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This page is about the Shi'ar as a species. For the Shi'ar as a group, please refer to the Shi'ar Empire page.

Quote1 Sharra and K'ythri are the gods in marriage. The gods who didn't want to marry, but were forced into it. In marriage they found strength and in strength they found love. That's what the Shi'ar Imperium does. It marries other cultures. Shotgun weddings. Quote2

The Shi'ar are an avian-descended humanoid race of extraterrestrial beings that hail from the planet Chandilar, located in the large Shi'ar Galaxy. They are technologically advanced and extremely militaristic, conquering every world in their galaxy and forming the Shi'ar Empire.


See Shi'ar Empire.



The Shi'ar descended from avian ancestors,[5] and had common, remote ancestry with the Spartoi.[6] The Shi'ar also had a light, but strong skeleton.[7]

According to the Kin Crimson, the reduction of the more Avian traits of the Shi'ar was due to the interference of the Xorrians.[8]

General Structure[]

The Shi'ar are humanoids of avian descent who resembled humans with feathered crests atop their heads in lieu of hair. Two different styles were common: Most Shi'ar had feathers sprouting in a triangular shape away from the face, one peak on the top of the head and one peak on each side slightly over the shoulder, while the other commonly seen "hair" style was bushy on both sides and very flat on the top.[9] Originally, their appearance more closely resembled that of the Harpies before their genetic modification.[8]

Vestigial Wings[]

Internally, they had light hollow bones, and on their forearms there were still some vestigial feathers left of wings that were lost over millions of years of evolution. The average Shi'ar could lift one ton in earth-like gravity and had far greater stamina.[9][10]

In the time of T'kyll Alabar, Shi'ar had feathered wings.[11]

Genetic Throwbacks[]

While that trait mostly disappeared in modern Shi'ar, some were genetic throwbacks, such as Deathbird.[12] For that throwback, Deathbird was considered a mutant.[13]


The Shi'ar female possess mammary glands and are viviparous,[14] but some Shi'ar are artificially conceived in eggs, nurtured in special chambers and the children were referred to as hatchlings.[15][16][17]


The Shi'ar could cross with humans to produce hybrids,[18] at least by the way of the bio-engineering.[17][19] All the known specimens of those cross-breds are Mutants, with the possible exception for Warbird.[20]
List of the known Shi'ar/mutant hybrids.

The Shi'ar can also produce offspring by the Mephitisoids, the Jath'che.[21] Sav'rkk was a Shi'ar and Skrull hybrid.[22]

Other characteristics[]

The Shi'ar have more chakras than humans.[23]

Shi'ar do not dream, except for those born "defective",[24] "infected by dreams".[25] Such "defective" Shi'ar include Warbird (Ava'Dara Naganandini)[24] and the Shi'ar having survived the Fianden's weapons (all executed by their empire afterwards).[25]

Alternate Reality Versions[]

See Alternate Realities Shi'ar History.

Powers and Abilities


The average Shi'ar can lift 1 ton in earth-like gravity and has far greater stamina. They had more durability than humans as they could survive damages that would usually kill a normal human.[26] Most Shi'ar have no other special abilities, though some are genetic throwbacks. These individuals possess wings which allow them to fly. Genetic throwback winged Deathbird is considered a mutant.[13]

In one 2099 possible future (Earth-32098), Xavier even gathered a galactic alliance of mutants in the Universal X-Alliance, including Cyclops/Apocalypse posing as a Shi'ar member of the Alliance.[27]

Some individuals have manifested supershi'ar-powers, such as Electron (magnetism),[28] the Rook'shir (Phoenix Force utilisation),[28] Deathcry (purple skin, enhanced agility, and claws),[28] Dakari (extremely powerful),[28] White Noise (acoustikinesis), and Black Light (Darkforce manipulation). Those Shi'ar are presented as isolated individuals[28] and not as a biological unity.

To be noted that Deathcry, White Noise, Black Light and Deathbird are all part of the Neramani family (the Imperial family), and that Rook'shir transmitted his Phoenix Force manipulation power to his descendants (including Korvus), who are the only ones able to wield the Blade of the Phoenix.[29]

Some Shi'ar possess telepathic abilities.[30]

Average Strength Level

Superhuman, at least 1 ton with intensive exercise.[9] According to Wasp, Shi'ar aren't stronger than Humans.[31]


A Shi'ar's blood doesn't generate its own heat, and therefore they cannot survive long in the snow.[24]



Warm areas where snow was never present.[24]


60 billion.[citation needed]


Type of Government

Though the empire grew to include hundreds of thousands of different sentient species and worlds, the Shi'ar race controlled and governed the empire. Its central base of power was located on the "throneworld" Chandilar,[32] while the Shi'ar homeworld was called Aerie (it is unknown if the planets are distinct, or their "Terra" equivalent).[33] The leader of the empire was given the title Majestor (male) or Majestrix (female) and was a hereditary position, occupied by members of the royal family of the Shi'ar who possess complete executive power. The Neramani family was the most recent to represent the royal bloodline.[34]

The leader of the empire was protected by his or her own personal guard, the Imperial Guard, which was made up of the most powerful and elite soldiers from throughout the Empire, and led by a praetor. The military itself (outside of the Imperial Guard) consisted almost exclusively of Shi'ar personnel, at least in most of the command positions.[citation needed]

Not all races had the same rights in the Imperium, as the Shi'ar appeared to have a disproportionate influence on its governance.[citation needed]

It was nominally ruled over by a high council, which had representatives from a large majority of the alien races that existed within the Imperium. However, in practice, the head of the council (the Majestor or Majestrix) exercised strong executive control and could institute policy virtually by decree.[35] The Shi'ar High Council serves as an advisory body to the Shi'ar Majestrix or Majestor.[34]

Children have no voice in Shi'ar Society until they have passed the rite of passage.[36]

The Shi'ar Empire was one of the most advanced and expansive civilizations in the universe, spanning entire galaxies.[37] It was mainly an economic co-operative, where trade with other galactic powers was its driving force.[36]


According to the texts of an arcane Shi'ar law, any child born in the High Palace of Chandilar may rise to become royalty.[30] Such process was officiated by the majestor D'ken during a royal wedding.[38]

Royal weddings are celebrated "in the grand traditions of the Aerie", "upholding the laws of" the Shi'ar, by both a priest and the majestor.[38] The ruler's consort held a limited degree of power and decision making.[39]

The protocol states the majestor must be removed from a planet where the Phoenix is present.[40]

The throne goes to the eldest living heir,[34] or possibly to the consort of the previous ruler. If there isn't any consort or children, the throne is passed to the next eldest living heir.[41]

An exiled oldest heir is ignored in the succession,[34] as well as a condemned traitor.[41][42]

The claiming of the throne can be done by right of blood and combat and right of succession. That includes the case of a royalty member assassinating the majestor.[38]

The insanity of a majestor cause the succession to the next legitimate ruler.[41]

Restricted areas[]

The Shi'ar High Council's starways is public access restricted,[43] the rule allowing to consider hostile and destroy the trespassers.[44]

Other areas like the Asteroid Archipelago are all access forbidden.[30]

While pursuing rebel Lilandra was upon to enter Earth's planetary atmosphere, crewman Mr. S'lar mentioned the "Prime directive" as stopping them from keeping the pursue, objection dismissed by Captain K'rk.[45] The exact content of the Prime directive is unknown.

Shi'ar Worlds and Segregation[]

The Shi'ar recruited worlds into their empire by launching conversion mission that involved enlightening them while in the constant presence of Shi'ar fleet.[46] The worlds ruled by Shi'ar possess different degrees of autonomy, from virtual independence to virtual martial law. That status depends on various factors, notably their loyalty.[34]

Non-Shi'ar from loyal worlds are allowed to serve in the space fleet in positions below command levels. Members of species regarded as primitive or of dubious loyalty are often used as slaves.[34]


The known elements of Laws of the Shi'ar Empire,[47] also known as Shi'ar law,[34][48] or Imperial Law,[34] it was heavily influenced by the Voldi's law.[49]

Galactic Council[]

There is a blurry limit between Shi'ar Law and matters, and Galactic Council or Tribunal matter.

Although the Council decisions are made under the tradition and laws of the Shi'ar, both are distinct and Shi'ar law can't be invoked to counter Council decisions.[48] In other cases, it is the Shi'ar who rule the tribunal.[50][40]

In Galactic assemblies, the verdict is rendered by using the great Glow Globes, a number of globes transmitting the emotions and judgements of all present (accused, witnesses, prosecution, defense), making them judge and jury. If all the globes turn white, the verdict is not guilty and the trial end.[51]


Apart from the Council decisions, the Shi'ar Law is seemingly ruled by different bodies of law: canon law,[52] civil law,[52] and also imperial edicts,[52] decrees from the senate[53] or the empress,[54] and the personal directives of the majestor or majestrix.[34]

The Shivarn'n Halanau (imperial consort)'s orders are lawful commands, and must be obeyed (until a certain point).[39]

However, an emergency senate was assembled after Cassandra Nova's plots. That senate was able to decree the withdrawal of all Shi'ar citizens from Earth during the "disinfection period" (the time during which the Phoenix was supposed to purge Earth from the mutants), and therefore cancel the wedding of Empress Lilandra and Charles Xavier,[53] although the union itself was dissolved by Lilandra herself.[55]

The Shi'ar consider their laws to have to be respected across the galaxy, and intervene on Earth.[47]

Trials are held at the Galactic Tribunal,[50] also known as the Tribunal,[40] Shi'ar Tribunal, or Imperium Tribunal(s),[56] where other species' representatives concerned by the trial of time-displaced young Jean Grey were invited.[40]

The Shi'ar Imperial Guard acts as an enforcers of Shi'ar law:[34]

  • The larger division, known as Borderers, aids the governors of conquered worlds in enforcing Shi'ar law.[34]
  • The elite corps, known as Imperial Guard, protects and carries out the personal directives of the majestor or majestrix.[34]

The Shi'ar Death Commandos are duly constituted agents of the Shi'ar Imperium.[57]

Once judged under civil law, one is condemned by imperial edict.[52]

Arin'nn Haelar is a trial by combat[48] (or dual of honor)[58] and can also be used as a recourse in Shi'ar law.[48]

Allegedly, this challenge cannot be refused. It was once used during a Tribunal session,[58] but its use wasn't allowed as a recourse in a council decision.[48]

Such combat can involve teams for each party.[58]

Trial by combat can't be invoked in the Challenge of the Gods.[59]

In Council decisions, there is no recourse, including from Shi'ar Law.[48]

The High Council can seemingly lift some charges (such as treason) in some cases.[41][42]

Under Shi'ar Law, a party is owed vengeance against another party who has caused suffering to it or its family (an attack on a party's family being considered as an attack against the party's self).[60]

The Shi'ar law seems to apply multiple kind of procedures, including the M'ndavian Procedures, allegedly the most perfect legal system in the galaxy, and used by Reed Richards during his trial by the Galactic Tribunal.[51]

A party is held responsible at the fullest extents of Shi'ar Law for the damages caused by an assisted or allied another party.[51][61]

The Shi'ar justice doesn't acknowledge mental illness, as it has no frame or reference for it.[62]

The responsibility and level of guilt is either complete or absent, without anything in between.[62]

In the case of a trial involving the Phoenix Force for crimes of genocide, the Shi'ar didn't recognize the fact of being only the counterpart to the guilty part.[56][47][40][50] Such interpretation of the law was rejected by King J-Son of Spartax[50][40] and by the Kree Supreme Intelligence.[50]


Various sanctions exists regarding the crime.

Leading a rebellion make the rebel leader branded by law as a traitor.[41][42]

Some crimes (possibly such as matricide on a royalty) can result in the stripping of rank and name, and exile.[63]

Regicide leads to exile,[34] although a royalty Shi'ar can slay the majestor and claim the throne.[38] An attempt of murder from Christopher Summers on Majestor D'ken result in a penalty of death by slow torture, starting with the murder of Summers' wife, and his imprisonment in the star pits.[63]

Other prison sentences exists:

  • Some convicts are imprisoned into the Kyln, for crimes such as treason, mass murders...[62]
  • Others (some only known from a few people in the Imperium), such as Vulcan or Deathbird, are imprisoned in the third moon of Phygim, the highest security prison in all Shi'ar Space.[54]
  • Criminals can be consigned to "slave pits", as well as rebel leaders.[34]
  • Criminals would be turned into Imperial Shocktroopers through a series of cybernetic experiments that deprived them of pain and will, as a result they were forced to serve the Empire. These shocktroopers were kept in a state of sleep, but they still retained their minds as they sought to die and be free of this new state of living.[64]
  • In the case of Charles Xavier, he was sentenced to enter the M'kraan Crystal.[38]

Many sanctions apply to the Phoenix and its hosts:

  • Rook'shir, an outlaw possessed by the Phoenix, was executed in the end of a battle.[29]
  • Under canon law, the Phoenix host is ritually branded with the Deathmark to become traceable.[52]
  • The whole genome of an host can be erased on order of the Majestrix.[52][65]
  • For 400 cycles, the Rook'shir males were all enslaved and killed, their mothers sterilized.[55]

Although a sentence commuting was offered to Korvus Rook'shir in exchange for his assistance.[55][29]


The Shi'ar Empire often establish treaties with other entities.

At the point of the return of the Skornn, the Shi'ar had a non-aggression treaty with Earth.[66]

As part of the "Early Warning Treaty" existing between Alpha Flight and the Shi'ar Empire, the Shi'ar were allowed to monitor Earth and check all known Phoenix nests once per Shi'ar year.[67]

Level of Technology

Highly advanced; Shi'ar technology was based on nanomatrices,[68] and described as being sentient.[69] Their technology included Logic Diamonds-based computers,[70] sleeping modules,[71] med-tech,[72] anti-telepathic brain implants,[73] holographic projections,[64][69] memory record,[74] destructive weaponry,[75][76][77] warp-drive starships,[78] and Stargate space-warping technology that allows for instantaneous travel between galaxies.[79][45] According to Beast, the Shi'ar Empire is a "highly advanced type 5 space civilization",[80] presumably on the Kardashev scale.

Cultural Traits

The Shi'ar were a warrior and arrogant race,[81][64] having bred warriors that were held as the pinnacle of their civilization.[37] The Shi'ar respected those who defeated or induced fear in them.[82] From a young age, the Shi'ar were told to be strong and merciful, and not fall to their enemies' plea.[83]


Main article: Shi'ar Dictionary

The Shi'ar official language was known as Shi'arese.[84] A Shi'ar "galaxian" stated that they "learn[ed] nearly every spoken languages".[82]

The Shi'ar have multiple forms, including the High Shi'ar, used for formal events,[36] and Shi'ar Glorkon dialect.[40]

Mostly for tactical terms or insults, the Shi'ar insert words of their language into English sentences.[citation needed]


The Shi'ar are defiant toward arts such as drawing or music. They considered that music distorted perception.[24]

They fought the Fianden, a species of artists, musicians, singers, painters and carvers... with such beautiful creations that it could enter the Shi'ar and destroy their minds, save for those "defective", able to dream.[85]

Although, the Shi'ar did not forbid arts on conquered worlds,[24] and they at least produce theatre, such as the Absurdist Shi'ar play "The Spaceship That Wasn't There" (allegedly very "successful in its dialectic".[86]


Traditionally, the Imperium aggressively absorbed new cultures. The story of the Shi'ar deities Sharra and K'ythri was a parable which guided the Shi'ar expansionist philosophy to other worlds: Sharra and K'ythri didn't love each other and were against marriage. However, they were forced to marry each other, and in their unison they found strength. Because of this, the Shi'ar consider their conquests shotgun marriages between the Empire and other cultures which would make them more powerful.[87]

Their philosophy and traditions impacts the Shi'ar Law in violent ways (Arin'nn Haelar, a trial by combat)[48] or uncompromising, such as the fact Shi'ar courts don't recognize insanity.[62]


The Phoenix Force was known to the Shi'ar as a powerful being representing the "End-of-All-That-Is".[52] The ancient Shi'ar had worshipped the god known as Ratha'kon the Hawk God as a predatory being which opposed the Phoenix Force. Although his worship has been mostly forgotten in modern times, a small Shi'ar sect the Fraternity of Raptors still remembered him.[88]

The modern Shi'ar were mostly followers of Sharra and K'ythri, but atheists exist as well.[89] The believers go to church.[90]

In the Shi'ar belief, K'ythri promised the Eternal Sky as an afterlife to the faithful.[36]

The Feast Day of Sharra and K'ythri is one of the religious moments of the Shi'ar Empire, and is always used as a pretext for a ceremonial display of military might.[91]

No other imperial religion like cults or religious uprisings were allowed to exist, with the deities Sharra and K'ythri being the only gods recognized by the Empire.[92]

Deathbird occasionally invoked "Shigon's bones" which may be referring to a divine ancestor or historical figure instead of a deity.[93][94] Gladiator once prayed to Rao.[95] Who or what is Rao is unknown so far.


The Shi'ar had a royal bank that housed millions of credits.[96] The Shi'ar also began using the Sol, a new form of currency made out of Mysterium, after recognizing Planet Arakko as the capital of the Sol System.[97]


The Shi'ar celebrated the Great Ornithery Festival in which they danced and drank beneath colorful lights and feathers, and it was a chance for young Shi'ar warriors to prove their mettle against their enemies.[98]



  • X-Men writer Ed Brubaker compared the Shi'ar to Star Trek's Romulans, saying they are "smart, aggressive, and mean".[99]
  • The correct spelling is "Shi'ar", with the capital letter only on the S,[100] and is misspelled "Shi'Ar" on some occasions.[101][102]
  • The adjective form of the name can be both Shi'ar[citation needed] or Shi'arian.[103]


  • The Shi'ar appeared to have a disdain for the Kree as they had an old saying that the stain of the Kree touch could never fade away.[104]
  • The Shi'ar were thought to appear in Dark Phoenix,[105][106][107] but they ended up not appearing.
  • Shi'ar flesh apparently tastes disgusting.[108]

See Also

Links and References


  1. X-Men (Vol. 4) #19
  2. X-Men '92 (Vol. 2) #7
  3. Uncanny X-Men #163
  4. Deathbird says "I am of the Aerie, the royal nest of Shi'ar" in Uncanny X-Men #157. This suggests that Aerie might be the capitol building or even some section of that building (royal family creche?) rather than the name of the planet.
  5. X-Men #107
  6. Inhumans (Vol. 3) #3
  7. Taskmaster (Vol. 2) #4
  8. 8.0 8.1 Marauders (Vol. 2) #3
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (Vol. 2) #7
  10. Classic X-Men #14
  11. Avengers #379
  12. All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z: Update #3
  13. 13.0 13.1 Marvel Encyclopedia #1
  14. X-Men (Vol. 4) #20
  15. Uncanny X-Men #344
  16. Wolverine and the X-Men #13
  17. 17.0 17.1 Mr. and Mrs. X #34
  18. X-Treme X-Men #6
  19. X-Men Legends #12
  20. The Marvels #8
  21. Gambit and the X-Ternals #3
  22. Yondu #2
  23. A + X #15
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 Astonishing X-Men (Vol. 3) #57
  25. 25.0 25.1 Astonishing X-Men (Vol. 3) #58
  26. Uncanny X-Men #343
  27. X-Men (Vol. 2) #98
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 X-Men: Messiah Complex - Mutant Files #1
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Uncanny X-Men #479
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Uncanny X-Men #483
  31. Avengers: West Coast #81
  32. Uncanny X-Men #275
  33. Captain Marvel (Vol. 3) #3
  34. 34.00 34.01 34.02 34.03 34.04 34.05 34.06 34.07 34.08 34.09 34.10 34.11 34.12 34.13 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #10
  35. Marvel Fact Files #38
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 X-Men Unlimited #5
  37. 37.0 37.1 Galactus the Devourer #5
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 38.4 Uncanny X-Men #485
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  49. Iron Man (Vol. 5) #6
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 50.3 50.4 Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 3) #11.NOW
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 Fantastic Four #262
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 52.3 52.4 52.5 52.6 Uncanny X-Men #468
  53. 53.0 53.1 New X-Men #133
  54. 54.0 54.1 Uncanny X-Men #480
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 Uncanny X-Men #478
  56. 56.0 56.1 Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 3) #12
  57. Uncanny X-Men #471
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 X-Men #137
  59. Mighty Thor (Vol. 3) #17
  60. X-Men (Vol. 4) #21
  61. Uncanny X-Men #167
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 62.3 Thanos #10
  63. 63.0 63.1 Uncanny X-Men #156
  64. 64.0 64.1 64.2 Uncanny X-Men #476
  65. X-Men (Vol. 4) #18
  66. X-Force #5
  67. Ultimates (Vol. 3) #7
  68. X-Force and Cable '95 #1
  69. 69.0 69.1 Astonishing X-Men (Vol. 3) #9
  70. Powers of X #5
  71. Classic X-Men #16
  72. U.S.Avengers #10
  73. X-Men: Blue #8
  74. Fantastic Four #286
  75. Wonder Man #8
  76. War of Kings: Warriors #1
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  78. U.S.Avengers #11
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  80. New X-Men #122
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  83. New X-Men #123
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  87. Starjammers #14
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  99. UNCANNY IN SPACE - TALKING X-MEN WITH ED BRUBAKER Newsrama. Archived from the original on 10 15 2007.
  100. Statement by Stuart Vandal
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  106. Armitage, Hugh (8 6 2017) X-Men: Dark Phoenix could bring us some classic Marvel aliens, the Shi'ar Digital Spy. Retrieved on June 9, 2020.
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  108. Deadpool (Vol. 9) #6