Starjammers

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Starjammers
The new Starjammers.
Art by Billy Tan.
Group publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Uncanny X-Men #107 (October 1977)
Created by Dave Cockrum
In-story information
Type of organization Team
Agent(s) Ch'od
Cr'eee
Corsair
Korvus
Raza Longknife
Cyclops
Hepzibah
Sikorsky
Waldo
Starjammers
Series publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series
Genre
Publication date (X-Men Spotlight On...Starjammers)
May – June 1990
(vol. 1)
October 1995 – January 1996
(vol. 2)
September 2004 – February 2005
Number of issues X-Men Spotlight On...Starjammers
2
(vol. 1)
4
(vol. 2)
6
Creator(s) Dave Cockrum

The Starjammers are a fictional team of space pirates from the pages of the X-Men comic books published by Marvel Comics. The Starjammers first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #107 (October 1977) and were created by Dave Cockrum. The name "Starjammers" was created on the basis of the type of sailing ship known as "Windjammer".

Concept and creation[edit]

Dave Cockrum created the Starjammers with the intent of having them star in their own series. However, when he submitted the concept for Marvel's two try-out series, Marvel Spotlight and Marvel Premiere, he was repeatedly informed that these series were booked for two years solid. Running out of patience, Cockrum showed the Starjammers to X-Men writer Chris Claremont and convinced him to use the characters for this series. In order to provide a plausible excuse for the Starjammers to make repeat appearances in X-Men, they decided to make Corsair, the leader of the Starjammers, be the father of Cyclops, the leader of the X-Men.[1]

Fictional history[edit]

Origin[edit]

The story of the Starjammers began with Christopher Summers, a military pilot returning with his family from a trip to Alaska. Without warning their plane was attacked. Chris's wife, Katherine, strapped their two sons (Scott Summers and Alexander Summers, who later became the X-Men Cyclops and Havok) to their only parachute and pushed them out of the plane, saving their lives. The husband and wife were then teleported from their plane to the ship of an advanced alien race called the Shi'ar. This had been a zoological scouting mission to bring in a human specimen. They were brought before D'Ken, the then ruler of the Shi'ar Empire, who was immediately smitten with Katherine, making her his concubine and sending her husband to the slave pits. Eventually, Christopher escaped and reached D'Ken's private quarters to try to assassinate him. However, he was caught and punished by having his wife murdered before his eyes, and his unborn son cut out of her womb. His spirit broken, he was sent to a mining camp on another planet.

Formation of the team[edit]

While working in the mining camp, Christopher witnessed the guards mercilessly beating a feline-like female. He stepped in, trying to get them to stop, but was then beaten himself. The woman was taken to the holding cells and Christopher huddled up in a corner, ashamed of himself. A little while later, Raza and Ch'od passed by and asked Christopher for the whereabouts of their comrade Hepzibah. Christopher was too afraid to answer. After they had left, he felt guilty and went to the guards' quarters, starting a fight after killing one of them. Raza and Ch'od jumped in, and together they got past the guards, freed the cat-woman, and sneaked on board a Shi'ar starship. Christopher used his pilot call-sign, Corsair. Naming Christopher their captain, they became the Starjammers, a group of space pirates rebelling against D'Ken's tyranny.

Further adventures[edit]

The Starjammers have had many adventures across the universe, many of them on Earth with the X-Men, during which Christopher Summers finally met his long lost sons, now X-Men. At times, the group ran with Professor X and even his consort, the Shi'ar ruler, Lilandra. The group participated in the defeat of the cosmic threat Magus, assisted by Professor X and the New Mutants. When the Skrulls made an incursion into Shi'ar territory, the Starjammers were overwhelmed, kidnapped and duplicated. They were later rescued from their imprisonment by the X-Men.

The Hulk and Silver Surfer recruited the Starjammers to assist in a raid on Troyjan held space, to rescue several friends of the Hulk. A violent fight broke out, with the Starjammers slaying several enemies. It was ended with an alien bureaucrat offered the option of the Starjammers and allies simply asking to see the person they wished to confront. The group was also temporary allies of the Avengers. For some time, they were prisoners of the Collector, a cosmic being interested in preserving unique specimens of life. They became trapped in a conflict between the Collector, Galactus and the well-meaning but dangerous efforts of Wolverine of the X-Men.

A recent Starjammers series introduced a new member of the Starjammers. Although some readers believed it was out of Marvel Universe continuity, the events of the series were referenced in a recent entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe series, confirming its canonical status.

The Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire[edit]

The Starjammers figured significantly in the Uncanny X-Men story arc "The Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire", a 12-issue story arc following on the events of X-Men: Deadly Genesis.

Within this story arc, the long-lost third son of Corsair, Gabriel Summers, now the powerful mutant known as Vulcan, travels from Earth to Shi'ar space seeking revenge against the mad emperor D'Ken and the Shi'ar empire for the death of his mother and his own mistreatment by the Shi'ar. Through the course of the story, Vulcan allies himself with Deathbird to depose her brother the emperor, but later seems to side himself with D'Ken against the X-Men and the Starjammers, who seek to stop his plans for revenge. Vulcan soon turns on and kills D'Ken, and by marrying his ally (and sister of D'Ken) Deathbird, assumes the throne of the Shi'ar empire himself. In the course of the finale, Corsair, Vulcan's father, is seemingly killed. Hepzibah is returned to Earth with the X-Men, while Havok, Polaris and Marvel Girl remain behind. Havok decides to assume his father's position as leader of the Starjammers. Polaris opts to stay with him. Marvel Girl remains behind as well, having developed an intimate relationship with Korvus, a Shi'ar warrior whose ancestor was once a host of the Phoenix force (like Marvel Girl); his giant sword allows him to access the force to a degree as well. The Starjammers' new mission is to defeat Havok's brother and return Lilandra to the throne of the Sh'iar Empire.

Hepzibah expresses no wish to return to the Starjammers following Corsair's death, and has decided to stay on Earth and become an X-Man. The Starjammers are now: Havok, Polaris, Ch'od, Marvel Girl, Raza, Korvus, Sikorsky, and Cr'eee.[2]

X-Men: Emperor Vulcan[edit]

Main article: X-Men: Emperor Vulcan

The further adventures of the Starjammers are continued in the series: X-Men: Emperor Vulcan, this miniseries (5 issues) is written by Chris Yost and pencilled by Paco Diaz. Havok and the Starjammers attack Shi'ar space. Vulcan appears with an armada to kill them, and a new alien race gets involved. The new race's name translates to "Death to the Shi'ar", and they destroyed the Shi'ar flagship.[3] In the aftermath of the miniseries, most of the Starjammers were captured and subsequently imprisoned by Vulcan. Lilandra, Korvus, and Rachel Summers escaped and remain free.

X-Men: Kingbreaker and War of Kings[edit]

Main articles: X-Men: Kingbreaker and War of Kings

Marvel has announced that the Starjammers will play a large role in the upcoming sequel to Emperor Vulcan called X-Men: Kingbreaker.[4] They will also be seen prominently in the War of Kings storyline, which also features Vulcan, the Inhumans, Nova, and the Guardians of the Galaxy.[5]

Membership[edit]

Characters marked in bold lettering are current members of the Starjammers.

  • Binary: Carol Danvers acquired new powers after her encounter with Rogue. As Binary she controlled vast amounts of cosmic energy, had super strength, flight, and the ability to survive unaided in space. Power levels diminished, Ms. Marvel is currently a member of the New Avengers.
  • Corsair: Former leader, father of the X-Men Cyclops, Havok, and Vulcan. He was the lover of fellow Starjammer, Hepzibah, until his death in The Uncanny X-Men #486. Corsair later turned up alive.
  • Ch'od: Large reptilian creature, a member of the Saurid race.
  • Cr'eee: A white, furry companion for Ch'od which only he can understand.
  • Havok: Alexander Summers, current leader/captain, former X-Man, fires plasma blasts.
  • Hepzibah: Corsair's lover until his death. A member of the Mephitisoid race; her true name is nearly unpronounceable to humans. Current member of the X-Men and formerly of X-Force. Left the Starjammers after the death of Corsair.[6] Recents events have altered this status with return of Corsair.
  • Keeyah: A Kree who briefly acted as pilot.
  • Korvus: Descendant of a Shi'ar host for the Phoenix Force, has gone rogue.
  • Raza Longknife: The last surviving member of an unknown race exterminated by the Shi'ar Emperor D'Ken.
  • Marvel Girl: Rachel Summers, former member of the X-Men and Excalibur; telepath/telekinetic, has been a host for the Phoenix Force.
  • Lilandra Neramani: Former Empress of the Shi'ar Empire. Killed by Darkhawk (who was controlled by Razor) in War of Kings.
  • Polaris: Lorna Dane, former lover of Havok, she was one of the many mutants who had lost their powers on M-Day. Has been artificially augmented with magnetic powers after become one of the Horsemen of Apocalypse.
  • Professor X: Founder of the X-Men; telepath. Briefly a member after the events of Uncanny X-Men #200.
  • Sikorsky: Insect-like robot, expert-physician.
  • Waldo: The artificial intelligence of the Starjammers' ship, destroyed beyond repair.
  • Cyclops (Past): Former member of Original Time-Displaced X-Men and Cyclops' X-Men teams.

Other versions[edit]

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

In this reality, the formation of the Starjammers is essentially the same as in the main reality. They consisted of slaves that broke free during the reign of Emperor D'Ken. They included Earthman Christopher Summers, Ch'od, Hepzibah, and Raza Longknife. Early on in their time together, Chris was infected with a Brood embryo and would return to Earth leaving the Starjammers without a leader; however, the circumstances behind this would be unrevealed.[7]

The Starjammers would eventually find someone who could lead them in the form of Deathbird, the former ruler of the Shi'ar Empire, who had been removed from the throne by her evil brother D'Ken.[8] When the X-Ternals arrived in the Shi'ar galaxy, they were saved by the Starjammers from the crystallization wave caused by the destabilized M'Kraan Crystal.

The group took the X-Ternals to the planet where the Crystal was kept so that they could collect a shard of it to save the universe. Only Deathbird would accompany the X-Ternals to the planets surface where their mission would be a success. It would also see D'Ken left in a paralyzed state, trapped within the crystal.[9]

Mutant X[edit]

In this reality, the Starjammers consist of Cyclops, Binary, Lockheed, Nova, and Silver Surfer.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

The Starjammers appeared in the five-part X-Men animated series episode "The Phoenix Saga" as well as the episode "Orphan's End".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Meth, Clifford (August 1993). "How a Typhoon Blew in Success". Wizard: X-Men Turn Thirty. pp. 50–52. 
  2. ^ Uncanny X-Men #486
  3. ^ X-Men: Emperor Vulcan #1
  4. ^ "Chris Yost Talks X-Men: Kingbreaker". Newsarama. August 23, 2008. 
  5. ^ "CCI: DnA and Rosemann on 'War of Kings'". Comic Book Resources. July 27, 2008. 
  6. ^ http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=50848
  7. ^ Tales From the Age of Apocalypse #2
  8. ^ Gambit and the X-Ternals #2
  9. ^ Gambit and the X-Ternals #3

External links[edit]