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|First appearance||Champions #7 (August 1976)|
|Created by||Tony Isabella|
|Alter ego||Laynia Sergeievna Petrovna Krylova|
Champions of Los Angeles
|Notable aliases||Tyomni Zvyozda (Russian translation of codename); formerly "Great Beast" (with Vanguard & Ursa Major)|
Ability to create solid constructs composed of Darkforce energy
Darkstar (Laynia Petrovna) is a fictional character, a mutant superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She has been a member of various super-teams in her career, including X-Corporation and Champions of Los Angeles.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2014)
Darkstar first appeared in Champions #7 (August 1976), and was created by Tony Isabella and George Tuska. She became a regular character in Champions for the remainder of the series's brief run, though she never actually joins the titular supergroup. A memo from series writer Bill Mantlo reveals that he intended her to be a "floating" member who would come and go from the book as the occasion called for.
Fictional character biography
Darkstar joins a Soviet super-team recruited to bring Natasha Romanoff (the Black Widow) back to the USSR. She turns sides, and then fights alongside the Champions. Champion Iceman is smitten with her, but Laynia does not reciprocate his feelings. She helps the Champions on a few more missions before returning to Russia, leaving behind a devastated Iceman.
In Russia's employ
Darkstar becomes a member of the Soviet Super-Soldiers with her brother Nikolai (alias Vanguard) and the Crimson Dynamo. The Soviet Super-Soldiers battle Iron Man and Jack of Hearts on the moon, but wind up helping them against renegade Rigellians led by Commander Arcturus. Helping the very people they were sent to stop became a habit for the group.
Later, Darkstar and Vanguard are sent along with new Soviet Super-Soldier Ursa Major by the KGB to defeat Sergei the Presence. Darkstar and Vanguard learn that Sergei is their father, and that Professor Phobos had exploited the Super-Soldiers. Darkstar aids in freeing Sergei and Starlight, and defeating Phobos.
The Soviet Super-Soldiers are then sent by the Soviet government to Khystym to battle the Gremlin. They fight the Spaceknights Rom and Starshine, but later ally with them against the Dire Wraiths. The Super-Soldiers wind up befriending the Gremlin instead of fighting him.
The Soviet Super-Soldiers Darkstar, Vanguard, and Ursa Major defect to the United States seeking political asylum. They arrive at Avengers Island, asking for Captain America's help. They are beaten nearly to death by the Supreme Soviets, who had disguised themselves as members of the Avengers. The comatose subconscious minds of the Super-Soldiers form a "Great Beast" that follows the Supreme Soviets back to the USSR and tries to kill them. Captain America persuades the "Great Beast" to stand down, and the three Super-Soldiers later regain consciousness and recover from their injuries.
The Soviet Super-Soldiers are captured and returned to the Soviet Union. They are rescued by Blind Faith and the Exiles (not to be confused with the reality-hopping team the Exiles), whom she joins.
When the Supreme Soviets (who had changed their name to People's Protectorate) are rechristened the Winter Guard, Darkstar is recruited back into the team.[volume & issue needed] After that team also disbands, Darkstar and Vanguard team with a Russian mutant team,[volume & issue needed] and later join forces with their father, the Presence.[volume & issue needed]
After Vanguard dies on the Starbrand mission led by Quasar, Darkstar and her father Sergei decide to kill Quasar, who allows them to believe that they have succeeded while he has in fact left earth.
Darkstar joins the Paris branch of X-Corporation, in which she is possessed by Weapon XII, a creation of the Weapon Plus Project, and subsequently killed by Fantomex. A funeral is held at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, where she is buried.
A new, red-haired Darkstar first appeared as a member of the Winter Guard in Hulk #1. Her name is Sasha Roerich. She was genetically modeled to resemble the previous Darkstar. After being again altered by The Presence, her body betrays itself, and she is transformed into a multi-tentacled Darkforce beast. She is killed by Red Guardian.
With Sasha's death, Reena Stanicoff takes over the role. Reena is killed during an attack on Winter Guard headquarters by a Dire Wraith, who then begins to assume her form. Although the Winter Guard fights off the attack, Reena's death is subsequently covered up by the government.
The Dire Wraith who assumed Reena's form is suddenly overwhelmed and taken over by darkforce energy. The original Darkstar (Laynia Petrovna) seizes control of the creature and resurrects herself. She reunites with her brother Vanguard and returns to active duty alongside her brother and Ursa Major.[volume & issue needed] She fights Hyperion.
Darkstar is present when the Winter Guard is brought back together.
Powers and abilities
Darkstar is a mutant who can psionically access the extra-dimensional energy of the Darkforce dimension, which grants her a number of superhuman abilities. She is connected to the Darkforce dimension by means of her consciousness being split between her physical body and a Darkforce representation of same, both symbiotically linked. Darkstar can thus utilize the Darkforce for various purposes. She can cause Darkforce to behave like either matter or energy. She may project Darkforce as simple, mentally-controlled solid objects, possessing the density of steel, such as pincers, rings, columns, and spheres, or as a beam of concussive force. If Darkstar is rendered unconscious any Darkforce constructs of her making immediately dissipate. Darkstar can teleport herself and up to three others by opening a portal into the Darkforce dimension and travelling through it. The maximum distance she can teleport has never been revealed. Because crossing the Darkforce dimension disorients her sense of direction, and the light of Earth blinds her for several seconds upon reemergence, traveling in this manner is risky.
Darkstar can levitate herself and fly at subsonic speeds by generating a virtually invisible portal into the Darkforce dimension along the contours of her body without passing through it, then balancing the attractive force of the dimension against that of the Earth's gravity. The upper limits of her powers are still unknown.
While the original Darkstar's costume was designed by the Soviet government and was made of a synthetic stretch fabric insulated against the cold, the other two Darkstars had costumes composed of Darkforce material.
Civil War: House of M
Darkstar is seen as a member of the Soviet Super-Soldiers.
Different versions of Darkstar have been encountered by the Exiles:
- On Earth 3470, the native timeline of Heather Hudson of the dimension-jumping Exiles, the Soviet Union still exists. Darkstar is part of the Soviet Super-Soldiers.
- An alternate version of Darkstar was shown in yet another universe. She was a member of the Republican Guard, Russia's superhuman team, alongside Crimson Dynamo, Omega Red, Gremlin, and the Titanium Man.
In other media
- Darkstar appeared in the X-Men animated series. In the episode "Red Dawn", she's initially the mutant enforcer for a group of Russian generals seeking to reestablish the Soviet Union with the aid of Omega Red. After witnessing the crimes committed by Omega Red, Darkstar rebels against the generals and sides with the X-Men and Colossus.
- Darkstar appears in the Avengers Assemble episode "Secret Avengers," voiced by Laura Bailey in a Russian accent. She appears as a member of the Winter Guard.
Notes and references
- Walker, Karen (July 2013). "'We'll Keep on Fighting 'Til the End': The Story of the Champions". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (65): 17–23.
- The Champions 7 (August 1976), Marvel Comics
- The Champions 10 (January 1977), Marvel Comics
- The Champions 11 (February 1977), Marvel Comics
- Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #17 (April 1978)
- Iron Man #109, 112. Marvel Comics.
- Incredible Hulk #258–259. Marvel Comics.
- Rom #45-46. Marvel Comics.
- X-Men Vs. Avengers #1–3. Marvel Comics.
- Captain America #352–353. Marvel Comics.
- Soviet Super Soldiers #1 (November 1992). Marvel Comics.
- Quasar #60. Marvel Comics.
- New X-Men 130 (October 2002), Marvel Comics
- X-Force (vol. 3) #21 (January 2010). Marvel Comics.
- Hulk: Winter Guard 1 (December 2009), Marvel Comics
- Darkstar & The Winter Guard 3 (August 2010), Marvel Comics
- Age of Heroes 3 (August 2010), Marvel Comics
- Amazing Spider-Man #676. Marvel Comics.
- Avengers Vol. 8 #10. Marvel Comics.
- Civil War: House of M #2
- Exiles (vol. 1) #84. Marvel Comics.
- Exiles 43 (Jan 2005), Marvel Comics
- "Secret Avengers". Avengers Assemble. Season 2. Episode 17. May 10, 2015. Disney XD.