Stranger (Marvel Comics)

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The Stranger
The Silver Surfer confronts the Stranger on the cover of reprint title Fantasy Masterpieces #5 (Apr. 1980). Art by John Buscema.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Uncanny X-Men #11 (May 1965)
Created byStan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Power cosmic

The Stranger is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Publication history[edit]

The Stranger first appeared in X-Men #11 (May 1965) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.[1]

Fictional character biography[edit]

The character is a cosmic entity and principally a scientist and surveyor of worlds, first visiting Earth out of curiosity.[2] After an encounter with the X-Men and Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who first think he is a powerful mutant,[3] the entity departs, taking the supervillain Magneto and his servant Toad off-world for further study after encasing them in special cocoons. The same title depicts Magneto's escape and return to Earth using a spaceship he repairs when the Stranger leaves the planet (leaving Toad behind). However, the Stranger recaptures the villain after Professor X telepathically alerts the Stranger.[4]

The Stranger reappears in the title Tales to Astonish, becoming convinced that mankind is dangerous and sets out to destroy the Earth using the Hulk, allowing a better race of humanity to take over. He transports to Earth a machine that increases his mental power over the Hulk. The character is dissuaded from this course of action by the Hulk's alter-ego, Bruce Banner. However he takes the supervillain Abomination into space with him, thinking him truly evil.[5] In the title the Silver Surfer, the Stranger again attempts to destroy the Earth, on this occasion using a powerful "Null-Life" bomb. After a battle with the Silver Surfer and learning that a human scientist sacrificed himself to defuse the bomb, the Stranger retreats.[6]

In the title Fantastic Four the Stranger aids the superhero team against the entity the Overmind,[7] and in Thor watches as the Thunder God battles the character's servant of the time, the Abomination.[8] The title The Avengers features a story in which the Toad impersonates the Stranger and battles the superhero team.[9] The true Stranger encounters the Kree warrior Captain Marvel in the title of the same name,[10] and in Marvel Team-Up encounters the hero Spider-Man when trying to obtain the Soul Gem from Adam Warlock.[11]

The Stranger also appears in the self-titled The Champions and aids the group to contain the reactivated Null-Life bomb left on Earth[12] and in a Marvel Two-In-One Annual enlists the aid of the Thing and the Hulk to fight against the threat of the Olympian god Pluto.[13]

The character reappears in the third volume of the Silver Surfer, where the entity known as the Living Tribunal reveals the fourth side of its head to be a void and claims that it could have represented the face of the Stranger.[14]

The Stranger also joins the Avengers in battle against the space pirate Nebula, who has acquired the "Infinity Union", a device that allows the user to absorb all forms of ambient energy, and who seeks to acquire more by repeatedly destroying and recreating the universe.[15]

In the title Quasar, cosmic beings known as the Watchers approach the Stranger for aid in halting a lethal information virus, with the hero Quasar taking advantage of the distraction to free many of the specimens on the Stranger's "Labworld", including Stardust.[16]

In the limited series "Infinity Gauntlet", the Stranger appears among the gathering of cosmic entities opposing the Titan Thanos, and attacks the latter teamed with Epoch and Galactus.[17]

In the limited series Starblast the Stranger is instrumental in merging the New Universe into the Marvel Universe.[18] He next appears in a retold flashback story in Professor Xavier and the X-Men;[19] and outside of continuity in Marvel Adventures.[20]

In the limited series X-Men Forever, the character is revealed to have subtly manipulated and accelerated the evolution of human mutants for a long time, in a plot to harness their potential to gain control of all higher cosmic entities.[21]

He next appears in Marvel Universe: The End, again among the beings opposing Thanos.[22]

The Stranger prominently features in the limited series Beyond!, posing as the Beyonder wherein he captures several heroes and villains and forces them into battle for the purpose of study.[23]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Stranger possesses the ability to channel and manipulate cosmic power on a scale comparable to that of Galactus and the Celestials,[24] with feats including levitation; force field creation; size shifting and molecular manipulation of matter;[25] light speed space travel; intangibility and energy projection[26] and assembling a planet from segments of inhabited worlds from across the universe.[27] The entity also possesses a "laboratory" world, where items are stored, and beings of interest, referred to as specimens, are kept prisoner for study.

In other media[edit]

The Stranger appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill! (Six Against Infinity, Part 1)", voiced by John Barrowman.[28] This version enslaved the Korbinites, though Beta Ray Bill escaped and became a janitor. The Stranger eventually locates Bill, but is eventually defeated by him and Thor.


  1. ^ DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 359. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
  2. ^ Brevoort, Tom; DeFalco, Tom; Manning, Matthew K.; Sanderson, Peter; Wiacek, Win (2017). Marvel Year By Year: A Visual History. DK Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 978-1465455505.
  3. ^ X-Men #11 (May 1965)
  4. ^ X-Men #18 (Dec. 1965)
  5. ^ Tales to Astonish #89 (April 1967)
  6. ^ Silver Surfer #5 (April 1969)
  7. ^ Fantastic Four #113–116 (Aug.–Nov. 1971)
  8. ^ Thor #178 (July 1970)
  9. ^ The Avengers #137–138 (July–Aug. 1975)
  10. ^ Captain Marvel #42 (Jan. 1976)
  11. ^ Marvel Team-Up #55 (March 1977)
  12. ^ The Champions #12–13 (March & May 1977)
  13. ^ Marvel Two-In-One Annual #5 (Jan. 1980)
  14. ^ Silver Surfer vol. 3 #31 (Dec. 1989)
  15. ^ The Avengers #317–318 (May–June 1990)
  16. ^ Quasar #14–16 (Sep.–Nov. 1990)
  17. ^ Infinity Gauntlet #1-6 (July-Dec. 1991)
  18. ^ Starblast #1–4 (Jan.–April 1994)
  19. ^ Professor Xavier and the X-Men #15 (Jan. 1997)
  20. ^ Marvel Adventures #5 (Aug. 1997)
  21. ^ X-Men Forever #1-6 (2001)
  22. ^ Marvel Universe: The End #4–6 (June–Aug. 2003):Marvel Universe: The End #1–6 (March–Aug. 2003)
  23. ^ Beyond! #6 (Feb. 2007): Beyond #1–6 (Sep. 2006–Feb. 2007)
  24. ^ Thanos Annual #1 (2014)
  25. ^ X-Men #11 (May 1965)
  26. ^ Silver Surfer #5 (Aug. 1969)
  27. ^ Beyond #1–6 (Sep. 2006–Feb. 2007)
  28. ^ The Super Hero Squad Show: Three New Baddies

External links[edit]