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How Marvel Turned an Infinity Stone Into a New Superhero

Ripley Ryan Star Marvel Comic

Marvel's Star comic series launches next January, putting a spotlight on one of Marvel's newest heroes. A superhero with one of the strangest possible origin stories: merging with an Infinity Stone to become master of reality itself.

Originally introduced to Marvel Comics as the Soul Gems, the Infinity Stones first appeared in Jim Starlin's Warlock, where Thanos attempted to use them to destroy the stars, and the universe with them. Thankfully Adam Warlock defeated him with the help of the Avengers, although Thanos and other cosmic villains would try to abuse their power many more times. Perhaps the most powerful of them all was the Reality Stone, capable of rewriting reality and making nearly anything the user imagines possible. But Star isn't using the Reality Stone. She IS the Reality Stone.

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The Infinity Gems only became more important when they were used to form the backbone of Marvel's Infinity War and Endgame saga. They were first called by name in Thor: The Dark World, which also established the power of the Reality Stone (referred to then as the Aether). When Thanos got a hold of it in Infinity War as part of his mission to collect all six, audiences saw how powerful it could be, creating a fictional reality to deceive his daughter Gamora, and turning Guardian of the Galaxy Mantis into a living ribbon. And reducing Star-Lord's gunfire to harmless bubbles.

Captain Marvel Comic Cover Star

But how about its new host? Star, a.k.a. Ripley Ryan debuted this spring in Kelly Thompson and Carmen Carnero's first issue of Captain Marvel. Interrupting Captain Marvel's date with James Rhodes the War Machine to interview her for Ms. Magazine, Ripley got caught in a fight with Nuclear Man. After being imprisoned behind a barrier built around Roosevelt Island, Ripley joined Captain Marvel's army of deadly women to liberate the island. soon after (and completely unknown to Carol Danver) Ripley was approached by Dr. Minerva of the alien Kree Empire for an experiment in creating Kree/human hybrids.

With a taste of superheroism still fresh on her tongue, Ripley volunteered, and ended up as the only surviving test subject. Since she still didn't receive the superpowers Dr. Minerva had promised her--and resenting Captain Marvel for not being 'strong enough'--Ripley decided to steal her powers from Captain Marvel instead. Using her new powers, Ripley adopted the secret identity 'Star' to fight on Minerva's behalf. Meanwhile, turning the world against Captain Marvel by exposing her alien heritage to the public.

reality stone ripley ryan

When Carol discovered the master plan, she risked sacrificing herself to remove Star's power--before the villain-in-disguise revealed she would go as far as draining the life of millions of New Yorkers to fuel her superpowers instead. Thankfully Captain Marvel managed to eliminate the source of Ripley's powers (publicly, restoring her status among the general public), allowing her to send Star/Ripley to the Marvel Universe's super-prison, the Raft. But the final pages of that apparent victory delivered the biggest twist Infinity Stone enthusiasts have witnessed in months.

The Reality Stone materialized inside Star's chest, allowing her to alter reality so she could fly out of the inescapable prison with ease. A twist for the readers, but one that makes perfect sense to Ripley, thinking: "Somehow I don't just possess the Reality Stone: I am the Reality Stone." How did the Reality Stone merge with Star? And will her new series see her playing the villain or becoming a hero? Answers are coming when Star #1 drops in January.

Star #1 will be available at your local comic shop on January 8th, 2020.

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