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The Stranger possesses cosmic and psionic power beyond human measurement. Whether he taps outside sources of cosmic energy or the energy is generated inside him is not known. He can employ his cosmic energies for a vast number of effects. He can project large amounts of cosmic energy with great concussive force. He can mentally manipulate the molecules of ordinary matter into other shapes with different properties. He can alter his own size, mass, and density to unknown limits at will (he has appeared at 6 feet in stature as well as 50 feet), or alter the size and mass of other objects and organisms. He can convert matter to an unknown form of energy and teleport it through space at hyper-light speeds. He can erect invisible force shields of great impermeability. Further, he can use cosmic energy to enhance his own physical powers, such as speed, strength, and endurance. He can mentally manipulate gravitons to allow himself to levitate. The extent of the Stranger’s extrasensory and psionic powers are unknown.
The Stranger possesses several known limitations to his power. Among them: he cannot travel through time unaided, resurrect the dead, attain solar-system scale stature, or move planet-sized objects unaided. Due to the manner of his search for knowledge, it can be inferred that he is not omniscient, nor precognitive.
By his own account, the Stranger is a composite being possessing the combined strength and intellect of the billions of humanoid beings who once lived on the planet Gigantus, an ancient world in the Andromeda Galaxy whose size approached the limit at witch a planet can exist before fissioning into a sun. Gigantus, the home of a highly advanced and pacifistic people, was the target of the imperialistic race of Eternians, who decided to destroy Gigantus when it proved too big to conquer. Before their world’s destruction, however, a vast fleet of Gigantian escaped to retaliate against their attackers. After destroying Eternus, the Gigantians in some as yet unknown way melded their minds into a single being, apparently to one day combat Eternians’ similar composite entity, the Overmind. It is not yet known what the process of this merger entailed: whether the composite-form’s body is an artificial organic construct or one of the Gigantians’ bodies enhanced to be a suitable receptacle for his race’s mental and physical might. This being, later to become known as the Stranger, has existed for some eons now, engaged in the same pursuit of knowledge that had engaged his race.
The Stranger happened upon Earth in the mid-20th Century, apparently attracted by the sudden proliferation of superhumanly powered beings on Earth. Investigating some of these beings the Stranger encountered Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and the original X-Men. The Stranger took Magneto and the Toad with him to his home-base to study. Apparently from his observations of Magneto and the Toad, the Stranger concluded that the powers in the process of development by the denizens of Earth would be misused and, in time, become a threat to other worlds. Thus he journeyed to Earth in two occasions for the express purpose of limiting Earth’s population through a random purge. On each of these occasions, he was convinced by the selfless actions of Earth beings (the Hulk and scientist Al Harper) the Earth had the potential for good. After his second attempt to destroy Earth, the Stranger declared it safe from any future reprisals.
Since that time, the Stranger has employed his vast powers on behalf of the Earth. The first of these incidents pitted him against his ancient enemy, the Overmind. The Stranger used his superior power to imprison the Overmind on a mole of dust. The second time he assisted Earth in the deactivation of the Null-Life Bomb, the same device that he once invented to destroy Earth’s population. The third time he came to Earth was to thwart a plot by the Olympian god Pluto.
The Stranger remains an enigmatic being, studying the phenomena of the universe for unknown reasons, and acting toward other living beings with unfathomable motives.
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men (1963) #11
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2006)
#11 Astonishing Thor (2011)
- 'Stranger to Ultimo'
Avengers Assemble (2012)
#1 Captain America (1968)
- 'The Great Beyond'#6
- 'The Observer Effect'
#150 Captain Marvel (1968)
- 'Mirror, Mirror...!'
#41 Falcon (2017)
- 'Havoc On Homeworld!'#42
- 'Shoot-Out At The O.K. Space Station!'
Fantastic Four (1961)
#116 Guardians of the Galaxy (1990)
- 'The Alien, the Ally, and -- Armageddon!'
#49 Howard the Duck (2016)
- 'Time Is the Rider That Breaks Us All'
#3#4 Infinity Countdown Prime (2018)
- 'Fowl Movement! (Ugh no no that sounds terrible how about...) Duck! Duck! Loose!'
Infinity Gauntlet (1991)
#3 Last Planet Standing (2006)
- 'Preparations for War'#4
- 'Cosmic Battle on the Edge of the Universe!'#5
- 'Astral Conflagration'#6
- 'The Final Confrontation'
Marvel Encyclopedia (2002)
Marvel Encyclopedia (2014)
Marvel Graphic Novel (1982)
#1 Marvel Masterworks: Warlock (2007)
- 'The Death of Captain Marvel'
Marvel Saga: The Official History of the Marvel Universe (1985)
#18 Marvel Super-Heroes (1967)
- 'Book XVIII - The Triumph and the Tragedy!'
Marvel Team-Up (1972)
#55 Marvel Two-In-One (1974)
- 'Spider, Spider on the Moon!'
Marvel Universe: The End (2003)
#4 Marvel: Now What?! (2013)
- 'The Cure'
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
Professor Xavier and the X-Men (1995)
#15 Quasar (1989)
- 'Dangerous Convictions'
#14 Silver Surfer (1968)
- 'The World My Laboratory'#15
- 'Death Watch'#16
- 'Germ of an Idea'#37
- 'Infinity Manifestations'#55
- 'Starblast Pt. 6: In a Stranger Land'#56
- 'Starblast Pt. 10 - Nuke Me with the New'#57
- 'Three Men and a Cocoon'
#5 Silver Surfer (1987)
- '--And Who Shall Mourn For Him?'#12
- 'Gather, Ye Witches!'
Annual 05 Silver Surfer: The Enslavers (1990)
- 'The Return of the Defenders Part 3'#27
- 'The R Complex'#29
- 'Our Complex'#30
Spider-Man: Grim Hunt - The Kraven Saga (2010)
#2 Tales to Astonish (1959)
- 'Crossing Guard'#3
- 'A Whole New Universe'#4
- 'The End Of The World (As We Know It)'
Thanos: The Infinity Finale (2016)
OGN HC The Amazing Spider-Man (1963)
- 'Thanos: The Infinity Finale'
The Avengers (1963)
Annual 07 The Champions (1975)
- 'The Final Threat'#137
- 'We Do Seek Out New Avengers!!'#138
- 'Stranger in a Strange Man!'#234
- 'The Witch's Tale!'#316
- 'Spiders and Stars'#317
- 'Business as Usual'#318
- 'A Vengeful God!'
#12 The Defenders (1972)
- 'Did Someone Say... the Stranger?'#13
- 'The Doom That Went on Forever!'
#114 The Incredible Hulk (1968)
- 'Dance of Darkness/Dance of Light!'
#248 The Infinity Entity (2016)
- 'How Green My Garden Grows!'
#2 The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
- 'Part Two: Overload!'#3
- 'Part Three: Answers?'
HC The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
#10 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
- 'S: From Shi'Ar to Sub-Mariner'
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition (1990)
The Rampaging Hulk (1977)
The Super-Heroes (1975)
#178 Uncanny X-Men (1963)
- 'Death is a Stranger'
Warlock and the Infinity Watch (1992)
What If? (1977)
#32 What If? Newer Fantastic Four (2009)
- 'What If... The Avengers Had Become the Pawns of Korvac?'
What If...? (1989)
#49 X-Men Forever (2001)
- 'What if the Silver Surfer Possessed the Infinity Gauntlet?'#104
- 'Finders Keepers'
#3 X-Men: First Class (2007)
- 'All of God's Creatures'#5
- 'Iceman-Present and Accounted For'#6
- 'Tomorrow Begins Today'
- 'Island X: Part Two'
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