Gladiator (Kallark)

Gladiator (Kallark)

: "For the former Daredevil villain, See Gladiator (Melvin Potter)."


caption=Gladiator battles the Fantastic Four in "Fantastic Four" #249. Art by John Byrne
publisher=Marvel Comics
debut="X-Men" #107 (October, 1977)
creators=Chris Claremont
Dave Cockrum
alliances= Imperial Guard
species= Strontian
aliases=Captain Universe, Cal Kramer
powers= Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and durability
Energy beams from eyes
Freeze breath
Psionic abilities

Gladiator is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in "X-Men" #107 (October 1977) and was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Dave Cockrum.

Fictional character biography

Gladiator is the Praetor (leader) of the elite corps of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard — an army of powerful beings that enforce Shi'ar Imperial law on all planets within the Shi'ar Galaxy. The elite corps also protects and carries out the personal directives of the "majestor" or "majestrix" (emperor or empress) of the Shi’ar Empire.

Gladiator's first known encounter with Terrans occurs when the Imperial Guard battles the X-Men at the command of then-Shi'ar Emperor D'Ken. ["Uncanny X-Men" # 107-108] Gladiator and several members of the Guard fight the X-Men once more when new Shi'ar Empress Lilandra Neramani and Professor Charles Xavier arrange a trial by combat to decide the fate of the out of control Dark Phoenix. ["Uncanny X-Men" #137] Gladiator later aids the X-Men in battle against the renegade Imperial Guardsmen serving the traitorous Shi'ar, Lord Samedar. ["Uncanny X-Men" #155, 157]

Years later, Gladiator arrives on Earth and battles the Fantastic Four in the mistaken belief that they are Skrull shape-shifters. With the help of Spider-Man and Captain America the real Skrulls are exposed and captured. ["Fantastic Four" #249-250] Gladiator is also present at the intergalactic trial of Reed Richards for saving the life of Galactus. ["Fantastic Four" #261-262]

Lilandra's sister, Deathbird, stages a successful coup and becomes the new majestrix of the Shi'ar Empire. Despite Gladiator's loyalty to Lilandra and his qualms about certain aspects of Deathbird's rule, he continues to serve the Shi'ar Empire in his role as a Praetor of the Imperial Guard. It is during this period that Gladiator encounters and battles the Spaceknight, Rom ["Rom Annual" #4] and later a rogue alien. ["Marvel Comics Presents" #49] Deathbird later commands the entire Imperial Guard to fight the combined forces of the Starjammers and Excalibur so that she can claim the power of the Phoenix Force for herself. When Deathbird is struck down by a returning Lilandra, Gladiator orders the Guard to retreat.issue

Gladiator later battles the X-Men on behalf of Deathbird, but both he and Deathbird are defeated by them. ["Uncanny X-Men" #275] He temporarily falls under the control of the Warskrull impersonating Charles Xavier, and battles Gambit and the other X-Men. ["Uncanny X-Men" #277]

Meeting the Marvels

Gladiator also encounters two Avengers during "." Gladiator defeats Wonder Man but is then beaten by the Eric Masterson Thor. ["Thor" #445] Gladiator next appears alongside Beta Ray Bill; the Silver Surfer and others in the war against Tyrant, who is finally driven off by Galactus. ["Silver Surfer" vol. 3, #79 - 81] It is soon after this that Gladiator defends Shi'ar space and defeats Hyperion and battles Supreme until deadlocked and both retreat. ["Gladiator/Supreme" #1 (1997)]

When Lilandra later learns that many of Earth's heroes have sacrificed their lives to stop Onslaught, she dispatched eight members of the Imperial Guard — including Gladiator — to protect Earth. While on Earth, the Guard uncover a plot by a militant Kree faction who want revenge for Earth's involvement in the Kree/Shi'ar war. The plot is foiled, but not before the Supreme Intelligence is able to re-incorporate itself after supposedly being killed at the end of the war.

While on Earth, Gladiator also asks the X-Men to battle the alien menace known as the Phalanx on his behalf, and with the telepathic Guardsman Oracle find a fugitive from Shi'ar justice. This leads to a brief battle and defeat at the hands of the Hulk. ["Hulk" Annual 1997]

Gladiator and the Imperial Guard later return to active duty in Shi'ar space, and prevent an assassination attempt on Lilandra by Ronan the Accuser and his unwilling pawns, the royal family of the Inhumans. ["The Inhumans" vol. 3, # 1- 4]

After his Empress Lilandra — under the mental control of Charles Xavier's mutant twin sister Cassandra Nova — orders the destruction of all mutants on Earth, Gladiator leads the Guard in an assault on the X-Men's mansion home. Fortunately, the true threat is revealed and the Guard and the X-Men manage to defeat Nova and free Lilandra.

Gladiator returned to Earth under the command of Empress Lilandra in a mission to capture the Uni-Power and bring it back for evaluation. After an encounter with Susan Richards, Gladiator invites the Uni-Power back to the Shi'ar Empire as their guest. Although the Uni-Power agrees, it is captured en route by Krosakis, an energy leeching warlord who forces the Uni-Power into his body to become Captain Universe. Gladiator attempts to stop Krosakis but fails, with the warlord finally beaten by the Silver Surfer.

Gladiator battled the true Thor at the request of Zarrko the Tomorrow Man but was overpowered. ["Thor" vol. 2, #34 - 35] He travels with the entire Guard to confront Vulcan, a mutant determined to destroy the Shi'ar Empire. Although Vulcan kills several members of the Guard, Gladiator manages to finally defeat him and delivers Vulcan to a Shi'ar prison facility.

Powers and abilities

Gladiator possesses a number of superhuman capabilities as a result of his unique alien physiology. He possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, and reflexes, and is able to survive without breathing for an unrevealed period of time. The most powerful member of the Imperial Guard, Gladiator has performed feats such as lifting buildings; ["Fantastic Four" #249] staggering foes with heat vision said to burn hotter than the core of a sun, or freezing them in place with frost breath; ["Thor" vol. 2, #35] moving in space at hyper-speed and surviving supernovas. ["Fantastic Four" #249] He has been described as capable of ripping planets from their orbits, and collapsing stars with his bare hands. ["She-Hulk" vol.3 #7] Reed Richards theorized that Gladiator's powers were in part psionic, ["Fantastic Four" #250] that his abilities are linked in some way to his own self-confidence. It has also been discovered that Gladiator is vulnerable to some forms of radiation. ["Fantastic Four" vol. 1, #250; "Hulk" Annual 1997]

Other versions

In one alternate future, Gladiator battles Thor, then aids the Fantastic Four and Avengers against the menace to the universe posed by Galactus and the Black Celestial. ["Fantastic Four" #339-341] The Gladiator of Earth-2149 ("Marvel Zombies") ["Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes" one-shot (Sep. 2006)] appears as one of the infected and joins the "cosmic" zombies, ["Marvel Zombies 2" #1 (2007)] but is later killed in battle with the surviving humans and renegade zombies. ["Marvel Zombies 2" #3 (2007)]

In other media


Gladiator appears in "" (1992-97).

Video games

Gladiator is featured in the video game "" (2006) as a villain, and is voiced by Dave Wittenberg.


External links

* [ Gladiator] at

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