Friday, December 30, 2011

"The End" Week: Quasar #60!

We've mentioned the not-very-good Marvel crossover Starblast before; but I'm not the only one who didn't care for that one: Soviet super-hero Vanguard died there. When his sister Darkstar went to their dad, the Presence, he blamed Quasar; especially since the radioactive villain had fought him before.

Meanwhile, the earth of Marvel's New Universe has been brought to the Marvel U, but is being quarantined by the Living Tribunal. Contaminated by her time with the Star Brand, Quasar's love interest Kayla is stuck there; and although he could give up his quantum-bands and live there, Quasar declines. (She's fine, and it's implied that she's interested in one of the heroes there, but Quasar doesn't know that.)

Blaming himself, Wendell Vaughn decides that to protect those he loves, he's going to leave earth forever. He says his goodbyes to his mom and sister, his business partner Ken, Captain America, Kismet, and the Squadron Supreme. (The Squadron was from another alternate earth, but were trapped there for a long time.) Meanwhile, the Presence and Darkstar follow Quasar, intent on ambushing him when he's not visiting some super-powered friends.

Quasar's last stop is his hardest: Kayla's dad. Trying to tell the obviously drunk man that his daughter's not coming back, he thinks Quasar killed her, and wants the daughter he never wanted back. The Presence and Darkstar then attack, threatening Quasar's family if he runs. Nova, previously seen this issue, happens by; but Quasar waves him off, submitting to the Presence and letting him disintegrate him. The quantum-bands fall to the ground, as a batch of the Avengers, New Warriors, and Fantastic Four show up; but Presence and Darkstar escape.

And so does Quasar, having glumly quantum-jumped off earth and left fake bands behind, probably blowing a hole in the ozone above Kayla's dad's house. He would show up in Starmasters with Beta Ray Bill and the Silver Surfer, but I never read those. Then, Quasar was killed off for a bit, but has since returned and is currently in Annihilators, with the Surfer and Bill again. Glad to have him back.

I read Quasar for its entire 60-issue run, and while it was often hit-and-miss on the art front, it was usually solid on the story. I also liked that Quasar himself? Nice guy. He wasn't angst-ridden, driven by guilt for vengeance, broody, grim, gritty, or full of himself. The sad thing is, while you would want to know or be saved by someone like Wendell; it probably is more fun to read about characters that are more messed-up...

From Quasar #60, "The Long Goodbye" Written by Mark Gruenwald, pencils by John Heebink, inks by Aaron McClellan.

Because New Year's Day falls on Sunday, we'll have the Year in Toys then, and at least another four "The End" posts tomorrow!

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