- Vance Astrovik first appeared in 1975, in Defenders. He was a minor character in a subplot for Major Victory of 31th Century Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Years later, he briefly becomes a sidekick during The Thing’s solo adventures.
- At last, Vance gets his hour of glory as a founding member of The New Warriors.
- This profile covers the period from his first appearance until The Civil War in 2006.
- Real Name: Vance Astrovik.
- Other Aliases: Marvel Boy (before his conviction), Astounding Astrovik (circus artist), Manglin’ John Mahoney (UCWF wrestler), Super Tights (when other New Warriors pull his leg).
- Marital Status: Single.
- Known Relatives: Jerzy Astroyevicht (grand-father, changed his name to Jerry Astrovik, deceased), Katerina Astroyevicht (grand-mother, deceased), Arnold Astrovik (father, deceased), Norma Astrovik (mother).
- Group Affiliation: The New Warriors, later The Avengers.
- Base of Operations: Ambrose Building in Manhattan, New Warriors Crash Pad near the Brooklyn Bridge, later Avengers Mansion NYC.
- Height: 5’10” Weight: 180 lbs.
- Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown
During their first appearance, Vance’s parents were named Tom and Mary. Afterwards, their names were Arnold and Norma.
After World War Two, Vance Astrovik’s grand-parents immigrated from Slovakia. Slovakia is a Central European country between Poland and Hungary. From 1945 to 1992, it was part of Czechoslovakia.
Powers & Abilities
Vance Astrovik is a mutant with powerful telekinetic powers.
At first, he lacked potency. He could lift rather heavy things and raise strong force fields. But if he tried to reach too hard, it gave him headaches and nose bleeds. After founding The New Warriors, Night Thrasher (Dwayne Taylor)’ training unlocked his full telekinetic potential.
At his peak, he could fly himself and others or restrain even the most powerful opponents.
Since his childhood, super-heroes fascinated Vance, particularly Captain America (Steve Rogers) and The Avengers.
He had also dreamed of becoming an astronaut. He had thought about changing his name to Astro, to get closer to the stars. For all this daydreaming at home, his father constantly scolded and punished him.
Familial and historical context
Jerzy Astroyevicht, Vance’s grand-father, emigrated to USA after the war. He probably did to avoid staying in a country that became part of the Communist block in Europe, under the influence of USSR.
As Slovakia was an Axis satellite, he served in the German army during WWII. For fighting in the wrong side, he had to live the contempt of his fellow Americans. No matter whether he changed his name, no matter what he did good, it was never enough. This had built up his frustration. He vented it on his son, Vance’s father. In turn, his father vented it on Vance.
Vance is Jewish, so his mother is. We can assume neither his Slovakian grand-father nor his grand-mother were Jewish – a Wehrmacht soldier would unlikely be Jewish or married to a Jewish woman. The logical conclusion is that Vance’s father is not Jewish but married a Jewish woman. With his family history, he might have done it on purpose of displeasing his abusive father.
His parent’s inter-faith marriage might explain why Vance isn’t actively religious, and only was taught the basics of Jewish traditions.
Encountering his future
When he was 13, he witnessed the crash-landing of an alien spaceship, near his place, at Saugerties, in Upstate New-York. Though town’s inhabitants also witnessed it, his parents refused to believe him. They sent him to his room. He escaped through the window, to investigate and get proof he was right. He reached the spacecraft before the local authorities.
Little did Young Vance know that the ship’s crew were the 31st Century Guardians of The Galaxy. Vance Astro, aka Major Victory, was leading them. He was no other than young Vance’s future self. He traveled through time to retrieve some Badoon technology. The Defenders helped The Guardians. While Martinex repaired the damaged ship, Major Victory told young Vance the tale of Planet Earth, has he knew it from 1000 years later. He avoided revealing the planet’s name, to leave the boy ignorant of his possible future.
However, Doctor Strange judged it necessary to wipe the boy’s memory before sending him back home to Saugerties.
Several years later, The Guardians came back to our time. Against his teammates’ advice, Major Victory went to young Vance to convince him to renounce his dream of being an astronaut. He expected him to avoid his own nightmare of being trapped for 1000 years in a cryogenic stasis, and waking up to find that humans’ sciences had beaten him to Alpha Centauri.
Young Astro panicked and ran away. His mutant powers woke up and he conjured an uncontrolled fog around his home. The Fantastic Four investigated the fog. The Thing (Ben Grimm) found old Vance and together they got back to Astrovik’s parents. There, they confronted the rest of The Guardians, who captured Major Victory. They returned to their ship with him.
After old Vance had a chance to explain himself, they went back. He explained his powers to young Vance, and tried to unlock his control over the fog. Young Vance panicked further and attacked The Guardians, projecting them through his house, causing some damage. The Thing managed to calm him, invoking heroic figures like The Avengers, until Vance finally got back in control.
Vance’s father got mad over his son turning into a freak. Major Victory had to reveal his identity to shut him up. Then The Guardians left.
An alternate timeline has begun. There, Vance’s powers manifested in his teens, instead of during his space journey. He even renounced being an astronaut.
His father couldn’t stand the idea of having a mutant for a son. So he beat Vance anytime he showed signs of using his powers. He ran away from home to escape his father’s abuse. He was also afraid to hurt his mother defending himself with his powers.
Vance got hired in a circus, using his telekinetic powers to do tricks in the freak show. He was attracted to a grown up circus artist, Lauren Anderson.
She was an undercover agent, investigating on the circus director’s potential criminal past. The boss was, indeed, The Taskmaster, who was using the circus as a training ground for his goons for hire.
In Sandusky, Ohio, Ben Grimm saw a poster for the circus. He recognized a woman coming straight out of the fantasies he had since he left The Fantastic Four. Investigating deeper, Ben and Vance recognized each other.
Vance used his growing powers to face The Taskmaster. The Thing came to his help. Together they forced The Taskmaster to flee. Lauren trapped The Taskmaster with an army of policemen and agents. She revealed her scam to a shocked Vance.
Ben wanted Vance to go back to his parents. With a low blow about running away from the FF, Vance convinced Ben to let him tag along. And Vance knew the woman from the poster. Her name was Sharon Ventura.
Vance helped Ben’s search for Sharon. When they found her, she was part of the Team America motorcycle show.
Vance encouraged Ben to join the show to get close to Sharon. As he did, she quit: always in motion was the lady. Vance and Ben stayed a short time with Team America. Obsessed with Sharon, Ben resigned.
He and Vance moved to Las Vegas where Ben entered the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation. This was a newly created league for super-powered wrestlers. Vance was posing as The Thing’s manager.
When The Beyonder came back to Earth, he joined the UCWF. Ben wanted a chance to physically confront the one responsible for his wrecked life. The fight became really violent and Ben nearly “killed” The Beyonder. Vance spotted Sharon in the crowd and got her to calm Ben before he actually killed his opponent.
The UCWF had to break for two weeks to comply to some safety regulations. Ben left Vance in Las Vegas to join Sharon who was a stunt woman on a movie.
Evading the PI
When a private investigator, mandated by his parents, showed up in Vegas, Vance used his powers to pose as a UCWF wrestler. It didn’t fooled the PI.
Vance’s mother showed up. She explained his father had been in a therapy, to change his violent behavior. Vance seized the opportunity to give another chance to his parents. He and Ben parted.
The New Warriors
Several years later, Night Thrasher recruited Marvel Boy as one of the six founding members of The New Warriors. At first, he used his former UCWF class costume. See this team’s profiles for further details of their adventures together.
Relationship with The Avengers
The Avengers has always fascinated Vance, particularly Captain America. Throughout his run with The New Warriors, he never missed an opportunity to get close to his idol.
When he secretly started his super-hero career, he when straight to Avengers Mansion. He had hoped to impress them by passing their automated defenses. He failed. Captain America himself came to explain. Even if Cap’ fought beside Vance’s future self, and knew what kind of hero Vance can become, he was too young and inexperienced to join.
At the end of The New Warriors’ founding fight against Terrax, The Avengers wrapped it up. Vance welcomed Captain America with stars in his eyes. His fellow New Warriors were mostly displeased that The Avengers claimed the feat while arriving after the battle.
When The Hatemonger pitted The Avengers, The New Warriors and a race riot against each other, Vance was embarrassed to take side against The Avengers. After finding out that Rage was underage, Captain America recognized he had made a mistake by rejecting Marvel Boy’s application as an Avenger.
As seen in The New Warriors (year one), Vance Astrovik faced trial for the negligent homicide of his father. Foggy Nelson was his counselor. During his trial, Vance hoped Captain America to testify in his favor, like The Thing did. Nelson forbid it, as his fellow New Warriors had just stolen a Quinjet from The Mansion.
Months later, answering an invitation, Justice easily defeated Avengers Mansion’s defenses. He did a training session with Captain America. To Vance’s amazement, Cap’ suggested that, someday, Justice may have a seat with The Avengers. When the UN asked for super-powered security over a Near-East peace conference in Manhattan, Captain America offered the job to Justice and his New Warriors.
Much later, when The Avengers returned after Onslaught. With a bit of arm bending by Hawkeye (Clint Barton), they offered Justice and Firestar a position as trainees. Justice enthusiastically accepted. Firestar was more reluctant.
When The Avengers expelled Warbird (Carol Danvers), they called Justice and Firestar as active members. At first, Vance was impressed to fight beside his idols to the point of losing his edge. After witnessing his heroes’ weaknesses, as any human beings have, he became more confident and pulled his own weight.
As Pym had cured Angelica of her condition, they both retired from active duty. They just gave a hand from time to time, like when they helped expose the Triune Understanding cult’s conspiracy.
Relationship with his father
Since childhood, Vance’s relationship with his father was difficult. His father never tolerated his fascination for super-heroes and space. It grew worst when Vance mutant’s powers emerged. Vance ran away. He got back when his mother assured him his father had accepted his child’s mutation.
However, when Vance became Marvel Boy, he kept it hidden from his parents. His father found his diary and thus discovered he had joined. His true nature resurfaced and he threatened Vance. Vance used his powers to restrain him. Though it was a bit rough, nobody was hurt… this time. His mother was completely over her head.
Conviction and time at The Vault
When The New Warriors came back form Gideon’s Colorado Estate, Marvel Boy had been quite injured by Gideon’s torture session. To his father, it was obvious that it was no bike accident. He threw a violent tantrum again and punched Vance in the face. This time, Vance was no longer a frightened teenager. He retaliated… with deadly force.
Then he flew away, frightened at his own lack of control. After the shock passed, he came back to his mother, just to learn that he had actually killed his father. He let himself got arrested.
Vance Astrovik, aka Marvel Boy, got convicted of negligent homicide. He spent one year in The Vault, the prison specially designed to hold super-powered criminals. When he got out, he changed his hero name to Justice.
His mother wasn’t ready to forgive him, yet.
Breaking the cycle of abuse
While trapped through time, during his father’s teenage years, Vance discovered the abuse started at least one generation earlier. Vance’s grand-father also abused his son, beating him because he was homosexual. Thus, Vance understood the frustration his own father had accumulated, pretending to be straight, marrying a woman and having a child, all the while staying in the closet.
As Vance and his girlfriend were making plans for founding a family, he got scared of being unable to break the cycle of abuse. It went to the point of assaulting his girlfriend and his mother. It turned out to be delusions orchestrated by The Hatemonger. However, it revealed Vance’s deepest fear.
Relationship with Firestar
Soon after the birth of The New Warriors, Marvel Boy and Firestar (Angelica Jones) developed a romantic relationship. She was the first to whom he revealed his secret identity. They quickly grew as a stable couple. However, they didn’t have sex.
For one part, Angelica was quite still young. Vance had a rather strict point of view regarding sex before marriage. Even when she offered, before his commitment to The Vault, he gentlemanly explained that their first time would be much greater on their wedding night.
When he got out of jail, he lived with Angelica at her father’s. Later, they moved to Namorita’s. Much later, after joining The Avengers’ active duty, they moved to Avengers’ Mansion.
They were very possessive towards one another. Firestar threw remarkable jealousy tantrums. First, when they confronted Sabra (Ruth Bat-Seraph). She felt overshadowed by this gorgeous, experienced, and most of all Jewish woman. When Ultragirl (Susanna Sherman) teamed with the New Warriors, she imagined she was hitting on her fiancé.
Vance himself felt jealous when Firestar was looking up to Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly). He felt eclipsed by Ben Reilly’s experience as a super-hero, and better leadership skills.
When Angelica learned her powers were making her sterile, she expressed her wish to quickly move their relationship to the next step. At first, Vance panicked. A bit later, they finally got engaged.
Then, The Avengers drafted them. It was Vance’s dream of a lifetime, not Angelica’s. He wanted to impress them, while she had agreed just to please him.
He began to act like a jerk. He minimized The New Warriors’ accomplishments to emphasize The Avengers’. He asked Firestar to unleash her powers to full potency, regardless of her health condition. And then, when Firestar actually felt at ease with this new team, he started to have second thoughts.
After some months, they decided to retire together from the super-heroes business. They prepared their wedding and went back to their studies. However, as the date was closing in, Angelica changed her mind. She felt too young to get married, so they broke up instead.
This was a difficult time for the former New Warriors. Everybody was holding them responsible for Stamford’s bombing. A public web site had exposed their secret identities. Mobs had assaulted them.
Justice and Rage called for Jennifer Walter (She-Hulk)’s legal advice. With the help of Iron Man (Tony Stark), they discovered the web site was fueled by their former teammate, Carlton LaFroyge (Hindsight). Traumatized by The New Warriors’ responsibility, he wanted all that The New Warriors has been to disappear so he could move on.
When The Registration Act passed, Justice joined Captain America’s Secret Avengers.
Vance Astrovik is a good looking young adult in good shape. He has brown hair and brown eyes.
His Marvel Boy costume was his UCWF costume: a full body glove of blue and silver with a blue mask and a long cape.
Justice’s costume was a padded suit. He kept the blue and silver colors, but changed the patten. He also wore protective semi-opaque glasses, and still had a cape.
Vance Astrovik lived a childhood of abuse from his father. It has given him a very strong personality, enabling to stand his ground in front of The Thing at 16.
He has always been fascinated by Captain America, The Avengers, and all the super-heroes. When he joined The New Warriors, he threw all that enthusiasm in the adventure, always hoping for the greater good to progress.
Whenever he faced his idols, he lost a bit of his head, so looking up to them, like a witless groupie. Joining The Avengers was his lifetime’s dream come true.
He was a very good team player. Indeed, several times, in the midst of battle, he invented new ways to combine his own powers to those of the rest of the team, for very effective results.
After his conviction, he got a bit more cynical. But he took the leadership of The New Warriors so he was also more concerned about doing the right thing.
During most of this period, he was very in love with Firestar, always there for her in her hard times, as she was there for him.
(Flying to Avengers Mansion)
Bystander: “Funky tights. Who’re you ?”
Marvel Boy: “You can call me Marvel Boy.”
Bystander: “Anything you say. You an Avenger or something ?”
Marvel Boy: “Not yet, friend, but give me half an hour.”
(Pushing his father away with his powers)
“That’s what we said when I came back home, wasn’t it ? You’ll never hit me again, right ? Don’t forget it, dad ! From now on, I hit back !”
(Trapped with The Star Thief in a rocket toward The Moon)
Firestar: “But… I… I don’t want to die… I’m scared…”
Marvel Boy (holding her): “I know Angel… Me too.”
(Night Thrasher argues with Captain America)
“Thrash… Cool it… You’re arguing with Captain America, you know.”
“I killed my father. Whether I meant it or not… And I didn’t… I’m still responsible for the act. You can quibble about the law all you want, but I believe in the system, so I’m going to abide by it.”
“Well, I have served my time for what I did wrong ! Who’s going to give me something back for what I’ve done right ?”
(Seeing his younger father kissing another man)
“And once I see him inside… I realize what my father was. And all at once, it hits me… It’s like a ton of brick and an incredible weight off my back all at the same time.”
(After Firestar shot Sabra)
Justice: “My God, Angel… I said stun her, not kill her !”
Firestar: “Will you stop mooning over that slut ?! Maybe you should’ve just charmed her into submission with these lovely eyes of yours, Vance ! Then you could’ve finally settled down with a nice Jewish girl !”
Justice: “Angel… You know that was never an issue for me.”
(First mission with The Avengers)
Firestar: “Honestly, Vance, you’ve been to space before… With The New Warriors…”
Justice: “Yeah. But this is different, Angel. It’s… It’s just different !”
Justice: “Awright ! Did you see that Firestar ? Five of ’em… With one telekinetic blast.”
Firestar: “Are you crazy, Vance ? Keep score later… We’re in the middle of a battle here !”
(Last date with Firestar on top of The Queensboro Bridge)
Vance: “What are we going to be ? I… I’m ready for more in my life.”
Angelica : “And I… I’m ready for a bit less…”
DC Universe History
He could be Amalgamated with Superman character Sinbad, with his apprenticeship with the Thing being replaced with being Supes’ sidekick for a time. In this version the New Warriors would have been a team called New Titans North, headquartered in Toronto.
Firestar could be replaced by Firebird, after exposure to weird science transfer Marvel Boy/Sinbad’s pyrokinetic powers to her but leave Vance with new telekinetic powers.
Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
|Dex: 04||Str: 02||Bod: 04||Motivation: Responsibility of Power|
|Int: 04||Wil: 04||Min: 04||Occupation: Student|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 03||Spi: 06||Wealth: 003|
|Init: 012||HP: 045|
Force Manipulation 09, Mental Blast 10, Telekinesis 08
Bonuses and Limitations:
- All powers are Contingent on Telekinesis (-1 for each).
- All Dice powers have No AV (-1 or 0) and use Accuracy when Dice actions are required.
- Force Manipulation is related to repelling, attracting or restraining things (-1).
Accuracy (Telekinetic powers) 08, Charisma (Persuasion) 05, Scientist 03
Familiarity (Jewish traditions), Expertise (Super-heroes and super-villains), Leadership.
The New Warriors (High), The New Mutants (Low), The Thing (High), Captain America (Low), X-Force (Low).
Mistrust (Mutant), Public Id, SIA (Angelica Jones/Firestar).
Here are some common usages of his Force Manipulation:
- Wall (any shape) or Shield (using the Block maneuver to protect several people): Body 09.
- Shield (used to preserve his dice action): Body 04, Force shield 05.
- Protective halo repelling hot air, cold air: Body 03, Flame Immunity 03, Cold Immunity 03.
- Protective halo preventing air from leaking: Body 05, Sealed system 04.
- Flying gurney, compressing a wound, preventing further blood loss: Body 02, Medicine (First Aid): 07.
- Telekinetic lasso : Body 02, Snare 07.
- Telekinetic net : Body 02, Snare (-2 AP for Multi-attack -2 CS Bonus) 05.
- Airtight seal : Body 03, Flame Control (+1 AP for Only extinguish Limitation) 07.
- Before the first confrontation against The Sphinx, he has a harder time using his powers to full potential. His Accuracy is 06, and all his powers are 1 AP less, unless he spends 1 HP for the rest of the scene. This gives him headaches and nose bleeds.
- Before his trial, replace “Public Id” by “Secret Id”, and his motivation was “Upholding the Good”.
- His Scientist skill represents basic high school classes for a student particularly interested in sciences.
- His Leadership advantage is mostly to reflect the way he invented ways to combine their powers.
- Remembering the words to the mourner’s Kaddish allowed Vance to bring Sabra back in control. Thus, that’s worth mentioning as Familiarity.
Source of Character: Marvel Comics.
Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet.
Writeup completed on the 09th of September, 2017.