There are many powerful weapons in the Marvel Universe, but few may be more powerful than the Star Brand – learn about it here!
The Star Brand, the most powerful weapon on Earth, has been an integral part of the Marvel Universe for the better part of a decade, regularly appearing in Avengers as well as line-wide events. What fans may not know is the Star Brand comes with a fascinating backstory, both in-universe and out.
The very first Star Brand appeared in 1986, as the flagship book of Marvel’s “New Universe” line, the purpose of which was to create a brand new shared-universe, separate from the mainstream Marvel Universe. Created by comics legends Jim Shooter and John Romita Jr, Star Brand told the story of Ken Connell, an ordinary man gifted with a fantastic cosmic weapon. For a variety of reasons, the line went under, but the Star Brand itself eventually made its way into Marvel’s continuity. There have been different versions since, one appearing in the 2005 series newuniversal, co-created by Warren Ellis and the one currently appearing that is a completely new version, created just for Earth-616.
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Comic Book Origins
Regardless of the version, the Star Brand is a weapon of unbelievable power; in fact, it is potentially one of the most powerful weapons on the whole planet and is limited only by its users’ imagination, making it roughly analogous to the Green Lantern Corps. The Starbrand imprints itself upon its host, appearing as a black star-shaped tattoo, almost like a brand, hence the name.
As revealed in newuniversal, a Star Brand’s creation is triggered by what is called a “White Event,” or a change in a universe’s “Superflow.” When this event happens, it signals a change on a cosmic scale and one of the four guardians it sends to watch over the transition is a Star Brand. A White Event is also usually accompanied by a rise in other super-powered beings. This explains the various versions of the White Event and the Star Brand that have appeared in various Marvel titles.
The most recent wielder of the Star Brand on Earth-616 was Kevin Conner, a college student who received the weapon during a failed “White Event.” Upon receiving his powers, he accidentally destroyed his college, attracting the attention of the Avengers. At first, the Avengers thought Kevin a threat but learned the true nature of the Star Brand and took Kevin in to train him. He was featured prominently in both Jonathan Hickman and Jason Aaron’s Avengers runs. During Aaron’s run, Conner perished in a fight with Ghost Rider.
Interestingly enough, this is not the first human to wear the Star Brand on Earth-616. Vnn, a primitive human living in the Stone Age, discovered the Star Brand impressed upon a dead dinosaur, and it jumped from the dinosaur to him; he would go on to fight alongside the Stone Age Avengers. Not much information has been revealed about Vnn beyond his exploits with the Avengers.
The Star Brand is potentially the most powerful weapon on Earth. It has been described as a “planetary defense mechanism” and its only limit is the user’s imagination.
It bestows upon its wielder an amazing array of powers. Its user can fly faster than light and possesses great strength. The user also is granted invulnerability and superhuman endurance; they also become super-intelligent and super perceptive. The Star Brand can also manipulate both matter and energy, sometimes to destructive ends. In his first appearance, Kevin leveled a large area of land and killed many people; in a subsequent appearance, he unleashed this power on Beyonders, beings of great cosmic power in the Marvel Universe, and managed to kill one of them. Killing a cosmic being is no small feat, and it demonstrated just how powerful the Star Brand is.
The Star Brand is currently hosted to a baby. Who knows where it will end up next in the Marvel Universe?
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