|I heard you were an expert on Gladiator. I read Wolverine and the X-Men #9 today and was pretty interested in him. Can you tell me more and what to read?|
Eeeek! I am so glad you came to me with this anon! All my hugs for you.
(Gladiator’s first appearance)
Gladiator aka Kallark, served as the Praetor of the Imperium Guard for centuries regardless of who was on the throne.
He and the guard are indeed based of of Superman and the Legion of Super heroes. (Dave Cockrum designed both) He essentially has all the super powers Superman has: Flight, laser eyes, super duper strength, etc.
Okay anyway, when he was young he went through the Gladiator program ran by his race and was chosen by the Shi’ar Majestor at the time to become Praetor (As to how this happened, I won’t give it away).
Kallark has to keep an objective and high self confidence in order for his powers to stay at a peak, otherwise he becomes vulnerable and loses them (though this is very difficult to do)
Anyway, insert Lilandra. She is the youngest of the Neramani clan. Long story short, She, her big brother D’Ken, and her crazy sister Deathbird were always in these battle for the Shi’ar throne and Gladiator would have to align himself with whomever was successful claiming it no matter what BUT:
He has leaned toward Lilandra personally (sorry, I cannot give you an overview of him without my Kallandra feels.)
So anyway, long story short again: In Morrison’s run of New X-Men, Cassandra Nova drives Lilandra crazy while in possession of Charles’ body (Charles and Lilandra were married in case you didn’t know but then this cause it to be annulled)
So while Lilandra was recovering from the attack, her Chancellor Araki was proxy ruler. He was the one who ordered the Death Commandos to attack Rachel Grey and kill all of her and Jean’s family so there would never be another Phoenix host (haha nope that didn’t work)
Around the same time (another long story short), Le Summers brothers found out they had a bitter, angry crazy younger brother that they never knew about who was raised as a slave by the Shi’ar when D’Ken captured the Summers family all those years ago (blah blah blah)
Anyway, crazy Summers brother aka Vulcan went into space, married Deathbird, killed D’Ken and when in cahoots with Araki and had Lilandra deposed while she was off recovering and became Majestor of the Shi’ar.
So naturally Gladiator had to serve this douche (not before taking his eye out when Lilandra was still empress though)
Alex, Lorna and Rachel team up with the Starjammers to help defeat Vulcan and that’s when all of this happens:
(Augh my heart!!!)
So a few things happen, Kallark gets sent after her and he’s finally like fuck you, Vulcan and breaks his vow that he’s had for centuries and goes back to aid Lilandra:
But then that fucker chancellor Araki has someone assassinate Lilandra and she dies in Kallark’s arms. And I cry forever and ever, anyway…
Kallark then becomes Majestor of the Shi’ar under the Inhumans (who look over the Shi’ar now because of a war Vulcan started with them). And during all that craziness, I guess Kid Gladiator destoyed half of the royal capital and they sent him off to JGS as punishment and I think you know the rest of the story from there (though KG is never mentioned or hinted at at all before WATXM #1)
And as far as reading list goes:
New X-Men 117-133
X-Men: Kingbreaker 1-6
War of Kings 1-6
War of Kings: Warriors #1 (This one is really important as it tells his origin and why he only serves the throne)
War of Kings: Who Will Rule? Oneshot
Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard 1-5
And for any panels:http://snikette.tumblr.com/tagged/gladiator