In the 31st Century, Michael Korvac had been a highly skilled computer technician. The home reality of this alternate future is designated Earth-691. Korvac offered his services in the year 3007 to the Badoon when they invaded Earth’s solar system. Korvac’s abilities were recognized by the alien conquerors and he supervised analytical computer systems regulating entire planets. The Badoon made Korvac work until he was exhausted and he collapsed one day while on the job. After he collapsed, the Badoon amputated Korvac’s extremities below the waist and grafted his lower torso to a computerized, hovering special systems module. The Badoon sent Korvac back to work as a cyborg as punishment for the failure in his duties and to make him a more efficient slave.
Korvac was created by Steve Gerber and Jim Starlin in his first appearance in Giant-Size Defenders #3 (1/1975). Gerber and Starlin co-plotted the storyline with Len Wein for this issue. Gerber wrote the story with Starlin drawing the pencils on the layouts of the art.
Dan Adkins, Don Newton and Jim Mooney finished the inks of the art. Like some of the other characters in this story, Korvac was meant to be used only in this issue.
Korvac next appeared though in Thor Annual vol 1 #6 (1977) written by Roger Stern. This issue was a prelude to the Korvac Saga written by Jim Shooter.
Major Story Arcs
Angry because the Badoon amputated his lower extremities and made him into a cyborg, Korvac sought revenge on his Badoon superiors and killed them the first chance he got with his new found cybernetic powers and abilities. Korvac then downloaded data from the Badoon's computer systems as part of a plan to overthrow the Badoon. Before Korvac could continue his plans, the Grandmaster had taken Korvac as a pawn in one of his cosmic games. Korvac claimed he allowed himself to be defeated by his opponents, the Defenders, as a way to subtly scan and copy the Grandmaster’s knowledge and power without alerting him. Korvac gained more power and abilities from his scan and analysis of the Grandmaster. Korvac escaped from the Grandmaster and returned to his own time period. Korvac then made plans to conquer the universe by making the sun go nova and siphoning the power of the exploding sun for himself.
Korvac created a high-tech base of operations on a desolate planetoid and gathered together an elite group of alien henchmen which he called the Minions of Menace. Korvac was opposed by the combined might of Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy. While Vance Astro, Nikki, Yondu, Charlie 27 and Matrinex opposed Korvac Minions of Menance led by Teju, Grott, Brahl, Tork and Dumog, Thor and Starhawk went after Korvac himself. Sadly the former fight isnt show much on panel while the latter is.
Thor and Starhawk arrived to fight Korvac at Korvac’s WonderWorld , who teleports them outside his spaceship. Thor and Starhawk run all the way up to Korvac and get teleported again. Starhawk, noticing that Korvac is actually using a machine to teleport gets Thor to destroy it and then they go to confront Korvac a third time. Korvac first puts up a stasis field barrier which is broken by Nighthawk. Korvac then attacks them with energy beam which is absorbed by Thor hammer. Korvac then fires a neural beam from his eye socket, that forces Thor and Starhawk to fight with each other. Seeing as neither have any defense against it, they decide to actually unleash their power so that the resulting fight would destroy Korvac’s spaceship, which they do. Seeing his plans foil Korvac seemingly teleports away, only to be revealed in Avengers # 166 that he teleported all the way across time and space into the 20th Century in Thor‘s home reality designated Earth-616. When Korvac arrived in this era, his sensors detected an enormous energy source which was Galactus' ship. He boarded the ship and plugged himself into the ship’s system to download data. Korvac downloaded data and technology so cosmically advanced that he became a nearly omnipotent god-like entity. He reshaped his body into the perfect human body using his godly powers.
Korvac had an expanded consciousness from his god-like powers that changed his attitude and view of reality. He assumed a benevolent attitude with the ambition to reshape the universe into one free of chaos. Korvac was briefly seen in Avengers # 167 in a fashion show held by Wasp where amid the chaos of Avengers fighting Procupine, Korvac seemingly walks up to a lady, touches her chin and teleports away.It is much later in Avengers # 174 that she was the daughter of The Collector send to earth in order to seduce and betray Korvac, although betray him how exactly is never revealed .
The Guardians of the Galaxy followed Korvac’s trail to the 20th Century and joined forces with the Avengers in the search for Korvac. One of the Guardians, Starhawk, sensed Korvac and goes to find him without the other Guardians or Avengers. Korvac and Starhawk seemingly fought in all planes of reality in an spectacular display of power but Korvac eventually defeated Starhawk and disintegrated him. Korvac recreated Starhawk, not wanting his disappearance to arouse suspicion, but removed Starhawk’s ability to perceive Korvac himself in any way.
The Collector began capturing the Avengers to save them from Korvac. The Collector saw that Korvac’s ambition of universal sovereignty would cause great conflict and ultimately destroy the universe. The Avengers escaped from the Collector and began to question him. Korvac killed the Collector to stop him from telling the Avengers any information. He disintegrated him with a long distance power blast. The Avengers were able to pinpoint the source of the power blast to a house in Forest Hills, in Queens, New York. Korvac’s deception is uncovered due to Starhawk’s inability to perceive the person talking to the Avengers. Korvac then fought the Avengers and the Guardians because he thought they might rally the cosmic powers of the universe against him.
After killing most of the Avengers, Korvac was surrounded by the combined power of Starhawk, Iron Man, the Vision and Thor. Korvac looked to Carina for moral support but sensed her hesitation and doubts. Without the support of Carina, Korvac committed suicide by allowing himself to die in the battle. An angry and grief-stricken Carnia attacked and killed the surviving Avengers except for Thor. Carina couldn’t live without Korvac and forced Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, to fire a powerful blast that killed her. Before he died, Korvac restored a spark of life in the Avengers and the Guardians to give Thor a chance to save their lives in his alter-ego of Dr Don Blake. Moondragon, a surviving Avenger, explained to Thor that she had a telepathic rapport with Korvac and he believed him not to be evil.
Fantastic Four Annual # 24 reveals something the pervious issue had no mention of. While Korvac was fighting the Avengers, Galactus returned to his ship only to realise that something was amiss. Realising that his sanctum had been invaded Galactus calmly picked the Ultimate Nullifier and lauch his omnipotent beam that would not only kill the offending party (Korvac) but utterly wipe him from existence. It would be as if Korvac had never existed, never born, and all his action within his lifetime would cease. This is what evidently caused Korvac to seeminly commit the cosmic sucide.
Before ending his life, Korvac released his cosmic power invisibly to be passed to his ancestors in other times and realities, thus beginning the Korvac Quest. The Guardians of the Galaxy would search for the power throughout time. It's first appearance was in the 20th century in a young girl named Jaboa Murphy. The Guardians teamed up with the Fantastic Four and defeated her, but the energy escaped.
They next traced Korvac's energy to the 26th century where the Guardians teamed up with Dargo and defeated the power hungry Varley. The power eluded them again. There the Guardians found the power being used by a man named Marshach, who used the power for good to create a paradise for his people. When the Guardians tried to take the power from him, he initially resisted and the Protector of the Universe, the Silver Surfer, stood with him. He eventually decided to release the power, but it once again escaped the Guardians.
The final stop of Korvac's energy was to his own father, Jordan Korvac, who sensed the coming of the Guardians and attacked them. At the time, his wife, Myra, was pregnant with Michael. As he fought with the Guardians, Michael was born and siphoned the power from his father, coldly killing him in the process. Before he could unleash his might on the Guardians, the Ancient One (Doctor Strange) and the Sorcerer Supreme Krugarr trapped Korvac's infant body and took it to the time when Korvac stole Galactus' power. Galactus took the power back in to himself and left the infant Korvac to the Guardians.
At first, they wished to kill him before he could become the monster they all knew, but in the end returned him to his mother, unable to kill a helpless infant. This of course left history to repeat itself once again, as his mother would tell the young Michael that the Guardians were the ones responsible for killing his father.
The System Bytes
In the 31st century, Brahl and the Minions of Menace (now calling themselves the Intimidators) had possession of a computer chip that contained the 'sum total' of Korvac before he ever left for the 20th century. They managed to avoid detection on Main Frame's World and drained Main Frame's energy to rebuild Korvac. This energy drain also resulted in Main Frame being infected by a computer virus. The Galactic Guardians arrived to stop the Intimidators but it was too late - Korvac had been rebuilt.
It appeared that Korvac was part Korvac, part Main Frame and part Michael the Enemy and the virus made him completely insane. The Galactic Guardians fought him to try and save Main Frame, who might forever be absorbed in to the abomination. The lack of control over the planet released Phoenix IX who was being contained there. This version of Korvac proved no match for the Phoenix Force and was transported to another dimension.
Red Skull and the Cosmic Cube
Next major story arc, in 616 reality for Korvac was his appearance in Captain American Volume 3 # 15 - 19.
Korvac appearing in front of Captain America as a Watcher and shows Captain America the potential future that would result because of Skull gain of power if Captain America chooses not to kill the Red Skull, who at the time was merged with the cosmic cube.
When push comes to shove, Captain America decides to finally kill the Red Skull, only to realize that the power gets transferred into the Watcher, who first turns into Kang and finally reveals to be Korvac. With the power he decides to go into his time period to create his perfect world, the United State of Korvac. Captain America follows him hoping to confront him.
With the power of the cosmic cube Korvac has reached the future where he was created his perfect paradise. A world free of hunger, poverty, war , but also free of free-will. Captain American opposes Korvac, he kills him, his people start fighting against Korvac and he reboots the reality. He has been doing this again, and again and again. Finally he gets pissed and decides to reboot the reality up to before Red Skull relinquished the power (which next issue reveals was Captain America plan all along)
This time around Captain America refuses to kill the Red Skull, resulting in Captain America and Korvac having to flee the scene in fear of their life. Unfortunately they are discovered by Red Skull who seemingly kills Korvac and flungs his atom across 6 dimension (it is later revealed during Avengers Academy # 11 that Korvac was not killed, and he eventually recollects his energy being whole again. The said issue also reveals that this defeat in the hand of Red Skull greatly weakened him).
Korvac and Avengers Academy
During Avengers Academy # 11 hoping to being then missing Janet Van Dyke, mistakenly bring Carina Walters to their Infinite Mansion. Following her arrives Michael Korvac, demanding that they hand over Carina over to him. Carina refuses to come willingly and Avengers Academy are prepare to defend her against Korvac. Meanwhile, it is revealed that Hank Pym had opened the communication channel to Avengers the moment Carina arrived on the Infinite Manson, and Avengers have just arrived to help them stop Korvac. Avengers start fighting Korvac while Carina takes Avengers Academy kids into their safe haven.
Korvac repeatedly warns Avengers not to oppose him but after he has had enough he easily defeats the Avengers. In the sage heaven Carina reveals that only Avengers Academy kids have what it takes to defeat the godlike Korvac.
Carina accesses the time stream pulling futures self of Avengers Academy allowing the kids to control the body of their adult version. They oppose Korvac, and Korvac is finally defeated when Hazmat blasts him with anti-matter wave seemingly destroying him.
In Korvac's ultimate form he was able to lift well over 100 tons. After he had absorbed the energies of Galactus' ship, it made him on a power level with cosmic beings such as Galactus, Odin, Zeus, the Elders of the Universe and other cosmic beings. He could use his powers in a variety of ways such as traveling through time, astral projection, telepathy, resuscitation, and lastly long range energy bombardment. He was also capable of absorbing power from any source including sentient beings. Its been said Korvac had the potential for infinite power.
Captain America and the Korvac Saga
Korvac gained his powers and traveled back in time in a way similar to his 616 counterpart. However, this Korvac was simply evil. He gave special armor to a variety of supervillains, then allowed himself to be captured when Captain America investigated. This caught the attention of the Guardians of the Galaxy from his time, and they appeared to capture him.
However, he used their time travel portal to return to his time. Captain America and the Guardians followed. Eventually he led them to Galactus' ship, where they battled. They were going to use the Ultimate Nullifier against him, but he got it and tried to use it himself. He didn't know how to use it correctly and destroyed himself.
What If The Avengers had become Pawns of Korvac (What If? Vol 2 # 32)
This issue deals with what would have happened to Korvac had Carina actually shown she believed in him and Korvac hadn’t committed suicide.
Korvac kills the avengers, Odin and Zeus vow to come to earth to avenge Thor and Hercules respectively, but they are sealed off by Korvac, which eventually seals off every extra-dimensional reality from Earth. He then obliterates Dr. Strange, Phoenix and Silver Surfer. He then goes to meet the celestial, Arishiem of their reality, read his mind and leave without a fight. He then resurrects the Avengers and sends them to kill Utau, but Utau escapes, who goes to his planet to ally other watchers but they refuse to join him. He then goes to meet the greatest powers of the universe in the form of : The Gardner, Shaper, The Living Tribunal, Master Order, Stranger, Galactus and Grandmaster. Living Tribunal sends Galactus and Gardner to confront Korvac, but Korvac knowing what is going to happen sends his avengers to fight the two. Avengers are on the losing side, Vision and Hercules get killed.
Korvac on the other hand has absorbed the powers of high evolutionary. He is then confronted by Shaper and Grandmaster. Korvac kills Grandmaster and allies himself with Shaper.
Knowing that Avengers are losing against Galactus and Gardner , Korvac sends Captain America to Galactus ship where he obtains the ultimate nullifier and uses it against Galactus killing himself and Galactus in the process. The Gardner is also killed by the Avengers whose energy Korvac absorbs.
Next come in Inbetweener and Stranger, their plan to hurt Korvac thru his vulnerability, his lady love Carina. Stranger pushes the moon towards Earth, and end up engaging in a tug of war, with the moon , against Korvac. The moon is destroyed in the process and Stranger killed by Korvac. Carina gets kidnapped by the Inbetweener, only to be releaved that it was Shaper pretending to be Carina. Locating where they are, Korvac with a blast breaks Inbetweener into Order and Chaos separately.
Living Tribunal sensing Korvac as big enough threat decides to make the sun go nova, Korvac shields the world from it. Living knowing that there is nothing he can do in this reality, seals off the reality and leaves.
Lord Order and Master Chaos are deciding what to do next, when arrives Death who reveals that it was she who has been controlling Korvac all-along so that he will help her win the eternal struggle against Eternity.
Korvac on Earth senses that an assemblage of every civilization from everywhere in the universe have come to confront him, knowing he doesn’t have enough power he absorbs everyone in the vicinity to increase his power, these people include: The Avengers, Shaper, everyone on Earth, The Celestials, Earth’s biosphere and finally Carina herself. Not knowing what to do Korvac is finally manipulated by Lady Death into using the ultimate nullifier to nullify the universe and himself alongside it.
With nothing in the universe remaining, Korvac has unwilling accomplished what he set out to achieve, a universe of absolute order.
During Quasar # 30 when Quasar is travelling through myriad of realities to look for living laser he enters a reality where we see a giant Korvac sitting atop Earth with an ultimate nullifier and an army of sentiment being moving towards him. This seem to be the revision of this story.
Time Quake (What If Vol 2 # 36)
Time Keepers, in order to destroy a nexus being called Ultra-Vision from the 22nd Century, pull Korvac from time stream, before he absorbs the power of Galactus and becomes a man-god. Korvac first travels back to 31st Century and mindcontrol the Guardians of the Galaxy, comes back and mindcontrol the Avengers. He then plugs himself to fight Vision in the cyberspace and defeats him. Avengers who are free of the mind control find that Korvac body is still plug into Vision computer and they disconnect him defeating Korvac in process but the Ultra Vision is dead.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
Korvac appeared in the second season of AEMH in episode six titled "Michael Korvac". Unlike his comic book counterpart, Korvac is in the 21st century and not the 31st. Korvac was captured by the Kree and experimented on with cosmic radiation, when he escaped he tried to find his girlfriend, Corrina. However, unknown to him, the cosmic radiation that gave him his super powers made him mad with power and he has destroyed many sentient life forms on different planets. The Guardians of the Galaxy followed his trail back to Earth, and in the end it took the Avengers and the Guardians to stop him. Finally, Korvac realized he was a monster and faded out of in-existence.
Korvac appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Guardians of the Galaxy". In this series, Korvac sports his inhuman, cyborg appearance from his original debut in The Defenders, rather than his more recognizable humanoid look. His role in the plot is also very similar to that of Thanos from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The show presents Korvac as the leader of the Chitauri, who plans on destroying Earth in order to prevent its superheroes from posing a potential threat to his army. He battles the Guardians, as well as Nova and Spider-Man, before ultimately being killed after his ship explodes.
Korvac was voiced by James Marsters, who is best known for his role as Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.