Varanus was a Vorm born on the planet Vormir, who traveled from planet to planet as the Star-Stalker, an ionic dragon monster that consumed entire worlds. On one of his travels through space, Varanus came across a tribe of exiled Kree pacifists. Under the Kree's watch, Varanus spun himself an ionic cocoon and grew in power; hatching as an ion-absorbing monster, he intended to absorb the ions of the Kree planet and destroy it to feed himself. With their world at risk, the Kree Exiles abandoned their vows of pacifism and, by striking the ground as one, they were able to cause a fissure that brought molten lava to the surface, driving Varanus away unfed for the first time in his life. The Exiles would later depart the Kree prison world and their capital Hala, and Varanus discovered that one group of them came to Earth where they became known as the Priests of Pama. Although Varanus sought revenge, he could not confront the Priests as they had remembered his weakness, forcing the Star-Stalker to bide his time in hiding.
Monsieur Khruul, a crime lord in Vietnam, discovered the location of the Priests of Pama, and slaughtered them at their temple, unknowingly releasing Varanus. He quickly attacked Khruul, leaving his shredded body for the Avengers to find, prompting the team to find and confront the monster responsible. While Varanus could hide from the team's technology, Mantis was able to detect the coldness of his alien soul, leading to a fight. Star-Stalker was able to dispatch the Avengers easily, taunting them with stories of his origins while refusing to reveal his weakness, before spinning another Ionic Cocoon to empower himself to destroy the Earth.
Desperately, Black Panther had Zodiac's Star-Blaster brought to Vietnam, hoping the heavy energy cannon would be enough to stop Varanus. When Star-Stalker emerged from his cocoon, empowered once more, he merely absorbed the star-energy and shattered the blaster. While every other Avenger that attacked him was quickly drained of their energy and knocked aside, Star-Stalker recognized Mantis' style as the same one used by the Kree that imprisoned him. As the two battled, Mantis deduced that the creature's true weakness was Solar Energy, and she and Vision utilized this weakness to turn Star-Stalker to stone, which immediately collapsed and shattered, killing the creature.
Powers and Abilities
Ionic Combustion: Unlike others of his race, the Star-Stalker was a mutant who was able to transform himself into a larger, more powerful form, known as his Ionic Combustion form, by wrapping himself in a large cocoon and drawing on nearby ionic energy. In this form, Varanus was able to absorb the ions of anything around him, allowing him to drain the energy of enemies such as Thor or shorting out the Iron Man Armor. Varanus frequently used this power to gorge himself on entire planets, destroying them in the process.
Flight: Star-Stalker could fly freely through the voids of space, allowing him to travel from planet to planet in search of new worlds to feed on.
Heat: As a Vorm, Varanus was extremely sensitive to heat, and especially to Solar Energy. During his fight with the Avengers, Iron Man's heat-based Repulsor was the first attack that was able to damage him. Later, Mantis was able to deduce that, due to his nature traveling in the cold void of space and his apparent lack of experience with colonized planets, Star-Stalker had been avoiding more populated worlds because they tended to be too hot. Mantis then had Vision direct Solar Energy in a concentrated beam at him, killing the Vorm.
- 3 appearance(s) of Varanus (Earth-616)
- 4 minor appearance(s) of Varanus (Earth-616)
- Mentions (or invocations) of Varanus (Earth-616)
- 2 image(s) of Varanus (Earth-616)
- 1 victim(s) killed by Varanus (Earth-616)