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gunthar-rigellian-full-mtGUNTHAR

Real Name: Gunthar

Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Rigellian) semi-humanoid tech-user

Occupation: Mercenary, space pirate, criminal/terrorist

Group MembershipNebula's Freebooters (Kehl, Levan, Skunge, many others; see comments);
   formerly the underlings of Thanos ("Thanos-thralls")

Affiliations: Formerly Governor Gorth (deceased); Dr. Harker (deceased);
   formerly (and inadvertently) the Beyonder

Enemies: Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Starfox (Eros of Titan), Iron Man (Tony Stark); the Stranger, Punisher (Frank Castle);
   indirectly opposed by Imperial Skrull Armada (commanded by General Zedrao); Avengers (Wasp/Janet Van Dyne, Black Knight/Dane Whitman, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Hercules, Sersi, Spider-Man/Peter Parker, Thor Odinson, the Vision); Firelord (Pyreus Kril); the Champions (and people) of Xandar (deceased)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "Faithful Gunthar" (from Nebula); "You interstellar remora" (from the Stranger)

Base of Operations: Currently somewhere away from Earth;
   formerly detained in the underground holding center beneath a prison in Lurton, Virginia, U.S.A.;
   formerly on the loose in the Alphabet City neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, U.S.A., Earth;
   formerly detained in an unspecified alien prison at an unspecified extraterrestrial location;
   formerly mobile aboard Nebula's mother-ship in the Milky Way galaxy;
   formerly mobile aboard Sanctuary II in the Andromeda galaxy;
   formerly mobile aboard starships that were part of Nebula's mercenary fleet;
   originally mobile aboard starships commanded by Thanos

First Appearance: Avengers I#255 (May, 1985)

Powers/Abilities: As a Rigellian, Gunthar possessed certain psionic abilities that enabled him to affect the minds of other beings. He could use a mind-thrust to force another being to experience enough pain to incapacitate them. This effect only lasted for as long as he kept the mind-thrust turned on.

   Gunthar could also use his psionic abilities to project a mind-blast that would temporarily stun most beings that were struck by it. It's possible that multiple mind-blasts, applied in quick succession, might have been able to cause permanent damage to the brains of his victims but this is only speculation.

   Although some Rigellians are known to be able to alter their physical densities in order to grant themselves superhuman strength and durability, it is not clear if this is due to a psionic ability or mentally-controlled technology. In any event, Gunthar has not demonstrated this ability.

   Like most (or all) Rigellians, Gunthar had a good understanding of his people's technology and seemed to be a capable scientist. He had access to a Rigellian tracking device that could locate specific individuals even when they were a galaxy-width away, he devised some method of masking the presence of the Infinity Union from even the Stranger's enhanced senses, and he was able to program a booby-trap into that device. He could also operate the computerized medical equipment that performed delicate brain surgery on Nebula.

Limitations: It has not been revealed what limits (if any) there were on how often or for how long Gunthar could use his psionic abilities.

   Although some Rigellians can control the minds of other beings in a manner similar to hypnosis, Gunthar has only been shown to be capable of imposing his will by inducing pain.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5' 6"; I assumed he was the average Rigellian height)
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 135 lbs.)
Eyes: White (no visible pupils or irises)
Skin: Pale yellow
Hair: None

History: Little has been revealed about Gunthar's past except that, at some point and for reasons that have not been revealed, he became an interstellar criminal.

(Avengers I#259 (fb) - BTS) - At one point, Gunthar and Levan were both underlings of Thanos but when they served him and what they did while in his service have not been revealed.

(Avengers I#259 (fb) - BTS) - After the destruction of the Skrull Imperial Throneworld by Galactus triggered a civil war that tore the Skrull Empire apart, a female mercenary who called herself Nebula began to gather a great mercenary army whose warriors were outcasts of a thousand worlds from several galaxies, including the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy. Under Nebula's leadership, world after world fell to her army.

(Avengers I#255 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Gunthar joined Nebula's mercenary force.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe II#9: Nebula entry) - Gunthar, Kehl, Levan and Skunge became some of Nebula's most trusted aides.

(Avengers I#259 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Commander Nebula contacted Gorth, the governor of a minor Skrull colony, and offered to make him emperor if he would pay her price. Gorth agreed.

(Avengers I#259 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Nebula tried to conquer the asteroid that was the base for the Skrull Imperial Armada. When its acting commander, General Zedrao, refused to surrender to her, Nebula tried to destroy the base but was unable to penetrate its defenses. Nebula left after vowing to return and reduce the base to dust.

(Avengers I#255 (fb) - BTS / Avengers I#259 (fb) - BTS) - Nebula sent Gunthar, Kehl, Levan and Skunge to Earth's solar system to find Sanctuary II, reactivate its hyperspace drive, and bring it back to her. Gunthar and Levan were sent because Nebula believed that the fact that they were former underlings of Thanos would make them most useful for this mission.

(Avengers I#252 - BTS) - As part of his plan to empty Avengers Mansion so that he would be free to carry out his takeover of the world, the Vision told Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) that the Avengers deep space monitor had picked up some disturbing signals emanating from Sanctuary II, the starship that had once belonged to Thanos that the Avengers had left drifting beyond the orbit of Pluto. The Vision asked her to fly out to inspect the ship and report back to him. Monica agreed and soon started out on her 4.9 billion mile trip.

(Avengers I#255 - BTS) - "Seven hours" later, Captain Marvel arrived at Sanctuary II and was able to get past its automatic defense shields and into the giant starship. After making sure that the life support system was functional, Marvel turned back into her human form and checked out the starship's hyperspatial communications gear. Finding nothing that would have produced the signal that the Vision claimed had been detected, Marvel contacted Avengers Mansion and reported this to the Vision. After the Vision had confessed his deception and the reason for it and Marvel had spoken with Captain America, she ended their chat and left the communications chamber without noticing an alert that had begun to flash on a console behind her. The flashing light was accompanied by text on an indicator that read (in alien glyphs) "VESSEL DOCKING...SECTION C..."

(Avengers I#255) - After reaching Sanctuary II, Gunthar, Kehl, Levan, and Skunge were able to dock their vessel in one of its hangar decks. Soon afterwards, Captain Marvel just happened to come across that same hangar and began to wander through it. Marvel was soon attacked by first Skunge and then Kehl but was easily able to fend them off. As Kehl prepared to resume his attack, Gunthar and Levan arrived on the scene, and Gunthar commanded Kehl to "cease this wasteful expenditure of energy" while applying a mind-thrust on the Taurian that induced enough pain to make Kehl sink to his knees and beg Gunthar to turn his mind-thrust off. Instead, Gunthar kept the mind-thrust on as Levan began to smooth talk Marvel. It was only after Levan had asked the "boys" to apologize and Kehl had quickly complied that Gunthar turned the mind-thrust off and told Kehl that he could get up. Gunthar then prompted Skunge who immediately made his own apology. 

    With the violence now over, Levan introduced himself and Gunthar to the alien who identified herself as Captain Marvel of Earth's Avengers and asked Gunthar if he was a Rigellian. Surprised by the question, Gunthar replied, "Why...yes. You've met my people before?" Captain Marvel then revealed that a teammate of hers, Thor of Asgard, had and that he had spoken highly of the Colonizers of Rigel. When Marvel asked what they were doing on Thanos' starship, Levan claimed that, several months earlier, their ship's navigational computers had malfunctioned and they had bounced from star to star ever since. Gunthar added that it was sheer luck that they had come across Sanctuary II and that that would normally have been cause for alarm but they had heard rumors that Thanos had been vanquished and his starship abandoned. Levan then resumed their story, stating that they had stolen aboard the starship hoping that the rumors were true so that they could use its equipment to get their bearing and make repairs. Gunthar added a bit of flattery, stating that the name of Thor was highly honored on Rigel-3 and that the fame of the Avengers had spread throughout the cosmos for their role in blunting the war between the Kree and the Skrulls, and then asked if the captain would help them. Captain Marvel agreed to do so.

   Later, in another chamber, Gunthar told the captain that she had been a great help already because the navigation station he was operating should allow him to recalibrate their equipment without too much trouble. When Levan stated that he was opening a relay circuit to their ship and that Gunthar could transmit at any time, Skunge reacted to the code phrase by doing something meant to seem suspicious to Marvel who turned into light to speed to his side. However, once Marvel had taken the bait and moved away from him, Gunthar pressed a button that activated the starship's hyperspace drive and caused Marvel to turn human against her will. 

    Marvel then grabbed Skunge and demanded to know what was going on ,but Gunthar and Levan, with their weapons drawn, told her that threatening them would be unwise. Marvel reminded them that their weapons couldn't hurt her but Levan corrected her, stating that that was only when she was in an energy state but that the hyper-jump they had just taken after activating the hyperspace drive had left her body too disrupted to change for at least several minutes. Levan then challenged her to let Skunge go or prove him wrong, and Marvel released the Laxidazian. When Levan then suggested that she should listen to their offer, Gunthar explained that they were part of a mercenary force and that someone with her talents could go far in their organization. When Marvel replied that she would rather blow the starship to smithereens, Levan advised her not to do that because the hyper-jump had taken them to another galaxy and it would take her a few million years to fly home under her own powers.guntharrigellian-full

(Avengers I#256 (fb) - BTS) - The four aliens locked Captain Marvel in a room to keep her out of their way and give her time to reconsider their offer.

(Avengers I#256 - BTS) - Gunthar was elsewhere on Sanctuary II when Levan brought the captive Captain Marvel some breakfast, and she again refused to join their mercenary group..

(Avengers I#257) - Later, as Nebula's flagship approached Sanctuary II, Gunthar was on the hangar deck awaiting her arrival. He used the starship's internal communications system to contact Levan to tell him that the flagship was just then docking and that he would conduct Commander Nebula to the central control deck forthwith. A minute later, when Gunthar and Nebula arrived on that deck to find Levan in a confrontation with their captive, Gunthar told the commander that "the woman threatening Levan with the loss of manual dexterity calls herself Captain Marvel!" Nebula stated that that was an impressive name and that Gunthar had told her some equally impressive things about Marvel's abilities that her trip through hyperspace had stolen away. Without warning, Nebula fired a shot from her wrist-blaster at Marvel who turned herself into light to avoid getting hit, revealing she had regained her powers. Gunthar stayed out of the resulting conversation between Nebula and Captain Marvel.

(Avengers I#258) - "Days" later, Gunthar and Levan were on the central control deck as Sanctuary II approached the asteroid swarm in which the intergalactic staging base for the Imperial Skrull armada was located. Once Nebula had sent Captain Marvel off to scout the base's fortifications, Levan pointed out that they already had plenty of data about that base, and Nebula replied that she didn't trust Marvel for a moment and wanted to see if the Skrulls could eliminate her before they eliminated the Skrulls!

   Several minutes later, after Captain Marvel had blown a big hole in the Skrull base's outer defense web, Nebula ordered Levan to stand by to launch an anti-matter torpedo. Confused by the order, Levan began to protest and Gunthar spoke up, saying that he shared Levan's reluctance because the base could be useful to them and asking if Nebula really wanted to obliterate it. Nebula replied yes and ordered the torpedo to be launched. Soon afterwards, Gunthar, Levan and Nebula all listened to the beginning of a message that Captain Marvel was trying to send to the Avengers on Earth. When Levan reported that he could slow the hyperspatial transmission but the signal was too strong to jam completely, Nebula assured him that the message would be cut off at its source in a matter of seconds. Once that time had elapsed, Gunthar, Levan and Nebula all witnessed the massive explosion caused when the anti-matter torpedo struck positive matter.

(Avengers I#259) - In the aftermath of the explosion, Gunthar and Levan were on the bridge with Nebula observing the devastated planetoid on the viewscreen. When Nebula asked what the range was, Levan replied that it was twenty decans and closing and that sentiprobe scans showed no signs of life on the base, indicating that not a single Skrull warrior had survived. Gunthar then added, "Nor has the Earthwoman...Captain Marvel!" Despite this, Nebula ordered a second scan, which also showed that there was nothing alive on the base. Nebula remained skeptical that a single anti-matter torpedo could have totally obliterated all of the ships in the vast armada, and speculated that at least some of them must have escaped. When Levan then suggested that maybe Captain Marvel might have escaped, Nebula began to berate him for how he constantly wasted his energies with one-sided romantic pursuits. She reminded him that he and Gunthar, as former underlings of Thanos, had been most useful in securing the ship but then asked if he was of any further use to her. Nebula then declared that, if he were not willing to give her his full, undivided loyalty, then there was no room for him in her mercenary force...or in life! Taking the hint, Levan immediately assured Nebula that she had his undying support, and Gunthar added, "I concur, Commander. Only a fool would do otherwise." Seemingly satisfied, Nebula then ordered the complete destruction of the base planetoid. Once that was done, Nebula ordered Gunthar to take them out of there because there was much yet for them to do. Gunthar obeyed, saying, "As you command--!"

(Avengers I#259 - BTS / Avengers I#260 (fb) - BTS) - Gunthar may have been aboard Sanctuary II during the next week as it traveled to Governor Gorth's colony, wiping out the world of Xandar, its Champions and its people along the way.

(Avengers I#259 - BTS) - While showing Governor Gorth around Sanctuary II, Nebula received a message from Levan informing her that deep probes had picked up traces of the Imperial Skrull armada. Nebula began to order Levan to "Have Gunthar prepare a --!" but was interrupted by Gorth grabbing her arm. As the panicked Skrull began telling her what she must do, Nebula shot him dead, then told Levan to have all stations made battle-ready and to make certain that everyone knew that they would take no prisoners.

(Avengers I#260) - Not long afterwards, a space battle began as the Imperial Skrull armada attacked Nebula's fleet. Gunthar and Kehl were aboard Sanctuary II when Nebula, realizing that her fleet might be in trouble, decided to make sure that she could escape. She ordered Gunthar and Kehl to come with her because they had important work to do.

   Soon, after Captain Marvel had overloaded the defense shields, Gunthar, Kehl and Nebula were on a hangar deck preparing a smaller ship for their escape when Starfox arrived, used his pleasure power to incapacitate Kehl, and he removed the blasters from Nebula's wrists. However, Nebula's claim that Thanos was her grandfather shocked Starfox enough that Gunthar was able to take him by surprise with a mind-blast, saying, "You should not leave yourself unguarded, Avenger! You are not the only one possessing psionic abilities!" As the villains considered what to do to the stunned Starfox, the Beyonder teleported onto the hangar deck. Gunthar immediately warned Nebula to beware because he could sense great power in that being. Before any other action could be taken, the Beyonder, misunderstanding something that Firelord had said to him, used his power to remove Nebula, her two lackeys and a fully-equipped escape craft from the Andromeda galaxy by teleporting them away, presumably to another galaxy.

(Avengers Annual I#14 - BTS) - A plan for the Avengers to track down Nebula by using the sensor grid of intergalactic range that was housed on the old Imperial Power Asteroid was thwarted when the energy wave created by the detonation of the Hyper-Wave Bomb obliterated any traces of the wild energies used to teleport Nebula and her aides.

(Avengers I#311 (fb) - BTS) - After being teleported away from the Andromeda galaxy by the Beyonder, Gunthar and Nebula apparently parted company with Kehl. Nebula and Gunthar also acquired a very large space vessel of unrevealed design and a new crew of humanoid beings from an unspecified species.

(Avengers I#316 (fb) - BTS) - While Eros spent "many months" searching for Nebula, she and Gunthar spent that time traveling across the vast expanses of the universe, gathering scraps of ancient knowledge that, when brought together, would form the key to unlock all the secrets of the cosmos!

(Avengers I#317 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Gunthar installed a Rigellian tracking device on Nebula's mothership that was accurate within 0.0009% certainty.

(Avengers I#317 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Nebula and Gunthar learned of the Infinity Union, said to be the most powerful weapon in the multiverse. They also learned that the Stranger had it in his possession on his homeworld.

(Avengers I#317 (fb)) - After somehow learning the VERY secret location of the Stranger's homeworld, Nebula, Gunthar and their crew journeyed there at a time when the tracking device said that the Stranger was on the far side of the galaxy. Once Nebula managed to get their starship past the planet's security defenses, she and Gunthar disembarked and used jetpacks to fly into the enormous complex. Nebula soon identified a gigantic doorway as leading to what they sought, and Gunthar agreed but flew ahead of her and blocked her way, saying, "But perhaps haste is not the wisest of courses to take!" Nebula reacted by asking Gunthar if he was trying to detain her from her appointed destiny and if he was "feeling particularly suicidal today?" Gunthar replied, "Not at all, mistress" and pointed out that they were at the core of the Stranger's planet within which the most powerful weapon in the multiverse was located. Nebula understood that he was warning her that the weapon was probably protected by heavy security, and she agreed with his caution. With Gunthar watching and cheering her on, Nebula carefully breached the shields without triggering the security network in the wall.

   Once the door was open, Nebula and Gunthar flew through the vast chamber for at least two Earth hours before they reached the core podium and got their hands on the Infinity Union.

(Avengers I#318 (fb) - BTS) - After successfully escaping from the Stranger's world, someone (presumably Gunthar) was able to devise some method to mask the Infinity Union from the Stranger's star-spanning senses.

(Avengers I#318 (fb)) - With the Infinity Union in their possession, Nebula and Gunthar carefully studied the device and, by accident, discovered the frequency upon which it transmitted its energies. On Nebula's order, Gunthar performed a complex operation during which he implanted a bio-receiver in her brain that would enable her to absorb energies from the Infinity Union and use them as she willed.

(Avengers I#318 (fb) - BTS) - Gunthar rigged a fail-safe to the Infinity Union so that, if anyone other than Nebula touched it, the device would be activated and its stored energies would automatically be channeled into her.

(Avengers I#311 (fb) - BTS / Avengers I#318 (fb) - BTS) - Nebula somehow learned of Professor Harker's Universal Compressor and believed that it could be used to generate massive amounts of energy that the Infinity Union could then absorb and store.

(Avengers West Coast I#48 (fb) - BTS) - Gunthar somehow learned about ancient legends that claimed that a certain formula could be found somewhere on a certain planet that was perhaps as old as the universe itself. He informed his mistress of what he had learned.

(Avengers West Coast I#48 (fb) - BTS) - A mercenary saw Nebula's pirate starship in the vicinity of a certain ancient planet.
   Later, on Sirius IV, that mercenary told Eros (Starfox) of Titan what he had seen, and Eros journeyed to the planet to check it out himself.

(Avengers West Coast I#48 / Avengers I#311 (fb) - BTS / Avengers I#316 (fb) - BTS) - After arriving on the planet Omicron Seti, Nebula and Gunthar went to where the inscribed Stones of Halkor were supposed to be and found them there. Nebula congratulated Gunthar, telling him that he had served his mistress well because the formula was there and the ancient legends had been true. Nebula then ordered Gunthar to cut the stones into tablets and transport them to their ship. As Gunthar complied, Nebula gloated that they would now need only a source of sufficient energy and she would be more powerful than her grandfather ever was!!! Neither of them noticed that Eros had arrived and was spying on them.

(Avengers I#311) - Back aboard the mothership, Gunthar examined the tablets. Unaware that Eros had secretly boarded their mothership and was covertly watching them, Nebula asked Gunthar for a status report. Gunthar replied, "All goes well, Mistress Nebula. These tablets we discovered on Omicron Seti do, indeed, hold, the secret to what you seek." Nebula then remarked about how amazing it was that stones that were carved by a race that was old when the galaxy was being born held in their time-worn faces the future of the universe. As the watching Eros wondered what her plans were, Nebula commented to Gunthar about how it was an exquisite irony that that the mastery over all that lived would be delivered to her by a shriveled old Earthling.

(Avengers I#312 / Avengers I#315 (fb) - BTS) - Nebula had a discrete meeting with Doctor Harker and expressed her interest in his "compressor unit." Nebula subsequently provided Harker with certain alien knowledge which enabled him to make his Atomic Compressor fully functional.

(Avengers I#314) - Gunthar was aboard Nebula's mothership as it orbited Earth when the first test of Harker's Universal Compressor caused a momentary atomic inversion effect that was felt all over the planet Earth and far beyond. Gunthar was rendered unconscious by the effect, but he revived when Nebula contacted him from where she had infiltrated PolyDyne Industries while disguised as a human woman named Ms. Peel. Responding to her voice, Gunthar asked Nebula what had happened and revealed that his sub-space communications grid indicated a field effect equal to at least the span of the entire Milky Way galaxy. Amazed because this represented more power than she had ever dared dream, Nebula ordered Gunthar to calibrate his scan and report the exact extent and nature of the effect. Gunthar did so and reported that, according to the automatic scanners, the entire universe had flashed out of existence at the precise moment that the Compressor had reached within 0.0000000000000000001% of its maximum efficiency. Nebula was overjoyed by this news, but Gunthar warned her not to forget their dire situation. He stated that, since the inversion seemed to have no lasting effect, it would appear to be safe to continue testing but mentioned that is was possible that "he" (the Stranger) might be unaffected by the inversion and warned of what could happen if "he" were to come upon them while they were recovering. Gunthar was unaware that Eros had been spying on him during his conversation with Nebula.

(Avengers I#314 - BTS) - Nebula's mothership was moved from its orbit around Earth to somewhere beyond Earth's Moon.

(Avengers I#314) - Soon afterwards, Gunthar was surprised when Eros revealed his presence to him. Gunthar barely had time to say "Eros!" before the Titanian used his pleasure power of him, causing the Rigellian to collapse into a pleasant dream-state. Eros then sent a priority signal to Avengers Mansion but it was cut short when he was knocked unconscious by another of Nebula's minions. The Avengers were able to track his signal to somewhere beyond the Moon, and so Iron Man and the Vision left to investigate it.

(Avengers I#314 - BTS / Avengers I#316 (fb) - BTS) - Instead of dreaming pleasant dreams for an hour or two, Gunthar was apparently revived by the same crewmen who had captured and shackled Eros.

(Avengers I#314 - BTS) - Further tests of the Compressor caused three more brief inversions that occurred only seconds apart, and a final inversion that seemingly transformed the entire universe (except for an underground chamber protected by Sersi) into a white void.

(Avengers I#315 - BTS) - Along with most of the universe, Gunthar and everyone else on Nebula's mothership were thrown into a state of complete neutrality by a "Genesis Pulse" generated by Professor Harker`s Universal Compressor. Fortunately, the Avengers and Spider-Man managed to deactivate the device before it could reach 100% efficiency and completely annihilated everything. Once the Compressor was depowered, everything was restored and the actual elapsed time experienced in the neutralized universe was virtually nonexistent.

(Avengers I#316) - Aboard Nebula's mothership. Gunthar began to interrogate Eros who had been shackled to a chair with a neural-neutralizer helmet attached to his head. Gunthar told the captive that his continued resistance was useless because he knew who he was and that he was an Avenger and that his presence was undoubtedly connected to Gunthar's sudden loss of contact with Nebula. Gunthar demanded to know how much of his mistress's plans the humans had uncovered and claimed that aboard their ship they had the means to force the knowledge from him or drain his mind entirely. Gunthar then reminded the captive that he was Eros of Titan who was related to Nebula by blood, and that his loyalty should lie with her and "not the squirming blobs of protoplasm on the insignificant dirt ball beyond the satellite (they) now (orbited)." 

    Eros responded by telling the Rigellian to not speak to him of loyalty and then spoke of how he had often opposed the dark schemes of his evil brother, Thanos, and that he had searched many months to find Nebula again and planned to stop her. Gunthar told Eros to stop his verbal posturing and bragged of how, during those months when Eros could not find them, he and Nebula had tracked across the vast expanses of the universe and had gathered scraps of ancient knowledge that, together, formed the key to unlock all the secrets of the cosmos. Eros was unimpressed and told Gunthar that, although he had several times heard his grandniece claim that the present scheme would make her master of the universe, it had always been the Avengers who triumphed. Enraged, Gunthar cried out, "PIG!!" while striking Eros across the face with such force that he and the chair to which he was bound toppled over onto the floor. Calming himself, Gunthar resumed his attempts to contact Nebula, not realizing that, as planned by Eros, his blow had dislodged one of the electrodes in the neural-neutralizer helmet. Studying the instruments, Gunthar was puzzled to see that they showed that some sort of displacement had occurred in the vicinity of Nebula, as if a piece of space-time had been folded upon itself, but he dismissed it as being of no consequence because only the tiniest trace of the effect was left in the automatic recording systems.

(Avengers I#315 - BTS / Avengers I#316) - Once the universe had been restored, Nebula was able to remain out of sight of the Avengers long enough to contact Gunthar by radio and order an immediate emergency teleportation. Gunthar obeyed, and Nebula was returned to her mothership.

(Avengers I#316) - Aboard the mothership, Gunthar walked beside Nebula as she ranted about how the Avengers had snatched the power beyond imagining from her grasp but that all was not lost because there was still "Plan B." Hearing this, Gunthar told Nebula that he again must caution her against such plans, stating that it had only only by sheer luck that they had been able to steal "it" from "him" and that, if they activated it now, it would almost certainly draw him to them. Nebula was not interested in Gunthar's talk of luck and bragged that she had been able to steal it because she was the best at what she did. Nebula then commanded Gunthar to go and prepare the necessary chamber and to waste no more of her time!

   Once Gunthar had left, Eros sarcastically complimented Nebula, prompting her to boast that what she was doing would surpass all her grandfather's dreams because she had found the Stones of Halkor. Eros mocked her for believing in a myth, and she nearly reduced his head to ash before instead striking him across the face. Nebula was about to kill him when Eros secretly used his pleasure power to convince to be "reasonable" and just leave.

(Avengers I#316 - BTS) - While the Avengers were fighting their way through a large number of Nebula's loyal followers to rescue Eros, the Titanian freed himself and used his "pleasure zap" on Gunthar, Nebula and two guards, putting them into a sleep state where they had pleasant dreams.

(Avengers I#316) - When the Avengers reached Eros, he had already used some cable to tie up Gunthar and the two goons, and had just locked Nebula into the chair that had held him.
   AND THEN THE STRANGER ARRIVED, TEARING HIS WAY INTO NEBULA'S STARSHIP

(Avengers I#317) - Gunthar, Nebula and the two goons were all sitting on the deck, bound in unbreakable tethers and in a blissed-out state, when the Stranger arrived to have words with the "murderous witch." He easily broke their bonds and demanded that Nebula tell him where "it" was but, in her current state, Nebula was useless to him. To avoid having to deal with the Terran heroes, the Stranger took Nebula and departed for his own, much larger starship. When most of the Avengers tried to follow them, they were opposed by a robot, Blockade, through which the Stranger spoke and revealed how Nebula, Gunthar and their crew had stolen from his homeworld the Infinity Union, a device that was so powerful that, in the wrong hands, it could mean the end of the universe.

   Meanwhile, as they were securing the henchmen, Iron Man and Eros had interrogated a very compliant Gunthar who told them everything that the Stranger had told the other Avengers. When Iron Man then asked what Nebula wanted with such a weapon, Gunthar replied, "What she has always wanted, Earthling -- Ultimate Power -- and the attainment of her goal, the chance to create ultimate entropy -- the death of all there is." When Iron Man pointed out that that was insane because it would destroy her, too, Gunthar stated that that was not his concern because he only served his mistress in being the sole player in that deadly gambit. He then added that if anyone other than Nebula were to touch the Infinity Union, it would annihilate the entire local sector of space. Iron Man then rushed off and warned the other Avengers that Gunthar had turned the Infinity Union into a booby-trapped doomsday device that should NOT be touched. Unfortunately, when Spider-Man found the device, he (foolishly) thought that snagging it with a web-string wouldn't be the same as touching it. He was wrong.

(Avengers I#318) - Gunthar, the Stranger, and the Avengers were suddenly teleported to the main monitor room on the Stranger's starship where Nebula then spoke to them from multiple screens placed around the room. Once Nebula had explained how Spider-Man, by touching the Infinity Union, had activated a failsafe that "faithful Gunthar" had rigged to automatically channel all of the energies stored within the device to Nebula if anyone else were to touch the Union, the Stranger demanded that the Rigellian tell him how such a transfer was possible. However, as the Stranger lunged at Gunthar, demanding an answer, Nebula used her new-found power to first disintegrate him and then recreated him. To show off, Nebula disintegrated and recreated the Stranger a second time, which caused him to collaspe, unconscious. To further amuse herself, Nebula took physical form as a 30-foot tall version of herself so that she could battle the Avengers on a purely physical level.

   As the battle between Nebula and the Avengers continued, Gunthar, who had been forgotten, watched it from behind some cover. Realizing that Nebula was becoming mad with power, the Rigellian began to fear that, once she had dealt with the Avengers, then she might become bored with her faithful servant Gunthar. As the Avengers retreated through the Stranger's space ark, Nebula followed after them, allowing the Stranger to regain consciousness and capture Gunthar. When the Stranger dangled him in the air and demanded that Gunthar reveal how he and Nebula had made it possible for Nebula to absorb the power of the Infinity Union, Gunthar agreed to talk but said it was because he feared Nebula more than the Stranger. Gunthar then revealed how he and Nebula had discovered the frequency upon which the Union transmitted its energies and how he had implanted a bio-receiver in Nebula's brain. Once Gunthar explained how the experiments with the Universal Compressor on Earth had been done so that the Union would have massive amounts of energy to absorb and store, the Stranger realized that there might be a way to stop Nebula, and he teleported himself and Gunthar back to Nebula's starship.

   Gunthar accompanied the Stranger as he found where the Infinity Union had been hidden and watched as the Stranger telepathically told the Avengers that they must remove the implant from Nebula's brain while he altered frequency of the transmissions of energy from the Union. Gunthar continued to watch as the Stranger re-routed the energy release from Nebula into himself, weakening her enough that Sersi was able remove the implant without killing her. As the Avengers took the now-powerless Nebula into their custody, Gunthar contacted them over a video screen to inform them that the Stranger had been severely injured.

   Minutes later, everyone was gathered in the medical facilities of the Stranger's ark. While the heroes were occupied talking with the Stranger, the bound Nebula gave Gunthar a command and the Rigellian activated something on his armor that teleported him and Nebula back to her starship which quickly escaped at warp velocity. The Stanger was unable to pursue her immediately because of the damage that Nebula had done to his starship but he did teleport the heroes back to their headquarters.

Gunthar has not been seen with Nebula since their escape. No reason for why their relationship apparently ended has been revealed.

(Maximum Security#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Gunthar was arrested for his crimes and sent to some unspecified prison.

    Later, the Intergalactic Council voted that that the human race was to be contained on their homeworld, and Earth's stellar system was quarantined. To distract humanity from freeing itself, the council also decided to use Earth as a prison planet where the lawless, the unwanted and the untameable of the galaxies would be sent. Gunthar, along with Kehl, Levan and Skunge, were among those transmatted to Earth.

(Maximum Security#1 (fb)) - Once on Earth, Gunthar, Kehl, Levan, Skunge and two Froma ended up in the Alphabet City neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City where they came into armed conflict with the violent vigilante known as the Punisher.

(Maximum Security#1 (fb) - BTS) - Gunthar and Levan (or beings who looked like them) ended up in a cell in an underground holding center beneath the superhuman wing of a prison in Lurton, Virginia.

(Maximum Security#1) - At S.T.A.R.S. headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S.Agent watched video footage of the battle between the aliens and the Punisher in Alphabet City.
     Minutes later, Gunthar and Levan (or beings who looked like them) were looking out through the bars of their cell when U.S.Agent visited the holding center looking for aliens who could speak English and answer his questions.

(Maximum Security#3 - BTS) - Gunthar and the others were presumably among the aliens who were removed from Earth after the truth behind Maximum Security was revealed.

Comments: Created by Roger Stern, John Buscema and Tom Palmer.

    The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe II/Deluxe Edition#15: Appendix to Alien Races entry on the Sarks identified Levan as a member of Nebula's Freebooters. While that name for Nebula's army was never used in ANY story or in Nebula's own profile, it is the only name we have for her grouping, and it works for the purpose of identification. I acknowledge and respect that Donald does not prefer to acknowledge that identification, but it is all we have to go on.
    --Snood

   Any information about Gunthar that may have been presented in his profile in 1988's Gamer's Handbook of the Marvel Universe #3 has not been included in this profile because: a) I have never read any of those Gamer's Handbooks and b) I have no idea if such sources are considered "canon" or not. Although I've never read anything about Gunthar, I have come across some "facts" presented in such gaming texts that are not consistent with the continuity established in the comics so my default position is one of skepticism.
    I looked into the matter and didn't find anything work including--Snood

   In Silver Surfer III#38, which was published in the same month as Avengers I#318 and presumably took place soon after Nebula and Gunthar escaped from the Avengers, Gunthar does not seem to have been among Nebula's followers aboard Sanctuary III when she was confronted by the resurrected Thanos who denied her claim of being his granddaughter and set her on fire. Maybe he thought that it would be prudent to get as far away from her as possible in case she were ever to learn that he had betrayed her by talking to the Stranger?

   During the first Avengers storyline, Gunthar was depicted as being calm and pragmatic, like most Rigellians, even though his use of his mind-thrust to discipline Kehl when the latter was enraged may (or may not) have had a slightly sadistic edge to it. However, in the second Avengers storyline, he was somewhat more emotional and displayed an intense loyalty to Nebula. He was very passionate when he interrogated Eros, so much so that he could be provoked into striking Eros when the Titanian mocked Nebula. The way in which he addressed Nebula also changed between storylines, going from him calling her "Commander" to "Mistress" or "My lady" instead.

   Gunthar could also be somewhat deceptive. Although he was supposedly in a "very compliant" state after having had the pleasure center of his brain overloaded by Eros, Gunthar was able to lie to Iron Man when he claimed that the Infinity Union would annihilate the entire sector of space if anyone other than Nebula were to touch it when the truth was that the booby-trap would actually automatically empower Nebula instead. Also, he was lying when he claimed that he was willing to serve Nebula even though her goal was the death of all there was, including him. For one thing, although she was not averse to wiping out the populations of entire planets if it suited her, Nebula's goal was universal conquest, not universal destruction. For another, when Nebula became mad with power and he began to fear that she would become bored with him, Gunthar was willing to reveal her secrets to the Stranger out of fear of her.

   Gunthar's original uniform was a mixture of components that were all either light green and dark green but, in his later appearances, some parts of his uniform were white instead. Why? Who knows?

Inconsistent features

   During the first Avengers storyline in which he appeared, Gunthar had a rather flat face typical of most Rigellians (as shown in the far left image). However, during his second Avengers storyline, Gunthar had fuller lips and a more prominent nose (as shown in the near left image). I know that it's a small inconsistency but why couldn't the second artist make more of an effort to properly depict his non-human facial features? Then again, at least Gunthar wasn't subjected to as much "artistic licence" as Tana Nile was.

   Also, there were a few panels where Gunthar was depicted with skin that was not pale yellow. In the only two images from Avengers I#260 that show his face, Gunthar, Starfox and the Beyonder all have skin that is the same pinkish-white color. The same thing occurs on the two images that show his face on page 20 of Avengers I#318, despite the fact that all previous panels in that issue had depicted him with pale yellow skin.

   Actually, now that I've written it out, I've noticed a remarkable coincidence: In the last three panels in which Gunthar appears in each of those two issues, in the first two panels Gunthar's face is miscolored and the third panel shows him being teleported away. The odds against the same coloring error being made on those particular panels must be astronomical but the alternative, that someone deliberately replicated that coloring error, is so bizarre that it seems just as unlikely.

 

The only Rigellian Thanos-Thrall ever depicted
   Avengers I#259 established that Gunthar and Levan had both been underlings of Thanos before they joined Nebula but no details of when they served the Mad Titan have ever been revealed. The only Rigellian that I've ever seen among the Thanos-thralls was part of a group shot from Captain Marvel I#31. He (or she) is only partially visible, behind a Badoon and between a Skrull on the left and a Xeronian on the right. Since this Rigellian was never named, I feel that it would be presumptuous for me (or anyone) to definitively state that it was Gunthar. Unless, of course, some future story replicates that exact panel as part of a flashback in which some of these Thanos-thralls are retroactively identified by name...but what are the odds of that happening?

   There's also the fact that these Thanos-thralls were the crews of the fleet of space raiders that Thanos would later send to conquer Earth in Avengers I#125. However, that space fleet ended up in ruins, unaware that Thanos had sacrificed the entire fleet as part of his master plan to decoy the Avengers away from Earth so that they would be off the planet when he used the Cosmic Cube to shift it into a space/time continuum one heartbeat ahead of normal, thereby rendering them out of phase and helpless to stop his actions on Earth, as was revealed in Captain Marvel I#33. So, many (or most or all) of these Thanos-thralls may have perished during their doomed attempt to conquer Earth.

    This profile was completed 8/22/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Donald Campbell.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Gunthar has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Avengers I#316, page 11, panel 1 (full body; odd proportions/appearance)
Avengers I#255, page 21, panel 4 (headshot)
      page 13, panel 7 (using his mind-thrust on Kehl) - also further cropped a digital image to use as his main.
      page 21, panel 7 (holding Captain Marvel at gunpoint)
Avengers I#260, page 21, panel 2 (mind-blasting Starfox)
      page 22, panel 1 (being teleported by the Beyonder)
Avengers I#317, page 14, panel 2 (stealing the Infinity Union with Nebula)
Avengers I#318, page 14, panel 3 (operating on Nebula's brain)
Avengers I#316, page 7, panel 1 (striking Eros in a fit of rage)
      page 20, panel 1 (blissed-out and tied up)
Avengers I#318, page 13, panel 4 (caught by the Stranger - Eep!)
      page 14, panel 1 (dangling in the Stranger's grasp)
      page 20, panels 3-5 (escaping from the Avengers with Nebula)
Maximum Security#1, page 12, panel 2 (battling the Punisher in Alphabet City)
      page 15, panel 3 (in a cell with Levan in Lurton, Virginia)
Avengers I#255, page 14, panel 4 (original profile with typically Rigellian facial features)
Avengers I#314, page 14, panel 2 (later profile with more human features)
Captain Marvel I#31, page 9, panel 4 (Rigellian Thanos-thrall)


Appearances:
Avengers I#255 (May, 1988) - Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (penciller), Tom Palmer (inker), Mark Guenwald (editor)
Avengers I#257-260 (July - October, 1988) - Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (breakdowns), Tom Palmer (finisher), Mark Guenwald (editor)
Avengers West Coast I#48 (September, 1989) - John Byrne & Mike Machlan (writer - artists - inker), Howard Mackie (editor)
Avengers I#311 (December, 1989) - Paul Ryan & Tom Palmer (artists), John Byrne (writer), Howard Mackie (editor)
Avengers I#314 (February, 1990) - Paul Ryan & Tom Palmer (artists), John Byrne (writer), Howard Mackie (editor)
Avengers I#316 (April, 1990) - Paul Ryan & Tom Palmer (Artists Extraordinaire), John Byrne (Dramatist of Talent Rare), Howard Mackie (Editor Born True and Fair)
Avengers I#317 (May, 1990) - John Byrne (plot), Fabien Nicieza (script), Paul Ryan & Tom Palmer (artists), Howard Mackie (editor)
Avengers I#318 (June, 1990) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Paul Ryan & Tom Palmer (artists), Howard Mackie (editor), special thanks to Tom Morgan for an eleventh hour art assist
Maximum Security#1 (November, 2000) - Kurt Busiek & Jerry Ordway (storytellers), Al Vey, Will Blyberg, Paul Ryan, Chris Ivy (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)


First Posted: 09/20/2021
Last updated: 09/19/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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