like everyone else. The Presence was not satisfied with this and threatened to slay Quasar’s family if he dared to escape. The Avenger accepted his responsibility and Darkstar and her father combined their powers and seemingly disintegrated Quasar. In truth, though, Quasar faked his death, knowing that he had to use such a ploy to ensure his family’s safety. Believing they had avenged Vanguard, Darkstar and the Presence teleported away. [Quasar #60]
Sometime after this, the Presence inspected the corpse of his son and found a tiny spark of life-force that he was able to re-ignite, nearly exhausting his own powers in the process. [Avengers (3rd series) #43] Around the same time, Darkstar was captured by the deranged ex-KGB officer General Tskarov and taken to the States in a mad plot to use her Darkforce powers for his personal gain. Laynia resisted Tsarkov’s torturing for as long as she could, and was eventually rescued by Ursa Major and her resurrected brother. After helping Daredevil and the Black Widow to defeat Tsarkov, Darkstar returned home to Russia with Vanguard and Ursa Major. [Daredevil (1st series) #369-370]

Following the restructuring of the Russian government, Darkstar and her comrades were no longer considered enemies of the State and were invited to join the new official government team, the Winter Guard. Several other Russian super beings from the now defunct People’s Protectorate and Siberforce joined as well. One of the Winter Guard’s first major missions was repelling the invading Chinese army of the Mandarin alongside Iron Man and the Avengers. [Iron Man (3rd series) #9-10]

With the Mandarin defeated, the Winter Guard returned to their regular duties. Darkstar responded to the request of a local township and went to investigate some strange occurrences at Rebirth Island. There she confronted Dr. Ivan Kivelki a.k.a. The Black Death, who took possession of her mind and forced her to attack a team of X-Men who were visiting Moscow. Darkstar was freed from the Black Death’s control by the X-Men and teleported them all to Rebirth Island. Together, Darkstar and the X-Men discovered that the Black Death was a mutant who was experimented on by the Soviet government, which turned him into a carrier for a virus similar to the Black Death plague. Darkstar and the X-Men stopped the mad scientist and Laynia assured the X-Men that she would make the government take responsibility for what was done to him. [X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #28]

Laynia returned to the Winter Guard and represented them during global emergencies such as the Maximum Security affair. When Kang briefly conquered Earth, the Presence returned from the sub-atomic dimensional plane that he had been stranded in since bringing Vanguard back to life. The experience had caused his insanity to resurface, and he once again sought to turn everyone in Russia into nuclear beings like himself. The Winter Guard opposed him and all but Darkstar fell to the madman’s power and were transformed into nuclear beings. Fortunately, the Avengers confronted the Presence and in the wake of their battle, the Presence’s partner, Starlight, restored Darkstar’s teammates to their regular selves. [Avengers (3rd series) #42-44]

Shortly after this, Darkstar joined the European branch of the X-Corporation, a worldwide organization founded by Professor Xavier as an extension of his X-Men to help mutants in need and advocate for mutant rights. Apparently Laynia maintained dual membership in the Winter Guard while helping the X-Corporation, as her teleporting powers would have easily allowed her to travel quickly between Russia and Paris, as needed. Despite being somewhat older than the rest of the group, Laynia seemed to fit in quite well with the X-Corporation. Unfortunately, she didn’t get to experience their company for too long.

After putting an end to anti-mutant riots in France, the team was called in to help out with a train crash in the Channel Tunnel. What they found was utter horror - the bacterial consciousness of Weapon XII had taken over people and animals alike, it was utter chaos as Darkstar and the others tried to rescue what civilians they could. During the rescue efforts, Darkstar was separated from her teammates. With several dozen civilians to protect, Laynia was the only thing standing between them and the bacteria which was rapidly approaching. Darkstar made a last desperate plea for back-up from her team but received no response. Sadly, Darkstar was infected with the Weapon XII bacteria, destroying her mind and turning her into a zombie-like drone. The mercenary Fantomex, who was aiding the X-Corporation in containing Weapon XII, callously shot and killed Darkstar believing that she essentially died the moment Weapon XII infected her. [New X-Men (1st series) #128-130]

In the wake of this incident, Darkstar was buried at Pere LaChaise Cemetery in Paris in a service attended by her X-Corporation associates and officiated by Professor Xavier. [New X-Men (1st series) #131] Darkstar’s death led to a rift in the Winter Guard and many members, including her brother, left the team and formed a new team, the Protectorate. Desperate to have Laynia back, Vanguard traveled to the realm of Immortus known as Limbo. Limbo was under siege by the Dire Wraths and Immortus offered to resurrect Darkstar if the Protectorate served as his personal guard for one year and eliminated the Dire Wraiths from his realm. [Darkstar & the Winter Guard #2] During this period, Laynia’s soul was shown residing in Erebus, a part of the Greek underworld, alongside other deceased heroes who were gambling for a chance to be resurrected. [Incredible Hercules #129]