Dr. Gilbert Vaughn was a physicist working for Stark International who had the fortune of having examined more extraterrestrial artifacts than any other scientist on earth other than Mr. Fantastic.
As a man Dr. Gilbert Vaughn was man of logic and facts, if he couldn’t see it, smell it, or otherwise quantify it, it didn’t exist, and as such Gilbert was a rather strong Atheist. He was not prone to acts of emotion or showing affection. This was a large part of the reason for Lisa Vaughn’s divorce from him. His son, Wendell sought his father’s approval and rarely felt he got it.
Several years ago, Stark International and Dr. Vaughn in particular was offered the chance to study a pair of alien wrist-bands through SHIELD that had apparently been worn by Marvel Boy during the 1950's to fight crime. He had disintegrated himself a few years earlier (while calling himself “The Crusader”) fighting the Fantastic Four leaving only the alien bracelets. Mr. Tony Stark and Dr. Vaughn readily agreed.
Over the course of the next few weeks Dr. Vaughn as his team began intensely studying the bands and found they had extraordinary absorption abilities when it came to all forms of known energy. A test pilot named William Wesley arrived to test the bracelets and over the course of several hours learned how to use the basic capabilities of the wrist-bands, however the harder he concentrated and the more power he used the more wildly he began to glow. When the radiance became too worrisome for Dr. Vaughn he instructed Wesley to remove the bands, but both were shocked when the bands refused to come off. Wesley panicked and was disintegrated in much the same way Marvel Boy was.
Stunned by this tragedy, the team moved outside to get some air and decide what to do next with the alien bracelets. It was then that an A.I.M assault force attacked.
Dr. Vaughn found himself shoved to the ground behind the restraint table which held the wrist-bands by a nearby SHIELD agent who turned out to be Gilbert’s own son, Wendell. Dr. Vaughn told his son that the bands were what needed protecting and Wendell responded by placing the bands upon his own wrists to Dr. Vaughn’s shock and horror.
Single-handedly and over the course of the next several minutes Wendell defeated the assault group and punctuated their defeat by cutting the AIM control ship clean in half. He even managed to figure out how to keep himself from being disintegrated. Knowing how potentially dangerous the bands were, Wendell declared his intentions to travel to a remote place and learn to master the bands himself, Gilbert, perhaps speaking as a caring father for the first time in years begged his son to stay and take his offer of assistance. Wendell agreed. Nick Fury arrived moments later and surveyed the damage and offered Wendell a new job with SHIELD on the spot, as a member of the SHIELD Super-Agents.
Dr. Gilbert Vaughn assisted his son in mastering the bands as he began training with other young SHIELD Super-Agents, such as: Blue Streak, Texas Twister, and Vamp. The team was dissolved only after a few months when Blue Streak and Vamp turned out to be double agents for the Corporation. The Twister left in disgust and Wendell (now calling himself Marvel Man) helped the legendary Captain America uncover those behind the plot. Wendell soon landed a job at [[Project: PEGASUS:char:44379]] based upon the recommendation of an impressed Captain America.
The job as security chief of the Project lasted almost a year, and Wendell (now calling himself Quasar) had many adventures there, notably saving the planet on at least one occasion, but he resigned in disgrace when he was unable to protect the Project from the insidious Serpent Crown.
Gilbert also continued his work at Stark International until its takeover by Stane International, but in the meantime Gilbert was contacted by his ex-wife about their son, who now was apparently deep in a depression.
Gilbert travelled to Wisconsin and talked to his son about the discoveries they could make if they investigated the origins of the power-bands. Based upon things Marvel Boy had mentioned to his compatriots and his SHIELD file, they came to conclusion that the Power-bands came from the planet Uranus (probably with funding from Project PEGASUS, SHIELD, and possibly Tony Stark).
Over the next several months they prepared for Wendell’s mission to Uranus, they built a pack which would monitor all his vitals and administer a sedative at the start of the mission and a stimulant when he got close to the seventh planet. The trip would take a several years. Eventually, Gilbert and Lisa Vaughn (who joined him in the control room) began receiving telemetry of the planet Uranus and soon after received a radio signal from his son, but shortly after Quasar entered the atmosphere the signal died.
Wendell returned to Earth mere minutes later fully recovered from his depression and displaying a confidence he hadn’t shown since his Project PEGASUS days. Gilbert soon discovered the ancient alien in his garage named Eon. It seemed that Eon had opened Wendell’s mind to the full potential of what was now known as the Quantum Bands and made Wendell his “Protector of the Universe”. The two quickly found they were more alike than unalike and form a fast friendship.
Wendell set up a security system company out of Four Freedoms Plaza, and moved Eon there and Gilbert would visit him regularly via Eon’s ability to project Gilbert into the Eonverse. They would talk for hours at a time about history, astrophysics, the universe, and past Protectors of the Universe.
All the while Wendell searched for Eon’s would-be Assassin.
Unfortunately, within a few months, Wendell made it clear that he had a problem with his father and his mentor having a better rapport with each other than either of them had with him, and after a brief but heated exchange between Wendell and Gilbert in the Eonverse, Gilbert left.
That night as Gilbert tried to reign in his emotions concerning his earlier argument with his son he suffered a stroke and died. Eon noted this several hours later and realized that if his protector found his father dead it would have a drastic impact on his psychology, Eon couldn’t take that chance knowing that his would–be assassin was near. Eon re-animated Gilbert’s corpse for several days.
Later during an attack by the Presence upon Eon orchestrated by the assassin, Eon could no longer maintain the reanimation and his protector discovered his fathers body and Eon confessed what he had done. In his rage and shock, Quasar quit as Eon’s protector. The Assassin (revealed as Maelstrom) later boasted that it was he that murdered Gilbert Vaughn by halting the flow of blood to his brain.
Later as Quasar was being tortured by Maelstrom's minions, Wendell was visited by two “spirits” one being his predecessor Captain Marvel and the other was his father. His father told him that despite what they were both now experiencing he still didn’t believe in an afterlife, but he did express that:
“Wendell, you know that I was never any good at expressing how I felt. But I’m telling you now that I was proud of you, son. Maybe a little jealous, too. Each generation wants their progeny to do a little better than they did—but what you achieved was just so much better than I could have hoped to have accomplished… it was hard to accept…”
“… I’m very proud of you, son. I’m sorry you had to wait until I was dead to hear it… …I love you.”
And with that Dr. Gilbert Vaughn vanished.