Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at the mightiest alien empire in the Marvel Universe, descended from birds: The Shi’ar
Appearances in Heroclix: X-Men Rise and Fall, House of X, X-Men Deep Cuts, Regenesis, X-Men Xavier’s School, Wizkids Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers vs. X-Men, Wolverine and the X-Men, Galactic Guardians: Annihilators, Galactic Guardians, Giant-Size X-Men, Supernova, Mutant Mayhem, Xplosion
First Appearance: X-Men #97
Notable Members: Lilandra, Deathbird, Korvus
Created by: Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum
The Shi’ar Empire expanded for untold centuries, swallowing up surrounding planetary systems and cultures. In the modern era, D’Ken Neramani attempts to use the fabled M’Kraan Crystal in order to conquer the rest of the universe. His younger sister, Lilandra, reaches out to the X-Men’s Professor Xavier to enlist their help in foiling her brother’s plans. With the help of the Phoenix, D’Ken is placed into a coma and the crystal is rendered harmless. Following this, Lilandra takes over as ruling Majestrix of the Empire.
Galactus is defeated on Earth and soon revived by Reed Richards. Following this revival, Galactus proceeds to consume the Skrull throneworld and kill billions. Because of this the Shi’ar decide to put Reed Richards on trial for these deaths. Uatu the Watch acts as Reed’s lawyer and enlists the help of Odin and the world devourer himself, Galactus. After an appearance of Eternity, the tribunal is shown the awful truth: Galactus is a necessary force of nature and ultimately betters the universe. As such, he can be held no more responsible for the damage he causes than a hurricane or meteor shower.
Deathbird, the exiled elder sibling of D’Ken and Lilandra, attempts to overthrow her sister several times. She attacks the X-Men and unleashes the Brood on the Earth to further these goals. She is eventually imprisonsed and given a chance at redepmtion when the Shi’ar annex the Kree Empire, being placed as viceroy of Hala. Deathbird, however, ultimately fails in this role.
The empire suffers several setbacks as the Phalanx infiltrates the empire and kills tens of thousands before being stopped by the X-Men. When Professor Xavier’s evil twin sister, Cassandra Nova, returns and takes control of his body, she uses it to take control of Lilandra and cause a civil war that destroys much of the empire.
In a weakened state, the empire decides that it must stop the threat of the all powerful Phoenix Force forever. It sends assassins after a recently resurrected Jean Grey though this ultiamtely fails. Following this failed plan, the Shi’ar instead attempt to wipe out the Grey bloodline hoping that it would prevent suitable hosts for the Phoenix Force. This plan decimates the Grey family without the knowledge of Lilandra.
Cyclops’ and Havok’s long lost brother, now calling himself Vulcan, was raised in Shi’ar slavery under D’Ken. After seemingly returning from the dead on Krakoa and battling the X-Men, Vulcan escapes into space intent on taking revenge on the Shi’ar. During the course of these attacks he is caught up in a plan to overthrow Lilandra and return D’Ken to position of Majestor. However, after the intervention of the X-Men, Vulcan kills D’Ken and his own father before taking the throne for himself with Deathbird as his queen.
Vulcan battles Lilandra and the Starjammers, now led by Havok, for months as the Shi’ar grow to resent an outsider ruling them. Though the Scy’ar Tal attemp to exact ancient revenge on the Shi’ar, they are ultimately foiled by a temporary truce between Vulcan and the Starjammers. Vulcan, however, double-crosses his brother and defeats both the Starjammers and the Scy’ar Tal before deciding to return to the empire throne world in victory.
Vulcan, alongside Black Bolt, is seemingly killed. In the power vacuum, Gladiator becomes Majestor of the Shi’ar Empire. Begrudgingly he surrenders to the Inhuman/Kree alliance before the Shi’ar military can be destroyed. During the war with the Builders, Gladiator represents the Shi’ar on the Galactic War Council.
Following the Event, the collapse and resurrection of the multiverse, Gladiator has threatened Black Panther’s Alpha Flight with war. This comes as a result of Black Panther unilaterally deciding to transform Galactus from a world devourer to a world builder, upsetting the balance of the universe.