Arc arrives with Gladiator

Real Name: Arc

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial humanoid, member of Shi'ar Galactic Empire

Occupation: Superguardian

Group Membership: Imperial Superguardian Elite

Affiliations: Avengers (Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, Hyperion, Thor);
fellow Imperial Guard members (notably Black Light, Blimp, Cosmo, Electron, Fader, Gladiator, Kid Gladiator, Manta, Monstra, Neosaurus, Oracle, Plutonia, Schism, Smasher, Squorm, Stuff), Vulcan;

formerly Lilandra

Enemies: Builders, Cassandra Nova, Inhumans, Lilandra, Ronan the Accuser and the Kree, Starjammers (Ch'od, Havok, Korvus, Marvel Girl, Polaris);

formerly mutants at the Xavier Institute, especially Beast, Cyclops, Wolverine, Xorn (Kuan-Yin)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Shi'ar Galactic Empire;

formerly Shi'ar Superdestroyer above Earth;
formerly Xavier Institute, Salem Center, New York State, U.S.A.

First Appearance: New X-Men I#123 (April, 2002)

Powers/Abilities: Arc stood around 6' tall and could fly, although this may have been with the aid of an Imperial Flight Patch that also served as a wrist-mounted communicator. He could generate bio-electric blasts, and displayed an electric aura around his head when he was charged. He also professed to having a penchant for black humour. He wore a uniform of blue and gold, with a gold heart-like amulet over where a human heart would be. He seemed to have gold skin and eyes too, depending on the artist.

Height: 6'4"
Weight: 225 lbs.

Arc calls for Gladiator's helpHistory: 

(New X-Men I#123 - BTS) - The Shi'ar Empress, Lilandra, her mind controlled by the villainous Cassandra Nova, who inhabited Charles Xavier's body, arrived in lower Earth orbit with a team of Superguardians, including Arc, under the leadership of Gladiator. Cassandra Nova used Lilandra to enforce the power of the Imperial Superguardian Elite to attack the X-Men, using a lie that the mutants were infected and had to be exterminated.

(New X-Men I#123) - Using the element of surprise, Arc, Monstra and Squorm downed an X-Wing Mark 8 that was carrying Cyclops and Xorn (Kuan-Yin). Returning to the Superdestroyer, the Superguardians kidnapped the two mutants to use as samples for supposed "thought-plague contamination".

From an external observation deck of the Superdestroyer, which was parked over a think blanket of cloud, Gladiator led Arc, Cosmo and Squorm in an attack against the Xavier Institute, arriving in fiery trails on the Mansion grounds.

(New X-Men I#124) - Several meters in the air, Arc patrolled the Mansion gardens alongside fellow Superguardians, Manta, Neosaurus, Oracle and Plutonia. Arc queried what was so tough about the X-Men, as a trained Superguardian could "sterilize a city". Neosaurus became separated from the group and had its exo-body killed by Wolverine; Arc heard Wolverine's victory howl, as Gladiator arrived with Blimp and Schism.

Responding to urgent calls for help from inside the Mansion from Monstra and Squorm, who had been disabled by Beast, Arc arrived with Schism and Blimp to see several Superguardians already felled. Arc electrocuted Beast, then derided Beast's would-be bravado. Just then, Wolverine smashed through an upper window using Neosaurus' Imperial Flight Patch and slashed at Blimp and Schism. Arc called for Gladiator's urgent assistance. In the meantime, Beast grabbed the deflating form of Blimp and wrapped his rubbery form around Arc to act as insulation against Arc's electrified form. Blimp vomited blue liquid onto Arc's face. Beast then repeatedly punched Blimp in the back of his deflated head, the force carrying through to knock Arc out as well.

(New X-Men I#133 - BTS) - Arc left Earth space along with the rest of Lilandra's Superguardians bound for Shi'ar space after the increasing and repeated manifestation of the Phoenix force in Jean Grey.

Van Sciver's Arc walking on the Superdestroyer Kordey's Arc charged up

(War of Kings#1) - Arc was amongst the Imperial Guard members commanded by Emperor Vulcan in the deadly attack on the wedding between the Kree Ronan the Accuser and the Inhuman Crystal, electrocuting various Kree soldiers.

(Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard#5 (fb)) - Gladiator had more of the Guard (Arc, Black Light, Commando, Electron, G-Type, Moondancer, Titan, Voyager, White Noise) assembled at his order, to rescue the stranded team (Fang, Flashfire, Hussar, Manta, Mentor, Neutron, Oracle, Plutonia, Warstar), with Ch'od, Raza, Talon (previously thought to be Smasher), and Quasar, from within the Fault. Voyager, with great strain, opened a gateway to within the Fault, then stayed behind while Moondancer used her powers to guide them through the debris and to the ship, which was surrounded by bizarre and deadly xenoform beings patterned after the X-Men.

(Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard#5) - The two sides of the Guard savagely attacked the aliens, killing them swiftly and decisively. Mentor soon reported to Gladiator that "an abominable universe of reciprocal otherness" was upon them from the other side of the Fault, full of cancerous aggression and new physical laws. Talon then ensured them that using his amulets would allow them to create two more Raptor beings, and Mentor and Plutonia volunteered, becoming Strel and Kyte respectively. During the battle, Black Light and Neutron were killed. The combined Guard narrowly escaped a savage telepathic attack when Ch'od and Raza launched the Symbiote (formerly of the Praetorians) at the Xavier being the attack had originated from. After they successfully escaped, Gladiator reported their success to the Inhumans, and announced the pending war with the Fault universe. While honoring their newly dead (joining the ranks of thousands of others) on the mausoleum world of Elysialla VII, the Guard stood with newly appointed members in the roles of Mentor, Neutron, Plutonia, Smasher, and Starbolt. Fang recited the Guard's oath. "I will not falter, and I will not swerve. From the rising of the suns to the setting of the stars. With Sharra and K'ythri to guide me, I will serve out the term of my duty with courage and conviction for it is the greatest honor any being of any species can know to be allowed to guard the Imperium of the Shi'ar and stand, each of us, as a light in the darkness. So I make my oath of allegiance."

(Wolverine and the X-Men Annual#1) - At the Imperial Guard training school, Kid Gladiator provided his report to the others about his time on Earth. In earshot were Titan, Warstar, the Manta trainees, the Fang trainees, and the Smasher trainees, including Subguardian Smasher-7. Other trainees included those seeking to become Starbolt, Oracle, Plutonia, Neutron, Flashfire, Hussar, Electron, and others, but Kid Gladiator was the only one in his program. Against his father's orders, he joined the Smasher trainees (including numbers 10, 11, and 12), the Avengers, and the Imperial Guard (including Monstra and Arc).

Comments: Created by Grant Morrison (writer), Ethan van Sciver with Tom Derenick (pencils) & Townsend, Miki, Hanna, Florea (inks).

There was a significant difference between the artistic depictions of Arc, with van Sciver's superhero style shown at left (enlarged) and Kordey's out-of-focus style at right.

Profileby Grendel Prime.


Arc has no known connections to:

New X-Men#123, p22-23 (main)

p19, panel 2 (walking - van Sciver);
New X-Men I#124, p16, panel 5 (face);
p15, panel 6 (standing - Kordey).

New X-Men I#123 (April, 2002) - Grant Morrison (writer), Ethan van Sciver with Tom Derenick (pencils), Townsend, Miki, Hanna, Florea (inks), Mark Powers (editor)
New X-Men I#124 (May, 2002) - Grant Morrison (writer), Igor Kordey (artist), Mark Powers (editor)
New X-Men I#133 (December, 2002) - Grant Morrison (writer), Ethan van Sciver (pencils), Norm Rapmund (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
War of Kings#1 (May, 2009) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Paul Pelletier (pencils), Rick Magyar (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard#5 (May, 2010) - Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning (writers), Kevin Walker (penciler/inker), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Wolverine and the X-Men Annual#1 (2013) - Jason Aaron (writer), Nick Bradshaw (penciler), Walden Wong, Karl Kesel, Victor Olazaba (inkers), Nick Lowe (editor)

Last updated: 04/11/10

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