Classification: Extraterrestrial, semi-humanoid
Location/Base of Operations: None. Only a few scattered individuals still exist, most of whom are in captivity. Formerly lived on the planet Ravagor, which orbited the star Epsilon four in the Milky Way Galaxy.
Known Members: The Captive/Threkker (the same guy, see comments)
Enemies: Magnoids and their
creators; other unnamed robots, androids, and inorganic lifeforms specifically
bred to hunt down and exterminate them.
Enemies: Magnoids and their creators; other unnamed robots, androids, and inorganic lifeforms specifically bred to hunt down and exterminate them.
First Appearance: Captain America Annual#3 (1976)
Powers/Abilities: See OHotMU entry. The Epsiloni can only drain life from organic beings, of carbon-based origin.
Traits: See OHotMU entry
History: (CapAn#3 (fb, BTS))- More than one million years
ago (according to the Captive), the great power of the Epsiloni made them
the terror of the Universe. They were feared and hated, but never conquered.
They traveled in starships and roamed at will. Wherever they found life force
in abudance, they drained it and grew stronger. Entire populations fled their
worlds at their approach.
Eventually, unnamed civilizations began to breed inorganic life to combat the Epsiloni. This "neo-life" destroyed the Epsiloni, virtually exterminating them (anywhere from one to one hundred survived, depending on the source).
being who would be known as the
Captive was captured by some of this "neo-life" and confined to a "Black
Hole Star." He remained trapped within the Black Hole until he eventually
managed to escape its gravity, after a million years of trying.
The Captive, aka the Thing from the Black Hole Star, fled to Earth, pursued by some of the Hunters who had imprisoned him and destroyed and/or imprisoned his brethren in the past. The Captive landed his ship in the meadow of a farm owned by Jim Hendricks. Soon the Hunters began sending down other aliens in an effort to destroy the Captive before he could siphon life force and gain further power. Jim Hendricks contacted Captain America to investigate.
(CapAn#3)- Captain America arrived and helped Jim Hendricks fight off a number of beings sent to destroy the Captive. Eventually the Captive drained off Hendricks life force, killing him. The Captive allowed Cap to discover what it had done, and then began to demonstrate how powerful it was. It revealed its plans to breed mankind like cattle to feed it until there were none left. The Captive continued to grow stronger and larger from its absorption of life force, but Cap stunned it with its shield while in a growth phase. The Magnoids, sent by the Hunters, caught the stunned Captive, and bound it in metal strips. The Captive was then placed into a ship and sent into space via a "Lightyear Sling." The Captive soon entered the star Epsilon Four and laughed that even the energy of the star could not destroy it, and the star subsequently went nova, exploding with tremendous force.
(OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10 - BTS) - Threkker survived and was retrieved by the Stranger.(Quasar#14, 16)- The Captive (see comments) was seen among the prisoners of the Stranger's Laboratory World. Like many others, it was influenced by the Overmind to break out of its cell and rise up against the Stranger and his allies. It was incapacitated by the hurricane force winds generated by Makkari.
(OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10 - BTS) - The Stranger gave Threkker into Skeletron's custody to become a member of the Starblasters.
([Quas48], Starblast#1, [Quasar#54], StarB#2,
- Threkker was one of the StarBlasters who came to Earth in search of the Star Brand energy. Threkker, alongside Codabac, used a skullhugger to abduct Kayla Ballantine (the holder of the Star Brand) and bring her back to the Dark Seed, their ship.
A group of heroes from Earth joined together to oppose the Starblasters. As they got close to the Dark Seed, Threkker and a bunch of others attacked them. After the heroes dropped Nygorn, the Starblasters' most powerful field agent, Threkker drained power from Vanguard, and threatened to kill him in order to force the heroes to surrender. Darkstar ambushed Threkker, who drained off the last of Vanguard's life force killing him (for awhile, anyway). Furious, Darkstar blasted Threkker, who screamed "Accck My Spine--!" (or the Epsiloni equivalent) and collapsed. Nygorn recovered and incapacitated the heroes, but some of the other Stablasters saw that Threkker was not breathing and decided that the "Earthers" must have killed him. Regardless of what happened to Threkker, the organic Starblasters were later ejected out into space by Skeletron, their former leader.
(OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10 - BTS) - Threkker revived from his injuries, but was soon captured by forces of the Intergalactic Council alongside the other Starblasters.
(Maximum Security#1, [2, 3]/OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10 - BTS) - The Starblasters, including Threkker, were sent to Earth as part of the events of Maximum Security, a plot to turn Earth into a prison for extra-terrestrial criminals, to prevent humans from interfering in interplanetary events. They ended up in Russia, where they were opposed by Winterguard.
(OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10 - BTS) - Threkker was released from his captivity on Earth when the Intergalactic Council reversed the plans to make Earth a prison planet.
Comments: Created by Jack "King" Kirby.
As far as I'm concerned, Threkker is the Captive, and this is
the same guy we've seen each time, although there is evidence both for and
Here's the information as I see it. (with my opinions in italics):
1) The Captive claimed to be the last, but greatest of his species. He certainly could be in error, and he was out of touch with the rest of the universe for a million years.
2) Captain America Annual#3 shows the star, Epsilon Four, meet its death via nova explosion while the captive is inside it. This is inconclusive.
3) The OHotMU entry lists the Captive as deceased. It also lists Baron Strucker, Count Nefaria, Darkoth, the Destroyer, Dracula, Drax, Gamora, Green Goblin (Norman Osborn), the Jackal, Korvac, Lilith, etc. as deceased.
4) The OHotMU entry states that their are approximately 100 of the Epsiloni still in existence, who are in captivity off of their homeworld. To me, this is more reliable info than the Captive's statement.
5) The Captive is seen, alive, in Quasar#14 and 16. Mark Gruenwald holds a contest to identify the characters in issue#14. The character in question is definitively identified as "The Captive (Captain America Annual#3)". As far as I'm concerned, this is the most concrete evidence in this argument: Anything else is Retcon. (I took fourth place in this contest while in College...I failed to identify the Captive, as well as the Dakkamite Elect, and I think the original Four Horsemen of Apocalypse).
6) Threkker, clearly one of the Epsiloni, shows up in the Starblasters (as does Nygorn, who is almost certainly the Last Monitor, also one of the former prisoners on the Stranger's lab world).
7) Threkker appears to die at the hands of Darkstar. Vanguard "died" that same issue: He's back. The Epsiloni are notoriously hard to kill. None of Gruenwald's rules of definitive death occur (ie. he's briefly examined and assumed to be dead by a couple of mercenaries who nothing little about him or his race). Certainly if the Captive survived the inside of a black hole, as well as a nova explosion, he could handle a little darkforce.
8) An Epsiloni is with the Starblasters during the events of Maximum Security. No identification made...but who's the most likely source?
9) Kurt Busiek, in an Avengers message board conversation, stated that he thought that the Captive was dead, and that there may have been as many as three different others seen in the subsequent appearances. Out of respect for Kurt's tremendous knowledge and ability as a writer, this is the ONLY reason I didn't do a single, combined entry for the two.
10) The costumes are VERY similar. I realize that this could be a racial thing.
11) Threkker is larger and more stout, as well as less powerful than the Captive was (at his peak). Shifting levels of energy resources (the Captive was getting bigger as his power grew)...permanent injury from the nova explosion affected his power levels...he drinks milk and it shows...take your pick.
12) If frickin' Aunt May and Doctor Octopus can come back, the Captive can come back! He was laughing that the star couldn't hurt him as he entered it.
13) It all comes down to: Do you believe Mark Gruenwald, who wrote the story that brought back the Captive, or Kurt Busiek, who read it?
Beyond that, it's open game, and it could be ret-conned in any direction by any future writer. It could even continue to go back in forth every few years, a la Carrion.
14) See what happens when you leave unanswered questions in the hands of obsessive-compulsive fans!!!???
The top profile is taken directly from the OHotMU I#3: Appendix to Alien races.
In OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10 it was finally revealed that Threkker and Captive were the same Epsiloni.
The name Epsiloni comes from Epsilon Four, the star into which the Captive was sent, which subsequently went nova. It is first used in the OHotMU entry. The OHotMU named them as being from the Epsilon star system.
Relating to that Donald Campbell asks "Is there any story in which "the Captive" (Threkker) actually refers to his race as the Epsiloni? I think/hope that that name was used only in the OHotMU entry for that race and I've always thought it a poor choice. Just because "Epsilon Four" is the only star mentioned in the story is no reason to assume that it's the Captive's home star. And if, by chance, Epsilon Four WAS the Captive 's home star, then the idea that the Hunters captured him just as his home star was about to go nova is too incredible a coincidence for me."
Donald Campbell adds "Second, the Captive was not the only supposedly-dead character to appear among the specimens shown on the Stranger's laboratory-world in QUASAR#14-16. Ego-Prime vanished when its energies were drained to transform three normal humans into Young Gods; the Kosmosian bathing in lava was Pilai who faded away as he was "killed" by Ant-Man in TALES TO ASTONISH#44; Krakoa the Living Island supposedly froze to death after the X-Men hurled it into outer space; Ten-For was seemingly destroyed when its nuclear reactor power source was turned into a multi-mega-ton nuclear bomb and it exploded in the midst of the invading Autocron fleet; and Meru was last seen as a being of pure life-energy (combined with Dalia). My point is that maybe all these beings didn't "just happen" to survive their seemingly-inevitable deaths, that maybe the Stranger used their imminent deaths as a cover so that he could secretly abduct them without anyone knowing. Anyway, it makes more sense than the possibility of anything surviving a nova at VERY close range."
Thanks to Brandon Nash for adding King Kirjak's name from Threkker's profile in OhotMU A-Z Update#3 (2010).
see comments regarding Threkker/Captive/other Epsiloni
The Stalker of the Captive's hunters has no known connection to:
The Hunters of the Captive were extra-terrestrial beings of unnamed races and unknown pasts. They are most likely descendents of those who originally destroyed the Epsiloni (although they could be the originals, either extremely long-lived, or from suspended animation, etc.). One ship, led by Commander Troga and an unnamed King Kirjak and followed the Captive to Earth and sent two unnamed aliens, the Stalker, the Combatron, and the Magnoids to capture him. After the Magnoids captured the Captive, they had him sent into the exploding sun of Epsilon Four. They preferred to avoid direct contact or discovery with the humans. They possessed advanced interstellar warships.
The Stalker was the creatures sent to Earth to stop the Captive. He encountered Captain America and Jim Hendricks, who used a weapon from the Captive's ship to blast it senseless, and possibly destroy it. As soon as it was incapacitated, the Hunters teleported back onto their ship to prevent its examination and their possible discovery. It presumably possessed superhuman stength and durability, and likely had some form of resistance to the Captive's life-draining powers. It liked to go, "Urrr! Urrr!"
The Combatron was the fourth creature sent to stop the Captive on Earth. It encountered Cap and Hendricks as well. Despite its great strength, Cap's determination and skill soon had it on the ropes. The Hunters fired a heat ray at Cap in the midst of their struggle, but Cap dodged, and the Combatron was struck instead. It burst into flames and then exploded. It possessed superhuman strength (nightmarish strength, in fact) and durability, and likely had some form of resistance to the Captive's life-draining powers. It had a "Pressure Arm" from which it could fire blasts of concussive force. It could do this with such frequency that it could generate tornado-like winds.
The Magnoids were the fifth and final strike force sent after the Captive on Earth. Captain America tried to stop them, but was forced to retreat from their superior numbers. After Cap stunned the Captive, the Magnoids rushed in, immobilized the Captive in metal bands, and sent him off to Epsilon four. The Magnoids were "animated mineral", making them immune to the Captive's life draining power. They possessed superhuman strength and durability. Their origins are unknown, but I'm guessing they were created in the past specifically to hunt down the Epsiloni. They are most likely used as weapons by multiple sources, as Troga described their warship as having a full contingent of Magnoids.
The Captive's ship brought him to Earth. The Captive almost certainly stole it to assist in his escape after it freed itself from the black hole. It either ran out of power, was forced down to Earth by the Hunters, or the Captive was too much in need of life force to go any further. It contained many weapons which Hendricks used to defend the Captive.
Jim Hendricks? So THAT's what really happened to Jimi! He was a farmer who discovered the ship of the weakened Captive in his meadow. Hendricks defended the Captive from the creatures sent to stop it, and he called in Captain America to help. Ultimately, while Cap was trying to stop the Magnoids, the Captive turned on Hendricks, and drained him of his life force, killing him.
images: (without ads)
(Epsiloni main image)
(Captive's return head shot)
(Captive's return body shot)
(Threkker VS Quasar)
(Threkker head shot)
Maximum Security#1, p16-17, pan3 (Threkker's return)
(Hunters of the Captive)
Captain America Annual#3 (1976) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils/editor), Frank Giacoia & John Verpoorten (inks)
Quasar#14 (September, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Manley (pencils), Dan Panosian (inks), Len Kaminski (editor)
Quasar#16 (November, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Manley (pencils), Dan Panosian & Keith Williams (inks), Len Kaminski (editor)
Starblast#1-2 (January-February, 1994) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Ralph Cabrera (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Starblast#3 (March, 1994) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Grant Miehm (pencils), Many Hands (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Quasar#55 (February, 1994) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), John Heebink (pencils), Aaron McClellan (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Maximum Security#1 (December, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Jerry Ordway (pencils), Will Blyberg, Paul Ryan, Al Vey & Chris Ivy (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
First Posted: 10/31/2001
Last updated: 09/03/2016
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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