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The Fraternity of Raptors



The Fraternity is an ancient group that precedes some of the peacekeeping forces of the universe such as the Nova Corps. The Raptor armor was forged eons before the human race ever existed, and therefore, it was never designed to support a human life form. However, a human did find an amulet and used the armor as a force for good. One day, all the hero thought he knew changed when another being wearing similar armor came to Earth. Raptors are sworn to safeguard the advance of galactic culture, to act as the curators of history and the custodians of the future – at least that's what Talon told to an unsuspecting Darkhawk.

The Fraternity of Raptors was formed for a single "Great Purpose" – to maintain the strength and superiority of the Shi'ar Imperium. They were once the final authority who served the Shi'ar empire, but something happened and they al but disappeared, sleeping in the Null Void for nearly sixty centuries. The amulet found by Darkhawk was thought to be the last one in existence. It wasn't until after the Skrull invasion of Earth, as the Skrulls were retreating back to their part of space when another was awakened. The Inhumans gave chase and used their awesome weaponry to destroy an entire Skrull fleet, but in doing so, they allowed the amulet of Talon to be released from the void.

The amulet took the lone Skrull survivor and imprisoned him within, so Talon could live again. In order for the ancient spirits to inhabit their armor in the physical world, each amulet needs an organic specimen to be a live sacrifice to the Source. In a flash, the Skrull was woven into the black sorcery of the Fraternity. Talon tricked Darkhawk into loosening his hold on his armor so another of the Fraternity could be reborn – Razor – and the two last members went to work in solidifying the new Shi'ar emperor's hold on the galaxy by winning his war with the Kree. Emperor Vulcan almost lost control of his empire when Lilandra Neramani attempted to reclaim her throne, but Talon was true to his word and carried out a plan to assassinate the former empress.

However, inside the Null Void, the captured Skrull told the captive human identity of Darkhawk the real reason Talon tricked him out of the armor is because he was afraid of him. Talon was afraid the human mind could unlock the technology of Raptor armor to the point where Talon could only dream of achieving. Darkhawk told the Skrull ever since he found the amulet, he was victim to fits of uncontrollable rage, and it was because of his incompatibility with the ancient armor. The Skrull explained the anger Darkhawk felt was his mind's exploration of the armor, and it could be used to his advantage, if he could only focus it. Darkhawk took the Skrull's words and decided it was time to be free of the Null Void. He managed to force Razor out of the armor and took control of his body once more, but his feat of willpower came a little too late. Razor had shot and killed Empress Lilandra.

Unwilling to face the wrath of Gladiator, Darkhawk fled, but a galaxy-wide alert was posted for his immediate arrest. Darkhawk soon found himself being pursued by Nova, and both were abducted into the Fault by the Sphinx. During a contest between the Sphinx and his younger self, Darkhawk was opposed by a raptor called Gyre. Darkhawk separated Gyre from his host body, but time will tell if Gyre returns. Two more members of the Fraternity were reborn as Talon discovered more amulets within the Fault while with the Imperial Guard. Facing impossible odds, Mentor and Plutonia agreed to bond themselves with the amulets to increase their firepower and their chances for survival. Once the process was complete, Talon referred to them as Kyte and Strel, but it has yet to be determined if their personalities were replaced by separate entities.

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- Marvel Editorial Staff