Whether she’s known as Captain Marvel, Quasar, or Martyr, Phyla-Vell is a stalwart Super Hero who uses her cosmic abilities to protect the universe.
Born From Greatness
Phyla is the daughter of Elysius, a genetically engineered woman patterned after the Eternals of Titan. Years ago, Elysius conceives her son Genis-Vell using the preserved DNA of her beloved, the late Kree warrior Mar-Vell, AKA Captain Marvel, and artificially accelerates him to young adulthood with implanted memories of growing up on Titan. Genis eventually adopts the identity and heroic mission of Captain Marvel as his own. After the Negative Zone’s Lord Syphonn slew Elysius, Genis helped the cosmic entities Entropy and Epiphany re-create the universe following the seeming death of their parent Eternity. In the process, an action Genis was destined to carry out in the future, Elysius’ resurrection, 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 had conceived in like fashion a daughter, Phyla-Vell, whom she similarly aged to young adulthood with implanted memories. Because Genis’ cosmic awareness had overwhelmed him during the reality crisis, however, his memories were only altered on a subconscious level, so he still consciously believed his mother had perished and he was an only child.
Finally driven mad by his cosmic awareness, Genis rampaged across the universe. Elysius and longtime family friend Eros, AKA Starfox, pursued him to Titan, where most of the population had moved out of phase with the passage of space-time and Phyla-Vell, feeling Genis had disgraced the Captain Marvel name, 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 simultaneously felt had never existed, a sister who flaunted her supposed superiority and mocked his failures. When Elysius and Starfox intervened, Genis opened a portal to “N-th Space”, a dimension that existed primarily in potentiality alone, and forced the three into it, but Phyla-Vell pulled him along after them. As Genis experienced bizarre illusion scenarios, Elysius and Starfox mentally repaired his sanity, and all four returned to Titan.
Protector of the Universe
Phyla-Vell’s current abilities as Martyr are undefined. Originally, she possessed superhuman strength (lifting at least 5 tons). She could channel energy in various ways, allowing her to fly and discharge energy blasts of semi-tangible quality, and absorb any energy directed at her and use it for her own purposes. She could tap into knowledge throughout time and space via cosmic awareness, whose use alters her skin to the blackness of space. Phyla-Vell is a proficient hand-to-hand combatant, and wields a “quantum sword” that she created with the Quantum Bands, although it now exists independently of their power.
As Quasar, her powers are supplemented by the Quantum Bands, which she uses to manipulate the extradimensional Quantum Zone’s energies to create solid-energy constructs, including weapons and force fields, augment her pre-existing powers, and protect her from telepathic attacks, although the Bands’ use apparently nullify her cosmic awareness.
Unlike Wendell Vaughn, however, after the Bands’ power was infected by Annihilus, she becomes limited in the level of power she could exert within a given time frame. Presumably she, like Wendell Vaughn, could also have used them to analyze and process information, control electromagnetic energy, effectively teleport via rapid entrance and exit of the Quantum Zone, shunt matter into the Zone, fly via graviton manipulation in the event of her innate powers’ failures, and perform similar feats, but she never demonstrated such abilities.
In her effort to protect the universe, Phyla-Vell battles cosmic entities, such as the universe-conquering Annihilus. She even makes deals with them if it’s in her benefit, such as the bargain she strikes with the Lord of the Outer Void Oblivion, to bring back her lover.
While carrying the moniker Quasar and wielding the Quantum Bands, Phyla-Vell teams up with Richard Rider, AKA Nova, Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord, the Galadorian Spaceknights to defeat Annihilus. She later joins the Guardians of the Galaxy and with them, she faces the evil form of Adam Warlcok, AKA Magus, some bumpy time-traveling, and suffers great loss.
Along the way, she meets Heather Douglas, AKA Moondragon and they share a love that can withstand anything, from death to Moondragon’s inability to return to human form. Whether fighting for each other or back-to-back against their enemies, nothing stops them from being together.
From Captain Marvel and Quasar to Martyr
Despite her brother’s recovery, Phyla-Vell remained convinced she should bear the name “Captain Marvel.” An argument with Genis on the subject, however, was interrupted by an attacking alternate future (Reality-98120)’s super-powered version of Marlo Jones, wife of Genis’ friend Rick Jones; Phyla counterattacked but was quickly knocked into orbit and only managed to return as her opponent vanished. Genis investigated the timeline that had resulted in the attack, trusting Phyla-Vell to protect the contemporary Marlo and her then-lover Moondragon. Per expectations, Marlo was targeted for abduction by another resident of that future, the Magus (Adam Warlock’s evil self), ally to the alternate Marlo and Genis’ future son Ely-Vell, but Phyla-Vell rescued her. Phyla brought Marlo to Titan to better protect her, leaving Moondragon on Earth, where she was attacked by the Magus and dealt a humiliating defeat.
When Genis returned from the future, having apparently resolved the crisis, Phyla-Vell was concerned by his obvious distress, unaware he had resolved to one day kill his own yet-to-be-conceived son to prevent the catastrophes Ely would cause later in life. Soon afterward, Moondragon lied to Marlo about the feelings between them and ended their relationship, believing Marlo would be happier with Rick. Phyla-Vell was drawn to Moondragon by her selflessness, and a romance began between the two, who departed together to investigate a portal created by Entropy and Epiphany’s sibling Eulogy, possibly proceeding afterward to view a spiral nebula near Renault VII.
Phyla-Vell and Moondragon resided on Titan, where they assisted Titan’s ruler Alars, AKA Mentor, during his son Starfox’s trial for supposedly breaking Earth law, encountering Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk, and a clone of Mentor’s mad son Thanos in the process. Still convinced of her worthiness to bear the Captain Marvel title, Phyla-Vell was shaken when Genis, who had joined the Thunderbolts as Photon, was apparently slain by Baron Helmut Zemo, AKA Baron Zemo. When Phyla-Vell and Moondragon visited Genis’ grave, Thanos and his aide Skreet abducted Moondragon. Phyla-Vell pursued them into the intergalactic crisis dubbed the Annihilation Wave, where she joined Nova, Star-Lord, the Galadorian Spaceknights and others in battling the Wave’s master Annihilus, who had stolen Wendell Vaughn, AKA Quasar’s Quantum Bands after seemingly slaying him. While the planet-eater Galactus attacked the Wave’s fleet and Nova fought Annihilus himself, Phyla-Vell somehow bonded with the Bands’ power and claimed them as her own. Following Annihilus’ defeat, Phyla-Vell reunited with Moondragon, who had been rescued by her father, Drax the Destroyer. Phyla-Vell declared herself Vaughn’s successor as Quasar, Protector of the Universe, despite Moondragon’s dubiousness toward the notion.
For a time, Phyla-Vell and Moondragon lived on Lamentis Outworld, at the edge of Kree space, where they protected a Priests of Pama temple. Phyla-Vell, now doubting her worthiness of Quasar’s role, was periodically contacted by a voice from within the Quantum Bands whose power fluctuated due to Annihilus’ lingering influence. Phyla-Vell and Moondragon were attacked by techno-organic Phalanx warriors, who had conquered much of the Kree Empire. The couple were telepathically guided by the voice, Kree ex-leader Supreme Intelligence, at that time in a quasi-dead state, who instructed them to locate the Kree’s supposed savior. After battling the Super-Adaptoid and other Phalanx warriors, Moondragon, having tapped into power linking her to the malevolent Dragon of the Moon, was transformed into a dragon-like form, although neither she nor Phyla-Vell realized the Dragon was planning to fully manifest within her. Eventually, Phyla-Vell and Moondragon recruited the alleged savior, Adam Warlock to help against the Phalanx. While visiting Herbert Wyndham, AKA High Evolutionary, who was allied with the Supreme Intelligence, the group were attacked by Phalanx leader Ultron, who killed Moondragon, casting both her soul and the Dragon into the cosmic entity Oblivion’s realm.
The grieving Phyla-Vell accompanied Adam to Kree homeworld Hala, where Ultron transferred his mind into Adam’s body. Meanwhile, Adam’s soul fled into the Quantum Bands until Ultron, threatened with techno-organic virus reinfection by the Technarch Warlock, left Adam’s body for a new gigantic, mechanical form. Using a “quantum sword” created by the Bands, Phyla-Vell destroyed Ultron’s robot body while others prevented his mind from fleeing elsewhere; with Ultron defeated, his Phalanx troops deactivated. In the crisis’ aftermath, Adam discovered the Annihilation Wave had produced fissures in the space/time continuum. Phyla-Vell, Adam and others, unwittingly under Mantis’ telepathic influence, joined Quill (now going by Star-Lord again) in forming the Guardians of the Galaxy to deal with these threats and others, operating out of the Knowhere colony at the edge of the universe.
Phyla-Vell and her new teammates tried to rescue a Universal Church of Truth templeship from a spatial fissure; while exploring another one, they rescued Vance Astro, AKA Major Victory, from Earth-691’s 31st century before escaping. Following an attack by the Church, which had labeled them heretics, Phyla-Vell defended teammate Drax from charges of being a Skrull saboteur. After being caught in a conflict between Skrull refugees and the Xarthian super-team Luminals, the Guardians fragmented when Drax revealed how Star-Lord and Mantis had manipulated the team’s members into joining. Phyla-Vell helped Drax search for his young companion Cammi. While visiting a “planet of soothsayers,” however, they learned from one sage that the seemingly dead Moondragon still existed on an accessible plane and could be restored, unaware the information had been telepathically implanted in their informant’s mind by the insane Maelstrom, longtime enemy of Wendell Vaughn. When they sought more information on Titan, Mentor slew Phyla-Vell and Drax’s physical bodies, enabling their own souls to enter Oblivion’s realm, where the Quantum Bands withdrew from Phyla-Vell. Maelstrom, also trapped there, usurped the Quantum Bands and defeated Phyla-Vell and Drax, whose souls he offered to the Dragon of the Moon in hope of receiving enough power to escape. After the Dragon, which had literally consumed Moondragon’s soul, swallowed Phyla-Vell, Vaughn, having survived in a quantum light form, entered the fray; while he fought Maelstrom, Phyla-Vell retrieved Moondragon’s soul from within the Dragon and forcibly exited its body, which collapsed into billions of bat-like creatures. Following Maelstrom’s defeat, Phyla-Vell insisted that Vaughn reclaim the Quantum Bands and his Quasar title. Phyla-Vell and Drax returned to life, and Moondragon’s soul entered a human body cloned from her DNA. Now calling herself Martyr, Phyla-Vell resumed her adventurous life alongside her beloved Moondragon.
It turned out that she made a pact with Oblivion to restore her love and received the Oblivion Blade. A blade she used to provoke the Inhumans, while the Guardians were attempting to de-escalate the War of Kings. The Inumans detonated a T-Bomb to stop the war but it created a hole in space known as the Fault. The Guardians stopped the fault from spreading thanks to aid from Adam Warlock but Phyla-Vell stabbed him through the chest with her Oblivion Blade, slaying him. She revealed to the Guardians that she fulfilled her end of her bargain with Oblivion—saving Moondragon meant that she had to kill the avatar of life, which was ultimately Warlock. Fellow Guardian Gamora fought Phyla-Vell and during their sword battle, Gamora disarmed and stabbed her. However, a consequence of Phyla-Vell’s actions led to Warlock returning as his evil half, Magus.
Some of the Guardians were then sent through time, thanks to Kang the Conqueror and the Starhawks, to prevent Warlock from becoming Magus. He gave them a Cosmic Cube to help them get back to the moment before he turned into the Magus. Though they succeeded at preventing Phyla-Vell from slaying Warlock, the evil Magus still emerged. He apparently slayed Phyla-Vell with her own sword as well as team members Mantis, Major Victory, Gamora, and Cosmo. The other Guardians succeed at suppressing Magus and depart for Knowhere.
The seemingly fallen Guardians spirits were still alive—a trick by Magus to hide his continued existence. Phyla-Vell and her comrades were being held on Sacrosanct, the homeworld of Universal Church of Truth, and she sent a telepathic message to Moondragon to warn her of Magus’ survival. In their effort to escape the church and get back to saving the universe, Phyla-Vell and her teammates fought their way out, facing a horde of the church’s knights. During the battle, Phyla-Vell was contacted by Oblivion’s agent Maelstrom on a higher plane. He encouraged her to unleash what resided inside the church’s reanimation cocoon and that it would even the cosmic balance between life and death caused by Magus’ creation. Phyla-Vell, desperate to make things right, assumed that the cocoon contained Warlock, Magus’ better half, and slashed it opened without hesitation. Though, she soon realized what she had done. Out from the cocoon came Thanos, who blew her to bits with an energy blast.
Phyla-Vell ended up in Hell and later faced with her killer, who had teamed up with Wade Wilson, AKA Deadpool. Alongside many of their combined victims, Phyla-Vell attempted to slay Thanos, but failed.