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Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Sub-species of humanity (Deviant-Inhuman hybrid), cosmic powered

Occupation: Avatar of Oblivion, geneticist

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Batroc's Brigade (Batroc, Machete, Maximillian Zaran), Centurius, Deathurge, Dr. Hydro, High Evolutionary, Jackal (Miles Warren), Kronos, Maelstrom's Minions, Magneto, Oblivion, Phaeder, Presence, Wladyslav Shinski, Starlight, Un-Being, Weird Sisters, Arnim Zola

Enemies: Anomaly, Avengers, Kayla Ballantine, Celestials, Deviants, Drax the Destroyer, Eon, Eternals of Earth, Fantastic Four, Galactus, Great Lakes Avengers (Big Bertha, Dinah Soar, Doorman, Flatman, Mr. Immortal, Squirrel Girl), Infinity, Inhumans, Kid Reaper, Martyr (Phyla-Vell), Moondragon, Quasar (Wendell Vaugn), Kenjiro Tanaka, Thanos, Gilbert Vaughn, Watchers

Known Relatives: Phaeder (father, deceased), Morga (mother, deceased), Ransak the Reject (son)

Aliases: Malcolm Stromberg, Anomaly, Cosmic Assassin

Base of Operations: The Microverse
    formerly, the Outer Void
    formerly, Malcolm Stromberg's mansion, Long Island, New York
    formerly, several subterranean bases
    formerly, the ruins of the original Attilan, the Atlantic Ocean

Education: Highly advanced training in Inhuman and Deviant genetic sciences by Phaeder

First Appearance: (Maelstrom) Marvel Two-In-One#71 (January, 1981): (Anomaly) Quasar#20 (March, 1991)

Powers/Abilities: Maelstrom possesses the ability to absorb kinetic energy, allowing him to halt others in their tracks, and increase his own physical attributes, raising himself to superhuman levels of strength, size and endurance. He could also perform feats such as stopping a person's heart from beating, and preventing a person's blood from flowing.

    As Anomaly, Maelstrom possessed cosmic awareness, and could alter reality; he was immune to nearly all forms of harm, and could not be affected by the Infinity Gauntlet.

Height: 8' 2", (as Anomaly) Variable
Weight: 425 lbs, (as Anomaly) Variable
Eyes: Purple, (as Stromberg) Purple
Hair: White, (as Stromberg) Grey


(Marvel Two-In-One#72 (fb)) - Maelstrom was born to Phaeder, an exiled Inhuman geneticist, and to Morga, a Deviant woman he had mated with.

(Avengers I#248 (fb) - BTS) - The Deviants put Morga to death, and cast Maelstrom into their slave pits, earning his eternal hatred.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#6 - BTS) - Eventually, Phaeder rescued his son from the Deviants, and brought him to his laboratory at the remains of Attilan. When Maelstrom came of age he assisted his father in their work.

(Captain America I#209 (fb) - BTS) - The German scientist Arnim Zola discovered a cast-iron box in his castle containing the secrets of genetic engineering, left there some time ago by Maelstrom and Phaeder.

(Fantastic Four Unlimited#10 (fb) - BTS) - At one point in time, Maelstrom met a Deviant woman named Medula, and mated with her. Ultimately disgusted by her because she was of his mother's people, Maelstrom cast her away, unaware that she was now pregnant with his son, who would grow to become the infamous Deviant gladiator Ransak, the Reject.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#6) - Maelstrom and Phaeder shared their work with Dr. Wladyslav Shinski of the Enclave, and with Miles Warren, the Jackal, a student of the High Evolutionary.

(Marvel Two-In-One#72 (fb) - BTS) - Maelstrom provided the human scientist Dr. Hydro with samples of the Inhumans' Terrigen Mist, with which Dr. Hydro created his Hydro-Men.

(Defenders I#15 (fb) - BTS) - Magneto discovered a former base of Maelstrom and Phaeder's in the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. After studying what remained of their research, Magneto was able to create Alpha, the so-called "Ultimate Mutant."

(Marvel Two-In-One#71) - After observing that the Inhumans, assisted by Mr. Fantastic, had created an Anti-Terrigen Compound, Maelstrom dispatched Helio, Gronk and Phobius to obtain it for him. Although they successfully sent samples back to his base, they were all captured by the Inhumans, Stingray, and Thing.

(Marvel Two-In-One#72) - Upon receiving the Anti-Terrigen Compound, Maelstrom dispatched Deathurge to eliminate Gronk, Helio and Phobius for being captured. While Maelstrom studied the Anti-Terrigen Compound, he also tended to his father, who was now too weak to survive another transfer to a cloned body. When Karnak, Gorgon and the Thing invaded Maelstrom's lab he incapacitated them with his lab's defenses, but they soon broke free and were joined by Black Bolt, the son of Phaeder's enemy Agon. During their clash, the Thing struck Maelstrom with the Anti-Terrigen Compound, causing him to lose his powers. Unwilling to go on living as a normal person, he crawled to his father's deathbed and demanded that Deathurge kill him. Deathurge complied.

(Avengers I#248 (fb) - BTS, 246 - BTS) - Having awakened in a new body, Maelstrom journeyed to Olympia as the Eternals prepared to hold another Uni-Mind gathering. Because of his features, he easily blended in with the hundreds of Eternals, granting him an opportunity to spy upon them.

(Avengers I#247) - When the Eternals entered their Uni-Mind as Wasp and Captain Marvel of the Avengers observed, Maelstrom knocked out the two Avengers and prepared to siphon the Uni-Mind's energies.

(Avengers I#248) - Maelstrom set up a device which would allow him to drain the Uni-Mind's kinetic energies into himself. However, the Vision interfered with his scheme, and disrupted the device while the Scarlet Witch used her powers to release the Eternals from their Uni-Mind. Maelstrom attacked the Avengers and Eternals, but as they learned that his power was derived from kinetic energy, they found non-kinetic means of attack to wear him down. Finally, Starfox used his emotion-manipulating powers to make Maelstrom stand down. At the realization that he was being controlled, Maelstrom ordered Deathurge to kill him. Deathurge did so, then departed to Maelstrom's lab to await Maelstrom's awakening in a new body.

(Avengers I#249) - While the Vision examined Maelstrom's remains , Maelstrom awoke in his newest body. He now had only one clone left, but Deathurge informed him that he would never manage to use it. Maelstrom then dismissed Deathurge as he began to plan his next scheme.

(Avengers I#250) - Maelstrom awoke Helio, Gronk and Phobius in their new bodies and charged them to defend his laboratory while he prepared his next scheme; Maelstrom used the knowledge he had gained from his brief association with the Uni-Mind to create a device which would enable him to siphon the kinetic energy of the Earth itself, causing it to rotate progressively more slowly. The Avengers raided his laboratory and defeated his minions. In order to halt Maelstrom, the Avengers turned their energy-based powers upon him, forcing him to absorb energy faster than he could handle it, until he expanded so far that his physical form exploded across the universe, simultaneously destroying the generator which had allowed him to steal the Earth's kinetic energy. With Maelstrom's apparent death, the Earth's rotation returned to normal.

(Quasar#19 (fb)) - Maelstrom eventually came to exist in an astral form, and encountered the cosmic being Kronos in space. From Kronos, he learned of the many cosmic beings who manipulated the forces of the universe, and set out to form new alliances.

(Quasar#20 (fb)) - Maelstrom met with the cosmic entity Anomaly, the embodiment of anomalous forces. Maelstrom slew Anomaly, and claimed his position amongst the cosmic powers.

(Quasar#21 (fb)) - Maelstrom met with Oblivion, the master of Anomaly, in order to address what their relationship would be. Oblivion accepted Maelstrom's service, and approved of his plan to obtain cosmic awareness, directing him to Eon, the keeper of cosmic awareness.

(Quasar#12 - BTS) - Maelstrom used his powers on Quasar's father Gilbert Vaughn, causing his heart to stop beating, killing him.

(Quasar#22 (fb)) - Concerned that the Watchers would expose his plans, Maelstrom employed Deathurge (now both agents of Oblivion) to assist him in creating a civil war amongst the Watchers so that renegade Watchers would question their Watchers' code, keeping them occupied. He then witnessed a craft operated by the Over-Mind, headed for the Stranger's laboratory world. He decided to follow.

(Quasar#14-16 - BTS) - Maelstrom's "Oblivion Plague" killed several Watchers as they debated whether or not they should continuing existing, although ultimately, Quasar conceived a solution to their dilemma, noting that since even their deaths would have an impact on the universe, they should go on existing.

(Quasar#23 (fb)) - Arriving at the Stranger's world, Maelstrom encountered the Presence and Starlight, and deluded them into thinking that Eon would one day destroy the universe. He directed them to return to Earth and slay Eon, knowing that Eon's protector Quasar would mistake the Presence for the Cosmic Assassin he had been warned would appear on Earth, thus granting Maelstrom the cover he needed to prepare his own assault.

(Quasar#24 (fb)) - Maelstrom met with the cosmic entity the Un-Being, who had removed Quasar's super-heroic identity. He thanked the Un-Being for doing so, because it had enabled him to arrive on Earth undetected. He cautioned the Un-Being that Quasar would eventually return, and received the Un-Being's promise of help, should he need it.

(Quasar#18) - Maelstrom's astral form met with the Un-Being and Oblivion after Quasar had regained his identity thanks to Origin, the Un-Being's opposite number. They noted that although Quasar had overcome the Un-Being, Maelstrom was now free to act at the Cosmic Assassin.

(Quasar#20) - Maelstrom witnessed Quasar and Eon having a falling-out when Quasar discovered that Eon had been masquerading as Gilbert Vaughn. With Quasar having beaten the Presence, Maelstrom was now free to put his scheme as the true Cosmic Assassin into motion.

(Quasar#21 (fb) - BTS) - Maelstrom slew Malcolm Stromberg, a New York billionaire, and assumed his identity, with his minions masquerading as his servants, and his lovers, the Weird Sisters, as his "nieces."

(Quasar#21) - As Stromberg, Maelstrom summoned Quasar and his friends Makkari, Moondragon, Kenjiro Tanaka and Kayla Ballantine to his mansion. Although Moondragon realized something was wrong immediately, Phobius kept her from warning her friends. Over dinner, Maelstrom identified his origins to Quasar and his friends. When Moondragon dug up enough willpower to hurl a knife at Phobius, Maelstrom halted it mid-flight with his powers. He informed Quasar that he wanted his quantum bands, and demanded that he surrender them for the sake of his friends. Makkari attempted to attack Maelstrom, but Maelstrom stopped him from moving, then made his heart stop beating. Quasar tried to blast him with quantum energy, but he prevented the blast from reaching him. Convinced that he could not stop Maelstrom, Quasar surrendered himself to him, and Maelstrom cut off his hands to obtain the quantum bands. He kept Quasar alive by preventing the blood in his arms from bleeding out.

(Quasar#22) - Maelstrom and the Weird Sisters examined the quantum bands (Quasar's hands still lodged inside, unmovable until his death), and used them to pinpoint the location of Eon. He then directed Phobius to kill Quasar, and used the quantum bands to enter the Eonverse. As he began to explore the Eonverse, Quasar's hands fell out of the quantum bands, signaling Quasar's death back on Earth. Maelstrom then donned the quantum bands, claiming their power.

(Quasar#23) - Maelstrom tore through the Eonverse with the quantum bands, but could not draw Eon out. He finally used the bands to tap into Eon's brain, and drain Eon's knowledge into himself. Although Quasar's astral form killed Eon's brain, it was too late-- Maelstrom had obtained Eon's cosmic awareness. Maelstrom then set out to complete his earlier goal, to make the Earth stop rotating. He then destroyed Quasar's personal death avatar, "Kid Reaper," and set out with Deathurge to use his new powers to make the universe itself halt, destroying everything.

(Quasar#24) - As Maelstrom and Deathurge set forth, Uatu the Watcher confronted them, attempting to appeal to Maelstrom's conscience, but Maelstrom was unswayed, and ordered Deathurge to stab his eyes out, but Uatu teleported away. Maelstrom then created a black hole larger than the Milky Way galaxy itself, so that the universe would be swallowed up inside of it. He then set out to taunt other cosmic entities, mocking Galactus for his hunger. He also visited Thanos, then-wielder of the Infinity Gems, and mocked his claims of godhood. When Thanos declared himself God to Maelstrom, Maelstrom retorted, "In that case, Thanos, you've just met an atheist." Despite Thanos' best efforts, he could not affect Maelstrom with the gems, because of Maelstrom's status as the Anomaly.

As Maelstrom taunted Arishem the Judge for judging other beings, he suddenly sensed that Quasar had returned, and was attempting to halt the growth of the black hole. He grappled with Quasar's astral form above the black hole, as they were both dragged inside of it. Within the black hole, Maelstrom was crushed into paste, handicapped because his body was still made of solid matter. However, the black hole continued to grow.

(Quasar#25) - As Oblivion and Infinity prepared to settle their dispute, with Quasar serving as Infinity's avatar, Oblivion brought back Maelstrom to oppose Quasar. Although the two men were almost evenly matched, Quasar suddenly recalled that when Origin had undone the Un-Being's deletion of his identity, she had caused his earlier costumes to cease to exist. He then adopted his old costume, proving to Maelstorm that he was also an anomaly. Beaten by Quasar's status as a rival anomaly, Maelstrom was consumed by the power of the quantum bands, having lost the concentration he needed to control them. With Maelstrom's death, the black hole ceased to exist.

(Fantastic Four Unlimited#10) - Maelstrom's minions and the Weird Sisters began to gather together Deviants so that they could drain their kinetic energies into a device which would revive Maelstrom. They brought together the Deviants Ransak, Karkas, Yrdisis, Donald Ritter and Deborah Ritter. They were successful at restoring him to life, and he prepared to continue his old goals of absorbing the universe's kinetic energy, with the Eternals and Fantastic Four opposing him. However, in the midst of their battle, Maelstrom learned that Ransak was his son. Unwilling to drain the life force of his own son, Maelstrom rejected his power, and swiftly shrank in size, until he had passed into the Microverse.

(Avengers III#38 - BTS) - Determined to take a more pro-active approach to crime fighting, the Avengers created a holographic, global threat assessment board which listed their various recurring foes. Maelstrom was listed among them, as deceased.

(GLA#3 (fb)) - Maelstrom was converted into proto-natural force as he was reduced into virtually nothing, and beheld the grand design of the universe during this process. He discerned that in order to understand the great secret of existence, the universe would have to be destroyed.

(GLA#1) - Having returned to his mortal form, Maelstrom broke into the University of Wisconsin's laboratories to steal a Chronal Accelerator. He was opposed by the Great Lakes Avengers on his way out, and killed Dinah Soar, then warned the remaining heroes not to interfere with his plans.

(GLA#2) - Requiring Atomic Inverter X-99, Maelstrom hired Batroc's Brigade to steal the device from the Roxxon Oil Corporation's premises in New York. Batroc's Brigade came into conflict with the Great Lakes Avengers during the assignment, but returned with the device.

(GLA#3) - As Maelstrom continued to work on his device, he was visited by Deathurge, and offered him a place as his servant again, but Deathurge reminded him that his only master was Oblivion. Maelstrom explained his recent enlightenment to Deathurge, and how he intended to cause the destruction of all that existed, and Deathurge disapproved of his intentions.

(GLA#4) - Just as Maelstrom was about to activate his device, Batroc's Brigade asked to be paid for their services, but he offered them double their rate if they defended him against any super-heroes who appeared. When the Great Lakes Avengers arrived, their leader Mr. Immortal having learned of Maelstrom's plans from Deathurge, Batroc agreed to aid Maelstrom in return for triple their rate in pay. Mr. Immortal attempted to stop Maelstrom, but Maelstrom surrounded himself with a field of proto-natural force, and activated his device. Doorman sacrificed himself to get Mr. Immortal through the field, and Mr. Immortal learned from Maelstrom how he intended to implode the universe so that he could unlock the secret of existence. However, Mr. Immortal suggested to him that when everything else in the universe was gone, Maelstrom would be alone, and that true loneliness may be the true secret, and that his existence would be meaningless. Maelstrom began to believe him, and asked for a way out. Mr. Immortal responded by shooting himself in the head. Convinced that his plans could not fail, Maelstrom shrugged his shoulders and blasted off his own head. When Mr. Immortal revived from his death, he shut down Maelstrom's device. Doorman, who had been enlisted by Oblivion to take the place of Deathurge, then came to collect Maelstrom's spirit for Oblivion, and Maelstrom was furious to see that he had fallen for Mr. Immortal's trick.

(Guardians of the Galaxy II#7 - BTS) - Maelstrom planted knowledge of Moondragon's whereabouts in a fortune-teller.

(Guardians of the Galaxy II#11) - Maelstrom attacked Phyla and Drax, revealed to them how he had lured them to Oblivion and was then defeated by them. Maelstrom then led them to the Dragon of the Moon wherein Moondragon was really imprisoned. Suddenly the Quantum Bands, that had abandoned Phyla when she entered the realm, came to Maelstrom and he used them to overpower Phyla and Drax. He then offered them to the Dragon of the Moon, if it helped him in return to leave Oblivion's realm.

(Guardians of the Galaxy II#12) - Maelstrom dropped Phyla into the Dragon's mouth and was ready to drop Drax as well when suddenly Wendell Vaughn appeared. Maelstrom easily controlled Vaughn because he now possessed the Quantum Bands, but Vaughn soon got help from Drax. Maelstrom laughed when the heroes fought the awakened Dragon of the Moon because he was sure the Dragon would be grateful for this meal. Maelstrom retreated when the Dragon was defeated after Phyla burst through its gut. He returned to his master Oblivion and was happy that they finally had an Avatar of Death again in the form of Phyla-Vell.

(Guardians of the Galaxy II#24) - Maelstrom appeared before Martyr (Phyla-Vell) who was on Sacrosanct fighting with the other Guardians against the Church of Universal Truth. He told her she was turning out to be a thorough disappointment as the Avatar of Death. So stunned by Maelstrom's appearance, Phyla-Vell stopped fighting and was completely consumed by her vision, which worried the other Guardians. The mentally sensitive Mantis told the others Phyla was conversing with one of the abstract cosmic powers on a higher plane of existence. Moments later, the team was attacked by the furious Matriach. Maelstrom used this distraction to convince Phyla to leave the others to fend for themselves. He guided her to a hidden corridor on Sacrosanct where she discovered a cocoon she believed contained Warlock. Maelstrom subtly convinced her to slash the cocoon and free Magus, so that not only the creation of the Magus would be derailed, her debt to his master Oblivion would also be repaid. Moments after she struck, Martyr was horrified to realize Maelstrom had tricked her. When the inhabitant of the cocoon emerged, it wasn't Warlock but Thanos of Titan who immediately used his eye blasts on her. Overjoyed, Maelstrom cackled that Phyla had been fired as avatar of death.

Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio, Ron Wilson and Gene Day.

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#6 listed Norna as Maelstrom's deceased wife, but this information was not kept for the Deluxe Edition.

Quasar#30 presented an alternate reality in which Maelstrom did not die, and went on to menace Thanos, as the two entities struggled over the universe itself.

Maelstrom received profiles in 1983's Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#6, 1986's Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#7, 1992's Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition#17, 2006's All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#6 and 2009's Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z#6.

Thanks to MarvellousLuke for updating the profile with all new images and Norvo for writing the entries for Avengers III#38 and Guardians of the Galaxy II#24

Maelstrom appeared on the Avengers' threat board in Avengers III#38-- I was one of the fans who suggested him for the board to Kurt Busiek. -- Prime Eternal

On page 2 of Fantastic Four Index#5, it notes that the Citadel of Science of the Enclave was formed by the four Enclave members with the aid of Phaeder and Maelstrom.--Per Degaton

Profile by Prime Eternal

Maelstrom should not be confused with:

images: (without ads)
GLA#1, p18, pan2 (main image)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition#17, Maelstrom entry (handbook image)
Marvel Two-In-One#72, p16, pan1 (fighting Black Bolt)
Avengers I#249, p18, pan4 (back from the dead)
Quasar#23, p2, pan2 (as Anomaly)
Quasar#21, p14, pan2 (as Malcolm Stromberg)
Quasar#25, p22, pan3 (agent of Oblivion)
GLA#1, p19, pan2,3&4 (blows his own head off)

Marvel Two-In-One#71 (January, 1981) - Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio (writers), Ron Wilson (pencils), Gene Day (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Marvel Two-In-One#72 (February, 1981) - Mark Gruenwald, Ralph Macchio (writers), Ron Wilson (pencils), Chic Stone (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Avengers I#247 (September, 1984) - Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#248 (October, 1984) - Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#249 (November, 1984) - Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Mark Gruenwald, Howard Mackie (editors)
Avengers I#250 (December, 1984) - Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott, ian Akin, Brian Garvey, Roy Richardson (inkers), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Quasar#18 (January, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Quasar#19 (February, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Howard Mackie, Len Kaminski (editors)
Quasar#20 (March, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Howard Mackie, Len Kaminski (editors)
Quasar#21 (April, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Howard Mackie, Len Kaminski (editors)
Quasar#22 (May, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Howard Mackie, Len Kaminski (editors)
Quasar#23 (June, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Howard Mackie, Len Kaminski (editors)
Quasar#24 (July, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Howard Mackie, Len Kaminski (editors)
Quasar#25 (August, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Ralph Macchio, Len Kaminski (editors)
Fantastic Four Unlimited#10 (July, 1995) - Roy Thomas (writer), Herb Trimpe (artist), Nel Yomtov (editor)
GLA#1 (June, 2005) - Dan Slott (writer), Paul Pelletier (pencils), Rick Magyar (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
GLA#2 (July, 2005) - Dan Slott (writer), Paul Pelletier (pencils), Rick Magyar (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
GLA#3 (August, 2005) - Dan Slott (writer), Paul Pelletier (pencils), Rick Magyar (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
GLA#4 (September, 2005) - Dan Slott (writer), Paul Pelletier (pencils), Rick Magyar (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Guardians of the Galaxy II#11 (May, 2009) - Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning (writers), Wes Craig (pencils, inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Guardians of the Galaxy II#12 (June, 2009) - Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning (writers), Wes Craig (pencils, inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Guardians of the Galaxy II#24 (May, 2010) - Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning (writers), Wes Craig (pencils), Serge LaPointe (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)

First Posted: 11/23/2004
Last updated: 02/01/2014

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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