Dominus, the sentient computerized complex of alien machinery that rules the extraterrestrial
race known both as the Arcane and as the Quiets, employed a number of servants
in contending with the costumed champions who opposed its recent attempt to conquer
the Earth. One of these minions was a human being, Sunstroke. The others were
sentient beings created from lizards, cacti, and even rocks by means of Dominus's
alien technology. Sunstroke led the rest of Dominus's servitors.
Butte was created from Inanimate rock. Dominus not only gave Butte life and
a humanoid form, but endowed it with a female persona. Butte had superhuman
strength and was as resistant to damage as solid granite. Because of its unusual
nature, Butte was difficult to kill. It was necessary to demolish Butte totally
in order to kill it.
Cactus, as its name Indicates, was created from a large cactus plant. It could
walk, speak, see, hear and move from "arms" as a human being can.
If one of its arms was severed, it could grow a new one within an instant. Cactus
could shoot its sharp spines at an opponent at will, and rapidly grow new ones
to replace those it had lost.
Gila was created from an ordinary Earth gila monster, a poisonous lizard native
to the deserts of the American West. Gila could talk and walk on its hind legs.
It had superhuman strength and could use its tail as a weapon in battle. Like
normal gila monsters, it relied on its sense of smell more than on its sense
of sight for its awareness of its surroundings.
Previous to its gaining sentience, Dominus was employed by the Arcane in their
conquest of other planets. The agent of the Arcane known on Earth as Lucifer
attempted to use Dominus to conquer the Earth, but was thwarted through the
efforts of Professor Charles Xavier
and his team of mutant X-Men. After achieving sentience
and independent will, Dominus returned to Earth to conquer the planet where
Lucifer had failed. Dominus created its minions, Butte, Cactus and Gila, and
recruited Sunstroke to serve as guards to battle Xavier's forces should they
interfere with Dominus's plans.
Dominus and its minions were based in a mountain in the Arizona desert. Dominus's
minions attacked the West Coast Avengers when the
latter arrived in the area in search of Bonita Juarez, who is known as Firebird.
The Avengers confronted Dominus and its minions in their lair, but were dispatched
by Dominus into the past via a time machine. Eventually, with the help of Dr.
Henry Pym, Firebird and the Moon Knight, the Avengers returned to their
This time Dominus sent Sunstroke, the original Butte, Cactus, and Gila, and
numerous duplicates of the latter three into action against the Avengers. In
total, forty-nine beings created by Dominus accompanied Sunstroke into battle
with the Avengers. The Avengers nevertheless triumphed over seemingly overwhelming
odds, defeating all of these opponents. Finally, Dominus itself went mad through
its inability to understand Moon Knight's ability to resist its mind-control
powers. (Dominus did not realize it could only take control of one of Moon Knights
multiple personalities each time it attempted to dominate his will.) Dominus's
core escaped into outer space, and its mountain headquarters collapsed, presumably
killing any of its minions that had survived the battle with the Avengers. The
Avengers themselves escaped safely, as did Sunstroke. It is also possible that
duplicates of Butte, Cactus, and Gila were not caught in the collapse of Dominus's
mountain and exist at present on Earth.
First Appearance: WEST COAST AVENGERS (Vol. 2) #17