Astra is the name of two unrelated fictional characters from the Marvel Comics Universe.
Astra (Imperial Guard)
Astra by Dave Cockrum
|First appearance||Uncanny X-Men #107 (October 1977)|
|Created by||Chris Claremont
|Team affiliations||Imperial Guard|
Astra is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe. She first appeared in [Uncanny] X-Men #107 as a member of the Shi'ar Imperium's Imperial Guard and was created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum.
The character subsequently appears in X-Men: Spotlight on Starjammers #2 (June 1990), Thor #446 (April 1992), Avengers West Coast #82 (May 1992), Inhumans Vol. 4 #3-4 (August–September 2000), JLA/Avengers #1 (September 2003), Thanos #12 (September 2004), and Uncanny X-Men #477 (October 2006), and #480 (January 2007).
Astra appeared as part of the "Imperial Guard" entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #6.
Fictional character biography
Little is known of the origin of the alien Guardsman known as Astra apart from that she is a founding member of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. Alongside the Guard, she first clashed with the X-Men and Starjammers on behalf of D'Ken and Davan Shakari over the fate of the Shi'ar Empress Lilandra Neramani. After the battle, D'Ken was rendered comatose and Lilandra took over as Majestrix, and the Imperial Guard swore allegiance to her.
After Lilandra's exile, and when Deathbird became Empress, Astra commanded the entire Imperial Guard to fight the combined forces of the Starjammers and Excalibur on earth so that she could claim the power of the Phoenix Force for herself. During the battle, Astra surprised Shadowcat with the ability to hit her in intangible state, since she could match her molecular density. The Guard were forced to retreat when Deathbird was put in danger.
During the Kree-Shi'ar War, Astra was amongst a small team of the Imperial Guard that defended Lilandra against the Kree team, Starforce.[volume & issue needed] Astra was also present with the Imperial Guard when they defended Lilandra against an assassination attempt from the Inhumans, who were under the control of Ronan the Accuser at the time.[volume & issue needed]
Powers and abilities
Astra has the ability to reduce her density in order to become intangible. When immaterial, she can pass through solid objects and vice versa. She has also shown the ability to punch an 'intangible' Shadowcat, showing that she can match her molecular density.[volume & issue needed]
Astra can also use her power offensively by phasing her hand into her opponent and becoming partly solid. This tactic causes a physical shock to Astra's opponent, who is rendered unconscious.
- A version of Astra appeared alongside the Imperial Guard in a story arc in Exiles.[volume & issue needed]
Several of the members of the Imperial Guard are at least partly based on members of the DC Comics team Legion of Super-Heroes. (Dave Cockrum, co-creator of the Guard, also had a long run as artist on the Legion.) Astra is based on LSH member Phantom Girl.
Alan Davis, artist
|First appearance||Uncanny X-Men #366 (cameo)
X-Men vol. 2 #86 (1st full appearance) (1999)
|Created by||Alan Davis|
|Team affiliations||Brotherhood of Mutants|
Fictional character biography
Astra is a mutant teleporter who was revealed to be Magneto's first true recruit from his original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. With her aid, he would acquire technology from alien civilizations, which would automatically give him advantage over the contemporary human military forces. However, she did not share Magneto’s goals - merely wanting riches, not power. The two parted ways as enemies.
She resurfaced years later, reviving Magneto (who had been mindwiped by Professor X) and creating a clone of him. Astra ordered the clone to kill Magneto, but Magneto was able to take the clone down. After the battle, the clone woke up amnesiac, thinking he was the real Magneto. The clone was given the name "Joseph" by a nun, and became affiliated with the X-Men.
Astra later returned and attempted to use Joseph against Magneto and the X-Men. She had Joseph attack Magneto while he was controlling the Earth's magnetosphere, which severely disrupted Earth's magnetic field. Joseph died repairing the damage, causing Astra to flee. Before her final exit, Astra alluded to knowing Nightcrawler since he was a child.
Astra was later mentioned by Apocalypse as having been dealt with[volume & issue needed][clarification needed]. She later appeared in a flashback to her early Brotherhood days[volume & issue needed], where it was revealed that she saw Nightcrawler while looking for potential recruits for the Brotherhood with Magneto.
She has been seen in the miniseries "Magneto: Not a Hero" where Joseph claims to have been resurrected by her. It was revealed that Astra travelled back to Magneto's citadel and found a way to recreate Joseph without memories and reprogrammed him to hate humankind.[volume & issue needed] With this new programming, Joseph ordered Astra to create the mutated clone versions of Blob, Mastermind, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Toad to make up Joseph's incarnation of the Brotherhood of Mutants with Joseph's proclaiming himself as Magneto.[volume & issue needed] Magneto however forced Astra to betray Joseph and took her back to Utopia where she reveals that Joseph had been working with Christopher Bach in order to bring back fear to Magneto's name.[volume & issue needed] In a final battle Magneto killed Joseph's brotherhood and Joseph and Astra were imprisoned in the X-Brig on Utopia.
After the destruction of Utopia in the war between the Avengers and X-Men, Danger released all prisoners on the X-Brig, Astra included.[volume & issue needed]
Powers and abilities
Astra has the ability to teleport vast distances. In addition, Astra has many advanced scientific gadgets at her disposal, including non-ferrous airships and wrist devices/ionic gauntlets capable of producing devastating energy blasts.
In other media
- The Imperial Guard member Astra appears in the X-Men episodes "The Dark Phoenix", "Red Dawn" and "Fate of the Phoenix."
- Uncanny X-Men #107
- Uncanny X-Men #122
- X-Men: Spotlight on Starjammers #2
- The Twelve storyline
- X-Men Forever
- Magneto: Not a Hero #1
- Magneto: Not a Hero #4