Corsair started out as a test pilot for the National Aeronautical Space Administration of the United States Air Force before being kidnapped by the Shi'ar. Eventually freeing himself, he went on to lead a team of space pirates called The Starjammers.
Corsair was created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum in 1977 and first appeared in X-Men # 104.
Major Story Arcs
Major Christopher Summers was flying himself, his wife and their two young sons in their private plane down the Western American coast from Alaska. During this trip their plane is suddenly attacked by a starship from the alien Shi'ar Empire on an exploratory mission to Earth. The Shi'ar pursue Summers's craft to prevent them from making their presence on Earth known to the general public. The Shi'ar craft fires on Summers' plane, causing it to burst into flame. Unable to find more than one usable parachute in time, his wife Katherine Anne put it on her eldest son Scott, told him to hold on to Alex, and pushed them both out the plane door, hoping to save them both. Thinking them dead when he saw their parachute catch fire, he abandones all hope for them. Christopher and his wife are teleported aboard the Shi'ar starship and taken to the Shi'ar Imperial Throneworld of Chandilar. Christopher is then separated from his wife and imprisoned. He soon breaks free and discovers the mad Shi'ar Emperor D'Ken attempting to rape Katherine Anne. D'Ken responds to the interruption by murdering Summers' wife before his eyes and then ordering Summers to be sent to the Slave Pits of Alsibar where criminals and political prisoners are incarcerated. Unknown to Christopher, his wife was pregnant with their third son, whom D'Ken has taken from her womb and raised as a slave.
Christopher is taken to the spice mines to begin his sentence. While there, he uses his military training to stay disciplined and focused. He watches and studies the guards, gathering knowledge he can use for his eventual escape. But as time went by, Christopher soon becomes more and more withdrawn, not wanting to get into trouble and actually starting to fear the guards. This all changes when he sees guards hurting another inmate, Hepzibah. The sight of her re-ignites his confidence and his desire to escape. He plans to get Hepzibah free just before she is to be executed by the guards, thinking that even if he dies, he at least dies as a man. Unbeknownst to Christopher, he is being watched by two other inmates, Ch'od and Raza, who also help during his fight with the guards. The three of them successfully free Hepzibah. Because of Christopher's courage, Hepzibah wants to become his lifemate and wants him to join their team. He accepts, and together they escape in a stolen vessel christened the "Starjammer."
Joining the Starjammers
Taking the name of Corsair, Christopher and his new allies decide to strike back against the empire that abused and took advantage of them. Utilizing his military training and modeling himself after the pirate tales he had enjoyed in his youth, Corsair leads the newly formed Starjammers on pirate runs against the Shi'ar Empire for a number of years, causing numerous problems and becoming renowned criminals throughout Shi'ar space.
Corsair is eventually reunited with his son Cyclops when the X-Men venture into space to repair the M'Kraan Crystal and fight emperor D'ken, who attempts to use it. Although Scott's girlfriend and teammate, Phoenix, hints to Corsair that Cyclops is his son, it would take some time before they actually knew this for sure. Corsair has the hard task of telling his son Scott and later Alex what happened and how he thought his two sons had died and that otherwise he would have come searching for them no matter what. Although his relationship with his sons is not the best at first, he tries to slowly get back into the lives of his sons. He even organizes camping trips with his sons whenever he is back on earth.
Rise and fall of the Shi'ar Empire
Some years after the events of D'ken and the M'kraan crystal, D'ken is brought out of his coma thanks to the help of some of his loyal followers. The Shi'ar Empire has lost its former glory as a conquering race since Lilandra was made Empress. And although most people are happy with--or at least accept--the new ways of the Shi'ar, more and more people want D'ken back as their Emperor. After D'ken is released from his coma and prison, a civil war soon erupts with both sides at each other's throats in a full scale war in which the Starjammers and the X-men are caught in the middle. The X-Men are there to try and capture Corsair's unknown third son, Vulcan. He is on his way to the Shi'ar Empire to make D'ken pay for killing his mother and taking him out of her womb when Corsair and his wife were first abducted.
Knowing Vulcan wants to kill him outright, D'ken comes up with a plan. He invites Vulcan to join him in his quest to be the absolute ruler of the galaxy as his second in command. He also offers his sister Deathbird's hand in marriage, making Vulcan a member of the family. Vulcan strangely accepts and D'ken thinks himself to be invincible with a powerful ally such as Vulcan by his side. His enthusiasm does not last long. The armed forces of Lilandra, the Starjammers and the X-Men come to stop the wedding. The moment after Vulcan and Deathbird are married though, Vulcan turns on D'ken and kills him. Being the next male member of the royal family line, Vulcan instantly becomes the new emperor of the Shi'ar Empire. Then he turns to the captured Lilandra, wanting to kill her next. Corsair runs up to his son and tries to talk him out of the violent path he is about to take. Vulcan, angered at the sight of his father, lashes out at him and kills him instantly, shocking everyone present.
The X-Men now know that Vulcan is indeed on a path of destruction that he can no longer escape. The X-Men escape and bring Corsair's body back to the planet where he and Hepzibah had their happiest times together. He is laid to rest there and is mourned by his two sons, Scott and Alex Summers, the rest of the X-Men, Hepzibah and his comrades of the Starjammers and the Shi'ar.
Age of Apocalypse
He is kidnapped by Shi´ar as in the regular reality with his wife Katherine. During the abduction, he allies with other prisoners to form the Starjammers and fight against the Brood, but he is infected. He returns to Earth later, but is captured by Apocalypse. In his imprisonment, he is tortured by Dark Beast under Sinister´s Law. Five years later, he manages to escape only to discover that his sons had become Apocalypse´s prelates. Cyclops kills him before he could consume his own son Havok.
- Corsair appears several times during the original X-Men TV series, where his story is very similar to the comic book version. In "The Phoenix Saga," he is captain of the Starjammers and crosses paths with the X-Men during his theft of the M'Kraan Crystal. As in the comics, Jean Grey learns who he really is by probing his mind, but she doesn't share this knowledge with anyone. In "Orphan's End," Cyclops sees Corsair's dog tags and a locket that contains a picture of the Summers family, allowing them both to finally learn the truth.
- Very briefly, Corsair is seen in the season one finale of X-Men: Evolution during a flashback Scott has that details the plane crash that separates him from Scott and Alex. He is not depicted as leading the Starjammers, however, since the series never explores the Shi'ar.
- Corsair appears in the video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance voiced by Scott MacDonald. He helps the heroes initially escape a Shi'ar attack after they arrive in the Shi'ar galaxy, and subsequently gives them advice on how to send a message for help without the arriving ships being destroyed,