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Vanth Dreadstar is a comic book character created by Jim Starlin. Dreadstar was Publication history
Dreadstar's original adventure, the "Metamorphosis Odyssey", ran in the first eight issues of Marvel Comics' Epic Illustrated (Spring 1980-October 1981). The stories were collected into a trade paperback, published by Eclipse Comics. Eclipse followed this with an original graphic novel, The Price, which was subsequently reprinted in 1983 by Epic as the Dreadstar Annual.

The success of the character prompted Epic Comics/Marvel to publish a Dreadstar comic book, which ran for 26 issues (November 1982-August 1986). First Comics subsequently acquired the rights to the comic title and published issues #27-64 (November 1986-March 1991). Jim Starlin left the series after issue #30, and was replaced by Peter David as the writer. Several years after the First Comics title was canceled, Malibu Comics published 6 more issues, set after the end of the First Comics run, and featuring the daughter of Dreadstar (April 1994 - January 1995).
Character biography


Main article: Metamorphosis Odyssey

Vanth Dreadstar was born on the planet Byfrexia, a harsh and frigid world located in the Vega system. What is known of Vanth's story begins when, as a teenager, he is forced to witness the brutal slaying and devouring of his parents at the hands of snow beasts (later described as snow bears). Stranded and miles away from any settlements, he would surely have died of exposure and starvation had he not found the Sword of Power created and left there long before by Lord Aknaton. The weapon gives Vanth wondrous powers, allowing him not only to survive but to thrive.
Vanth's grief over his parents' deaths drives him temporarily mad and he declares a one man war against the snow beasts, hunting and slaughtering each one he can find. Since the beasts are the primary food source of neighboring settlements, these are soon almost decimated due to Vanth's actions. The settlers in their turn hunt the "Cold Man," bent on bringing him to justice before he obliterates their food supply and chances of survival.

Vanth promptly hijacks a ship and leaves the planet. Sometime later Byfrexia is invaded by the Zygoteans, an evil alien race in the process of conquering and wiping out the Milky Way. Vanth returns to Byfrexia to defend his people from the invasion. With his unique powers he singlehandedly sets back the Zygoteans' invasion plan, prompting the Byfrexians to name him leader of the rebellion.

Aknaton eventually returns to Byfrexia and finds Vanth, recruiting him as a bodyguard for three special beings Aknaton had a part in creating, Za, Juliet & Whis'Par, beings who are part of his plan to stop the Zygotean menace. Vanth leaps at the chance that there might be a plan to destroy the Zygoteans, though he is shaken when Aknaton reveals the exact nature of the plan to him and the others. Aknaton has reasoned that since the Zygoteans are undefeatable, and the death of the galaxy cannot be prevented, the only remaining kindness is to make the end as quick and painless as possible. He therefore long ago created the Infinity Horn, whose purpose is to destroy the entire Milky Way. Appalled, but convinced that Aknaton's plan is the only option, Vanth and the others agree.

Fighting their way past an army of Zygoteans and their slaves (who have become aware of the plan and fight desperately to stop it), they journey to a cavern on the planet Dreamsend. As Aknaton and Vanth hold off the Zygoteans outside, Za, Juliet, and Whis'Par enter the cavern and together sound the Infinity Horn, destroying the entire Milky Way. Just in time, Aknaton uses his mystic powers to encase himself and Vanth in a bubble of force and throw them into intergalactic space.

Unknown eons later the force bubble crashes on a planet named Caldor in another galaxy, where almost immediately Aknaton goads Vanth into shooting him in a fit of rage and guilt over the obliteration of the Milky Way. Mortally wounded, Aknaton confesses that he goaded Vanth into killing him because he cannot live with the guilt over what he has done. As he dies, he tells Vanth that he saved him and brought him here because this galaxy (later identified as the Empirical Galaxy, is at a point where it might or might not go the way of the Milky Way, developing Zygoteans of its own. Aknaton wants Vanth to change the destiny of this new galaxy, or, failing that, find the Infinity Horn and give this galaxy the same mercy killing given the Milky Way.

Vanth goes on to have many further adventures in the Empirical Galaxy, as recounted in the Dreadstar comic series.

Powers and abilities

Vanth Dreadstar possesses an enchanted sword that provides him with a number of superpowers. He can absorb the sword into his body, and retrieve it when needed. The sword can repel energy blasts, and even redirect them towards an enemy. The sword also gives Dreadstar the strength of twenty men, enhanced reactions, and allows him to rapidly heal from virtually any bodily wound. The sword also grants him immortality, and the ability to speak and understand any language he hears.

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