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Wendell Vaughn Interview
With reader response to our first issue still wending its way through the U.S. postal system (you have written, haven't you?), we thought we'd fill the top portion of "Stellargrams" this month with a special in-depth look at the star of this magazine - in his own words, no less. Assistant Editor David Wohl contacted Edwin Jarvis, the Avengers' public liaison, and arranged for the East Coast Avengers' newest recruit to be interviewed by his magazine's editor, Howard Mackie. Quasar arrived at the scheduled time at the window of Howard and David's office, was let in, and sat for a fifteen minute interview. The following is a transcription.

Howard Mackie: When you learned that Marvel Comics wanted to give you your own feature, what was your reaction?

Quasar: I was flabbergasted. I read Marvel Comics voraciously when I was a kid, and I always kind'a figured that only the real heavyweight heroes got their own books - you know, guys like Cap, Thor, and Iron Man. I just never dreamed it would happen to me.

David Wohl: Ah, it's not such a big deal. Don't forget Nova and Speedball had their own books, too.

HM: I'm sure he's aware of that, David. Anyway, Quasar, this has really been some year for you. Not only did you get your own comic book - which I must say is a pleasure to be working on, despite an occasional run-in with the writer --

Q: Mark Gruenwald?

HM: Yeah, that's him. Uh, not only did you get your own comic, but you were also appointed Protector of the Universe and made an Avenger! You've really become this season's hot ticket, huh?

Q: I guess.

HM: I have a pretty good idea of what it must be like being an Avenger, seeing as how I edit both AVENGERS titles, but what's it like being Protector of the Universe? What's the job entail?

Q: I'm still too new at it to say, Howard. The universe is one ah, heck of a big place, and me - I've never even been to the end of our solar system yet. It's not like I have to spend my time patrolling space like some cosmic policeman or anything. According to Eon, I've been specially appointed for one particular universe-class menace which he knows will originate in space, will come to earth, and will try to kill him. Assuming I manage to save Eon and the universe from whatever this one threat is, I have no idea what my mission will be after that. Maybe Eon will take the Protector of the Universe job away from me then, I don't know.

HM: Tell us about Eon. How can a guy - for lack of a better term - be cosmically aware and not be able to identify the being that wants to kill him? Doesn't cosmically aware mean "omniscient"?

Q: I don't think so. I think "cosmically aware" means you have access to all the knowledge in and of the whole universe. Think of it as like having a computer with every single bit of data there is stored inside it. Just because it's in there, doesn't mean you can instantly sift through and find the particular datum you're looking for. It takes time to wade through the sum total of all knowledge in the universe even at the speed of thought! And it's not like you can call up an infinite amount of information and concentrate on it all at once. I'm sure Eon spends all his spare time sifting through the vast storehouse of his personal database trying to piece together clues to his would-be killer.

HM: The artist of your magazine --

Q: Paul Ryan.

HM: Right. He draws Eon at various sizes. What size is Eon really?

Q: He can alter his size. I've seen him anywhere from 25 inches to 25 feet. I think it depends on his mood or something.

DW: I have a question about Eon - What's he smell like?

Q: Smell? Um, let's see . . . I guess a musty organic sort of smell, something like potatoes kept in a cool cellar.

HM: Ahem. Let me ask you a few questions about your background.

Q: Shoot.

HM: It says in your MARVEL UNIVERSE bio that you were born in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, yet the information you gave us for your first issue placed your mother in Oshkosh, Wisconsin?

Q: That's right. Both my folks lived in Oshkosh at the time I was born - my dad was teaching at the university there, but because my mother was visiting friends in Fond du Lac - which is 20 miles south of Oshkosh - I happened to be born there.

DW: Yeah, we know where Oshkosh is. Gruenwald once tricked me and Howard into visiting his home town and driving back to New York with him.

Q: I was wondering about that. Was Mark given my book to write because he and I both happen to be from Oshkosh, or is that just a coincidence?

HM: Gruenwald did use that as one of the 101 reasons why he should be given the assignment. But enough about your background. Your parents - ?

Q: My dad's a former physics teacher who took a job in research at Stark International when I was a senior in high school. He's been transferred all over the country, but now lives in Connecticut. My mom's a librarian at the Oshkosh Public Library. She and Dad uh, divorced around the time Dad got his job at Stark. I've got one sister, who's five years younger than me, named Gayle. She's a student at UW-Oshkosh.

DW: Is she cute?

HM: David! So where did you go to school?

Q: Two years at UW-O, then I enrolled in SHIELD for its four year agent training program.

HM: That's where you got your quantum-bands according to our first issue. So how do you feel about SHIELD having gone out of business?

Q: When I read about it in Now Magazine, I couldn't believe it. Still, I'm sure Colonel Fury had good reasons. I hear from a few ex-agents that he's been great about helping guys in the organization find new jobs. Whatever the story is, I can't believe that the Colonel's going to stay in retirement for long.

HM: After SHIELD, you went to Project: Pegasus, right? Did you see the trade paperback we did of your adventures there?

Q: Uh, no.

HM: David, call Ralph Macchio and ask him if he has a spare copy of Quasar could have.

DW: Yessir, massuh.

HM: Do you have any hankering to go back to the Project?

Q: Sure. I hope to drop in for a visit - see who's still around from my tenure there as security chief - soon as I get settled down in my new office, find an apartment, things like that.

DW: I think you should get it out of the way by issue #7.

Q: I'll (ha) bear that in mind.

HM: Where are you living right now?

Q: I'm staying at my father's house in Fairfield, Connecticut. Being able to fly makes the commute into New York a breeze. I hope to find an apartment in the city once I can afford it. Right now scraping up the cash to start my own business isn't leaving me a penny to spare on such frivolities as a place of my own to live!

DW: I have a question. Your name is Wendell Vaughn, right?

Q: Yes, though I hope to keep that from becoming public knowledge, so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't print it.

HM: No problem.

Q: You want to know how I keep my identity a secret without a mask, huh? Well, for one thing I wear a pair of glasses and comb my hair different in my civvies. For another, I try to keep my energy-aura up when I make public appearances as Quasar so no one gets a clear look at me.

DW: That's not what I was gonna ask, Quaze. I was gonna ask what people call a guy named Wendell for short. You've got kind of an unusual name, no offense.

Q: Oh. Ha. Well, my parents call me by my full name or "Sonner," my sister calls me "Wendy" to get my goat, my friends at SHIELD called me "Wen," and for a while in high school, when I really hated my name, my buddies called me by my middle name, "Elvis."

HM: David, time is limited. Let's only ask him questions our readers will be interested in. Quasar, how about telling us who some of your favorite heroes are.

Q: First and foremost, Captain America. He's incredible, the very definition of a hero. Even with all my cosmic power, I have serious doubts I could beat him at anything. Then there's the Thing. He's great, too. He acts gruff but he's the world's biggest softie. I've got great respect for Colonel Fury, too. I guess those would be my top three.

HM: Have you met any other cosmic heroes?

Q: Well, I had a run-in with Firelord - I don't know if you'd consider an ex-herald of Galactus a hero - sure, why not? He did help us against Super-Nova. Um, that's all I can think of offhand.

HM: Are you curious at all about Captain Mar-Vell, your predecessor as Protector of the Universe?

Q: I'll say. One of the first things I did after being made a provisional Avenger was tap the Avengers files for all they had on Mar-Vell. He seemed like an incredible guy. I wish I'd been able to meet him.

HM: One last question and we'll let you go. If your quantum- bands don't come off, how come no one notices them when you're in you civvies?

Q: I bend light around them so they look invisible.

DW: Wait, I have one last question, too.

HM: It'd better be good.

DW: Quaze, what color should we make that funky headband of yours?

Q: Doesn't really matter. I got a drawer full of them - red, blue, black. I put on whichever one seems the least sweaty.
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