CURRENT MEMBERS: Arc, Astra,
Blackthorn, Commando (M'Nell), Cosmo, Delphos, Earthquake,
Electron, Fader, Fang,
Flashfire (Grannz), Gladiator,
Glom, Hardball, Impulse,
Magique, Manta, Mentor,
Monstra, N'rill'iree, Neosaurus, Nightside, Oracle,
Plutonia, Schism, Scintilla, Smasher (Vril Rokk), Starbolt,
FORMER MEMBERS: Black Light, Blimp, Fang,
Mammoth, Moondancer (Myla), Neutron, Onslaught, Solar Wind, Squorm,
Stuff, Triton, Voyager (Divad), Warstar,
Webwing, White Noise, Zenith
BASE OF OPERATIONS: Intergalactic
FIRST APPEARANCE: X-Men #107 (1977)
HISTORY: The Imperial Guard is a legion of super-powered
champions from throughout the intergalactic Shi'ar
Empire who act as enforcers of Imperial law. An elite corps of
the Guard, dubbed Superguardians, protects the ruling emperor
(majestor) or empress (majestrix) and carries out their personal
directives. The other divisions, the Borderers, aid the governors
of conquered worlds in enforcing Shi'ar law.
Each division of the Guard has a leader known as a praetor. While
some Guardsmen are capable of flight under their own power, all
members wear anti-gravity devices that permit them to fly. On
occasions when a member of the Guard falls in battle, another
member of that Guardsman's race is often chosen to replace them
in the Guard's ranks, as has occurred with the Guardsmen named
When the X-Men sought to rescue the Princess-Majestrix
Lilandra from her
insane brother, then-Majestor D'Ken, they fought members of the
Guard. The X-Men and the Guard subsequently clashed again after
Lilandra had assumed the Shi'ar throne and sought to end the universal
threat posed by the Phoenix Force, which had assumed the form
of X-Man Jean Grey.
The Guard defeated the X-Men, but allowed them to return to Earth
after Phoenix seemingly committed suicide.
Later, the exiled Shi'ar Deathbird
manipulated the Guard into believing the X-Men had kidnapped her
sister, Lilandra. Despite the truth being revealed, Deathbird
was able to usurp the throne and forced the Guard to aid her in
a search for the powerful "Phalkon," which was revealed
to be the Phoenix Force, then wielded by Rachel
Summers. In the ensuing clash with the Starjammers
and Phoenix's teammates in Excalibur,
Deathbird and the Guard were defeated.
Later, Deathbird and the Guard were captured by members of the
shape shifting alien Skrulls.
Deathbird was able to escape and enlisted the X-Men's aid in defeating
the Skrulls, after which she abdicated the throne to Lilandra.
However, the Skrulls were able to incite a war between the Shi'ar
and the Kree that spilled over into Earth space, resulting in
the Guard clashing with the Avengers. The war ended after the
Kree population was decimated, leaving Lilandra with no other
choice but to conquer the remaining Kree.
During the time when many Earth heroes were believed dead after
a battle with the psionic being Onslaught,
Lilandra dispatched a cadre of Guardsmen to help protect Earth.
There, the Guardsmen uncovered a plot by a militant Kree faction
to exact revenge for Earth's involvement in the Kree/Shi'ar war.
The Guard ultimately proved triumphant, but not before the Kree's
leader, the Supreme Intelligence, was recreated. Soon after, the
Guard foiled an assassination attempt on Lilandra by the Kree
Ronan and his unwilling agents, the Inhumans'
After Lilandra came under the mental possession of Cassandra
Nova, the genetic twin of Xavier
who had usurped her brother's body, she was mentally coerced into
dispatching the Guard to kill the X-Men. After a pitched battle,
the X-Men were able to convince the Guard of the true threat,
and together they defeated Nova and freed Lilandra. Most recently,
the entire 300 member Guard came together to combat the threat
of the Skornn, however the creature was dispatched by X-Force
just as the Guard arrived in Earth's orbit.
Battled X-Men over fate of Phoenix (X-Men #135-137, 1980)
Participated in Kree/Shi'ar War (Captain America #398/Avengers
West Coast #80-82/Quasar #32-33/Avengers #345, 347/Thor #445-446,
On Earth, battled Kree Underground Militia (Imperial Guard #1-3,
Sought to prevent assassination of Lilandra by Inhumans (Inhumans
With X-Men, battled Cassandra Nova (New X-Men #122-126, 2002)
Entire Guard assembled to battle Skornn (X-Force #4-5, 2004-2005)