When the parents of Scott and Alex Summers were kidnapped by the alien race, Shi'ar, it appears that Katherine Summers was pregnant. The unborn child was seemingly killed along with Katherine by D'Ken, the Majestor of the Shi'ar Empire. The child survived however, and was aged to adolescence in an incubation accelerator and subsequently enslaved. Gabriel was sent to Earth to serve a Shi'ar agent named Davan Shakari (who would later use the guise of Erik The Red). Gabriel managed to escape and was found by geneticist Moira MacTaggert., and she invited him to join a group of young mutants that were under her tutelage. He accepted and took the name Vulcan. Professor X recognized Vulcan's relationship with Cyclops, and reunited the brothers.
Vulcan was created by Ed Brubaker and Trevor Hairsine. Vulcan made his first comic book appearance in X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1 (2006).
Major Story Arcs
For years it was believed that the living island Krakoa let Cyclops escape in order to bring more mutants to feed on, and was defeated by the new team of X-Men that Xavier had assembled. In truth, Xavier had staged a prior attempt at a rescue using the young team Moira had been training. Xavier used his telepathic powers to train the young team on the use of their powers quickly, although the training felt like it had taken longer.
The young team led by Vulcan, consisting of the mutants Petra, Sway, and Darwin, traveled to the island to attempt a rescue. The team was quickly defeated, although Cyclops was freed while the rest of the new team seemingly died. When Cyclops made his way back to Xavier, he was so distraught with the death of his newly discovered brother that Xavier felt it would be best if Scott had no recollection of what had happened. In truth, Darwin had absorbed Petra and Sway upon their death, converted himself to energy, and fused with Vulcan. Vulcan and Darwin survived off the powers of their teammates in suspended animation deep within the island.
When Scarlet Witch de-powered the majority of the mutant population during Decimation, the resulting power surge caused Vulcan to awaken. Feeling betrayed, he set into motion a plan designed to lure Xavier out of hiding. After killing Banshee, he overpowered Cyclops and Wolverine, and eventually captured Cyclops and Rachel Summers. Rachel sensed that Darwin still resided within Vulcan, and used her telepathic powers to draw him out, injuring Vulcan in the process. The X-Men saw in this their chance of defeating him, but Vulcan was too strong and managed to escape. Finally, Vulcan confronted Xavier, who was able to reveal what had happened on Krakoa with Rachel Summers' help. Vulcan left Earth, seeking to destroy the Shi'ar Empire and Cyclops demanded that Xavier leave the Xavier Institute. Xavier assembled a team to chase after Vulcan, consisting of Darwin, Rachel, Nightcrawler, Polaris, Havok, and Warpath.
Vulcan made it to the main Shi'ar planet of Chandilar and ran amuck before he was stopped by some of the imperial guard. Gladiator stopped him and in the process took his eye and the Shi'ar replaced it with a prosthesis. Around this time D'ken had awakened from his insane and catatonic state and one of his followers freed Vulcan. He freed Deathbird in return and the two fell in love and with D'Ken's blessing they were ready to be married. Vulcan still wanted to kill Xavier so when he was captured and given to the royal family, Vulcan wanted him killed right after the wedding as a show of his new power. Despite the fact that he came to kill the Shi'ar he seemed to get along very well with D'Ken and all the other members of the race. He also wanted Darwin to be his best man since he too was captured and was the closest thing that Vulcan had to a friend. On the day for the wedding after Vulcan and Deathbird said their "I do's," the X-men and the Starjammers crashed the wedding and tried to free Xavier and Darwin as well as shut Vulcan down for good. In the heat of the battle Vulcan got his revenge on Xavier and seemingly killed him and burned off D'Ken's face. He shocked the whole Shi'ar Empire by taking D'Ken's crown off his dead body and proclaiming himself as the new Shi'ar Majestor.
Vulcan's revenge was cut short and Darwin saved Xavier from his fate. Both of them were taken to the Starjammers ship to be treated for their wounds. Vulcan fought his brother Havok but Alex was no match for him. He beat Havok savagely until Polaris stopped him with her magnetic powers and she attacked him with all she had even manipulating the iron in his bloodstream until he spit out blood. She would have killed him if Deathbird hadn't stopped her. Vulcan was left weak and almost dying for the magnetic assault. His father Corsair attacked him, telling him to stop and listen to his father, but Vulcan said that he wasn't his father. He was just a man that was too weak to save his mother. That said, Vulcan unleashed a powerful blast that killed Corsair on contact.
This sent the fight raging out of control as the Starjammers and X-Men were enraged over his death. Marvel Girl was the next to fight Vulcan and they clashed until Vulcan was too weak to fight so Deathbird took him away to recover. Meanwhile, the Shi'ar were none to pleased to have an outsider as their ruler, and this upset Vulcan, but Deathbird reassured him that his people would come to accept him. With the ensuing battle of the Imperial Guard, the Starjammers, and the X-Men, Vulcan's ship was destroyed by an alien fleet calling themselves the Scy'ar Tal. Realizing that they were more powerful, Vulcan called for a temporary truce with Cyclops & Havok. When the brothers managed to stop the Scy'ar Tal, Vulcan seemingly betrayed Havok and threw him into the sun, giving orders to the Guard to destroy the Scy'ar Tal and the Starjammers. When Havok came back, absorbing the energy of the sun, he fought Vulcan. Before he could finish him off, the Imperial Guard held the Starjammers crew hostage and threatened to kill them if Havok would not yield. Vulcan then set out to bring the Shi'ar Empire to it's former glory.
After the Skrull invasion on Earth, the Inhumans planned on taking revenge on the Skrulls, as they attacked the Skrulls, three Shi'ar vessels were destroyed as well. Vulcan decided that he would take action and that their attack was an "invitation". Vulcan kept Havok captive on the Shi'ar planet, Kr'kn and tortured him in his cell. Havok was held prisoner along with fellow Starjammers Polaris, Raza Longknife and Ch'od. Vulcan assembled a new guard which was made of some of the most dangerous beings that the Shi'ar had ever encountered. The new guard was charged with the task of hunting down Rachel Summers, Korvus, and Empress Lilandra. Havok was able to escape his cell along with the rest of the Starjammers. Vulcan was unaware that Havok had freed himself and his crew. Korvus, Lilandra, and Rachel went to Kr'kn to try and rescue Havok and the other Starjammers. They didn't know that the Starjammers were already able to escape their cells and were planning to take Vulcan down. The prison systems were shortened out when Havok escaped and other prisoners were also able to escape. Havok decided to help the guards stop the criminals who broke free. As they fought, the new Shi'ar Guard arrived on the scene and fought the Starjammers. After a while, Vulcan and the original Shi'ar Guard arrived to the battle. Vulcan told Havok that now he and the rest of the Starjammers would die.
As Vulcan prepared the Imperial Guard for an attack on the Inhumans, he tested the loyalty of the members to see if they were willing to serve under him. Crystal of the Inhuman Royal Family was set to marry Ronan the Accuser in order to bring the Inhumans and Kree together. Their marriage was interrupted by the Imperial Guard and Shi'ar serving under Vulcan. Gladiator headed the assault on the Kree as Vulcan watched from his ship. Gladiator defeated Black Bolt with some assistance from White Noise. They also took Empress Lilandra captive during the battle. Crystal was also under attack, but Ronan came to rescue her. Ronan fell having been double teamed by the guard. Gladiator and the rest of the Guard ceased their attack stating that they had made their statement. Medusa then vowed that the Shi'ar would pay for what they had done. On the first day of the Shi'ar-Kree war, a world was cremated by one of the Shi'ar Nega-Bombs. Gladiator watched as the world was destroyed from Vulcan's flagship. Gladiator then went to deliver Lilandra to Emperor Vulcan. After the last attack of Vulcan's Imperial Guard on the Kree, Hala, the main planet of the Kree, was left in confusion and mass unrest. Medusa ordered the Kree to calm themselves and report back to their duties.Meanwhile Ronan was found injured. He should have been dead but lived on due to his stubbornness and refusal to die. Many Kree were also sick and devastated from the Shi'ar attack. The Inhuman Royal Family, however, were preparing eco-weapons to begin their counter-offensive on the Shi'ar. Sentries were launched from the Kree carrier ships and they started to sing with the power of Black Bolt. After this attack from the Kree, nothing was left of the Shi'ar warships. The Starjammers and Inhuman Elite then boarded a Shi'ar ship where they were able to steal information from the datasphere that revealed the location of Lilandra. Vulcan heard the news of the counter-attack and became enraged, saying he would kill all of the Inhumans, the Kree, and their allies, starting with Lilandra.
Vulcan was stopped by Admiral Ka'ardum. Ka'ardum explained to Vulcan that if he killed her, she'd become a martyr and they should keep her alive to ensure there would be no successor to her throne. Gladiator agreed with the Admiral and checked on Lilandra. The Starjammers had arrived to rescue Lilandra, but this time they brought extra help, the Guardians of the Galaxy. As the Imperial Guard fought against the combined force of the Starjammers and th Guardians of the Universe, Rocket Raccoon kept Gladiator busy while the others took on the rest of the Guard. Gladiator then realized that Rocket Raccon was attacking his mind and not his body, with the help of Rachel Summers' illusions. Gladiator then defeated the Guardians and flew off to Lilandra. As he did so, he killed Smasher for trying to convince him to kill Lilandra. He then announced that he would serve Empress Lilandra and that he would no longer be loyal to Vulcan and his Guard.
The Guardians of the Galaxy went to talk to the Shi'ar in an attempt to resolve their war with the Kree and Inhumans. Adam Warlock teleported to Vulcan's flagship during the mission. Vulcan attacked, and during the fight it was revealed that Vulcan could also manipulate magic. To Vulcan, magic was an exotic form of energy. Adam admitted defeat as Vulcan drained off nearly all of his energy. He was forced to flee. However, Warlock was marked with a witch-mark so that Vulcan could track him down from anywhere in the galaxy. Meanwhile, another team of the Guardians headed off to meet with Black Bolt. After quarreling a bit, Phyla decided to take action and kidnapped Crystal during the fight. Both teams returned to Knowhere but were followed by the Kree and Shi'ar.
With Gladiator now serving under Lilandra and not Vulcan, the Shi'ar had lost one very formidable ally. The Inhumans, as well as the Kree were now trapped in a war that they did not want to fight. Hence, Vulcan met with and convinced his admirals that they were in the midst of a war that their empire may not be able to afford. As they met, a sentry from the Kree/Inhuman army, which had been made in the image of Black Bolt, attacked Vulcan. The admirals ordered their men to protect him, but Vulcan had decided to battle this sentry himself. Just before the fight ensued, Talon, from the Fraternity of Raptors, destroyed the sentry. This defeat made a statement that the Shi'ar Majestor, Vulcan, was under his protection. Crystal and Ronan made a decision to approach Black Bolt to tell him how they felt about his actions in the war against the Shi'ar. They felt that the Inhuman program to uplift the Kree wasn't working and that Black Bolt hadn't made the right decisions. Talon told Vulcan where he was from and declared that his mission, along with the rest of the Raptors, was to protect and direct the great purpose, the Shi'ar Imperial Majestor. They were created to keep the Empire strong and to make it last forever.
Vulcan wondered why he had never heard of them and Talon explained that they had laid dormant for sixty centuries. He then showed Vulcan what happened when they struck a pact with Blastaar of the Negative Zone. Lilandra then addressed the Shi'ar people proclaiming that she was back and once again, fully in control of the throne. Some people, those who supported Lilandra, were happy about this turn of events, but others were angered as they were ardent supporters of Emperor Vulcan. Lilandra and the Starjammers proceeded to the temple in order to renew her oath. However, they were confronted by the Death Commandos (a network squad serving under one of the chancellors who supported Vulcan). They fought, though once the dust had cleared, Lilandra was seen laying in the arms of Gladiator seemingly dead after having been shot by another Raptor, Razor, who was currently in possession of the power suit of Chris Powell, Darkhawk. Subsequently, Powell regained control over the suit, but he was promptly attacked by Gladiator and Havok as they believed it was he who had killed Lilandra.
Vulcan was delighted to hear the news about Lilandra's death. He celebrated until Admiral Ka'ardum reminded him of the consequences. He forewarned that there would be a civil war between the supporters of Lilandra and the supporters of Vulcan. He also advised Vulcan that they should form a peace treaty with the Inhumans and Kree to help resolve the conflict within the Shi'ar Empire. Vulcan then confronted Talon as he was the one behind the assassination of Lilandra and the consequent civil unrest in the Empire. Talon told Vulcan that he would have to prepare to disengage his troops if he wanted the continued support of the Raptors. Vulcan refused. Meanwhile, the Inhumans launched the T-Bomb which was Terrigen made into a weapon. However, The T-Bomb was powered by the voice of Black Bolt so he had to stay inside the bomb and sacrifice himself in order to end the war between the Shi'ar and Kree. Vulcan flew through the Inhuman sentries and broke into the bomb where Black Bolt was.
Vulcan and Black Bolt continued to fight inside the T-Bomb. Vulcan started to gain the upper hand and mocked Black Bolt. He figured out that Black Bolt didn't want to use his voice because he might set off the bomb. Meanwhile, Gladiator was crowned the new Majestor of the Shi'ar empire after the conflict. Vulcan was about to finish off Black Bolt, but Black Bolt shouted at Vulcan before he could give his finishing blow and he seemingly killed Vulcan. Crystal accompanied Lockjaw to try and save Black Bolt from death. They found him, wounded and they started to teleport. But before they could teleport away from the T-Bomb, Black Bolt was attacked by Vulcan who revealed that he was able to rebuild himself with his power. Vulcan began to mock Black Bolt again but this time, Black Bolt dispatched a powerful blast which set off the T-Bomb and sent a massive explosion through space. The explosion caused by the T-Bomb was powerful enough to blow a hole in space and time. The war of Kings had ended, but both Black Bolt and Vulcan ended up dead after their fight. The hole created from Vulcan's and Blackbolt's battle was hereafter named, The Fault.
Vulcan is an omega level mutant (though he was erroneously called "above omega" by Emma Frost). He can manipulate all forms of energy and, in one instance with the aid of Darwin, absorbed the essence and powers of his former teammates (Petra, Darwin, and Sway). Charles Xavier commented that he is the most powerful energy manipulator he has ever come across. His psionic powers even allow him to control the psionic powers of others as he was able to control Rachel Summers' telepathy and prevent her from actually accessing her telekinesis or telepathy without his consent (though she later learned to prevent him from inhibiting her). He can also control more esoteric energies like Cyclops' optic force blasts and Adam Warlock's spells. Vulcan also appears able to absorb energies from almost any source.
Vulcan has similar powers to that of his brothers, as they are each able to absorb certain kinds of energies and rechannel that energy from their bodies. Though his brothers, Cyclops and Havok, are known to be immune to each others powers, they are apparently not immune to Vulcan's (he manages to hurt Cyclops with no apparent trouble). This may be due to Vulcan's extremely high power level or his ability to control energies.
According to information from his creator, Ed Brubaker, Vulcan has a "hidden potential" which allows him to fully generate and have control over the 7 elements (fire, earth, electricity, wind, water, darkness, and light). Due to this supposed/intended ability, it can be argued that Vulcan is a match for other god-like heroes or villains such as Silver Surfer or Onslaught.
What if the Second team of X-Men had lived?
In this reality, the team comprised of Vulcan, Darwin, Sway and Petra had not died during the battle against Krakoa. The original X-Men died. The team became the X-Men. They were able to finally beat the Brotherhood and Vulcan is viewed as the greatest hero ever. It was revealed that Vulcan was responsible for the deaths of the original X-Men. He was sent to live on the Island and watch the event over and over for the rest of his life. Sway was able to use her time powers to set the loop that he was forced to view, and was the reason they were able to see the truth about what happened.