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COMET

Real Name: Harris Moore

Identity/Class: Human mutate, citizen of the United States (pre-modern to modern era)

Occupation: Adventurer; former philanthropist

Group Membership: Champions of Xandar (Crimebuster/Frank Moore, Diamondhead/Arch Dyker, Nova/Richard Rider, Nova Prime/Tarak Valt, Powerhouse/Rieg Davan, Protector/Thoran Rul)

Affiliations: Princess Adora, Mike Burley, Fantastic Four (Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Invisible Girl/Susan Storm-Richards, Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm), Hank, H.E.R.B.I.E., Jack, Nova Corps, Rom, Sphinx (Anath-Na Mut), Doctor Sun, Master Xar

Enemies: Nebula, "Purple Gangster", Skrulls; formerly Diamondhead

Known Relatives: Helen Moore (wife, deceased), Frank Moore (Crimebuster, son, deceased), unidentified daughter (deceased)

Aliases: "You relic" (nickname used by Diamondhead) 

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
                                  formerly Xandar;
                                  formerly New York City, New York. USA

First Appearance: (as Moore): Nova I#21 (September, 1978); (as Comet): Nova I#22 (November, 1978)

Powers/Abilities: Exposure to the radiation of a gaseous entity resembling a tiny comet altered Harris Moore's genetic structure, granting him the ability to project electrical energy and fly at supersonic speeds. Comet could focus his energies to fire energy beams potent enough to melt steel within seconds. Comet could generate an electron search grid which could search out and pick up a person's specific energy wavelength, making him a superb tracker. The radiation also greatly increased his agility and strength, allowing him to effortlessly tear apart steel mesh netting. His body had high resistance to the harmful effects of rapid flight. Harris' stamina was enhanced to the point that decades of inactivity and frequent alcoholic stupors didn't negatively impact his abilities. Comet's powers also greatly retarded his aging, appearing no older than thirty while in his early to mid 60s (see comments).

Height: 5'11"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Grey

History: (Nova I#25 (fb) - BTS) - Sometime during the late 1940s, the independently wealthy philanthropist Harris Moore met his future wife Helen. They got married and had a son (Frank) and a daughter. Because of his wealth, Harris didn't need to work and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with his children.

(Nova I#22 (fb)) -  In 1956, Harris' car broke down on a desolate road. As soon as he got out of the vehicle to assess the problem, he spotted a burning light in the sky that seemed to chase him. Bathed in its reddish, radiation-heavy glow, Moore found himself transformed by a gaseous comet that gave him strange, unearthly powers that he started to use as a costumed crimefighter, appropriately calling himself the Comet. For a time, he was relatively famous, fighting organized crime and common burglars, all the while irking organized crime.

(Nova I#23 (fb) - BTS) - The underworld put a price on the Comet's head, offering a million dollars to whoever was able to end his life.

(Nova I#24 (fb)) - Moore's family home was blown up by an unknown assassin out to collect the bounty on the Comet. His wife and daughter apparently died in the explosion while Harris and his son Frank were flung in different directions. Shellshocked and severely injured, the Comet found himself alone in a hospital and believed he was the only one who had survived. After having sufficiently recovered and with no word on his family, Moore left the hospital. Before too long, the guilt and shame over being indirectly responsible for his family's demise drove the Comet to the brink of madness. He destroyed all the hospital records, took to the streets and became a drunk derelict.

(Nova I#24 (fb) - BTS) - Unbeknownst to Harris, the incident inspired Frank to swear vengeance on the underworld. The young boy was determined to follow in his father's footsteps and wipe out crime forever which he would eventually do as the costumed vigilante Crimebuster.

(Nova I#21) - Down on his luck, his mind warped and hallucinating, Moore was eventually found in a New York City alley by Mike Burley who initially mistook him for yet another drunk. When Burley went to check on Moore and didn't smell any alcohol on Moore's breath, he figured the old man was actually in need of medical help. He took him to the nearest hospital while Moore kept muttering that he was the Comet. At the hospital, EMTs Jack and Hank decided to make some x-rays to help diagnose whatever ailed Moore, ignoring his feverish warnings. As soon as he was exposed to the x-ray machine, his Comet powers violently manifested themselves.

(Nova I#22) - After the x-rays somehow restored both his powers and his sanity, Moore literally tore his way through the hospital and took to the air, while manifesting his costume. As he whizzed about, Comet spotted two unknown individuals fighting: Nova and his enemy Diamondhead (Arch Dyker) who seemingly incapacitated his opponent by burying him underneath a car and then left him for dead. Deciding to intervene, he landed near the wreckage and began to focus his electron energy to melt the wreckage. With Nova freed and recovered, Comet offered to help the slightly starstruck young hero to help locate Diamondhead. The two took to the air but the Comet refused to answer where he had been all these years, stating that having reluctantly returned to an identity that he had once swore never to assume again was enough to deal with.

(Nova I#22 - BTS) - Doctor Sun, who was constantly monitoring his enemy Nova at the time, spotted the two heroes together. He relied on his technological genius to create a 3D illusion of Diamondhead which he used to slowly lure the two heroes to the actual Diamondhead's location, who he informed of the situation by taking over the circuitry in the nearest television set. Properly motivated, Diamondhead swore to kill the Comet and crush Nova again and again, for he was the strongest man alive.

(Nova I#23) - Nova and Comet engaged Diamondhead, who was initially surprised by their attack but soon laughed off their assault after he'd successfully buried Nova. Unshaken, the Comet declared that, in his day, villains like Diamondhead were a dime a dozen and you could still find those perps doing time at every state penitentiary from here to Los Angeles. In response, Diamondhead grabbed Comet and, after squeezing the life out of him, threw him several miles away.

(Nova I#24 (fb) - BTS) - Comet eventually recovered and made his way to New York City hoping to rejoin Nova who, at the time, had been transported to his Xandarian space ship by Dr. Sun and the Sphinx.

(Nova I#24 - BTS) - Comet's rapid approach was picked up by Crimebuster (Frank Moore), who was patrolling New York City in his Crime-Pod. Moving in to investigate, Crimebuster spotted a flying costumed person resembling his long lost father. His curiosity more than a little piqued. Moore chased the red and yellow garbed figure.

(Nova I#24) - Still unsure, Crimebuster used his vessel's weapons on the Comet, who easily took care of the ship's smokescreen, stun blaster and the Crime-Pod's allegedly unbreakable netting. Crimebuster then called a truce, asking if they could speak for a moment. Setting down on a nearby rooftop, father and son enjoyed a brief but emotional reunion before they spotted Nova hurtling across the sky. Unaware Nova had been sent by the Sphinx who, along with Dr. Sun, had commandeered his Xandarian spacecraft to collect the amnesiac alien Powerhouse. They decided to head after Nova, all the while unaware the villainous Diamondhead had located them to sneak onboard the Crime-Pod to plan his revenge. As soon as Comet and Crimebuster caught up with Nova over London, where he engaged Powerhouse, they were all teleported aboard the Xandarian ship by the Sphinx. The vessel immediately took off, headed for the Xandarian Worldmind, whose knowledge the Sphinx and Sun both wanted to probe for various reasons.

(Nova I#25) - On their way to Xandar aboard Nova's ship, Comet took the time to reconnect with his son. He admitted to feeling horrible and low for having left his family behind while a teary-eyed Crimebuster merely rejoiced in the fact his long sustained hope of seeing his loved ones again had come true. The two hugged while Nova looked on from a distance, reminded of the fact he missed his own relatives. A little while after the Sphinx and Dr. Sun launched the ship into hyperdrive towards Xandar, they were attacked by a fleet of Skrull warships. Nova and Comet went into space to deal with the Skrulls with Harris slightly taken aback by the fact he was actually in space when, back in the 1950s, the idea of outer space travel was merely fiction. At the same time, Diamondhead emerged from the shadows determined to return home by taking control of the vessel. Crimebuster tried his best to stop the superpowered criminal but proved no match for his brute strength. In the end, he was saved by the Sphinx, who ended the fight by blasting Diamondhead. When the villain came to and demanded an explanation, the Sphinx merely stated the Skrulls attacking them so close to Xandarian space meant a larger assault was imminent and all their powers were needed to help fend them off.

(Fantastic Four I#206) - Upon reaching Xandar, Comet and the other vigilantes were astounded to see the once proud planet had been reduced to its four major cities, interconnected through an artificial support system. Comet aided the others in finding a suitable place to dock when they suddenly spotted a rogue Skrull craft headed for Xandar. Unaware three of Earth's Fantastic Four were aboard the ship, Nova's vessel fired on the enemy, seemingly destroying the Skrullian saucer in the process.

(Fantastic Four I#208) - Comet and the others were stunned to find that the vessel they had destroyed did not house Skrulls but rather three members of the Fantastic Four. Nova rushed outside to collect the three heroes, kept alive because of the Invisible Girl's force bubble. At the same time, both the Sphinx and Dr. Sun teleported to Xandar in hopes of gaining access to the World Computers. Moments later, Comet met the FF, who were already feeling the effects of the Skrull aging ray they'd recently been subjected to. Crimebuster watched silently as the once mighty Thing had noticeable difficulties lifting not too heavy objects. Upon arriving on Xandar proper, the FF were reunited with their fourth member, the Human Torch, who'd teleported in to join his teammates. Not too long afterwards, Comet and the others noticed that Nova Prima Thoran had merged with the World Computers. This granted him significant omniscience, enough to foresee the Skrulls' upcoming assault. Before they could truly gird themselves against this attack, they learned the Sphinx had absorbed the knowledge and power of the Xandarian computer banks, gaining massive super powers in the process. Ranting, raving and deeming himself unbeatable, the Sphinx tore a bloody swath through the Nova troops and even made short work of the FF, Nova and his allies. The Sphinx swatted most of Earth's heroes aside and fired an energy blast at Crimebuster. A horrified Comet looked on as his son was hit. Crimebuster was merely temporarily stunned but the Sphinx used this distraction to take off for Earth, voicing his intent to conquer his birth planet.

(Fantastic Four I#209) - Comet watched from the side as Mr. Fantastic used the Xandarian Worldmind's knowledge to quickly construct a miniature, sentient robot that he dubbed H.E.R.B.I.E. which was tasked to help the team locate Galactus, whom Mr. Fantastic figured would be the only one able to stop the Sphinx. The FF asked Nova, Crimebuster and the remaining heroes of Earth to stand together as the new Champions of Xandar against the ever present Skrull threat while the Fantastic Four tried to save Earth from the Sphinx. Crimebuster assured Mr. Fantastic that this unofficial team was up to the task at hand and then saw the FF off.  Not too long after that, Comet and the other Xandarian Champions learned that the Skrulls had pulled back all their forces in preparation for one, final attack on Xandar.

(Rom I#24 (fb)) - The treacherous Diamondhead had no intention of helping his Terran enemies and secretly contacted the Skrulls, who agreed to help ambush the Xandarian flagship by sending out a false distress signal. Upon arrival, the ship and all aboard were to be shifted to another dimension, from where they could no longer interfere.

(Rom I#24 (fb) - BTS) - Crimebuster discovered Diamonhead's alliance with the Skrulls and brought it to the Champions' attention.

(Rom I#24 (fb)) - Before the Xandarian heroes could act, the Skrulls made their move. They lethally wounded Crimebuster and shifted Comet, the Champions and Xandar's remaining Nova Corps forces to the aforementioned dimension.

(Rom I#24) - Visiting Xandar, Galadorian Spaceknight Rom happened to be present when the Skrulls attempted to invade the city-planet posing as the Nova Corps. Using his Dire Wraith detecting device, Rom pointed out that the returning Xandarians were in fact Skrulls. This led to a big fight which saw the eventual return of Comet and the surviving Champions of Xandar to their native dimension. After helping Rom and the Xandarians fend off the Skrulls, Comet and the others vowed to remain together.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#16 (fb) - BTS) - Comet, the Champions and all of Xandar perished when Nebula attacked it aboard Sanctuary II, the mobile space fortress once commanded by her alleged grandfather Thanos of Titan.

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Bob McLeod & Joe Rubinstein (inks)

Though we saw him "die," given his powers and retarded aging it's not unthinkable that Comet might still be with us. Comet first started in the late 1950s, which would have made him a potential member of the initial First Line but he faded into obscurity in 1957 while that particular group didn't band together until early 1958. Of course, the sliding timescale makes it pretty much impossible to have Comet's earliest adventures in the late 1950s, but that's the inevitable result of time moving on.

The Comet would appear to be a take-off/homage to DC's Silver Age Flash -- both have similar costumes, both were drawn by Carmine Infantino, and both "first appeared" in 1956 (The Comet, retroactively, and the Flash, historically).
--Ron Fredericks

Comet, as part of the Champions of Xandar, received profiles in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe#2 (1983), Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition#16 and Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z HC Vol. 2 (2008).

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Comet should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition II#16, p47, pan2 (main image)
Nova I#22, p6, pans1&2 (revitalized against his will)
Nova I#22, p7, pans 1,2,3 (empowered)
Nova I#23, p3, pan3 (fighting Diamondhead)
Nova I#25, p13, pan3 (stunned to be in space like Sputnik)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition II#16, p47, pan4 (killed by Nebula)


Appearances:
Nova I#21 (September, 1978) -
Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), John Buscema (pencils), Bob McLeod & Joe Rubinstein (inks)
Nova I#22 (November, 1978) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Steve Leialoha (inks)
Nova I#23 (January, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Carmine Infantino (pencils), M. Hands (inks)
Nova I#24 (March, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Carmen Infantino (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks)
Nova I#25 (May, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks)
Fantastic Four I#206 (May, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Keith Pollard pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Fantastic Four I#208 (July, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), Sal Buscema (pencils), D. Hands (inks)
Fantastic Four I#209 (August, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer & editor), John Byrne (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks)
Rom I#24 (November, 1981) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Allen Milgrom (editor), Mark Gruenwald (research)

Nova II#1 (January, 1994) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Chris Marrinan (pencils), Mark Stegbauer (inks), Rob Tokar (editor)


Last updated: 01/28/15

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