The Might And Madness Of Emperor Vulcan

The Comic Vault is about encouraging more people to get into comics by discovering characters they might not have heard of. The X-Men make up some of the most diverse characters, and an extremely powerful mutant is a man called Vulcan. The younger brother of Cyclops and Havok, Gabriel Summers was introduced in X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1 in 2006. Vulcan has the power to psionically manipulate vast amounts of energy, making him far more powerful than his brothers.

When he was an infant, Vulcan was removed from the womb of his dead mother by D’ken, Majestor of the Shi’ar Imperium. The baby was placed in an incubation-accelerator, which was used to breed slaves. Aged into a young man, Vulcan was sent to Earth to become a slave for Erik the Red. He escaped and was found by Moira MacTaggert with no memories of who he was. Moira took him to Charles Xavier to nurture his powers and Gabriel took the name Vulcan from a book on Roman mythology.

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Vulcan was part of a team of X-Men that included Petra, Darwin and Sway. They attempted to rescue the original X-Men from the sentient island Krakoa. Vulcan manages to hurt Krakoa and save Cyclops. But the creature fought back and seemingly killed Vulcan and his team. To save both their lives, Darwin turned himself into energy and bonded with Vulcan. The pair were launched into space along with Krakoa and fell into suspended animation. Cyclops blamed himself for the death of the second X-Men team and Professor X decided to alter everyone’s memories to spare them the agony of what happened.

During M-Day, Vulcan woke up and returned to Earth to confront Xavier. Enraged over what happened, Gabriel forced him to reveal the truth. The X-Men were able to separate him from Darwin and attacked him. Vulcan repelled them, renounced Scott as a brother and flew into space. Vulcan decided to wage war on the Shi’ar for his mistreatment and even though he killed many, he was defeated by Gladiator and sent to a prison moon.

Eventually, Vulcan was freed and taken to the sister of Empress Lilandra, Deathbird. They become romantically involved and Vulcan went on to throw Professor X into the M’Kraan Crystal, kill D’ken and name himself Emperor of the Shi’ar. This pulled him into conflict with his father, Corsair. Blaming him for his mother’s death, Vulcan killed Corsair.

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Vulcan’s energy-manipulating abilities make him powerful enough to take on heavy hitters like Black Bolt. He’s been able to absorb different kinds of energy and even suppress mutant energies. He can resist mental manipulation from high-powered telepaths and manipulate telepathic energy. One of his most impressive feats happened when he forced Adam Warlock to flee after robbing him of his energy in seconds.

Despite his power, Vulcan is mentally unstable. This could have developed from the trauma of his youth or his bitterness over Xavier forgetting him. Either way he makes a compelling villain and stands out as the black sheep of the Summers family.

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Author: thecomicvault

Short story writer and freelance copywriter from Manchester, England. I run the pop culture website The Comic Vault and animal protection website Wings And Wild Hearts.

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