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Vulcan (X-Men enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Vulcan

(Gabriel Summers)


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

Context

Vulcan is an exceptionally powerful enemy of Marvel Comics’ X-Men, who made his entrance in 2006. He’s closely tied to the “space adventures” side of the X-Men, as the team has an history of occasionally going out there and meddling in the affairs of space aliens and galactic empires (particularly the Shi’ar peoples).

He’s also the third, lost Summers brother – a sibling to Cyclops and Havok. The implication that there existed a third Summers brother had been a long-standing subplot in the X-books.


Background

  • Real Name: Gabriel “Gabe” Summers
  • Other Aliases: Kid Vulcan
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Known Relatives: Christopher Summers (Corsair, Father, deceased), Katherine Anne Summers (Mother, deceased), Cal’syee Neramani (Deathbird, wife), Moira MacTaggart (foster mother, deceased), Philip Summers (grandfather), Deborah Summers (grandmother), Scott Summers (Cyclops, brother), Alexander Summers (Havok, brother), Jean Grey-Summers (Phoenix, sister-in-law, deceased), Madeline Pryor-Summers (ex-sister-in-law, deceased), Nathan Christopher Summers (Cable, nephew), Aliya Jenskot (niece-in-law, deceased), Tyler Dayspring (Genesis, grandnephew, deceased), Stryfe (clone nephew, deceased), Rachel Summers (Marvel Girl, alternate timeline niece), Lilandra Neramani (sister-in-law), D‘Ken Neramani (brother-in-law, deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: Formerly the X-Men
  • Base Of Operations: Shi’ar homeworld
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 178 lbs
  • Eyes: Black (glowing yellow when using powers) Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Vulcan can allegedly psionically  manipulate all forms of energy, including light, heat and electricity, for various purposes.

So far this has included :

  • projecting radiation along the electromagnetic spectrum or concussive force blasts
  • causing explosive energy discharges at a distance even with no obvious source
  • gaining control of energy discharges
  • detecting and tracking energy sources
  • flying
  • surviving in the void for extended periods
  • transforming his voice into pure energy and transmit it through communications sources
  • putting people to sleep by shutting off the current in their brains
  • repairing damage to neural pathways in a comatose individual
  • affecting others powers through accessing their brains, either neutralising them, or using them himself, controlling the targets use of the powers

Vulcan (Gabriel Summers) standing fiercely over a white background

Vulcan can take control of any energies emitted within his presence, altering their paths. This doesn’t involve simply sending energy attacks off in a certain direction, but controlling their paths so that they can dodge around obstacles to reach their targets.

He can regularly do this with multiple energy streams, sending them at different targets.


History

While unborn, Gabriel’s parents were abducted by the Shi’ar. When his mother, Katherine, caught the attention of the mad Emperor D‘Ken, his father Christopher tried unsuccessfully to rescue her. In retaliation, D‘Ken stabbed her in front of the captive Christopher Summers.

He assumed that their child had also been killed, but D‘Ken had had the unborn child saved and placed in an incubator-accelerator, where he was aged to adolescence, and sent to serve as slave in the secret Shi’ar post on Earth.

He had little exposure to the world during his slavery. His knowledge of it limited to the one book he had, on Roman mythology, from which he would later take the name Vulcan. The book had been a secret present from the only Shi’ar in the base who showed him any compassion, a woman called Dai’andral.

When his powers manifested he couldn’t fully control them, and accidentally killed Dai’andral before he could establish enough control to use them to escape. He would later have trouble remembering the details of his early life. He spent a year living on streets and in the sewers, before he was found by Moira MacTaggert.

She took him in, along with a few other young mutants, Petra, Darwin and Sway.

Kid Vulcan

During their training (and Moira was only training them to be able to control their powers rather than to be prepared to fight, as the X-Men were) he was introduced to Charles Xavier, who recognized by his mental imprint that Gabriel was related to Cyclops, to whom he introduced him, without revealing their relationship.

When the X-Men were taken captive by Krakoa, Xavier came to MacTaggert for her student’s aid in recovering his. She was unwilling, but allowed the students to make their own decisions. They jumped at the opportunity to become X-Men.

Xavier put them through a series of mental scenarios, making them believe they’d undergone months of training, when in fact it had only been days. Just before they departed for Krakoa, Xavier revealed to Vulcan his relationship to Cyclops.

Vulcan (Gabriel Summers) flying over a white background>

They were then dispatched to Krakoa, where they managed to rescue Cyclops. Getting him safely back to their transport, which was programmed to return to Xavier, they sent Cyclops home and went back for the others, against Xavier’s orders, a decision which cost them.

Vulcan managed to hurt Krakoa, greatly angering it, and causing it to retaliate. Sway was hit first, severed in two, her death releasing the last of her power to slow time around them. As Petra was incinerated, she reflexively drew them all down into a cave beneath the surface, where Vulcan and Darwin lay dying.

Darwin managed to transform himself into energy, allowing him to merge with Vulcan, keeping them both alive, and absorbing the powers of their fallen team mates.

The pair were in statis when Krakoa was flung into space, and remained that way for years. Xavier altered Cyclops’ memories to remove any trace of Vulcan’s existence.

Deadly Genesis

When M-Day released a cascade of mutant energies, Vulcan was awakened. He returned to Earth, intent on gaining revenge on Xavier. When the X-Men detected his presence, a small unit of them hunted him down. He left Wolverine for dead and abducted Cyclops and Marvel Girl (Rachel Grey), and took their Blackbird.

Leaving his prisoners groggy and powerless at the abandoned facility MacTaggart had trained him at years ago, he used the Blackbird to intercept Banshee, who was on his way to the X-Men with information about Vulcan. He sent the Blackbird at the plane Banshee was travelling in, and when Banshee tried to use his powers to stop it, Vulcan cancelled them, killing Banshee and all aboard the plane.

Finally luring the missing Xavier out of hiding, Vulcan confronts him with the captive Cyclops on Muir Island. Marvel Girl, who had escaped earlier, arrives with more X-Men to confront him.

Enraged at learning that Xavier has been stripped of his powers by M-Day, he forces Marvel Girl to link everyone’s minds instead, and Xavier to reveal the truth about Krakoa. She also helps him recall his earlier memories of life as a slave of the Shi’ar.

While their minds were linked, Rachel detected another presence within Vulcan’s mind. Contacting it, Rachel awakens Darwin’s inert consciousness, which violently separates the pair’s bodies. The X-Men use the opportunity to attack Vulcan, but he survived the attack, renouncing Cyclops as his brother, and headed for space, intent on gaining revenge on D‘Ken.

Rise to power

On his journey towards Shi’ar space, he encounters Shi’ar vessels, destroying most but taking control of one of them. Learning that D‘Ken had been comatose for years, he nevertheless continues onwards, to gain his revenge on all Shi’ar.

He leads his captive warship against all who try to block his path, destroying stargates in his wake to prevent the X-Men catching up to him.

He eventually reaches the inner territories of the Empire, near the throne world, Chandilar. There he’s confronted by the Imperial Guard. He fought them, badly injuring, and possibly killing, several of their more powerful members before he was defeated by Guardian, losing his left eye in the process.

Imprisoned, and given a bionic eye to replace the one he lost, Vulcan is soon freed by an agent of the Vice-Chancellor, K’tor, who directs him to another cell, where he finds Deathbird. The pair escape, and Deathbird convinces him to delay his plans for vengeance when the pair become romantically involved.

They travel to the world where D‘Ken’s comatose form is held, and Vulcan uses his powers to awaken him.

With D‘Ken leading his faction, Lilandra is soon deposed, and Vulcan is accepted into the royal family, becoming betrothed to Deathbird. With Xavier now their prisoner, the marriage is arranged to take before the M‘Kraan Crystal, into which Xavier will then be thrown.

The X-Men and Starjammers arrive to disrupt the proceedings, arriving after the marriage but before Xavier can be sacrificed. Vulcan takes advantage of the situation to kill D‘Ken, announcing himself Emperor, and hurls Xavier into the Crystal. Killing his own father, Corsair, Vulcan’s revenge is spoiled when Xavier is rescued from the Crystal by Darwin.

Xavier and most of the X-Men are returned home when Lilandra locks their ship’s programming, and the remaining X-Men, Havok, Polaris and Marvel Girl, join the Starjammers, continuing to support Lilandra’s forces in the fight against Vulcan.

Emperor Vulcan

Vulcan’s rule becomes rocky when rumblings against the alien Emperor start getting louder, and the dethroned Lilandra continues to gain defectors.

Receiving a warning of a rebel raid, Vulcan leads the fleet in ambushing the Starjammers at Feather’s Edge, but the battle is interrupted when his ship is destroyed by the Scy’ar Tal, whose name translates as ’Death to the Shi’ar‘. Vulcan and Gladiator survive the ship’s destruction, and attack the leader of the Scy’ar Tal, only to be easily dispatched.

They retreat, as the Scy’ar Tal unleash their main weapon, a stargate, called by a beacon dropped on Feather’s Edge, opens up, dropping a star onto the targets and destroying it, its colony, and the ships that didn’t manage to escape in time.

The Scy’ar Tal were originally called the M‘Kraan, and claimed the world of the M‘Kraan Crystal, a holy site for the Shi’ar, was originally theirs before the Shi’ar drove them off.

Vulcan (Gabriel Summers) fires a huge energy blast from his hand

Seeing the Scy’ar as the main threat, Vulcan calls an uneasy truce with the Starjammers, to take out Finality, the Scy’ar’s stargate weapon. Taking a small group to track the station down while most of the fleet protect the M‘Kraan world, Havok and Vulcan get onboard Finality while the Starjammers and Imperial Guard keep the Scy’ar Tal guard ships off their backs.

Their progress is then impeded when the Scy’ar Tal Eldest arrives to battle them. They fare badly against him, until Havok realizes he’s empowered by the other Scy’ar Tal. Vulcan detects the energies, which also serves as a mental connection among all the Scy’ar Tal, and severs the connection, leaving all of their forces in disarray.

The main threat briefly disabled, Vulcan then turns on Havok, blasting him into the sun, ordering his Imperial Guard to deal with the Starjammers while he tries to use Finality against the remaining Scy’ar. His guards are all focussed on the Starjammers when Havok, empowered by the sun, returns and attacks Vulcan.

Empowered, Havok is now more than Vulcan can easily handle, and his energies scar the left side of Vulcan’s face. The battle is cut short when Deathbird appears with the Imperial Guards and the captive Starjammers (Polaris, Ch’od, and Raza) and threatens to kill them unless Havok surrenders.

Havok releases Vulcan, but then sends all his energies into Fatality, destroying it.

Vulcan and his Imperial Guard flee the destroyed station, taking Havok and the other captive Starjammers as prisoners. Most of the rebel forces returned to the Empire with his victory over the Scy’ar Tal, leaving Lilandra on the run with Marvel Girl and Korvus, and the Empire is now solidly behind Vulcan as he promises to return them to glory, and to get revenge on the Mummudrai, Xavier.


Personality

Always headstrong and impulsive, since his revival, Vulcan has been a seething pot of rage and resentment, his anger focused on Xavier and the Shi’ar, but taking in anyone who gets in his way. Since taking over the Shi’ar Empire, his rage against them seems to have abated, and he’s now focussed on Xavier.

He has his impulses more under control now, his immense power giving him an arrogance that leaves him confident that he’ll get his way, so he rarely needs to lose his temper, and even in the height of his rage he planned his moves out to achieve his goals.

Having only experienced 15 years of life, Vulcan is still prone to childish outbursts, and has little regard for the damage he causes and lives he takes, believing that those who have wronged him (Xavier and the Shi’ar) are responsible for making him what he is.


Quotes

“I was going to be gentle, you know… like I was with the girl. I just shut off the current in her brain for a few seconds. But you are really getting on my nerves.”

Cyclops: “You’re insane !”
Vulcan: “I guess maybe I am. Hell, I’d almost have to be at this point… but I promise you one thing. I won’t lie to you.”

“Pathetic… is this the best you people can do ? Messing with my head… just pisses me off.”

Havok: “Damn you !!”
Vulcan: “I took care of that myself, didn’t you know ?”

“If you’re looking to appease me, referring to my mother’s murder as my ’birth‘ is not the way to go.”

D‘Ken: “I would rather have you at my side than at my back.”
Vulcan: “It wouldn’t be your back. I’m no coward.”

Deathbird: “It is true. They do hate you.”
Vulcan: “Thanks.”
Deathbird: “Let me finish, husband. They hate you, because they do not know you. They do not know that you are Shi’ar.”
Vulcan: “What ?”
Deathbird: “You are. I can see it inside you, and the time will come when you will show the Empire that you were born to rule them. You will show them greatness that D‘Ken never possessed. You will show them strength that Lilandra never had, and they will love you for it. As I do.”

“Take me to your leader. Because I’m going to kill him.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Vulcan

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Emperor
Inf: 07 Aur: 08 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 025
Init: 018 HP: 070

Powers:
Bomb: 14, Control: 12, Damage Transference: 08, Detect (Energies): 12, Energy Absorption: 15, Energy Blast: 15, Flight: 20, Neutralize: 20, Radio Communications: 08, Reflection/Deflection: 18, Sleep: 09

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Bomb is an Energy attack (-1)
  • Control only kept as long as concentrated on (-1), and the target is in Range (-1), and only allows Vulcan to use their Powers (-1)
  • Damage Transference heals only damage to neural pathways (-1), and the User Does not Suffer any Risk of Injury (+3)
  • Detect (Energies) has the Discerning Bonus (+1), and has a Range of 30 AP (+5)
  • Energy Absorption has the Area Effect Bonus (+1)
  • Energy Blast has the Indirect Bonus (+2)
  • Energy Blasts may have a Selective Area of Effect of 2 APs
  • Reflection/Deflection has Range of 12 APs (+4), only works on energies (-1), and has the Indirect Bonus (+2)

Skills:
Vehicles (Air): 05

Advantages:
Life Support (Full)

Connections:
Deathbird (High)

Drawbacks:
Authority Figure, Married (0 pts), Mistrust (Mutant)


Previous Stats

Prior to his revival he only had Energy Blast at 10 APs, Flight at 6 APs, and Reflection/Deflection at 10 APs.

For a time after his revival, until he was separated from Darwin, Vulcan also possessed the powers of his former team mates. He had 8 APs of Time Slow, 12 APs of Postcognition, 12 APs of Earth Control, and 8 APs of Defensive Adaptation.


Imperius Rex

As head of state of the Shi’ar Empire, Vulcan has control of its vast array of assets, agents and armies. He has High Credentials with the Imperial Armada, Imperial Guard, and Imperial Intelligence, being the ultimate authority figure for all of them.

He also has a High level Connection to General Ka’ardum, a legendary military leader and superior strategist who now appears completely loyal to him. Vulcan currently enjoys Popularity with the general populace of the Shi’ar Empire, following his successful war against the Scy’ar Tal, although this is more likely to vary with his political fortunes.


Design Notes

When he first awakens in space, he appears to use Mind Probe on a dead astronaut. Since he later needs help to mentally probe people, I’m assuming this, and the hallucinations he seems to cause, to be an after-effect of the mutant energies which awoke him, and which quickly wore off.


By Gareth Lewis

Source of Character: Marvel Comics (covers up to the end of Emperor Vulcan)

Helper(s): wikipedia, marvel.com , Marvel Handbook, Sébastien Andrivet, the_black_adam. One banner detoured at rapsheet.co.uk .

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