Wileaydus Autolycus was born on the planet Sarka in the Tilnast System in the 31st Century. He became a priest and religious zealot, embittered toward the Universal Church of Truth. He viewed the Church as oppressive on Sarka and believed it to be a false religion that dominates his true faith. Through unknown circumstances, Autolycus became the Spirit of Vengeance in this era to oppose the Universal Church of Truth.
Jim Valentino created the Spirit of Vengeance. Valentino also created his host, Wileaydus Autolycus, who first appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy vol 1 #12 (5/1991). Autolycus then debuted as the Spirit of Vengeance in Guardians of the Galaxy vol 1 #13 (6/1991). Valentino wrote and drew both issues with Steve Montano as the inker.
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Guardians of the Galaxy answer a distress call sent by Firelord, a Guardian member, who is being attacked by Overkill of the Stark. The Guradians head for the source of the signal in the Tilnast System. The Guardians arrive to aid Firelord in battle and Overkill transports out as the Guardians attack in unison.
When Autolycus discovers the presence of the Guardians’ ship near Sarka, he mistakenly believes the ship to be carrying Black Knights of Truth as reinforcements for the Universal Church of Truth. He transforms into the Spirit of Vengeance and creates his Death-Cycle from the Fires of Kauri (Hades).
The Spirit rides out into space towards the Guardians’ ship. The Spirit attacks first not believing anything the Guardians have to say about themselves. The battle continues until the Holy Fleet from Sarka appears threatening to blow up the ship unless the Spirit is surrendered to them. The Spirit realizes his grave error and sets out to “atone for this transgression“ by charging into the heart of the fleet to buy the Guardians time to escape.
The Guardians are captured anyway and taken to Sarka to appear before the Grand Inquisitor of the Universal Church of Truth. The Guardians are able to escape by transporting out with the help of the Spirit and Replica, the newest and youngest member. Before transporting out, Vance Astro asks the Spirit to join them and consider changing his methods. The Spirit declined preferring to complete his work there but said he would think on it as he kills the Grand Inquisitor.
The Spirit of Vengeance has joined with several other powerful beings including Martinex, Hollywood (formerly this era's Wonder Man), Replica, Phoenix IX, Mainframe (formerly this era's Vision) and Firelord to form the Galactic Guardians. The Galactic Guardians have fought Korvac and his Intimidators, Bubonicus and Ubiquitor and her Emissaries. The Galactic Guardians, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Krugarr (this era's Sorceror Supreme) and this era's Ancient One (formerly this era’s Dr. Strange) all joined together to battle Dormammu.
Powers and Abilities
The Spirit of Vengeance is skilled in unarmed combat, has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and durability. He can project the Fires of Kauri (Hades) from his hands for various effects including bursts of flame and creating his space-travelling Death-Cycle. The spikes on his forearms are deadly in close hand-to-hand combat and can be fired as projectiles.