STAR STALKER

Real Name: Varanus

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Vorm) mutant

Occupation: Predator

Group Membership: (Star Stalker fascimile only) Legion of the Unliving

Affiliations: (Star Stalker fascimile only) pawn of Grim Reaper and Lloigoroth

Enemies: Avengers, the Cotati, Grim Reaper, Monsieur Khruul, Priests of Pama

Known Relatives: Star Stalker (son)

Aliases: Stalker

Base of Operations: currently unknown;
formerly the Priests of Pama's Viet Namese temple;
originated from the planet Vormir, of the star system Helgentar, in the Kree Galaxy

First Appearance: Avengers I#123 (May, 1974)

Powers: The Star Stalker is approximately 16 feet tall and possesses superhuman strength and durability. Its base level is superhuman to an unknown degree (strong enough to catch Thor in mid-flight with its tail and hurl him away), but its power is amplified by absorption of energy. Its tail could be used as a fifth limb in combat.
The Star Stalker could travel through interplanetary space unaided and unsupported. Despite being reptillian, its mutant nature somehow provided with the ability to resist the near absolute zero cold, as well as the low pressures and lack of oxygen. Upon arriving on a planet, it could then form an ionic coccoon and metamorphosize into a form of "pure ionic combustion," able to metabolize large amounts of energy. In this form, ions flow into it, feeding it. It can apparently drain the energy from an entire planet. It is presumably this massive energy store which it uses to travel between planets.
However, in its ionic combustion state, while it can absorb massive amounts of certain forms of energy, it retains a weakness to great heat, which can weaken or even destroy it. Even ordinary levels of heat cause it some pain, and it prefers to act nocturnally.
After its death, the Star Stalker's power source was the magical energy derived from Lloigoroth and other demons.

History: The Star Stalker is a mutant member of the Vorm race. Its full history is unknown, but it apparently sired a son at some point. The Star Stalker spent most of its life traveling from planet to planet, feeding on and draining the planet's energies, and then moving on. For the most part, the Stalker traveled to unpopulated worlds, avoiding the heat of warm-bodied people and the warmth of planets that supported them.

(Avengers I#123(fb)/134(fb)) - The Cotati summoned the Star Stalker to the prison planet of the their allies, the Priests of Pama. The Priests waited until the Stalker transformed into its ionic combustion state, then struck the ground in unison, causing an fissure through which molten lava poured. The weakened Star Stalker fled for its life to a nearby asteroid.
The Cotati did this because they knew the Priests would find the Star Stalker's weakness. Possessing the knowledge of this threat's weakness allowed them to bargain with the Supreme Intelligence. They were allowed to leave their prison planet, traveling to inhabited worlds which housed Kree Sentries, to remain until needed to fight off the Star Stalker. The Priests split up into pairs, each of which brought with them one of the Cotati.
The Star Stalker sought revenge on the Priests, but could not challenge them, because they knew its sole weakness.

 

 

(Avengers I#123(fb)-BTS) - On Earth, the Vietnamese criminal, Monsieur Khruul slaughtered the Priests of Pama. Somehow immediately sensing this, the Star Stalker traveled to Earth, where it slew Khruul.

(Avengers I#123-124) - The Avengers followed Khruul, to late to stop him, and at dusk they encountered the Star Stalker in the temple of the former Priests. The Stalker fought off the Avengers, then formed its coccoon. While it was metamorphosing, the Avengers summoned the Star-Blaster (a weapon formelry used by Zodiac) to use against it. The Stalker emerged from its coccoon, but then laughed off a full-power beam from the Star-Blaster. The Avengers again tried force against the Stalker, again to no avail. Finally, Mantis, perhaps drawing on some ingrained memory from her suppressed memories of her time with the Priests of Pama, directed the Vision to fire his solar blasts at the Stalker. Unable to withstand the heat, the Stalker fell to the ground, dead.








Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, Bob Brown, and John Buscema.

Englehart has written many great stories, but he also seems to come up with these nonsensical and often contradictory explanations. I don't understand why the Star Stalker fed off the energy from the Star-Blaster, but then was injured by the lesser energy of the Vison's solar gem--he couldn't tolerate the heat!? I don't get it. Maybe the devil made Englehart write that...Or maybe it was the son of the devil.
Anyway, Mantis reasoned that the Stalker had avoided populated worlds, because it had never heard of Galactus. Consistent with this, the Supreme Intelligence had never heard of the Star Stalker, and doubted the reports from the Priests of Pama. The fact that the Stalker waited until dusk to attack them also contributed to Mantis' "deduction" of the Stalkers' weakness (She denied that it was hidden instinct or memory).

As discussed in the various profiles for the incarnations of the Legion of the Unliving, inclusion in any of the groups does not indicate that a character won't be back. The now-living members of the Star Stalker's Legion of the Unliving include Count Nefaria and quite possibly Nebulon (it sure looked like it could be him in the pages of the Defenders II#8--I forgot who pointed that out to me). In addition, both Baron Heinrich Zemo and Necrodamus have been seen in spirit form, so either one of them could be back.

His real name was revealed in Nova's profile in OHOTMU A-Z HC#8.

CLARIFICATIONS:
He should be distinguished from:


Star Stalker (fascimile)

(Avengers I#353-354) - Using power from the demon Lloigoroth, the Grim Reaper created fascimiles of a number of the Avengers' foes, to serve as his Legion of the Unliving. The Star Stalker was amongst these and fought against Hercules. However, with many of the Avengers at their foes mercy, the Vision questioned the Reaper, causing him to doubt his resolve. This broke his control over his unliving agents, who resented being pulled from the peace of the abyss. In concert, the Stalker and the rest of the Legion attacked the Reaper. Lloigoroth then appeared and claimed the Reaper, to punish him for his failure. All of the Unliving Legion were sucked through a vortex from the same portal through which Lloigoroth traveled.

--Avengers I#353 (Avengers I#353-354
















Appearances:
Avengers I#123 (May, 1974) - Steve Englehart (writer), Bob Brown (pencils), Don Heck (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Avengers I#124 (June, 1974) - Steve Englehart (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Dave Cockrum (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Avengers I#134 (April, 1975) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Staton (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Avengers I#353-354 (September-October, 1992)Len Kaminski (writer), M.C. Wyman (penciler), Alexandrov (#353) & Ariane (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)


Last updated: 03/23/14

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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