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Starjammer spaceship (Marvel X-Men comics)

Starjammers


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

This profile is about the Starjammers, allies to Marvel Comics’ X-Men. It covers the team itself, so the material doesn’t have to be repeated in their individual profiles.

The Starjammers are a group of badass space pirates playing a role in the history of the Shi’ar  galaxy. They all have mysterious backgrounds, are exiles and know the X-Men. In other word, they’re clearly a group of Player Characters  ! 🙂

Since running a Starjammers campaign is an interesting opportunity for those playing in the Marvel Universe, I’ve attempted to offer a comprehensive review of their known adventures. Beside it was pleasant research, as the ’jammers were key to most of the Really Epic Space Opera X-Men Adventures, such as the M’Krann Crystal crisis, the Brood War or the Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire.

There are some continuity issues around the Starjammers, but they are largely characterisation mistakes, plot elements disappearing from one appearance to the next, statements about their origins that are a bit difficult to reconcile, etc. Generally, there isn’t anything major and I’ve just smoothed things over in this entry and the various Starjammers entries.

One big, glaring exception to this is the late 2004 Starjammers volume 2 six-issues limited series written by Kevin Anderson. It makes simply no effort whatsoever at continuity. I’ve reasonably concluded that it wasn’t meant to be in continuity. Still, I’ve used some illustrations for the individual entries and have mentioned it as a possible alternate future in this entry.

I plan to add some data about Waldo and the HMSS Starjammer to a v1.1 for this entry when I finish the group (a v2 for Corsair, an entry for Sikorsky, etc.), but won’t be able to cover that with the current batch.


History

The history of the Starjammers started after the future members ended up on the mine/prison world of Alsibar. Alsibar was a brutal gulag for a host of prisoners from a wide variety of races. All toiled under the cruel and occasionally deadly vigilance of crude guards.

Unwilling to give up despite the harsh conditions, three warriors called Ch’od, Hepzibah and Raza Longknife banded up. They managed to evade the guards and live as rebels for quite a while.

The Starjammers brandishing their weapons

Hepzibah was eventually recaptured, but with the unexpected help of a human prisoner called Christopher Summers she was rescued.

Summers further proved to have the key to freedom. His instinctive talent for anything that flew extended to alien starships, giving the quartet of renegade prisoners a way out of the planet.

Corsair

They managed to steal a ship, and Summers (now calling himself Corsair) flew it out of range of the Alsibar corrections forces.

Right after Corsair freed her, Hepzibah licked a few drops of his blood and declared a lifebond—bloodbond. Apparently risking his life to save her made them comrades-in-arms ’til death. She also soon became his lover. That one was less traditional, since Mephitisoid mating rituals involving exchanges of pheromones that are not possible with a Human.

Being unable to pronounce her proper Mephitisoid name, Corsair nicknamed her Hepzibah, after the anthropomorphic skunk female in the old comic strip Pogo .

The HMSS Starjammer spaceship

The early years of the band that became the Starjammers are almost entirely undocumented. But they soon became feared pirates striking against Shi’ar power before disappearing into the darkness of space.

(For ESL  readers, the name as an allusion to the windjammers , a type of huge sailing boat with 4+ masts and numerous sails, that existed at the end of the Age of Sail.)

Back then the Shi’ar Empire was in a particularly repressive and authoritarian phase, under the leadership of the mad emperor D’Ken. The Starjammers were determined to bring about regime change.

Along the way they acquired two unusual members (Cr+eee and Sikorsky) and somehow managed to steal a heavily-armed, powerful warship they christened the HMSS Starjammer. The pirates also proved that they were serious badasses, even when clashing with the Shi’ar military might and the occasional members of the Imperial Guard.

The destruction of D’Ken

The Starjammers first met Earth people other than Corsair in 1977. The X-Men clashed with the Shi’ar Imperial Guard protecting D’Kenn as he was monkeying with the M’Krann Crystal. Though the outnumbered X-Men were about to lose, the Starjammers’ sudden attack turned the tide.

As the fray escalated, the X-Men and Starjammers confronted the Guardians of the Crystal. Raza then lunged for the mad Emperor and threw D’Ken into the Crystal. This sucked everyone present into the universal artefact. However, using her cosmic power Phoenix of the X-Men repaired the Crystal, saving the entire universe.

During that epic battle, the Starjammers achieved their main goal. D’Ken was left catatonic and would soon be succeeded by his sister, the far more humane and rational Lilandra.

Though the relationship between the rebellious pirates and the soon-to-be Imperatrix of the Shi’ar were uneasy, she also had a track record of armed rebellion against D’Ken. Thus, the ‘jammers decided to trust her to rein in the excesses of Shi’ar power – for the time being.

Deathbird means desolation

This state of relative equilibrium did not last very long. Lilandra’s sister, a madwoman called Deathbird, was plotting to overthrow Lilandra. With D’Ken’s being in vegetative state she was next in line. Deathbird allied with the very dangerous alien race called the Brood, and hatched a plan that would also neutralise her sister’s powerful allies.

A terrorist commando struck the Grand Council of the Imperium. It killed most of the ministers, captured the Imperatrix and left a variety of clues making it look like the Starjammers and Earth were responsible. The Shi’ar response was overwhelming. A battalion located the unwary Starjammers, while a fast battle force headed for Earth.

The Starjammers decided to hold the attacking troops at bay. Their goal was to buy some time for Corsair to flee to warn Earth. Despite being short one member the Starjammers managed to pull off yet another miraculous escape.

On Earth, Xavier parlayed, using his status as Imperial Consort to stay the hand of the Shi’ar military. Corsair and the X-Men investigated, then brutally clashed with Deathbird and her Brood allies. In this battle, Colossus being grievously wounded. Thankfully, the ’jammers then reached Earth. The ship’s medic, an insectoid dubbed Sikorsky by Corsair, managed to save Colossus’s life.

The Brood means destruction

After learning that Deathbird, thanks to an alliance with the treacherous commander of the fast battle force, had kidnapped Lilandra and Xavier, the Starjammers and a contingent of X-Men intercepted her starship.

As they arrived, Deathbird rendezvoused with a Brood Acanti craft. The Brood forces were no match for the X-Men and Starjammers, who managed to grab Lilandra and Xavier and escape from the Brood. The HMSS Starjammer was jury-rigged just in time to save the Earth from the treacherous battle force commander. It broadcast a communication by Lilandra, who resumed command of the Shi’ar imperium.

The space pirates stayed on Earth for a while, repairing their ship. They also befriended Carol Danvers, an ally of the X-Men and the former Ms. Marvel. Whilst they were on his home planet, Corsair reconciled with his sons Scott and Alex, now Cyclops and Havok.

However, Deathbird and the Brood counterattacked, grabbing Lilandra and the X-Men anew.

The Starjammers by Art Adams, on a white background

The Starjammers saved the X-Men and Imperatrix Lilandra from the fallout of their brutal clash with the Brood, hospitalising them aboard their ship. The aftermath of this war produced various results :

  • Lilandra’s sister, still allied with the Broods, took over the throne whilst her sister was fighting for her life
  • the prætor of the Imperial Guard, Gladiator, has his first non-hostile interaction with the Starjammers
  • X-Men ally Carol Danvers, now the staggeringly powerful Binary, joined the Starjammers to find her destiny in space

The ’jammers apparently resumed their piratical ways, struggling against the Deathbird-led Shi’ar imperium. This time, however, Lilandra joined the crew. The former Empress was now a pirate.

Reign of Deathbird

Some time later, far from Earth, Lilandra sensed through her telepathic link with her consort that Xavier was dying. Using a stargate, she and Corsair rushed to Earth. They took Xavier to the HMSS Starjammer’s sick bay since Earth medical technology could not save him.

The effort, powered by Binary’s star-like energies, seriously damaged the ship’s warp drives. This stranded Xavier far from Earth as a de facto member of the Starjammers, along with his lover Lilandra. The damaged HMSS Starjammer then had to resume its flight away from Deathbird’s forces.

Some time later, the Starjammers were briefly pressed by Phoenix (Rachel Summers). She intended to use the life forces of the X-Men and Starjammers, along with the M’Krann Crystal, to destroy the Beyonder. She faltered and did not execute on that plan, though.

It apparently took months to properly repair the Starjammer. The pirates used numerous shady contacts to procure the needed parts and tools. All the while they laid low since the ship was in no shape for a fight.

Magical mutant maiden

Thus, a new contact with an Earth hero was unexpected. But it occurred when the ’jammers stumbled upon Magik (Illyana Rasputin). Rasputin had teleported into the Shi’ar galaxy in an effort to reach Professor X after a series of catastrophic events.

Starjammers Binary, Lilandra and Professor X teleported out with Magik on a rescue mission. However, the ultra-powerful techno-organic being called the Magus, the sire of the New Mutant alien member Warlock, had tracked Magik down. As a result, it started destroying the planet the HMSS Starjammer was hidden on.

Though even the legendary freebooters were outmatched, Xavier’s superior leadership with the New Mutants led to the Magus’s defeat.

The Starjammers power-walking

After that fight the HMSS Starjammer was barely spaceworthy. Though the New Mutants helped with yet more jury-rigging, the Starjammers thus had to rabbit when a cloaked Shi’ar battlegroup found them. Xavier eventually sent the New Mutants back to Earth for their own safety.

The Phalkon, part 1

Their ship still half-crippled, the Starjammers then attacked a Shi’ar dreadnought. They used ruse and Xavier’s enormous mental powers to breach in and take the commander hostage.

Though the main goal of the raid was apparently to snatch supplies and run, the holds of the dreadnought were strangely empty. As they left, the Starjammers discovered that the enemy was on a secret mission to find a legendary source of power, called the Phalkon by the Shi’ar. However, security systems evacuated the pods with the Shi’ar finds before the ‘jammers could get hold of them.

The Starjammers split up to recover each pod and get to the Phalkon — whatever it was — before the Shi’ar military could bring it to Deathbird.

  • Corsair found one pod despite the interference of alien vampires
  • Ch’od and Hepzibah fought a living ocean of machinery which had awoken to use the pod as an energy source
  • Cr+eee faced his past on his planet and was pardoned for some incomprehensible crime, earning one of the pods
  • Raza and Binary waded through a planet almost entirely composed of insectoid humanoids

However, the ’jammers were briefly betrayed by Sikorsky, who had been infected by a virus. Furthermore, Deathbird managed to kidnap Lilandra.

The Phalkon, part 2

However, the space pirates expertly turned the situation around, and Sikorsky purged himself of the virus which had been used to force him to betray his crew. Him and Lilandra thus managed to escape from the guards aboard Deathbird’s cruiser.

The ’jammers gained the upper hand despite the arrival of a team of Imperial Guardsbeings. Deathbird nevertheless managed to escape with the coordinates of the Phalkon, but the heroic pirates slyly determined her actual destination… Earth.

An old version of the HMSS Starjammer starship

On Earth, the Phalkon turned out to be the Phoenix (Rachel Summers). The rest of Excalibur flattened the Shi’ar advance force after they ambushed and neutralised Rachel. However, they misunderstood the intentions of the Starjammers due to the long history of hatred of the Shi’ar Imperium against the Phoenix.

The situation degenerated, but the arrival of the Imperial Guard forced the Starjammers and Excalibur to ally. During the fray, Deathbird was wounded and the Guard chose to evac with her.

The bald eagle has landed

In the aftermath of the Earth incident, Corsair used the portion of the Phoenix power Deathbird had started to drain. It was bequeathed Professor X who, clad in a Phoenix costume became the field leader of the pro-Lilandra rebellion. The power and symbol of the Phoenix being well-known and feared across the Shi’ar galaxy, it amplified his mystique.

Apparently, this seemingly successful rebellion led by the dreaded “Phoenix” attracted the attention of an unit of Warskrulls. These are a type of Skrulls with the ability to replicate the full abilities of the person they are duplicating.

Capturing the Starjammers and becoming their doppelgängers, the Warksrulls bloodily took over the Shi’ar Imperium. The one pretending to be Xavier became a mass murdering tyrant. Though the Phoenix energy that was available to Xavier had long since run out, the Warskrull still could duplicate the Professor’s tremendous mental powers.

The “Starjammers” forced Deathbird to sign an act of abdication and exiled her. However, Xavier, held in near-stasis by the Warksrulls, managed to contact Deathbird and some other potential allies. This eventually led to the arrival of a force of X-Men, who deduced what was going on and took out the Warskrulls.

Deatbird decided to have the freed Lilandra have the throne. Thus, though the victory had come in a roundabout way and with an intolerable price in lives from the actions of the Warskrulls, the Starjammers-led rebellion was successful. On the other hand, Binary apparently left the ’jammers before or during those events.

Imperatrix Lilandra

With Lilandra and Xavier back on the throne as Imperatrix and Consort, the remaining Starjammers drifted toward a mercenary life. They also occasionally served as special operatives for Lilandra.

This was the case when, during the height of the Shi’ar/Kree War, Lilandra hired her former teammates to ferry a massive experimental weapon of galactic destruction, the nega-portal, deep into the Kree borders.

As with many of the operations during this conflict, this operation was to make use of a key stargate situated near Earth. The gate being unstable, that raised the concerns of the Avengers and allies, who intervened to prevent the war from impacting Earth.

The alien members of the Starjammers

Corsair shared their concerns, and refused to take such a dangerous weapon through Earth’s stargate. But Lilandra pressured the others into accepting – Raza to prevent a grave danger to the Shi’ar, and Hepzibah with a huge amount of Shi’ar currency.

However, the Imperatrix did not tell them what the nega-portal really was. She let the ’jammers assume that it was some form of super-stargate that would likely be used to perform a decisive surprise strike into Kree turf.

Mass destruction

Wonder Man (Simon Williams) a part of the Avengers’s delegation sent to meet Lilandra, Wonder Man. Haunted by his past as a seller and designer of not-quite-Geneva-compliant weaponry, he refused to let the Starjammers tow the nega-portal into Kree space. He realised that such an operation would destroy any chance for a negotiated end to the war and kill billions.

Wonder Woman, dragging the Vision, boarded the nega-portal. They easily defeated Raza, Hepzibah and Ch’od when they counter-attacked. Williams then explained that the “nega-portal” was actually almost certainly a nega-bomb, which would briefly create a portal to the Negative Zone  and thus raze entire solar systems.

Realising that Wonder Man was probably right, the Starjammers decided to abort the mission. However, they were forced by the circumstances to jettison the nega-bomb at the edge of the Shi’ar galaxy.

Black Knight is a long way from home, part 1

The three nonhuman Starjammers seemingly managed to patch up their differences with Corsair. But a new edge was driven into the team’s dynamics when, after the conclusion of the Kree-Shi’ar war, a bitter Kree ex-admiral approached Hepzibah and Raza. He was looking to hire assassins to kill the Earthman the Black Knight, who had seemingly killed the Kree Supreme Intelligence at the conclusion of the war.

Hepzibah accepted out of greed and due to a growing bitterness toward Lilandra’s conservative policy toward Mephitisoids. Raza was pretty much forced to accept when the Kree credibly indicated that he could reunite him with his beloved and long-lost son. Raza and Hepzibah told the others they wanted to visit Carol Danvers on Earth, and the HMSS Starjammer was soon Earthbound.

As the space buccaneers met with Danvers, some Avengers and some X-Men, the reluctant Raza sneaked into the Mansion to reach the Black Knight (Dane Whitman). His goal was to kill him in a duel. Mr. Longknife ignored his numerous doubts by reminding himself that he was doing it for the sake of finding his son.

After pretending to take young Luna hostage, Raza did manage to skewer the slightly more skilled Whitman. Yet he hesitated as he struck, and the wound turned out to be quite serious but not necessarily fatal.

Black Knight is a long way from home, part 2

Raza fled in shame with a confused Ch’od, but they were eventually caught by the Avengers and Binary. As Raza made a defiant stand so he would be killed for what he did, Binary defused the situation. She lied and told the Avengers that Raza had been manipulated by a memory implantation device the Kree had tricked him into accepting.

Crushed and uncertain of how to react due to his feelings for Binary, Raza let her compromise her own honour by lying to the Avengers to save him. Hepzibah, not knowing about what was going on outside, tried to poison Whitman, but the Black Widow was suspecting something. As a result, the Mephitisoid did not get enough of an opportunity to use her toxin.

Raza, greatly shamed over Carol lying to cover him, was further shocked after having glimpsed how hateful, greedy and disillusioned Hepzibah had become.

Fight for freedom

Some months later, the Starjammers were forced to land on he planet of the Aris. These were desperate for help to power their planetary defences against Shi’ar harassment. The ’jammers decided to take the job for free. They went into a mine guarded by a fierce warrior creature to bring back gemstones used to power the planetary defences.

Though Hepzibah tried to steal one so she could sell it later, circumstances forced her to admit she had a stone stashed away on her person. This prevented a native from sacrificing her own life to get the last stone they needed. The Starjammers left after their good deed, roasting Hepzibah who was still pissed off that she didn’t get to to earn a small fortune from the sale of the stone she had palmed.

The HMSS Starjammer starship in gray, near a star

A further mission occurred when Corsair was actually contacted by an old man in a tavern to go rescue a princess. Amused by those cliché circumstances, Corsair took the mission largely for fun, undertaking this easy assignment in a flashy Errol Flynn style.

The princess turned out to be a young warlike shrew. But after having been left in the same room as an annoyed Hepzibah for several hours she swore to her father that she would change her whole attitude.

These are the voyages

Sticking with each other in spite of everything, the galactic corsairs took another contract for the Imperium. They tracked down a war criminal who had taken refuge on Earth. This briefly brought the ’jammers in conflict with Excalibur. The Earthlings had assumed that the Shi’ar again wanted to destroy the Phoenix force (still hosted by Excalibur member Rachel Summers).

It soon became clear that they were actually after another team member, the alien Cerise. Cerise surrendered to the Starjammers and implied that the charges against her were correct. The mercenaries left with their prisoner – though Cerise eventually made a deal with Lilandra.

Days after that arrest, Hepzibah and Raza inexplicably left. They actually had been enlisted in the Infinity Crusade led by the Goddess. Like the vast majority of their co-crusaders they recovered their free will and returned to their lives after the Goddess was defeated by the usual suspects.

The Starjammers resumed operations. At some point a new crewmate — a pilot and navigator from the Clench named Keeyah — joined them.

Oppression

The Starjammers, for the first time in nearly a decade, found a home in the Clench. The Clench is an anarchist zone at the fringes of Shi’ar space. Their loyalties, never quite aligned with the Shi’ar even at the best of times, shifted toward several Clench factions.

The ‘jammers took mercenary contracts with these factions. A typical example was ferrying desperate Kree refugees to a free world away from Shi’ar oppression. That was because the Clench worlds had a secret agenda of resettling victims of the Shi’ar Imperium on appropriate Clench planets.

The Shi’ar’s religious-based policy of forced assimilation was having ghastly results for the Kree population. This followed the path previous conquered species had been forced onto in the past, including the species and cultures of origin of most Starjammers. Though the ’jammers didn’t become as radicalised as Hepzibah, they started resenting Lilandra’s rule.

On the other hand Hepzibah felt that her companions were coming to see her point of view and became significantly less bitter and venal. Furthermore, she was getting to fight ’birdies’ (Shi’ar troops) again, making her happy.

Fury of the Uncreated, part 1

At that point, the Shi’ar Imperium entered another crisis. They were attacked by a previously unknown power, the Uncreated. These were powerful alien crusaders attempting to destroy all forms of worship and religion they came across.

The Starjammers at the helm

During a run for the Clench worlds, the Starjammers stumbled upon a Shi’ar force tracking down a damaged Uncreated warship. The ’jammers’ attempt to evade the Shi’ar forces brought them right into the Uncreated ship’s hiding place. Though the ’jammers managed to destroy the hostile Uncreated vessel, they were left with a badly damaged ship.

A ploy from Corsair allowed the Starjammers to perform yet another miraculous escape from the difficult situation. Furthermore, Ch’od managed to gather a lot of cultural information on the Uncreated from the destroyed ship.

But even though the strategic situation was good, Christopher Summers (who increasingly refused to be called Corsair) was having a change of heart. He was starting to miss his home planet and his sons and wanting to leave behind his life as a fighting man and pirate.

This created a rift between him and Hepzibah, who was feeling the exact opposite. She felt much better as a Shi’ar-fighting bloodthirsty pirate than she ever had as an ally of Lilandra.

Though both wanted to remain a couple, their conflicting wishes, Hepzibah’s insatiable hatred of the Shi’ar and Summers’s wish to retire and be a better father made it increasingly obvious their relationship was doomed in the long term.

Fury of the Uncreated, part 2

During the main battle of the war between the Shi’ar and the Uncreated, Summers decided to use the information he had to intervene. His chief goal was to prevent the battle from demolishing a nearby Clench world.

At the same time, he knew that Hepzibah’s hatred of the Shi’ar would likely lead her to use the HMSS Starjammer’s huge firepower to disadvantage the Shi’ar and lead them into taking terrible losses at the hands of the Uncreated ships.

Thus, Summers had the Mephitisoid’s gunnery station switched off. He hoped that after she pulled the triggers of her massive ordnance and nothing happened, Hepzibah might realise how fanatical she had become.

Corsair then used cutting edge Clench decoy technology to create an illusion that the Uncreated’s god had returned. This led them to mass suicide and saved the Imperium. As Lilandra had been increasingly uncomfortable with the religious zealotry and fascistic slant of the Imperium, this led her to purge a number of former D’Ken supporters she blamed for the increased totalitarianism of the Shi’ar.

This in turn led, of course, to the radicalisation of the Shi’ar militants, and to their plotting against Lilandra.

Curated

Some time later, the core Starjammers (Corsair, Raza, Ch’od and Hepzibah) were kidnapped by the Collector. The Collector is an Elder of the Universe with an obsession with acquiring valuable things, including living specimens. However, the Collector‘ installation was then invaded by an alien named Aria and her ally, Wolverine.

The Starjammers discussing at the helm

The ‘jammers realised that Aria had misled Wolverine and that her plan would result in the destruction of all the beings in the Collector’s custody by Galactus. They thus negotiated their release so they could intercept Wolverine.

They were slightly too late, however. Wolverine did destroy the Collector’s planet cloaking systems, making it visible to Galactus. The Starjammers opted to take as many sapients  aboard their ship as they could and leave before Galactus could destroy the planet. They eventually managed to convince Wolverine to come aboard just as Galactus ate the planet.

Again with the devourer of worlds

The ’jammers were next seen during another attack by Galactus. As the result of complicated circumstances, the Silver Surfer was leading an unusually weakened and hungry Galactus to the Shi’ar throneworld. The space pirates saw an opportunity to destroy Galactus whilst he was busy with the Shi’ar defenses.

They started with downing the Silver Surfer after he had exhausted himself on Shi’ar defences while trying to reach the Imperatrix Lilandra. Realising that the efforts to repulse him had weakened Shi’ar defences too much to resist Galactus, the Surfer decided he would lead the effort to repulse the Devourer of Worlds.

The Surfer was backed by a contingent of Earth heroes, the Shi’ar military and Imperial Guard, the Starjammers and a number of non-Shi’ar forces from across the galaxy. The weakened, desperately hungry Galactus was eventually brought down by this huge coalition.

A stay on Earth

Chris Summers later got more news from Earth, and they were bad. The planet had been briefly invaded during the “Maximum Security” events (which Lilandra could not directly oppose for political reasons), and his son Scott was reported dead.

The HMSS Starjammer starship approaches a city

Though he took it very badly, Corsair later learned that Scott was still alive. He then managed with the Starjammers to reach Earth in time for the marriage of his other son Alex to Lorna Dane. However, the marriage ceremony was cancelled in weird and disastrous circumstances.

It is possible that the ’jammers then stayed in the US for a while, perhaps because Corsair wanted to stay on his home planet and relax for a few weeks. When they were next seen, both Hepzibah and Raza were speaking modern American English without most of their previous quirks. Hepzibah was also wearing typical early 2000s American clubbing clothes, including low-rider blue jeans adapted to her tail.

Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire (part 1)

A few months later, the Imperium entered another period of serious trouble. Shortly after the arrival of a Terran traveller, it was plunged into a brutal coup and Lilandra was deposed. By the time a team of X-Men (and a Shi’ar warrior named Korvus) came to warn about said Terran (Gabriel Summers aka Vulcan), it was too late. The coronation ceremony was already scheduled.

Though in the confusion surrounding the coup everybody was assuming that the culprit was Deathbird, it soon turned out that it was in fact much worse. The new Imperator would be D’Ken, who had been awakened from his coma by Vulcan.

When the coup occurred, Corsair put the Starjammers on the warpath. He also contacted a number of allies both from the Clench and within the rank of Shi’ar secretly remaining loyal to Lilandra. The decks of the HMSS Starjammer thus filled with a motley crew of heavily armed marines and pirates from a variety of worlds.

Furthermore, Corsair fished out the X-Men team that had jumped to the Shi’ar galaxy (and burned out their warp engine). In so doing he learned from his son Alex (Havok) that Vulcan was the son Corsair’s wife had been pregnant with. Corsair had always assumed the baby had died in his mother’s womb after she was killed by D’Ken.

Though Alex warned him that his little brother Gabriel was a dangerous psychotic and a mass murderer, Corsair still swore to do anything he could to save his youngest son. No matter how evil and insane Gabriel seemed to be.

Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire (part 2)

The Starjammers and their allies managed to intercept the ship in which Lilandra was transported. In so doing they also hoped to rescue her former consort, Professor Xavier, who had been kidnapped on Earth just before the coup. The boarding action went well and Lilandra was recovered, telling them about D’Ken. However, Xavier turned out not to be on ship.

After D’Ken was re-coronated, preparations started for the marriage of Deathbird and Vulcan. Meanwhile Lilandra, the Starjammers and their allies made a daring move. They defeated a regiment of elite troops guarding the isolated prison holding Major-General Ka’ardum.

A highly respected leader and military genius, Ka’ardum had led the forces that made D’Ken’s original coup against Lilandra possible. But he had never been executed (despite proclamations to the contrary) since Lilandra considered him to be her uncle.

The Starjammers at their battle stations

She convinced Ka’ardum to side with her. Between Lilandra’s own loyalists and allies, and the good third of the Imperial Armada that would follow Ka’ardum, this meant a major civil war across the Imperium. As each side rallied their forces, Lilanda assembled a war council made up of Corsair, Ka’ardum and Nightcrawler.

As a trap, D’Ken had the marriage ceremony take place near the M’Krann Crystal. He also planned to have Xavier thrown into the Crystal at the conclusion as an act of vengeance. This forced Lilandra to storm the place during the ceremony to save her former consort.

Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire (part 3)

As it turned the Imperator had underestimated the firepower of the Starjammers, the X-Men contingent and the various warriors assembled by Corsair or drawn from the Armada by Ka’ardum. Thus, the trap didn’t work.

Instead, the battle degenerated into a ferocious melee pitting hundreds right in front of the Crystal. At its conclusion Xavier was thrown into the Crystal (and the X-Man Darwin followed right after in a desperate attempt to save him). Vulcan then murdered D’Ken and declared himself to be the new Emperor.

As the general chaos got even worse, Darwin and Xavier got out of the Crystal (which rejected them). Meanwhile the Lilandra loyalists and their allies started gaining the upper hand, in large part thanks to the frantic effort by Havok and Polaris to keep Gladiator busy. Vulcan then killed his father when Corsair confronted him.

Both Havok and Hepzibah went berserk as a result. The superhumanly strong James Proudstar restrained Hepzibah before she could get close enough to Vulcan to be flash-fried.

Due to Lilandra’s desperate actions to ensure the survival of Charles Xavier in what at that point seemed to her to be a losing battle, the Starjammers/X-Men war party was split. Ch’od and Raza stayed behind with Korvus, Marvel Girl, Havok and Polaris. Meanwhile Xavier, Nightcrawler, Darwin, a shellshocked Hepzibah and Proudstar were forced back to Earth in a spaceship rigged by Lilandra to jump there.

Vulcan and the Imperial Guard managed to flee. But contrary to Lilandra’s impression, her forces did eventually win the battle at the Crystal.

Age of Vulcan

Raza, Ch‘od and their allies buried Corsair on a small, uninhabited planet where he and Hepzibah usually spent their downtime camping. Alex Summers then succeeded his dad as the new captain of the HMSS Starjammer. He vowed to fight against Imperator Vulcan and Deatbird until he and his crew could make them pay for the death of Corsair.

Alex’s secondary objective was to make the Imperium too busy to raid Earth, as he feared Gabriel would soon order.

The Starjammers being sarcastic

Hepzibah, shocked by Corsair’s death, decided to stay on Earth. She considered that there was nothing left for her in the Shi’ar galaxy now that Chris Summers was gone. Furthermore, she was burned out on vengeance.

The Imperium was divided over Emperor Vulcan. But the fact that his consort was a Neramani prevented an outright general rebellion. In the meanwhile Alex Summers, Ka’ardum and the former Imperatrix Lilandra Neramani were busy taking over critical supply lines and rallying to them Shi’ar troops who increasingly refused to serve Emperor Vulcan.

Havok’s otherwise excellent strategy then nearly led to disaster. A key attack near the planet Feather’s Edge turned out to be an ambush, a spy having informed the Imperator. Though the situation looked dire, it became much more unpredictable when a number of dreadnoughts of the Scy’ar Tal (an alien race whose name means “Death to the Shi’ar”) attacked the combatants.

Scy’ar Tal

The Scy’ar Tal then incinerated Feather’s Edge, killing the 2.4 billion people there. After that they warped further into the Shi’ar Empire, exploiting the civil war there. The power of the Scy’ar Tal forced Vulcan to offer an alliance to the rebels and a truce in the civil war. The rebel war council eventually accepted.

Summers and his Starjammers came up with a two-pronged plan. A joint elite force would strike at the source of the planet-busting Scy’ar Tal weaponry, while the bulk of the united forces guarded the World. This was the planet where the M’Krann Crystal was, which the Scy’ar Tal claimed was their homeworld.

The operation to deny the Scy’ar planet-destroying capabilities was successful. However, Vulcan predictably betrayed his brother and unleashed the Imperial Guard contingent on the Starjammers.

The Starjammers ready to evacuate using skyhooks

The civil war ended oddly. Havok nearly killed Vulcan, but Vulcan’s ruthlessness and willingness to commit any crime to advance to cause of the Imperium redeemed him in the eyes of many Shi’ar traditionalists, including Ka’ardum.

With the Scy’ar Tal deprived of their master weapon and largely routed, and the vast majority of the fleet being either loyalists or following Ka’ardrum, Vulcan experienced an enormous popularity swing as Imperator. As of March of 2008, most the Starjammers (Havok, Polaris, Raza, Ch’od and Cr+eee) are prisoners of Vulcan. Marvel Girl and Korvus escaped capture.

A possible future

In the future, it is possible that events resembling the story chronicled in the second Starjammers Limited Series will happen. If so, Raza, Ch’od and Hepzibah will ally with an alien tree-like race called the Thorns, led by one Captain Kalyx. Their goal will be reprisals and defence against a conspiracy within a minor Human space empire, the Union Defense Corps.

Some of the powers that be among the UDC will be using the sprouts of the Thorns as a potent, illegal drug giving them superhuman power for short while. This use of sprouts kills off those sapients before they can even be born. Though they will run into several rough patches, the Starjammers will eventually manage to overthrow the conspiracy and stop the Thorn genocide.


DC Universe History

The Starjammers bring a dash of space opera in the normally gritty and more down-to-Earth world of the X-Men. Keeping the Titans-to-X-Men analogy, they would be a band of freebooters tangling with the Spider Guild around Vega, who have allied with the Titans during several space adventures.

The HMSS Starjammer starship in space, near a violet planet

You may even go as far as making Corsair’s Dick Grayson supposedly dead father. The man who supposedly killed the Flying Grayson was a Shi’ar scout attempting to silence them as they had Seen Too Much.

Or, since Imperial Guard = Legion of Super Heroes, they might be freebooters operating near the Khund Empire and having occasionally allied with the Legion. In that case, Corsair would obviously be a Rimborian, and would be closely related to Jo Nah (a future version of him spawned by Glorith’s manipulations ?).

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel Universe

Helper(s): Azrael

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