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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.png 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.png

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.


  • Please see Shi'ar Empire for a history of the race and the empire it spawned



The Shi'ar and the Spartoi are of common, remote ancestry.[5]

According to the Kin Crimson, the reduction of the more Avian traits of the Shi'ar was due to the interference of the Xorrians.[6]

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.[7]

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.[7]

In the time of T'kyll Alabar, Shi'ar had feathered wings.[8]

Genetic Throwbacks

While that trait mostly disappeared in modern Shi'ar, some were genetic throwbacks, such as Deathbird.[9] For that throwback, Deathbird was considered a mutant.[10]


The Shi'ar female possess mammary glands and are viviparous,[11] but some Shi'ar are artificially conceived in eggs, nurtured in special chambers and the children were referred to as hatchlings.[12]


A Shi'ar's blood doesn't generate its own heat, and therefore they cannot survive long in the snow.[13]


It can be presumed that the Shi'ar can cross with humans to produce hybrids, at least by the way of the bio-engineering. All the known specimens of those cross-breds are Mutants.
List of the known Shi'ar/mutant hybrids.

The Shi'ar can also produce offspring by the Mephitisoids, the Jath'che.[14]
List of the known Shi'ar/Mephitisoid hybrids (including Jath'che but also Shi'ar with grafted Mephitisoid genetics)


The Shi'ar have more chakras than humans.[15]

Shi'ar do not dream, except for those born "defective",[13] "infected by dreams".[16] Such "defective" Shi'ar include Warbird (Ava'Dara Naganandini)[13] and the Shi'ar having survived the Fianden's weapons (all executed by their empire afterwards).[16]

Special abilities and mutants

Most Shi'ar have no special abilities.

Genetic throwback winged Deathbird is considered a mutant.[10]

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.[17]

Some individuals have manifested supershi'ar-powers, such as Electron (magnetism),[18] the Rook'shir (Phoenix Force utilisation),[18] Deathcry (purple skin, enhanced agility, and claws),[18] Dakari (extremely powerful),[18] White Noise (acoustikinesis), and Black Light (Darkforce manipulation). Those Shi'ar are presented as isolated individuals[18] 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.[19]

Some Shi'ar possess telepathic abilities.[20]



Main article: Shi'ar Dictionary

A Shi'ar "galaxian" stated that they "learn[ed] nearly every spoken languages".[21]

The Shi'ar have multiple forms, including the High Shi'ar, used for formal events,[22] and Shi'ar Glorkon dialect.[23]

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


The Shi'ar are defiant toward arts such as drawing or music. They considered that music distorted perception.[13]

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.[13][16]

Although, the Shi'ar did not forbid arts on conquered worlds,[13] 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".[24]



The known elements of Laws of the Shi'ar Empire,[25] also known as Shi'ar law,[26][27] or Imperial Law,[26] it was heavily influenced by the Voldi's law.[28]

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.[27] In other cases, it is the Shi'ar who rule the tribunal.[29][23]


Apart from the Council decisions, the Shi'ar Law is seemingly ruled by different bodies of law: canon law,[30] civil law,[30] and also imperial edicts,[30] decrees from the senate[31] or the empress,[32] and the personal directives of the majestor or majestrix.[26]

The Shivarn'n Halanau (imperial consort)'s orders are lawful commands, and must be obeyed (until a certain point).[33]

The Shi'ar Majestrix or Majestor possess complete executive power, while the Shi'ar High Council serves as an advisory body.[26]

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,[31] although the union itself was dissolved by Lilandra herself.[34]

The Shi'ar consider their laws to have to be respected across the galaxy, and intervene on Earth.[25]

Trials are held at the Galactic Tribunal,[29] also known as the Tribunal,[23] Shi'ar Tribunal, or Imperium Tribunal(s),[35] where other species' representatives concerned by the trial of time-displaced young Jean Grey were invited.[23]

Law enforcers

The Shi'ar Imperial Guard acts as an enforcers of Shi'ar law:[26]

  • The larger division, known as Borderers, aids the governors of conquered worlds in enforcing Shi'ar law.[26]
  • The elite corps, known as Imperial Guard, protects and carries out the personal directives of the majestor or majestrix.[26]

The Shi'ar Death Commandos are duly constituted agents of the Shi'ar Imperium.[36]


Once judged under civil law, one is condemned by imperial edict.[30]

Arin'nn Haelar

Arin'nn Haelar is a trial by combat[27] (or dual of honor)[37] and can also be used as a recourse in Shi'ar law.[27]

Allegedly, this challenge cannot be refused. It was once used during a Tribunal session,[37] but its use wasn't allowed as a recourse in a council decision.[27]

Such combat can involve teams for each party.[37]

Trial by combat can't be invoked in the Challenge of the Gods.[38]


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).[39]

M'ndavian Procedures

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.[40]


A party is held responsible at the fullest extents of Shi'ar Law for the damages caused by an assisted or allied another party.[40][41]

The Shi'ar justice doesn't acknowledge mental illness, as it has no frame or reference for it.[42]

The responsibility and level of guilt is either complete or absent, without anything in between.[42]

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.[35][25][23][29] Such interpretation of the law was rejected by King J-Son of Spartax[29][23] and by the Kree Supreme Intelligence.[29]


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.[40]


Arin'nn Haelar is a trial by combat, and can be used as a recourse in Shi'ar law.[27]

In Council decisions, there is no recourse, including from Shi'ar Law.[27]

The High Council can seemingly lift some charges (such as treason) in some cases.[43][44]


Various sanctions exists regarding the crime.

Leading a rebellion make the rebel leader branded by law as a traitor.[43][44]

Some crimes (possibly such as matricide on a royalty) can result in the stripping of rank and name, and exile.[45]

Regicide leads to exile,[26] although a royalty Shi'ar can slay the majestor and claim the throne.[46] 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.[45]

Other prison sentences exists:

  • Some convicts are imprisoned into the Kyln, for crimes such as treason, mass murders...[42]
  • 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.[32]
  • Criminals can be consigned to "slave pits", as well as rebel leaders.[26]
  • In the case of Charles Xavier, he was sentenced to enter the M'kraan Crystal.[46]
Phoenix Force

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.[19]
  • Under canon law, the Phoenix host is ritually branded with the Deathmark to become traceable.[30]
  • The whole genome of an host can be erased on order of the Majestrix.[30][47]
  • For 400 cycles, the Rook'shir males were all enslaved and killed, their mothers sterilized.[34]

Although a sentence commuting was offered to Korvus Rook'shir in exchange for his assistance.[34][19]

Shi'ar Empire


The Shi'ar Majestrix or Majestor possess complete executive power.[26]

According to the texts of an arcane Shi'ar law, any child born in the High Palace of Chandilar may rise to become royalty.[20] Such process was officiated by the majestor D'ken during a royal wedding.[46]

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.[46]

The protocol states the majestor must be removed from a planet where the Phoenix is present.[23]


The throne goes to the eldest living heir,[26] 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.[43]

An exiled oldest heir is ignored in the succession,[26] as well as a condemned traitor.[43][44]

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.[46]

The insanity of a majestor cause the succession to the next legitimate ruler.[43]

Restricted areas

The Shi'ar High Council's starways is public access restricted,[48] the rule allowing to consider hostile and destroy the trespassers.[49]

Other areas like the Asteroid Archipelago are all access forbidden.[20]

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.[50] The exact content of the Prime directive is unknown.

Shi'ar Worlds and Segregation

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.[26]

Non-Shi'ar from loyal worlds are allowed to serve in the space fleet in positions below commande levels.[26] Members of species regarded as primitive or of dubious loyalty are often used as slaves.[26]


Children have no voice in Shi'ar Society until they have passed the rite of passage.[22]


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

Non-aggression treaty

At the point of the return of the Skornn, the Shi'ar had a non-aggression treaty with Earth.[51]

Early Warning Treaty

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.[52]


Although the Shi'ar themselves distrust and hate art, the Shi'ar Empire does not outlaw it on other worlds.[13]


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 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."[12]

Their philosophy and traditions impacts the Shi'ar Law in violent ways (Arin'nn Haelar, a trial by combat)[27] or uncompromising, such as the fact Shi'ar courts don't recognize insanity.[42]


The Shi'ar are mostly followers of Sharra and K'ythri, but atheists exist as well.[53] The believers go to church.[54]

In the Shi'ar belief, K'ythri promised the Eternal Sky as an afterlife to the faithful.[22]

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.[55]

Gladiator once prayed to Rao.[56] Who or what is Rao is unknown as far.



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,[57] while the Shi'ar homeworld was called Aerie (it is unknown if the planets are distinct, or their "Terra" equivalent).[58] 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. The Neramani family was the most recent to represent the royal bloodline.[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.[59]


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

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]

Though having warlike and militaristic ancestry, the Shi'ar Empire largely occupied the role of peacekeepers in many interstellar affairs. For example, Empress Lilandra Neramani tried to broker peace between the Kree Empire and the Skrull Empire to help bring an end to their devastating war, she sought interstellar accord when deciding how to end the threat of the Dark Phoenix, and attempted to avenge the destruction of Tarnax IV, the Skrull throneworld, by Galactus.[citation needed]

However, it should also be noted that Empress Lilandra was personally responsible for authorizing the use of the Nega-bomb weapon, devastating the Kree Empire during Operation Galactic Storm, and that the Shi'ar were pivotal in the invasion and containment of Earth during the Maximum Security event. One of the latest atrocities committed by the Shi'ar was ordering the extermination of Jean Grey's family, in an effort to quell any future conflicts with the Phoenix entity.[citation needed]

Earth-295 - Age of Apocalypse

The death of Charles Xavier in this reality[60] would have far reaching consequences to the Shi'ar empire. In this reality when Emperor D'Ken took over power of the empire he would slay his sister Lilandra and seek to gain control of the M'kraan Crystal. His only opposition would come from the Starjammers who were led by earthman Christopher Summers until he was infected with a Brood embryo and would return to Earth.[61] He would be succeeded by Deathbird. When the X-Ternals came to the Shi'ar galaxy to obtain a shard of the M'Kraan Crystal they would clash with the Imperial Guard on number of times.[62] In the aftermath of the battle, most of the Imperial Guard would be caught in a crystallization wave created by the Crystal and D'Ken would be rendered inert in attempting to seize its power. The fate of the Shi'ar empire following the downfall of D'Ken remains unrevealed.[14]

Earth-96943 - 2099

In 3099 A.D. is mentioned that the encroaching twilight of the Shi'ar left a void of power.[63]

Earth-91126 - Earth-Z

Shi'ar (Race) from Marvel Zombies Return Vol 1 5 001.jpg

Led by Luke Cage of another reality, the Shi'ar were defeated and annihilated by the zombified heroes of the Earth.[64]

Earth-TRN561 - Avengers in Galactic Storm videogame

In the Avengers in Galactic Storm videogame, the Shi'ar are called Shi-ar, probably due to font restrictions in the 1995 arcade platforms. In an event parallel to Earth-616's Operation Galactic Storm, they were in war with the Kree Empire. The Shi'ar stole a WMD from the Kree and, when the Kree failed on a mission to try and recover it and murder Shi'ar Empress Lilandra, the Shi'ar answered by using the weapon to destroy the Kree empire and devastate its capital, Hala. The Shi'ar decisively win their war against the Kree, although the morality of their actions is dubious at best.

However, the game calls the weapon Anti-Matter Bomb. In the original story, it was called the Nega-Bomb and had been developed by the Shi'ar, not stolen from the Kree.[65] In the game, the Avengers do not try to stop the bomb, and the Supreme Intelligence later claims that the Avengers had allied with the Shi'ar. The game also fails to mention the Shi'ar having been manipulated by third parties to use WMDs against the Kree, as they were in Earth-616.

Powers and Abilities


The average Shi'ar can lift 1 ton in earth-like gravity and has far greater stamina. Most Shi'ar have no other special abilities, though some are genetic throwbacks. These individuals possess wings which allow them to fly.

Average Strength Level

Superhuman, at least 1 ton with intensive exercise.[7] According to Wasp, Shi'ar aren't stronger than humans.[66]


Since their blood does not generate its own heat, Shi'ar can not survive long in the cold.



60 billion.[citation needed]


Type of Government

Imperial Empire ruled by Empress-Majestrix Xandra Neramani.

Level of Technology

Highly advanced, with warp-drive starships, and Stargate space-warping technology that allows for instantaneous travel between galaxies. According toBeast, the Shi'ar Empire is a "highly advanced type 5 space civilization",[67] presumably on the Kardashev scale.

Cultural Traits

Warrior culture



  • X-Men writer Ed Brubaker compared the Shi'ar to Star Trek's Romulans, saying they are "smart, aggressive, and mean".[68]
  • The correct spelling is "Shi'ar", with the capital letter only on the S,[69] and is misspelled "Shi'Ar" on some occasions.[70][71]
  • The adjective form of the name can be both Shi'ar[citation needed] or Shi'arian.[72]


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. Inhumans Vol 3 #3
  6. Marauders Vol 2 3
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #7
  8. Avengers #379
  9. All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z: Update #3
  10. 10.0 10.1 Marvel Encyclopedia #1
  11. X-Men Vol 4 #20
  12. 12.0 12.1 Mr. and Mrs. X 3-Mr. and Mrs. X 3 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "4-4" defined multiple times with different content
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 Astonishing X-Men Vol 3 #57
  14. 14.0 14.1 Gambit and the X-Ternals #3
  15. A + X #15
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Astonishing X-Men Vol 3 #58
  17. X-Men Vol 2 #98
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 X-Men: Messiah Complex - Mutant Files #1
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Uncanny X-Men #479
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Uncanny X-Men #483
  21. Uncanny X-Men #477
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 X-Men Unlimited #5
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 23.6 All-New X-Men #24
  24. Star-Lord #8
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 All-New X-Men #23
  26. 26.00 26.01 26.02 26.03 26.04 26.05 26.06 26.07 26.08 26.09 26.10 26.11 26.12 26.13 26.14 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #10
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 27.6 27.7 Avengers Vol 3 #35
  28. Iron Man Vol 5 #6
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 #11.NOW
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 Uncanny X-Men #468
  31. 31.0 31.1 New X-Men #133
  32. 32.0 32.1 Uncanny X-Men #480
  33. Uncanny X-Men #155
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Uncanny X-Men #478
  35. 35.0 35.1 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 #12
  36. Uncanny X-Men #471
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 X-Men #137
  38. Mighty Thor Vol 3 #17
  39. X-Men Vol 4 #21
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Fantastic Four #262
  41. Uncanny X-Men #167
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 42.3 Thanos #10
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 43.4 X-Men #108
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 X-Men #109
  45. 45.0 45.1 Uncanny X-Men #156
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 46.3 46.4 Uncanny X-Men #485
  47. X-Men Vol 4 #18
  48. Uncanny X-Men #482
  49. Uncanny X-Men #481
  50. X-Men #105
  51. X-Force #5
  52. Ultimates Vol 3 #7
  53. X-Men Vol 2 #189
  54. Mighty Thor Vol 3 #15
  55. Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #4
  56. X-Force Vol 2 #5
  57. Uncanny X-Men #275
  58. Captain Marvel Vol 3 #3
  59. Marvel Fact Files #38
  60. X-Men Vol 2 #41
  61. Tales from the Age of Apocalypse: Sinister Bloodlines #1
  62. Gambit and the X-Ternals #2
  63. 2099: Manifest Destiny #1
  64. Marvel Zombies Return #5
  65. Wonder Man Vol 2 #8
  66. Avengers: West Coast #81
  67. New X-Men #122
  68. UNCANNY IN SPACE - TALKING X-MEN WITH ED BRUBAKER. Newsrama (2 14 2007). Archived from the original on 10 15 2007. Retrieved on 6 9 2020.
  69. Statement by Stuart Vandal
  70. X-Men: Kingbreaker #2
  71. Marvel Universe: Millennial Visions #1; "Galactus: Dawn of the Heralds"
  72. Nova Vol 5 #1
  73. Fleming, Mike Jr (June 14, 2017). Fox Formalizes Simon Kinberg To Helm ‘X-Men: Dark Phoenix’; Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy Back, Jessica Chastain In Talks. Deadline. Retrieved on June 9, 2020.
  74. 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.
  75. Kit, Borys (June 14 2017). Jessica Chastain in Talks to Play Villain in 'X-Men: Dark Phoenix'. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on June 9 2020.
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