Before obtaining magical artifacts known as the Star Stones, that for all intents and purposes made him an immortal, Rune began his life as an anthropomorphic-like alien in the Ultraverse. The affects of the Star Stones did more than grant him ever lasting life, they damned him to live in a horrific and grotesque body as well instilling in him a craving for blood and the life-force of others that the Star Stones require, and those in turn grant him his various abilities and powers.
Rune was created by Barry Windsor-Smith and Chris Ulm for use in Ultraverse. The characters first appearance is in Sludge #1 that was released on October, 1993.
After finding himself stranded on Earth, Rune went through various phases, from being worshiped as a god by the earliest tribes of humans, to thought of as a demonic entity. Once he learned of the Infinity Gems he desired nothing but power.
Major Story Arcs
Infinity Gem Crossover
Following the events of Godwheel, as Thor opens a portal to leave, Rune jumps into it at the last second and is transported along with Thor back to Marvel Earth-616. After exiting the portal Rune encounters and almost kills Powderkeg by drinking his blood, doing so gives Rune more power and results in him sensing the Infinity Gems. Rune then goes to find Gamora as he can sense the Infinity Gems on her, and by using his vampire-like powers is able to enthrall her into giving him information which includes who has each of the Gems and where those people currently are located. Rune's first target is Maxam, and after attacking him Rune steals the Time Gem. Once in possession of the Time Gem, Rune uses it to freeze time and proceeds to steal the remaining gems, first the Space Gem from Pip the Troll, second the Reality Gem from Thanos, third the Mind Gem from Moondragon, and fourth the Power Gem from Drax the Destroyer.
When Rune tries to steal the Soul Gem from Adam Warlock it transports him to the Soul World inside the gem where he encounters and battles Adam. During their battle, Adam cautions Rune that all of the Infinity Gems can never be used in conjunction with each other but the Soul Gem betrays Adam and assumes control over Rune and the other Infinity Gems. As Rune possesses all of the Infinity Gems, the Soul Gem unites them all together to form the Infinity Gauntlet and forces Rune to open a portal to the Ultraverse. While Rune is traveling back to the Ultraverse and battling the Soul Gem for control, the Silver Surfer, who had followed him, arrives and blasts Rune's hand completely off with the Power Cosmic, but as a result scatters all the gems and Rune into a vortex to the Ultraverse before he can gather them up.
At the other end of the portal Rune lands in the Isle of Mytos located in the Mediterranean Sea and is threatened by the Soul Gem which is attached to his forehead. After he is pulled out of the water and aboard a ship by a pair of men, he kills them both and drains their life-force. Upon entering the ship, Rune notices himself in a mirror and realizes that the Soul Gem is draining his own life force, making his body look older, and that he must find more sustenance. Rune then proceeds to kill and drain the life forces of every crew member on board the ship but is dismayed when neither his power or appearance have changed at all. Rune again tries to gain control over the Soul Gem but is too weak and falls unconscious from the exertion. To save Rune from dying the Soul Gem reanimates the dead sailors and orders them to take care of him.
While Rune's body is on the verge of death, he is found by Gemini and manages to convince Gemini that the only reason he is still alive is because of the Gem on his forehead. Gemini then removes the Soul Gem which enables Rune's body to rehabilitate itself, and as Rune is regrowing his hand that was burned off he notices Gemini struggling with the Soul Gem. As Gemini continues to fight off the Soul Gem, Rune tries to use this preoccupation to consume Gemini's soul and life-force but is instead blown back by Gemini's power. After coming to, Gemini attacks Rune and drains almost all of his life-force being urged on by the Sou Gem to kill Rune, but Gemini resists the Soul Gem and instead throws Rune's shriveled up body into a dimensional portal to the Negative Zone.
Powers and Abilities
By using the Star Stones, Rune is able to absorb the life force and soul of other beings by draining their blood or consuming their body. Through the Star Stones and his vampire-like nature, Rune is capable of various power and abilities such as incredible durability, superhuman strength, various spells using magic helped by his sorcerer training, clairvoyance, a healing factor (including healing from decapitation and dismemberment), can fly via his bat-like wings, creating illusions to appear human at times, tremendous speed, precognition, teleportation, and psychometry. In addition, all of Rune's powers and abilities can be enormously enhanced by consuming the life-force of an "Ultra".
Rune appears in the Ultraforce animated TV series.