Real Name: Gilpetperdon

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial/Unknown

Occupation: Adventurer, Athlete, Explorer, Free Spirit

Group Membership: Elders of the Universe (Architect, Astronomer, Caregiver, Champion, Collector, Contemplator, Explorer, Father Time, Gardener, Grand Astrogater, Grandmaster, Judicator, Obliterator, Possessor, Trader, others)

Affiliations: Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Ego The Living Planet, Gzoom, Fastforward, Makkari, Miximixum, Moondragon (Heather Douglas), Quasar (Wendell Vaughn), Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff), Speed Demon (James Sanders), Super Sabre (Martin Fletcher), Wheelie, Whizzer (Stanley Stewart of Earth-712), unidentified champion;
    formerly Collector,
Contemplator imposter

Enemies: Collector, Death, Fooferah, Galactus, In-Betweener, Nova (Frankie Raye), Silver Surfer, Thanos, and he probably has no love for Grandmaster either

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Golden Man;
    Silver Surfer (Occasionally mistaken for);
    Racer (Occasionally misnamed as)

Base of Operations: Mobile throughout the Universe

First Appearance: New Defenders I#143 (May, 1985)

Powers/Abilities: The Runner is one of the Elders of the Universe. He has devoted his 5 billion years of life to exploring the cosmos, staging tests of speed with the fastest beings on whatever planets he chooses to visit, and generally just having fun. Runner is capable of firing intense energy blasts at his opponents, and is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant. Runner has a very unusual ability: anyone in his vicinity can't help but like him (even if he's trying to kill them!) He may not be able to control his empathic projection of joy and love, and it's doubtful he would even try. His speed can take almost any enemy by surprise, and his power to radiate joy often overwhelms his intended victims, making them unwilling to fight him, even in self-defense. The Runner is usually a peaceful individual, with a childish, irresponsible demeanor and a friendly, joyful personality. As an Elder of the Universe, Runner was immortal as long as he was occupied by his obsession; however, due to the Grandmaster tricking Death into barring all Elders from her realm, he now cannot die by any means. Despite his great age, Runner appears to be very young, physically at the prime of his life.

Speed: Warp Speed, transcending light speed
Agility: Meta-Human
Durability: Physically indestructible
Intelligence: Gifted

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Eyes: Gold
Hair: Gold
Other Distinguishing Features: Golden Skin


History: (The New Defenders I#143 (fb) - BTS) - Runner was born approximately five billion years ago. At some point he learned to tap into the Power Primordial, the energies left over from the Big Bang, giving him incredible power. Following the unexplained extinction of his unnamed race, Runner survived by virtue of his monomaniacal obsession with racing and exploration. For billions of years he traveled the cosmos, having many unrecorded adventures, but knowing that if he ever stopped, ever slowed down, ever lost focus, or the will to survive, he would die (just like Matani Tivan).

(Quasar#58 (fb) ) - A "millenia ago," the Runner visited the planet Grosgumbeek to offer their fastest racers a chance to participate in the Galactic Marathon, which would be held many centuries later. None of the Grosgumbeekans accepted, but the Runner left them a portal to his "Starting Line World" should they choose to participate.

(Defenders I#143 - BTS) - Shortly before the modern era, Runner felt a "strange new mind calling out across the light-years", an adventurous soul like himself, the Defender Moondragon. He decided to investigate, perhaps finally ready to ease his lonely existence.

(The New Defenders I#143 (fb)) - The Runner appeared to Moondragon and invited her to explore the universe by his side. She accepted, and the two began to travel the cosmos, growing close to one another. The romance wasn't to be, however. At one point in their journey, Moondragon asked him to warn the inhabitants of a solar system that their star would soon go nova, but he was unable, as any distraction from his obsession would likely kill him. As he put it "Alas, I don't think I can do that. I gave up much when I chose the path of freedom." At that point Moondragon chose to leave him, unable to live in such a "freedom" that would not allow her to help others, and he promptly returned her home. She fondly remembered her time with Runner, but he quickly forgot her; his freedom did not allow time for memories or regret, only to run, to explore the universe.

(Silver Surfer III#3) - Runner allied himself with the Grandmaster and other Elders in a plot to kill Galactus, and was assigned to kill the Silver Surfer. After genially talking with the Surfer, he explained that had he been confined to one planet as Surfer had, even for a short amount of time, he would have swiftly died. When Norrin asked why he had come, Runner replied "Why, to kill you, of course! I'll make it fast!" He nearly succeeded, easily overpowering the Surfer and sending him crashing down onto a barren world. "That was fun!" He remarked, before speeding away.

(Silver Surfer III#4) - Runner was present when the Elders met (atop Ego The Living Planet) to discuss the Grandmaster's plot, where it was revealed that they could no longer die. Killing Galactus would (allegedly) throw off the balance between life and death, causing the end of the universe and the birth of a new one. The Elders, unable to die, would survive into this new universe, and gain powers comparable to Galactus, who was himself the sole survivor of a previous universe. Runner seemed unconcerned that the Grandmaster's plan would result in the destruction of the entire universe, only expressing regret that it would end just as the Kree-Skrull War was getting "fun". He also nearly started a brawl by boasting how he'd succeeded in defeating the Silver Surfer where Grandmaster and Champion failed, which the belligerent Champion didn't take kindly. If the Contemplator Imposter hadn't stepped in, they would have had a throw-down right there. When The Silver Surfer and Mantis were revealed to be hiding nearby, he joined the others in attacking them, only to be tripped up by Mantis.

(Silver Surfer III#7) - Runner was given possession of the Infinity Gem of Space, and used it as part of the plot to kill Galactus, by draining the monster's life force into a group of planets (Nice irony!). Unfortunately, the intervention of Nova and the Silver Surfer reversed the process; creating a black hole into which three Elders (Astronomer, Possessor, Trader) were pulled.

(Silver Surfer III#9-10) - Defeated, Runner told the other Elders how foolish the plot had been, and that they could never have successfully beaten a being such as Galactus, but it was too late, and he and the others were forced to fight Galactus, Silver Surfer and Nova in an attempt to escape. Unfortunately, the remaining Elders, including Runner, were converted to energy and devoured by the vengeful Galactus.

(Silver Surfer III#17) - Runner and the other Elders (Champion, Collector, Gardener and Grandmaster) found themselves re-formed within Galactus' massive gut, trapped. Runner blamed the Grandmaster and his foolish plans for their unfortunate situation. Then he and the others decided to attack Galactus from within.

(Silver Surfer III#18) - Runner and the other Elders' attacks from within Galactus took their toll, nearly killing the Devourer of Worlds, until they were freed by Lord Chaos and Master Order, in order to save Galactus' life so that he could battle the In-Betweener. The Runner and the other Elder's joined in the battle on learning the In-Betweener had "killed" their fellow Elders trapped in the black hole.

(Silver Surfer III#19) - After the In-Betweener's defeat, Galactus once again turned his attention towards the Elders, and teleported Runner away in his rage.

(Quasar#17) - Runner traveled to Earth and gathered the fastest beings on the planet for a contest, a race to the moon and back, to determine who would accompany him to the Galactic Marathon. Halfway through the race, a mysterious amnesiac calling himself "Buried Alien" suddenly appeared, and won the race, even overtaking Runner himself. Runner took the man with him, explaining that speed was now his home.

(Thanos Quest#2) - Runner was tracked down by the mad Titan Thanos during his quest to gain all of the Infinity Gems, and though Runner managed to destroy the villain's ship, the evil Titan emerged victorious, using the Time Gem he had stolen from Gardener to artificially age Runner by several billion years, turning him into a weak old man, then reversed the effect, reverting him to infancy. Taking the infant Runner and his Infinity Gem (Space), Thanos traded the boy to his fellow Elder, the Collector, in exchange for his Infinity Gem (Reality). Collector accepted this unique proposal, not out of concern for his "brother", but for the privilege of adding such a unique "specimen" to his collection. Thankfully, Thanos double-crossed Collector, returning Runner to his rightful state. Furious at his "brother's" actions, Runner swiftly pummeled the Collector senseless and escaped.





(Quasar#58) - The Galactic Marathon finally commenced, though one of the racers, Foofera, cheated, attacking the other competitors, and the race was declared forfeit. Another racer, Makkari, was trapped in a state of elevated speed, unable to return to the normal universe, and Fastforward (formerly "Buried Alien") abandoned Runner and his games to go save him, much to Runner's disappointment.

(Annihilation: Ronan#3) - The Runner was one of a number of beings who traveled to the planet Godthab Omega, presumably drawn there by Glorian. The newly arrived group witnessed the arrival of the Annihilation Wave/Swarm.

(Annihilation: Ronan#4 - BTS) - The new arrivals' fates are unrevealed, though Glorian eventually wiped out the Annihilation Wave.


(Contest of Champions III#6 (fb) - BTS) - Following the defeat of God Doom and the subsequent omniversal reconstruction, Runner and the other Elders of the Universe became aware of Battlerealm, the former, broken "Secret Wars" reality at the edge of spacetime.

(Contest of Champions III#6 (fb) ) - The Elders traveled to Battlerealm and visited the husk of the old Battleworld where they still sensed an immense source of power waiting to be claimed (the recently formed ISO-8). All the Elders immediately lusted after it, ready to follow the path of their individual obsessions to claim it. Runner told Collector to cut to the chase when Collector tried to explain why they had come to this world. They all agreed to the Grandmaster's proposal of deciding through a contest of champions. All twelve of them would get to pick a champion from the new multiverse to fight in their stead, with Grandmaster already selecting Maestro (Bruce Banner) who they found alive and defiant in the ruins of Battleworld.

(Contest of Champions III#6 (fb) - BTS) - Runner picked a champion, who lost in the battle at Arcade's Killiseum.

Comments: Created by Peter B. Gillis, Don Perlin, Kim DeMulder, Michelle Wrightson, Carl Potts and Jim Shooter

I think Runner was justified on criticizing Grandmaster's plan in SS#17. On the other hand, he wasn't forced to go along with it either...

The reason why Runner attempted to help Grandmaster destroy the universe is unrevealed; it's possible he felt he owed Grandmaster a debt, like Collector, but more than likely he was just bored and in it for the excitement. It was pretty out of character, but not nearly so much as Gardener (a total pacifist trying to destroy the universe?!?). I think the writers just used all the Elders they had, even if it made no sense, that's why they had to turn Contemplator into a Skrull imposter; the real Contemplator would never take part in such a plot. The two Elders who fomented this plot were the Astronomer and Grandmaster, Runner and the others had no real knowledge of the plan until it was near fruition.
   It was Steve Englehart, who can write a great story, but tends to rationalize things however he sees fit.

    Runner once remarked that people often confused him with the Silver Surfer, due to his shiny, metallic skin, but I can't see any resemblance. There is a being who is nearly identical to Runner, Glorian, apprentice of the Shaper of Worlds, though the two apparently either don't know of or don't care about each other's existence. Also, see Starseed on the Clarifications - Daevanator

I like Runner, he's got a sense of humor, and he's childish, irresponsible and usually a nice guy, when he's not listening to Grandmaster's stupid plans. Also, his powers force me to like him! Let's hope his experience with Galactus has shown him the error of his ways, and he has the sense not to try anything like that again. I think it has...

Runner's alliances are short-lived, even with his fellow Elders, in keeping with his transient and noncommittal nature. As several Elders have put it "We are 'brothers' in name only." They rarely interact with one another unless it is for a mutually beneficial goal. They are far too concerned with their own obsessions to genuinely care for each other, and some have a distinct hatred for other individual members.

Ego The Living Planet was present during the Elders' plot to kill Galactus, but took no further action against him, his reasons for backing out are unknown, but likely he either realized that the Grandmaster and other Elders were only using him, or that the plot was doomed to failure. Ego was called an Elder of the Universe at that time, but apparently he never was, presumably Grandmaster and Astronomer merely deceived him in order to gain his co-operation. Alternately, he may have been offered membership, and refused. He is neither the last of his species (He evolved unique into the universe, springing from no race) and bears no overriding obsession that kept him from death; his near-immortality (if not true immortality) are natural traits.

The Astronomer, Possessor and Trader later re-appeared alive. In-Betweener had forced Mistress Death to "kill" them, but apparently even she is unable to break her vow, and they returned to life quickly thereafter.

I think it might be worth mentioning that the Dragon of the Moon stated that Runner was "known" to him. "Runner is known to me: were he here now he would not save you...nor would he long remember your passing." he told Moondragon, in The New Defenders I #143. I think that might indicate the Dragon of the Moon has a pretty large range of influence, since the Runner has only come to Earth twice in New Defenders #143 and Quasar I #17(recorded, that is)...and I think he was in our solar system when he fought the Silver Surfer in Silver Surfer III #3.
--Michael King

His real name was revealed in Gardener's profile in OHotMU Update 2010#4.

Thanks to Loki for providing the image from the Gamer's Guide to the Marvel Universe 1992 Character Update.

Contest of Champions update by Norvo.

Profile by Darc_Light


Runner is not to be confused with:

Defenders#143, p16, pan7 (main)
Gamer's Guide to the Marvel Universe 1992 Character Update, p227 (standing)
Defenders#143, p15, pan4 (walking)
Defenders#143, p16, pan8 (head shot)
Quasar#58, Cover (vs. Makkari)

New Defenders I#143 (May, 1985) - Peter Gillis (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Kim DeMulder (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Silver Surfer III#3-4 (September-October, 1987) - Steve Englehart (writer), Marshall Rogers (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Michael Higgins (editor)
Silver Surfer III#7 (January, 1988) - Steve Englehart (writer), Marshall Rogers (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Michael Higgins (editor)
Silver Surfer III#9-10 (March-April, 1988) - Steve Englehart (writer), Marshall Rogers (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (inks), Michael Higgins (editor)
Silver Surfer III#17-19 (November, 1988 - January, 1989) - Steve Englehart (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Joe Rubinstein (#17-18) & Keith Williams (#19) (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Quasar#17 (December, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Manley (artist), Len Kaminski (editor)
Thanos Quest#2 (1990) - Jim Starlin (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), John Beatty (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Quasar#58 (May, 1994) - Mark Gruenwald & Peter Sanderson (writers), John Heebink (pencils), Aaron McClellan (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Annihilation: Ronan#3-4 (August-September 2006) - Simon Furman (writer), Jorge Lucas (artist), Andy Schmidt (editor)
Contest of Champions III#6 (May, 2016) - Al Ewing (writer), Paco Medina (pencils), Juan Vlasco (inks), Chris Robinson & Mark Paniccia (editors)

First Posted: 01/20/2004
Last updated: 01/30/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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