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Dominus's Minions
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 own time.

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

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