Crystal (comics)

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Crystal

The Inhuman Princess Crystal
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Fantastic Four #45 (Dec. 1965)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Full name Crystalia Amaquelin
Team affiliations Inhumans
Fantastic Four
Avengers
Notable aliases The People's Princess, Crystalia Amaquelin-Maximoff
Abilities Fire manipulation
Air manipulation
Earth manipulation
Water manipulation

Crystal (full name Crystalia Amaquelin) is a fictional character, a superhero in the Marvel Comics Universe. She is a member of the Inhumans and the younger sister of Medusa.

Crystal possesses the power to manipulate the classic four elements. Originally, she was a girlfriend of the Human Torch, then the girlfriend of the Avenger the Sentry. She later married Quicksilver. They have a daughter, Luna, who is granddaughter of Magneto. Crystal had an affair during her marriage, though she claimed to still love Quicksilver. Eventually, their marriage was annulled and Quicksilver was forbidden to see Luna. She is later married to Ronan the Accuser of the Kree, purportedly as a symbol of Kree and Inhuman unity.

Publication history[edit]

Crystal first appeared in Fantastic Four #45 (December 1965), written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Jack Kirby, titled "Among Us Hide...The Inhumans".[1] She is credited by Marvel as being jointly created by both men.[citation needed]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Crystal is the daughter of Inhumans Quelin and Ambur, and lived in Attilan with the other Inhumans, until the Inhuman Royal Family was forced out of the Great Refuge by Maximus.[2] Her first encounters with the outside world were via the Fantastic Four. She encountered the Human Torch, and brought him to the Inhumans' secret New York base.[3] She left New York with her family members to escape the Seeker, but became trapped inside Maximus' "negative zone" barrier dome around the Great Refuge.[4] She fell in love with the Human Torch, although their romance was blocked by a literal barrier, around the Inhumans' city. The Inhumans were eventually freed from the "negative zone" barrier, and left the Great Refuge along with the Royal Family to visit the outside world. She brought Triton to rescue Mister Fantastic from the real Negative Zone and aided the Fantastic Four in battle against Blastaar.[5]

Joining the Fantastic Four[edit]

Crystal would later leave the city for a brief career with the Fantastic Four. Soon after joining, she battled the Wizard, and helped defeat Maximus.[6] She also fought Doctor Doom alongside the Fantastic Four.[7] She was temporarily blinded by the Mole Man, but helped the Fantastic Four defeat him.[8] She was abducted by Medusa and reunited with the Torch in Atillan. She revealed how she had used her powers to save Black Bolt's life, and then rejoined the Fantastic Four.[9] She fell under the mental control of Diablo, but soon regained her free will and returned to the Great Refuge.[10]

Marriage[edit]

It was later revealed how she had rescued a dying Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff). She chose Quicksilver over the Torch as the man she loved.[11] Not long after that, she married Quicksilver.[12] She later gave birth to their daughter, Luna, and accompanied the Inhumans when Atillan was relocated to Earth's Moon.[13] During the time when the Inhumans lived on the Moon, Crystal defied the power structure of her society and fled with many Inhumans to an isolated part of Earth. They were there to help Medusa, their queen, give birth in secret. Crystal used her powers to eliminate the pollution from a wide area around their hideout, a mistake which led to even worse consequences.

Quicksilver and Crystal have had a rocky marriage. Pietro has always had a quick temper and Crystal had once had an affair with a real estate agent named Norman Webster. She and the Human Torch still had feelings for each other during his supposed marriage to Alicia Masters (later revealed to be a Skrull named Lyja merely pretending to be Alicia). She also developed feelings for Dane Whitman, the Black Knight, but nothing physical came from it. These reasons have caused them to separate several times, egged on by Maximus the Mad taking credit for Pietro's descent into madness. One such reconciliation attempt occurred in a small town, in a rented cabin, where Crystal had to urge Quicksilver to "go slow". Unfortunately, even this was affected by outside forces.

Joining the Avengers[edit]

At one point, Crystal summoned the Avengers to help battle the Brethren.[14] Soon after, she joined the Avengers as a provisional member.[15] Shortly after that, she became a full Avengers member.[16] During Crystal's time with the Avengers, Magneto's Acolytes kidnapped her daughter, causing great damage to the mansion. Luna ended up in Genosha under the control of the Acolytes. The Avengers teamed up with the X-Men and managed to recover her safely.

Decimation[edit]

After the events of House of M, Crystal was reunited with her depowered husband, only for him to steal the Terrigen Mist from Attilan, in an attempt to use it to restore the depowered mutants. He also kidnapped Luna and exposed her to the mists, granting her various abilities.[17] Luna had previously been baseline human, thought of by some as an affront to her mutant heritage.

Silent War[edit]

When the Inhumans located Quicksilver, he allowed Black Bolt to beat him, in response to his betrayal. Crystal and Quicksilver's marriage was annulled and she participated in a series of battles against S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Mighty Avengers when the Inhumans declared war on United States.[18]

Secret Invasion[edit]

Crystal and her sister Medusa are called upon by Iron Man to a meeting where he reveals Black Bolt has been replaced by a Skrull. When the Skrulls invade Attilan, Crystal uses her abilities to defeat a Skrull who possesses the powers of Colossus, Cyclops, and Wolverine, and a Skrull who is an amalgam of Captain America and Spider-Man. After an attack on Attilan by the Skrulls, the Royal Family travel into Kree space, seeking an alliance against the invading Skrulls. Ronan the Accuser welcomes this alliance, but only on the condition that Crystal becomes his bride. Medusa agrees, much to Crystal's chagrin.[19]

In an attempt to crack the Skrull communication network, the Inhumans split up. Crystal and Medusa infiltrate Thundra's tribe as fellow tribeswomen. However, when they argue, per the tribe's laws, their squabble is moved to the arena. In their fight, Crystal gets Medusa to treat her more like an adult and allow her to speak to Thundra. She negotiates the release of a captured Skrull communications officer, enabling them to track down Black Bolt's prison.[19]

War of Kings[edit]

Crystal's marriage to Ronan proceeds, even following Black Bolt's decision to usurp the throne of the Kree. She comes to accept the idea of the marriage, defending it to her sister-in-law Polaris as a matter of statecraft (though there are indications that Ronan wishes for more).[20] The wedding proceedings are interrupted by the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, who attack as part of Emperor Vulcan's invasion of the Kree Imperium. Ronan is beaten nearly to death in this attack. While visiting Ronan in recuperation, Crystal inadvertently helps rally the Kree people when she shows compassion towards a ward filled with injured Kree commoners; acts which (thanks to her sister in law Polaris) were eventually broadcast over the Kree networks. This has led to her being referred to as the "people's princess" among some of the Kree people.[21]

When Black Bolt attempted to set off an explosion that would spread the Terrigen Mists across the galaxy, reasoning that this action would render all equal, Crystal defied his orders and risked her life to take Lockjaw to confront him, disabling the Terrigen qualities of the explosion and convincing Black Bolt that the powers that would be created by his plan would cause more harm than good. Although Black Bolt acknowledged her wisdom, an attack by Vulcan meant that Black Bolt was kept too busy to accompany Crystal and Lockjaw when they were forced to flee before the bomb — now a simple explosive device — went off, apparently killing Black Bolt and Vulcan.[22] After some time with Medusa ruling in Black Bolt's stead, he is resurrected and returns to the throne. Shortly thereafter, Black Bolt makes a decree that the Inhumans would return to Earth, leaving Ronan the Accuser in charge of the empire; Crystal is given the choice to leave with the royal family or stay by her husband. She decides to stay.[23]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Crystal arguing with her boyfriend Johnny Storm, from Fantastic Four #99. Art by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.

Crystal possesses genetically superior Inhuman physiology, which has been enhanced and mutated by exposure to the Terrigen Mist. She has the ability to mentally manipulate the four classical Greek elements: fire, water, earth, and air. She does so by means of a psionic interaction with the substances on a molecular level. By controlling oxygen molecules she can cause fire to spontaneously ignite or she can douse any oxygen-based flame by depriving it of oxygen. She can join hydrogen and oxygen molecules to create rain, summoning these molecules from a volume of atmosphere within a radius of approximately two miles. She can control the movement of water by manipulating surface tension, divining water from the ground and causing it to flow in designated directions. The observed maximum volume of water she can control is approximately 2,000 cubic feet (about 15,000 gallons). Thus, she cannot change the course of rivers or cause the sea to part. She can control the various substances that make up common bedrock (earth: iron, granite, shale, limestone, etc.), creating seismic tremors of up to 6.7 on the Richter scale (greater if tectonic plate fault lines are nearby) by causing a sudden shifting of the earth. The observed maximum volume she can affect at once is 1.8 x 10" cubic feet (approximately 1/800 of a cubic mile). She can also control oxygen atoms and oxygen-containing molecules to create atmospheric disturbances of various kinds. By intermingling air with earth she can cause a dust storm, air with water a typhoon, and air with fire a firestorm. She is able to create a wind of tornado intensity.

Limitations: Crystal can sustain a certain elemental phenomenon for approximately one hour before her mind begins to tire. She can also create any number of effects in succession for about forty-five minutes before mental fatigue impairs her performance.

Crystal also has the physiology of an average Inhuman, so all her bodily functions are higher than a normal human's. Inhumans are superior to humans in strength, reaction time, stamina, resistance to injury and speed. However, Inhumans' immune systems are weaker than that of an average human, and Crystal is unable to stand the pollution, such as smog, that normal humans can unless she takes a weekly dose of a serum created by Reed Richards and Henry Pym that immunizes her against these adverse effects.[24]

Crystal's clothing, created by Inhuman scientists, is made of an unknown material that is resistant to heat, cold, and flame.

Other versions[edit]

Amalgam Comics[edit]

In the Amalgam Comics continuity, Dream Crystal, a combination of DC Comics' Beautiful Dreamer and Marvel's Crystal, is a member of the superhero group the Un-People in the Amalgam Comics universe.[25]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In the original Marvel Zombies miniseries, Crystal appeared in one panel as one of the many infected heroes.[volume & issue needed] Later, she is seen as part of the Inhumans Royal Family, all of whom are infected.[26]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

Crystal appeared in the Ultimate Marvel Universe within the Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual #1 story "Inhuman". In this story, she is being forced to marry Black Bolt's brother Maximus whom she does not like. She flirts with Johnny Storm during the issue, but ultimately leaves with the other Inhumans when they go to their new city.[27] She later appears in Ultimate Fantastic Four #30 talking to Sue, who wants her to ask Black Bolt for help with a parasite that is eating Johnny and could kill everyone on Earth. Crystal replies that Black Bolt could not help, even if they were at risk. She reminds Sue that Black Bolt moved the entire city simply because the Fantastic Four breathed their air.[28]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Crystal, along with the other Inhumans, made their animated debut in the 1978 Fantastic Four animated series in the episode "Medusa and the Inhumans".
  • Crystal, along with the other Inhumans, also appeared in the three-part Fantastic Four episode "Inhumans Saga", voiced by Kathy Ireland. After escaping the Negative Barrier, Crystal went on to become the girlfriend of the Human Torch.

Video games[edit]

  • Crystal is featured as a non-player character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Kim Mai Guest. She tells the heroes that Medusa went down to Earth to search for the Ultimate Nullifier. After Medusa is discovered to be transformed into one of Doctor Doom's servants, Gorgon mentions that Crystal will accompany him and Triton to fight Doom and make him change Medusa back while the heroes head to the Skrull homeworld. She is presumably beaten and transformed by Doctor Doom along with Gorgon and Triton as she is not heard from for the rest of the game. She has special dialogue with the Fantastic Four.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Complete Marvel Reading Order - Fantastic Four #45". Cmro.travis-starnes.com. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  2. ^ Inhumans Special #1
  3. ^ Cronin, Brian (September 18, 2010). "A Year of Cool Comics – Day 261". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2010-09-29. 
  4. ^ Fantastic Four #45-48
  5. ^ Fantastic Four #59-61, 63
  6. ^ Fantastic Four #81-83
  7. ^ Fantastic Four #84-87
  8. ^ Fantastic Four #88-89
  9. ^ Fantastic Four #95, 99-100
  10. ^ Fantastic Four #117-118
  11. ^ Fantastic Four #131-132
  12. ^ Fantastic Four #150
  13. ^ Fantastic Four #240
  14. ^ Avengers #334
  15. ^ Avengers #336
  16. ^ Avengers #343
  17. ^ Decimation: Son of M #1-6
  18. ^ Silent War #1-6
  19. ^ a b Secret Invasion: Inhumans #3
  20. ^ War of Kings #1
  21. ^ War of Kings #2
  22. ^ War of Kings #6
  23. ^ FF #7
  24. ^ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition
  25. ^ Challengers of the Fantastic #1 (1997)
  26. ^ Marvel Zombies 3 #3
  27. ^ Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual #1
  28. ^ Ultimate Fantastic Four #30

External links[edit]

  • Crystal at the Marvel Universe wiki