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|First appearance||Champions #7 (August 1976)|
|Created by||Tony Isabella (writer)
George Tuska (artist)
|Alter ego||Laynia Sergeievna Petrovna (Krylova)|
Champions of Los Angeles
|Notable aliases||Tyomni Zvesda (Russian translation of codename); formerly "Great Beast" (with Vanguard & Ursa Major)|
Ability to create solid constructs composed of Darkforce energy
Darkstar (Laynia Petrovna) is a fictional character, a mutant superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She has been a member of various super-teams in her career, including X-Corporation and Champions of Los Angeles.
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Fictional character biography
Laynia Petrovna and her twin brother Nikolai Krylenko were born in Minsk, which at the time was part of the Soviet Union, and is now the capital of Belarus. When she grew up, she became a special operative of the Soviet government.
Darkstar was first seen as part of a Soviet super-team recruited to bring Natasha Romanoff (the Black Widow) back to the USSR. She turned sides and joined the Champions as a guest member, remaining with the team until its disbanding.
While with the Champions, she and Bobby Drake, the former X-Man known as Iceman, were close to entering into a romantic relationship, but Laynia only liked Iceman as a friend, not as a love-interest.[volume & issue needed] She quit the Champions and returned to Russia, leaving behind a devastated Iceman.
In Russia's employ
Darkstar became a member of the Soviet Super-Soldiers with her brother Nikolai (alias Vanguard) and the fifth Crimson Dynamo. The Soviet Super-Soldiers battled Iron Man and Jack of Hearts on the moon. The Super-Soldiers wound up helping the heroes in battling renegade Rigellians led by Commander Arcturus.
Later, Darkstar and Vanguard were sent along with new Soviet Super-Soldier Ursa Major by the KGB to defeat Sergei the Presence. They fought Sergei and the second Red Guardian, but then Darkstar and Vanguard learned that Sergei was their father, and that Professor Phobos had exploited the Super-Soldiers. Darkstar aided in freeing Sergei and Starlight, and defeating Phobos.
The Soviet Super-Soldiers were then sent by the Soviet government to Khystym to battle the Gremlin. They fought the Spaceknights Rom and Starshine, but later allied with them against the Dire Wraiths. The Super-Soldiers wound up befriending the Gremlin instead of fighting him.
The former Soviet Super-Soldiers Darkstar, Vanguard, and Ursa Major eventually defected to the United States seeking political asylum. They arrived at Avengers Island, asking for Captain America's help. They were beaten nearly to death by the Supreme Soviets, who had disguised themselves as members of the Avengers. The comatose subconscious minds of the Super-Soldiers formed a "Great Beast" that followed the Supreme Soviets back to the USSR and tried to kill them. Captain America persuaded the "Great Beast" to stand down, and the three heroes later regained consciousness and began to recover from their injuries.
The Soviet Super-Soldiers were eventually captured and returned to the Soviet Union. They were rescued by a man known as Blind Faith, and his team called the Exiles (not to be confused with the reality-hopping team the Exiles), whom she joined.
Later, when the Supreme Soviets (who had changed their name to People's Protectorate) was rechristened the Winter Guard, Darkstar was recruited back into the team.[volume & issue needed] After that team also disbanded, Darkstar and Vanguard teamed with a Russian mutant team,[volume & issue needed] and later joined forces with their father, the Presence.[volume & issue needed]
After Vanguard dies on the Starbrand mission led by Quasar, Darkstar and her father Sergei decide to kill Quasar, who allows them to believe that they have succeeded while he has in fact left earth.
Later, it is revealed that Darkstar joined the Paris branch of X-Corporation, in which she was possessed by Weapon XII, a creation of the Weapon Plus Project, and was subsequently killed by Fantomex. A funeral was held in her honor at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, where she was buried.
Darkstar is temporarily resurrected by means of the Transmode Virus to serve as part of Selene's army of deceased mutants. Under the control of Selene and Eli Bard, she takes part in the assault on the mutant nation of Utopia.
A new, red-haired Darkstar first appeared as a member of the Winter Guard in Hulk #1. Her name was revealed to be Sasha Roerich. As she revealed during a counseling session, she was genetically modeled to resemble the previous Darkstar. After being again altered by The Presence, her body betrayed itself, and she was transformed into a multi-tentacled Darkforce beast. She was killed by Red Guardian.
With Sasha's death, Reena Stanicoff took over the role. Reena was killed during an attack on Winter Guard headquarters by a Dire Wraith, who then began to assume her form. Although the Winter Guard fought off the attack, Reena's death was subsequently covered up by the government.
The Dire Wraith who assumed Reena's form was on the verge of killing all the Winter Guard when it was suddenly overwhelmed and taken over by darkforce energy. To the astonishment of all present, the original Darkstar (Laynia Petrovna) seized control of the creature and resurrected herself. Having brought herself back to life, she reunited with her brother Vanguard and has since returned to active duty alongside both her brother and Ursa Major.[volume & issue needed] She was next seen fighting Hyperion.
Laynia, along with the other members of the Winter Guard, was blasted into space by the Intelligencia, a team formed by some of the smartest villains of the Marvel Universe.
Powers and abilities
Darkstar is a mutant who can psionically access the extra-dimensional energy of the Darkforce dimension, which grants her a number of superhuman abilities. She is connected to the Darkforce dimension by means of her consciousness being split between her physical body and a Darkforce representation of same, both symbiotically linked. Darkstar can thus utilize the Darkforce for various purposes. She can cause Darkforce to behave like either matter or energy. Most often she projected it as simple mentally-controlled solid objects possessing the density of steel such as pincers, rings, columns, and spheres, or as beams of concussive force. If Darkstar is rendered unconscious any Darkforce constructs of her making immediately dissipate. Darkstar can teleport herself and up to three others by opening a portal into the Darkforce dimension and travelling through it. The maximum distance she can teleport has never been revealed. Because crossing the Darkforce dimension disorients her sense of direction, and the light of Earth blinds her for several seconds upon reemergence, traveling in this manner is risky.
Darkstar can levitate herself and fly at subsonic speeds by generating a virtually invisible portal into the Darkforce dimension along the contours of her body without passing through it, then balancing the attractive force of the dimension against that of the Earth's gravity. The upper limits of her powers are still unknown.
While the original Darkstar's costume was designed by the Soviet government and was made of a synthetic stretch fabric insulated against the cold, the other two Darkstars had costumes which were composed of Darkforce material.
Civil War: House of M
Darkstar is seen as a member of the Soviet Super-Soldiers.
- On Earth 3740, the native timeline of Heather Hudson of the dimension-jumping Exiles, the Soviet Union still exists. Darkstar is part of the Soviet Super-Soldiers.
- An alternate version of Darkstar was shown in yet another universe. She was a member of the Republican Guard, Russia's superhuman team, alongside Crimson Dynamo, Omega Red, Gremlin, and the Titanium Man.
In other media
- Darkstar guest-starred in the X-Men animated series. In the episode "Red Dawn", she's initially the mutant enforcer for a group of Russian generals seeking to reestablish the Soviet Union with the aid of Omega Red. After witnessing the crimes committed by Omega Red, Darkstar rebels against the generals and sides with the X-Men and Colossus. This incarnation only possessed the power of flight and telekinesis.
- Darkstar appears in the Avengers Assemble animated series, voiced by Laura Bailey in a Russian accent. In the episode "Secret Avengers", she appears as a member of the Winter Guard.
Notes and references
- The Champions 7 (August 1976), Marvel Comics
- The Champions 10 (January 1977), Marvel Comics
- The Champions 11 (February 1977), Marvel Comics
- Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #17 (April 1978)
- Iron Man #109, 112
- Incredible Hulk #258–259, by Bill Mantlo
- Rom #45-46
- X-Men Vs. Avengers #1–3
- Captain America #352–353
- Soviet Super Soldiers #1 (November 1992)
- Quasar #60
- New X-Men 130 (October 2002), Marvel Comics
- Incredible Hercules #129
- X-Force (vol. 3) #21, January 2010
- Hulk: Winter Guard 1 (December 2009), Marvel Comics
- Darkstar & The Winter Guard 3 (August 2010), Marvel Comics
- Age of Heroes 3 (August 2010), Marvel Comics
- Amazing Spider-Man #676
- Civil War: House of M #2
- Exiles (vol. 1) #84
- Exiles 43 (Jan 2005), Marvel Comics
- "Secret Avengers". Avengers Assemble. Season 2. Episode 17. May 10, 2015. Disney XD.