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Gazer as War, Horseman of Apocalypse.
Art by Salvador Larroca.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance X-Men Vol. 2 #169 (June 2005)
Created by Peter Milligan
Salvador Larroca
In-story information
Species Human Mutant and Human Mutate
Team affiliations Four Horsemen of Apocalypse
Notable aliases War
Superhuman strength and physical resistance,
Optic blasts,
Ability to absorb radiation

Gazer is a fictional character, a mutant appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Peter Milligan and artist Salvador Larroca, he first appeared in X-Men vol. 2 #169 (June 2005).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Gazer was an astronaut permanently stationed alone on a NASA observation space station, due to the unusual metabolism he possessed as his mutant power, whereby he could absorb harmful radiation and process it to gain sustenance. He first encountered the X-Men when they used his station as a staging post for an attack on a group of non-sentient aliens which induced harmful emotions in humans.[volume & issue needed]

Gazer, before (left) and after his depowerment on M-Day

Shortly afterwards, he lost his powers on M-Day, along with 90% of mutants. Succumbing to radiation sickness, he began to imagine that an experiment on the effects of radiation sickness was sentient (calling it "Phantom Torso"), and it constantly advised him to call NASA to ask for a return home. However, he remained until an alien resembling Doop, which he had built up to himself as his last hope, passed by his station on its way to crash-landing on Earth near Polaris, who'd seen it in space and had a similar reaction.[volume & issue needed]

Thereafter, "Phantom Torso" stopped "talking" to him, and he put on a spacesuit and went out into space to die. However, he was teleported to Apocalypse's sphinx-like ship, and forced to battle Dr. Foster, a human archeologist who had stumbled upon Apocalypse's tomb, for the "right" to become War, Horseman of Apocalypse. Gazer would have lost the battle if it were not for Ozymandias, Apocalypse's servant. Ozymandias told Gazer that he would owe him and one day the scribe would become the master.[volume & issue needed]

Gazer went through a terribly painful process where his skeleton was stretched, the former X-Man Sunfire, who was also chosen by Apocalypse to be a Horseman, tried to save him but Gazer had already been under Apocalypse's mind-control by then and helped recapture Shiro.[volume & issue needed] As War, Gazer was sent to battle the X-Men and Sentinel Squad O*N*E. Upon returning to Apocalypse's sphinx, he was approached by Ozymandias who wanted his debt repaid. War, no longer Gazer, did not fulfill his oath and instead revealed the truth to Apocalypse about Ozymandias' treachery.[volume & issue needed]

During a heated battle against the X-Men, Ozymandias finally took his vengeance, stabbing Gazer from behind with a sword.[volume & issue needed]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Before M-Day, Gazer, in addition to his unusual appearance, could absorb radiation at frequencies and levels which induce radiation sickness in normal humans and photosynthesize it as food.

After his depowerment on M-Day, he was taken by Apocalypse and transformed to possess super-strength and enhanced durability, and the ability to absorb and rechannel solar energy as blasts of fire through his eyes. He also carries a spiked mace which flashes with electricity-like bursts, and rides a robotic horse-like flying machine.