cover to Rune #1, Art by Barry Windsor-Smith
|Publisher||Malibu Comics/Marvel Comics|
|First appearance||Sludge #1 (flip-book backup) (1993)|
|Created by||Chris Ulm
|Notable aliases||Prince of the Void|
|Abilities||Superhuman strength, healing factor, durability, life force absobtion, precognition (through Star Stones)|
Rune is a fictional vampire-like being from Malibu Comics' Ultraverse imprint. He was created by Barry Windsor-Smith and Chris Ulm, and first appeared as a back-up story in Sludge #1 (another Malibu comic).
Fictional character biography
Rune was a human-like alien in the Ultraverse, until he acquired the Star Stones, magical artifacts which made him virtually immortal, but cursed him with a monstrous form and a vampiric thirst for blood. Ages ago, he found himself stranded on Earth, and has been both worshipped as a god and reviled as a demon throughout history.
In issue 1 of his ongoing series, Rune is seeking out super-powered teenagers, unaware of their government connections and robotic protection. Rune is captured and seemingly absorbed by a government computer system.
Rune is noted not for just drinking blood, but eating the entirety of his victims, such as one of the powered beings created in the 1993 first issue of the Strangers (Malibu Comics) series. His powers had led him to predict the incident so he lay in wait and planned so he can kidnap and consume one of the passengers.
Later, Rune goes on a cross-country quest to save a woman from a cult that calls her 'Pandora'. Rune's true goal is to protect the cult's plan from raising the mad god 'Argus' from the woman's murder. In issue nine, Rune fails and Argus arises. This ties directly into the 1994-1995 four-issue limited series Godwheel. Issue 9 also features Rune's son, stuck in the same 'entity' as his sister sibling. The male half is good and the female half is evil. The son is being assisted by a mysterious man named Janus and their trip doesn't go well.
In a flip book coming out in the same month, Rune fights the Silver Surfer.
Powers and abilities
Rune derives his power from the Star Stones, which he wears around his neck. These absorb the souls and life-force of his victims, and he uses them to power various feats of magic. He has vampire-like abilities, including bat-like wings allowing him to fly, great strength, speed and durability, and is nearly impossible to kill, even by decapitation; however exposure to a nuclear explosion in 1952 has given him cancer and greatly weakened his powers. Even in this state, he is capable of performing magic spells such as teleporting people across a continent and creating illusions to disguise himself as human. He also possesses certain psychic powers, such as precognition, psychometry, and clairvoyance. By consuming the life-force of an Ultra, he can temporarily boost his powers tremendously.
In other media
- Rune #1 (Jan. 1994)
- Freex #4 (October 1993)
- Rune #9 (April 1995)