Phyla-Vell as Martyr.
Art by Paul Renaud.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceCaptain Marvel vol. 5 #16 (Dec. 2003)
Created byPeter David (writer)
Paul Azaceta (artist)
In-story information
Full namePhyla-Vell
SpeciesTitanian/Kree Hybrid
Team affiliationsGuardians of the Galaxy
United Front
Notable aliasesQuasar
Captain Marvel
  • Superhuman strength, durability, speed, agility, and reflexes
  • Energy absorption and projection
  • Cosmic awareness
  • Flight

Phyla-Vell is a fictional character, a superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She has gone by the names Quasar, Captain Marvel and Martyr. She was created by Peter David and Paul Azaceta and first appeared in Captain Marvel vol. 5 #16 (Jan. 2004).

Publication history

Phyla-Vell first appeared in Captain Marvel vol. 5 #16 and was created by writer Peter David and artist Paul Azaceta.[1] She is introduced as Phyla-Vell and is the daughter of Elysius, the genetically engineered woman beloved by the late Mar-Vell. When Genis-Vell went mad and destroyed and recreated the world, he created a new universe where everything was mostly the same but for some subtle differences. She was the second child created by Elysius, who also created Gen-Vell, from Mar-Vell's DNA and for a time, Phyla wore the name Captain Marvel.[2][3][4]

The character appeared as Quasar after the previous Quasar died, in Annihilation: Conquest, featuring in her own, self-titled mini-series written by Christos Gage.[2] Leading on from this appearance she was part of the line-up for the 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy team.[5]

She made a deal to save the life of her partner Moondragon; in exchange she became the Avatar of Oblivion, and she started calling herself Martyr. She remained part of the Guardians of the Galaxy team until her death.[3][4]

Her name is derived from the scientific classification phylum, one of the levels of organization (taxa) for classifying life. This is a reference to the fact that her brother Genis-Vell's name comes from genus, one of the other classifications for life forms.

Fictional character biography

Phyla-Vell as Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel #17 (Feb. 2004). Art by Paul Azaceta.
Phyla-Vell as Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel #17 (Feb. 2004). Art by Paul Azaceta.

After Genis-Vell, then known as Captain Marvel, previously destroyed and recreated the universe, the "new" version was subtly altered with Phyla-Vell's existence being one of the changes. It is revealed that she is the second artificially created offspring of Captain Mar-Vell who was created by her mother Elysius in the "new" universe because her first attempt (Genis-Vell) had been so successful. Initially her origin conflicted with previously established storylines, but this is resolved in Captain Marvel vol. 5 #18 (Feb. 2004).

She fights her brother Genis-Vell, who was insane at the time,[6] in the process helping to restore his sanity. She then tries to lay claim to the "Captain Marvel" title, though her brother refuses to give it up.[7] Phyla is next seen at the trial of Starfox.[8]

The Captain Marvel (vol. 5) series heavily hinted that Phyla-Vell is a lesbian, and in #25 (September 2004) the character admits that she is attracted to Moondragon and invites her on a tour of the "spiral nebula near Renault VII". Before Moondragon can accept the two wander through a portal.[9]


Main article: Annihilation (comics)

Phyla later appeared during Annihilation where she had been visiting her father's grave with Moondragon when the pair were attacked by Thanos who ripped off Moondragon's ear and gave it to Phyla, telling her to go to Drax the Destroyer and how his actions would determine Moondragon's fate shortly before teleporting away with Moondragon. Drax has indicated he will not be stopping his pursuit of Thanos.[10]

Phyla then goes with Nova and Star-Lord to lead a final battle against Annihilus, being saved at the last second by a massive energy wave caused by the just freed Galactus, which left only the three heroes and Annihilus as survivors. Ultimately in the battle, Phyla manages to steal away the quantum bands that Annihilus took from Quasar, weakening him and allowing Nova to finally bring an end to the Annihilation Wave. She is then seen re-united with Moondragon, and deciding it's up to her to become the new Quasar.[11]

Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar

See also: Annihilation: Conquest

Phyla had her own mini-series as the new Quasar, stating July through October 2007, called Annihilation: Conquest – Quasar. The series was written by Christos Gage (who wrote Union Jack), penciled by Mike Lilly. Phyla is finding it hard to follow the footsteps of the former Quasar and also to follow in the Mar-Vell family's footsteps. The story is a lot about her trying to handle this power, and seeing if she can contain it. She's on a quest, and the object of the quest has real importance, not only to her, but to the entire storyline. Phylla and her lover Moondragon follow a voice to find the saviour for the Kree race who is attacked by the Phalanx. In the end it turns out 'the voice' is the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree; thanks to the Supreme Intelligence they find a cocoon, in which Adam Warlock is restoring. The cocoon breaks open and Phyla and Moondragon ask Warlock to help them fight against the Phalanx. This story was continued in the main mini-series Annihilation: Conquest.[12]

Guardians of the Galaxy

See also: Guardians of the Galaxy (2008 team)

Following Annihilation, she joins the new Guardians of the Galaxy.[13] While helping Drax search for Cammi, an Earth girl who he had taken into space before the Annihilation War, they consult a psychic to get a lead on Cammi's whereabouts only to be informed that Moondragon was trying to contact them.[14] They attempt to consult Mentor, who apparently kills them.[15] Mentor sends Phyla and Drax to Oblivion where they encounter Maelstrom and the Dragon of the Moon. After losing the Quantum Bands to Maelstrom Phyla is offered as a sacrifice to the Dragon so that Maelstrom can be in its good graces. While inside the dragon she apparently makes a deal in exchange for Heather Douglas. The dragon then releases them, with Phyla wearing a new red and black costume adorned with skulls and wielding a new sword, and they return to the world of the living where Phyla refuses to elaborate on the deal that she made with the Dragon. It is later learned from Maelstrom that she agreed to become the new avatar of Oblivion.[16]


Now calling herself Martyr, Phyla-Vell is a more abrasive and aggressive figure. When the Guardians attempted to negotiate with the Inhumans to stop the War of Kings, she ruined the attempt by taking Inhuman princess Crystal hostage instead; this led to battle between the Inhumans and Guardians, while she continued to escalate.[17] Eventually, the Inhumans would try to end the war by detonating a weapon that shattered space itself, creating a multiversal Fault.[18]

When Adam Warlock stopped the Fault's growth by using a redundant timeline, one where he became the villainous Magus, Phyla-Vell revealed that her deal with Oblivion was to kill "the Avatar of Life" and she'd know what to do when the time came. Knowing he would now become Magus, she ran Adam through but this failed to stop his transformation. Several of the Guardians, then stranded in the year 3009, were then sent back in time to stop Magus' creation and Phyla was prevented from making her move. This time when Warlock was transformed, she engaged him in combat - but Magus magically teleported her own sword from her hands and slew her with it.[19]

However, Phyla was revealed to still be alive, along with Mantis, Gamora, Cosmo and Major Victory, but trapped in suspended animation and prisoners of the Magus.[20] She then breaks free and frees the other Guardians, but after a fierce fight she is misled by Maelstrom into freeing Thanos, who was concealed inside a cocoon. When the two teams of Guardians reunite, Phyla-Vell is reported as the first victim of Thanos' rampage, her remains seen by Mantis but never shown on panel. She is later mourned by the Guardians on Knowhere.[21]

Phyla-Vell is later shown in Hell when Thanos and Deadpool venture there in search of the missing Death.[22]

Gamora later discovers Phyla trapped inside the Soul Gem alongside Adam Warlock.[23] When Kang the Conqueror later shows Warlock a vision of the future, Phyla is seen as one of the heroes who has been defeated by the mysterious villain that has collected all six Infinity Gems.[24]

Powers and abilities

Phyla-Vell has superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, and reflexes.[25][26] She can fire energy blasts and fly.[25] She also acts like an "energy sponge,"[25] absorbing any energy attacks directed at her and returning them as energy blasts. She has cosmic awareness and is a proficient fighter.[27]

She then came into possession of the Quantum Bands formerly owned by Wendell Vaughn. The Bands grant vast energy manipulation powers, such as absorbing and transforming energy on a stellar level, forming solid energy constructs and forcefields, allowing for space travel and providing protection from telepathic attacks.

While searching for Heather Douglas, Phyla lost the Quantum Bands to the villain Maelstrom. She has gained unknown new powers by becoming the new avatar of Oblivion. However, Wendell has stated that her Quantum Sword will still draw power from the Quantum Bands and that they will always be a part of her.[28]



Other versions

Infinity Countdown

During Infinity Countdown, when Gamora was collecting the Infinity Stones, an alternate version of Phyla-Vell and Moondragon from Earth-TRN707 arrived on the Prime Earth to get their universe's Reality Stone. After acquiring their Reality Stone, Moondragon deleted her memories of the event.[44]

In other media


Video games

Collected editions

Title Material collected Published date ISBN
Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar #1-4 January 2008 978-0785127185


  1. ^ Aguilar, Matthew (April 27, 2019). "Captain Marvel's New Endgame Costume Is An Homage To A Classic Marvel Character". Archived from the original on April 28, 2019. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Richards, Dave (April 18, 2007). "Hero's Journey: Gage Talks "Annihilation: Conquest - Quasar"". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on June 4, 2019. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Dapul, Motzie (October 31, 2018). "Captain Marvel: 12 Major Characters From The Comics You Need To Know - 4. Phyla-Vell". WhatCulture. Archived from the original on June 4, 2019. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Collins, Elle (May 11, 2017). "Guardians of the Galaxy characters we'll sadly never see on the big screen". Looper. Archived from the original on February 2, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  5. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (May 12, 2008). "Greeting the Guardians: Quasar". Newsarama. Archived from the original on September 6, 2009.
  6. ^ Captain Marvel vol. 5 #17-18 (Jan.–Feb. 2004)
  7. ^ Captain Marvel vol. 5 #19 (March 2004)
  8. ^ She-Hulk #12-13, 2006
  9. ^ Captain Marvel vol. 5 #25
  10. ^ Annihilation #2
  11. ^ Annihilation #6
  12. ^ "Back To Space In Marvel's Annihilation: Conquest". Newsarama. February 26, 2007. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007.
  13. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #1
  14. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #7
  15. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #9
  16. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #12
  17. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #14
  18. ^ War of Kings #6
  19. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #17, 19 (Dec. 2009)
  20. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #22 (Jan. 2010)
  21. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #25, 19 (June 2010)
  22. ^ Tim Seeley (w), Elmo Bondoc (p), Elmo Bondoc (i), Ruth Redmond (col), VC's Joe Sabino (let), Jordan D. White (ed). "Part Three" Deadpool vs. Thanos #3 (14 October 2015), United States: Marvel Comics
  23. ^ All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #3
  24. ^ Infinity Countdown #1
  25. ^ a b c Blumberg, Arnold T. (April 6, 2019). "Know Your Captain Marvel from Your Captain Mar-Vell". IGN. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  26. ^ Ashford, Sage (November 7, 2020). "Marvel: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Phyla-Vell". CBR. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  27. ^ "The 25 Best Superpowers Of All Time, Ranked". CBR. April 12, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  28. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 #12, 19 (May 2009)
  29. ^ Keyes, Rob (August 7, 2014). "12 Characters We Want To See In 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Sequels". ScreenRant. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  30. ^ Mey (August 5, 2014). "11 Female Superheroes I Wish Marvel Would Make Movies About". Autostraddle. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  31. ^ "5 Awesome Guardians Of The Galaxy Who Aren't In The Marvel Cinematic Universe (Yet)". Marvel. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  32. ^ Marnell, Blair (March 17, 2017). "7 Characters Who Should Join Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3". IGN. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  33. ^ Mey (June 28, 2017). "Drawn to Comics: 7 LGBT Women Who Need to Appear in the MCU Immediately". Autostraddle. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  34. ^ Buxton, Marc (May 19, 2017). "Guardians of the Galaxy 3: 50 Marvel Characters We Want to See". Den of Geek. Retrieved November 10, 2022.
  35. ^ Staff, C. B. R. (June 1, 2018). "Closer To God: Marvel's 20 Most Powerful Cosmic Heroes, Ranked". CBR. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  36. ^ Staff, C. B. R. (May 27, 2018). "The 25 Fastest Characters In The Marvel Universe, Officially Ranked". CBR. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  37. ^ Gramuglia, Anthony (January 14, 2019). "All The Captain Marvels, Ranked". CBR. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  38. ^ Traves, Lindsay (January 10, 2019). "20 Powerful Female Marvel Characters We Hope To See In The MCU's Phase Four". CBR. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  39. ^ Webber, Tim (July 22, 2018). "Every Captain Marvel Ever, Officially Ranked". CBR. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  40. ^ Gramuglia, Anthony (March 2, 2019). "10 LGBTQA Characters Who Should Be Introduced To The MCU". ScreenRant. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  41. ^ Harn, Darby (April 22, 2020). "The Kree: The 10 Most Powerful Members Of The Race, Ranked". CBR. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  42. ^ Lealos, Shawn S. (September 1, 2021). "15 Most Powerful Guardians Of The Galaxy Members In The Comics, Ranked". ScreenRant. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  43. ^ Harn, Darby (May 5, 2021). "15 Most Powerful Versions Of Captain Marvel From The Comics". ScreenRant. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  44. ^ Infinity Countdown #4. Marvel Comics.
  45. ^ Hunsaker, Andy (April 8, 2011). "DVD Review: Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Vol. 1 & 2". CraveOnline. Archived from the original on June 17, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  46. ^ Prudom, Laura (April 19, 2018). "Watch Marvel's Agents of SHIELD Star Ming-Na Wen Cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Animated Series". IGN. Archived from the original on October 4, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  47. ^ "Voice Of Phyla-Vell - Behind The Voice Actors". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved June 6, 2019. Check mark indicates role has been confirmed using screenshots of closing credits and other reliable sources((cite web)): CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  48. ^ Martinez, Phillip (June 8, 2016). "'Marvel Avengers Alliance' PVP Season 32 Brings Ronan And Phyla-Vell To The Game". Archived from the original on April 23, 2019. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  49. ^ "Tier List for Marvel Future Fight". Archived from the original on July 26, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.