Captain Marvel (Marvel)(03 - Genis-Vell)
Real Name: Genis-Vell
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Inheriting his father’s energy-based powers, Genis-Vell could absorb stellar energy, giving him enhanced strength and durability, flight, and the ability to fire photonic energy blasts. When Genis' mental state became unstable, he no longer held himself back in regards to his powers, which increased exponentially, especially when coupled with the Nega-Bands. He began using his powers in ways he hadn't before, such as choosing to project energy blasts through his gun, for visually dramatic purposes, and absorbing multiple forms of energy as well as opening various trans-dimensional shunts that could access various points in space/time and different realities/dimensions. This also appeared to be his level of power after physically being reborn and absorbing the Nega-Bands into his body, which was transformed into pure photonic energy.
Genis later manifested a version of his father’s "Cosmic Awareness," somehow activated by his transformation into a more "mature" form of himself from the future. This awareness granted him a sort of omnipresent consciousness that enables him to perceive objects, individuals, and cosmic threats or anything of significance to him anywhere, even if they were cloaked by invisibility or illusion. However, Genis’s newfound cosmic awareness initially proved unreliable, sometimes feeding him distorted or illusory information. Despite a series of meditative techniques, his cosmic awareness drove him insane, although he thus exhibited greater use of this power, using it to see possible futures, definite futures, and alternate universes, and to project his cosmic awareness into others so that they can see their past, present, or future. He had also used it to communicate with the dead.
At one point, Genis was bonded physically to Rick Jones on the molecular level, allowing the two to share a symbiotic relationship and communicate telepathically between themselves. However, they could only exist in separate dimensions, typically the Earth dimension and the Negative Zone (later, the microverse), and would switch places whenever the Earth-bound counterpart struck the Nega-Bands together.
Genis-Vell was originally "born" at the age of thirteen after his mother Elysius used DNA from the original Captain Marvel to conceive a son. She then had Genis rapidly aged and imbued with false memories of growing up on Titan among his late father’s friends and associates, all so that he might be better able to protect himself from his father's enemies. He was told by his mother that his father was Starfox which he believed until Elysius sent the Silver Surfer to fetch Genis back to Titan, as the young man was in the middle of squandering his life, roaming the universe as a hedonist and gambler. After the Surfer retrieved Genis, saving from a bar brawl, Elysius told Genis the truth of his origins and gave him the Nega-Bands of Captain Marvel. Adapting the name of Legacy to carry on his father's heroic tradition, he became an explorer and an adventurer like his father, albeit a rather rash and unwise one at first. Regardless, Genis gradually became known as the new Captain Marvel thanks to his father’s reputation, despite his own reluctance to assume that title.
At the time, Monica Rambeau had long since established herself as a new Captain Marvel herself, but she conceded the title to Genis out of respect for Mar-Vell’s legacy after Genis and Rambeau teamed up to defeat the Controller, who pitted the two heroes against each other to test his own abilities. Shortly after his encounter with Rambeau, Genis finally accepted the Captain Marvel title as his own after winning a victory over homicidal madman Zey-Rogg, son of Mar-Vell’s late arch-enemy Yon-Rogg.
Genis gradually matured into his inherited role but, at times, still faced a reputation as a shallow fool thanks to his earlier, less impressive exploits. In particular, he got off to a rocky start with Mar-Vell’s longtime friend and former partner, Rick Jones, who resented the “instant heir.” Jones and Genis quarreled bitterly in their first meeting, during which Jones exploited Genis on his TV talk show and an angry Genis trashed Jones’s studio in a huff.
When the Avengers became involved in the time-spanning cosmic conflict known as "The Destiny War", the mystery man Libra used Rick Jones’s latent psionic powers to assemble a band of Avengers from various time periods, including the a future incarnation of Captain Marvel-- an older and more mature Genis with more experience and greater powers. Apparently, in at least one timeline, Genis was destined to become a member of the Avengers as the new Captain Marvel, a prospect that Jones found discouraging. The future-era Genis, for his part, seemed unusually bitter and fatalistic, and his bad feelings seemed to focus on Jones. Setting aside their various differences, Jones, Genis and the other Avengers joined forces to win the Destiny War by thwarting the Time Keepers’ attempted destruction of most of the timestream’s humanity-populated timelines. During the climax of this conflict, Jones suffered fatal injuries while destroying the Time-Keepers’ chrono-cannon. To save Jones’s life, the future Genis reluctantly merged his form and life force with that of Jones, just as the original Captain Marvel had shared a symbiotic relationship with Jones years earlier.
When Jones returned from the Destiny War to the present day, the present-day Genis was surprised to find himself automatically taking his future self’s place in the symbiotic relationship with Jones. The present-day Genis assumed the altered appearance and enhanced powers of his future self in the process, but was still greatly distressed to be trapped in a shared existence with a man he despised. Jones was no happier about it, but the reluctant duo were forced to adjust to their situation, with the experienced adventurer Jones served as mentor to the novice hero Genis.
Genis had developed several meditative techniques to help him control the cosmic awareness that was thrust upon him taking his future self’s place, but he was often forced to choose between situations to involve himself in. When one such decision resulted in the death of a young alien woman, Genis saw that this meant would result in the loss of potential universal peace. In anguish, his cosmic awareness overwhelmed his mind and Genis was shocked into a catatonic state for almost a month. When he awoke, Genis had become insane.
Genis determined he needed to learn discipline to better solve the problems he envisioned with his cosmic awareness. He spent some time with the vigilante known as the Punisher, saying he admired the single-minded devotion the Punisher used to accomplish his goals. However, Genis determined the Punisher truly couldn't handle the issues Genis must tackle and he left him. Next, Genis confronted his father's former mentor in the Kree army. Instead of learning from him, however, Genis killed the alien captain and took his place, hoping that time in the military would teach him discipline. Over time, Genis took the mistress of a commanding officer as his lover. The mistress ended up being an agent for the alien Shi'ar, and the commanding officer ordered Genis to kill her. Instead, Genis killed his officer and turned the gun on himself, apparently committing suicide.
Genis was resurrected by the cosmic being Entropy, offspring of the embodiment of Eternity, who revealed himself as instigating Genis' madness. Entropy wanted to fulfill its perceived role by destroying his "father," and asked for Genis' help. Genis agreed, and the two somehow succeeded in destroying Eternity by reducing it to a state of entropy. Genis and Entropy brought Rick Jones and his new associate Epiphany to join them. Jones convinced Entropy to start a new role for himself, one of creator, and Entropy re-created reality by becoming Eternity. Genis had a hand in re-shaping the universe, placing himself and Jones prior to Genis' developing madness so these events wouldn’t happen again, but despite Genis' best intentions, the renewed reality had its share of discrepancies, including the presence of his sister, Phyla-Vell.
Genis continued to battle the overwhelming influence of his cosmic awareness, taking downright villainous actions such as endowing a alien serial killer with power, challenging the gods of Asgard, and threatening the Kree with extinction. Rick Jones tried to keep Genis in check by inducing mind-numbing pain through their mental connection, but soon even this trick would fail. Genis began influencing Jones’ actions through their link, and ultimately induced Jones to be killed. In trying to reaffirm his perception of reality, however, Genis resurrected Rick (a feat made possible with their molecular bond). Finally, a coalition of Titan Eternals, including Elysius and Phyla-Vell, confronted Genis. A protracted battle ensued, ending after Genis was pulled into a portal to another dimension meant for his enemies alone. Beaten and broken, Genis promised to once again dedicate himself to becoming a force for good.
Genis first created a base of operations on Saturn’s moon Hyperion, but after only a few adventures, he was confronted by the cosmic being Eulogy, who revealed he had placed himself in Genis’ and Rick’s life at the time of their bonding but had determined their series of adventures had run its course. He arranged for the two to be no longer bonded together and encouraged Genis to surrender to the ending of his efforts. Instead, Genis was still determined to make up for his past misdeeds. He traveled to Earth to join the like-minded villains-turned-heroes of the Thunderbolts.
His presence among the Thunderbolts caused quite a stir among his teammates, especially the romantic overtones he used with Songbird (with whom his future “Destiny War” counterpart had a relationship.) He got into a scuffle with the Thunderbolt named Atlas, and instead of saving New York from an attack by Fathom’s Five, Altas secretly attacked Genis instead, gravely wounding him and causing him to go into a protective energy cocoon in order to heal. After he was healed, Genis emerged from his cocoon physically transformed-- his body had absorbed the Nega-Bands and his body was transformed into photonic energy. He rejoined the Thunderbolts, calling himself Photon (which got him into another argument with Monica Rambeau who had started calling herself Photon after Genis took the Captain Marvel name. Still, Rambeau encouraged him to keep the codename.) As Photon, Genis then became a full-fledged member of the Thunderbolts and has faced many challenges including Fathom's Five, Batroc's Brigade, the Purple Man, and the Avengers. During his battle with the Avengers he managed to prove himself so powerful that he easily bested the Sentry, an immensely powerful being, in combat.
Unfortunately, Genis' powers began growing out-of-control. Baron Zemo, using the power of the moonstone gems, had discovered this by witnessing the destruction of the world at the hands of Genis in countless various possible futures. He came to the conclusion that Genis must die for the universe to exist, and he formed his own group in order to oppose Genis and the Thunderbolts, who he knew would stand beside their teammate. During the confrontation, Genis himself revealed he had known of his potential for destruction, and that he had been training to control his powers through concentration. After a protracted battle that pitted Thunderbolt against former Thunderbolt, Zemo manipulated the brain-dead Blackout’s power to sever Photon’s physical form and scatter the pieces across the Darkforce dimension.
First Appearance: Captain Marvel (1995) #4
Photon (Marvel)(03 - Genis-Vell)
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
#26 Avengers Forever (1998)
- '...Under Cover of Night!'#27
- 'New Order'#35
- 'Interstellar Intrigues'
#1 Avengers Unplugged (1995)
- 'Destiny Made Manifest'#2
- 'Now is the Time for All Good Men...'#3
- 'The City at the Heart of Forever'#4
- 'Running Out of Time'#5
- 'Past Imperfect... Future Tense!'#6
- 'In the Meantime'#7
- 'Into a Limbo... Large and Broad'#8
- 'The Secret History Of The Avengers'#10
- 'Tomorrow And Tomorrow And Tomorrow...'#11
- 'The Destiny War!'#12
- 'Avengers Assemble!'
Captain Marvel (1995)
#4 Captain Marvel (1999)
- 'Rogg and Roll'#5
- 'In the Name of God?'#6
- 'True believers / In our daily lives... / Interludes / Passing the torch / In God we trust...'
#0 Captain Marvel (2002)
- 'First Contact'#2
- 'Does a Hulk Sit in the Woods?'#3
- 'One Down, Wendigo'#4
- 'Other Side of the Drax'#5
- 'Visit to an Even Smaller Planet'#6
- 'It's a Small Universe After All'#7
- 'Night of the Comet, Man'#8
- 'Skrull & Crossbones'#9
- 'Anything Can Happen Day'#10
- 'Totally Cosmic'#11
- 'Together Again For the First Time!'#12
- 'Dead & In Person...'#13
- 'Am I Blue?'#14
- 'Truth or Dare'#15
- 'Marvel Mania'#17
- 'Cheating Death'#18
- 'Who Let the Gods Out?'#19
- 'And Then I Woke Up...'#20
- 'Mother's Day'#21
- 'Grendel's Layer'#22
- 'Dude! Where's My Kree?'#23
- 'Ruul of Thumb'#24
- 'Star Power'#25
- 'Blazing Sons'#26
- 'Quiet Miracles'#27
- 'So Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's 2099!'#29
- 'Future Shares'#30
- 'Wish List'#32
- 'Soul Survivor'#34
- 'Dancing in the Dark'#35
- 'The Short Goodbye'
DC Versus Marvel/Marvel Versus DC (1996)
TPB#3 Fantastic Four (1998)
- 'Marvel Versus DC/DC Versus Marvel: Round Three'
#46 Guardians of the Galaxy (2008)
- 'It's Too Late to Stop Now!'
#11 Infinity Abyss (2002)
- 'Welcome To Oblivion'
#1 Marvel Legacy: The 1990's Handbook (2007)
- 'A Mad Calling!'#2
- 'Paranoids and Nihilists'#3
- 'Memory Disorders'#4
- 'Errors in Judgment'#6
- 'Rewards & Punishment'
Marvel Universe: The End (2003)
#1 Maximum Security (2000)
- 'The Cure'
#2 New Thunderbolts (2005)
- 'A World Of Hurt'#3
- 'Whatever The Cost!'
#1 Silver Surfer (1987)
- 'One Step Forward...'#4
- 'Sword And Claw'#11
- 'House Of M'#18
- 'The Whole Hole'
#122 Thanos Annual (2014)
- 'It's The End Of The World As We Know It'
The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
HC The Order (2002)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
#5 Thunderbolts (1997)
- 'Blinded By Science'#6
- 'Out Of Order'
#45 Thunderbolts: Life Sentences (2001)
- 'The Inside Job'#46
- 'Heart and Soul'#47
- 'Big Problems!'#57
- 'Storm Clouds Gathering'#58
- 'Degrees of Evil'
- 'Countdown to Destruction'#4
Eternals of Titan (Marvel)
Thunderbolts (01 - Masters of Evil)
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