Real Name: Ed Tyler
Identity/Class: Human technology user
Occupation: Defender of humanity, formerly Astronaut
Affiliations: The Protectors, the Magus, Jubra
Enemies: The Deiei, Lucifer, Abominable Snowmen, Loch Ness Monster
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: The Protector
Base of Operations: Active worldwide
First Appearance: Phoenix #1 (Atlas Comics, Januray 1975)
Powers/Abilities: His alien battlesuit allows him to fly and to fire bolts of destructive energy.
History: After five months on board the space station Threshold I, the three astronauts serving there were looking forward to the end of their mission when they were forced to abandon the station due to an air leak in Sector C. Escaping in a shuttle, the three made an emergency landing in Arctic waters, but only Ed Tyler managed to disembark from their escape craft before it exploded, sending the station's only survivor flying across the snow. The unconscious astronaut was saved from freezing to death by the Deiei, an alien race who had been monitoring mankind for years from within their hidden base in the frozen north. Fearing a rescue party might uncover them, they took Tyler into their hideout.
When Tyler awoke, he found himself a prisoner. The Deiei had been involved in the evolution of the human race, but now they looked at their results and were ashamed at humanity's failings; with this in mind, they planned to wipe the slate clean, destroying humanity in the process. Unwilling to risk Tyler exposing them, they planned to keep him captive for the rest of his life. However they carelessly ruled him harmless and left him unguarded. The resourceful astronaut managed to steal a space suit and arm himself with "atomic transistors", which he then used to escape.
Tyler reached the nearest human population centre, Reykjavik, some hours later, to discover that the Deiei were causing the very earth beneath the city to collapse using nuclear particles. Tyler raced back to the alien base to stop this assault on the Icelandic capital, and the ensuing fight set off an atomic blast which obliterated the aliens' headquarters. Tyler returned to the city to help the human survivors, where the media dubbed him the Phoenix, risen from the ashes of the once-proud city. Meanwhile some Deiei survivors swore revenge, plotting to kill him and then destroy the human race.
The Phoenix was attacked by a Deiei spaceship a short while later, while the main force of the aliens headed for New York. Surviving the attempt on his life, the Phoenix learned of the armada racing to the American city, and headed off to intercept it. After a fierce battle, he managed to destroy the threat to the Big Apple. Afterwards Tyler thought about his newfound role in life, as a protector and example to mankind, seeking to lead them from the evil path the Deiei predicted humanity would follow. Tyler dedicated himself to saving his species instead, as the Phoenix.
His next mission took him to the Himalayas, to investigate tales of rampaging Abominable Snowmen, led by the Devil himself. The Phoenix discovered that the "Devil" was actually Lucifer, a rogue Deiei genetic engineer, who was transforming local villagers into killer Snowmen. While the Arctic base had existed, the renegade alien had to lay low and carry out his banned experiments, but after Phoenix destroyed that base, Lucifer had become bolder in his undertakings. The alien scientist was eventually devoured by one of his own creations, the Loch Ness Monster, which had been released to fight the Phoenix, but which turned on its creator and ate him.
Guilt ridden over the near destruction of two major cities, blaming himself for the deaths and destruction, and figuring that mankind was doomed since he could not hold off the Deiei forever, Ed Tyler attempted to commit suicide by flying into space. He past out, but awoke to find himself aboard an alien space station, badly burned and his face swathed in bandages. He was taken to the see the owners of the vessel, a group of aliens who dubbed themselves the Protectors of the Universe. They had been behind the Deiei monitoring of human evolution, and like their agents were disappointed with mankind's development. Unlike the Deiei though, they were willing to give man a chance; at the commanding of their leader, the Magus, Ed Tyler would be solely responsible for that shot at redemption. Given new powers and a new face, he was tested in battle on the Asteroid of Exiles against the Cyclops. Winning the fight, Ed was renamed the Protector, and sent back to Earth to redeem mankind, or else watch his species die.
Comments: Created by Jeff Rovin and Sal Amendola.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
The Protectorate, an Australian hero team
Phoenix, any of the Marvel mutants of that name
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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