Some years ago, Elysius, the genetically engineered woman beloved by the late Captain Mar-Vell, conceived a son, Genis-Vell, from Mar-Vell’s D.N.A. and artificially accelerated him to young adulthood with implanted memories of growing up on Titan. After Elysius was slain by the Negative Zone denizen Lord Syphonn, Genis took the identity and heroic mission of Captain Marvel as his own, eventually helping the cosmic entities Entropy and Epiphany re-create the universe. In the process, a future action of Genis’s, the resurrection of Elysius, was realigned into contemporary reality so that, as far as recent history was concerned, Elysius had been resurrected shortly after she had died, or possibly had never died at all. In this altered reality, Elysius again underwent artificial pregnancy and bore a daughter, Phyla-Vell, whom she similarly aged to young adulthood with implanted memories. However, because Genis’s cosmic awareness had overwhelmed him during the reality crisis, his memories were only altered on a subconscious level, so on some level he still believed his mother had perished and he was an only child.
Driven mad by his cosmic awareness, Genis rampaged across the universe. Elysius and her longtime friend Starfox pursued him to Titan, where Phyla, feeling Genis had disgraced the name of Captain Marvel, now claimed the title as her own. Upon arriving, Genis, already questioning his perceptions of reality, grew more confused as he fought a sister whom he remembered, yet felt had never existed. When Elysius and Starfox intervened, Genis opened a portal to Nth Space, a dimension which existed primarily in potentiality alone, and forced the three into it, but Phyla pulled him along. As Genis underwent a bizarre illusion scenario, Elysius and Starfox were able to overcome his insanity, and all four Titanians returned to Titan.
Phyla remained convinced she should bear the name Captain Marvel, but an argument with Genis on the subject was interrupted by an attacking alternate future version of Marlo Jones, wife of Genis’s friend Rick. Genis investigated the timeline that had resulted in the attack, trusting Phyla to protect the contemporary Marlo, whom she rescued from an abduction attempt by the Magus, ally of the alternate Marlo and Ely-Vell, Genis’s son of that future era. Phyla then brought Marlo to Titan to better protect her, but her departure from Earth left Marlo’s female companion Moondragon open to attack by the Magus. When Genis returned from the future, Phyla was concerned by his obvious distress, unaware he had resolved to kill his own yet-to-be-conceived son to prevent the catastrophe Ely would cause later in life.
Soon afterward, Moondragon lied to Marlo about the feelings between them and ended their romantic relationship, believing Marlo would be happier with Rick. Phyla was drawn to Moondragon by her selflessness, and a mutual romantic interest arose between the two, who departed together to investigate an unidentified portal, possibly proceeding afterward to view a spiral nebula near Renault VII. Recently, Moondragon was abducted by Thanos, and Phyla pursued him into the crisis known as the Annihilation Wave, already the center of conflict for many powerful space travelers. During the catastrophic battle with Annihilus and his insectoid forces, Phlya gained the powerful Quantum Bands from Wendell Vaughn (Quasar) the appointed protector of the universe. Phyla sought the help of Moondragon’s father Drax the Destroyer, to rescue her from Thanos. Drax was eventually successful in rescuing Moondragon and taking the life of Thanos in the process.
Reunited with her lover, Phyla went right back into cosmic chaos, Phyla and Moondragon found themselves on a dire mission to save the Kree race from immanent destruction, which was being caused by the techno-organic invaders known as the Phalanx. The two women warriors sought to find a powerful wizard that possessed the power to defeat the Phalanx. Before they could get off to a decent start on their quest, the woman adventurers were confronted by the Super-Adaptoid, who had been transformed into a Phalanx Select. Although the Adaptoid was viciously aggressive and cunning he was easily defeated. Phyla eventually found a cocoon that possessed the rejuvenating body of Adam Warlock, the phalanx were also in search of the Warlock and a battle ensued that eventually ended with Warlock being awakened prematurely and in a mentally unstable state. Phyla, Warlock and Moondragon managed to escape to a secret laboratory occupied by the High Evolutionary. There Phalanx attackers tracked them to the laboratory and Moondragon was slain by their leader Ultron. In a rage of passion Phyla lunged into battle, although she was persuaded by the High Evolutionary to retreat. Ultron and the Phalanx were eventually defeated and Phyla joined a new peace keeping teamed formed by Star-Lord. The team would later take on the name of the Guardians of the Galaxy and they utilized Knowhere as their base of operations.
Although the team was led by Star-Lord, it was guided by the mystical insight of Adam Warlock, whose primary purpose seemed to be to prevent the collapse of fissure anomalies. On their first mission Phyla and the team clashed with followers of the mighty Universal Church of Truth, an intolerant and zealous religious empire. Believing the Guardians to be anti-church heretics, the UTC has decreed Phyla and her teammates to be enemies of the faith. The team’s strategy is to keep whatever is on the other side of the fabric of reality out of their reality, which is the 616 universe. To fulfill their goal Rocket Raccoon blew up the Temple Ship while Phyla and Adam absorbed the released energy and used it to drive the unknown predator back through the fissure.
Discovering that Star-Lord had Mantis telepathically manipulate their minds to facilitate the formation of the Guardians most of the group quit. Phyla and Drax had already left in search of the young Earth girl Cammi, Drax’s former companion who has not been seen since the end of the first Annihilation catastrophe. While they questioned the inhabitants of an unidentified planet, a fortune teller revealed that there was a Great War of Kings about to take place and it might the reason for their being on this particular planet. Upset and annoyed with the woman’s distraction they began to walk away when she asked, was it the girl that they were looking for? The woman went to revealed that there was a chance for them to save Heather (Moondragon) from eternal death. Their search for her led them to the moon of Saturn also known as Titan. While on Titan they confronted Mentor, Moondragon’s step-father, who quickly murdered them both, so that their spirits could pass beyond the barrier of death into the realm of Oblivion, where Moondragon was trapped in the belly of the Dragon of the Moon. While in Oblivion's realm Phyla and Drax were approached by the malevolent trickster Maelstrom who was desperate to escape Oblivion. He took possession of the Phyla’s Quantum Bands, and used Phyla and Drax as sacrificial offerings to the Dragon of the Moon for passage out of Oblivion. Phyla was dropped into the mouth of the beast, but by unknown means was able to emerge from the monster transformed and possessing new powers. Wendell Vaughn had come to her rescue but was astound that she was free. He did manage to retrieve the Quantum Bands form Maelstrom, although Phyla refused to wear them again. She later revealed that she would be known as Martyr for now on.
Recently, Phyla was captured by the Magus of the Universal Church of Truth, who in an attempt to resurrect their savior with a mysterious cosmically powered cocoon inadvertently raised the "mad Titan" Thanos from the dead. Enraged, upset and disoriented Thanos seemingly took Phyla's life.