Classification: Semi-humanoid extraterrestrial race

Location/Base of Operations: None. Only a few scattered individuals (approximately 100) still exist, most of whom are in captivity. Formerly lived on the planet Ravagor (fourth from sun), which orbited the star Epsilon Four in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Known Members: Captive/Threkker (the same guy, see comments)

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Hunters and their agents (including a Stalker, a Combatron, and Magnoids); other unidentified robots, androids, and inorganic lifeforms specifically bred to hunt down and exterminate them.

First Appearance: Captain America Annual I#3 (July, 1976)

Type: Bilaterally symmetric humanoid bipeds
: Two (on head)
: Four (plus opposing thumb)
: Spatulate
Skin color: Pink/Caucasian
Average height: 5' 10"

Powers/Abilities: By making physical contact, the ruthless Epsiloni could parasitically drain life-energies from other beings of carbon-based origin, enabling them to grow in power; they regarded all other lifeforms as prey. It took a nova explosion to (seemingly) destroy one Epsiloni (Captive/Threkker - see comments).

Traits: The Epsiloni possessed intermediate-level interstellar starships, but their technology was otherwise unremarkable. Their world was originally ruled by a fascistic military dictatorship.

While weakened and in a pre-feeding state, the Captive's fangs were much smaller, and his facial features appeared more like those of an ordinary human -- it was unrevealed if this was a common condition of the Epsiloni race, or if it were unique to the Captive alone.

(Captain America Annual I#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 the galaxy at will -- wherever they found life-force in abundance, they drained it and grew stronger, and entire populations fled from their worlds at their approach.

   Eventually, unidentified civilizations began to breed inorganic life to combat the Epsiloni; this "neo-life" destroyed the Epsiloni, virtually exterminating them (but anywhere from one to one hundred survived, depending on the source).

   The being who would be known as the Captive was captured by some of this "neo-life" and confined to a "Black Hole Star," where he remained trapped, until--after a million years of trying--he eventually managed to escape its gravity.

   The Captive (aka the Thing from the Black Hole Star) fled in his spaceship, and wild chance brought him to Earth; but he was pursued by some of the Hunters who had previously imprisoned him, and who had destroyed and/or imprisoned his brethren in the past. The Captive landed his ship in the meadow of a farm owned by Jim Hendricks -- at that point, he was in a weakened, human-like form and appeared harmless, so the unsuspecting Hendricks trusted him and gave him shelter in his farmhouse. Soon the Hunters began to send down their agents, in an effort to destroy the Captive before he could siphon life-force and gain further power. Jim Hendricks contacted Captain America (Steve Rogers) for help.

(Captain America Annual I#3) - After Captain America arrived, he and Hendricks inspected the Captive's ship, but they had to fight off some of beings sent to destroy the Captive.

   Later, while Cap battled the Magnoids, the Captive and Hendricks went back to the Captive's ship, where the parasitic extraterrestrial drained off Hendricks' life-force and killed him.

   When Captain America returned to the spacecraft, the Captive allowed him to discover what he had done to Hendricks, and as he slowly began to resume his true monstrous form, he demonstrated how powerful he was. He revealed his intention to breed mankind like cattle, to feed him until there were none left. The Captive continued to grow stronger and larger from his absorption of Hendricks' life-force, then he grabbed Cap and began to siphon some of the hero's life-force; but Captain America rallied his strength and managed to tear himself free from the parasitic extraterrestrial's grip. The Captive approached Captain America and tried to touch him again, but with his remaining strength, the hero managed to use his shield to block the Captive's hands -- the weakened Cap knew he would only be able to hold the creature at bay for a short time... 

   Suddenly, the Captive was distracted by the sound of the Magnoids tearing through his ship's airlock; taking advantage of the situation, Cap hurled his shield at the unearthly invader, and the stunned Captive fell to the floor. The Magnoids immediately swarmed over their quarry and bound him from head-to-toe with metal strips, while Captain America picked up Hendricks' corpse and exited the ship.

   From their own spacecraft in Earth orbit, the Hunters seized the Captive's ship with the rays of a "Light-year Sling," which  sent it hurling into deep space. The Captive's spacecraft soon approached the star Epsilon Four, and as the ship's interior began to melt into shapeless masses from the terrific heat, the Captive merely laughed and claimed that even the energy of the star could not destroy him. But he was unaware that he had arrived at a most monumental point in the star's life, because Epsilon Four was going nova, and it subsequently exploded with tremendous force.

(OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10 - BTS) - Threkker somehow 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, he was influenced by the Over-Mind to break out of his cell and rise up against the Stranger and his allies. He was incapacitated by the hurricane-force winds generated by Makkari.

(OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10 - BTS) - The Stranger gave Threkker into Skeletron's custody, and he became a member of the Starblasters.

([Quasar48], Starblast#1, [Quasar#54], Starblast#2, Quasar#55, Starblast#3, [Quasar#56]) - 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 group of others attacked them. After the heroes defeated 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 and killed 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 extraterrestrial criminals, to prevent humans from interfering in interplanetary events. They ended up in Russia, where they were opposed by Winter Guard.

(OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10 - BTS) - Threkker was released from his captivity on Earth when the Intergalactic Council reversed their 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 against this.
    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 I#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 there 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 I#3)". As far as I'm concerned, this is the most concrete evidence in this argument: Anything else is ret-con. (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 (i.e. he's briefly examined and assumed to be dead by a couple of mercenaries who.know nothing or 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 and forth every few years, a la Carrion.
14) See what happens when you leave unanswered questions in the hands of obsessive-compulsive fans!!!???

The information at the top of the profile was 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 of a coincidence for me."

Donald Campbell further 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 I#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-megaton 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."

The plot of the Captive is similar to the plot of Marvel Family alien foe the Space Ghoul from Marvel Family#80 (February, 1953): an alien with humanoid features being pursued by a ghastly looking alien.

Thanks to Brandon Nash for adding King Kirjak's name from Threkker's profile in OhotMU A-Z Update#3 (2010).

Profile by Snood. Expansion by Ron Fredricks.

see comments regarding Threkker/Captive/other Epsiloni.

The Hunters of the Captive have no known connection to:

The Stalker has no known connection to:/font>

The Combatron has no known connection to:

The Magnoids have no known connection to:

Jim Hendricks no known connection to:

Hunters of the Captive

They were extraterrestrial beings of unidentified races and unrevealed pasts -- they were 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.).

Aboard their interstellar warship, the two humanoids--Commander Troga and the bearded King Kirjak--pursued the escaped Captive to Earth. While their ship orbited the planet, they preferred to avoid direct contact with (or discovery by) humans, so they sent a number of creatures down to apprehend and destroy the Captive, including a Stalker, a Combatron, and the Magnoids.

After the Magnoids finally captured the Captive, they used a "Light-year Sling" to hurl him and his ship into the exploding star of Epsilon Four.

--Captain America Annual I#3


It was one of the creatures the Hunters sent to Earth to stop the Captive. It went inside the Captive's spaceship, where it encountered Captain America and Jim Hendricks. When it attacked Cap, Hendricks used a weapon he found in the ship to blast it senseless, and possibly destroy it.

As soon as it was incapacitated, the Hunters apparently teleported it back onto their ship, to prevent its examination and their possible discovery.

It presumably possessed superhuman strength and durability, and likely had some form of resistance to the Captive's life-draining powers. It also liked to go, "Urrr! Urrr!"

(Comment: Apparently, two other Stalkers were sent down before this one [see word balloons of first image in Hunters sub-profile], which Hendricks dealt with before Captain America arrived, but details of his encounters with them are unrevealed.)

--Captain America Annual I#3


It was one of the creatures the Hunters sent to Earth to stop the Captive. Its capsule was launched from the Hunters' orbiting spacecraft, and it landed on Jim Hendricks' farm, where tt encountered Captain America and Hendricks, and it immediately attacked them. But despite its great strength, Cap's determination and skill soon had it on the ropes; in the midst of their struggle, the Hunters fired a heat ray from space at Captain America, but Cap dodged the beam, and it struck the Combatron instead, causing it to burst into flames and explode.

The Combatron 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 spiked gauntlet on its left hand, while its right "Pressure Arm" could fire blasts of concussive force -- it could do this with such intensity that it generated tornado-like winds.

--Captain America Annual I#3


A robotic strike force (numbering at least 38), they were sent by the Hunters to Earth to stop the Captive. Captain America battled them, but he was forced to retreat back to the Captive's spaceship because of the Magnoids' superior numbers. After Cap stunned the Captive, the Magnoids rushed in and bound the Captive with metal strips, and he and his ship were sent off to the exploding star Epsilon Four.

The Magnoids were "animated mineral" and "metallic life," making them immune to the Captive's life-force draining power. They possessed superhuman strength and durability. They were armed with metal clubs, which projected some form of energy beams from the tips.

Their origins are unrevealed, but I'm guessing they were created in the past specifically to hunt down the Epsiloni. They were most likely used as weapons by multiple sources, as King Kirjak described their warship as having a full contingent of Magnoids.

--Captain America Annual I#3

Captive's spaceship

After he escaped from the "Black Hole Star," the Captive fled from the Hunters in this spacecraft -- he almost certainly stole it to assist in his escape.

By wild chance, the Captive found Earth, and he landed the ship in the meadow of Jim Hendricks' farm.

After the Captive was eventually captured by the Magnoids and bound with metal strips, he and his ship were sent into the exploding star Epsilon Four -- the ship melted and was destroyed, but the Captive survived and later returned.

--Captain America Annual I#3

Jim Hendricks

(Jim Hendricks?!! So THAT's what really happened to Jimi!)

He was a farmer who discovered the spaceship of the Captive in his meadow. Since the Captive was in a weakened state and appeared to be harmless, Hendricks trusted him and took him to his farmhouse. He defended the Captive from the creatures sent to recapture him, and he called in Captain America to help.

While he and Captain America were investigating the Captive's spacecraft, Cap was attacked by a Stalker, but Hendricks found a weapon aboard that stopped the creature.

Ultimately, while Cap was trying to stop the Magnoids, the Captive turned on Hendricks and killed him by draining him of his life-force, leaving Hendricks a lifeless husk.

Before the Captive and his spaceship were sent into the heart of an exploding star, Captain America carried Hendricks' remains out of the ship. As he stood over the corpse of the dead farmer, Cap sadly vowed to him that his death would not be in vain, for he had learned a valuable lesson: Earth must forever be on its guard.

--Captain America Annual I#3

images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#3, Appendix to Alien Races: Epsiloni race (main)
Captain America Annual I#3, p8, pan2 (Headshot - Captive, pre-feeding)
Captain America Annual I#3, p25, pan5 (Headshot - Captive, post-feeding)
Quasar#14, p19, pan1 (Headshot - Captive's return)
Quasar#16, p9, pan1 (Bodyshot - Captive's return)
Quasar#55, p15, pan2 (Threkker vs. Quasar)
Starblast#1, p5, pan1 (Headshot - Threkker)
Maximum Security#1, p17, pan3 (Threkker's return (on Avengers' monitor-screen))
Captain America Annual I#3, p26, pan1 (Captive; Captain America (background))
Starblast#2, p6, pan2 (Threkker)
Captain America Annual I#3, p5, pan5 (Hunters' spacecraft)
Captain America Annual I#3, p6, pan2 (Commander Troga (left), King Kirjak (right))
Captain America Annual I#3, p13, pan5 (King Kirjak (left), Commander Troga (right))
Captain America Annual I#3, p1, pan1 (Stalker grabs Captain America)
Captain America Annual I#3, p2-3, pan1 (Stalker gets blasted with weapon by Jim Hendricks)
Captain America Annual I#3, p9, pan3 (Headshot - Combatron)
Captain America Annual I#3, p10, pan1 (Combatron uses its pressure arm)
Captain America Annual I#3, p18, pan1 (Magnoids; Captain America (background))
Captain America Annual I#3, p19, pan2 (Magnoid fires energy burst from its club while it battles Captain America)
Captain America Annual I#3, p5, pan3 (Captive's ship in Jim Hendricks' meadow)
Captain America Annual I#3, p30, pan6 (Captive's ship, lifted by "Light-year Sling")
Captain America Annual I#3, p3, pan1 (Jim Hendricks, firing weapon at Stalker)
Captain America Annual I#3, p23, pan3 (Jim Hendricks, after being killed by Captive; Captain America (right))

Captain America Annual I#3 (1976) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils/editor), Frank Giacoia & John Verpoorten (inks), Janice Cohen (colors), Gaspar Saladino (letters), Marv Wolfman (consulting editor)
Quasar#14 (September, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Manley (pencils), Dan Panosian (inks), Renee Witterstaetter (colors), Janice Chiang (letters), Len Kaminski (editor)
Quasar#16 (November, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Manley (pencils), Dan Panosian & Keith Williams (inks), Paul Becton & Joe Rosas (colors), Janice Chiang (letters), Len Kaminski (editor)
Starblast#1-2 (January-February, 1994) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Ralph Cabrera (inks), Michael Higgins (colors), Paul Becton (letters), 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), Paul Becton (colors), Janice Chiang (letters), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Maximum Security#1 (December, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Jerry Ordway (pencils), Will Blyberg, Paul Ryan, Al Vey & Chris Ivy (inks), Jason Wright (colors), Richard Starkings (letters), Tom Brevoort (editor)

First Posted: 10/31/2001
Last updated: 07/15/2022

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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